Breaking News
More () »

Indy filmmaker debuts documentary centering on Black men

John Harris got the idea for the short film after a conversation with a friend on being open about their life experiences.

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indy native turned actor and director has a new documentary. John Harris will showcase "Missing Pieces II" Tuesday, Nov. 2 at a private viewing downtown at the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males conference.

Harris said he got the idea for the film after having a conversation with a friend.

"The question came up, 'Why don't men talk about what they go through?'" Harris said. "So I get this epiphany and God is like, 'Boom, do a movie, do a film on fatherhood.'"

The film starts out with familiar faces to Indianapolis discussing the need for fathers.

"Our young men need to be led. We need fathers to stay in the house," said Marion County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Gaither in the film.

Dafina Mayhew is a mother who was interviewed for the film.

"Some of the issues they face is not being able to have a close relationship with their dad right now," Mayhew said in the film.

Stories of Black men — young and old — and the impact fathers and mentors can have on their lives are shared in the film.

"I just want people to get a clear picture of just men and what we go through because we don't talk," Harris said. "We don't share information. For whatever reason, I don't know."

Harris said his upbringing helped shape the film. He's one of eight children in a single-family home. Harris said his dad taught him about having strong work ethic but not other important life lessons.

"He did not teach me about being a man," Harris said. 'So, luckily for me, I had other male role models."

The film also focuses on Black youth.

"In many cases, a lot of young Black men don't believe in their own dreams until somebody else believes in their dreams and can wake them up to the reality that, 'Oh, you can make your dream come true,'" said former 13News crime beat reporter Steve "Scoop" Jefferson. 

Tony Lamont is the co-director of the film.

"As a person that was shooting it, very seldom do I cry when I do the work, but some stories were so, so devastating and inspirational. So many emotions came out," Lamont said.

Lamont said the film shines the light on a continuing conversation.

"We still have single fathers. We have single-parent households. We have fathers that are still missing," Lamont said. "They're missing the pieces of not only their lives but their children's lives."

"Missing Pieces II" is expected to be released in the spring of 2022.

For more information on the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males conference, click here.

MORE: Indiana student teams up with former teacher on social justice film

Before You Leave, Check This Out