About the project

What made you go with this concept for FAIL?
Part of my work involves teaching seniors to use social media. I interviewed four different seniors and asked them the question — “What does it mean to fail?” Each person I interviewed gave a different answer, a different insight. I wanted to showcase honesty in an unvarnished way, to keep storytelling to a minimum and let the interviewees speak for themselves. The result was purity without pretense.

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This piece really engaged us with its subtlety. And it becomes even sweeter when you realize that the man in the film is your father. Did you originally intend for that to be a surprise to the viewer?
Not all. It just happened. 🙂 

You are one of three filmmakers who chose to create a piece featuring their father. What is it about fathers and sons and the notion of failing?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. When I asked my dad the question, I expected to hear about some of the failures in his life and lessons he had learned from them. The answer he gave and the rationale for it were completely unexpected. My dad is an uncomplicated, kind and humble man. In many ways his outlook on life can seem somewhat simplistic, but with that comes a peacefulness that I hope to attain one day.

Anything else you’d like to add?
This project, and the experience it provided, is one of the highlights of my career.

About the FilmMaker

Graphic Designer/Instructor


In the wake of tension between law enforcement and the community, two Kansas City police officers dining at a Chili’s restaurant were handed a note by a teen. Scribbled on a napkin, the note—and police efforts to locate the teen—went viral. We think it shows that failure is often accompanied by glimmers of hope.

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