Feature Documentaries

ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME

When there is no one to turn to at home, sometimes the only family that seems to care is the one you find on the streets. ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME is the all-too-common story of Guatemala City’s urban youth and the gangs that become their family.

At its core, ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME will tell a story of family life in the heart of urban Guatemala City—both the dysfunctional reality of many kids and the family found on the streets. Most of the story will occur in Guatemala City’s La Limonada, the largest urban slum in Central America. It is here where poverty combines with addiction and abuse, forcing many kids to fend for themselves, often leading to a connection with gangs—the ones who help show young needy kids how to get food and clothes…and survive.

During my first trip to Guatemala in June of 2010, I was fortunate to shoot a 90-minute interview with a ghetto resident and community leader. It was clear, by his statements, that there was a greater story to be told. Near the end of my second trip in April of 2011, I visited a former gang member in prison. This powerful experience has remained with me since that day and, while listening to this man’s story, I knew that this was the specific story I needed to tell.

As OGCJM explores the home and street life of various youth, we will get to know current gang members, former gang members and parents, community leaders trying to provide the path to a better life, and even elected officials.

This film is fiscally sponsored by the International Documentary Association and all donations that go through the IDA are tax deductible as the law allows. Contact me for more information.

And for more information on our producing partner Lemonade International and the work that they’re doing in La Limonada, please click here.

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Land of the Big Sun

For decades, Mississippi’s Big Sunflower River flowed freely for nearly 250 miles from just south of the Tennessee border until it met the Yazoo river just north of the town of Vicksburg. Many of the communities along its banks owe their existence to the river that once provided transportation, irrigation and sustenance. But now the river is, at places, literally packed with garbage dumped by those who once depended on its vitality. There is even a stretch where the river flow ceases. It is time for the communities to give back and help restore the river to its former beauty.

Through looking back at the history of the river; supported by interviews with local conservationists, historians, river folk and townspeople; and anchored by a 3-week expedition spanning the length of the Big Sun–from headwaters to confluence–this film will paint a portrait of what once was and what can be again. This film will present the beauty and sadness of the once-thriving Big Sunflower River in the heart of the Mississippi Delta region, and connect a storied past with a hopeful future.

Contact us for more information on supporting this film project.

(NOTE: This project is currently on hold.)

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I Want My Life Back

In the United States, 1 in 15,000 people—less than 200,000 total—suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve, classifying this disease as rare by the Office of Rare Diseases. Other than the patients themselves, their families, and highly-specialized doctors and dentists, few have heard of this disorder. Until now.

Supported by interviews with some of the leading doctors in the field, time spent with patients and their families, and footage from various conferences and support groups, this story engages with the lives of a few very different TN patients who live within very common constraints, grasping for hope in the midst of suffering.

Click here to view a 5-minute film telling my wife’s (abbreviated) story of her TN journey.

And please contact us to learn more about financially supporting this project.