Deaf Rochester Film Fests: 2017

This guide describes the DRFF collections from 2005-2011.

2017 Film Fest

The 2017 Deaf Rochester Film Fest video collection is listed below. Most of the videos can be viewed online and you can click on the title. Look at the program schedule to see featured video titles.


4 (Experimental) by Bim Ajadi
In the confines of his disheveled bedsit, an agoraphobic young man is challenged to a game of connect 4. However it soon becomes apparent that this is no ordinary version of the parlor game that we are watching. What was designed for recreation has now become an obsessive addiction. Losing for him is no longer an option, but are the odds stacked against him, and the stake too high? A suspense drama........."Every move counts, but for some people things don't always fall into place".
4 Deaf Yorkshiremen. (Comedy). By Charlie Swinbourne
How hard was growing up deaf? In this sign language short film, four grumpy deaf men try to tell the worst story about their childhood - and there's ten pounds as a prize for the 'winner!'The film was inspired by the classic 'Four Yorkshiremen' sketch made famous by Monty Python, but with a new script for a deaf cast, and became a You Tube hit, making the actors famous across the world.Yorkshiremen' sketch made famous by Monty Python, but with a new script for a deaf cast, and became a You Tube hit, making the actors famous across the world.

4 Deaf Yorkshiremen Go to Blackpool  (Comedy)  by Charlie Swinbourne and Louis Neethling
Four grumpy old Deaf men travel to Blackpool for an annual Deaf event. But when they meet a group of young Deaf men, things start to go wrong. Can the old and young men find a way to get on? This film stars Deaf actors John Smith, Matt Kirby, Jonathan Blackpool for an annual Deaf event. But when they meet a group of young Deaf men, things start to go wrong. Can the old and young men find a way to get on? This film stars Deaf actors John Smith, Matt Kirby, Jonathan Reid and Ilan Dwek as the old men, with Matthew Gurney, Adam Bassett and Sean Richards as the young men. Rachel Shenton and Ali Briggs also appear in cameo appearances.

Are You for Real (Sci Fic and Animation) by Randy Dunham
The lady met Jack Frost in a fantastic winter forest - not sure if it was her dream or not. They wandered and discussed why her friends don't believe her that she had seen Jack Frost. She mention that three of her friends mocking and laughing her. They thought it's for the kids to believe in and they told her that it was only in her dream, not in a real life. At the end of the discussion with Jack Frost, she accepted that it's basic on an individual choice to believe or not. She got her confidence back and kept going to do with her life regardless what others think of her belief.

Believe Me Now?     (Documentary) By Matthew Ward
What is it like to live with Usher's Syndrome?

Bellanca (Fiction and Drama) by Victor Nores
Dad is deafblind... but he helps me with my homework. He reads me fairy tales--heplayshideandseek with me --he cooks very well and he takes me to school. Close your eyes and imagine that you never get to open them back. Now imagine that time passes and your ears stop hearing sounds. How would your life change? Bellanca is the story of a very special girl who helps her father cope with the Usher Syndrome, a disease that affects both hearing and vision.
Cake of Soap (Story Adaptation of "Dusk" by Saki)  by Ernest Marshall
A businessman and his companion take a walk in the park, then sits on a bench in which they observed an old man having his lunch and leave. They meet one young man who shares his troubles of what happened to him, the businessman suspects him of telling false stories.
Chasing Cotton Clouds (Drama) by Samuel Dore
Award-winning drama about a Deaf boy grieving for his father, who creates a fantasy world to cope with the alienation he feels. As he struggles at school and at home, can he find his way back from a world of made out of cardboard and glue to the real world? Featuring stunning animation that contrasts with a gritty inner-city setting, this film won the award for best film at Deaffest 2011.
Chris Fonscea Street Dancer (Documentary) by Bim Ajadi.
A short film follows the rise and struggles of a talented deaf street dancer, Chris Fonscea. A quiet young man with sheer grit and determination, he tells his inspirational story of following his dreams. A Documentary shot and directed by Bim Ajadi, who had been commissioned by the BBC 'See Hear' to coincide with their programme of Black History Month, 2014.
Copper (Drama) by Jack O'Donnell
A curious Deaf boy's life is changed when he meets a living statue.
Cuckoo's Teeth (Action) by Patricia Mosteiro
Two men are involved in a series of problems due to their poor management skills.
Deaf Women Told Me (Documentary) by Marie-Andree Boivin
It’s usually hearing people who produce research, books, and movies about the deaf. If given the opportunity, what do deaf people would say about their lives, feelings, and experiences? I am a deaf woman, yet deaf history has not been told to me. I met deaf women and I asked them to tell me their life stories.  This generation of deaf women know each other in Quebec. They share a common history and a common language. They have told me their stories and now they are telling it to you.
Don't Shoot the Messenger (Comedy) by Craig Fogel
Jacob, a klutzy sign language interpreter, fumbles through life hopelessly lost in translation. Although he's fluent in two languages, he is fluent in two languages, both his personal and professional lives are riddled with ridiculous misunderstandings. He constantly finds himself in awkward situations he can't make sense of with Deaf and hearing New Yorkers.
Double Discrimination (Documentary). By Rinkoo Barpaga
Barpaga investigates Deaf people's experiences of racism, including leading figures in the Deaf community, in Double Discrimination. This is Barpaga's first documentary, and it was made as part of the BSL Zone's filmmaking scheme, Zoom Focus 2014. This film was produced by Neath Films.
Dre's Powerful Story (Documentary) By Jules Dameron
Dre is about a deaf woman’s experience of rape when she attended a party and was drugged. She did not feel well and went to the doctor who told her she was pregnant. She is a lesbian and said, “Impossible”, and then realized what happened. She gave birth to beautiful twin girls and is raising them.
Exhibition of Loyalty (Animation and Fantasy) By Tony Fowler
Exhibitor stresses to solve the puzzles in his nightmare. He faces challenges to return to reality. His symbolic character is a reflection of his state of mind and emotion. At the end he re-invents himself as a whole new person by restructuring his way of thinking and being loyal to himself and others.
Found (Documentary) By Charlie Swinbourne
Three Deaf people tell us about the day they found the Deaf world. Their stories include school, learning sign language, and their relationships with their family and friends. This programme features John Walker, Joanne Swinbourne and Emily Howlett
Honeymoon (Romance) by Ronit Meranda
Lucy and Johanna are on their honeymoon. Johanna is partially, and Lucy profoundly, Deaf. They arrive at a B&B where they are greeted by a sullen landlady. They are both annoyed with her demeanour, albeit on different levels. The nature of signing allows them to be carefree about quarrelling in public. A seemingly insignificant disagreement silently turns into a hurtful argument, as the noise of the weir dominates the background.
I've Unplugged (Documentary) by Stephanie Brasey
Thirty years ago, the cochlear implant was a revolution in the treatment of deafness. Now it is clear that it does not work for all the deaf and some have simply decided to stop using it. They have unplugged! This film meets four people who made the choice of sign language and deaf identity.

If I Don't Lose, I'll Lose (Drama) by Maverick Litchfield-Kelly
Mabel Morgan is an award-winning Deaf actress whose agent demands she lose weight or face losing her next acting role to her rival Bella Lazari who uses only basic Sign Language. Temptations threaten to throw her off course. Will she succeed?
Koda Twins (Documentary) by Branic Keltz
This film documents language acquisition of twin toddlers who are children of Deaf adults (CODAs). There has been an assumption that their first language is Spoken English just because of their hearing status. Jazmina and Izabella have acquired American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language while Spoken English is their second language. Their expressive and receptive skills have increasingly changed over the course of their toddlerhood.Jazmina and Izabella have acquired American Sign Language (ASL) as their first language while Spoken English is their second language. Their expressive and receptive skills have increasingly changed over the course of their toddlerhood.

Look At Me When I Talk to You (Comedy) by Jose Miguel
Four roommates show us how they coexist, and through them we can discover "deaf culture".


Lost Community (Documentary) by David Ellington
In this moving documentary, we find out how the members of Bristol's Centre for Deaf People feel about the closure of the club building. Featuring BSL interviews with Lorna Allsop, William Coyle and Betty Smith, this clip reveals many of their memories of using the Deaf club from a young age, and they explain why the club is so important to the local Deaf community.
Metamorphosis: Returning to Our Ecological Self (Experimental) Hannah Wheatcroft.
This short film captures the visual sounds that we experience in our everyday lives It challenges the meaning of sound.This exploration also takes you through the visual sensations of my relationship with the natural world Our society has grown apart and away from the natural world We fear our own mother earth and we run away with distractions pretending we can take control of our fears Creating this film gives me the opportunity to return to my ecological self recognizing myself as a part of the natural world There are no captions or audio the sign language in this film is used in an artistic poetical way.
Møkkakaffe (Dramedy) Consultant: Jules Dameron
The Bakkes and Oppedal Strands are suddenly forced to deal with each other because of an accident no one understands why it happened. How will they be able to communicate when they do not speak the same language?
Nonsense (Comedy) By Max Clendaniel
Born without the ability of sight, sound, smell,, taste, or touch, Richard has always lived his life in fear. But when he buys an experimental kit that will allow him human senses for the first time, the only thing he will have to worry about is his selfish roommate, Richard.
Our Basketball Dream (Drama) By Cheuk Ho Cheung
Lam Tung Ching desperately want to join the Asia Deaf Basketball Competition but struggle to because of his knee injury. But one day he meets Yi, who is new to basketball – will she change his life?
Passengers (Romance, Comedy) By Dickie Hearts
A romantic comedy about a charming, surprising young driver who gets pleasantly surprised by his last fare of the day.
Power in Our Hands (Documentary) By British Deaf Association
For the past 4 years the British Deaf Association (BDA) have been working on a Heritage project and delivering their digitised extensive film archive through outreach programmes across the UK. As part of this project, with support from Heritage Lottery Fund and other generous contributions, the BDA decided to commission a ground-breaking documentary Power in Our Hands, featuring the BDA’s rare archive footages and modern interviews. From the social scenes of the 1930s, to the 2000 BSL recognition march's supporting BSL recognition, this documentary gives people a glimpse into Deaf culture that is mostly hidden from the hearing world. The documentary was produced by Flashing Lights Media.
Shakespeare Found in Translation (Documentary) By Catherine Heffernan and Louis Neethling
Can Deaf theatre company Deafinitely Theatre translate William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream into sign language? This documentary covers the rehearsal period leading up to their performance at Shakespeare's Globe in London in June 2014, and includes interviews with the key people involved, including the company's Artistic Director Paula Garfield and members of the cast. Shakespeare: Found in Translation was directed by Cathy Heffernan and produced by Louis Neethling for Mutt and Jeff Pictures.
A Silent Life (Documentary) By Theodore  Dorsette III
A young man, named Teddy, struggles to find a balance between two worlds -- hearing and deaf. He is an aspiring student who braves the hearing world to shatter barriers and find his journey as a man. Along the way, he meets a hearing girl named Isabel. She holds his heart, only to shatter it and betray him. Along the way he gets advice and learns things from hearing and deaf alike. The ending shows his final choice of who to be and how he wants to live.
Skating on Thin Ice (Fantasy, Animation) By Tony Fowler
PennyFarMan journeys to Brittlesaw Lake to find magic to restore his full range of hearing but consequences follows as he learns to accept himself.
Still Here (Comedy) By Alison Lynch and Louis Neethling
Comedy-drama about a group of ageing Deaf Club performers - Les, Reg, Cyril and Ruby - who have been performing together for over 30 years. When Ruby falls ill, their lives are thrown into turmoil, because she has been the one keeping them together. Les’s son Paul (played by Deaf comedian John Smith) replaces Ruby but will that be enough to save their performing group? Still Here is a black comedy that looks at friendship, ageing and change, and celebrates the senior members of the Deaf club community. The film features some of the UK’s longest-serving Deaf actors, including Hal Draper and Jean St Clair. Still Here was written by Alison Lynch and directed by Louis Neethling, and produced by Mutt and Jeff Pictures
Supersonic (Action, Drama, Sci Fic) By Maverick Litchfield-Kelly
Isaac has been going off the rails since his father left years ago, taking after the local mechanic he looks up to as the father-figure he is missing but then his real, estranged father returns with a startling secret.
The Big Decision (Documentary) By Maverick Litchfield-Kelly
A personal documentary featuring Director John Finn and his family as they explore their decisions to give their daughter a cochlear implant.
The Kiss (Drama) By Charlie Swinbourne
When a hearing couple on a first date start talking to a Deaf couple in a cafe, they realise that some things can only be said with a kiss.
Thin Lines (Drama) By Shaan Couture
Leah's life doesn't seem to have a meaning. As she gets desperate in her search of fulfillment, her life takes a surprising turn. One night, under unexpected and fragile circumstances, Leah's path crosses Noah's, a Deaf young man. Noah is a cheerful creator. His imagination and confidence engage Leah's curiosity. Through their respective passions, Noah's drawing and Leah's music, they go beyond their differences and learn about each others' worlds. To talk, they use all methods. From body language to sign language, from lip-reading to eye contact, their urge to communicate brings them closer. As they grow inseparable, they gain consciousness of their connection.
Tick Tock (ASL Music) By Ian Sanborn
The tick tock comes from the work of the clock. A deaf person was taught how to pronounce tick tock by a speech therapist. Being forced to be a hearing person as the clock ticks. But the Deaf person's heart truly thrive in visual ways and grabs the clock to transform everything that is about sound into the wonders of sign language and visual rhythm. This Deaf person then owns the tick tock that no speech therapist can take away. 
To My Muse (Poetry) By Eric Epstein
This short ASL poem is about a deaf poet interacting with Alice Cogswell.

 Welcome to the Deaf World (Drama) By William Horsefield
After picking on Charlie for being deaf, Tom’s world is changed when something terrible happens overnight. This film shows that deaf people are not dumb.

Who Cares? (Documentary) By Camilla Arnold and Louis Neethling
A documentary that looks at care provision in England for three elderly Deaf people. Beatrice has been living alone since her son died and looks forward to visits from her Sign Health worker. Stephen is in his 90s and would like to live in a residential home but is torn between choosing a care home in London near his friends or the nearest home for Deaf people, which is in Kent. Meanwhile, Alan, who has Parkinson's, has moved into Wynfield House, a care home for Deaf people in Blackpool, where his wife visits three times a week.  Directed by Camilla Arnold, filmed and produced by Louis Neethling for Mutt & Jeff Pictures
World War II: Unheard Memories (Documentary) By Angela Spielsinger and Camilla Arnold
In World War II: Unheard Memories, Deaf people tell their previously hidden stories about living in wartime Britain in their own language, British Sign Language. In this episode, we find out how they felt when war was declared, and discover what it was like to live during the Blitz. This programme was directed by Angela Spielsinger, and produced by Camilla Arnold, for Remark Media.

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