At age 62 Leon is leaving prison and rejoining his community in San Francisco's Bayview–Hunters Point. He is a getting help from Lisa and Cedric, who run the only black-led drug recovery and transitional housing program in the city. At their Friday night meeting Antoinette shows up after years on the streets and a stay in jail, to a room full of tearful warnings that if she doesn't stay clean she will surely end up dead. THE GATHERING shows the struggle, strength, and compassion of a community who is fighting to survive.

Here is a sample of THE GATHERING



THE GATHERING is a feature length documentary about how drug addiction entered the African American community and how one grassroots organization is working to heal their neighborhood. In the basement of a community center in San Francisco’s Bayview–Hunters Point, a group of 40 - 50 people gather every Friday night to talk about their journeys rebuilding their lives. Lisa, Rena and Cedric live in this community and watch as faces from the streets pass through the door of their transitional housing, offering a moment to help them turn their lives around. Like 24 million other Americans they are impacted by substance abuse, but they are determined to create a blueprint for healing.


Started in 1993, Positive Directions Equals Change began as a support network for African Americans in recovery, many of whom were exiting treatment facilities and wanted to establish an ongoing support system of friends and associates. Our network grew. We continued to support ourselves and also many others. After years of experience working in the community with various treatment facilities, rehabilitation centers and jails, we expanded our services and now offer Community Support Groups and Classes.


THE GATHERING production team

Barni Axmed Qaasim

Barni is a storyteller committed to community and social justice who has directed feature length and short documentaries.
Barni.me and CatchingBabies.net

Sara MacPherson

Sara's made the award winning documentary Stable Life and short documentary Jornalero screened in HBO’s Full Frame DocFilm Festival
Equipoise Films

Beto Lopez

Beto is a filmmaker and aerial-cinema specialist. He has been documenting dance culture for 20 years and is an innovator in both live-streaming and drone photography.

Tamara Perkins

Tamara Perkins is an award-winning filmmaker and changemaker focused on documentaries that inspire dialogue, empower and uplift voices from vulnerable communities.
Apple of Discord Productions

diana pérez-ramírez

Diana is a community health worker, grassroots organizer, and public health practitioner. She specializes in capacity building so that communities can facilitate their own solutions.


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