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Deaf led film wins Ruth Shaw Award at YFF

Film is expected to spend the next couple of years on the festival circuit.
Cast and crew of Fable Deaf accepting the Ruth Shaw Award at the Yorkton Film Festival.

YORKTON – The Deaf Crows Collective film, 'Fable Deaf', was presented with the coveted Ruth Shaw Award at the Yorkton Film Festival's Golden Sheaf Awards Gala May 27.

"This is just a tremendous honour to receive this award," said Dr. Joanne Weber, Producer of Fable Deaf and Artistic Director of Deaf Crows Collective, speaking through an American Sign Language interpreter as she addressed the audience upon receiving the award.

"This is our first film with the Deaf Crows Collective," said Weber, adding, "it's deaf lead, it's an entire deaf cast and it's 100 per cent filmed in Sask."

"I'd like to say thank you to the Yorkton Film Festival for recognizing our work," said Weber, "it's the skilled actors who have done all the work."

Weber went on to thank the Chrystene Ells, Directorof the Production.

"Such a skilled director and did so much work for our crew," said Weber.

"We'd also like to thank our producer and production manager and that is Michelle Grodecki and the stage manager," said Weber, adding, "these our the people that made our movie shine."

"This is the first film that was lead by deaf people in Sask, probably most of Canada," said Weber, "this opens the door for people who are deaf actors, deaf artists, directors — this is really starting to be a good stepping stone."

"This weird and beautiful film was sponsored by the Sask Arts Board, Canadian Council of the Arts, and the Sask Film Pool — we couldn't have the film without those groups and without all of you hats off to you — thank you."

“Fable Deaf is a pioneering film, being the first Deaf film made in Saskatchewan, and we believe, in all of Western Canada. It is also the first Deaf film to be nominated for the Best of Saskatchewan Award. This recognition of a Deaf film serves as an affirmation for our highly marginalized Deaf community in Saskatchewan,” said Weber in an interview with Yorkton This Week prior to winning the award.

The film features an all-Deaf cast of four Saskatchewan actors between the ages of 12 and 74 who all identify as culturally Deaf and communicate using American Sign Language, and who have contributed to the film’s narrative.

After its world premiere at the Yorkton Film Festival, it is expected Fable Deaf will spend the next couple of years on the festival circuit, including screenings at Deaf film festivals in the United States and Europe.