Toby Smith

‘Talk With Your Hands’ – Communicating Across the Sensory Spectrum

Film Premiere:
October 24th – Cambridge Arts Picture House
38-39 St Andrew’s Street, CB2 3AR

Then Available
October 25-30 – Espresso Library
210 East Road, CB1 1BG

An experimental film that explores and separates language into multiple sensory, neuroscience and linguistic perspectives of sign, speech and gesture. Layered animation and interviews with scientists work alongside insightful interviews and poetry from deaf and blind contributors.

Sign language (a visual language) has the capacity to render meaning in a nonlinear or simultaneous manner. This is distinguished from spoken language, which is linear (one word at a time). We hope to exploit the “language” of film to represent these concepts in a similarly simultaneous way, for instance by showing a person using sign language juxtaposed with spoken and written text.

Direction and Concept
Craig Pearson – Julio Chenchen Song – Toby Smith

Camera, Sound and Edit
Toby Smith

Zhimo Xu – “Leaving Cambridge”

Voiced by
Bihe Chen

Sign poetry and iconic sign by
Nadia Nadarajah – interpreted by Ali Gordon

Contributions by
Dr. Matt Davis
Hayden Dahmm
Louise Stern – voiced by Helsa Borinstein
Dr. Víctor Acedo-Matellán

Thanks to
Rachel Kolb – Alexa Montgomery – Deepa Shastri

‘Cambridge Shorts’ gives researchers the opportunity to collaborate with film-makers and produce creative, accessible and engaging films.

The project was coordinated by the University of Cambridge Public Engagement Team and supported by Wellcome Trust ISSF.