Together! 2019 Disability Film Festival

Official Selection Together! 2019 Disability Film FestivalThe eighth annual Together! 2019 Disability Film Festival takes place from 6-8 December at the Old Town Hall Stratford (see bottom of page for full venue details), screening 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. Click here for programme details.

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. (Let’s face it, all filmmakers depend on extensive support from other people, one way or the other.) 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 there is BSL interpretation for the opening night presentations. There is limited Blue Badge parking at the venue, and Stratford station is on the accessible Jubilee & DLR lines.

Artist, activist and filmmaker Katherine Araniello.

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). The workshops take place at St Bart’s Community Centre, 292b Barking Road, East Ham E6 3BA. Nearest station East Ham (not accessible, but there are direct buses from Canning Town station). Bus routes include: 5 and 115. Street parking for Blue Badge users only.

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.

Old Town Hall, 29 The Broadway, Stratford, London E15 4BQ. 020 3373 7033 /07791 291 685. Nearest tube, overground and DLR stations: Stratford (fully accessible). Bus routes include 25, 69, 86, D8, 104, 108, 158, 238, 241, 257, 262, 276, 308, 425, 473, N8, N86, 010, A9, 741 & UL1. Blue Badge holders can prebook parking; others are advised to use the (old) Stratford shopping centre carpark and cross straight through the centre (the Old Town Hall is opposite the far entrance). Click here for further details and images.