Can You Hear Me Smiling
A recovering Texas football star and drug addict, Scott Ballew’s path to becoming an artist has not been straightforward or easy. After working his way up in the film business to become a director, Scott found a new outlet for storytelling and grief in the form of songwriting at the age of 37. With a 3rd album about to be released and films premiering at major film festivals, his story is proof that there are no rules or timelines for creativity.
Towns like Vernal, Utah rely on the roller coaster of commodity prices—from phosphates to oil shale to natural gas. It’s a boom or bust landscape. These types of jobs provide communities with a good way of life, but what happens when the market shifts and the work dries up? Towns that rely on natural resource extraction as the main economic driver experience real hardship when the bottom falls out.
Vernal is a story of balance. People need to make a living to survive, to provide for their families and we also need to preserve our land for future generations. If rural towns can diversify their economies with help from outdoor recreation, is that enough to shift the conversation from “what can we extract from our public lands?” to “how can we preserve them?”
We don’t have the answer but we need to have the conversation.
‘Charlie’ is the story of how fly fishing came to one family in Placencia, Belize and the pastime of guiding passed down from one generation to the next.
Charlie Leslie Jr. was born into the world of flats fishing in Belize. His father Charlie Leslie Sr. was one of the original guides to explore this fishery with new eyes, focused on catch and release fly fishing for permit and bonefish.
The family’s introduction to saltwater fly fishing came from none other than Lefty Kreh. In the early days before Belize was a go to saltwater fly destination, Lefty arrived on a scouting trip and left a fly rod behind in the hands of Charlie Leslie Sr.
“That’s when Lefty said, this is a gift to you guys. But you better learn how to use it, because this is going to be the next big thing that will take off. And the quicker you guys get into this, the better it will be.”
This film tells the story of how small acts by the fly fishing luminaries of 50 years ago went on to influence the trajectory of one country’s relationship to its fishery and one family’s history on these coveted flats.