The Trees is an hour-long documentary that tells the dramatic story of the creation of the National September 11th Memorial Park.
The film follows the journey of over 400 trees as they are carefully tended for four years, installed at the Memorial Park, and, finally, appreciated by thousands who come to honor and mourn.
Our storytellers are the men and women who designed, grew, built and now lovingly maintain this living memorial. Through them, the film examines the fundamental need for human beings to find a source of healing and rebirth after tragedy, and the deep-seated role that nature plays in our journey toward that renewal.
The Trees will premiere in spring 2016.
Producer/Director: Scott Elliott Producer: Matt Ozug Writer: Julia Elliott
Into the Gyre is a 45-minute film documenting the journey of a team of scientists searching for plastic pollution in the remote Saragasso Sea. Run by the Sea Education Association (SEA), an educational institution based out of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, this expedition measured the amount of plastic in the Atlantic Ocean and studied its effects on marine ecosystems, with surprising results.
New York has always been a city of immigrants. They find their footing in various ways, but for many the first step is one of faith.
Although immigration to New York is slowing, roughly 37% of the population remains foreign-born. They bring with them their culture, traditions and faith. Religion often eases their transition to America by providing social services, a sense of community, cultural continuity and spiritual guidance. Faith can help immigrants to flourish in their new city; occasionally, it can be a source of alienation.
Faith in the Five Boroughs documents the role that faith and religious communities play in the lives of immigrants and their children. We take you inside New York’s churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and spaces for private prayer. We examine how the city shapes these religious communities and how, in turn, faith shapes the city.
The project was made possible by a Knight Foundation grant for reporting on religion and American public life. Faith in the Five Boroughs is produced by Julia and Matt, and shot and edited by Scott.
For one afternoon each year, a quiet corner of Queens becomes a kaleidoscopic celebration of Hindu life.
Easter after the Revolution
Fleeing persecution and violence in Egypt, a steady stream of Copts has sought refuge at St. George Coptic Orthodox Church. The new arrivals gain freedom and safety, but they often lose everything else. This is where the Church steps in.
Lady Rhea is a real workaday witch. A practicing Wiccan for almost forty years, she sells magic products to clients looking for help in matters of money, luck, and love.
Loving the Bony Lady
“Loving the Bony Lady” is one of our favorite videos on Faith in the Five Boroughs, our multimedia website that documents the role that faith and religious communities play in the lives of immigrants to New York City, where roughly 37% of the population is foreign-born. We take you inside New York’s churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples to examine how religion eases the transition to America by providing social services, a sense of community, cultural continuity and spiritual guidance. We look at how the city shapes religious communities and how, in turn, faith shapes the city. Faith in the Five Boroughs was funded by a Knight Foundation grant for reporting on religion and American public life.
This story combines two previous pieces of Faith in the Five Boroughs reporting into a documentary short. Thanks to the staff at Narratively for hosting the online premier of “Loving the Bony Lady.”
“Loving the Bony Lady” has been accepted into a number of film festivals, including:
Slumming It: Myth and Culture on the Bowery traces the rich, 200-year history of New York City’s Bowery, examining the myriad ways in which the street and its denizens were instrumental in New York’s evolution as an archetypal modern-day metropolis. Featuring interviews with historians and present-day residents, as well as artfully interwoven archival images and motion pictures, the documentary juxtaposes today’s Bowery with the characters, locations, and stories that, more than a century ago, formed the extraordinary fabric of this influential–and infamous–boulevard. Slumming It was produced by Greenhouse Pictures and aired on PBS in 2005.
Written and Directed by:
Co-Written by: Julia Elliott
Care and Comfort
Produced with funds from the International Reporting Project at Johns Hopkins University, this documentary short examines the role of Buddhist monks in fighting Cambodia’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. For years, the country had the unfortunate distinction of being the nation with the highest AIDS rate in Asia. In the early years the virus spread via Cambodia’s sex industry and was left unchecked by a health care system still reeling from the Khmer Rouge. By 1997, Cambodia’s HIV/AIDS infection rates had reached 3 percent of the population. But that number dropped significantly over the subsequent decade. We went to Cambodia to explore the factors leading to the decline.