Seize This!

Work-in-progress
Produced and Directed by: Jes Therkelsen & Leena Jayaswal
Edited by: Jes Therkelsen, Emily Brigham, and Kelly Donnelan

How hard would you fight to stay in your home? What line would you draw? When a successful real estate developer proclaims he can generate more revenue for the fiscally bankrupt town of Norwood, Ohio, by building a shopping complex where an aging neighborhood now sits, the town council agrees it will be for the greater good of the community. According to a U.S. Supreme Court decision made one year prior, economic development constitutes public good, meaning Anderson’s proposal and the city’s assistance was legal. However, three families, represented by a public interest law firm, sue the city and the developer. Four years, two appeals and countless emotional affairs later, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled in January 2007 in favor of the landowners. Although this decision is imperative for private right activists, the scars suffered by the families are simply immeasurable. Seize This! documents the story of these three families, their town and the community. Not only is the film a story of personal commitment and remarkable endurance, but also one of community and what it means to find peace at home.

This half hour film will be finished by January 2014. Check back for updates!