The success of CODA and deaf actor Troy Kotsur at this year’s Oscars was a breakthrough moment for deaf people within the film industry. But there is still a long way to go to create inclusion and diversity on screen and behind the camera - and Wolverhampton's Deaffest is working hard to build this change.
The UK’s leading deaf-led film & arts festival has been developing and showcasing the talents of deaf filmmakers and artists from across the world for over 15 years.
The success of CODA and deaf actor Troy Kotsur at this year’s Oscars was a breakthrough moment for deaf people within the film industry. But there is still a long way to go to create inclusion and diversity on screen and behind the camera - and Deaffest is working hard to build this change.
Founded in Wolverhamption in 2006 by Marilyn Willrich and Nikki Stratton, Deaffest has grown to become the UK’s leading deaf-led film, TV and arts festival. It takes place biennially with the 2022 festival its 14th one, but there are also a host of off-shoot events to ensure their agenda has a platform year-round. Deaffest aims to support and develop the talents of emerging and established deaf filmmakers and artists globally. The weekend includes screenings, exhibitions, workshops, networking opportunities and awards, along with Young Deaffest.
Cofounder Nikki says: “We wanted to bring deaf creatives together in one space to celebrate our language and culture, whilst showcasing deaf performers, talent and films. I have connections with role models in the industry that I look up to, and passing that on to the younger generation is so important. We’ve realised its importance, that this is so much more than a social event. Hearing people have begun to take an interest in deaf performers and the work that has been produced."
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