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Fly By Light from One Common Unity on Vimeo.

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A group of teenagers board a bus for West Virginia, leaving the streets of Washington, DC to participate in an ambitious peace education program. For the first time in their lives Mark, Asha, Martha, and Corey play in mountain streams, sing under the stars, and confront the entrenched abuse, violence and neglect cycles of their past. But as they return to DC, each young person faces an unforgiving series of hurdles and roadblocks that challenge their efforts to build a better life. Through breathtaking visuals from street corners to mountaintops, Fly By Light is an intimate exploration of the chaotic, confusing, and emotional journey to rewrite a young person’s future.

Directed by filmmaker Ellie Walton and produced by HawaH, this new documentary film follows the experience of a select group of youth who participated in this program facilitated by One Common Unity. View the film’s press kit for more information.

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Praise For The Film:

Press Hit (Press Pass TV):


“Your work with DC youth is explosive and so important. You have found a way to touch broken hearts – hearts that have been twisted, tortured and tormented. I felt some of the kids in the film had their light extinguished by pain and fear… and through your classes and workshops you were able to ignite their spark… almost like bringing them back to life. It was a joy to witness this process through the film.”
– Roberta Oster Sachs, Emmy Award-winning producer



“A powerful testament to the commitment that we must have to the next generation, to give them space to grow, guidance on their path, and motivation to keep pushing forward.”
– Mikal Amin Lee (Program Director, Urban Word NYC)



Fly By Light is an important and inspirational film for anyone who works with youth. It offers deep insights into the ways in which we all can support and uplift future leaders to break the cycle that puts kids “at risk” in every community around the country.”
– Kristin Adair (Senior Leader, Off the Mat, Into the World)



“This is a great film that reminds me of the importance in disconnecting from the routine, with a little guidance, did for my life as a kid growing up in the city. I’m glad that a film and program like this exists!”

– Christylez Bacon (Grammy Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop Artist)



“An excellent film with wonderful vision, powerful scenes, compelling shots, and great characters. Viewers will not be disappointed.”
– Mike Snyder (Founder, Interdependent Pictures)



“Humbled and moved beyond words is all I can say about this film.”
– Joshua Logynn Arthur



“I watched the documentary with my fiancee last night and it was extremely well done. It’s great to see the passion and dedication you have in helping guide inner-city youth in a positive direction. I’m so glad we crossed paths and that the fundraising efforts we’ve partnered on have gone towards something as wonderful and beneficial as your excellent program and the local community.”
– J.T. (Founder, Charity Happy Hours, D.C.)


Fly By Light is a beautiful film that touches on themes of healing, vulnerability as strength, and the power of community. The youth transform in fundamental ways before our eyes, revealing their strength, resilience, and newfound belief in themselves. There is a great need for One Common Unity’s work and I hope this film will inspire others to support this work and become active in their own communities!”
– Stephanie Toby (Street Yoga Seattle, Director of Operations)


“You must see this documentary! The work that is being done with young people from D.C. is extraordinary.”

– Michael Suzerris (Owner, OmCulture and Yogalife Studios) Seattle, Washington


Fly By Light was brilliant! The beauty lay in the way the stories were told with the young folks representing themselves. The film was beautifully shot, the decisions well-made, the editing superb, the music beautiful. Most of all, this was a film that does so well what other of Ellie Walton’s films do: They take big social issues and go in close and reach the heart, letting what is most human in us all find connection. From one heart to another, we can begin to
heal our world.”
– Nina Shapiro-Perl, PhD – Filmmaker in Residence, American University


“You have to see this amazing documentary [Fly By Light], it’s inspiring and uplifting. It speaks to the part of you that believes in change and in making a difference in the lives of others. Most importantly it shares the stories of some amazing DC youth who were given the opportunity to learn about making peace, using art to overcome adversity and about using love to build community.”
– Rebekah Mason, Poverty Lawyer


Fly By Light, a film by One Common Unity, literally changed the lives of fourteen Washington, DC teenagers. And also, it is fair to say, the lives of the adults who created the movie with them. […] This is the real thing because each and every one of the contributors of the movie offered respect and love and compassion and belief – belief that these young people are worthy… We don’t always have the right answers, but we always have what’s in our hearts. And that is enough. This movie is proof that it is enough.”
– Emily Arden Eakland, The Daily Creative Project


“The filmmakers provide a window into the lives and souls of some of our most vulnerable–yet truly triumphant, beautiful and determined–youth. It is a privilege and an inspiration to partake in the experience of this movie.”

– Marilee Aronson, Clinical Psychologist, Washington, DC


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