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A Special Life

16 Jun Posted by in • Guest Writers | Comments Off on A Special Life
A Special Life

I was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas sixty-three years ago and have spent my whole life trying to unlearn everything I was told mattered.

On the outside my parents and I had a fantastic life; sailing, swimming, tennis, traveling and living all over the world. My father was a career man in the Air Force and we appeared to live a charmed life.

Early on, 2nd grade I think, I was given a Kodak Brownie camera. I was expected, along with my parents each with their cameras, to take pictures at all times. I soon realized, that the little camera—which soon turned into a series of Kodak Instamatics, then Canon and Pentax SLRS—was going to save my life.

While shooting photographs, I was able to gain some semblance of distance from the depravity of violence in my family. Even something as small as a camera helped create space in between myself and the chaos which ensued.

As I got older, I was aware enough to see that the images I was inspired to take –really began to form a body of work – a collection of imagery that reflected the world we live in. I know now that I was given the gift of being a witness especially to the lives of women and of LGBTQ culture over the period of my lifetime.

I see now, that because I was not allowed to have a face or a voice; no concept of self or self-will, that being able to document and chronicle other’s lives gave me the stability and security that could not be found in my own life.

I have always been drawn to other people who have suffered, been ignored, beaten down and injured—people who could not speak for themselves. This surely was something that I could identify with. I found I had the ability, skills, sensitivity to witness others and to offer others the safety and trust through my work and communication

The people I photographed, filmed and interviewed were able to know they would be safe with me, which allowed them to open up and share themselves and their stories with me.

Photography turned to video, which in turn became film and now my first screenplay and feature length film titled SPECIAL may actually take flight. I love screenwriting. Every line encompasses and contains everything I have ever seen, heard and felt throughout my life. It’s a thrilling process making movies with others. The final piece becomes such a much better product because everyone gives all they have to the project and in doing so, gets to create an intimate look into the lives of people just like us.

I’m deeply grateful to have been given such a wonderful career. My vision has always been to utilize art as a tool to help promote personal and social change. For 35 years I have lived and worked throughout the world in places like Africa, Europe, Mexico, China and all over the U.S. Now I am creating a life here in the Bay Area  which has been my home base since the late 60’s. I love it here. I cherish the values and principles and courage our community exudes. We go out of our way to make a difference in the world and to lead others in the continuing fight for human rights. We stand by the beliefs that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect, consideration and understanding. I love that we believe in making a difference in the world. I’m also deeply grateful to Swordfish Productions who has given me my dreams and helped them to come true over these 41 years.

Ann P Meredith is an artist, writer, director, producer, educator, arts activist, performance and installation artist and community organizer.

SPECIAL is a stirring character-driven narrative feature length film with Lesbian lead roles, Trans, Gay and Bi-sexual principle roles that tells the story of 5 best friends that are molested by their high school math teacher and never deal with it until they’re in their late 50’s.

Best friends since high school the women knew they shared a bond that went deeper than most. Now an opportunity has presented itself for them to reclaim their stolen innocence through finding their voice and speaking their truth.

On June 20th 700pm the Dramatist Guild-San Francisco has chosen SPECIAL for 2 scripted readings at SF Playhouse/Stage 2 at 533 Sutter Street upstairs in San Francisco. Doors open 6:45 PM. To Reserve your seats email SPECIALFILM@gmail.com with full names and number in your party. Donations gratefully accepted.

For more information go to WWW.SPECIALTHEMOVIE.BIZ

 

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