Vivien's Wild Ride (Working Title)

After a long career in cinema, film editor Vivien Hillgrove starts losing her sight, forcing her to reexamine past traumas and relationships, and to reinvent herself and her art.

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Funding Initiative
Open Call
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Vivien Hillgrove

Vivien Hillgrove is a documentary director and a picture and dialogue editor in the San Francisco Bay Area, with over 50 years of experience in the film business. She has worked extensively on both narrative and documentary films. She is a member of AMPAS, and has served as an advisor for numerous Sundance Documentary Composer/Edit Labs.

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Deann Borshay Liem

Deann Borshay Liem is an Emmy Award-winning documentarian known for films that explore adoption, war, and memory. Her films include First Person Plural, In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, Geographies of Kinship, Memory of Forgotten War, Crossings, and the oral history project, Legacies of the Korean War. She is producer for Vivien’s Wild Ride.

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The Film

Vivien Hillgrove has been a film and sound editor all her adult life. She's worked with many filmmaking greats: Francis Coppola, Phil Kaufman, Milos Forman, Walter Murch, and celebrated documentary filmmakers Lourdes Portillo and Deann Borshay Liem. When Vivien’s eyesight starts to deteriorate, the shame and loneliness she felt in 1964 come flooding back—having relinquished her baby as a teenage unwed mother when there were few choices for women was a loss that resonated throughout her life. Now she faces a new feeling of isolation and loss. Recalling her resilience as a young woman, she summons it anew, and reinvents herself as a person with a new way of being and seeing, an artist with a disability.

Vivien’s Wild Ride is a story of resistance and resilience. Uncovering the past proves to be a detective story in which Vivien’s longtime partner, Karen Brocco, steps in to investigate. Meanwhile, to survive the demands of filmmaking, Vivien and Karen create a sanctuary: Mom’s Head Gardens. They live two different lives, the fast paced world of feature films and living on a little farm. Drawn to documentary films, Vivien begins connecting the two worlds. Vivien’s Wild Ride captures a story of transformation on many levels, reimagining what it means to see and to belong through acts of creation, connection, and caring, not just biology.