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Betty Tells Her Story

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The story Betty tells is a simple one. She needed "the perfect dress" for a very special occasion. Betty describes in amusing detail how she found just the right one, spent more than she could afford for it, modeled it for admiring friends, felt absolutely transformed and then...never got to wear it. The story and Betty are witty, engaging and delightful. Then Betty is asked to tell her story again. This time the story is strikingly different. While the facts remain the same, Betty reveals how she really felt: her anxiety over buying the dress, her discomfort at being praised for beauty she feels she doesn't have, and her subsequent bewilderment at the way things turn out. Betty becomes withdrawn, sad and vulnerable, and her voice, body and words express the painfulness of the memory. The contrast between the two stories is haunting. Our culture's emphasis on female "beauty" underscores the poignant saga of Betty's search for "the perfect dress". The film is as meaningful and moving today as it was when it was made.

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Liane Brandon  Liane Brandon is an award winning independent filmmaker, photographer and University of Massachusetts/Amherst Professor Emeritus. She was one of the first independent women filmmakers to emerge from Boston in the early Women's Movement. During that time, she was also a member of Newsreel film collective and of Bread and Roses, one of the first women's liberation groups in Boston.  She was also a founding member of FilmWomen of Boston and Boston Film/Video Foundation. In 1971, she co-founded New Day Films with Julia Reichert, Jim Klein and Amalie Rothschild. Her classic films Anything You Want To Be (1971) and Betty Tells Her Story(1972) were among the earliest and most frequently used consciousness raising tools of the Women's Movement. Her films, which also include: Once Upon A Choice, How To Prevent A Nuclear War and Fine Print have won numerous national and international awards, and have been featured on Home Box Office, The Learning Channel, USA Cable and Cinemax. They have twice received Blue Ribbons at the American Film Festival, and have been presented at the Museum of Modern Art, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Chicago Art Institute. Betty Tells Her Story was nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry and was featured at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater in Washington, D.C. Brandon is the recipient of the Boston Society of Film Critics Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. She has served as a juror for the Emmy Awards, the Evvy Awards, the student Academy Awards and as an education consultant for WGBH -TV. In 2008, she was awarded grants from The Women's Film Preservation Fund to preserve Anything You Want To Be and Betty Tells Her Story. In addition to her role as Professor at the University of Massachusetts, she was the Director of UMass Educational Television which produced award winning, original educational programming for cable/home audiences throughout New England. Currently working as a still photographer, her photography credits include: Murder at Harvard (PBS American Experience), Typhoid Mary: The Most Dangerous Woman In America (PBS Nova), Unsolved Mysteries, The Powder and the Glory and Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women (PBS American Masters). Actively involved with the rights of media artists, her lawsuit (Brandon v. The Regents of the University of California) won a landmark victory for filmmakers' protection of their titles. Before becoming a filmmaker, Liane experimented with several short careers, working as a ski instructor, high school teacher and professional stunt woman.

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