COURTNEY HERMANN
EXCELLENCE IN FILMMAKING AND FILM EDUCATION
Burton Before and After
Burton Before and After (2017) is an intimate portrait of transition, memory, and friendship.

Synopsis:  Fifteen years after Burton began his gender-affirming transition, his longtime friend Courtney calls him up with news that she has uncovered a cache of home video footage from that time period.

In the wake of greater transgender awareness in the dominant culture, Courtney proposes that they go on-camera to revisit the old footage together. Burton worries about outing himself to co-workers who are unaware of his gender reassignment and declines Courtney's proposition. But after the election of the 45th President of the United States, Burton changes his mind and his fear is no longer as important as his truth.

Distribution: Educational distribution of streaming and DVD rights is handled by Dark Hollow Films.

Film Festival Screenings:  Leeds Queer Film Festival.  More TBA!

Project Website:  https://www.boxcarassembly.com/burton-before-and-after

Comments about the film from the parent of a gender non-conforming child: "The early footage is tender. Burton speaks gently, like everything is raw. And Courtney speaks carefully, like she’s holding space for something precious and uncertain—for something you both know and don’t know. They do a precarious dance of becoming and they are clearly doing it as a family.

The present-day footage is very different. Burton and Courtney are so much more solidly themselves. Contrasted with the tentativeness of the early footage, the present-day footage feels deeply grounding--allowing the viewer to anchor themselves in that strength and watch these tender things taking place.  The power of the film comes from that tenderness and strength.

There is nothing threatening about Burton—not in his youthful becoming or in his fully formed adulthood. It is nearly impossible not to want to embrace the first, or laugh with the second. 

In an atmosphere of fear and bathroom bills and bans, the portrait painted undercuts all of that by being deeply, sweetly human."