October 23, 2018
The John Brademas Center of New York University and NYU Washington, DC hosted a free screening of the important new documentary, "Capturing the Flag."
As the 2016 National Election unfolds around them, a diverse team of charismatic voter protection volunteers travel from New York City to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where they learn their skills at the polls - years in the making - are no match for the insidious game of modern-day voter suppression. How will they continue in the fight for democracy's most sacred promise to its citizens: the right to vote?
Director and Producer, Anne De Mare, Producer, Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, and Producer and Film Subject, Laverne Berry, led the discussion after the film.
Although slightly unusual, the driving force of the film's narrative is also central to the producing team. Laverne Berry (Producer) is an entertainment and media business affairs attorney representing independent film and television producers, directors, production companies, distribution companies, authors and media companies. Drawing on eighteen years as a television producer and distribution executive before becoming a lawyer, Laverne understands both the business and legal sides of the media marketplace. She acted as Executive Producer for Perfectly Normal For Me (produced by Elizabeth Hemmerdinger) and The Silent Truth. She was the co-executive producer for Emmy-nominated Chely Wright: Wish Me Away, and The Lady in Question is Charles Busch. Laverne also has been involved in Alternative Dispute Resolution for 20 years. She is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Dispute Panel, American Arbitration Association (AAA) Commercial Arbitration Panel and Mediation Panel. Laverne has been named a New York Metro Area Super Lawyer for six years, including for 2017, by Thompson Reuters; and was included in the New York Metro Super Lawyers supplement to The New York Times newspaper, The Top Women Attorneys in New York, 2014- 2017.
Capturing The Flag is the brainchild of Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, who learned about Laverne Berry’s volunteer voter protection efforts while working in partnership with her on the upcoming documentary Perfectly Normal For Me (a recipient of Latino Public Television’s 2016 Public Media Content Fund). Elizabeth is the Producer of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and was named one of the five essential documentaries of 2013 by Tribeca Institute. She is also Associate Producer on The Homestretch (Emmy Award, Independent Lens, 2015) and the Executive Producer of The Real Rosie the Riveter Project (NYU Bobst Libraries). Elizabeth is a Board member of PEN America and The Hunter College Foundation. Elizabeth is also an accomplished playwright and screenwriter; she wrote and produced the short narrative film, Good Sister, starring Jessica Hecht and Grant Shaud, which premiered in 2013 at the Boston International Film Festival and has screened in festivals across the country. Her current projects in film include Perfectly Normal For Me and The Girl With The Rivet Gun (both as Producer); and in musical theater: We Can Do It! (Librettist). Her published plays include Squall, Road Rage and Pissed Sister (Playscripts, Inc.).
Anne is an Emmy-Award winning documentary filmmaker whose feature film exploring the realities of youth homelessness, The Homestretch (Independent Lens), received the 2015 Emmy for Outstanding Business and Economic Reporting - Long Form. Anne is a fierce believer in the power of story to affect change and worked on that film’s extensive impact campaign for over two years, personally speaking at 58 events in 23 cities and engaging everyone from senior Federal policy officials to local housing authorities to at-risk youth and high school audiences. Most recently, Anne was Co-Producer on the PBS documentary Deej (America ReFramed), winner of the prestigious 2017 Peabody Award. She has been a Sundance Institute Fellow, part of the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase program, and an Associate Artist with Chicago’s legendary Kartemquin Films. Her work has been supported by MacArthur Foundation, Sundance Institute, Carnegie Corporation of New York, ITVS, Chicken & Egg Pictures, and POV/American Documentary Inc. (among others). Anne’s first feature, Asparagus! Stalking the American Life, explored the relationship between asparagus farmers in rural western Michigan and the changing global economy. That film was winner of the 2006 W.K. Kellogg Good Food Film Award as well as Audience Choice and Best Documentary awards at festivals across the country. In 2010 and 2011, she worked closely with the late, great historian Michael Nash and NYU Bobst Libraries to create an extensive filmed archive of women who worked in munitions factories during WWII, accessible online as The Real Rosie The Riveter Project. Together with her long-time film partner Kirsten Kelly, Anne is currently in development for a feature documentary exploring the cycle of male violence against women, and, together with producer Elizabeth Hemmerdinger, Anne and Kirsten are in production for The Girl With the Rivet Gun, a dynamic animated documentary project based on personal histories of real-life Rosie the Riveters.