Jeycob Carlson
2012/01/27
By : Wickham Boyle
Jeycob Carlson is a man with a full heart and many hats and who seems to have lived many lifetimes already, perhaps that is why he has so much empathy for those in need. Carlson is a filmmaker, editor, director and cameraman, if you needed a film made, he could do it stem to stern. When you search for Carlson you see he has been a snowboarder, been in sporty movies, made music videos, as well as his passion projects - films, which give voice to the voiceless. Some of these focus on the sex trade in Manila, the impoverished of Nicaragua who actually live in trash dumps, and more recently, Vietnam Vets.

He was drawn into these doc films subjects; which Carlson calls non-profit, humanitarian documentaries, when five years ago he was working on a film about surfing in Nicaragua. "The film's director was always attempting to find work for locals and this lead us to visit La Chiraca, the trash dump village in Managua, Nicaragua where 1500 people live. I bought my camera and this was what would become the film Day of Light."

The project was part of Love Light and Melody, a non profit started by musician Brad Corrigan which uses creativity and the healing power of the arts to capture and expose stories of injustice and extreme poverty, holding to the light what is often hidden in darkness. In various locations, LLM hosts a Day of Light community event to celebrate and uplift the culture and lives of those they are dedicated to serving. This event, centered on music, mural paintings, dance, sports, photography, film, and food, helps to break down whatever social, political and language barriers may exist. The Day of Light also creates an invaluable opportunity for LLM to identify and partner with individuals native to the community, or organizations already on the ground, who are dedicated to meeting needs within the community.

Jeycob also worked on a film The Daughters Of Manila about Philippine girls rescued from the sex trade and human trafficking. "I even heard someone say it is trendy to do that. In other words people come for a vacation drawn by the knowledge that you can purchase under-aged girls for sex. The big issues are still there whether we make movies about them or not. Although it is technically illegal the people running the brothels are often involved with the police." There are an estimated 500,000 prostituted persons in the Philippines and it is ranked fourth in the world for MOST children in prostitution. Manila has the most prostituted persons in the nation with an estimated 100,000 child prostitutes in Manila alone. Human trafficking is considered the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, with annual profits exceeding that of ExxonMobil ($32 billion from sex trafficking alone).Jeycob's films are visceral, putting a human face on issues that matter.

Carlson's next film project, with the director Peter Evans, involved a two-week trip to Vietnam where he accompanied Vets who hadn't returned since serving in the war. "The film was through a church and it brought up many issues from post traumatic stress that hadn't been dealt with to the profound sadness felt by the Vets that they had never been welcomed home after they served. The film is called Welcome Home."

As to Carlson's future projects, "I may not have a good answer for this now. I hope to do more social commentary and humanitarian films." As an aside, Carlson also has two kids Josiah 5, called Siah and Kamden 2, and that is humanitarian work on a grand scale always.
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