Since August is a poetic drama told entirely in American Sign Language (ASL) with English subtitles and no spoken dialogue. It is set to make its highly anticipated release on August 16th, 2023.
As a self-funded passion project that took a decade to complete, “Since August” has already garnered critical acclaim during its successful film festival run last year.
Delving into the plot we find Elizabeth, haunted by her own demons, portrayed by Sabina Akhmedova. She finds herself drawn into the world of Vedette, a grieving older woman living across the street. Intrigued by Vedette’s deafness, Elizabeth immerses herself in learning ASL, even enrolling in Vedette’s acting class.
Fuelled by desperation to communicate, Elizabeth’s interactions with Vedette go beyond her initial intentions, forging an unexpected bond between the two women. As they confide in each other, Elizabeth’s struggle to reveal her darkest secret intensifies, plunging her into further inner turmoil.
The film presents a compelling narrative that explores the haunting power of the past and the unanticipated connections that arise in unexpected circumstances.
In addition to the stellar cast and crew, “Since August” features a beautiful music score for the cello composed by the amazing Polish composer Maciej Zielinski. Zielinski’s evocative compositions further enhance the emotional depth and resonance of the film, creating a truly immersive cinematic experience.
Shot entirely on a DSLR camera, “Since August” is a uniquely intimate story of healing and redemption that bears witness to the power of visual storytelling in film, capturing the intimate essence of the characters’ journey.
The film’s reliance on ASL as its primary means of communication not only highlights the beauty and expressive nature of sign language but also promotes inclusivity and diversity by featuring a deaf actress, Antoinette Abbamonte, in the role of Vedette. All deaf characters in the film are portrayed by deaf actors and throughout the whole film ASL is the main language used, with English captions on screen and no verbal dialogue.
Diversity and inclusion were very important aspects of this production. “It was very important for me to cast a deaf actress for the part of Vedette, as she is deaf in the script, “says the writer/director Diana Zuros. "I reached out to the deaf community and was pleased to meet such a talented actress as Antoinette Abbamonte. It was a pure pleasure working with her. I remember the moment she walked into the room during a casting session, I knew right there that she was the one.”
“We are thrilled to bring ‘Since August’ to audiences worldwide,” said Diana Zuros, the film’s creator.” This project has been a real labour of love, and it serves as a testament to the profound emotional connections that can be forged through visual storytelling using the power of silence".
Diana Zuros comes from a photography background and perceives filmmaking as a visual storytelling vehicle – the less words used to convey an idea, the better. That thought-process prompted her to create her first feature film using American Sign Language.
Born in Georgia (the country,) she studied film/theatre directing at a local film school. Pursuing her filmmaking career took her all the way to Los Angeles and she never looked back.
Diana is fascinated by an illusion of contrasts that life has to offer and strongly believes that our mission as humans is to bring together and unite the two extremes of the spectrum, but still be able to maintain diversity and non-judgment. “It’s a very thin line to walk on, but it IS possible”
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