Deaf teenagers create films during isolation as part of the annual Hear for You Film Festival
For the fourth year running, Hear For You hosted their annual Film Festival highlighting the talents of deaf or hard of hearing teenagers around Australia. But this year, it was with a twist!
Due to COVID restrictions, Hear For You replaced the usual red-carpet event at the Golden Age Cinema with an online watch party. The Film Festival Watch Party was sponsored by Hearing Australia and gave teenagers the chance to showcase films they scripted, shot and edited with the theme “Life in Iso”.
Given the challenges all Australians are all facing right now with lockdowns, masks and social distancing orders in place, the “Life in Iso” theme reflects the teenagers imagination and views on life over the past six months.
“The biggest challenge was doing it all online - with no opportunity to do it in person with their peers. The teenagers had to shoot and produce the films at home in isolation. It’s a massive credit to filmmaker/author Pauline Findlay and the Hear For You staff for using all the online tools and imagination possible to make it happen,” says David Brady, CEO at Hear For You.
Entrants in the Hear For You Film Festival have been supported through the filmmaking process via special ‘Rock My World’ workshops led by professional filmmakers and supported by deaf mentors, including filmmaker and author Pauline Findlay.
All films were showcased on Friday 4 September and the winners were announced as:
Best Director - The Guard by Jackson Love
Best Screenplay - The Power Plant by Sarah Jackson
Best Film - Dead Devices by Charlotte Richards
Highly Commended - (tie) The Mystery Puzzle by Aleks Ladas and Dream of Flames by Jared Donaldson
People’s Choice - (tie) Dead Devices by Charlotte Richards and The Mystery Puzzle by Aleks Ladas
“Life is hard enough for teenagers and if you’re deaf during a pandemic it can be even harder,” continues Mr Brady. "I praise their amazing work to innovate a totally online filmmaking workshop for deaf teenagers. As with all our programs, it demonstrates the incredible tenacity to innovate and overcome barriers".
Hear For You is a registered Australian charity that offers mentoring programs and workshops to deaf or hard of hearing teenagers all over Australia.
Hear For You supports young people who are deaf and hard of hearing through programs and events Most 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.
“Most of the deaf and hard of hearing teenagers Hear For You mentors and supports have also been supported by Hearing Australia since they were babies or young children,” says Kim Terrell, Managing Director of Hearing Australia. “By working with Hear For You, together we can help teens develop important skills for life and to realise that their hearing loss need not be a barrier to doing what they want in life.”
In 2019, Hearing Australia supported the hearing rehabilitation needs of over 25,000 children and young adults through audiological services, hearing aid and cochlear implant support.1
“I’m proud that Hearing Australia is supporting Hear For You,” adds Mr Terrell, “Our partnership forms an integral part of the work we do with all of our partners to deliver better hearing services and solutions to our clients and the community. Hearing Australia’s mission is to provide world leading research and hearing services for the wellbeing of all Australians.”
1 Hearing Australia Demographic Details of young Australians aged less than 26 years with a hearing loss, who have been fitted with a hearing aid or cochlear implant at 31 December 2019
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