Stars of local documentary to catch big screen debut
Last modified: Jan. 16
The local stars of a new documentary are Utah bound to catch the big screen debut of “Private Violence” at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City on Jan. 19.
“I’m just so excited to see it,” A Safe Home for Everyone case manager Stacy Cox said Wednesday. “I’ve not even seen the finished version yet, so this will be fun.”
Featuring the story of Ashe County domestic violence survivor Deanna Walters and her supporter and case manager Cox, “Private Violence” tackles the myths and misconceptions surrounding domestic violence.
The film tells Walters’ story, just before her husband’s case became federal, and follows her as she endures the trial and sentencing of her ex-husband and works to move past the ordeal.
Parts of the documentary were filmed in Creston, West Jefferson, the Ashe County Courthouse, Ashe County Park and on Mount Jefferson.
“It’s a powerful film,” Cox said. “But more importantly, you can see just Deanna evolve throughout the film, from a quiet, shy, timid victim — someone who had a very hard time telling her story — to the end where she is happy and in college and moving forward with her life.”
Walters now works alongside Cox doing presentations and speaking out against domestic violence, and also attends Appalachian State University.
She plans to graduate in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in social work, and hopes to pursue a career as a victim specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Cox said she sees the film as a way to spread the word about domestic violence to communities that have never heard the message before.
“I see the film getting that message out into a larger more powerful community,” Cox said. “People just don’t know about domestic violence, in large part because many survivors are ashamed or embarrassed about their ordeal. It’s not fair, and it’s just one more thing that they have to deal with.”
A Safe Home for Everyone Program director Robin Falkner said the film was “incredibly validating.”
“The film really sheds light that domestic violence doesn’t exist in a vacuum; it could literally happen to anybody,” Falkner said. “I’m just very proud of Stacy, because she’s so committed to seeing survivors get the justice they deserve. That’s what she comes to work to do everyday.”
When they travel to the Sundance Festival this weekend with producers Cynthia Hill and Kit Gruelle, Walters and Cox will have dinner with the film crew and attend the premiere party.
The documentary is directed and produced by Cynthia Hill with her husband, Rex Miller, as cinematographer. Gruelle, a domestic violence activist, educator and film producer, also works on the film, bringing Walters’ story to life on the screen and introducing viewers to other survivors of domestic violence.
Hill also produces and directs the nationally broadcast cooking show, “A Chef’s Life,” which airs on PBS. Her husband is also director of photography on that project, as well.
Victims of domestic violence can get help by contacting A Safe Home for Everyone at (336) 982-8851.