Prominent Jewish scholar Ismar Schorsch fled Germany in 1938. Decades later, residents from his family’s hometown of Esslingen invite him back, restoring relations brutally severed by the Holocaust. In 2019 Germany awards Ismar its highest civilian honor. What made Ismar’s reconciliation possible? 

Through Ismar’s story, Life in Reverse reveals the courageous efforts of non-Jewish Germans to face the violent legacy they inherited. Their difficult memory work has broad implications beyond Germany. The struggle with their brutal past will serve as a model, particularly for America, as we have barely begun to memorialize the victims of our cruel history. 

Ismar’s humane spirit and devotion to historical knowledge as a path to redemption inspires as we consider the role of memory and truth-telling in building a just society.

Life in Reverse is a film about honest confrontation with a painful history and the uncertain journey from destruction to reconciliation.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

In this film we journey along with 26 year old Maria Smirnova as she strives to high dive professionally for Cirque Du Soleil and Red Bull. In doing so we introduce our audience not only to Maria but the sport of high diving as well as the recreational, and often dangerous, counterculture of freestyle cliff diving. This is a story about finding meaning in relationships despite the adversity of societal stigmas, gender inequality, racial tension, body image, and injuries. It’s a story about community, grit, perseverance, and pursuing your dreams at all costs.

Several women put their lives at risk by way of their common freedom of expression: Diving off of an 80 foot perch, soaring through the air at 55 mph, and plunging into a shallow pool of water. Although the mental aptitude it takes to be a high diver is a feat in and of itself, it pales in comparison to the transformative period of their lives ahead of them.  

 

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

Chicago is regarded by many to be the birthplace of inner-city gangs or organizations. In Chicago, in the early 60’s, the two top gangs were Jeff Fort’s Blackstone Rangers (later to be called the P. Stones or El Rukns) and Larry Hoover’s Gangster Black Disciples.

Fork & Stone is a coming-of-age, hour docudrama series, which chronicle’s young  friends,  Jeff Fort, charismatic and mysterious, and Larry Hoover’s, passionate and articulate, ascension from community organizers and protectors to becoming the infamous leaders and masterminds behind two of the nation’s most ruthless street gangs.

 

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.”

 

LOGLINE

A famous writer/director gets his laptop stolen at a local coffee shop that happens to hold the only copy of his latest screenplay.  He turns to nefarious means to get it back, while the thief decides to turn his screenplay into a movie.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

We plan on going into production this summer with the goal of attracting actors with name recognition to our project with a larger than usual short film budget.   When the film is complete, we will submit to film festivals in the hopes of turning this short film into a feature.  When you donate to this project, your donation is 100% tax deductible.

DIRECTOR BIO

Gene Pina is an Iraq War combat veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom in all of 2003.  Gene studied film at Columbia University and NYU and comes from a background in editing with a BA in Music Production and Technology from The Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. He was a Video Editor/Associate Producer at ESPN for 7 years, where he worked on multiple ESPN/ESPN.COM shows and highlights.

He has worked on numerous student short films and directed his own short documentary, Mediacare, which had its premiere at the Rhode Island Film Festival!. Gene has also written a number of screenplays that have placed in various screenwriting competitions such as Slamdance, The Nicholl Fellowship and Scriptapalooza. While attending Columbia University, he interned at Pressman Film (Wall Street, American Psycho, The Crow) as a development assistant where he read scripts for the Producer Ed Pressman and wrote script coverage.  When he finished school he came home to Rhode Island and worked for Producer John Santilli, CEO of Aloris Entertainment as a reader and development assistant.  Most recently, Mr Santilli produced Bill & Ted 3 and the Mike Tyson/Roy Jones Jr. fight.

And finally Gene had a successful film festival run with his short film Warrior.  The film played at numerous festivals around the country including two Academy Qualifiers, LA Shorts Fest and the Rhode Island Film Festival, the latter winning him the 2018 Grand Prize New England Director’s Award.  Currently, he is producing corporate videos for a national mortgage company.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE GIFTS BY CHECK

If you would like to send a tax-deductible gift by 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 y ou are donating in support of CAREER CHANGE.

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

“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.

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.

In the Company of Crows is a short film about a naïve teenage girl with autism who turns to the offerings of crows she’s befriended to save herself after being victimized by her degenerate neighbor and classmate.

 

The Story

As a teenage girl with autism, Mira lives a solitary existence with her single mother Evelyn at their lake house. Mira’s intense focus on crows and their habits has led to a special bond with them that outweighs her connection to people. When Mira’s neighbor and classmate Victor takes note of her distinct behavior, both at home and the Catholic school they attend, his interest is peaked.

Evelyn warns Mira about Victor, but Mira’s inability to pick up on social cues, along with a draw to him she doesn’t fully understand, makes her ignore Evelyn’s advice. When Victor takes advantage of her innocence and crosses the line, Mira is forced to save herself, finding unexpected salvation in the relationship she’s built with the crows.

What Makes This Story Important

While I was aware female characters with autism are underrepresented in cinema, I still wasn’t prepared for the strong reaction the audition notice for Mira inspired. I immediately received letters from multiple female actors on the autism spectrum thanking me for writing this role. Their heartfelt gratitude was further motivation to tell this story and the portrayal of an individual with autism accurately. While the film is fiction, I believe storytelling is a powerful tool that can empower and humanize individuals that may not have that voice in the real world.

The story is also poignant beyond Mira’s autism, exploring the vulnerable world of teenage girls at the hands of boys who may not have good intentions. Power dynamics and aggression among teenagers is unfortunately all too common. Storytelling as an example can be a source to empower individuals, whether it be a female teenager on the autism spectrum or anyone who doesn’t fit into what society labels the norm.

My hope is that In the Company of Crows can provide insight into a subject that is often misunderstood while at the same time inspiring conversation and further education on autism.

Our Goals

Your Support
Your tax-deductible contribution will directly fund the development, production, distribution, and public outreach of the film. With the goal of raising autism awareness, we hope to share this story with as wide of an audience as possible in the film festival circuit. Any funds raised beyond the budget to cover these costs will be donated to autism research organizations.

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.