“Cinematography has truly saved my life,” director of photography Julia Swain says in the opening minutes of the documentary LADY CAMERAMAN. Directed by Swain, the movie charts her journey to find and connect with other women who are working in her chosen and beloved profession — a career, she notes in her narration, that has helped her navigate overwhelming personal tribulations. The resulting documentary features archival material as well as more than 20 new interviews with such cinematographers as Anette Haellmigk, Autumn Durald, Cybel Martin, and ASC members including Natasha Braier, Reed Morano, Amy Vincent and Joan Churchill — the latter of whom shares a story about her union card that provides the documentary’s title — as well as Local 600 national executive director Rebecca Rhine, Marvel Studios’ executive vice president of production Victoria Alonso, and others. In presenting their stories, the documentary showcases powerful examples of women overcoming the motion-picture industry’s barriers to entry, offering a vision of hope that Swain describes as “a love letter to young cinematographers.”

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