A one-hour documentary film centered around Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr., during his tenure on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, is currently in production and scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017.
It has been a recurring phenomena throughout the course of U.S. history that extraordinary times saw the rise of extraordinary people, and at a time of great social change in the U.S. and in Virginia, Judge Merhige emerged as one of those people. His strength of character, sense of fair play and legal acumen enabled him to navigate through some of the most significant legal and social issues of the late 20th century, many of which have yet to be resolved. Although he seemed always to be in the eye of the legal storm the Judge did not consider himself an activist judge, but simply one doing his job.
As the Judge said: "I didn't go looking for social causes to advocate from the bench. I opened my courtroom one day and asked: Is there anybody here? A lot of people answered back, 'We're here judge and we want our constitutional rights.' So I did the only thing I could. I listened and tried to do the fair thing, the right thing."
The film is being produced by The American Documentary Film Fund, a non-profit organization founded by Robert Griffith and Allen Calderaro. Mr. Griffith as the Producer/Director and Mr. Calderaro as Executive Producer head up the production team for The Judge.
For more information on the filming of The Judge and to view a trailer, visit The American Documentary Film Fund.
Ripple (Working Title)
Ripple is a documentary film that focuses on the emotional and financial impact on family members, friends and the community when an individual struggles with mental illness. Aside from the emotional impact, there are often devastating financial consequences. Over the last four years, filmmaker Robert Griffith has interviewed family members dealing with these difficulties while trying to find help for their loved ones. His purpose in telling these personal stories is to bring a better understanding of the far reaching effects of mental illness and to encourage conversation that will create a call to action.