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Coymoon Creations


August 1, 2008

I've been on an extended summer vacation and thus, the lack of updates, so it's catch-up time. This weekend will see the NYC premiere of a new feature-length documentary narrated by Peter called "Stealing America: Vote By Vote". Similar to the material previously explored in HBO's acclaimed "Hacking Democracy", producer and director Dorothy Fadiman attempts to challenge the democratic integrity of the United States in the last two presidential elections. For more than thirty years, exit polls accurately predicted election results. Over the last ten years that reliability has disappeared. The last two Presidential elections both came down to a relatively small number of votes, and in both elections the integrity of the voting process has been called into question. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter writes, "Narrated in suitably portentous tones by Peter Coyote, the film mainly offers the reintroduction of paper ballots as a solution to the problem because they are far harder to tamper with than electronic voting machines in which thousands of ballots can be altered via the simplest of technical means." Over the next six weeks, the documentary will have a limited release through Landmark Theatres in the following cities: Philadelphia, Denver, Austin, Sante Fe, Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, Beverley Hills and San Francisco

After playing at the Atlantic Film Festival and the Cannes Film Market, THE LENA BAKER STORY will be screened during the Jokara-Micheaux Film Festival, held August 28-31 in Blackly, Colquitt and Camilla, GA - the area in which the movie was shot. Director Ralph Wilcox expects the film to premiere in theaters by the beginning of 2009. Writers Lela Bond Phillips and Karan Pittman tell reporters, "We both knew it was a story that had to be told." They stress that the story isn't just about racial issues, but rather about universal themes like abuse, victimization, justice and injustice Wilcox agrees and admits that directing the movie was a joy.

Overcoming prejudices lingering since World War II between Japanese and Americans is the theme of a new film featuring and co-produced by Danny Glover. THE HARIMAYA BRIDGE will also include Peter in its cast. The film, about to go into postproduction, was shot in Kochi, southwester Japan and San Francisco. Directed by Aaron Woolfolk, the film is a drama about a bitter African-American man, forced to travel to rural Japan after the tragic death of his only son, in order to reclaim his son's art. There, he discovers several secrets his son left behind. "Harimaya-bashi" deals with themes of prejudice, stereotypes, and the search for mutual understanding. It also serves as a metaphor for a bridge between two lands and its significance on a father making an unwanted journey. The movie scene above shows lead stars US actor Ben Guillory and Japanese actress Saki Takaoka. The film is scheduled to be released next summer in more than 20 markets including the US, Japan and Korea.

Back in early July, Peter was a guest speaker at Aspen Institute's fourth annual Aspen Ideas Festival. It was a week of intellectual feasting! The festival, hosted in partnership with The Atlantic, gathers scientists, artists, politicians, historians, educators and activists to present and discuss some of the most important and fascinating ideas of our time. Participants contribute provocative perspectives from their fields, and discuss the world with a sophisticated audience highly motivated to engage in dialogue. Peter said his intent was to tell the great mean and women of finance that not all cultures are based on self-interest. You can watch Peter's contribution at this link. Here are a few photos of Peter from the festival - in the first one, he's standing with Pamela Alexander and Neo Muyanga, and in the third one, he's chatting with Brandon Blocker.

Originally scheduled for a DVD release, ALL ROADS LEAD HOME will receive a limited theatrical release in AMC Theatres beginning September 26th. The initial release will be in Kansas City, MO, Minneapolis, MN and Phoenix, AZ, with possible additional cities thereafter.

Peter has endorsed a new book, penned by a California couple, called "Extraordinary Breath", which teaches ways to increase good health, prolong life, connect with the divine, reach levels of estacy and deepen your understanding of life's deepest mysteries. He explains, "Cheryl Lynne and Donald Rubbo are both masters of this ancient tradition as it is expressed in meditation, Shaolin, and Qigong. Without fanfare and self-promotion, they have been teaching, healing, and actively building a community in Northern California as more and more people have come to recognize the deep spiritual grounding of this extraordinary couple. Their book is a straightforward primer on the fundamentals of the breath. As profound as it appears simple, it offers beginners and experienced practitioners a series of practices to improve their health, sense of joy and contentment, and their ability to heal the world around them. I have the deepest respect for both of them, so it is not surprising that I love and respect this useful book." 

And speaking of books, Peter is presently working on not one, but two books! One is to be called something like "Twelve Things We're Afraid to Know and Why They're Killing Us." It's described as a reappraisal of current paradigms so as to see them without illusion in the hopes that clear vision miight facilitate amelioration. Chapter titles, such as It's Not Your Government, We Hate Our Children, and Medicine is not about Healing, give an idea as to the book's flavor. The second book (yet unamed) is the story of an eighteen-year-old black honor student from Henderson, North Carolina who virtually raised Peter from the time he was a toddler until he was twelve. This experience thus gave his childhood an admixture of black and white culture. The fact that his personal struggle is being acted out on the national stage this election is a current frame for the story.

An article entitled "Writer's Block Moves", appearing in the June 2008 issue of Writer's Digest, had a funny quote from Coyote man - "I write at a desk with six drawers. The top two are catch-alls, crowded with pens, batteries, business cards, eyeglasses, paper clips, and other essentials. Cleaning and ordering these drawers becomes important in inverse proportion to how stuck I am as a writer. Thankfully, most of the time, they're a mess."

Last month Peter wrote an open letter to lead actors proposing that big name stars who make millions of dollars for one performance should share their wealth with established character actors, who have seen their own earnings roll back. He suggests that SAG should call on the leading actors to kick back "a modest amount, say on salaries over $6 million," to rise the pay of actors they are working with, - if producers act similarly. Such a move, as he wrote in an open letter to the lead actors, "would provide the ancillary benefit of insuring that you consistently play opposite actors of the highest caliber." He also says, "such a gesture would buttress your peers who cannot win such gains for themselves except by sabotaging the entire industry with a strike," which also prevents lead actors from working. Read entire letter here.

Update - 06/11/08

Peter recently attended a sneak preview of WALL*E for supporters of the San Francisco Film Society at Pixar Animation Studio. Posing with Peter is his wife, Jim Morris and Denise Bradley.