DIRECTING AND PRODUCING
When filmmaker Kathy Leichter moved back into her childhood home after her mother's suicide, she discovered a hidden box of audiotapes. Sixteen years passed before she had the courage to delve into this trove, unearthing details that her mother had recorded about every aspect of her life from the joys and challenges of her marriage to a State Senator, to her son’s estrangement, to her experiences living with bipolar disorder. Here One Day is a visually arresting, emotionally candid film about a woman coping with mental illness, her relationships with her family, and the ripple effects of her suicide on those she loved.
Here One Day is reducing stigma and isolation, raising awareness, linking individuals and families to support, and helping to change mental health and suicide prevention and postvention policy across the country.
A Day's Work, A Day's Pay follows three welfare recipients in New York City from 1997 to 2000 as they participate in the largest welfare-to-work program in the nation. When forced to work at city jobs for well below the prevailing wage and deprived of the chance to go to school, these individuals decide to fight back, demanding programs that will actually help them move off of welfare and into jobs. It was broadcast nationwide on PBS and cable throughout 2002 and 2003. (57 mins, color, 2002)
Passing On is a portrait of the director’s grandmother, Elsa Leichter, a ninety-one year old Jewish woman who shares with us her wise and witty perspectives on life, love, survival and loss. A self-described “second-chancer,” Elsa lived over thirty years in Vienna before fleeing to the United States during World War II. Her new life in America included a second career, a second marriage, and a new identity as an independent, tell-it-like-it-is Grandma. (43 mins, color, 2004)