Yes I Am – The Ric Weiland Story
Aaron Bear is a filmmaker from Seattle – a crooked strip of land nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. He directed and produced an award winning feature-length documentary released in 2016 called Finding Kim that revealed an uncommon passion for beautifully rendered, deeply empathetic storytelling. Finding Kim is regarded as one of the truest tellings of a Transgender person’s life.
His influences as a filmmaker are as varied as his interests a person, and range from the oft-maligned to the universally lauded. Cynical, quirky, and offbeat on one hand. Calculated, iconic, and downright classical on the other. Think, John Waters, David Lynch, and free mimosas in first class.
More than anything else, he values humor, honesty, authenticity, and experience. His loyalty to his craft, colleagues, subjects, and peers is at the core of his creative process as a filmmaker.
He lives with his husband of 19 years, and a Siberian Husky named Zita.
When I first began to make this film, I was unsure if I could do it. I mean, it was about someone who is no longer with us and never gave any public interviews. As I started to dive deeper into Ric’s life, I couldn’t believe how this person who was one of the true queer pioneers, wasn’t known whatsoever.
This film had so many unknowns along the way that I sometimes was unsure if I could pull through. However, after four years of many ups and downs, personnel changes, dealing with my own mental health for the first time, I must say that I have been truly inspired to change my own life because of this film That was Ric’s doing.
I’ve come out the other side, finished this film, and am in a better place because of it. Because of Ric Weiland. I hope you enjoy.