Students use experience of deafness to secure first place in disability film award

Two University of Wolverhampton students bagged first place at a unique film festival hosted by Business Disability Forum in London recently.

Samuel Ash and William Horsefield, also known as team Wolfpack, bagged the first place winning entry with their film ‘Same Difference’ – based on their experience of deafness.

Samuel (pictured, right) is a third year student studying for a Film and Television Production degree and William graduated from the course in 2018.

The winners of the Business Disability Forum’s Film Festival Challenge 2019 were announced at a prestigious event in London hosted by KPMG. Entries from all five finalists were premiered at the festival.

The film festival, now in its third year, recognises and celebrates the talent of fresh, young film makers. The challenge has opened doors for previous winners and finalists, with many achieving greater success within the industry.

This year, film makers were set a challenge to produce and submit a short film in ten days in answer to the question “Identity through the lens of disability, what does this mean to you?”

Samuel said: “I am a filmmaker coming from a big Deaf family and involved in Deaf community. I have a passion for filmmaking and photography.

“I have just finished my three year course and will graduate this September. I found out about this festival through William Horsefield in 2017 who worked with me, this will be the third time in a row we have entered! The competition gives us an opportunity to share our experience and to raise awareness through our best skills – video.

“We decided to make a documentary to show our experience, who we are and our identity. We want to show it positively and that we can do anything. When we were thinking of ideas, we realised that we have achieved a lot in our life so we want to show that. It was great to reflect from my experience related to my deafness, culture, and community and what I have achieved in my life so far, so we want to convey in the film positively and show that Deaf people are able to achieve anything they desire.”

William and Samuel won a similar award in 2017. Last month, Samuel also won best short film award at Wolverhampton’s Deaffest international film festival.

Phil Nichols, Course Leader at the University, said: “I’m delighted that Samuel and William have once again shown themselves to be among the best student film makers in the UK.

“They have shown amazing creativity during their Film and Television Production coursework and I’m sure they will both go on to achieve great things in the field of film and television.”

The winning film can be viewed below.

Picture (c) University of Wolverhampton.