Searching for Camelot (Part 1 of 3)

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Searching for Camelot opens September 2022

Cast

David Amram – Village  jazz artist, author and composer         

Tom Chapin – Village folk artist and local activist from the 60’s to present

Jack Engelhard – worked at the Bitter End as a doorman in 1963 and later wrote best selling novel Indecent Proposal

Edward Fancher – co-founded the Village Voice

Joe Franklin – first TV talk show host on WOR TV.  Talent scout in the Village.

Judith Malina – leading artist, co-founder of The Living Theater

Dermot McEvoy – novelist and worked on RFK’s NYC campaign

Richard Reeves – national broadcaster and historian and Village resident

Phyliss Yampolsky – one of the Judson Gallery artists in the Village

The Chorus

David Cesar, Christina Dawkins, Alfredo Guenzani, Erica Lee Hammond, Christopher Johnson, Romeo Lancandola, Avery Miles, Kevin Necciai, Danjjela Stanjfeld, Augustus Wilson and Lorien Bibb

  

Director

Roger Paradiso has spent ten years working on this story.  “If you don’t get other views of history out there, how can anyone know what’s real and what is not? At this moment, some corporations and governments are teaching the younger generations “the official story”.  Is that History?

Paradiso worked closely with the JFK Presidential Library and Museum and read many biographies about Jackie, John and Robert Kennedy.  “I am just a filmmaker and I tried to tell this incredible story as best as I could.”

“I had many mentors to help along the journey. It was the days of cultural revolution and three murders that shocked the world.  In one sense, these murders of JFK, MLK and RFK are still the greatest unsolved murders in history.”

Photo courtesy of Claire and Roger Paradiso photographer Hugo Paradiso

Festival Awards and Recognition for the series of three films

Best Director 2
Searching for Camelot BEST DIRECTOR Roger Paradiso white - International Network Film Festival - 2023
Gold Award - Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Milan Gold Awards - 2023
Silver Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Florence Film Awards - 2023
Roger Paradiso For Searching for Camelot in Best Director. white - Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival - 2023
_BEST PICTURE - Searching for Camelot White - Frida Film Festival - 2023 (1)
Best Director - Searching for Camelot white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023
BEST SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY BEST ORIGINAL FILMMAKER-jpeg Searching for Camelot - International Network Film Festival - 2023 (1)
Silver Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States - International Gold Awards - 2023
Searching for Camelot
Best Historical Film - Searching for Camelot white - Purple Sky International Film Festival - 2023 (1)
Best Picture - Searching for Camelot white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023
Best Historical Film - Searching for Camelot white - Black Owl Festival - 2024 (1)
Gold Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - London Movie Awards - 2023
Best Documentary Film - Searching for Camelot white - Big Screen Blast Film Festival - 2023
Best Historical Poster Searching for Camelot Best Historical Film BOFF
Best Documentary - Searching for Camelot white - Frida Film Festival - 2023
Best Director - Searching for Camelot - Frida Film Festival - 2023
Award Winner - Close Film Festival white - Close Film Festival - 2023
Honorable Mention Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Hollywood Gold Awards - 2023
_Searching for Camelot BEST AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023
Searching for Camelot BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Roger Paradiso white - International Network Film Festival - 2023
Best Historical pix Sunny FF
Best Director 2 Searching for Camelot BEST DIRECTOR Roger Paradiso white - International Network Film Festival - 2023 Gold Award - Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Milan Gold Awards - 2023 Silver Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Florence Film Awards - 2023 Roger Paradiso For Searching for Camelot in Best Director. white - Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival - 2023 _BEST PICTURE - Searching for Camelot White - Frida Film Festival - 2023 (1) Best Director - Searching for Camelot white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023 BEST SOCIAL DOCUMENTARY BEST ORIGINAL FILMMAKER-jpeg Searching for Camelot - International Network Film Festival - 2023 (1) Silver Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States - International Gold Awards - 2023 Searching for Camelot Best Historical Film - Searching for Camelot white - Purple Sky International Film Festival - 2023 (1) Best Picture - Searching for Camelot white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023 Best Historical Film - Searching for Camelot white - Black Owl Festival - 2024 (1) Gold Award Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - London Movie Awards - 2023 Best Documentary Film - Searching for Camelot white - Big Screen Blast Film Festival - 2023 Best Historical Poster Searching for Camelot Best Historical Film BOFF Best Documentary - Searching for Camelot white - Frida Film Festival - 2023 Best Director - Searching for Camelot - Frida Film Festival - 2023 Award Winner - Close Film Festival white - Close Film Festival - 2023 Honorable Mention Feature Documentary SEARCHING FOR CAMELOT Roger Paradiso United States white - Hollywood Gold Awards - 2023 _Searching for Camelot BEST AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY FEATURE white - 8 Halfilm Awards - 2023 Searching for Camelot BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Roger Paradiso white - International Network Film Festival - 2023 Best Historical pix Sunny FF

“Fascinating Documentaries from Director Roger Paradiso Showcase a Time of Hope, Change, Tension, and Dismay, All while ‘Searching for Camelot’” – Daria Magazine

“I did see your film, ‘Searching for Camelot,’ last night and found it to be an engrossing, very interesting documentary. I truly feel you should try for an Oscar nomination. It’s just the kind of film that the Academy members love.” – Elliott Kanbar President, QUAD Cinema’s Greenwich Village, NY

What is history, but a fable agreed upon?

Napoleon Bonaparte               

Director’s Statement

Photo courtesy of The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum.

I don’t know if Jack and Jackie fully expected the winds of change to blow at hurricane force as they campaigned for the presidency. It was a much smaller country where candidates met the people across the country and talked to the people. They didn’t need TV reality show rallies or prime time town halls. They met them in their backyards. What a contrast from today. It was a simpler age as we show in the film. I believe people who view this film will discover some things they never knew about the days Jackie called Camelot.

Is it a coincidence that two Boston bred Catholics with a liberal philosophy were murdered as they attempted to change the way we governed and the way we lived? In either case, I hope we can agree it was an American Tragedy of epic proportions. It is as contemporary as Shakespeare and as timeless as the Greeks. And I hope we can still dream about Camelot.

Photo courtesy of The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Story Synopsis 

Photo courtesy of Searching for Camelot LLC

Searching for Camelot was started back in 2012 and was completed in this year of 2022.  It is a three-part series based on Jackie’s Camelot which was her impression of her husband’s 1000 days in the White House.

Photo courtesy of Searching for Camelot LLC

Searching for Camelot is a story about a group of young people aka “Millennials” who go on a journey to discover why Jacqueline Kennedy called her husband’s Presidency “Camelot”.

Photo courtesy of The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Jack and Jackie Kennedy were rock stars forever changing the culture of the White House and the roles of the President and First Lady. In this dark and enchanting story, we follow them from the early days of the campaign to the White House years.

JFK transformed the role of a US President in the modern age of television. His speeches and actions reached and touched millions of people not just in our country but also around the World. His crusade to liberate the world from the tyranny of Communism resonated in Speeches like the Peace Speech and the speech at the Berlin Wall.

Photo courtesy of Searching for Camelot LLC

We search for answers as to why this happened and go beyond the “Corporate Media” version of history. We try to weave oral history and clear evaluations into a reality that is not distorted or marginalized by the corporate view of Society and History.

We need to preserve History as best we can. This is our quest to search for Camelot and to find the answers hidden in the past.

Photo courtesy of Searching for Camelot LLC

In the process of researching and meeting people who lived during those 1000 days in Office, they each discover their own concepts of Camelot. They also learn about themselves. As one of them says “Camelot is a search for Identity. You find out about yourself”.

Photo courtesy of Searching for Camelot LLC

It was easy for those who hated JFK to put out a lot of garbage.   But whether any of that is true, we must ask ourselves if it is important.  When you take measure of a man, and a woman, you look at their actions and words. Gossip should not matter. Jack and Jackie put out great energy in their lifetime and time was kind to them.

We still have the Peace Corps, Special Olympics, Civil Rights advances for men and women and most of all we worked towards peace with the Soviets. The Cold War thawed and then it went away.  He pushed and pushed NASA and we did get to the Moon.  The New Frontier had begun, and it continues decades later with President Obama’s election.  I am sure soon a woman will be President. We are still living on the roller coaster of the New Frontier.  It is still there somewhere despite current attempts to disrupt our progress to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Photo courtesy of The John F. Kennedy Library and Museum

Production Notes:

“Searching for Camelot” began Production in Greenwich Village on November 22, 2012. This film, being one of three, completed principal photography in Washington Square Park on May 29, 2013.   The dates are significant as they are the date of JFK’s assassination and the date of his 96th birthday.

The young people in the film who were searching for the meaning of Camelot were cast mostly from the Internet through Craig’s list and Mandy.   Some came from word of mouth.   The director, Roger Paradiso, did not know any of them prior to the shoot.  They met on the second day of shooting.

Their jobs, besides appearing on camera, included doing a lot of the research on the film as well as still photography, editing and other behind the scenes work.

The company shot strictly on location in New York City mostly all in the Village.   They used the Half Pint Bar on West Third Street and Thompson as one of their main locations and catering facility.   Pedro Hernandez, their cameraman, allowed the company to use his apartment on MacDougal as another prime location.   They also shot inside the iconic Bitter End club, the legendary Judson Memorial Church and at the former home of the Living Theater on the lower East Side.

Exterior shooting was done in Washington Square Park as well as other Greenwich Village locations like Café Wha, MacDougal Street and Bleecker Street.

David Amram, composer of “The Manchurian Candidate” (the original), and many other movies, composed two songs for the film.   A jazz piano composition was used in the bar sequence and the mystical horn piece was used at the end of the film.

Two Panasonic HDX200 Cameras were used on most days.   They also had one soundman using a dat recorder with several radio mikes and occasionally a boom.   That was the basic crew.   The Production stills were shot on a Canon DSLR and an iphone.

Jack Engelhard, the novelist of “Days of the Bitter End”, was actually a door man at the Bitter End in the early sixties.   His novel was a great help in learning about the period.

The time I spent with the wonderful people in my film, and in researching Jack and Jackie Kennedy, was a time that I recall fondly.  It was a trip back to a period of innocence.  The young people were learning history from the elders like it happened centuries ago.  And these young people reminded me so much of myself and friends I grew up with, that it was reassuring.  The kids are all right.  Camelot?  Maybe it never existed.   Maybe it did.   But I miss it.   And I hope it comes back again.  I think it will someday.