We asked the following nominated filmmakers these three questions.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and your career in film so far!

2. How do you feel about your film being nominated for an award?

3. How much would it mean to you if you won the award?

Best Actresses

Aliya Gulamani | September 11th


1. My name’s Aliya and I’ve acted in two short films up to date. September 11th was my second acting project and I really enjoyed the process involved in making this film.

2. I feel shocked and surprised to be nominated for the award, but I mostly feel happy that my performance was enjoyed enough to achieve this nomination.

3. It would be a great honour to win this award, but if I won this award it would be an award for everyone who was involved in this film. It’s a group effort and a group achievement.

Rebecca-Anne Withey | Life Out There


1. I began my professional acting career in 2005 when I was cast in BBC 1’s Grange Hill for 2 years. Since then I have appeared in multiple short films & music videos.

2. It was a pleasant surprise to find I have been nominated for Best Actress and one that is very humbling.

3. I would be proud to receive the award on recognition of the marvellous writing, directing and coaching that created Life Out There, a highly unique film!

Rebecca Zelic | Champion of the World


1. I am not just an actress I am also a Performance level athlete who specialises in Hurdles. I compete in the 100m and 400m hurdles. I have never acted before and I wouldn’t have discovered this new talent of mine if the film producers hadn’t found me!

2. I am not going to lie, I was confused and couldn’t believe it when I received the email about me being nominated for Best Actress. I thought they must have sent it to the wrong person! Too amazing to be true! But I was delighted!

3. I would say a lot! Because all my awards are from Sport and so it’s great to and award for something different, like acting. It shows that I am able to do other things! It also makes my trophy shelves look more exciting!

Sophie Stone | Confession


1. I’m a fully fledged trained actor still learning to fly with every job I do and loving each step of the journey since it all started in 1985!

2. I’m touched that my work has been appreciated and people have deemed me worthy of a nomination. I’m honoured to be considered potentially awardable!

3. A lot. It would mean recognition within a great event that celebrates all that’s creative and groundbreaking about deaf culture and its versatility.

Best Actor

Alex Nowak | The End


1. A huge lover of white chocolate and a massive fan of ‘Home and Away’ — not your average 20 year old! Been acting around for nearly 4 years now.

2. Delighted that my role has been recognised by professionals in the industry and impacted the audience.

3. Tonnes, but being nominated, I’m just as proud. All the best to Terry, Hal and Will.

Hal Draper (Written by Louis Neethling) | Still Here


1. Hal’s acting never garnered awards because it was so natural, seamless and had perfect timing and people thought that was just him – ‘not acting’ at all.

2. About time!

3. It would mean a lot to me and other people: his partner, Lorna, his family, fellow Deaf film makers and especially to the cast and crew of Still Here.

Terry Edwards | The End


1. I’m a BSL Tutor/assessor by day , who after 25 years on the stage and behind the scenes of London Deaf Drama Group, made my film debut in “The End”.

2. I feel honoured and proud to receive the nomination for Best Actor at Deaffest.

3. Deaffest is vital for showcasing the work of the Deaf film industry and developing talent. It is an honour to be nominated and would be a dream to win.

William Grint | Strangers


1. Exaggeration is my forte! My acting debut was in Chasing Cotton Clouds. There’s not much else I like doing apart from acting. No, honestly!

2. When I was nominated, I was over the moon, sun, Pluto! But then I froze. I broke a sweat. I’m up against acting legends who’ve been acting for years.

3. If by a WILD chance I won the award, credit’s down to the writers, directors and the actors, those who made my acting career. I’m indebted to them.

About Deaffest

UK's Leading Deaf-Led Film and Arts Festival

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