Dominick, a young, white writer struggling after the death of his child and a failed marriage, stumbles across a retired, black psychiatrist who sees his potential, but must uncover the darkness that lies buried inside of Dominick's past and crumbling present.
Inclusion StatementOur story about a young, white writer and his friendship with an elderly black psychiatrist is extremely relevant in our growing society of racial divisiveness. Our cast and production crew is representative of the diversity we aim to encourage through our film, both on and off camera.
About The Project
ABOUT THE FILM
Dominick “Dom” Darga, once a successful white male writer living in downtown Detroit, drifts through his now insular life. Still reeling from the death of his young son and the divorce that followed a few years later, Dom fights to stay on the straight and narrow. Following a drunken altercation at a local bar that turned racial, Dom’s court-ordered community service leads him to meet Solomon, a retired black psychiatrist living in one of Detroit’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Through a common interest in literature and psychology, the two men begin to form an unlikely friendship, despite the strong skepticism of Renata, Solomon’s daughter. Renata, a defense attorney in the city, is often too busy with work to deal with her troubled relationship with her father and her budding relationship with Detroit’s new mayor only sucks up more time. That being said, her distrust of Dom gives her cause to have some friends look into his criminal record.
In the meantime, Dom soon experiences a renaissance. Using the Dom’s need to produce a new novel as cover, Solomon pries opens Dominick's psyche, stretching him past his ideals and introduces him to the wonders of living. Dom’s flowering enlivens the octogenarian spirit of Solomon as well. Renata takes notice and begins to warm up to Dom being around her father. They all attend the annual Mayor’s Gala together when Renata finds out about Dom's background and the altercation at the bar. Her trust betrayed, she lashes out at Dom, causing a scene at the Gala. Solomon leaves the event out of frustration and collapses on his way to his car. At the hospital, it is discovered that Solomon has been hiding a terminal illness from both Renata and Dom, thus further denting the growing trust that had been building in his relationships with them.
With everything falling apart, Dominick, Solomon, and Renata must all discover what’s most important before their lives are permanently altered by death and all that accompanies it.
SOLOMON is a story of relationships, preconceptions, race, and faith that explores the life changing effects of a meeting between two very different people from very different backgrounds and the unshakable bond that develops between them.
WHY THIS STORY?
As two ambitious and admittedly naïve young filmmakers, the excitement we got at just the prospect of making our first movie far outweighed any doubts or fears we had tucked away in our hearts and minds. We began to brainstorm interesting story concepts that eventually became our own. We wanted to make a film that touched on social issues through the prism of everyday people from different backgrounds and beliefs, specifically in the setting of Detroit. People often go through life trying to stay in their personal circles/bubble as much as possible. Our goal with the film is to force our characters, which would probably not associate with each other typically, together and to create an interesting story out of what their interactions disrupt and create in their lives.
In a country (and city) where race relations is becoming increasingly important and the "Baby Boomers" are reaching retirement/assistant living age, our story about a young white male and his friendship with an elderly black man is extremely relevant. Throw in the struggles of a once proud American city and the diversity that is growing amongst its residents and you have a snapshot of the Detroit experience right now.
At the end of the day, we want people to leave our film with something to ponder, discuss, and hopefully revisit in some fashion. SOLOMON is a story about choosing unity, despite the presence of constant pain and misconceptions. It is about finding love in people and places that you would never consider looking. This is the type of story America needs right now and our team will stop at nothing to bring it to the masses.
We can't do any of this story without your help. As our supporters, you will be partnering with our team in the quest to bring SOLOMON to a screen near you. God Bless and welcome to Team Solomon!
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About This Team
THE TEAM, THE TEAM, THE TEAM
Heidi Elizabeth (Eli) Philipsen-Meissner, Executive Producer & Line Producer - Heidi Philipsen-Meissner is a p.g.a. official mark producer, writer, actress & director (Co-Director of THIS IS NOWHERE) with 20 years of professional experience in international film, television and communications, who has line-produced two features, production coordinated 11 features, including THE BETTER ANGELS (starring Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Wes Bentley and Brit Marling), production managed multiple projects, including two national commercials, worked with stunts in actions films such as SALT and THE OTHER GUYS, acted in several features, including THE BUSINESS TRIP (opposite Vince Vaugn, Tom Wilkinson & Dave Franco), and has produced the feature Marcy. Heidi's a member of the Producers Guild of America, SAG-AFTRA, AEA, the Motion Picture Institute’s Directors Alumni Club, NYWIFT, Founder & President Emeritus of UPWIFT, Chicago Women in Film & Television, and University of Michigan and Columbia University Alumni Groups.
J.B. Armstrong, Co-Producer - J.B. Armstrong is a Detroit native and a graduate from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), where he obtained his Bachelors in Screen Arts, and Cultures with a sub major in screenwriting in May 2015. As the Creative Director of Valiant Films, J.B. has written and shot a handful of spec scripts and shorts, and commercials around the Metro Detroit area. He has also worked as an editor for Precision Productions + Post, with the Ann Arbor Film Festival as a media editor, and with VICE Media as an assistant editor on projects such as “King of the Road”, “Broadly: The Abortion Pill,” and “LiveNation” (featuring performances by One Direction, Carley Rae, and Walk The Moon). Now residing in Los Angeles, J.B. is always working to further his creative talents by continuing to write unique, elaborate and detailed stories that play with the human psyche, hoping to play a vital role within the film and television realm.
David Hines, Jr., Producer - David Hines, Jr. is a Mechanical Engineer working in the automotive industry in Metro Detroit by day and an independent filmmaker by night. Raised in Marietta, GA, David moved up north to attend the University of Michigan and received his degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2011. After combining their forces to form their production company, Valiant Films, he and J.B. Armstrong have been shooting spec commercials and shorts around the Detroit area for the past several years. He currently resides in Royal Oak, MI with his wife, an Assistant Prosecutor for Wayne County, his baby boy, Trey, and their Labrador mutt, Stevie. David’s primary goal in life is to fulfill God's purpose and help others experience true joy and faith.
Kali Riley, Cinematographer - A Detroit-native, Kali Riley is a camerawoman living and working in New York City since 2008. Kali is an International Cinematography Guild local 600 member who enjoys working on creative films with good people and friends. To her it's a dream come true.
"This film is important to me because it shows the unexpected bond between people from two different worlds living in the same city. It's about growth and understanding and that's the beauty of Detroit and its people."
Michael Alberstadt, Co-Writer – Michael Alberstadt is a lifelong Michigan resident and currently lives in Royal Oak, a Detroit suburb. Michael has two completed feature screenplays and one short. He was a Second-Rounder at the 2013 Austin Film Festival’s screenwriting competition with “Ferraris at Twenty Paces.” His first script, “Crossing the Red Line,” placed in the top 10% for the 2013 Nicholl Fellowships and was a Second-Rounder at the 2014 Austin Film Festival competition.