Birthing a Genre
This film introduces the world to "deaf ethnographic film," a new kind of documentary film. Unlike typical documentaries about deaf people, these films do not use written scripts or voiceovers. Instead, they focus on showing the real-life experiences of deaf people who communicate through sign languages. The deaf filmmakers behind these movies take a specific approach: they first do in-depth and long term ethnographic research, then they film real events, and then carefully choose how to put these scenes together following data analysis, without following a pre-written story. This style comes from the MobileDeaf project, which has produced eight films. These films let stories and themes naturally emerge from the real-life experiences they capture. The MobileDeaf project is thus not just about showing what was found in research; it is also about trying new ways of making films.