UnLonely Film Festival 6

Feeling Through

A late-night encounter on a New York City street leads to a profound connection between a teen-in-need and a DeafBlind man.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

“While on my way home late one evening 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 to me in his notebook and I’d respond by tracing words one letter at a time on his palm. When his bus finally arrived, Artemio and I embraced with the kind of warmth reserved for an old friend.

It was notable that Artemio was the first DeafBlind person I had ever met, but it was his kindness, charisma, and the bond we formed that evening that left a lasting impression on me. Shortly after this experience I wrote Feeling Through, 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 in a leading role (a film history first). Ultimately, Feeling Through is about the power of human connection despite whatever differences we may have.

Feeling Through is often screened alongside a companion documentary and panel discussion at institutions, and schools around the world to raise awareness of the DeafBlind community, accessibility, and inclusive storytelling.”

Doug Roland is an Oscar-nominated director for his film Feeling Through. Featured on The Nightly News with Lester Holt, The Daily Show, in The New York Times, and LA Times and winner of over 130 film festival awards, Feeling Through is executive produced by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin and was made in partnership with Helen Keller National Center. As a social impact filmmaker, Doug uses his work to create accessible screening events and speak at conferences, institutions, and schools around the world about collaborative, inclusive storytelling.

Feeling Through: Website 

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Join The Discussion 

Why is it that strangers, at times, can provide more of what we need than those who know us well?

1 Comment

  1. Julia

    I feel completely without words after watching this film.- just desperately wishing for a person to touch me, talk to me. Thank you for this, because in some way you touched me tonight.


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