Sid Bedingfield, senior vice president of CNN Productions and executive producer of CNN Presents, recently joined the IDA Board of Trustees.
Chamba Mediaworks is currently in development on a documentary about the reactions of the African-American community to the events of 9/11, coupled with the relationship between African-Americans and Muslims, both immigrant and domestic. St. Clair Bourne will produce and direct; Tom Miller will co-produce and write; Lou Potter will co-write and will be the story editor. This project is part of the controversial Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)-funded programming initiative entitled "America at a Crossroads: 9-11." Production is to begin expected this fall if the project is given the go-ahead.
Mark Dworkin and his partner, Melissa Young, received a CINE Golden Eagle for their feature documentary Argentina: Hope in Hard Times. The CINE Golden Eagle awards have been recognized internationally as symbols of the highest production standards in filmmaking and videography since 1957. The award ceremonies will take place in April 2006 in Washington, DC. Argentina: Hope in Hard Times documents the inspiring, grassroots response to the recent devastating economic collapse in Argentina. For their next project, Young and Dworkin are developing a series of documentaries about sustainable alternatives to the current model of globalization. This new television series has just received a research and development grant from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
Renee Sotile and Mary Jo Godges have completed their documentary Christa McAuliffe: Reach for the Stars, the most complete documentary ever produced on the life of our nation's first "Teacher in Space." Her dream did not die 73 seconds after take-off. Christa McAuliffe is now in the history books alongside the pioneering women whose lives she celebrated. She may not have reached her destination, but she has accomplished her mission. Carly Simon, so moved by Christa, wrote an original song for the film titled You're Where I Go. Ken Burns calls the film a "riveting and unusually moving story, told from the inside. It is made uniquely affecting by the use of Carly Simon's music, a favorite of McAuliffe's." www.Teacher1986.com.
Anne Hart, author of 60 books, announces her latest, Writing, Financing & Producing Documentaries. Anyone can buy the paperback book from ASJA Press by calling 1.800.AUTHORS or at various online bookstores. Her website, www.newswriting.net, is dedicated to making personal history documentaries.
Michelle Le Brun recently spent four months in Rhode Island participating in an artist-in-residency program, where she worked on a documentary with local youths, several of whom were incarcerated.
MacGillivray Freeman Films is pleased to announce the production of a new giant screen mountain adventure film, The Alps: Giants of Nature, set in Europe's greatest mountain range and featuring climber John Harlin's attempt to ascend the Eiger North Face. Production will begin in September 2005 with an anticipated release date in Spring 2007. The Alps: Giants of Nature is produced by Greg MacGillivray, directed by Stephen Judson, written by Stephen Venables and sponsored by Holcim Ltd of Switzerland.
This year New Day Films has accepted a record number of compelling new documentary titles. New Day showcases courageous, artful and innovative storytelling that links political and contemporary issues with personal vision. The new acquisitions include Freedom Machines by Richard Cox and Janet Cole; Self-Made Man by Susan Stern; Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65 by Dierdre Fishel; Spit It Out by Jonathan Skurnik; Wet Dreams and False Images by Jesse Epstein; Another Side of Peace by Ellen Frick; and Foo Foo Dust by Gina Levy, among others. www.newday.com.
Veteran documentary filmmaker Jed Riffe (Ishi, The Last Yahi and Who Owns the Past?) is screening Waiting to Inhale at festivals nationwide. Taking viewers inside the controversial debate over the legalization of medical marijuana, the film examines the issue from a balanced perspective that is cultural, historical, ethical and scientific in its scope. Waiting to Inhale features exclusive access to the first federally sanctioned studies on the potential therapeutic effects of smoked cannabis to take place in over 30 years, and gives voice to the compelling stories of individuals whose unique experiences with drug use and abuse have propelled them to opposing sides of this provocative spectrum. The film has was the winner of a Gold Special Jury Award at WorldFest Houston and a CINE Golden Eagle Award. It is available for purchase at www.waitingtoinhale.org. Peter Broderick is the film's marketing consultant.
Susan Stern's new film, The Self-Made Man, aired nationally on P.O.V. this past July. The film is a true-life family drama about the controversial issue of whether or not individuals should be allowed to control their own deaths.