A New York–based architectural historian and community urban planner with over thirty years of experience working in cities around the country, Isabel turned to filmmaking as a way to try to democratize the development and planning process. Her films give voice to residents and civic leaders who many times are not heard and bring the larger truth in focus about what creates, and sometimes destroys, our neighborhoods. Made in Brooklyn and Brooklyn Matters have been shown on PBS stations across the country and in Canada. Isabel’s most recent film, Blind Faith, gives voice to a very different community. A personal story which was 14 years in the making about Isabel’s daughter, Anna, and her blind father, David; the film traces complex, deepening, and changing family relationships and shows the everyday but often invisible challenges that the blind community faces.
Films by Isabel Hill
Blind Faith follows the stirring personal journey, both intimate and universal, of a man coming to terms with his disability and struggling with the roles of father, husband, and successful entrepreneur, breaking through the myths of blindness and broadening our understanding of the complex hidden realities facing the blind community.
Brooklyn Matters is a riveting look at how big real estate, politics, community voices, and the desperate need for jobs and affordable housing clash in one of the largest development proposals in the history of New York City. The film is important for anyone concerned with who has a voice and who has a vote in shaping the future of our cities.
The compelling stories of factories that flourish in Brooklyn challenge the notion that manufacturing is dead in America. Workers reveal how their jobs bring not only regular paychecks but meaningful relationships, enhanced self-esteem, and pride in themselves and their products.