Doug Roland interview: ‘Feeling Through’

“Feeling Through” is Oscar-shortlisted for a Best Live Action Short nomination and it is the rare major contender in the category that is freely available for viewing on YouTube, where it is approaching an astounding 2 million views. Director/producer/writer/editor Doug Roland explains in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above), “We’re going to take it down soon, but we wanted to make it widely available for a brief amount of time, so that the most people possible could see it.”

Per its listing there, the film executive produced by Oscar winner Marlee Matlin tells a story in which, “A homeless teen meets a deafblind man at a bus stop who changes his life forever.” Roland continues, “We also want it to be an opportunity to share this community with people who maybe have never had an opportunity to meet anyone who’s deafblind or even really think about the community.”

Roland notes that there “have been some interesting timing things that have happened as far as when this film was really being viewed by so many people.” He says about the final sentiment expressed in the film to the homeless teenager by the deafblind man, “It’s been really interesting because this film was written and shot before the pandemic, but that line has particularly resonated with people during this time that’s been a really challenging line for so many people.”

Roland feels, “There has been this kismet element of showing the film at a time where that line is even of greater importance than we could have imagined when writing and making the film, along with the theme of touch — touch being something that’s so integral in this film and it’s something that we’ve been certainly not had the ability to do as much as we like during the last year-plus.”

“Feeling Through” is 18 minutes on YouTube, but Roland reveals, “We have been interested in exploring a longer-form version of this story for quite a long time, so I’m really excited to sink my teeth into that in a more meaningful way.” Roland also looks forward to continuing work “done around representation for the deafblind community and hopefully getting a lot more of the community involved in the next chapter.”

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UPLOADED Mar 5, 2021 12:18 pm