When we first met Jonathan Clayton, his story grabbed us from the start.
It was insightful and hopeful. It was painful and real. Both his own personal story of overcoming so many obstacles and also his lifelong commitment to impacting real and lasting change within the criminal justice system.
It was a story that centered around topics for which we already felt so passionate - truth, justice, redemption - and yet this story somehow started to challenge our pre-existing notions, to stretch our own way of thinking. And isn't that the center of every good documentary?
So we began to dream about making this film. We brainstormed creative approaches. We met with advisors. We researched logistics. We discussed every angle and we planned limitless contingencies. We knew this was something we had to take on.
Then we waited. For almost two years.
Finally, in May of 2016, we received our very first financial investment and suddenly the film moved from a pie-in-the-sky dream to a semi-reality. The investment was simultaneously just enough and yet not enough.
Enough, because it gave us the financial opportunity we needed to get our feet on the ground to shoot a teaser trailer. To prove that there was a story to be told here. To capture the depth of human emotions that exist within the confines of bars, both real and imagined.
Not enough, because our brief time on the ground in South Africa only revealed to us that there was so much more to uncover. More stories to be heard and so much more truth to be found. And we would need more resources to make that happen.
To truly change a life is not an easy task. It is complex and it is hard work. It takes large amounts of resources and sometimes it's rewarded with nothing but disappointment. And yet, there are these nonsensical moments of beauty and redemption that rise to the top, overcoming spaces occupied by great darkness.
And the question that we all have to ask ourselves, is whether it is all worth it? To us, creating a space where we can wrestle with the answer to that question is the beauty of this film.
After many months of dreaming and working, with the launch of this teaser trailer, we are proud to officially move into our next phase of funding for Pollsmoor. Join in the dialogue! Now is the time.