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When viewed side by side, stories of our differences become proof of our sameness. Here is a beautiful collection of stories about the various ways in which we can all relate to each other’s experiences of feeling ‘different’.

When Michael’s ballet career did not turn out as planned, he finds refuge and liberation by assuming an alter ego: a sparkly turban-wearing, Russian ballet instructor named Madame Olga. By slipping into this mysterious character, Michael discovers a way to both embrace himself as an artist and reconcile with the pain from his past. Olga challenges authority and breaks the stereotype of a strict ballet teacher, taking on a life of her own, and generating a following for her unconventional ballet classes. Through Olga, Michael is able to give aspiring dancers a place to flourish and can be the kind of mentor he never had for himself. When I'm Her follows the life of Michael as he inhabits Madame Olga who serves as a portal to help her students. But in the process, she discovers the person she needs to help the most.

About the Director:

Emily Schuman is a documentary producer and filmmaker. Her directorial debut, When I'm Her, a co-production with ITVS, follows the double life of a dancer as he inhabits his alter ego, Madame Olga. Most recently, Emily co-produced a film for National Geographic detailing the development of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Emily co-produced the independent films The Disrupted (DOK.Fest Munich, International premiere) and True Believer (streaming on The Atlantic), and was an associate producer on The Witmans (Discovery), and Lift (premiering in 2021). Emily's career began as a camera assistant and a member of IATSE Local 600.

  • Runtime
    15 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Premiere
    Oregon Premiere
  • Director
    Emily Schuman