I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE

Director Reid Davenport's Sundance Award-Winning Documentary Feature

Spurred by the spectacle of a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker launches into an unflinching meditation on spectacle, (in)visibility, and the corrosive legacy of the Freak Show.

Shot entirely from the filmmaker’s literal physical perspective, both from his wheelchair and his two feet, I Didn’t See You Thereis a groundbreaking work of documentary cinema by first-time feature director Reid Davenport.

The award-winning documentary feature I Didn’t See You There will have its national broadcast premiere on PBS television series POV this Monday, January 9, 2023 at 10:00 pm ET (check local listings) and will be available to stream with no PBS Passport membership necessary until February 9, 2023 at pbs.org, and the PBS Video app.

As a visibly disabled person, filmmaker Reid Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world, from either his wheelchair or his two feet, without having to be seen himself. The unexpected arrival of a circus tent outside his apartment in Oakland, CA leads him to consider the history and legacy of P.T. Barnum’s Freak Show and its lingering presence in his daily life in the form of gawking, lack of access, and other forms of ableism. Informed by his position in space, lower to the ground, Davenport captures indelible images, often abstracted into shapes and patterns separate from their meaning. But the circus tent looms in the background, and is reverberated by tangible on-screen interruptions, from unsolicited offers of help to careless blocking of ramps. Personal and unflinching, I Didn’t See You There forces the viewer to confront the spectacle and invisibility of disability. Offering both a perspective and stylistic approach that are rarely seen, Reid brings an urgently needed storytelling eye to filmmaking with a documentary that is powerful and emotional, thoughtful and raw, intimate and political.

“With his feature, Davenport stakes out his own vantage point on the world.”
– Nicolas Rapold, The New York Times

"I Didn’t See You There is first-person poetry in captivating motion, expressed with a singular, assured artistic voice.”
RogerEbert.com

“A radical film that re-appropriates the gaze and asks audiences to look at the city with a fuller and more inclusive view.”
POV Magazine

“Davenport has put a stake in the ground for an emboldened cinema of disability.”
Filmmaker Magazine

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WHO

Directed by Reid Davenport • Produced by Keith Wilson
Executive produced by Alysa Nahmias • Edited by Todd Chandler

 

About the Filmmakers
Reid Davenport, Director, Director of Photography
Reid Davenport makes documentaries about disability from an overtly political perspective. Reid’s first feature film, I Didn’t See You There, will premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. His 2016 short film, A Cerebral Game, won the Artistic Vision Award at the 2016 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival for “creating a visual landscape that is at once disorienting and nostalgic - and the result is so raw and compelling it's impossible to turn away.” Wheelchair Diaries and RAMPED UP, are distributed by New Day Films. He is currently in production of another feature film, which is being produced by Multitude Films. Reid’s work has been supported by The Ford Foundation, Sundance Institute, Creative Capital, XTR, ITVS, NBCU, CNN and the Points North Institute, among others. In 2020, he was named to DOC NYC’s “40 Filmmakers Under 40.” In 2017, Reid was a TED fellow and gave a TED Talk about incorporating his own literal body into his filmmaking. His work has been featured by outlets like NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Davenport received a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University in 2016, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University in 2012.

Keith Wilson, Producer
Keith Wilson is a producer, director and artist based in Athens, Georgia whose whose films have screened at Sundance, the Berlinale, Hot Docs, the U.S. National Gallery of Art, documenta14, and the Museum of Modern Art. He is currently a Creative Producing Fellow with the Sundance Institute for I Didn’t See You There. His recent short film The Tree screened at MoMA's 2019 Doc Fortnight program, DOC NYC, and was exhibited as a storefront installation at Artist Television Access in San Francisco. For his work-in-progress live documentary performance, Untitled Frank Moore Project, he was a BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow and a Points North Institute Fellow. He was the producer, director of photography and editor of Water Makes Us Wet, a documentary feature directed by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens that premiered at documenta14 in Kassel, Germany. He was Director of Photography and Producer for INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR., which premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically by Strand Releasing. He is a member-owner New Day Films, a 40 year-old documentary distribution cooperative. As an artist, Keith was a 2019 Monroe Fellow at Tulane University's New Orleans Center for the Gulf South for The Most Beautiful Beach, a photography project on the architecture of Panama City Beach, Florida. In addition to solo shows in Austin, Texas and Berkeley, California, his artist book Every Building on Burnet [burn-it] Road was exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery and the Brandhorst Museum. His photography books See I Saw (2014) and Hyde Park Apartments (2010) are published by Publication Studio, and, with Shannon O'Malley, he is the co-creator and editor of Gay Men Draw Vaginas. Keith currently teaches in the Entertainment & Media Studies Department at the University of Georgia, has an MFA in film production from the Radio-TV-Film Department at UT-Austin, and grew up on a cul-de-sac in suburban Atlanta.

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Starting On:
January 9, 2023
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