Archive for the ‘Dark Circle’ Category

February 17, 2013

February 17, 2013


Sadly for Morro, Oceano’s elbow injury had progressed too far, and he (Oceano) had to be euthanized. Morro awaits another companion…and I await the chance to film the resolution to his story.

Meanwhile I’ve been editing the rough cut, soliciting critique, and revising still more. I screened the first half-hour of these revisions at the Hillside Club in Berkeley on February 4th, and got very good feedback, so I think that section is working. Now I’m editing the last hour, prepping for a screening of the full rough cut at Haverford College on March 20th, where I’ll be doing a weeklong Artist’s Residency. After that will come the SF rough-edit screening.

Thanks to Tom and Kristi Cohen, Lorraine Grassano, and Judy Schultz for recent substantial individual donations to “Pelican Dreams,” and to Christine Joly for supporting our initial efforts in a big way.

My two previous feature documentaries will have screenings soon:


Diablo Canyon

anti-nuclear activists look at Diablo Canyon, then under construction

Dark Circle at NYC MoMA

1982. USA. Directed by Judy Irving, Chris Beaver, and Ruth Landy. This chilling, but ultimately hopeful, film explores how all of us have been affected by the nuclear age. Denounced by officials and shunned by broadcasters when it was first released, many of the issues it raises have become today’s front-page headlines. Print courtesy of Oakland Museum of California. (POV) 82 min.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013, 4:30 p.m., Theater 1, T1

NYC MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street between 5th and 6th Avenues

Wild Parrots Movie Poster

Wild Parrots Movie Poster

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill at the Cosmic Cine Film Festival in Switzerland and Germany


Zurich Switzerland: Friday April 12th at 4pm in Arena Cinemas Zurich.
Munich, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt and Bonn, Germany (four simultaneous screenings) Friday April 19th at 4pm in the following cinemas:
• Cinema: Mathäser Filmpalast / City: Munich
• Cinema: Kinopolis / City: Bonn Bad Godesberg
• Cinema: Citydome / City: Darmstadt
• Cinema: Universum City Kinos / City: Karlsruhe

A link to a overview of all five locations:

On April 26th at 8:13 pm there will be an Awards Gala in Mathäser Filmpalast in Munich.


March 15, 2011

June 22, 2012

Years before “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,” I produced and directed another feature documentary (with Chris Beaver and Ruth Landy) entitled “Dark Circle,” about the nuclear industry. The film explains the links between nuclear weapons and power, and includes basic information about how nuclear plants work, how a core meltdown happens, and how likely that scenario is for California’s Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant. Diablo, like Fukushima in Japan, is an aging nuclear plant on an active earthquake fault, and its operator, PG&E, has applied for a 20-year license extension. If you haven’t seen “Dark Circle,” now might be the time. Click here.

“Pardito,” WildCare’s new resident brown pelican, is learning how to jump up, down, turn around, and follow Mary Pounder, Education Specialist, but when we filmed recently, Pardito seemed to have taught himself to bite Mary’s leg every time she said “turn”! It’s very funny, and will be a good sequence in “Pelican Dreams.” We’ll film another training session soon, and will follow Pardito to his debut appearance at an elementary school. Like Morro, he has an injured wing that won’t heal. Like Gigi, he spent some time at IBRRC’s pelican aviary, but could never fly high enough or strong enough to convince his caretakers that he could dive, catch fish, and function successfully as a wild pelican. Pardito is a mischievous young bird, “like a teenager,” says Mary, and will do well in schools, she hopes.


I visited my mom in Florida in January, and filmed at one of the oldest seabird sanctuaries in the country: Suncoast, on the Gulf Coast near St. Petersburg. Disabled adult pelicans nevertheless breed, nest, and raise young at the sanctuary, and when the chicks are old enough to fly, the mesh roof is removed from the enclosure and they fly to the beach nearby, coming back if they get scared or hungry, and eventually joining the wild flocks. I was thrilled to be able to get closeups of 2-and-3-week old babies at Suncoast.

Pelican Chick at Suncoast in Florida