Laela Kilbourn

director of photography


press & links


"A touching, gentle-hearted look at teenagers on the autistic spectrum preparing for their first formal dance, How to Dance in Ohio offers a refreshingly upbeat, even cheerful look at people and their families coping with the condition"

     - The Hollywood Reporter

"HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO is a must-see, inspirational film that will open your eyes and warm your heart."


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"Sundance Film Festival 2015 Wrap Up: Our Top Five Favorite Documentary Features...HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO subtly breaks down misconceptions of autistic people and showcases the "neurodiversity" of its subjects. It is the kind of movie set up to have you cheering from the sidelines"

     - International Business Times

"Our Favorite People and Movies at Sundance This Year: The Kids of HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO...Watching them learn not only how to dance, but how to overcome fears and anxieties might be the most uplifting thing we saw at Sundance"

     - Wired


Indiewire picks Laela Kilbourn as one of

8 More Female Cinematographers You Should Know About

     - Paula Bernstein, Indiewire

Listen: podcast interview by Movie Geeks United -

The Art of Cinematography: Laela Kilbourn

MovieMaker Magazine -

What's in Your Kit: Cinematographer Laela Kilbourn

Watch: ABC News Persons of the Week: "A Reason to Dance at the Prom"

"Review: HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO 2015"


     - Scott Macauley, FILMMAKER MAGAZINE

Cinematographers Laela Kilbourn, Rachel Morrison, and Dagmar Weaver-Madsen in a panel discussion with

moderator Paula Bernstein of Indiewire

     - David Geffner, International Cinematographers Guild Magazine

Interview: American Teen: Laela Kilbourn

     - David Geffner, International Cinematographers Guild Magazine

Interview: How to Dance in Ohio at Wilton Library

     - Hayden Turk, Wilton Bulletin

Review: "The Bottom Line: Instructive and Inspiring.....Documentarian Lara Stolman follows a trio of autistic athletes as they learn to compete and reach for independent adulthood...her concern is always the individuality of her subjects,

well captured in the fluent camerawork of Laela Kilbourn"

     - The Hollywood Reporter

Review: "'Swim Team' will take you on an emotional roller coaster...

[Lara] Stolman’s direction mastered with Laela Kilbourn’s photography made

for an inciting documentary. Few swim films make you feel like you are in the

water, for moments it did just that."

     - The Knockturnal

Watch: ABC World News Tonight with David Muir names Mike and Maria

McQuay and the Jersey Hammerheads Swim Team Persons of the Week

"New Documentary Follows Team of Autistic Swimmers...'Swim Team' is a

documentary about a group of children who ultimately defy all odds...The

messages of 'Swim Team' are strong: Don’t allow others to set your limits

for you, and hard work is the key to success, regardless of what you pursue."

     - Sports Illustrated Kids

Review: "Making a exceptional documentary on what it means to

come together for a common goal under extraordinary circumstances..."

     - Eye For Film

Review: "Technically as well as emotionally, this is a film that hooks you: Director

of photography Laela Kilbourn captures some beautiful aquatic photography."

     - Edge Media Network

Review: "...a film that’s both eye-opening and heart-opening...Thumbs Up!"


Review: "Perhaps the most effective moments are the underwater shots. Cinematographer Laela Kilbourn beautifully captures the unlikely combination of

tension and grace in each of the young men’s swimming techniques. Robbie’s

mastery of the butterfly is particularly beautiful to watch. Kilbourn’s underwater

footage of Kelvin’s smooth swimming style is in sharp contrast to the

uncontrolled movements and tics above the surface."

     - Film Forward