I was approached to preview a new documentary film about an aspiring fashion photographer whose career takes an unexpected turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a day program for people living with significant disabilities. Shot over a decade, the film puts you in the shoes of Courtney Bent as she overcomes her own prejudices when she begins adapting cameras for the individuals at the program, providing them the opportunity to take pictures and videos from their own unique perch (many of them are in wheel chairs). Making video and photography accessible for these new photographers to document their world and their interpretation of “beauty” enables us to see a whole different kind of documentary.
Shooting Beauty presents an opportunity to see beauty from a different vantage point. As an organization focused on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc appreciates the respectful and sensitive way the filmmakers reflected Courtney’s transformation while showcasing the characters’ growing artistic perspectives. It’s an excellent depiction of what it means to be able to fully participate in one’s community through artistic expression. I enjoyed watching the film come together and think you will too.
There’s some buzz building up about this film, with the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital launching a patch program for it and Best Buddies International officially partnering with the producers to screen it. And, now the producers have officially launched a website dedicated to promoting the film and it’s many programs. Check it out at www.shootingbeauty.org and be sure to leave a comment telling us what you think.