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A man calls for help. It arrives in the form of two strangers who may hold the key.


What happens when you offer help?

Watch the Trailer (32 seconds)




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Director Statement: 

When I direct a script that I haven’t myself written, it’s because I’m moved by the writer’s deeply personal connection with the work, and their mission statement. So when Neal Hemphill and I decided to collaborate, I knew that my job as the director was to understand his vision as the writer and performer, and to serve that vision. This is why, when Neal showed me the famous painting of “The Man on The Bed,” I used it to inform the look of the film. In honor of the profound efforts and countless lives saved by AA, I created a shot in the interior scene that replicated the painting.


Although alcohol hasn’t been one of my own addictions, given the number of lives ruined by the trillion-dollars alcohol industries, I assume that my life is surrounded by people saved by AA. There probably isn’t one of us that hasn’t been impacted by someone’s addiction to alcohol in our lives, or benefited, unknowingly, from the tireless work of AA members. I was honored to be enlisted towards these efforts as a filmmaker and to contribute in this way.

Writer statement: 

I was inspired to write this when I saw a young man, who has become a friend, getting sober. I saw his passion for change, and for a better life. But, most importantly, I saw the light go on in his eyes - the light of understanding that he has a way out, and that the possibility of a good life exists. What I saw play out over weeks is boiled down to a few moments in this film.

Sadly, in recovery, we’re told that we’ll be stepping over dead bodies. This film also addresses that, metaphorically. 

Recovery is for people who want it, not for those who need it.

Top of the World

Top of the World was shot in Brooklyn, NY, in a screenwriter friend’s apartment. We had a full crew, and we made two films in three days.

Top of the World was shot in one long day of work. We did the outside scenes first because the weather was good in the morning, and we knew we could get what we needed and then go inside for the rest of the day.

Once inside, we worked in sequence. That was terrific.

There are some push-in shots that were made challenging by having a wrong piece of equipment. But some ingenuity made it happen, and they look great!

There’s a moment in the film that our director, Ela Thier, staged beautifully. She recreated the famous AA Grapevine painting of “The Man on the Bed” by arranging the three of us into the scene from the painting. It’s a beautiful thing - two men helping a man who doesn’t yet know there is a way out of his perilous state.

There’s a grit to this film that is juxtaposed by the caring between the men. It’s love in action, in a tough way, in a tough space.

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