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A mother’s disappearance sends pain and mystery through her family. Sam Now looks at her son’s quest for answers — and healing.
Reed Harkness attended film school in his backyard and garage. He is an experienced director and cinematographer for commercial and documentary work. Based in Portland, he most recently directed the award-winning 30-minute documentary Forest on Fire, which is currently in the midst of its festival run.
Jason Reid is an award-winning editor, producer and director from Seattle. He directed and produced the Emmy® Award-winning Man Zou: Beijing to Shanghai and the Webby Award-winning Sonicsgate: Requiem for a Team. He most recently produced and edited Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, which has won 26 awards at film festivals around the world.
Filmed over an expanse of 25 years, Sam Now is a coming-of-age documentary that follows Sam Harkness from age 11 to 36 as his once-average, middle class Seattle family is heartbroken and unsure of what to do after his mother suddenly leaves them. Sam Harkness and his older half-brother Reed use their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. As the two brothers embark on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve the family mystery, they draw from an archive of fictional films, home videos, intimate family interviews, and vérité scenes from over the decades to craft a multilayered family narrative. Sam Now balances emotional reckonings with lighthearted spirit, exploring a family legacy of pain and dysfunction and the relationships of mother to son, mother to family, brother to brother, and the turning points of family healing. Sam is seen growing up grappling with the ripple effects of a singular traumatic event within a modern American family. The optimistic teenage Sam, with his heart set on finding his mom, grows into a man whose new hope is to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma.