At the UN on World Down Syndrome day, Videocamp launched the world's largest social impact film fund of its kind and called on filmmakers to create a film with the theme of "inclusive education".  It is supported by Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones, Veep) whose son, Olly, has Down's syndrome and David Proud (Marcella), an actor and writer with disabilities. Videocamp, which has partnered with UNICEF on the project, made the announcement of the $400,000 fund during an annual event, the World Down Syndrome Day Conference 2018, held at the United Nations in New York and organised by Down Syndrome International.

Videocamp hopes the open call for bids will change the debate worldwide on inclusive education of children with disabilities. "Film is one of the most powerful mediums we can use to inspire and provoke change in our societies", says Carolina Pasquali, director of Videocamp. Videocamp will make the selected project available in their free catalogue of social impact films, which to date has enabled 19,000 screenings in over 90 countries.

Around the world, 1 billion people – or 1 in 7 people – have a disability. Studies suggest that there are anywhere between 93 million and 150 million children living with a disability globally, and around half of these children are out of school. Research shows that children with disabilities educated in inclusive environments are around 11 per cent more likely to find competitive employment, and 10 per cent more likely to live independently as adults, compared to children with disabilities who are not educated in inclusive environments.

David Proud, actor with disability and writer, says: "Inclusive education simply cannot wait. I am delighted to support this because now is the time for necessary and empowering story-telling. Being excluded and segregated from children without disabilities would have changed my whole childhood. Now, in my work as a disabled actor and writer, I still find that the more diverse the team I am working with the richer the work will be. I urge disabled filmmakers, and other diverse filmmakers to apply."

Pasquali further comments: "We're not looking for movies that trace the history of inclusive education, or analyze what makes an inclusive classroom. We're looking for a creative vision that will broaden perceptions about how all people, with and without disabilities, benefit from an inclusive education. And once the film is finished, it will be made available as part of Videocamp’s free catalog of social impact films. We will help promote it - with the help of a global network of partners with the same focus - so that it reaches the widest possible audience."

Creative ways to tell this story are encouraged. Great films, such as Once and Super Size Me, were created for less than US$400,000. Applications can be animation, documentary or fiction. Filmmakers, both established and aspiring, from all over the world are invited to apply. The Videocamp Film Fund 2018 recommends that production teams are diverse with good gender balance, ethnic and racial variety, and individuals with disabilities.

The selected film will be added to Videocamp's free catalog of social impact films. Anybody, anywhere can organize a screening of Videocamp's films. Videocamp believes film can turn town squares, classrooms, and even living rooms, into spaces for discussion and change.  And even better – these discussions can inspire communities to take action after watching.

Entries are open now and close on 21 June 2018. The five shortlisted projects will be announced on 1 September, 2018. The selected project will be announced on 21 September, 2018. The selected film must have the following accessibility features and format: sign language, audio description and captioning.

Check out http://filmfund2018.videocamp.com/en/the-fund/ for more info.