Film festival gives rise to sign language project

Posted: Friday, 29 April 2011

TROY – Troy’s annual TroyFest and the Alabama International Film Festival has given rise to a new area of service for Troy University’s Interpreting Training Program.

The film festival, which begins screenings at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 30 in The Studio Downtown, features the short feature “The Candy Shop,” which addresses issues of child exploitation in the city of Atlanta. That short feature film will screen at 8:15 p.m. and was selected as a Judges Special Award.

“We don’t know of any other project of this kind. Perhaps through our efforts this film will reach an audience that would otherwise be left out,” he said. “We certainly appreciate Whitestone Motion Pictures’ willingness to let us use “The Candy Shop.” It’s an entertaining, cautionary tale in the vein of Hansel and Gretel and it can really open people’s minds about the problems they’re having in Atlanta.”

Alisa Stanley, a junior interpreting training student from Tampa, Fla., provided interpreting for the film, which was remastered in the studios of the University’s Broadcast and Digital Networks.

“When I discovered the reality and sincerity behind ‘The Candy Shop,’ I fell in love with it,” she said, noting the idea had its roots in cross-discipline discussions between Jinright and instructors in the College of Education’s program that will produce its first graduates next Friday in commencement exercises.

“I found myself focused more on the atmosphere of the film, not necessarily the words. There wasn’t much dialogue, however, when a character did speak it was of importance and I tried to express that within my interpreting,” she said.

Although the film, produced by the independent studio Whitestone Pictures, will be screened in its original format Saturday in Troy, Jinright said, the ASL-enhanced product is being supplied by to the Whitestone for their use.

TROY’s interpreter training program provides graduates with the content knowledge and skills necessary to be licensed deaf interpreters. The program was created to specifically address a critical shortage of interpreters in the state.

Stanley said a project of this type further demonstrates that need.

“It is important for individuals to understand the preparation that goes along with interpreting. Most see only 10 percent of the final product – the interpretation,” she said. “But the complexity of comprehending one’s discourse, understanding the cultural difference (between the deaf community and others), then making alterations to have equivalence in both cultures can become very demanding. Hands down, the demand for certified interpreters is growing at an astounding rate.”