Untitled Safe Schools Project

Untitled Safe Schools Project

Feature Length Documentary
2020 (currently in progress)

The Untitled Safe Schools Project explores the landscape of 21st-century school safety in the United States, illuminating the complex ways in which we as a nation struggle to understand and prevent violence, and endeavor to create safer schools.

A Debtors' Prison

15min, 2017
World Premiere: Camden International Film Festival
Streaming on PBS POV here

Across the racially and economically segregated landscape of St. Louis County, Missouri, thousands of people are routinely sent to jail because they cannot pay local court fines and fees. The vast majority of those fined are poor and are Black. In the hometown of police shooting victim Michael Brown and the surrounding municipalities, a practice with historical antecedents has become systematic: the operation of modern day debtors’ prisons. A Debtors' Prison follows two plaintiffs in an unfolding court case, Samantha Jenkins and Meredith Walker, as they describe the matrix of controls that subjected them to incarceration for being poor.

Directed by Todd Chandler and Brett Story

Flood Tide

70min, 2013
World Premiere: Torino Film Festival
U.S. Premiere: Brooklyn Museum

A group of artists and musicians, shaken by the death of their friend, build extraordinary boats from ordinary junk and set out for open water. A collaboration with Swoon's Swimming Cities of Switchback Sea, Flood Tide both documents and reimagines the real-life project.
more: http://floodtidefilm.com

Seeds

Seeds

2017, 14min
Directed by Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark

When the time comes will you be ready to grow your own food? This is the question that sends Ian Page on a punk pilgrimage from tiny community gardens in Los Angeles all the way to the Global Seed Vault.

Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark's second short film about artists and their obsessions began five years ago. At the time Page was making strange experimental videos and planning an international residency on a ship bound for the Arctic Ocean. The directors gave him a cheap camera and a simple shot list.

Page's footage of dreamy icebergs and slushy oceans convinced the filmmakers to follow him to Los Angeles, where he was living out of a tour van. With Page's help, they devised a character and a backstory that challenges documentary convention.

The result is a strange hybrid of fact, fiction, and pre-figurative storytelling incorporating Page's experimental video works, heirloom seeds, an American folk tale, Iggy Pop, and a small herd of reindeer that are definitely not polar bears. 

Let Them Believe

15min, 2011
Directed by Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark
Premiere: Rooftop Films

An artist takes a crew to Chernobyl and steals pieces from an irradiated amusement park in order to make her own ride. The project makes sense but eludes logic. "What is safe? Who do I trust?" the main character asks as she explores the abandoned city, trying to imagine "what it was like to spin around while the world fell apart." The film, shot on location in Chernobyl and Manchester, U.K., follows real-life artists Franco and Eva Mattes (0100101110101101.org) and Ryan C. Doyle. Let Them Believe adds layers of fiction, historical context, and narrative to documentation. The result is a short film in conversation with and even in contradiction to the artists' actual process and intentions.

The Road Becomes What You Leave

21min, 2006
Premiere: Chicago Underground Film Festival

The Road Becomes What You Leave is a meditative documentary following the band Magnolia Electric Co. as they travel across the prairies of Canada.

Directed by Todd Chandler
Photographed by Ava Berkofsky
Produced by Tim Sutton  and Secretly Canadian