Anyone Like Me
“I missed a lot of information I really didn't think I missed until I came to Gallaudet; I'd never met another Deaf person, never seen sign language, never met anyone like me, like Hard of Hearing or anything.” - Shelby Bean
Anyone Like Me is a documentary project exploring the intersection of Deaf culture and America’s favorite pastime: football. The Gallaudet University Bison of Washington, D.C. are the world’s only collegiate deaf and hard of hearing football team. 90 percent of deaf and hard of hearing individuals are raised in families with no prior knowledge of American Sign Language or Deaf culture. This project follows coach Shelby Bean, 25, a Hard of Hearing man and former Bison team captain. Shelby, along with his players, say before they came to Gallaudet they shared the experience of marginalization for their perceived ‘disability,’ and sports was often the only place they ever felt normal. When Shelby came to Gallaudet as a freshman he didn’t know anything about Deaf culture or ASL, but through the football team he found his place within the culture and his Hard of Hearing identity.
find out more at www.anyonelikeme-project.com
“A moving and inspirational documentary… It’s a whopping 25 minutes long, but it goes down a treat.” - The Washington Post
The portraits depict members of the 2016 roster paired with an individual statement about their experience within a Deaf and Hard of Hearing football team.
2018 Smithsonian Institution’s Mother Tongue Film Festival, Washington, D.C.
2018 Over-The-Rhine Film Festival, Cincinnati, OH
2018 DocuWest Documentary Film Festival, Denver, CO
2018 Montclair Film Festival, Montclair, NJ
2018 Northern Virginia ReelAbilities Film Festival, Falls Church, VA
2018 Emerge Film Festival, Lewiston/Auburn, ME
2017 DC Shorts Film Festival, Washington, D.C.
2017 Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, Colorado Springs, CO
The Video Consortium monthly gathering in July, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
Putney Student Travel Pre-College Amherst 2017 & 2018 summer program
George Washington University Honey Nashman Center for Civic Engagement
Colorado Public Radio, listen to my conversation with CPR’s Andrea Dukakis about the film and its origin story prior to its screening at the 2018 DocuWest Film Festival.
Washington City Paper, "Anyone who has seen a 30 for 30 knows that the best sports documentaries are about much more than what happens on the field: they tell stories that are personal and political, about entire countries or cultures. That’s certainly the case in Anyone Like Me, a doc that explores the complexities and facets of Deaf culture through the biography of Shelby Bean, a Hard of Hearing player-turned-coach at Gallaudet University."
We Are Moving Stories, "This film offers a unique glimpse into the Deaf community, which can be hard to access if you are Hearing and don’t understand the variances between Hearing and Deaf cultures. If you like football, are interested in watching people overcome stigmas about disabilities, and like a good love story then you will enjoy this film."
Northern Virginia Magazine, “If you’re seen as different your entire life, or there’s something that makes you an outcast or not fully understood,” d’Autremont says, “and then you do find a place that actually is your cultural home, what is that like?”
Gallaudet University Facebook, “The film takes a look inside the Gallaudet Bison football program. Ultimately, it is a story about finding yourself on a Deaf football team.”
Washington Post, "What it’s like to be a player and coach for the country’s only Deaf football team"
This project was completed as coursework with the M.A. New Media Photojournalism program at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at the George Washington University. Special thanks to Shelby Bean, Katie Giles, Susan Sterner, Gabriela Bulisova, Bison Head Coach Chuck Goldstein & the Bison football team.