Deaf Filmmakers Workshop

Deaf Filmmakers Workshop

With Brent Macpherson and Sofya Gollan

17th – 21st September 2012

North Melbourne is renown for its trendy cafes including the award-winning cafe Auction Rooms. I have to admit that even if I was not a coffee addict I would have converted immediately after tasting their coffee – it is superb! You can see trams flowing nicely through North Melbourne, which will take you to Federation Square (in the city) in 10 minutes. I was fortunate to be teaching a group of bubbly participants about producing short films in the very heart of North Melbourne.

I would like to convey my thanks to Arts Access Victoria, in particular the Other Film Festival’s team in inviting me to teach workshops for six days focusing on script writing, pre production, directing. We wrapped up the workshops by gaining access to and filming at Federation Square. It was a rich opportunity to pass on my knowledge of producing films with support from Sofya Gollan, who is also a film director. The participants were Deaf and were a great bunch of film enthusiasts, but wanting to advance their skills in producing short films to a higher level.

On the last day of the workshop, after a short trip to Flinders Street station on the tram I met an excited group of students waiting for the opportunity to translate their pre-production work into film format. It was pleasing to see how they worked well as a team/film crew. They all had the same intention, which is to produce a good quality short film. The final product will be uploaded onto YouTube in due course.

In between, I had the opportunity to watch several Deaf related films at the Other Film Festival at the Arts House, again in North Melbourne. There were a few that caught my eye, particularly two of my favourites, which were Ingelore (2009) and The Third Brigade of Libya (2012). In all, it was a great festival and it was heartening to see people from the disability sector showing a burning interest in films relating to Deaf and disability issues. It’s a powerful tool to raise disability awareness through visual mediums.

I look forward to going back to Melbourne, especially to the Auction Rooms to have a coffee and watch the short film produced by the Deaf participants involved in the workshop and quietly say “congratulations”!