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When deaf student Graces abandons the hearing world to live in an all-deaf commune, she is forced to question the morality of the life she has chosen – is this the utopia she’s always dreamed of, or a nightmare waiting to happen?

RETREAT is a thriller about identity and to what lengths people will go in order to fight for what they believe in. Grace, a deaf college dropout, has spent her life trying to fit in. In her first few weeks at university, a familiar isolation has taken hold. Then she meets Ben, a deaf man, who introduces her to ‘the village’, a deaf-only commune situated in countryside, miles from anywhere. A place where sign language is the only language, a place where she can be herself. Grace drops out of her studies to join the commune.  She thinks she has found her utopia. But she then discovers the shocking lengths that the founders will go to protect their way of life from the outside world…

The Team

Ted Evans (Writer/Director)

Ted Evans is one of the UK’s leading deaf filmmakers. His short film THE END, charting the introduction of a ‘treatment’ for the deaf has won eight international awards. After winning the Ben Steiner bursary, Ted went on to make his second short film, RETREAT, which has currently won seven international awards.

He has made a number of TV programmes through BBC See Hear and the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust and he directed and co-wrote the Paralympic Opening Ceremony film LOOK UP. Through his company Defeye Films Ted makes corporate films for clients such as Merrill Lynch, Ernst & Young, Graeae Theatre Company and others.

You can watch the trailer for the award-winning short film RETREAT below.

Alex Usborne (Producer)

Alex Usborne has produced 11 feature films including THE ACID HOUSESEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL, I AM BREATHING, SPECIAL PEOPLE and NOTES ON BLINDNESS winning over 25 international awards.

He has made TV drama winning the Prix Italia, RTS awards, an EMMY and a BAFTA nomination. He has produced eight documentary films from his home City of Sheffield including the multi award winning documentary feature film TALES FROM A HARD CITY.

He currently runs 104 films – the world leaders in disability cinema – who have made 7 feature films and 65 short films driven by disabled film talent.

Michelle Eastwood (Producer)

Michelle is an NFTS graduate and BAFTA nominated producer currently working across features, TV, shorts and branded content, She runs Escape Films and has projects in development with organisations such as the BFI, Aardman, Sky and Creative England.

Michelle’s first feature film as sole producer was BIFA winning IN OUR NAME, which was released in cinemas in the UK and in the US. She was a co-producer on the UK hit SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL and is currently casting BUMMER, a brit-listed, BFI backed feature with Tim Kirkby (MY MAD FAT DIARYVEEP) attached to direct.

Michelle has produced numerous award-winning shorts that have played in competition in A-list festivals like Cannes as well as being picked up for online distribution by Vice. She has also produced content for major brands such as Samsung, Sony and NVIDIA and charities including Teach First.