A sneak peek at "LaPorte, Indiana" - a documentary film by Joe Beshenkovsky and Jason Bitner. For more info on the project, head to laportemovie.com. The film premiered in LaPorte in July, 2010, and had its Film Festival Premiere in Indianapolis at the Indy Film Fest where it won the "Hoosier Lens Award!"
This actually does connect to a book - a "companion" of sorts to this documentary and this trove of photos, published by Princeton Architectural Press in 2006. I missed out on getting to sell the book originally, but I need to find a copy of it and check it out.
Here's some more about the project:
Tucked away in the back room of a B+J's American Cafe lies a secret history waiting to be discovered: over 18,000 dog-eared studio portraits taken in the 1950s and 60s. From baby pictures to graduation shots to young soldiers heading off to war and beyond, each of these photos hints at a personal story waiting to be discovered.
From 1947 through 1970, the diner's second floor housed Muralcraft Studios. It was here where Frank and Gladys Pease documented many important milestones- Muralcraft was the go-to studio for special event photography, but little did they know they would also become the "accidental historians" of LaPorte, Indiana with the extensive archive they left behind.
Some forty years later, the subjects of these portraits share their own life stories: deeply personal tales of love and family, divorce and loss, and the search for one's place in the world. We also encounter the next generation of LaPorteans, grappling with the decision to stay and begin their adult life in their hometown, or to search for opportunities elsewhere, a truly universal dilemma experienced across America and beyond.
The filmmakers have announced two upcoming screenings of LaPorte, Indiana in October:
Thursday October 7
Gene Siskel Film Center
164 N. State Street
Thursday October 21
285 Kent Avenue
(at s. 2nd St.)
And you can also order a DVD of the film direct from the film's web site: laportemovie.com