Dramatic, Shocking Tale of Judicial Scandal Marks Feature Directorial Debut of Noted Producer Robert May
NEW YORK (Thursday, November 14, 2013) – SenArt Films Releasing, the production and distribution company established by award-winning filmmaker Robert May, announced today that its documentary feature film KIDS FOR CASH will have its world premiere at a sold-out presentation at DOC NYC this Sunday, November 17, and begin its national theatrical release in Philadelphia on February 7, 2014. The film chronicles the hidden story behind the headlines of the infamous kids-for-cash juvenile court scandal.
With its roots in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia was chosen to host the theatrical premiere of KIDS FOR CASH, which will be held at the prestigious Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, February 5, two days prior to the film’s commercial opening at Landmark’s Ritz at the Bourse and other area theaters. “KIDS FOR CASH is as important to our city, and the rest of the country, as was the film PHILADELPHIA, twenty years ago,” said Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, who is thrilled to support the prestigious Philadelphia red carpet premiere. “This movie is destined to change lives."
KIDS FOR CASH is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009. Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids—most of them only in their early teens—were incarcerated.
Exposing the hidden scandal behind the headlines, KIDS FOR CASH unfolds like a real-life thriller. Charting the previously untold stories of the masterminds at the center of the scandal, the film reveals a shocking American secret told from the perspectives of the villains, the victims and the unsung heroes who helped uncover the scandal. In a major dramatic coup, the film features extensive, exclusive access to the judges behind the scheme. Now serving a 28 year sentence in federal prison, the former juvenile court judge at the heart of the scandal shares his ulterior motives, revealing that his attorneys never knew about his interviews for this film.
“This film completely changed my life and the lives of everyone close to me,” said filmmaker Robert May. “I set out to capture what I thought was simply a scandalous story about the forces of good and evil, but quickly realized how naïve I really was – what I actually found was terrifying.”
May was Executive Producer of Erroll Morris’ FOG OF WAR, winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature, and produced, with Steve James, THE WAR TAPES, winner of the Best Documentary Feature at Tribeca Film Festival. He also produced the highly acclaimed and successful dramatic film THE STATION AGENT, winner of Best Drama, Screenplay, and Performance at the Sundance Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.
KIDS FOR CASH opens on February 7 in Philadelphia and other Pennsylvania markets and expands to New York and other major markets on February 28. A wider expansion will follow.
The release is part of a newly formed distribution collaboration between SenArt Films Releasing, Paladin, The 2050 Group, Brigade Marketing, Roda Creative, Active Voice, Percival & Associates, AKA Marketing, Mark Woollen & Associates and Film Buff.
About Kids For Cash
About SenArt Films
Contact: Adam J. Segal of The 2050 Group
SenArt Films, a New York City based film production company, announced the completion of production for their latest project: KIDS FOR CASH, the untold true story of the Pennsylvania scandal of the same name. The story garnered international attention when it was reported that juvenile court judge Mark A. Ciavarella locked up thousands of children and received millions of dollars in “finders fees.” The film has been in production for nearly four years and is currently in post-production. KIDS FOR CASH is produced by Robert May, Lauren Timmons and Executive Produced by John Weekley. The film is expected to hit theaters in early 2014.
“Since the scandal broke in 2009, it’s been a wild ride as the story developed in many unexpected ways. This was a rare find where the adage ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ is all but an understatement,” said Robert May, the film’s director and producer.
SenArt Films also produced the Academy Award®-winning film THE FOG OF WAR, along other award winners, including STEVIE, THE WAR TAPES and THE STATION AGENT.
Bring BONNEVILLE home and see all the fun behind the scenes with Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen! Exciting Extras include a "Making Of" Featurette, Deleted Scenes and Bloopers, Two Alternate Endings and the trailer! Click here to order your copy today.
In a first for both the movie and cruise industries, Princess Cruises and SenArt Films Releasing will partner for unprecedented sneak previews of the upcoming dramatic comedy "Bonneville." The joint announcement was made today by Princess Cruises Senior Vice President Jan Swartz, and SenArt Films Releasing founder, Robert May. This is the first time a major motion picture will be screened on a cruise ship prior to its theatrical release.
Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen star in "Bonneville," the story of three friends who set out on an unexpected, life-changing road trip across the American West in a 1966 Bonneville. The film unites these three acclaimed actresses in a celebration of love, loss and friendship. The film will be released in theaters on February 29.
Princess passengers can view "Bonneville" on each of the line's 16 ships during the week of February 11 (exact premiere dates vary by ship and itinerary). The film will be premiered in the theaters onboard the ships and where available, on the line's "Movies Under the Stars," Princess' proprietary outdoor movie "theater" where passengers can view movies on a 300-square-foot LED screen by the pool on the ships' top decks. Destinations visited during the week of February 11 include: Sydney, Australia; Bangkok, Thailand; St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, San Juan, Ft. Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Mazatlan, Puerta Vallarta, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal, Honolulu, Maui, Cape Horn, Buenos Aires, Tobago, Devil's Island, Rio de Janeiro, Lima, Tahiti, Bora Bora and Auckland.
Princess and SenArt Films Releasing have also partnered to give away a 7-Day Mexican Riviera Cruise for two as part of an online sweepstakes on the Bonneville website. To enter, visit http://www.bonnevillethemovie.com.
Click here to read the entire article.
BONNEVILLE website launched
The film stars Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen as three friends who rediscover themselves and their friendship on a road trip from Pocatello, Idaho to Santa Barbara, California.
Stay tuned for more exciting updates, including the upcoming launch of the website and trailer!
Robert May explains, "In this age of niche marketing, we are pioneering what we call ‘hyper-viral’ marketing. We'll identify a film's target demographic -- in this case, the underserved female boomer audience -- and then find brands and organizations who are targeting the same demo and set up innovative cross-promotional partnerships. On 'Bonneville' we've done that with the Red Hat Society (a group for women 50 and older) and AAA."
Click here to read the entire article in the Hollywood Reporter.
THE WAR TAPES is now
available on DVD
Gala Tickets on sale now!
Bonneville will make its world premiere as a Gala Presentation at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival, which takes place from September 7-16th. Toronto has launched such films as CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, WHALE RIDER and CRASH, along with previous SenArt projects THE STATION AGENT, STEVIE and THE FOG OF WAR.
In their press release, the festival writes, “Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen unite in this uplifting story of three strong women who spontaneously embark on a cross country road trip and discover the best of what life has to offer along the way. BONNEVILLE seamlessly delights in the idea that life should be lived to the fullest, without a single day taken for granted. Director Christopher N Rowley brings together a formidable cast to highlight the beauty of great love and true friendships.”
Individual gala tickets go on sale August 26th. Please check out the Toronto website for more information: http://www.e.bell.ca/filmfest/2006/home/default.asp
THE WAR TAPES won Best International Feature Documentary at the inaugural BritDocs Film Festival in London, England. It was described by the jury as “a beautifully realized, thoughtful and intimate portrait of war.”
To learn more about BritDocs > www.britdoc.org/festival
reviews have come in. Below is a sampling of critical response
- for more, please
“Riveting! Compelling! Gives a stronger taste
of the Iraqi war experience than any film I can remember.”
“Must-See Territory! … The film to pay
“The first indispensable Iraq documentary.”
“A gripping documentary that takes embedding
“Excellent! Tough going and transformative … Sheer authenticity and immediacy!” - Jan Stuart, Newsday
On Friday, June 2nd, THE WAR TAPES opened at the Sunshine Theater in New York City. The acclaimed theater at 143 East Houston Street has been recognized as one of the best in New York by New York Magazine, The Village Voice and Time Out New York.
For tickets and showtimes at the Sunshine Theater, please click here.
Currently, release dates have been set for Concord NH, Manchester NH, Washington DC, Boston MA, San Francisco CA and Chicago IL.
Please click here for all the most updated information on when and where THE WAR TAPES will screen. And if we’re not yet scheduled to screen in your area, sign up on our Frappr Map and we’ll try to make it happen.
Wrapping up a week of sold-out shows and standing ovations, THE WAR TAPES won the International Documentary Feature Competition at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
The awards ceremony was held Saturday, May 6th at The Golden Bridge in Chinatown. The Documentary Competition prize was awarded by Ken Burns, who announced that the decision was “unanimous” by the jury, which included Burns, Whoopi Goldberg and legendary documentarians Robert Drew, Oren Jacoby, Rory Kennedy and Marc Levin.
Producer Robert May and Director Deborah Scranton accepted the award on behalf of a team that included fellow Producer and Editor Steve James (also of SenArt’s STEVIE), Executive Producer Chuck Lacy and Co-Producers Adam Singer and Lauren Timmons.
THE WAR TAPES will open in New York on June 2nd.
“The single best document you could see on the
war in Iraq.”
“A film of rare honesty and power that
exposes, from the eyes of those who fight the war, the revolting and
soul-numbing world of combat.”
In his preview of the Tribeca Film Festival, THE NEW YORK TIMES’ Stephen Holden writes “more than any fictional films previewed in the festival, my most indelible memories come from two documentaries about the war in Iraq and its impact on the lives of those fighting it.”
Holden goes on: “An even more compelling film, Deborah Scranton's "War Tapes" (competing in the international documentary-feature competition), follows three soldiers from the New Hampshire National Guard who were given video cameras and trained to use them before leaving their New England homes for a one-year tour of duty on the front lines in Iraq. Their riveting videotapes and accompanying commentary, sometimes shouted while under fire, gives a stronger taste of the Iraq war experience than any film I can remember.
While they were overseas, the director frequently communicated with them by instant message and also filmed the day-to-day lives of the women they left behind: a mother, a wife and a girlfriend. It is fascinating to observe how a prevailing cynicism about the war doesn't undercut the deeply felt patriotism of men who assume that its goal is not the establishment of democracy in the Middle East, but the acquisition of oil and money. When they return in triumph, two are suffering from signs of post-traumatic stress they are reluctant to address.
Once encountered, you will never forget these three — Sgt. Steve Pink, Sgt. Zack Bazzi and Specialist Mike Moriarty — or their loved ones. They are the bedrock of who we are as a nation.”
SenArt’s newest documentary will make its world premiere in the International Documentary Competition of the Tribeca Film Festival. The Festival runs from April 25 to May 7 – check out www.tribecafilmfestival.org for more information on tickets and other festival news.
Festival Executive Director Peter Scarlet writes, “Since Homer’s time, artists have struggled with the challenge of how to describe the experience of war. Called up for service in Iraq, several members of the National Guard were given digital video cameras. This astonishing film, edited from their footage, provides an unimaginably vivid perspective on an extremely complex and troubled conflict.”
Check out www.thewartapes.com to get all the information on SenArt’s newest documentary.
Straight from the front lines in Iraq, THE WAR
TAPES is the first war movie filmed by soldiers themselves. These
soldiers bypassed Pentagon supervised media to share their
experience like never before.
When the life she
knew suddenly changes, Arvilla Holden (Academy-Award® Winner Jessica
Lange) finds herself at an emotional crossroads. Hijacking her two
best friends, Carol and Margene (Academy-Award® Nominee Joan Allen
and Academy-Award® Winner Kathy Bates) she sets off in a vintage ‘66
Bonneville convertible across the great American West on what turns
out to be the journey of a lifetime.
SenArt’s newest feature will begin production after Labor Day. An impressive team, including producer Robert May, director Christopher N Rowley, and director of photography Jeffrey Kimball (Top Gun, Mission Impossible II), is readying the film for a shoot in some of the most stunning landscapes in the West.
Joining the BONNEVILLE team are cast members Jessica Lange (Arvilla), Kathy Bates (Margene), Joan Allen (Carol), Tom Skerritt (Emmett), Christine Baranski (Francine), Victor Rasuk (Bo), Tom Amandes (Bill) and Tom Wopat (Arlo).
The documentary follows a group of National Guardsmen with regular jobs and families, who typically serve “one weekend a month, two weeks a year,” but who are suddenly called up for one year of active duty in Iraq. A select group are given video cameras to personally document their experience.
Through their candid footage, these men take us on an unforgettable journey, capturing the brutal and terrifying experiences they face, as well as the camaraderie and humor that sees them through. As the soldiers fight to stay alive, they must also deal with growing conflicts involving loved ones back home. Ultimately, we track their return to jobs and loved ones, and as they try to reclaim their previous lives, we discover how this profound experience has changed them. Never before have we been this close without being there ourselves.
LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Filmmaker Errol Morris won the Best Documentary Oscar Sunday for THE FOG OF WAR, a life and times of Vietnam-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara.
'I'd like to thank the Academy for finally recognizing my films,' said Morris, who has never before won an Oscar despite making such acclaimed works as THE THIN BLUE LINE. 'I thought it would never happen,' he said.
McNamara served Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson during some of the U.S. buildup in Vietnam, and Morris cautioned that the United States was headed down a path as brutal as Vietnam with the ongoing war in Iraq.
'Forty years ago this country went down a rabbit hole in Vietnam and millions died,' Morris said. 'I fear we're going down a rabbit hole once again -- and if people can stop and think and reflect on some of the ideas and issues in this movie, perhaps I've done some damn good here!' Morris said to thunderous applause from the audience.
After Morris finished, Oscars host Billy Crystal joked 'I can't wait for his tax audit.'
WINNER - Best First Screenplay - Tom McCarthy
WINNER - John Cassavetes Award for Best Picture -Tom McCarthy, Robert May, Mary Jane Skalski & Kathryn Tucker
WINNER - Best Documentary - Errol Morris
The Spirit Awards were held on the beach in Santa Monica California and were televised on IFC and Bravo.
While accepting his award for Best First Screenplay, McCarthy insisted, "a screenplay is nothing without all the amazing people who get behind it." He thanked the producers, Miramax, his crew and the actors "who brought the script to life with such beauty and grace."
McCarthy was then joined on the stage by SenArt producers Robert May and Kathryn Tucker to accept the John Cassavetes Award.
STATION AGENT writer/director Tom McCarthy charmed the crowd with his acceptance speech. McCarthy began, "I'm beyond stunned. This movie hasn't even opened here - It opens in March!"
The British Academy boasts over 4,000 members who work in the British film, television and interactive industries. Their annual awards ceremony is held in London's Leicester Square and serves as the English equivalent of the Oscars.
THE STATION AGENT beat out fellow Best Original Screenplay nominees 21 GRAMS, THE BARBARIAN INVASIONS, FINDING NEMO & LOST IN TRANSLATION.
As FILMSTEW reports, "documentary filmmaker Errol Morris finally landed his first ever Best Documentary nomination for THE FOG OF WAR."
THE FOG OF WAR joins fellow nominees BALSEROS, CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS, MY ARCHITECT and THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND.
The 76th Annual Academy Awards will take place Sunday, February 29th, 2004. They will be broadcast live on ABC at 8:00 P.M. EST/5:00 P.M. Pacific
By ANTHONY BREZNICAN
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- MYSTIC RIVER and THE STATION AGENT each collected three Screen Actors Guild nominations Thursday, including best ensemble cast.
Patricia Clarkson picked up bids for both supporting actress for playing an angry cancer patient in PIECES OF APRIL and lead actress in THE STATION AGENT for her portrayal of a lonesome artist.
Peter Dinklage, the diminutive star of THE STATION AGENT (who was more widely seen last year as the bitter storybook author in ELF), received a lead actor bid. He played a misanthropic dwarf who makes friends despite trying to isolate himself at an old train yard.
Besides best ensemble - the guild's equivalent to a best picture category - MYSTIC RIVER was recognized for Tim Robbins' supporting turn as the survivor of childhood sexual abuse who finds himself the suspect of murder and Sean Penn received a lead actor nomination for playing an ex-con.
Other ensemble contenders: IN AMERICA, THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING and SEABISCUIT.
The 10th annual ceremony will take place Feb. 22 in Los Angeles, to be broadcast on TNT at 8:00 pm ET/PT.
THE FOG OF WAR wins Best Documentary from the Chicago Film Critics, the Los Angeles Film Critics, and the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics!
In addition, THE FOG OF WAR has appeared on over 100 critics' lists of the year's best films. THE NEW YORK TIMES' Stephen Holden ranked THE FOG OF WAR an incredible third among 2003's films. Holden writes, "If there's one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is THE FOG OF WAR, Errol Morris' sober, beautifully edited documentary."
The prestigious National Board of Review gave THE FOG OF WAR its award for the Best Documentary of 2003. Furthermore, the Board named THE STATION AGENT one of its top 10 films of 2003. Coming in at an amazing #3, THE STATION AGENT came after Mystic River (1) and The Last Samurai (2), but before 21 Grams (4), House of Sand and Fog (5), Lost In Translation (6), Cold Mountain (7), In America (8), Seabiscuit (9), and Master and Commander (10).
Patricia Clarkson won the Board's award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in THE STATION AGENT and Pieces of April.
USA TODAY reports, "The New York-based board, founded in 1909 and considered the world's longest-standing film organization, has about 150 members, including writers, historians, filmmakers and educators."
BRAVO reports, "Hosted annually on the Saturday before the Oscars, the IFP Independent Spirit Awards is the yin to the Oscars' yang – a celebration honoring filmmakers of independent vision."
SenArt's Robert May and Kathryn Tucker are among the nominees for the JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD.
For THE STATION AGENT, Peter Dinklage is nominated for BEST ACTOR and Tom McCarthy is nominated for BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY.
For THE FOG OF WAR, director Errol Morris is nominated for BEST DOCUMENTARY.
Winners will be unveiled at an Awards Ceremony on Saturday, February 28th, 2004, in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. The ceremony will air live on IFC at 5:00 pm EST and will be rebroadcast on BRAVO that evening at 10:00 pm EST/PST. |
Steve James’ acclaimed nonfiction film, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2002 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and the Excellence in Cinematography Award at the Sundance Film Festival, is out now on DVD.
Click here to buy a copy today.