(Published in print edition June 26, 2013 of SW Weekly Oregonian June 26, 2013 and found on oregonlive.com OREGONLIVE STORY ON BLOOM IN THE SIDEWALK)


When Kimber Dion and her sister Kristin Schultz, were growing up in the Portland  area, they were both sexually abused by an uncle, but neither of the girls knew how to talk about their experience.

Though the uncle passed away when Dion was 10, the affects of the abuse stayed with the sisters. As adults, they began looking for films and documentaries that spoke to women who had suffered and they found none.

With Dion’s interest in film making, she decided to create her own.

The result of that effort is the feature length documentary, A Bloom in the Sidewalk, which she premiered June 16 in New York at the Producers Club. Dion was the director of the film.

The 93-minute film was a collaborative effort of Boulevard Studios — which Dion, Schultz, and Dion’s husband Jayme Hall, founded in 2010 — and Ponder All Productions. They are sending it out to film festival circuits.

A Bloom in the Sidewalk captures the journeys of six women who suffered abuse, loss, and sex trafficking, and how art healed them. From writing to singing to photography to painting to screenwriting and filmmaking, the six women featured share their stories of tragedy/loss to redemption, or “blooms” that grow in the sidewalk.

Dion said that she has seen that when people have suffered, they turn to addictive behavior to cover up pain.

“We decided to walk a different path,” said Dion, 35, who started working in independent film in 2006.

East-coast Portland transplant Sarah Thebarge, for example, “survived a double mastectomy and used her writing to help her heal.” Her book, The Invisible Girls, was released in spring.

Dion speaks of her own journey of surviving abuse as well as the loss of a child.

The film screening tin New York was an amazing experience for Dion.

“Several people came up to me and said they thought I was very bold in my filmmaking, as we allowed people to actually tell the truth,” the mom of four surviving  children said.

Dion added, “If one woman watches this film and connects to it and decides that she is not alone and there is hope, then my job is done.”

For info, visit: http://kimbercasting.wix.com/documentarybloom

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