What would you personally risk to defend your beliefs?
Allegiance places us at the intersection where personal lives and professional commitments collide.
Alex, a dedicated journalist, is assigned to cover a dangerous political riot, following a near-deadly terrorist attack at his newspaper office. But when he tells Jane, his wife, she urges him not to risk his life by heading into a situation that is volatile and dangerous.
Alex’s choice isn’t an easy one: Stand up for his principles and push back against attacks on the First Amendment, or stay safe at home out of loyalty to his wife and son? But Jane, a filmmaker whose documentaries focus on freedom fighters, must also make a choice when her ideals are pitted against real life violence that is very close to home.
I’ve always admired people who risk their lives to stand up for their beliefs, but like many people living in the United States, I have never been in a situation where I needed to do so.
During the terrorist attacks on France, I saw on the news that a group of people had gathered with signs that said “NOT AFRAID.” I was moved by this and found myself wondering, if I were there, would I join them? Or would I stay home and stay safe?
As I pondered the question, the idea for "Allegiance" came to me: Our ideals represented by Alex’s commitment to freedom of the press, and our personal interests represented by Jane’s concern for her family.
One of the things I wanted to accomplish with the film is to spark debate about what viewers think Alex should have done. In fact, originally, I’d envisioned the film ending without us knowing if he goes or stays, with his hand poised on the doorknob, debating. But when I asked my long-time friend and colleague Tony Motzenbacker to write the script, he brought a whole new vision to it.
The original draft of "Allegiance" in 2017 centered on an alt-right terrorist group bombing CNN. We later changed CNN to a fictional Los Angeles newspaper, but were chilled when we learned of the actual bomb found at CNN headquarters in October 2018.... What had originally seemed an interesting scenario had sadly become a reality.
"Allegiance" is an important story because it shows us where we are and, perhaps, where we are headed, especially as we become more polarized and stray further from our founding fathers' vision. It forces us to ask ourselves some tough questions about what we would personally risk for freedom and democracy.
I feel very blessed to have been able to make this film, in spite of the odds. We had very little money, and even less time: I was already juggling my photography business with being a stay-at-home mommy to my 1-year old son (who made his acting debut in the movie!) When I told my husband (and editor) that I wanted to make the film, he said I was crazy, but with the overwhelming amount of support we received through our fundraising campaign and from friends who donated their time as cast and crew, we were able to make the film a reality. "Allegiance" holds a very special place in my heart, and I hope you enjoy watching it as much I as I enjoyed the process of making it.
Section coming soon. In the meantime, learn more about our project from our now-completed fundraising campaign at Seed & Spark!