John R Finn


John aspired to be a filmmaker from the age of 4. He studied filmmaking at the London International Film School and eventually became a self-taught animator. With his passion for story-telling and animation, he went on to study a Masters in computer animation. He created an animation film The Long Knife, which won an award for Best Non-Narrative Film at Deaffest 2007. John set up his company Deadcreative Limited, an innovative animation house to work with various book publishers and broadcasters.

John later returned to filmmaking and made an award-winning documentary The Big Decisions in 2014, which is still being shown around the world. He is also currently working on developing a script.



Julian Peedle-Calloo has worked for the BBC for the last 15 years in a variety of roles including presenting, producing documentaries/magazine format programmes and has worked with programmes including The One Show, Children in Need, Crimewatch Roadshow. Julian has also worked for Channel 4’s Vee-TV as a Travel Reporter.

Julian has previously directed films including Battle Lines, which won the prestigious Royal Television Society (Midlands Centre) ‘The Diversity Award’ in 2015.



Originally from Aberdeen, Lesley is a third generation Deaf person. Her family are native British Sign Language users. She moved down south to work for Deaf organisations to deliver access to information videos for the Greater London Council (GLC), in conjunction with the British Deaf Association (BDA). In 1993, she worked as an Assistant Producer on the BBC’s flagship programme for Deaf people, See Hear. She joined Red Bee’s signing team in 2003, producing government information videos for Deaf people (Open i). It is here that she became an in-vision translator for television. She has been General Manager of the Red Bee Media/ Ericsson signing team since 2013 and was one of the first deaf translators to deliver the C4 live signing of the Paralympics Opening/Closing ceremonies, The Highlights with Clare Balding and The Last Leg with Adam Hills as well as the C4 documentary Breaking the Silence.



Michael Ford is the founder of Infinite Wisdom Studios, an award-winning company dedicated to the production of immersive stories for film, broadcast and VR. In 2009 the company scooped a Royal Television Society Award for ‘Best Fictional’ short film for Caterpillar, a coming of age story about a profoundly deaf young boy.

Michael’s feature film releases include the upcoming hybrid drama-doc BASE (2017) in partnership with Vertigo Films and Content Media, together with financing for children’s flick Pudsey the Dog: The Movie (2014), also in partnership with SYCO Entertainment and starring the winners of Britain’s Got Talent alongside the voice talents of comedian David Walliams. Michael is currently being mentored by Andrew Macdonald (ExMachina, Trainspotting 1&2) as an alumni of ‘Guiding Lights’ and developing a number of projects including an original children’s sci-fi drama for the BBC; a digital action series with Japanese gaming giant Bandai Namco (PacMan, Tekken); and several VR narrative adventures.

About Deaffest

UK's Leading Deaf-Led Film and Arts Festival

One response »

  1. David Pacquette says:

    Can’t wait for Deaffest 2017!!!

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