The winners of Australia’s first film festival by deaf teenagers, the Hear For You Film Festival, have just been announced. The inaugural national Film Festival, supported by Australian Hearing, is the first of its kind in Australia and is an opportunity for any deaf or hard of hearing secondary school students to script, shoot and edit a film for entry into a nationwide competition.
The 2018 Hear for You Film Festival’s supporting partner, Australian Hearing, selected the theme, ‘Love @ …’. Hearing loss hasn’t been a barrier for young people discovering a new sport, relationship, art, career and many other life milestones, and the budding filmmakers were asked to focus on their passions by incorporating ‘Love @ …’ into their story.
The winners were announced at a premiere screening in Sydney earlier this month and were judged in the following four categories:
The winners were:
Best Screenplay: “WHAT AM I MISSING?” by Karen Nguyen, Samira Cox and India Cox
Best Director: Oscar Lynch for “TEDDY BEAR LOVE STORY”
Best Film: “THE BUS STOP” by Raymond Moreno, Jared Donaldson, and Richard Moir
Judges’ Award: “TEDDY BEAR LOVE STORY” by Oscar Lynch
“Life is hard enough for teenagers and if you’re deaf it can be even harder,” says David Brady, CEO at Hear For You. “Often we find deaf teenagers are isolated and don’t take part in activities such as filmmaking in school because they aren’t able to keep up with their hearing peers. Programs such as this Film Festival help to validate the young deaf person’s worth, improve self-esteem, networks and provide ‘lived’ experiences that teenagers can relate to.”
Entrants in the Hear For You Film Festival have been supported through the filmmaking process via special ‘Rock My World’ workshops led by professional filmmakers and supported by deaf mentors, including Emilie Biggar, My Kitchen Rules’ first deaf contestant, and filmmaker/author Pauline Findlay.