UnLonely Film Festival 6

This Is Normal

THIS IS NORMAL is about a young Deaf woman named Gwen who undergoes an experimental medical procedure that is supposed to ‘cure’ her of her deafness and give her the ability to hear. Despite the controversy, Gwen risks her friends, culture, and identity to discover the answer to the question, ‘Is it worth giving up who you’ve BEEN for the ‘maybe’ you could BECOME?’

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?

“Growing up, we both were bullied as being the “weird” kids. It left both of us with a sense of being “outside” and, like many others, this sense of separateness led us to explore our creative side as artists. Part of this story is diving into what it means to feel like one doesn’t quite fit in. Just as Gwen straddles two worlds and sits in the center of that conflict, creative artists often feel torn between the hustle of modern society and the desire to explore the fringes.

With THIS IS NORMAL, we asked the question, “Well, what if you could just wave a magic wand and change the thing that makes you feel like an outsider? Would your life be any better?”

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe both.

I think the answer might be different for all of us, but for Gwen… well, you’ll see. We hope you enjoy the film!”

Justin Giddings and Ryan Welsh are two actors who joined forces to become one of the hottest new writing teams in Los Angeles. After meeting on the set of the hit zombie comedy series BITE ME (a Machinima/Lionsgate series with over 70 million views on YouTube alone), the two have since gone on to write and direct the festival-winning films THIS IS NORMAL and OUTPOST. Never content to wait for permission to create, they are currently in development or pre-production on four features – the supernatural thriller DARK WINTER, the monster movie THE TRESTLE, the indie action film SO GO THE LIVING, and the indie LAST OF THE WILD BUFFALO.

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Join The Discussion

Have you ever been given the opportunity to change a “difference” that you had? How did others respond?


  1. Michael Meadows

    The film was beautiful and impactful. Gwen was being pulled in two different directions struggling with her relationships in both worlds. Wanting to fit in and be accepted in both she decides to get the surgery and hope it will bring her peace. However, Gwen suffers even more because being new to hearing she experiences an overwhelming new sense that no one around her understands. And again she is being pulled in two different directions. After hearing her sister sing for the first time she finds the beauty that hearing can provide. She had heard the most beautiful thing she has ever heard in her life and yet finds peace in the end with being deaf. It is up to the individual to decide for themselves but in my opinion think deeply about who you are and where and with who you are most comfortable with.

  2. Evelyn M Figueroa, LCSW-R

    It’s interesting how believing that you can have the best of both worlds when each is so different from one another turns out to present such a challenge in the end.


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