TONIGHT – APRIL 23, 2014

Join us at Nickelodeon Cinemas – 1 Temple St. Portland, Maine, 7:30 PM

for the showing of The House Across The Street. Q&A with Filmmaker Arthur Luhn.

Join us after the show at MJ’s Wine Bar – One City Center, Portland, Maine 04101


film schedule / pricing


Maine Deaf Film Festival Schedule / Pricing Information

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Nickelodeon, 1 Temple Street, Portland, ME 04101

7:00 PM – The House Across The Street, US, Horror/Thriller, 1 hour 30 mins. $8 / Free for USM Students with valid ID. This film is NOT YET RATED and may not be suitable for all ages due to adult language and adult content.
Guest Speaker: Arthur Luhn 

Thursday, April 24, 2014
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104

7:30 PM – A Life Without Words, Nicaragua/Turkey co-production, Documentary, 1 hour 11 mins. This film is NOT RATED.
$10 General Admission / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.

Friday, April 25, 2014
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104

7:30 PM – Silent Music, Antigua, Documentary, 1 hour 10 mins. This film is NOT RATED.
$10 General Admission / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104
Half Day Admission: General $8 / Seniors, Children & Non-USM Students $5 / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.
Full Day Admission: General $14 / Seniors, Children & Non-USM Students $10 / FREE for USM Students with Valid ID.

Afternoon Session (Family-friendly selections)

1:00-5:00PM – Selected films.
5:00-6:30PM Open Reception for all ticket holders, refreshments served.
University Events Room, 7th Floor Glickman Library, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 314 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME.

Evening Session (PG-13/+ selections)
Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney Hall, University of Southern Maine Portland Campus, 92 Bedford St, Portland, ME 04104
6:30PM-10:30PM – Selected films.

Wednesday, April 23rd at 7:30 pm at Nickelodeon Theatre, 1 Temple Street, Portland

House Across the Street. Directed and written by Arthur Luhn. 2013. US. Thriller. Amy has moved east from Kansas, determined to start a new life. She thinks she has found the perfect small quiet town, a great neighborhood on a quiet street. As she moves into her brand new apartment, eager to start a dream job, happy to befriend her neighbors, she finds out that not everything is as it seems, especially at the house across the street.

Thursday, April 24th at 7:30 pm at Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney, University of Southern Maine, 95 Bedford Street, Portland. 

A Life Without Words. Directed by Adam Isenberg . 71 minutes. 2011. Nicaragua/Turkey co-production. Documentary. Born Deaf on a farm in Nicaragua, Dulce Maria (28), her brother Francisco (22) have never been free to stray more than a few miles from their rural home. A Life Without Words is an independent documentary by filmmaker Adam Isenberg of the Istanbul production house Zela Film. It features the efforts of a sign language teacher in Nicaragua who works with a local NGO that empowers Deaf Nicaraguans by fostering the nationalization of Nicaragua’s indigenous sign language and by training young Deaf Nicaraguans to be teachers.

Friday, April 25th at 7:30 pm at Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney, University of Southern Maine, 95 Bedford Street, Portland.

Silent Music. Director/Producer Melissa A. Gomez. 70 minutes. 2012. Antigua. Documentary. Every family has secrets, but very few ever get to the heart of what they are. Silent Music is the story of one daughter’s attempt to do just that. While everything seems perfect, appearances are deceiving in the Gomez family: Kenneth and Teresa’s profound deafness isolates them. There is also a communication breakdown in the family that prevents everyone from having genuine relationships with each other. Kenneth is suspiciously secretive. Teresa is incredibly lonely. Virtually everyone in this family hides from the truth.   It is Melissa, the youngest of three hearing children, who investigates her family, exploring difficult subjects never before discussed. Uncomfortable confrontations leave Melissa desperate to know more. The dark secret she eventually discovers unravels everything for Melissa, causing her to question the reason she began this investigation in the first place. Ultimately, Melissa is forced to answer a difficult question herself: ‘Are some secrets best left hidden?’

Saturday, April 26th at 1-5 pm and from 6:30-9 pm at Talbot Auditorium, Luther Bonney, University of Southern Maine, 95 Bedford Street, Portland.

1:00 Introduction

 1:15 pm

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Director, Michael Johnson. 51 minutes. 2013. USA. Family/Fairy Tale. Enjoy the enchanting fairy tale that comes alive for the first time in American Sign Language. The loveliest girl in the kingdom, Snow White, is hated by her evil stepmother, Queen Sandevil, who will stop at nothing to destroy her, but seven funny little dwarves become her happy new family. The power of true love stops the Queen’s horrible magic while Snow White’s kindness and gentle heart prevail over evil and jealousy in this spirited version of one of the best-loved fairy tales of all time.

Copper. Directed by Jack O’Donnell. 11:06 minutes. 2012. New Zealand. Drama. Matthew, a curious deaf boy, is drawn to the Copper statue in the park. His protective mother won’t let him see it. His artistic father is clueless. All of their lives are changed when Matthew meets the living statue.

The Battery Battle. Directed by William Horsefield. 4:58 minutes. 2013. U.K. Youth. ‘The Battery Battle’ is a short action/comedy film. The story is about a school that has stopped giving away free cochlear implant and hearing aid batteries because of government cuts. The deaf students with their imagination have to battle for the very last battery. So who will win?

I Wont Do that Again! Directed by William Horsefield. 6:38 minutes. 2014. U.K. Youth. Jake is an amateur scientist and he is 19 years old. He makes a special control panel which clones people. He wants to test it by cloning himself, however the control panel goes wrong because of a loose wire. Jake tries to fix the problem but he faces mysterious happenings. In this film you will find out if Jake solves the problems.

2:45- 3 pm Intermission

3 pm Deaf Schools. Directed/produced by Joshua Beckman. 3:25 minutes. 2013. USA. Documentary. In this day and age of economic cuts, the closure of educational programs and schools for the deaf has been viewed as a convenient way to reduce budgets. Over the past 63 years, several schools for the deaf have been closed and numerous others have experienced cuts as well as the threat of closure. Closing such schools actually result in increased long term costs for states rather than serving as a cost-saving measure and, more importantly, result in severe educational deficits for many Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.

Jacob’s Story.  Directed by Kate Matairavula. 6 minutes. 2012. Australia. Documentary. Jacob Clarke wanted to go to the same high school as his friends. But he needed something his friends didn’t; an interpreter. Jacob is Deaf, so this was essential, but the school didn’t think so. Buddy systems and note-takers weren’t going to give Jacob the education he was entitled to. It ended up in court as a landmark case for Deaf rights and 5 years later, a result worth waiting for.

Benefits of Sign Language. Directed by Front Runners. 1:48 minutes.  2013. Denmark. Documentary. A short video advocating the use of sign language around the world.

Melody. Directed by Zack Morrison. 9:57 minutes. 2013. USA. Drama. A film about a brother’s love for his sister, and how art and music can transcend communicational boundaries.

Tree Fairy. Directed by Louis Neethling. 25 minutes. 2013. UK. Drama. When nine-year-old Libby returns home from school for the Christmas holidays she finds everything has changed. Her widowed, hearing father has a new girlfriend, Suzi, who has moved in to the family home with her own daughter, Tilda. All the special things Libby’s grandmother used to plan for Christmas – the lovely food, a gingerbread house, decorating the tree with a special fairy – are not happening any more. Grandma has died, Libby can’t communicate with Suzi or Tilda and her father seems to want to forget the past and move on. Nothing is the same. Sad and isolated, Libby writes down her three Christmas wishes – new ears, a pet rabbit – and for her grandmother to come back. During the night before Christmas something very special happens – the fairy on the tree comes to life – a signing fairy – and after a series of adventures and mishaps – she manages to put everything right. She also gives Libby some good advice – and she reveals a wonderful secret. The next morning Libby wakes up to find, thanks to the Tree Fairy, that her whole world has been transformed.

Who Cares? Directed by Camilla Arnold. 26 minutes. 2013. U.K. Documentary.  A documentary that looks at care provision in England for three elderly Deaf people. Beatrice has been living alone since her son died and looks forward to visits from her SignHealth worker. Stephen is in his 90s and would like to live in a residential home but is torn between choosing a care home in London near his friends or the nearest home for Deaf people, which is in Kent. Meanwhile, Alan, who has Parkinson’s, has moved into Wynfield House, a care home for Deaf people in Blackpool, where his wife visits three times a week. Filmed and produced by Louis Neethling for Mutt & Jeff Pictures.

4:00 PM Talk with Director Louis Neething.

5:00 – 6:30 PM Reception

6:30 PM

Interview with Richard Griffiths. Directed by Marilyn Willrich. 14:41 minutes. 2012/13. U.K. Documentary. The award winning actor famous for many roles on stage and screen including Harry Potter and Withnail & I kindly consented to become Deaffest’s patron last year. In a beautifully hand written letter he told us he was “flattered to be invited to be a patron.” Richard went on to say that “The idea of encouraging Deaf people to get involved in making films, and here I don’t care how big or small the scale of the product, strikes me as being excellent”. Richard felt that “the visual attention of the camera’s eye” would be “more sensitive and striking” in films made by Deaf film makers.

300 SECS. Directed by David Hay and David Ellington. 20 minutes.  2013. UK. Documentary. This documentary features the life of Adam Evans, a Deaf mixed martial arts fighter. This film shares Adam2’s family life and goes into detail about his experience about being bullied and his tough training regime.

Coulrofobia. Directed by Germano Dutra Jr. 13:31 minutes. 2014. Brazil. Experimental. Luan (Rodrigo Augusto Ferreira), a deaf 16-year-old boy, faces an unusual fear. For a long time the boy comes guarding their anguish, born of a past trauma. But the time is coming to confront the unconditional fear that this aberration brings it: a fear that, contrary to what one might imagine, there is nothing funny.

Dark Thinker. Directed by Jeremy Rosete. 18:15 minutes. 2013. USA. Experimental/Thriller. A young deaf cartoonist desires his ideal woman, only to find himself out of her league, so he goes to darker methods to get her.

8 pm-8:15 Intermission

8:15 pm

Dansen in Stilte. Directed by Marieke Helmus. 25 minutes. 2013. The Netherlands. Documentary. Dancing in Silence is a film about sign language and dance about communication and the presence and absence of sound.

Hear me out. Directed by Steffie van Rhee & Martijn Wüts. 22:44 minutes. 2013. The Netherlands. Documentary.

Of course siblings argue about things but this deaf brother and sister can’t seem to agree on one life changing decision: taking a cochlear implant or staying deaf. Siblings Irene and Sjoerd were both born deaf. But 9 years ago, at the age of 21, Irene decided to get a cochlear implant. It had a lot of impact on the whole family, but it was worth it because after the operation she could hear the voices of her mom, dad and brother for the first time. Her brother Sjoerd is still in doubt. Having surgery is a big risk but he really wants to hear what Irene now can hear. Will he follow and also proceed with a CI?

THIS IS NORMALDirectors/Writers Justin Giddings & Ryan Welsh. 19:29 minutes. 2013. USA. Drama. THIS IS NORMAL is a short film about a young woman named Gwen who takes what is essentially the medical version of a “magic pill” to go from totally deaf* to completely hearing. Despite the controversy, Gwen risks her friends, culture, and identity to discover the answer to the question, “Is it worth giving up who you’ve been for the maybe you could become?”*To our Deaf audience: we chose “deaf” over “Deaf” because Gwen does not self-identify with the Deaf culture due to her mainstreaming upbringing. Part of the film is exploring the conflict of embracing a Deaf identity or abandoning it completely.

Silent Melody. Directed by Prasanth Varma. 10:20 minutes. 2014. India. Romance. Love doesn’t need a language to blossom. The girl and the boy starts off their friendship from their balconies with the help of placards. Each morning, they chat and their friendship soon turns to love. Here, there is a suspense. The boy doesn’t know that she is deaf. Well, what happens next? Find it in the video and enjoy the shortest-sweetest love story.

Closed Caption. Directed by Jennifer Kassabian. 11:06 minutes. 2013. Canada. Drama. It took 50 false breakups for Jack to finally realize he was with the wrong person. Closed Caption is a short, dramatic narrative that explores the nature of love both literally and figuratively in the non-hearing world.

Frekvens. Directed by Mindy Drapsa. 10:32 minutes. 2013. Sweden. Drama. Edit’s world is falling apart. All the people around her have died suddenly and she finds her parents dead in their home. Edit runs for help but there are only lifeless bodies everywhere. What would happen if everyone who could hear had passed? In Swedish Sign Language with English subtitles.

Distress Mary. Directed by Robin Bartholick. 11:28 minutes. 2011. USA. Thriller. Mary, a restrained victim in a wooded area while her snatcher performs a spiritual ceremony before the sacrifice. A twisted suspense thriller open for interpretation.


DFF Films Have Been Selected!

Many MANY thanks to all of the very talented filmmakers out there, we received a variety of high quality films that were absolutely enjoyable.  Every year we are blown away by the increase in quality films. Since we would love to show them all, the film selection committee had to make very difficult decisions on what to show for this year’s 11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival.  We hope to be able to consider them again next year!

The film schedule will be up soon, all subject to change.

Did you know? We have partnered with the wonderful SPACE Gallery to show a film this year?  This is unprecedented and we are excited to work with them to show a film TBA soon! :)


Save the Date!!

The date has been set for the 11th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival!

Save the date: Friday, April 12th & Saturday, April 13, 2013!

Still at the University of Southern Maine’s Talbot Lecture Hall [Luther Bonney Auditorium].

We are also partnering with a workshop being held Thursday April 11th and all day Friday April 12th.

More details soon!


Final Day is Here!

Join us as we wrap up our last day of our festival today!
And celebrate 10 years tonight after our last film with our wrap up party at Margarita’s! 11 Brown St, Portland!

1/2 Day Saturday [afternoon 1-5:00pm or evening 6:30-10:30p]:
General Admission: $8
Seniors, children, non-USM students with ID: $5
USM Students: FREE with USM ID
Reception 5-6:30p at the 7th Floor Glickman Library Ticket holders for either 1/2 day gain access to the reception.

Full Day Saturday [1-10:30p]:
General Admission: $14
Seniors, children, non-USM students with ID: $10
USM Students: FREE with USM ID
Reception 5-6:30p at the 7th Floor Glickman Library

Continue reading


Deaf Night Out Before and After The Festival Tonight!

We will premiere our featured film tonight, The Hammer!
Come join us! We start our festival tonight at 7:30p!

After the featured film, we will have a discussion with Shoshannah Stern!

FRIDAY NIGHT: 7:30 – 10:30 pm
Luther Bonney Auditorium
Deaf Night Out after at Bull Feeney’s, 375 Fore St, Portland
Luther Bonney Talbot Auditorium
95 Bedford St
University of Southern Maine Portland Campus
General Admission: $10
USM Students FREE with Student ID

7:30 pm – Introductions
7:35 pm – ASL Music Videos
We’e Going To Be Friends, 3.17 min.
Hero, 4:39 min.
Let’s Mambo, 3.39 min.
Hammer, 3.33 min.

7:50 pm – Featured film – The Hammer.
Based on the life of the UFC fighter, Matt Hamill, The Hammer is a coming of age drama about the first deaf wrestler’s journey to win a National Collegiate Championship.  Raised among those with the ability to hear, Matt finds himself no less an outsider amidst the Deaf community.  But through sheer determination, he turns what could be a disability into an asset and in the process serves as an inspiration for both those who can hear and those who cannot.
9:50 pm – Guest speaker: Shoshannah Stern


Day Two Begins Tonight!

Tonight is our retrospective of our past 9 years! Come celebrate and enjoy the best films shown in our previous festivals! Join us for Deaf Night Out at Bull Feeney’s after tonight! 375 Fore St, Portland.  Directions can be found here

THURSDAY NIGHT – A Retrospective: 7:30 – 10:30p;
Deaf Night Out After the last film at Bull Feeney’s, 375 Fore St, Portland

Luther Bonney Talbot Auditorium
95 Bedford St
University of Southern Maine Portland Campus

General Admission: $5
USM Students FREE with Student ID

We will look back on our previous festival years and view our favorite selected shorts over the years. Schedule is subject to change.

7:30 pm – Introductions
7:40 pm –
From 2003:

Alice and the Aurifactor, Germany, 1995, 28 min, German Sign Language with German and English subtitles. Director: Jorg Fockele.
From 2004:
To Have/To Find, USA, 1991, 6 min, ASL. Director: Susan Dupor. This hand-animated film is the tale of a young Deaf girl’s escape from reality with her dog, Lucky. The film draws upon the artist’s personal experiences.
From 2005:
Mr. V, USA 3.5 min, ASL and English subtitles. Director: Wayne Betts. The intrepid Mr. V scales tremendous obstacles and the kitchen table. Where is he going and what will he find?

Continue reading



Tonight we start our 10th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival!!

Come join us!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT: 7:00 – 9:30pm
Payson Smith Hall, Room 303
University of Southern Maine Campus
95 Bedford St.
Admission: FREE!

We will feature films done locally and across the globe.  Schedule is subject to change.

7:00 pm – Introductions

7:10 pm – Our Locally Made film
Resoled, US, 2011, 50 min., ASL. Director: Robert Gillies with students at the Portland High School. Resoled is the story of Harry, a door to door salesman, who sells a product of dubious value. With his sales numbers down, he is given one last chance to keep his job. Out on the streets, his luck does not improve. Indeed, it seems his fortunes have dipped even further as his shoes start to fall apart. But chance has brought Harry to a cobbler’s store, and his encounters inside could end up fixing more than just his shoes.

8:00 pm – Guest Speaker: Director Rob Gillies and students involved with the film

Continue reading


maine deaf film festival update

Deaf Film Festival committee member Barney Vega going over the film festival schedule

We are also excited to welcome Shoshanna Stern to the festival! She will be presenting after the blockbuster film The Hammer on Friday!

Below is the film schedule for all your viewing pleasure!

10th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival Schedule

Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Payson Smith, Room 303

7:00 pm – Introductions
7:10 pm – Our Locally Made film
Resoled, 55 min.
8:00 pm – Talk with Director Rob Gillies and students involved with the film
8:15 pm – Deaf cops, lawyers and a dog
Deaf Beat, 17 min.
Gone with the Time, 10 min.
The Shredder, 3.25 min.
9:05 pm – Artistic Pursuits I
Silent Classics: The Proprietor, 20 min.
Interstice, France, 24 min.
Continue reading


additional day added!

Please join us Wednesday, April 11th 2012 for Maine Deaf Film Festival’s Amateur night!  From 7-9p at Payson Smith Hall on the University of Southern Maine’s Portland Campus – Room 303

We will feature amateur filmmakers local and around the world!

FMI check out This Year’s Films page.


the call for entries form

Maine Deaf Film Festival ( is devoted to showcasing the work of independent film and video artists. We are looking for work that exhibits exceptional artistry, insight, and innovation in all categories and genres. All lengths and genres are accepted for possible consideration, including experimental, animation, documentary, and narrative films. Captions are strongly encouraged.  Please complete an entry form for each film submitted.

Call for entries form for this year’s festival can be downloaded here: .pdf | .docx


Charity Hockey Game!

See the Maine Deaf Film Festival at a charity hockey game for a good cause!

The Southern Maine Law Enforcement All Stars and the Portland Pirates are proud to partner with the Maine Center on Deafness (MCD) for yet another season! This year, the charity hockey game will benefit programs at MCD and will be held on March 11, 2012 at 1pm in the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Southern Maine Law Enforcement All-Stars and the Sebago Brewing Co. hockey teams will play against one another for the first game followed by the Portland Pirates vs. the Providence Bruins at 4pm.

When you purchase one ticket, it will be good for BOTH the charity game and the Portland Pirates game that day.

Tickets cost $12.00 and for each ticket purchased, $4 will be donated to the Maine Center on Deafness.

FMI about the event, please visit the facebook event page here.

A raffle to benefit the GBSD library will be held on the day of the game, and will be in Ruth Merrill’s memory. The library project was founded last year and is called Ruth’s Library project. Prizes will vary and will be from local merchants.


Wrapping up!

We’re all getting excited for our 10th year!  We have recently added another night: Thursday Night! This evening will be titled: “Maine Deaf Film Festival – A Retrospective.”  We will unearth various films that have been shown in previous festivals.  This will happen from 7:30-10:30p. General admission is $5, USM Students with ID are free.

Another spectacular addition to the festival happens on Friday night, 7:30-10:00p. The guest speaker is yet to be announced but our feature film for this night is The Hammer.  Based upon a true story about a Deaf wrestler, this is one movie you cannot miss!

Keep checking this website for updated information about the festival!


Gearing Up for the Tenth Year!

Welcome to the Tenth Annual Deaf Film Festival at the University of Southern Maine! This festival is a project of the USM ASL Club and the Department of Linguistics. The Maine Deaf Film Festival is taking place on April 12-14, 2012. Maine Deaf Film Festival ( is devoted to showcasing the work of independent film and video artists.

We couldn’t do this film festival every year without financial sponsorship.  The 10th Annual Maine Deaf Film Festival is looking for festival donors and food sponsorship.  Your business could be advertised here!

Call for entries form for this year’s festival can be downloaded here: .pdf | .docx

Deadline for submissions: Extended to February 13, 2012.