Winners of Australia’s First Film Festival by Deaf Teenagers Announced

August 28, 2018

The inaugural Hear for You Festival is the first of its kind in Australia.
Photo - The winners of Australia’s first film festival by deaf teenagers - the Hear For You Film Festival

Winners of Australia’s First Film Festival by Deaf Teenagers Announced

The inaugural Hear for You Festival is the first of its kind in Australia.

The winners of Australia’s first film festival by deaf teenagers, the Hear For You Film Festival, have just been announced. The inaugural national Film Festival, supported by Australian Hearing, is the first of its kind in Australia and is an opportunity for any deaf or hard of hearing secondary school students to script, shoot and edit a film for entry into a nationwide competition.

The 2018 Hear for You Film Festival’s supporting partner, Australian Hearing, selected the theme, ‘Love @ …’. Hearing loss hasn’t been a barrier for young people discovering a new sport, relationship, art, career and many other life milestones, and the budding filmmakers were asked to focus on their passions by incorporating ‘Love @ …’ into their story.

 The winners were announced at a premiere screening in Sydney earlier this month.

  • Best Screenplay: WHAT AM I MISSING? by Karen Nguyen, Samira Cox and India Cox
  • Best Director: Oscar Lynch for TEDDY BEAR LOVE STORY
  • Best Film: THE BUS STOP by Raymond Moreno, Jared Donaldson, and Richard Moir
  • Judges’ Award: TEDDY BEAR LOVE STORY by Oscar Lynch

“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 Emilie Biggar, My Kitchen Rules’ first deaf contestant, and filmmaker/author Pauline Findlay.

There are more than 7,000 Australian teens aged 13-19 with hearing loss who are fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implants. Hear For You supports young people who are deaf and hard of hearing through programs and events.

All 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 Australian Hearing since they were babies or young children,” says Alison King, Principal Audiologist for Paediatric Services, Australian Hearing. “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.”

Mr Kim Terrell, Acting Managing Director, Australian Hearing adds: “I’m proud that Australian Hearing is supporting Hear For You as part of the work we do with all our partners to deliver better hearing health solutions to our clients and the community. Our mission is to provide world leading research and hearing services for the wellbeing of all Australians.”

For more information on the Hear For You Film Festival, head for the official site.