I directed and produced this documentary, Austin Unbound: a Deaf Journey of Transgender Heroism. It was released in 2011, toured around the world, and got translated into nine foreign languages. I was honored to be flown to a festival in Moscow, Russia to receive an award. I was also invited to speak at various conferences including Creating Change by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and as plenary speaker at the Society for Disability Studies Conference. The film has screened nationwide at campus events with a speaker's bureau. It has been picked up for distribution by Collective Eye Films.
My crew and I managed to capture a pivotal time during the life of a fascinating and charismatic individual. It is the first film made at the intersections of Deaf and transgender. Our goal was to see Austin's spirit as both a superhero and a regular guy - his personality shines through as a human being who has desires and wishes like anyone else. I am so proud that the film accomplishes that. The esoteric sound design lends itself well, too, bringing the audience in to his visual world of sign language with music playing throughout the film and no voice-overs. Big thanks to Chris Funk of the Decemberists for helping us get this accomplished. The film has since been audio described for the blind and is available on DVD through our distributor.
Although I am not looking to make another film, I am glad for everything I learned throughout the process of bringing Austin Unbound to light. Our original crew was able to realize our vision when we knew audiences were seeing his world from a new lens. Much of this was thanks to the talented Sundance award-winning editor Basil Shadid and a generous contribution of original music by Chris Funk. I learned so much throughout the various stages of the project. The current branding and site were set-up on Wordpress as we launched our release campaign and prepared for distribution strategy. The film was well received across the globe, and now focuses on the cash-positive educational market.