10am Short Films

The Shape of Things Dir. Katherine Tygielski 2011
Lija Gurung finds herself in a strange new world as she starts kindergarten at the Srijana School for the Deaf in Lekhnath, Nepal. From her inaugural step into the classroom through her first six months of school, join Lija as she forms friendships, learns sign language, and slowly integrates into her new world. The filmmaker’s meditative presence and deep love for the children allow intimate access into this pint-sized world filled with curiosity and exploration.

Two Worlds Dir. Alex Vann & Gary O’Dowd. UK, 2012
This film is about “Two Worlds” – Deaf and Hearing – and is split into two sections. The first section is an interview documentary with a profoundly Deaf adult about his experiences growing up and the second section is a performance of a song written about those experiences. The song is presented in 2 languages, BSL and English, at the same time, using “split screen” technology. The message is that barriers can be broken down by using language to communicate with one another and learn about different cultures. This opens up new worlds and wider opportunities for everyone.

25 Anniversary Dir. Chris Gordo. Spain, 2009
A couple reunites after 5 years without seeing each other.

Signs Tamar Natanel, Israel, 2011
Hannah is in distres as her son has departed for military service, having lost long ago her brother who was killed while serving in the army. A deaf dancer, Hannah turns to dance partners to articulate her anxieties rather than sharing them with her hearing husband. An encounter with an elderly bereaved mother at the cemetary and an argument there with her husband force Hannah to face the growing disconnection in her family.

The Park Dir. Anne Loula. Malaysia, 2011
A hearing gay man cruises in the park where he meets a cute guy. He thinks the guy is gay too. He looks disappointed when finding out that the cute guy turns out to be Deaf and has a Deaf girlfriend. But amazingly, the guy winks to the gay man and leaves him puzzled at the end.

Bread and Stones Dir. Bim Ajadi. UK, 2011
Music video of Bread and Stones by Gareth Hides from the CD Counting Sheep.

11:15am LGBT

WARNING:  The following film, Austin Unbound, may not be suitable for children and people under 18 as it contains themes and graphical content relating to surgical procedures and sexuality.

Austin Unbound Dir. Eliza Greenwood & Sel Staley. USA, 2011
Austin Unbound introduces us to Austin’s world, where he shamelessly tells his own story in his own words. He is strongly rooted in Deaf culture. From three years old, Austin knew his female anatomy did not fit him. In middle school, he changed his name and began to dress as a boy. Despite his challenges, Austin is a regular guy with a comedic sense and flair for romance. This film documents a milestone in his gender transition: a double mastectomy. The directors’ use of specific cinematography, subtitles, and sound design reflect Austin’s experience in full cinematic effect.

12:00pm Highlights of Deaffest 2012

Me & Robert Pattinson Dir. Drew Mastromartino, 2011
A young woman is attached to her boyfriend Robert Pattinson… except he’s a cardboard cutout.

The Silent Killer Dir. Kelly Ferguson, 2011
The Silent Killer is not your average boy meets girl story. After a brief passing on a station platform, “The Boy” begins to follow “The Girl”, seemingly with romantic intentions. The twist is that he is trying to kill her. The double twist is that she is one step ahead of him and they are both participating in a water pistol “tournament of assassins”.

The Portrait Dir. Alex Sambe. France, 2012
You have horrible and unexplained murders in a rich apartment in Paris. You add a police superintendent who is trying to clear up as best he can a strange case that vacillates between the normal and the paranormal. The icing on the cake is the caretaker of the building who does very good housework!

Sipho Dir. Braam Jordan. South Africa, 2011
Sipho the Lion is the official mascot for the XV1 World Congress of the Wrld Federation of the Deaf (WDF) held in Durban, South Africa, 18 – 24 July 2011. The animated film was screened in front of 2,100 delegates from 125 countries. The highlight of the opening ceremony was the animated introduction by Sipho the Lion, who signed the name of each of the countries of origin for all participants with animated flag in the background.

The Rubbish Monster Dir. Braam Jordan. South Africa, 2007
The animation focuses on a man who casts his empty cigarette box away carelessly. As soon as the cigarette box lands on the ground, it begins to twitch. All the litter in the vicinity suddenly amalgamates into a humanoid rubbish monster which proceeds to attack the locals.

The Making of Rubbish Monster Dir. Braam Jordan. South Africa, 2007
A look at the making of The Rubbish Monster

Quiet Signs of Love Dir. John Nikolakopoulos. Australia, 2011
Quiet Signs of Love is a story about a deaf girl and a hearing boy whose love transcends the need for language. Daniel is an university student who has his eye on a mysterious girl. Finally seizing an opportunity at the campus cafe, he proceeds to make a fool of himself, especially when he realises she is deaf. But rather than an obstacle, her deafness inspires them to communicate in other ways. However, Daniel begins to see her as deaf and needing his protection instead of as an equal. Ultimately he understands their problems lie in his attitude.

Three and A Half Senses Dir. Jessica McWilliams. UK, 2011
Three and A Half Senses is a short documentary focusing on Kara Weslake, a young lady with Usher Syndrome which affect both hearing and vision, leaving her with only three and a half senses. Born profoundly deaf and with a tunnel vision in which she sees the world through a small hole, and the hole is getting smaller and smaller. Staring at her face is a scary possibility of becoming fully blind one day. How does Kara, a strong-willed lady who tries not to rely on others as possible, cope with this knowledge? Are her dreams affected by her condition?

The Beach House Dir. Richard Standen & Tom Stanley. UK, 2011
After six years away from home, River Ames, the only non-deaf child in an otherwise completely Deaf family, returns home for the reading of his parents’ will. As they wait for the keys to the beach house which has been left to all three siblings, they are compelled to express their feelings after all this time apart.

Through Ellen’s Ears Dir. Saskia Gubels, Netherlands, 2011
Eleven year old Ellen doesn’t speak with her voice but with her hands. She uses sign language because she is deaf. Ellen has to decide which secondary school to attend. She doesn’t want to go to boarding school for the deaf like other deaf children. She would much rather go to an ordinary school or to the school for the hard of hearing, just like her best friend Myrthe, who is hard of hearing. But will she be admitted there?

1:45pm Interval 

2pm: A FREE subtitled screening of Disney’s The Muppets

This free subtitled screening will be showing as part of Deaffest, courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK.