I had the pleasure of working on not one but two Bay Area documentaries about acts of diplomacy as mitzvah where Bay Area Americans brought material aid in baseball equipment to embargoed Cuba.
These films are Eugene Corr’s “From Ghost Town to Havana” and Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider’s “Havana Curve Ball”. Both of them I color-finished in Final Cut Pro, by the way.
The latter named film just happened to be screened in Havana at the U.S. Interest Section headquarters the same day President Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries after a half century of Cold War hostilities.
We call that “Documentary Gold” in my circle of friends.
Here is an article about the event written by Leah Garchik of the San Francisco Chronicle who in my personal history was a fellow member of the Haight Ashbury Group 80 chapter of Amnesty International where we wrote letters on occasion calling for the release of Cuban political prisoners. Part of the new engagement includes the release of some political prisoners. It makes a good first inning in a whole new game of Beisbol.
Our Man in Havana: Ken Schneider
My client Judy Irving, the director of THE WILD PARROTS OF TELEGRAPH HILL, will be present for the October 24th premiere of her new feature documentary PELICAN DREAMS in San Francisco’s Balboa Theater and in The Elmwood Theater in Berkeley October 25.
Check the PELICAN DREAMS website for a theater near you.
I met Bill Caldwell in 1977 at San Francisco State University Department of Cinema.
We became filmmaking partners in a larger group of friends our senior year in college.
Our mutual project was a noble failure (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) but Bill and some of the other comrades nobly supplied film in it that was of great use to the American Indian Movement in their resistance to uranium mining on their native land.
We all parted but a few years later in the 1980s Bill and I resumed contact. He had married a lovely woman whose excellent taste in clothes draped Bill in dapper dash chic and my former scruffy hippie pal then wore a new coat of polish well.
Bill needed work and I put him into a job with me at Diner+Allied, he a videotape operator. He continued to pursue his true talent for photography and was my wedding photographer in 1989.
Bill over the years took many fine pictures, from his time in the military in Germany in the Vietnam era where he photographed rock and roll shows to later in his career when he made panoramic prints for Oakland corporate clients including the Oakland A’s.
He published a Photo Directory book with links to photography resources in the Bay Area, much analogous to the San Francisco Reel Directory.
Bill died Oct 17 at 11PM, on the 25th anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Semper fi, charming Billy.
The 37th Mill Valley Film Festival opens October 2 and tickets are selling now and some shows are going fast.
Mill Valley is a true friend to the Bay Area documentary filmmaker and this year offers a few of my clients in the Valley of The Docs and The Active Cinema series.
Karina Epperlein | FINDING THE GOLD WITHIN
Helen Cohen and Mark Lipman | STATES OF GRACE
Suzanne LaFetra and David Collier | F R E E
William Farley | PLASTIC MAN: THE ARTFUL LIFE OF JERY ROSS BARRISH
The Mill Valley Film Group | THE NEW ENVIRONMENTALISTS
Barrett Edmonds | AHH SAN FRANCISCO
See you in the movies in Mill Valley.
FOOD FORWARD has begun to air its new season on PBS.
The 13 part series employed several Bay Area post production professionals for editorial, animation, sound mix, online conforming, and I was in on the color finish.
The first two episodes about sustainable fishing and meat production can be found online at the link provided above.
This week episode three about SEEDS explores the controversy of genetic modification and highlights a public library’s role in distribution and preservation of poly-cultural seed variety.
Future episodes explore food harvested in the wild from mushrooms to roadkill, creative water management by farmers in drought times, modern dairy practices including raw milk and artisanal cheese and ice cream making, and cooking insects as a protein source for the planet’s human masses.
KQED broadcasts Thursday evenings at 11PM.
Consult your local listings.
My client Kalyanee Mam has completed her film about the struggle to save Cambodia’s forests from destruction and it appears today as a New York Times “op-doc”.
Ken Schneider and Marcia Jarmel premiere their new film HAVANA CURVE BALL next week at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
Havana Curveball is a hero’s journey, a young man’s rite of passage in the transmission of menschkeit over generations, at least three in this story.
The hero’s quest is to heal the world a bit by bringing first world wealth in the manner of baseball equipment to third world impoverished lovers of the game in Cuba.
Happy endings are not assured. Epiphanies are.
Ken is also the editor of Abby Ginzberg’s “Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa” also on screens in the festival.
This is also another opportunity for Bay Area audiences to see Nancy Kates’s “REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG” on a big screen at the Castro Theater and other locations.
See you in the movies!