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About The New Film Company, Inc.
Since 1969, The New Film Company Inc., has produced documentary films, videos, interactive videodisks, and multi-media shows for theatrical distribution, television, the educational market, and client groups. Chris Knight directs the company's film and video production. Joyce Zinno manages distribution and sales.
Our work has dealt with the surprising strengths and values of individual people in difficult and unusual situations. The perspective is fresh and intimate, often weaving in material shot by the on-camera participants themselves. Concern for people's relationship with nature is a theme running throughout our productions.
The New Film Company handles all phases of production on film, video, or multimedia from script development and shooting to editing and distribution. Distribution operations include market research, direct mail marketing, publicity, stock footage, home video and educational sales, and television licensing.
Here is a partial list of our productions:
BOATWORKS: A PBS Series about boats and people who love them, hosted by Robert Urich, premiered in April, 1997. Ten segments produced by The New Film Company on subjects including building a childs pram, a kayak rodeo, iceboat racing, the best lobster boat, and cruising the coast of Turkey.
HEALTH ON THE LINE: A four part series on health issues featuring teenagers who are working to combat smoking, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases. Produced for satellite broadcast by MCET.
Broadcasted nationally and/or internationally
HAUNTED CRY OF A LONG GONE BIRD Produced for PBS "NOVA" Fascinated by the Great Auk, a flightless seabird that went extinct nearly 150 years ago, 61-year old educator and naturalist Richard Wheeler decides to undertake a voyage of exploration in his sea kayak. Outfitted with a specially designed on-board camera, Richard retraces the 1500-mile migratory route of this paddling bird from its ancient nesting site of Funk Island in northern Newfoundland south to Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. In the context of his thoughts of the Great Auk, Richard discovers the plight of a fishery near commercial extinction. Along the way he talks with fishing families, scientists, and school children; sharing his own personal sense of loss, his wit, and his observations of coastal life past and present.
PASSAGE, 56-minutes. Airing on NRK in Norway. A first-person account by Arne Brun Lie, a Norwegian World War II veteran who attempts to balance his painful memories of imprisonment in German concentration camps with his dreams of freedom sailing the open ocean. Fifty years after the war, after revisiting the camps, he recounts his compelling story to filmmaker David Conover during a two-person transatlantic passage. A unique glimpse of one survivor's spirit and memories as they are washed over and over by the wind and water of the North Atlantic.
"An important personal statement...a deeply moving film." Elie Wiesel, author and Nobel Peace Prize winner
"Highly recommended" Video Librarian
YANKEE IN KAMCHATKA Produced for the PBS "ADVENTURE" series and CHANNEL FOUR of the UK. As Russia opens its doors, American writer/ adventurer Robert Perkins teams up with Russian wildlife photographer Vasily Peskov in a remarkable adventure that includes canoeing a precarious river, climbing an active volcano, visiting nomadic reindeer herders, and hiking the wild Kronotsky wilderness. We meet Russians whose love for their culture and their land make them dedicated to preserving their traditions and their environment.
Blue Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival
"Highly recommended." Editor's Choice. Video Librarian
INTO THE GREAT SOLITUDE, produced for the PBS "ADVENTURE" series, uses a solo-operated camera system to document the journey of Rob Perkins as he delves deep into the soul of the uninhabited and barren Arctic tundra. Rob and his canoe LOON share with the viewer 72 days of solitude and 700 miles of the magical and mighty Back River. Rob's sensibility to the "attic of the Arctic" is that of an artist, writer, and philosopher. Besides the trip's value as exhilarating adventure, his highly personal story reflects his concern for human values: his relationship to the environment, death, his father, and his own dreams.
Red Ribbon, American Film & Video Festival
AROUND ALONE, the lead program on the PBS "ADVENTURE" series, used our computer controlled on-board camera systems to document a record-breaking solo voyage around the world. Dodge Morgan's dream of completing a solo, non-stop sailing circumnavigation aboard American Promise, a specially built 60-foot sloop, is captured in intimate detail. The viewer is his only confidante as he confronts his fears and copes with 150 days of loneliness and the mountainous seas of the Southern Ocean. Totally isolated and dependent on himself for survival, he is forced to find new emotional strength to persevere.
Cine Golden Eagle
American Film & Video Festival Finalist
OUTWARD BOUND aired on PBS and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER. An intimate, on-board look at a group of adult students participating in a Hurricane Island Outward Bound course in Maine. For ten days they face a variety of challenges: climbing up and rappelling down an 80-foot cliff, taking a daily early-morning plunge into icy water, working together with people of differing ages and backgrounds, filming their own 3-day solo experiences. Through direct hands-on experiences, students learn new skills, extend themselves physically and mentally, work cooperatively with others, and gain a sense of self-esteem and achievement.
STRIPED BASS: MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE, produced for Massachusetts Audubon and PBS, investigates the dramatic population decline of this important fish. The film is primarily a story about people who care deeply about another living creature. The fish's disappearance draws us gradually into a search for clues to the mystery, from fishermen, scientists, conservationists, politicians, advocates of various theories. In the process of trying to find out something about what is happening to the fish, we also learn a lot about our own human potential for love and greed, dedication and callousness, dogged work, self-deception, and creative leaps.
AMERICAN CHALLENGE: Alone Against the Atlantic, a 57-minute television special aired nationally on PBS, is the intimate, on-board story of seven solo sailors facing an ultimate internal and external challenge: The Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race. Eighteen specially built automatic cameras installed on boats sailed by American racers recorded a unique close-up view of men and women facing constant danger. Three thousand miles of pounding to windward strips away the veneer to reveal the human spirit alone against the inexorable power of the sea.
"Truly an extraordinary documentary" The Boston Globe
"There is no film that compares with AMERICAN CHALLENGE. Those in attendance were overwhelmed." Club Program Chairman
"The most exciting sea documentary I have ever seen -- unmistakably a classic." William F.Buckley, Jr.
Cine Golden Eagle
American Film Festival/Red Ribbon
Ace Award (Cable "Emmy") for CBS Cable broadcast
HOME FREE: Return of the Bald Eagle, produced for The Massachusetts Audubon Society, is a half-hour PBS television documentary on efforts to restore the nesting bald eagle population. It focuses on Jack Swedeberg, a wildlife photographer with a lifetime interest in eagles, who conceived and carried out the project. He directs construction of artificial nests atop a 40-foot tower and capture of young birds in the high treetops of Manitoba. Their care and feeding in the artificial nests are shown in detail. Their release is an emotional moment, realizing Jack's dream and pointing toward a new ethic in our relations with wildlife and the environment.
" One of the most beautiful films about birds ever made." Library Journal
"The film is absolutely captivating. Every turn of the action is well done" W. E. Garrett, Editor, National Geographic Magazine
Best Edited Documentary 1987. American Cinema Editors
Conservation Education Award 1986. The Wildlife Society
CARRY IT ON, a theatrical feature on Joan Baez and David Harris, is a behind-the-scenes view of their involvement with the anti-War movement and follows Joan on tour, including Woodstock. It was universally hailed by critics for bringing a new honesty to American film making.
"Surprises and stuns through its extraordinary intimacy." Time Magazine
"One of the major documentaries of our time." Morning Telegraph
"An extraordinary film." The New York Times
OLD, BLACK, AND ALIVE!, a 28-minute film produced for the National Center on Black Aged, profiles the lives and thoughts of seven elderly Blacks and is an intimate portrait of their vigor, strength, similarities.
"A beautiful, thoughtful film, full of humor and love." Film Library Quarterly
"I have seen many films about the elderly, but this is by far the best, simplest, and most direct." Alice McDougle, Programs for the Elderly
Silver Plaque ,Chicago International Film Festival
1st place in the "Focus on Ageing", U .S. Conference of Mayors
2nd place, Mental Health Association Film Festival.
A QUESTION OF VALUES, a 30-minute documentary on the people of a small Maine town and their struggle with a proposal to build a huge oil refinery in their bay. The film looks at both sides of the issue from those who consider it an economic boon to those who view it as an environmental nightmare.
"It would be difficult to
imagine a more succinct example of the dilemma faced every day by
this agency than A QUESTION OF VALUES."
William D. Ruckleshaus, former Director, Envirnomental Protection Agency
THE WAR COMES HOME, a study of returning Vietnam veterans aired on PBS and won awards at three film festivals including a Silver Hugo and the Chicago International Film Festival.
"It takes possession of the viewer's consciousness and becomes unforgettable." Film News
For client groups
CARING FOR LIFE probes the relationship between Emerson Hospital and the community it serves, letting actual patients, employees, and medical staff reveal their personal perspective. Emergency lifesaving, sensitive care of children, sophisticated surgical procedures, home nursing, psychiatric treatment, heart-attack follow-up, cancer therapy, and the birth of a baby are all part of the real events that take the audience below the surface to the heart of what goes on in a high-quality community hospital. This 15-minute show was produced for Emerson's capital fund drive, but is also used for employee orientation and public relations.
SHARED VISION is a closeup portrait of the Massachusetts Audubon Society from canoe float trips to childrens pond experiences to international expeditions, urban energy conservation, and salamander research. Using slides and a the voices of those directly involved, it weaves an overall picture of the research, education, and conservation goals of the society in action.
HAVE YOU SEEN THE GLOBE TODAY? is a 25-minute multi-screen show produced for the Boston Globe. It gives a behind the scenes feeling for the complexities of putting a large metropolitan newspaper together. From fast-breaking stories to front-door delivery, the making of a newspaper emerges through the use of live action stereo sound and photographs as well as narration by the people who know the process best: editors, reporters, advertising people and production workers. The show is used as a kick-off to the Globe plant tour, and the New Film Company also developed a script for tour guides as well as print materials for visitors. A portable version of the show allows it to be brought to conventions and audiences outside the state.
"I believe we have one of the
very best newspaper documentary shows that has ever been made,
and it is well worth our investment."
Richard Collins,Promotion Director, The Boston Globe
OPEN DOORS FOR OLDER BOSTONIANS is an 18-minute slide presentation which lets the enthusiasm and energy of Boston's elderly show through as they narrate their involvement in various programs of the Mayor's Commission on Affairs of the Elderly. It was shown by the Commission to senior groups all over Boston, and achieved their goal of increasing participation in their programs (and helping the mayor get re-elected!)
"That's what I call very, very, very good!" Boston Mayor Kevin White
EARTHWATCH is an 18-minute single screen show done for Earthwatch Inc., an organization that sponsors research in a variety of scientific fields and recruits volunteers to assist scientists on projects all over the world. The slide show covers four of these projects: an archeological study of prehistoric Indians in Nevada; underwater research on a coral reef near British Honduras; an animal behavior study of wild ponies on Assateague Island; and a geological survey of a volcano in Kolima, Mexico. Participants and scientists convey the excitement of being part of these projects as well as the personal and educational growth they experience. The show is used for recruitment and fund raising.
WHAT AN O'DAY FOR A DAYDREAM is an 18-minute single screen multi-media show for the O'Day Sailboat Company. It takes a low-key, personal approach to presenting the complete line of O'Day boats, from 12' day sailers to 37' yachts. O'Day boat owners tell what led them to buy their boats and what fulfillment they get from sailing. Along with music and sound effects, their comments give the audience a sense of the fun and excitement of sailing as well as the specific advantages of O'Day boats. The presentation is shown at boat shows and a videotape version is used in distributors' showrooms.
TRAK SKIS is a series of five 5-minute slide shows for Trak Inc., a manufacturer of cross-country skis. Four of the segments present specific types of skis: recreational, performance, special, and junior. The fifth segment documents a blind use test of various brands in which Trak scored favorably. Narration combines with comments from actual users, music, and effects. This lively presentation takes the viewer to a variety of ski settings and demonstrates the advantages and diversity of the Trak ski line. The shows were used at the annual trade convention in Las Vegas and will be used by sales representatives and distributors. Color photographs from the show were also used in a 64-page descriptive catalogue and in a stock photo lending library.
For educational and client groups
YOUNG AT ARTS, a 17 minute fundraising video, profiles the program to involve young people run by the Wang Center for the Performing Arts.
"You captured the heart and soul of our educational outreach program perfectly. Your dedication and hard work on this project is the mark of a true professional."
Josiah Spaulding, President
WHALES an interactive program on videodisk produced for the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Whaling Discovery Center. Interviews with whale scientists Roger Payne and Scott Kraus, artist Richard Ellis, and naturalist Sharon Young about their work combine with exciting footage of whale behavior to provoke questions for viewer response. How do the viewer's interpretations of behavior match up with the experts? The mysteries of whale stranding, breaching, singing, mating, flipper flapping, and "tail sailing" are addressed by expert and viewer in this exciting show.
WHALES GO TO HOLLYWOOD, a 10-minute piece exploring the popular perception of the whale from Hollywood's point of view. The whale as "good guy" in shows like STAR TREK IV, or "bad guy" in the three versions of MOBY DICK, PINNOCHIO, and DOWN TO THE SEA IN SHIPS. This lively piece starts with "Thar She Blows!" and proceeds through a chase montage to the various stories themselves. On permanent exhibit at New Bedford's Whale Discovery Center.
SCIENCE NEWS, produced for the Massassachusetts Corporation for Educational Telecommunications, is a series of eight 10-12 minute documentaries. Each covers the lives and work of scientist role models and is designed to give middle schoolers an experiential understanding of what it means to do science out in the real world. Titles include:
Your Backyard from Space
Secrets of the Spider
Food for Thought
Testing the Robot Scout
Restoring the Waters
Bridges to the Future
The Rare Right Whale
HAND RHYMES/ PLAY RHYMES, produced for Random House's Early Childhood Video Collection and distributed nationwide, these two videotapes help to bring the magic of children's book author Marc Brown closer to the kids who read his books. Children 4 to 6 years of age are led by Marc through rhymes like "I'm a Little Teapot" and "The Counting Game," with an opportunity for children viewing the tapes to join in and sing along.
UNKNOWN HANDS, a fund-raising videotape produced for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, portrays the excitement of Boston eighth-graders exploring experientially the history of working class Bostonians. Through role playing, craft workshops, and an architectural "drawing" tour, today's students take on yesterday's point of view.
THE WILLIAM BOARDMAN HOUSE, a documentary tour with author and historian Abbott Cummins uncovering the mysteries of a rare architectural house from 17th century New England. Produced for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
THE VILNA SHUL, a fund-raising tape to benefit the restoration of the oldest synagogue in Boston, a community center keeping alive memories of Jewish immigrant's arrival in the new world.
MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE: A CHANCE TO GROW is a 21-minute documentary film produced for Middlebury College. Shot over a full school year, it follows six students and professors and develops each as a person experiencing the college in their own individual way.
"It reaches the students we
want to reach with great effectiveness."
Director of Admissions, Middlebury College
PLAYING WITH FIRE, is a 16-minute safety film produced for the National Fire Protection Association. The film uses a combined documentary-dramatic technique to recreate the real events that caused burn injuries to children. It reaches both children and adults with the message of how to avoid hazardous burn situations.
"Hundreds of thousands of
Americans are more aware of fire safety because of your very
moving and effective film."
Richard Peacock, Director of Public Affairs, NFPA
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Phone: 617/520-5005 Fax: 617/491-9201
© 1998 The New Film Company, Inc. All rights
Revised: May 04, 2012.