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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LETTERS: the art of grieving
An epistolary documentary about the powerful transformations of grief into art.    
As an intimate cinematic meditation on the art that intertwines with the lives of three women: a poet and fiber artist who lost her husband to Alzheimer's disease, an artist whose 9-week-old son died unexpectedly, and a young painter who lost her mother to brain cancer, the film explores their work as letters for the ones they have lost. 

LETTERS:  The Art of Grieving Trailer

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.)

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