August 30, 2019 / Thought Leadership

Storytelling Through Film

Claire Eisenberg, Director of Corporate Communications

Cause and Affect features CPers who pursue unique side hustles⏤ affecting others through their passion and inspiring us to live Defiantly Human.

There are people who are passionate about giving a voice to histories that matter today, stories that can change our future, people like our very own Director of Creative Services, Barry Frechette. These are the people who highlight good deeds that have gone unnoticed in order to inspire others to make an impact.  Outside of his day job at Connelly Partners, Barry made the leap into documentary films to shine a light on the incredible untold stories of our veterans and those who do good against the odds.

“I never made a documentary film before I made this one. But all my life, in the ad industry, you tell stories or snippets of stories… I’m just fascinated by people. And their stories. And I love storytelling. I love the medium. Armed with this experience and passion, I made the leap into the unknown.

Barry Frechette (co-director, executive producer) and Max Esposito (co-director, director of photography, editor) created Paper Lanterns. The critically acclaimed documentary is about Normand Brissette (Lowell, MA) and Ralph Neal (Corbin, KY), two American POWs killed in Hiroshima, and Shigeaki Mori, a Japanese survivor who refused to let them be forgotten. The horrors they witnessed. The families that struggled to find the truth. And one man’s effort to give them the gift of closure.

“It’s not about going back and looking for apologies for the bombing, it’s about moving forward. There are tough moments in the film that we left in, but they are important because we want to show that there is redemption in all this. After all these years, we can still figure shit out. It’s opened doors for me where I get to hear other people’s stories and help them too.”

Paper Lanterns gave a voice to a community whose stories would have gone untold. Mr. Mori greatly impacted the last few days of Normand and Ralph’s lives. After surviving the initial bombing in Hiroshima, they were like so many others in the wake of the devastating attack⏤ without support or resources. And to think, what took place in Japan in 1945, came to light when Barry was looking through a photo album at his Grandmother’s house halfway around the world in Massachusetts. Paper Lanterns not only celebrates Mr. Mori’s compassionate heroism, but also inspires reconciliation representing our two nations as people who are not our past, but humans working together for a brighter tomorrow.

Barry recognizes and meets the challenge of honoring and protecting a lived truth that is not his own. While Barry worked on this project outside of Connelly Partners, he’s put into practice the agency’s purpose to be Defiantly Human⏤ prioritizing and defending empathy, compassion and the unique stories of humans.

Barry was recognized at the 2019 AdClub Rosoff Awards for his work to make a positive impact through passion. For more, visit