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Truth. Inspiration. Discovery. Real People. Real Stories.
Stories Matter

The more we learn about each other, the wiser we become. When you know a bit of a person’s story, you open the door to empathy—which nurtures civility. 

True Productions is another outlet for creativity that ties to company culture and values as well as creating "living artifacts." True Productions focuses on sharing real-life stories though collaboration with writers, filmmakers and playwrights. We champion the art of true storytelling by partnering with the Seattle International Film Festival to provide an annual $50,000 grant in support of Seattle documentary filmmakers.

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As the Founder of True Productions, I proudly share my mission to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world.

In 2016, I partnered with the Seattle International Film Festival to award a $50,000 grant each year, for the next three years. The inaugural year’s competition was so strong that True Productions provided an additional grant to “Big Sonia” and “Gold Balls,” both of which focus on subjects over the age of 80. Each were awarded a $50,000 grant.

We are so proud to share in the mission to create experiences that bring people together to discover extraordinary films from around the world.

Stories Change Us For the Better

The sole purpose of the grants is to invest in the filmmaking community, the filmmaking process, and – most of all – the art of true storytelling through the lens.

Critical Acclaim
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Coming Soon!
Things That Make White People Uncomfortable
RELEASE DATE: To be announced

Michael Bennett is a Super Bowl Champion, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, a fearless activist, a feminist, a grassroots philanthropist, an organizer, and a change maker. Bennett adds his unmistakable voice to discussions of racism and police violence, Black athletes and their relationship to powerful institutions like the NCAA and the NFL, the role of protest in history, and the responsibilities of athletes as role models to speak out against injustice. Following in the footsteps of activist-athletes from Muhammad Ali to Colin Kaepernick, Bennett demonstrates his outspoken leadership both on and off the field.

A Photo of Michael Bennett
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My Mother, My Son illustrates the power of love and a cruel twist of fate. A son who came from a struggling family that had little means was able to fulfill his mother’s lifelong dream to be successful, a “big shot” with all the status and trappings that entailed. Little did they know that her dream would end with a disease that had become an integral part of his livelihood.

My Mother, My Son
RELEASE DATE: To be announced


Thin Skin

A dark music infused comedy about keeping it together when you’re falling apart.

True Productions is the proud sponsor of a new film by Ahamefule Oluo, Charlies Mudede, and Lindy West based on the smash off-broadway show ‘Now I’m fine’. 
Ahamefule Joe Oluo’s days are spent at a soul-deadening corporate job and his nights come alive behind a trumpet at Seattle jazz clubs. After losing his home, Aham is living with his entire family once again. Pressed together in this vise of a home, the family struggles with adult life and the meaning of family.

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Coming Soon!
Thin Skin
Full Court
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Full Court - The Spencer Haywood Story

A Court battle of epic proportions.

Spencer Haywood went from picking cotton in rural Mississippi to being inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Along the way he won Olympic gold, married one of the most famous supermodels in the world and dominated professional basketball. But he had to fight every step of the way – for his civil rights, against addiction and even against the NBA itself. 

In 1970, young Haywood challenged the NBA’s “four-year rule,” which stated that players could not enter the league until they were four years removed from high school. Because of this, young, poor players were excluded from the business of basketball. Haywood’s case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and his victory forever changed professional basketball. But Haywood paid a price for making waves. His stand-out stints with the Sonics, Knicks and Lakers were overshadowed by the case and Haywood was ostracized for many years. 

Gold Balls

Inside the World of Ultra Senior Tennis

GOLD BALLS is an inspiring, family-friendly documentary about five athletes determined to win a national championship in tennis. The catch is, they’re all over age 80! You’ll meet a cranky ex-lawyer, one of Wisconsin’s most eligible bachelors, a romantic naval officer, a 94-year-old comedian, and a charming minister’s son as they barnstorm the country in pursuit of their dream. Audience members are calling the film “quirky and heartwarming” as they fall in love with these determined competitors. It’s a powerful story about goals, resilience, and the ageless human spirit.

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Big Sonia

Sonia is the ultimate survivor, a bridge between cultures and generations. Her story must never be forgotten.

Our film interweaves Sonia’s past and present using first-person narrative with stories from family and friends. Along the way, we learn valuable life lessons – “Soniaisms” – from a woman who can barely see over the steering wheel, yet insists on driving herself to work every day to run her late husband’s tailor shop, John’s Tailoring. Running the shop is Sonia’s entire being – it is her reason for living and the center of her life. Sonia is a “diva” and she’s known for wearing leopard print and high heel shoes – she is the most popular woman I know. Her influence spans generations and cultures, and we see first-hand how she transforms a room of self-involved teenagers into thoughtful citizens. Sonia is an enigma.

Gold Balls
Big Sonia
CBD Nation

CBD Nation is a documentary examining the highest levels of research and evidence behind the safest known, therapeutically active medicine humanity has: cannabis.

CBD Nation features the world’s leading experts in the field of cannabis scientific research as they dive deep into the science of how and why cannabis works for so many conditions, and why one, non-psychoactive cannabinoid in particular, cannabidiol (CBD), is being credited for giving many a second chance at life. 

The film also follows the emotional stories of several patients who bravely took control of their own medical journeys to significantly improve their quality of life.

It’s not a movie about weed. It’s not a movie about stoners. It’s not a movie about hippies. 

It’s a movie about science. The stunning science of medical cannabis. 

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More Films
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Sweetheart Deal

Sweetheart Deal follows women trapped in street prostitution by crippling heroin addictions. 

Seattle’s Aurora Avenue is a mean stretch of an old highway, the ugly underbelly of a gleaming, prosperous city, lined with cheap motels and lost souls. This is where the protagonists of Sweetheart Deal gamble with their lives, driven by their addiction to heroin. Working as prostitutes, four women risk everything from deadly overdose to rape to HIV infection to murder. This astonishingly intimate look inside their world, carved out over several years of unprecedented access, creates a harrowing portrait of what life is like when there is no safety net.

8 Borders, 8 Days

Amanda Bailly’s film 8 Borders, 8 Days  follows a Syrian woman, Sham, and her two children as they travel from Lebanon to Germany.

In the beginning, during the parts in Syria and Lebanon, animation is used effectively to describe the problems Sham is fleeing in trying to reach Europe, and why the notion of staying in neighboring countries which are supposed to be safe is not always feasible.

For the most part however, the film takes us along on this journey without much exposition beyond a few brief comments from Sham and some messages that appear on screen.

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Afghan Cycles

Afghan Cycles follows a new generation of young Afghan women who are pedaling their own revolution.

Following a new generation of young Afghan women cyclists, Afghan Cycles uses the bicycle to tell a story of women's rights - human rights - and the struggles faced by Afghan women on a daily basis, from discrimination to abuse, to the oppressive silencing of their voices in all aspects of contemporary society. These women ride despite cultural barriers, despite infrastructure, and despite death threats, embracing the power and freedom that comes with the sport.

The Silk and The Flame

As Yao makes his annual trek back to his traditionalist family during Chinese New Year, he struggles to reconcile his Beijing life with his family's expectations in this intimate, evocative, and bittersweet true story.

Director Jordan Schiele's debut documentary feature film, The Silk and the Flame, is inspired by a Chinese proverb: "Concealing truth is like wearing embroidered clothes and traveling by night." There is beauty in truth, opines Schiele, but if one cannot display it in the light of day, who will see it? At the center of Schiele's docu-fable is Yao, a single, middle-aged man whose life choices in Beijing have little or no resemblance to the family life back in his tiny native village hundreds of miles away. When Schiele accompanies Yao home during Chinese Lunar New Year, it becomes clear that the weight of Yao's secret life, as well as the expectations of his family (especially from his father) and the turbulent convergence of both ancient and modern China are combining to create a combustible cultural showdown of mythic proportions. Having solved every problem his family has faced over the years—illness, poverty, educating his siblings' children, and putting a roof over their heads—Yao now faces his final hurdle: to be present as the man he truly is. The Silk and the Flame is a SIFF New Works-in-Progress Forum 2017 documentary.

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Freedom's Path

A runaway slave must reluctantly re-live the horrible events of his past, in order to help a friend understand the true face of slavery.

Set during the American Civil War, the story of a unique friendship forged between a Union soldier and runaway slave, centering in and around the Underground Railroad.

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