Speakers: Ricki Stern
and Annie Sundberg,
Enough To Jail
Long Island Museum
Speakers: Julie Goldman,
Producer; Sean Lyness,
Assoc. Prod.; Jill and Vera
I Am Not
Long Island Museum
Speakers: Prof. Zebulon
Thelwell, U Mass,
Speaker: Brett Berns,
Director, son of
Off the Rails
Speaker: Adam Irving,
SPOTLIGHT ON A SPECIAL EVENT
We are thrilled and honored to have had the privilege of screening the film, I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, on April 3, 2017 at The Long Island Museum. Our guest speakers were Dr. Zebulon Miletsky, Assistant Professor in the Stony Brook University’s Africana Studies Dept. and Professor Ekwueme Michael Thelwell, author and professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The screening of the film was organized and coordinated by co-director, Barbara Sverd.
After taking extra time to accommodate the over-capacity standing room-only crowd in the adjoining room, Dr. Miletsy took the mike to introduce Professor Thelwell. Then Professor Thelwell took some time to give us a background on his friend and colleague, James (Jimmy to him) Baldwin. His essay on James Baldwin was also given out to all. The “Q and A” after the film basically turned into a discussion between the speakers and the audience. A reoccurring comment by many was how in awe they were at the large attendance and how special it was for so many to come together as a community to celebrate James Baldwin and have a frank and thought-provoking discussion about race in America today.
“Long Island’s film festival scene has come a long way, and it’s undeniable that each plays a vital role in giving Long Island audiences a diverse offering of films. Standing out for its devotion to documentaries—which are evocative, thought provoking, and shed light on often-unrepresented segments of our population—is the Port Jefferson Documentary Series. The series has been highlighting some of the best documentaries from around the world since 2005. For more than a decade, the Port Jefferson Documentary Series’ volunteer members diligently screen a vast assortment of films each and every year in order to select the best documentaries that should be represented. Talk about commitment to the arts! Its no wonder why Long Islanders voted Port Jefferson Documentary Series the best!”
-Best of LI
A LOOK AT THE SPRING 2017 SEASON
“The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.”
There has been a lot of talk recently about justice and democracy. Documentary filmmakers often reflect the trends and interests of society while, at the same time, widening their lenses to give us the “back story” through their unique access. Appropriately, there is a strong theme of justice in the spring series films as filmmakers demand that we look at how the some of the most vulnerable are treated: women, immigrants, the mentally ill, African-Americans, and also allow us to see what happens when our democratic society is attacked from the outside. To this mix we add some circus magic and some rock-and-roll and there you have the Spring Series 2017!
We start “Boston Strong” and you will cheer, as have previous audiences, at the screening of MARATHON: THE PATRIOT DAY BOMBING, where we watch the city of Boston react with compassion first and triumph in the end over a shattering tragedy. Guest speakers will be the directors, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. Similar feelings of pride are evoked by the tenacious and brave fight of the women of Rwanda for legal recognition that sexual assault is a crime. THE UNCONDEMNED is an international courtroom drama about the most fundamental battle of the sexes. Guest speaker will be the director, Michelle Mitchell. ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL, a fascinating financial thriller, examines the fallout from the Great Recession, when so many financial giants were deemed “too big to fail” but the powers-that-be had to find an institution of which to make an example. Watch what happens when they choose immigrant-owned Abacus Federal Savings. Guest speakers will be the producer, Julie Goldman, associate producer Sean Lyness, and bankers Jill and Vera Sung. I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO, possibly one of the most celebrated films of the year, defines the African-American experience in the time of the serial murder of civil rights leaders Malcom X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King. Through the words of author James Baldwin, brilliantly brought to life by director Raoul Peck from Baldwin’s unfinished 1979 novel, the film will sharpen your perspective on events then and now. Guest speakers will be Professors Zebulon Miletsky and Michael Thelwell. CIRCUS KID is a film for anyone who has ever laughed at a clown and wondered what was behind that white face. Lorenzo Pisoni brings us into the world of the Big Top, a world he was born into. Guest speaker will be the director, Lorenzo Pisoni. Following the circus, we explore the world of rock-and-roll, where music meets the Mob in BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY, a biography of ’60s hitmaker and 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Bert Berns, as revealed by his son Brett Berns. Guest speaker will the be director, Brett Berns. Finally, we go OFF THE RAILS, watching the train wreck that is the life of Darius McCollum, an infamous transit system super-fan, a NYC legend who has been stealing buses and trains since 1980. Crime or compulsion? And how do we handle it? Guest speaker by Skype will be the director, Adam Irving.
As always, the goal of the PJDS is to bring you new documentaries while they are still “new,” films you cannot see locally or download—yet, the best of the festivals right in your own backyard. The series is the product of a lot of loving attention from the volunteers who work all year round, attending film screenings, calling directors and distributors (many times), creating public relations materials and completing logistical arrangements worthy of generals.
At the PDJS we’re all about new ideas and conversations. We invite you to email or speak to any of our PJDS team regarding new ideas and requests you may have to make the series even better.
See you at the movies!
Lyn Boland, Co-Director
Barbara Sverd, Co-Director
Wendy Feinberg, Co-Director
Honey Katz, Film Board
Phyllis Ross, Film Board
Lorie Rothstein, Film Board
Lynn Rein, Film Board
Suzanne Velasquez, Volunteer
Patricia Conway, Volunteer
A Couple of Our Past Events
Gallery Tour and Film Screening : THE WITNESS
5:00: Self-guided tour of LIM’S, Long Island in the Sixties exhibition
6:00: Screening of THE WITNESS
Guest speaker: James Solomon, Producer/ Director
Long Island Museum
1200 Rte. 25A
Stony Brook, NY
Admission: $7.00 sold at door, includes gallery visit ( no advanced tickets, no credit cards, please)
The Witness is a riveting true account of a brother’s journey to unravel the truth about the mythic death and little known life of Kitty Genovese, who was reportedly murdered in front of 38 witnesses and has become the face of urban apathy.
17th Season of PJDS Celebrated with Wine Tasting & Film
Take a look inside our special VIP Wine Tasting event to celebrate the screening of SOMM. The sold out event was presented by Mora’s Fine Wines & Spirits, featuring wines by Esprit du Vin. Dustin Wilson, Master Sommelier and Wine Director at 3-star Michelin Restaurant Eleven Madison Park assisted in the presentation and took questions from a full house after the screening.