2020 Young Guns - Young Guns
Agency Jackson Tisi
LEON is a short documentary film about Leon Ford, Pittsburg activist and writer whose life was forever altered when he was racially profiled and shot multiple times by the police during a routine traffic stop. Eight years later, Leon is still working on on reconstructing his mental health and processing his trauma; on behalf of himself, his son, and his entire community. Prior to shooting, I spent months connecting with Leon and listening to every facet of his story. We worked hard to craft a nuanced narrative around mental health, releasing the film during mental health awareness month. In the political and social climate that following the deaths George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, Leon's story finds particular poignance. It offers a window into the profound affects of police violence on a city, community, and the life of an incredibly resilient, inspiring individual.
My Role was:
Director. This was the most challenging film I have ever made. The subject matter and vulnerability Leon entrusted me with was incredibly humbling. I worked tirelessly to attempt to accurately portray Leon's experiences and life in the film's 14 minutes. I am blessed to be able to call Leon a very close friend, collaborator, and role model.