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A Story of Courage, Community, and Spirit in

East St Louis, Illinois - 60 min

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60 minute documentary

AGAINST ALL THE ODDS tells the story, past and present, of East St Louis, Illinois, an historically rich city where the African-American population courageously survived some of America's most gruesome historical events. Events that ultimately led to the birth of the only 'All Black City' in America.

Painstakingly researched by filmmaker Sandra Pfeifer over a six year period, AGAINST ALL THE ODDS uses candid interviews, striking imagery and rarely seen archival footage taken after the 1917 East St Louis Race Riot, along with traditional jazz and blues recordings to give the viewer a unique a unique cultural and historical perspective of this unforgettable city and its people.


East St Louis is a city born out of a nation's racial ignorance; a place where 

there are a thousand acts of heroism everyday. and courageous grassroots community organizers work non-stop, on every level

 to bring hope and help to the city despite its serious urban decline.

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THIRTY-NINE COUNTIES is a 50 minute documentary about civic engagement and peaceful public action born out of the need to reckon with a country’s great divide.


39COUNTIES is an inspiring grassroots journey of real-life activism, without guns or police, or politics, with no political agenda or any organized groups. In the middle of rural Illinois in 39 different counties, folks came together to march, in the words of Representative John Lewis, ‘to redeem the soul of America.’ It is a compelling story about hope and good will


Producer/director of the film Sandra Pfeifer -  “Our hope is that this screening will inspire public participation in the democratic process.”  

  Trailer -  39 COUNTIES



45 mins 



Documentary film about Kathryn, a 76 year old widow in Southern Illinois who was part of the last generation of women in this country to raise a family in a traditional rural lifestyle, during the 1950’s and 60’s.  Through interviews with Kathryn and her four daughters and archival photos, the film not only reflects on the women’s role in the rural lifestyle, but also gives insight into the hard work and dedication of these women.


In addition the film identifies changes in America, especially for women, during that time that influenced the daughters to lead lives that led away from the farm and showcases an underserved population, rural women, whose legacy serves to preserve a valuable part of America’s history.


We must not lose the records of these remarkable women,

indeed, we must create them.

NOT THROWING IN THE TOWEL   is just one story about being a gay couple in America, there are many...but in a world were cultural mores are changing, it can often be as simple as just walking in someone else’s shoes for a minute to be able to understand who we all are. When we see how someone else lives, it changes us.

There is an urgency now, more than ever before, to understand the truth about systemic inequalities, and though the truth makes some people uncomfortable holding back seriously threatens a free society.
The film is also has an historical framework  which makes it possible for the viewer to understand  what being gay in America
has meant.

For Ginny and Debbie, what is most

important to them is that they are together.

The essence of their truth is bold, grassroots and palpable. Ginny and Debbie make understanding love and commitment easy. And they let an audience know that who they are has both nothing to do with and everything to do with being gay.


30 minute documentary



10 mins - 16mm - DVD

A brief insight into the hard work,dedication,

and enviroment of two waitresses working the midnight shift at a busy interstate truck stop in Southern Illinois.

Janet and Helen have been waiting tables for over 20 years. They are smart, spirited women who understand what it takes to be good at what they do, and it shows.

Common sense, generosity and hard work exemplify what they bring to the work place. A companion film to Kathryn and Her Daughters, this film also brings

insight and honors working women.

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  GOLDEN TOUCH -  10 minute short

 Super 8mm and 16mm 

A heart warming short documentary about a small town

beauty shop in Southern Illinois. Propietor, Janis Hemphill is more than

a beautician, she performs a social service everyday

by unselfhishly bringing beauty and joy

into the lives of the elderly women in her community.







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