Chat w/ Anne De Mare, director of the doc 'Capture The Flag'

Photo credit: Will Thwaites

Anne De Mare 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. She’s the director of the documentary Capturing The Flag, that tells the story of Election Day 2016 from the deeply personal perspective of a diverse team of volunteer voter protection workers in North Carolina that represents the final line of protection for each American citizen’s right to vote.  

We spoke with Anne, and here are the excerpts

• What motivated you to make this film, and at this time?

Like a lot of people, I was really disheartened by the lead-up to the 2016 Presidential election.  The negativity and divisiveness of the campaigns and the non-stop media coverage was deeply discouraging for so many of the people I knew.  So, initially, the film was a response to all that media noise, and also to the narrow, top down focus of our political dialogue.  In contrast, here were these everyday citizens - Laverne, Steve, Claire and Trista - who were rising above all that noise and distraction and doing something active to try and make the very process of democracy better. For everyone.  By helping their fellow citizens to vote in a world where voting is increasingly complicated.  Since the election, the themes explored in the film have only grown in importance, as legal and legislative battles over election laws and redistricting are being waged all over the country.

I’ve come to believe that the role of the citizen has been purposely diminished in the media, and that works its way into the way we talk about our own personal involvement with politics.  Capturing The Flag explores what it's like to be a citizen who takes action -- how complicated that can be at times, how discouraging and how exhilarating.  It’s also a film about the deeply insidious nature of modern voter suppression, and why it’s so hard for people to fight.  Through the making of the film, I’ve re-discovered how important each and every one of us is to the function of our democracy.  So I wanted to tell a different kind of story in this moment, in large part because I wanted to find a way to have hope for our democracy again.  

• What challenges did you face making this film, and how did you overcome those?

I’ve never worked on something that was so connected to current events before, and I found that time was a huge challenge for me.  I tend to work slowly - my last film took over five years to make - but with this subject matter there was such an urgency to finish in time to inspire action and dialogue around the midterm elections, we finished in a third of that time.  It gave me a huge amount of respect for the filmmakers and journalists who work on current events everyday.   From a creative standpoint, it was really challenging to find a way to tell this story in a way that consciously fought against the sensationalism of a lot of the media coverage, that slowed down way we usually talk about politics and asked different questions, but was still compelling to audiences.  We’ve come to describe it as a slow burn of a film on a hot button topic, but finding that balance took a really long time.

• Why and how you ended up with all female team? How was that experience?

The film was the brainchild of our Producer, Elizabeth Hemmerdinger.  When she found out that Laverne Berry volunteered to do voter protection work at the polls, she approached me about taking a small film crew down to record what happened.  Initially, we thought we would be making a short about civic engagement and how to participate in democracy, but what we experienced on the ground in North Carolina, combined with the larger direction of the country in terms of the battle over voting rights, led us to understand that we had a much deeper, richer, and more complicated story.  The development of the project from a short to a feature, like the development of the producing team itself, was really organic.  Elizabeth, Laverne and I had all known and worked with each other in some capacity before, although never in this combination of roles, but it has been a wonderful experience.  Elizabeth likes to refer to us as a three-legged stool, and I agree. Filmmaking is a deeply collaborative effort - especially documentary - and we make a good team.     

• What do you hope to achieve from this film and it's impact?

Ultimately, I hope the film can re-energize people around the importance of voting, and the urgent need for election reform and fair redistricting laws.  At the same time, I hope the film can open people's eyes to the current tragedy that far too many American citizens face very real challenges to voting, and that those citizens are disproportionately in poor and minority communities.  We need to fix this if we want to save our democracy.  When I set out to make the film, voting wasn’t really my big issue, but I have come to understand it is THE issue.  If we can’t fix this, we can’t fix anything.   

• What's your message to the voters all over America?

Vote.  Vote the whole ballot.  In every election.  Know your local election law and help your fellow citizens get out and vote.  The largest single voting block in America is the roughly 100 million eligible voters who didn't vote in the 2016 election.  Get off the sidelines and get involved in the day-to-day reality of how we are governed.  Whatever your politics.  Elections are often decided by a handful of votes, so understand that your vote DOES matter.  Own it.  Exercise it.  Insist on it.  We have the power to change who’s in power.  If you don’t like what’s happening, vote your leaders out of office.

You can check more details at

Rose McGowan's Directorial Debut DAWN - Available for FREE Now!






**Sundance Film Festival: Official Selection** 

"The creepy directorial debut of actress Rose McGowan...lurches from bubblegum to menace"

- Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES 

"Provocative...slowly seductive" 

- Betsy Sharkey, LOS ANGELES TIMES

"Positions McGowan as an earthmover behind the camera"

- Matthew Bedard, FLAUNT

"A strong debut; a subversive bit of old-fashioned, pop-melodrama with a scary undercurrent"

- Austin Trunick, UNDER THE RADAR

"The film left me literally breathless"

- Liz Whittemore, CINEMIT

"Tense and dark"


Realizing that her passion lies in film-making, Rose McGowan's breakthrough directorial debut, DAWN, is a disturbing tale of a young girl's budding sexuality and one's desire to experience the unknown.  Dawn (Tara Barr) is a quiet young teenager living in Kennedy era America who longs for something or someone to free her from her sheltered life. When she strikes up an innocent flirtation with the boy who works at her local gas station (Reiley McClendon), she thinks that he is perhaps the answer to her teenage dreams. Though when she invites the boy and his friends into her otherwise cloistered world, she gets a lot more than she bargained for.

Directed by: Rose McGowan

Written by: M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller

Cast: Tara, Barr, Reiley McClendon, Hannah Marks, Michael Moskewicz, Julia Sanford, John Grady

TRT: 17 Minutes 




I am actually giddy to screen this movie! Once you review the trailer that you will understand the source of my excitement.

My love of the comic book culture continues and if your not a fan you must check out this out because it's based upon the acclaimed comic book and this film is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class).

In short order KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE tells a story of a super-secret spy organization that recruits an unrefined, but promising street kid into the agency’s ultra-competitive training program just as a global threat emerges from a twisted tech genius.

Official Site:


Hey New York--time for me to roll out and fly over to Hollywood to report on the beautiful people of Film and TV.

It's award season and my first stop is SAG.

I have 100% love for NYC.  I go to LA to work.

In LA you live in your car.  Your mechanic is your best friend.  You shape friendships around highways and you know, to the second, the drive time.

In LA, the city shuts down around 11pm.  Snooze me. Snooze me.  Snooze. me.  

During my reporting, I will be sharing more of the Pro NYC vs LA  in a creative rant which will be backed up with photographs. 

Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) / 5:00 p.m. (PT) from the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. 

Executive Producer Kathy Connell, who has served as producer of the SAG Awards since its inception in 1994, is guiding the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards and this is what she had to share: 

“Every one of these people are the highest caliber talent in their respective areas of expertise. Working so closely, we have developed a short-hand to find new avenues to make the SAG Awards bigger and better every year.”
Comprising the Awards Committee for Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) that oversees all stages of the production are Chair JoBeth Williams, Vice Chair Daryl Anderson and Committee members Scott Bakula, Shelley Fabares and Woody Schultz.

Parties make Hollywood sizzle and the SAG Awards® gala will be co-hosted again by PEOPLE and the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) held immediately following the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards . Tony Schubert of Event Eleven will design and produce the Gala for the seventh consecutive year.

The SAG Awards gala has been a cornerstone of the PEOPLE/EIF/SAG relationship for nearly two decades. On this special night, the three organizations come together to salute the charitable efforts of actors in their communities and to make an annual donation to the SAG Foundation. PEOPLE and EIF have collaborated on a variety of causes for more than a decade. Together, they have reached hundreds of millions of people with messaging that helps facilitate change.

“PEOPLE has celebrated the philanthropic efforts of Hollywood for 40 years.  This year, we have added a special weekly section called ‘Why I Care,’ which showcases personal stories from celebrities giving back,” says Jess Cagle, Editorial Director for PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly.  “We are proud to partner once again with EIF to support the SAG Foundation and their important initiatives in the entertainment community.”

“The support and commitment of actors is essential to the work we do at the Entertainment Industry Foundation,” says EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen. “By volunteering their time to raise awareness and funds for our initiatives, actors play an invaluable role in EIF’s ability to positively affect health, education and social issues. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity, and for PEOPLE and the SAG Foundation’s continued commitment to charitable causes.

The $1 million gift from PEOPLE and EIF supports three SAG Foundation programs over the course of 2014-2016: Storyline Online a video-based children’s literacy website; the Catastrophic Healthcare Fund; and the Dales Scholarship Program.

In 2014, the donation also helped to build and open the SAG Foundation’s new state-of-the-art voiceover lab in the Actors Center in New York. The EIF Voiceover Lab of the SAG Foundation opened on May 27, 2014 and already, there are close to 100 voiceover workshops offered to nearly 1000 union voice actors. In 2015, the number of workshops and actors served at the EIF Voiceover Lab will at least double.

“The grant for the building of the EIF/People Voiceover Lab has expanded the possibilities and career support to our over 30,000 Union voiceover artists on the East Coast, providing them access to state-of-the art facilities and professional services, enabling them to advance their talents, experience and careers,” says Cyd Wilson, Executive Director, SAG Foundation.

“Storyline Online has also grown exponentially thanks to the funding,” continues Wilson, “Even with a small library of books on video, we are receiving over 4.3 million hits a month, many of those viewers are teachers sharing with entire classrooms not only in the U.S., but in over 200 countries around the world, translating into multiple millions of children who have the opportunity to experience talented storytellers that engage and inspire them to read. I believe this is one of the most profound and impactful reading programs available at the simple click of a button.”  

The SAG Foundation’s Catastrophic Health Fund provides financial grants to eligible SAG-AFTRA performs and their dependents who suffer from life-threatening illness or injury.  Like all SAG Foundation assistance programs, the Catastrophic Health Fund application process is completely confidential.  Since the SAG Foundation never receives SAG-AFTRA dues or initiation fees to fund any of its programs, the Catastrophic Health Fund is made possible by gifts and grants from generous supporters like the EIF and People Magazine.

Created in 1973 in honor of the Screen Actors Guild’s longtime Executive Secretary John L. Dale, the SAG Foundation’s John L. Dales Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $6 million in scholarships to 1,730 SAG-AFTRA performers and their dependents.  John L. Dales Scholarships are granted annually for study at accredited and licensed universities, colleges, junior colleges, adult specialty schools and trade/vocational schools.  The number of scholarships and monies awarded are determined by a committee of the SAG Foundation and is also made possible through gifts and grants from generous donors and sponsors, including EIF and People Magazine.