St. Louis County, MO (KSDK) - A Los Angeles filmmaker with ties to North St. Louis County has caught the eye of many locals by tackling a tough issue with his latest project.

Beginning in the 1960s, many white residents fled North St. Louis City and North St. Louis County, sometimes referred to as "white flight."

Filmmaker Phillip Andrew Morton returned to his hometown Spanish Lake and said he was shocked to see homes with unkempt lawns, businesses that had closed, along with neighborhood landmarks like St. Aloysius Parish. He wanted to know why so many whites had moved away and why the town was struggling.

This provided the impetus for his documentary, "Spanish Lake". The documentary-in-progress explores the complex issues of race relations, politics, Section 8 housing, and white flight.

Morton said he interviewed over 90 people for the film. He said "Spanish Lake" is in the final stages of editing. He's applied to Tribeca and other major film festivals. Morton is not sure when the St. Louis premiere will be, but NewsChannel 5 will let you know when he sets a date.

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