Anonymous Sister

: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


When her mother and sister become chronically addicted to prescription opioids, Jamie Boyle begins a sweeping exploration of America's largest drug epidemic and what it means to live inside it.


Years before the opioid crisis made its way into the national discourse, a mother and daughter navigate eerily similar battles with chronic pain and life-threatening prescription narcotic use. Spanning 30 years, Anonymous Sister interweaves the story of America’s opioid epidemic with a deeply personal tale of one family’s journey through addiction.


Anonymous Sister fuses cinema-verite, expert interviews, archival, and home movies to craft a memoir-like narrative while laying bare the history of the nation’s most severe drug epidemic. The film not only personalizes a highly-publicized topic but uses innovative filmmaking techniques to add depth and artistry to a well-documented social issue. The lives of the director’s family are chronicled alongside the unfolding of the epidemic itself over the past 20+ years. Experts in opioid addiction, federal whistleblowers, and former pain specialists lead the viewer through the tide-turning events in the trajectory of the crisis. A chilling effect runs throughout, as the personal and the national overlap, and the lives of these seemingly separate characters collide.


Jamie Boyle - Director/Editor

Jamie Boyle is a New York based documentary filmmaker. Her work has played at Sundance Film Festival, Full Frame, Hot Docs, LA Film Fest, True/False, and Human Rights Watch, among many others. She was the editor, producer, and cinematographer for Jackson, which premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival. Jackson won over a dozen Grand Jury Awards for Best Documentary and was bought for distribution by Showtime in 2017. She directed a soon-to-be released feature documentary commissioned by the American Civil Liberties Union, Take A Vote, focusing on voter suppression in the United States. She was the associate editor and production manager on E-­TEAM, which won the Cinematography Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two News and Documentary Emmys, and was acquired as a Netflix Original Movie. She has directed, shot, and edited over two dozen short documentaries for The American Civil Liberties Union. As the lead video editor for Human Rights Watch in 2014, she edited short documentaries that were featured on CNN, Huffington Post, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the New York Times, and others. She taught at the Bronx Documentary Center and as a guest lecturer at Columbia University in Producing for Documentary.

Marilyn Ness - Executive Producer

Marilyn Ness is a two-time Emmy, Peabody, and DuPont Award-winning filmmaker, working as a producer and a director. Her most recent film, Charm City, will premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. She produced Cameraperson (dir. Kirsten Johnson), which premiered at Sundance 2016, was released by the Criterion Collection, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Academy Awards. Marilyn produced Trapped (dir. Dawn Porter) which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, received the Jury Prize for Social Impact Filmmaking and screened nationally on PBS. She also produced Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman's feature documentary E-TEAM, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2014 and was bought by Netflix Original, as well as Johanna Hamilton's feature documentary 1971 which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on Independent Lens in 2015. She directed the documentary feature film Bad Blood: A Cautionary Tale that broadcast nationally on PBS in 2011.

Molly Kaplan - Co-Producer

As head of multimedia for The American Civil Liberties Union, Molly has filmed, edited, directed or produced almost 500 videos since 2012. The animated series she directed, Mass Incarceration, screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. The ACLU's videos and in-house photography have appeared on The Guardian, The New York Times, CNN, Entertainment Weekly, MSNBC, Huffington Post, Jezebel, E-Online, USA Today, the Hollywood Reporter, Al Jazeera, Salon, and The Washington Post. In 2015, the ACLU's Lewis Black video on voter suppression was nominated for a Webby Award. In 2016, "Sasheer Zamata Says Women's Rights Still a BFD" was nominated for a Do-Gooder Funny for Good Award, and in 2016 "Here the Rain Never Finishes" about CIA torture won a FOLCS Award.

David Teague - Consulting Editor

David Teague is a documentary film editor whose work includes Oscar-winning and Emmy-winning films. His documentaries include the Oscar-nominated Life, Animated, the Emmy-nominated and Sundance-winning E-TEAM, and the Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning Cutie and the Boxer. Other documentaries include the Oscar-winning Freeheld (2007) and two other Oscar-nominated films (Mondays at Racine, Sun Come Up), the Full Frame winner Tocando la Luz (Touch the Light), the feature documentary The Iran Job, the PBS series “Constitution USA”, and the Emmy-winning Sesame Street primetime special “Growing Hope Against Hunger”. David has served as an editing mentor with the IFP Documentary Labs and the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship. He has taught editing and guest lectured at Columbia University, the New School, DCTV, Uniondocs, the Manhattan Edit Workshop, Brooklyn College and Long Island University, and he is the author of three best-selling guides to film editing with Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express.


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