Reid Davenport makes films about disability from an overtly political perspective. He was named to DOC NYC’s “40 Filmmakers Under 40” in 2020. His first feature film, I Didn’t See You There, dives into the historical and personal baggage that arises when a circus tent goes up outside his Oakland apartment. I Didn’t See You There received a production grant from California Humanities, Doc Society’s New Perspectives Grant, and was selected to be included in the 2020 IFP Week. Davenport was also named a 2020 Points North Fellow and a 2020 Bay Area Video Coalition MediaMaker Fellow in connection to the project. He is a 2017 TED Fellow and gave a TED Talk at the annual conference in Vancouver. His film awards include the Artistic Visions Award at the 2016 Big Sky Documentary Festival (A Cerebral Game). Davenport is a Visiting Teaching Professor at Syracuse University. He graduated from Stanford University in 2016 with a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film and Video.
Photo by Bret Hartman / TED
I Didn’t See You There
Spurred by a circus tent that goes up outside his Oakland apartment, a disabled filmmaker connects the ostensibly antiquated institution of the Freak Show with his own life. Shot from a camera held by director Reid Davenport or mounted to his wheelchair, the film serves as an unequivocal rebuke to the norm of disabled people being seen and not heard. I Didn’t See You There expands on the tradition of point-of-view film toward a new aesthetic for disabled filmmakers, creating film that is disabled through the artist’s own embodiment.