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. What does Deaffest/deaf film festival means to you?

Best International Film

Mindy Drapsa | Frequency, Sweden.


1. I love TV in whole my life! I did make several TV-program for deaf youth and some short film in Sweden. Now I am running a media company Dramaski.

2. It’s a honour to get a nomination in an international film festival! I think it’s good because this get us more motivation, which leads to making more film in future!

3. So we deaf people could share our experience about film sign language which is different from spoken language. The film festival is our biggest inspiration!

Alejandro Figueras | Identidad, Spain.


1. I started to do theatre in the deaf school at the age of 14. Since then, I have directed and acted in films and theatre.

2. It is a huge joy! It is third international participation of “Identity”! A shame we could not be there, but our heart is with you!

3. Deaf film festivals are an opportunity to show deaf art to world, and make survival our language and culture. Therefore, thank you for your work!

Jake Willis | Here In Silence, Australia.


1. Hi, I’m Jake a 20year-old filmmaker and photographer from Melbourne. I currently study film and television. From the age of 17 I have been doing stills photography on film sets. “Here In Silence”, is the first official short film that I have written and directed. At the moment I am currently script writing my next project and getting involved on as many film sets as possible.

2. Thrilled! The “Here In Silence” team is so proud to share our film at Deaffest, let alone be nominated for Best International Film.

3. Deaffest means a great deal to me in a quite simple way. I am just so happy that we get to share the film in front of an understanding audience. I hope the film will be enjoyed and people will find their own individual meanings.

Alice Ansara & Kate Matairavula | Jacob’s Story, Australia.


1. Kate and Alice work for the Deaf Society of NSW. Jacob’s Story is the first professional film they’ve produced. Both have been actors in the past and both love language.

2. We both feel immensely proud to tell the world Jacob’s Story. We only wish England was closer to Australia so we could put on nice frocks and high heels and come to the awards night.

3. It’s a celebration of the deaf way of looking at the world, inspiration to budding filmmakers, opportunities for actors and film makers and of course, nice frocks and high heels.

Best Documentary Film

Cathy Heffernan | Crossing the Divide, UK.


1. Started in TV as a researcher on a magazine programme then worked as a journalist for several years and am now moving back into filmmaking!

2. Am chuffed Crossing the Divide has been nominated as it’s the first film I’ve directed!  It’s encouragement to keep on making documentaries…

3. Seeing films made by deaf people at the first Deaffest I went to in 2003 made me realise I could do it too – it’s an event that inspires filmmakers.

Camilla Arnold | Punk Chef & Who Cares?, UK.

Arnold1. I am a loopy but passionate producer/director. I have loved every minute of my four-year-old career (even the long and unsociable hours!)

2. I am over the moon! Documentaries are so important; it is a form of campaigning and it also educates the community.

3. Deaffest is incredibly important; it means that my hard work is recognised and my programmes, which are relevant to the community, are being watched.

David Ellington & David Hay | 300 SECS, UK.

Ellington1. David Ellington has directed quite a few films with his own production, VS1 whilst David Hay is a researcher for the BBC for over 2 years which clearly we have developed and shared our knowledge and experiences into this film.

2. To be honest, we didn’t expect it to be nominated after completing that work within 3 weeks, a bit rush, so we are patting our backs for this.

3. Deaffest is a platform to get our works shown and share film experiences to other film makers and one day, it will led us to Hollywood!

Best British Film

Bim Ajadi | Champion of the World, UK.


1. I have produced and directed 5 films, working from amateur to professional levels. Film making is my absolute passion and my biggest ambition is to produce ground-breaking feature films! My hope is that one day my ambitious dream will come true.

2. I’m delighted and honoured. It is certainly unexpected. It’s always so nice to be nominated.

3. Deaffest is invaluable to me. It’s a Festival where you are able to share information, showcase your work and see so many high quality deaf films from like-minded fellow deaf film-makers. Deaffest is a perfect stepping stone for one’s own development and progression. UK film-makers wouldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for Deaffest!

Julian Peedle-Calloo | Confession, UK.


1. I’ve worked for the BBC for 12 years on lots of shows. I’m a one man band – I act, I write and I direct and have made two films – ‘5 Needles’ and the nominated ‘Confession’.

2. Fantastic to see my work nominated alongside other amazing films! I’m thrilled it has been selected out of all the films made in the last two years.

3. It’s very close to my heart. I volunteered at Deaffest  15 years ago never thinking I would see a film I made nominated like this! It’s a vital part of Deaf film culture.

Brian Duffy | Strangers, UK.


1. I’m Scottish. Addicted to Irn-Bru. I’ve only made one short film. Still learning appreciating every opportunity I get.

2. Humbled. It’s a good start, I guess. More pleased for William Grint getting nominated for Best Actor – he will go afar.

3. It was the reason I moved to Wolverhampton, studied here. Deaffest witnessed the beginning of my career with the premiere of The Guest and The World Today.

Raabia Hussain | September 11, UK.


1. My name is Raabia, 19 year old and rencently I graduated from the first ever national film and television school talent campus residential. Also I have completed my 3 moths course at British film insuitiues (BFI).

2. I feels a real honour and I am overwhelmed with the news because I never thought that it could ever happen to me.

3. It means a lot to me, and it is the journey I will keep taking to keep my dream alive.

Louis Neethling | Still Here, UK.


1. I’m a South African British Deaf director/producer who has been making TV programmes and films in various sign languages for over 19 years.

2. I’m so happy for the cast and crew of Still Here to have their incredible talent and work ethic recognised. Hard work and dedication pay off.

3. Deaffest is where I want my films seen because Deaffest is ‘home’ for all Deaf film makers and audiences who want to celebrate Deaf culture.

Ted Evans | The End, UK.


1. I’ve always enjoyed making films. As a kid I played with cameras & now as a freelance filmmaker, I’m always working on a film. It’s hard work but fun.

2. It’s a surprise but I’m pleased because a lot of people worked very hard for this film and they deserve all the praise the film receives.

3. Most of my films have screened at Deaffest & I feel it is a very important festival for deaf filmmakers & deaf films. It’s a special place…

About Deaffest

UK's Leading Deaf-Led Film and Arts Festival

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