A collection of talented filmmakers and their unique depictions of deaf culture and topics will vie in the upcoming WORLDEAF Cinema Festival’s filmmaker award competition taking place at Gallaudet University on Nov. 4-7.

Seventeen films from seven different countries were chosen to participate in the festival among a staggering 173 submissions. The films, which range from nine-minute shorts to full length features, depict fictional and nonfictional tales of the deaf experience. Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing filmmakers competed in one of five categories including “Best Narrative,” “Best Documentary” and “Best Short,” among others.

“The films chosen are true examples of what deaf cinema has to offer,” Dr. Jane Norman, Chair and Director/Producer of WDCF said in a statement. “We wanted to bring the deaf experience to a mainstream audience while also showcasing the talent of these filmmakers. Their stories tell and show how powerful deaf cinema is and we hope that people come and enjoy these extraordinary films.”

Director Kamau Buchanan, whose film Catch Santa was nominated for “Best Short,” says as a youth, he always admired deaf cinema, which sparked his interest to become a filmmaker.

“We need more deaf filmmakers and I had the passion and desire to become one,” Buchanan told the AFRO. “It’s my hope that there will continue to be an increasing number of deaf filmmakers so that our deaf community has films to enjoy watching.”

The filmmakers’ work will be displayed during the conference’s daily film screenings and winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony on Nov. 6.

“Deaf cinema is important among other genres because it shows the diversity of human spirit,” Buchanan said. “Hearing audiences can connect to Deaf cinemas because they are very visual and show the core of human spirit to which any audience can relate.”

For more information and to purchase tickets for the WORLDEAF Cinema Festival, visit http://wdcf.gallaudet.edu/home/ticket.html.

Gregory Dale

AFRO News Editor