“Surviving Suicide” A story of Hope and Resilience in Santa Barbara
AWARD WINNING JAMAICAN FILMMAKER SCREENS FILM
Surviving Suicide, a film by award-winning filmmaker Sasha-Gay Lewis, will be the featured film screened at a conversation series “On Hope Resilience and Recovery” organized by the Santa Barbara Response Network in collaboration with the Glendon Association, and Santa Barbara High School ,moderated by Vicky Nguyen KEYT News Reporter
Surviving Suicide is a character driven documentary that tells the inspiring story of suicide survivor, Anthony Rodriguez. A former gang leader and now Chief Operating Officer of the Santa Barbara Response Network, Anthony has courageously transformed his personal struggles into strength. He credits his painful past as the catalyst that allowed him to find his purpose of mentoring and providing psychological aid to those who are struggling. Rodriguez says “I use to regret my past a lot but now it's made me the person I am and I think if I didn’t go through those things I wouldn’t be able to help as many kids and families, so I don’t regret it. I’m just grateful to have a second chance and I hope that I can save other lives. “
Director of the film, Sasha-Gay Lewis says the purpose of the film is to humanize and empower those who have been shamed into silence while showing those who are considering suicide that they are not alone and help is available. “Suicide is not an easy topic to discuss and as a society, we just don't know how to approach it I strongly believe that an honest conversation with a suicide survivor can reveal so much more than we think we know. The simple act of getting people to talk about their experiences can save lives. I hope this series will provide a safe space for healing, empathy, and understanding.”
Born in Jamaica, Sasha has been writing and producing for television and radio for over ten years. As a filmmaker, she has written, produced and directed several short documentaries in Jamaica, Belize, and the United States. Her award winning short documentary The Incursion is an emotional, character-driven film that highlights the 2010 government raid on the inner-city community of Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica that left over 150 people dead. She is also a trained journalist. Sasha currently resides in Los Angeles, working as a filmmaker and producer.
“Surviving Suicide an Evening of Hope Resilience and Recovery” will be held Monday, November 13, 2017, at Santa Barbara High School 720 Anapamu Street Santa Barbara California. The event will commence at 6:00 pm. This is a bilingual event