In the middle of an ill-conceived road trip, two long-separated siblings discover they have very different opinions when it comes to their long-buried family history, forcing them to face the past with hope and despair. The brother and sister chase after the ghost of an absent parent, searching for answers to questions they’ve kept to themselves for years.
Premiering at the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, the film is moving on to other festivals in the US and around the globe, and most recently broadcast on KCTS as part of Reel Northwest.
Chasing the Sun was an experiment in straight dramatic filmmaking for me, and a journey though some very conflicted personal emotions. My own birth mother was absent most of my life, most likely due to family politics, our personalities, and my own anger about an early painful divorce our family suffered through, but the real reason for it I feel I will never know, and I think that feeling of searching for something you can never find is common for people that don’t really know both their parents. You just can’t go back, neither of you can. That’s something that I’ve struggled to come to terms with, and it’s the struggle I wanted these characters to undergo, and hopefully comfort others that struggle with absent parents in their lives.
These two characters represent both sides of my feelings about my mother – on one hand I’m extremely hurt and vindictive, on the other, I’m deeply empathetic about the pain she must be going through. And those feelings don’t just sit in one camp or the other, they argue and interact and switch positions just like Caleb and Celeste do.
Fortunately, I found two actors that were willing to open up their own lives to this story, and worked with me over a year to help craft the story and help build the characters from their perspective. Even more fortunate, I found a family of Seattle filmmakers that were willing to come together and help me make this film a reality.