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The inaugural WORLDEAF Cinema Festival (WDCF) at Gallaudet truly lived up to its name. The sold-out conference and festival welcomed deaf and hard of hearing filmmakers and film fans from around the globe to Kendall Green November 4 to 7 for a weekend of discussions and panel presentations, as well as screenings of films by and about the deaf community.
In addition to drawing 250 conference attendees, the nominated films screened each day of the festival played to packed houses of film fans from all walks of life.
The pioneering festival drew national media attention, appearing in The Washington Post, USA Today, and TBD.com, among others.
The events culminated with the red carpet WDCF Awards Ceremony on November 6, hosted by Gallaudet alumna and rising Hollywood star Shoshannah Stern, and acclaimed deaf actor of stage and screen Howie Seago.
The list of winning filmmakers included two students–James Caverly and Zilvinas Paludnevicius. Nearly 200 films from 30 countries vied for awards in seven categories.
Academy Award-winning actress and Gallaudet trustee Marlee Matlin was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the International Media Award went to British Sign Language Trust Chief Executive Terry Riley.
The WDCF filmmaker winners each received a customized WDCF trophy and a monetary prize to help fund future projects.
Other attendees included Gallaudet alumnus and rising Hollywood actor Russell Harvard, who will soon be seen as the title character in the upcoming film Hamill, alongside Stern; longtime Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn Jr.; and President T. Alan Hurwitz.
“We hope that the winning filmmakers and their colleagues forge on in their pursuit of success in the film industry,” said Dr. Jane Norman, a director and producer and professor in the Communication Studies Department, who chaired the festival. “The WORLDEAF Cinema Festival was a labor of love, and we certainly hope to continue to further the art of deaf cinema by creating opportunities to showcase the work of talented deaf and hard of hearing filmmakers, actors, and artists of all kinds.”
WORLDEAF CINEMA FESTIVAL AWARD WINNERS
Best Narrative (Feature/movie)
Filmmaker: Mark Wood
Film: Anna’s Silent Struggle
Filmmakers: Tom Liszen and Willy Widner
Best Film about the Deaf Experience by a Hearing Filmmaker
Film: See What I’m Saying
Filmmaker: Hilari Scarl
Film: Catch Santa
Filmmaker: Kamau Buchanan
Film: Hands Solo
Filmmaker: William Mager
Best College Student Short
Film: Living Off the Grid
Filmmaker: Zilvinas Paludnevicius
Best College Student Mini-15
Film: Red Line
Filmmaker: Zilvinas Paludnevicius and James Caverly
Roberto E. Wirth, E-’74 & H-’09, passed away on June 5 in Rome, Italy. Mr. Wirth was owner and managing director of the Hotel Hassler in Rome, one of the most prestigious family-owned hotels in the world, and owned several other hotels and resorts throughout Italy. He was a strong advocate for deaf people in...
Alumnus Timel Benton has signed a contract with the Bay Area Panthers of the Indoor Football League (IFL). Benton, who graduated last month, is the first Gallaudet Bison to sign a professional football contract since Tony Tatum signed on with the Utah Blaze in the now-disbanded Arena Football League (AFL) in May 2013. Benton was...
James Caverly, ’11, who plays Theo Dimas in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building, will play Professor Harold Hill in the Olney Theatre Center’s summer production of Meredith Willson’s Tony-winning musical The Music Man, which opens tonight and runs through July 23. The show’s official opening is on Thursday, June 23. Sandra Mae Frank, ’13,...
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