Sam Now – Reed Harkness (Seattle, Washington) - Filmed over 25 years, two brothers go on a 2,000-mile road trip to solve a family mystery. Shooting on nearly every camera format imaginable, from hand-developed Super-8 film to Arri 4K, Sam Harkness and his older half-brother Reed use their creative world of fiction filmmaking to dive headfirst into dealing with the issue at hand: Sam’s mom is missing. Sam’s wetsuit and mask wearing alter ego, The Blue Panther, bounds into frame with youthful energy and a heroic spirit of adventure. But can The Blue Panther save the day? And are these fun-loving brothers actually ready for what lies ahead? Solving the mystery of his mom’s disappearance is only the beginning of their story. The documentary uses a hybrid narrative approach, drawing from a vast archive of fictional films, home videos, intimate family interviews and vérité scenes from over the decades. Sobering revelations blend with playful home movies and vibrant experimental filmmaking by brother and director Reed Harkness. The brothers take a spontaneous road trip in search of answers. We learn of Sam’s mother Jois’ complicated adoption history from Japan. We experience the ripple effects on the Harkness family including Sam’s brother Jared, father Randy and grandma Doris. And we are there with Sam coming of age from 11 to 36. Sam Now is about growth. The film balances heavy themes and emotional reckonings with buoyant energy and lighthearted spirit. The optimistic teenage Sam we get to know, with his heart set on finding his mom, grows into a man whose new hope is to break the cycle of intergenerational trauma. 2022; 86 min.