Hear for You Film Festival Encourages Deaf Teenagers to Embrace Filmmaking

This year marks the 3rd annual ‘Hear for You’ national film festival, a festival designed to get deaf or hard of hearing teenagers involved in filmmaking in a supportive environment. The festival had its national premiere at the Golden Age Cinema and Bar in Sydney, a boutique Art Deco cinema which provided an intimate and friendly venue for the festival.

The eight films showcased at the event came from a series of weekend filmmaking workshops that ‘Hear For You’ ran across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane earlier this year. The festival was supported by Hearing Australia who selected the theme of ‘Friendship’. Many of the filmmakers and mentors were present at the event, and before the show at the Golden Age Bar offered a chance for attendees to mingle, network and make new friends.

Obviously, accessibility is a key element of a festival made for and by deaf people. The speeches by members of ‘Hear For You’ included live on-screen captions, and so did all of the films.

The festival held competitions for ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Screenplay’ and ‘Judges’ Award’, and the winners were:

  • Best Film: Please Help (Massimo Zurzolo, Lachlan Rosenberger, Richie Huang from Melbourne)
  • Best Director: Hidden Heroes (Richard Moir, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Jones and Alexander (Sasha) Janzcuk from Sydney)
  • Best Screenplay: Hidden Heroes (Richard Moir, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Jones and Alexander (Sasha) Janzcuk from Sydney)
  • Judges’ Award: A Friend (Oscar Lynch from Brisbane)

If you weren’t able to make the event, a selection of films can be found on the Hear For You Youtube page.

‘Hear For You’ is an impressive organisation that offers support and guidance for deaf teenagers across Australia. It also offers the teenagers an offer to be a part of a community, allowing them to learn about filmmaking as beginners in a fun and safe environment. As well as filmmaking programs, ‘Hear For You’ also offers mentoring programs and workshops in the areas of ‘Life Goals’, ‘Transitioning from Year 6 to High School’ and ‘Community Outreach’. The full list of programs available can be found here.

To keep track of Hear For You and their other programs, see their website here.

To stay tuned for upcoming events at the Golden Age Cinema, check out their website here.

Jo Bradley.

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