How to Deaf

7 short films chosen by LSFF’s in-house deaf programmer Zoë McWhinney. Here’s her BSL intro –

Friday 17 January 2020, 6.20pm at BFI Southbank

An eclectic bag of both D/deaf and hearing short filmmakers tell stories of the ‘in betweens’ and grey areas of the D/deaf experience – from the nuance and romance of an unspoken language, to the unique intimacy between brothers and mothers, to the different ways D/deaf people experience the frequencies of club life.

Highlights include A Sonic Pulse, a Resident Advisor and Open City Documentary Festival commission by documentary maker Dorothy Allen-Pickard and French filmmaker Antoine Marinot. Pickard and Marinot bonded over their joint love of electronic music and were inspired by Marinot’s own issues with hearing. The doc explores how deaf people experience electronic music, from the way they’re treated in the club to how deafness can inspire music production. 

A hit across several other festivals (winning and being nominated for awards at BFI London Film Fest, Sheffield Doc/Fest and more), Stroma CairnsIf You Knew also screens. A touching hybrid drama-documentary set on Canvey Island, twin brothers with hearing loss embark on a fresh start and find new meaning in family.

There will be full access provisions for D/deaf and Hard of Hearing cinema-goers at the screening, including captions, BSL with English interpretation and Speech to Text Reporting (STTR). 


DACHALIGH (HOME), Will Clark, UK, 2019, 10′ 

BSL and English subtitles

Lucy left England for Glasgow in search of something new. Starting with nothing, we follow her journey as she builds a new life, discovers her inner strength and ultimately the meaning of home.

IF YOU KNEW, Stroma Cairns, UK, 2019, 6′

BSL and English subtitles

After months of fighting and no communication, teenage twin brothers Conner and Lewis come together to spend a day on a sun-bleached Canvey Island. The brothers have a unique connection and shared passion for bikes. Both being born with a hearing loss, they’ve experienced challenging situations and been involved with gangs. Today marks a fresh start for the boys, with Lewis being a new father and Conner putting family first.

INTIMACY, Ryan & Jackson Hogan, UK, 2018, 19′

English subtitles

A film told entirely through the alternating perspectives of a Deaf woman and a blind man as they go through the emotional turmoil of their first date.

MÓDIR, Patrick Barklamb, UK, 2019, 5′
English subtitles

The story of how a young individual, the filmmaker, became deaf in his right ear with his mother saying his words and him saying his mother’s words. This is a portrait and testimony of what his life is now like reflecting on the experience. 

ERNESTO, Edgar Murillo, Spain, 2017, 13′ 
English subtitles

Ernesto discovers a new disease and doesn’t know how to face it

A SONIC PULSE, Dorothy Allen-Pickard, UK, 2019, 7

BSL and English subtitles

A documentary exploring how deaf people experience electronic music. Richard France, a deaf music producer, talks about losing himself to the beat and the crowd becoming one on the dance floor. Troi Lee speaks of the first time he was refused entry to a club for using sign language in the queue. Helen describes how her cochlear implant inspired the sounds behind some of her electronic tracks.

NICE TALKING TO YOU, Saim Sadiq, US/Pakistan, 2018, 19′

ASL and English subtitles

Two strangers – both hearing persons – form an instant connection at an American Sign Language (ASL) event, talking exclusively in ASL. They spend the night together, strolling through NYC, enjoying a newfound attraction without a spoken word uttered between them. But, part-way through, they both realize that they’re each hearing persons. Out of convenience, they shift to verbal communication, and, as they do, quickly lose their romantic spark.

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