February 7, 2020
Jim LeBrecht had mixed several of Nicole Newnham’s documentaries. Then he asked her to make one with him. It turned out to be so good that the Obamas got involved.
Jim LeBrecht is an award-winning sound designer. He has mixed films like The Devil and Daniel Johnston. (“Let’s pick a career…Sound for documentary filmmakers,” he joked to No Film School. “Oh yeah, that’s really lucrative!”) LeBrecht also happened to have attended an obscure (until-now) summer camp for disabled youth in the early 1970s.
After mixing several docs for award-winning filmmaker Nicole Newnham, he asked her if she’d like to make a film with him. It would be about a place called Camp Jened, where kids with disabilities got to hang out for the summer. It turned out that environment would lead them to a road of intense activism, sit-ins, and marches that eventually brought sweeping changes like the Americans with Disabilities Act. Having started some five years ago, this story became Sundance audience-award winning film Crip Camp.