Back From First Two Festivals

So... we've been rejected by a few, but accepted by a couple of gems;

The AWARENESS FILM FESTIVAL (in downtown L.A.) screened it, and those who came applauded loudly.

Skye Kelly, director, Awareness Film Festival, wrote: “The film’s subject is hard to believe, that something like this could happen and no one would just step up for a life. The film doesn’t really give answers; it creates more questions about our morality, red tape and how we respond to the mentally ill. It was an important film to screen as a memorial to Raymond Zack and an eye opener to what could occur again if we don’t show our displeasure with what happened in his case.”

The GLOBAL PEACE FILM FESTIVAL in Orlando FL. was great. It's a small non-juried festival, that treats its invited filmmakers with real dignity and honor. They even picked my wife and me up at the airport and chauffered us to the two screenings. Each show was followed by a "Q & A" which lasted 3o minutes (the 1st) and 40 minutes (the 2nd). The audience was so involved in the characters and the lessons to be drawn from the film.... it was thrilling for me to feel Shallow Waters' impact!

Here's a review from Michael McLeod, a freelance writer and adjunct professor at Rollins College in Florida, who saw the documentary at the Global Peace Film Festival:

"I saw several films during the festival here and Shallow Waters was by far the most moving documentary among them - and trust me, given that this festival consisted of nothing but compelling stories about the horrors of war and the terrible struggles against racism and sexism and environmental catastrophes and all the other struggles human beings tend to wrestle with, that's high praise.

"I think what makes the film so compelling is that it brings up so many issues: our ethical responsibility to each other; the many ways in which our bureaucracies can fail us; our mistrust -- our well-founded mistrust -- of the community services that are supposed to be protecting us.

"If there is one thing I noticed about how people responded to this film, one question that stood out for everybody, it's this. We all -- every single one of us -- walked out of that documentary pondering the most important question of all that is posed by that incident: what would I have done? That includes me."


Kelly Devine, artistic director of the Global Peace Film Festival, said of the film, “Shallow Waters exposes the paucity of public policy and social networks in contemporary American life, and it does so with great respect for both the subjects of the film and those who would view it. Resources for the mentally ill have been stripped leaving law enforcement and other emergency services as the primary interface for the mentally ill in this country – a duty for which they have no training. Few resources pertain to ordinary citizens seeking to aid their fellows and the stigma surrounding mental health issues persists doing damage to those suffering and the public at large. This film is an indictment, but it is also a call to action which should lead to a soul-searching moment for any community watching.”



July 14th:
Well… it took a while (four years) but …. SHALLOW WATERS is done. It has developed a mind and personality of its own over all this time, and now I am glad to see it spread its wings and take off into the world outside of my editing studio.
I’ve entered it into a selection of film festivals that seem appropriate, and not too big, and…. we’ll see.

Back from Alameda - another hurdle

The crew of our Shallow Waters reenactment, with Raymond and the good Samaritan (middle.)

I came. I saw. We shot. I left.

The filming on Crown Memorial Beach this past weekend went really well. The weather was perfect. 

We managed to find a remarkably fit and long-haired young actress to play the nurse/Good Samaritan, and an even more remarkable Raymond Zack look-alike whom I met on the plane to Oakland from Albuquerque (where we shot an interview with the father of Ray's god-son.) Together we got some some pretty moving images. We had a crew of three (in addition to me and the "talent") all of which consummate film professionals.

It was also a great pleasure to have had dinner with "D" Berry, Ray's foster-mother, who had never had lobster before. I got her try it. She didn't like it. It was worth the effort. She's a fabulous and lively lady.

Casting Call

The weekend of August 22-24, 2014 at Crown Memorial Beach, we're shooting a re-enactment of Raymond leaving the beach for the water and staying out there for 30 minutes. This shoot will require:

  • A man of Zack’s stature (approx. 280-300 pounds, 6’1-6’4), built like an NFL linebacker). 
  • A youngish woman (18-35) (with long hair), who can play the part of the Good Samaritan and walk / swim out to him and drag him in (not necessarily in one go). 
  • An experienced kite-surfer to make passes towards and around Ray (wearing a Go-Pro camera), and who jumps off to ask him how he’s doing. 

As all three characters will be rotoscoped into animation, color of hair or skin is not of any importance. Nor is the need to speak English.

If you're right for the part and would like to participate, email me:

Jaime Longhi, Producer/Director