Working Films is proud to be sponsoring a Story Leads to Action panel, part of the Doc Convergence Symposium: Nov. 5th, 11:15am to 12:30pm, at the IFC Center.

I will be leading an interactive discussion with the filmmakers, invited NGO’s, activists, policy shapers, educators, funders and the audience. The goal: filmmakers walk out with the “bones” of an engagement strategy, a “pilot” project ready to test in Gotham and beyond, and/or a better understanding of what “impact” could look like.

To Be Heard and Lost Bohemia will be having their world premieres at the festival this weekend and will receive the “story leads to action” treatment.

Karina, Pearl and Anthony are three New York teenagers in a radical poetry workshop called Power Writing that has a profound affect on their lives. Putting pen to paper they’re able to imagine a future where fathers aren’t in jail, mothers aren’t abusive and college isn’t something you only see on TV. Can their words turn dreams into reality? Their lives are closely tracked by a dedicated filmmaking team who celebrate the value of great teachers, poetry, and the empowerment of writing your own life story

Panelists include:
Rolan Legiardi-Laura (Co-Director, TO BE HEARD), Regina Bain (Director of Training and Evaluation, the Posse Foundation) Martha Diaz (Founder of the new Hip—Hop Education Center, in collaboration with NYU’s Metro Center) Dana Bennis (Research and Policy Director for IDEA: Institute for Democratic Education in America), Chris Shoemaker (Young Adult Programming Specialist, New York Public Library, responsible for programs across the boroughs) and Emily Verellen (Director of Programs and Communications, The Fledgling Fund).

For over a century, Carnegie Hall rented affordable studio apartments atop the famous music hall to artistic tenants such as Marlon Brando, Paddy Chayefsky and Isadora Duncan. As a privileged tenant, director Josef Birdman Astor began to videotape his neighbors whose lives intersected with decades of artistic history. But his project changed when the landlord served everyone with eviction notices for a conversion to offices. Astor chronicles the protracted battle to save the apartments and pays homage to their rich heritage.

Panelists include: Josef Birdman Astor (Director, LOST BOHEMIA), Esther Robinson (Founder, ArtHome) Scott Weiner (President & CEO, The Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation), Emily Verellen (Director of Programs and Communications, The Fledgling Fund).

Responses (2)

  1. truthteller says:

    I am writing this about my friend Joyce McKinney who was the subject and VICTIM of the film TABLOID. She attended NYC/DOC 2010 film festival on November 6th. …Hurray for Working Films documentary producer JUDITH HELFAND for her much needed wonderful comment “Where’s Joyce these days?” which got JOYÇE MCKINNEY star of Oscar winning Errol Morris’ MOCKumentary TABLOID to the stage. [SEE U Tube NYC/DOC 2010]. Joyçe McKinney was very disturbed that Errol Morris botched her serious story up and turned it into a silly sex comedy. She thought Morris had more intellect and depth than he did or she would never have messed with him at all. How did Morris get footage on Joyce, who rarely gives an interview due to the slander she has endured through the years?… Morris’ assistant CLEARWAY LIED to Joyce and told her they were with SHOWTIME NETWORK doing a TV SERIES on “people whose lives and privacy were destroyed by paparazzi” and that they would be interviewing many people. While the deceptive Morris was interviewing Joyce for the non-existent Showtime series, his cronie LIPSON ransacked her suitcase and stole a valuable memorabilia collection, two film treatments she had written herself about her story, her diary notes, and even a private family photograph album belonging to her parents which she had with her for a book she was doing on her story. LIPSON stole everything and what he didn’t keep, he scanned and made copies of to use without her consent for the film. (Later he found out where she was staying, trespassed on her property and physically assaulted her. Joyce is partially blind and physically handicapped and has used a service dog for years, and Lipson and told her her service dog would die if she didn’t sign a paper absolving them of the theft!. He told her if she signed the paper, that he and Morris would get a lawyer and save her dog from death row. He got Joyce hysterical and tears were streaming down her cheeks as she did not want to sign the paper as she feared he was up to something. Lipson put her under extreme duress as her dog was to die within days, but behind the scene Lipson was actually working in collusion with the pound killer to kill her dog –as he paid a crook $2000 to go to the pound, go inside the dog’s cage to agitate it to make it bark, then video tape it to turn over to the Pound KIller who took that video to the judge, lied and said the service dog was “menacing” so the Pound Killer then tortured and killed the poor noble fellow, who fought for his life so hard his eyeballs were filled with blood and when he was choked with a pound kill pole, shot with a tranquilizer gun to immobilize him while they stabbed his lungs in an effort to get him to die as he fought for his life. His brutal murder caused Joyce to go into shock and have sort of a nervous breakdown. She also learned that the corrupt LIPSON had pulled another trick. Later she learned the “paper” was something to absolve him from his part in the theft. And Morris was no better. He edited Joyce’s original “Interview” –butchering it until it was scarcely recognizable, using sloppy jump cuts and then filling in with garbage and libelous slander by tabloid writers –and two people who had NEVER even MET her–and who did not even KNOW her “story” yet Morris made it appear that they DID and even PAID THEM MONEY. Some documentarian huh? And the resulting trashy “Porno doc” he came up- with did not even resemble Joyce’s TRUE story–the battle of an innocent woman to clear her name fro a crime which she not only never committed, but was NEVER EVEN CHARGED WITH!–AND her battle with the Mormon cult, a huge business corporation which operates under the guise of a “church” but is actually a cult which employs brainwashing techniques on its victims, and indoctrinates them with the concept that they will overthrow overthrow the US government and re-establish a theocracy with their “New World Order” after taking over the US presidency”. Pretty creepy But also true–SEE THE GODMAKERS, a film you can find at any Christian bookstore if you want to know more about this cult and Joyce’s TRUE struggle. She said her story was about her ordeal with a cult that has destroyed the lives of thousands of people, and that Morris turned it into an obnoxious silly sex comedy which upset her and severely traumatized her and her family because it covered up the Truth. Her real story was a CULT RESCUE whereas Morris turned it not a tawdry tabloid tale slandering the former Miss Wyoming USA–by saying she ‘kidnaped and raped” a 300- pound Mormon who in real life was her fiance who had vanished into thin air. Joyce says: “The false Mormon sourced tabloid accusation destroyed my life for 33 years, and now Morris resurrected it, instead of telling the story BEHIND the headlines and how the false libelous story in the mid seventies, got into the news–as a PRESS HOAX BY MORMON PR TEAMS TRYING TO SILENCE AN OUTSPOKEN DISSIDENT WHO SPOKE OUT AGAINST THIER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES OF GAYS, BLACKS, WOMEN, AND OTHER MINORITY GROUPS. Joyce, a Christian also spoke out against their Mormons un biblical doctrine. WHEN HER FIANCE VANISHED ONLY WEEKS BEFORE THEIR WEDDING IN THE MID SEVENTIES, SHE HIRED A DETECTIVE AND WENT TO ENGLAND WHERE SHE FOUND HIM UNDER THE BRAINWASHING AND MIND CONTROL OF THE MORMONS, THE POWERFUL WEALTHY CULT WHICH CONTROLS DIET, CLOTHING, AND EVEN ITS MEMBERS’ SEX DRIVES. Joyce’s fiance was in a totally disassociated state with his eyes dilated and he was chanting about a polygamist False Prophet. It took three days for him to normalize and then they renewed their plans to get married and went into London sightseeing at Trafalfagar Square. They were eating at the crowded Hard Rock Cafe when they saw the beginning of what would be 33 years of false headlines propagated by Mormon PR teams and spin doctors: “BEAUTY QUEEN RAPES MORMON”. Joyce, a North Carolina native who WAS NEVER CHARGED WITH RAPING A MAN”, had her life and reputation destroyed by these false headlines, and at first was overjoyed when Morris approached her last year vowing to “clear her name” if only she would give him a (rare) interview. But while the “esteemed ” film maker Morris was interviewing her on camera, his producer MARK LIPSON ransacked her luggage and stole a valuable memorabilia collection of pictures, her family photograph album, news clips on her famous story, and even two film treatments for a book and feature film that she had written herself and registered with˙ Writers Guild. Morris and cronies had told Joyce that they were working with Showtime Network on a TV series for “people whose lives and privacy were ruined by paparazzi. But it turned out to be a ruse to get footage of Joyce for a bizarre film they were plotting to do on her without her knowledge or consent. Then they took her interview and butchered it mercilessly with sloppy jump cuts interspersed with tabloid reporters slandering her with libelous stories beyond belief, silly cartoons, and even super-impostion of her head on someone else’s naked body. Joyce was mortified and extremely traumatized by the Porno Doc, as she calls it. She had hoped for an honest chance to tell her story for the first time, after years of lying underneath libelous tabloid stories which had scared her and her family so badly. and Morris Porno Doc started the whole nightmare up all over for her. Keep in mind that Joyce, who is 60 years old now, partially blind and physically handicapped, also lost her beloved service dog due to the Morris ordeal when producer LIPSON promised to get it out of the pound (off death row) by hiring a lawyer [if she would sign a paper absolving them from the theft of her photos, memorabilia collection–for which she had turned down several million dollars from Penthouse publisher Bob Guccioni. Morris and Lipson’s “lawyer” never showed up for the stay of execution, and Joyce’s beloved service dog was brutally tortured and killed at the pound–his neck choked and his lungs stabbed after he
    was shot with a tranquilizer gun as he fought for his life. Morris and Lipson could have cared less–all they wanted was to steal her life story, and also to get off for the theft of the memorabilia collection from her luggage and to use the stolen photos for Morris’ filthy Porno Doc. Joyce went into shock, and had sort of a nervous breakdown after his murder and the trashy documentary which followed. “It was like my service dog died for nothing-–so THEY could make money from their greed.” Joyce did her PhD work in Film and was shocked that film makers could be so dishonest, and went to New York to protest what Morris and Lipson had done, by sitting with signs on her wheelchair, outside the theatre, fighting the the defamatory material in the film. “It was very difficult to sit in the audience while they laughed at what should have been a terribly serious topic. It was traumatizing to see false and libelous material on screen depicting me as a sex criminal, bondage queen, and “kidnapper and rapist” of a man who in real life was 300 pounds and 6’5. I have never been charged or convicted or raping a man therefore that is CRIMINAL LIBEL for which I can have them arrested. It was so painful to see every Mormon sourced tabloid story ever done on me turned into celluloid as if it were “reality”. It was beyond disappointing. I still felt I hadn’t had a chance to tell MY story. I was so deeply grateful when Judith shouted “Where’s Joyce McKinney?” I think Judith- like many people in the audience– may have suspected something wasn’t quite right about Morris’ film. Her comment gave me the chance to yell. “Joyce McKinney is right back here”. Then the crowd of several hundred people began clapping and cheering for me to come onstage to counter-act the trash they had jut seen in Morris film. Although I am partially blind and physically handicapped, my new service dog helped me get down to the stage and I got to make a few comments about how the film was NOT realistic and my story STILL had not been told–before Morris pal Thom Powers [a festival employee who had himself slandered her by printing the kidnap rape myth to promote the trashy film] stopped me from talking anymore! Old Errol Morris just stared embarrassed at his toes, looking down at the floor while I got a Standing Ovation by the New York crowd, who encouraged me to write a book on my ordeal about the Mormons, the tabloids, and being exploited by the media. Over all, the feeling was electric and really lifted my spirits as I had been so depressed and disappointed by the Morris film which he has touted at film festivals around the world –bringing me up to public ridicule. The Standing Ovation made me feeling there was still a hope for Truth and that somewhere out there is a feature film maker (or maybe an honest documentary film maker), who will tell my tragic story the way it REALLY happened. Anyway, New York was a more positive experience and I owe it all to Judith Helfand of working films for realizing that my voice had not really been heard in the film. She helped get me onstage to defend myself. Wherever you are out there beautiful Judith I love you and thank you!”

  2. tarot says:

    I was basically wondering if you ever thought of switching the layout of your blog? It is well written; I really like what youve got to state. But maybe you can add a little more in the way of written content so people could connect to it better. You have got an awful lot of text for only having one or two graphics. Maybe you can space it out better?

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