Shortlisted films for Deaffest 2017 Film & TV Awards


Dawn of the Deaf Dir. Rob Savage, UK, 2016

When a strange sound infects the hearing population, a small group of deaf people must band together to survive.


Honeymoon | Dir. Ronit Meranda, UK 2016

Lucy and Johanna are on their honeymoon. Johanna is partially deaf, and Lucy is profoundly deaf. They arrive at a B&B where they are greeted by the landlady. They are both annoyed with her demeanour, albeit on different levels. The nature of signing allows them to be carefree about quarrelling in public. A seemingly insignificant disagreement silently turns into a hurtful argument, as the noise of the weir dominates the background.

My House | Dir. William Horsefield, UK, 2016

This short film follows the female student (protagonist), who moves into an old student house. Immediately, she notices some strange things happening in the house. Will student living ever be the same again?


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Las Muelas del Cuco (Cuckoo’s Teeth) | Dir. Veru Rodríguez, Spain, 2016

Two Mafiosi are involved in a series of problems due to their poor management.

For Grace| Dir. Sebastian Armesto, UK, 2016

Ben Whetherall has never had the motivation to trace his biological parents – but becoming a father has just changed all that. FOR GRACE follows Ben as he tries to uncover his own past, come to terms with his present, and find a way to make the most of the future.

Signs of an Affair | Dir. Louis Neethling, UK, 2017

Flora has been married ‘for better or worse’, for 21 years. Yet suddenly her husband Fred tells her he doesn’t want sugar in his tea anymore. Immediately she knows something is just not right! Flora’s growing suspicion about Fred’s new behaviour has led her to consult an online counsellor, whose purpose is to interrogate her in-laws and become involved with a dodgy café owner. Misunderstandings and mayhem ensue as Flora becomes an amateur sleuth searching for the truth, while in the process finds herself doing things she’d never dreamt of doing and going to places that she had never previously expected.


Found in the UK | Dir. Charlie Swinbourne, UK, 2016

In this documentary, three deaf people tell us how coming to the UK helped them discover deaf culture, identity and a new language. Mangai came to the UK from Sri Lanka and went on to become a sign language tutor. Ahmed was born in Sudan and tells us his first memories of school and discovering deaf clubs, as well as how he went on to become a TV presenter. Dani grew up in South Africa and found his deaf identity after visiting a group for deaf gay and lesbian people, going in to teach deaf children.


See Hear: Hidden Nation | Dir. Seb Cunliffe and Erika Jones, UK, 2016

A Documentary series uncovering the lives of deaf people around the country. In this episode, we visit Hamza, a young deaf man with a rare genetic syndrome that restricts his growth. He lives in Birmingham with his family and yearns for independence. Will his work as a volunteer give him the life that he wants?

Danielle is a single mum and barber in Ormesby, Middlesbrough. She has put her savings into opening her own salon. Will she get enough customers to make it a thriving business and provide for her daughter?

Joshua is eight years old and is one of the first deaf boxers in the modern era to get a boxing license. As the final boxing match of the season nears, does he have what it takes to go all the way?

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Silent Laughs | Dir. Natalia Kouneli, UK, 2016

Leah is a deaf stand-up comedienne who performs in British Sign Language in Edinburgh. She performs regularly for a niche, yet mixed, audience: deaf and hard of hearing people and sign language users. Her dream is to bring her comedy to mainstream audiences with a sign language interpreter and raise awareness about deaf culture through her shows, but will they get it?

The Battle for BSL | Dir. Louis Neethling, UK, 2016

On September the 17th 2015, the Scottish parliament passed the BSL bill. This was the first time any parliament in the UK had ever given legal status to BSL. The film tells the story of how the area of Holyrood in Edinburgh, where the Scottish parliament stands, also happens to be the most significant square mile of BSL. In the fifteenth century, princess Joanna, daughter of King James I of Scotland, was recorded as being a deaf sign language user. In the eighteenth century, Thomas Braidwood opened the first deaf school in Britain, just a few hundred yards away.


Magic Hands – The Pied Piper | Dir. Camilla Arnold, UK, 2016

Magic Hands for CBeebies combines live action with animation, using BSL, music and the spoken word to portray poetry and prose to the under six audience. This second, 20 programme series features classic works including those from Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Keats, Tennyson and Lear. The Magic Hands presenting team are all profoundly deaf, and present in their first language, BSL, accompanied by a voice over, true to the original text. A band of animated animal characters joins them, dressing up to act out the stories in each poem. Both deaf and hearing children can enjoy the visual elements, and where the old English language might not be fully understood, hearing children can enjoy the rhythm of the words and watch the accompanying signs.

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Nevith The Dragon | Dir. Paul Miller, UK, 2017

Millions of years ago, the earth was once a peaceful place full of dragons. One day the earth was wiped out by a comet, but, hidden deep in a cave, stood a dragons egg – frozen in time.

(Present day) Lily, a deaf girl, had just lost her mother and moved to live with her father. They don’t get on well as her father can’t sign, and they find it difficult to communicate. After an argument Lily runs off. She is suddenly caught in bad weather, and falls into a cave finding herself stumbling into her mother’s mystical past.

Newsflash | Dir. Bim Ajadi, UK, 2016

Newsflash is about sending out big news such as war, protests and marches on TV. That is why this music video was created.

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The Song for Single | Dir. Zheng Xiaosan, China, 2016

The first music video made by deaf team in China. The music video was visually reworked, from a famous song by Lin Zhixuan. The music video tries to express the charming, musical art of Shanghai Sign Language.



Best Coast | Dir. Erik Akervall, Sweden, 2016

Join filmmaker Erik Akervall as he guides you along the hidden gems of the archipelago on Sweden’s west coast. Best coast can be best described as a foodtainment show with a stunning environment – we promise that you haven’t seen anything like this before!


See Hear: October 2015 | Dir. Seb Cunliffe and Erika Jones, UK, 2015

Erika Jones presents a special investigation, uncovering historical abuse of children at a deaf school. Clive is at Holyrood in Edinburgh for the third and final stage of the BSL (Scotland) Bill. What impact will it have on the day-to-day life of deaf people in Scotland? And should the rest of the UK follow suit? Also, See Hear goes behind the scenes on the Doctor Who set, as a deaf signing character takes a leading role in two episodes.

Small World | Dir. Louis Neethling, UK, 2016

The day gets off to a bad start. The shower breaks, leaving the unwashed flat-mates Laura and Alfonso to get Graham to track down a deaf plumber. Alfonso prepares for an interview with a film magazine in an attempt to raise his profile. Laura is exposed to deaf culture when meeting the deaf plumber, but is he really what he appears to be? Chris Baker is still having communication difficulties with the Job Centre, so he is desperate for money while being menaced for an unpaid loan. Ryan brings home his ‘friend’ from work, are they possibly a romantic rival?

Up for It? | Dir. Camilla Arnold, UK, 2017

Rosie, Nadeem, Mia and their faithful dog Twiks, meet Reuben; a chess genius. Reuben picks out Nadeem to teach him the rules of chess before challenging him to a game. Will Nadeem beat Reuben in a tough game? Back in the studio, the other presenters take over the makes table to create a straw ball game, which will provide hours of entertainment at home.


Camilla Arnold | Magic Hands, UK, 2016

Erik Akervall | The Hunter, Sweden, 2016

A childhood memory torments the hunter. He should not have shot the swan, but we are our actions and this short film touches upon that subject.

Louis Neethling | Signs of an Affair, UK, 2017

Veru RodríguezLas Muelas del Cuco (Cuckoo’s Teeth), Spain, 2016


Veru Rodríguez | Las Muelas del Cuco (Cuckoo’s Teeth), Spain, 2016

Jean St. Clair | Signs of an Affair, U.K, 2017

Norma McGilp | Deaf Victorians, UK, 2017

The cliché pervades that in the past deaf people lacked opportunity, were meek and disempowered. In Deaf Victorians, presenter Norma McGilp examines the rich and varied lives of three members of the only purpose built church for the deaf, St Saviours church in London. Through the intertwined stories of an artist, a female pioneer, and a struggling printer who turns to crime, we uncover the colourful, eventful and fascinating lives of three deaf Victorians.


Manuel Colinas | Madriz, Spain, 2015

A man wakes up in an unfamiliar place and has a conversation with his ‘other self’ to resolve his doubts.

Matthew Gurney | Small World, UK, 2016

Nadeem Islam | Small World, UK, 2016


Jean St. Clair | Signs of an Affair, UK 2017

Lynn Stewart-Taylor | Honeymoon, UK, 2016

Sophie Stone | Small World, UK, 2016