Tuesday, November 24, 2009 — New Day Films (http://newday.com), a leading distributor of documentary and fiction social issues films to the educational market, announced today that four of its filmmaker members have films short-listed for Academy AwardsÃ‚®. THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS and UNDER OUR SKIN have been short-listed for OscarsÃ‚® by The Academy of Motion Pictures in the feature documentary category. THE LAST TRUCK: CLOSING OF A GM PLANT and WOMAN REBEL have been short-listed in the short documentary category.
One of the largest media cooperatives, New Day Films was founded in 1971 by a group of feminist filmmakers rebuffed by conservative distribution companies. Today New Day Films is run by its 150 filmmaker members offering more than 230 social issue films to educational institutions. In this digital era, New Day offers films both as DVDs and digital streams over the Internet and to institutional intranets.
“While the independent film business is struggling to find a new paradigm for distribution, we already have — and it’s 40 years old,” said New Day Steering Committee co-chairperson Johnny Symons. “Our cooperative continues to set revenue growth records, while at the same time drawing in Oscar-caliber documentarians who work shoulder-to-shoulder with other filmmakers.”
“Our films highlight social justice, a theme that resonated in the 1970s and still resonates powerfully today with our educational buyers,“ stated New Day Steering Committee co-chairperson Marlene Booth.
THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS explores Vietnam War planner Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked a top secret Pentagon report to The New York Times to try to stop the war. Co-Director Rick Goldsmith (with Judith Ehrlich) has been a member of New Day since 1996 when he joined with his film TELL THE TRUTH AND RUN: GEORGE SELDES AND THE AMERICAN PRESS, which was nominated for an Academy AwardÃ‚® and is available through New Day Films. “New Day supports me in my mission as a filmmaker which is to tell stories that encourage social engagement and active participation in community life and the democratic process,“ stated Goldsmith.
UNDER OUR SKIN exposes the hidden story of Lyme disease, one of the most controversial and fastest growing epidemics of our time. “Each year thousands who suffer from Lyme disease go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,“ explained Director Andy Abrahams Wilson, a New Day member since 1997. “As a cooperative of social issues filmmakers, New Day supports and encourages using media for social change.“
“New Day is also an extraordinary resource for creative partnerships,“ continues Andy Abrahams Wilson. “Four other New Day members contributed to UNDER OUR SKIN including the film’s editor and additional camera work.“
Julia Reichert, a founding member of New Day, is the director (with Steven Bognar) of the short-listed short documentary film THE LAST TRUCK: CLOSING OF A GM PLANT which tracks the final months of the plant through the workers’ eyes. THE LAST TRUCK is currently airing on HBO. Julia has been twice nominated for Academy AwardsÃ‚® for the feature length documentaries UNION MAIDS and SEEING RED, both available through New Day films.
“We started out almost 40 years ago as a group of feminist filmmakers challenging the patriarchy. Getting our films out and promoting social change was a political act then, and it still is today,” said Julia Reichert. “The rallying cry for New Day has always been ‘empower yourself.’”
New Day member Robert Richter is the executive producer on WOMAN REBEL, a short documentary that follows the journey of a Nepalese woman from rebel soldier to parliament member. A member since 1986, Richter has five films in the coop including the OscarÃ‚® short-listed film FATHER ROY: INSIDE THE SCHOOL OF THE ASSASSINS.
“New Day is a wonderful community of filmmakers that supports its members’ efforts to get their work seen and recognized,“ noted Robert Richter.
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