All-American Family

Filmmaker: Andrew Jenks
Runtime: 12 min

Welcome to Pleasanton, California. In the Bay Area, this affluent suburban town is quintessential USA: restaurants on Main Street, American flags omnipresent, and a high school football team that everyone cherishes: The Eagles. For four generations, one family has been at the center of it all: the Pedersens. As the final two in the family to attend the school, the pressure is on for Zane (the quarterback) and his younger brother, Jax (the running back) to lead the team to another title. What makes the Pedersens unique is that they are all deaf. In fact, Pleasanton is a town with over 200 deaf people. The school they go to is the California School for the Deaf, and their football team is all deaf. Ultimately, this is not a story about football, or even a story about being deaf. It is a story about a family that, despite not being able to hear, wouldn’t want it any other way.

About the Filmmaker

The New York Times has remarked that Andrew Jenks’ work “shines a light on populations that many of us would just as soon forget”. Most recently, Jenks’ critically-acclaimed documentary podcast, WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?, produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, hit #1 on Apple Podcasts. At age 19, Jenks moved into an assisted living facility. ANDREW JENKS, ROOM 335 was released on HBO to critical acclaim. Jenks created MTV’s WORLD OF JENKS. US World News and Report said the show was “a raw, intimate look at daily struggles and victories, and what it means to be a young person today.” He was the lead correspondent for MTV News’ coverage of the 2012 Presidential Election. He has also directed ESPN’s 30/30 film POSTERIZED and THE ZEN OF BOBBY V. More recently, he directed the award-winning documentary, DREAM/KILLER and subsequently created the docu-series, UNLOCKING THE TRUTH, which helped release Kalvin Michael Smith, a man who wrongfully incarcerated for 20 years. Jenks is the founder of the largest high school film festival in the world, The All-American High School Film Festival.

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