The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Marshall Curry Nabs SL6™ For The Priceless Footage of Sharpe James’ Campaign Spokesman.

Marshall Curry, the Director of Street Fight, wins the Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award™ for his priceless footage of Rich McGrath, Sharpe James’ Campaign Spokesperson. Street Fight is an excellent political documentary about the Newark, NJ election for mayor. In the film Marshall managed to get this great footage of Rich McGrath, admitting he thought Sharpe James’ treatment of the press was embarrassing (the footage starts 29 minutes and 53 seconds into the film).

As a person with a lot of experience dealing with handlers and PR types, etc., I loved the moment and spontaneously gave Marshall the SL6™ that he deserved. I can’t stand public officials who restrict access to the media and this footage was such a perfect “blank off.” It’s very hard to capture something like that film.

Marshall Curry Productions

Street Fight on Netflix

Street Fight on Ironweed Films

Marshall Curry on IMDB

Marshall Curry Professional Biography

Producer, Director, Editor, Director of Photography

Marshall Curry was the director, producer, director of photography, and editor of the Academy Award-nominated documentary, STREET FIGHT.

STREET FIGHT won numerous awards, including the Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Festival. It also received the Jury Prize for Best International Documentary at Hot Docs and was nominated for a Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award. In 2006 it was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy.

The critically praised film was called “extraordinary” by David Denby (The New Yorker), “vastly entertaining” by John Anderson (Variety), and “filmmaking of the first order” by Scott Foundas (L.A. Weekly).

In 2005 Marshall was selected by Filmmaker Magazine as one of "25 New Faces of Independent Film", and he was awarded the International Documentary Association (IDA) Jacqueline Donnet Filmmaker Award.

In 2007 he received the International Trailblazer Award at MIPDOC in Cannes.

He has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Duke, NYU, and other colleges, and he has served on juries for the International Documentary Association and Hot Docs Film Festival.

Before making STREET FIGHT, Marshall worked for a number of years as a Senior Producer at Icon Nicholson, a New York multimedia design firm, where he produced and directed interactive documentaries and websites for the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and others.

Independently, he has shot, edited, and directed a number of short films including THE DAY THE INDIANS WON, (for the Rainforest Foundation US), which tells the story of the Panará Indians in Brazil who successfully won back their land, and NEGRIL ELEMENTARY, (for the Rockhouse Foundation), which chronicles an education project in Jamaica.

Prior to filmmaking, Marshall taught English in Guanajuato, Mexico, worked in public radio, and taught government in Washington DC.

He is a graduate of Swarthmore College where he studied Comparative Religion and was a Eugene Lang Scholar. He was also a Jane Addams Fellow at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, where he wrote about the history, philosophy, and economics of non-profits.

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