September 2017 Newsletter


In June, the Demystifying Tax Credits Seminar, provided filmmakers with an overview of exactly what Massachusetts productions tax credits are, how they are used and how to qualify for them. Participants learned that the minimum qualified spending is only $50K; that feature films, documentaries & multiple episode series all qualify; and that credits are transferable (meaning you can borrow against them, use them or sell them).
On September 19th, The Center For Independent Documentaries, the LEF Foundation, and Filmmakers Collaborative present Take Two: A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for MA Tax Credits.

This free 90-minute workshop will take you step-by-step through the entire process - from how to register with the State, through filing for the appropriate tax credit, to ways to finance your film through the tax credits. On hand again will be Wendy Riseborough, a Producer and Project Manager for Independent filmmakers who has applied for and received tax credits over 20 times in her career. Wendy has seen it all and lucky for us is willing to share her stories of success and challenges along the way. Wendy is a producer and project manager of award winning documentaries, feature films, and cable series. For the last 11 years she has held producing titles at Vital Pictures in Boston, where she develops new public broadcasting documentaries, oversees productions, and day-to-day operations. She has worked to successfully secure tax credits for numerous independent documentaries for broadcast, episodic, and digital media projects. Her newest production, Coming of Age in Aging America, aired on the PBS World Channel in late June 2017. If you have specific questions regarding your project that you would like answered at the workshop, please feel free to share them ahead of time with and we will try to address everyone's needs.   Hope to see you there!

Take Two: A Step-by-Step Guide to Applying for MA Tax Credits.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
6:30 - 8:00PM
Microsoft New England Research and Development Center
1 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02142



CID's Filmmakers Workshops offers filmmakers the opportunity to screen works-in-progress & receive invaluable feedback with which to gauge the effectiveness of their messaging and to identify & address problems inherent in their films.  The workshops are free of charge, attended by film professionals and invited members of the general public and are available to any documentary filmmaker with a project that is nearing the final stages of the editing process.  If you or a colleague are interested in learning more, contact CID Project Manager Joe Dunn  HERE .


Applications Now Available
Deadline: November 1, 2017
The California Documentary Project (CDP) is a competitive grant program that supports the research and development and production stages of film, audio, and digital media projects that seek to document California in all its complexity. Projects should use the humanities to provide context, depth, and perspective and be suitable for California and national audiences through public and educational screenings and presentations, broadcast, distribution, and/or online. Since 2003, California Humanities has awarded over $5 million to projects that document California and its cultures, peoples, and histories, and that together help us better understand who we are and where we live. Recently supported projects include the podcasts and radio series California Foodways, The Stoop and The Intersection; interactive and trans-media documentaries such as K-TOWN '92 and The Mojave Project; and documentary films such as REAL BOY, The Return, Forever, Chinatown, No Más Bebés?, The Last Day of Freedom, Romeo is Bleeding, Ovarian Psycos, Tribal Justice, Dogtown Redemption and many more.
Funding is available in two categories:
Research and Development Grants up to $10,000
Production Grants up to $50,000
For complete guidelines, application instructions and a list of previously awarded funded projects please visit  The California Documentary Project Grants Page.   Workshop and webinar dates will be announced shortly.

Award-winning LGBT film and TV director/ producer JD Disalvatore passed away on Aug. 24 after a long battle with breast cancer.  She was 51. JD was a joyful presence on our Pride of the Ocean cruises, sharing her deep expertise and knowledge about both filmmaking and the business of film.  JD graduated from Miami Palmetto High School in 1984, two years after Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.  One could say the filmmaker, whose 2007 movie "Shelter" won a GLAAD Media Award as best feature film in limited release, was upstaged by the billionaire entrepreneur. But not everyone would completely agree.  "I used to joke with JD that she was the one that would ultimately have a bigger positive impact on people's lives. In reading all the emotional tributes people have shared about our JD, I dare say that may prove true," said Birgitte Gilliland, her friend since those high school days. Read the Miami Heralds' coverage of JD's passing  HERE


In August, the NEA released State of the Field: A Report from the Documentary Sustainability Summit in partnership with International Documentary Association (IDA). The report highlights key findings and recommendations from the Documentary Sustainability Summit, held in February 2017 at the NEA offices in conjunction with IDA, that brought together leaders in the documentary community alongside leaders from government and the arts.

To continue the momentum, NEA is hosting a series of webinar conversations highlighting themes from the report. Each webinar features a panel of experts working in the field and a Q&A session for attendees. All webinars are free to the public. The goal is to widen the net of individuals involved in the conversation, so we hope you can join in and help spread the word!  R ead the complete article  HERE and check out the webinar schedule below.

Supporting Indie Productions: Film Rebate & Tax Incentive Programs
September 21, 3:00pm (ET)
Deepen your understanding of how indie-friendly film rebate and tax incentive programs can serve local economic interests by supporting the small businesses working in independent production. Presenters include: Lance Kramer (Meridian Hill Pictures), Cynthia Lopez (media strategist and former Commissioner of NYC Mayor's Office of Media & Entertainment), Herbert Niles (D.C. Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment), and Rahdi Taylor (Former Sundance Institute Film Fund Director).   Take Part
Strengthening Communities: Regional Programs & Broadcast Initiatives
October 12, 3:00pm (ET)
Resource providers can play a key role in developing community-driven programs that bring a regional spotlight to independent content creators. Presenters include: Teresa Hollingsworth (South Arts), Sue Schardt (Association for Independents in Radio), and Chris Hastings (WORLD Channel).   Take Part


Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 4th for The
Massachusetts Production Coalition's  annual Mass Media Expo at WGBH Boston!   New England's largest media conversation returns, and they're putting together a very special lineup of exhibitions, panels, interactive media, screenings, and more.  Watch for announcements over the coming weeks with a new event website, early bird tickets, and more. #MASSMEDIA17 is not to be missed!   For a recap of last year's Expo visit And check out some of the conversations from past Expo events on our channel at WGBH's Forum Network.

Fork Films Open Call Webinar with Kat Vecchio at WMM

After a summer hiatus, Women Make Movies' workshop and webinar series is back! First up - a webinar with Fork Films' Director of Grantmaking Kat Vecchio on Sept. 14th.   Fork Films awards grants to full-length, non-fiction films from around the world that promote peace, human rights and social justice. Their next Open Call starts on Sept. 12th - are you ready to apply? Join Women Make Movies and Fork's Director of Grantmaking Kat Vecchio on Sept. 14th in a global webinar where they'll answer your questions and discuss what makes a successful application. 
Starting Sept. 12th, the Open Call is open to media makers with projects about important social issues.

Contact Laura Saladin for a $10.00 promotional discount code and then r egister HERE 


Screenings scheduled for October 7th in Washington DC
Docs In Progress is seeking submissions from across the United States for its October 7th Docs In the City Work-in-Progress screening program in Washington DC.

The theme of this year's program is "coming of age" which can be interpreted rather widely. Films can be features or shorts, but must be at an almost-finished stage (rough cut or fine cut not yet at picture lock) where the storyline is clear but the filmmaker still wants a reality check from an audience on structure or character development. If selected, you will be invited to join us on Saturday, October 7 at American University in Washington DC for a screening of your work-in-progress followed by a facilitated feedback session from Stephenson and an audience made up of a mix of filmmakers and documentary aficionados.

If the filmmaker is from outside of the Washington DC area, Docs In Progress will provide accommodations and will reimburse travel from within the United States for one representative (preferably director or producer) of the film.  Learn more  HERE

The deadline to submit your film is September 5, 2017.

Foundation Newsletter

The LEF Foundation's monthly newsletter is an invaluable resource for upcoming screenings, calls for entries, funding, job opportunities & more. Subscribe here
Calendar For Filmmakers

POV's For Filmmakers calendar includes funding deadlines, calls for entries, festivals and other documentary events.  Check it out here
This year, with the help of our filmmakers and in collaboration with archivists from Simmons College Boston, CID has catalogued 206 CID sponsored films stretching back to the early 1980's.  When completed, the catalogue will prove an invaluable tool in marketing, promoting and increasing the cultural impact of our filmmaker's work.  Take a minute to complete the survey to ensure that your project is included and that your information is complete and correct.

Add Your CID Sponsored Film 

CID Films Production Updates


Lisa Olivieri's  Blindsided is an hour-long documentary narrative of Patricia Livingstone, a deaf-blind lesbian artist facing a series of unimaginable losses and historic gains. The film weaves intimate, real time scenes, shot over the course of eight years, with home videos and photographs, to relay the story of a woman whose spark did not fade even in the face of great hardship and loss.  The film  was selected as the Best Feature Documentary in the Domestic Violence Awareness Category by the Bare Bones International Independent Film & Music Festival (Muskogee, OK).
Learn More HERE


Julie Mallozzi's  Circle Up  will have its Boston premiere at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, MA on Saturday, October 14 at 12 noon as part of the GlobeDocs Film Festival.   The film tells the story of a group of Boston mothers who seek true justice for their murdered children. After the brutal slaying of her teenage son, Janet Connors reaches out to her son's killer to offer a chance for forgiveness. They team up with other survivors - and a Native American peacemaker - to help young people in their community break the chain of violence and revenge.
Circle Up is a call to action for reframing approaches to crime and punishment through the lens of restorative justice, forgiveness, and accountability. Here's where the national impact campaign is headed:

Starting Local: The team is planning a big Boston premiere event including audience participation facilitated by survivors of homicide victims. This will launch a series of talking circles at Boston public schools and libraries.

Forging Partnerships: At their sneak preview at the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice, they began collaborating with amazing leaders across the country who are eager to bring  Circle Up to their constituencies.

Generating Screenings: They are creating a "screening in a box" mechanism so that schools, prisons, survivor groups, and other organizations can use the film to help people affected by violence restore a sense of justice for themselves and their communities.

Learn more about the project or arrange a screening in your community  HERE

Expert Film Editors Join the NIRV Team!

This August, five experienced film editors joined New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) team to help guide their documentary filmmakers-in-training.  
Each of the trainees shot an activity of someone making something. Each editor met with teams of trainees to review their footage.  There was a lot of laughter and some grimaces, about the footage presented. The editors created a scene from the trainee's material, talking through how an editor thinks and what they are looking for to turning raw footage into a story. Trainees learned firsthand how their shot choices affected the editor's ability to construct a scene with smooth continuity.  
It is an incredible experience to be together in one room with people from 10 different countries - China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Ethiopia, Uganda, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba - so many cultures and so much great energy.  To learn more and to  see the results of CSFilm's similar training and production projects in Haiti and Afghanistan click HERE

Meet the Editors!


A documentary from Adam Mazo about cultural survival and stolen children told from inside the first truth & reconciliation commission for Native Americans. The project  has been selected to participate in Independent Film Project's Spotlight on Documentaries happening in New York in September and is pleased to announce that  Vision Maker Media has come on board as a co-producer for the film. 


Eric Stange's much anticipated Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive will broadcast on PBS' American Masters on October 30 at 9pm EST. T here will be screenings in New York and Boston on the following dates:

Friday Oct. 20 at the Morgan Library, New York.
Saturday Oct. 28 at 2:30 PM at the Bronx Library Center Auditorium.
Saturday November 4, 1:00 PM at the Boston Public Library
Thursday November 9, at Emerson College, Boston as part of the "Bright Lights" screening series.
Wednesday December 6 at the Newton (MA) Public Library.

Click  HERE for details.


Finding Kukan demonstrates that re-discovering forgotten history can yield treasures as valuable as gold or jewels." Peter Wong - Beyond Chron FINDING KUKAN continues to win over audiences at film festivals across the U.S. Winner, Best Documentary, Special Jury Award (Hawaii International Film Festival) Winner, Audience Award (Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival) Winner, Honorable Mention, Documentary Award (CAAMFest) Winner, Courage in Cinema Award (UMass Boston Film Series) Official Selection (DOC NYC; Chicago Asian American Showcase; Seattle International Film Festival; Mendocino Film Festival) Future screenings in September and October will be in Honolulu, HI; Madison, WI; and Atlanta, GA. Visit our SCREENING PAGE for more information. EDUCATIONAL DISTRIBUTION: DVDs and streaming versions of the film are now available to K-12 schools, colleges/universities, museums, public libraries, government agencies, corporations and non-profit organizations. For more information click HERE. Many thanks to everyone who has helped keep the story of Li Ling-Ai and KUKAN alive. Aloha, Robin Lung (producer/director of FINDING KUKAN)


The G Word is delighted to launch its latest web video Meet The Experts: Who Gets to Be Gifted in America and Why?   In this powerful 12-minute VIDEO, award-winning director/producer Marc Smolowitz s its down with five of our nation's most dynamic thought leaders to contemplate race, gender, class and sexual identity, especially in relationship to giftedness, the IQ and 21st century ideas around what constitutes intelligence. Using social just ice and education equity as a frame for these important conversations, Smolowitz invites these leading experts to contemplate key questions and topics that will be at the center of THE G WORD -- a feature documentary currently in production.
You can also listen in to Marc's extended interview with Elisheva Schwartz on her popular podcast The Dyslexia Quest.


Given the current efforts of the Justice Department to reemphasize punitive responses to problematic drug use, we need discussions about alternative forms of intervention as much as ever. Getting High can help push our national discussion forward and encourage reflection on how best to help people struggling with addiction.  To that end, filmmaker Victor Silverman is making the film available for free viewing on Vimeo. Share with your friends, social networks & organizations.


Michele Meek's Imagine Kolle 37, a short film about two girls who imagine their way to a real Berlin adventure playground, has been making the festival rounds. This summer, the film screened at the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Free Range Film Festival. Upcoming screenings include the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. 

For more information about the film, visit the website  HERE  and read's  interview with editor Sabrina Zanella-Foresi  HERE

Just One Drop will be screening New York City at Union Square Stadium 14  on October 19th at 7:30PM.   The evening will be co-hosted by  Remedy Your Health Homeopathy  and by  Sue Aiello: Homeopathic Consultant and Educator! 
Homeopathy is a specific form of medicine that uses minute doses of a highly diluted substance that stimulates the body to cure itself. To many, homeopathy seems implausible. They fear it is purely a placebo effect or worse, a form of deception or quackery. Yet, homeopathy has been around for over 200 years and is used by millions worldwide. The film explores the controversy, dispels myths and misconceptions, and asks whether or not homeopathy has been given a fair shake.

Purchase your tickets HERE  asap as it is sure to sell out!


Built over 200 years ago in a small Wampanoag community at the tip of an island in the Atlantic, the Gay Head Lighthouse is one of America's most famous beacons.  From whaling days to electrification, Keepers of the Light tells the story of evolving technology, heroism and shipwrecks, and the people who are called upon in each generation to keep the light, woven with the story of the recent race against time to save the historic beacon from falling over the edge of the rapidly eroding cliffs.  The film  has launched a fundraising campaign with Indiegogo that will extend through August 18th.   You can support the project and check out the latest trailer HERE


Claire Panke has been working on her film Light Years about creative, engaged later
life for over a decade, and is hoping to finally finish the film by the end of the
year. She has raised most of the budget via grassroots fundraising and is trying to
secure enough finishing funds to finally bring this inspiring film to audiences.
Claire is thrilled to be working with award-winning editor Linda Hattendorf, who
directed The Cats of Mirikitani (seen photo working on Light Years).

Claire recently gave a presentation about Media Images of Aging at the prestigious
IAGG World Congress Aging Conference, highlighting clips from Light Years to show
how the film can counter the ageism so prevalent in our society.

Carlos's installation at Occupy Boston in honor of his oldest son Alex who died in the Iraq War in 2004.

The Man in the Cowboy Hat follows Carlos  Arredondo  for ten years as he evolves from a grief-stricken father to a well-known peace activist to the 'cowboy hat hero' of the Boston Marathon bombing. Publicly Carlos found a new meaning; behind the scenes the story is more complex.  Three upcoming screenings of  have been announced:

-The Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 6:30 pm, Thursday evening October 5. Please join filmmakers Janice Rogovin and Laura McLam for a Q&A after the screening!

-The 12th annual Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, the weekend of Sept 15-17, watch for the date to be announced!

-The Boston Latino International Film Festival, the weekend of Sept 28 - Oct 1, date to be announced!

Learn More About The Project HERE


ONE BIG HOME is now available for download and rental. The film shows that a community can determine its own destiny. In the film you'll see the trophy home that the Obamas rent on Martha's Vineyard, the historic home that Director Doug Liman (Bourne Identity) saved, and the summer home of Mike Wallace.  
And Director Thomas Bena just signed with Bullfrog Films, the largest educational distributor in the country! Now the next generation of designers, architects, planners, and environmentalists can join the conversation!   To book a screening at your school or university contact 

Learn more about the film  HERE

 Los Hermanos/The Brothers
PatchWorks Films Los Hermanos/The Brothers is moving full steam ahead with a recent grant to finish production (details to come) and a blow out shoot with our musicians and pre-eminent violinist Joshua Bell at Festival Napa. Wonderful music and a great crew make for happy filmmakers!
In other news, Wheel of Life received the Best Short Documentary Prize at the Maui International Film Festival this spring!    Learn more  HERE 


Director Jules Rosskam, Producer Marc Smolowitz, and Music Composer, Sound Designer & Re-recording Engineer Cadet  Kuhne got together in Kuhne's Oakland studio in July to complete the sound mix for 
Paternal Rites . During the month of June, Rosskam was an artist-in-residence at Marble House Project in Dorset Vermont, where he locked picture on the project before flying to California to complete the film.  Paternal Rites  will be hitting film festivals in early 2018. To stay in the loop, sign up for their mailing list  HERE   

Jan Kravitz Pictured Far Right

Jan Krawitz screened "Perfect Strangers" at two venues in Los Angeles in August. She showed the film to a number of professionals working in the transplant field at USC Medical School. A second screening, held at the ArcLight Hollywood Cinema was sponsored by One Legacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving lives through organ, eye and tissue donation in the seven-county greater Los Angeles area. A panel discussion, featuring Krawitz and a double-organ recipient, followed the screening.

Jan Kravitz Pictured Far Right

Rolling Stone's founding editor Ralph Gleason said, "If you don't know Pres, you've missed a great part of America." Pres was born Lester Willis Young in 1909 in a purgatory for African-Americans called Mississippi. He was raised in a nether world between slavery and Jim Crow. Yet in the face of the soul destroying forces of segregation Lester chose beauty. Music was his life. "It was all music, that's all there was."
Lester's pursuit of originality and beauty created a place for culture to flourish. In the jazz clubs of New Orleans, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City and Paris musicians created a listening space that brought all people together. As America evolved this became a community that in 2008 helped elect an African-American President.
The film is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign and is offering donors some amazing perks for supporting the film.  Take a look below and please GIVE generously!
Highest Bid over $8,000:  Selmer Tenor Mark VI signed by Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter, Joe Lovano & Branford Marsalis
Highest Bid over $2500:  1942 Conn 10M Naked Lady Tenor
$1500:  Lester Young 14 inch tall paper-mache statue by artist Susan Erony used in the film.
$500:  When Lester was a small boy, Birth Records show Lee Young was born at 2235 Harmony Street in 1914. This limited edition box contains an actual piece of wood from the about to be razed house where Lester lived.
$250:  Henry Ferrini's DVD's on: Jack Kerouac, Charles Olson and Vincent Ferrini.
$100:  Digital Download of finished film & Poster
$50:  Digital Download of finished film.
$25:  Poster with directors autograph.
$10:  Film Postcard thank you signed by Director


The 30-minute documentary "Troubled Water" tells the story of one farmer and his community's fight for clean water in El Salvador against the environmental crisis caused by a powerful mining corporation. The film launched a 21-day crowdfunding campaign on August 1st and reached their $15,000.00 goal within five days! Now, they are pushing on with the campaign to see the project through post-production. We hope the short preview of the film below will convince you to help share the story of how ordinary people can make a difference in the world.  Watch and contribute  HERE.


It is with great pleasure that we announce the launch of a very special 8-minute video called Exceptional Minds , which gives viewers an early look at one of the forthcoming stories from our feature documentary.  It profiles the Big Minds Unschool  -- a groundbreaking micro-school for Twice Exceptional (2e) children based in Pinole, California. Founded by change maker Melanie Hayes, Big Minds has warmly welcomed us inside its unique and supportive community to film powerful and personal stories over time. 
We invite you to watch this new video on VIMEO or FACEBOOK.
Please consider sharing it with your networks far and wide. 

In early May The G Word held a fundraiser at the Half Moon Bay Brewery, just south of San Francisco. Marc Smolowitz moderated a panel discussion with six business leaders and educators in the Bay Area who are passionate about education. The event was broadcast to The G Word  followers via Facebook Live. There were about 50 people physically in attendance, with dozens more tuning in via Facebook. Link to the video from the event HERE!

To be sure, THE G WORD team can't continue to do this important work without your help and generosity. Please consider joining with 40+ individual donors and the Campbell Foundation by making your tax deductible gift to the project today.
For Information & To Donate Securely Online, go to:

Thank you for your kind consideration of support!