Penned Independent (working title) – In Production

concept by Taylor Deffibaugh  //  directed by Taylor Deffibaugh  //  edited by Taylor Deffibaugh  //  produced by Nikita Belomestnykh //  cinematography by David Asambadze //  produced by NO LONGER NETWORK

Penned Independent takes place in the highly charged world of news, diving into the rapid rise of independent journalism and the threat to legacy media.

We’re a team of filmmakers setting out to find what’s behind the decentralization movement, what independent journalists are up against and what the implications are of so many Americans getting their news from these renegade channels.

Freed from the oversight of editors and bosses, independent journalists are pushing boundaries, boldly challenging institutions and conventionally accepted narratives. Their outrageous, often heretical, assertions proliferate on social media, engendering backlash and stirring up the culture war that has the nation in its grip.

Our journey takes us to the front lines of the global war on information that’s cracked open a heated debate about how to quell nefarious untruths and how far our First Amendment protections should go. Politicians, social media companies and traditional news corporations are ratcheting up the fight against misinformation which they warn threatens to poison our minds and our democracy. Independent journalists struggle against the tightening grip on information, facing fact-checks, hit pieces, deplatforming and shadow banning. Can they save their channels and their reputations? Do they deserve to?

This series takes a deeper look at the relentless battle for our minds, aiming to unravel what’s driving it and what’s at stake.

Ignition: Souls of San Francisco (2017)

ABOUT THE FILM: On the surface, Dijon Bowden is a talented street photographer who has told thousands of people’s stories. But anyone who has stood in front of his lens or who has gazed deeply into one of his photographs can tell you that there’s something bigger going on. IGNITION: Souls Of San Francisco is the story of a movement that’s caught fire in San Francisco and has started spreading across the nation. It’s the story of all sorts of souls, seen through a lens of love and compassion, awakening to their own presence and purpose and to the other souls around them.

The magic in Dijon’s photography comes from the positive energetic force that he cultivates and radiates. This light is there, reflected back, in the eyes of each individual he photographs. His project, SOULS of Society, has connected hundreds of thousands of people in a growing community of empathy, openness, and awakening. The film follows Dijon and some of the people his project has touched, delving beyond his photographs to the heart of what he’s been called to do.