BeauteouS: Stephanie

16mm & Super 8mm, 15 min, 2000


A young woman born with a cranio-facial deformity, a cleft lip and palate, recounts the numerous surgeries she endured to transform her face. Her reflection challenges societal beauty standards which may have required these surgeries. The film is crafted through interviews with Stephanie where she recounts her experience in school and in the hospital. Images avoid her face, focusing instead on abstract representations of beauty and her past.

BeauteouS: Stephanie is the first in the BeauteouS trilogy – three portraits of three sisters and their relationships to beauty.


Best Student Documentary - Chicago International Film Festival, October 2000

Honorable Mention, Documentary Short - Georgetown Independent Film Festival, August 2001

Finalist Best Short Documentary - Docside Film Festival, San Antonio, TX, April 2002

Nominee, Best Documentary - Making Waves Film Festival, 2001


Suns Cinema, Washington DC - March 2018
Eye Am: Women Behind the Lens, Anthology Film Archives, NY, NY - October 2010
Brooklyn International Disability Film Festival – July 2005
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, invited presentation – May 2005
Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies Queerness and Disability Film Series - October 2004
San Diego Girl Film Festival, San Diego, CA – Sept 2004
Picturing Violence, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco - April 2004
Console-ing Passions, International conference on feminism and media, New Orleans, LA - May 2004
Museum of Photographic Arts, “Sisters Are Doin’ it Them-selves” Retrospective of Giovanna Chesler’s work and presentation of feature film by another maker – February 2004
Women's Studies/Center for Women Students Film Series, Pennsylvania State University, State
College, PA - February 2004
Video Vixens, San Diego, CA May 2003
La Jolla Contemporary Art Museum, La Jolla, CA, March 2003
Docside Film Festival, San Antonio, TX, April 2002
Virginia Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA, October 2001
Mad Cat Women’s Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, September 2001
Georgetown Independent Film Festival, Washington, DC, August 2001
Long Island International Film Expo, Malverne, NY, July 2001


Camera (16mm and Super 8mm), Optical Printing & hand processing - Giovanna Chesler

Assistant Camera - Josh Chesler
Sound Recording - Nick Napolitano
Sound Mix - Dan Olmstead
Editor - Giovanna Chesler
Photos - Vanna Klein
Titles - Rock Ross
Negative Cutting - Lewis Motisher

Thank you

Stephanie Klein Napolitano, Josh Chesler, James, Vanna and Michele Klein, Mahri Holt, David Duhig, Karen Holmes, Bob Lewis, Donna and Ken Chesler, Jay Capela, Amy Happ, The SFSU MFA class of 2002, SFSU Alumni Association Grant, John Gutmann Memorial Award for Excellence in Filmmaking