DeafMovies.org: a list of films in ASL & other Sign Languages
- Full length films in ASL
- Other works (poetry, documentaries, and selected short films)
- Film Festivals
- Films in English with some ASL
- Films in other sign languages (Al-Sayyid Bedouin, Australian, Brazilian, British,
Chinese, Dutch, German, Greek, Finnish, French, Indian, Italian, Japanese, South
African/Swazi, Russian, and Taiwanese)
- Miscellaneous ASL film resources
Since 2005 I've slowly compiled a list of all the feature-length
ASL films I can find, along with a selection of short films, Deaf film festivals, and films in other Deaf
Please enjoy, and send me comments, additions,
or corrections anytime.
(deafmovies (@) johnlubotsky (.) com)
Full-length films in ASL:
- Siobhan (Cody Clarke, in pre-production) "modern day romantic comedy-drama in a similar vein to Woody Allen’s classic New York films. It tells the story of a reclusive Deaf woman in her mid-20‘s who lives alone in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and hermits herself from the world, from happiness, and from love. She will be played by renowned Deaf theatre actress Tami Lee Santimyer."
- The Gift (Alexander Genievsky, 2011) "Boy meets girl, they fall in love, crisis arises and happy ending ensues complicated by deafness, insensitivity to individual challenges and saved by personal sacrifice."
- Interface (Chantal Deguire, 2011) The "first ASL Feature in Canada" - sci-fi fantasy, with a great trailer.
- Austin Unbound (Eliza Greenwood, 2011) "a rite of passage documentary
about a Deaf female to male transsexual"
- Gerald (Mark Wood/ASL Films Productions, 2010) "...portrays the story of a young deaf couple who suddenly needs to deal with the groom-to-be's grandfather who is both deaf and autistic."
- The Heart of The Hydrogen Jukebox (Miriam Lerner, 2009) Two hour documentary examining ASL poetry in the 80s and 90s. (Library)
- Lexie Cannes (Tom Bertling, 2009) 70 mins. Thriller about a deaf woman being stalked.
- See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary (Hilari Scarl, 2009) (Library)
- The Caretaker (Mösdeux, 2009)
- The Deaf Family (Chad Taylor, 2008) "a movie sitcom that follows a family from job-hunting to pyramid money-making schemes, holier-than-thou pretentious people to obnoxious 'grassroots' folks."
- Universal Signs (Ann Calamia, 2008) "a modern silent film ... captioned for the hearing"
- The Legend of the Mountain Man (ASL Films Productions, 2008?) One of 5 full-length films by this company - also "Wrong Game", "Forget Me Not", "Black Sand", and "Gerald".
- The "A" Word (Laura Harvey, 2006) 80 mins. "a Deaf version of 'The L Word.' 10
women with different stories, whether it be sad, funny, serious or romantic,
that are sure to bring laughter and tears. Film signed in ASL only."
- A Permanent Grave (Wayne Betts, Jr.) "a drama about a high school teacher who makes a grave mistake that could turn his life upside-down."
- Soda Stories (in open development) "a commentary
about how it is for people with Deaf siblings."
- Dr. Hand (Gary Brooks, 2005) a fantasy/adventure from Blue Apple Productions (Library)
- Pinky Tells
the Real Story (Pinky Aiello, 2005) Comedy and the inside scoop
about videophone & Video
- Keychain (Rene
- Listen To The Hands Of Our People (Ann Marie Bryan/DeafVision Filmworks, 2004, ©1994) A documentary about seven Deaf people living with AIDS. (Library)
- What Are You..Deaf? (CJ Jones, 2004)
No Hand-Me Downs (Tactile Mind Press, 2004) Full-length documentary about Nathie Marbury,
comedian and storyteller. (Library)
- Passion of Words Turning Into Action: A Black Deaf Filmmaker's Journey (Ann Marie Bryan/Deaf Vision Filmworks, 2004) (Library)
- Guy Wonder: Stories and Artwork (2003) Stories and conversations with Deaf artist Guy Wonder. (Library)
- The Golden Legacy (Arthur
- No Talking Allowed (Matt Daigle & Yoon Lee, 2003)
- On and off stage: the Bruce Hlibok story (Jade Films, 2002) "A documentary film about the late famed provocative Deaf theater artist."
- I Love You, But (Peter Wolf, 1998) - A hilarious classic comedy/love story.
- The Key (Key Films, 1996) "An American Sign Language adaptation of the Eudora Welty short story in which a woman and man who are travelling from Louisiana to Niagra Falls for different reasons meet a drifter who has the power to help or hinder them." (Library)
- Think Me Nothing (Peter Wolf, 1975)
- Deafula (Peter Wolf, 1976) (Library)
Other works in ASL:
- Gallaudet (Ryan Commerson, 2010) Short film highlighting Gallaudet University.
- Re-Defining D-E-A-F (Ryan Commerson, 2008) 38 mins. "A public proposal on the means to create significant social change."
- Deaf Man Walking: Writing the biographies of two living legends (NTID, 2008) 51 mins. "Harry Lang speaks on the experience of writing the biographies of two men who have taught at NTID, Robert Davila and Robert Panara." (Library)
- The Blue Box (2008) - directed by D. Lance Pickett, a short detective thriller (with a great preview!) (Library)
- The Deaf Man (2008) - a "thought-provoking short movie"
- You Neutral? (2008) - "As deaf and hard-of-hearing people roll forth in life, they experience much. And yet, many prefer to stay neutral. This video shows the clear contrast between such attitudes and what's going on."
- The Rosa Lee Show (2008) - A Deaf one-woman show featuring original storytelling, video skits, poetry, & music.
- Through Deaf
Eyes (PBS, 2007) A well-produced and entertaining documentary about the history of Deaf culture in America. (Library)
- Audism Unveiled (Benjamin Bahan, H-Dirksen L. Bauman, & Facundo Montenegro, 2006) (Library)
- Exodus: A Deaf Jewish Family Escapes the Holocaust (Patti Durr/NTID, 2006) 25 mins. "A short documentary about the Wiener/Rattner family's flight from Nazi occupied Austria and their detainment on Ellis Island."
- Reflections of a Black Deaf Woman (2006) 95 mins. Michelle Banks one-woman show "reveals the hardships and triumphs of two strong African-American women that speak to the human condition and the search for love and understanding."
- Twelfth Night (Peter Novak, 2006) A "stellar cast of Deaf actors" performing the Shakespeare classic.
- Vital Signs (Mösdeux, 2006) 4
mins. "A short story about a character who was told he has a terminal
heart condition with only one week left to live....The film is an experiment
to show that American Sign Language (ASL) is a cinematic language." (Library)
- 20th Century Chicago Stories
- Deaf Lives and Experiences (2005) - Interviews that preserve and
tell the stories and histories of the Chicago Deaf community.
- Til Domestic Violence Do Us Part (Mösdeux, 2005) 20 mins. An educational film about domestic violence. (Library)
- Rangeland Romances (Wayne Betts Jr., 2004)
"The best and the most hilarious deaf short film to come by in a long,
- Other films by Wayne Betts, Jr.
- The G Files - (1999-2005)
TV series by Gary Brooks
- Deaf Way II - Opening Celebration and A Visual Anthology (2004) "Two unique views of the diverse events at Deaf Way II, July 2002 at Gallaudet"
- No Talking Allowed - Silence Speaks for Love (Yoon Lee & Matt Daigle/CSD-TV, 2003) 45 mins. Romantic comedy. (Library)
- Manny ASL (2002)
- storytelling by Manny Hernandez
- Two Worlds Apart (CSD-TV, 2002) 25 mins. "A cutting-edge Thriller" (Library)
- You Think Deaf People Have
Problems? (Angela Stratiy, 1999) "..a one-woman comedy show on
her humorous perspectives on hearing people" (Library)
- United States of
ASL - Poetry and Other Tales (Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner/The Flying
Words Project, 1998) (Library)
Treasure (1995) - and other Poems by Ella Mae Lentz - a varied and
powerful collection of poems, both older works translated from English
and more recent ones composed in ASL.
Krauel: A Profile of a Deaf Filmmaker (1995)
Poetry - Selected works of Clayton Valli (1995)
in Motion (1989)
- "These Deaf artists (Clayton Valli, Debbie Rennie, & Patrick
Graybill) offer a unique and rare glimpse into the heart of
the American Deaf community. The format of each tape allows the poet to
discuss certain aspects of the creative process and how the material is
selected and developed." (Library)
not even the rain, has such small hands (1995) 15 mins. - A transliteration
of the E.E. Cummings love poem.
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1995, 1 hr. episodes)
- "Someone She Loved" & "Look at Me So I Can Hear You" (1995) - short films
by Dawn Skwersky
- Charles Krauel: A Profile of a Deaf Filmmaker (Ted Supella/Dawn Pictures, 1994) "...recaptures a thriving American Deaf community in the first half of the twentieth century." (Library)
- Laurent Clerc 1785-1869 (1995) (Library)
- The Los Angeles Club of the Deaf Story (1993) 30 mins. (Library)
- See What I'm Saying (Thomas Kaufman, 1992) "This ... documentary follows Patricia, a deaf child from a hearing, Spanish-speaking family, through her first year at the Kendall Elementary School of Gallaudet University"
- Sharing Secrets (1991)
directed by Don Bangs, written by Linda M. Franchi - "This serious but heart-warming
drama demonstrates how deaf youth can end the isolation of sexual abuse
that often destroys their self-esteem."
- Language landscape: a presentation of deaf performance art (Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, 1988) 30 mins. "American sign-language performances ... by Mary Beth Miller, Musign, ... Sam Supalla, storyteller Ben Behan, and ASL poet Ella Mae Lentz" (Library)
Preservation of American Sign Language - Portions of eight films made in the early 1900's (Library)
- Signmark - Hiphop and rap group headed by Marko Vuoriheimo, performs
in ASL and Finnish Sign Language
- Perlis Films - MICA Runway Models 2006, Golly Gee Giant, and other short films by Jennifer Perlis "introducing ... aspects of D/deaf culture to a larger audience"
- Jolanta Lapiak -
diverse short multimedia and video works
- Seattle Deaf Film Festival - Seattle, WA - Aprile 1-3rd, 2016 (Deadline for Submissions: October 31, 2015)
- Irish Deaf Film Festival - Kilkenny, Ireland - October 12-14th 2012
- Deaffest Film and Television Festival - Wolverhampton, UK - May 25-27, 2012
- Maine Deaf Film Festival - April 13-14, 2012
- DC Deaf Film Festival - Washington, DC - Spring, 2012
- 2nd Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival - February 24-26, 2012
- India Deaf Film Festival - New Delhi, India - December 3-4, 2011
- Flagstaff Deaf Film Festival - Flagstaff, AZ - October 8, 2011 (Deadline for Submissions: August 15, 2011)
- Deaf In The Picture - Amsterdam, Netherlands - June 23-26, 2011
- Toronto International Deaf Film & Arts Festival - May 12-15, 2011
- Deaf Short Film Festival New Zealand -Christchurch, New Zealand - May 6-8, 2011
- Deaf Rochester Film Festival -
Rochester, NY - March 31-April 3, 2011
- WORLDEAF Cinema Festival - Gallaudet University - November 4-7, 2010
- 2nd International Film Festival of the Deaf - Milan, Italy- October 30-31, 2010
- 2nd Festival of Short Films, Barcelona - September 18, 2010
- Show Me Deaf Film Festival - October 1-3, 2009
- Northern California Deaf Film Festival - Fremont, CA - June 5-6, 2009
- Berkeley Deaf Film Festival - Berkeley, CA - Feb 21-23, 2003 (time for another one!)
Films in English with significant use of ASL (or other Sign Language):
- Dummy Jim (Matt Hulse, in production) "based on James Duthie's inspiring solo cycling trip (from Scotland) to the Arctic Circle in 1951."
- Conned (EyethFilms, 2010)
- The Hammer (Oren Kaplan, 2010) "A true story based on the life of deaf UFC fighter Matt Hamill ...a sports drama depicting the struggles and successes Matt faces on the way to becoming a champion."
- There Will Be Blood (2007) A violent and brilliantly disturbing movie; the protagonist's late-deafened son is minor part of the plot, but I'm including it for realistic depiction of interpretation, and touching signed marriage vows.
- Dummy Hoy - A Deaf Hero (2007) Documentary about the first Deaf major
league baseball player. (Library)
- Love is Deaf (2005)
- "..an impossible love story about two broken hearts separated by
language but brought together by their otherness."
- A Lot Like Love (2005) - A really sweet and fun movie. The male lead
has a deaf brother, who is portrayed as a real person who just
happens to be deaf.
- The Family Stone (2005)
- Speakeasy (2002)
- After Image (2001)
- Signs of Us (2000)
- Sound and Fury (2000) - powerful documentary on cochlear implants
- Compensation (1999)
- Dead Silence (1997) - does this one belong here?
- Breaking Through (1996)
- Mr. Holland's Opus (1995)
- Bridge to Silence (1989)
- Children of a Lesser God (1986)
- A speech teacher at a Deaf school falls in love with a janitor, Marlee
Matlin. Deserving of the Academy Award.
- Love is Never Silent - (1985) "Set in the depression, somewhere in the east coast, and during WWII. lovely story ... a LOT of labor and class politics happening"
- A Summer to Remember (1985) - bitter deaf boy befriended by signing chimp.
- And Your Name is Jonah (1979)
- The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968)
- Johnny Belinda (1948)
- Out of the Past (1947)
- You'd Be Surprised (1926) - "a Victor/Victoria-esque Deaf role where [Granville] Redmond, a Deaf man, played a Hearing man pretending to be a Deaf man in order to provide the plot twist."
Films in other sign languages:
(includes ABSL, Auslan, BSL, CSL, DGS, INS, LSF, LIBRAS, LSI, NGT,
FSE, JSL, RSL, SFS, TSL)
Other ASL film resources:
- Sign Gene (JSL, ASL, Japanese and English, "and a bit of LIS", Emilio Insolera, 2010/post-production?)
- Ting shuo ("Hear Me" - TSL and Mandarin Chinese, 2009) also on Youtube with English subtitles
- The Lost Reels (BSL, Matthew Humphreys, 2009) 5 mins. Short experimental film: "Mervyn is deaf and has recently become blind. The lifecycle of a butterfly, memories and the simple act of making a cup of tea are entwined to articulate his experience."
- Discovering: Shaktura (2009) Documentary about homeless deaf and disabled children in Calcutta.
- Voices From El-Sayed (Al-Sayyid Bedouin SL, Oded Adomi Leshem, 2009) 74 mins. Documentary on the Bedouin village of Al-Sayyid. (Library)
- L'enfance Sourde (Brigette Lemaine, French & French SL, 2008) (Library)
- Dragon People (ASL & Chinese SL, 2006) "follows Louise Gibson, a deaf British photographers traveling through China where she photographs the lives of multi-generational deaf people as they cope with a rapidly changing world."
- Black (English, Hindi, Indian SL, 2005) "A classic Helen Keller plot, with the protagonist teaching a deaf-blind child."
- Kalle (Swedish SL?, 2005) "A young man has been murdered. An investigator questions the man's mother and her boyfriend. All parts are played by Joakim Hagelin Adeby." (Library)
- Nectar (Liz Crow, English and British SL, 2005) "Set in 1931, 'Nectar'
is about the journey of a young Deaf lad towards a language of his own.
It's made in a combination of British Sign Language (contemporary and 1931)
and spoken English ...available on DVD with BSL interpretation, captions/subtitles
and audio description"
- Dietro il mondo 2 ("Beyond
the World 2" Daniele Le Rose, Italian SL, 2005/post-production) "a
fiction depicting the everyday life for Deaf students in Padova"
2 My Deaf World (English and Australian SL, 2005) "This story of
two teenagers on the edge of change is really the saga of what it means
to be deaf in contemporary Australia." (Library)
- Svadba tishiny ("Wedding
of Silence", Pavel
Medvedev, Russian SL, 2004)
- Entrevista Com o Surdo Gay (Brazilian
- Dear Frankie (English
and British SL, 2004 ) Mostly in English, but a wonderful movie, so for
the moment i'll include it here
- Hello Sweet Baby - (Nenio Mbazima of Deafpower
Productions, Johannesburg, South African/Swazi SL? with English subs,
2004) 114 mins. "The purpose of the film is teach(ing) teenagers both Deaf
and hearing about the dangers of rushing to sex and early pregnancy."
- Auto-Film (2003) (Library)
- Words of Silence (Greek SL, Lucia Rikaki, 2002) 74 min. Documentary on Deaf life and culture in Greece.
- Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit ("Land of Silence and Darkness" Werner Herzog, German and German SL, 1971)
- Versteend verdriet ("Petrified
Sorrow", Mieke Julien, Dutch SL, Dutch? & English?, 2002) "The
story of one Dutch Jewish family's experiences during World War II."
- Stille Liebe ("Secret
Love", German & German SL, 2001)
- Wu sheng de
he ("Silent River", Ning Jingwu, Mandarin and Chinese
SL, 2001) "Beautifully
shot with the same unique sensibility that pervades the films of compatriots
Zhang Yimou and Chen Kaige, 'Silent River' tells the poetic and lyrical
tale of a group of deaf students and the friendship they form with their
tutor in the search for personal happiness." (Library)
ja yhdeksän ihmettä ("Aino and Her Nine Miracles", Vesa Saarinen,
- Jenseits der Stille ("Beyond
Silence", German SL & German, 1996) (Library)
il Mondo ("Beyond
the World", Daniele Le Rose, Italian SL, 2004)
- Reservoir Wolves (2001,
British SL) 10 mins.
- Ai rabu yû ("I
Love You" 1999, Japanese SL & Japanese) - directed by Yutaka Osawa
and Akihiro Yonaiyama
- Journey of the Deaf (Avy Hemy, 2000) - "Two Deaf actors from a deaf
theater troupe leave their families in Israel for the first time to participate
in an international puppet festival (in Cuba.) There they meet with the
community of the deaf, the Palestinian community, musicians, dance troupes
and theater companies, as well as the average Cuban on the street. While
they revel in the splendor of the encounter with Cuban culture, the journey
turns into a search for human contact."
- Journeys (Claudia Kappenberg, English
and British SL, 2000)
- Piao liang ma ma ("Breaking
the Silence", Mandarin, 1999) - a Chinese mother's attempts to give
an oral education to her deaf son. It doesn't seem, then, to belong on this
list, but i'm leaving it here for now as a rare? deaf-themed Chinese film. (Library)
- Marianna Ucrìa (Italian
and Italian SL?, 1997)
je vous regarde ("Look
at Me, I Look at You", Brigitte Lemaine, French SL, 1996) - "Homage in form of a poem to
Japanese photographer Koji Inoue, told in sign language by a deaf actor,
- Sourds à l'image (French
and French SL, 1995)
of Silence (English & British SL??, 1993?) - part of Desmond Wilcox' "The
Visit" series of documentaries
sourds, témoins silencieux ("Deaf
Witnesses, Silent Witnesses", Brigitte Lemaine and Stéphane
Gatti, French, 2000) - also see an in-depth
- Le pays de sourds ("In
the Land of the Deaf", French SL & French, 1992) - excellent documentary
on deaf school life in France
Speak Louder Than Words (British SL, 1992, 22 mins.) "Six deaf
performers--three women, three men--are brought together to devise staged
pieces on the intersection of gay and deaf cultures, and the highly politicized
nature of both."
- Les mains
du sourd (French and French SL, 1988)
- Koshish (Gulzar, Hindi
and Indian SL, 1972) "..a landmark movie in the history of Indian cinema
...about a deaf and mute couple and their conflicts, pain and struggle to
carve out a niche for themselves in a desensitized society, sees perhaps
the finest acting by any lead pair in the entire course of 125 years of
- Verkannte Menschen (in
German SL, with German subtitles?, 1932)
- Sprechende Hände (David
Gertrud, German SL, 1925) Documentary about deaf life in Germany?