Friday, August 9, 2013

Margaret Whitton, director of A BIRD OF THE AIR, hits local cable news to talk about Marion Dougherty's legacy. See the interview here and help support if you can. And if you haven't seen CASTING BY on HBO yet, you must!

Marion Dougherty, the legendary Hollywood casting director, is helping protect the lives of domestic violence victims and their pets, even after her passing. Her estate has donated $80,000 to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to establish the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to help victims of domestic violence and their pets to find safety, together.



The donation coincides with the HBO premiere of CASTING BY, featuring Dougherty as one of Hollywood’s most influential casting directors.

Dougherty died in 2011 at the age of 88.

According to Margaret Whitton, one of her closest friends, Marion Dougherty lived a paradox.

“By day, Marion was a powerhouse. By night, she was a victim of spousal abuse. At age 50, after 20 years of abuse, Marion fled her marriage and was forced to leave behind her beloved cats. But until the effects of repeated concussions and Alzheimer’s took away her memory, she remained haunted by the animals she left behind.”

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will support the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program. It will fund the Alliance’s work finding shelter for domestic violence victims and their pets together, and will help pay for temporary shelter and care of pets who are separated from their owners in domestic violence situations.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, said, “This generous gift from Marion Dougherty will go a long way to protect vulnerable people and pets and help them remain together during times of crisis.”


Friday, August 2, 2013

A BIRD OF THE AIR

Tashtego Films Aug 2013 copy






NOW ON DVD/VOD:
A BIRD OF THE AIR

Rachel Nichols and Jackson Hurst
star in this colorful romantic comedy that marks Margaret Whitton's film directing debut. With a screenplay by Roger Towne based on Joe Coomer’s acclaimed novel The Loop, the film was produced by Steven Tabakin and Margaret Whitton, and executive produced by Warren Spector.

Elvis Mitchell (The Treatment/KCRW) hailed it as "A terrific film!"  Jackson Hurst was also singled out as "marvelously low-key and sexy" (Film Journal International) and according to The New York Times "Rachel Nichols is consistently appealing."  The cast also includes Linda Emond, Buck Henry, Judith Ivey, Matte Osian, Rocco Sisto, Phyllis Somervile and Louis Zorich.

A BIRD OF THE AIR is now showing on Starz! Network and is available on DVD or on-demand through Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and many cable providers. It is also available through many international distributors as well as Vimeo on Demand.






VISIT WEBSITE

WATCH NOW

Dr. Tom Catena

Tashtego Films Aug 2013 copy






GET INVOLVED:
SUDAN CRISIS
DR. TOM CATENA


"Alone and forgotten, one American doctor saves lives in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains."
- Time Magazine

Dr. Tom Catena works tirelessly as the only physician serving the besieged people of the Nuba Mountains of Sudan.

Like Darfur before, Omar al-Bashir's genocidal policies create unspeakable hardship for the Nuba people. Standing firmly for the innocent: Dr. Tom. There is no other hospital for nearly 300 miles and cargo flights to unchartered airstrips have to be made in secret to prevent the confiscation or destruction of vital supplies.

Please join us in honoring and supporting this extraordinary man. Donations through The Bishop Gassis Sudan Relief Fund help provide basic essential medical aid and supplies for Dr. Tom's heroic work.






SEE VIDEOS

DONATE NOW

Casting By August 5th on HBO

Tashtego Films Aug 2013 copy






BROADCAST PREMIERE AUG 5:
CASTING BY

Tom Donahue directs this feature documentary about the history and impact of the Hollywood Casting Director, featuring the accomplishments of the "one-woman casting revolution," Marion Dougherty.

Legendary casting director Marion Dougherty had a career in movies and television that spanned 50 years. She brought to screen the likes of Al Pacino, Glenn Close, Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, Richard Gere, Christopher Walken, Debra Winger, Robert Duvall, Diane Lane, Brooke Shields, Martin Sheen
and Bette Midler. Her legacy includes over 100 motion pictures  and over 1000 television programs - enduring movies such as The Sting, Midnight Cowboy, Slaughterhouse-Five, Lenny, The Last  Picture Show, The Killing Fields, A Little Romance, The Great Gatsby, The Man Without a Face, Lethal Weapon, Batman, and many more.

CASTING BY was produced in association with Tashtego Films, with Margaret Whitton serving as co-executive producer.






VISIT WEBSITE

GET INVOLVED:
MARION DOUGHERTY
SAFE HAVEN FUND


Marion Dougherty, the legendary Hollywood casting director, is helping protect the lives of domestic violence victims and their pets, even after her passing. Her estate has donated $80,000 to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to establish the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to help victims of domestic violence and their pets to find safety, together.

The donation coincides with the HBO premiere of CASTING BY, featuring Dougherty as one of Hollywood’s most influential casting directors.

Dougherty died in 2011 at the age of 88.

According to Margaret Whitton, one of her closest friends, Marion Dougherty lived a paradox.

“By day, Marion was a powerhouse. By night, she was a victim of spousal abuse. At age 50, after 20 years of abuse, Marion fled her marriage and was forced to leave behind her beloved cats. But until the effects of repeated concussions and Alzheimer’s took away her memory, she remained haunted by the animals she left behind.”

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will support the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program. It will fund the Alliance’s work finding shelter for domestic violence victims and their pets together, and will help pay for temporary shelter and care of pets who are separated from their owners in domestic violence situations.

Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, said, “This generous gift from Marion Dougherty will go a long way to protect vulnerable people and pets and help them remain together during times of crisis.”



VISIT WEBSITE

DONATE NOW

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund

Our dear friend Marion Dougherty lived an extraordinary life, transforming American cinema with her unequaled eye for talent. Now, after her passing in 2011, her legacy extends with the launch of the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund at the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals, which will help victims of domestic violence and their pets. Please share and help support if you can so this program can grow. And tune in to HBO on Aug 5 at 9pm to watch "Casting By" - a documentary directed by Tom Donahue that is based on Marion's life story and was produced in association with Tashtego Films. http://www.MDsafehaven.org

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Honoring a Hero: Dr. Tom Catena

Please take 5 minutes to see this video about the extraordinary work of Dr. Tom Catena in Sudan's Nuba Mountains.


Dr. Tom Catena from Steven Tabakin on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A BIRD OF THE AIR on iTunes, DVD and VOD tonight - http://eepurl.com/kN9bn @rachelnichols1 @jaxhurst

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Movie review: 'A Bird of the Air' - Los Angeles Times http://ow.ly/6UqlO
“THE TREATMENT WITH ELVIS MITCHELL” airs an interview with Margaret Whitton on Wed Oct 12th at 2:30pm on KCRW in LA http://ow.ly/6Uf9g

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Movie preview: A Bird of the Air has Fort Worth roots | www.pegasusnews.com | Dallas/Fort Worth http://ow.ly/6OeUo

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Please come to the Village East Cinema to see a BIRD OF THE AIR in its opening weekend. Today at 3:30; 5:40: 7:50 10:25 http://ow.ly/6Efgb

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This is from Steve W. Schaefer who reviewed A BIRD OF THE AIR in advance of a special screening in Madison, Georgia.  We thought he was really smart about the film and he agreed to let us share his commentary.
A Bird of the Air
On September 20th, at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the first film of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will be “A Bird of the Air.”

Many of the films in the series are documentaries, usually most compelling. But the first film this year is a straight Romance---sort of a modern version of the classic screwball comedy genre of the 1930s and 1940s. This film will be released this fall, so here is an opportunity to enjoy a pre-screening of this very entertaining, unique, and compelling film.

It is about a withdrawn man, stoic and hermitic (because both parents were killed in an auto accident when he was four). His family’s identity could not be verified so he is a man with no name---called Lyman---just Lyman (Jason Hurst)---a name just for convenience. He works as one of those angels of the highway---rescuing folks stranded on the highway at night---or scraping up road kill if necessary---or picking up items scattered about that might be a hazard to drivers and riders. He is invisible.

The film is narrated by a Margie, a waitress (Linda Edmond), who often serves the taciturn Lyman.  That is a very nice touch…she never plays a major role in the action of the film…something like the narrator in a Greek play---there but not there; important, essential, but not very “showy.”

One day, a parrot flies into his trailer. The parrot’s vocabulary is most intriguing and soon our lonely Lyman becomes obsessed with the parrot and wonders where did he come from---what owner taught him those words and phrases? And thus he goes on a quest.

For help, as any intelligent person would know, he goes to a library and a librarian. The librarian is a free spirit named Fiona (Rachel Nichols). With her help, he discovers that the parrot had more than one owner---in fact, many, many owners.

Through his journey, as you might expect, Lyman finds more than answers to the parrot’s mysteries; he finds himself. And Fiona, hardly the suppressed stereotype of a librarian, finds something as well.

I was taken aback by “A Bird of the Air.” I did not expect anything this fresh and original. I see a lot of films, hundreds a year and “A Bird of the Air” is the kind of surprise that makes trudging through cinematic drek worthwhile.

The oddball characters that parade through the film, mostly as former owners of the parrot, including Buck Henry, is like going through a Whitman’s Sampler---a sweet experience that includes some delicious nuts.

The acting is light but totally convincing, not unlike the style and ease of “Little Miss Sunshine” released back in 2006. This is what happens when talented actors feel comfortable with their characters and are given respect and freedom from their director. My hat goes off to Margaret Whitton, an actress, who is making her feature film debut as a director with this gem of a film. I look forward to more from her as a director.

There is some sentimentality in this film; no harm there: it is a feel-good film, but do bring your tissues…the movie’s tug of the tear ducts might be a bit manipulative---but “A Bird of the Air” is so charming, all is forgiven.

And there is a dog. And any movie with a charismatic librarian who likes dogs over cats is OK by me. More than OK by me; it gets extra bonus points from me.

I do have one complaint. “A Bird of the Air” kind of spoiled me for the following weekend of film viewing. I keep thinking, “This isn’t as good as "A Bird of the Air.’” Now, that was a serendipitous discovery---a bird of a different color if you will---from the usual cinematic fare.

Steve W. Schaefer
Steve W. Schaefer has been a public librarian for over thirty-five years and had the pleasure of meeting plenty of Fionas during his professional career. In fact, he is married to a librarian who has more than a passing similarity to the aforementioned. Apart from his career as a librarian, Schaefer has been a film critic for nearly twenty years and had the opportunity to preview "A Bird of the Air." He is glad he did and was more than happy to share his opinion of the film.

A Bird of the Air Movie Tickets, Reviews, and Photos - Fandango.com http://ow.ly/6BWL3
In Her Own Words | Margaret Whitton Shares a Scene From 'A Bird of the Air' - indieWIRE http://ow.ly/6BMwA

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

“But What I Really Didn’t Want To Do Was Direct…” / Director Margaret Whitton on Arthur Penn, the power of wine, happy accidents and A Bird of the Air | MovieMaker Magazine http://ow.ly/6AMa0 abirdoftheair
“A Bird of the Air” Jacket Contest: Meet the Finalists http://ow.ly/6ADcr abirdoftheair