Breaking Ties

Winner Casey medal for Meritorious Journalism, broadcasted nationally on PBS.
  • Information
  • Awards
  • The Story

    Produced, directed, written and edited by Tod Lending, Breaking Ties is a one-hour national PBS documentary focusing on three kids who are breaking their families’ ties to poverty in the US. Nicole, 16 years old, lives in a poor section of Chicago. Her family has depended on welfare for 4 generations. She wants to be the first in her family to end that legacy. Demetrio, 17 years old, has worked the crops between Florida and Michigan since he was a young child. He’s a second generation migrant farmworker who is struggling to stay in school while working the fields. His dream is to one day become an architect. Chris, 14 years old, was once middle class and living in a small town in the Sierra mountains of California. He’s now homeless, living on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and searching for a place he can call home. Breaking Ties takes us inside the lives of these three kids, telling the story from their unique point of view while showing how poverty has molded their sense of the world and their future in it.


    The MacArthur Foundation
    Ford Foundation
    Corporation for Public Broadcasting

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  • Awards

    Cine Gold Eagle: Directing, Producing, Writing

    National Headliner award: Directing, Producing, Writing

    National Ed. Media Market, Bronze Apple

    The Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism