Burton & Before After
DOCUMENTARY | 10 – 15 MIN. | COLLEGE AGE, HEALING AFTER LONELINESS, LGBTQ+
Fifteen years after Burton’s gender-affirming transition, his longtime friend uncovers a cache of video from that time period and invites him to revisit old footage together.
But What Does It Mean?
EXPLORE THE FILM'S MEANING →
Even when we feel that we have a sense of a film’s meaning, there is often more to uncover.
Watch this video to better understand the film and why we selected it for the festival.
CLICK TO EXPLORE THE FILM'S THEMES
We’ve all had moments when we’ve struggled and once we persevere, we often don’t look back and reflect. Follow Burton’s thought experiment and write a letter to your former self. Try to write a letter to the person you used to be so that 1) you can send kindness and compassion to that former self; and 2) provide a message of hope and endurance.
Meet the Filmmaker
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Courtney Hermann is an assistant professor of film at Portland State University, an independent documentary filmmaker, and a non-fiction media producer. Courtney’s work is distributed by PBS and its affiliates, through educational film catalogues, at film festivals, and through impact distribution to community partners. Courtney earned an MFA degree in Film and Video Production from Columbia College Chicago. She is a co-author of the upcoming 7th Edition of the textbook Directing the Documentary.
WHY THEY MADE THE FILM
“Burton Before and After is about my best friend’s gender-affirming transition. The filmmaking strives to model an alternative way of producing queer content. It is collaborative, renders the subject as an evolving person not fixed in time, and pulls back the curtain on the process via a self-reflective point of view. Sharing non-normative, unconventional documentary stories about trans identities dislodges the objectifying view of the makeover video, the tragedy/pain narrative, and the inspirational story meant to hearten non-queer audiences, which have historically dominated the trans documentary landscape.“
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ABOUT THE UNLONELY PROJECT
The UnLonely Project broadens public awareness of the negative physical and mental health consequences of loneliness while also promoting creative arts-based approaches to reduce the burden. Click here for mental health resources.