Josh Feldman is a queer actor, writer, and producer who also happens to be deaf. He created a TV dramedy, This Close with his best friend, Shoshanah Stern, who also is deaf. Surprise! it follows two deaf friends through their 20 & 30s. Feldman told Out magazine,
“We realized that we should write something that’s very ‘us’. Something we know best: friendship between a woman and a gay man.”
The project will be the first TV show created by and starring deaf people, who are usually portrayed on-screen by non-deaf actors. Feldman explained,
“Most deaf characters in other shows speak because it’s easier for hearing audiences to access the dialogue. I don’t speak at all. So when I meet a hearing person, they expect me to speak for myself because that’s what they’ve seen on TV.
During my twenties, the periods of biggest personal growth happened after breakups. And that includes bad decisions. I wanted him to make those because eventually they lead to growth but not for a while.
Our goal was to make sure that the biggest moments in the show were done in sign language because in our lives, our biggest moments are in sign language.”
This Close premieres on Sundance Now on, awww, Valentine’s Day. Here’s the trailer.