Mother’s Day is, first and foremost, an honest portrait of a Mother and Son swept away by life-changing transitions and mental illness. Based on the raw, real-life story of the Writer and Director, we dive into ever-more perilous layers of deceit, truth, and consequence.
That's the story.
But how it's told is just as transformational and tense. Filmed over a mile in a continuous shot, viewers are embedded in the real-life locations of the event and witness to two unbroken powerhouse performances.
Mother's Day is the debut feature film from the award-winning Pan-American Film Division.
Mother's Day is on the Festival Circuit (and making us proud!). To stay informed on big news or future screenings click Updates.
Behind the Scenes
In 2o14 when I rode my motorcycle out of my mother’s driveway with tears in my eyes, blood pasting my sock to my ankle, my throat raw - I had no direction, no idea what to do, but I did have the crystal clear thought - damn, that was like a movie.
I probably said that because I had felt myself become a villain. Because layer after layer of secrets, lies, love, and a lot of pain had come out, twisted and doubled-down. Because it was loud. And silent. Because two people changed forever.
But I didn’t write it down. I couldn’t.
Family life is supposed to be private, hidden - especially when it’s ugly. Right? I couldn’t make it real. On-the-record.
What would the neighbors say? My family? People with "real" issues. I didn’t know anything about mental illness or how to help. Besides, movies are spectacles, not conversations.
I hid it because I was afraid.
Honestly, things with my mother only got worse.
It was hurting more and more. For both of us. I hid it deeper.
And then, I remembered this one night when a girlfriend’s mother was sitting at her dark, kitchen table and asked, “Travis, does my son hate me?” This was my girlfriend’s brother, whom I didn’t know really well, but, BUT - it was like I was struck by lightning - I knew exactly what she meant.
“I don’t know what I did. He’s just irritable, he gets so frustrated with everything I say.”
I know. I was that way. Why?
As we compared notes, like two ambassadors representing Mothers and Sons, I realized what she realized: These private battles and their casualties were not isolated.
How many homes were caught between both genuine, enormous love and the great weights and thorns that tore at them?
Why didn't I write it down?
I could. And it should be made real. On-the-record. So families and neighbors will talk! So people with these issues, "real" or otherwise, can learn about mental health and how to help!
So last year, in one week, I wrote a literal transcription of that first, watershed evening without judgment, without heroes or villains, without embellishment.
I had come to realize that the fear and shame I felt were small prices, necessary prices to pay, for what could be a project that depicted the reality of a specific Mother and Son accurately. That depicted mental health imbalances, generational imbalances, conflicts of upbringing, conflicts of future decisions, accurately. Warts and neighbors and lies and breakdowns and disability insurance and all.
And readers of that script were moved to - had permission to - do the best thing of all: share their own story.
Fear breeds fear. Truth breeds truth. And that is the most important.
"But movies are spectacles."
Yes, they are.
The award-winning team of friends that became Pan-American Film Division had no money, a sudden pandemic, 33 followers on Mother’s Day’s Facebook, and a fire in us to still make the best film we possibly could - and push toward innovative cinematic techniques!
We did what everyone does when the going gets tough. We learned more. Pushed ourselves harder. Sacrificed sleep, vacations, leisure. And money.
Myself, the two lead actors, the producers, the director of photography, the assistant director, the AC, and all of Pan-Am’s core team did this at no charge - or - at their own expense.
And with incredible support and favors from folks in the Buffalo film community, its theater community, the town of Gerry; Western New York produced a grassroots movie.
This team and this region are incredible and did something incredible for a project they believe in.
While we wish hard work and good intentions was all you need - we aren’t out of the woods.
No one has heard of us!
Join here for exclusive updates, to be on the ground floor of a passionate new artistic voice and tell other solid people like you about this grassroots film. You are our audience and marketing campaign.
Together - I know this community can bring this film to life!
"The Endless Scroll"