Directors Notes: A May 20th Letter, by Paul J. Steinbroner

May 20 2019


At this point I am 2 ½ years into a set of documentaries entitled Called From Darkness.  I started the film because I felt that I was ready for a transformational experience. The transformation happens every day.  I have hope that this will make a difference in the world and I have faith in my skill set and that this emotional investment is worth it.  But faith is a verb… It takes daily actions to continue on this journey.

To date, I have driven 125,000 miles and have spoke with the many wisdom teachers who wanted to be a part of this. It all started with a chance meeting with Sheila Raye Charles, the daughter of yes, Ray Charles.  After trauma, abuse, addiction, and three trips to the pen she was broken open and found a source of spiritual energy that transformed her life by giving herself over to help others. She founded a prison ministry.  Her story was so compelling as I saw how she was called from darkness. Sheila Raye lit the torch; and I give her credit. For months I tried to schedule filming with her but soon after she was diagnosed with cancer and died…Rest in peace Sheila Raye.


Oh The Places You'll Go
Called From Darkness Producer/Director Paul J Steinbroner

Not knowing what would happen next I started researching the topic of how people formerly addicted are transformed.  Some people say that addiction is a spiritual disease and that seems true as it robs the spirit like a case of identity theft and leaves people to act in the survival mode.  For 40 years I have produced and distributed films on drugs of addiction and the neuro-chemical implications of why this happens. Sheila Raye shined a light and suddenly I could see that I need to move away from information and move to transformation which seemed to be so much more dramatic…

More of this soon but let me dedicate my own journey to my fallen Comrade Bill Cohen with whom I produced and distributed 50 films since 1976. Creativity and the process of producing a film is a very intimate process combining so many details but it can also be like pounding steal into a shape- hammer to anvil and persistent focus.  My co-producer died five years ago to the day and I can only thank him my creating a set of documentaries that he would have been proud to be a part of.

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