3rd ANNUAL MAINE DEAF FILM FESTIVAL FEATURES GUEST
SPEAKERS AND MAINE PREMIERE
third year in a row, The University of Southern Maine (USM) Linguistics
Department and the USM American Sign Language Club are proud to host the Maine
Deaf Film Festival, to be held Saturday, April 16th 2005, from 1:00
PM to 10:00 PM, at the Luther Bonney Auditorium on Portland’s USM Campus. The
festival will feature over 25 international short and feature length films made
by Deaf filmmakers artists, and educators, including the
presentation of Festival Awards. In the afternoon a guest lecturer from
Gauladet University, Dr. H-Dirsksen L. Bauman, will speak on his film Audism
Unveiled. There will be a Gala Reception at the USM Student Center from
5:00 to 6:30 including light refreshments, and where audience members may meet
several of the filmmakers who will be on hand, including the guest speaker.
Finally, through a special arrangement with Miramax Pictures, the evening will
capped by the Maine Premiere of the award-winning feature film Dear Frankie.
afternoon speaker, Dr. H-Dirsken L. Bauman, Associate Professor of Deaf Studies
at Gallaudet University, will arrive from Washington, DC to discuss and
answer questions on his new film Audism Unveiled. This film, a
collaboration between students and faculty from Gallaudet University, is a
thought-provoking and controversial investigation of the history of
discrimination against Deaf people both within and outside the Deaf Community.
addition, the Festival is proud to be presenting a special captioned screening
and Maine Premiere of Scottish director’s Shona Auerbach’s award-winning
picture Dear Frankie, currently in theaters nationally. This feature
length film concerns a deaf boy whose mother hires a stranger to pose as the
father the boy has never met. The film stars Emily Mortimer, who audiences will
recognize from the movies The Kid, Scream 3, and Notting Hill.
festival, whose audience has grown each year since its inception in 2002, aims
to show that cinema, functioning as a common language, has the ability to build
bridges between different communities, such as the Deaf and Hearing.
Furthermore, the festival aims to support and encourage Deaf artists, and to
give them a wider audience and recognition. To this end, three Maine Deaf Film
Festival (DFF) Awards will be presented at the festival: The DFF Jury Award,
the DFF Press Award, and the DFF Audience Award. Audience members will be able
to vote and comment on the films, and this recognition is a part of creating a
dialogue between Deaf and Hearing audiences and the artists.
festival features films for every taste, from documentary, animation, romance,
comedy, and drama. All the evening’s films are captioned for the benefit of
Deaf and hearing. The festival begins with a brief reprise of a few favorite
films from previous years, especially the delightful and stylish Hear No
Evil, and the funky and musical Skye, and the thrilling parody Sang
Froid. It continues with films grouped according to theme: Deaf Love, Deaf
Family, Deaf History, and so forth. These themes will are used as starting
points for short audience discussions to follow each segment. In this way
festival organizers hope to engage the audience in a way that is unusual for a
festival of this sort. What will distinguish this festival is the way each
filmmaker offers the viewer a unique Deaf perspective on topics of
universal significance, in the shared language of film.
Award-winning television producer, author, and film maker Irene Taylor
Brodsky's documentary Deaf Northwest is another highlight of the
festival. The film chronicles the unique environment found in the only
assisted-living facility exclusively for deaf and deaf-blind adults in the United
States. Also about the deaf blind is English film Lost Reels, which has
won awards and accolades for its producer and director Matthew Humphreys. This
short film delivered in British Sign Language (BSL), takes the viewer on the
journey of one man’s experience of being Deaf and becoming blind.
festival also features a bevy of short films that are both light and
entertaining, such as the lighthearted Mr. V, a “daring” digital
adventure with an unexpended ending.
festival crosses cultural barriers by importing several foreign films that are
exciting and unique. Asrama Ku, for example, produced and directed by
Leon Lim, is a Malaysian film wherein he finds himself reflecting back on his
dormitory days while attending a class reunion.
and technological advances during the last decades have created greater
opportunities for Deaf men and women to express themselves through the film
medium in their own language. A new cinematic movement, dubbed the "New
Deaf Cinema", has emerged, and it is this voice that the film festival
wants to give an audience for. Many of these films have powerful messages of
significance to both the hearing and Deaf communities. In Overdue,
filmmaker Laura Mauldin, tells the story of a specific book that has disappeared
from the shelves of a library. In searching the shelves of the library an
unsettling discovery has been made which, ultimately results in a call for
resistance. In Don’t Mind, producers and directors Patti Durr and
Elizabeth Dena Sorkin, show one man’s unexpected adventure in babysitting
teaching him how to laugh again.
Many of the
evening’s films fall in the category of Visual Poetry. For example, See(m)ing
is Believing: Questioning What We Know, produced and directed by Shawn
Broderick and Emily Steinberg, explores what happens when a concept is built
with moving images rather that written words. According to the producers
"This film offers, not an explanation nor translation, but a
beginning." Another Emily Steinberg film, In/visible explores the
beauty of movement in both language and environment.
Family are also important themes in the Deaf experience, and several films
attempt to capture this experience. Mother’s Love is an eight-minute
film produced and directed by Bridget Klein. It is the story of a Deaf child
with one Deaf parent and one hearing parent, who have managed to create a
successfully loving environment despite their cultural differences.
one, many of the films on the evening’s lineup highlight Deaf community members
transcending social and physical barriers. In the same spirit, hearing and Deaf
alike are invited to join together and transcend cultural barriers by
celebrating this day of rich artistic expression. The Festival is made possible
by the gracious contributions of sponsor Hamilton Relay, Maine Center on
Deafness, Ellen Philip Associates, and Alpha One. For more information people
are encouraged to visit http://deaffilmfest.tripod.com.
Advance tickets ($15 full day/ $12 senior or student; half day $10/$8) may be
purchased in person at the USM Linguistics Department, 65 Exeter St. or by
phone at the USM Linguistics Department: TTY 207-780-4069, VOICE 207-780-4989
about Keynote Speaker:
L. Bauman is from Colorado where he became involved with the Deaf community as
a dormitory supervisor at the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. He
holds a B.A. in English from The Colorado College, an M.A. in English from the
University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in English from the State
University of New York at Binghamton. He came to Gallaudet University in 1996
where he taught in the English department.
In 1999, he
moved to the Deaf Studies Department where he continues to research and publish
in his primary areas of interest: American Sign Language Literature, Cultural
Studies, postmodern theory and the politics of identity development.
Patty Durr Paddhd@rit.edu
L. Bauman H-Dirksen.Bauman@gallaudet.edu
Schertz firstname.lastname@example.org Chair
Smith email@example.com Media
Crespo firstname.lastname@example.org Filmmaker