Helen Keller Services on Long Island makes history with Oscar-nominated film

When "Feeling Through" received an Oscar nomination for best live-action short film in March, it made history as the first to cast a deaf-blind actor in a lead role.

News 12 Staff

Apr 22, 2021, 7:56 PM

Updated 1,084 days ago

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A movie produced by Helen Keller Services in Port Washington is nominated for an Oscar.
When "Feeling Through" received an Oscar nomination for best live-action short film in March, it made history as the first to cast a deaf-blind actor in a lead role.
The lead actor is Selden native Robert Tarango.
"I never expected this to happen - seriously not in a million years," says Tarango. "It has been amazing to think we're going to the Oscars."
Tarango landed the role after a nationwide search led the filmmaker to the Helen Keller National Center in Port Washington. The filmmaker discovered Tarango when he was washing dishes in the center's kitchen.
"He started cracking jokes about being a movie star and had this beautiful warmth and charisma that very quickly signified that he would be a great fit for this film," says filmmaker Doug Roland.
The 18-minute film is about a chance encounter between Tereek, a homeless teenager, and Tarango's character, Artie, who is deaf and blind and needs help getting to a bus stop. Though they come from different worlds, the two men form a bond that changes Tereek's outlook on life.
The makers and cast of "Feeling Through" hope the film will do the same for audiences.
"It may be that it can open their mind and open their perspective about people who are deaf/blind, celebrate the talent of Robert," says Sue Ruzenski, CEO of Helen Keller Services.
Tarango is looking forward to walking the red carpet at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday.
"Just by being there I think it's an amazing accomplishment," says Tarango. "I think it's going to be a moment in history where the world can see what a deaf/blind person can do."


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