The Silent Enemy: You Are What You Can't Eat

The diabetes epidemic in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, NY has escalated in recent years. Poverty and lack of access to fresh foods have exacerbated the severity of health complications, and new medications that would benefit these communities are costly and not covered by insurance. This short documentary features diabetic patients and doctors with expertise in treating these communities, whilst discussing preventative measures to slow the rapid incline of diabetes.

  • Ashley DeLeon
  • Ashley DeLeon
  • Ashley DeLeon
  • Dr. Jose Luis DeLeon
  • Delia Kingsley
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Jose DeLeon
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Edwin Torres
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Eliscer Guzman
    Key Cast
  • Dr. Martha Valdivia
    Key Cast
  • Brendon Moeller
  • Hampus Naeselius
  • Blackout Memories
  • Jakob Ahlbom
  • Alan Carlson-Green
  • Jay Varton
  • New York Department of Health
  • National Diabetes Association
  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Student
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Public Health
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    0 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Saint Michael's College
  • Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival
    April 21, 2023
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Ashley DeLeon

Ashley DeLeon is an independent filmmaker, motion graphics artist, illustrator, and photographer with a competitive journalism background. Originally from the Bronx, NY, she began her digital art pursuit in 2020 during the height of COVID-19. Since then, Ashley has redesigned graphics for broadcast television, produced commercials, digital and print news publications, commissioned design work for apparel, footwear, branding materials for biotech companies, digital and print signage, institutional branding, marketing, and freelance artwork. Ashley also has a background in journalism, where she reported for award-winning publications in northern New England, led her campus publication as executive editor for nearly two years, and authored marketing materials at the college-level.

Her film work is a traverse between unconventionality and investigative storytelling. Ashley’s recent work includes a short documentary feature about the diabetes epidemic among working-class communities in Upper Manhattan & The Bronx, female athletes, racial and ethnic representation in New England news media, BIPoC entrepreneurship in Vermont, commercials for local broadcast media, and more. In the future, she hopes to use her social consciousness and care for overlooked communities to teach children about the people and places that surround them. She anticipates a future career in children's television production, and looks forward to reformulating the blueprint of how we educate children in the digital age.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

I firmly believe that imagination and creativity are the building blocks of storytelling.

The culmination of my curiosity and fervor for creativity have led me to filmmaking, where I can visually capture stories through motion. Using my background in news reporting, videography, and design, I have been able to intricately tell stories in a way that feels authentic.

I am not afraid to challenge the confines of normality and push the limits of creativity. Long term, I hope this philosophy can resonate with other media consumers and pique their curiosity to discover what storytelling means to them.

​With the guidance of my two most influential mentors – who have laid the groundwork for my education in digital media, global communication and culture, and film – I was able to transform my small collection of work into an abundance of digital storytelling and visual media pieces.

Over the past few years, they both taught me an important lesson we can all learn from.

Never silence your creative voice, even if it sounds different from the people around you.

A life of color is a life of happiness.