Meet: Deaf actor and director David Ellington, now Watershed’s Agent for Change

Posted on December 17, 2015

What kind of work do you do?

I work as a director and producer for VS1 Productions, delivering TV/ film and information video projects.

I also do other work, such as film and theatre workshop for young deaf and disabled people, presenting and acting as well. VS1 now has two new short films which are in post production – Honeymoon and W.M.D (Writer’s Mass (self) Destruction).

What led you to work with Watershed?

I was encouraged to apply for a temporary role – Agent for Change. I found it interesting and thought it would help Watershed to provide equal and access to the members of Deaf Community.

I worked with them for our Vision Sign Festival in 2003 and 2005. The Head of Watershed told me that there is a missing bit in the social bar after the films – where are the deaf people, as they usually vanish!

What do you hope to achieve?

I hope Watershed will continue to improve a deaf friendly approach on its website, encouraging its staff to learn BSL, and engage with Deaf members who will attend regularly and enjoy sharing new film experiences.

Hopefully they will set up a Deaf film gathering, so Watershed will sustain a long relationship with them.

You had a family event of Buster Keaton films earlier this week. Tell us more about that.

I think it was the perfect time for Deaf people to be entertained before the Bristol Slapstick Festival ( It will also inform them about silent film festival.

For Keaton’s film, they held a special object – a balloon, in which they will feel a vibration that amplified by a sound of the music. This was a new experience for those Deaf people who have never done this before!

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Posted in: interviews