By Josh Reilly B. & George Bate
Troy Kotsur made history at the 2022 Academy Awards as he became the first deaf performer to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Honored for his role in the acclaimed CODA, Kotsur was moved to tears by the Dolby Theatre crowd’s silent applause as he dedicated his award to the deaf community. In his moving acceptance speech, Kotsur also mentioned his love for his father. “My dad,” Kotsur described. “He was the best signer in our family, but he was in a car accident and became paralyzed from the neck down and was no longer able to sign… you are my hero.”
To My Father, a new short documentary film from director Sean Schiavolin and nonprofit content studio Emergent Order Foundation (EO) premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, expands upon Kotsur’s speech in detailing the actor’s heartfelt relationship with his father and the role his father played in encouraging Kotsur to excel despite his difficulties.
The HoloFiles had the opportunity to speak with director Sean Schiavolin and executive producer John Papola about the new short, Troy Kotsur’s inspirational story, its universal themes, celebrating fatherhood, and more. Check out the interview below: