23 December 2008

A POWERFUL NOISE in theatres nationwide March 5, 2009

“A Powerful Noise” is much more than just a film. It is a catalyst for change and a compelling reminder that the solution to global poverty and injustice lies in the ability of women and girls to have a voice in their societies. This is why Tom and I made “A Powerful Noise” and we are extremely pleased that it is helping ignite such an important movement.

Now is your chance to join us in recognizing the millions of powerful women like Hanh, Nada and Jacqueline who lead daily battles to improve their communities. On Thursday, March 5, 2009, in honor of International Women’s Day, please encourage every woman – and man! – you know to attend A POWERFUL NOISE Live in movie theatres across the United States. This special one-night event will feature our documentary, “A Powerful Noise,” followed by a town hall discussion with leading experts and celebrity activists simulcast live from New York to 440 movie theatres nationwide.

A POWERFUL NOISE Live is more than a night out at the movies, it’s a movement coming of age,” says Dr. Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the global poverty-fighting organization CARE. “You’ll be entertained but more importantly, when the lights go on, you’ll be energized with a better understanding of what you can do to empower women and girls around the world.”

A POWERFUL NOISE Live is presented by CARE, ONE and NCM Fathom during the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Tickets go on sale January 30th. Click here for participating theatres and ticket information. Join your voice with thousands of others at this event and together our message that women are the solution will be heard loud and far.

17 September 2008

Equality for All: The Importance of Women's Commissions

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with Bonnie Coffey, the President of NACW, National Associations of Commissions for Women. In 1961, President Kennedy commissioned a study on the status of women headed by Eleanor Roosevelt. The result is a network of 220 state commissions that work as advocates for equality and justice for women and serve their local communities in a myriad of ways. As president, Bonnie focuses on providing the resources necessary to allow women's commissions to thrive.

I became aware of the power of women's commissions this June at our Silverdocs screening. Both the Washington D.C. and Montgomery County commissions came out in droves to support the film screening. Their enthusiasm for the film and the film's message is empowering to us as filmmakers and is the type of solidarity we continue to build amongst women in this country for the eradication of global poverty. Now we have another great partner to support our efforts as we role the film out at festivals across the country and to theaters nationwide this spring.

It has been great to learn more about what the commissions do. Bonnie told me that they battle legislatures who believe the commissions are past their prime, but her counter argument is that without commissions there are a lack of advocates for the underrepresented. In New Mexico, they are working with young women to film stories of the struggles girls face around the state. In Montgomery County, the commissions provide vital counseling services. It is this type of activism that shows the health and economic needs for women and girls in this country.

Bonnie truly feels that women's voices are vital to family and children in the communities. By empowering women, the commissions make sure that equal pay, healthcare, education, and childcare issues are brought to the legislative table. Without commissions in communities around the country, government tends to forget about the necessity for these basic family needs. In this country, women make up 51% of the population, yet they are underrepresentated in leadership roles in private sector jobs and government. Around the world, women work two-thirds of the world's working hours, yet earn only 10% of the income. This is a key message in the film. There is an inequality when it comes to women, but it is women who tend to be the protector and fighter for families and communities.

Bonnie really made an impression on me in her determination to fight for women around this country. We connected in our desire to strengthen the common bond among women to help a world in need. At the end of the conversation, Bonnie told me that you really "judge the success of a nation by how it treats women and the underprivileged." As filmmakers we took a similar stand that it will be the solidarity and strength of women around the world that ensures the underpriveleged are taken care of and global poverty eradicated. Bonnie seconded that notion at the end when she told me, "Women cry when they hear of injustice because the value of women is not where it needs to be. We are woven from a common cloth and hold up half the sky." I could not agree more.

06 September 2008

Los Angeles Premiere Excitement

Audience response has been encouraging to our message about empowering women and how that is working to eradicate global poverty . To continue the momentum, we are very proud to be a part of the 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival in Los Angeles. It will be our biggest venue to date--the 650 seat Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. We will be screening on Friday, October 3 at 7 PM so we hope for the women of Southern California to come out in solidarity and support the women featured in the film.

It is exciting to be a part of a festival that has the same goals we had in making the film. All along we felt that we could make a cinematic, visually-engaging film that influences the global consciousness about providing basic human rights for marginalized women and girls around the world. Being accepted into Artivist reinforces the fact that we are meeting our goals.

I would be remiss if I did not mention our other upcoming screenings. On September 18th and 20th, we will be screening in the Orlando area at the Global Peace Film Festival. Another great festival promoting social issue films, and most importantly, getting audiences in a discussion on how to make a difference in their world. And we continue getting festival acceptances this fall, including Hawaii, St. Louis, and Mexico. We will update the blog with screening times as soon as we have confirmation on dates.

Please take a moment to sign-up for updates from A Powerful Noise. We can notify you as film festivals accept us to screen in your area. Additionally, we are getting closer to finalizing plans for theatrical events and house parties and we are going to need your support. So get involved now!

21 August 2008

Student Success

It was a great honor for me to have the opportunity to screen our film at my alma mater, Florida State University. The film was projected at the new Student Life Center and I have to say I was jealous to see the state of the art digital theater the students can take advantage of now. Wow! The film looked and sounded fantastic.

This was the first time to screen the film with a predominantly younger audience, and I felt it had the same energy as previous screenings. After the film we had a panel of myself, Terry Coonan, who is the Director of The Center for Advancement of Human Rights, and Robin Goodman, Professor of English, who specializes in feminist literature.

There seemed a real genuine interest to engage with our panel, and we did have some provocative discussion. The students wanted to understand more about who supports and what drives these women to be so selfless in their endeavors. Then we addressed whether it was successful that girls in Mali would gain assistance, but then end up back in the arms of domestic servitude. I pointed out that some of these girls do not go back to the system, like Kadia who becomes a seamstress apprentice by film's end. Many girls are like Kadia who get training in a skill to get out of the system. And if they do stay in the system, Madame Urbain from Mali says at graduation that these girls will make sure their kids go to school. And that is the important and meaningful change that empowered women bring. A system will not change overnight, but incremental change is quite powerful.

Terry Coonan was an amazing champion for the film. He said this film was quite honest in how it portrayed what he sees out in the field, and that women truly are the catalysts for change in their communities. Most importantly, he was impressed on how the film brought emotion to the concept of women's empowerment. Check back soon for Terry's complete review of the film on our blog!

All in all it was a success. Terry was very interested in using the film in the classroom and was excited to hear we already had a college-level curriculum built. And students were excited to talk to me afterwards both about the filmmaking and the issues presented in the film. It was a great thrill to return with a successful feature and I was happy to see that the film made a big impression on younger viewers.

22 July 2008

The Power of Local Women's Organizations

Today will be my maiden post about organizations that are part of the growing women's empowerment movement that are working towards helping the world's poor. I want this blog to become a knowledge center for audiences to learn more about how they can take action and make a difference in their hometown. It is amazing to me how many organizations are out there working to create positive change. Now this blog can connect all these groups and direct people to how to get involved.

The first organization I am featuring is called Women's Empowerment International based in San Diego. Founders Win Cox and Leigh Fenly started their organization in December 2003 to provide microcredit loans to women in Sonora, Mexico, just south of their hometown. They began the group with the core values of maintaining communication with the women they assisted and keep the lowest absolute overhead as possible. As they embarked on creating this organization, many people felt they could not stay true to these values. As of today, they have proudly succeeded in not spending any donated money on overhead while never losing contact with someone they have helped start a business.

The started the group with 35 close friends and in five years have a total membership of 550 people. To start a business in Sonora, they need $96 and all of that money goes directly to the individual since WEI is a an all volunteer organization. Win Cox said, "We quickly learned that empowerment was a two-way street. When I started, I felt we would be empowering women in Mexico, but when you visit these women there is a feeling of community and pride you receive in return." This really struck me as a powerful comment in our conversation. It described the exact emotion I hoped the film would achieve for viewers. I wanted audiences to not only experience the power of these women, but to actually take away power from watching them fight throughout the film for their communities.

Women's Empowerment International has expanded recently to helping women in Honduras and Benin. Leigh explained that they choose these countries after an exhaustive search of over 3000 countries. They hope to help the indigenous people of Honduras fight malnutrition and high mortality rates. In Benin, they are working to set-up banks to fund hunger projects that are the epicenters of local villages.

Additionally, WEI has been helping out in San Diego. Two years ago they started the WE Center for STAR (Support, Training, and Assistance to Refugees) and have help 57 women start local businesses. This is obviously a tremendous success and I was very impressed. I asked how they did it and Leigh said it best, "A little money can do big things. Many people believe only rich people are philanthropists, but if you don’t buy that pair of shoes one week then you can provide a loan for someone to change their lives."

In the future, they hope to expand the countries they reach and support. Much like we discuss in the film, they felt it was important to stress how women make sure their financial success directly benefits their children's health, education, and overall well-being. They see communities benefiting from these loans as they create an unbreakable bond and strength amongst the women in the area. When asked why empowering women has such benefits in turning around people's lives, they felt women in these areas are far less damaged due to the effects of poverty, and at the end of the day, they have the moxie to build and grow their families and community.

If you are in the San Diego area contact them at (858) 486-6466 and become part of the solution.

12 July 2008

Reaching the Audience

Television executives tell doc filmmakers at every seminar or film festival conference to "know your audience." Pretty pat advice, but obviously it is true. But sometimes it feels like execs do not understand how powerful your film's audience truly is unless it fits into the vaunted 18-35 year old category.

Last week, we talked with BlogHer about their initiatives this year. They were excited that our film speaks to their core audience of women and might be helpful in launching a screening series they have in the works. If it happens, this is a great synergy for both of us as they speak to the audience we want to reach and our film can be an entertaining, informing, and inspiring evening for their core audience. Their website speaks to nearly 9 million female visitors a month. These are informed women who care about social issues and would be drawn to watching our film. They are not all in the vaunted TV demographic, but if the BlogHer crowd watches the film on TV then it would be a powerhouse ratings night for a broadcaster.

Additionally, we are beginning to hear from other non-profits. I reached out to Women's Empowerment International and heard back from them within an hour. They were excited that a film spoke to their work in providing microfinance options to women in Mexico, Benin, and Honduras. We will be speaking later this week and this is the beginning of getting additional non-profit partners on board to prove the power of women.

It is an exciting time as people begin to hear about the film and understand the value of partnership. This network of women will be the reason the mass public is aware of the movement and help it grow stronger.

Here's to hearing from you and how we can reach everyone about the film and the solution to stopping the marginalization of women and girls around the world.

02 July 2008

Film Affects Social Issues?

It is an interesting question and one that I may have answered too idealistically in the past. From the very beginning, I felt Scott's idea was visionary and risky. Both have proven to be the case. Audiences are genuinely enthused, entertained, informed and inspired at our screenings. People bombard Scott, Sheila, and myself after the screening, take our card, and promise to be in touch with their ideas on helping to make a difference. This is where life sets in and very little action happens. I must admit, I have been this person in the past and it angers me. I would say we have gotten 10-15% of realistic action from viewers at this point. Some gains have been significant, but at the end of the day, they are wildly inconsistent.

So is the film "A Powerful Noise" making a difference? In the end, I think it will happen. We have several private screenings being planned by viewers to increase meaningful awareness politically and financially. In terms of distribution, there are champions for this film out there and we are reaching them one by one. But without a higher profile deal in place, we lack the ability to affect a serious number of people. Having a feature length film opens many doors for telling these stories that did not exist in the past, but it is also an additional barrier for entry onto mainstream broadcast channels. In my heart, this is the best film we could have made and it is the right length to absorb the complexity of character and their situation. And in my heart, I see it having a huge impact by the time its life cycle is over and carriage on a major network.

25 June 2008

Fans Inspired By The Power of Women

Silverdocs has become the preeminent doc fest in the US with its beautiful 400 seat refurbished art-deco theater as a centerpiece. "A Powerful Noise" was lucky enough to screen there on Friday night to a sold out house. Once again after the film fans were standing in appreciation of the work from the women in the film and others around the world. It is inspiring to see the film emotionally affect so many people.

Ms. Hanh from Vietnam was in attendance for a panel discussion after the film. She was overwhelmed by people's reaction to her story and was inspired that her work resonated with American crowds. Prior to the screening, she was able to speak at the American Psychological Association and discuss the mental anguish of living with HIV/AIDS. Our translator from the film, Chi Mai, said the room of professionals were in tears as she spoke. She was also able to share her story at the CARE National Conference where volunteer participants from around the country visit political leaders from their states to push legislation to help women around the world. I think the message to Capitol Hill was a little more urgent after meeting Ms. Hanh face-to-face. It is amazing how big of heart and tenacity of will Ms. Hanh has to face the stigma of living with the virus in Vietnam and tackle it head on to stop discrimination.

After the screening, I met Amy Kelly, owner of Trinity Health Clubs near Dulles Airport. She was inspired to be a part of our grassroots effort and host a screening fundraiser at her club in the fall. It is this type of activism we are hoping to drive as our film gains festival buzz and reaches out into the mainstream. Amy wrote me a long email about how the film changed her outlook on life and inspired her to make a difference beyond what she is doing for cancer patients at her health club. And she summed up the meaning of the film so perfectly:

"I have seen other films about the struggles of women in other countries, but never one that combined the loss, the strength, the hope and the ENTREPRENEURSHIP of women in such dire circumstances."

This is what I hope more and more audiences begin to realize as they experience "A Powerful Noise" and join the women's empowerment movement to solve global poverty.

28 May 2008

Grand Finale Bosnia

After two successful private screenings of "A Powerful Noise" in Los Angeles and Washington D.C., we finished our tour of the US in Chicago and Atlanta. These last two screenings were even more special because Nada, our main character in Bosnia, was in town for both showings. This was her first trip to the US and it was amazing to see her a year later. Her smile and strong will still remains when it comes to rebuilding her community in Eastern Bosnia and taking care of her family.

In Chicago, our screening took place at the great art house cinema, The Gene Siskel Center. The old, refurbished theater house was an elegant and premier setting to screen the film in the heart of downtown. After a wonderful introduction from actress Sharon Lawrence, the film played flawlessly on the big screen. There was a real buzz in the theater after the screening as a standing ovation greeted Nada as she walked to the front of the theater. The enthusiasm spilled over into a great Q&A and we really had time to engage on the women's empowerment movement as a solution to global poverty. Nada showcased the handcrafted work of her group, and in a small sign of solidarity, her table of goods were bought out by the audience.

The next morning we were all on a plane to our final screening in our hometown of Atlanta. We sold out the 400 seat theater at the Atlanta History Center, and the standing ovation after the film for Nada really was the cherry on top of the enthusiasm sundae. Nada told me afterwards that her knees were shaking all the way to the front of the stage and she had never been recognized before for her hard, selfless work. And this is what this film and movement is all about--recognizing the everyday heroism of women around the world. Nada's daily grind to ensure equality and ethnic unity is a struggle and this simple act of appreciation after the film is a shot of energy to her work and thousands of other women around the world.

It has been very rewarding to feel such warmth and consistent reaction to the film. Audiences are genuinely moved and ready to join this growing movement to empower women. We all have a chance to be an integral part of this movement and I hope everybody joins up. Support individual women's groups. Be a part of an international aid organization. Sign on to pass influential legislation. Build awareness in your communities. There is truth in the tag line to the film - THE IMPACT OF ONE VOICE. THE POWER OF MANY.

Thank you for everyone's support!

22 May 2008

A Powerful Noise to screen at SILVERDOCS

SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival

Friday, June 20 @ 5:15PM

AFI Silver Theatre
8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910


SILVERDOCS 2008 will present 108 films representing 63 countries selected from 1,861 submissions with six World, eight North American, six US and seven East Coast Premieres and two retrospective programs. Now in its sixth year, SILVERDOCS and its concurrent International Documentary Conference honors excellence in filmmaking, supports the diverse voices and free expression of independent storytellers and celebrates the power of documentary to enhance our understanding of the world.

16 May 2008

Meg Ryan says A POWERFUL NOISE is the "real spirit of the women's empowerment movement"

"This movie is about three women who transformed their personal pain, changed their own lives, and in so doing transformed the lives of everyone around them; their families, their communities, their worlds. What struck me most watching it was just how powerful and contagious one person's transformation can be. The Power of One is personal transformation. The Power of One is contagious. The Power of One is "A Powerful Noise" .

'Better to light one candle than curse the darkness,' Mother Theresa said. I've always thought what she meant by it was instead of complaining about how rotten everything is, just do one good thing. Certainly a profound enough sentiment. But I'm starting to suspect that as usual I sort of missed it and what she really meant was something far deeper. Maybe she was suggesting that if I'm unhappy with the way the world is, the best thing I can do to change it, is change myself. Strike my own match and light my own candle, own my disowned parts, love what I think unlovable about me, transform my own life and stop pointing out what's wrong with everything else.

As one woman in the film says, 'Educate a man, you educate a man. Educate a woman, you educate a village. Educate a village and you educate a nation.' Women are highly contagious and we are the most underused and undervalued natural resources on this Earth. As a woman lights up so does her world. As an individual flowers so does her world. Each one of the women in the film is highly contagious. Each one of us is highly contagious. For me this is the real spirit of the women's empowerment movement. The Power of One is a power each of us has. The Power of One is the Power of Many. The Power of One is "A Powerful Noise" ."

14 May 2008

Reactions from the Road

Since premiering at Tribeca, we’ve taken "A Powerful Noise" on the road. It’s our own mini-tour, so to speak. Our goal is to introduce the film to select audiences and build a base of supporters who can carry forth the message of this film and engage others to see it, embrace it and promote it.

On a rainy Monday night in Washington, DC, we held a small private screening at the Motion Picture Association of America. What better place to kick off our tour than at the headquarters of an organization that serves as the voice and advocate of American films? Among those in attendance at our MPAA screening were Ted Leonsis, producer of NANKING and KICKIN’ IT, Ambassador Diop of Mali, Ambassador Turkovic of Bosnia, Paul Dobrainsky, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Shirin Tahir-Kheli, Senior Advisor for Women’s Empowerment for Secretary Rice, and Congressman Jim Moran. The film was really embraced by the audience and sparked discussion about the importance of screening "A Powerful Noise" at the State Department and for members “on the hill.” I agree, it’s vital that we make a powerful noise to the leaders in our nations capital who direct the funding and policies of U.S. foreign aid. We will certainly work to make that screening happen through the connections we made that evening.

Two nights later, we were in our nation’s entertainment capital, Los Angeles. How would some of Hollywood’s elite react to our film with no stars, no English and no script? I admit to having thought about this on more than one occasion. Creative Artists Agency screened the film in their Ray Kurtzman Theater for about 150 invited guests. The night was warmly kicked off with beautiful remarks from Meg Ryan, one of the co-hosts. We had prepared a welcoming statement for Meg to read, but she said that after watching the DVD, she was inspired to put her own feelings about the film into words. Never have I been happier to hear someone throw out the script and speak from the heart. I was truly touched by Meg’s description of the film and consider it a compliment that she took time to frame it her own way. The LA audience really connected with the film also and most of them stayed afterwards discussing the issues at a wonderful reception sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue.

Next stop on our tour is Chicago. Stay tuned!

05 May 2008

Tribeca Success

It has been a crazy 5 days since the premiere of "A Powerful Noise" and the reception we received at Tribeca was fabulously overwhelming. The premiere was sold out and the film was met with a standing ovation. It was spectacular and a dream come true. Most importantly, when I announced Madame Urbain from Mali was in attendance for the Q&A... well, the place erupted. That was definitely one of the proudest moments of my life as a filmmaker. To see the inspiration people latched onto because of Madame Urbain's power in the film was an amazing tribute to an amazing woman.

Another rewarding moment has been the consistent audience response. Scott and I had a plan going into production that we would differentiate our film by getting strong visuals, allow our characters to tell their stories in their own voice, and use music to link our women heroines together. Everyone seems to be responding to all of those elements in the film, and it is wonderful when a plan comes together. As documentary filmmakers, we cannot plan what happens, but we can give the production a creative vision and focus to keep the narrative cohesive. I am proud of that accomplishment and I share it with our wonderful crew.

Tribeca Film Festival (l-r) Scott Thigpen, Sheila Johnson, Dr. Helene Gayle, Ed Burns, Christy Turlington Burns, Tom Cappello
The final satisfaction came Sunday night as one of the last screenings of Tribeca, "A Powerful Noise" sold out Tribeca's second biggest theater at Village East. We figured most people would have packed it in by then or would go see the award winners, but I was happy to see such an enthusiastic crowd. Most people stayed for the Q&A, and it was the most lively discussion of the festival. People are really engaging with the film and that bodes well as we distribute this film wider. With such an enthusiastic response, I now like to affectionately think of "A Powerful Noise" as Tribeca's Closing Night Film. Thanks for everyone's support. More good news to follow in the coming weeks. Tribeca was a fantastic launching pad!

30 April 2008

Twas the night before the premiere...

Many doc filmmakers complain about bad distribution deals. I am convinced now more than ever that doc filmmakers need to make their own distribution deals. Just like we find a subject matter we are passionate about filming. On the back side, we must be equally passionate about identifying and seeking out the core audience that will be interested in our film. There are credible indie distribution companies that will help usher your film into theaters, but it is up to us to get butts in the seats. My friend, Jim Tusty, made a film about Estonia and its heritage and that doc will outgross 3 of the 5 2008 Academy Award nominated docs. His subject matter is very targeted and so has his distribution. There is no reason with a great subject and strong production value all docs cannot have success theatrically. Just like music and publishing, self-distribution is real and attainable for doc filmmakers. The morning meetings we had truly reinforced my belief that box office success is attainable and that great theatrical will have great effects later down the distribution food chain. Later this week, we have meetings set-up with traditional TV distributors at Tribeca and it will be good to get their perspective on the viability of indie docs in the small screen landscape.

At lunch, I finally got to see our main character from Mali, Madame Urbain. This is her first trip to America and she is truly humbled by the attention her work is receiving because of the film. Her humble nature has not quelled her great spirit and energy that seems to be thriving in New York City. I was glad to hear one of her students we met during filming is being trained as a seamstress and that her training centers are trying to expand out to the northern regions of Mali well outside Bamako. She is an amazing woman and I cannot wait for America to be exposed to her Wednesday night at the premiere.

Our day ended with a screening of Simon Brand’s “Paraiso Travel”. It was a wonderfully shot indie film about Columbian immigrants who get separated upon arriving in Manhattan. The film intercuts Marlon’s present day experiences in Queens with flashbacks to his memory of the harrowing ordeal to cross the border. The flashback scenes have some wonderfully haunting moments that bring home the border crossing experience with a realism I have yet to see on the big screen. After the screening, Allison (my wife and production manager on "A Powerful Noise" ) and I went to a celebration dinner for the film and our Executive Producer, Sheila Johnson. It was great fun to hear everyone’s excitement about seeing the premiere and how they want to help bolster the women’s empowerment movement our film promotes. It was also great to recognize Sheila whose all encompassing support made this film and its distribution to the general public possible. Without her vision, our very determined and dedicated crew would never have had the freedom and focus to make the film a reality. We will be forever indebted.

Wish us luck. Tomorrow is the big night! Tribeca 2008…Here we come!

28 April 2008

Tribeca Kicks Into Full Gear

Today was a day to finally get a chance to meet the films and filmmakers at the festival. I started the morning at 9 AM catching a screening of the Golden Bear-winning film, Elite Squad, from Brazil. It takes a controversial look at the tactics of the police against the poor of Brazil's favelas. Compelling in so many ways, the opening 5 minutes of the film grabs you and never lets go. Afterwards, I worked hard to get the word out about the approaching "A Powerful Noise" premiere to industry folks. We got some interest from some of our targeted festivals and a couple of cable channels, so we hope this leads to great things in creating buzz and awareness for women's empowerment.

Then it was off to the the Japanese Fusion restaurant, MEGU. The food and company were wonderful. I got the opportunity to meet Vincent Coen and his wonderful wife, Bartelyne. Vincent made a short film, Heartbeats, which was a coming of age look at a young girl leaving the nest. This certainly hits home for me as a new father, and I look forward to seeing his shorts program over the weekend. It was great to discuss everyone's wonderful reception at the fest and to hear how responsive the audiences have been to the material. It was great to get an international feel for the fest as Vincent and Bartelyne came all the way from Belgium. And if you go to MEGU, please order the asparagus. :)

At 4:30 PM, we rushed the documentary feature, "This Is Not A Robbery," about JL Roundtree, the 92 year old bank robber. Wonderful execution of a film built around taped archival audio and video of JL in prison. The graphics and animation were inspired, and the interviews of people who knew JL were hysterically insightful. Everyone should get a chance to be introduced to JL's second wife/dancer, Juanita Adams. What a wild, hard to believe film.

The evening ended at the Tribeca's Producers' Reception. I got a chance to see Kristy and Dawn who made the wonderful doc feature, "Going On 13." This is a multi-layered women's story following girls growing up in the San Francisco Bay area from age 9-13. Fascinating film with a wonderful blending of these girl going through puberty and moving on to adolescence. Cannot wait to see it on a TV screen near me soon. Additionally, I learned of a short doc film, "Life For A Child," by Academy Award winner, Ed Lachman, about diabetes in Nepal. That will be a must see. And the producer's of "Have You Ever Heard About Vukovar" said their film looks at the Bosnian War through the eyes of a Croatian refugees. Seems to be many connections with "A Powerful Noise" with some of the other films in the festival.

Two days left until the premiere, and I finally saw the venue today. It is amazing! 390 seats and beautifully ornate architecture and design. It is a wonderful renovated art house theater and I cannot think of a better place to premiere a directorial debut. It is getting exciting and it is good to hear people begin to talk about our film. People at the parties were targeting our screenings, and we now have some nice articles at http://www.blackenterprises.com/ and http://www.thewashingtonpost.com/. It is starting to become "A Powerful Noise" !

07 April 2008

Director's Statement by Tom Cappello

In 2006, producer Scott Thigpen hired me to collaborate on a film focused on empowered women making a difference in underprivileged communities around the world. We began a journey to find three women who symbolized extraordinary strength, courage and determination. Women who were making a real difference in the fight against global poverty. Beyond that, we wanted to show what marginalized women and girls can accomplish, if given the chance in the face of great odds.

Initially, as a first-time feature film director, I was excited and awed by this task. There were endless stories of women who are improving their communities and their countries. Ultimately, we found three women who compel viewers to truly empathize with their activism. Each woman has different levels of strength and selflessness that drew me in to their world during filming and continued to astound me in the edit room.

Documenting the lives of these three remarkable women is one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I observed firsthand the influence of infinite humanity. Each individual story is an exceptional, startling human journey told through their eyes and in their voice. In the end, the unique perspectives of these three women combine to create an unprecedented film about the power of the human spirit and the potential women have to change the world at large. They just need our encouragement and support, and I hope you will be moved to lend your voice and energy to the solidarity of women around the world.

11 March 2008

World Premiere - Tribeca Film Festival

World Premiere - Tribeca Film Festival
Wednesday, April 30 - 6:15PM - Village East Cinemas Theater 1

Additional Screenings:
Thursday, May 1 - 1:45PM - AMC Village VII Theater 1
Friday, May 2 - 8:00PM - Village East Cinemas Theater 1
Sunday, May 4 - 10:00AM - Village East Cinema Theater 5
Sunday, May 4 - 8:15PM -Village East Cinema Theater 7

AMC Loews Village 7
66 Third Ave at 11th St.
New York, NY 10003

Village East Cinema (at 12th Street)
181 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Click here to buy tickets.

03 January 2008

A Powerful Noise - About the Film

A Powerful Noise is due to be released in Spring 2008.

Hanh is an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam. Nada, a survivor of the Bosnian war. And Jacqueline works the slums of Bamako, Mali. The documentary A Powerful Noise takes you inside the lives of these women to witness their daily challenges and significant victories over poverty and oppression. Stand in solidarity with these and other impoverished women around the world. To learn more, visit apowerfulnoise.org.