BURNT SUGAR PRODUCTIONS
A Mennonite school teacher trains to carry a gun in her classroom after her husband votes for the new law.
DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT: (2019)
As a filmmaker and professor living in a gang-filled neighborhood in Chicago, the fear of gun violence is part of my everyday life. School shootings seem countless, and our country's opposing political views hinder us from having actual conversation for change. I see a growing divide between urban and rural mentalities. This is where my unique perspective comes into play. I'm a pacifist, raised in a small Kansas town settled by Mennonites who had constantly been forced to flee their farms because they wouldn't bear arms—immigrants moving from country to country.
For the last year and a half I've been writing a feature-length script called "Fear Not" about a Mennonite teacher who is forced to carry a weapon after her husband helps pass a statewide law. Goldie experiences an awakening when a foreign pastor moves to town preaching radical non-violence in the face of fear.
Excited to return home to rural Kansas to shoot a narrative short proof of concept this summer with actress Kristen Bush and producers Lindsay Rathert and Laura Kirk. As our country is polarized over gun reform and how to combat mass shootings, we're aiming to tell the stories of strength and persistence among women in the midwest. "Fear Not" shows the complicated, funny, and tragic struggles women go through, divisions within families, and the dwindling economies that many small towns face across our country.
Best Kansas Narrative Short Film - Tallgrass Film Festival (2020)
Chicago Digital Media Production Fund grant
Power in Numbers