Finding Elijah (Work-in-Progress)

Director: Yolonda Johnson-Young
Documentary Features :: Voices
Event Date(s)
4:00 PM
Thursday, November 14
Jengo's Playhouse

In today’s climate of high profile suicides, it can affect anyone. My film will be used to open the dialogue surrounding mental health issues and suicide awareness and prevention to create a collective awareness with solutions on to how to break the stigma and have real conversations to stop suicide, in the Black community and beyond. Using Elijah’s original art, photography, and writings found on his devices; along with interviews and archival footage, allow him to have a voice in the story.

Works-in-Progress Lab / Cucalorus 2019


Yolonda Johnson-Young is a Philadelphia native filmmaker. After the 2017 loss of her son, Elijah, by suicide, Yolonda learned the art of documentary filmmaking. Two months after her son’s death, she applied for and received a scholarship to Scribe Video Center’s inaugural Film Scholars Program, sponsored by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Yolonda also completed various workshops at Scribe to improve her skills, including Intro to Adobe Premiere. In 2018 to pursue her goal as a filmmaker, Yolonda received the Leeway Foundation Art and Change Grant. Those awarded have committed to creating art with the hopes of change. Yolonda was invited by Good Pitch Local Philadelphia, to participate in a unique networking opportunity, made by Doc Society. It afforded Yolonda the opportunity to add much needed interviews to her project.