Help us finish our documentary about Baltimore!

Lights of Baltimore A Project of Documentaries

Help us to finish our film!

The Story

LIGHTS OF BALTIMORE begins in April 2015, when Baltimore erupted in both peaceful and violent protests following the death of Freddie Gray. With those powder keg weeks as its focal point, LIGHTS OF BALTIMORE sweeps backward to Baltimore's past to understand what historical and political decisions led to April 2015. It explores the Martin Luther King riots, the political history of the city, and moves forward to the 18-month aftermath that accelerated police reform, and used new technologies to build the case for reform, while America experiences a turning point in politics with the new "post-truth era".

LIGHTS OF BALTIMORE offers unprecedented access to all sides of the story of the war of images surrounding the 2015 Uprising. More than 20 never-before-seen interviews highlight police, protester, artist, historian, civilian, and city-government perspectives.

The film's singular depth and breadth of access to key players creates a rare perspectival balance. By delving into the stories of both a police officer and an activist during the Uprising, for example, the film invites more complex and conflicted emotional responses than traditional media coverage has allowed.

Interview with Commissioner Davis

Audience members who experience the stories of people with real, personal stakes in Baltimore's future will likewise develop real, personal stakes in the issues at hand. Through this film, we hope that viewers deepen their empathy for those with whom they already empathize -- and, more challenging still, to develop empathy for those they could not previously understand.

Why is this film important?

LIGHTS OF BALTIMORE grew out of a sense of urgent need. The crew and I have seen what mainstream media doesn't fully capture: that Baltimore is a place of both hope and despair, emblematic of America's racial, socioeconomic, and ideological divides.

All of us involved in the film, behind and in front of the camera, have real stakes in Baltimore. We are making this film because we believe in a bright future for the city that is our complex, challenging, and much-loved home. In this critical time in the national struggle for social justice, we are asking: Is Baltimore in a time of hope, or despair? By offering empathic and balanced platforms for all sides of the question, LIGHTS OF BALTIMORE will create necessary space for new understanding, empowerment, healing, and hope.

Why do we need your help?

The film is currently under production. We plan to have a release in Spring 2018 to take advantage of a crucial commemoration: the 50-year anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination.

We have been working hard since 2015 but we do need your help to complete the film and share it with you.

So far, the film has won the prestigious major grant from the Maryland Humanities. It has been selected into the Saul Zaentz Incubator, and the Roy Dean Foundation selected it among 300 applications as one the "Hottest Films in the Making".

Our creative team is passionate and determined to get this project to its finish line. To do so, we count on you!

How can you help?


If you want to see a strong story about Baltimore, if you want to discover some unexpected footage from the city in the 1960's, if you want to hear more about the history of the city: be part of this cinematic adventure!

If you can't donate: please spread the word about the film and the campaign. Share our project on your social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Email your friends, family and colleagues. All can help us to go forward.

Every bit makes a difference!

Map of Redlinning, 1937

Map of Redlining, 1937 New York Times, Dec 25, 1910

We are not only raising funds to make the film, we hope to build a community and we need you for that! We see you as a partner and want to make you a part of this experience.

The crew:

Sabrina Bouarour: Producer-Director

Sabrina Bouarour is an independent filmmaker based in Baltimore. She has taught filmmaking for the Johns Hopkins Baltimore Youth Film Arts Program after teaching film and media studies at La Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. She is also a PhD candidate in film and media studies. She graduaded from L'Ecole Normale Supérieure (rue d'Ulm), La Sorbonne and the CFJ (school of journalism) in Paris. The articles she wrote appeared in a wide variety of publications including Le Monde and So Film. She is a Saul Zaentz Innovative Fund Fellow and has been supported by the Maryland Humanities, the Roy W. Dean Foundation (« 2016 Hot films in the making »).
Lights of Baltimore is her first feature film.

David Lindeman: Producer

David Lindeman is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Johns Hopkins University and has lectured in intellectual history at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He also worked as a volunteer resarcher at The Real News Network, a global online video news platform focused on issues of social justice.

Joe Tropea: Co-Producer

Joe Tropea co-directed and produced the award-winning documentary Hit and Stay: A History of Faith and Resistance, which was selected for inclusion in the Maryland Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival (Audience Award winner), and Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival (Best Documentary Feature). He also works at the Maryland Historical Society as the Curator of Film and Photographs and serves as Project Manager on the Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive project.

Sarah Sobol: Producer

After studying film studies, Sarah Sobol first worked in a movie theater as head of the programming for the youth and as a mentor for this audience. In 2005, she joined Sarrazink Productions, a production company created by the Harvard McMillan award-winning director Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche. Since then, she has worked as a production manager on all of his feature films, including Back Home, which premiered in Cannes Festival's Un Certain Regard in 2006, Adhen, selected in Cannes' Director's Fortnight 2008, and Story of Judas, which premiered in Berlinale's Forum in 2015.

Eliott Khayat: Producer

After completing his Master in Political Sciences in 2015, Eliott Khayat started off as a production assistant in different production companies such as Année Zéro, Moteur S'il Vous Plaît and Sarrazink Productions. Working on a few long feature films, he has appeared on screen in Story of Judas, directed by Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche (selected in Berlinale 2015) and been part of the production team of Paris Pieds Nus directed by Abel & Gordon (selected in Telluride and Toronto 2016). Now a student at La FEMIS, France's most prestigious film school, he has also produced two short films including one documentary and has worked at various film festivals.

Courtney Sender: Creative Consultant

Courtney Sender is a fiction writer based in Baltimore and Boston. Her work has appeared in Salon, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Esquire, The Kenyon Review, Tin House, American Short Fiction, AGNI, and others. She holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars, has taught creative writing there and at Yale University and is a MacDowell Colony fellow. She is currently at work on a novel set across America, Pakistan, and Mexico.

Charlotte Buonomo: Producer

While studying Literature at La Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris, Charlotte Buonomo has been working for several years as a production assistant and a stage manager for music festivals and as a scriptdoctor for television shows and movies. In 2016, she staged Purcell's opera "Dido and Aeneas" for the music festival "Le temps suspendu' in France and co-wrote and directed her first short movie.

Trey Hudson: Director Of Photography

Based in Baltimore, Trey Hudson travels working in the camera department on commercials and motion pictures, as well as working as a still photographer. His first feature film as director of photography, "Shu-de", is currently on the festival circuit and winning awards (Nashville, Docutah, Southern Circuit, Indy Film Fest, Bahamas International Film Fest, River's Edge International Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival…). In spring of 2016 he filmed the follow up to Josh Slates' feature film, "Small Pond."

Skizz Cyzyk:Director Of Photography

Skizz Cyzyk co- directed and served as cinematographer for Hit and Stay: A History of Faith and Resistance with Joe Tropea, Freaks In Love with David Koslowski, and Little Castles (included in the European release of Barry Levinson's Tin Men). He made many short films: "David Fair Is The King," "Alfred Jarry and Pataphysics," and videos for the Young Fresh Fellows and Beach House, and many more.

Daniel Contaldo:Director Of Photography

Daniel Contaldo is a cinematographer/interactive filmmaker based in New York City. He shot Taste of Justice (2014), a 26-minute documentary on work camps in lands confiscated from the mafia in Italy. He studied film production at Johns Hopkins University and FAMU (Czech Film Academy) in Prague. He shot the 35mm short 10:10 (screened at the British Film Institute: London LGBT Film Festival '16 and Toronto LGBT Film Festival). He currently works on feature films, documentary films, and music videos, while also developing virtual reality films.

We are grateful for each donation of any amount towards our fundraising goal. If you are able to offer a larger donation to support Lights of Baltimore, here are the perks :

All it takes is $25 to get a shout out on Facebook and Twitter and our total love and affection!

You'll receive a shout out on the official LOB website and on Facebook and Twitter.

You'll get a "Thank you" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website.

You'll get a "Special thanks" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website.

You'll get a "Contributor" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website

You'll get a "Special Contributor" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website.

You'll receive all the rewards above, plus a pair of tickets to see the film at one of its festival screenings. Transportation and lodging not included.

$5 000
All the rewards above, plus you'll get an "Associate Producer" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website.

$10 000
You'll get a "Co-producer" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website. You'll be also invited to the World Premiere with the team. Afterwards, we'll enjoy a special dinner all together. Transportation and lodging not included.

$15 000
You'll receive all the rewards above, plus you'll get an "Executive Producer" credit in the film, on IMDB and on the LOB website and all rewards described above.

$20 000
All rewards described above, plus you'll get a "Producer" credit and you'll receive production updates.


$2,159 Raised
8% towards $25,000 Goal

Supported by 44 Donations: