When young Rory Staunton died from sepsis in the spring of 2012 after receiving an everyday cut in a school gym, Irish America, and indeed many Irish everywhere, mourned him for the exceptional young man he was.

Although only twelve years old, among his achievements Rory had led a campaign in his school in New York, under the auspices of the Special Olympics, to foster social responsibility and greater respect for people with intellectual disabilities.
He had a thing about the ‘R’ word, and worked hard to make his young friends and schoolmates understand how wrong it is to use the word retard, or retarded, in a derogatory sense.

Now Ablevision Ireland is proud to launch the inaugural Rory Staunton Memorial award, which will be given to the winning short film in the Ablevision film competition which is calling for entrants now.

Films submitted to the competition have to be made by crews which include at least one person with an intellectual challenge, and should address the issues of inclusivity and respect for diversity.

The films will be screened at Ablevision Ireland’s first International Film Festival, which will be held in Drogheda this May. Ablevision Boston has committed to entering the competition, along with the Oska Bright organisation from the UK.

They will be competing for a prize fund of  €1,000 and the Rory Staunton Memorial award, which has been sponsored by the Rory Staunton Foundation.

Of around five minutes duration, the films can be of any genre, including animation, and winning entries will be broadcast on SKY TV Channel 212 and Freesat 401.

It is expected that the competition will appeal to multi-media students and young filmmakers, who are interested in working alongside those with intellectual challenges to explore and portray the issues they face.

The closing date for the competition is April 12, 2013 and an application form can be downloaded from www.ablevisionireland.com. For further information contact Audrey on 086-1744994