Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stories trump sound at upcoming Seattle Deaf Film Festival


Some would say that sight AND sound are essential for a truly enjoyable movie experience. So, when the University of Washington unveiled a plan to organize the Seattle Deaf Film Festival- the first of its kind in the Northwest- the challenge was set.

Kicking off March 30 through April 1, the festival hopes to create a truly one-of-a-kind movie experience for people unable to hear the action on screen. UW’s ASL and Deaf Studies Program has partnered with Deaf Spotlight, a nonprofit that focuses on the culture and creativity of the deaf community, to make this festival happen.

“Our program aims to create awareness of deaf culture,” Lance Forshay, lecturer and coordinator of the ASL and Deaf Studies Program, told UW’s Perspectives newsletter this month. “This festival is an opportunity to do that.”

The films are special in that they are created by, for, or about the deaf community. They span genres one might not expect of non-sound films, from documentary to drama, comedy and animation. The films have been submitted from the U.S., England, France, Thailand, South Korea, the Philippines, South Africa, and Mexico.

Deaf listeners will be able to follow the stories with help from subtitles. Non-signing audience members will also have subtitles when the actors sign rather than speak.
“That’s for the sign language impaired,” Forshay told Perspectives.

The Seattle Deaf Film Festival will be held in 120 Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.