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The 9th Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival

Venue: Louis Koo Cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre 
Date: 2019.05.03 - 2019.05.05
Price: Standard ticket: $75 / $60* / $45**. Tickets are available at URBTIX now. 
Words have limits. Body language, on the other hand, can express ideas through its inherent energy and vivaciousness. Over the past nine years, Deaf Films change the landscape of Hong Kong movie-viewing and cinematography.  The 9th Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival will be held from 3 May to 5 May at the Hong Kong Arts Centre.
Festival Schedule
3/5 (Fri) 7:30pm    Opening Ceremony & Programme 1: Growing Up Deaf
4/5 (Sat) 2:15pm   Programme 2: Sign Rhapsody
4/5 (Sat) 4:30pm   Programme 3: The Sweet and Sour of Deaf Life
4/5 (Sat) 7:30pm   Programme 4: Special Selection from US Deaf Film Festival The Strength Within You
5/5 (Sun) 2:15pm  Programme 5: Close Deaf Companion
5/5 (Sun) 4:30pm  Seminar: Sign Language Education and Film Empowerment
5/5 (Sun) 7:30pm  Programme 6: Marie’s Story
Tickets are available at URBTIX now. 
Opening Ceremony & Programme 1: Growing Up Deaf
3/5 (Fri) 7:30pm*
*With Cantonese Audio Description. For details, please call 25820248 for further information.
The Silent Child
Director:Chris Overton
UK | 2017 | 20’ | In English with British Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour
Set in rural England, we follow the story of profoundly deaf child, Libby. Her middle-class family; consisting of two elder siblings, a constantly overwhelmed mother and a workaholic husband, seek out a quick fix to make their 'broken' child more equipped to handle the real world. But when they employ the help of a deaf-specialised social worker it becomes apparent that Libby is not the one who needs to be fixed.


The Best Live Action Short film of Oscar 2018


Deaf Child
Director:Alex de Ronde
Netherlands | 2017 | 72’| In Dutch with Dutch Sign Language and American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

“Deaf Child” is a documentary about love. The director’s son, Tobias, is a deaf. Tobias lives in two worlds: one in need, the other as a fish in the water. As a father, Alex examines his choices in raising a deaf child. Were they right ones? Is his world not too limited? Should he have tried cochlear implants with which Tobias might have partial hearing? Has he overburdened Joachim too much with his brother’s handicap? And ultimately, was he a good father?


Programme 2: Sign Rhapsody
4/5 (Sat) 2:15pm
Deaf Funny
Director:Charlie Swinbourne
UK | 2019 | 27’30 | In English with British Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

Deaf Funny is the world’s first TV comedy sketch show in sign language, it has an all-star cast of Deaf actors and comedians.


Sign Gene
Director:Emilio Insolera
Italy, Japan| 2017| 70’| In English, Japanese, Italian with American Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language and Italian Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

This film is produced, directed and played by born deaf producer Emilio Insolera. It is also the first deaf super hero film. The leading character is a deaf agent who carries a powerful genetic mutation. He is sent to Japan to investigate a series of bizarre cases, and has fights with the deaf Japanese villains by creating super powers through the use of Sign Language.

Programme 3: The Sweet and Sour of Deaf Life
4/5 (Sat) 4:30pm
Found at the Deaf Club
Director:Charlie Swinbourne
UK | 2019 | 27’24 |  In English with British Sign Language; Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour
Three Deaf people explain how discovering their local Deaf clubs changed their lives. 
Faking a living 
Director:Joël CHALUDE, Jean-Marie HALLEGOT
France | 2018 | 43’36 | No Dialogue, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

Pinto and Edna, and elderly couple of deaf people, have just moved into a low-cost flat. This Monday morning, Pinto must return to work but he will be disturbed by his new environment and by an unfortunate succession of domestic incidents. He will end up not only with an incidentally chaplinesque outfit that will make him switch to a world of silent cinema, but also a defective hearing aid that will earn him a day of communication slippage... 


Screen with Deaf Animation Short Film: The Gingerbread Witch
Director:Paul Miller
UK | 2019 |10’ | No Dialogue; British Sign Language | Colour

Young twins, Anders (deaf) and Aurora (hearing) share a very special bond. They come from an old Scottish mystical village called Oban, which can be described as rural and impoverished, the village people are kind but have very little to spare, without any explanation children from the village have been disappearing for generations. One day, the twins happen to find themselves at the centre of the mystery, when they come across an enchanted artefact, but will this help with their adventure? Can they both solve the mystery? And will the strength of their special bond defy the odds?
Programme 4: Special Selection from US Deaf Film Festival The Strength Within You
4/5 (Sat)  7:30pm*
*With after-screening talk (conducted in American Sign Language, Hong Kong Sign Language and Cantonese Oral Interpretation).
This is Ed!! 
Director:Bob Hiltermann
USA | 2017 | 7’ | In English with American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

Steve and Ed are best friends living in the same apartment complex, when Ed finds himself in need of Steve to help him out. A hilarious conversation ensues is a frustrated Ed tries repeatedly to make Steve understand that he desperately needs his assistance. Steve, using broken and outdated body hearing aids, is completely clueless to his buddy.

Body Language
Director:Nathan Thomas
USA | 2017 | 10’41 | In English with American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

A man dealing with the infidelity of his wife, journeys into unfamiliar territory and finds himself, ironically, in a similar situation.

Awkward Silence
Director:Manuel Montanez
USA | 2018 | 42’| In English with American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

Aaron and Eva have been dating for almost a year and believe their relationship is headed on the right track. It isn't until a night out, that a misunderstanding comes between their love. Now they must reevaluate their relationship, while reliving the first time they met and the night in question. Can love speak in more than one language?

The Sound of Fear
Director:Collin Campbell
USA | 2018 | 7’24 | American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour

IVY, a young Deaf woman runs through an empty resort town, hunted by killers. It up to Ivy to save a little girl. But how will they stay alive if they cannot even understand each other?

The Strength Within You - Domestic Violence
Director:Katia Belas
USA | 2016 | 2’ | No Dialogue | Colour

A woman who has been a victim of a violent attitude from her husband comes to the conclusion she just cannot have it anymore. Will she find the strength that lies within her and be able to break free from him?

The Strength Within You - A Suicidal Matter
Director:Albert Dabah
USA | 2016 | 2’ | No Dialogue | Colour

A woman battling with her desire to end her life after being in depression for the tough time she is going through. Is the will to seek help that shows her strength or weakness? Can society's stigma prevent her from going through and like her, many people who ever thought about suicide?


The Strength Within You - Love Wins
Director:Dickie Hearts
USA | 2017 | 4’ | No Dialogue | Colour

A teenager struggles to find his sexual orientation despite the father's disapproval in his homophobic environment. He needs to find that strength to face society's taboo and even more, his own parents who are supposed to be the first ones supporting him. Will he accept his own identity? Will his parents accept him?


The Strength Within You – DUI
Director:Katia Belas
USA | 2017 | 3’40  | No Dialogue | Colour

Drinking and having fun can also be dangerous, especially if you are trying to drive your very protective car...or is it? Lina lives life at large but when she is trying to go home after a fun night at the bar, she encounters some unexpected difficulties to get her car moving until something happens that changes everything in her mind.


The Strength Within You - Be-YOU-tiful
Director:Trudy Sargent
USA | 2017| 4’ | No Dialogue | Colour

A girl who is alone all the time because of her physical appearance being considered abnormal. She has the need for having friends but her only friend is herself. In a turn of event, the most beautiful couple from her school is in trouble and she is the only one around that can save them. Can she forget her past and become the bigger person?

Talk to the Hands - A Prologue
Director:Katia Belas
USA | 2018 | 10’ | In English with American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour 

Annie falls in love with AJ, not expecting the whole new cultural adventure that would come with it. Annie finds out soon enough that AJ is a very attractive gentleman who happens to be Deaf. As all relationships are based on communication, they face many obstacles while trying to understand each other, while their BFFs aren't approving their relationship.

Programme 5: Close Deaf Companion
5/5 (Sun)  2:15pm 
Hedy and Heidi: The Lost Sister
Director:Jason Roberts
USA | 2017 | 75’ | In English with American Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour 

The internet−famous duo Hedy and Heidi make their way to the big screen in this delightful comedy. Follow Hedy's epic cross−country adventure in search of her sister, Hedy. In typical Hedy fashion, she gets herself into a variety of downright silly situations. Will Hedy manage to reconnect with the sister she's long dreamed of? Find out in this rollicking, feel−good family film your whole family will adore!
Super Funny Deaf Couples
Director:Wang Yiqiang
China | 2018 | 7’ | In Putonghua with Chinsese Sign Language; Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour 

It is a funny short film about 2 pairs of deaf couples.


Screen with Deaf Animation Short Film: Ants Don’t Speak But They Work Together
Director:Nikhil Chalakh
India | 2018 | 7’02 | Indian Sign language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour 

The film is an insight into the world of a boy who is a daydreamer. He is deaf and mute and has a special relationship with nature. Boy realizes his admiration towards the unity among ants. He saves some of them from being crushed. The film talks about his relationship with the ants & ends on cumulative note.

Programme 6: Marie’s Story
5/5 (Sun)  7:30pm*
*With Cantonese Audio Description. For details, please call 25820248 for further information.
Marie’s Story
Director:Jean-Pierre Améris
France | 2016 | 95’ | In French with French Sign Language, Chinese and English Subtitles | Colour 

“Marie’s Story” is based on the true story of Marie Heurtin, it is called as the French “Helen Keller”. In 1897, Marie is born deaf and blind and unable to communicate with the world around her. Desperate to find a connection with Marie and avoid sending her to an asylum, the Heurtins send her to the Larnay Institute in central France, where an order of Catholic nuns manage a school for deaf girls. There, the idealistic Sister Marguerite sees in Marie a unique potential and, despite her Mother Superior's skepticism, vows to bring the wild girl out of the darkness into which she was born. Unfortunately, Sister’s health has suddenly deteriorated. In her remaining days, she must teach the last lesson for Marie...


Seminar: Sign Language Education and Film Empowerment
Katia Belas, Creator/Producer of A Deaf Talent Project “The Strength Within You”, USA
Wang Yiqiang, Vice Chairperson of Shen Zhen Association of the Deaf, China
Amy Lau, Chairperson of Hong Kong Association of the Deaf
Jason Wong, Hong Kong Deaf dancer, Deaf filmmaker, Founder of Fun Forest x JR Dreamland
Anthony Cheung, Hong Kong Deaf filmmaker, Vice Chairperson of Hong Kong Sports Association of The Deaf
Sign language is not just a tool for communication, but rather a carrier for emotion, stories, culture and imagination of the Deaf. The recognition or not for sign language education has deeply influenced the identity, cultural context and social status of the Deaf, dated back from International Congress on the Education of the Deaf in Milan in 1880 when sign language education was banned. Some in the Deaf community consider that was a linguistic genocide. Even today the underlying shadow of misunderstanding and ignorance towards Deaf culture from the hearing world has continued.
Today, Deaf people are still fighting for their own language, for the future of their own culture, and also for all Deaf children who could use sign language as their way of learning, expressing and communicating.
The seminar is a free admission programme by registration. Seats are limited and available on a first-come-first-served basis.
Registration link: https://forms.gle/3mtK2gPtmaYWAu157 

Tickets are available at URBTIX now. 


Ticket prices: $75 / 60* / 45** 

*20% off for each purchase of 4 or above standard tickets
**Tickets for full-time students and senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities and the minder
Advance Booking Special Offer: 20% off for advance booking through our online reservation link or settling payment on or before 23 April 2019; Ticket price at HK$60 each.
Download advance booking form
Asian People's Theatre Festival Society
Advance Booking Enquiries: 2891 8482 (Nanxi)


Internet booking: www.urbtix.hk
Credit card telephone booking: 2111 5999
Mobile ticketing app: My URBTIX (Android & iPhone versions)
Ticketing enquiries: 3761 6661 (10:00-20:00 Daily)
Programme enquiries: 2582 0248
Programmes are subject to change without prior notice.  

Co-presenters: The Hong Kong Association of the Deaf, Asian People's Theatre Festival Society, Hong Kong Arts Centre, School of Creative Media - City University of Hong Kong, Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences - City University of Hong Kong
Partner: Centre for Community Cultural Development
Supported by: Hong Kong Arts Development Council



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