Charlie creates films about Deaf people and is inspired by his background as he is hard of hearing and grew up in a Deaf family, communicating through speech, lip-reading and sign language. The films are in response to the people, attitudes and issues he has experienced, using film as a medium for his way of telling a story that he could not tell through words alone.
What if a deaf man became an internationally famous porn star? Hands Solo is a comedic mockumentary about a deaf man who does just that - all because he is very, very good with his hands.
Through interviews, exclusive on-set access, archive film footage and rare, never-before-seen photographs, we spend 14 minutes exploring the rise to fame of a very unusual superstar.
At first, all is well - but when things take a nasty turn, Hands is forced to make some difficult choices...
By presenting a deaf man as a sexualised individual with a unique talent originating from his mode of communication, Hands Solo aims to be fresh, controversial and funny, giving the audience a glimpse into Hands' world of adult moviemaking.
The film owes its genesis to writer Charlie Swinbourne, who presented the first draft of the script to director William Mager on the first floor of the Crown and Two Chairmen pub in Soho, just after the Netherlands had exited Euro 2008. Right there and then, William knew he wanted to make the film.
18 months and several rewrites later...
For more information, click here
My Song is a coming of age story starring Lara Steward, which follows Ellen, a young deaf girl stuck in the middle of the deaf and hearing worlds.
Feeling as if she doesn't fit in, Ellen learns sign language, attempting to enter the deaf world by taking part in a sign song competition in London. However Ellen is about to find her journey far more difficult than she first thought.
This is scriptwriter Charlie Swinbourne's third collaboration with director William Mager, and marks a departure in their work from the comedies Hands Solo and The Fingerspellers.
Funded by the British Sign Language Trust (BSLBT), My Song is thought-provoking and reveals a hidden truth about the deaf community in Britain today.
The film premieres on the Community Channel and Film Four (on UK digital TV) on Monday 23rd May 2011. For full times, go to: http://bslbt.co.uk . It will be available in full online at http://www.bslbt.co.uk/programmes/
Watch a trailer of My Song
Tuesday 24th May
Wednesday 25th May and Thursday 26th May
Charlie is a scriptwriter, journalist and director creating work inspired by his background. He's partially deaf and grew up in a deaf family.
Two of Charlie's latest films will be shown at Upstream. The first is 2009′s UK Film Council funded mockumentary ‘‘Hands Solo,’ a mockumentary all about a deaf porn star who is extremely good with his hands! The second film is ‘My Song’, a more serious and thought-provoking half-hour drama about a girl who finds herself in the middle of the deaf and hearing worlds. Both films are directed by William Mager, a deaf director Charlie has collaborated with three times.
Charlie's past scriptwriting credits include the half-hour drama ‘Departure Lounge,’ (2009) which was directed by Louis Neethling, and was broadcast on the Community Channel and RTE One in Ireland. It was all about deaf friendship, featuring two deaf men in hospital, who discuss what a ‘deaf heaven’ would be like. Last year, he collaborated with William Mager on the comedy mini-series The Fingerspellers, which presented a deaf family as gangsters, (protecting themselves with their signing hands!), broadcast on digital TV and online.
In 2009, Charlie worked with Deafinitely Theatre to create the play 'Lipstick and Lollipops' which toured the UK and had a two-week run at London's Drill Hall. His first scriptwriting credits were on the YouTube hits ‘Coming Out’ (directed by Louis Neethling) and ’Four Deaf Yorkshiremen‘ (Charlie's directing debut). Together, the two films have had over 300,000 views.
As a journalist, Charlie has written for the Guardian in print and online, and has written a column for the BBC's Ouch website for three years. He has also contributed to Radio 4 programmes about deafness, and works in the arts for STAGETEXT.
Charlie's events: My Song & Hands Solo