What if we could offer a deaf girl a concert experience for the first time? Cochlear Implants (CI) enable deaf people to recover their hearing but they are optimal for speaking, not for listening to music. We Film therefore asked the Kyteman Orchestra to compose a song especially for a deaf music lover using a CI and to perform it in Amsterdam pop temple Paradiso.
The main challenge for this project was to find the right person, someone whose story could incarnate our concept while increasing its emotional impact. It was key for the viewer to feel admiration, not pity, for the way in which the main character handled her disability.
With only around 300 CI operations executed every year (mainly on babies and elderly people) and our long list of criteria, the casting was like finding a needle in a haystack. After a month of intense research, having spoken to every CI-manufacturer, surgeon, audiologist and CI-carrier in the Netherlands, we ended up with Vera. She was all we had dreamed of.
Director Jona Honer rewrote the script basing it on Vera’s story and found in Kyteman the ideal musician. He was able to incorporate Vera’s moving story as a deaf girl to the process of making the right music for her CI. Thanks, among other things, to the remarkable work of the Achtung and Blyde creatives, Vera and Kyteman became frontpage material and appeared on primetime talkshows.