Stories from the brainreels: Guest Jade Bryan

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The timing couldn’t be better! July’s Stories from the brainreels radio guest is Black, Deaf filmmaker Jade Bryan. And you can give Jade all the credit for the good timing, because I have none. See, Jade is currently running a Kickstarter campaign in support of her film “The Shattered Mind,” which has a very interesting connection to brain injury. You’ve met her on this blog a couple of times, especially this post from December 26th, 2013 where I wrote about some different topics around Black women in film. The film has been shot and edited. Now they’re working out some visual special effects. Jade is working with a special effects artist she met at the Sundance Film Festival, when she took the film there to get investors. At the end of this post you’ll find the Kickstarter video Jade put together for the campaign. Click on the letter K at the top left corner of the video to go straight to her donation page.

It was my honor to have Jade on the show both because she’s a graduate of NYU’s film school and because she wanted to talk with me openly about the different ways that racism and audism have played out in her life, from her days in early elementary school to her current work as a filmmaker. If you’re not familiar with “audism,” it’s discrimination and oppression for being deaf or hard-of-hearing. Everything from a school putting her into a special ed classroom because they assumed she had a learning disability (she doesn’t) to working with people in the film industry today who will ignore her directions and tell the actors to do something different than what she had just told them. (If she’s looking the other way, she might not know you were talking.) When a hearing person takes advantage of that to promote their own ideas over hers? There’s some major audism going on there, though you can never completely disentangle her Deaf identity from other parts of her identity. Why would you want to? They’re all sources of pride.

So please join me this Friday, July 11th at 3:00 pm Pacific time and anytime after that.

Learn more about Jade’s media and community work at and please visit her Kickstarter and support some great film work!

Click here for an accessible transcript of podcast episode #022.