Directed by Megan Smith-Harris
With heart and grace, TRIAL BY FIRE: Lives Re-forged celebrates the courage and strength of burn survivors as they reclaim their lives after the devastation of fire. The film follows the journeys of ordinary people who rise above their injuries to find unexpected insights and a transformed worldview.
A firefighter endures a 1500 degree firestorm; a teenage athlete engulfed in flames triumphs against all odds; an oil refinery worker survives a seemingly unsurvivable explosion; a model refuses to be defined by her scars; a family is united through tragedy; and a 12-year-old sprint car driver pulled from a flaming wreck tries to convince her parents to let her back on the track. These powerful stories are framed and given context by American war hero and charismatic actor, J.R. Martinez.
In a culture that prizes physical beauty over strength of character, TRIAL BY FIRE: Lives Re-Forged challenges us to go beyond the superficial and redefine our concept of true beauty.
When metal is forged with fire it becomes stronger. It turns out the same is true of the human spirit.
THE FILMMAKER: Megan Smith-Harris is the president and owner of Pyewackitt Productions, an independent documentary television production company. Her career encompasses documentary, television, film, theater and radio. She conceived of TRIAL BY FIRE: Lives Re-Forged, after reading a magazine article on burn survivors in an airport lounge. The subject gripped her heart 18 months go and has not let up.
Most recently she produced and directed Surrogate Stories, a two-hour special about surrogate mothers and their intended parents airing on the Women’s Entertainment Network in June 2011. Previous projects for WEtv include Child Brides and Polygamy (Producer/ Writer) – both for the anthology series, Secret Lives of Women. In her native Canada, she produced 24 documentary profiles featuring celebrated Canadians.