Showing the story of a woman that killed her domestic abuser, “Crime After Crime” followed Debbie Paegler’s fight to find freedom from nearly 30 years in prison. Director Yoav Potash joins BYOD to discuss the filming, legal issues that surround abuse victims in jail, and getting “Crime After Crime” a wider audience through Oprah and the legal community.
Yoav shows that though doc makers are tempted to make a film and then move on to the next project, there is a new expectation to help enact social change around the needs of your subject. From a woeful subject he has managed to create a life-affirming picture that shows us the power of even the most marginalized people in society.
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BYOD is co-hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice, and Vladimir Radovanov, entertainment attorney, and executive producer of “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC.” Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi and Vladimir share their insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.
Yoav Potash’s work has often addressed issues of race and justice. Yoav recently co-directed the one hour documentary FOOD STAMPED in collaboration with his wife, nutrition educator Shira Potash. His half-hour documentary LIFE ON THE INSIDE, about the nation’s largest prison for women, began airing on PBS stations in 2007. His 35mm film MINUTE MATRIMONY earned a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival and a Grand Festival Award at the Berkeley Video & Film Festival.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE, Yoav’s short on racial profiling, won a documentary competition judged by HBO and The Learning Channel. He collaborated with PBS station KQED to complete his first documentary, FROM THE GROUND UP, about a multicultural group of UC Berkeley students who helped rebuild burned-down African-American churches in Alabama. Yoav has also produced short documentaries and videos for many companies and nonprofits, including: Apple Computer, Neutrogena, Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Koret Foundation, and the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. He has taught film courses at the Bay Area Video Coalition and Academy of Art University, and is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he received the university’s top prize in creative writing. CRIME AFTER CRIME is his first feature-length film.
00:01 BYOD Introduction.
00:43 Welcoming Yoav Potash.
01:32 Where “Crime After Crime,” came from.
03:59 Debbie’s story in the prison system and before.
07:12 Showing how people fall in love with their abusers.
09:38 “Crime After Crime,” Clip: “Debbie meets Oliver.”
11:43 Showing Oliver as more than just an abuser.
14:19 “Crime After Crime,” Clip: How Oliver forced Debbie into prostitution.
18:11 How Debbie opened up to Yoav about the most horrible experiences of her life.
19:58 Filming from the first meeting.
22:04 Yoav’s objectives going into the interviews and a longer shoot than anticipated.
23:03 Dealing with lawyers and the road to Debbie’s freedom.
25:24 Filming in prison and becoming an attorney with a camera.
29:09 Debbie as a public figure and the DA breaks their word.
30:37 “Crime After Crime,” Clip: Women in prison and the Habeas Project.
32:17 The Habeas project allows for abuse victims to include their circumstances in their defense.
33:07 Supporting and screening the film over the lengthy court process.
35:06 “Crime After Crime,” Clip: The process of freeing Debbie.
37:56 The audience and sympathy for Debbie.
40:32 “Crime After Crime,” Clip: Debbie leaves Oliver.
42:24 From Filmmaker to legal advocacy: “It’s not enough to make the film and put it out.”
43:56 Premiering at Sundance and reaching a broad and influential audience–beyond Oprah.
45:22 Possibly making a scripted feature film out of Debbie’s story.
47:22 The Daily Dig Down Doc News. Mansome, God Save My Shoes.
49:56 Thanks and Goodbye!