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100th year of the TT racers on the Isle of Man. The documentary covers the build up to the famous race, the tourism to the Island and the future of the TT. Interviews with include Geoff Corkish MBE MHK, Allan Fielding and many more…


By Bryan Newbury
February 26, 2007

Last month Showtime announced that it would air six episodes of a television adaptation of WBEZ’s acclaimed This American Life. Regular listeners will hardly miss a beat, as the screen version is a nearly identical experience right down to host Ira Glass’ herky jerky cadence now with visuals! On second thought, they’ll miss a number of beats along with… Iraglass…. on…. Thisamericanlife… Act II. But these are the out of the pocket rhythms to which they’ll be accustomed.

Viewing episodes one through four, it is quite clear that Glass and Co. have retained complete creative control. The format is instantly recognizable, and the single detraction is Glass narrating from a desk with Walter Winchell microphone in various locales. Retaining the geek chic of the show seems to be nonnegotiable. Fans of the show will no doubt be pleased. Whether it will play in Pittsburgh is yet to be seen.

For those not acquainted with the somber singing of Garrison Keillor or the admonitions of the brothers Magliozzi not to drive like them, a little background. Since 1995, This American Life has brought listeners engaging and offbeat stories of not-so-regular regular Americans. The subjects range from quirky to delusional. Glass serves as the personality, along with a cast of sidepeople that all seem to share what can only be described as an urban privilege aesthetic. He has enough of a presence of personality to keep each program consistent and coherent, though that choppy manner of speech (presumably to avoid bridge words such as “like/you know”) can be trifling. It is singular, and it places Glass in the category of a postmodern Rod Serling, guiding us through short stories where the subjects are the stars.

About those subjects. It is difficult, especially with the knowing irony that serves as constant companion in the show, to judge whether these strange everymen whose stories fill This American Life are being looked at with wonder or derision. The answer seems to be a combination of both. In four 30 minute episodes, viewers are treated to a rancher so bereaved by the loss of his bull that he clones him with nightmarish consequences; a Vermont band who is pranked into a dream gig; a retiree focused on screening her first short subject at Sundance; and, among others, a woman who spent her youth getting out from under the yoke of her strict Mormon upbringing only to return to Utah because her boyfriend becomes iconic to the father as a result of his striking resemblance to Jesus.

One can’t accuse the show of lacking imagination or the ability to captivate. Glass himself turns out to be a sympathetic interviewer, and this no doubt elicits more information from the show’s subjects. There is still that nagging feeling that despite such empathy for outsiders, the subjects are much like Ghosts of Pasha: they aren’t quite in on the joke, good natured though it may be. The dichotomy necessitates ambivalence in the listener or viewer. These people are far from commonplace, but they are common. In this respect, all are tragicomic. If This American Life can be accused of one principle weakness, it is that they focus more on the comic than tragic in their role as observer.

Fortunately, it will be easy to decide if the show is for you. Just tune in on public radio (it is broadcast on most local stations) and listen for a few weeks. One of three options will present itself. You’ll tune in to Showtime because you love it, you’ll throw your radio out of the kitchen window because you don’t love it so much, or you’ll like it, tune in, and then discover that you’re not gaining a whole lot by watching rather than listening to it. Indeed, you’re losing a half hour. Even if option three is your choice, it is advisable to stick it out through episodes three and four, whose visual contributions add much to the narrative.

It would be fair to say that This American Life isn’t destined for a long television run. Part of the show’s success has been its hipper-than-thou stance, which plays well to selective public radio audiences. This attribute makes it hard to see a broad audience. It isn’t so much that such shows are “too smart” for the viewing public… just that they tend to tell you “I’m pretty smart” over and over. Perceptive viewers will likely sense some condescension. It is not beyond consideration that the engaging characters who fill the program will be enough to see past that. Judging from the initial episodes, Showtime will be enjoying a loyal following for the show… even if… it… isn’tforeveryone.


This American Life, Episodes 1-4

Showtime & Chicago Public Radio


An Inconvenient Truth (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production
Davis Guggenheim

The Blood of Yingzhou District
A Thomas Lennon Films Production
Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon


Bar-Ilan University Prof. Amos Kloner, the Jerusalem District archeologist who officially oversaw the work at the tomb in 1980 and has published detailed findings on its contents, on Saturday night dismissed the claims. “It makes a great story for a TV film,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “But it’s impossible. It’s nonsense.”

Kloner, who said he was interviewed for the new film but has not seen it, said the names found on the ossuaries were common, and the fact that such apparently resonant names had been found together was of no significance. He added that “Jesus son of Joseph” inscriptions had been found on several other ossuaries over the years.

“There is no likelihood that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb,” Kloner said. “They were a Galilee family with no ties in Jerusalem. The Talpiot tomb belonged to a middle-class family from the 1st century CE.”

Full article at The Jerusalem Post


The cave in which Jesus Christ was buried has been found in Jerusalem, claim the makers of a new documentary film.

If it proves true, the discovery, which will be revealed at a press conference in New York Monday, could shake up the Christian world as one of the most significant archeological finds in history.

The coffins which, according to the filmmakers held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother Mary and Mary Magdalene will be displayed for the first timeon Monday in New York.

Jointly produced by Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici and Oscar winning director James Cameron, the film tells the exciting and tortuous story of the archeological discovery.

The story starts in 1980 in Jerusalem’s Talpiyot neighborhood, with the discovery of a 2,000 year old cave containing ten coffins. Six of the ten coffins were carved with inscriptions reading the names: Jesua son of Joseph, Mary, Mary, Matthew, Jofa (Joseph, identified as Jesus’ brother), Judah son of Jesua (Jesus’ son – the filmmakers claim).

Full article by Ariella Ringel-Hoffman at YnetNews.


Am working on a documentary focusing on election fraud and looking for a good Publicist. Any recommendations?


Discovery on the Shroud of Turin and the Ark of the Covenant to be released in a forthcoming documentary and book.

In March 2007 the Truth about the Shroud of Turin and the Ark of the Covenant will be Revealed as one man’s search uncovers the ancient truth in a tale as exciting as Raiders of the Lost Ark…

Following years of painstaking research and thousands of miles travelling across the globe international best selling author, Philip Gardiner, will finally reveal how the Shroud was made, whose image it portrays and its age. In addition Gardiner will reveal the links between it, the Ark of the Covenant and Mary herself.

The startling revelations will be shown in both a book and DVD documentary entitled The Ark, The Shroud and Mary due out at the end of March [see trailer here]. The book will be published by the USA publishing house New Page books who last year released Gardiner’s Gnosis: The Secret of Solomon’s Temple Revealed which went best seller for them and has catapulted Gardiner onto the world stage with over 400 radio interviews and appearing on TV, newspapers and general media. The DVD will be released at the same time world-wide by Reality Films part of the world’s largest independent entertainment companies, Reality Entertainment. Co-produced by Gardiner and the European wing of Reality,, the production sees Gardiner travel the globe to uncover the whereabouts of the Ark and much more. From Egypt, Ethiopia and India to Portugal, France and Rome, Gardiner unravels a mysterious thread.

The author then finds himself engulfed in a world of secret societies with clandestine meetings in far-off lands and discovers an ancient truth held sacred by the brotherhood for millennia. One author who has watched the film and read the book in advance said:

“A suspense-filled, fact-packed adventure story…an epigrammatic tale that needs to be told to the whole wide world…clearly the next blockbuster movie sequel in the ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ series.” Dr. J. J. Harper, author, Tranceformers: Shamans of the 21st Century

Nobody has gone to such depths to uncover the truth and nobody has come under such a dangerous situation. Is this is the final story in the Ark, the Shroud and Mary?

In April and May Gardiner will be appearing on radio and TV across the USA and world. In June Philip Gardiner will be flying to Australia to speak at the International and Scientific Symposium ( as well as appearing on TV, radio and at book signings. On October 13th he will be speaking at a major Templar event in Paris commemorating the beginning of the downfall of the Knights Templar (see and in November he will be at Chet Snow’s event in Arizona.

To book Gardiner for radio, TV or other media/book signing events, or for articles for magazines etc we strongly advise you contact us as soon as possible because Gardiner is already being booked up and we only have limited dates available.

For more information see,,,

Contact: Michael Pralin at for press packs, bookings etc and for first edition signed copies of the book.

Musical underscoring for the documentary was produced by the highly acclaimed new band Soul Path (see


The familiar and disturbing pictures of torture at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison raise many troubling questions: How did torture become an accepted practice at Abu Ghraib? Did U.S. government policies make it possible? How much damage has the aftermath of Abu Ghraib had on America’s credibility as a defender of freedom and human rights around the world? Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy looks beyond the headlines to investigate the psychological and political context in which torture occurred. Premieres Thursday, February 22 at 9:30pm on HBO.


DVD Releases February 20, 2007

Dixie Chicks: Shut Up & SingReviewPurchase at – Shut Up & Sing finds two-time Academy Award winner Barbara Kopple (American Dream) and co-director Cecilia Peck following the lives and career developments of the Dixie Chicks in the wake of singer Natalie Maines’ denunciation of the Iraq war and President Bush in 2003. The film returns to the pivotal moment in which Maines, speaking to a London audience, raised opposition to America’s invasion of Iraq, resulting in a backlash in America. The Chicks, as one sees, have had little peace of mind since then, banned from country music stations, picketed at concerts, and targeted by death threats. Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Robison respond to the extensive and sometimes scary criticism they’ve faced, though their latest music, including a song called “Not Ready to Make Nice,” also speaks for itself. Kopple and Peck spend a lot of time with the band on a human level as well, in homes and dressing rooms and recording studios.

American HardcoreReviewPurchase at – The history of hardcore punk–the tougher, faster, and more politically minded stepchild of the ’70s punk movement that arose in the ’80s–is examined in exuberant detail in Paul Rachman’s documentary American Hardcore. Rachman’s cameras careen across the landscape of the U.S. to trace the movement’s beginnings in cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and New York, and cherrypicks interviews with the musicians that helped shape its sound and impact, including Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn of Black Flag, H.R. (frontman for the highly influential, all-African American outfit Bad Brains), Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat (and now Fugazi), and many others. Hardcore’s violent reaction against the Reagan administration and the complacent mindset of middle-class America is also detailed in countless performance footage clips and poster-art reproductions, which do much to dismiss the popular opinion of hardcore as nothing more than mindless hooliganism. Some fans may find the omission of certain bands a considerable oversight (San Francisco’s lethally satirical Dead Kennedys are not mentioned only in passing), but for most punk devotees, American Hardcore will be vital and essential viewing.

Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel PearlReviewPurchase at – The Journalist and the Jihadi – The Murder of Daniel Pearl Narrated by CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, this 80 minute film tracks the parallel lives of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and British-born jihadi Omar Sheikh. Both men were passionate, intelligent individuals from privileged backgrounds, and both were sympathetic to the plight of Muslims around the world, though Pearl was Jewish. With the rise of Islamic militancy in the 1990s, however the two men?s paths diverged; in 2002, those paths collided when Sheikh executed cunning con game that ended in Pearl?s headline-making kidnapping and murder in Pakistan ? and the remorseless Sheikh?s arrest under mysterious circumstances.

disinfo.conReviewPurchase at – You say you want a revolution? If your world-view is left of center, you challenge cultural cognoscenti and the establishment at every turn and really wonder who the “they” is in “that’s what they say,” then turn on, tune in and drop out to the now-legendary Disinfo.Con. Dubbed by The New York Times as “Cyberpalooza”, Disinfo.Con was a revolutionary 21st-century gathering of the greatest countercultural minds in New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom in the Year 2000. Now, The Disinformation Company proudly offers viewing audiences of all walks the opportunity to experience this singular, once-in-a-lifetime event from the comforts of home with DISINFO.CON.


When: Februrary 2007
Where: Shahbagh, Bangladesh
What: A total of 33 selected documentaries, made by Bangladeshi documentary filmmakers during the years 2005 and 2006, will be screened during the festival. The four-day festival organised by Bangladesh Documentary Council, also includes a seminar and publications.  The festival aims at promoting the documentary film culture in Bagladesh.


The Department of Media Studies at The New School is now accepting applications for its fall 2007 Documentary Media Studies certificate program. Launched in September 2006, this one-year intensive program is designed for college graduates and working professionals interested in hands-on documentary filmmaking. Working closely with faculty and visiting filmmakers like D.A. Pennebaker and Peter Davis, students are encouraged to use the documentary medium to create works of social and political significance.

The program offers a select group of students the unique opportunity to learn about documentary history, theory and video and film production in the heart of New York City. The curriculum culminates with a 30-minute individual documentary, which each student films and edits over the course of the program. Upon completion, students may apply their credits toward a master’s degree in media studies at The New School — the largest media studies MA program in the country — or use their skills to enter the world of professional documentary filmmaking.

For more information about this exciting opportunity, please visit or call 212.229.5630.


A biting documentary about the twilight years of Yves Saint Laurent’s haute couture fashion house screened at the Berlin Film Festival after a court blocked its release in France.

The designer, who is credited with putting women in tuxedos, peacoats and sheer chiffon blouses, is losing his sharp eye and depends on his helpers who treat him like a child.

After the film was completed in 2001, Berge went to court in France and managed to prevent its commercial distribution. Meyrou was also ordered to pay a fine.

The director’s previous films includes gritty documentaries about apartheid and the gay world.

He said in a press statement here that he wanted to show the secret life of Saint Laurent with the film which was originally called “5 Avenue Manceau” after the Paris address of the fashion house.

“He is a unique artist whose personality and life are, however, a mystery.”

In the end only Loulou de la Falaise, the designer’s discreet long-time collaborator, and the clothes themselves emerge from the picture unscathed.

The documentary is screening in the Panorama fringe section of the 57th Berlinale which runs until Sunday.

Read the complete article at Breitbart.


When: February 23-26, 2007
Where: Adelaide, Australia
What: Conference offers a mix of classes, panels and a marketplace. Social events and informal meetings offer networking opportunities. Filmmakers can apply for the pitching forums and submit documentaries to the videotheque.


When: February 28-March 8, 2007
Where: Prauge, Czech Republic
What: One World has many missions that shape the content of their festival; they are broad and fairly inclusive.  Activist and investigative works are actively encourage, and are viewed along side other documentaries.  One World is involved in year around outreach that involves dealing with issues in large part with the documentary medium.


When: February 23-March 3, 2007
Where: Pamplona, Spain
What: The Festival is open to all non-fiction audiovisual forms, such as author’s documentaries, creation documentaries, experimental essays, diary films or works created using home, orphan or recycled materials.  Punto de Vista aims to be a meeting point for all documentary film makers who, in a free and experimental way, explore the cinema ability for recording time.


THE DIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT FUND (DDF) provides up to $15,000 in research and development funding for both seasoned and emerging producers of color. From writing a script to creating a trailer, DDF cultivates new projects destined for Public Television that are in the early stages of development. Producers must identify themselves as minority producers belonging to one or more of the following communities of color: African American, Latino/Latina, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Native American/Native Alaskan, or Arab American. Deadline: March 30, 2007. Guidelines and applications at Questions? Call Kathryn Washington (415) 356-8383 x258;

FUNDING FOR INDIE PRODUCTIONS: LINKING INDEPENDENTS AND CO-PRODUCING STATIONS (LINCS) from Independent Television Service (ITVS) provides completion funding in the form of matching funds up to $100,000 for collaborations between public TV stations and indie producers. Projects must already be in production as evidenced by a work-in-progress tape of at least five minutes and all genres are eligible, including documentary, fiction, animation and innovative combinations. Only single shows of standard broadcast length (26:40 or 56:40) are eligible – no series. Programs should stimulate civic discourse and find innovative ways to explore regional, cultural, political, social or economic issues. Indie film and videomakers are encouraged to seek collaborations with their local public TV stations. Deadline: May 24, 2007. Guidelines and applications at Questions? Call Rod Minott (415) 356-8383 x270;

FUNDING FOR INDIE PRODUCTIONS: ITVS OPEN CALL provides completion funding for programs that are already in production. It is our largest funding initiative with two funding rounds per year.  There is no minimum or maximum funding amount. Producers may apply with single shows in any genre (fiction, documentary, animation, experimental). Documentary producers must submit a work-in-progress tape of at least five minutes , and a previously completed documentary work. Producers of fiction or animation projects must submit a sample of a previous fiction/animation project and a complete script for the current project. Applicants must be independent producers with previous film or TV production experience in a principal role (i.e., director, producer, co-director, or co-producer). Producers must be U.S Citizens, or legal resident; students and employees of broadcast organizations are not eligible. Open Call Round 2 deadline: July 13, 2007. Guidelines and applications at Questions? Call Karim Ahmad (415) 356-8383 x259;


DVD Releases Feburary 13, 2007

The U.S. vs John LennonReview by Bryan NewburyReview yourselfPurchase at – Though certain reviewers have called comparisons to the antiwar movement during the Nixon administration to that of today’s tumult, one would need blinders fitted for a thoroughbred to avoid obvious parallels. The U.S. vs. John Lennon begins with an archetypal image of the scene in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. A concert is being held for jailed MC5 manager and marijuana legalization activist John Sinclair. Sinclair’s offense? Offering two joints to an undercover agent. His sentence? Ten years maximum security.

Enter a cast of fellow musicians and activists. At center stage is John Lennon, armed with National Resophonic guitar and his wife Yoko. We are to find out that the simple act of singing on Sinclair’s behalf coincided with the Michigan Supreme Court summarily overturning the conviction they’d recently upheld. Maybe there’s something to this whole rock ‘n roll thing.

The U.S. vs. John Lennon follows this scene with a bit of exposition. Much of it isn’t altogether necessary to fans of Lennon. For that matter, fans of popular culture in the second half of the twentieth century. It does, however, serve to build the foundation for a narrative pacing that is commendable in documentary filmmaking.

So Goes The NationReviewPurchase at – As John Kerry presidential campaign volunteer Miles Gerety puts it, “As goes Ohio, so goes the nation.” Directors Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern, who were behind The Year of the Yao (about NBA superstar Yao Ming), attempt to get a handle on the 2004 presidential election by focusing on this swing state in the weeks before the big day. Senator Kerry and President George W. Bush staffers recount their experiences in trying to win the White House. Speakers include everyone from door-to-door campaigners to Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and RNC chairman Ed Gillespie. Even some of Kerry’s most dedicated followers admit that there were times their man let them down, like his failure to take a more aggressive stance against the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. On the other hand, at least one Bush staffer feels that her candidate made too big a deal about same-sex marriage. As longtime Republican Leslie Ghiz remarks about his campaign promises, “Notice there’s [been] no marriage amendment.”

F**KReviewPurchase at – This challenging and provocative documentary takes a look on all sides of the infamous F-word. Its taboo,obscene and controversial, yet somehow seems to permeate every single aspect of our culture-from Hollywood, to the schoolyard to the Senate floor in Washington D.C. It’s the word at the very center of the debate on Free Speech – and everyone seems to have an opinion. F*** will exam how the word is impacting our world today thru interviews, film and television clips, music, and original animation by Oscar nominee Bill Plympton. Scholars and linguists will examine the long history of f***. Comedians, actors, and writers who have charted and popularized the upward course of f*** will be heard from, often while defending the Constitutional Right of Free Speech, all the way to the Supreme Court. F*** will visit with those who actually f*** for a living. We’ll hear from advocates who oppose f*** and it’s infringement into our everyday lives. We’ll watch some of the most famous and infamous film and television clips that feature f***, we’ll hear some of the most famous f***s ever uttered and we’ll feel the impact of f*** on our everyday lives.


When: May 13-15, 2007
Where: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
What:Arab broadcast journalists and other individuals who have a specific idea for a documentary film, have until March 15 to apply for a workshop to be held in Dubai from May 13 to 15.  The “Arabic Documentary Workshop” (ADW2007), is organized by Al-Arabiya Satellite channel and supervised by O3 Productions Company.  A total of 25 applicants will be selected to attend the all-expenses paid workshop. Participants will present their proposals to a selection committee and five proposals will be chosen to be produced by the Arabic news channel.

Documentary proposals can be submitted by email in either Arabic or English. Organizers will provide funding and supervision for the five winning proposals that will eventually be broadcast on Al-Arabiya. A maximum of three proposals can be submitted by each applicant. For more information or to apply, contact


The public premiere of this film was at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  Documentary Film .Net’s Bryan Newbury attended the premiere, and you can read his Fall from Grace review here.  The film is continuing on to the film festival circuit with a high profile showing at SXSW in March.

News on the showing at SXSW reported by KC infoZine.

“Fall From Grace,” a film created by University of Kansas senior K. Ryan Jones, has been selected for screening at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas.

The announcement of the premiere of Jones’ documentary about the Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka was made Feb. 6 in Austin. The screening times for the film will be announced Feb. 15.

The film festival, which attracts nearly 5,000 people, takes place March 9-17. Included during the festival are screenings, panels, workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions for new filmmakers. Some of the major guests for the 2007 festival are directors Morgan Spurlock, Robert Rodriguez and Richard Linklater.

“Fall From Grace” started in fall 2005 as a project for a class taught by Matt Jacobson, associate professor of theatre and film. Jones continued working on the documentary during the spring 2006 semester when he wasn’t in class or working. He credits Jacobson and Kevin Willmott, associate professor of theatre and film, for providing advice and assistance. The original cut, completed in May, won the 2005-06 Tensie Award, given by the Department of Theatre and Film, for Best Of Show. For the next few months, Jones shot additional footage and re-edited the film before it was first shown in November at the Kansas Union.



Academy Award-nominated “After the Wedding” to kick off

10th anniversary Festival

SONOMA, Calif. (February 1, 2007) – The 10th Anniversary Sonoma Valley Film Festival (SVFF) today announced its first official film selection, After the Wedding, which will also play as opening night film for the 2007 Festival. This acclaimed new Danish film has just been nominated for a 2007 Academy Award® for Best Foreign Film.

A second film confirmed for SVFF, the short film Recycled Life, has also been tapped for an Oscar, indicating that this intimate festival set in the heart of wine country is quickly becoming a major player in the national film acquisitions circuit. Additional film selections will be announced in the coming weeks.

“This year’s selection of films is quickly shaping up to be our most exciting program in our ten year history,” said SVFF Executive Director Marc Lhormer. “Our mission is to support and nurture talented filmmakers — in an environment of incredible indulgence and relaxed interaction between audience and artist. We are thrilled to showcase Susanne Bier’s explosive follow-up to her film Brothers, which touched audiences so deeply during our 2005 festival.”

After the critically acclaimed and award-winning Brothers, Susanne Bier now presents the drama After the Wedding – an intense story about family. Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale) plays Jacob who works at an orphanage in India, and this film follows him on a gripping journey back to his home in Denmark where he reencounters his first love.

“The Sonoma Valley Film Festival is an ideal venue to showcase our new film,” said Susanne Bier, director of After the Wedding. “This unique film festival is known for being an incredible place for independent filmmakers to showcase their work, with strong industry attendance and passionate audiences.”

Also selected for the 10th anniversary film festival is Recycled Life, directed by Leslie Iwerks. The Academy Award-nominated short film is a dramatic and touching story of thousands of adults, children, and generations of families who have been living and working over the last sixty years in the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, the largest and most toxic landfill in Central America.

Set in the heart of California’s historic and lush Wine Country, named one of America’s “Top Ten Best Vacation Film Festivals,” and called a “cinematic magic carpet ride” by IFC News, the Sonoma Valley Film Festival prides itself on providing every filmmaker unique opportunities to mingle with breakthrough artists and industry leaders in one of the most intimate, unpretentious and indulgent settings in the world.

Sponsored by Entertainment Weekly and FOOD & WINE magazines, the Sonoma Valley Film Festival offers all of the excitement, media exposure and stars of larger festivals without the hectic atmosphere or distracting handlers.

The Festival will also celebrate its special 10th Anniversary event in 2007 with a star-studded tribute to two-time Academy Award®-winning director John Lasseter. This special evening will feature a look back at Mr. Lasseter’s groundbreaking career, from visionary independent to entertainment industry powerhouse as the world’s most popular cinematic storyteller. The evening will also feature guest appearances and toasts from Mr. Lasseter’s friends and creative collaborators, including many of Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, writers, directors and industry leaders.

To recognize outstanding achievements in filmmaking, films selected for competition at the Sonoma Valley Film Festival have the chance to win over $10,000 in cash and prizes for prestigious jury and audience awards. Prize packages, which continue to be enhanced and enriched, will grow as the Festival approaches. Sonoma presents over 75 independent films annually, including feature length narratives, documentaries, shorts, and student films.

For more information or to book festival passes, visit


When: February 14-21, 2007
Where: Missoula, Montana
What:The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival opens Thursday, February 15 at Missoula’s Wilma Theatre for the first of seven consecutive days and nights of world-class documentary cinema. The fourth annual event boasts 100 films from 32 countries, including 30 world and North American premieres. In addition to screenings, the festival includes panel discussions, Q&A sessions with dozens of filmmakers, as well as VIP events, receptions and parties.  Since its 2004 debut, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival has grown into an internationally-recognized venue for showcasing  innovative, contemporary, and classic works of documentary film.


“The perfect place to start your career as a producer of documentaries.”
Norm Hacker

The authors of The Documentary Film Makers Handbook and the best selling Guerilla Film Makers Handbook are offering their seminar this March. Learn how to get your documentary MADE, how to avoid the pitfalls of the industry and how to save time money and gray hairs with this intensive two day course.

Topics include: refining your concept, finding financing, legal issues, production and post, film
festivals survival, standard and alternative distribution and sales and voluntary workshoping your
idea to help pinpoint specific issues and answers.

Genevieve Jolliffe and Andrew Zinnes are working filmmakers who have worked in both the narrative and documentary world for nearly two decades! Their docs have been seen on the MTV, PBS, BBC, ITV and Channel 4.

When: March 10 & 11th, 10AM-6P
Where: The Heart Touch Project, 3400 Airport Avenue, Suite #42, Santa Monica, CA 90405.

Go to or call 310-941-2168 for more information and to sign up!

“Andrew and Genevieve shared their passion and knowledge and inspired me to pursue my film.” Chris Tarango


This provocative new documentary by Gil Karni goes behind the ghetto walls of the Israeli city of Ramlah to bring us a year in the life of budding Palestinian hip-hop star Sameh Zakout, a.k.a. Saz. In this year we will see him transform from a young unknown rap singer into an international success, his youthful quest for identity transformed into the voice of a struggling nation. The film also focuses on his relationship with his aging grandfather, an Israeli-Arab communist and a refugee of the 1948 war. Their conversations reveal their differing ideologies: “I don’t see my Palestine being built by blood,” says Saz. “It should be built by negotiations, not bombings. My bullets are my rhymes. My M-16 is my microphone.”

Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “a unique portrait of Arab life inside Israel,” “SAZ” is distributed by Choices, Inc .The DVD’s special features include bonus audio tracks from Saz’s new upcoming album, “Min Yum,” and a lesson plan/guidebook for educators. The film is available online at


Here’s the deal. This guy, who at the time I considered a friend told me this story of how his family entered this country. He asked me would I help him do a doc on. I said okay, my company will produce it and you can direct it. Well of course I did my research on the subject first. It turns out it was beyond the story of his family but involves millions. So I work the treatment based on the vast amount of people it effected. My company put up all the funds and secure venture capital as well. During filming my friend at the time was interested more in having a fun while on the trip than the subject at hand. Between trips he was no where to be found. I barely heard from him. As a producer I keep the ball rolling to complete the film. During the editing stage my editor, who was my friend at the time decided he wanted a writting credit but did no writting. I said okay we are all family maybe this could be our big break. Later he decided to give the footage to the guy that told me about his family and convinced him to take it as his own and run. Then I get legal paperwork giving him all the credit (director, producer, writer, etc.) and my editor a co-producer credit and me a a co-producer credit. Take in mind I payed my editor 24k and raised over 65k for the doc. This guy never dropped a dime. Now he has the finished product with a few re-edits by my editor. They have entered into film fest with the footage I shot, the music I secured by a grammy award winning artist and the interviews I secured. He does not have releases on anything.

Now he wants me to sigh this contract and walk away, sharing a small percentage and having no say so.

I ask you… Has anyone been through this? What would you do?


Choices, Inc. is a specialty distributor of quality documentaries, educational programming, and independent feature films. We currently are seeking completed documentaries on any subject for consideration for distribution.

To learn more about our company, please visit our website or email us at