Josh Feldman

Josh Feldman

Rather than wait for the mainstream media to provide him with honest stories about life as a deaf person, deaf actor and playwright Josh Feldman created his own series, "This Close," which won critical praise at the Sundance Festival and a six-episode order from Sundance Now. A 2010 graduate of Gallaudet University, Feldman began his career as a writer for various online publications, and earned a Young Playwrights Award from Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Motivated by what he perceived as a lack of accurate stories being told on television about the deaf experience, he teamed with a longtime friend, actress Shoshannah Stern - who was also deaf - to create their own series. "This Close" starred Feldman and Stern as two longtime friends - one married and straight, the other gay and newly single - who navigate issues of love, friendship and family; that the pair was deaf, and communicated with American Sign Language, was a significant part of the series, but not the only defining element of their characters. After producing a pilot for the series in 2015, the pair raised more than $9,000 via a Kickstarter campaign to produce six more episodes; attention generated from a screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival's Short Form Episodic Showcase led to a six-episode order from Sundance Now, AMC Networks' premium video streaming service, with actors Cheryl Hines, Marlee Matlin and Zach Gilford added to the cast as Stern's boss, Feldman's mother and Stern's fiancé, respectively. The premiere was ordered for February 14, 2018, while the series earned an additional showcase at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival's Indie Episodic Showcase.