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May, 2013, five women commissioned by Brian Oxley (Oxvision) met in Mt. Dora, Florida, under the name Trotter Trust, charged with the mission to 1) select a filmmaker for a documentary about Lilias Trotter; 2) determine the site for the “care & keeping” of the Trotter/Egerton Collection of journals and sketchbooks containing over 200 original watercolors; 3) explore broader venues to present the unique legacy of Lilias Trotter.
The most immediate task following that meeting was finding the filmmaker, Laura Waters Hinson, who early established her giftedness winning a Student Academy Award for her documentary, As We Forgive. For two years, top priority was given to the development of the documentary which Laura carried out with vision, skill, and artistry. The end result was Many Beautiful Things, a 70-minute documentary augmented with a lavish presentation of Lilias’s art (some of which was highlighted with deft animation), poetic re-enactments of her life, and readings from her journals and her letters from Victorian art critic John Ruskin – read respectively by Michelle Dockery and John Rhys-Davies.
The official release of the film was, internationally, at the Manchester Film Festival in England (Summer, 2015) and, nationally, at the Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis (Fall, 2015). The “February Launch 2016” of the film was initiated at the Smithsonian National Gallery in Washington D.C. with 750 people packing a 500 seat auditorium! The following week(s) saw one-night-only screenings in 30-plus theaters across the country with as many more screenings in churches, universities, and community centers.
In March 2016, Many Beautiful Things was released in DVD form and as a digital download. In January 2017, Oxvision Films (the production company of Many Beautiful Things) partnered with Vision Video, allowing Many Beautiful Things to be available internationally for purchase.
Many Beautiful Things lends itself well to large group events. We have been amazed at the creative ways in which the film has been presented: an Art Show with local artists “Inspired by the Art of Lilias Trotter;” church banquets with a North African or British theme; university screenings followed by round table discussions about the role of “Faith & Art” and/or “Vocation;” Mission Festivals with the theme of “Surrender, Sacrifice and Service.” It has been shown in a variety of settings such as universities, churches, retirement communities, home gatherings, and even prisons. It can also be shown in local theaters — a great setting for community outreach.
Several discussion guides have been created – and are offered here – to use in various venues. Please feel free to print and use!
To inquire about or host a screening in your own community, please follow either of the following links:
To host in your own venue, click here
To host in a theater (no cost to you!) click here
If you have any questions about this option, please contact us here
For more information about the film, including the option to purchase the film, please check out the Many Beautiful Things website.
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