‘I Believe’ To Be Screened At Seattle Deaf Film Festival 2018

For those who attended Deaffest 2017 and had the opportunity to watch Deaffest’s first ever music video I Believe; we’re excited to let you know that this music video has been selected to be screened at the 4th Seattle Deaf Film Festival (SDFF).

The music video involved a collaboration between performing artists Chris Fonseca (UK) and Rosa Lee Timm (US). A group of young people from the NDCS joined the action, signing to Yolande Adams’ song, I Believe, and had an inspirational experience working with the two talented Deaf professionals. The video was filmed and directed by award-winning filmmaker Bim Ajadi and Music Video Producer Stacy Lawrence.

The SDFF, which is run by Deaf Spotlight, will take place in Seattle, US from 30th March to 1st April 2018. Visit their website to find out more!

‘Now You See Me’ Symposium

Last November our PR Liaison Officer, Louise Parrott, took a trip up to Scotland to attend the Now You See Me Symposium. The event was hosted by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and Solar Bear, and took place at the Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow.

The Symposium was held to celebrate the achievements of the final year students who are on the ground-breaking Royal Conservatoire of Scotland BA Performance in BSL and English course. This course is the UK’s first Deaf Performing Arts Degree, and was launched in 2015.


Tony Whithouse giving a talk


There were various talks given during the Symposium, by experts, practitioners and deaf professionals, with the focus on exploring future opportunities within the theatre, TV and film industry for the ten students on the course. Among those who gave a talk were Solar Bear’s Creative Director Jonathan Lloyd, Head of BA Performance in BSL and English Claire Lamont, BBC Comedy Commissioning Executive Editor Gregor Sharp, Deaf Actor Ramesh Meyyappan and Writer and Producer Toby Whithouse who wrote the Doctor Who episode that involved the deaf actress Sophie Stone.


One of the scenes from Love and Information


A couple of performances took place during the event, including a selection of seven short scenes from the Caryl Churchill’s adaption of the Love and Information production and an extract from ‘words who needs them’ – both of which were performed by the students on the BA course.


Louise had the pleasure of attending the evening performance of the Love and Information show, which was directed by Solar Bear’s Creative Director Jonathan Lloyd. The production was comprised of a series of 50 short scenes performed by the ten students from the course.

“It was fantastic to watch the talents of the students during the production; I was captivated by their performances, the contemporary sense of the scenes and how they have incorporated BSL, English and captions in those scenes. I’m really looking forward to seeing what becomes of those students in the future.” – Louise Parrott

The students will be graduating this June and Deaffest wishes them all the best for their future!


Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy


Deaffest to run a residential Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy for young deaf people in the summer of 2018.

Academy Design 1

Think Glee, think Fame, think Grease, think Mamma Mia, Chicago, Westside Story, La La Land… then think Deaf! This is your chance to get involved in making the FIRST EVER Deaf sign-musical film! At Deaffest’s Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy, a team of talented young deaf actors / actresses, performers and filmmakers will team up with award-winning British Deaf professional film directors, producers, actors /actresses and performers for a full week. Together, they will create a unique, unforgettable film and in the process, the young Deaf participants will get hands-on experience of the following:

  • Filmmaking – creating a storyboard, scriptwriting, producing and plot development.
  • Editing – using a camera, operating lighting, sound mixing and editing.
  • Acting – getting into character, using facial expression and body language to bring a script to life.
  • Dance – choreography, musical expression, body language and interpretation.
  • Sign Song – interpreting song lyrics and conveying the emotion through sign language.

You can even have a go at directing! Imagine yourself in the Director’s chair, leading adult professional actors and actresses! This could be your chance to shine, helping to produce a film people will never forget.  

Taking place in Wolverhampton, from Sunday 5th August Sunday 12th August 2018, the Academy is a week-long residential experience suitable for young deaf people aged 13 – 17 years (although applications would be considered from those aged 11 and 12 years, in consultation with parents/guardians).

With all this on offer, the Academy is a place where young deaf people can be empowered and have experiences they will never forget!

Parents, if you are looking for a week-long creative summer school for your child, where they can gain direct access to training, and at the same time be inspired by some of the UK’s most successful deaf role models, then get in touch to register your interest at enquiries@deaffest.co.uk.

Places are limited for the Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy, so do get in touch early to avoid disappointment!