Department of Communication Studies

Academy Award Nominee Alice Elliott to Screen Two Documentaries

clohesy film  series logoDocumentary filmmaker and Academy Award nominee Alice Elliott will visit the University of Northern Iowa Oct. 24-25 to talk and screen two acclaimed works.

Elliott will show her Academy Award-nominated film The Collector of Bedford Street in the Lang Hall Auditorium (Lang 117) at 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24.  The screening will be followed with a Q&A session with Elliott.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Elliott will host a screening of Body and Soul: Diana and Kathy at 8 p.m. in the Center for Multicultural Education (CME 109) in the upper level of the Maucker Union.  A Q&A session with Elliott and light refreshments follow. 

Both of Elliott's presentation and screening events are free and open to the public.

Elliott is the inaugural visiting filmmaker in the William and Stephanie Clohesy Documentary Film Series.  The goal of the series is to bring America's most distinguished documentary filmmakers to UNI.  The series is sponsored by the UNI Department of Communication Studies, and directed by David O’Shields, filmmaker-in-residence and adjunct instructor in the department.

Elliot's two films focus on the nature of human disability.

The Collector of Bedford Street is a 34-minute documentary about Alice's neighbor, Larry Selman, a community activist and a fundraiser who has an intellectual disability. When Larry's primary caregiver becomes unable to care for him, his New York City neighborhood community rallies together to protect his independent lifestyle by establishing an adult trust fund in his behalf.  The Collector of Bedford Street was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002. It was screened over 70 film festivals, was shown on the cable channel Cinemax, and won 18 awards.

Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy is a true story about two life-long friends who have made their home in Springfield, Illinois. Diana drives, cooks, shops, and has been Kathy's personal assistant and friend for the past 35 years. Remarkably, Diana has Down Syndrome, a genetic condition that gives her one extra chromosome and a lower IQ. Kathy on the other hand is 61, has a degree in English, but is non-verbal, and has had cerebral palsy since her birth. As part of their ongoing activist efforts to demystify disability, Diana and Kathy invited Alice into their home over a period of five years to create their film, Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy.  The documentary was screened in a number of film festivals, and was shown on PBS in 2009.

Alice Elliott has worked in theater, film and television for over 35 years. She is an Academy Award nominated director, a writer, producer, actress, parent, college level teacher, advocate for the disabled, cinematographer, New Day film distribution cooperative member-owner, wife, and voiceover artist. She is also a published and produced playwright of both adult and children's plays. As a performer, she appeared on ABC's daytime drama LOVING for ten years and made two feature films including Four Friends, directed by Arthur Penn. Elliott is an Associate Teacher at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.