Another Empty Room
The system that protects our children is broken. As a nation we are failing. We have lost empathy, and the result is fatal. Firearms are now the leading cause of death for children in the United States. This film has a simple mission: to increase our collective empathy. It is a starting point for a much larger conversation. Rather than focusing on the topics that divide us, we seek to unite our audience around common ground: our central need to love and protect our children.
In this documentary, we follow a reporter and a photographer as they set out to memorialize the empty rooms of America’s forgotten children. They visit the homes of families who have lost a child, and photograph these sacred spaces frozen in time, exactly as they were when the child went to school for the last day..Rooted in emotion and shared humanity, the film will bypass traditional political divides, and work to bring us together on an issue that has been at a standstill.
Brought to you by the filmmakers from the 2023 Oscar-nominated Stranger at the Gate, Executive Produced by Malala:
Joshua Seftel, Director, Academy Award®–Nominated
Joshua Seftel is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker. His most recent film, Stranger at the Gate, Executive Produced by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai and nominated for a 2023 Academy Award®, is part of Seftel’s Emmy- and Peabody-nominated Secret Life of Muslims project (SXSW), which combats Islamophobia with filmmaking. Seftel, who experienced antisemitism as a child, has been committed to working on this subject matter for the past seven years.
Seftel received his first Emmy nomination at age 22 with his documentary Lost and Found, about Romania’s orphaned children. The film led to the American adoption of thousands of Romanian orphans. Some of his other award-winning films include the political campaign documentary Taking on the Kennedys (POV), the underdog sports film The Home Team(SXSW), the story of a young refugee Zain’s Summer (National Geographic), the behind-the-scenes film about Annie’s Broadway revival It’s the Hard Knock Life (PBS), and the artist portrait The Many Sad Fates of Mr. Toledano (Tribeca Film Festival) which won the IDA Documentary Award and became the most viewed New York Times Op-Doc of the year. He is also known for directing the Emmy®-winning landmark series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the feature film War, Inc. starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei and Ben Kingsley, and his regular appearances on CBS Sunday Morning where he interviews his 86-year-old mother. He is a contributor to the Peabody Award-winning podcast This American Life and to The New York Times.
Rev. Dr. Conrad Fischer, MD, Executive Producer
Reverend Dr. Conrad Fischer, MD is Professor of Medicine at Touro College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Fischer is Vice-Chairman of Medicine, Residency Program Director in Internal Medicine at Brookdale University Medical Center in Brooklyn.
He is ordained as Reader and Sub-Deacon of the Russian Orthodox Church and is the President of the Institute for the Studies of Eastern Christianity. Dr. Fischer is Executive Producer of the Oscar-Nominated film “Stranger at the Gate. He is a graduate of Union Theological Seminary. His area of interest is religious violence. He is the author of several textbooks of medicine.