Director’s Statement


In 1998, at the age of 13, I fell victim to an eating disorder that spanned nine years. At first it was anorexia, and then later it turned into compulsive bulimia.

The experience delayed my physical and emotional growth, and put a great strain on my family. But through their love and patience they set an example I can always turn to. And as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized more and more how much my parents struggled and sacrificed.

Portrait of a Young Man revolves around a lower middle class family striving to heal past wounds and nurture future hope. It’s an unflinching look at a male teenager with a severe eating disorder. It’s a meditation and invention of my adolescence. And last, but certainly not least, it's part ode to my parents in all their compassionate, merciful love.

Now that enough distance has been established through the passing of time, I can better see the whole of what was once then. Yet, I still remember the nuances and details, the fleeting feelings of what is still then and is now so important to making this authentic.

Although the story is mostly fiction, it’s rooted in the very real necessity of enduring love through forgiveness. I believe it's meant for an audience with a progressive big heart, and a desire to know each other a little better.