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Cast: Alec Bandler
BECOMING BULLETPROOF, the feature directorial debut of Michael Barnett, documents the making of an original Western film called Bulletproof - a costume drama that features actors with and without disabilities. This dedicated group meets every year at Zeno Mountain Farm in Vermont to write, produce and star in original short films. Founded by two brothers and their wives, Zeno Mountain Farm's philosophy is to create a truly inclusive community that builds genuine friendships that transcend stigma and stereotypes. For them, their films aren't about making a statement; as one participant says, "It's all about making awesome movies."
Inside the whirlwind filmmaking process of mastering lines, pushing through take after take and grappling with high expectations, BECOMING BULLETPROOF chronicles the genesis of a riveting film and a personally and socially transformative experience. The film captures the essence of artistic expression through vibrant human bonds and powerful insights. As one of the actors says: "I do not want pity because I have a disability, I just want to be understood. I want disability to have a seat at the table in pop culture.
Zeno Mountain Farm was created and is run by Will and Vanessa Halby, and Peter and Ila Halby. What they do and how they do it is written above. This Documentary directed by Michael Barnett tells the story of one of their projects which happens to be a western film. Together with a number of people with disabilities who aspire to be actors they set out to not only make a film but make a good one that will play in film festivals across the country.
The film showcases and talks to and about a number of disabled people who are in the film, it talks about their dreams and their life living with their individual disabilities. One such person is A.J. Murray, a 32-year-old who suffers from cerebral palsy, if you didn't know much about CP you will by the time the film is over but more importantly you will get to know A.J. Murray the person as well. You like also get to meet many others like, Judy, a 53-year-old woman who might be hard to understand at times but her heart and wisdom cannot be over looked. 28-year-old Jeremy is the film's star, he has been working with Zeno for a number of years. He suffers from Williams Syndrome, he talks about the challenges it presents but if never gets him down and he loves everyone he meets. There are others in the film as well and they are given their time as on screen too, "Becoming Bulletproof" is as much about the actors as it is about the making of the film.
This is an amazing film, you could easily feel sorry for all these amazing people but you can't because they won't let you. They all have big dreams and very big hearts and they just want to be treated like everyone else. Even with all their struggles they just love life and itís the love that radiates off the screen. You will not only love the film but you will have all the amazing people in it as well.
One regret I have is not being able to see this film and support it much earlier, I am grateful for having the chance to review it here and I cannot recommend seeing it enough. "Becoming Bulletproof" is a lot of things, it's inspiration and highly entertaining but it is also touching and it is about as motivational a film as you are going to find. Here you have a group of people with disabilities who could easily just lay and sit around feeling sorry for themselves but instead they choose to live life to its fullest and follow their dreams. If that doesn't act as a wake up call, nothing will.
After seeing this amazing film you are going to want to know more about those that attend Zeno Mountain Farm and Zeno itself and you can do so by visiting their Official site HERE. I love the fact that Zeno lets people live out their dreams regardless of whom they are, I quickly fell in love with the film and all involved it in. It made me smile but be warned you may shed a few tears but most of those will be tears of happiness. "Becoming Bulletproof" is available on DVD now and you can order it HERE.
I hope everyone that sees the film becomes as inspired as I did. It just doesn't get any better than this so do yourself a favor and own it today.
Released by Virgil Films and Entertainment
***** Out Of *****