This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original documentary “Las Memorias,” available exclusively at feeln.com. For 10 years, Antonio was a prison inmate. As a drug addict, he had lost his freedom and his family. But a kindly and supportive nun helped him realize he still had value as a person. Today, he is the director of Las Memorias, a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico that cares for drug addicts and HIV patients. For the people he has dedicated his life to helping, Antonio is a living example of how everyone has the capacity to turn their lives around.
“Las Memorias” marks the directorial debut of Peter King, writer of “The Saint of Auschwitz.” Peter met Antonio in Tijuana, Mexico, while researching for a Feeln Original about a Catholic nun and activist named Mother Antonia who cared for inmates at the notorious maximum-security La Mesa Prison. “Mother Antonia was beloved by all the prisoners,” Peter said. “Antonio met her in prison, and she inspired him to become the man he is today.”
“Antonio’s memories provide the structure for the film,” Peter said. “It’s really fitting that the clinic he runs is called Las Memorias. For me, the heart of the film was about going into Antonio’s past and following him on the journey that led him from drugs and prison to serving others.”
According to Peter, the most emotional and difficult place to film was at the clinic. “The people at Las Memorias are amazing,” Peter said. “Many of them are living with sickness, and they help each other. There are parties and dancing, and the people who live there do different jobs to earn their keep. It’s so vibrant and alive. On the other hand, the clinic is also a very grave world. People pass away on a regular basis, and it’s heartbreaking.”
“Antonio is such a personality, and he’s willing to be honest about who he is. He hasn’t been a saint his whole life. But Mother Antonia saw the good in him, saw that he had more to offer. She told him, ‘You have an amazing heart, and you can inspire and take care of people.’ Antonio proves that people can do what seems impossible. He was given hope, and he’s redeemed himself through service. That’s what the clinic does, too. It sees the positive in people, the goodness, and mines that.”
Follow Antonio on his journey towards redemption in “Las Memorias,” free for two weeks on Feeln.
This week, we are proud to launch a new episode of InspireWire 2.0, our exclusive original series. InspireWire is back and better than ever. Iris Ichishita and Jeffrey Allen are your hosts for this human interest show featuring uplifting “Inspiral Videos” from all corners of the internet, in-depth original features, and a variety of unique voices reporting from across the country.
Relationships make the world go round. In this episode, legendary gameshow host Wink Martindale gives regular people our quiz to find out which types of relationships are truly the closest. A pair of aspiring hip-hop stars use music and dance to help kids realize their potential and donate to others in need. An artist named NODU paints to relieve his social anxiety. And Jeff shares a clever trick to make sure your shoelaces never come untied again.
Do you have a special relationship you’d like to share with Iris and Jeff? Tweet your videos and inspiring moments to @inspirewire with the hashtag #inspiralvideos.
You can watch all previous episodes of InspireWire on Feeln. A new episode of InspireWire airs every month.
This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “Second Chance,” available exclusively at feeln.com. As a plane falls from the sky, a husband and father has visions of the future he might never get to experience. The story is inspired by testimonials from passengers aboard US Airways Flight 1549, which took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York on January 15, 2009, and, within minutes, struck a flock of birds and lost power in both engines. “We were really drawn to what people were thinking about in what they believed were their final moments,” said writer and director John Dion (“Superhero,” “Collision“). “Your brain goes into overdrive: people thought about their kids, their futures going on without them. Their what-ifs led us to incorporate surreal sequences that were still very grounded and true to the characters.”
The plane scenes were shot in a warehouse in Burbank, on a plane cabin set on rollers. “We had a bunch of guys shaking the set, and it worked out great,” John said. “We shot the surreal scenes in slow motion, which was challenging because in slow motion you can focus on every detail of the shot, so all the camera movements had to be timed and perfect. Both the surreal scenes and the plane scenes contained little or no dialogue, so our actors had to communicate their emotions with just their looks.”
“The characters in the film are all drawn from the wisdom of real people,” John said. “For example, there really was a person who started singing on the flight. For the film, I asked a singer/songwriter to write a song not about the plane crash, but about our protagonist’s regret about missing all these events in his family’s future. We then used an animatic to time the song so that it begins in the surreal scenes and then transitions seamlessly to the plane scene.”
“It’s really rare for circumstances like these to have a happy ending,” John said. “I hope that people come away from this film feeling appreciative for what they have. Many of the passengers on the flight said the one and only thing they wanted to do was to tell their loved ones that they loved them. I think it’s important not to wait for a big moment. Don’t wait to be prompted. You never know what can happen.”
On the sixth anniversary of US Airways Flight 1549, we invite you to watch “Second Chance,” free for two weeks on Feeln.