Film poster for "Sam Now" with a boy, teen, and man in blue, purple, and green on yellow background.
Film poster for "Sam Now" with a boy, teen, and man in blue, purple, and green on yellow background.
Sam Harkness and his half brother Reed go on a road trip to find their missing mom, but solving the mystery of her disappearance is only the beginning of their 25-year quest for answers.


Regular price $129.00

The Peabody Awards Nominee | BEST DOCUMENTARY WINNER - Zurich Film Festival | "Sensitive and surprising" - The New York Times Critics' Pick

Family Dynamics • Intergenerational Trauma • Adolescence • Parenting • Childhood Development • Youth Services • Mental Health • Adoption • Masculinity • Motherhood • Transracial Identity

Date of Completion: 2023 | Run Time: 87 minutes​​ | Language: English with English subtitles | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript | Director: Reed Harkness | Producers: Reed Harkness & Jason Reid | Co-Producers: Heather Hawksford & Adam Spiro Brown | Associate Producer: Darren Lund | Cinematographer: Reed Harkness | Editors: Darren Lund & Jason Reid

What do two film-obsessed brothers do to solve a family mystery? Using every video format imaginable, they make a movie as they travel thousands of miles looking for their missing mom. Stitching together 25 years of home videos and filling the gaps in the archive with play, SAM NOW is a mosaic of love, longing and loss, as well as an attempt to overcome intergenerational trauma.

Educational Media Reviews Online | Reviewed by Christina R. Hilburger, Research and Information Literacy Services Librarian, SUNY Fredonia
"With its engaging storytelling and rich visual tapestry, Sam Now offers a multifaceted lens through which to explore various academic disciplines."

The New York Times, Critic's Pick | Nicolas Rapold
"Sensitive and surprising... a film whose emotional reality seems to evolve before your eyes..." | Matt Zoller Seitz, Editor-At-Large
Sam Now is remarkable not only for its powerful subject matter and the restrained, intelligent way it examines its key players, but for how it simultaneously reaches the audience and everyone involved in the story… This is one of the year’s best films.”

POV Magazine | Marc Glassman, Editor
"Reed Harkness has made a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime film. Filled with intimate family footage, Sam Now feels like a novel or a well-crafted drama, but it’s all too true."

Film Obsessive | J Paul Johnson
"With its beautiful tapestry of old and new, love and loss, the serious and the comic, fact and fiction, Sam Now does everything it can to overcome intergenerational trauma."

Additional reviews, quotes and coverage listed at

Best Documentary - Documentary Film Competition, The Golden Eye | Zurich Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature & Best Editing |
Bend Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature & Best Director |
SCAD Savannah Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature & Best Poster - Audience Award |
Indie Memphis Film Festival
Best Documentary |
Santa Cruz Film Festival

IDA Documentary Awards - Best Editing Nomination
Seattle Film Critics Society - Achievement in Pacific Northwest Filmmaking Nomination
Port Townsend Film Festival - Special Jury Commendation
FrontDoc International Documentary Festival - Special Mention - Youth Jury
HotDocs - Official Selection - International Spectrum Competition
Doc NYC - Official Selection

Upcoming and Past Screenings:

Director, Producer & Cinematographer of SAM NOW


Reed Harkness attended "film school" in his backyard and garage. At age 18, he began making a series of short films starring his younger brother Sam. This was the beginning of a project 25 years in the making: SAM NOW, a coming-of-age film that follows his brother from age 11 to 36. SAM NOW premiered on PBS Independent Lens and won 12 awards at film festivals worldwide. Reed previously directed the award-winning 30-minute documentary FOREST ON FIRE and the documentary series for Topic, HOUSE ON FIRE. See more at