The Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has shortlisted Whirlpool for the Inspiration Award in the third annual Research in Film Awards. The judges had the demanding task of whittling down the shortlist across five categories to only 25 films, with winners awarded in November at the home of BAFTA.
Whirlpool was shortlisted due to their extensive research about Helen Keller and her global impact and accurate telling of that research, the portrayal of blind- and/or deaf-ness in media, as well as the research and development of a 3D tactile interface technology allowing for people who primarily use their tactile sense to better experience 2D media. This technology is in the R&D stage with plans to be launched with developers from the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College when Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon create the feature film about Helen Keller.
AHRC committee describes Whirlpool's selection:
"Whirlpool was selected by the judges for being a beautifully made film with very high production values. One of the judge’s commented that [Whirlpool] is an exceptional short film that adopts Arts and Humanities methods and attempts to portray not only a factual and historical encounter, but also engages the audience in Helen Keller’s experience.”
Kate Baxter and Elizabeth Dixon (Whirlpool creators), had this to say about the nomination:
"We are honoured that our film about a moment in Helen Keller's adult life, Whirlpool, has been shortlisted for the AHRC's Research in Film Awards. The recognition of the AHRC brings weight and attention to our research of Helen Keller, authentic portrayals of disability on screen, and the technology we are developing with the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College to address novel ways to communicate 2D media through tactile interfaces."
See the full list of shortlisted films here.