Experiencing Interruptions?


Can a town marked by the last mass lynching in America make peace with its past? Unspoken is a documentary feature film that traces the journey of resident Stephanie Calabrese who picks up an iPhone camera to uncover buried truths and explore how the community has been impacted by its racial divide through the lens of her own whiteness. Stephanie’s foray into filmmaking offers an insider’s intimate look at the impact of the 1946 quadruple lynching, segregation and integration through today in Monroe, Georgia, and shatters a code of silence that has distanced neighbor from neighbor for generations.

  • Stephanie Calabrese
  • Stephanie Calabrese
  • Stephanie Calabrese
  • Kwame Brandt-Pierce
  • Darrin Still
    Sound Designer
  • Stephanie Calabrese
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 18 minutes 18 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Macon Film Festival
    Macon, GA
    United States
    August 20, 2022
    Winner Audience Choice: Documentary
  • Morehouse College Human Rights Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA
    United States
    September 21, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    United States
    October 9, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Portland Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    October 19, 2022
    Official Selection
  • Rome International Film Festival
    Rome, GA
    United States
    Special Jury Award: Documentary Feature
  • Cinema on the Bayou Film Festival
    United States
    January 28, 2023
  • Reedy Reels Film Festival
    United States
    February 19, 2023
    Best Documentary
Director Biography - Stephanie Calabrese

Stephanie Calabrese is an award-winning documentary artist capturing human stories and revealing moments in mixed media: video, photography and writing. Stephanie began her career as a freelance documentary artist following her win of the “Name Your Dream Assignment” photography competition sponsored by Microsoft and Lenovo in 2008, when she and a project partner were awarded $50,000 to fund a documentary project, “Picture Hope” which sent her to Rwanda, Tanzania and Nepal to capture wisdom and stories of hope from genocide survivors, community activists and school founders.

Among early leaders in the mobile photography movement, Stephanie is the author of the best-selling “The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity” published by Pixiq (a division of Sterling Press) and Ilex Press (now Octopus Press) and “Lens on Life: Documenting Your World Through Photography” published by Focal Press and Ilex Press (now Octopus) which have been translated into multiple languages and sold throughout the world. Her belief in the value of documentary work by all, made possible by mobile photography, is expressed in her TEDx Talk on “Building a Better World, One Picture at a Time.”

Stephanie’s photographic documentary series “Hometown: A Documentary of Monroe, Georgia” which inspired the creation of her first feature film, UNSPOKEN, has been featured on The New York Times LENS site, on Atlanta CBS45 News and in the ACP (Atlanta Celebrates Photography) Blog. Her work has been featured in Time Lightbox, Forbes.com, LIFE.com, Digital Photo, Photo.net, Professional Photographer, and The Bitter Southerner.

Stephanie has directed, written, shot and produced documentary projects for clients including UPS, The Coca-Cola Company, CARE International, The Georgia Department of Family and Child Services, and Stacey Abrams 2019 Campaign for Governor of Georgia. She resides in Monroe, Georgia.

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Director Statement

I had initially set out to make a short film about the Moore’s Ford Lynching in 2018 to help educate and encourage conversations in our town about the tragedy that has largely defined the nation’s view of us. It's a wound that never healed, and a subject rarely discussed because of fear, shame and pride. As I began to dig deeper, I uncovered a racial divide embedded deep in our roots that I didn’t want to admit existed. It became clear to me that I needed to study our past to better understand its influence on our present-day problems. Monroe, Georgia has a history that is no different from most towns throughout the south.

How do we bridge our racial divide? I believe that truth-telling and honest conversations among neighbors can help move hearts and open minds as it did for me in the making of this film. Acknowledging racial injustice, feeling and helping to carry the weight/pain of it, and accepting responsibility for the perpetuation of it is important for white people. I hope this film helps illuminate the influence of our past on the present, raises questions, and encourages honest conversations among neighbors in hometowns across the country.

This film was shot and original music scored on iPhone.