On November 11th, A Good Man had its highly anticipated television broadcast on the PBS series American Masters. Audiences nationwide finally had the chance to watch the critically acclaimed documentary in the comfort of their own homes. Before, during and after the broadcast, viewers were atwitter with excitement. Thanks to everyone who watched!
November has proven to be a thrilling and event-packed month, starting with a private screening at the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center for an audience of more than 200 people, and continuing onto the film's public New York Premiere at the DOC NYC film festival. From there, the film screened at to the Virginia Film Festival and then headed overseas for its European Premiere at the DANCE:FILM festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Director Gordon Quinn traveled with the film from Scotland to Amsterdam, where he joined Co-Director Bob Hercules in showing the film four times at the prestigious IDFA Documentary Film Festival. Upcoming screenings span Budapest to Seattle to The Hague. Check out our calendar for more news and events.
The A Good Man DVD is now available for purchase and comes jam-packed with extra scenes and other special features. Order yours today!
From Navy Pier to Whiting, Indiana - November has been a busy month of production for Almost There. Co-directors Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden kicked it off by gathering footage of the outsider art marketplace at The Intuit Show of Folk and Outsider Art. The footage will be very useful in act one of the film as a way to explain this genre of art and show a visual "who's who" of the field's masters. Works by Henry Darger, Martín Ramírez, Bill Traylor, Lee Godie, and Eugene Von Bruenchenhein were among those on display.
Later in November, Aaron and Dan interviewed Kathy Winsberg, the owner of Full Circle Art Supply, a sweet store located in the heart of Whiting, Indiana. Kathy was instrumental in organizing the town's enormously successful Pierogi Fest, which is where the Aaron and Dan originally met the main character of their film - Peter Anton - over five years ago! In particular, Kathy was responsible for supporting Peter with his artistic pursuits and helping him get a booth set up at the festival each year. Kathy is an incredible storyteller, and her insights will become an important element of the first act of Almost There.
In an exciting development, Peter Anton was recently visited by a journalist from Raw Vision - the world's preeminent magazine exclusively devoted to outsider art. The journalist spent four hours with Peter at his senior home in Hammond, Indiana photographing his work and interviewing him for an upcoming issue.
And in another bit of publishing news, Peter's art and excerpts of our interviews with him, alongside our photographs of his life and work, will be featured in the inaugural edition of The Chicagoan, which is scheduled to be released in the coming months.
All of this wouldn't be possible without your continued support. Please consider donating here to help us with the final stretch of production:
After completing an initial assembly/rough cut of the film in mid-October, the Arab American team has been reviewing the film’s structure as we look towards completing a new rough cut in early 2012. After some great feedback and discussion, Director Usama Alshaibi is editing a new opening, which delves into his own family’s immigrant experience, as well as the painful loss of his brother, Samer, in 2006. As we continue to pursue post production funding in December, we will begin to reach out to new community partners as we look towards building an effective Outreach and Engagement Campaign in Spring of 2012.
The crew have returned safely from the Bolivian production adventure, and are now in process of translating the footage into English, before getting into the editing room to see what story emerges from the first round of production. We want to specially thank the National Endowment for the Humanities for their grant funding, which made the trip possible.
The award season kicked off in late October with the Gotham Independent Film Awards nominations and amongst the five nominees for Best Documentary is The Interrupters. The awards will be presented in New York City on November 28th, but in the meantime The Interrupters team can also celebrate additional nominations for the 2012 Cinema Eye Honors in four categories - Best Direction, Best Production, the Audience Choice Award, and Oustanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking. The awards ceremony will take place on January 11, 2012 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.
But while The Interrupters continues to reap critical praise and accolades, the film also continues to be used as a tool to reach young people. On November 9th, Columbus, Ohio’s Wexner Center played host to a special educational outreach screening for 500 local high school students. Co-producer Zak Piper and featured interrupters Ameena Matthews and Eddie Bocanegra were on hand as the students worked with trained personnel in post-screening breakout groups to confront some of the issues examined in the film. This special screening took place on the heels of the November 3rd screening at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS) Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference brought together the leading professionals in the field of traumatic stress prevention and rehabilitation. Following a screening of the film, producer Alex Kotlowitz and interrupter Eddie Bocanegra shared their own perspectives on traumatic stress in the world of violence interrupters.
Meanwhile, the Interrupters team have become quite the globetrotters as they continue to travel the world, screening one of the year’s most highly acclaimed films for international audiences. October saw director Steve James travel to Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox for a special community screening attended by educators and other community organizations, while coproducer Zak Piper and featured interrupter Cobe Williams flew to the Mid-Atlantic for the Bermuda Documentary Film Festival. Playing to sold out crowds, the film had to be scheduled for an additional Bermuda screening to meet the public’s demand. The next stop was Amsterdam for the International Documentary Film Festival (IDFA). The IDFA not only marks the Dutch premiere for The Interrupters, but the festival also honored director Steve James with a special retrospective film series examining his previous films.
Finally for our UK readers, be sure to check out the World Television Premiere of The Interrupters on Dec 4th, 9pm on BBC Storyville on BBC Four. This 119 minute broadcast version will come the day before the film is released on DVD in the UK on Dec 5th by Dogwoof.
This fall was busy with production for The Trials of Muhammad Ali. We have shot four cornerstone interviews that give us the key access to Ali’s story across all 3 acts of the film. The interviews feature:
Rachman Ali, Muhammad’s brother (and only sibling). Rachman was interviewed in front of the Louisville house where he and Muhammad grew up.
Khalilah Ali, Ali’s wife during the exile years. Interview and b-roll locations include a prayer service at the Masjid she currently attends. The Masjid was the original site of the Nation Of Islam Mosque that Ali first joined in the early 60's.
Thomas Krattenmaker, former clerk to Supreme Court Justice John Harlan. Shot with B-roll of Krattenmaker at the Supreme Court building, with the interview itself, in an office overlooking the Court’s façade. Krattenmaker details the stunning, last minute, turnaround in the April 1971 case of Clay vs. USA.
Robert Lipsyte, former New York Times feature writer who began covering Ali when he won his first heavyweight title, beating Sonny Liston in 1964. From there, Lipsyte chronicled Ali throughout his career. Lipsyte's interview was shot in the NYT building in Manhattan and includes B-roll of him in the newsroom.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali received generous funding from ITVS, enabling the film to go into full production! Thank you ITVS! Read more about the film and ITVS' involvement here: http://www.itvs.org/films/
In addition, this fall, Director Bill Siegel and co-producer Rachel Pikelny continued to amass an incredible colleciton of rare and unseen archival footage of Ali during the exile years. The archival material we've gathered and the interviews completed this fall, coupled with interviews we’d previously shot and the archival footage we already had, give us a solid foundation for our film. We are currently logging, transcribing, and categorizing all the interviews and archival material. Aaron Wickenden, editor of Kartemquin's The Interrupters, has joined the Trials team as editor and we are now ready to move to editing an assembly.
If you would like to donate to support post-production of this film, please do so here.
Typeface DVDs are still selling strong and we're gearing up for the holidays with an upcoming sale on posters and other merch starting December 1st. Two days later, on December 3rd, South Side Projections in Chicago and the Southside Hub of Production will be presenting a free screening of Typeface, at 7pm at the Southside Hub of Production, a new arts and cultural center in the heart of Hyde Park (5638 S. Woodlawn Ave, Chicago). Finally, for all you Kiwis, there are some exciting New Zealand broadcasts in the works. Well, that's all for now. Happy Thanksgiving!