SignLight Film Festival to Showcase Global Community of Deaf Filmmakers – Film News in Brief

The first SignLight International Film Festival will take place in Hollywood from April 16-20, featuring Deaf filmmakers and creatives from around the world. Actor-director-producer CJ Jones is behind the event, which has also drawn support from Troy Kotsur, Marlee Matlin, Shoshanna Stern, Craig Mazin, Rosie O’Donnell and Andreas Deja.

Screenings will include “Silent Rhythm,” “Not Another Deaf Story,” “Speak in a Whisper” and “Being Michelle.”

“Too often, hearing people misappropriate the stories and roles of people who are Deaf, only to seek out their assistance to help them create a facsimile of their lives. Authentic representation requires authentic participation behind as well as in front of the camera. Our festival offers the industry a ‘how-to manual’ that illustrates models of successful Deaf/hearing creative collaborations, best practices, innovative Deaf/hearing communications solutions and a contact roster of the best Deaf talent in the world,” said Jones.

Also supporting the festival are Deanne Bray, Millicent Simmonds, Nyle DiMarco, Shaylee Mansfield and Keivonn Woodard. The event will also feature a performance by American Sign Language (ASL) hip hop star Matt Maxey aka Deafinitely Dope.

Launching with a VIP reception and screening, the event will take place at the Pacific Design Center and include open-caption screenings, pitch sessions, panels, exhibition booths, live performances by Deaf dancers, song/sign performers and family activities. Jones will oversee the five-day festival under the banner of SignLight Inc., the non-profit, entertainment career-training subsidiary of his production company SignWorld Studios.

For more information, go to the festival’s website.

‘Wild Rescue’ Documentary Planned From Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

The Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network and filmmaker Ian Shive have announced the upcoming documentary “Wild Rescue: A Second Chance at a Wild Life,” which will be presented in IMAX.

Per the film’s description, “’Wild Rescue’ offers audiences a vivid exploration of SBWCN’s pioneering work in wildlife rehabilitation, featuring the newly built, state-of-the-art wildlife hospital that stands as a beacon of hope for over 3,500 animals annually. Through breathtaking visuals, the film captures the essence of the Santa Barbara region, including Channel Islands National Park and its vibrant marine life, while spotlighting the dedication of veterinarians, volunteers, and community members who work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured or abandoned wildlife back into their natural habitats.”

The full-length documentary is expected to release in spring 2025, with Ian Shive directing and executive producing. Shive said, “The place we all understand and interact with the most is the one we call home. By actively participating in efforts to improve our individual communities we have a fighting chance to greatly improve our entire planet, one neighborhood at a time.”

Discover more about the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network here.

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