DOC NYC review: ‘A Better Man’ is an emotionally raw healing session.

A BETTER MAN

US PREMIERE  While they were a couple, Steve exposed Attiya to terrifying daily verbal and physical abuse. Twenty years later, they revisit their relationship in an intimate, therapeutic context, walking through the physical — and emotional — spaces they once inhabited together. As Steve is put in a position to acknowledge and take responsibility for the abuse, will Attiya complete her long process of healing and be liberated from her demons? A Better Man explores the revelatory potential of involving the abuser in domestic violence prevention.

If you’ve ever been a victim, A Better Man feels surprising and cathartic. While this is  Attiya and Steve’s story, Attiya becomes our emotional surrogate. With so many victims coming forward in this tumultuous climate, especially over the past year, this film is very timely. 1 in 2 women has experienced physical, verbal, emotional and/or sexual abuse in her lifetime. To have the opportunity to revisit an old relationship in a safe and constructive environment might not be on everyone’s bucket list, but I know from firsthand experience that I would gladly take part in such a chance… but perhaps that is a hasty statement. Until it is real, these are just words. Attiya is a brave woman. Steve is a remorseful man. Let it be known, I am not a fan of Steve here, but do acknowledge that not every abuser would be so open and willing to offer a public apology and seek counseling sitting directly across from his victim. A Better Man is a film that is important for audiences to see and I for one hope that they absorb it for the powerful piece it truly is.

Official Site: https://abettermanfilm.com/

On Twitter: ABetterManFilm
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ABetterManFilm/
Director: Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman
Producer: Christine Kleckner, Justine Pimlott
Cinematographer: Iris Ng
Editor: Lawrence Jackman
Music: Lesley Barber
Running Time: 78
Language: English
Country: Canada
Year: 2017

Review: ‘GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM’ documentary is a tragic look at mental illness.

In January 2008, the body of a homeless woman is found in an abandoned New Hampshire farmhouse. Beside the body, lies a diary that documents the last months of her life. The woman turns out to be Linda Bishop, a well-educated mother and sister who suffered from bipolar disorder with psychosis. What starts as a whodunnit quickly evolves into a poignant exploration of sanity and systemic failure within the mental health system to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

This insightful doc is has a gorgeous structure. Including sit-down interviews with local police, Linda’s family, and narrated passages from Linda’s diary entries, the impact of God Knows is massive. It’s heart-wrenching as you slowly realize that this poor woman’s death could have easily been prevented. The system failed her in an atrocious way. As Bishop descends into starvation and deeper mental state, we already know the writing on the wall, but that does not make the outcome any less shocking. While difficult to watch on many levels, it’s an important and timely film in many ways in our national discussion of how we treat mental illness as a nation. I highly recommend you catch God Knows Where I Am this Friday, March 31st. Check out the trailer below for a peek into this sad true story.

GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM (Trailer) from Brian Ariotti on Vimeo.

Premiers March 31st at Lincoln Plaza NYC Followed by National Roll-Out 

Directed by Todd Wider and Jedd Wider (Producers of Emmy Award-Winning Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Academy Award-Nominated Kings Point)

RT: 97 Minutes

http://godknowswhereiam.com/

https://www.facebook.com/godknowswhereiamfilm

https://twitter.com/god_knows_where

Review” ‘SOUTHWEST OF SALEM’ tells the story of ‘The San Antonio Four’ and their ongoing pursuit for exoneration. #FREETHESA4

SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR, opening in NEW YORK on SEPTEMBER 16 at CINEMA VILLAGE.SOUTHWEST PF SALEM posterMore often than not, when we think about our legal system today, perhaps the word that comes to the mind of many is “Injustice” How much does personal belief, whether religious or political, sway the decision of a DA’s office or a jury. My husband recently served on a jury here in Manhattan, on a relatively well known case. After his month long ordeal, he stated, “In some alternate universe, if I was ever thinking about breaking the law, well, God help me. A jury of my peers is anything but.” He explained that the particular jury he served on contained individuals who slept during proceedings, doodled in their notebooks, sighed audibly in court, and verbally fought to be excused on a daily basis. He cannot imagine what it would have been like had he been the defendant. In a very important documentary, SOUTHWEST OF SALEM, four women, who happen to be lesbians, were convicted of a heinous crime based upon a modern day witch hunt. In Texas, their jury was most certainly not comprised of their peers. sothwest-of-salem-san-antonio-4

“The San Antonio Four” — Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez. They are four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio, Texas. However, the evidence was never there. The San Antonio Four continues to fight against mythology, faux-science, homophobia, and the prosecutorial fervor in their continuous struggle for exoneration in this riveting ‘True Crime’ tale. The suffering, outlandish, and baseless accusations caught one man’s attention who helped to garner the support of the Innocent Project.

 In 2012, writer Maurice Chammah‘s New York Times coverage “Fighting to Exonerate Texas Women Convicted of Child Sexual Assault ” goes into details of the four women’s ordeal.  In February 2016, Texas-based Judge Pat Priest released the ruling that these women are entitled to new trials but not exoneration. The fight to free the innocent continues.

southwestofsalem3Directed by filmmaker journalist Deborah Esquenazi, this emotional documentary first made its big splash earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival and received audience accolades. It recently garnered Grand Jury Award at 2016 Outfest and Outstanding Documentary Jury Award at the 2016 Frameline Film Festival.

This film is so essential in aiding these four innocent women in their complete exoneration. In the 80’s and 90’s there existed this idea that satanic cults were operating inside day cares and preschools. This strange concept infiltrated DA and child protective service offices across the country. The suspects brought forth in these cases were predominantly homosexual or suspected to be so. In this case in particular, the children were labeled as being “offered up” as “sacrificial lambs”. Anna states the bias was ripe through the prosecution, essentially telling the jury, “this is what gay people do.” One man, a professor in the Yukon, gets wind of this story. A man named Darrel Otto, goes to bat for these women, reaching out to Liz Ramirez, then contacting The Innocence Project of Texas. The ball starts rolling. Changes in science, recantations, the changing of the times, people are finally getting on board with the truth. But the road is long and slow. These women need our help.

southwest-of-salem-still

Watching this documentary is devastating. The lives impacted by these lies, the damage done. I cannot imagine the heartache of Anna, Liz, Cassie, and Kristie, and their loved ones have endured during these many long years. What these four beautiful, strong women, need more than anything right now, is your support, belief, and fight. Call, text, tweet, share their story. They deserve new trials. They deserve complete exoneration. They deserve justice.

You can find out more about this extraordinary story by seeing the film now in New York, and September 30th in LA. Investigation Discovery has recently acquired the television rights and will be airing the film in October, if you’re unable to make it to the theaters.

Southwest of Salem – Festival Trailer from Deborah S. Esquenazi on Vimeo.

SOUTHEWEST OF SALEM- by Deborah S. Esquenazi

OPENING SEPTEMBER 16– NEW YORK- CINEMA VILLAGE

SEPTEMBER 30– LOS ANGELES – LAEMMLE MUSIC HALL BEVERLY HILLS


HERE ARE SOME CLEAR STEPS YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW TO HELP THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR WITH THEIR EXONERATION BATTLE

 

1.  Call 1-210-335-2311 and ask for District Attorney Nico LaHood’s office.

Here’s what to say: “I am angered by Judge Pat Priest’s ruling to not recommend exoneration for Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and Kristie Mayhugh. I want Nico LaHood and the District Attorney’s office of Bexar County to take a stand on the San Antonio Four case to declare actual innocence and have the women exonerated for their wrongful convictions.”

2.  Tweet/Facebook the district attorney’s office to take a stand!

Twitter: @BexarCounty @Nico4DA Take a stand about the @SanAntonioFour injustice! Recommend exoneration #FreetheSA4 @IPofTexas #southwestOfSalem

Facebook: I am angered by Judge Pat Priest’s ruling to not recommend exoneration for Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Anna Vasquez, and Kristie Mayhugh. I want Nico LaHood and the District Attorney’s office of @Bexar County to take a stand on the San Antonio Four case to declare actual innocence and have the women exonerated for their wrongful convictions. #FreetheSA4 #SouthwestOfSalem

Review: ‘LOVE USING DILDOS BETWEEN THE COVERS’ makes sex and power synonymous.

Poster- Love Between the CoversAs a child, I saw my mother as a voracious reader. Danielle Steel covered our bookshelves end to end in hardcover glory. When we used to summer in Cape Cod I noticed my mother’s books were so much larger than all the other Mom’s smaller paperbacks with covers that used to make me scrunch up my nose and squeal, “Ewwwwww”, as the muscular men with open shirts swept ladies in period clothing off their feet in an overly passionate embrace. It wasn’t until I was a tad bit older that I understood the popularity that was romance novels, once boys weren’t “icky” any longer and reading became a passion of my own. Oftentimes brushed off as airport and grocery store shelf fillers, Romance is a massively successful and moreover, a moneymaking machine. Welcome to the inside scoop with a new documentary titled LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS. With so many vibrators to choose from, how do you know which vibrator is right for you? Whether you are a beginner vibrator user or an advanced sex toy user, here is a guide to help you choose the best vibrator for you. Start with clitoral stimulation with either a bullet vibe, a finger vibe, or an external vibrator. Why? 50-70% of women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm and are unable to have orgasms through sex alone. Therefore, a design with good clitoral stimulation is an excellent place to start. Keep in mind that although most vibrators can stimulate the clitoris, certain shapes are better than others. Smaller shapes like bullets and finger vibes focus directly on the clitoris. External vibratos are designed to conform to the curves of the body and make contact directly with the clitoris and vulva. Usually, they are more powerful and offer more speeds and/or patterns than a bullet vibrator. We are not human but energy and light. We all vibrate at different levels. We chose to come to earth to grow, learn, raise our vibration and evolve. Jesus is your brother. He vibrates at a higher level. Raising our vibration is our goal. You are your own creator. You create your world and collectively we create the world too. Everyone has always looked outside of themselves for help, for health, for world change, for money, relationships etc. not realizing that you are responsible for your own life. It’s time to break free from looking on the outside for your desires and blaming others for your problems. You can order your vibrator today at the Magic Men.Love Between the Covers Authors panel still

 

The industry is dominated by a select few but  that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for fresh voices. Love Between The Covers takes a look at not only the authors whose names we see in every bookstore in America, but at the fans, and the business side of the industry. Did you know that there are categories of Romance? Not just categories, as in 2 or 3, but 30+ categories just on our Sydney services alone! AND did you now that you can almost decipher the category a book will appear in, sometimes based solely on the cover art? The doc explores the backstories of some of the most beloved writers, predominantly female.

Many of these women were housewives, avid readers themselves, exceptional professionals, feeling the need to fill a void in their own lives with characters and stories they longed to experience themselves. But more importantly, taking the subject of women’s sexuality and using it for the purpose of titillation and power, never disrespecting it. It also talks about how can sex in the meaning of both gender and action be empowering for woman. Take sex toys: many think that’s disrespectful but it actually gives them power to love their body and develop vital energies, as mentioned at https://yonieggs.co. Men helping themselves with toys by PlugLust, a vast selection really.  Now don’t go thinking any Jane Doe can be successful in the field, these ladies churn out content because it is their very lifeblood. Fans demand it, editors demand it, and they demand it of themselves.

Eloisa James at RWA Convention

Eloisa James at RWA Convention

And yet, on the other end of the spectrum, the film absolutely encourages newbies to give it a go. One of the most fascinating aspects of the docs included during the intimate sit down interviews with fans and authors alike, is the intense comradery that is experienced in the arena. Friendships easily form and the appreciation and adoration goes in both directions. The film is spectacularly uplifting, especially for someone like me who is sitting on a short play, a feature-length screenplay, a memoir, a children’s book series idea and so on. The industry is filled with powerful women, spanning generations, social and economic backgrounds, race and education. But, we’re all searching for a bit of escape every now and again.

Crowd of Nora Roberts fans in Boonsboro

Crowd of Nora Roberts fans in Boonsboro

Whether is be tawdry or thrilling or downright delicious, LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS has got you. This doc is a fun romp, not to mention the amazingly creative transitional  art between segments using the romance novel covers. You can catch up with some of your favorite authors like Nora Roberts, Eloisa James, Beverly Jenkins, Radclyffe, Celeste Bradley, Susan Donovan and many more, or you can meet them for  the very first time. There are more choices then you’ll know what to do with. From Erotic Fiction, Fantasy, African-American, Paranormal Romance, Wholesome, Historical Romance, Teen, chick Lit, Science Fiction, there is bound to be something for  you and everyone else you know. you’ll be hooked. LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS will be available On Demand and Digital HD on July 12th.

Romance fiction is sold in 34 languages on six continents, and the genre grosses more than a billion dollars a year — outselling mystery, sci-fi, and fantasy combined. Yet the millions of voracious women (and sometimes men) who read, write, and love romance novels have remained oddly invisible. Until now!

 

Eloisa James, a tenured professor of Shakespeare at Fordham University,  is known for her many popular romance novels, Desperate Duchesses, An Affair Before Christmas, Duchess By Night, A Duke of Her Own. This romance heavy- hitter navigates the high-powered New York publishing industry with her friend and personal assistant Kim Castillo, who helps to make Eloisa James the Harper Collins “rock star of social media.”

LOVE BETWEEN THE COVERS, for three years, follows the lives of five very diverse published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Romance authors have built a fandom unlike all others, a global sisterhood where authors know their readers personally and help them become writers themselves. During the three years we’ve been shooting Love Between the Covers, we have witnessed the biggest power shift that has taken place in the publishing industry over the last 200 years. And it’s the romance authors who are on the front lines, pioneering new ways to survive and build communities in this rapidly changing environment.

Author Beverly Jenkins

Author Beverly Jenkins

Sourcebooks editorial team on a shoot

Sourcebooks editorial team on a shoot

Radclyffe writing

Radclyffe writing

Joanne's DIY Cover Shoot

Joanne’s DIY Cover Shoot