The heart of Fotolanthropy, the non-profit that produced the film Travis: A Soldier’s Story, is to tell inspiring true stories of people who have overcome adversity. Using professional photographers and filmmakers, Fotolanthropy seeks to share stories that will encourage and inspire people around the world.
Fotolanthropy’s Chief Filmmaker, Jon Link, with the non-profit’s founder, Katie Norris, Chief Storyteller
The photographers and filmmakers volunteer their time and talents to make Fotolanthropy stories, and we are incredibly grateful. Today on the #travisthemovie blog, we’re highlighting the director, cinematographer and editor behind the award-winning documentary, Jon Link. He says, “Volunteering my time for such a large scale project with Travis: a Soldier’s Story proved to be the most challenging and the most rewarding project I’ve ever worked on.”
With over 16 years of experience in film production and broadcasting, and a passion for films that inspire and challenge viewers, Jonathon’s film work has taken him all over the world.
After studying film and broadcasting at Evangel University in Springfield, MO and North Central University in Minneapolis, Jon went on to work at–and eventually assume ownership of–Element Media in Milwaukee. At Element, Jon worked on a variety of commercial and non-profit projects, including several short documentary films for Milwaukee-based sports attorney and philanthropist Craig McKenzie. These projects took Jon to Russia, Greece, Italy, Belgium and France, documenting the lives and careers of several international athletes, as well as Mr. McKenzie’s work with youth and adolescent cancer patients in the Milwaukee area.
In 2008, Jon served as Editor, Edit Supervisor and Graphic Designer for Drug Wars – Silver or Lead, a graphic documentary depicting the violent drug wars waged in Mexican border cities such as Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo. The film was an official selection of the USA Film Festival, Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival and West Hollywood International Film Festival.
In 2009, Jon and two colleagues founded Four Story Creative in Dallas, Texas. Their work includes Last Stop, winner of the Best Short Film award at the 2011 LifeTree Film Festival, as well as the music video “The One You Need” for recording artists Shane and Shane. They also traveled to Port-au-Prince following the devastating earthquakes in Haiti to document missionary organization YWAM’s work in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Jon also owns Jonathon Link Studios. He has filmed and produced several short films with Fotolanthropy, as well as work on fine art wedding and family films in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Jon says, “Having my own business gave me some freedom with a flexible schedule. And I took that opportunity to put it toward films that inspire others. Looking back I can say I’ve that through volunteering and giving, I’ve made some of the closest friendships and done my best work.”
“Working on Travis: a Soldier’s Story with Fotolanthropy has taken me on a journey I never could have imagined. I’ve met some pretty great people along the way that I hugely respect and that have had a pretty big impact on me, like David Gale (film producer and founder of MTV), Gary Sinise (film producer and actor, aka Lieutenant Dan from Forrest Gump) and President George W. Bush.,” Jon says.
Jon Link, Katie Norris, Gary Sinise and Reece Norris
Katie Norris, Travis: A Soldier’s Story Producer says about Jon, “This film would not have been possible without Jon’s dedication and passion towards this project. He has truly given the world a gift by sharing his talents.”
To learn more about becoming part of Fotolanthropy’s Fotocrew, please visit the Fotolanthropy site. To-date, Fotolanthropy has told over 20 stories, and they are looking to continue with sharing new inspiring true stories in 2015. If you are inspired by someone’s story of overcoming adversity, please consider nominating them here.