Perfectly set in Seattle, Lucky Them stars Toni Collette as a rock music magazine journalist, Oliver Platt as her editor, and Thomas Haden Church as wealthy, would-be documentary filmmaker, who tags along as she searches for her presumed dead rock star/former lover.  A totally enjoyable comedy written by Sarah Lawrence graduate Emily Wachtel and directed by Megan Griffiths.  Especially delightful for doc makers and journalists!  See it now at the IFC Center or online.  

Withoutabox Sucks

Surprising Information from Shooting People's latest Bulletin: 

We fully support - a group of independent film festivals and filmakers from across the globe who are coming together to stop the unscrupulous practices of Withoutabox. In 2000 Withoutabox was created, 8 years later they were acquired by Amazon. Since then they have been causing serious harm to independent film, making it harder than ever for film festivals to survive, taking all rights from under filmmakers noses and using bully tactics/legal threats to anyone who challenges them. Fine. Sue Us. 

Thanks to Katie Couric for narrating and executive producing FED UP,  Her presence reminds us that this documentary ought also to be on television.  Most TV networks seldom make documentaries any more.  But Friday on Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig, one of the experts in FED UP who point out the power of the processed food industries that have replaced Big Tobacco as alleged pushers of addiction.   We learn that the list of Nutrition Facts on the back of a soda can or a package of processed food always omits the % of Daily Value for SUGAR! Such is the power of the Sugar Lobby. 

FED UP presents images and facts of a childhood obesity epidemic are shocking, as are images of schools abandoning cafeteria cooking for pizza, hamburgers, fries and other fast food.  In New York FED UP is playing at the Angelika Theatre — it deserves broader attention and debate.   

Help with Tumblr sign in

I created a draft post on my tumblr site and was looking for tags…which seemed to no longer be there…and I accidentally signed out and cannot sign in. I have changed my email recently, but Tumblr seems to have my former email:

I see no way to send a forgot password or change user name…and my records of passwords don’t seem to work. PLEASE ADVISE…THANK YOU.

I AM SENDING THIS TO EMAILS LISTED IN MY CONTACTS FOR TUMBLR…can’t see a Tech Support or Help Contact at tumblr itself.

— Howard

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR ADDRESS BOOK while you consider supporting

NAM JUNE PAIK & TV LAB: License to Create
The “first digital revolution” that changed all of television.

TV LAB trailer:
Doc Doc:;
Phone: 212-222-9539
Cell: 917-324-3236

A great choice and a boost for documentary in the media capital of the world.  POV will miss her, but she can do even more for New York and public television in her new job. 

Cynthia Wade who won the 2008 Oscar for her short documentary FREEHELD has made an even shorter film SELFIE that is remarkable. If this is branded documentary, I’m all for it.  Thanks to Berkshire Eagle story for alerting me to this timely film. 

(Source: http-www-berkshireeagle-com-news-ci-25214429-selfie-documentary-filmed-at-monument-mountain-short-yet)

The Power of Documentary

Conductor Murry Sidlin's persistence in telling the amazing story of DEFIANT REQUIEM is having a world wide impact.  Here’s a letter recently received: 

I live in Scotland and recently watched The Defiant Requiem on the BBC which I found very emotional.  My mother and her twin sister arrived in England on one of Nicholas Winton’s kinder transports in 1939.  Sadly, both my grandparents and many of my extended family members were taken to Terezin and I believe both my grandparents perished in Auschwitz.  My grandfather, Otto Flusser, had worked before the war in the German Opera House (now the State Opera House) in Prague.  I sadly know very little of my family history as my mother was only eleven when she left Prague.  However, I believe that my maternal grandmother’s cousin is Jan Rocek who I was so surprised to see contributing to the programme and wondered if it would be at all possible for you to pass my details to him as I would obviously dearly love to make contact.  Thank you for any help you can provide and also a heartfelt thank you for making such a deeply moving programme, so important for my children and future generations.

The Defiant Requiem Foundation made the connection and reported: 

They have now corresponded and are in fact, related to each other.  The woman in the UK just wrote me the email below.  It gave me chills.  Wow! 

My sister, brother and I grew up believing that we had lost all our maternal relations and that we would perhaps never learn what had actually happened to each of them.  It is wonderful to discover that Jan survived and that there is a whole family in America who are blood relatives, and we can hopefully now look forward to getting to know them all.

Amazing story about a documentary that made it to Sundance.  Now how long will it take to move this timely film to theaters and streaming distribution?