Ten years ago, local artist Summers Moore and her two young daughters experienced horrific tragedy, as Moore’s husband, and her daughters’ father, took his own life. In deep grief for the loss, Moore turned to her artwork. From photographing her daughters as they grew up to immersing herself in painting projects to other endeavors, she was able to start a long healing process.
That process is the story told in Ten Years Out, a 12-minute film directed by Meredith McKee and Michael Stevens that debuts in the second annual Changemaker program at 5Point Film Festival on Sunday, April 22. Moore, also a 5Point board member, conceived of sharing her story after last year’s festival.
She connected with 5Point program director McKee, who had recently returned to the valley and launched her own media company. The two sat down to discuss Moore’s story over coffee. Before their cups were even empty, McKee knew that she wanted to share Moore’s narrative. “I was blown away and so inspired by her bravery to tell this story,” McKee says. “I thought, 'Let’s do it, let’s tell it.'”
This is McKee’s first directing role in a film of this length. The Colorado native spent several years as part of the public relations team for Aspen Skiing Company. She then moved to San Francisco to work at GoPro as the senior action sports producer. When she came back here, she launched Meredith Brett Media. Local filmmaker Stevens, who co-directed, connected with McKee and Moore after doing some work for 5Point last year.
“This is really a 5Point family film, in a way,” McKee says. “Summers said one of her goals in Carbondale is to bring artists together. Basically, through this film, we are making that goal, we are making our own piece of art.”
Along with being an artist, Moore actively contributes to the community, serving on the board of several nonprofits, guest curating photography shows in Aspen, mentoring young artists, and volunteering each year to produce a magazine for the nonprofit Bridging Bionics.
McKee hopes those who see the film will harness Moore’s strength as an artist, a mother, and a woman. “To me, this film is about—when the worst, most tragic thing happens to you and your family—making the choice to recover in a positive way,” she says. “Summers hasn’t only helped recover herself and her family, but she’s bringing together an entire community.”
In the movie's final scene, Moore sits amidst an exhibit at the Art Base, titled Healing Process. The gallery is filled with her creations from the last two decades. Says McKee, "Having this exhibit, and sharing it with the community, is the pinnacle of why Summers does art and why we made this film."
Moore’s exhibit is on display through May 4.