Directed by: Garry Keane, Produced by: Mind the Gap Films, 60′ film, 2016,  Rights: World

Deafening reveals the world through the eyes of four Deaf people with uniquely different lives. Through its carefully designed sensory landscape, it will challenge the audience to rethink their perception and understanding of sound.

RTÉ News & Weather presenter Sarah Jane Moloney O’Regan is about to become a first-time mum of twins. Sarah Jane loves being Deaf but despite this, she worries about what her twins will go through if they’re born Deaf and have to face the same barriers she had to work so hard to overcome.

Deaf siblings, Jade, and Matthew Visser were born in South Africa and moved to Waterford, Ireland aged 4 and 5. They both have Cochlear Implants and put their perfect speech down to the daily speech therapy they received in South Africa after their operation. Now 12 and 14, they share their concerns about fitting into a mainstream school, the challenges of making friends and how sparring deaf in Taekwon-do puts them at a distinct advantage.

Seán Herlihy is a teacher at a Deaf school in Dublin but is originally from West Cork, where his Irish-speaking parents had to switch to English when three of their four children were born Deaf. Seán believes his Deafness is a gift that allows him to travel the world without language barriers. He’s been to 81 countries and in any corner of the globe he can meet another Deaf person and communicate fluently in sign language. In his view, it’s hearing people who are disadvantaged. The word disability is not always named (pronounced) by the people in the film but all agree that they want their children to live without fear.

‘Deafening’ produced by Mind the Gap Films and directed by Garry Keane is an audiovisual feast that weaves seamlessly between speech, sign language and visual communication and represents a first for Irish television. Previously broadcast on RTÉ.

Winner IFTA – Best Director, 2018