Filmmaker William Mager has won a top award for his creative excellence and for building a more diverse Arts and media industry for disabled people.

The Ability Media International award (AMI) was presented on Sunday 20 November at a glittering ceremony in London Studios, attended by some of the UK Arts industry’s most influential and well respected players – including Downton Abbey actor Dame Maggie Smith, children’s TV pioneer Anna Home and filmmaker Mike Leigh. The AMI awards, created by Leonard Cheshire Disability in 2009, identify outstanding creative projects that encourage a more inclusive world people.

Heralded by the international panel of judges as an ‘exciting and emerging directing talent’ by the judges, Mager won the Future Focus Award 2011. The BBC Producer and Director, who is deaf, has written and directed several short films including STILETTO, DEAF MUGGER, HANDS SOLO and MY SONG, shown at major international festivals around the world, winning several awards. Booker Prize-winning author Ben Okri and Film London Manager and Creative Board member, Jenny Cooper, presented the award to Mager.

William comments:

“I’m honoured to receive this award – it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the BBC, Film London, the UK Film Council, 104 Films and the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust in making these short films and dramas alongside some talented writers and actors. This award will give me the inspiration and motivation to continue making more films in future!”

Jane Jutsum, Leonard Cheshire Disability Innovative Projects Director and co-organiser of the AMI awards, comments:

“With his talent, energy, and diversity, William Mager is making waves in the film industry. Now extending his reach beyond short filmmaking to longer dramatic work, Mager is actively contributing to making British arts and broadcasting industries of excellence and greater diversity.”

The AMIs support the Ability Media Centre. Set up by Leonard Cheshire Disability, the centre gives disabled and disadvantaged young people the training and skills they need to meet the demands of the media industries. www.abilitymedia.org

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UK's Leading Deaf-Led Film and Arts Festival

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