The University of Iowa

Iowa City Filmmaker & UI Alum to Premiere The Legend in My Heart at FilmScene

IOWA CITY, Iowa—The Legend in My Heart, a film by University of Iowa alumna Kaitlyn Busbee, will premiere at FilmScene on April 24, 2016 at 7 p.m. as a part of its Filmmaker Spotlight series. The film is presented by the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

The Legend in My Heart follows four renowned American artists—Stephen Kuusisto, Michelle Pearson, and University of Iowa Professors David Gompper and Christopher Merrill—as they travel to Guangzhou, China, to engage disabled and non-disabled populations by collaborating and creating together. A pivotal scene in the film features the delegation leading a workshop with students from the Guangzhou English Training Center for the Handicapped (GETCH).

“The whole experience was incredibly humbling, it revealed so much about the human spirit,” says Busbee. “Meeting the students at GETCH and talking with them about the challenges they face each day, then watching them create with Michelle, Chris, David, and Stephen was outstanding. I realized through this opportunity that art gives us an entry point into discovering the essence of what makes us human and what we are supposed to do here.”

However, production of the film was not without its challenges. Shooting inside of the U.S. Consulate General in Guangzhou came with a variety of security concerns, says Busbee, including losing footage due to a camera malfunction with the consulate-mandated equipment. Despite this, Busbee was able to overcome these obstacles in order to create her second feature-length film. She describes a high point of the post-production process as being able to work with Gompper on creating the film’s original score.

“I feel honored to have him as a composer on this project,” says Busbee. “It was a unique experience to have David not only compose the film, but also to live the journey of the story that became the film. Being an integral part both on and off camera made his particular perspective a true gift to the creation of the score.”

FilmScene's Filmmaker Spotlight is a series designed to showcase the work of local and regional filmmakers. Filmmakers join us in person to present their work with post-screening Q&As. Free Admission with pay-what-you-want donations accepted taken at the door. Seating is first-come, first-seated. Watch the trailer here.

Kaitlyn Busbee is a video producer at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital, as well as a freelance filmmaker. Tribeca’s 30 Under 30 Film Festival selected her as one the next wave of gifted young filmmakers for her award-winning feature, These Hopeless Savages. This film, which she shot, edited, and co-directed, has now played in over 30 festivals globally. Additionally, Kaitlyn has created a wide range of dance videos, music videos, and short documentary and fictional narrative films. To learn more visit

Since 1967, the IWP has hosted more than 1,400 writers from more than 140 countries, connecting well-established writers from around the globe, introducing American writers to other cultures through reading tours, publishing books and journals, pursuing cultural diplomacy, and organizing tours, conferences, and other events around the world. Learn more at