A Celebration on Deaffest’s 13th year and the return of the biennial Film & TV Awards Gala
Deaffest 2019 returned to Wolverhampton’s Light House for its 13th festival on 17th – 19th May 2019, celebrating the theme ‘Share Your Story’.
The dynamic festival showcased films and documentaries by UK and international Deaf filmmakers throughout the whole weekend, and live performances commencing on Friday evening at the Festival Launch, right through to the Awards Gala and Late-Night Deaf Party which lasted until the early hours of Sunday morning.
Events included Young Deaffest, workshops for adults and young Deaf people, a stalls fair, presentations, a panel discussion, competitions, and the biennial Film & TV Awards Gala.
The Young Deaffest 2019 event was hosted by Deaf teen, social media celeb and actor, Danny Murphy. Danny told the story of his own rise to fame through an amazingly animated presentation and talk about his videos and mainstream film acting, which gave great inspiration to the young Deaf audience. The Young Deaffest Film Award went to Czech Republic film Bad Girl, directed by Tamara, and Enkhjin was announced as the winner of the Create a Character Poster Competition. Solar Bear Deaf Youth Theatre from Scotland provided lively entertainment.
Workshops and activities were led by a host of Deaf professionals: Russian Hip Hop Dance and Finger Dance expert Andrey Dragunov, Filmmakers Charlie Swinbourne and Brian Duffy, TV Presenters Clive Mason and Rosie Benn, Storyteller and Children’s Programme Host Donna Mullings, Handprint Theatre, UK Comedian John Smith, Fine Artist Ruaridh Lever-Hogg (with winner of the Life Drawing Competition announced as Thomas McWhinney), and Vamos Theatre.
Inspirational presentations were led by Founding Director of Shanghai International Deaf Film Festival (SHIDFF) Sam Zheng, the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and World Federation of the Deaf Youth Section (WFDYS) Presidents Colin Allen AM, and Mark Berry, (hailing from Australia and New Zealand respectively), and Hip Hop / Rap recording artist Wawa from the USA.
Live performances took place throughout the weekend with a truly international Deaf line-up including: Singapore dance crew Redeafination, teen comedian Danny Murphy with UK comedy favourite John Smith, American Hip Hop/Rap recording artist Wawa, VV experts Giuseppe and Calvin-Janos Giuranna hailing from Italy, Russian Hip Hop dance and Finger Dance expert Andrey Dragunov, British BSL Poet Richard Carter, Scottish Theatre Solar Bear and Solar Bear Deaf Youth Theatre, and Scottish Deaf performer Jamie Rea.
An exhibition by Deaf artists and photographers was on show throughout the whole of May in the main gallery at Light House, Wolverhampton.
The Deaffest 2019 Film & TV Awards Gala was hosted by MC Colin Allen AM and attended by The Right Worshipful, The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Claire Darke amongst other Guests of honour presenting the Awards.
The 10 awards were presented to the following winners:
Best Actor – Joël Chalude | Faking a Living
Best Actress – Jemma Joyce | To Know Him
Best Screenwriter – John Maidens | Dot
Best UK Short Film – Ava | William Grint
Best Director – Ted Evans | To Know Him
Best International Short Film – This is Ed! | Dir. Bob Hiltermann
Best Documentary – Deaf Child | Dir. Alex de Ronde
Best Artistic Short Film – The Gingerbread Witch | Dir. Paul Miller
Best Television Programme – Deaf Funny 3 | Dir. Charlie Swinbourne
Best Film – To Know Him | Dir. Ted Evans
The Late-Night Deaf Party was hosted by UK Deaf VV expert Ishtiaq Hussain. The event included more live performances, a Talent Competition hosted by Presenter Rosie Benn, and music by American Deaf DJ Nico DiMarco.
The weekend was attended by visitors and delegates from across the world, all combining to make Deaffest a truly international Deaf festival in the heart of the Midlands.
Click here to read about Deaffest 2019 in full.
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