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Partnering in film project that will pull no punches

August 14, 2015


There are stories that need to be told and films that need to be made. Beauty Mark is both.

It’s the story of Angie, a young mother taking care of her four-year-old son and her alcoholic mother in a hardscrabble area of Louisville when she learns her house is being condemned. Facing life on the streets with just $65 to her name, she must get money, in her case from the only person she knows with any – the man who abused her as a child.

It’s a gut- and heart-wrenching topic – child sexual abuse – but one that occurs daily here in Louisville and Southern Indiana and elsewhere. Yet outside the occasional headline, which leaves people saddened and stunned for a time, it’s a silent epidemic.

Child abuse, physical and sexual, demands to be talked about, to be acknowledged … to be ended. Beauty Mark – the story and film, based on real events in one of the producers’ lives – will help do that. But help is needed to help make the film.

Beauty Mark is an independent film – an “Indy.” It doesn’t have the backing or the bankroll of a megastudio. It won’t open in thousands of theaters nationwide and it won’t have a multimillion-dollar marketing budget.

But it’s real value is greater than the next superhero or superspy movie, especially to a nation where three million children are abused every year, 23,000 of them in Kentucky alone. And to victims of abuse who have endured their trauma alone, who may see the film and seek help to heal.

That’s the double-edge true value of this film – to increase awareness of and support for the battle to end child abuse and to ensure victims, of any age, have a place to go for help. Places like Family & Children’s Place, a partner in the film and pleased that producers have pledged a percentage of proceeds to help fund our work with children and families hurt by abuse.

The Louisville Film Society is fiscal sponsor of the project and contributions in support of the film are tax deductible as allowed by law. The society, a 501 (c)(3), has set up a Power2Give page here: Power2Give/BeautyMark, to make donations easy. There’s also a Facebook page, a Twitter page and a video short here: Youtube/BeautyMark.

The film was written by award-winning filmmaker Harris Doran and stars Screen Actors Guild-award winner Catherine Curtin, from Orange is the New Black; along with daytime Emmy Award winner Eric Nelson, who appeared in a Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson.

The film also stars Dennis Haskins, who played Mr. Belding in Saved by the Bell; Ashley Kate Adams, who appeared on Broadway and hails from Kentucky; daytime Emmy Award winner Sainty Nelson, who appeared in The Bay; and recent Juilliard graduate Auden Thornton as Angie. The film score is by Louisville’s Ben Sollee and filming will take place in the Portland area of Louisville.

This fact-based story pulls no punches. Producers hope it inspires viewers to talk about and help end child abuse and encourages victims of abuse to seek help, to show that recovery is possible.

The film will be beautiful in a cinematic sense, but it also will leave a mark in the effort to expose and end child abuse.