CTP Newsletter Vol. 9

CTP Newsletter Vol. 9

Welcome to another Carbon Trace Newsletter,

After watching the debates last night, I encourage you to remind yourself of all the humanity we have in this world. The crew here at Carbon Trace is constantly seeking to see the good alongside whatever else people have to offer. We cover those stories that would otherwise go untold.

Sometimes it is not the film itself but rather the emotion it provokes that is the most important piece of the puzzle. Here are a few items that deserve your attention in that regard: SOURIYATJOONYPERSHARED SPACES.  

(Note: If you enjoy this email, please consider forwarding it to someone who would get a lot out of it. If you were forwarded this email, you could sign up to receive it at the end of each month. It’s free. For more regular updates, join us on Facebook, Twitter, or become a Patron.)

There are so many showtimes (Listed HERE) for you to see our latest film. We are most excited about the showing at our third home- Mother’s Backyard, on October 9th at 7 p.m.  Cold weather season is coming soon, so at the event, we will be collecting donations of HotHands, coats, and blankets for our friends on the streets. 

We are proud that this project is gaining its legs with this fundraiser we launched this week!  The team is planning a trip for mid-November to catch the beginning of deer season. Check out this new video for all the details

There was another community workday at Eden Village where community members planted bushes, laid out mulch, and generally helped make the outdoor areas as nice as possible. Currently, we are gearing up to film at Eden Village Two, being built now. Also, Linda Brown, the founder of Eden Village, is running for the National Good Neighbor Award! Be sure to vote for her here

We are well into production and excited to show you all the perspective of college students during this pandemic. The student-lead team includes Producer Greta Cross, Director Diana Dudenhoeffer, and we have Grant Schwarz back this semester as Lead Editor. They are starting to form their stories now, and we look forward to keeping you updated.  

You can Watch these right now! 

  1. Witness at Tornillo: Follow one man from Brooklyn as he camps alone in a West Texas desert, compelled to witness the horrors of family separation and child detention on the U.S. southern border. His goal is to shut down this concentration camp and #FreeThemAll!
  2. Zero: This story explores how students, parents, and coaches handle defeat. The Central High School boys’ basketball team has not won a game in two years. This is a story of defeat and how players and coaches react to it.
  3. Souriyat: Our team encountered a unique charity Souriyat Across Borders, while interviewing Syrian refugees in Amman, Jordan. Created by five women, “Souriyat Across Borders” provides rehabilitation for Syrian war wounded, along with deeply necessary education programs for vulnerable refugees seeking asylum in Jordan. The Carbon Trace team, led by director Taye Abithi Taye, returned twice to Jordan in 2017 filming with The Syrian-American Medical Society as they conducted medical missions in the region – from Amman to Mafraq, within eyesight of the Syrian border.

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Carbon Trace Productions August Newsletter

Carbon Trace Productions August Newsletter

Welcome to another Carbon Trace Newsletter, 

the exclusive monthly E-mail for our outstanding viewers who strive to go deeper and learn more about humanity. Each month, I send you what the team believes is a potentially life-changing film idea in hopes you agree. This month, we have a lot on our plate. 

Let’s get into it.

(Note: If you enjoy this email, please consider forwarding it to someone who would get a lot out of it. If you were forwarded this email, you could sign up to receive it at the end of each month. It’s free. For more regular updates, join us on Facebook, Twitter, or become a Patron.)

We are proud to announce the completion of our 2020 student film Songs From the Street. This film is about so much more than the Springfield Street Choir growing in popularity. The choir helps form a sense of community and family within our town’s homeless population, showing audiences the joy to be had by those we typically ignore. We premiered the film for our VIP members and had four public screenings this month at the Moxie Cinema. A special VIP screening is planned for September 1st for the Springfield Street Choir themselves to see the film. Due to the popularity of the project, we are planning more public screenings soon.

The Missouri State University’s archive team and Carbon Trace staff have officially turned in the National Endowment for Humanities grant we have been working on for several months. The A Portrait of the Ozarks team won’t hear back about it until wintertime. Stay tuned. However, we will have a fundraiser for the project coming out in mid-September to finish our pre-production costs. 

All of a Sudden is planned to be a feature-length film that follows Eden Village residents, an all-inclusive program in Springfield that addresses the chronically disabled homeless’s needs. They use the Housing First method, meaning they take in folks despite any addictions or mental health issues. For those of you who have been following Carbon Trace, we had to break on this project due to COVID concerns. While we are still very focused on the safety of disadvantaged populations and ourselves, we have begun filming again under our new filming regulations. 

“16 Weeks” has been picked as our student film to debut in Summer 2021. Newest members of the Carbon Trace Team, Greta Cross and Diana Dudenhoeffer, are documenting the lives of the Missouri State University community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Relying on volunteer-generated content in the form of vlog-style videos captured on smartphones, 16 Weeks offers a unique perspective on this new reality. Everyday people have the opportunity to showcase their story living through this historic time. We look forward to showing you more on this soon. 

Carbon Trace Productions Newsletter Vol. 7

Carbon Trace Productions Newsletter Vol. 7


This month has been a bit of a whirlwind for the Carbon Trace Team. We were busy balancing the premieres of new films, raising funds for upcoming projects, trying our hand at a public service announcement, and finishing the most significant grant application we have ever requested. We are letting go of expectations and focusing more on the discipline of doing the right thing, no matter how hard it seems. This month, I have been thinking about the Tony Robbins quote:

“Turn your expectations … into appreciation”

It is a luxury to have choices, and every day I have so many to make. What a life! This month, and hopefully for many months ahead, instead of getting overwhelmed I will let go and try to see things as simply as I can and take the next step – whatever it may be.

You can receive this update to your inbox by CLICKING HERE. 

-Shannon Cay, Executive Director


Welcome to New Board Member Dr. Leslie Seawright

At the very beginning of this month, The Board of Directors approved a new member of the leadership team, Dr. Leslie Seawright. She is currently an associate professor of English in the Technical and Professional Writing Program at Missouri State University. Leslie has been and will continue to be our “go-to” for all things grant related. This is more important now than ever as we are currently applying for a grant from the highly competitive National Endowment for the Arts Fund for our Ozarks documentary, “A Portrait of the Ozarks.”


Update on Current Documentary Films

The film is complete and ready for viewing! I want to give a big shout out to the “Songs From the Street” Student Team. We believe this is our best student project yet, and we are very grateful for the energy of the young adults involved. Michael Mayrand, Mackenzie Huffman, and the rest of the team deserve a COVID aware elbow bump when we hope to premiere the film at The Moxie at the end of August. We plan to have three days of showings so you will have several opportunities to view this fantastic film about the Springfield Street Choir. For exact dates, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

We have resumed communicating and making plans with the leaders of the Eden Village project in Springfield. Eden Village is a community of tiny homes for the disabled homeless. The biggest news is that Eden Village has started its expansion project (Eden Village II) to house even more of our friends who live on the street. We were there to watch them deliver two of the first twenty-plus houses at the new location. Our Patrons can see that video HERE.

This documentary could very well be our biggest film yet. With partnerships spanning multiple departments at Missouri State University and the endorsement of several stakeholders, we are sure this film exploring traditionalism in the Ozarks will be an epic journey. While we hope to receive federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts we want to get started as soon as possible. We have already raised just over $15,000 of our $20,000 pre-production development budget, thanks mostly to the support of William Darr, Tom Peters, and Shannon County residents. Thank you! We look forward to many future visits.

After several months of refining its storyline, we are proud to say we have finished this delightful film for drive-in lovers everywhere. In no small part due to the pandemic, drive-ins are making a comeback. We hope to present this short film to you during the Moxie run of “Songs From the Street” at the end of August.


The editing team at Carbon Trace is chipping away at the sequel structure of “Witness at Tornillo.” In this film, American volunteers in Matamoros, Mexico, are the only lifeline for Central American refugees caught between two governments hostile to their situation. As U.S. asylum courts deny refugees’  claims and the Mexican government takes daily steps to make camp life difficult, the refugees and volunteers are waiting for justice. We anticipate this film to be released sometime in 2021.


Support Nonprofit Documentary Filmmaking

Check out our Patreon memberships. At the $5 per month level of support, you get free VIP codes for all Carbon Trace pay-per-view movies, including the right to download a copy to keep! It’s a great way to watch our documentary films while supporting our nonprofit mission of documentary education and humanitarian service.
Carbon Trace can provide significant guidance in developing, funding, producing, and distributing a documentary film. For high school students wishing to learn more about documentary filmmaking, Missouri State University offers degrees in digital filmmaking, media production, journalism, and other associated areas.

To take part in the documentary education provided through the Carbon Trace Team we encourage you to apply for a filmmaking internship, submit a documentary idea, or apply to become a volunteer using the forms below.

Join Carbon Trace as a student volunteer

Apply for an internship

Submit a documentary idea