Proud to showcase the winning DOCUMENTARY Feature Film for 2021.
MENDING WALLS, 57min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Pam Hervey, Todd Hervey
Artist Hamilton Glass challenges 30 artists from different cultural backgrounds to collaborate on 16 murals in Richmond, VA about race, status and experiences. In real-time footage and testimonial, the film shows how the artists got to know each other through difficult conversations, how working together ultimately opened their eyes and their hearts to the differences between all of us, and how these murals became a symbol of hope for the future for a community in pain.
Director Biography – Pam Hervey, Todd Hervey
Pam and Todd Hervey are owners of Fuel, a full-service video production company located in the Shockoe Bottom community of downtown Richmond, Virginia since 2003. In 2017, Fuel created 19RED, a division solely for creating original content and storytelling. Through 19RED, Pam and Todd produced the Emmy-winning 13-episode series “The Art Scene”, the Emmy-winning documentary “Blackbird: Legacy of Innovation”, and the Emmy-nominated work behind the documentary “Aged Out: Finding Home”, all of which premiered on VPM. 19RED also produced an 18-episode podcast on the Mending Walls RVA project, available now on all major podcasts distributors. The podcast is an intimate conversation between Hamilton and the artists of each mural about their process, their creation and their important conversations they had throughout the work.
Hamilton Glass is an artist and community activist in Richmond, VA. His work focuses around using public art to build up communities, and create spaces in which the community members feel they have a stake in their surroundings. As the creator and founder of Mending Walls, Hamilton received recognition as a Richmond History Maker in 2020 for his efforts towards ”Improving our Quality of Life” in Richmond. Hamilton was the only artist that painted two murals with different partners in the Mending Walls project.
As documentary producers, it’s our job to observe a process and be in the background of the action. However we would be lying if we said following this project hasn’t affected us. During production on Mending Walls, we learned more about who we are as citizens of Richmond, Virginia and what type of advocates that we need to be for the future.
We listened to those who need all of us to listen. We empathized with the struggle and cultural differences between us, and we connected with others in life-changing ways. Our own children are actively participated in these hard conversations while volunteering with these artists as they painted their murals.
We believe that art has a way of establishing commonalities between citizens who experience it, and creating empathy and understanding when there is little hope of reconciliation over issues of inequality that exist between us. As filmmakers, we have a passion for creating work that accessible to all audiences because the stories we choose to tell are universal to everyone. We were determined to show viewers the triumphant response these Richmond muralists and activists created as a result of the deep hurt experienced by our community back in May 2020.
If it inspires one viewer to have those hard conversations with another, then it was worth making.