Student documentary Walk, Run, Strive scores BAFTA nomination

Walk, Run, Strive writer and director Emma Jackson and producer Sarah Williams.

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An inspirational short film about a young athlete with cerebral palsy has earned a group of Edith Cowan University (ECU) students a prestigious BAFTA nomination.

The documentary, Walk, Run, Strive, produced by Sarah Williams, who has cerebral palsy herself, and written and directed by Emma Jackson, is the only finalist in the Southern Hemisphere nominated for a 2022 Student British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award. 

Universities and colleges worldwide were invited to submit their best projects for consideration for six top prizes – the BAFTA Student Film Award for Animation, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Documentary, the BAFTA Student Film Award for Live Action, the BAFTA Student Award for Games, the BAFTA Student Award for Immersive, and the Special Jury Prize. 

Walk, Run, Strive is nominated in the documentary category. It is a story about local West Australian athlete Madison Heady. Born with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, Madi is an inspiration in how she has overcome all the challenges that have come her way. After being told that she would never walk, in her early twenties she became a passionate runner, holding an Australian record and national silver medal. But her life changes abruptly after being hit and severely injured by a motor vehicle. Challenged once more, will Madi give up on her dream of professional running when even her ability to walk, let alone run again, is in question? 

Producer Sarah Williams said when director Emma Jackson first came to her with the idea for the film, it was going to follow Madi’s running journey and her advocacy for people with disability, but after Madi’s tragic accident it became something different entirely. 

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“It was a massive journey, we followed Madi along what turned out to be a very vulnerable point her life. The story really flipped after her accident. We were planning to do all these running recreations but that couldn’t happen because Madi wasn’t able to walk, much less run,” Sarah said. 

“What eventuated was a really big journey, we developed this strong friendship while making the film and made something beautiful together. 

“The film has an inspirational message. It shows that with resilience and a positive attitude you can overcome the challenges of your disability, do amazing things, live a wonderful life and achieve success.” 

Sarah and Emma will travel to Los Angeles for the BAFTA Awards ceremony at the Harmony Gold Theater on Friday, 22 July. ECU’s WA Screen Academy Director Associate Professor Dr Cathy Henkel will accompany them. 

“I could not be prouder of Sarah, Emma and the whole team behind Walk, Run, Strive. A BAFTA nomination is a filmmaker’s dream and such an honour. This is an accolade that will support their careers and be with them for life,” Associate Professor Henkel said. 

The film Walk, Run, Strive will be publicly screened The Revelation Film Festival ‘Get Your Shorts On’ closing event at Luna Leederville, Sunday 17 July at 7pm. Details here

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