“A hilarious sitcom about a dysfunctional deaf family.”
Those are words guaranteed to stop traffic. But they’re not pulled from a skit on “Saturday Night Live,” nor are they meant to be offensive.
What they describe is a short, family-friendly comedy film created specifically for the hard of hearing and deaf community. “The Deaf Family” is filmed in American Sign Language.
It’s also voiced-over and close-captioned for hearing audience members and people who don’t sign.
“A movie completely in ASL is a unique thing,” said Greg Camp. He’s director of Virginia operations for Sign Language Associates, which will present the Virginia premiere of “The Deaf Family” Sunday in conjunction with Hands On VRS.
The Deaf Performing Arts Network originally filmed an ASL drama, “A Permanent Grave,” so this year it went the sitcom route. Both were written by DJ Kurs and made by Mosdeux, a California-based production company.
“The Deaf Family” focuses on a deaf family whose members always run into trouble when they try something new.
Eventually, they realize that accepting their own identities will help others accept them.
Sign Language Associates and Hands On VRS are calling the event a “Purple Carpet Premiere.”
Marketing to deaf communities has to be visual, Camp explains. So the color purple is a visual key.
“And yes,” he adds, laughing, “I am looking for a purple carpet.”
Tickets to the event at Virginia Historical Society are limited to 400. Reservations are required by visiting hovrs.carryonpr.com, where you can register and print out your own ticket.
An interpreter is also being provided by the Virginia Association of the DeafBlind to ensure the film is a visual experience for people who have trouble hearing and seeing.
Attendees will learn about the latest in communication software as well.
“The technology baffles me,” Camp says. But, he said, it will change people’s lives.
Meryl here: Hope to see it on DVD soon.