1,000 Cranes for Cecily
Written and Directed by Jennifer Potts
After the tragic death of her baby sister, 7-year old Cecily must go on a mystical quest and face her own mortality in order to save her crumbling family from their grief.
Please click on the link below to view the short proof of concept. Website
2016 Rhode Island International Film Festival's Screenplay Competition: New England Spotlight Grand Prize
2017 Big Break Screenplay Competition: Quarter Finalist
2017 Screencraft Film Fund Competition: Quarter Finalist
2021 Los Angeles International Screenplay Competition: Semifinalist
If You Become My Friend
Capturing history: Four family’s journeys from Afghanistan to Worcester, MA
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, which was made possible with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding from the City of Worcester.
In August 2021, when the US pulled out of Afghanistan, I felt a deep sense of loss for people I did not know and a land I had never visited. When I heard that my city would become the home to hundreds of Afghan refugees, I offered to temporarily host one Afghan family. Late in the evening of November 1st, 2021, twelve weary and frightened people arrived at my house. To welcome them, I cooked a huge meal of Afghan rice with Halal lamb, naan, and warm tea. As we sat down for our first meal together, my life would forever be changed by this beautiful family. Over the course of the month that we lived together, I learned their stories. We laughed and cried together. I felt the pain of their unbearable loss of home and purpose, and for some of the adult children, the pain of the separation from their spouses and small children, who were still in Afghanistan, living in hiding. My life was so much richer for having shared their stories with them and I have been blessed with the honor of their love and trust.
Their stories are stories that need to be documented and shared. They are the living history of our city and country and I am afraid that one day we will look back on this time and forget these stories. They will become watered down. And this slice of human history will be lost.
If You Become My Friend captures the first-hand stories of some our new Afghan neighbors. These stories capture the diversity of the Afghan languages and cultures, as well as experiences. Although no two stories are the same, we found a common theme of human beings having to make the painful decision to leaving behind everything they have ever known: their country, their homes, their jobs, their families, and their friends.
I worked closely with WARM, a local refugee agency, to identify families who represent a diverse spectrum of the Afghan refugees in Worcester. My team spent one day with each of the families, capturing their stories, as well as some of their cultures and traditions. Using an interpreter from the Afghan community, we learned about their journeys to the US, as well as their lives before coming to the US. We discussed their hopes and dreams, their struggles and fears.
As with any documentary style filming, we went in with a plan, but maintained an open mind to capture their truth. Each family graciously welcomed us into their homes, made a beautiful meal for us, and openly shared their stories with us. Whittling the 40+ hours of footage down to a 45-minute documentary in a language we do not speak has had significant challenges, but we are pleased that we are now in the final stages of post production. Stay tuned for information about a screening in April 2024.
Jennifer Potts, Producer & Director
Hamid Hemat, Associate Producer
Michelle Falcón Fontánez, Director of Photography
Chuck Scott, Assistant Camera
Thomas O'Connor: On-set Sound Recording and Mixing
Meagan Mann, Journalist
Luisa Piña, Editor
Warren Potts, Music Supervisor & Sound Editor