(San Francisco, CA)—LOVE & DIANE tells the epic story of a family over three generations. At its heart lies the highly charged relationship between a mother and daughter desperate for love and forgiveness but struggling against implacable odds. For Love the world changed forever when she and her siblings were torn from their drug-addicted mother, Diane, and thrust into a terrifying world of institutions and foster homes. Ten years have passed since that day. Love and her five siblings have been reunited with Diane again. But they are almost strangers to each other; all have been scarred by the years of separation. Now Love is 18 and HIV+. And she has just given birth to a son, Donyaeh. Consumed by guilt, Diane throws all her faith and will into rebuilding the family that her own drug addiction destroyed, as Love struggles to contain her overwhelming anger about the past. But when Diane confides her fears for her daughter to a therapist, suddenly the police are at the door. Donyaeh is taken from Love. To the family it is as if history has repeated itself.
While the film takes us deep into the life of a single family, it also offers an unblinking look at the Byzantine "system” that aims to help but as often frustrates the family's attempts to improve their situation. LOVE & DIANE tells the story of a mother struggling to bring her son home and of a family fighting for a chance at long-deferred dreams.
INTERVIEWEES (in rough order of appearance)
Love Hinson is Diane's second daughter, 18-years-old at the start of the film
Donyaeh Hinson is Love's son
Diane Hazzard is Love's mother. Formerly an addict, she has brought her family together again after many years of separation.
Trenise (Tootie) Arnold is Diane's third daughter
Morean Arnold is Diane's fourth daughter
Willie Hazzard is Diane's second son
Courtney White is Love's boyfriend
Tameka Arnold is Diane eldest daughter
Lauren Shapiro is Love's attorney
Antonia Diaz is Donyaeh's foster mother
Charles Modiano is a Strive instructor
Charles Hazzard, Diane's oldest son, deceased, cared for all his siblings while his mother was an addict.
Producer/Director: Jennifer Dworkin
Editor: Mona Davis
Cinematography: Tsuyoshi Kimoto
Executive Producer: Jennifer Fox
Consulting Producer: Doug Block
Co-Producer: Sharon Sklar
Additional Camera: Doug Block, Jason Longo, Jennifer Dworkin
LOVE & DIANE is produced by Jennifer Dworkin for the Independent Television Service (ITVS), and will have its national broadcast premiere on PBS's series P.O.V. LOVE & DIANE is an Independent Television Service (ITVS) and P.O.V. co-presentation. A Women Make Movies release, LOVE & DIANE will open theatrically in New York City with a two week run at the Film Forum in April 2003. Women Make Movies is the North American theatrical distributor of LOVE & DIANE.
Jennifer Dworkin – Director
LOVE & DIANE is Jennifer Dworkin's first film. Jennifer was born in New York but grew up in England. She has an MA and is pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at Cornell University but is currently on leave. She is the recipient of several research fellowships and was awarded the 1997 Fellowship for Excellence in Research and Academic Promise in the Cognitive Sciences from Cornell University. Jennifer Dworkin has known some members of the family portrayed in LOVE & DIANE since 1989, when she taught photography workshops for children in the NYC Tier II shelter system. These workshops grew into a program teaching kids still photography and filmmaking with Super8 cameras. She has worked extensively as a volunteer and group leader for several children's charities. Jennifer learned filmmaking in the course of making this documentary (over many years).
Mona Davis – Editor
Mona Davis, the editor of LOVE & DIANE, has been editing feature documentaries since the 1980s when her first film, In Our Water, was nominated for both an Academy and Emmy Award and won the Columbia DuPont Award. Her credits include many critically acclaimed films such as The Farm: Angola USA, Academy Award nominee and winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and the NY and LA Film Critcs Circle Awards for Best Documentary of the Year, for which she won an Emmy for Best Editing; A Perfect Candidate and Dream Deceivers, both nominated for Emmy Awards, and the American 7 Up series, winner of a Peabody Award; as well as the Academy Award nominated dramatic short The Dutch Master.
Jennifer Fox – Executive Producer
Jennifer Fox recently completed the groundbreaking ten-hour documentary series, An American Love Story (ITVS), which she produced, directed, and photographed for Public Television, and which aired nationally on PBS September 12-16, 1999. An American Love Story was screened to critical acclaim at the 1999 Sundance, Berlin, and Edinburgh Film Festivals, and at the Film Forum in New York City. Jennifer's other credits include Executive Producing On The Ropes, a feature-length documentary produced, directed, and photographed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen. At its premiere at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival, On The Ropes was awarded a Special Jury Award. It was broadcast in April of 2000 on The Learning Channel. Jennifer is the Executive Producer of Portrait Of A Survivor As An Artist, Kit-Yin Snyder's feature-length documentary that explores the personal journey of a traditional Chinese artist in the modern world. She is also Executive Producing, Absolutely Safe, a feature length investigative film about breast implants by Carol Ciancutti.
Tsuyoshi Kimoto – Cinematographer
Born in Osaka, Japan, Tsuyoshi Kimoto has spent the last 15 years in the United States, including eight years of cinematography studies. For four years he trained under veteran PBS documentary film producer/director Marian Marzynski. His documentary feature credits include several films produced and directed by Marian Marzynski: Gomrowitcz Story, Escape from Japan and Anya In and Out of Focus. He shot Halsted Street, U.S.A., directed by Sundance Film Festival Award winner David Simpson as well as Go Monk Go produced by Gus Van Sant, directed by Chris Moniux. Tsuyoshi won a Student Oscar and Emmy Award for Arn Chorn Pond, a Cambodian in America, which he produced, directed and photographed. As well as his feature credits, Tsuyoshi has extensive television, music video and educational credits.
I first met members of the Hazzard family many years before I began making LOVE & DIANE. I was teaching as a volunteer in a homeless shelter in Harlem developing a photography workshop for children, which later turned into a Super8 film project. Diane's two nieces and nephew were in my class. They had been living in the shelter since their mother, Victoria (Diane's sister) had died. Over a period of several years I became close to these three children. I began a film project with them about the experience of growing up in a shelter.
When I went to graduate school in upstate New York, we planned that the eldest girl, Selina, would join me after high school and attend a local community college. But she had a year of high school left and decided to move in with an aunt I had never met—Diane Hazzard. Shortly after Selina moved in with Diane and her daughter Love I went over to see them. When I met Diane, her children had been living with her for two years after a six-year separation. Love's return home had been particularly traumatic. For much of those two years she was a runaway, often living on the streets. I sensed the intense love that Diane and Love had for each other as well as the anger and guilt over the past. I was drawn to focus the film on their story.
Both Love and Diane were very interested in the idea of making a film about their experiences; both felt they had something important to say. I was particularly struck by their strong desire not to be seen as "statistics” or to be seen stereotypically as doomed, as well as their conviction that a film telling the unvarnished truth would serve an important purpose. A highly personal film that looks at the lives of a mother and daughter over several years, it also explores, from their point of view, the extraordinary challenge of retaining autonomy in the face of a social "system” that has almost limitless, often arbitrary power over the circumstances of their lives. Diane's children and home could be taken from her in an instant based on a misunderstanding that could take years of struggle to undo.
Diane and Love are inspirational in their refusal to give up. Equally extraordinary was their commitment to making this film true to what happened and how they felt. I wanted as much as possible to immerse the viewer in Love and Diane's experience of the world. I avoided interviews with "experts” on the social policy issues that came up. I did not try to make this an objective film. But the film is also not purely observational; an important part of the film is the sequences that are about the past as remembered by the family. The past is a vital part of this story. Love and Diane both search constantly for explanations in the past as they fight to change their lives in the present. In the end, the film is an attempt to do justice to what I learned from Love and Diane.
Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10pm on PBS. ITVS is a miracle of public policy created by the vision of media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. Contact ITVS at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.itvs.org.
P.O.V. celebrated its 15th Anniversary beginning June 2002. Since 1988 P.O.V. has worked to bring the best of independent point-of-view documentaries to a national audience. The first series on television to feature the work of America's most innovative documentary filmmakers, P.O.V. has gone on to pioneer the art of presentation and outreach using independent media to build new communities in conversation about today's most pressing social issues. Major funding for P.O.V. is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Open Society Institute, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, PBS and public television viewers. Funding for Talking Back and the Diverse Voices Project is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. P.O.V. is presented by a consortium of public television stations including KCET/Los Angeles, WGBH/Boston, and WNET/New York. Cara Mertes is executive director of P.O.V. The series is produced by American Documentary, Inc. Ward Chamberlin is chief executive officer.
About Women Make Movies (Theatrical Distributor)
Established in 1972 to address the under-representation and misrepresentation of women in the media, Women Make Movies is the largest distributor of women's films and videos in the world. Women Make Movies kicked off its 30th Anniversary at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival. Anniversary festivities will consist of extensive exhibitions and retrospectives, premiere screenings of new releases in upcoming festivals; and participation in noteworthy academic conferences in the US, Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. (http://www.wmm.com/news/anniversary.htm). The year-long series of events will celebrate the diversity, vitality, quality and breadth of creativity in WMM's catalogue of more than 450 films and videotapes.
Contact: Nancy Fishman, 415/356-8383 x226; Nancy_Fishman@itvs.org