Marlee Matlin: Not Alone Anymore


In 1987, Marlee Matlin became the first Deaf actor to win an Academy Award and at the age of 21 was thrust into the national spotlight. For the first time, in her primary language of ASL, Marlee reveals the complexities of being the only Deaf child in her Jewish family to trailblazing a first of its kind career in Hollywood.

Phase of Support: Production

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Shoshannah Stern

Shoshannah Stern - Director

Shoshannah Stern first saw herself in someone else at the age of seven when she saw Marlee Matlin win her Oscar. Inspired, she told her mother she wanted to become an actor. She booked her very first audition and never looked back, recurring on Grey’s Anatomy as their first deaf doctor, as well as Jericho, Supernatural and Weeds. She became a professor of Deaf Studies at Cal State Northridge. During that time, she created, wrote, executive produced, and starred in the critically acclaimed Sundance Now series, This Close, the first show to ever be created and written by Deaf people. It boasted Marlee Matlin as a series recurring character. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. Stern sold an original pilot to AMC, is currently writing a feature for Hallmark, and helped write and develop the Marvel series Echo.

Robyn Kopp

Robyn Kopp - Producer

Robyn is a documentary producer based in San Francisco, CA. In addition to producing Marlee Matlin: Not Alone Anymore, Robyn is finishing production on a feature about Web 3.0 entrepreneurs and is Lead Producer on the museum installation, Empathy Mirrors, being developed for the forthcoming Courage Museum. Previously, Robyn produced Make A Splash which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival and aired nationally on ESPN. Robyn also served as Series Producer for the TakeCare documentary shorts series. She served as Associate Producer on the BAFTA nominated film, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power. In 2016, Robyn served as the Associate Producer and Assistant Editor on the Peabody Award winning film Audrie & Daisy, which premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up as a Netflix Original film. Robyn holds a MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University.

Bonni Cohen

Bonni Cohen - Executive Producer

Bonni Cohen has produced and directed an array of award-winning films. Most recently, she produced the Oscar-nominated film Lead Me Home, which premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival and is a Netflix Original. She also recently co-directed Athlete A, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and received four nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards. Previously, Bonni co-directed An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power which was selected to be the opening night film of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, short-listed for the 2018 Oscars, and nominated for a 2018 BAFTA for Best Documentary. In 2016 Bonni co-directed the Peabody Award winning film Audrie & Daisy, which premiered in competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up as a Netflix Original film. In addition to her directing work, Bonni served as producer on The Island President, winner of the 2011 Toronto International Best Documentary.  Her work as producer and director on The Rape of Europa  earned her a PGA and WGA nomination and was short-listed for the Oscars. In addition, Bonni produced Jon Else’s Sundance film, Wonders Are Many and together with Else co-directed Inside Guantanamo, which was nominated for an Emmy for Best Documentary in 2009. Bonni also executive produced 3.5 Minutes and Art and Craft, both films were selected for the Oscar shortlist in 2015. Together with Lisa Chanoff, Bonni is the co-founder of the Catapult Film Fund.


Justine Nagan

Justine Nagan - Executive Producer

Justine Nagan is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary producer and creative media executive. She recently joined Actual Films as their Head of Production. Prior to this role, Justine was the Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc., and an Executive Producer on its two signature series, POV (PBS) and America Reframed (World Channel.) During her tenure at the organization, AmDoc launched POV Shorts, created several Artist Emergency Funds, and showed continued excellence in its programming including several Oscar nominations, and Emmy, Peabody and DuPont wins.  Films showcased during her time at AmDoc include Through the Night, The Mole Agent, Softie, Minding the Gap, Last Men in Aleppo, Dark Money, Hooligan Sparrow and 93 Queen. Justine also executive produced POV’s first foray into episodic programming, And She Could Be Next. Before AmDoc, Justine led Kartemquin Films as Executive Director for seven years, as well as being an Emmy Award-winning Executive Producer on films including Minding the Gap; Life Itself, The Interrupters, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali. Justine also successfully transitioned to the ED role in a historic founder-led organization, and under her leadership the organization significantly expanded its programs to assist documentary filmmakers and saw unprecedented levels of production and financial growth. During her tenure over 20 projects had world premieres. With Kartemquin, she also directed Typeface, an award-winning documentary on American typography and graphic design. Justine has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Harvard Business School, and a Masters from the University of Chicago in the Humanities/Cinema and Media Studies. She is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the PGA, and the Television Academy.  

Michael Kantor

Michael Kantor - Executive Producer

Michael Kantor joined American Masters as the PBS series’ executive producer in 2014. An Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, Kantor’s own films include American Masters Quincy Jones: In the Pocket; the six-part series Make ‘Em Laugh, hosted by Billy Crystal; and Superheroes, hosted by Liev Schreiber. Kantor’s landmark program, Broadway: The American Musical, was hosted by Julie Andrews and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Series in 2005. He created the theatrical imprint American Masters Pictures which has debuted films at festivals worldwide including Toronto, London, Cannes and the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Over the past eight years, Kantor has premiered a dozen films at the Sundance Film Festival including Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV; Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am;  Amy Tan: Unintended MemoirAileyMiles Davis: Birth of the Cool and Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It, which he executive produced with Norman Lear and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Project logline and bios courtesy of the grantees.