Expired April 30, 2021 6:59 AM
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Feeling Through is the first film to feature a DeafBlind actor in a lead role. It is a coming-of-age story that follows Tereek, a kind but guarded teen, wandering the streets of New York, desperate for a place to crash, and his encounter with Artie, a DeafBlind man in need of help getting home. 

What begins as an awkward meeting between strangers quickly becomes an intimate bond between friends and a nightlong journey that forever changes Tereek. Ultimately, Artie’s empathy inspires Tereek to realize he possesses the inner strength to confront his challenges.

Director’s Statement: Doug Roland

While on my way home late one evening in August 2011 in New York City, I encountered a man standing on a deserted street corner holding a sign that read, “I am deaf and blind and need help crossing the street.” Over the next hour, I got to know this man, Artemio, while we sat and waited for his bus. He’d write in his notebook and I’d respond by tracing letters on his palm. When his bus finally arrived, Artemio and I embraced, and his warmth was so genuine that I felt like I was saying goodbye to a dear friend. 

Artemio left a lasting impression on me, not merely because he was the first DeafBlind person I had ever met, but, even more so, because he was a kind, charismatic person with whom I felt a mutual bond. I was immediately inspired to write Feeling Through, about the unlikely connection between a teen in need and a DeafBlind man, but it would be seven years until I aligned with the Helen Keller National Center (HKNC), a partnership that allowed me to tell this story with the authenticity it deserves. 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with HKNC to learn about the community and to cast a DeafBlind actor (a film history first). Ultimately, though, Feeling Through is not a film about DeafBlindness. The sum total of Feeling Through—and the powerful experiences and meaningful relationships that created it—comes down to a simple understanding: our capacity to connect transcends our differences.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    19 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
  • Note
    Captions for accessibility.
  • Director
    Doug Roland
  • Screenwriter
    Doug Roland
  • Producer
    Doug Roland, Susan Ruzenski, Phil Newsom, Luis Augusto Figueroa
  • Executive Producer
    Marlee Matlin, Andrew Carlberg, Jack Jason, DJ Lampitt
  • Cast
    Steven Prescod, Robert Tarango
  • Cinematographer
    Eugene Koh
  • Editor
    Doug Roland
  • Music
    Daniel Ryan