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Journeys of Recovery

Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery: Four survivors take us inside the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to reveal their personal stories of devastation, heroism, and hope. A corporal in the U.S. Marines, African-American Jason Poole suffered massive head injuries in a roadside bomb in Iraq. Co-ed Kristen Collins was severely injured in a motorcycle accident while away at college. Pre-med student Jay Waller fell victim to a savage road-rage beating while on vacation. Six-year-old Ian McFarland survived the car crash that left him an orphan. Along their paths to recovery, these four protagonists relive the dramatic accidents that almost took their lives, learn how to walk, talk and live again, and face the most daunting challenge of all—reinventing themselves—frequently with humor and always with heart. In spite of enduring hardship, including life-long cognitive and emotional challenges, each does succeed in envisioning and achieving a new dream on their life path.

Called the “silent epidemic,” TBI impacts 1.5 million Americans every year at a staggering cost of $60 billion. Against the backdrop of an embattled health care system and a nation entrenched in war, Going the Distance paints a compelling portrait of the struggles faced by TBI survivors and their loved ones while delivering a hard-hitting message about the failing social safety net. Through these individual profiles in courage, the hour-long broadcast documentary and social engagement campaign will draw attention to TBI survivors who have remained invisible, untreated and often undiagnosed, while providing a forum for their communities and educating the general public.


David L. Brown is an Emmy Award-winning San Francisco documentary filmmaker who has produced, written and directed over 80 productions and 15 broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, environmental, health, engineering, technology, aging, music, peace and justice issues. His documentaries, which have received over 85 international awards and three Emmy Awards, have been broadcast on PBS and in sixteen other countries. His recent work includes: Keeper of the Beat: A Woman’s Journey into the Heart of Drumming, that won runner-up for the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2013 Mill Valley Film Festival. Running for Jim, a feature-length documentary on a legendary cross country coach who contracts ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Best Documentary, Soho International Film Festival, Audience Award, Tiburon Film Festival; The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story, a comedic 56-minute documentary on the troubled history of the new east span of the S.F.-Oakland Bay Bridge that received two Emmy Awards (Best Documentary and Best Graphics and Animation in a Program) and aired on national PBS; Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown; an hour-long profile of legendary 94-year-old surfer, Woody Brown (Emmy nomination for Best Documentary, Inspiration Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride) that aired on national PBS; and Surfing for Life, a feature-length documentary on older surfers as models of healthy aging. It screened theatrically in 40 cities, was broadcast on over 160 PBS stations, won 15 international awards, and was profiled in The New York Times Magazine, Parade Magazine, on National Public Radio and ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a treasure ... perhaps the most intelligent treatment of surfing ever captured on film.”

Brown produced three hour-long films on nuclear issues including A Question of Power, on the antinuclear power movement in California. The Boston Globe called Bound by the Wind, on the global human and environmental impact of nuclear weapons testing, “the best documentary on the nuclear issue.” His website is


Most Inspirational Film – 2017 Oregon Documentary Film Festival
2018 – Toronto International Independent Film Festival


Catalog # EPF16013 ● ISBN: 978-1-933724-54-6 ● NTSC

60 Minutes ● Copyright 2017 ● English, Closed Captions