Listen to “COVID POV By Abbey LeVine Swirl Studios” on Spreaker.
By Abbey LeVine
Please Take 5 minutes to watch the Proof-Of-Concept Video for the film:
COVID POV Film Proof of Concept
Author: Swirl Studios
Meet some of our stories:
Jabari has been laid off from his job and is waiting for unemployment. He has low to zero income and is
experiencing food insecurity. He rations cans of tuna for his meals because he can’t afford anything else. He has
lost weight from starving in between meals (he is trying to stretch food supply) and is suffering from extreme
depression and isolation. His story is raw, authentic, and beautiful. Jabari’s story exhibits the true insecurity,
struggle, and isolation of what a percentage of our world is going through during this pandemic.
Chris is a nurse in West Virginia and when this pandemic hit, he instantly volunteered to risk his own life on the
front lines in NYC as a traveling nurse. He packed his bags, left his wife behind, and arrived in NYC right before
the peak happened in March. He worked a total of 40, twelve-hour days with just three days off. He describes
the current state of this pandemic like a war zone, nothing he has ever seen before. He recently returned back to
his family in West Virginia and is adjusting to a “normal” life again.
The Vinci Family
Dorian and Paul Vinci have 2 kids and live in Staten Island, NY. Paul is an MTA bus driver in NYC and is considered
an essential worker during this pandemic. Dorian has become a teacher to her two kids due to the stay-at-home
policy all while she balances working from home, being a wife, mom, and cook. Dorian is mentally, physically, and
emotionally struggling on every level and is extremely scared about Paul catching the virus.
Susan and her husband own and operate Bow Hill Blueberries, a farm in idyllic rural Washington that has been
deemed an essential business in the food/ag category. The blueberry farm storefront is closed, but they have a
walkup window and continue making deliveries and sales throughout the statewide shutdown. This pandemic has
totally altered her daily life; her business is struggling and she is fighting emotionally and mentally through this
pandemic as well.
37 weeks pregnant at the beginning of this pandemic, Keesha, a first-time mom, was faced with a whole new
look at what it means to be pregnant during a pandemic. Her life changed overnight. She had to spend her last
few weeks going to doctor’s appointments by herself without her partner, her mom couldn’t fly to share this
intimate time with her as and she had to adjust her birth plan just in case she had to deliver by herself. Fast
forward to her birthday, she ended up having an emergency c-section and is traumatized for life by the way
she was treated due to COVID-19.
Shiv Bhadola is a first-year resident physician based in Boston, MA. After years of medical school, he didn’t
expect one of his first assignments to be working on the COVID unit team. Excited to be part of a historical
moment, Shiv jumped at the opportunity. After serving on 3 different COVID response teams, he contracted
COVID-19 himself and went into isolation for 12 days. Completely traumatized, this entire experience as a
doctor working on the front lines and as a COVID positive patient has given him nightmares, potentially PTSD,
and made him question whether he still wants to be a doctor.
Yvette, a single mom and army vet who lives in Southern California was the FIRST to test positive for COVID – 19
in March in Long Beach. She was hospitalized, given the trial medication, Hydroxychloroquine, and was
extremely sick. Her story went viral across social media and since has received a ton of attention, good and bad.
She is still mentally, physically, emotionally recovering.
Gary Jourdain, Jr.
Gary Jourdain, Jr. is part of the Red Lake band of the Chippewa and his family have lived on the Red Lake Indian
Reservation for generations. The reservation is on lockdown and Gary is protective of the land he grew up on,
his family, and the 6,000 residents in his community. The tribe depends on casino revenue to stay afloat, but
after seeing other tribes struggle to fight the virus, the recent loss of a close friend to COVID-19, and the very
first case of COVID-19 arriving on the reservation recently, Gary is scared that reopening too soon will cost more
Laura lives in Madrid with her husband and two daughters. She has been unemployed for the last year and a
half, and she was looking forward to starting a new job in April. But the pandemic put everything on hold. She
is trying to make the best of the quarantine with her daughters… but is struggling on all fronts.
Around March 13th….
The world paused and an unprecedented global reset started. Since then, humanity has come together to survive an
historic pandemic, which some are calling “the great equalizer.” Isolation ruptured communities and severed connections.
Our points of view became myopic.
COVID POV explores the day-to-day experiences of families and individuals struggling and succeeding through the
pressures of the COVID – 19 pandemic. Told through raw, self-shot experiences over 60 days, contributors from all over
the world offer their insights, emotions, and opinions through these altered times. We face what happens when people
are forced to be stripped down to the most basic needs, like food and safety, and how race, gender, and class impact our
allegedly shared experience.
When the dust settles, have we gained a new sense of connection, or has isolation actually made us more divided than ever?
COVID POV is shot on individual’s phones and told with their voice. We are digging deep into thousands of minutes of raw, unique footage sent to us by our worldwide contributors over 60 days in quarantine. We have chosen 20 main stories that tell the REAL STRUGGLES and the HOPE of this pandemic.
COVID POV captures what it’s like to live this historical pandemic through the eyes of all races, genders, the rich, the poor, business owners, farmers, moms, dads, front line workers. Each POINT OF VIEW has an emotionally raw, authentic, sense that really makes you value the human race and how unpredictable life can be. It is our responsibility to leave stories of the pandemic behind for all future generations. We started filming on March 15, 2020.
It is possible that this film could have sequels from post-quarantine and if we should get re-quarantined.
24 Female Filmmakers participated in this riveting film. 12 of them are mothers, 4 are solo mommas and 6 are immune-compromised.
71 film contributors REPRESENTING:
• 9 US States
• 10 Countries
Outreach and donations:
The project is being produced entirely virtually with no physical meetings of teams taking place during this time and all film contributors submit a daily video diary via their smartphones.
The project has very lofty production goals! The crew has set up a GoFundMe page @ https://www.gofundme.com/f/covidpov-film to meet these goals!
Connect with the film on Instagram / Facebook:
Listen to “COVID POV By Abbey LeVine Swirl Studios” on Spreaker.