LETTERS: the art of grieving
LETTERS:  the art of grieving is a poetic documentary about the powerful transformations of grief into art. 
The artist Georges Braque writes, "Art is a wound that turns into light," and this film is about these transformations.  As an intimate cinematic meditation on the creativity that intertwines with the lives of three women: 
a poet and fiber artist who lost her husband to Alzheimer's disease,
 a mother whose 9-week-old son died unexpectedly,
 and a young daughter who lost her mother to brain cancer,
 the film explores their work as letters for the ones they have lost. 
Their loss and creativity merge together, carving a certain sense of hope in a time that it is needed the most.

LETTERS:  The Art of Grieving Official Trailer

The LETTERS Crew
Cinematographer: BAIHUI “BECKY” CHEN
Editor:  CHRISTOPHER MA
Producer: MICHAEL D. NOTRICA
Production Sound: ANN CASSADY LI and ERIC HAN
Associate Producer: VINCE KUNA
Animation: CRYSTAL JOW 
Documentary Participants:
JOAN SCHULZE
ALEXIS ROBERTS KEINER
NATALIE KI TREADWELL 

Sound Designer: NICH L. PEREZ
Sound Mixer: SANTIAGO RODRIGUEZ HERRAN
Original Music: THE MOTH AND THE FLAME
Assistant Camera: JAKE DEVERIAN and JERRY WANG
Production Assistants: 
HOLLY AVECILLA and JESSIKA HUDSON
Drone Pilot:   RYAN GRISWOLD
Drone Camera Operator:   MICHAEL KOLB
Motion Graphics:   JEFF KYLE
Colorist:  ROY SUN  (Reason Studios)
Musicians: THE MOTH AND THE FLAME’S “ROUND”
BRANDON ROBBINS - (vocals/guitar)
MARK GARBETT - (keys/vocals) 
ANDREW TOLLMAN - (drums)
Special Thanks to 
 MARK JONATHAN HARRIS and
 LISA LEEMAN

Written and Directed by  Nich L. Perez
THE DOCUMENTARY PARTICIPANTS

Natalie Treadwell, an oil painter, lost her mother to brain cancer.  She transforms her grief by painting what killed her mother - the brain tumor.

(Click the picture to visit her website.)

ALEXIS ROBERTS KIENER   is an artist, an ePatient, and a mentor for the bereaved.  She lost her 9-week old son unexpectedly. As an artist and a grieving mother, she was able to create art in a "punk rock" sort of way, by drawing and painting with the use of Octopus Ink and in black and white.  One of her most powerful pieces is her baby's memory box, which contains some of her most poignant paintings.  Alexis continues to reach out to other families who are recently bereaved, online and through the community made possible by the group she created called the                    "Dead Baby Club."  (Click her picture to visit her website.)

JOAN SCHULZE is 82 years old.  She was awarded by the Fresno Art Museum as the 2017 Distinguished Woman Artist.  Her work varies from fiber art to poetry, and among her greatest accomplishments are her 4 children and 14 grandchildren.  Recently, Joan embraced the grief of losing her husband, Jim, after his long battle with Alzheimer's disease.  (Click her picture to visit her website.)

Available on DVD with Public Performance Rights through EPF Media 
Catalog # EPF16037 ● ISBN:  978-1-933724-77-5 ● UPC: 6-82086-16037-5 ● NTSC
20 Minutes ● Copyright 2019 ● English, Captions
https://www.epfmedia.com/letters-art-of-grieving
The LETTERS Film Project is a series of poetic documentaries on the intersection of 
mental health, meaning, spirituality, and creativity.
Since its genesis in 2015, the project was a personal mission to uncover these profound connections through the intimacy of writing letters with the language of nonfiction cinema.​​​​​​​
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Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story 

which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

~ C. S. Lewis

DEAR NAY

A love letter to a mother who died of cancer, from her son who followed her footsteps as a teacher.

____________________________________________

"Grief" in Asian communities and cultures is usually never talked about.  But despite being taboo, often it is somaticized or converted into physical symptoms, like fatigue or depression.  Writing this letter and making it into a film has become a healing process that has been shared with many to help them address their mental health properly as they honor the memory of the loved one they have lost.

There is an art to this transformation and often is a grueling process.  But as they use their creativity, it allows them to uncover some insights about themselves, their art form, their culture, and an entirely unique appreciation for life.

The project continues to document working artists and creatives, from painters, weavers, to cooks, unraveling their creativity as they rise above their mental wounds from the trauma of loss and grief, to anxiety and depression.
These are intimate cinematic meditations of the intertwining lives of unique individuals who struggle with mental illness or the human condition as they discover the power of creativity in their journey of self-discovery.
LETTERS:  transformations
(documentary series - in development)

Shawn Tallet is a talented guitarist from Austin, Texas. This is a quick exploration of his creativity and his battle with Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder, a part of a poetic documentary about the powerful transformations of mental illness into creative joy.


Winner of the Art With Impact film competition and a part of their OLIVE FILM COLLECTION:

artwithimpact.org/films/olive

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