The past month has seen the continuation of Deaffest on Tour in two new locations, following the success of Cornwall Mini Deaffest in September.
Deaffest on Tour went to the Warwick Arts Centre for the second leg of the tour. The day was spent delivering a variety of workshops such as Comedy session with John Smith and Terry’s Poi and Circus skills, hosting film screenings, running stalls, and providing networking opportunities. Festival attendees had the opportunity to watch screenings of the film Sound of Metal, benefitting from our partnership with MASSIVE. The screening of the CBBC monologue, ‘Freestyle’, was followed by a panel discussion that kicked off in style, with Nikki Stratton hosting and interviewing 14 year old Deaf Writer and Actress and the star of Freestyle, Jasmine, who gave an account of her experience in being involved in a project like this monologue for the first time. Also on the panel was ThreeWise Entertainment producer Michael Ford, who discussed his experience of working on this unique project involving British Sign Language. Freestyle has received THREE nominations for the Midlands Royal Television Awards, taking place this Sunday 21 November.
Gloucester was the third and final stop for Deaffest on Tour 2021, with the festival being held at Gloucester Guildhall. Here, the festival included networking opportunities, stalls, film screenings, and even more workshops than the last. Attendees especially enjoyed the diverse workshops that were hosted, including: ‘Is Earth Dying with Marilyn Willrich, Dance along with Chris Fonseca, Comedy session with John Smith, and Filmmaker tips with Danny Murphy. The daytime event saw attendees participate in a variety of workshops, and appreciate all of the other exciting elements of the festival. The evening event was hosted at Gloucester Deaf Association (GDA), which saw a full house of people. This was no surprise to us, due to the hilarious entertainment provided by comedy duo; Danny Murphy and John Smith. To top off the evening’s events, there was a raffle with lovely prizes provided by the GDA.
We screened 5 films, plus a special premiere screening of ’This is Deaf: LGBTQIA+ Life’ from BSLBT and screenings of two films from MASSIVE, ‘Sound of Metal’ and ‘A Sonic Pulse.’
The five films chosen for screening ’The Pumpkin King’, Dir by Paul Miller, ‘Follow The Signs’, Dir by Chris Fonseca and Harry Jardine, ‘Dr.Voxoff’s Sign Language School for Hearing Children’, Dir by Matthew Gurney, ‘Voice’, Dir by Tomoko Takahashi and ‘Illustrating Sam Newton’, Dir by Lily Drummond were a big hit with our audiences, who enjoyed the mixture of films from the UK, the two films from Australia and one from Japan. The audience left the screenings animated and chatting about the films they had just seen, which is a really positive sign.
We would like to say thank you to Warwick Arts Centre and Gloucester Guildhall, our venues for the screening of these amazing films, for allowing so many people to sit back and enjoy watching. Deaffest on Tour wants to say a massive thank you to the BFI for making the funding available to allow Deaffest on Tour to happen. We are now looking forward to the next Deaffest on Tour….Watch this space….
All of the feedback from participants has been unanimously positive with regards to each and every one of the festivals and everyone had a very enjoyable experience.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, donors, funders, those that ran stalls, and everyone that participated in the festivals. We look forward to seeing you at the next one, which will be the main event, as Deaffest returns to Wolverhampton for our 14th Festival….Again watch this space!