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APRIL 16, 2024

Join us for an extraordinary day at the SignLight International Film Festival, featuring a VIP Welcome Reception with celebrity guests, followed by the powerful film "Being Michelle" and a dessert reception. Don't miss this inspiring event celebrating resilience and empowerment in the Deaf community.

Red Carpet
VIP Reception

5:00 pm       Filmmakers VIP Welcome Reception 


                     Red Carpet Photos &


                     Press Interviews

                     Celebrity Guest Attending

Rosie O'Donnell

 CJ Jones,

Ryan Lane

Anthony Natale, 

Marlee Matlin

 *VIP Ticket required​

Opening Night Film

6:30 pm          being michelle

                       Directed by Atin Mehra

                        followed by a Q & A 

                        Moderator: Rosie O'Donnell​

BEING MICHELLE follows the astonishing journey of a deaf and disabled woman who survived incarceration and abuse under unimaginable circumstances by a system that refused to accommodate her needs as a deaf person with autism. Michelle’s trajectory changed when she met Kim Law, a blind volunteer life coach who teaches classes to people in prison. Today, outside of prison, Kim and Michelle are doing the difficult work of unraveling Michelle’s history, of telling the story of Michelle’s traumatic childhood and her adverse experiences in the criminal justice system. With the support of Kim, Michelle realizes her own voice and strength. Throughout the film Michelle’s artwork provides her own depiction of the trauma she survived as well as a means to her recovery.

Dessert Reception

9:00 pm     Dessert Reception

                    following the end of the film and Q &A

APRIL 17, 2024

Embark on an enlightening journey at the SignLight International Film Festival's second day, featuring discussions on Deaf-owned Doves Media and a sneak peek of "Salt and Pepper," along with insights into music and sound design in filmmaking. Join us for engaging conversations, refreshments, and an evening of socializing at the no host bar.

Silver Screen 

9:15 am           Morning Mixer

10:00 am         Meet and Greet Fellow Filmmakers

11:00 am         DØVES Media
                      Norway's 40-year Success Story

12:00 pm         The 4th Dimension:
                         The Elements of Music and  

1:30 pm           Short Documentary Films & Q&A
  Breaking Silence,

                                                My Life in Two Luggages

3:00 pm           Alfredo Corrado & Q&A

5:00 pm           Pas le choix & Q&A

6:00 pm           Evening Mixer

7:30 pm           Not Another Deaf Story & Q&A

Screening Room

2:15 pm          Screening 1

                                    My Glow,

                                           Charlie and the Hunt,

                                           Flirting (With Possibilities)

3:30 pm           Screening 2

                                     Love Beyond Boarders,



4:45 pm           Screening 3

                                          The Koda-Chrome


                                            The Singer

6:00 pm           Screening 4

                                          Memories of the

                                            Warsaw Ghetto

                                            Director's Cut)

7:15 pm           Screening 5

                                          Hamburger Airplane,

                                            Raising CODAs,

                                            A Sonic Pulse,

                                            Your Hands

8:30 pm           Screening 6

                                    Who The Hell is Nigel?,


                                           One Last Time

The Gallery

11:00 am- 7:00 pm       Vendor Booths 

The Gym

12:00 pm-1:30 pm.         Catered Lunch

                                         *Must be


6:00 pm-7:30 pm             Catered Dinner

                                         *Must be


Deadline to purchase meals

Wed April 10th.

DØVES Media:
Norway's 40-year Success Story

Michel Laubacher

Con Mehlum

Producer Michel Laubacher and Director-Screenwriter Con Mehlum discuss the creation and sustainability of Deaf-owned and operated Doves Media and show a sneak peek at their new full-length feature film, Salt and Pepper.

The 4TH Dimension:
The Elements of Music and Sound Design

Dawn Soler

Karol Urban

Trevor Gates

TL Forsberg

Join Academy-nominated Music Supervisor Dawn Soler, alongside brilliant sound mixers and editors Karol Urban and Trevor Gates, as they unveil the to elevate your films with extraordinary sound. Explore the art of selecting perfect melodies and crafting seamless soundscapes, adding an immersive dimension to every scene. Discover best practices and affordable techniques for achieving stellar sound mixing.


Open to All

Daily in the Silver Screen Lobby.


Join us for engaging conversations and networking opportunities with filmmakers, panelists, and fellow attendees in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.

Refreshments available for purchase.

In the evening, there will be a no host bar available for those looking to unwind and socialize after a day of screenings and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Craft Programing

Welcome to Day 3 of the SignLight International Film Festival! Discover insights into Deaf talent promotion with BSL Zone, learn about television show development from industry experts like Vanessa Taylor Sands, and explore animation production with Janie Kahan. Plus, enjoy more amazing films today!

APRIL 18, 2024

Silver Screen 

9:15 am         Morning Mixer

10:00 am       Model of Success:

                      The U.K. Way w/BSL Zone

12:00 pm       Speak in a Whisper

12:45 pm       Silent Rhythm

2:15 pm        Masterclass: Demystifying


                      with Vanessa Taylor Sands

4:00 pm         Lacrimosa & Q&A

6:00 pm         The Tuba Thieves & Q&A

6:30 pm         Evening Mixer

8:00 pm         What? & Q&A

Screening Room

12:15 pm     Screening 1

                              Bent: His Vengence,


                                   The Participant

1:30 pm       Screening 2

                              FEARLESS devised,

                                    The Device That Turned

                                    Me Into a Cyborg Was Born                                       the Same Year I Was,

                                    You Are Noted

2:45 pm        Screening 3

                             Night Stop,

                                   Another Influencer,


                                   The Imprint

4:00 pm         Masterclass:

                       Lights, Camera, Animation

                       with Janie Kahan

6:00 pm         Screening 4


                                  The Last Words,

                                   The Photo

7:15 pm         Screening 5


                                   Silent World,

                                  New Narratives:

                                   The Language of Care.


8:30 pm         Screening 6

                             Deaf Identity Ep 1

The Gallery

11:00 am- 7:00 pm       Vendor Booths 

The Gym

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm.         SIFF VIP

                                          Invited Lunch

                                         (Not open to public)


5:30 pm-7:00 pm             Catered Dinner

                                              *Must be


Deadline to purchase meals

Wed April 10th.


Models of Success:
The U.K. Way w/BSL Zone

Moderator - Camilla Arnold 

Chief Executive/Interim Head of Commissioning,

British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust

Charlie Swinbourne 

Executive Producer for Drama,

British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust

For 15 years, BSL Zone has been the world-leader in training, hiring, and promoting Deaf talent in every facet of development, production, and distribution, providing the U.K. Deaf Community with thousands of hours entertainment programming in British Sign Language (BSL). Learn BSL Zone's best practices and gain insights from the unique public-private funding entity, the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), that made all this possible. Does it provide a way forward for the U.S. and other countries?

Demystifying Development with Vanessa Taylor Sands

Vanessa Taylor Sands

VP Development, DreamWorks Animation Television

Join us for this illuminating session offering invaluable insights into how captivating television shows are conceived and brought to life. Whether you're an aspiring creator, industry professional, or simply curious about the magic behind your favorite TV series, this event is not to be missed.

The Animation Pipeline

Janie Kahan

Coordinator, Animation Production 

Dive deep into the world of animation and its unique production pipeline with ASL-fluent Animation Production Coordinator Janie Kahan (DreamWorks, Netflix, Nickelodeon).


Open to all

Daily in the Silver Screen Lobby.


Join us for engaging conversations and networking opportunities with filmmakers, panelists, and fellow attendees in a relaxed and enjoyable setting.

Refreshments available for purchase.

In the evening, there will be a no host bar available for those looking to unwind and socialize after a day of screenings and discussions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Craft Programing

Welcome to the fourth day of the SignLight International Film Festival! Delve into pathways to full inclusion in film festivals, uncover career-building opportunities in documentary filmmaking, and glean insights from rising stars and industry experts. Be sure not to miss the thrilling stage version of the new ASL game show with guest stars and interactive fun - you might even get chosen to play along! Join us for another day filled with inspiration and entertainment at the festival.

APRIL 19, 2024

Silver Screen 

9:15 am              Morning Mixer

10:00 am            Presentation:

                           SONY Pictures Animation

11:00 am            Innovations:

                           What's Now/What's Next

12:00 pm            TV Episodic & Q&A

                                      Four Deaf Yorkshiremen


                                             Four Deaf Yorkshiremen

                                              and a Wedding,

                                             Here/Not Here

2:00 pm               Inside Story: 

                            The Last of Us,

                            The Company You Keep

                                              CJ Jones,

                                                       Keivonn Woodard, 

                                                       Shaylee Mansfield

3:00 pm              Changer: A Handtelling

4:45 pm              SignTasTic!

                            Live Performance

6:00 pm              You Shall Hear & Q&A

6:30 pm              Evening Mixer

8:00 pm              Short Films & Q&A



                                             Father Tongue,


Screening Room

12:00 pm        Career Builders:

                        Getting into Film Festivals

                        Moderator: Barbara Twist

                              Film Festival Alliance 


12:45 pm        New Horizons:

                       Opportunities in

                       Documentary Filmmaking

                         Moderator: Ranell Shubert, IDA

2:30 pm           Screening 1 Episodic TV



                                           The Return

3:45 pm           Screening 2

                                         I'll Sleep When

                                           You're Dead

5:45 pm            Screening 3

                                  Pinky VRS Documentary,

                                         The Hands,

                                         Sir Valence Presents:

                                         Watching U Save our Souls,

                                         So It Goes

7:00 pm            Screening 4

                                  Deafening Silence,

                                         A Citizenship Signed Bébian,


8:15 pm             Screening 5

                                   Let the Chips Fall,

                                          The 5%,

                                         Deaf Fable,

                                         The Rad Scientist

The Gallery

11:00 am- 7:00 pm       Vendor Booths 

The Gym

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm       Catered Lunch
                                      *Must be

5:30 pm-7:00 pm             Catered Dinner
                                               *Must be

Deadline to purchase meals Wed April 10th.

Sony Pictures Animation Presents 


Innovations: Unleashing Creativity

Melissa Mahlkun

Motion Light Lab 

John Tartaglia

Get inspired as you learn about the latest and greatest media projects of Motion Light Lab, the award-winning research and development lab at Gallaudet University.  Among the exciting developments, Director Melissa Malzkuhn will show demos of their creation of advanced 3D avatars with sign language created with motion capture technology.  And your creative juices will be flowing as acclaimed Creator, Producer, Writer, Director, and Puppeteer, John Tartaglia, currently Creative Supervisor and television development team member at The Jim Henson Company, presents the first public introduction to Henson's proprietary digital puppetry-to-animation technology that paves the way for cost-effective sign language performance in animation!

Inside Story: The Last of Us
The Company You Keep

CJ Jones

DASL The Last of Us, The Company You Keep

Keivonn Woodard

Emmy Nominee: The Last of Us

Shaylee Mansfield

Actor: The Company You Keep

Being a child on set can be a daunting experience. Being a Deaf child on set presents more challenges, or does it? Two rising young stars, Keivonn Woodard, Shaylee Mansfield, and their coach and Director of Artistic Sign Language (DASL), CJ Jones share the secrets of their success on these two hit shows. 

Craft Programing

Career Builders:
Getting Into Film Festivals

Moderator: Barbara Twist 

ED Film Festival Alliance

Angela Lee

Film Independent

Bryne Jones


Whit Spurgeon

Co-Founder & Programming Director,

We Make Movies International Film Festival

Michael Kaufer

For too long, film festivals have been unwelcoming to Deaf filmmakers and Deaf audiences alike. Happily, the "welcome mat" is being put in place at many festivals, and more are to come! Join the movement for full inclusion at film festivals and find out which festivals to submit to now!

New Horizons: Opportunities in Documentary Filmmaking

Ranell Shubert, Moderator

Nonfiction Access Initiative Funds Program Manager,

International Documentary Association

Maria Santos

Funds Program Officer,

International Documentary Association

Mae Thornton Mehra

Producer, being michelle

A career in documentary filmmaking has long been perceived as a struggle. But the immense popularity of streaming, YouTube, and film festivals offers new opportuities to establish a strong reputation and build a multi-faceted career. Find out how!

Live Game Show


Experience the traveling stage version of the new ASL game show soon to be seen on VSYN+!


You may be chosen to play along with the guest stars!


Created by and starring Dan Cook, co-starring Heather Gray; Founders & Co-Producers of Silent Visual Media.

APRIL 20, 2024

Welcome to day five of the SignLight International Film Festival! Join us for a day packed with entertainment suitable for the whole family! Dive into the enchanting world of a Disney animation legend, be the first to learn from the creatives behind a sign language-centered gaming adventure, enjoy live performances, and engage in enlightening conversations about crafting family-friendly programs using Sign Language.

Silver Screen 

9:15 am          Morning Mixer

10:00 am        Animated Films


                                              Ice Cubes,

                                              Greta's Storm

11:15 am         SignTasTic! Live Performance

12:15 pm         Andreas Deja 

                        30 Years at Disney            

2:00 pm           Nominated Student Films 


                                             Deaf Giant,



5:00 pm          Red Carpet and VIP Reception  *

7:00 pm          Closing Night Award Ceremony*

9:00 pm          Desert Reception*

 *VIP Ticket required​

Screening Room

10:00 am            The Need, Benefits,

                            and Market for

                           Children's Programming

                            in Sign Language

11:15 am             Opportunities in Gaming

                            Harmonium: The Musical

12:45 pm            Screening 1



                                            Finger Brew,

                                            His Hands His Art,

                                            Cat's Got Your Tongue

12:45 pm            Screening 2


                                              To My Father,


The Gym

2:00 pm           ASL Hip Hop Workshop
                         with Matt Maxey
2:30 pm           Learn Na'vi Sign Language
                          with CJ Jones
3:30 pm             ASL Hip Hop Workshop
                          with Matt Maxey

The Gallery

9:15am- 3:00pm               Vendor Booth

The Gym

12:00 pm - 1:30pm           Catered Lunch                                                   *Must be

The Need, Benefits, and Market for
Children's Programming
in Sign Language

Moderator: John Tartaglia

Henson Company

Kathy Robinson

Keivonn Woodard


Shaylee Mansfield


Mila Davis-Kent


Cheri Dowling

Executive Director, American Society for Deaf Children


American Society for Deaf Children

Halle Stanford

President Henson Company

Justine Guadarrama


Rene Visco


Melissa Anderson


Shockingly, there's never been a television show for children in ASL in the U.S. NOW is the time to make that happen! Our panel of experts provide the data, insights, and pitch tips needed to attract creators, producers, and writers of children's programming. 

Opportunities in Gaming: The Odd Gentlemen
& The Making of Harmonium:
The ASL Musical

Matt Daigle


Kay Oldfather-Daigle


Matt Korba

President, The Odd Gentleman, Creative Director

David Stanton

Vice-President, The Odd Gentleman, Composer

Get the inside story on the creation of this video game sensation, directly from the co-creators Matt and Kay Daigle! A collaboration between Deaf writers, designers, artists, and animators and the award-winning narrative game studio, The Odd Gentlemen, this interactive beautifully animated sign language musical engages players of all ages in the adventures of the young Deaf heroine as she enters a magical land and conjures up a new type of music that can be felt, seen, and is accessible to her friends.

ASL Hip Hop Workshop w/DEAFinitely Dope

Matt Maxey


Energize your body and uplift your spirits as ASL Hip-Hop artist Matt Maxey, aka DEAFinitely Dope, takes you through the steps and signs he's performed in concerts around the country w/Chance the Rapper and other artists!

Learn Na'vi Sign Language
with CJ Jones

CJ Jones


Ready to learn another sign language? CJ Jones created Na'vi Sign Language (NSL) for Avatar 2 and is expanding NSL for Avatar 3! Sign like a Na'vi and spread the word... uh, signs!

Special Guest Presentation:
30 Years at Disney w/Andreas Deja

Andreas Deja

Disney Animator 

A rare oppportunity to learn about the amazing career of the world-renown animator who brought to life some of your favorite characters from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Enchanted, and more! Plus, a special screening of Andreas' most recent animated short, Mushka. Following his presentation, Andreas will meet with the audience in the lobby and hand out autographed art from The Lion King.

Craft Programing

Closing Night Award Gala

Red Carpet
VIP Reception

5:00 pm        Filmmakers VIP

                     Closing Night Reception *


                     Red Carpet Photos

                     Press Interviews*

                     Celebrity Guest Attending

                     Mila Davis-Kent, CJ Jones,

                     Ryan Lane,  Shaylee Mansfiel,

                    John Maucier, Antony Natale,

                     Kevionn Woodward,  

                     Amber Zion ...and more.              


 *VIP Ticket required​

Justin Perez_edited.jpg
Orel Barajas_edited.jpg

Award Ceremony

7:00 pm          Closing Night

                    Award Ceremony *



   Host: Rosa Lee

Performances by

Beautiful the Artist

Justin Perez

Keith Sho Roc Brown

Orel Barajas

TL Forsberg

Urban Jazz Dance Company

Dessert Reception

9:00 pm     Dessert Reception *



Following the end of the ceremony

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