From Prisoner to President, a film based on Mandela’s Prison Letters

Boston Film & Video has received an exclusive first option for a film based on The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela, being published in July, 2018,(Copyright (c) Nelson R. Mandela, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Blackwell and Ruth Limited).

The book features 250 never-before-published letters written by Mandela during the 27 years he was imprisoned. Few people in such circumstances suffered with the dignity, perseverance, and foresight that Mandela displayed. Today, in a world sorely in need of inspired leadership and action, his words transcend time and place. Through Mandela’s letters from prison, his legacy lives on – as it guides and inspires us to face the challenge of living and governing for the common good.

The feature length documentary will be produced and directed by Lorie Conway, an award-winning filmmaker and the founder of Boston Film & Video. A South African-based production team will work collaboratively with her Boston-based team.

The film will focus on 30 or so excerpts from Mandela’s prison letters, selectively chosen to represent his ideas, concerns and emotions as he lived a life without freedom. South Africans from all walks of life, as well as 4-6 celebrity readers, will be invited to convey the great Mandela’s words. Some may wish to interpret them artistically through music, dance, or drumming.

Executive Producing & Co-Executive Producing opportunity is available for one or two funders. For more information about fiscal sponsorship and references, please contact Lorie Conway, bostonfilmvideo@gmail.com

 

 

Memorial Day Tribute on Boston Common

As the generals ask for 5,000 more troops to serve in Afghanistan, a country where, according to the NY Times Editorial today, Memorial Day, ” the United States has spent 16 years fighting the longest war in its history at a cost of more than $800 billion and 2,000 American lives. Where there is still no peace, and where everything seems to be going backward. Where the Taliban has regained the initiative, attacking as it pleases and expanding its territorial reach, and where other extremists — Al Qaeda and the Islamic State — also have a foothold.”

For the past several years on Memorial Day, over 20,000 flags are planted on the Boston Common, America’s oldest public park founded in 1634. Each flag represents a soldier who died from Massachusetts. Thousands come to pay their respects…here’s a short video I produced a few years ago in tribute.

https://youtu.be/7FqZHNIIC6o

Screening of Forgotten Ellis Island on Ellis Island, 5/27/17

Looking forward to the screening and book signing event on Ellis Island, May 27th, of my film Forgotten Ellis Island which is in its second run on PBS. So many of the stories in the film resonate with the stories being told today as the debate about immigration continues. Who we are — as a nation of immigrants — informs who we will be in the future.

For information on the screening and tickets, please click here:http://untappedcities.com/2017/05/04/vip-tour-film-screening-at-abandoned-ellis-island-hospitals-with-lorie-conway-author-and-director-of-forgotten-ellis-island/

“The Trial of Ivan Demjanjuk” documentary film–in development

A new film is in production about John Demjanjuk, a former auto worker from Cleveland, who was extradited in 1987 to Israel, to face  charges of crimes committed during the Holocaust. The prosecution claimed that John was actually “Ivan the Terrible” — a sadistic Nazi officer who murdered 900,000 Jews in a death camp. The trial was broadcast live on Israeli tv, and the twists and turns of the facts clashed with doubts about Demjanjuk’s real identity, creating an international media circus, as survivors, defense attorneys, prosecutors, judges and members of Demjanjuk’s family collide. Currently, I’m assisting the Israeli producers in locating journalists who covered the trial, members of the Cleveland Ukranian community who stood in solidarity with John Demjanjuk, friends of the family, and many others to participate in the telling of this riveting story that was as polarizing as it was ambiguous as the near 35 year legal saga went on and on.
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ELLIS ISLAND STORIES

Here’s a short video I produced for a “little” project I’m working on…may the series gods be smiling!
Big shout out to Derry Policaro-Schwantner for her editing prowess and smiles!

Click here to view:

 

Beatrice the Brave–defending the defenseless in Zimbabwe

Women’s Media Center Podcast on Human Rights in Zimbabwe

Click on the above link to listen to Robin Morgan’s interview with me about Beatrice Mtetwa’s ongoing work in Zimbabwe. Despite continuing “persecution by prosecution,” Beatrice soldiers on defending victims of Robert Mugabe’s brutal regime. High risk and often without pay, human rights law is anything but easy. But as Beatrice said in the documentary about her work (which I produced in 2013),

“You know this has to be done. Somebody’s got to do it. Why shouldn’t it be you?”

Fundraising is underway for a sequel to “Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law,” and this film will focus on a primary school in Uganda, located on an island in Lake Victoria. The school was created by teachers who viewed the film about Beatrice and were so inspired they decided to name a school after her and teach lessons in human rights. Today, the Beatrice Mtetwa Primary School has thirty students learning about their rights and responsibilities as citizens. Justice, Leadership and Excellence is the school’s motto. To help me tell this story and produce Tiny Ripples of Hope, please email bostonfilmvideo@gmail.comBeatrice Mtetwa PRimary School

 

ELLIS ISLAND STORIES

As the presidential race drones on and the debate surrounding immigration escalates, take a listen to the voices of immigrants who came through Ellis Island. Not that different than those seeking to become citizens today, the Ellis immigrants are the bedrock of modern America–40% of us trace our roots to them. In spite of nativist rhetoric demanding laws that restricted immigration, even a literacy test, 12 million immigrants were allowed entry to America at Ellis Island. The nation’s collective face was changed forever.

https://vimeo.com/153812889Sherman photo

Everyonestory: Stories Worth Sharing Video Series

Everyonestory: Stories Worth Sharing is a web based video series I have created profiling individuals who live and work among us but seldom have their stories told. From the person who waits your table, cleans houses or offices, parks cars, clerks, or bags groceries, comes stories of hard work and hope, of dreams deferred and dreams lived, of fears and courage, of loss and happiness. The goal of the series is to bring dignity and voice to the many nameless persons who often work two jobs just to support their family. At best, may these profiles inspire kindness and understanding about those among us who, in their own way, help make the world work and make it a better place.
Currently, I’m seeking distribution for the series — Ozy, Fusion, Huff Post, UpWorthy, etc…The videos in the series are under 4 minutes, well crafted and ideal for mobile viewing and add sponsorship.

Please share and help Everyonestory find a home!

Here are three Everyonestory’s to view…

Big shout out to Jordan Dumbroff who was first camera and editor on the Don White and firefighter videos! Jordan is now living in LA pursuing his dream to be a tv series writer…to see the videos click here for “A sister among a band of brothers.” Click here for “A Palm Tree Grows in Boston” and Click here to watch “Don White”