September 2010

What a month!

We’ve been working hard to prepare an outreach campaign to coincide with the broadcast of the film on Public Television Stations, beginning in November of 2010. The film’s website is going live on October 5th, with all kinds of new tools, for everything from hosting a screening to how to find when the film is playing in your neck of the woods, to maps which will help audience members learn about their state and find out what simple things they can do to help in this effort.

I headed with my husband Jon to Wisconsin mid-month, for a brief break in the film outreach, to begin work on a new project which has been in the works for a few months. This new short film (working title: “The Value of a Single Life”) is an examination of two men who both fought for the Wisconsin 6th in the Civil War. One lived and one died, and the impact of their destinies on their families is a testament to the value of fathers, a value that affects generations. I was able to watch my nephew, Reed, one of the lead cheerleaders for the University of Wisconsin, toss teammates in the air and somersault in celebration as the Badgers beat the ASU Sun Devils.

Jon then headed to South Dakota (where he went down 5,000 feet underground, to see a new lab being built by the National Science Foundation), while I went to Minnesota for the first community screening of the PBS version of “ADOPTED: for the life of me”. Over 70 people showed up for the screening – a fantastic turnout, and hopefully a portend of screenings to come. Many thanks to Mary Mason and her wonderful team of Minnesota colleagues for a memorable evening.

Then I was off to spend a few very special and rare days with my birth family. I got to attend a high school reunion with my brothers and sisters (my brother Mike being the main organizer), spend an afternoon with my very special nephew Lucas, hang with my brother Jim, hug my birthmom Lee and tease her mercilessly (my goal in life), and meet my sister Sue’s mastiffs Lily and Chloe (who are taller than me…)

Then it was off to Chicago to spend three incredible and exhausting days with Sara Feigenholtz, the Illinois State Representative who spent the past fourteen years pushing an adoptee access to information bill through the state legislature. With passage of the bill in May, Illinois became the 10th state to provide access to its citizens. Sara, and her intrepid staffers Stephen and TIffany, whisked me and fellow filmmaker Jerry Peck, to countless interviews, feeding us only sporadically, but introducing us to some extraordinary legislative colleagues, from Senator Mike Madigan to Senator A.J. Wilhelmi, who graciously found time to meet with us during a tense elective season. I arrived back home with some extraordinary interviews in my film bag. Can’t wait to get into the editing room!

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