The eighth annual Together! 2019 Disability Film Festival at the Old Town Hall Stratford, screens films by Deaf/Disabled filmmakers and films with a strong central Deaf/Disabled character. The Festival is FREE – we even serve you free drinks and snacks – and open to all.
Our priority is to provide a platform for strong storytelling, highlighting the lived experiences of Deaf/Disabled people from diverse backgrounds, and the talents of community, emerging and mid-career Deaf/Disabled filmmakers. Many of our films are world or international premieres, and go on to festivals worldwide. We also collaborate to cross-programme films with festivals including Oska Bright, SuperFest, Kynnskino and Little Wing.
We welcome filmmakers to join us at the festival, and do all we can to facilitate networking. This year for the first time we are introducing Awards for Best First Film, Best Animation, Best Dance Film, Best Drama, Best Documentary, Best Film in a Language other than English, Best Accessible Film and Lifetime Achievement.
For the second year we will be implementing the ‘F’ rating system when we publish our final programme. Devised by Bath Film Festival and now used by festivals around the world, filmmakers award themselves one ‘F’ each for a Female (self-defined) writer, director, and central character(s) or focus. We also use our own ‘D’ rating system – one D each for a Deaf/Disabled (self-defined) person generating the film’s content, taking overall lead in making the film, and being the focus or star(s) of the film, working with or without support. We look forward to Film Festivals worldwide taking this system up with the same enthusiasm that they have greeted the ‘F’ system.
We create a fully accessible pop-up cinema in Newham’s glorious Victorian venue the Old Town Hall Stratford, with seating including cushions and bean bags for those who find it more comfortable, and our custom-made ‘VibraBenches’ for those who like to feel the sound. Most films are captioned, and we provide live audio-description on demand. Films containing BSL are scheduled together in each screening programme, and we provide BSL interpretation for our Saturday lunchtime discussion. There is limited Blue Badge parking at the venue, and Stratford station is on the accessible Jubilee & DLR lines.
On Thursday and Friday 5 and 6 December from 11am-4pm (refreshments from 10.30am) we will be holding an open-access workshop for filmmakers on making Artists’ Films. This is part of a celebration of the work of the late Katharine Araniello, whose films will be shown on the opening night (Friday 6 December; doors open from 6.30pm).
If you can’t join us in person, you can join us virtually. At the start of the Festival, we re-release the programme with the addition of links to available online versions, trailers and download sites, and these remain online in our archive as a portal to Disability Film for programmers and scholars. You can find further details of previous years’ programmes via the Archive section of this website.