Melissa: We, Tru Biz are thrilled to be here at “The Strength Within You” film festival. Yesterday and today, there have been multiple movie screenings, and all are deaf-related. The goal of this festival is to help bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing community. Tonight is a VIP reception, and the winners will soon be announced. Three different judges will make their final selections. The winners will be announced tonight. Looking forward to it!
Melissa: This is so special, he has come here all the way from Wisconsin! Wow! Was it worth the trip?
Man: Oh yes.
Melissa: So you’ve watched some films, which one stood out the most to you that you liked?
Man: It was all short films today. “Pittsburgh” was nice, with Tommy Korn in it.
Man: I liked that, that was really nice.
Melissa: And why did that film resonate with you?
Man: Well, it had a “real life” element to it. About life in this day and age. He told his story directly from his life.
Melissa: Ah, I see. It’ll be interesting to see if that film will win tonight. We’ll see!
LindsayKate: This is the first international film festival. There are other film festivals, but in this, there’s a stronger focus on creating a platform for filmmakers who are Deaf and hearing, working together. It’s a mixed bag this time. Other festivals are very deaf-centric, whereas this event is more broad, so it’s interesting.
Jules Dameron, Judge
Jules: I’m a filmmaker myself, I’ve made many different things and I’m so impressed with all that I’ve seen here. I’m excited, and I only hope this is just the start of more opportunities down the road.
LindsayKate: And the winner is…”Pittsburgh.”
Rory Dering, Writer & Director of “Pittsburgh”, Audience Choice Winner
Rory: I uh, I made a story about uh, um...a guy and a girl breaking up. And I was like alright will this is kinda like everything, and then I decided to make it with a um, one of the characters being deaf and it just seemed more, more interesting to me. And then I ended up having two guys, uh, and one of them deaf.
LindsayKate: And the Originality and Creativity Award goes to…”Mute”!
Isaiah Moore & Kelse Whitfield, Director & Producer of “Mute”, Originality & Creativity Award Winner
Isaiah: The point of our film is, the thought is, if our “voices” are off, how do we communicate? Well, sign language! By learning, practicing, and using sign language, we can all communicate and understand one another. Hearing and Deaf can be truly equal in this world.
LindsayKate: The Best Short Film Award goes to…”The Sound of Fear”!
Colin Campbell, Writer & Director of “Sound of Fear,” Best Short Film Winner
Colin: There are killers on the loose, and uh, they just murdered a police officer. And our, our hero, Ivy, saw them do it, and they saw her do it, and she’s on the run from them.
LindsayKate: Best Female Filmmaker goes to...Kelse Whitfield!
Kelse Whitfield, Producer of “Mute,” Best Female Filmmaker Winner
Kelse: I’m honored, thank you! I have so much fun making movies, I never thought I’d be here on this stage. Wow.
LindsayKate: The Director Award goes to...Colin Campbell, for “Sound of Fear.”
Colin Campbell, Best Director Award Winner
Colin: Thank you! Um, I’m only here because of my lead actress Sandra, that’s why I got the award I’m sure, because of her fabulous performance. [Laughter] Thank you so much! I’m so honored!
LinsdayKate: The Strength Within You Producer Award goes to…”Pittsburgh”!
Rory: I’m so happy to be involved in this special festival.
LindsayKate: And the award for the most beautiful person here...goes to me!
Katia Belas, Founder of The Strength Within You
Katia: I want to encourage more people to include all kind[s] of deaf into the film industry.
Melissa: It’s been so exciting seeing all of these films with tons of #DeafTalent! Congrats to all the winners.