The following article appeared in the Norman (OK) Transcript on Thursday, March 27, 2014
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The Norman Transcript
March 27, 2014
Documentary to be screened tonight
By Joey Stipek
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The one story journalist and filmmaker Brent Weber has spent the last seven years wanting to tell is finally being told.
Weber’s documentary, “Real Live Angels,” shows the lives of people living with developmental and physical disabilities participating at a camp in Texas.
The 45-minute documentary is being screened free to the public at 6 tonight in Room 1140 at The Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, 395 W. Lindsey St. A question-and-answer session will follow the screening.
Weber originally started taking a camera on weekends in 2007 to film stories to air during Fox 25’s morning newscast, where he also was the anchor. One of the stories he started filming featured the lives of people at Camp Summit, where his daughter volunteered while studying acting at the University of Texas-Arlington.
Camp Summit, located in Argyle, Texas, provides outdoor experiences to people of all ages living with disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities like autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
Weber didn’t have the opportunity to complete the story about Camp Summit until he started working at the University of Oklahoma as an adjunct professor and graduate student.
He needed a documentary topic for research to complete his master’s degree at OU. Weber remembered wanting to know more about the experiences of those involved with Camp Summit in 2007, so he went back to Texas to finish filming footage for “Real Live Angels” in February this year.
Weber viewed his experience chronicling the stories of people he sees as “real live angels” as eye-opening.
“We know now that just because people look like they can’t do something doesn’t mean they can’t do something. I think we can take another step forward in changing people’s attitudes. That’s one of the reasons why I wanted to make this film,” Weber said.
The other reason Weber wanted to make the documentary was the subject matter is personal. Weber dedicated the documentary to his cousin, Kay Lemay, who had Down syndrome. She died last year at the age of 59.
Weber cited societal attitudes shifting toward being more understanding to people living with disabilities than when he and Kay were growing up during the 1960s and 1970s.
“If she had been in the world of inclusion as the one we share in Camp Summit, her life certainly would have been more fulfilling. She just missed out on receiving so many of these simple types of benefits,” Weber said.
Weber’s documentary is being placed into festivals and has received screenings in California, Oklahoma and Texas. He has been asked to have screenings of “Real Live Angels” for staffers of residential care facilities that provide for those with disabilities to help share the documentary’s message.
Weber wants to show the documentary to get information about people living with disabilities out to as many people and places as he can.
“Hopefully the stories I share from the movie on the website will keep the message going. I’d like to keep the message going. I’d like to continue to keep telling these stories and not have it end,” Weber said.
For more information, visit realliveangelsmovie.com.