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Truth Revealed

Seeing the world thru a different lens



Wander through town and what do you see? The familiar stride of an early-morning jogger. A shopkeeper organizing merchandise on a sidewalk rack. Gardeners tending flowerbeds along River Road. But what do you know about these people?

Take Megan Smith-Harris, for example. Clad in exercise gear, wisps of blonde hair escaping whimsical braids, the six-foot “Friendly Amazon” often relaxes at Starbucks following a walk. Warm and approachable, one might assume she’s a woman of light conversation and leisure. That would be a mistake.

Owner of Wilton-based Pyewackitt Productions, the former actress-turned-producer is anything but demure. With a rare blend of conviction and compassion, Smith-Harris creates documentaries that challenge stereotypes and encourage people to move beyond them.

Inspiration for her films often comes from daily life. Her current production began with a dog-eared magazine and two unforgettable eyes. Perusing an issue of People, Smith-Harris ran across an article featuring young burn survivors and the adults helping to restore their hopes for the future. Engrossed in the story, she turned the page to find the bandaged face of a boy peering back at her. “Looking into that child’s eyes shifted something inside of me,” she said. “I thought, ‘imagine waking up in the hospital bandaged from head to toe and discovering that life as you knew it had forever changed.’”

So moved was Smith-Harris that she refocused her professional lens on the creation of Trial by Fire: Lives Re-Forged, a documentary exploring the inspirational and surprising stories of seven ordinary people who endured the devastating effects of fire and emerged from the flames to reclaim their lives.

Early research led Smith-Harris to laser-technology pioneer Dr. Jill Waibel who, in turn, introduced her to several patients. Other burn survivors, such as U.S. soldier and “Dancing With the Stars” celebrity, J.R. Martinez—who suffered severe burns when his Humvee hit a landmine and exploded in Iraq—crossed the producer’s path at the World Burn Congress convention.

The courage and grace with which these survivors emerged are powerful. A firefighter endures a 1,500-degree firestorm; a teenager engulfed in flames triumphs against all odds; an oil refinery worker survives a devastating explosion; a family is united through tragedy; and a 12-year-old sprint-car driver pulled from a flaming wreck aspires to return to the track. “I consider it extremely important to forge a bond of trust between myself and those I interview. They’re entrusting me to tell a deeply personal, often painful chapter of their lives and I do not take that responsibility lightly,” she says.

Producing a documentary is a complex process involving pre-screening, interviews, location scouting, camera crews, and staging. While distribution has yet to be finalized, Smith-Harris is optimistic that Trial by Fire will air on national television as well as at film festivals.

Despite the myriad details behind the film’s two-and-a-half-year creation, Smith-Harris’ greatest challenge has been financial. “People in Wilton have been generous and we are grateful to our corporate sponsors,” she says. “However, we still need funds for distribution and educational outreach. Our goal is to air this film in every library, high school, fire department, burn hospital and burn camp across the country.”

“A million Americans are burned every year at home, school and work,” she says. “Trial by Fire is a celebration of courage, a campaign to help save lives and a movement to make the world a more respectful, welcoming place.” 

A native of Toronto, Smith-Harris moved to Wilton in 2004 with her husband, Bill, and seventh-grade son Jack. She is responsible for the Wilton Library’s popular New Perspectives Documentary Film Series.

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December 2018

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Cost: Free

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Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
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Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: Free, but donations in support of New Pond Farm's fleecy flock will be welcomed!

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New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
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  The Wilton Conservation Commission will host a walk at Cherry Lane Park this Sunday beginning at 1 pm. to be led by Commissioner Colleen O'Brian.  All are welcome, including dogs on leash. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Cherry Lane Park
41 Cherry Lane
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Wilton Conservation Commission
Telephone: 203 210-5240
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Cost: free

Where:
Westport Barnes and Noble Booksellers
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
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Ridgefield Library
472 Main Street
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Sponsor: Ridgefield Library
Telephone: 203-438-2282
Contact Name: Laurie McGavin Bachmann
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Cost: free

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Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue
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Sponsor: Pequot Library
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Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
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11 North Water Street
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
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On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Wednesday, Dec. 12. The Bedford Chamber Concert Series continues its 2018-19 season, featuring an all-Vivaldi holiday program. Anthony Newman and the Bedford Chamber Ensemble will perform “The...

Cost: $45 per person

Where:
St. Matthew's Church Fellowship Hall
382 Cantitoe Street
Bedford, NY  10506
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Sponsor: St. Matthew's Music Committee
Telephone: 914-522-5150
Contact Name: Anthony Newman
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

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Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Show More...
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The Maritime Garage Gallery’s latest exhibit features works inspired by art in public places. “Street Level ” brings to life the notion that public art can transforms...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Maritime Garage Gallery
Website »

More information

The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

Music on the Hill presents a festive concert of the Jubilate Ringers handbell choir and Festival Chorus performing classic carols and songs. Featured: the premiere of "Stars over Snow:...

Cost: Free, with donations welcome: $20 suggested.

Where:
St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
36 New Canaan Road (Rte. #106)
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »


Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

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Come and meet award-winning columnist, author, and founder of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc, Julie Jason. She'll be signing her most recent books, The Retirement Survival Guide, Managing...

Cost: 0

Where:
Barnes & Noble at the Stamford Town Center
100 Greyrock Place
Stamford, CT  06901
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Sponsor: Julie Jason
Telephone: 203-322-1198
Contact Name: Theresa Robbins
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The much anticipated Great Trains Holiday Exhibit at the Wilton Historical Society opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, with Santa visiting on December 8! Decorated for the...

Cost: Members free, Non-member adults $10/ kids $5.

Where:
Wilton Historical Society
224 Danbury Road
Wilton, CT  06897
View map »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On Saturday, December 15th, at 6:30 PM, New Pond Farm Education Center will be hosting a public astronomy program where we hope to see Comet Wirtanen and some meteors from the Geminid meteor...

Cost: $4 per New Pond Farm member (max. $16 per family) and $6 per non-member (max. $2

Where:
New Pond Farm Education Center
101 Marchant Road
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Telephone: (203) 938-2117
Contact Name: New Pond Farm
Website »

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