Michelle, played by Emmy-nominated Marin Hinkle, is a highly respected, workaholic surgeon hell-bent on precision for both her pro bono pediatric cases and ageless rich women. Her warm and honest connection to her husband, Jacob, becomes fraught when the chemo treating Michelle’s aggressive lung cancer fails. Jacob insists that Michelle try another drug. But she’s depleted from managing devastating side effects and wants to stop chemo altogether so that she can feel better – even if temporarily – and complete the last of her series of surgeries on 12-year-old Isabella.
Michelle’s work is her life force, but Jacob can’t understand this. He also can’t understand why Michelle would ask, of all people, her old medical school boyfriend, Earl, now a hospice nurse, to help her decide whether or not to end chemo. But Michelle is the patient, so her wishes trump all.
As Michelle’s health declines, Earl becomes more of a presence in their lives, a presence that is sometimes soothing and instructive, occasionally funny and often a direct blow to Jacob’s guardrails against his terrible grief—the primacy of his connection to Michelle and his capacity to manage her care.
Illuminating and softening this triangular tension is perceptive, witty Drey, Isabella’s older sister, who is hired part-time to shop and cook for Michelle and Jacob. Then there’s Beatrice, the by-the-book and insanely talkative palliative care nurse whose annoying presence helps Jacob see clearly what Michelle needs: to be surrounded by her chosen loved ones. By the end of We’re All Here, Jacob and Earl have become unwilling allies in helping Michelle live the life she wants even as she plans her “good death.”
A Massachusetts teen finds himself stuck on an island off Cape Cod in a program for wayward youths with a handful of idealistic do-gooders. Designed as a Huck Finn world to help “castaway boys build better lives”, the Penikese Island School serves as a last resort purgatory between freedom and jail for teen delinquents, like him, who must decide to struggle for peace or repeat the habits they know.
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.
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.
Ryan Road Origin Story
It has been five years since the idea for this project has been conceived. Ryan Road Story, a nostalgic tale, about looking back on where you came from, but not staring at it. A feature length narrative film about the thing’s life can take away from you and how you cannot control it, but how you can get through it. In the early stages of this project the plot of the film was about a aspiring filmmaker who returns to his hometown after his dreams come crashing down on him out in Hollywood.
But you have seen a movie like that before….
As a co-writer, director and producer, I looked to my own neighborhood and the area I grew up in. Which is where the title spawned from, Ryan Road, an area of Northampton, Massachusetts. Over the past five to six years I have lost track of how many friends or people I grew up with who have become addicted to heroin and opioids, and even lost their lives from these addictions. With what felt like a simple plot that we already had, my team and I realized we could expand on it to have the project hit close to him as well as anyone who has ever felt the loss of a loved one from their battles with addictions.
Telling the Ryan Road Story
In the film we meet Harold, a man who has just returned home after a cross country move from Los Angeles to his quiet Massachusetts hometown. His relationships with friends and family are slightly strained, everything and everyone feels distant. His return home is shortly after learning of the death of his brother, who had battled an addiction to pain killers and heroin for most of his life.
Through little flashbacks in the film, we see a simple, easy going life that Harold lived as a child. But it was headed in a tragic direction. Now in his thirties and down on his luck, Harold must pick up the pieces and try to put his family back together and not let a tragedy tear it all apart.
What We Need
With a fully fleshed out budget and all our main roles cast. We need to move the project into production and principal photography. We would love to film in the fall and capture the beauty of New England during that time. A goal would be to raise enough to get us into production by later this year, and focus on raising more funds for post-production, film festival submissions and any PR needed to pump the film further out into the world.
About the Filmmakers
Tyler Geis has worked in film and television for almost a decade now. A native to Northampton Massachusetts, his first feature length “The Station”, was made in 2012 for two thousand dollars. And followed up with the festival hit, 2014’s “Melvin”. As a graduate of Springfield Technical Community Colleges Film and TV program, Tyler also worked plenty of freelance jobs as assistants in all different departments on film sets in the Boston area from 2011-2014. He then transitioned to local television at Western Mass News in Springfield, Massachusetts. In early 2016 he made the move to Orlando, Florida where he began working behind the scenes at NBC Golf Channel. Tyler has now continued to build his production/content creation company, The Ryan Road Company.
Christopher Carantit is a producing partner with Tyler at The Ryan Road Company. Originally from Hawley, Massachusetts Chris got his start as a music supervisor on the film “The Station” and helped produced the film “Melvin” in 2014. Chris also currently has numerous writing projects in development and in pre-production now.
Doug Myer joined the project in 2019. As a lifelong Massachusetts resident, Doug has been involved in numerous projects around the region for some time now. For the last four years Doug has been involved in market research for over 320 Hollywood Films. As a producer, his first feature film titled “Wild Men” is available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, Verizon Fios, and other VOD platforms. Doug is currently involved with helping produce the following film projects that are all deep into post-production. “Son of Cornwall” is a feature European documentary about world renowned opera singer John Treleaven. “Preacher Six” is a feature action horror film with the cast including Naomi Grossman, Zach Galligan, Eileen Grubba, Carmen Argenziano, and many more. “In The Deathroom” is a short film based off of the Stephen King short story with music composed by Harry Manfredini.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you cannot donate then that’s okay. Just share this project on social media to everyone you know. Also feel free to contact us with any information you think we may need at firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
We’re a team of filmmakers united by our love for and admiration of Milo Imrie, the central subject of this feature-length film, and by our commitment to increasing awareness of the problems facing 18.2 million veterans in the US and so many more worldwide.
We believe Milo’s astonishing story is important not only because it has so much in common with the experiences of others, but also because of the vast archive he left us: hours of video and hundreds of written pages chronicling Milo’s struggles, delivered with his customary intelligence, honesty, humor and eloquence. Our director/editor Edmund grew up with Milo, placing him in an ideal position to tell this story through fil
Our film aspires to:
- Tell Milo’s remarkable story through news reports, home movies, confessional video – as well as in his own words, utilizing his writings and recordings for the film’s narration.
- Take the audience on a cinematic journey through war and recovery, using art and contemporary culture to blend with Milo’s eyewitness accounts and his own, satirically-inclined taste in music, cinema, and photographic imagery.
- Feature interviews with Milo’s family, childhood friends, fellow Marines, as well as representatives from the VA, PTSD-recovery specialists, mental health experts and government agencies.
- Explore the root causes – and potential solutions – of the difficult issues that affected Milo and continue to affect so many vets returning to civilian life.
- Create a fitting tribute to Milo by furthering what came to be the dominant aim of his life: helping others.
Where Will The Money Go?
- Salary for the actor providing the film’s narration.
- Rental of sound studio for recording the narration.
- Rental of editing equipment.
- Salaries for film editing and sound mixing personnel (90% of all salaries have been deferred).
- Legal and accounting expenses.
- Marketing expenses.
- As a writer/director, EDMUND MILLIGAN MARCUS has directed several prize-winning shorts and is in post-production on two feature films. As a freelance documentarian and videographer he has worked for numerous arts organizations and theater companies. He will act as director and editor on LUCKY MILO.
- DONALD MARCUS has served as a writer/producer for television series appearing on CBS, ABC, Fox, and USA Network, and was commissioned by Granada and the BBC to create and develop original drama series for the UK.
- LISA MILLIGAN and Don Marcus together founded The Ark Theatre Company in New York City, where they developed and produced the work of emerging, award-winning artists such as Julie Taymor, Derek McLane, Catherine Zuber, and Donna Zakowska. Most recently, Don, Lisa and Edmund collaborated on the feature film, The Vizitant.
- KARLIN KRISHNASWAMI has worked in production on commercials, shorts and TV shows. She has a passion for digging deep into meaningful issues, and serves as co-producer on LUCKY MILO.
- STEPHEN ‘STITCH’ KEECH, sound designer, engineer, and musician, will be the sound designer on the film.
1944: A young Frances Fabri has managed to survive the daily selections at Auschwitz while other prisoners in her barracks are put to death. Overwhelmed by the horror of her situation, she has escaped into the delusion that in time she will be free again. Johann, a Nazi commandant responsible for the selection and extermination of the prisoners, begins to crack under the horror of daily camp life and the pressure to perpetuate it.
Word of the impending Allies’ victory spreads; orders are sent from Berlin to expedite the disposal of prisoners and wrap up operations. Frances’ fantasy that she will survive the camp unravels one friend at a time. She must face the crushing truth of her circumstances and impending fate. Johann also feels the ironic powerlessness of his life, obeying orders that destroy his soul. Prisoner and oppressor are on a collision course. They must both come to accept their fates, acknowledge their truths and understand the paradoxical nature of freedom. In her absolute surrender, Frances witnesses the innate and pure quality of the human spirit, that which transcends mankind in its worst moments.
Genocide cannot occur without the active participation or the passive enabling of the general population. This conclusion is troubling because if ordinary people are capable of the evil that led to the Holocaust, then other genocides can happen today. This film explores the lessons of personal choice and empathy.
We approach this important project mindful of the prophetic words of famed Nazi hunter and Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal: “We must be ever wary of those who do not take responsibility for their actions. And we ourselves must be extra vigilant that we do not delegate our thinking to others, particularly in this day of accelerated technological power, heightened state surveillance, fear of “the other” and global corporate reach.”
“Crickets Would Sing” offers an unprecedented opportunity for prospective donors to participate in a unique educational initiative that holds the potential to transform how young people the world over learn about the Holocaust and contemporary genocide.
36 SECONDS: THREE WINNERS LOST takes an intimate, investigative and poignant look into the tragic 2015 Chapel Hill Murders of three Muslim college students. These execution-style killings by unemployed gun enthusiast Craig Stephen Hicks reveal a troubling undercurrent of violent racism that thrives in 21st century America. Mainstream media outlets reported the murders as simply the result of a “parking dispute,” but the victims’ families along with Muslims around the world argue that they were blatant hate crimes. Just like Rosa Parks was not simply about a bus seat, this was not about an issue over parking.
Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were pillars of their community. They were kind, compassionate, and had dedicated their lives to helping others in need. They excelled in school, sports and were thriving young adults living the American Dream. The film follows the Abu-Salha and Barakat families as they navigate our justice system and try to move forward with their faith. For over four years, the victims’ families fought to reclaim the narrative of the motive behind their children’s execution by their neighbor, Craig Hicks. Hicks had threatened the victims before, specifically targeting Yusor and Razan, pointing at their headscarves and spewing hateful remarks. Federal prosecutors launched an inquiry into the motivation behind the crimes, but even after Craig Hicks’ sentencing hearing in June, 2019, no official declaration has been issued by the Federal Government stating that this was indeed a hate crime.
We will highlight the need for policy change and more accurate hate crime reporting. Deah, Yusor and Razan were committed to building strong, diverse communities and their story has touched millions of lives, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. This film presents a unique way to share their legacy, provide a window into the daily lives of American Muslims, while investigating how we as a society failed them.
We were able to complete our main phase of principle filming in June 2019 which was centered around the NC State VS Hicks arraignment/sentencing hearing. We are seeking your support to help us complete the film. Some of the remaining costs include: Editing, Sound Mixing, Color Correction, Music, Graphics, Titles, rights, film festival entry fees, legal fees, and equipment rentals.
“She was a queen by name and nature.”
“She was one hell of a woman.”
The Queen of the Connemara is the narrative account of one woman’s extraordinary life on the Maanturk mountains in Country Galway, Ireland. Dressed in flowing colorful shawls with dark black ringlets and a booming voice, Bina McLoughlin seems like a character from a different era – or straight out of a fairytale. Much more than a biography, Queen of the Connemara is an expose of a vivid life shrouded in mystery, magic and hidden money. . Bina was part shepherdess, storyteller, ballad singer, actress, local celebrity, animal lover, political aficionado and – some say – even a witch.
She was as loved as she was feared. A true enigmatic personality.
In the 1940’s, America was divided into two halves. One half was white. The other half was black. There were the haves and the have nots. This was true in all parts of society including the military. At the beginning of the decade, black troops were relegated to service jobs. They worked in mess halls, loaded trucks, emptied trash and stood guard duty.
There were no African Americans soldiers in combat duty. Segregation prevented negro soldiers from serving beside their white counter-parts on the battle field. That all began to change in the middle of 1941 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 prohibiting discrimination in the defense industry.
But as always, change was slow to take hold.
A Leap of Faith: The Forgotten Story of The Triple Nickles shines light on an important piece of history that is mostly forgotten. It is the story of a group of African American soldiers during World War II, who initially trained themselves for battle and ended up fighting what was the second attack on the homeland since Pearl Harbor from Japanese incendiary balloons in the Northwest. They were the first and only all black parachute infantry regiment in history and this is their forgotten story.
The voices of these men from the 555th PIR will help us to remember:
“We fought segregation and discrimination and intolerance. They tried to burn us out, but it made us stronger. It made us angry. It made us persevere.” – Lt. Col. Bradley Biggs
“Prisoners who killed American soldiers, could buy cigarettes or whatever they wanted but we couldn’t go into the PX. We’re not good enough to sit at a table with prisoners of war?”- 1st Sgt. Walter Morris
“We were glad that segregation was leaving the Army but we were sad we were losing our Triple Nickles’ colors. But I finally felt like I belonged to something.” – Sgt. Major Charles Stevens