A feature length documentary about the 2021 fatal overdose of TV relationship expert Dr. Laura Berman’s teenage son is in production via Steven Cantor’s Stick Figure Entertainment and Rubber Ring Films.
Berman’s 16-year-old son, Sammy Chapman, died after taking a pill he bought through Snapchat that was laced with fentanyl. A synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH). Chapman’s February 2021 death garnered national attention.
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“Nationwide, fentanyl overdoses are the leading cause of death for adults between the ages of 18 and 45 and over 300 people die every day in America from Fentanyl poisoning,” says Sam Chapman, Berman’s husband. “The drug that killed our son Sammy was delivered to a house like a pizza.”
Filmmaker Matthew Mishory, founder of Rubber Ring Films, will direct the docu, which is currently in production.
Mishory will follow the couple as they work with lobbyists, families, and politicians to pass Sammy’s Law, which would require parental-monitoring software integration on any gaming platform or social media platform that caters to children. Additionally, the film will follow the couple as they pursue the people who took their son’s life and work with other grieving families and authorities in an effort to end senseless tragedies and prosecute the criminals responsible.
Thus far no one has been prosecuted for Sammy’s death.
“My son didn’t know the drugs he bought off Snapchat contained fentanyl,” says Dr. Berman, who hosted “In the Bedroom With Laura Berman” on OWN and offered relationship advice on shows including “Dr. Oz.” “But Snap, Inc. knows that criminals use their app and that kids all over the country are dying.”
The untitled docu contends that lawmakers can help to curb the tide of fentanyl-related deaths with increased social media safety regulations and better methods of administering naloxone during an overdose. But, as the docu will show, big social media is a formidable foe.
“We can’t allow social media companies to have an easy path to connect our children with shady drug dealers,” says Jamie Schutz, president of Stick Figure Entertainment and producer of the documentary. “This is an international crisis and this film is only the beginning.”
Mishory adds, “This film is about three very different people, united by family and profound personal tragedy, who chart different paths toward healing,”. “I’m honored that Laura, Sam, and their son Jackson have agreed to let us tell the story of their journey and quest for justice. I’m also excited to collaborate with Stick Figure, who share my passion for character-driven, scene-driven, cinematic documentary filmmaking.”
In addition to Schutz and Cantor, Bradford L. Schlei is also producing the docu. Stick Figure has previously produced documentaries including “Citizen Ashe.”
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