Mirana Medina: Independent Advocacy Filmmaker (Second of Five Parts)
Vim Nadera: How did you direct the Deaf?
Mirana Medina: I studied Filipino Sign Language (FSL) in 2006 as part of my research to make Silent Odyssey, my documentary on Deaf Filipino culture, history and language. We had Deaf teachers. After finishing that docu in 2008, I continued to join their activities. So I have been with them for a few years now. Having learned sign language from them contributed a lot in building rapport.
Although I am not really that adept to sign, still I find it easier to communicate with them unlike the time when I first entered the “Deaf world.” Besides when I am with them, I now have that sense of belonging that helps in lightening the work ambience.
I also need not fully rely on an interpreter as much as when I first stepped at DLS-CSB School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (SDEAS) as FSL student. With all the necessary relationships built and developed earlier, working with them and directing them has been comfortable; I’m confident we can successfully realize our project together.
Many of them are unquestionably talented, committed, very supportive and cooperative. But still, an interpreter’s presence is needed if a hearing person wants to make a film involving Deaf persons. For this project, the interpreter’s role is crucial. Husband and wife team— Jun and Febe Sevilla— were my bridges to relay my directions properly to FSL Deaf Consultants, who in turn explained them to the Deaf actor.