Film & Cinema5th September 2014

Dream to Screen Deaf Finalist - William Horsefield

One of five entrants in the final William will be jetting off to LA if he wins the competition

by Sarah Lawrence

How old must you be to have a chance of being considered  inspirational? I only ask because in 19 years old William Horsefield, I believe we have an inspirational young man, not just in his own Deaf community, but in life generally. Profoundly Deaf, William is determined to reach to the stars, and as an award winning filmmaker already, this 19 years old is within a stones throw of winning a big prize that could see him jetting off to Hollywood to see learn from best.

A cochlear implant wearer, William has reached the final stages of the Dream to Screen competition that is run by the Cineworld Foundation and Media Trust with support from the Jack Petchey Foundation. Aimed at 16 to 25 year olds, the competition is open to anyone to submit a short inspirational film, and with 500 entries, getting into the final 5 is already an incredible achievement for William. With a fighting chance of winning the top prize, I asked William what had inspired him to start making films.

“When I was little and went to the cinema to watch the film called 'Mission to Mars' in 2000, the film amazed me, so I asked myself whether I could make a film like that,” William told me. “The person who inspires me is James Cameron because of his quote, ‘Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you're a director. Everything after that, you're just negotiating your budget and your fee.’ This motivated me to make more films and use my talent to be the best as soon as I can.”

The competition aims to give youngsters the chance for their work to be recognised and to be mentored, giving them an opportunity to plot a path into the film industry. For William the opportunity could be life changing, “I have not been working in the film industry before, but when I became a Dream To Screen finalist, I could get the chance to learn new experiences from the filming industry mentor. Dame Helen Mirren, a judge in the competition, saw my bright future and has given me the chance to launch my new career.”

This is not the first filmmaking competition William has done well in. Previously, he has been a two-time winner of the Young Deaffest Award with his films, I Wont Do That Again and The Battery Battler, but achieving first place in the Dream to Screen competition will provide a significant launching pad for his career.

William hopes that his film entry, Welcome to the Deaf World,   which tells the story about something terrible happening to a youngster who has been bullying a Deaf boy, will capture people’s imagination, as it is the on-line viewing public who will decide the winner.

Along with the four other finalists Onysha Collins, George O’Regan. Callum Costello and Sarah Grant, William was given up to £2000, film equipment and access to film maker Basi Akpabio to help make the film, which has been available to the viewing public since the 1st September. Viewers are encouraged to visit the Dream to Screen website and vote for whichever film they think is the best. Of course, being a deaf magazine, we hope that all of the deaf community get behind William and vote for his entry to give him a great opportunity to pursue his passion for film. You can register and then vote at

Setting out boldly on his new path, I asked William what advice he would give to other deaf youngsters. “I want to show other deaf people that young deaf can do anything, and that everything is possible, despite deafness. You must believe in yourself and be patient, keep polishing your talent so that you get better and better.”

We wish William every success and hoe that the public get him behind and get voting. The winner will be announced on the 28th October, with the winning film then being shown in Cineworld cinemas across the UK. William will then learn whether his ambitions, “to get an Oscar and prove to the world that deaf people can be successful”, will get off to a flying start, straight to LA and into Hollywood.

If you would like to support William through social media you can follow him on Twitter at ‪@W1994Horsefield

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Entertainment / Film & Cinema

5th September 2014