October 27, 2014 5:19 pm
We are delighted to announce that On Beauty won the Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film at the 50th Chicago International Film Festival! The victory is sweet for many reasons: the film's sold-out home town screening was the world premiere, and marked the end of a five-year journey making the film for director Joanna Rudnick, during which she also got married, had two children and a bilateral mastectomy, all while distributing her first film, the Emmy-nominated In the Family. On Beauty follows former fashion photographer Rick Guidotti as he focuses his lens on people who are often excluded or misrepresented in popular media. Highlighting vibrant individuals with genetic conditions, Rick’s work challenges conventional visions and helps redefine notions of beauty. At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick’s photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for home school after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Southern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs. Rick’s photos challenge both mainstream media’s narrow scope of beauty and the dehumanizing black-bar convention of medical textbooks. This audience award from the 2014 Chicago Film Festival now sets the 30 minute film up for a wonderful journey ahead. "This award shows that the stories of Rick, Jayne and Sarah can inspire so many people and we are excited to use this momentum to bring the film to even more audiences. We truly appreciate everyone’s support of the film and the movement to broaden our definitions of beauty and change public perceptions of difference," said Rudnick in a blog on the film's official website. On Beauty next screens in November at the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival and in its New York premiere on November 15th at DOC NYC, which will be attended by Rudnick, Guidotti, and the film's other star, Sarah Kanney. To request educational screenings or other information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.