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The Deaf Rochester Film Festival (DRFF) has a proud history of hosting film festivals since 2005. Most films featured in the film festival have been written, produced, created, and performed by Deaf and hard of hearing individuals and film production companies around the world. 


DRFF’s mission is to promote and showcase films by deaf and hard of hearing filmmakers; screen films about the Deaf experience; encourage analysis and interpretations of Deaf Cinema and Deaf visual aesthetics; develop a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Deaf gaze in light of the diversity of genres, cultures, and styles of filmmaking; foster film as a medium for historical preservation of Deaf Culture; provide networking opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing filmmakers and others involved in the field; and inspire future generations of Deaf and Hard of Hearing filmmakers.

All our best,

Deaf Rochester Film Festival Team 2020


Youmee Lee: Co-chair

Doug Baker: Co-chair

Hayden Orr: Festival Assistant / Jr. DRFF

Arlene Sankey: Treasurer

Beth Noworaztky: Event Coordinator

Brenda Schertz: Advisor / Sponsorships

Jeanne Behm: Workshop Coordinator

Sean Furman: Film Screening Coordinator

Natasha Hill: Social Media Coordinator

Blake Nitko: Social Media Advisor

Dylan Panarra: Public Relations Coordinator

Amelia Hamilton: Photographer

Malvana Ramborger: Graphic Designer

Guillaume Chastel: Interpreting Coordinator

Darian Slattery: Editor

Joan Naturale: Archivist

Surya Sahetapy: Outreach Coordinator

Blast from the drff's past!

Deaf Rochester Film Festival (DRFF) is proud to be running since 2005. Rochester has the highest per capita population of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in the United States, so it is only natural for Rochester to be the heart of the Deaf poetry and American Sign Language (ASL) studies. DRFF has brought countless Deaf and hard-of-hearing filmmakers from around the world to the Rochester community, taken place at various venues in the Rochester, New York area, and gathered the sign language communities to gather, discuss, and celebrate films, theatre, performances, and art made by Deaf and hard-of-hearing people all over the world!

Click on program booklet thumbnails below to view previous festivals! 

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