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London Morning Radio Interview

Joanna & I were up early this morning for a lovely chat with Rebecca from #LondonMorningRadio.

Thanks CBC London for sharing a little of our story and a special thanks to all of London for your support to bring this concept to life!

## New York-based filmmaker JJ Sereday and his London, Ont., partner, nurse Joanna Stepien are set to release their film ‘Alive Together’ in a few weeks.

Filmmaker JJ Sereday and his partner London, Ont., nurse Joanna Stepien plan to release their 15-minute film in the coming weeks. (Submitted by JJ Sereday)

Even though London — like all of Ontario — is under another stay-at-home order, there is beauty in the small joys in life. That’s the main thrust of New York-based filmmaker JJ Sereday’s upcoming film, ‘Alive Together.’

“We felt that it was just so important to remind people to hold on to hope,” said Sereday. “There’s that light at the end of the tunnel.”

Sereday spends part of his time in London to be with his girlfriend, nurse Joanna Stepien. The pair worked on the film together and recently released the trailer.

JJ Sereday and his partner, Victoria hospital NICU nurse Joanna Stepien, shot most of the footage last summer after the first lock down. (Submitted by JJ Sereday)

Sereday shot the 15-minute soon-to-be-released film last summer and received some funding from several organizations and businesses including Tourism London, Downtown London and Western University to pull it off. The film is an answer to a previous project called ‘Alone Together,’ which came out at the start of the pandemic.

***Watch the ‘Alive Together’ trailer here:***

“We really just wanted to showcase some of the incredible things that we feel from London to be a little bit more positive than just the eeriness of the first film,” Sereday said.

The trailer to the film opens with a poem called ‘Lockdown,’ written and performed by Brother Richard Hendrick of Ireland.

One of New York-based filmmaker JJ Sereday’s cameras at the corner of Richmond St. and Queens Ave. (Submitted by JJ Sereday)

Stepien, a Victoria Hospital neonatal intensive care nurse, has been working throughout the pandemic, under evolving COVID-19 safety precautions, not knowing if she’ll be reassigned.

“It’s also been super stressful when you show up to work, not knowing if you might be the next person that’s getting deployed to help out on other units that have been overwhelmed,” she said.

Despite that, she believes in the message of the film.

“We know that we can get through this and see life and happiness again,” she said.

The couple plans to release the full version of the film within three weeks. “I have to make some adjustments to the script and re-edit it a bit as life continues to unfold and the pandemic swerves here and there,” said Sereday.

***Watch Sereday’s film ‘Alone Together’ here:***


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