Member News & Events

I am uplifted by a very keen article on Chris Drew, Street Artist posted on the Chicago Reader by Deanna Isaacs

Posted: 04/15/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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Today, I am uplifted by a very keen article on Chris Drew, Street Artist, the challenge and also a nod to the film, "Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist." 2014.

online Chicago Reader today! Thanks for all you do! We all make it happen.
a This article by Deanna Isaacs, presents the bigger view of what the challenge was for Chris, and now for all of us, with the new Cultural Plan. read, comment. pass it on! peace through justice.

What will be the legacy of street artist Chris Drew? An eavesdropping law has been ruled unconstitutional, but the city's strict peddling regulations remain on the books.

yes, any ideas for getting it out there appreciated. After 30 year of "making things" this is my first feature documentary (99 min) what a rush! It has amazing music courtesy of Hey Now Records & Production Company from Boston, album by Behind the Sun: Andy Alton & David Mansfield, "Paper Airplane" www.heynow so true to the true story! give it a listen/ also on IMDb now.
thanks for our attention. peace through justice.

Columbia College Journalism Dept gives Nancy Bechtol indie doc film First Pre-Screening. It is REAL now!

Posted: 04/09/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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This makes it real! First pre-screening April 7, 2014, of my first indie feature documentary (99 min) "Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist" at Columbia College Journalism Dept. hosted by Dr Barbara Iverson Invites maxed out intimate screening space, for those who appeared/were interviewed and a few closely related to the Chris and the Issues of the Illinois Eavesdropping Law, including both his lawyers, Kutnick and Weinberg. My dedicated on location fearless crew, Ron Grenko and Hermann Wieland and Tech Supervisor, David Bechtol. In attendance also, one of the composers, for incredible indie music from Behind the Sun, given courtesy for the film by Hey Now Records. ( Behind The Sun is Andy Alton (Chicago) and David Mansfield (Boston)One artist , Jenny Rotten,in the spirit of Chris gave out art patches. Hugs all around! in awe, still working on premiere, festival options and community base, connections.. YES," Faith is taking a step before you see the whole ladder".. all in due time..After 5 years of roller coaster production (shot on 5 different formats including cell phones and DSLR) you know this was really true grass roots indie. . Filmed and made in Chicago independently (in home studio)by Shadow Bechtol Studio on Premier Pro CC.I am an artist. this is a very different type of documentary. socio-political, Experimental, hybrid journalism. and not missing the controversial either..all in time. any PR or interest do contact me. More info? yes, do contact me.
Info: Filmed in hometown, Chicago it is the story of street artist and activist who sold art for $1 and ended up being charged with a Class 1 Felony for audio recording his own arrest! and made in Chicago independently (in home studio) by Shadow Bechtol Studio edited on Adobe Creative Cloud apps, and on Premier Pro CC.
great links on:

any PR, interviews, or interest in the film do contact me.

next step "getting it out there" I love IDA resources and all the info, but now know it is primarily for people in LA. too bad, I could use a boost here on the 3rd Coast, Chicago!
moving forward always. peace through justice!

Indiegogo campaign for "Lost Compassion" a documentary on Mitrice Richardson

Posted: 04/04/2014 by Chip Croft

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Please support our Indiegogo campaign to raise completion funds for our documentary on Mitrice Richardson, titled, "Lost Compassion."

On September 16, 2009 at 10:00 PM, Mitrice Richardson, a lovely 24 year old, African-American, 4.0 college graduate, was arrested at Geoffrey’s restaurant in Malibu by Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, technically for not paying her bill. According to restaurant staff she was “acting crazy.” According to deputies she was sane and sober; yet they had her car towed and took her to jail for ticketable offenses. The arresting officers had her leave her purse, money, and cell phone in her car. She was taken to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s station fourteen miles away.

Her mother called the station before Mitrice got there. Despite assurances that they would keep Mitrice overnight, she was released at 12:30 AM in a very remote location with no car, no purse, no cell phone, no way home. She just walked off into the night. She was seen briefly seven miles down the mountain at about 6:30 AM but then she vanished never to be seen again. Her remains were found eleven months later in a remote Malibu canyon about two miles from where she was last seen.

Immediately Mitrice’s family asked for video footage of her in jail. The captain of the station lied, saying there was no video whatsoever. Four months later it was learned there was footage from four cameras on a tape in the captain’s desk. This highlights the lies, deception and convoluted investigation by the authorities, whom to this day have no clue as to how Mitrice was murdered.

I have been documenting the Mitrice story from ten days after she went missing. I have been working on it continuously ever since. I was deeply involved in the search for Mitrice, following leads, challenging the authorities and helping to keep her story alive in the media. The purpose of Lost Compassion is to initiate a truly proactive investigation into Mitrice Richardson’s death and reach those who may have knowledge that will solve this case. While her case is still technically open, the Sheriffs and LAPD have never conducted anything resembling a thorough investigation. We believe the main reason is that one or more Sheriffs deputies and people connected to them may have been involved in Mitrice’s disappearance and death.

Copyright seminar

Posted: 03/13/2014 by Gary Goldberger

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Gary Goldberger, entertainment attorney and member of IDA, is presenting a seminar on Copyright Law on behalf of the non-profit California Lawyers for the Arts on the evening of March 26, 2014 in Sherman Oaks, CA. More information can be found at

Wild Mind Film Camp

Posted: 02/25/2014 by Stefanie Malone

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Doug Pray and Peter J. Vogt, in association with Northwest Film Forum, are proud to introduce their third annual Wild Mind Film Camp, an 11-day intensive master class for documentary filmmaking in the Washington Cascades. The Camp runs from July 16-27.

Wild Mind Film Camp is a hands-on, in-depth learning experience for ten developing professionals and inspired nonfiction filmmakers who want to dramatically improve their documentary skills and knowledge. Each day features a mix of classes, workshops and live production in a supportive community atmosphere. Amidst the astonishing beauty and fascinating culture of the Methow River Valley, this is a rare and excellent opportunity to work one-on-one with real pros, real equipment and real subjects.

Wild Mind Film Camp's instructors have produced films that led to 14 Sundance premieres, 4 Emmys and an Oscar. The faculty includes directors Doug Pray (HYPE!, SURFWISE, ART & COPY) and Peter Vogt (ICONS AMONG US: JAZZ IN THE PRESENT TENSE), cinematographer Shana Hagan (QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, SHAKESPEARE BEHIND BARS) and screenwriter / story expert John Jacobsen (host of PBS's "The Artist Toolbox").

Please note that Wild Mind Film Camp is not designed as a purely technical workshop, nor is it a film-industry career seminar; it's about storytelling in documentary films and developing the artistry, sensitivity and skills to do it well.

To apply, visit: Application deadline is March 15.

Faith DeVeaux Discusses Upcoming WWII Documentary and Vietnam Book in Radio Interviews

Posted: 02/21/2014 by Faith DeVeaux

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Faith DeVeaux, author of When Duty Calls and writer/producer/director of the upcoming WWII documentary Double Victory: Two Warriors in the Fight for Civil Rights During WWII, will be discussing both works on the next broadcast of Afternoon Tea with Mama Jean.

The show will be aired on Sat Feb 22, 2 PM Eastern and Sun Feb 23, 8 AM Eastern

on the Radio Ear Network
and also through the app

Previous interviews:

Carry On Harry (Faith is #7 on playlist)

Synchronicity with Jane Hernishin 6/8/2012

WordThirst Literary Journal with Ashea Goldson 4/19/2012

DRYLAND premieres at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Feb. 22, 2014

Posted: 02/12/2014 by Sue Arbuthnot

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Directors Sue Arbuthnot and Richard Wilhelm announce the World Premiere of their feature documentary "Dryland" at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at the Historic Wilma Theater in Missoula, MT. "Dryland" offers a portrait of a rural town in transition through the eyes of a young man pursuing his dream. Filmed over ten years, "Dryland" follows Josh, whose desire to remain on his family farm parallels his quest to win the rambunctious Lind Combine Demolition Derby. "Dryland" is called "bittersweet and beautiful" by Modern Farmer Magazine, and described by Jennifer Fahy of Farm Aid as "both a raucous celebration of the culture of agriculture and an honest look at the reality of family farming. The question at its premise, whether the family farm can sustain the next generation, is a question faced all over this country and one that is crucial to the future of the food system and our nation." We are especially proud of the film's original score by Mark Orton, who just scored the Academy-Award nominated "Nebraska", as well as "The Real Dirt on Farmer John," "The Good Girl," and "Sweet Land." John Mellencamp, Farm Aid founder, donated a song to the film as well. Director Sue Arbuthnot will appear on a panel discussion at Big Sky, "The Documentary Career: Is Documentary Filmmaking Sustainable?" moderated by IDA Education Director Ken Jacobson.

Tags: screenings  
Indie Feature completed: "Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist" - Chicago

Posted: 02/09/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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My first Independent Feature Documentary is now completed. Amazing journey which started with me agreeing to "walk the path" with Chris Drew. Myself and 2 crew/friends Ron Grenko and Hermann Wieland, came forward to document his challenge for First Amendment Rights. It is one of the most challenging things I have ever done. Shot in 5 different formats over the years 2002-2012. ©2014 TRT:99 min colour/bw " Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist" Shot on location downtown in Chicago. A documentary in definition a hybrid in visual dialogue. (In a presentation of a short clip of the film in progress, last April to Columbia College Journalism students, I was asked if it was "journalism" a "documentary" or an "art movie" - good question!) The film contains 17 interviews with people who knew him well, including the 2 pro bono attorneys Mark Weinberg and then for the criminal defense, Josh Kutnick who defended Chris in the 2.5 year court case, his wife, Deborah and Il State Representative,Elaine Nekritz, and friends and supporters, community from Occupy Chicago and the American Indian Center where the nonprofit, Uptown Multi-Cultural Arts Center resided. Footage includes 2002-2007 Anti-War Marches in the streets of Chicago, which Chris participated. Historical setting and depth of the times we lived. As an artist, cinematographer and editor, producer of the film, I produced in my studio, Shadow Bechtol Studio with the Technical Supervisor, my husband, David Bechtol. The Music is courtesy of Hey Now Records, Behind the Sun, Andy Alton & David Mansfield. It is truly the heartbeat of the film.

brief synopsis: Chris Drew, artist and activist, was downtown Chicago, selling Art for $1 to protest the Chicago Peddler's Ordinance. He was arrested, but those charges were dropped and replaced surprisingly with Class One Felony Eavesdropping Charges, which carried 4-15 years in prison if convicted. The Illinois Eavesdropping Law was declared Unconstitutional! Press was all over it, Local, nationwide and even international, as well as social media. this is a true story.

Currently, I am in the process of Release of the film, and all that goes with that. Many decisions forthcoming, I will keep you posted. Quite another journey.. I welcome your input and sage advice..thanks!

THE LAST CLINIC: Please support a feature length documentary about Mississippi's last abortion clinic – Now live on Indiegogo!

Posted: 01/30/2014 by Rebecca Crow

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In America's most recent war on reproductive health care, tensions are raging in the battle over Mississippi's last abortion clinic. The Last Clinic is a film that documents this battle and the potential effects that could reverberate nationwide.

It is the story of the women in Mississippi who are in need of reproductive health services and often caught in the battle over access to care. It’s the story of the people determined to end abortion in Mississippi and those who are desperately working to keep the last clinic open.

Mississippi is one of 5 states with a sole abortion clinic and due to a pending lawsuit, it is also the only state within those five states that have an imminent threat of closure. If the clinic closes there will be no option for women in Mississippi to receive an abortion in their state.

If Mississippi successfully blocks access to abortion it will set a precedent for other states to do the same. It gets more and more urgent to tell the stories of the women affected by this struggle every day.

We are excited to announce the launch of our Indiegogo campaign:

Please visit our page and spread the word. Be a part of making this film become a reality!

Thank you!!

Where They Raced - Screening

Posted: 01/28/2014 by Harry Pallenberg

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The award winning documentary film WHERE THEY RACED: Speed Demons in the City of Angels will be screening on Sunday Feb. 9th at 1:00pm at one of the coolest museums in Los Angeles - the Automobile Driving Museum. What sets this museum apart is that they actually take you out for a ride in one of their vinatge cars... so come early and take a spin. The cars scheduled to be available include a 1935 Chrysler Airflow, a '36 Packard Phaeton and a 1941 Cadillac Convertible.

We'll also be at The Petersen on Feb. 26th. More info, trailers and so on here: