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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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“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.
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.
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.
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.
- Demystify stigma around autism
- Support autism research
- Increase understanding and acceptance of individuals on the spectrum
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.
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.