In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing, members of a faith community in New Hampshire feel compelled to take action. With their pastor’s encouragement, they decide to create artistic quilts depicting the last words of Mr. Floyd.

Through interviews, B-roll, and verité footage, we see what motivated our characters to participate, and feel some of the tensions that emerged in the process of creating the quilts. They speak about the creative energy they harnessed to counteract the horror of the event, and the special power they felt in particular words and phrases. Because some of our characters have lighter skin and an outlook that fits the social construct of “White,” and some of our characters have darker skin and an outlook that fits the social construct of “Black,” one pointed tension that the film reveals is the different ways these people experienced George Floyd’s killing.

Finally we get a sense of what the quilts might do out in the world, as they are “blessed” by the nine congregations that took part.

Host and professional dancer Mickela Mallozzi returns for another season of the Emmy® Award-winning travel series, Bare Feet in NYC, where she travels the world within the five boroughs of New York City. In this post-COVID era, Mickela shares the recovery of this resilient city through the arts and the small businesses that make up these diverse community neighborhoods.

Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance which airs on PBS stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime Video globally. A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went. From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time. She has been featured in The New York Times, O Magazine, The Washington Post, AFAR Media, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, and more, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://travelbarefeet.com

“Space flight is unforgiving. It is inherently dangerous.  If you get careless, it will kill you, more so than most other activities on earth, except underwater cave exploration.”  
Dr. James Oberg, NASA 

Our oceans comprise 4/5th of the planet. 95% of the world’s oceans remain unexplored. In the 1960s Jacques Yves Cousteau pushed human limits to explore the most extreme and remote underwater environments.  Television audiences around the globe tuned in to catch a glimpse of the wonders of the world undersea.  But since the days of Cousteau, underwater exploration has all but come to a grinding halt.  There is no inner space equivalent to authentic outer space exploration.

 BUT NOW, all of that has changed.  NASA astronaut, aquanaut, environmentalist, mathematician, and fighter pilot Captain Scott Kelly is picking up where Cousteau left off, expanding the very meaning and significance of human exploration in the 21st century.  

EXPEDITION EARTH

With this groundbreaking filmed series Expedition Earth, Captain Kelly will be continuing his life’s quest to push human and technological limits while exploring the most extreme and remote underwater environments on planet Earth. Captain Kelly is bringing outer and inner space together, all in the name of the science of exploration. To explore more we have to become better explorers.  

The uncharted frontiers of planet Earth — its underwater caves, its oceans, its hidden landscapes — all of these places serve as an extreme environmental research habitat.  We need to continue to explore the unexplored, and perfect our process of getting “there,” wherever  there may be.  Whether it’s the remote Chinese caves of Du’An, the deep reaches of Kimbe Bay in Papua New Guinea, or the uncharted depths of Lake Baikal in Russia, our team will set its course and get there.

F-Stop Productions is currently seeking to raise $40,000 by November 5th, 2020 to fund the research, writing, and development of the grant application to the National Science Foundation. In our National Science Foundation grant application, we will be requesting $2.5 million to complete our film.

It’s been 75 years since the end of World War II, and the veterans of that horrific war have many stories to share, but little time to do so. In our film, “The Greatest Generation: Let Us Not Forget” you will hear stories of the brave men and women who valiantly served our country during the most pivotal time in U.S. history. Unlike other WWII documentaries, this film will detail the journey of our heroes, beginning with their entry into the service, followed by their efforts in the war, and equally important, the impact on which the war had in their lives. Here are a few samples.

Tom Houdek was 17 in 1941 and had to wait a year to enlist and serve his country.  Within months of finally entering the army, Tom was captured by the Germans and shares his stories about survival, both physically and mentally as a POW. When captured, Tom weighed 155 pounds. When freed, he weighed only 98 pounds.

Don Folsom describes his activity on the battlefield in the Pacific. “The Battle of Tarawa was brutal”, says Don as he anguishes from the memory of witnessing hundreds of men dying around him. In addition, Don shares what it felt like to kill the enemy along with stories from the front line. Upon returning home, Don struggled for months with nightmares and had to learn to cope with bottling up his feelings from the war for decades.

Gene Overholt was a communication specialist in the army. While he wasn’t involved in combat, Gene was responsible for the transmission of vital information in the war effort. He married just before leaving America and provides intimate stories of the letters which he and his bride wrote to each other. On the lighter side, Gene discusses his recruitment to play football on the base league. You will also hear about Gene’s emotional return home as well as his time as International President of the Kiwanis Club.

These are just a few of the stories we will hear from approximately 20 veterans from this war time. Beyond these men will be stories from Tuskegee Airmen and Rosie the Riveters as well. The emotional, lifelong journey is coming to a close for these soldiers, and we are proud to bring their stories to the silver screen. Let’s show our dedication and thanks to these veterans through the support of our film. Thank you.

At this stage, we have the distribution support of PBS and are working to secure a pair of notable actors to narrate the film. Thus, our final effort is to secure funding for the project. At this time, we are seeking sponsorships from companies and individuals which will allow us to produce this historic film. Thank you in advance for supporting this historic film, as we preserve the stories of the greatest generation this country has ever known. May God bless you.

If you would like to send a check, please make the check payable to Filmmakers Collaborative and send to Filmmakers Collaborative, 6 Eastman Place, Suite 202, Melrose, MA 02176. Please indicate that you are donating in support of The Greatest Generation: Let Us Not Forget.

If you would prefer to charge your tax deductible gift please click on the DONATE TO THIS FILM button above.

Chelsea – An Essential City

A small Latinx immigrant city on the Boston harbor provides fuel, food and an essential workforce for the entire Northeast Region. “Chelsea – An Essential City” (working title) is a window into an essential city and its essential workers on the frontline of a battle against a global pandemic.

Synopsis

The city of Chelsea, Massachusetts is often overlooked. It’s the smallest city in the state of Massachusetts – 1.8 square miles in total – sitting on a tiny peninsula in the Boston Harbor. Yet in the spring of 2020 Chelsea became the city with the highest COVID-19 infection rate in the state and one of the highest infection rates in the country. Chelsea was on the frontlines of the first wave of the pandemic, but why?

Eight out of 10 residents of Chelsea are essential workers. The majority are Latinx immigrant workers.

This film is a portrait of Chelsea, a city made of essential Latinx workers whose contributions allow daily life to go on in the midst of a deadly pandemic. Because of its proximity to the airport and its extensive seaport Chelsea’s contributions are essential to the basic functioning of the region. Food, cargo ships, oil, natural gas, gasoline and tons of consumer goods enter New England through Chelsea. Many factories and industrial operations are located there. Rocksalt to de-ice winter roads in 350 cities is stored in Chelsea. Tanks along the Chelsea Creek hold 100% of the fuel for Boston’s Logan airport – one of the busiest international airports in the country. Chelsea is a vital part of the regional supply chain powering the industrial and consumer economy of most of New England. It is also home to the New England Produce Center – one of the largest produce distribution centers in the country selling produce to all of New England, multiple mid-Atlantic states, and southern Canadian regions.

Yet Chelsea bears a disproportionate burden despite the benefits it provides. Pre-existing conditions that made COVID-19 such a deadly disease are precisely the conditions most prevalent in Chelsea: it is among Massachusetts cities with the highest incidences of asthma, pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Chelsea and her residents are symbolic of the contributions of Latinx immigrant workers; providing essential labor and bolstering industries for the larger economy, yet bearing the largest burden and going largely unseen. While the benefits of their labor are essential to daily life during a pandemic, the majority of residents in Chelsea live below the poverty line and due to immigration status, do not qualify for assistance.

Roseann Bongiovanni, Green Roots’ executive director, whose organization is on the front-lines of pandemic relief, sees several clear messages emerging from the pandemic that need to be heard across the nation: “First, all essential workers are, in fact, essential. They must be treated with the same respect as nurses and doctors. Second, communities of color cannot continue to serve as environmental sacrifice zones.

“Much like Hurricane Maria’s lasting impact in Puerto Rico, the devastation of the first wave of COVID-19 has laid bare and further exacerbated already existing inequality. Now Chelsea faces a tidal wave of evictions and continues to have the highest COVID infection rate in the state.

Most of the world knows about Pompeii, the ancient roman city on the Gulf of Naples that was famously destroyed and buried for nearly 1,700 years following a catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Far fewer however have heard of the nearby site of Herculaneum, Pompeii’s sister city which suffered the same fate. While lesser known than Pompeii, Herculaneum is no less special. In fact because of its proximity on the western slope of Vesuvius, and the nature of the eruption that buried it, the city is uniquely preserved; in many ways better than Pompeii. Wooden doors, window frames and even furniture survived at Herculaneum but are non-existent at Pompeii. There are also the skeletons of hundreds of victims found frozen in anguish as they attempted to escape the unimaginable heat and gas of the volcano. What really makes Herculaneum special however is its “Villa dei Papiri” discovered just outside the city and containing the largest library from the ancient world ever found. Herculaneum: Reading the Invisible will be a documentary film that explores this most unique archeological treasure, the attempts and failures to open and read its ancient papyrus and now the creative application of super high-tech imaging and artificial intelligence to “virtually unwrap” the scrolls. For the first time in 2,000 years we are about to learn their secrets.

Narrated by Naheem Garcia. DP Erik Angra. Original score and additional animation by an outstanding artistic team

CodeSwitching: A NETA ( PBS) /NEW DAY/Mass Humanities/Interlock/ LEV FILMS presentation on the intersectionality of race, gender and generation.

CodeSwitching is a mash-up of personal stories from African- American participants in a landmark voluntary school desegregation program. While in noble pursuit of educational opportunity, shuttling between inner-city neighborhoods and predominantly white suburban schools can be traumatic, especially for teenage girls. At times ostracized by their neighborhood friends, isolated at their adopted suburban schools, they must constantly CodeSwitch. The hard part is staying connected to their authentic selves.

At daybreak, a camera-drone follows a bus full of students headed from the urban core, out to the highway, and on to the affluent suburbs. The students are a bonus to the mainly white suburban schools where they disembark, as their presence provides visible diversity.

Typically, girls do not experience the same athlete-hero status as many of their male peers. They may face the burdens of ostracization back home and feelings of isolation in the suburbs.

Social media can compound their troubles. Pressures to “act white” or even “act more black” are common for participants, who struggle to bridge the gap between home-life and school culture. In the process, they quickly learn to act and speak differently depending on the venue. This is Code-Switching.

For some of our characters, especially the older black men, “code-switching” has brought social and professional mobility. For others, the nature of code-switching has been harder to handle, causing anxiety and depression.

School integration programs seek to alleviate educational inequalities, and as a derivative function, to address social, economic, and racial injustices. Increasingly, participants and alumni in such programs are speaking out, and demanding robust black studies, more black teachers, and more support for BIPOC students who may be struggling with self-identity and against systemic racism.

 

Ferrari: Legend of the Prancing Horse will be the first ever documentary series to chronicle the remarkable story of the world’s most iconic automotive brand. Only 240,000 Ferraris have been made since the company’s founding in 1947 – less than Porsche produces in one year – and yet Ferrari evokes more passion than any other car company. It has defined the category of supercar. From the early life of Enzo Ferrari falling in love with the emerging sport of motor racing in the Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy and turning his passion into his profession, first by becoming a successful racing team manager to eventually building his own cars and creating Ferrari, the series will tell the story of the legendary automaker and his company past and present in a way no other film production has to date. By combining iconic moments in the company’s history and its unmatched success in racing along with the development of its world famous road cars, all energized with a global following of devoted Ferraristi – Ferrari fans and owners – the series will go far beyond the re-telling of history or exploration of specific model vehicles and will explore the total scope of what the Ferrari world is all about.

As a multi-episode series, the production will have more time to feature different aspects of Ferrari while at the same time offering to both distributors and audiences a story that is more manageable to watch in today’s time crunched lifestyle. Ferrari: Legend of the Prancing Horse is in its initial phase of development; the filmmakers are currently envisioning a production that will be divided into six one-hour episodes which will dive deep into different aspects of Ferrari.

Ferrari: Legend of the Prancing Horse is being created by filmmaker Jon Dunham, an award winning producer, director and cinematographer who’s films have been seen in cinemas and on television and streaming platforms worldwide. A lifelong Ferrari fan, Jon has a passion for Italy and its culture. He lives in Naples, Italy with his family and is actively developing and producing numerous productions in Italy and abroad.

Assisting the project as an expert consultant is Marc Lindsley.  Marc, graduated from the US Air Force Academy, flying F-111 aircraft as well as commanding a Fighter Squadron and an Air Control Wing in conflicts. He also attended and then instructed at the USAF Fighter Weapons School, the equivalent of Navy Top Gun. At the Pentagon as a senior officer on 9/11, he was a leader in the response to terrorism and then retired to lead several aircraft design and production programs in Northrop Grumman Corporation and Leonardo DRS, the Italian Defense company. He and his wife Chicky are deeply involved in many facets of the Ferrari experience. They have proudly owned several Ferraris; both are graduates of the Ferrari driving school and advanced course. Marc will use his various experiences and acquired skills to assist Jon in planning and producing the series.

America’s current interest in Socialism is not a new phenomenon. Socialism’s original rise in popularity came from boiling over worker’s grievances during the Industrial Revolution. Haverhill, Massachusetts is one of the first American cities to embrace Socialist reforms in resistance of pursing greater corporate profits. 

“The Socialists of Shoe City: America’s First Socialist Municipal Government Haverhill, MA 1898-1912” recounts Socialist efforts in turn-of-the-century America . Viewers will have a new perspective on the current political environment after watching this film. It may be hard to believe, but Socialism is as American as apple pie!

In the early 1900s, Max, Dave, Lou, Joe, and Charlie Fleischer were tinkering with gadgets and experimenting with techniques that laid the foundation for the modern animation industry. Their strength came from their diversity – each brother brought a unique talent to the team – and their ambition to succeed as a family of immigrants. They built the first rotoscope, which made cartoons actions fluid and believable. Their Out of the Inkwell series seamlessly blended animation with live action. Their subtly Jewish Betty Boop both excited and surprised viewers with her assertive sexuality. Popeye and Olive Oyl acted out the irreverent and rude humor of a Brooklyn immigrant neighborhood, and made it appealing to audiences across the country. America in the mid 1930s embraced the Fleischer ethos, and voted Popeye as their favorite cartoon character, surpassing even Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse.    

Today the Fleischers are nearly forgotten, while Disney is everywhere, the largest media company in the world. The Disney ethos of muscular men, innocent-looking maidens and happy endings has dominated American culture for over half a century. But what if history had taken a different turn? What kind of beauty norms, what kinds of ideas about immigrants, ethnicity and sexuality, would have become acceptable in American entertainment if the Fleischers had prevailed over Disney? And what have we lost, by erasing the grittier, funnier, and more fulsome characters and stories of the Fleischers?

We tell our story through interviews, archival film, cartoons, and original animations created in collaboration with the makers of the video game Cuphead. It covers the Fleischer brothers’ pathbreaking work in New York, and their move to Miami in the late 1930s after a prolonged labor strike. They transplanted employees, built a huge new studio, and created a sleek new Superman series and two feature films, Gulliver and Mr. Bug Goes to Town, while continuing to make Popeye and other new cartoons. Their distributor, Paramount, underwrote all of this. But expenses mounted, and a long simmering feud between Max and Dave became so bad that they stopped speaking. Mr. Bug was released just days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and did poorly in its limited release. Finally, Paramount pulled the plug, closing down Fleischer Studios and taking over their assets. It was a swift and painful end to one of the most creative, eclectic, and entertaining family businesses in 20th century America.         

Here’s a special summer deal for anyone who would like another film by this director: 
Make a tax-deductible donation of $5 or more, and we will send you a password to watch “The Muses of Bashevis Singer.”
Enjoy, and thank you!