This year saw the release of ‘Name Me Lawand’, a film which follows a young deaf boy, Lawand, who is on a quest to discover a world where there are people who will understand him. A true story, this film tells all in a way never seen before.
What started as a small DeafKidz International team working on behalf of Save the Children in 2016 has now become a touching, coming of age story.
In February 2016, DeafKidz were working on behalf of Save the Children to establish the experience of deaf children affected by the European refugee crisis. Children were displaced from their homes in Syria, Iraq, and Kurdistan due to conflict and persecution, fleeing from terror. One of the dedicated volunteers ‘Pom Pom Peter’ at the temporary Dunkirk refugee camp led the DeafKidz team to Lawand. At the time he was six years old, deaf, and frightened. This was where Lawand met Steve Crump for the first time, another deaf man and introduced to the world of sign language.
The events that then followed have been immortalised in this incredible film A dangerous night journey to England, getting a place at the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby, and an insurmountable struggle to avoid being deported – something that became a whole DeafKidz team effort.
The film sensitively documents Lawand and his family’s story as they explore a new common language and fight to stay in a community that has welcomed them. Directed by Edward Lovelace, who spent four years with Lawand and his family in order to make the film. Ed immersed himself in the world of the deaf and learnt BSL. This powerful story shines a light on the importance of community and the power of finding your voice.
Steve Crump shared… ‘What stands out for DeafKidz International is that Lawand is representative of a generation of deaf children that have regretfully experienced the horrors of conflict in the Middle East and, today in countries like Ukraine, where we know deaf children are being traumatised by a war that is not theirs. Without access to communication, war is doubly horrific. Until the premiere of this movie at the BFI, I hadn’t seen Lawand since Dunkirk, but seeing his story on screen told me one thing. If we managed to make a difference to just one deaf kid, then this just about does it. Now for the rest’.
‘The Volunteer’ seen in the film is based on none other than our Founder Steve.
On 13th September 2023, we hosted an exclusive screening of “Name Me Lawand” with our friends at Chelsea and Westminster MediCinema.
It was a memorable evening with the film’s director, Edward Lovelace, and producer Fleur Nieddu, and our Founder Steve Crump (the ‘Volunteer”) who engaged in an insightful Q&A session led by DKI’s Honorary President, Rt. Hon. Lord Bruce.
The Q&A was a unique chance for our guests to delve into the documentary’s creation and the significance of bringing the deaf experience to the big screen.
We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to Chelsea and Westminster MediCinema for generously hosting this event.
Name me Lawand was released by BFI on the 7th of July 2023 and now available for viewing on the BFI website.
MediCinema improves the wellbeing and quality of life of NHS patients and their families through the power of the shared cinema experience and the magic of film. We create and operate cinemas inside hospitals, specially designed to accommodate beds, wheelchairs and medical equipment and we screen the latest films completely free of charge. Using this unique approach our cinema-based health programmes boost patient resilience, improving the emotional and physical impact of being in hospital. Find out more: https://medicinema.org.uk/
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