See What I'm Saying
The Deaf Entertainers Documentary
World Premiere
"This is more than a movie. It's an event."
 The first open captioned commercial film in American history!
Our world premiere was a sold-out smash success, but we need YOU!

Hilari CJ Bob TL Robert and limo by Karen Ballard
Robert, TL, Hilari, Bob, CJ - photo by Karen Ballard

Hilari and cast on red carpet SWIS by Karen Ballard
Robert, TL, Hilari, CJ, Bob on red carpet - photo by Karen Ballard

The world premiere was a magical evening. Videos, photos and stories below. But first,
we need at least 50 people to show up at every screening below in order to expand our theatrical run in mainstream theaters. With no advertising budget, WE NEED YOUR HELP!!

We are relying on word of mouth - you - to get people to the theater.
Think DPN - Deaf President Now - where a group of people changed history.
This is YOUR chance now to show Hollywood it is time to start hiring more deaf actors and caption more films. We have the power to do this!

Video of red carpets highlights by John Dutton

 It is URGENT that each of you get at least 10 people to the theater for us to succeed. Please forward this newsletter with a note to attend one or more of our screenings below in LA, NY and other cities listed below.


March 19th - April 1st

Laemmle Sunset 5 - Los Angeles
8000 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, 90046

1pm, 3:10pm, 5:20pm, 7:30pm and 9:50pm

Buy Tickets Here - Laemmle Sunset 5

Laemmle crowd opening weekend
Opening weekend - we're on our way!

Director Hilari Scarl will be at every screening
with cast, crew and special guests
Extended Q&A at 7:30pm screenings
Bring friends to our matinees and have lunch with me!
See screenings page on the website for full schedule


April 9th - 22nd
Village East Cinema - New York City
181 - 189 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
Director, cast and special guests at every screening

Official East Coast Premiere and Party
7:00pm on April 9, 2010
More details coming soon, but hold the date!

Buy Tickets - Village East Cinema - NYC


Laemmle theaters in Pasadena, Encino, and Santa Monica
Saturdays and Sundays in May at 11:00AM.

More details coming soon on newsletter, website and facebook fan page.

April 17, 2010 - 7:00 PM
Syracuse, NY
Palace Theater
2384 James Street
Director Hilari Scarl and comic CJ Jones will be in attendance.



April 9 - April 15              Mesa, AZ - Harkins Superstition Springs 25

April 9 - April 15              Peoria, AZ - Harkins Arrowhead Fountains 18

April 9 - April 11              Phoenix, AZ - Harkins Christown 14

April 9 - April 11              Denver, CO - Harkins Northfield 18

April 9 - April 11              Chino Hills, CA - Harkins Chino Hills 18

April 16 - April 18            Las Vegas, NV - Century 16 Suncoast

April 16 - April 18            Dallas, TX - Cinemark 17 & Imax Theatre

April 16 - April 18            Abilene, TX - Century Abilene 12

April 16 - April 18            Austin, TX - Tinseltown 17

April 16 - April 18            Elgin, IL - Marcus Elgin Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Gurnee, IL - Marcus Gurnee Cinema

April 16 - April 19            Addison, IL - Marcus Addison Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Oakdale, MN - Marcus Oakdale Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Columbus, OH - Marcus Crosswoods Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Pickering, OH - Marcus Pickerington Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Ashwaubenon, WI - Marcus Bay Park Cinema - Green Bay

April 16 - April 18            Appleton, WI - Marcus Hollywood Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Brookfield, WI - Marcus Majestic Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Menonomee Falls, WI - Marcus Menomonee Falls Cinema

April 16 - April 18            Sturtevant, WI - Renaissance Cinema - Sturtevant

April 16 - April 18            New Berlin, WI - Marcus Ridge Cinema - New Berlin

April 16 - April 18            Saukville, WI - Marcus Saukville Cinema

April 16 - April 19            Madison, WI - Marcus Eastgate Cinema



October 13         Chico, CA - OPENING NIGHT FILM - Focus Film Festival Director and special guests will be in attendance.



Hollywood is watching us!!

Red carpet premiere

"It's more than a movie. It's a historical movement whose time has come. Think DPN (Deaf President Now, a historical event at Gallaudet University in 1988) and let's show Hollywood that there is a demand for deaf actors and open captioned films!"
How you can help:
  • Forward this newsletter to friends in Los Angeles and NYC
  • Plan on going as a group to any (or many!) of our screenings
  • Encourage others to sign up for this newsletter (and let us know if you change email addresses.) Sign up here
  • Join us as a Facebook fan of See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary Facebook Fan Page
  • Follow HilariScarl on Twitter


Variety Magazine logo

Rave review in Variety Magazine

See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary

By Andrew Barker

'See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary'
'See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary'

A Wordplay release. Produced, directed by Hilari Scarl. Camera (color), Jeff Gatesman; editors, Marcus Taylor, Morgan R. Stiff; music, Kubilay Uner; music supervisor, Mason Cooper; supervising sound editor, Joe Milner. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, March 18, 2010. Running time: 90 MIN.
With: Robert DeMayo, TL Forsberg, Bob Hiltermann, CL Jones.
An outstanding documentary exploration of the travails of four deaf entertainers, Hilari Scarl's "See What I'm Saying" provides a glimpse into a performance circuit that few hearing-enabled Americans likely realize exists. Rather than a disability, deafness begins to seem almost an entry fee into a singular subculture with celebrities, traditions and prejudices all its own, and this community's actors and artists face troubles that are both familiar and fascinatingly strange. Well-made docu should have little difficulty finding a receptive audience at fests and on homevid.

Flying along with a snappy pace and sharp comic timing, the film follows four highly distinctive performers. Standup comic CL Jones is a major figure on the deaf entertainment circuit but can't get arrested at mainstream comedy festivals; Robert DeMayo is an HIV-positive actor who sometimes sleeps on park benches in between teaching classes at Juilliard; Bob Hiltermann is a wild-man drummer for all-deaf rock band Beethoven's Nightmare; and TL Forsberg is an Amy Lee-style singer and actress who feels ostracized from the community due to being only "hard of hearing."

Their travails are often revelatory, and the notion that some hearing-impaired people are seen as "not deaf enough" seems particularly twisted, with Forsberg criticized by a purist after performing in "Children of a Lesser God." Comic Jones is also fascinating to watch; although his jokes (like all the film's dialogue) are subtitled, it's obvious that the heart of his comedy is in the timing of his sign language.

The film has moments of hysterical humor -- an attempted signed exchange about the Beatles and the British Invasion ends up translating as "roach infestation" -- and a climactic Beethoven's Nightmare concert at Los Angeles' El Rey Theater (their first in a big-time venue) is understatedly triumphant. Technical contributions are all effective, though particular plaudits must go to the film's astute editing and, ironically, a charming musical score.


Los Angeles Times review

Deaf, dreaming of stardom

As if it's not hard enough to make it in show business, producer-director Hilari Scarl's absorbing, intimate "See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary" explores the added struggle a quartet of deaf performers must go through to achieve starry goals.

What this video diary lacks in cinematic polish it makes up for with its passionate and engaging subjects: C.J. Jones, an African American comic eager to succeed beyond deaf audiences; Robert DeMayo, a versatile actor and American Sign Language expert who is HIV-positive and, for a while, homeless; Bob Hiltermann, an aging drummer who reunites the members of his band, Beethoven's Nightmare (the world's only deaf rock group) for a concert at L.A.'s El Rey Theatre; and T.L. Forsberg, a punkish, hard-of-hearing rock singer sometimes labeled "not deaf enough" because of her relatively clear speech and less fluid signing skills. Scarl follows these four performers -- whose paths occasionally cross -- over the course of a year, documenting their personal and creative highs and lows while touching on many key aspects of deaf culture, particularly the various types and uses of sign language (the film is open-captioned).

Though this inspirational movie often cuts away too quickly from its characters' stage performances, it's a significant look at a vital, underreported segment of the entertainment world.

-- Gary Goldstein "See What I'm Saying: The Deaf Entertainers Documentary." MPAA rating: PG-13 for some thematic material and language including sexual references. Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes. At Laemmle's Sunset 5, West Hollywood.

The Award Winning Festival Run Culminates in our Multi-City Opening!

  Laurel Leaves Newport Beach winner    Laurel Leaves Philadelphia winner  Laurel Leaves DC Festival Winner

Laurel Leaves St. Louis selection    Laurel Leaves Deaf Rochester
See What I'm Saying - Contact Details

Bringing a group to Los Angeles or New York, or have a ticketing question?

Want to bring the film to your group, college, or community?

Press and Media Inquiries?
Winston Emano:
David Magdael:

Fan mail for Hilari and the subjects featured in th
e film?

Questions for the business team?
Videos and photos from world premiere
(we're working on more - will be up on website soon!)

Video of World Premiere - red carpet arrivals

Max-i-mime performs at world premiere party

Kathy Buckley performs at world premiere party

Powder performs at world premiere party

Photos of red carpet by Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Photo reel of event by SS Photography

Deaf Access Films - premiere video with interviews

Note: Please forgive any lack of captions at this time. The beautiful media above was not produced by Worldplay, Inc. We continue to educate both deaf and hearing crews how to make all media accessible to all audiences. The great folks behind these photos and videos were volunteers and we wanted to get this to our fans as soon as possible. Enjoy!

Rose and Phil X photo
Music video of our title song
"See What I'm Saying"
by the rock band Powder

Watch the Music Video

and then send us back some love with a comment and rating.

 Click here to buy song on iTunes

This song was written by for the film by the rock band Powder to play during our closing credits. Sprint made it possible for us to make the song accessible to all audiences. We had fun making it. Enjoy!
The world premiere was magical. So many incredible moments, but I'll list some of my favorite highlights here:

Seeing so many friends who came in from around the country, including our new friends Diana and Lisa who saw a screening in Athens, GA and followed the film to Hollywood to volunteer at the premiere (maybe we'll start a Grateful Dead sort of following!)

Having my wonderful sister Rachel Scarl fly in from Boston to share my big night with me and help with just about everything.

Rachel and Hilari
Rachel Scarl (my sister) and Hilari Scarl - photo by Jimmy Ryan

Kathy Buckley interviewing people on the red carpet while Max-i-mime, Vae and aerialists Silk Sisters performed during red carpet arrivals.

Watching deaf media standing side by side with mainstream Hollywood media to capture the event. Thank you Winston and David, our publicists for helping me to arrange that!

Our incredible staff - both hearing and deaf - working together with 25 interpreters to pull off an astounding event. Special thanks goes to Alex, Sheila, Nathan, Kat and Cassandra.

Derryn and Angela who flew in to interpret and opened their hotel room to our talented stylist George Clinton to dress me in my beautiful Jovani gown, Broken English jewelry and have Joanna Lima do hair and makeup. Fun!

Our entertainers on the red carpet - CJ, Bob, TL and Robert who were just amazing (we were all nervous in the limo ride over - those photos coming.)

Entertainers throughout the evening - Gary Anthony Williams (host), Powder, Silk Sisters, Megg Rose, Russell Harvard, Max Fomitchev, Kathy Buckley, John Maucere... and many other entertainers who showed up looking fabulous including Shoshannah Stern, Tyrone Giordano, Anthony Natale, Martin Ritchie, Jenni Pulos, Rose Crisman and many, many more (you'll see them in the photos.)

Seeing so many crew members, fans and people who worked tirelessly on the film and supported us in so many ways over the past three years come out to celebrate our big night with us.

Having our title sponsor, Sprint with us through the evening and for sponsoring our world premiere. A big thanks to everyone who flew out to be here and those who couldn't make it. You made this evening possible.

See What I'm Saying

And a special thank you to those volunteering at the Laemmle every day selling t-shirts, CD's and signed posters: Erich, Marc, Paul, Quinn and others. Thank you to all our volunteer interpreters for our Q&A every night!

Please forward your photos and stories of our entertainers and the film and I will post some of them in our next newsletter.

I look forward to seeing each of you at a screening!

Warmest wishes,
Hilari Scarl
See What I'm Saying

Hilari Scarl, director