From left to right: Diane Israel, Carla Precht, Daniel Brothers, Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal
Executive Producer, Co-Producer, Co-Writer, Founder of SheArt LLC
Diane Israel is currently a psychotherapist with a private practice in Boulder, Colorado and a professor of transpersonal psychology at Naropa University. Her experiences as a world-class runner and triathlete led her to specialize in body image, eating struggles, and our issues around the race to perfection. Her life’s work has been to help individuals reclaim their humanness, practice self-care, and heal through mind-body integration. She produced the award-winning independent documentary film, Beauty Mark and inspires folks around the country during her lectures. Diane’s film has reached over 10,000 people in the last 2 years and has been endorsed by the National Eating Disorders Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Dove Self Esteem Fund. She is also behind the revolutionary program, Camp Celebrate You, which will be offered for free to schools who want to increase positive self-care, self-worth, and wellness through a month of life-changing activities and events. Through collaboration with colleagues and incredible minds, this program has been designed to educate and inspire our country to be healthier and more whole individuals. Psychotherapist. Teacher. Filmmaker. Athlete. Speaker. Entrepreneur. Diane wears many hats, but they are all worn for the unified purpose of guiding and encouraging others to find clarity and live more fully. Diane inspires people to find their authentic greatness and coaches individuals to reach their fullest potential with joy!
Beauty Mark chronicles Diane’s quest to understand the personal and cultural forces that drive people, including herself, to achieve physical perfection at any cost. Diane’s film has reached over 10,000 people in the last 2 years and it has been endorsed by the National Eating Disorders Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Dove Self Esteem Fund, and hundreds of educators, health practitioners, counselors, and coaches across the country. Diane has traveled throughout the US with Beauty Mark inspiring thousands of people, young and old, at schools, universities, clinics, conferences. She is known for her brutally honest, authentic, and direct way of communicating and for her message of compassion, forgiveness, and self-love. Diane continues to make her mission to support people in following their life’s passions. Diane also cares for her mother in Boulder Colorado who suffered from a stroke in 1998.
On making the film…
Frustrated and exhausted by our culture’s fixation with thinness and external beauty, I set out on a mission to understand this mania. After years of being a very driven and compulsive athlete, this became my new obsession. I wondered what our world would be like if all the energy and time we spent seeking fulfillment outside ourselves was turned toward helping others. Were there others who felt the way I did? With the guidance and support of my childhood neighbor, Carla Precht (who became my Co-Director), and other crew members, I was forced to see that I had to be willing to tell my own story if anyone would believe our film. I never imagined that my life would become a central thread to this story. With this film I hope to encourage each of you to ask yourself “what is my unique beauty?” I am learning that when we begin to live our own Uniqueness, that is Beauty Mark! — Diane
Co-Producer, Co-Director, Co-Writer
Carla Precht was Diane’s neighbor growing up in Scarsdale, NY. She has spent the last 30 years running New York City educational, advocacy and social service programs and agencies that primarily served low-income families and children. She was Executive Director of a settlement house in the Bronx from 1990-2000, and is currently the Executive Director of an academic enrichment program called Horizons and the Director of the community service programs at Brooklyn Friends School. She is also establishing a foundation on behalf of the Yankees. Carla is now Diane’s booking agent as well as outreach coordinator for the Beauty Mark film. She is the mother of two children, a writer, an advocate for human rights, a trainer in the school-age care profession and a nonprofit management consultant. Carla’s passion for equality and justice, and her love of art, have propelled her into the world of film.
On making the film…
I am honored to have had the opportunity to make this film with Diane, Kathleen, the cast, and the crew. As I started to work on the film and collect information about the beauty industry, it became clear to me that Diane was very self-conscious about her own body and she even confessed to me that she had been an anorexic as a child. I realized that Diane was still battling many of her childhood demons and I felt that this would make her a believable and sympathetic guide in the film. Fortunately, Diane trusted me as an old friend to interview her in depth, as well as other people who knew her, to develop this personal story, which became the backbone of Beauty Mark.
To me, Beauty Mark illustrates how complex and layered the formation of our body image is, how our values mirror our culture, and how each of us has more choices than ever before as to how we model our lives. Our film is not meant to provide one definition of a body image disorder or a road map to overcoming a neurosis. It is just meant to give the audience something to think about and a place to begin talking honestly about these issues. Thank you Diane, and the Israel family, for being so courageous! — Carla
Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal
Co-Director, Co-Editor, Post-Production Supervisor
Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal is an independent filmmaker, Yale graduate, and Fulbright Scholar who hails from Hawai’i. She is the writer/director of a diverse body of award-winning documentaries and dramas including THE INTERVIEW, a Kafkaesque French-language film set in Paris, and SITA: A GIRL FROM JAMBU, an ethnographic drama about child sex trafficking in Nepal. Gyllenhaal was also the producer and director of photography of KIND OF A BLUR, a film festival favorite starring Sandra Oh. Gyllenhaal is a tenured professor of film production at Vassar College in New York, where she teaches directing, screenwriting and narrative and documentary filmmaking. She recently wrote and directed WALK THE FISH, a short film collaboration with Vassar film and drama students, and the award-winning Hawaiian short, LYCHEE THIEVES. Man is the co-producer of the feature film GRASSROOTS, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and starring Jason Biggs, Joel David Moore, Cedric the Entertainer and Lauren Ambrose. She is currently writing and directing COSMOPOLITAN, her first dramatic feature film and executive producing EXQUISITE CONTINENT, a documentary on dreams and dream interpretation. See www.kathleenmangyllenhaal.com
On making the film…
Joining the Beauty Mark team was a major moment in my life; Diane’s struggle spoke to me right from the beginning. This was an opportunity for me to contribute to a global dialogue about the way we view the body and how we yearn to relate to one another as human beings. We all come into this world encased in a fragile shell and spend most of our lives coming to terms with our mortal coil. Diane’s brave journey was an inspiration to me during the challenging process of constructing a 75-minute documentary from over 400 hours of footage. Thank you, Di and Carla, for the opportunity. — Kathleen
Director of Photography
Emmy Award-winning Edgar Boyles has filmed features, documentaries and commercials worldwide, from the jungles of the Amazon and the savannahs of Africa, to the bottom of Antarctica and the top of Mt. Everest. He shot the Academy Award-nominated Coors International Classic and was second-unit camera operator on Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It, which won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Edgar was Director of Photography on the Emmy Award-nominated films A Country in the Mind, End of the Game and High Altitude Physiology at Everest, which also won Best Documentary at the Telluride Film Festival. He shot the acclaimed Let’s Get Lost, a portrait of Chet Baker that won an International Monitor Award and Special Recognition at the Aspen Film Festival. His Yangtse River Expedition won Critic’s Choice at the Venice Film Festival. Edgar shot the Paul McCartney World Tour for Richard Lester and has shot for ABC, NOVA, the BBC and Discovery Channel, among others. He has been honored with the Golden Eagle Award for Special Achievement in Sports Cinematography. See http://www.wildwoodfilms.com
Daniel Brothers started work in film in the editorial department. After accruing quite a few credits in the field he left to pursue a career as a producer. He currently several feature films in active development and continues to pursue new projects. He’s based in Los Angeles, CA. http://www.danieljbrothers.com.
Associate Producer, Assistant Editor
Julia Andersen was born and raised in Colorado, growing up in a small mountain town. Julia always had a love for storytelling, and has worked in film and video production for the last eight years, contributing to music videos, commercials, documentaries and feature films. A few feature films she has worked on include Silver City by John Sayles, Throttle, Catch & Release and Looking for Sunday. Julia received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Theatre, Film, & Video from the University of Colorado Denver, part of the Colorado Film School. She received the National Television Academy’s Scholarship award for writing a treatment for a television sitcom, which she gratefully accepted at the Regional Heartland Emmy Awards. She has created several short original films, as well as written several full-length screenplays. Julia is the founder of Rare Earth Productions, a production company with a mission to illustrate sustainability through their films.