Best of Deaffest: Chasing Cotton Clouds (directed by Sam Dore)

Posted on May 22, 2012

During the week running up to Deaffest 2012, the UK’s Deaf film and TV festival which takes place this weekend in Wolverhampton, we’re showing you some of the festival’s greatest hits from previous years, which can be seen online.

Don’t forget that during the festival, which kicks off on Friday night, The Limping Chicken will be posting a Deaffest first – a live, film-by-film blog as the festival takes place. So if you can’t make it to Wolverhampton, watch this space on Friday and Saturday!

Our second film of the week is the winner of the best film award at last year’s festival, Chasing Cotton Clouds.

The film was directed by Samuel Dore (who is one of the judges for this year’s Ben Steiner Bursary and the Young Deaffest Awards) and stars young actor William Grint. It features some stunning animation, which contrasts with a gritty documentary style.

One of the highlights of last year’s festival was seeing Sam and William go up together on stage to pick up the award. I contacted Sam to find out how he felt shortly after the film’s name was read out…

I was pleased to have William Grint who was brilliant in my film join me at the awards ceremony. The build up and anticipation for him was unbearable, especially as the Best Drama award was presented at the end of the gala after one and a half hours, so it was a joy having him on stage with me to accept the award and give a lovely speech about how he is so enthusiastic about acting.
For me Chasing Cotton Clouds winning Best Drama at Deaffest just meant all the hard work paid off, my crew and cast worked hard on an ambitious project, working on a fresh and new kind of story especially for deaf audiences, that has mainstream crossover appeal. I’ve been so lucky to have a great team who believed in the project and helped me see the film from its initial idea right through to the end, and the Best Drama award is a fantastic achievement knowing our work was recognised by the audience we made the film for.
The thing that struck me the most about Deaffest 2011 was the amount of home-grown UK deaf film making talent of a high quality, probably more than I can remember from past Deaffest events, so I was pleased to find Chasing Cotton Clouds was nominated along with Louis Neethling’s Fairytale of Londontown and William Mager’s Hands Solo amongst others, it showed that the bar had been raised.

By Charlie Swinbourne

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