In "Misconceptions," a film that boldly challenges the widespread myth that an HIV diagnosis marks the end of the road, all cast members are Deaf and communicate in sign language, further emphasizing the film's commitment to accessibility and inclusion within the Deaf community.

This powerful film delves into the intimate journey of two people in love, whose lives are dramatically altered when one of them tests positive for HIV. Scripted and directed by Juan Jaramillo, "Misconceptions" passionately conveys the message that life continues beyond a positive diagnosis. It's a journey filled with resilience, hope, and an unyielding zest for life.

Join us on this cinematic journey as we break stereotypes and celebrate life in all its beauty and complexity, with a cast that represents the rich diversity of our world.

  • Juan Jaramillo
  • Juan Jaramillo
  • Alexa Hickox
  • JP Armani
    Key Cast
  • Talia Wall Di-Giuseppe
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 16, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Juan Jaramillo

Juan Jaramillo, originally from Colombia, overcame the unique challenge of being deaf from birth. In the 1970s, he and his family immigrated to Canada, settling in Toronto. Before his career in theatre and film, Juan dedicated nine years to working for the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, passionately advocating for children and youth with disabilities, championing their rights and accessibility.

In Toronto, Juan's profound passion for music, dance, and theatre was ignited. He founded Dancing Hands Theatre, an initiative established in 1993 with Patti Trofimenoff. As its artistic director, Juan revitalized Deaf theatre, offering Deaf artists a platform to shine. He excels both on and off the stage, serving as a sign language consultant, ASL acting coach, and theatre sign language interpreter, making the performing arts accessible to both Deaf and hearing audiences.

Juan's creative talents extend to filmmaking. He has served as a director of the short film, "Misconceptions," created in collaboration with the Deaf Outreach Program. This powerful film, featuring an all-Deaf cast and presented entirely in sign language, explores the complexities of a relationship amidst infection and uncertainty.

In theatre, Juan was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his outstanding play, "Fernando and His Llama Friend." This play, performed entirely in sign language, was offered with accessibility in mind, especially for children, including those who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. It graced prestigious stages across Canada in 2023.

His work was also selected among the top 10 Canadian artists invited to participate in the Pitch session at the 2023 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Spotlight Canada, hinting at exciting opportunities for international performances.

Juan embodies the belief that art is a bridge connecting hearts and minds. With boundless artistic spirit, he continues to deliver captivating performances that prioritize accessibility and inclusivity.

Juan is on the verge of a new development during his mentorship. He is eagerly preparing to direct his new script, titled "But The Truth Is...," and anticipates showcasing it in spring 2024, adding yet another chapter to his remarkable journey. Juan Jaramillo is a true trailblazer in the realm of Deaf theatre, and his work is a testament to the power of art to inspire and unite.

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Director Statement

Director's Statement :

As the director of "Misconceptions," I'm proud to present a film that stands as a testament to the remarkable dedication and passion of the entire team behind it.

One of the most defining aspects of "Misconceptions" is its resolute commitment to inclusivity. The entire cast, alongside the filmmaker and the video editor, have poured their hearts into this project, going above and beyond to bring this vision to life. Their unwavering dedication has been the driving force behind the film's creation.

The narrative of "Misconceptions" explores the intimate journey of two individuals in love, whose lives take an unexpected turn when one tests positive for HIV. Throughout the creative process, we've faced challenges and celebrated triumphs, much like the journey depicted in the film.

I want to express my immense gratitude to all those involved. Your contributions have been invaluable, and it's your passion and commitment that have brought this project to fruition.

I envision "Misconceptions" resonating with a broad audience, challenging established notions about HIV, and encouraging viewers to embrace the multifaceted beauty of life. The film is not just a cinematic creation; it's a heartfelt call to action.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to this incredible team that has made it all possible.

Join us on this cinematic journey as we celebrate life's vibrancy, challenge stereotypes, and advocate for the cause of accessibility. Let's collectively redefine our perspectives and embrace the tapestry of life.

Juan Jaramillo
Director, "Misconceptions"