We’ve asked the filmmakers for the 11th annual Oxford Film Festival the same five questions. Meet Zack Godshall, director of A Man Without Words. This film will be screening Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6:15 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 9 at 2 p.m.
#1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.
A Man Without Words tells the inspiring story of how a deaf and languageless man discovers language and learns to connect with his community.
#2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?
Biggest lesson: Write a good script. Then throw it out when you turn on the camera.
Best part: Sharing the story of Ildefonso, the most generous man I’ve ever met.
#3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?
I live in South Louisiana and make fiction and non-fiction films, features and shorts.
#4 What do you want the Oxford Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title or description?
We tend to take language for granted, particularly the way it shapes our thoughts and defines our experiences. This film is about a man who lived without language for 27 years, and who describes the best part of learning language as his new ability to share with others. His story makes us wonder what language is ultimately for.
#5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?
The film is based on Susan Schaller’s book A Man Without Words, and she and I are currently developing ideas and concepts for a feature film which will tell more stories about people whose experiences, like those of Ildefonso, force us to re-imagine the origins, possibilities, and responsibilities of language.