Picture Proof, a documentary film providing "an intimate look at the bonds that hold one West Virginia family together and the disease that threatens to tear them apart," will screen Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. as part of The Lindsay Theater and Cultural Center's Emerging Filmmakers Showcase.
Showcase events, a staple at The Lindsay, are designed to encourage exchanges between local filmmakers and the public, and are free to all.
"Supporting the tri-state region's film industry with Showcase events is a goal for the Theater," says Carolina Pais-Barreto Thor, The Lindsay's CEO. "We are especially honored to screen this documentary that brings an important perspective to an epidemic that sadly continues to ravage communities in Appalachia and beyond."
Picture Proof, directed by Marshall University professor Tijah Bumgarner and University of Kentucky professor Jena Seiler, follows Ashley from 2018 through 2021 as she struggles with addiction and gives birth to two children, raising them with the help of her mother, Debi Ellis.
Ellis will join the Q&A session with Bumgarner and Seiler after the 90-minute screening.
All three women have witnessed the impact of addiction in their own families; Bumgarner lost her father to an overdose. In making Picture Proof, they chose to "push back against representations of addiction that too often perpetuate notions of personal failing and community apathy."
The directors share: "When we met Ashley, she was luminous, charismatic, generous, and kind. We were struck by how open she was about her past: being in the 'madness' (active addiction) and her decision to leave her newborn daughter (Piper) in order to get treatment.
"During our three years of filming, we witnessed Ashley give birth to her second child, Asher, the deep bond between Ashley, Debi and Piper, and the remarkable strength of these women as they faced the precariousness of recovery, the turbulence of relapse, and the despair of addiction."
"Picture Proof is the most honest portrayal of addiction I have ever had the honor to witness," says Katie Dellamaggiore, independent award-winning director and producer not involved with this project. "This beautifully moving film doesn't offer straightforward answers but rather wades into complex territory with the utmost patience, grace and humanity."
Upcoming Local Events
While admission is free, those attending are asked to RSVP at The Lindsay's ticketing page to ensure seating for all. The Lindsay is a non-profit organization located at 418 Walnut St. in Sewickley. Street parking is free after 5 p.m. on weekdays.