We're excited to announce that Smoke & Apple Films will be co-producing A Place of Absence directed by Marialuisa Ernst. We're thrilled to support this incredibly talented first time filmmaker!
Interweaved with Marialuisa's own personal story of her family's search for her uncle (who vanished during the Argentine regime in 1976), the film follows a group of Central American women as they make an annual 2,500 mile bus journey through Mexico to search for their missing family members who, like 70,000 others, have gone missing while crossing the Mexican border into America. They march in the streets, search in brothels, drug dens and mass graves, finally arriving at the Mexican senate to ask for support and in hopes of finding answers.
Help support this beautiful and important film by donating to the indiegogo campaign. There is an urgency to raise enough funds to continue filming some significant developments with the characters and their stories right now!
We are very excited to announce that our documentary feature, The Family I Had, is being Executive Produced by the illustrious Motto Pictures (Producers of Life, Animated, 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, Weiner, Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry, God Loves Uganda (the list goes on...)) & Dogwoof (Producers of Life, Animated, The Act of Killing, Cartel Land, Cameraperson (the list goes on...))!
Proud to be working along side these documentary heavyweights and look forward to releasing this film in 2017!!
Happy Holidays to All!
Our friend Charity who we have been following for the last 3 years for our upcoming doc-in-progress The Family I Had has just launched a new blog. Take a look and follow her to find out more.....
We're still reeling from last week at the Tribeca Film Festival where we were pitching our project as part of the TFI Network.
This was an incredible opportunity to talk about our film as well as meet and connect with other filmmakers which was truly inspiring. We also got the much savored chance to geek out and watch a ton of amazing films that were screening at the festival! Thanks so much to Tribeca for this great experience!!
Lets make films!
Have a spare day or 2 a week and want to get involved with working in documentaries? Smoke & Apple Films are looking for interns to come on board and help work on our current documentary-in-progress about juveniles in the prison system, and also to develop new projects!! Some research/ production experience would be preferred but not essential- mostly we're looking for people who are keen and curious, with a good social and political knowledge, who's up for finding out about some of the weird and wonderful stories of the world.
Contact us at: Katie@smokeandapplefilms / Carlye@smokeandapplefilms.com
We had fun collaborating with our friends the New Orleans Swamp Donkeys and filmmaker Greg Tilton on this little music video. Enjoy! #StarWarsJazz
The Indiana Supreme Court has denied prosecutor Curtis Hill's petition for the case of the Elkhart Four to be reheard, after their felony murder conviction was overturned in September.
Great news for the boys who are now just awaiting a date for their re-sentencing hearing where they will be convicted of the lesser charge of burglary and sentenced accordingly. They could receive anything up to 20 years, but there's a hope they may be released on time served.....we'll be there to document the hearing so watch this space.....
While filming Blake's mother and fiancé heading to Wabash Correctional Facility to attend Blake's high school graduation, we received word that The Indiana Supreme Court ruled to overturn the Felony Murder convictions for three of The Elkhart 4. While the state's highest court overturned the felony murder convictions, the justices ruled the young men guilty of burglary, a lesser felony charge punishable by six to twenty years in prison. To be able to capture the moment Katherine and Angie told Blake he is no longer a murderer on camera, on a day that he was to receive his diploma was very special. Needless to say, it was a great day. We are currently waiting (once again) to find out when the boys will be re-sentenced.
No Place For Children was one of six documentary films selected for the Points North Fellowship. Points North brings together the who's who of industry professionals from the doc world for focused mentorship, workshops and meetings; all of which lead up to a public pitch forum at the Opera House in front of a live audience during the Camden International Film Festival in Maine. Our experience at Points North left us with honest invaluable feedback to consider and a newfound clarity on our film that both challenged and validated us as we move towards completion.
On the day that we will be hearing oral arguments with regards to the Felony Murder charge for the Elkhart Four, The Guardian posted this piece by Ed Pilkington. We think it captures the humanity of Blake and this story perfectly
Read it here
We were at the Supreme Court in Indiana to follow the story.....watch this space as we await news on the outcome of the arguments.
THANKYOU! Your generous contributions afforded us the ability to take several filming trips to Indiana and Texas to continue documenting these stories while editing simultaneously. Most notably, we finally were able to gain access to meet and film with Blake in prison (as you may recall, there is a $5,000 fee to film inside Wabash Correctional Facility). We also traveled back to Abilene, TX to retrace some difficult steps where Charity's life was forever changed just 7 years ago. It has been a busy and intense few months but we are encouraged by the story/character development unfolding before us.
Elkhart 4 update:
We are excited to share some very good news regarding the appeal of The Elkhart 4. Just last week the boys won a small victory when the Appellate court recognized various mitigating factors, including their status as juveniles, and reduced their sentences so that they are equal with that of Jose, 45 years instead of 55 years in prison, the minimum sentence for Felony Murder in Indiana. Even more encouraging, there remain further appeals pending because the sentences are still believed to be too harsh. To find out more, please read this.
We completed our Kickstarter campaign and made our goal!!!
Thankyou to all who helped us get there, from those who shared our page with friends, family and connections, to those who so generously donated financially! We can't thank you enough. In this day and age with such limited arts/ film funding, crowd funding tools like Kickstarter really do make things happen and we're truly honoured and overwhelmed to have so much support- WATCH THIS SPACE to see how we move forward.
A new scene from our upcoming documentary NO PLACE FOR CHILDREN. If you like what you see, then help us reach our kickstarter goal and donate whatever you can. As little as $10 helps us get there....spread the word.
We have one eek to go on our kickstarter campaign for NO PLACE FOR CHILDREN.
Our campaign made it to Upworthy!!! and we're still spreading the word and raising funds. Help us by sharing our kickstarter page
We appeared on the 'katie' show to speak about HBO's 'The (Dead Mothers) Club' alongside Ginger Williams Cook. You can view the interviews here:
Finally, tonight you can watch the film as its broadcast premiere will be on HBO at 9PM - we hope you all tune in! You can view promo here: http://bit.ly/1muByS2
Below are some press clippings from the past few weeks:
Clip from Interview with Huff Post Live: http://aol.it/1kW8DUJ
Clip Seen on Access Hollywood (starts at 2:05): http://bit.ly/1mMRRZz
Mention in Red Carpet Crash: http://bit.ly/1mKuJPJ
Interview in MovieMaker Mag: http://bit.ly/1iOWDGH
Interview in NewsWeek: http://bit.ly/1mOmPVs
Review in New York Times: http://nyti.ms/1olKz2Z
Review in Boston Globe: http://bit.ly/RAmiZ1
We enjoyed the film's festival run and were moved by how audiences truly engaged with the stories told and subject matter. The film won an honorable mention at LA New Wave Film Festival, the Audience Award at Crossroads Film Festival and we nearly sold out the theater at our first screening at Sarasota Film Festival! The stars truly aligned when all three of our subjects joined us, along with Executive Producer Rosie O'Donnell in New York for the premiere at HBO. It was a dream to have all three of our dear friends fly in from their respective homes to meet in person for the first time!
Hope you all tune in to HBO tonight at 9PM !
While we have your attention, we hope you might take a moment to visit our Kickstarter page (launched today!) for our next documentary, "No Place for Children", which takes a sobering look at the juvenile justice system in America. We follow two very different stories in an effort to emphasize our criminal justice system's inability to recognize juveniles as such. We hope this film will provoke thought and conversation surrounding America's emphasis on retribution rather than rehabilitation, particularly as it pertains to juveniles. We truly hope we can count on your support again - we have set quite an ambitious goal of $40k in 30 days. You can view the trailer below and if you like what you see, please get involved by donating (you can donate as little as $10) or by sharing our page: bitly.com/1mhC5HJ