History Through Deaf Eyes – “Through Deaf Eyes” Filmmakers

Diane Garey

Diane Garey has had a distinguished career as a documentary and feature editor and producer. She edited and co-produced Wild By Law, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1992 and was broadcast as part of the American Experience series on PBS.

In 1997 she edited Divided Highways, winner of an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Programming, a George Foster Peabody Award, and Best Documentary at the New England Film Festival. She received the Humanities Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities in 1995.

Her recent writing and editing credits include:

  • Ohio:200 Years, a one-hour Ohio PBS special for the state’s bicentennial;
  • Imagining Robert, a one-hour film for APT national broadcast on PBS and the recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Outstanding Documentary of 2002 designation;
  • The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced, a two-hour film broadcast nationally on PBS in 2003;
  • Niagara Falls, which was broadcast nationally on PBS in July, 2006; and,
  • Through Deaf Eyes, for WETA-TV and national broadcast on PBS.

Lawrence R. Hott

Lawrence R. Hott has been producing documentary films since 1978, when he left the practice of law to join Florentine Films. His awards include an Emmy, two Academy Award nominations, a George Foster Peabody Award, five American Film Festival Blue Ribbons, ten CINE Golden Eagles, screenings at Telluride, and first-place awards from the San Francisco, Chicago, National Educational, and New England Film Festivals.

Hott was the Fulbright Fellow in Film and Television in the United Kingdom in 1994. He received the Humanities Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities in 1995; a Massachusetts Cultural Council/Boston Film and Video Foundation Fellowship in 2001; and the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in 2001.

He has been on the board of non-fiction writers at Smith College and has served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Massachusetts Cultural Commission, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. He is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In 2002-2003 Hott completed three films for PBS broadcast:

  1. the one-hour Imagining Robert: My Brother, Madness and Survival;
  2. the two-hour The Harriman Alaska Expedition Retraced, and
  3. the one-hour OHIO: 200 YEARS.

He has recently completed Niagara Falls for WNED-TV, Buffalo and PBS; Through Deaf Eyes for WETA-TV, Washington, D.C.; and Audubon: Drawn From Nature for American Master’s, Thirteen/WNET, New York.

Contributing filmmakers

Deaf Media artists and filmmakers were commissioned to create stories that add a personal sense of Deaf life in America to the film.

  • Wayne Betts, Jr.,Vital Signs
  • Kimby Caplan,Listen
  • Arthur Luhn,Destination Eyeth
  • Andrean Mangiardi,Equilibrium
  • Tracey Salaway,That’s My Marshmallow
  • Rene Visco ,Audism

Wayne Betts, Jr. honed his filmmaking skills at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, home to the largest deaf community in the United States. His short film, Rangeland Romances, demonstrates Bett’s ability to solve what he calls the major problem of deaf cinema, how to eliminate the restrictions of camera movement when working with signing actors.

The film uses creative angles, inspired facial movement, and a clever storyline to break tradition with most deaf films. His classic short,Mr. V., is a story of romance between two fingers of the left and two fingers of the right hands.

Headshot of Wayne Betts, Jr.

Kimby Caplan is an award winning avant-garde and documentary filmmaker whose work has screened at venues across the country, including the SXSW Film Festival and the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles.

Her latest film, LISTEN, received a 2005 Student Academy Award. She received her BFA in Film Studies at the University of Colorado in 1999, and her Master’s in Communications at Southern Methodist University in 2004. Currently she is an MFA candidate at the American Film Institute as a Cinematography Fellow.

Kimby is an up and coming independent filmmaker whose background in experimental and documentary film work as both a cinematographer and a documentarian has established strong, multi-faceted production skills.

Arthur Luhn, born deaf, was mainstreamed in high school and graduated from Boston University. His film, The Golden Legacy, is one of the few deaf, full-length, dramatic feature films to be released in recent years.

The film is an Indiana Jones-like thriller that uses sign language and fingerspelling to twist the plot. Luhn’s short classic Eyeth, a spoof on black and white silent films, demonstrates his skill at slapstick comedy.

Adrean Mangiardi, currently a student in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Film and Animation program, was first recognized for his 2003 film, Paper Airplane.

The film was an experimental documentary of his life as a deaf individual and the impact he had on his family. In 2005, the film won the Deaf Rochester Film Festival Student Honorable Mention Award. Adrean won the RIT School of Film and Animation Department Chair’s Award for his senior thesis film, The Calabrian & Otilde’s Feast in 2006.

Deaf since the age of one, Adrean grew up wearing hearing aids to communicate orally with his family. At 15, aware of his gradual hearing loss, he decided to obtain a cochlear implant and at 24, a second implant.

The bilateral implants offered a new ability to localize and differentiate sounds that were until then unknown to him. His personal experiences are the inspiration for Equilibrium.

Headshot of Adrean Mangiardi

Tracey Salaway was born deaf but her parents did not find out until she was three years old. She was educated in mainstream programs and did not start to sign until she attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

There she studied graphic and computer design. Her animated short films are lyrical, compelling stories that combine dreams and humor to convey aspects of the deaf experience.

Headshot of Tracey Salaway

Rene Visco was born in Pittsburgh, PA the eleventh child in a family of twelve. Fresh out of high school he enrolled in the Radio, Television and Film program at California State University and went on to complete his master’s in Electronic Media and Film from American University.

He has produced many video and film projects that demonstrate a rare ability to combine a poetic sensibility and humor with strong production values.

Through Deaf Eyes documentary

Through Deaf Eyes is a two-hour documentary that explores almost 200 years of Deaf life in America and presents a broad range of perspectives on what it means to be deaf. The film is propelled by the stories of people, both eminent and ordinary, and...

History Through Deaf Eyes

Resource Type: Archives & Exhibits