Saj Adibs

Iranian-American Filmmaker to Finish Louder Than Words, a 7-Year Documentary About Deafness

Saj Adibs feels he has found his voice in telling the story of two families overcoming struggle and controversy to bridge the communication gap between hearing and deaf worlds for their children.


Chicago, IL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/20/2015 --Iranian-born filmmaker, Saj Adibs, moved from Tehran to Naperville, IL with his family when he was only 13. Adibs' inability to communicate with anyone around him as a young teen has given him unique insight in the making of Louder Than Words; the story of deaf families who desire to provide their children with alternate ways of communication.

Directed and funded solely by Adibs thus far, the feature length documentary chronicles the lives of the Stark family over a 7-year period, in which deaf parents, Jill and Michael Stark, decide to have their two young children, Jeffrey and Melissa, provided with cochlear implants so that they may hear and learn to communicate through speech. The film depicts their lives over 7 years worth of events that show the complexities, the joy, and the prejudice they encounter on their journey.

The film also features Rachel Coleman and family, the hosts of the beloved children's show Signing Time. For the first time, the Coleman's share their personal story behind the controversy of giving their young daughter, then 6 years old, the cochlear implant.

Adibs explains why he felt such resonance with the Starks and why he wanted to bring this scarcely talked about social issue to light:

"It was only a matter of days after my mother told me we were coming to the U.S. that we arrived here. I was only 13. I didn't know a word of English, and I was immediately enrolled in school. I had absolutely no way of communicating with anyone and it was incredibly isolating. When I met the Stark family and learned about Jill and Michael Stark's mission to open up new doors of communication possibilities for their deaf children, it really resonated with me."

"Those in the Deaf Community in the U.S. have language. They use ASL [American Sign Language] in order to communicate with one anther. When I moved here, I had language too; Farsi. But Farsi didn't help me communicate outside my immediate family, so I felt an affinity with the whole conversation happening around the Deaf Community and the cochlear implant debate. You don't have to be deaf to understand how difficult life can be if you can't communicate with those around you."

- Saj Adibs (2015)

Adibs launched a Kickstarter campaign on July 7th, 2015, in order to gain funding to finish the film. Now in the final leg of its journey, Louder Than Words is hoping to reach a $32,500 goal by August 6th in order to pay for the rising costs involved in post-production. The $32,500 goal is completely integral in finishing the film. As of July 19th, $13000 has been raised on Kickstarter.

Director, Saj Adibs, is available for additional inquiries or interview at the number listed above.

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