By Josh Stylman
About 14 months ago, I met filmmaker Jennifer Sharp at a roundtable discussion focused on the vaccine mandates and the broader narrative around covid. It was attended by a few dozen people from different backgrounds, including city workers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and concerned parents. It was a lively discussion between many open-minded people with disparate views.
We all shared many ideas and experiences that night. When it was Jennifer’s turn, she told the story of her vaccine injury, including the negative feedback she received from friends and colleagues when she shared details about her adverse reaction. She explained that many community members scolded her for “contributing to vaccine hesitancy.” This seemed insane to me since she was hardly an anti-vaxxer (she got the shot, after all). Still, if you recall the sentiment in the fall of 2021, the propaganda machine was high, and anyone who dared to say anything negative about the experimental mRNA shots was treated like a social lepper – especially in cities like NYC, my hometown until recently, and LA, where Jennifer lives.
We kept in touch and quickly became friends. A few months later, after meeting more people with similar experiences, Jennifer decided to make a documentary about the experience she and others were having. I knew I wanted to be involved in whatever way she would allow me to, so we agreed that I would help produce the film, and it’s been quite a journey. Over time, the data has become more apparent, and we’ve learned of countless more adverse reactions.
Today, we are proud to release Anecdotals, a compassionate exploration of the nuanced vaccine debate. Of course, I’m biased, but I think Jennifer did a magnificent job featuring the stories of real humans suffering in a balanced, non-partisan, and entirely fact-based way. We hope that it might open the hearts and minds of those who have not had exposure to these stories because of the rampant censorship across the mainstream news and social platforms.
It has been one of the most extraordinary and humbling experiences of my life to get to help with the making of this film. Thank you to Jennifer for making it. I’m also grateful to my friend Erich Hartmann, one of the most talented people I know, whom we roped in to assist and who has been an invaluable addition to our small team. And, to Marjorie Roswell, who I haven’t met yet but is also one of the producers and built the Anectotals website. Many thanks to everyone else who helped with the project: the people who helped provide research and friends who watched early cuts and gave feedback. Of course, we will forever be indebted to all doctors who remember their oath, including those in the film. Most importantly, I’m in awe of the brave souls who have endured injuries and injustices and were still courageous enough to speak their truth. Thanks to you and Jennifer’s vision and brute force, we’ll get your stories out.