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The Challenge of Profound Deafness


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Dorothy's Making of

Chef Darren's father, Bernie Weiss, was one of my best friends in High School in Pittsburgh, PA in 1954-57. After graduation, we stayed in touch for more than 50 years. When he told me that his son was profoundly deaf, I wasn't sure what that meant but I knew it was difficult for the whole family. Bernie shared with me a little about the struggles they endured. Years went by and I began to follow the story, through Bernie, that Darren had graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and had become a full-fledged chef! As the story evolved, I realized that even though he now had a cochlear implant, he was still severely hearing impaired. Even with that challenge, he owned and ran his own award-winning restaurant. When I heard that, I realized that documenting Darren's journey would make a riveting story.


This documentary profiles the determination of a profoundly deaf boy and his family, as he grows from an early, silent childhood to graduating from The Culinary Institute of America and becoming an award-winning chef at his own trend-setting restaurant.


Producer/Director: Dorothy Fadiman
Videographer: Ethan Jacob, Laura Wigod, Christopher Carson Smith
Principle Editors: Aimee Gillette, Laura Wigod, Keith Schikore
Editors: Owen Tomlins, Marlo McKenzie, Ekta Bansal Barghava
Assistant to the editor: Hannah Latimer-Snell


'Chef Darren' to debut
Palo Alto Online

Menlo Park filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman premieres new work
The Almanac

Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman set to release her last documentary in a career that's spanned 40 years

South Bay Chef Darren Weiss Is The Star of a New Kitchen and a New Documentary
Daily Breeze of Santa Monica, CA

Darren's menu gets new life in Hermosa Beach eatery, chef's deafness subject of new film
The Beach Reporter

Full Plate
Use the slider to go to pages 58 & 59


Is There a Right Way to Be Deaf?
I've always felt like the object of a constant tug of war between the deaf and the hearing communities.
Click here to read the article.


The Culinary Institute of America
The Culinary Institute of America

Screening and Panel Discussion
Hyde Park, NY
Click here to see the event flyer

Pre-release Screening
Lucie Stern Community Center
Palo Alto, CA
Click here to see the flyer


oregon film festival chef darren documentary film award
Oregon Film Festival
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Spotlight 2019 Silver Award
Silver Award, Spotlight Film Festival
The Spotlight Documentary Film Awards is dedicated to promoting experienced and new documentary filmmakers through a unique and important international film competition. more...

focus on ability film festival laurels
Focus on Ability Film Festival
"Focus on Ability" is a short film festival that focuses on achievements and abilities of people with disabilities, and appropriately reflects the contribution these individuals make to the world. more...

we care film festival laurels
The WE CARE Film Fest is held annually to raise awareness about disability issues, dispel misconceptions and prejudices about persons with disabilities and drive attitudinal and behavioural change. more...