GRAND FORKS - A filmmaker from California is making a documentary on fentanyl that will feature stories and shots from the Red River Valley.
Derek Knowles of Los Angeles will bring a film crew next week to Grand Forks, he said. The documentary will focus on how the internet has impacted the fentanyl and opioid epidemic. He will be in the area Sunday,j April 16, through Wednesday.
The documentary is part of a larger series that investigates how the internet plays a role in certain issues. Knowles said his work will kick of the series, which is expected to air on a major streaming service in the fall.
Knowles declined to say which streaming service.
Grand Forks was shaken in 2015 when two residents died of fentanyl overdoses. It's believed the drugs were purchased online. The deaths prompted an international investigation into a drug ring that netted about a dozen federal defendants, including Colombian national Daniel Vivas Ceron. He is accused of being the ringleader and faces federal charges.
Last year in Fargo, police responded to at least 10 fatal overdoses. Investigators believe fentanyl was involved in those cases. Another person in Grafton, N.D., died in August.
The film crew will interview subjects about the Grand Forks overdoses, Knowles said. The filmmakers also want to speak with people who have experience with online marketplaces.
Those interested in being a part of the project should call Knowles at (310) 279-7507.
"The filmmakers want to stress that they are independent journalists and are not working with law enforcement," Knowles said.