Holding On: A Love Story from the Street

A homeless couple struggles for five years to stay together — on and off the street.

Premiere Date
October 8, 1998
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 Chicago International Film Festival-Silver Hugo
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial-Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 Central Education Network-Best Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 National Press Photographers Association-First Place for Best Photography, Documentary Category
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 Excellence in Media-Silver Angel Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    1998 Boston Press Photographers Association-Best of Show
  • Producer

    John Baynard

    John Baynard has worked as a documentary filmmaker for 30 years. He has been cameraman on a wide range of documentaries, including Murder on the Rio San Juan (Frontline), Don King Unauthorized (Frontline), My Mother’s Murder (HBO), and Sister Aimee (American Experience). He has produced documentaries and magazine stories for the WGBH arts magazine Show more program, Arts Closeup, ABC News’ Nightline, and PBS. He has recently produced short stories for the Refugees International website about the refugee situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. John worked as the director, co-producer, and cinematographer on the Frontline documentary Secret Daughter, which received a national Emmy. Other awards he has received include two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, two Chicago International Film Festival awards, 21 New England Emmys, and five Boston Press TV Photographer of the Year awards. In the past year, John has shot documentaries about one woman’s inspiring leadership in the movement against genocide in Sudan, the environmentalism and religion movement, and the struggle of a family in New Orleans to rebuild their lives after Katrina. Show less

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    The Film

    For the past five years, Luis Santiago and Donna Mercier have drifted from the streets of Boston to campgrounds, family homes, hospitals, prison, and apartments in New Hampshire. Mercier suffers from depression and Santiago battles diabetes, epilepsy, and a crack addiction. They live off Mercier’s disability check and money Santiago makes panhandling. Unsentimental and non-judgmental, Holding On follows their struggle to stay together — on and off the street.