Saturday 18th May 2013
After a very successful first day at Deaffest, attendees arrived again and enthusiastically made their way to the Deaffest fair, an array of stalls and activities held on the courtyard. Here amongst the bustle of friends chatting, film makers networking and children excitedly scampering about were stalls displaying information from a wide selection of professional organisations and goods being sold by independent deaf artists and makers including exquisitely made jewellery and crafts. A crowd surrounded the delicious home-made cakes and savouries stall, a regular Deaffest attraction.
In the cinema, films from around the world were being screened and showcased, as well as the shortlisted films in readiness for the evening’s Film Awards Gala event.
The Young Deaffest Awards took place later that morning hosted by Zebra Uno’s Jack Smallwood and Young Deaffest Ambassador Alex Nowak. Deaffest was honored to have on stage the renowned actress, Rachel Shenton, who has played Mitzeee, a character in Hollyoaks since 2010, to present the award for the winning film. The creative and inspiring films were produced and directed by young filmmakers under the age of 21. The winner was announced by Rachel Shenton who signed and finger spelt the winning name. The winning entry was the film ‘I Won’t Do That Again’ produced and directed by William Horsefield age 19. Rachel presented him with the ‘Deaffest’ award that was made of frosted glass in the shape of a hand. William modestly accepted the award with a warm smile and whilst obviously delighted and shocked, William gave a short speech.
In addition to film screenings, workshops were held throughout the day, including an Adults Scriptwriting Workshop led by Kalen Feeney and a Children’s Drama workshop led by Deaf Actress Charlie Arrowsmith and Artistic Director of Deafinitely Theatre, Paula Garfield.
During the afternoon, Deaffest held its first Film Panel seminar, which was a huge success. The Film panel consisted of film directors, producers and actors and a variety of film related topics were discussed with the audience participating in the debates.
A precious two hours recess was time enough for everyone to transform themselves into the glamorous and sparkling audience who attended the Film Awards Gala Event as the doors opened once again at 8pm. The red carpet was rolled out for all those filmmakers who anxiously awaited their fate not knowing if they would scoop a film award that evening. There were a number of black ties and gowns, as the guests eagerly anticipated an exciting evening ahead. The cinema room was packed out and for some there was standing room only.
The Film Awards were hosted by the talented and well-known Deaf Television Presenter Clive Mason, who scooped the Remark! Lifetime Achievement Award for his work over many years and his numerous appearances on broadcast television, as well as DVD film projects. As usual, Clive melted our hearts with his strikingly wonderful BSL presentation. Clive hosted the evening with such grace and motivated the audience with expert skill until they were in a frenzy of anticipation to find out who the winners would be. There were 6 Film Award categories all together, with the awards being presented by 6 prominent deaf personalities. Clive introduced each award presenter by giving a wonderful account of their work, achievements and contributions to Deaf media and community. Deaffest was both honored and privileged to welcome Kalen Feeney, Joe Weaver, Paula Garfield, Jean St. Clair, John Hay, Paddy Ladd, as our Deaffest 2013 Award presenters.
The Winners of Deaffest 2013 were as follows:
Best Actor: Hal Draper for his role in Still Here.
Best Actress: Aliya Gulamani for her role September 11.
Best Director: Ted Evans for his film The End.
Best International Film went to Here in Silence directed by Australia’s Jake Willis.
Best Documentary went to Who Cares directed by Camilla Arnold.
Best British Film went to Champion of the Word directed by Bim Ajadi.
The Film Gala Awards evening provided everyone with hours of entertainment. Deaffest welcomed on stage the hilarious Gavin Lilley with his incredible comedy sketches that left the whole audience in stitches. Between Gavin’s acts, was the phenomenal production of Aliya Gulamani’s ‘Buddha Knows’, a production as part of Deafinitely Theatre’s 4Play 2013, starring Charlotte Arrowsmith, Brian Duffy and David Sands. Their highly energetic visual performance had everyone on the edge of their seats.
As the Film Gala Awards drew to a close, everyone made their way out onto the courtyard for the next exhilarating event of the night: The Visual Vernacular (VV) Competition and after party.
Deaffest’s VV judge panel consisted of Richard Carter, Gavin Lilley, Clive Mason, Jean St. Clair and Zebra Uno director Marilyn Willrich. There was a total of 8 competitors all fighting for this year’s VV crown. From cage fighting to Aliens, from Superman to real war heroes, the competition was spectacular. Deaffest 2013 VV competition performers were Rinkoo Barpaga, Adam Bassett, Brian Duffy, Ishtiaq Hussain, William Johnson, Zoe McWhinney, David Sands and Jason Sharpe. After much deliberation and careful consideration, the VV judge panel took to the stage and announced the Deaffest 2013 VV Winners. In third place was Brian Duffy, second place was Ishtiaq Hussain and Deaffest 2013 winner was awarded to Adam Bassett. It was an incredible competition and every performer was outstanding. As the entertainment drew to a close, the judges and presenters, participants and award winners all joined together with the audience to party together until sunrise.