Nikki’s Visit to the Encounters Short Film Festival 2017

The 23rd Encounters Short Film & Animation Festival returned to Bristol from 19th-24th September 2017 with a selection of screenings, including films made by deaf filmmakers.

Deaffest Co-Founder Nikki Stratton went along to join in the events taking place at the festival on Saturday 23rd September and particularly enjoyed theDeaf Shorts Showcase‘ and the Spanish Deaf Shorts. Among the films shown were; Nevith The Dragon directed by Paul Miller, directed by Bim Ajadi, Silent Laughs directed by Natalia Kouneli, The Song for Single directed by Zheng Xiaosan and Signs of an Affair directed by Louis Neethling, all of which have previously been shown at Deaffest. Nikki couldn’t get enough of watching those fantastic films!

“It is great to see that deaf films are being shown at other festivals in the UK and I am proud to see The Song for Single, which won the Best Artistic Short Film award at Deaffest 2017, being shown at the Encounters Short Film festival!” – Nikki Stratton, Deaffest Co-Founder

In case  you missed out on the announcement of the Award Winners of the Encounters 23rd Short Film and Animation Festival 2017, you can find out who won the awards here! Congratulations to the winners!

We’re especially delighted that The Silent Child has won the Deaf Shorts Showcase Award. Director Chris Overton and actress/writer and Deaffest Patron Rachel Shenton came along to Deaffest 2017 and gave a talk about the film, which was then under production, and showed a behind-the-scenes clip documenting the making of the film. Congratulations to Chris, Rachel and the crew!


Nikki also had the opportunity to join in with the celebration of VS1 Productions’ 10th Anniversary! VS1 Productions is a Bristol based media company and you can find out more about them here. Congratulations to Director David Ellington and his team on their special anniversary!

Deaffest to announce new plans for 2018

Deaffest’s previously annual festival is set to become a biennial event, with the next festival to be held in Spring 2019 and new plans introduced for 2018.


“Deaffest has decided to place their main focus for 2018 on supporting and developing the talents of emerging and established UK and international deaf filmmakers and artists. We have a lot to offer and we feel strongly that through the opportunities, training and support that we offer, deaf people, including the younger generation, will have the opportunity to not only get involved with the arts, culture and media, but to participate in events that are representative of their own culture and lives.” Marilyn Willrich and Nikki Stratton.

Deaffest launched their first festival in 2006 and it has been held annually in Wolverhampton ever since. Deaffest is now one of the longest running Deaf-led film & arts festivals. Over the years, the festival has supported, developed and celebrated the talents of many deaf artists and filmmakers, showcasing their work through film screenings, art exhibitions, the annual Young Deaffest Film Award and the biennial Film Awards.

There is a general lack of accessible opportunities in the arts and media world, which means that deaf people struggle to fully participate in this realm. Deaf audiences rarely have the opportunity to attend creative events which are representative of their own culture and lives. Deaffest will focus on introducing opportunities in 2018 that aim to educate deaf people about the arts, culture and media, inspire them to participate, and enable them to experience what we have to offer, as well as providing a pathway which enables them to do so.

One of our aims is to inspire young deaf people to get more involved in the arts and media in a bid to nurture their creative talents, which enhances their overall educational development, as well as promoting the skills that could lead them to become part of the next generation of deaf artistic talent.

Deaffest will be making further exciting announcements about forthcoming projects in the near future on, where the date of Deaffest 2019 will also be announced.

If you would like to support Deaffest, whether that be by making a donation or through sponsorship – please do get in touch with Nikki Stratton at If you would like to share ideas/proposals for Deaffest – get in touch with us at With your support, Deaffest can continue to offer high-quality and accessible events and workshops for deaf people of all ages.

For more information please contact PR Liaison Officer Louise Parrott:

Deaffest Update


I know some of you are keen to know the date of the next Deaffest festival and we will be making an announcement in near future!

Meanwhile, if you would like to support Deaffest, whether that be by making a donation or through sponsorship – do get in touch with us at

With your support, Deaffest can continue to offer high-quality and accessible film screenings, workshops and performances, inspiring the young deaf generation to get more involved with arts and culture. This development of their skills could contribute to the next generation of artistic talent, not only in this country, but worldwide. The festival strives to continue discovering, supporting and developing the talents of ambitious emerging and established filmmakers and artists from the UK and around the globe. Also, importantly, to provide inspiring role models for everybody, including the younger generation.