Young Deaffest Winner William Horsefield becomes Finalist in Mainstream Competition

William Horsefield, 19, has been recently selected as one of the five finalists in the Dream to Screen competition!

Launched by Cineworld Foundation and Media Trust with support from the Jack Petchey Foundation in May of this year, the Dream to Screen competition aims to find the UK’s brightest young film maker.  Dream to Screen is set up to give youngsters with an undiscovered filmmaking talent an opportunity to be mentored and make their way in the film industry.

“I want to be professional filmmaker because I love to see the audience enjoy watching my film.  I want to get into the film industry to find out how they made it and what makes the film a masterpiece.  I’m very honoured to work with a mentor who has a lot of experience from the film industry.  I believe the mentor will open the door for me to the new experience of film industry.” – William

William was first recognised for his filmmaking talents by Deaffest where he won the Young Deaffest Award 2013 for his film I Won’t Do That Again! and the following year won the Young Deaffest Award 2014 for his unique entertaining film The Battery Battle.  This is the first time anyone has won the Young Deaffest Award more than once!

Competing against more than 500 other young hopefuls, William’s entry has been selected as one of the top five entries by a panel of high-profile judges, including Dame Helen Mirren and BAFTA Chief Executive Amanda Berry.

“It was an absolute joy to watch the pitches. There were many different approaches but all the applications shared a passion for their craft and I was impressed by the creative interpretations of the theme of ‘inspiration’. The five finalists will be supported and encouraged by their BAFTA mentors, who will assist them to realise their ‘Dream to Screen’” – Amanda Berry

William along with the four other finalists Onysha Collins, George O’Regan, Callum Costello and Sarah Grant will be given a £2000 budget, equipment and access to an experienced film mentor, to make a film based on the theme of ‘inspiration’.  William will be mentored by TV and multi-platform creative, Basi Akpabio, who will be helping him achieve his film Welcome to the Deaf World.

The finalists will then share their films online from the 1st September 2014 and the overall winner will be selected by a public vote.  The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in autumn and the winning film will be shown at Cineworld cinemas across the UK, Ireland and Channel Islands, and also receive a trip to Hollywood organised by 20th Century Fox!

Many congratulations to William and all the best with his film!

To read more about the Dream to Screen competition, please see here.

You can follow William’s progress with his film on Facebook here and on Twitter @WTTDF_Film

Alex Nowak – Last Week in Sri Lanka

“My Polish friend Marcin joined me for 10 days. I showed him around the coastal parts of southern Sri Lanka, including Tangalle, Galle, Hummanaya (one of the very few blowholes in the world), a turtle hatchery and a boat safari on the Madu Ganga river (where we held a baby crocodile!). Then me, Marcin and Kasun all jetted off on a car trip around the island. We visited many famous landmarks such as the cave temples of Dambulla, the scared Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphange and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Seeing the elephants roam around in the wild was amazing. Sigiriya was mind-blowing – it’s a massive rock standing alone in the vast forest with a cliff face all around it. The summit of the rock is a fortress, where yonks ago was home to the king. There were palaces and pools on the top – how the construction materials got to the summit plateau, I do not know!




After we dropped Marcin off at the airport, we and Kasun went straight to Matara to get the film festival all set up. The festival took place on Sunday 25th May 2014. There has never been a deaf film festival before in Sri Lanka, so was very proud to give the deaf community this opportunity. You can see more information on the film festival here.




It’s now the final week, where has the time gone?! I’m saying farewell to all of my friends. “Sri Lanka good?” they all ask me. “Sri Lanka beautiful” I reply and their faces are smiling. “Come back?” they ask me. “One day” I reply. The Sumaga Ruhunu Circle of the Deaf held a little leaving party for me, what a terrific time. On my final night, I stayed with my good friends Rajitha and Chan in Colombo before getting up at 5am to get a Tuk Tuk to the airport to catch my flight home.

Goodbye Sri Lanka. Until next time.”

Global TV site Viki & Deaf Actress Marlee Matlin launch ‘Billion Words March’

It has been announced recently by Viki, the global TV site powered by fans of their global campaign ‘Billion Words March’ to champion for complete and accurate closed captions across online TV shows and movies.

Viki has partnered up with Marlee, Oscar winner and Emmy-nominated actress who is a long-standing advocate for closed captioning.  They both will work to improve close captioning and increase the accessibility for online viewers in all countries and languages.

“It’s not just a few people who need this.  We’re talking about hundreds of millions of people around the world who are deaf, hard of hearing but who deserve access to entertainment, no matter what language they speak.” – Marlee Matlin

For more information, please see here.