“You are not your story,” says Richard Memminger, a New York-based filmmaker, and he speaks from experience. He was born dependent on crack cocaine; his mother was addicted to drugs.
His father died from AIDS-related illness. His mother, after gaining control over her drug use, was diagnosed with cancer. She later died from the disease.
Richard shared his story through a short, autobiographical documentary titled Dependent. He produced the film as part of Downtown Community Television’s youth program PRO-TV.
“It was important for me to tell my own story through a documentary because it gave me the ability to be truthful with myself about my situation,” Richard said. “It’s about understanding that this environment, this situation, these people have no hold on what you do.”
Now studying filmmaking at The New School in New York City, Richard also works with youth to help them develop skills to share their stories.
“We can tell our own stories masterfully,” he says. “No matter what they are.”