It was April in the states, I had a ticket to backpack through Europe with friends in hopes of making it to Amsterdam for King’s Day, and Freddie Gray had just been killed by police in Baltimore, Maryland. Being raised not far from Baltimore and feeling very connected to the situation due to a racially-motivated run-in I had with the law several years ago that left me face down with a gun on my head, I strongly reconsidered my trip to stay and march in the streets. My friend, Terrence, who’d just learned of my trip two days before departure, asked, “why are you going to Europe? To seek asylum?” Perfect!
I grabbed a fresh moleskine journal, jotted down a few questions, plans, names, and a potential budget, and started the journey that would become my first documentary, Seeking Asylum.
Los Angeles, Norway, UK, Netherlands, and Paris. I used my iPhone and my Canon, and asked the necessary questions, and attended the necessary events. I reached out to government officials with no luck, and I extended the trip to attend protests and meet necessary people. With each location, things were unfolding without me actively seeking them. Protests, police attacks, citizens approaching me, ready to engage. It was spectacular.
From April to November I worked hard on this passion project with the help of great friends who taught me editing techniques and how to have an ear for appropriate music. The hardest part was forcing myself to be complete because each completion deadline also came with more footage to add. Finally, I cut it off, and hit “render.”
The final product is a documentary I am extremely proud of, and look forward to seeing its growth.