Beautiful Difference

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to quickly introduce myself and tell you about a short documentary titled “Beautiful Difference” that I’ve just completed.

My name is Nathaniel Torok and I’m an aspiring documentary filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada. I became knowledgeable about Camp PALS after working for several summers at a youth program in Philadelphia. This exposure allowed me to see what a special place Camp PALS is. I was looking for an idea for my first film, and I believed there was an important story to be told here. I wanted to try and attempt to share the incredible experiences that so many people have had while attending the camp. I approached the directors of Camp PALS about the idea and they were incredibly helpful and supportive in getting everything set up. I ended up focusing the story on campers Daniel Chaplin, Katie McCurdy, and their counselors Kelsey Siegel and Max Staplin. I followed these individuals and their families in Brooklyn, New York, Birmingham, Alabama, and the outskirts of Philadelphia before filming for a week at Camp PALS. What emerged was not a film about Camp PALS itself, but an intimate look at two families who have raised children born with developmental disabilities. I was excited to hear that the film was just accepted into the “We Care Film Festival” in India. It’s a traveling festival that will visit parts of India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, Nepal, and Turkey. I’m excited that people will get a chance to see it.

Making this film was the most rewarding and difficult experience I have ever had. The final film is far from perfect, and I can’t even begin to count the amount of mistakes I made along the way, but it’s something I’m incredibly proud of. I hope that you get a chance to see it.

Thank you very much,
Nathaniel Torok