Saturday 15th August, 7pm, The Pearson Centre for Young People
In aid of Disability Direct
Full wheelchair access & BSL interpreted
With our latest programme we want to celebrate and explore the recent success of films which centred on Deaf, blind or disabled protagonists! And this is something we want to do together with you, as a community, with the following films:
My White Shirt – Dre Didderiëns (Netherlands; UK Premiere)
All the films in this programme attempt to present to rare perspectives, but few do it quite as well as My White Shirt. This film looks at the grief of a young man called Rob Krikke, following his sister’s sudden death. He has Down’s syndrome, and Didderiens skilfully makes us see mortality through his eyes in a way that is intensely beautiful.
The director achieves this by documenting Rob’s efforts to overcome his deep anguish by cathartically acting out what will become a professional play. My White Shirt is therefore one of those wonderful pieces which blurs the lines between fact and fiction, as well as the distinction between film and theatre. The dark, raw emotions and blurring confusion of this film also make for quite the emotive rollercoaster, and this film is an experience which should definitely not be missed.
Deafness – Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy (Ukraine)
Cinephiles might recognise Myroslav’s name thanks to his recent feature The Tribe. This astounding film about the experience of the Ukrainian Deaf community has just screened at Broadway, and won a remarkable thirty-five awards last year. However, viewers may not have realised that this latest breakthrough was actually preceded by his short film Deafness.
So we’re taking this rare opportunity to present it to you! And Deafness’ coarse, dystopian look at this community’s experiences also makes for vital viewing, partly because it clearly shows how negative some Deaf experiences can still be in some parts of the world, and partly because it will show aspiring filmmakers just how far you can go with a compelling idea and an experiment in the short form.
Hole – Martin Edralin (Canada)
Having screened at prestigious festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival and the London Film Festival, this film has been raising the topics of disability and sex with a similar confidence to Deafness. Hole also addresses topics which many other films trivialise or avoid, and once again shows the importance of discussing the overlooked experiences.
Apparently this was story which actor Ken Harrower really valued being part of in this film, as he loved the premise and the issues this script raised. The fact that Hole is shot like a documentary means that this fictional short is equally very faithful to Ken’s day-to-day routine, and gives a very spell-bing impression of his experiences.
Flo – Riley Hooper (USA)
Partially-sighted and now diagnosed with MS and cancer, Flo Fox is a truly remarkable character. A real-life, born-and-bred New Yorker, she never ceases to radiate joie de vivre, and this affectionate documentary captures her spirit in a very uplifting way.
Hooper documents a day in her life, but the short is full of decades’ worth of anecdotes from Flo’s illustrious career as a photographer. In fact, in just ten minutes, we go through everything from flicking through her risqué “Dickthology” photos to participating in daring shoots atop of the Twin Towers, and the results are captivating.
The End – Ted Evans (UK)
Another flagship film in this programme is Ted Evans’ The End. Himself a Deaf British director, this short abounds in Deaf pride, and it adroitly captures the ambivalence which many would feel if they did ever cure deafness in the future.This premise creates an enthralling platform in its own right, but it also makes for a truly beautiful example of how cinematic and successful British Sign Language can be in films.
Why we want to share these films with you:
We believe last year saw an incredibly important change in the film industry. There was a gamut of films about blind, deaf, mentally and physically disabled people, and importantly these frequently starred disabled actors. What’s more, these films were praised, awarded and distributed right around the world, so now we want to bring this incredibly important discussion to Nottingham!
It’s an exciting time for NAFN too, as we will be screening our very first feature film with My White Shirt. So we hope you’ll join us in Beeston for something a little bit different!