Monday, April 25, 2011

Film Awards & Reception

Trailer link:
Nominated for the 2011 Audience Favorite Award and "Best Documentary Long" in the American University Visions Awards Competition, April 29 @ 7:30 p.m., Katzen Arts Center. Admission and parking are free.
Please cast your vote in support of the film @
 Free Screening of "The Unlikely Sex Offenders" April 28, 6 p.m., American University, Katzen Arts Center.

Prostitutes in Louisiana run the risk of becoming registered sex offenders, if they solicit a particular sex act. To date, nearly 350 prostitutes are registered sex offenders in Louisiana.

"The Unlikely Sex Offenders" is nominated for Best Documentary (long) and is up for an Audience Favorite Award at American University. Please vote for the film at: Be sure to scroll the list and look for Maniko Barthelemy. Feel free to share the link to your friends. The winner will be announced Friday, April 29 at the Visions Awards at American University.

You can e-mail your comments to Maniko Barthelemy at

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Full Frame Film Festival Recap

 For four days, Durham, NC puts independent film producers and hundreds of fans of compelling, controversial and complex documentaries in one place. This year, the annual Full Frame Film Festival, had a line-up of everything from films about gun violence and the reality of war to the power of laughter and the complexities around bridging cultural differences. Below is a recap of a few documentaries I screened at Full Frame.
Maniko Barthelemy & Nick Francis, producer of "When China Met Africa"
Will a partnership between China and Africa bring the much needed financial growth the Zambian government desires? In “When China Met Africa,” film producer Nick Francis explores the progress and problems that come with bringing jobs to African workers. This film had me anxious, angry and interested from the beginning until the end. Log on to to view the “When China Met Africa” trailer.

Vanessa Rousselot, producer of "No Laughing Matter" & Maniko Barthelemy
Who knew that there’s something funny about being Palestinian? In “No Laughing Matter,” filmmaker Vanessa Rousselot brings audiences to the intersection of laugh-out-loud moments and intense unpredictable reactions from Palestinians in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah. After watching this film, I learned we have more in common with people from other countries than we often acknowledge or notice. Log on to to view the trailer of "No Laughing Matter."
Maniko Barthelemy & Ameena Matthews, CeaseFire member profiled in "The Interrupters"
When a city embraces the reality of a powerful solution to stopping shootings, stabbings and violent deaths outside of a call for more police, a stellar example of what works is Chicago’s CeaseFire. In “The Interrupters,” filmmaker Steve James, former Chicago gang members like Ameena Matthews and ex-felons put themselves on the front lines of some of Chicago’s most dangerous crime-ridden neighborhoods.Their goal is to show the world how to reach out and save people who often feel like there’s nothing to lose by taking a person’s life. In the process of saving the streets, some of the CeaseFire volunteers get too close to the scenes of a crime. Here’s a clip of the film:

Maniko Barthelemy & Susan Saladoff, producer of "Hot Coffee"
Perhaps everyone remembers the story of 80-year-old, Stella Liebeck, the woman who sued McDonald’s over the cup of extremely hot coffee that left her body with scars almost too devastating to imagine. In “Hot Coffee,” trial lawyer turned filmmaker, Susan Saladoff, opens the eyes of everyone with an in-depth look at the fallout that followed Liebeck’s case and its impact on malpractice suits across the country. You won’t want to blink, while watching this film. For more information, log on to

Maniko Barthelemy & Producers of "Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story"
 I knew nothing about the impact of Mark Sandman’s talent on the rock industry as one of the best bass guitarists of his time. Sadly, the man who brought the sound of rock trio Morphine to airwaves around the world died at the young age of 46. “Cure for Pain: The Mark Sandman Story,” produced by Jeff Broadway, Kai Boydell, David Ferino and Robert Bravler, blends archived concert footage, family photos and recent interviews with family members, music industry experts, and fans to tell a compelling story about life and death. By the end of the film, I got the impression Sandman's ultimate satisfaction had less to do with his success onstage and depended more on the acceptance of his life from his parents. For more information, log on to

 Colin Goddard, profiled in "Gun Fight" & Maniko Barthelemy

If everyone owned a gun, would that stop gun violence? In "Gun Fight," the question is answered by people who are gun lobbyists, NRA members and gun violence survivors like Colin Goddard. Goddard, a Virginia Tech shooting survivor, candidly discusses his life after the Virginia Tech shootings, the death of his sister and the atmosphere on campus before, during and after the tragedy. The film shines a spotlight on backdoor ways some buy guns. It also puts a microscope on the politics behind the right to carry arguments and the horror emergency rooms across the country face when treating people with gunshot wounds.  "Gun Fight" currently airs on HBO. Here's a clip:​video/trailer.html.

Maniko Barthelemy & Amir Bar-Lev
Why did the military lie about the death of Pat Tillman? In his documentary, "The Tillman Story," film producer Amir Bar-Lev peels back layers of red tape, convoluted explanations and conspiracies and gives viewers the whole truth behind the death of the NFL star turned soldier. The film airs on Showtime. For a view of the trailer, log on to to view the film trailer.

Please e-mail Maniko Barthelemy at with your comments about any of the films listed above.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"The Unlikely Sex Offenders" Film Screening

In Louisiana, prostitution can easily amount to more than just a few hours in jail and a court date. "I thought it was going to be a misdemeanor but when they told me I had to register for life, I couldn't believe it," said 54-year-old, Christina Shank. "I was just trying to make some money but they treat us like we're a child molester or a rapist," she said.

Shank is one of nearly 350 Louisiana women registered as a sex offender, after being found guilty of soliciting someone for anal or oral sex. In the documentary, "The Unlikely Sex Offenders," Shank and others convicted of violating Louisiana's 1805 crime against nature law explain how they live with the shame, stigma and isolation that comes with their conviction. What's the purpose and history of such strict enforcement? Why is this law still on the books? Is anything going to change? How do prosecutors prove the case against the accused?
For answers to those questions and to find out what happens to Shank, mark your calendar for Thursday, April 28, 6 p.m. My film, "The Unlikely Sex Offenders" is one of two that will screen at Katzen Center at American University. The screening is in conjunction with the American University Center for Social Media and the Obama Administration's 2011 Human Rights Conference. Admission is free. I sincerely hope you can make it.
Feel free to contact me at