Tuesday, 1 July 2008


The film-maker's tale

This is what Ann Paul said on 20 June, in response to her Award 

Ladies and gentlemen. conductors,
I feel deeply privileged and honoured to receive this award today, it means a great deal to me and I would like to tell you why.
Twenty-three years ago on a bitterly cold winter’s day in Budapest I stood in the hall of the old Institute. It had been a particularly cold winter and there were huge ice flows in the river. I had been in the Institute all week observing Conductive Education – unofficially, as I had not been able to gain Embassy permission. It was a Friday afternoon and hot mugs of tea were being handed out to parents who had travelled some distance to take their children home for the weekend. Then one of those small miracles happened and a boy greeted his brother by taking a few faltering steps towards him – it was the first time his brother and parents had witnessed him walking and in that moment I knew this was a film that had to be made.
The shadowy figure of Mária Hári appeared beside me – I had not managed to talk with her all week.
 ‘It is good?’  she said.
'Good’ could not describe what I felt as I watched that scene. 
What that moment represented was untold hours of love, patience and skill from the conductors, which had combined to give him and thousands of other children like him the hope of a better future and to realise their full potential.
If we are lucky, very lucky, every once in a while a film-maker is given the opportunity to tell a story that in some small way touches a cord deep within us and which will have an impact on the world we live in. Standing Up For Joe was just such a film. It was not a perfect film, and indeed if made today it would probably be a very different film, but it was of its time. Both films were immensely challenging to make and I was deeply grateful for the tremendous support and guidance that I had from Andrew Sutton.
Andrew and I used to discuss the dream of bringing Conductive Education ‘in its pure form’ to England. The fact that this Institute of Conductive Education exists here today in England, training these very special educators, is a dream come true.

My warmest good wishes to you new graduates for what I am sure will be an immensely happy and rewarding career. 
Thank you Andrew for this award and for inviting me here today.

Previous postings on Ann Paul's Award and the Awards Ceremony:

Sutton, A. (2008) Standing up for Joe: Ann Paul's pivotal contribution to Conductive Education, Conductive World, 24 June
Sutton, A. (2008) Annual Award Ceremony at NICE: Founder's Medal for Ann Paul, Conductive World, 18 June


  1. i'd really like to see standing up for joe on youtube. do you think you could upload some of it?

  2. Sorry, would that I could oblige but unfortunately I can not, for two reasons:

    (a) I have absolutely no idea how to do such a thing and no access to the necessary apparatus or skill to teach me how to use it;

    (b) I have a healthy respect for (read 'fear') for the copyright lawyers of BBC/British Lion Films.

    There is a further, substantive issue in that I suspect that extracting short sequences might be to mutilate the meaning that the film as a whole had at the time.

    All the same, it would be nice if it were more widely available outside (very) specialist libraries. What happenned to all those possibly hundreds of pirate copies that went round the world? Chucked possibly, many of them, but others must be gathering dust somewhere.

    Maybe a 'wanted' ad on ebay or on more specialist video sites might find a few of them. Do have a go, on behalf of me and all those others like me who'd never manage this for themselves...

    ...and never volunteer if you can't take a joke!

  3. Seeking contact info for Ann Paul, director of The Transformers, a portrait of Reuven Feuerstein. I am the director of "The Mind of a Child" another documentary featuring Feuerstein. We are considering releasing some of the additional footage and lectures recorded in 1994 for use by teachers and wish to discuss this possibility with Ann. If you could forward this note pls.
    Thank you.
    Gary Marcuse, Face to Face Media marcuse@facetofacemedia.ca