Pressing ahead to alleviate her crippling PTSD and shame about her time at a behavior modification boarding school, a high school ice hockey star asks questions for which there most likely will be no answers, attempting to connect the dots of her disjointed memories. She speaks with her parents, former classmates and school staff to revisit their own varied memories. She questions what kind of youth deserves this treatment, if any. Throughout this process, like many with PTSD, she wonders if she will ever be a reliable narrator of her own story, and if not, how much does that matter? – Now Return Us to Normal, feature documentary, Nevada City Film Festival, 2021 Audience Award Winner
This week we are pleased to cast a spotlight on Buffalo Native Leslie Koren, Director, Producer and Editor of Now Return Us to Normal, which will be shown as part of the 2021 Buffalo International Film Festival on Saturday, October 9 at 2:30 PM at the North Park Theatre.
The daughter of Lindy Korn and Bruce Koren, Leslie grew up in Williamsville and took advantage of all things Jewish Buffalo had to offer – from summers spent at Camps Centerland and Lakeland, to filling her time during the school year participating in the JCC’s Children’s Youth Theatre Workshop and being an active member of BBYO. Leslie also became a Bat Mitzvah at Temple Beth Am (now Congregation Shir Shalom).
While attending Nichols High School, like her older sister, she found her place on the girl’s ice hockey team as well as with the Buffalo Bisons. However, her life took a 180 when she woke up one day not feeling herself. Leslie’s mental health struggles led to the challenging decision by her parents to send her to a boarding school in Utah for the remainder of high school. Many years after completing the program and graduating, Leslie began experiencing flashbacks to her time in Utah and needed to find answers. Now Return Us to Normal is Leslie’s first feature documentary, receiving critical acclaim from film festival goers, including the Audience Award at the Nevada City Film Festival last month. Her film festival run has just started, and has also been shown at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and Skyline Indie Film Fest.
Buffalo is proud to welcome Leslie home to the 2021 Buffalo International Film Festival. You can purchase tickets to see her film on October 9 at 2:30 pm here. Leslie will be in attendance at the screening for a Q&A, which is following current CDC Covid-19 protocols. Masks will be required by all attendees and the theatre will only be filled to half capacity to allow for adequate social distancing.