As fires erupt across Northern CA, Colin’s dog disappears. Colin slips out of the house in hopes of quickly finding his lost companion in the blanket of smoke that has descended on the Bay Area.

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Director’s Vision for ‘The Edge of The Light’

In September 2020, I got on an airplane flying from Brooklyn, NY to my childhood home of Berkeley, CA with the intention of spending a week gathering the last supplies needed to complete a 200 mile hike from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney.

The weather had different plans.

On September 9th, we awoke early to a dark sky that only grew darker as the sun rose and the smoke rolled over the hills to settle over the San Francisco Bay. Historic blazes were erupting up and down the entire west coast. Within days, every national forest in California was indefinitely closed.

That experience was a clear spark for this film: the impulse to document how my childhood home is changing came from a place of existential questioning. If I couldn’t recognize this place with which I’ve always associated myself… what did that mean for who I was?

I quickly wrote The Edge of the Light, but it took me a little longer to understand what I was writing about. It’s a story about searching for something that isn’t there anymore– about returning to a home that’s on fire.

California is more an idea than a real place, but if there’s one trait has most frequently stood in for the state’s true character, it has been its’ climate. Even this is dematerializing.

What began as a project in looking, seeing and sharing the singular Western experience of living beneath wan, incandescent skies has quickly proven to be not-so-singular and not-so-western. Watching the internet flood, once again, with images of ‘Blade Runner’ skies on June 7th– this time over NYC– immediately took me back to the place of despair that was the emotional seed for this film.

My goal is not for people to feel despair as they watch; rather I hope that the film resonates on a frequency that viewers recognize – a documentation of a new, collective experience that many of us have already started to stumble through, and many more will soon encounter.

The Edge of the Light is my attempt to pay close attention to the ongoing losses the climate crisis presents to a place I love dearly and to try to find some meaning in it for myself.

It’s a story filled with hubris, shame, fear and loss. But most of all, it’s a story about a boy who loves his dog.