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To Love The Void

World Premiere

Director: Samuel Ott

United States, 2021, 88 min

Shooting Format:Digital, Mini DV, Camcorder

Festival Year:2023

Category:Documentary Feature


Crew:Producers: David Brown, Tucker Morrison, Michael Coleman, Samuel Ott, Elvira Ibragimova, Betsy Cole. Cinematographer: Samuel Ott; Editor: Samuel Ott, Tucker Morrison, Sam Zarrin


A nonfiction film follows a community of drug users as they navigate the streets, woods and homes of Kansas City, Missouri, over the course of a year.


About the director

Samuel Ott is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker from the heart of Missouri. His first short film It Was Good Talking To You was awarded Best Short Doc at DOC LA Film Fest. His cinematography work has screened at SXSW, HollyShorts and Big Sky Documentary Film Fest and his commercial work has received a Vimeo Staff Pick and screened at the Berlin Commercial Awards.

Website Filmography

Filmmaker's note

My sister worked at reStart, a homeless shelter in Kansas City, Missouri, who welcomed the idea of a film about the unhoused community and opened their doors to me. After talking to Matt, a 50-year-old gay man living at reStart, I discovered a lot of similarities between our childhoods and upbringing. We were both raised Catholic in the rural midwest and served as altar boys at a young age. Having previously recovered from an adderall addiction myself and having grown up in Missouri, I couldn’t help but see a lot of myself in Matt. Through him, we are introduced to the other participants in the film as he bounces in and out of people's lives and homes.

Understanding is a form of loving. This is a philosophy that I live by as a filmmaker. Through it, I am able to reach others and capture images with sincere empathy. My goal is for a viewer to experience a longing to understand, to reminisce, to relate, to feel. Emotion is a gift we share as individuals seeking togetherness. I want to celebrate emotion for all its flaws, its beauty and the ways in which it draws us closer to one another.

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