Winners announced of Australia’s first film festival for deaf teenagers
(L-r) David Romanowski (mentor), Richard Moir, David Vane, Raymond Moreno, Teneale Houghton (mentor), India Cox, Rebecca Stewart (mentor) and Hear For You CEO David Brady
The winners of Australia’s first film festival for deaf teenagers, the Hear For You Film Festival, have been announced.
Supported by Australian Hearing, the event is an opportunity for any deaf or hard of hearing secondary school students to script, shoot and edit a film for a nationwide competition.
Australian Hearing selected the theme, ‘Love @ …’. Hearing loss hasn’t been a barrier for young people discovering a new sport, relationship, art, career and other life milestones. The budding filmmakers were asked to focus on their passions by incorporating ‘Love @ …’ into their story.
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 were 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.
There are more than 7,000 Australian teens aged 13-19 with hearing loss who are fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hear For You supports young people who are deaf and hard of hearing through programs and events.
Hear For You employees and volunteers are deaf so through these programs, deaf teenagers have the opportunity to connect with mentors who have ‘been there, done that.’ The programs and events give young people support, guidance and the chance to meet other people who understand what they’re going through.