SUMMER IN SANCTUARY
An upcoming film based on the award-winning, off-Broadway play by Al Letson
WE’VE ALL SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE, RIGHT?
A well-intentioned teacher comes to a rough neighborhood to make a difference and, after several ups and downs, everyone joins hands, sings Kumbaya and does sanctioned graffiti. Actually, this isn’t that movie. This is the story of Al Letson, a guy struggling to make ends meet who winds up at a summer camp for at-risk kids. Think Theo from The Cosby Show forced to teach the kids from The Wire for a whole summer. A very long summer.
AT ITS CORE
In a society where cultural and political ideologues want to emphasize and exploit racial disharmony, Letson cuts through the noise to make it clear that it is the culture of poverty, hopelessness and alienation that most divides Americans today. While the story doesn’t follow the traditional narrative, it reinforces the belief that a little love can go a long way.
FROM STAGE TO SCREEN
Based on his real-life experiences at the Sanctuary on 8th Street in Jacksonville, Florida, Letson wrote and performed a solo show -- Summer in Sanctuary -- which helped him understand what his contribution was that summer, even in the midst of what he perceived to be failure.
Summer in Sanctuary is a narrative, feature-length film to be shot in Jacksonville, Florida. The film will be produced by Blue Llama Studios.
With his nationally-syndicated radio program State of the Re:Union topping 200 stations across the country, Letson already has an established audience base. He is heard by approximately a half million listeners every week on NPR on his new program Reveal.
SUMMER IN SANCTUARY - mood reel / camera test
Shot last summer at the Sanctuary on Eighth Street in Jacksonville, Florida, and filmed on 16mm film, this short piece served the purpose of helping the film's financiers visualize the space where most of our story takes place.
AL LETSON – co-writer / lead actor / executive producer
Known for his soul-stirring interdisciplinary work, Al first garnered national attention performing on Def Poetry Jam over a decade ago, then continued performing his plays Off-Broadway and in regional theaters across the country. Al was then the host and executive producer of National Public Radio's State of the Re:Union. Under Al’s leadership, State of the Re:Union became one of the fastest growing programs in NPR's history, airing on more than 200 stations across the country at its peak. The program received critical acclaim and won several awards, including multiple Edward R. Murrow Awards for Journalism as well as a Peabody Award. While his many interests are diverse, the common theme in Al’s work is his effort to bring people together. By examining difficult topics and influential historical themes, Al strives to focus on our common humanity – and always present a production with consummate artistry. He can currently be heard as host of NPR’s Reveal.
PATRICK BARRY – co-writer / director / producer
After college, Patrick spent nearly a decade honing his craft – writing and directing his own short films while working in the industry on larger scale productions. His early short film Haberdash was picked up for distribution by Movieola (Canada's short film channel) after a viewing at the 2008 Cannes Short Film Corner. In 2013, Pat completed his first feature-length film - VEER! Made on a small budget, using local cast and crew, the film won Best Florida Film at the Sunscreen Film Festival while touring festivals across the country. VEER! was picked up for distribution shortly thereafter. He is a recent recipient of the Jacksonville Film & Television Office’s Rising Star Award as well as a 2015 Art Ventures Grantee from the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. Pat has written for Filmmaker Magazine and is an adjunct at Flagler College in St. Augustine where he teaches film production.
BRONSON LAMB – executive producer
A B.F.A. graduate of the University of Colorado’s film production program, Bronson began his career as a production assistant, eventually moving up to non-union second assistant director, while working on such projects as Adjustment Bureau, Boardwalk Empire and Fast 5. More recently, he worked under Donna Gigliotti, the president of production at the Weinstein Company, in both development and production capacities, where he oversaw the daily production activities from films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. In addition, he sought out new writers, books and scripts to put into development for the company. He left to return home to Jacksonville to make films about his community.
ELIER RAMOS - producer
Passionate about filmmaking from an early age, Elier began his career in the world of commercial production as a freelancer shortly after graduating from the Art Institute. Elier worked his way into a variety of roles on set with several production companies around Florida before accepting a position as an associate editor with Kennetic Productions. He grew quickly at the company and within two years he had been promoted to producer. As producer, helped guide the company's creative vision while keeping project on schedule and under budget. While at the company, he produced the award-winning short documentary One Spark: The World's First Crowdfunding Festival. More recently, Elier has struck out on his own to get to the heart of his passion -- creating feature-length narratives.