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Global response for award winning short film

Posted Mar 31 2011 2:52pm

A group of young deaf filmmakers has collectively produced an award‐winning short film that has subsequently prompted a significant response from the deaf community on a global scale.

Deaffinity’s Deaf Awareness campaign video, “Deaf Not Dumb”, came joint first at the Adobe Youth Voices film screening, held last week at the British Film Institute. Since the screening, the video has been uploaded to multiple social networking sites and has received a total of over 3,000 hits in less than a week, inspiring encouraging comments from viewers across the European Union and North America.

The winning team will be claiming their prize of an all‐expenses paid trip to California from 2 – 7th August, where they will have the chance to meet film industry executives and participate in a week‐long’s worth of creative activities with other winners from the 30 countries also involved in Adobe Youth Voices.

“Deaf Not Dumb” offers a powerful counter‐narrative to the discrimination targeting members of the deaf community and was dubbed “truly inspirational” by Adobe Youth Voices project manager Alex Yamamoto from the initiative’s headquarters in San Francisco.

As part of Deaffinity’s Youth leadership and Engagement programme, this group of young people were equipped with the skills to conduct first hand research, design and produce the “Deaf Not Dumb” video.

Members of the Deaf Community unfortunately fall victim to some form of stereotyping and/or discrimination regularly. Our focus groups and interviews showed a wide variety of such instances, from workplace discrimination to lack of understanding by family and friends.

Sadaqat Ali, CEO of Deaffinity and a member of the Deaf community himself said “The video highlights a number of key issues our community faces, i.e. discrimination, feelings of isolation, lack of effective communication. It emphasises the importance for us all to learn, or at least be aware of basic BSL. Speech is not the only method of non‐written communication. Simple gestures are not enough.”
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