Excellent news: 104 Films will be running a D/deaf Performer and Director Development Programme, supported by Sheffield Theatres, and co funded by BSLBT.

The workshop will be held in March and aims to develop the screen skills of 25 Deaf performers and 8 Deaf directors in the UK.

The development programme is intensive and will include a Meisner performance workshop, plus screen acting training led by one of BSLBT’s Executive Producers, John Maidens.  Deaf actor Sophie Stone – who stars in Small World and Dot - will also be doing some teaching.  Exciting stuff!

It is driven by the upcoming production of Retreat, to be directed by Ted Evans - the first UK feature film to be directed by a Deaf director with an all Deaf cast, performed entirely in sign language.

Ted said: “We all want to see more deaf actors on our screens and to see daring, evocative and memorable performances in sign language, but training for deaf actors with BSL support is in very short supply. So this is something I’m very passionate about and we’re delighted to have the BSLBT’s support.”

Kerena Marchant, Head of Content at BSLBT, said:  “We are delighted to co-fund this initiative and to support the exploration of approaches which enable Deaf actors to work between English and BSL scripts.  There is a dire lack of creative training and access to training for Deaf actors, particularly in television and film performance skills and we welcome the opportunity for participants to work directly with creative professionals.“