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 Award winning filmmaker captures University honour 


A deaf producer and director who specialises in making films in sign language has been recognised for his glittering career by the University of Wolverhampton. 

Louis Neethling is an award-winning filmmaker whose nearly 30-year career has included directing the world’s first ever deaf soap, ‘Young & Speechless’.  

Louis was presented with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by the University on Friday, 17 September 2021.  

Louis said: “This personal recognition from the University of Wolverhampton can also be seen as a validation for all deaf people who work in media, and of our language and culture too.” 

Louis Neethling is an award-winning director who started out in 1993 at South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) as a researcher and presenter. In 1997, Louis directed ‘Young & Speechless’, the world’s first ever deaf soap for the SABC. From 2001 to 2007, Louis was an Assistant Producer/Director at the BBC, working on See Hear, the continuing drama series Switch, Crimewatch and the Holiday programme.  

Louis left the BBC to set up his own company Mutt & Jeff Pictures (MJP) with a view to making programmes in British Sign Language with deaf talent both in front of and behind the camera. 

MJP has made numerous award-winning dramas and documentaries which includes the first ever multi-camera sign language sitcom, Small World. 

MJP is most proud of employing deaf talent on productions, and training and giving opportunities to future deaf talent.  

Louis has spent his career encouraging and developing deaf talent all over the world: as a staff member of a deaf summer camp, teaching filmmaking workshops, leading an Into Film sponsored course at a deaf school, and contributing to educational projects at the University of Wolverhampton.  

The University of Wolverhampton graduation ceremonies are taking place at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton from Thursday 9 September - Friday 17 September 2021. 

The 17 ceremonies will see over 3,000 students who completed their studies in 2020 collect their awards. 

It is the first time the University has held a graduation ceremony since December 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.   

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

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