‘True North: Honest Stories of Finding Home’ 


Do you feel that you belong? Have you found that place to live where you feel truly at home? When documentary filmmaker Suzie Galler and her husband moved to North Beach, Maryland, they found a house on the water. What Galler called “a real fixer-upper,” the cottage had been sitting for a few years, but she called it a little gem.

The duo were 40 minutes south of Annapolis and completely fell in love with where they moved. The community was welcoming and Galler felt “whole and center” in the small town of less than 3,000 people.

All things converged creatively for Galler. She realized her husband and she found their “true north” in their small Maryland beach town. She got to thinking about friends who found their own true north and sense of belonging. “I know someone who lives in Burlington, Vermont,” Galler said. “She’s a therapist there and has declared she’ll never leave, she’s immersed in the healing community there and loves the people of Burlington.”

There also was another friend who lives in New York City and loves the hustle and bustle of the metropolis and the energy of the urban area.

Galler began to feel inspired and thought there could be a series involving “true norths.” A docuseries, dubbed “True North: Honest Stories of Finding Home” was soon born, offering viewers a personal view into the lives of everyday people who take unusual (and many times) brave paths to find their purpose and place in the world.

The pilot episode of the series, called “Sailing to Salvation,” brings viewers into the lives of a group of anguished veterans who have a hard time getting back into society post-war. “They are reclusive, including one in particular, a former sailor who people suggested to get back on the water,” Galler said. “It made him feel whole and great again.”

The veteran began a program, “The Valhalla Sailing Project,” that helped so many vets find connection and healing by sailing competitively on the Chesapeake Bay. Over 500 veterans have gone through The Valhalla Sailing Project.

“True North” is “about people realizing they are satisfied and fulfilled, that they have found a sense of community and belonging at an intersection of three things — people, place and purpose,” Galler added.

The docuseries seems to really have hit a nerve with people, motivating Galler to continue to seek out other episodes and broaden past the Annapolis area. According to Galler, “True North” came in second place for audience favorite at the Annapolis Film Festival.

More information on “True North” and Suzie Galler can be found at studiotruenorth.com.

Filmmaker Suzie Galler.

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