Documentary Shorts: I’m Not Here, Will of Spirit, From Strings to Iron, Glen’s Village, A Certain Kind of Light
I’m Not Here
A college student takes medicine for depression and anxiety everyday, as well as hanging out with friends. When he finally feels comfortable telling his friends about his condition, they give an unexpected response that is unfortunately prominent in today’s society. This short film is a personal story.
“‘I’m Not Here’ opens your eyes and touches your heart with its powerful commentary on mental illness and it’s challenges, filmmaker Alec Brown shows tremendous courage in sharing himself with us,”
-Actress Claudia Christian; Babylon 5, Atlantis: The Lost Empire
Will of Spirit
From Strings to Iron
The 27-minute documentary film focuses on high school powerlifting star Evan Pittman as he prepares to make history as the youngest powerlifter ever to set 100 world records before graduating from high school.
The film focuses on Evan’s strong family support system, and his multiple achievements, including being a performing violinist who also plays for weekly church services, and his parents’ focus on ensuring his success.
Glen Casey was born and raised in a world of drugs and violence. But with the help of counselors, mentors, teachers — and most of all, a mother who never quit on him — he’s now a University of Pennsylvania sophomore. “Glen’s Village” immerses viewers in University City and West Philadelphia. Although only separated by a few blocks — the two neighborhoods are galaxies apart in reality. From selling crack cocaine on the streets in grade nine to attending an Ivy League school, Glen’s journey is filled with bumps, bruises & redemption. The film probes the impact of trauma, particularly in children, an angle explored through the lens of the city’s constantly evolving urban narrative.
A Certain Kind of Light
Personal storytelling allows one to pour out their story in their own unique voice, making crucial connections otherwise buried in a lifetime of details. The ears lucky enough to hear these stories have the opportunity to see the storyteller in their most complex and naked truth, with context, tone, and all those tells that makes the storyteller a whole person. “Never This Close” is a short form documentary, which serves as a portrait of a sage like 93-year old man who has been that set of ears thousands of times. Wilber “Wil” Alexander has sat at the bedside of the sick and the dying for the last 40 years, inviting the wounded to tell their stories, walking alongside them and aiding in their search for meaning. The film follows Wil as he uniquely cares for sick, wounded and terminal patients without the modern technology or procedures that define most healthcare practice. We will watch, as what sounds like an unrelated and even dangerous distraction from treatment, becomes one of the most powerful tools in restoration. Wil believes there is invaluable meaning and purpose in both, the illness and the experience of recovery, one that exposes the whole person. The healing rounds take on a greater complexity as Wil’s own health wains in a way that puts him face to face with his own mortality. This factor propels the medical professionals around him to work tirelessly to find a way to capture and codify his methods in a way that can be taught and replicated by young physicians, nurses and caretakers before its too late to pass on his life’s work. In order to capture the hushed intimacy of these healing sessions, director Brandon Vedder shadowed Wil with a single camera for months, allowing him access to the most profoundly private moments of patients’ last hours.
Blues Running Backwards
Five years after a disappointing album release, local Denton musician Doug Burr struggles to overcome his loss, attempting to deliver a new album in which he can take pride. The documentary follows Doug’s day in/day out to uncover purpose for the passionate home-based musician.