Alumna Alice Bouvrie says her time at Lesley "changed everything" about the way she approaches filmmaking.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations alumna Alice Bouvrie has been a filmmaker for over 25 years. After earning a film degree from Boston University and spending a number of years as an Assistant Director on feature films (her credits include The Witches of Eastwick, Spenser for Hire, and Field of Dreams), her experience co-producing a documentary sparked a passion for the form. "I wanted to make my own films and I became enamored with documentaries after co-producing Living Under The Cloud: Chernobyl Today," she says. Not long after, Bouvrie formed Mineral King Productions, a documentary film production company with an intercultural focus.
Alice Bouvrie films John Southard in a production shot from "A Chance to Dress"
"At Lesley I studied the ethnographic process and method, and applied it to how I conceptualize my projects in thinking about what questions to ask and what procedures I want to follow, as well as how I go about approaching and filming my subjects and the issues I want to address. My experience there changed everything," she says.Bouvrie's latest film, A Chance to Dress, is about MIT geology professor and cross-dresser John Southard. The film premiered in April 2015 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and was shown again as part of the Arlington International Film Festival this month. Bouvrie, Southard, and Southard's wife Jean held a Q&A following the screening at Kendall Square Cinema.Bouvrie says she had primarily been making films about dogs (Iditarod and Prison Pups), when she came upon Southard's story. "I was working with a colleague who was teaching a documentary course at MIT, and one of her students came up to her and said 'You ought to make a film about my geology professor who just came out as a cross-dresser.' We met John and were so charmed by him and fascinated with the subject that we decided to go ahead and develop the idea."Following John's story of coming out to his colleagues, friends, and students, A Chance to Dress explores the nuances of cross-dressing, or "transvestitism," drawing distinctions between transsexual, transvestite, and drag identities along the way. Bouvrie hopes that audiences will come away with a more enlightened understanding of the transgender community, and a familiarity with gender issues and the diversity of gender expression. Says Bouvrie, "The universal heart of the film is also to bring an awareness of our own gender identity and how we choose to express our gender identity."
Learn more about our MA in International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations program at our next Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences Open House.
MA in International Higher Education and Intercultural Relations
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