Production Notes: Dawn of the Deaf

'With Dawn of the Deaf, our aim was to create a genre film that would connect Deaf and hearing audiences in an engaging, thrilling way. As opposed to re-treading the same narratives usually seen when dealing with a perceived disability, we wanted to create a tense story in which the characters' "disability" becomes their ultimate advantage over the hearing population.

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The short film, while self-contained, is very much a proof of concept for a larger version of the story which we are burning to tell. The short film was funded on the condition we use a certain group of actors, and so we took the opportunity - however, we are of the belief that Deaf parts should go to Deaf actors wherever possible, and that's the commitment we've made for the feature film. 

It's a shame that the short film can't be held to that same standard, but we believed that it was better to get the story out there, even if we ultimately had to use a mixture of Deaf and hearing actors. However, we don't want to downplay the work of the hearing actors at all - they were incredibly committed and trained with a BSL interpreter for almost half a year. We want to use the Dawn of the Deaf feature film as a means of working with and establishing Deaf talent, both in front of and behind the camera."

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Our main intent with the short film was not only to showcase the concept, but also to prove to financiers that a film with Deaf characters at the heart of it can be accessible and engaging for both Deaf and hearing audiences. Before making the short film, we took the idea around to several production companies who all liked the concept, but doubted that hearing audiences would want to "read subtitles" for an entire film. Dawn of the Deaf aims to show that Sign Language can be used to great cinematic effect, and that it's an incredibly emotionally engaging language whether you are Deaf or hearing.

We are absolutely on the look out for Deaf actors and actresses for the feature film. We're not in pre-production yet, and so we haven't begun casting, but we're very keen to hear from people at our website which has a contact form that goes direct to my email.

I actually had very little connection to the Deaf community before we started working on the film. I was already Facebook friends with a great Deaf filmmaker Samuel Dore, and I’d seen some of his work and had been keeping tabs on what he had been posting regarding Deaf culture and Deaf cinema in particular. However, mostly we just chatted about horror flicks, bonding over a mutual love of John Carpenter and George Romero. And so when we started work on Dawn of the Deaf, I knew Samuel had to be a part of it. The whole process of working with Samuel, Stephen and interacting with the Deaf community throughout the process has been a huge learning experience for me, and it's been amazingly helpful moving forward with the feature project.

All Monday to Friday shows before 5pm have capacity capped at 50% (unless otherwise stated). All other screenings have full unlimited seating capacity (unless otherwise stated).

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