Told by his sibling over 25 years through home videos, Super 8 films and contemporary videos, SAM NOW is an emotional, vibrant portrait of a mother and son’s relationship after she leaves him at 14 years old to start a new life.
Sam Harkness and his Seattle family are shocked and heartbroken when his mother suddenly disappears. Tracking cryptic clues of her whereabouts years later, Sam and his half brother head out on a West Coast road trip to try and find her. But solving the mystery of her disappearance is only the beginning of their story.As the narrative unfolds, we witness Sam coming of age as he tries to break free from a singular traumatic event, one that has replicated itself in his family for generations. Sobering revelations of personal growth blend with playful home movies and vibrant experimental filmmaking by brother and director Reed Harkness.The documentary follows Sam as he grows up, using a vivid collage of vintage fictional films, home videos, intimate family interviews and vérité scenes from over the decades. We see him take a 2,000-mile road trip in search of answers. We learn of his mother Jois’ complicated adoption history from Japan. And we experience the ripple effects on the Harkness family including Sam’s brother Jared, father Randy and grandma Doris.SAM NOW is about growth. The film balances heavy themes and emotional reckonings with youthful energy and lighthearted spirit. The optimistic teenage Sam we get to know, with his heart set on finding his mom, grows into a man whose new hope is to break the generational cycle.
World Premiere Screenings at Hot Docs 2022 in Toronto
Sunday, May 1 at 5:45 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 2Thursday, May 5 at 2:45 PM
Also streaming on Hot Docs at Home
Starting on Monday, May 2 at 9:00 AM
Note: Online streaming is available for five days and geo-blocked to Canada.
https://hotdocs.ca/whats-on/hot-docs-festival/films/2022/sam-nowABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
Reed Harkness – Director / Producer / Cinematographer
Reed attended film school in his backyard and garage. At age 18, he began making a series of short films starring his younger brother Sam. This was the beginning of a project two decades in the making: SAM NOW, a coming-of-age film that follows his brother from age 11 to 31. Reed also directed the award-winning 30-minute documentary FOREST ON FIRE and the documentary series for Topic, HOUSE ON FIRE. See more at haha.work
Jason Reid – Producer / Editor
Jason Reid is an award-winning producer, editor and director. He directed and produced the Emmy® Award-winning MAN ZOU: BEIJING TO SHANGHAI and the Webby Award-winning SONICSGATE: REQUIEM FOR A TEAM, which aired on CNBC and ESPN. He produced and edited K2: SIREN OF THE HIMALAYAS and EVERGREEN: THE ROAD TO LEGALIZATION, which both aired on Netflix. He recently produced and edited the hit climbing film DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY. See more at 2rprod.com.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL
Directed and Produced by REED HARKNESS
Produced and Edited by JASON REID
Edited by DARREN LUND
Co-Produced by HEATHER HAWKSFORD, ADAM SPIRO BROWN
Original Score by ROGER NEILL
Cinematography by REED HARKNESS
Executive Producers LOIS VOSSEN, SALLY JO FIFER
Executive Producers ANDY McDONOUGH, COLIN HARPER PLANK
Supervising Producer MICHAEL KINOMOTO
Consulting Editors CAITLYN GREENE, ALEX O’FLINN
Consulting Writer JON RAYMOND
A HA/HA Production
A Co-Production of ITVS
In Association with 2R PRODUCTIONS
Runtime: 85 minutes
We would like to thank Adam J. Segal • The 2050 Group – Publicity for the press release.