Her Voice Carries

(Rochester, NY) – A film produced by Rochester’s own David Marshall and Christine Christopher of Blue Sky Project Films and co-producer Hélène Biandudi Hofer of WXXI News, Her Voice Carries shares the stories of quietly heroic women, told through their own words and the street art of international mural artist, Sarah Rutherford. The film details Sarah’s journey of discovery as she identifies and collects the stories of ordinary-yet-extraordinary women, visually punctuated by the emerging mural art that will honor their work far beyond the neighborhoods they call home. Her Voice Carries premieres Friday, March 1, 2019 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV, and repeats Saturday, March 2 at 5 p.m. on WXXI-TV.

The film captures the remarkable, but little known work of these community builders in Rochester – a struggling city that is the home to some of the most grim statistics and challenges related to concentrated poverty in the nation. Viewers will meet Imani, who offers yoga and celebrates when one homeless neighbor concentrates on breathing or takes his socks off. Trelawney shouts encouragement as she coaches her son’s Pop Warner football team – he’s one of eight children she has adopted. Rachael resolutely speaks her poetry. Safi offers advice to a bewildered refugee. KaeLyn is anything but quiet when it comes to civil and human rights. Sarah listens to their voices, and forms ideas about the murals she will leave behind. She intends to create five building-size wall murals, each depicting one of the women. Each woman's mural will be painted in one of the other women’s neighborhoods so that “her voice carries” to another part of the city. The artist’s intent is to create a walking exhibit to honor the work of these women, and all women who are changing their worlds, one little corner at a time.

Blending compelling storytelling and provocative visuals, the film weaves back and forth between the women’s stories and Sarah’s work– providing contrast between the bleak and the colorful; contrast between the realities of the lives lived and Sarah’s art. The film seeks to discover what inspires these women, what drives them, what they have seen, why they quietly do what they can. Visually, we are drawn in as Sarah interprets their story to create first sketches then brilliant works of community art. And while the women’s stories are at the heart of the film, Her Voice Carries is also very much Sarah’s story. Although she sees herself as primarily a story-teller, like many women, Sarah is also struggling with change. She has selected these women because she believes they have something important to share with the world, but as her relationship with each of them deepens, we see that their influence is coming at an important juncture in Sarah’s own life and resonates with her in ways that she may not even to be able to define as something she needs herself – is that why she has chosen them?

Pictured: Sarah Rutherford
Credit: Blue Sky Project Films

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Kristin Tutino

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