NPPA Member Alan Spearman's New Film, "As I Am"

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Commerical Appeal

Chris Dean’s heart stopped when he was 2 1/2. He died and came back.

When Chris was 5, his father was killed in a gang shootout, hit more than 20 times by a barrage of bullets.

Chris survived the streets of South Memphis and distinguished himself at Booker T. Washington High School. At 18, in a charming, eloquent address at his high school graduation, Chris introduced the keynote speaker: President Obama. The spotlight from that event won Chris a college scholarship to Lane College.

Chris returned to the streets of South Memphis with filmmaker and Commercial Appeal photographer Alan Spearman, walking on foot for eight weeks to develop a series of observations that became the script of “AS I AM,” the short film below. With Chris as our guide, we float through this extraordinary young man’s landscape and encounter the characters who have helped shape his worldview.