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Professor tells the story behind her documentary

When Prof. Garland Waller first conceptualized her documentary, No Way Out But One, she did not imagine a project of such enormous magnitude. Originally created as a 15-minute short film, Waller’s award-winning movie about love, courage and perseverance grew into a feature-length documentary.

The film tells the compelling story of divorced mother, Holly Collins, and her fight to free her children from the custody of her former husband, their abusive father. Accused of kidnapping her own children by the FBI, Collins went on the run, ultimately fleeing with her children to the Netherlands where she become the first American woman to win asylum by the Government of the Netherlands, on the basis of domestic violence.

While Collins and her family are a unique case, Waller, who produced and directed the documentary, strives to shed light on the larger issue at hand: domestic violence and child abuse. An estimated 58,000 children a year are ordered into unsupervised contact with physically or sexually abusive parents following divorce in the United States.

“My commitment”, said Waller, “is to broaden awareness of the fact that if you beat your wife and abuse your children in America you are more likely to get custody than not, and I believe this is such a shocking fact, not a make believe opinion that most people have no idea about.”

While Waller’s passion was a driving force behind this documentary, she was not alone in its making. Her husband, Barry Nolan, a television writer and reporter, co-wrote and co-produced the documentary. Waller also said that the movie is truly a reflection of COM, with six students and alumni involved with the production and promotion process. Waller was quick to thank the following: Erika Street, editor; Olivia Neir, web designer and creator; Celia Hubbard, production assistant; Rebecca Wilkinson, production assistant; Jessie Beers Altman, production assistant and second camera in Amsterdam; and Gonzalo Accame, Washington, D.C. videographer.

No Way Out But One debuts at Boston University Dec. 2, 2011 at 7 p.m. in COM 101.

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