Member News & Events

New Liberia Documentary sheds light on troubled country

Posted: 08/16/2014 by John Grimshaw

or register to post comments.

New Democracy Productions has completed the short documentary "Liberia: Emerging from the Shadows?" which was shot in September, 2013. This film provides a glimpse into the daily struggles and triumphs of the Liberian people, following decades of civil war, a complete breakdown of basic services, infrastructure and political turmoil.

NDP is providing this film to view on our website and partnering with Direct Relief, who is currently providing medical and humanitarian supplies to Liberia during this current Ebola crisis. Please see the link for more information on the film and details about Direct Relief's efforts in West Africa. Liberia: Emerging from the Shadows?

Intentional Filmmaking class Discount Code

Posted: 08/04/2014 by Vidyut Latay

or register to post comments.

At From The Heart Productions, we know how frustrating it is for flimmakers to get funding. They are imaginative artists who can create fantastic stories, but lack the knowledge and confidence to navigate the world of film finance. Some lose faith in their projects and themselves in the process. Many give up.

Intentional Filmmaking Class

That is why we created the Intentional Filmmaking Class. They are unique 5 month courses that combine film funding mentoring using goals and intentional techniques to manifest money for their projects. It gives filmmakers the tools and confidence they need to get their films funded.

We work to remove any blocks you may have about money. We listen to audios and discuss how powerful the mind is and how to use it for creating and funding your film.

Now, in its 3rd year, it has guided producers, writers, and directors on not only on how to find money, but it’s taught them how to get it for their films.

Discount for your members

Your organization and its members have been great supporters of our non-profit. In appreciation, we’d like to offer you a discount for this class.

The regular price of the class $665, but your members can enroll for just $495 by Sept 1st. Early enrollment discount by that date is $555, but your members can save an extra $60 off by entering this code IDA when they purchase the class.

There is a Trailblazer Class for documentary filmmakers taught by Carole Dean, the author of “The Art of Film Funding”. For the Mastermind Class for feature filmmakers, she is joined by Tom Malloy, the author of “Bankroll II, A New Approach to Financing Feature Films”.

Here’s what’s included in the class.

· 5 one-on-one consultations (one each month) with Carole Dean (A $725 Value if purchased separately)

· 10 class meetings (two each month) for education and we share ideas and successes.

· 6 month goal planning with action list targeted to raise money for your project.

· Documentary filmmakers will get help writing their proposals with emphasis on what is needed to win grants and get donations.

· Fine tuning your trailer to bring in money. We’ve seen thousands over the years that have been submitted to the Roy W. Dean Grant. We know what works and what doesn’t.

· Perfecting your pitch. You may tell a great story, but will it attract investors? We will make sure it will.

· We have a 10 page outline for you on funding, marketing, and distributing your film. We give you the template and help you complete it. This becomes a major item to close donors.

· How to run a successful crowdfunding campaign. From The Heart has is partnered with Indiegogo and raised over $1 million to date for over 200 films. We give you additional classes for crowdfunding and reveal the myths that you need to overcome to raise money.

· We teach funding parties, how to do it and be successful.

· How to set up one- on- one meetings.

· How to make an “ask” for money.

· How to create successful letter writing campaigns

· Finding your market, connecting to your audience and entertaining them while producing the film.

You will have a strong foundation for funding after 5 months of training. You will know who your market is and how to reach them. You will feel confident that you can raise the money for your film. You will have an excellent proposal, trailer, pitch and be confident about how special you are and your film.

Please let the members of your organization know about this class and the special discount offered.

If you or your members would like to know more about the class or to join our class, please have them to

They can also call Carole Dean at 805-984-0098

Tags: Education  
VIVA VERDI! Documentary Launches "Second Phase Production" Indiegogo Campaign

Posted: 07/31/2014 by Christine La Monte

or register to post comments.

VIVA VERDI!Documentary on Giuseppe Verdi's Casa Verdi, the Inspiration Behind Dustin Hoffman's QUARTET Launches Indiegogo “Second Phase Production” Campaign

Joining in the celebration of renowned opera composer Giuseppe Verdi’s Bicentennial year, VIVA VERDI!’s award-winning filmmakers, director Yvonne Russo and producer Christine La Monte, are bringing to the screen the remarkable story of the hidden lives inside Casa Verdi of Milan, the home built by Verdi for retired opera singers and musicians. The inspiration behind Dustin Hoffman’s film, QUARTET, the stately retirement home built in 1896 still remains the heart of Verdi’s legacy.

Support Viva Verdi's Indigogo Campaign at:


Posted: 07/18/2014 by Lorenzo DeStefano

or register to post comments.

Sunday August 24, 2014 - 6:30-8:30pm
Libbey Bowl, Ojai, California

In a world filled with music, there is a wonder in the making and her name is Rachel Flowers

The filmmakers behind the new feature documentary, "RACHEL FLOWERS-HEARING IS BELIEVING",
are pleased to announce a FREE CONCERT the evening of Sunday August 24th, 2014 at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl, by the young Ventura County multi-instrumentalist and composer Rachel Flowers. Subject of a May 29, 2014 cover story in the VC Reporter ttp://,

Rachel is 20 years old and has been blind since birth. This has not kept her from developing into a major talent since beginning her studies at the age of 4 at the Southern California Conservatory of Music.
Producer/Director Lorenzo DeStefano and his team have been in production since April and are producing this free community event, to be filmed for the documentary. They hope that Rachel's growing number of fans of all ages, as well as those who want to discover this rare talent for themselves, will turn out to help make Rachel's concert debut a big success as well as to support the production of the film.

Visit &
& contact /805 641-3845 for more information

Lorenzo DeStefano - Productions Á-Propos
P.O. Box 2063, Ventura, CA. 93002
(805) 641-3845 / /

Tags: Music  
The Official World Premiere of Avner The Eccentric in "I Was Born Hungry & I'll Die Hungry, But It Feels So Good To Fill Up In-b

Posted: 07/18/2014 by Brian A. Bernhard

or register to post comments.


From the EMMY award-winning creators of "ART or something like it!" comes a brand new chapter in the esteemed artist profile docu-series "A FOOL'S IDEA -- PRESENTS" featuring the world-renowned vaudevillian, hypnotherapist, juggler, mime, expert NLP (neural linguistic programming) teacher, magician and master eccentric performer - Avner Eisenberg (AKA "Avner the Eccentric").


Possibly best known in pop-culture for playing the titular role in the 1985 film "Jewel of the Nile" (co-starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner), as well as a guest appearance in the 1986 hit television series "Webster". However, before all that, in 1984 Mr. Eisenberg became the first solo performer to take over New York's theater district with a hit Broadway clown show called "Avner the Eccentric".

"I remember standing backstage at opening night on Broadway...and there were lots of movie stars and all the New York press... and starting to talk myself into getting worried and then going...wait a character has to be naïve. And I just let go of all that, went out and did the show and got good reviews and ran for almost a year!" - Avner Eisenberg

Currently, he travels the world with his incredible one-man show "Exceptions to Gravity" while teaching the ancient & powerful art of eccentric performing.

"I've discovered a lot of very interesting...sort of...they're not anomalies obviously, but they look like anomalies of balance. Balancing things in surprising ways," says Mr. Eisenberg; continuing with, "I think the basic idea is a kind of reverse engineering, of finding a trick that I could do and then saying...okay, that's the solution...what was the problem?"

His unique scientific approach to stagecraft, comedy and teaching has led to incredible breakthroughs with professional performing artists from all around the world.

"Most of my creativity is going into teaching others, and also to doing directing and coaching. And I have a series of principles, eccentric performing principles, that are a pretty good guide for creating and maintaining rapport with the audience and with one's partners, and then looking for the comedy in terms of problem solving." - Avner Eisenberg

Using the skills he has learned as a professional hypnotherapist, as well as being an expert practitioner of NLP, Mr. Eisenberg teaches his students how to understand what is going on inside the human brain, so they may be able to create stronger, more authentic connections when performing for an audience.

"It's not about costumes, makeup, funny faces, funny's the attitude you have to solving the problems that you find along the way to doing your job." - Avner Eisenberg


A portion of the proceeds raised through our Patreon page (to support Avner's episode of the docu-series) will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research!
A FOOL'S IDEA is an independently produced crowd-funded large scale documentary project exploring the lives, passions, inspirations and work of some of the worlds most eccentric performing artists.

Click here for the project website:

Find "A FOOL'S IDEA" on Facebook:

Brian A. Bernhard
Creator | Producer | Director | Editor
Mobile: 718-809-3391

Max Eternity article on Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts

Posted: 07/13/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

or register to post comments.

Max Eternity article on Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts
July 13, 2014

Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts By Max Eternity In 2009, a Chicago artist named Chris Drew...


ME: What happens when artists are criminalized for expressing themselves?

NB: This is so far beyond Chris. It’s a pervasive thing. I think the whole environment has shifted in the last 15 years. It’s become a really oppressive environment for artists. Everything is like “maybe.” If you step outside the standard prescription—there could be non-support, and artists need support. It’s about freedom of speech. And if art is speech, then freedom of speech is art. And if you don’t have that then you don’t have the First Amendment. I never heard anybody say it that directly, when Drew said “artist’s speech.” Art is a big signifier to any movement. Chris was an artist.

ME: What kinds of legal protections would you like to see?

NB: It’s a whole thing. When they [lawmakers] equal selling socks with selling art on the streets, there’s a problem. I can’t speak to what peddling should or should not be, but I remember in the 90’s when they passed a law that said there’s no peddling. You had to get a peddling license for like $60 a month, and you had to show what you were going to sell.

It’s a real extreme manner of controlling freedom of expression.

I think it’s up to the public…let the public decide what art they want to see on the sidewalk.

ME: How do you see this affecting the identity and dynamic of the city and urban culture-at-large?

NB: It’s marginalizing and isolating artists.
Continue Reading... includes Channel 2 News video on the Ill Supreme Court Decision in 5/14

Ruth L Ratney's REEL Chicago article by Ed M Koziarski notes Bechtol indie "Free Speech & the Trancendent Journey of Chris Drew"

Posted: 07/04/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

or register to post comments.

Ruth Ratney's REEL CHICAGO. by Ed M Koziarski:(mentions my indie film) "Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist" special preview to benefit ARC Gallery. Chicago 6.15.14 NANCY BECHTOL. with ongoing thanks to Hey Now Records for music "Paper Airplane" music by Andy Alton and David Mansfield.
LA company options Gaunt's Uptown-set crime thriller | Chicago film, commercials, advertising, video, production, post, tech news from

Bruce Scivally comments on Nancy Bechtol Experiential and Experimental feature Indie Doc

Posted: 06/24/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

or register to post comments.

"Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist"
is not your typical narrative documentary,
but rather a mesmerizing, experiential—and experimental—film more akin to an art film,
which is appropriate considering that its subject is an artist.
Chris Drew set out to challenge Chicago's street vending laws,
but ended up being a champion of free speech
when he was charged with felony eavesdropping for recording his arrest.
His fight to then overturn the eavesdropping law
became a true David-versus-Goliath tale,
with the efforts of the maverick Drew captured by maverick filmmaker Nancy Bechtol.
The result is an engrossing and timely film.”

~ Bruce Scivally, Documentary Filmmaker & Author
"Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway"
and co-author of the book "James Bond: The Legacy" with John Cork.

Gamer Age film Screening + after party

Posted: 06/23/2014 by Ian Todd Santer

or register to post comments.

Gamer Age is a document of video game culture which not only surveys the evolution of an industry and it's major effects on arts and media; but also delves into the psychology, and the deep rooted passion shared by video gamers around the globe. The film screens this Saturday June 28th at the Crest Theatre in Westwood, starting around 9pm and followed by live performances from many of the artists/musicians featured in the film. Gamer Age has been screening around the US in association with the traveling exhibition- the Art of Video Games. It was directed and produced by Ian Santer and is currently seeking out a digital distribution deal.

2014 Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video

Posted: 06/21/2014 by Thelen Creative

or register to post comments.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA - Delight in tales of wondrous places, true achievements in the crafts of animation and live-action filmmaking, and above all- portraits of fascinating people with this collection of films that are currently on the screening circuit at over 100 prestigious international film festivals - including Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam and many more!

Fourteen productions honored of the 150 submissions from 18 different countries at this year’s Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video. The award-winning shorts will be screened daily, Wednesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 6 in the 300-seat Showcase Theatre at the 2014 Marin County Fair in San Rafael, CA. The 44th Annual Marin County International Film Festival is FREE with admission to the Marin County Fair.