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'Little Voices'

Wednesday 4th August, 2010

David Bower and the film makers for Little Voice look at the script

Deaf actor David Bower is to take the lead in a film written and produced by students at a Welsh university. Little Voices, is the story of an isolated deaf man struggling to cope with the loss of his partner. Wrexham-born David Bower, who played David in Four Weddings, said many movie scripts tackling deafness and disability were "well meaning pap", but he said the student film was "unsentimental and uncompromising".

Bower added: "To me it is a strong metaphorical description of the semantic divide between deaf and hearing people and explores an interesting area of human perception and communication.

"The script is edgy, punky and gritty, and from an acting point of view should be fun to do."

Little Voices is the product of careful research into pre-linguistic deafness by three postgraduate film students, from the University of Glamorgan, which is a lead partner in Screen Academy Wales.

The postgraduate crew aim to work closely with members of the deaf community and hope to film in local schools to increase awareness of hearing impediments.

Co-producer Chris Colton said: "It is essential that young people are made aware of hearing impediments. Having David on board has allowed us to consider other further options when preparing the film for its release, and we hope it will inspire younger deaf people to produce films for the future."

Mr Colton sent Bower about the script after contacting him through his company Signdance Collective. He said Bower told them that of the many scripts he has read about deaf people, Little Voices was the best.

The professional will juggle several commitments to star in the film, including his role as creative director of the international dance, music and theatre company, Signdance Collective.

Bower's most recent project is the development of accessible radio plays for the deaf and hearing impaired with BBC Radio 4.

The micro-budget film, written by Chris McFall, will extra funding and the use of HD cameras from Screen Academy Wales.

Academy manager Hannah Raybould said: "Having read the script, we were impressed with the way Chris had portrayed the complexities of deafness from the perspective of a deaf person.

"The academy's contribution is designed to boost production values and we look forward to a well-crafted and sensitive piece."

Shooting is taking place throughout August and the film is due for completion next February.

Mr Colton said: "We plan to organise several local showings of the film in south Wales before entering it into the film festival circuit."