Monday, March 30, 2009

"Shooting Beauty," a documentary about people with disabilities photographing their experiences, to have its world premiere in April

From the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival at Duke University, where "Shooting Beauty" will have its world premiere April 2. You can watch the trailer here.

Aspiring fashion photographer Courtney Bent found a new calling when she met a group of people living with severe cerebral palsy and other disabilities and began taking their portraits. She soon realized that her subjects needed a way to represent their own world, so she devised camera systems that would allow them to take photographs themselves—in one case the slight movement of a tongue sets off the shutter. The project blossomed into an award-winning workshop that gave some of its participants their very first opportunity for self-expression. With the help of filmmaker George Kachadorian, Bent spent almost a decade documenting the group’s efforts as they went from fledgling photographers to the creators of a brilliant collection of photographs that makes palpable what it is like to live with a disability. The combination of the photographs themselves and the footage of their making is potent—you enter a world you didn’t really admit existed and you leave it utterly beguiled.