The Preview of Films by Wayne Ewing
Tuesday, February 8th, 2005
Landmark's E-Street Cinema 11th and E Streets, N.W.
The Last Campaign
The Corporate Takeover of the Judiciary
BLOODY MARYS, MIMOSA, BREAKFAST
Breakfast With Hunter
Starring Hunter S. Thompson
WASHINGTON D.C. PREMIERE
RSVP at 202-448-9282 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please advise which film(s) you wish to attend
and how many in your party.
ALSOTell your friends and colleagues they can enjoy these films all day at Landmark's E Street Cinema on Wednesday, February 9th, 2005
10 am, 2 pm, and 6 pm
The Last Campaign
12 Noon, 4 pm, and 8 pm
BENCHED: The Corporate Takeover of the Judiciary
Breakfast With Hunter
Starring Hunter S. Thompson
Campaign Hostility Comes Home to Our CrewA campaign worker for Illinois Supreme Court candidate Lloyd Karmeier threatened a documentary camera crew and attempted to remove them from a public street in Pinckeyville, Illinois last night while Judge Karmeier watched and did nothing to stop the incident.
Documentary filmmaker Wayne Ewing, whose work has appeared on every major TV network plans to file a complaint with the Federal Justice Department against Judge Karmeier calling for an investigation of the Karmeier campaign's intimidation of the press.
An unidentified Karmeier campaign worker bullied Ewing's documentary team Saturday night while they filmed the Pinckneyville Halloween Parade.
The campaign worker acted in an intimidating and extremely hostile manner. He blocked the path of the news cinematographer and threatened to remove him while Karmeier watched from his Halloween float.
Saturday's incident comes just days after Karmeier's staff had Ewing's documentary crew ejected from a campaign event for the press in Litchfield.
Ewing said the Karmeier campaign has demonstrated a troubling pattern of hostility and intimidation. He said that Karmeier has trampled the First Amendment, and he is now afraid for his crew's physical safety.
"I made a film in Communist Russia in 1982 for 'Frontline' (PBS) in the height of the Brezhnev era," Ewing said. "I found it easier to deal with the KGB in Communist Russia than it is to deal with the Karmeier campaign and their allies.
"For a man like Lloyd Karmeier, who aspires to be a Supreme Court justice, to show so little respect for the First Amendment and the freedom of the press is just deplorable."
"Now Judge Karmeier has gone completely over line with the use of a threatening thug," Ewing said.
Ewing has been a filmmaker for over 30 years. His Emmy award-winning work has appeared on NBC News with Tom Brokaw as correspondent, CBS News with Charles Kuralt, ABC News with Ted Koppel, and PBS with Bill Moyers and Walter Cronkite.
Ewing has filmed in Southern Illinois for the past several months to produce a documentary about the state Supreme Court race.
Video of the incident is available for the press, and will be online shortly at www.madisoncountymovie.com.
For more information contact Ewing at 970-963-8700 or Associate Producer Barry Bortnick at 303-995-7269.
Some Viewer Feedback:Well Wayne, thanks a whole hell of a lot for a look at your work in progress. Now I don't just have to worry about somebody stealing the White House and the Congress, but now the Court House is up for sale too?
Wayne, I'm losing sleep here: Secret wars on judges, a presidential race so bizarre Jon Stewart is starting to simply run "jokes" that are actually just long clips of the candidates talking, and of course now the knowledge that somebody is out there buying up judgeships the way I collect whiskey labels.
Ignorance does seem blissful. Actually, your movie reminds me why I'm a Democrat and will vote early and often on Nov. 2 – and I'm sure it will remind some people why they're Republicans.
(Dan Dunn is the L.A.-based movie critic for the Metro newspaper group and other fine publications.)
FOREGROUND:The "Madison County Documentary" (working title) is a work-in-progress by filmmaker Wayne Ewing about the 2004 race for the Supreme Court in Madison County, Illinois. Democrat Fifth District Appellate Justice Gordon Maag is running against Republican Circuit Judge Lloyd Karmeier in a race that is attracting national attention. The US Chamber of Commerce has pledged to spend $50 million dollars defeating selected judges around America in 2004 ("The Secret War On Judges" - Forbes Magazine.
Now, just two weeks before Election Day, the big money has arrived in Southern Illinois. Republican Lloyd Karmeier and Democrat Gordon Maag have combined reported contributions of nearly $3 million, a figure that shattered state records for a judicial race.
BACKGROUND:Wayne Ewing became interested in the subject while shooting his most recent film‚ "If Re-Elected" - a sequel to the first he ever made called "If Elected" (1972) which was broadcast by Bill Moyers on PBS. The subjects for the 1972 film were Warren McGraw and his brother Darrell at a time when Warren was running for the West Virginia State Senate and Darrell was his campaign manager. The Washington Star wrote that "If Elected" was "a documentary for the ages" and now, 32 years later, Wayne Ewing returned for the Spring primary season to cover Warren McGraw's campaign for re-election to the West Virginia Supreme Court and his brother Darrell's campaign for re-election as the Attorney General of the state.
CLOSE-UP:His experience in West Virginia covering the most expensive Supreme Court race in the history of the state (McGraw won the primary 57/43) convinced Ewing that the issue of tort reform, medical malpractice and the targeting of Supreme Court races by special interest groups deserved further exploration. The next battleground is the Fifth Appelate District of Illinois which comprises 37 counties, and since Madison County has been labeled a "judicial hellhole" by business groups, it will be the primary focus of Ewing's next public affairs documentary.
Unlike "If Re-Elected" which is a pure cinema verite film, the Madison County Documentary will be correspondent driven. The correspondent is Paul Johnson, a noted television reporter with KUSA (NBC affiliate) of Denver. He reported for CKST and then for CKWX radio and UTV in Vancouver. He also reported at KGNS in Laredo, Texas, and KTSM El Paso. Internationally, he has covered, among other events, the war in Bosnia, the hand-over of Hong Kong to Mainland China and most recently completed working on Havana Centro, a documentary about the music and spirituality in the barrios of Havana, Cuba.
Paul was born in Seattle, Washington, but raised in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. He has a Bachelor of Arts, Communications and English Literature from Simon Fraser University. He also has a broadcasting diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
Wayne Ewing has produced and directed over fifty documentaries for American television networks. His first twenty-five films were broadcast as a part of the series Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. The Emmy nominated Blood's of 'Nam followed on PBS as a part of the Frontline series. Also for Frontline, Ewing produced and directed A Journey To Russia during the last days of the Brezhnev era. His commercial television journalism includes segments for Ted Koppel at ABC and Charles Kuralt at CBS. For NBC News, Ewing made one hour documentaries: directing Women In Prison with Maria Shriver as correspondent and then producing and directing Gangs, Cops, & Drugs and The New Hollywood with Tom Brokaw as correspondent. Gangs, Cops, & Drugs is one of the highest rated documentaries (a 25/18 rating) ever broadcast on American television. In 1992, the feature film director Barry Levinson asked Ewing to design the photographic style of the dramatic series Homicide: Life On The Streets for NBC. Ewing's handheld camerawork and direction brought a style of reality to drama that television critics have credited with changing the look of American dramatic television in the 1990's. Most recently, Ewing has returned to documentaries with the release of his first theatrical film, Breakfast With Hunter about the infamous Gonzo journalist Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. DVDs are now distributed exclusively through the website at www.BreakfastWithHunter.com. Wayne Ewing graduated from Yale College and The University Texas Graduate School of Communications. He has lived near Aspen, Colorado for over twenty years.
Barry Bortnick of Denver, Colorado has spent almost twenty years as a print journalist working for The New York Post (currently covering the Kobe Bryant case), the Denver Post, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Roaring Fork Sunday, the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and the Ventura Star-Free Press. Barry received a BA in journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder.