Deaffest - UK’s leading Deaf-led Film & Arts Festival

Date of next Deaffest: 8th - 10th May 2026

Location: Wolverhampton, UK

A project under Zebra Access, Deaffest was first established in Wolverhampton in 2006 and has grown to be the UK’s leading Deaf-led Film and Arts Festival (www.deaffest.co.uk). Running now for over 15 years, this thriving festival supports and develops the talents of emerging and established deaf filmmakers and artists from the UK and around the world. The festival includes: screenings, exhibitions, workshops, awards, and networking opportunities. With Deaffest taking place biennially, there are additional projects such as Deaffest on Tour and Deaffest: Rewind to ensure that there is a continuous platform for deaf filmmakers and artists.

To learn more about the history of Deaffest please visit: https://deaffest.co.uk/about/about-deaffest/

FILM AWARD CATEGORIES:

- BEST FILM
OPEN TO UK AND INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKERS. Films must be OVER 20 minutes. Deaffest welcomes any genre such as action, comedy, horror, romance, etc.

- BEST UK SHORT FILM
OPEN TO UK FILMMAKERS. Films must be UNDER 20 minutes. Deaffest welcomes any genre such as action, comedy, horror, romance, etc.

- BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
OPEN TO INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKERS. Films must be UNDER 20 minutes. Deaffest welcomes any genre such as action, comedy, horror, romance, etc.

- BEST DOCUMENTARY
OPEN TO UK AND INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKERS. Have you got a great factual report on a particular subject? Deaffest wants to see something you're passionate about in your film, it could feature interviews and creative shots.

- BEST ARTISTIC SHORT FILM
OPEN TO UK AND INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKERS. If you're creative, Deaffest welcomes experimental films UNDER 20 minutes, which also includes animation, special effects, music videos, etc.

- BEST TELEVISION PROGRAMME
OPEN TO UK AND INTERNATIONAL FILMMAKERS. If you have a series, please submit your best episode.

- BEST DIRECTOR
Recognition for a director who has demonstrated outstanding directing skills, based on the submitted film.

- BEST SCREENWRITER - (Film categories only)
Recognition for the person who created an outstanding script for the submitted film.

- BEST ACTOR
Recognition for a talented male deaf actor who has exhibited outstanding acting in the submitted film.

- BEST ACTRESS
Recognition for a talented female deaf actress who has exhibited outstanding acting in the submitted film.

- BEST PRESENTER - (Television & Documentary categories only)
Recognition for a talented deaf presenter who delivers a confident, passionate, professional and charismatic performance. (This must be submitted by the Production company NOT individuals).


- Open to UK and International filmmakers - (dependent on the category).

- Deaffest welcomes films completed FROM 1st January 2024.

- There must be a significant level of involvement of deaf people in the making of the film (e.g. producer, director, writer, actor, editor and so on). Please contact us if you are unsure.

- Films must be submitted in high-definition and with feature embedded English captions/subtitles. Films that arrive without English subtitles will be automatically rejected.

- Deaffest is unable to return any film and submission materials, with the exception of hard drives which will only be returned upon request and with payment of return postage plus an administration fee. Alternatively, you can arrange to collect it at Deaffest weekend 10th - 12th May 2024. If you wish to do this then please email media@deaffest.co.uk.

- If you wish to withdraw your film, please contact Deaffest as soon as possible. All fees are non-refundable and a penalty charge may be incurred.

- Films can be submitted online or by post. A receipt of acknowledgement will be emailed.

- Films submitted for the Film & TV Awards will be selected based on script, cinematography, structure, characters, entertainment value and overall quality.

- If your submission is not shortlisted for the Film & TV Awards, Deaffest retains the right to screen the film in the non-competition category.

- Deaffest retains the right not to accept films which are deemed unsuitable for the festival.

- If your film is not suitable for daytime screening, it may be shown at a later time and will include an over 18 age restriction.

- Films will NOT be accepted if this submission form has not been completed.

- Certificates (nominees and winners) and awards (winners only) will be available for collection during the Film & TV Awards Gala on Saturday 11th May 2024. If you are unable to attend, certificates/awards can be posted, postage and administration fees will apply.

- Nominees for the Film & TV Awards will receive ONE complimentary ticket (regardless of how many nominations).

- Due to the number of submissions received Deaffest will not be able to provide individual feedback.

- The Judges' decision is final.