Now in Development
Writer, Director, Star Hillary Baack
Producers Hillary Baack, Lily Johnson, Alexander Baack, Amy Zaltzman
Executive Producer Simone Pero
Picking up where the Miracle Worker left off, Helen explores the human side of American icon, Helen Keller, through her search for love, purpose, and ultimately herself. This film is an unprecedented unveiling of a complex, vulnerable, yet strong woman who became a cultural heroine. Helen is a calling to our best selves.
As Helen says, how can one creep when one feels an impulse to soar?
This will be the first time a deaf woman writes, directs and stars in a feature, scripted film. Not only that, but we truly believe bringing this part of Helen’s story to light will bring new, vital voices to the forefront, and will continue to foster this type of inclusivity in the arts.
Helen Keller is years ahead of her time in the leftist stand she makes, which is relevant in this political climate. Even more powerful, this film is inherently politically hot and relevant, as it gives voice to underrepresented groups, both in its content and its creators, cast, and crew.
The full story of Helen Keller has never been told on film. Deaf and blind, she tackles an overbearing family, bonds deeply with kindred spirits like John Hitz and Mark Twain, performs on stage, falls in love, and affects change as a passionate socialist and co-founder of the ACLU.
Armed with unquenchable thirst for knowledge, a limitless imagination, a fierce and compassionate heart, and heightened senses, Helen is on a quest for love, purpose, and the rapture of being alive.
Hillary Baack as Hellen Keller
“Telling this story in a truthful, poetic, and visible way has been a calling for me. Of course, as a deaf woman from the south, this story also feels deeply personal to me. But I also know so many without disabilities have identified with her determined spirit.” - Hillary Baack
Annie Sullivan is “Teacher” to Helen, her eyes and ears, as well as her closest friend and lifelong companion. She and Helen are intertwined in a complex interdependent, but loving relationship.
John Macy marries Annie Sullivan, and becomes a third wheel to the Helen and Annie duo. He is a tremendous influence on Helen’s life, and helps fuel her fire for her political and also personal life. While John has a strong presence, charm, and attractive complexity, his addiction to alcohol and struggles with money keep him from successfully upholding his place in these womens’ lives.
Our great American author, Mark Twain, is smitten in a fatherly way by Helen when he meets her at a party in New York. They become fast friends, all within the last ten years of his life. He makes her laugh and sees her for who she is, not her disabilities.
Peter is a political radical and interpreter, who fills in for Annie and John Macy, when Annie falls ill. He and Helen fall quickly and madly in love. Peter is sincere in his love for Helen, admiring her mind and her spirit. In Peter’s arms, she finally fulfills the deeply human need for love and intimate recognition. Time stands still, and yet it rushes on, as Helen dives into this “island of joy” in her life.
MUSIC OF HELEN
The ethereal mystical music of Marketa Irglova will open and close HELEN, as well as carry us through important moments. The audio treatment will be focused on naturally occurring sounds and music, as well as amplifying or dulling sounds to mirror Helen’s emotional experiences. We will use loud low sounds to help the audience feel the sounds in their bodies.
JOIN TEAM HELEN
AND EXPERIENCE HISTORY