£795
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19
backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, April 19 2018 3:58 PM UTC +00:00
DeaffestBy Deaffest
First created
DeaffestBy Deaffest
First created
£795
pledged of £25,000pledged of £25,000 goal
19
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, April 19 2018 3:58 PM UTC +00:00

About

We will be making the UK’s first Deaf Sign-Musical Film! So, think Glee, think Fame, think Grease, think Mamma Mia, Chicago, Westside Story, La La Land… then think Deaf! Deaffest’s Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy, consists of a group of 20 talented young deaf people aged 13 – 17, who have a dream of working in the film industry in careers ranging from acting, performing, and dancing to camera work, and directing. The group will team up with award-winning British Deaf professional film directors, producers, actors and performers for a full week. Together, they will create a unique film with an original musical soundtrack.

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Dance performances in the film will be led by deaf freestyle dance expert Chris Fonseca.

Chris Fonseca - Photo taken by Mark Mecklenburgh, Willow Photography Ltd
Chris Fonseca - Photo taken by Mark Mecklenburgh, Willow Photography Ltd

Sign Song performance led by deaf performer Rebecca-Anne Withey (www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyY6FIKFqNU)

Rebecca-Anne Withey - Photo taken by Muna Abdillahi
Rebecca-Anne Withey - Photo taken by Muna Abdillahi

Filmmaking will be led by award winning deaf filmmakers Louis Neethling and Samuel Dore.

Louis Neethling - Photo taken by Mark Mecklenburgh, Willow Photography Ltd
Louis Neethling - Photo taken by Mark Mecklenburgh, Willow Photography Ltd
Samuel Dore - Photo taken by James Delaney
Samuel Dore - Photo taken by James Delaney

The Deaf Youth Film and Performance Academy will take place in Wolverhampton, from Sunday 5th August – Sunday 12th August 2018. The Academy is a place where, through direct access to training in their own language and inspiration from successful deaf role models, young deaf people will be empowered to set free their creative talents and make an unforgettable musical film.

From the work we do, we are in contact with some incredibly talented and successful deaf professional performing artists and filmmakers currently working in the UK. Our project will bring these people together with disadvantaged or disengaged young deaf people who struggle to find access to film or the arts without coming up against communication barriers, and therefore may have low expectations of their future employability. They will be inspired by these deaf professionals, work alongside them and realise the possibilities open to themselves and to other deaf people in the UK today.

“Before I came here I thought I was the only person who was Deaf. I didn’t really meet other people like me. In fact, I hated being Deaf. But now I’m proud to be Deaf!” (14-year-old deaf girl)

Samuel Dore talks about being a filmmaker and the importance of role models in the video below:

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Chris Fonseca shares about being a choreographer, the barriers faced and the importance of role models in the video below:

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Who we are

We are Deaffest – the UK’s leading Deaf-led Film and Arts Festival. Deaffest supports and develops the talents of emerging and established deaf filmmakers and artists from the UK and around the world. Deaffest is managed by our organisation Zebra Access – a UK Deaf-led charity running projects related to Arts, film, employment and health, which ensures Deaf people enjoy equal participation and access without communication barriers. Founders Nikki Stratton and Marilyn Willrich are both deaf sign-language users, and Zebra Access was the National winner of Signature’s Best Organisational Achievement Award 2014.

Overview

Young deaf people rarely have the opportunity to attend art and media related events that are not only accessible but also representative of their own culture and lives.

According to the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education (CRIDE) 2016 report, there are around 50,000 deaf children and young people across the UK. The CRIDE 2015 report states that 78% deaf children attend mainstream schools where there is no specialist provision. Many of them are isolated among their hearing peers in schools today and are deprived of equal learning which can lead to poor mental health.

“Research shows deaf children are 60% more likely to experience mental health problems than their hearing classmates.” (NDCS – 2016)

Barriers to communication for young deaf people is a widespread issue highlighted by the recent Oscar winning film The Silent Child written by our patron actress Rachel Shenton and directed by her fiancé Chris Overton. We hope their film will raise widespread public awareness of the urgency for action. Whilst contributing towards raising awareness, our project aims to be a place where young deaf adults can actually begin to realise their ambitions.

Where will the money go?

The overall biggest expense will be:

- Week-long venue and accommodation costs

- Film production, specifically for camera, sound and lighting equipment

- Paying our professionals to lead the Academy Expenses for travel and subsistence

The second biggest expense will go towards distribution costs, as we want the completed sign musical film to be seen by a global audience. We aim to complete the film by Autumn 2018 and enter it for festivals, cinema screenings and events. 

Thank you for reading if you’ve got this far! Your pledges will make this film a reality, and at the same time transform directly into opportunities which could be life-changing catalysts for young deaf people and their wonderful futures, whilst contributing to the next generation of artistic talent in this country.

Risks and challenges

As an experienced organisation our strong planning and preparation will eliminate many of the risks and challenges of this filmmaking project. For unexpected hold-ups, such as time or financial restrictions, then teamwork is our strength, and the cumulative experience of each team member will enable us to overcome difficulties in a creative way. As Deaf people navigating a hearing world, we are experts at overcoming barriers and finding a way forward!

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    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 26

    Shout-out!

    A shout-out on social media (over 11,000 combined followers), to say thank you!

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    Insider

    Everything above plus receive inside updates/photos/videos via our special backers’ e-newsletters.

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    Pledge £300 or more About $395

    Deaf inspiration

    Everything above plus a personal letter of thanks from our organisation co-founders and a free copy of the Deaffest Anniversary Album (personally signed by the co-founders) and delivered to your home (UK deliveries only).

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    Pledge £500 or more About $658

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    Everything above plus put three questions of your choice to one of our professionals and receive your answers via email or video message.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,315

    Red carpet!

    Everything above plus you will get an acknowledgement in the musical film credits, have your business logo shown on Deaffest’s website and on the big screen at Deaffest Film & Arts Festival 2019, plus 2 free tickets to the Deaffest 2019 Film and TV Awards Gala.

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Funding period

- (32 days)