Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Boston International Film Festival

Save the Date! LEFT ON PEARL has been selected to be screened at the Boston International Film Festival on Friday, April 14 in the evening. This will be our official premiere. We don't have more details yet, but will let you know as soon as we have them.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

It's a long struggle, as the fight for women's suffrage shows...
Suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt tallied up U.S. women's efforts before the August 26, 1920 final passage of the Nineteenth Amendment. She counted:    

56 campaigns of referenda to male voters; 480 campaigns to urge 
Legislatures to submit suffrage amendments to voters; 47 campaigns to induce State constitutional conventions to write woman suffrage into State constitutions; 277 campaigns to persuade State party conventions to include woman suffrage planks; 30 campaigns to urge presidential party conventions to adopt woman suffrage...
and 19 campaigns with 19 successive Congresses to get the federal amendment submitted and ratified."

Cited in Carole Pateman, "Three Questions about Womanhood Suffrage, in Caroline Daley and Melanie Nolan, ed., Suffrage and Beyond: International Feminist Perspectives. New York: New York University Press, 1994, 331-348, 332. 

And this was not the end of the suffrage struggle, as most African-Americans in the southern U.S. did not get the vote until after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, partially gutted by the Roberts-led Supreme Court in 2013. Native Americans were finally authorized to vote by the Snyder Act of 1924. But because the Constitution left it up to the states to determine voting eligibility, it was only in 1962 that New Mexico became the last state to enfranchise Native Americans. 

As we know, barriers to voting still exist and the trend in the U.S. is toward more, not fewer voting restrictions. 
Upcoming Festivals and Screenings
LEFT ON PEARL is scheduled to screen at the Organization of American Historians Conference in New Orleans on April 7. The film has also been accepted to the Cinema Systers Festival in Paducah, Kentucky and is scheduled to screen on May 27 at 1pm, and to the Black Maria Film Festival, a traveling festival - dates and times TBA.
For more updates as they happen, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - links at the bottom of this email.
Thank you for your support!
Thanks to all of you who have donated to the film. It's never too late to give. We still need funds to cover festival application fees, converting the film into the required Digital Cinema Package (DCP) exhibition format for festivals (very expensive!), and transportation to allow us to present at out-of-state festival screenings. We appreciate contributions of any size. To donate online or by check, click here
The 888 Women's History Project
Libby Bouvier
Susan K. Jacoby
Susie Rivo
Rochelle G. Ruthchild
Cheryl Stein

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Herstorical Date and Anniversary
January 23, 1972: The Women's Center opened at 46 Pleasant Street, Cambridge, MA. It's been providing a safe space for renewal and sparking resistance since then. 2017 is the Center's 45th anniversary! 

Please send us your memories of the Center and/or the march and takeover of 888 Memorial Drive which directly led to the Center's founding. 

For more information on the Cambridge Women's center, visit the Women's Center website.

Susan Lyman (1919-2016)
We just learned that Susan Lyman died peacefully on December 29, 2016. As we showed in LEFT ON PEARL, Susan Lyman, as Chair of the Radcliffe Board of Trustees, visited 888 Memorial Drive and played a key role in the purchase of the Women's Center. She remained a supporter of the Center and of our film. 
Festival News
We are thrilled that LEFT ON PEARL has received a Director's Choice Award from the Black Maria Film Festival. This is a traveling festival - as soon 
as we get the schedule for 2017, we will post it. The film has also been accepted to Cinema Systers Festival in Paducah, Kentucky and is tentatively scheduled to screen on May 27 at 1pm. For more updates as they happen, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram - links at the bottom of this email.

Thank you for your support!

Thanks to all of you who have donated to the film. It's never too late to give. We appreciate contributions of any size. To donate online or by check, click here.

The 888 Women's History Project

Libby Bouvier
Susan K. Jacoby
Susie Rivo
Rochelle G. Ruthchild
Iftach Shavit
Cheryl Stein

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dear Friends, 
Now that Donald Trump is the "President-Elect," his tweets, choice of advisors, and political appointments only confirm that we are heading into a very difficult time. The forces of hate and division have been empowered by Trump's successful campaign. Sexism, racism, homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and general bullying have all become more permissible. Women are being pushed into the background again. Now, more than ever, we need to tell inspiring stories of resistance.

LEFT ON PEARL is one of those stories. We are happy to report that our film was enthusiastically received at the Dallas VideoFest in October, and the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, New York, in November.  We have just been accepted at the Black Maria Film Festival, with the additional honor of receiving a Director's Choice Award. Black Maria is a traveling film festival based in Jersey City, NJ. We will post details on screening dates and locations as soon as they become available. We will also be showing the film at the Organization for American Historians Conference in New Orleans on Friday April 7, 2017 at 9pm.
And here's the pitch.
We still need money to complete the final technical work to bring the film to broadcast quality; to pay film festival submission fees and cover travel expenses, and, most importantly, to raise the funds to cover long term licensing fees for the Janis Joplin music in the film. We have already cleared the licensing for domestic film festivals for two years. To get LEFT ON PEARL into high school and university classrooms, for the DVD to be available to the public, and to exhibit the film anywhere outside the festival circuit, we will have to re-negotiate licensing fees with the corporate rights holders. This is where it gets really expensive. 

In the immortal words of Mother Jones, "Don't mourn. Organize." This important, inspiring, and humorous story about the power of organizing is needed now more than ever.

Please think of us when you make your end of year donations. You may click here to donate online. Or, send a donation by snail mail:

The 888 Women's History Project
69 Spring Street
Cambridge, MA 02141

Filmmaker Susie Rivo answers questions from the audience at the Dallas VideoFest in October
Snapshots from Festival Screenings

LEFT ON PEARL was enthusiastically received at the Dallas VideoFest
in October and at the High Falls Film Festivalin Rochester, New York in November. 

Filmmaker Susie Rivo on Stage for a Q&A at the High Falls Film Festival in Rochester, NY
Our latest laurel is a Director's Choice Award at the 36th Annual Black Maria Film Festival, a traveling film festival based in Jersey City, NJ. We will post details on screening dates and locations as soon as they become available, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the quickest updates.
Thank you for your support!

The 888 Women's History Project
Libby Bouvier
Susan K. Jacoby
Susie Rivo
Rochelle G. Ruthchild
Cheryl Stein

Friday, August 5, 2016

Film fests, house parties, and other next steps...

Dear Friends, 

Some of you have asked if the film is done. When we began this project sixteen years ago we had so much to learn, including that there are many stages of completing a film. We are pleased to announce that the film is now "festival ready," and we are applying to film festivals, local, national and international. We will notify you when we know where we have been accepted.

Applying to film festivals will bring the film to a much larger audience. We are very excited that we have reached this stage in getting the story of the takeover of 888 Memorial Drive more widely known.

More Funds Needed

What we have also learned is that filmmaking takes dough. Even though most of us are working for free, we still need to raise funds for technical work on sound and color correction to bring the film to broadcast standard. This is necessary not only for future broadcast opportunities, but also to increase the film's chances of admission to top tier festivals.

Our biggest expense will be the licensing fees for the two Janis Joplin songs in the film. We are currently negotiating these fees for festivals only. After the film has completed the festival circuit, and once we have a distributor, we will need to negotiate licensing fees for all other distribution, including educational video, home video, broadcast, video on demand (VOD) and various web and streaming platforms. The rights owners will not provide quotes on licensing for any additional distribution until after our festival run.

We estimate the cost for festival fees, final technical work, and all music rights will come to at least $50,000. Please keep us in mind when you think about making donations.

Click here to donate online or by mail.

Host a House Party!

One way we can raise money is through house parties. If you would like to gather a group to screen the film and contribute, let us know. Email leftonpearl@gmail.com

Snapshots from our March 8 Special Screenings

On International Women's Day, March 8, 2016, we had two special sneak-preview screenings at the Kendall Square Cinema. We were thrilled at the turnout and buoyed by your enthusiasm and energy as we came together to celebrate the completion of Left on Pearl. Here are some pictures from that night.

Carol Hill, Saundra Graham, and Caroline Hunter, Cambridge activists featured in the film
Andrea Devine and Lily Bouvier in Left on Pearl T-Shirts
Susan Jacoby, Cheryl Stein, Libby Bouvier, Rochelle Ruthchild, filmmaker Susie Rivo, and
editor Iftach Shavit answer questions after the first screening of the night
Sara Driscoll, community activist featured in the film

All photos are by Ellen Shub. Click here to see a full album of photos from the event.

We hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and we will keep you posted on the exciting next steps in the "Left on Pearl" saga.

Stay connected:

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Follow us on Twitter 

In sisterhood and solidarity,

Libby, Susan, Cheryl, Rochelle and Susie

Monday, October 7, 2013

Laura Whitehorn on the Takeover of 888 Memorial Drive

A cold March morning in 1970 at the corner of Pearl Street and Memorial Drive.
I stand on the front steps of an old warehouse owned by Harvard and watch in
near ecstasy as a throng of women march toward me. After months of secretive
planning meetings, a few of us had broken into the building early that morning, then
waited nervously to see how many of our sisters would join us, marching from an
International Women’s Day demo in downtown Boston to our outpost in Cambridge.
We had expected a tiny crowd, fewer than 100, because it had been made clear that
the destination was an illegally held building, and arrest was likely. Instead, we were
overwhelmed with hundreds of our sisters, ready to take on the continuing struggle
for freedom and solidarity.

One of my favorite snapshot memories of the morning happened as the last of the
women swirled into the yard and the building itself: Following helplessly at the tail
of the march rode a handful of police we knew as the local “Red Squad.” We had
successfully kept the location of our takeover a secret, avoiding a preemptive arrest.

We expected to be arrested by police just hours after claiming the building for a
women’s center and a center for women’s solidarity with the people of Vietnam.
Instead, we held our spot for the next 11 days.

Now, I watch the nearly completed film of our takeover and feel joy and relief. Joy at
the way the passion we felt for our cause and our love for each other has held strong
over the intervening years (42 and counting), and relief that the intricate, hard-won
action we took has now been recorded. I watched one rough cut of the film with my
dear partner Susie Day. Together we have viewed more indendiary documentaries
about the cop-fighting, bomb-throwing 60s and 70s than we can count. This one, she
said, is different: Instead of reminding you that you weren’t involved, or that you
could never do what they did in those heady times, “Left on Pearl” not only brings
you into the events but allows you to realize that things like takeovers could still be
happening, and that it wouldn’t be all that hard to take part in them.

Being interviewed for the film was another high point—remembering much, finding
the flaws in my own recollections, then seeing how my memories fit (or didn’t) with
those of other women involved. I loved the process, I love the film, and I love both
the memories and the extended family of women who share them. Keeping this
groundbreaking action alive through “Left on Pearl” is a powerful way to remind
ourselves—and tell younger sisters—that winning does not necessarily mean seeing
a law passed or a case won. It also means building the persistence of action for
human rights, with our beating hearts at the center.

Thank you to the women who continue to work hard to get this film completed. It is
a great gift to all of us.