September 2013 Film Updates
This August, the ’63 Boycott production team was out filming protests and interviews with students, parents, and teachers calling for an elected CPS school board. Our editor Matt Lauterbach will begin cutting this footage at the end of September. Our project also received a grant from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation that will allow us to continue our work. We are still looking for boycotters featured in the more than 600 photos posted on our website, www.63boycott.com. We are also planning a commemorative event on the 50th anniversary of the boycott, October 22nd, where we will show a work-in-progress of the film. Stay tuned for more information!
You can help us by spreading the word about our project with anyone who may have participated in the 1963 Chicago Public School Boycott.
August! Where did you go? Team Almost There has been busier then ever getting the film into shape. Through an intensive editorial process throughout the month - the film is now clocking in at 98min (a reduction of 28min from the previous version) and feeling better than ever. The core team of Dan Rybicky, Tristan Hanson, and Aaron Wickenden also took sojourn to Milwaukee this month to meet with the amazing Brad Lichtenstein and Anne Basting. Together they started to brainstorm an outreach and engagement plan for the film that will appeal to both art museums as well as community organizations that focus on aging populations.
American Arab is complete! We submitting to international and domestic film festivals for our global premiere... and will have some big news soon!
The Life Itself team had its first (and very productive) internal feedback screening at the end of August. The notes and ideas shared by at the screening are all being carefully considered as the team sets its sights on a second feedback screening in late September. It will be a busy month with several days of pick-up shooting planned, all the while the edit and search for more and better archival material continue. There's much work ahead but the team is excited by the possibilities!
Since our return from Dobbs Ferry in April we've been busy logging archival material, getting transcripts, switching all our material to Avid, and then finally getting down to doing rough edits of the recent footage. After a break this summer, we'll begin seeking paths back to the early footage and making a new demo that will be key to kicking off a search for $$$$. Slow going, but it's looking good.
The Raising Bertie crew has just returned from another great shoot in North Carolina. Now in our fifth year of our production, we plan on returning for our final shoot later this year. We're getting all of our media organized and ready for transcription, which means that the first stages of editing are just around the corner!
The Homestretch is honored to have been accepted into GoodPitch Chicago! Co-produced by BritDoc, the Sundance Institute, and a Chicago planning team, Good Pitch Chicago will give seven teams of documentary filmmakers the rare and valuable opportunity to conduct a seven-minute pitch to an invited audience of 300 potential investors and partners. The event will be held at the Chicago Cultural Center on October 22nd, 2013. Visit the Good Pitch Chicago website for more details. Just seven films were picked from over 100 international submissions. Check out the other amazing films we will be sharing the platform with, and apply to be in the audience here.
The stars of The Interrupters are winning awards for their social work, in part due to the raised profile the film has given them.
Ameena Matthews will receive the 2013 "Freedom from Fear" Medal at the 2013 Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Awards on October 16th in New York City.
Eddie Bocanegra will receive the the Ed Marciniak Bright Star Award from the Bright Promises Foundation on October 30th in Chicago. We are overjoyed for Eddie to receive this deserved recognition of his important social work for children.
A memorable opening weekend in New York saw movie goers - including cinema legend Spike Lee, pictured here with Trials director Bill Siegel - packed into the IFC Center for their chance to see what Dave Zirin of The Nation called "the best documentary ever made" about the champ, writing "This is a special film. It should be treasured by anyone who cares about sports, politics, the 1960s or the vivacious, loquacious, bodacious, Muhammad Ali."
Bill gave some fantastic interviews, including WNYC's The Leonard Lopate Show, and on NPR's Tell Me More. Bill also had two in-depth Q&A sessions with audiences after screening his film, and based on this first week of screenings, it seems that both critics and audiences alike adore this new take on Ali.
Andrew O’Hehir wrote a wonderful article for Salon, noting the parallels between how those who have struggled to recognize Chelsea Manning echo those who refused to recognize Muhammad Ali and continued calling him Cassius Clay. O'Hehir praises the film, saying that “Siegel sheds fascinating new light on one of the most elusive and complicated public figures of the 20th century. Anyone who wants to understand what happened to America during those turbulent years needs to see this film.”
The latest stellar review comes from Owen Gleiberman at Entertainment Weekly, who writes: "Bill Siegel’s audacious documentary puts new heat and focus on what an extraordinary figure Muhammad Ali was outside the boxing ring. No film has probed this deeply into the fallout from his name change or his complex bond with Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam. And the saga of Ali’s refusal to be drafted during Vietnam becomes a profile in courage — a tale of shocking vilification and faith lost and found. A- ."
For the new documentary site Nonfics.com, Christopher Campbell calls the film one of the best docs of the year: "a distinct and important and engaging and well crafted and focused work."
Bill Siegel also gave a revealing interview in the Chicago Tribune on his 20-year fight to get this film made, despite a perception of "Ali fatigue" on the part of some funders, and his luck in finding unseen archival footage of Ali. In another interview with LifeandTimes.com, Bill notes that the film is "a story about Muhammad Ali, but really it’s a story about us and how our perspective on him has changed because of how we’ve changed."
You can read a glowing review of the film at The Playlist on IndieWIRE, which calls the film: "A wholly illuminating look at Muhammad Ali in all his complexity, providing a surprisingly fresh and vivid portrait of a man who played rope-a-dope with history, religion and sport and emerged from the ring as an inspiring, and flawed icon."
For TheDissolve.com, Noel Murray writes: "Ali’s greatest fight, covered in this film as it never has been before, was to be accepted as himself, not as anyone’s symbol."
In the New York Daily News' 4-Star review, Joe Neumier says "the terrific “Trials” is required watching."
We could still use your help to help this film make the impact it deserves. Please donate to our outreach campaign if you can.
It’s been a great summer for Unbroken Glass. Editor Matt Lauterbach has been hard at work and has completed going through all of the footage, now putting together a critical first “assembly” cut, where we’ll know exactly what we have and what we still need to get.
In July, the Unbroken Glass team headed down to Albuquerque, New Mexico to shoot with Dinesh sister’s Seema and Rashmi. It was a scene of transition change, as Seema shared some big life decisions and reflected with Dinesh on the process of making the film.
On Thursday September 5th we held our “Drinks in Progress” party at Schuba’s in Chicago. We celebrated a long productive summer by showing two very well-received new clips from the film, and are looking forward to a long productive fall and winter.
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