Documentary Update: PAYCHECK Follow-Up, THE CASE AGAINST 8 & More

  • Docs_HeaderThis post is a combination of news about HBO Documentary Films. Our first segment is a follow-up to one of the recent documentaries to air and the rest are announcements for upcoming non-fiction fare under the documentary banner. There are some interesting topics ahead.



The LA Times has an interview up with single parent Katrina Gilbert who was featured in the HBO Documentary Films: PAYCHECK TO PAYCHECK: THE LIFE AD TIMES OF KATRINA GILBERT. Here are a few highlights from that interview and note that the first link above gets you to the conversation in its entirety. If you recall or if you haven’t seen the film, it uses Katrina Gilbert, a 30-year old from Tennessee, as the example of the struggling plight of women in poverty in America. She like so many live from one paycheck to the next.

So how does she get to become the face of the issue in this documentary?  In her own words she says

 “It evolved through the Chambliss Children’s Center [where Gilbert’s children are in preschool]. They had a sign up saying that HBO was there doing a documentary and they had asked me if I would be interested in sitting down and talking with them. At first I was kind of hesitant about it. And then I just talked to some of the workers at the center and just decided to go ahead and do it, just to share my story.


I thought that it needed to be said. The struggles that I’ve been through and the struggles single moms go through, the challenges I’ve had and what I’ve overcome. I just thought it would be a good thing.”

paycheck07_thWhen asked if there was any one thing that worried her the most as she deals with her situation she said

[It is] the car breaking down and the kids being sick, or if I get sick. That’s a missed day of work. They’ve gotten a little strict on our missed days so sometimes I’m going into work sick. If the kids are sick, they have to be out of school and that’s me missing work. That’s the one thing that gets me.

And the one question most in viewers mind is probably regarding how she is doing now. Apparently Chattanooga State has granted her a scholarship as a result of the film.

I’m looking into what exactly I want to get a degree in. I also got engaged, and we’re just happy and looking forward to the future. I’m looking forward to getting my stability and hopefully getting a better job. The only thing is that I did get insurance through the Obamacare marketplace. I still don’t have food stamps though.

So life, as was really expected after the celebrity of the documentary, has improved for Katrina and family and that is a good thing. Just thought you’d like to know.


  • THE CASE AGAINST 8 Releases In Theaters

HBO Documentary Films: THE CASE AGAINST 8 is projected to premiere on HBO on 06.23 and will be reviewed on this site. But, HBO has announced, before the channel debut the film will have a release on cinema screens on 06.06. The piece focuses on Proposition 8 which was California’s attempt to ban same-sex marriage.Docs_CaseAgainst8

Here is HBO’s Press Release on the announcement.  

THE CASE AGAINST 8, directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White, will be released in theaters Friday, June 6 by HBO Documentary Films and debut Monday, June 23 on HBO, coinciding with the first anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality. Following its June 6 platform theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles, the documentary will expand to select cities June 13. A crowd-pleaser on the festival circuit, THE CASE AGAINST 8 won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award in the U.S. Documentary category and the SXSW Audience Award in the Festival Favorites category.


 THE CASE AGAINST 8, with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the powerhouse legal team of conservative Ted Olson and liberal David Boies, provides a definitive account of the battle that effectively ended marriage discrimination in California. “We feel it’s important to bring the story of the men and women behind this roller-coaster battle to screens across the country, and we’re extremely proud to bring attention to a fundamental civil rights issue that faces the country today,” commented Sheila Nevins, president, HBO Documentary Films.


An HBO Documentary Films release, THE CASE AGAINST 8 is directed and produced by Ben Cotner and Ryan White; editor, Kate Amend; associate editor, Helen Kearns; music by Blake Neely; co-producers, Rebekah Fergusson and Jessica Lawson; associate producer, Carin Bortz. For HBO: supervising producer, Sara Bernstein; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.


  • Sneak Peek at DANGEROUS ACTS

The complete title is DANGEROUS ACTS STARRING THE UNSTABLE ELEMENTS OF BELARUS. It is another award winning documentary obtained by HBO as we reported back in September of last year.  

 It tells of the Belarus Free Theatre company and its run of original works looking at the social and political functions of the country. They are a group that faces censorship, harassment and imprisonment for its artistic expression. A trailer has been released for the film but no date has been locked in for airing on HBO. Here is our first look at DANGEROUS ACTS.    



We have another video we can offer in this post and it is a look at an upcoming documentary about one of the acclaimed and adored salty dames in the entertainment field. She is  Elaine Stritch who has even appeared on HBO as a judge on an episode of OZ in 1998 and a previous stage show called ELAINE STRITCH AT LIBERTY. The latest documentary of her life, ELAINE STRITCH: SHOOT ME has a clip for us.   

There is no premiere date announced for this documentary either, but we will keep a lookout for it.


  • HBO Acquires THE NEWBURGH STINGDocs_NewburghFour

The Documentary Films division has recently obtained a film that is about the “Newburgh Four.” To wrap our mind around just what this is about I resort to this link. But if you don’t jump there note that it was a terrorist plot to shoot down planes and bomb synagogues in and around Newburgh, New York in 2009. But there is more to the story than just the thwarted plot, it may have been an elaborate sting set up by the FBI and thus labeled entrapment.

It sounds like a heady concept but it also sounds good. It debuts at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and will then air on HBO in the future.  It is by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, who have had two previous works air on HBO, SOUTHERN COMFORT and THE CHESHIRE MURDERS. This latest documentary is one that this writer will certainly look for.

That is what we have for you. Those few who enjoy the documentaries on HBO have a few good ones to look forward to viewing in the months ahead. More on the Slate as it comes available. Feel free to share what you think below.





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