FIU alumnus creates documentary on the city of Miami

Peter Holland // Staff Writer

After graduating at FIU with a 4.0 GPA and listed as a World’s Ahead Scholar, Anthon Samuel has a promising future ahead of him after football. Not only does he have plans to work on his master’s degree in health services administration, but he is also working on a documentary called “Take A Ride, Miami Edition.”

The film takes a tour of the streets and urban areas in the city of Miami. The Miami native created this film to give those who are unfamiliar to the city an honest depiction of the realities of Miami instead of the general smoking mirrors fed to the outsiders about the city.

“The goal of this documentary is not to paint Miami as a rough, unpleasant city, but to shine light on the dark areas of Miami that do not receive enough attention,” says his website “This documentary will raise awareness about the violence that goes on in Miami and show viewers the daily problems Miami residents face.”

According to, Miami has the total of 4,495 violent crimes. Since 2006, 335 children and teenagers have been killed (80 since 2013). Samuel is no stranger to gun violence as he witnessed it at a young age.

On March 20, 2001, Samuel’s father was gunned down in his Opa-Locka home. Samuel, who was seven years old at the time, was in his bedroom when he saw his father lying on the ground through his bedroom window.  He expressed his emotions through poetry when CBS Miami covered the story about him in early June as a “South Florida survivor.”

“March 20, 2001, people heard rounds. Once cops arrived to the scene, a black person was found. Someone was on a mission to gun him down. He was going to murder him no matter who was around. But I wish he would of looked up to see who was looking down.”

Witnessing his father’s death took a toll on Samuel throughout his childhood, bouncing around from school to school until he was introduced to football, his one-way ticket out of the Miami streets. After graduating from Monsignor Pace High School, he committed to play college football for Bowling Green State University before transferring and finishing his collegiate career at FIU.

For Samuel, FIU football not only taught him to carry the ball and run in between tackles, but also the life skills he needed to carry himself when it’s all over.

“Discipline was the main thing. You talking about coming in at five in the morning, and not being done until night time, sometimes at six, sometimes at nine,” Samuel said. “It’s a full-time job with overtime. Once you go through that, it builds you. You have to be mentally tough to be a student athlete. Only the strong survive.”

Now a full-time student and a father working on his master’s degree, Samuel’s main focus is to promote his film. During his recordings, Samuel went to different urban areas in Miami and asked the locals what goes on in their neighborhoods.

“[When they think of Miami] People think of South Beach,” Samuel said. “Even people who live in Miami think of South beach, the sand, beaches, Ocean Drive and everything.”

For Samuel, this documentary is for anyone interested in a real perspective into Miami.

“I’ve talked to a few people that live in Miami, and they do not know what’s going on,” Samuel said.

With all of Samuel’s academic success and his future ahead of him, he also wants to send a message to the people who are going through a similar tragic death in close friends or family members.

“Avenge that person’s death in being successful,” Samuel said. “If I would have taken the revenge route, nobody is going to know about me being here, and I’ll end up in somebody’s cell or locked up.”

Samuel’s documentary premiere will be on July 30. For more information visit his website:

Photo Courtesy of FIUSports

1 Comment on "FIU alumnus creates documentary on the city of Miami"

  1. Toni Reynolds | July 19, 2016 at 2:26 PM | Reply

    I had the please sure of meeting Anthon when my sister Alexandra was shot. He did a tribute that was awesome. His words of encouragement and from what I see him doing for his community is awe inspiring.

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