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WORLDEAF Cinema Festival announces award nominees

November 2, 2010
Arrow Buff


The nominations are in for WORLDEAF Cinema Festival’s (WDCF) filmmaker award competition taking place November 4 through 7 on the Gallaudet campus.  Out of 173 submissions from 132 filmmakers from 30 countries, the 11-member judging committee has selected 17 films from seven countries.  The finalists will be shown in a series of screenings open to the public. A complete list of the nominated films is below.

Films were submitted in five professional categories, including Best Narrative, Best Documentary, Best Short, Best Mini-15 and Best Film about the Deaf Experience by a Hearing Filmmaker. The selection reflects the wide variety of subject matter and storylines created by deaf and hard of hearing filmmakers, as well as hearing filmmakers.  From works just nine minutes long to full-length narratives, the nominated films depict fiction and non-fiction stories, not just about deaf culture and topics, but the overall human experience.

The chosen films will be shown during the conference’s daily film screenings that are open to the public (ticket information below). Winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on November 6.

 “The films chosen are true examples of what deaf cinema has to offer,” said Dr. Jane Norman, WDCF chair. “We wanted to bring the deaf experience to a mainstream audience while also showcasing the level of talent of these filmmakers. Their stories tell and show how powerful deaf cinema is, and we hope that people come and enjoy these extraordinary films.”

Tickets for the daily screenings are now on sale online on the WDCF website and at the Gallaudet University Box Office, located at Elstad Auditorium.

Nominated films follow.

Category: Best Narrative

Film Name





Exhibit Year of 1827

A Czech tourist, Frank, on a seemingly innocent holiday, inadvertently catches mafia individuals in action through his video camera.


Czech Republic

Producer: AWI Films             Director: Kamil Pansky

Music is Not Everything

A guy has a dream of being a musician, but he suddenly becomes deaf and faces an unscrupulous cochlear implant doctor



Producer: Bull Heart Films Director/Writer: Gergin Simeonov


Corey, a young man, yearns for kinship he never had. One day he discovers he has a deaf autistic grandfather. A twist of events leads to shocking truths.



Producer/Director: Mark Wood


Category: Best Documentary

Film Name





I’m Deaf and I Didn’t Know it

This is a story of a deaf woman’s journey toward discovering her identity.



Producer: PDJ Production Director: Igor Ochronowicz Writer: Sandrine Herman

Anna’s Silent Struggle

A young deaf filmmaker, Tom, searches for answers to what happened to deaf Jews during the war, and he chances upon the story of Anna, one of the few deaf people who survived Auschwitz.



Producer: AVA Productions Directors: Tom Linszen and Willy Lindwer

American De’VIA Artist: Chuck Baird and His Journey

Deaf artist Chuck Baird reflects on social changes in the deaf world. Baird struggled with his deaf identity and eventually became one of the founding members of the De’VIA art movement.



Director: Tracey D. Salaway


Category: Best Short

Film Name





Catch Santa

A comedy about two hearing burglars who rob homes of deaf families on Christmas Eve.



Director: Kamau Buchanan

Deaf in Pink: 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk in San Diego

The story follows seven deaf women as they stride, laugh, cry, and triumph during their
three-day Susan G. Komen Walk.



Producer/Director: Laura Harvey

The Ants and the Grasshopper

The traditional dream for people is just to work hard for a company until they retire and then to enjoy their hobbies.  Shingo, the main character, shows both sides of the ants and the grasshopper, when he is suddenly fired.



Producer: Deaf Movie Entertainment Prodia Director: Nobuhiro Ohdate

The Fingerspellers

A comedy about a family of deaf gangsters who protect themselves through the power of sign language.



Directors: William Marger and Charles Swinbourne


Category: Best Mini-15

Film Name





The Deaf Man

The film addresses the destiny of deaf people in an age of technological improvements such as the cochlear implant. A man is held against his wishes by an unseen narrator who questions the man’s choices as a deaf individual.



Producer: Jules Dameron Writer/Director: David Kurs

Hands Solo

A story about “The Porn Star With the Midas Touch.” What if a deaf man became an internationally famous porn star? Hands Solo is a comedic mockumentary about a deaf man who does just that–all because he is very, very good with his hands.



Producers: Colin Pons and Scott James Bassett Director: William Mager Writer: Charlie Swinbourn

Tara‘s Story

A film about Gallaudet’s 2006 protest through the eyes of one of the student leaders, Tara. The protests ignite a new direction fueled by a common belief among students.



Producer/Director/Writer: Melissa Malzkuhn


Category: Best Film about the Deaf Experience by a Hearing Filmmaker

Film Name





Signs of the Time

Where did the signs of  baseball come from? In explaining this simple question, Signs of the Time unveils stories of inspiration that transcend sports. The film introduces two men at the center of this controversy and investigates our need to overcome barriers of communication with those around us.



Producer/Director: Don Casper

Universal Signs

After the death of his fiancée’s daughter while in his care, Andrew (Anthony Natale) is tormented by memories and self-blame.  Through new love, Andrew is able to sense the life around him.



Producer: Catherine Miller

“See What I’m Saying”

A film following four well-known deaf entertainers in the deaf community: a comic, a drummer, an actor, and a singer in their attempts to cross over to mainstream audiences.



Producer/Director: Hilari Scarl


Through Ingelore’s eyes, we see how the Nazis take her father and then release him from Dachau. Ingelore, a deaf woman, talks about how she was raped by Nazi cadets on the street of Berlin. Her story demonstrates the power of light over darkness.



Producer/Director/Writer: Frank Stiefel


2 November 2010


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