February 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC — Through Deaf Eyes, the 2-hour PBS documentary by Florentine Films/Hott Productions and WETA-TV, Washington, DC, in association with Gallaudet University, was named December 17 as one of 13 winners of the 2008 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism. Chosen from a pool of 510 radio and television news entries that aired in the United States between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2007, the award-winning journalists were presented with the duPont silver baton January 16 at Columbia University.

Through Deaf Eyes travels through 200 years of the history of deaf people in the United States, illuminating a diverse community, probing public attitudes and prejudices about ethnic, racial, and linguistic diversity, and chronicling the transformation of a shared inability to hear into a culture. The program, narrated by Stockard Channing, weaves discussions on language and identity with excerpts films by deaf filmmakers on various aspects of the deaf experience, and spotlights a rock band of deaf musicians.

“It is an honor for Gallaudet to be a part of this far-reaching documentary,” says Dr. Joseph Innes, Dean of the College of Outreach and Professional Studies. “We see the potential of broadcast journalism to teach and inspire others and to tell the largely unknown and untold history of deaf people. Film is the medium that has the greatest capability to bring our visual language to the public and this award shines a light on the documentary and Gallaudet University’s key role in its making.”

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, a former duPont awardee, will interview several of the duPont winners in the PBS special program Telling the Truth: The Best in Broadcast Journalism, premiering January 28. This program, an annual feature on public television stations, will include excerpts of the winning programs and explore how journalists outsmart the blizzard of spin, the limitations of newsroom budgets, and the logistics of travel to dangerous locations. The program is produced by Martin Smith and Margarita Dragon of RAINmedia.

Gallaudet University provided extensive archival material and content expertise for the documentary. Faculty and staff from the departments of Government and History, ASL and Deaf Studies, Sociology, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Academic Technology, Gallaudet Archives, and College of Professional Studies and Outreach offered support.

Individuals involved with the documentary include Lawrence Hott, Diane Garey, producers; Ken Chowder, writer; Stockard Channing, narrator; Diane Garey, editor; Allen Moore, Michael Chin, Stephen McCarthy, cinematographers; Amit Sethi, animation and graphics; Judy Hyman, Jeff Claus, music; Jean Bergey, project director, Gallaudet University; Karen Kenton, Dalton Delan, executive producers; Sharon Rockefeller, president, WETA; and Harry Lang, senior advisor. A uniquely Deaf cinematic lens is present with excerpts from contributing filmmakers Arthur Luhn’s Destination Eyeth; Kimby Caplan, Listen; Tracey Salaway, Gallaudet professor’s That’s My Marshmallow; Wayne Betts, Jr.’s Vital Signs; Adrean Mangiardi’s Equilibrium; and Rene Visco’s Audism.

Major funding for Through Deaf Eyes is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, the Annenberg Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The outreach campaign is funded in part by Sign Language Associates and Richard and Gail Elden. Outreach partners are the National Association of the Deaf, Gallaudet University, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology, and California State University-Northridge.

SOURCE: Gallaudet University