NFF 2013 is proud to announce a special curated section of our documentary programming this year, the Environmental Documentary Program on Friday, June 28 at 9:30 AM. This program includes a close look at urgent environmental issues ranging from the reconstruction of the New Jersey Shore in Sea Bright Rising (pictured above), drinking water availability in Africa in This is Normal to the post-earthquake catastrophe in Haiti in Haiti Redux.
Learn more about each of these films online with our film guide, and take a look below for an in-depth interview with Sean Moran, the producer of Sea Bright Rising.
NFF: Are either of you residents of Sea Bright? How did the decision to make this film come together?
Moran: Ilive in Rumson, NJ which is the sister-neighboring town to Sea Bright. I became involved in the relief efforts immediately following Sandy. First in Rumson assisting the National Guard, and then helping out some of the 200 homes in Rumson that took on over 6 feet of water in their homes. I then found a way to get into Sea Bright when it was still closed to the public a week after the storm (gas leaks, electrical wires exposed, etc, allowed only relief workers to get into town). Via easing the way with the Guards who were keeping folks out of town with cases of Red Bull (was my currency for entry), I gained access and saw the devastation first hand. Once I saw what had happened and how, for this town of 1,800 residents there wasn't one habitable home or one functioning business, I was simply moved by the spirit I was seeing take root among the hardened and resilient residents. I was also struck by how right away the residents were demonstrating their resiliency and spirit for rebuilding.
I could see the need to tell the story about what was happening there. I decided to produce a small film about the town, the devastation and the efforts to get it and it's people rising. I called upon a former colleague and friend of mine whom is a Director, Brian DeCubellis, and told him what I was looking to do. He was inspired by what I said and assembled a small crew. They came down to Sea Bright two weeks after the storm had hit. We set out in in one day with a vision of what the film could be. The goal of the film is to drive awareness and financial relief to a fund called "Sea Bright Rising ." I had been helping to get it going with some local residents and the mayor - Dina Long - (@seabrightmayor) who is super charismatic and has been a lively and energetic spokesperson for this tiny community in the national media. I had no idea what I was doing but knew the story needed to be told. The rock group, Train, was also looking to get involved with the relief efforts and at the end of the film you'll see some cuts from the private concert we were able to put together for the entire town and first responders back on December 5th, 2012. I simply knew I had to do something and I really hope this will help.
NFF: Are there still ways to help victims of Sandy?
Moran: There are still so many people and small businesses in need as a result of the devastation. The one I have chosen to get behind is seabrightrising.org. This is where every dollar donated goes directly to the victims of Sandy in the Sea Bright/Rumson area. To date the organization has given out $600k to individual victims.
NFF: What do you hope audiences take away from this film?
Moran: We hope that people take away 2 things: 1) that they are moved by the "can do" attitude of those involved with the relief efforts and that it is you and your neighbor that can make things happen in this world. Individuals move mountains. 2) that they are motivated to help others out who have suffered from Sandy - especially in the area of Sea Bright, NJ.