Best and Most Beautiful Things

Best and Most Beautiful Things

  • BY Garrett Zevgetis | IN Identity
    Premiered January 2, 2017

About the Film

In rural Maine, a quirky, charming, and determined young woman named Michelle Smith lives with her mother Julie. Legally blind and on the autism spectrum, Michelle has big dreams and proudly wears the badge of outcast. Searching for connection, Michelle explores love and empowerment outside the limits of “normal,” including a provocative sexual awakening. Best and Most Beautiful Things tells Michelle’s joyful story of self-discovery as a celebration of outcasts everywhere. MORE

After receiving an extraordinary education at the Perkins School for the Blind, a world-famous institution outside Boston which was attended by the young Helen Keller, Michelle becomes isolated after graduation, spending hours and days alone in her room, struggling to envision her future. She attends an alumni weekend where a school administrator unexpectedly offers her the possibility of an animation internship in Los Angeles. While Michelle eagerly anticipates this dream opportunity, her family and teachers worry about real-world logistics and Michelle’s readiness to live independently on the other side of the country.

Michelle passes time on the computer, feeding her interests and bold curiosity about the world beyond her walls. Online, she meets and falls in love with a young college student named Michael, and together they become involved in a local fetish role-playing community. Through her relationship with Michael and their adventures with kink and BDSM, Michelle experiences a burgeoning empowerment and finds the acceptance that has eluded her since her time at Perkins. Best and Most Beautiful Things gently reveals how all the most beautiful things, including love and sexuality, are not bound by disability.

The Filmmaker

Garrett Zevgetis is a Boston-based documentary filmmaker focusing on fascinating people and social change. After growing up in Kissimmee, Florida, Garrett served in the U.S. Navy during Desert Storm, and earned an MFA in Media Art from Emerson College. He has directed several short films, including A Mercenary Tale, which premiered at the Boston International Film Festival and was distributed worldwide by Ouat Media. Best and Most Beautiful Things is Zevgetis’s first feature film. He previously worked at WGBH’s FRONTLINE, under acclaimed producer Judith Vecchione, and as a producer for the nationally syndicated public radio program, “Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon.” He was recently named one of “10 Filmmakers to Watch” by The Independent magazine. LESS

Film Credits

Directed by
Garrett Zevgetis

Produced by
Ariana Garfinkel
Jeff Consiglio

Edited by
Jeff Consiglio

Additional Editing
Sarah Ginsburg

Cinematography by
Sarah Ginsburg
Jordan Salvatoriello

Produced by
Garrett Zevgetis
Jordan Salvatoriello

Original Music
Tyler Strickland

Executive Producers

Kevin S. Bright
Claudia Bright

Additional Camera
Shaun Clarke
Daniel Jacobs
Ben Pender-Cudlip
Ethan Goldhammer
Elena Rossini

Sound Recordists
Ross Matthei
Bradford Krieger
Brian Misiewicz

Graphic Design
Claire Miyamoto

Post Production Services & Mastering
Fancy Film Post Services

Robert Crosby

Audio Description
Audio Eyes

Closed Captioning
Axium Digital

JP Dubuque
Melissa Coleman

Production Assistant
Fran McCarthy

Supervising Sound Editor & Re-Recording Mixer
Joe Milner

Foley Artist
Miguel Barbosa

Foley Mixer
Diego Suarez Staub

Legal Counsel
Justine Jacob

Clearance Counsel
Lisa Callif

Music Clearances
Brienne Rose

Distribution Advisory Services
Preferred Content

Additional Material
Daria / MTV Networks
"Rise Up With Fists!!"/ Jenny Lewis
"Pump Up the Volume" / Martyn Young, Steve Young
"Torn" / Phil Thornalley, Scott Cutler
"At Last" / Harry Warren, Mack Gordon
"Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me For Me)” / Blessid Union of Souls
“Gold on the Ceiling” / Brian Burton, Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney
Thomas & Friends / BBC / HIT Entertainment
Home Movie Footage provided by Tiffany Smith


Written by Michael Fiore and Michael Hiller
Performed by Criminal Hygiene
Courtesy of New Professor Music

“You Wish You Were Red”
Written by Eva Susanne Renlund and James Lee Dose
Performed by Trailer Trash Tracys
Courtesy of Domino Recording and Publishing Company Ltd

Written and performed by Stone Cold Fox
Courtesy of Stone Cold Fox Music

Special Thanks
Actors Shakespeare Project
Ashley Bernard
Bangor Housing Authority
Bill Appel
Boothbay Railway Village
Braille Design
Cara Pelletier
Carmen Harris
Daniel Dintzner
Ed McCurdy MC/DJ, Bangor ME
Fred and Mary Ann Salvatoriello
Great Skates, Bangor ME
Helen Selsdon
Henrietta’s Table - The Charles Hotel
Igor Kaminski
Jeff Migliozzi
Jeffrey L. Berman, M.D.
Judith Vecchione
Keiran Watson-Bonnice
Kori Feener
Lisa Palone
Lori Spencer
Marina Bedny
Matt Langer
Michael Roche
Nocturnem Draft Haus
Noell Dorsey
Norma Jean Darcy
Paddy Murphy's Irish Pub, Bangor ME
Perkins School for the Blind
Rachel Wetschensky
Ryan Romeiser
Seth Horowitz
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Penobscot Pour House, Bangor ME
The Salvation Army
The Smith Family

In Loving Memory
Amy Margaret Gould
Eli Eckman
Jerome T. Consiglio
John Zevgetis
Mitchell Alan Michael Smith

Fiscal Sponsor Filmmakers Collaborative

Production Support Provided by
Independent Filmmaker Project

Funding Provided by
LEF Moving Image Fund
Grousbeck Family Foundation
Eastern Charitable Foundation
Melissa J. Baily
And others, a complete list available from PBS.

Best and Most Beautiful Things
is a co-production of Only Bright Productions and Beacon Street Films, in association with Carriage House Pictures and VFRFilms.

This film was produced by Beacon Street Films LLC which is solely responsible for its content.

Copyright 2016, Beacon Street Films LLC.

Have you ever felt like an outcast, for whatever reason? How did you find a sense of community? How do you find ways to be more inclusive of others in your own life?


  • SXSW Film Festival
    Grand Jury Award nomination
  • Independent Film Festival Boston
    Special Jury Award
  • Superfest International Disability Film Festival
    Best of Fest Award
  • Florida Film Festival
    Special Jury Award
  • Tulsa American Film Festival
    Best Documentary Feature
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Have you ever felt like an outcast, for whatever reason? How did you find a sense of community? How do you find ways to be more inclusive of others in your own life?