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When a circus tent is put up outside his apartment, filmmaker Reid Davenport, a wheelchair user, reflects on the corrosive legacy of the “freak show” and the paradoxical spectacle and invisibility of disability.          


As a person with a disability navigating the world from a wheelchair, filmmaker Reid Davenport is often either the subject of unwanted gaze — gawked at by strangers — or paradoxically rendered invisible, ignored, or dismissed by society. The arrival of a circus tent just outside his apartment prompts him to consider the history and legacy of the “freak show”, in which individuals who were deemed atypical were put on display for the amusement of a paying public. Contemplating how this relates to his own filmmaking practice, which explicitly foregrounds experiences ofdisability, Davenport sets out to make a film about how he sees the world without having to be seen himself. I Didn’t See You There is personal, political, and unflinchingoffering a perspective and stylistic approach rarely seen in film, capturing indelible images informed by his disability.

“I Didn’t See You There is fantastic and captivating – it’s precisely the disability-led perspectives that challenge our way of understanding norms, societies and filmmaking!”
- Jonas Bull, Assistant Researcher, Disability Rights, Human Rights Watch


“I see film after film exploring disability in a clichéd, misguided way. Rarely am I able to relate to stories about disability on screen. I wanted to be able to portray my perspective in a way that would be difficult to fetishize or romanticize. So instead of turning the camera on myself, I turned it outward. Doing so allowed me to capture the devastation of a stranger’s gaze, the emptiness of being ignored, the physical weight of doors, and the beauty I am privy to as a wheelchair-user and person with spasticity. In many ways, this film is an invitation to see through my eyes.”
- Reid Davenport, Director, I Didn’t See You There



Reid Davenport


Reid Davenport makes documentaries about disability from an overtly political perspective. His first feature film, I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, won the Directing Award for U.S. Documentary at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and the McBaine Bay Area Documentary Award at San Francisco IFF. It will have a national broadcast on POV in January 2023.

The film has been hailed by critics as “first-person poetry in captivating motion, expressed with a singular, assured artistic voice” and a “must-see.” In 2020, Reid was named to DOC NYC’s “40 Filmmakers Under 40.” His short film, A CEREBRAL GAME, won the Artistic Vision Award at the 2016 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival for “creating a visual landscape that is at once disorienting and nostalgic - and the result is so raw and compelling it's impossible to turn away.” Along with A CEREBRAL GAME, his short documentaries WHEELCHAIR DIARIES and RAMPED UP are distributed by New Day Films. Reid’s work has been supported by Ford Foundation, Sundance Institute, Creative Capital, XTR, ITVS, NBCUniversal, CNN and Points North Institute, among others.

Reid was a 2017 TED fellow and gave a TED Talk about incorporating his own literal body into his filmmaking. His work has been featured by outlets like NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Reid holds an MFA in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University.

Keith Wilson


Keith Wilson is a producer, director and artist based in Athens, Georgia whose whose films have screened at Sundance, the Berlinale, Hot Docs, the U.S. National Gallery of Art, documenta14, and the Museum of Modern Art. He is currently a Creative Producing Fellow with the Sundance Institute for I Didn’t See You There. His recent short film The Tree screened at MoMA's 2019 Doc Fortnight program, DOC NYC, and was exhibited as a storefront installation at Artist Television Access in San Francisco. For his work-in-progress live documentary performance, Untitled Frank Moore Project, he was a BAVC National Mediamaker Fellow and a Points North Institute Fellow. He was the producer, director of photography and editor of Water Makes Us Wet, a documentary feature directed by Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens that premiered at documenta14 in Kassel, Germany. He was Director of Photography and Producer for INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR., which premiered at Sundance and was released theatrically by Strand Releasing. He is a member-owner New Day Films, a 40 year-old documentary distribution cooperative. Keith currently teaches in the Entertainment & Media Studies Department at the University of Georgia, has an MFA in film production from the Radio-TV-Film Department at UT-Austin, and grew up on a cul-de-sac in suburban Atlanta.