Winners of the Hear For You Film Festival by deaf teenagers announced

The winners of the 2019 Australian Hear For You film festival with entries from deaf or hard of hearing teenagers have just been announced. Hosted by Hear For You and supporting partner, Hearing Australia, this is the third year that Australian deaf or hard of hearing secondary school students have had the opportunity to script, shoot and edit a film for entry into a nationwide competition. Hear For You is a registered Australian charity that offers mentoring programs and workshops to deaf or hard of hearing teenagers all over Australia.

As the sponsor of the Festival, Hearing Australia selected the theme ‘Friendship’ in order to help the young filmmakers show that hearing loss doesn’t have to be a barrier for young people. They are able to discover and enjoy many life milestones; a new sport, relationship, art, a career and so the budding filmmakers were asked to focus on their passions by incorporating the theme of friendship into their story.
The winners were announced during a premiere screening at the beautiful Golden Age Cinema in Sydney on Thursday, 22 August 2019:
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 Story: Hidden Heroes (Richard Moir, Jared Donaldson, Ryan Jones and Alexander (Sasha) Janzcuk from Sydney)
Judges’ Award:A Friend (Oscar Lynch from Brisbane)
“Life is hard enough for teenagers and if you’re deaf it can be even harder,” says David Brady, CEO at Hear For You. “Often we find deaf teenagers are isolated and don’t take part in activities such as filmmaking in school because they aren’t able to keep up with their hearing peers. Programs such as this Film Festival help to validate the young deaf person’s worth, improve self-esteem, networks and
provide ‘lived’ experiences that teenagers can relate to.”
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/author Pauline Findlay.

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 young children,” says Mr 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 achieving their goals.”
In 2018-19, Hearing Australia helped over 30,000 children and young adults by providing 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 provide world leading research and hearing services for the wellbeing of all Australians.”

1. Hearing Australia annual report data 2018-19