AFTER THE FIRE, winner of Tribeca's 2018 If/Then American West Grant, is a documentary short following residents of Sonoma Valley as they struggle to find their places in a community that has been re-shaped overnight by the historic Northern California wildfires. It is an intimate look at what they’ve lost, what they’ve gained, and what happens next, after the fire.
Sonoma is famous for its sprawling vineyards and wealthy estates, but there’s another Sonoma for whom the path forward after the fire is less clear - a diverse working-class community whose future in here was already at risk because, in Somona, like all of the Bay area, housing costs are skyrocketing and the middle class is getting squeezed out.
This community already in transition is forced to confront the unexpected outcomes of life after the fire. A pool cleaner experiences a boom time in the wake of the wreckage but deals with the loss of his father due to smoke inhalation. A stone sculptor's home and artwork burns but his studio is miraculously saved. A social worker's low-income clients are pushed to the breaking point as their employers - restaurants, hotels, vineyards - close during and after the fire.
Lost in the national coverage of a disaster of such scale are thousands of less heralded experiences of those who live through it. AFTER THE FIRE is an attempt to tell some of those stories by going deeper and staying with stories that, in fact, only begin once the fires are extinguished.