LEAF MATTHEWS (17) wakes up in juvenile hall after an accidental overdose. He's released to his Mother and Grandmother who trick Leaf into thinking he's going home. Once asleep in the back of the car, they lock the doors and drive Leaf to America's House, a long-term residential rehab facility located in the mountains east of San Diego.


Leaf adamantly refuses treatment but when he discovers his clothes are in the back, he seemingly resigns, asking his Grandmother to pop the trunk. Leaf rummages through the bags, seizing a jacket with a bag of speed in the pocket.


Rushing down the road, snorting up everything he can, Leaf becomes aware that this program is situated in the middle of nowhere. Far from home, Leaf agrees to enter treatment, but only if his little sister Autumn stays with his Grandmother and not his Mother. A violent argument ensues. Leaf spews hate at his Mother, how she's unfit to be a parent and there's no way he will leave Autumn alone with her. Leaf's Mother caves. Autumn will stay with Grandma.


Leaf high from the speed, gets showered in and meets the staff and residents of the program. Leaf is given the opportunity to introduce himself. Rather than say hello, Leaf verbally insults the group with profanity. The staff are quick to point out this is Leaf's new family and the girls in the program are to be treated like his sisters. "Would he treat his own sister with such disrespect?"


After detoxing, Leaf registers that this program is unlike any he's experienced before. The chief difference, that his peers, all with troubled pasts of their own, are bought into the program's structure and it's working. The residents are sober, back in school, employed, or enrolling in college.


Leaf vehemently rebels against everyone but when his Grandmother unexpectedly dies, Leaf's world is shaken to the core. His Grandmother's final request was that Leaf complete the program, but his sister will now be going back home with his Mother. Something Leaf cannot let happen.


Will Leaf go, denying his Grandmother's dying wish or will he stay, putting his sister's life at risk? With only a month of sobriety under his belt, Leaf must face his family's tragic past in order to save his sister and himself.





The Elevator is about a teen addict, haunted by a destructive past, who finds love, hope and

redemption at an unconventional recovery program for at risk youth.








Brooke Dooley is a Northern California native. She received a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and since 2009 has produced over 50 productions including commercials, feature films, music videos and photo shoots.  She has coordinated, managed and communicated ideas across all platforms with budgets ranging from $5k to $1mil. Her client list includes: U.S. Navy, Google+, ICANN, Hewlett Packard, Pringles, Star Wars, Kool-Aid, Shutterstock, Cathay Bank, Valio Milk, Viasat, Triplespot, Yingli Energy, P&G Everyday, Ricola and Netmundial.  She has traveled to Japan, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, France and Pakistan.  She continues to attach herself to projects that stimulate a visceral chord with audiences, whether through comedy, drama or animation.  She currently resides in Los Angeles running her creative production company, Knox Avenue.




Sky Soleil is a southern California native and a graduate of the American Conservatory Theater MFA program (Class of 2002). Sky is perhaps best known for his music video "Homeless Man Under Pressure" which he both directed and starred in. The inspiring video went viral within days of posting, collecting over two million views on Yahoo and YouTube, after which CNN, CBS, New York Magazine and the Huffington Post interviewed Sky to discuss the video's unique social message. His television acting credits include NCIS, RIZZOLI & ISLES and CRIMINAL MINDS, to name a few and you can catch him in the upcoming feature film BLACKBIRD due out in theaters this fall. Sky also wrote and directed the award-winning Halloween themed family film HOW MY DAD KILLED DRACULA. The short screened at over 30 film festivals worldwide and garnered Sky two "Best Family Film" awards, a "Best of Fest" award, and several "Audience Favorite" awards.






Twenty years ago I was quickly becoming another statistic. No father at home, high school drop out, drugs, in and out of juvenile hall; the future did not look bright. Thankfully at 16, I went to Phoenix House — the largest non-profit drug & alcohol rehabilitation program in the country and

the stats quickly changed. I completed the program, graduated high school, went on to college, received my masters and I'm currently celebrating my 20th year of sobriety. One thing is crystal clear; it was a treatment center that elevated me out of my old life, not a cell. Yet, we continue to

imprison thousands of non-violent drug offenders each year, entirely ignoring the health issues associated with drug misuse and addiction. That's why I wrote The Elevator — the true story of how Phoenix House helped me get back on track. It shows alternatives exist and work. Everyday,

more and more people agree the drug war has failed, that simply building cells is not the answer.

I want to elevate that discussion.


—Sky Soleil



Mission Statement:


Phoenix House is committed to protecting and supporting individuals, families, and communities affected by substance abuse and dependency. We realize our mission through: A focus on the distinct needs of every person; A holistic approach that seeks to address mental, physical, and social health; The innovation of best-in-class prevention, treatment, and recovery programs; and the promotion of greater understanding of addiction.



Copyright © 2014 Elevator Film

For more information visit PhoenixHouse.org