FLY BY LIGHT

How High Can You Rise?

Trailer

Film Synopsis

A group of teenagers board a bus for West Virginia, leaving the streets of Washington, DC to participate in an ambitious peace education program. For the first time in their lives Mark, Asha, Martha, and Corey play in mountain streams, sing under the stars, and confront the entrenched abuse, violence and neglect cycles of their past. But as they return to DC, each young person faces an unforgiving series of hurdles and roadblocks that challenge their efforts to build a better life. Through breathtaking visuals from street corners to mountaintops, Fly By Light is an intimate exploration of the chaotic, confusing, and emotional journey to rewrite a young person’s future.

The Fly By Light Program

The four youth featured in our film participated in the groundbreaking program offered by the nonprofit organization, One Common Unity.  To learn more about OCU and how you can support their important work that inspires personal growth and nurtures sustainable, caring communities through social-emotional learning services and arts empowerment programming, visit onecommonunity.org.

Testimonials

  • Marilee Aronson

    Clinical Psychologist, Washington, DC

    The filmmakers provide a window into the lives and souls of some of our most vulnerable–yet truly triumphant, beautiful and determined–youth. It is a privilege and an inspiration to partake in the experience of this movie.

  • Emily Arden Eakland

    The Daily Creative Project

    Fly By Light, a film by One Common Unity, literally changed the lives of fourteen Washington, DC teenagers. And also, it is fair to say, the lives of the adults who created the movie with them. […] This is the real thing because each and every one of the contributors of the movie offered respect and love and compassion and belief – belief that these young people are worthy… We don’t always have the right answers, but we always have what’s in our hearts. And that is enough. This movie is proof that it is enough.

  • Rebekah Mason

    Poverty Lawyer

    You have to see this amazing documentary [Fly By Light], it’s inspiring and uplifting. It speaks to the part of you that believes in change and in making a difference in the lives of others. Most importantly it shares the stories of some amazing DC youth who were given the opportunity to learn about making peace, using art to overcome adversity and about using love to build community.

  • Nina Shapiro-Perl, PhD

    Filmmaker in Residence, American University

    Fly By Light was brilliant! The beauty lay in the way the stories were told with the young folks representing themselves. The film was beautifully shot, the decisions well-made, the editing superb, the music beautiful. Most of all, this was a film that does so well what other of Ellie Walton’s films do: They take big social issues and go in close and reach the heart, letting what is most human in us all find connection. From one heart to another, we can begin to heal our world.

  • Michael Suzerris

    Owner, OmCulture and Yogalife Studios, Seattle, Washington

    You must see this documentary! The work that is being done with young people from D.C. is extraordinary.

  • Stephanie Toby

    Street Yoga Seattle, Director of Operations

    Fly By Light is a beautiful film that touches on themes of healing, vulnerability as strength, and the power of community. The youth transform in fundamental ways before our eyes, revealing their strength, resilience, and new found belief in themselves. There is a great need for One Common Unity’s work and I hope this film will inspire others to support this work and become active in their own communities!

  • Joshua Logynn Arthur

    Humbled and moved beyond words is all I can say about this film.

  • Mike Snyder

    Founder, Interdependent Pictures

    An excellent film with wonderful vision, powerful scenes, compelling shots, and great characters. Viewers will not be disappointed.

  • Christylez Bacon

    Grammy Nominated, Progressive Hip-Hop Artist

    This is a great film that reminds me of the importance in disconnecting from the routine, with a little guidance, did for my life as a kid growing up in the city. I’m glad that a film and program like this exists!

  • Kristin Adair

    Senior Leader, Off the Mat, Into the World

    Fly By Light is an important and inspirational film for anyone who works with youth. It offers deep insights into the ways in which we all can support and uplift future leaders to break the cycle that puts kids “at risk” in every community around the country.

  • Mikal Amin Lee

    Program Director, Urban Word NYC

    A powerful testament to the commitment that we must have to the next generation, to give them space to grow, guidance on their path, and motivation to keep pushing forward.

  • Jamie Eldridge

    Massachusetts State Senator

    Fly By Light is a beautiful mov​i​e that shows the trauma that young people of color face in America, while also the strength of coming together, facing your demons and an unkind society, and achieving your dreams, aided by One Common Unity. I highly recommend the film for anyone curious about what so many urban youth are struggling with, and how to help people move forward in their lives.

Filmmakers

PRESS COVERAGE