Alumna’s American Sign Language Poetry Documentary Screens in NYC

Dancer, filmmaker and teacher Judy Lieff’s (Film/Video & Dance MFA 92) latest project, Deaf Jam, has its New York City premiere this week. The documentary—about a New York City deaf teen who discovers the power of American Sign Language (ASL) poetry—screens at the New York Jewish Film Festival on Jan. 17 at 1 pm and Jan. 19 at 8:30 pm.

Lieff’s goal for the film is to “cultivate communities of young ASL poets and link them with their hearing peers engaged in the burgeoning spoken word movement.”

A synopsis from the film’s website:

In Deaf Jam, Aneta Brodski seizes the day. She is a Deaf teen introduced to ASL Poetry, who then boldly enters the spoken word slam scene. In a wondrous twist, Aneta, an Israeli immigrant living in the Queens section of New York City, eventually meets Tahani, a hearing Palestinian slam poet. The two young women embark on a hearing/deaf collaboration, a performance duet that is a metaphor for the complex realities they share.

The documentary, which was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts and the Independent Television Service, had its world premiere at the 13th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival in Greece and has been screened at festivals around the country.

In addition to festival play, Deaf Jam will have its U.S. broadcast premiere in the 2011/2012 season of the PBS series Independent Lens.

Deaf Jam

New York Jewish Film Festival
Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65 Street, 4th Floor, New York
Jan. 17, 1 pm | Tickets
Jan. 19, 8:30 pm | Tickets

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