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‘Sickies Making Films’ Chronicles Over Sixty Years of Film Censorship in Maryland

'Sickies Making Films' Chronicles Over Sixty Years of Film Censorship in Maryland

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Sickies Making Films

Logline: To some it was a bastion of decency. To others it was a waste of taxpayer money. This is the story of film censorship. A look at the Maryland Board of Censors—the longest surviving censor board in America.

Elevator Pitch: 
“Sickies Making Films” explores the history of film by focusing on the nation’s longest surviving censor board, the Maryland State Board of Censors (1916-1981). As movies first began to appear calls for censorship accompanied them. Censor boards banned and altered movies citing reasons such as sex, violence, politics, and race issues. “Sickies” looks at our urge to censor and asks why? Surprisingly we finds reasons both understandable and absurd. Through archival footage, classic film segments, and interviews with people who worked with and around the censors, this film provides context for the way films are vetted and rated today.

Production Team:
Joe Tropea (director, producer, writer), co-director of “Hit & Stay” (2013)
Skizz Cyzyk (cinematographer, producer) director of “David Fair Is The King,” “Alfred Jarry and Pataphysics,” “Hit & Stay,” and “Freaks In Love” (2011)
Robert A. Emmons Jr. (editor, producer, writer) director of “Diagram For Delinquents” (2014) and “DeLuxe: The Tale of the Blue Comet” (2009)
Jeff Krulik (archival research, producer) co-director of the cult hit documentary “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” (1987)

About the Film:
I love movies and I love movies about movies. From what I can tell, this will be the first documentary to fully explore film’s censored past and its fight for freedom of speech on the screen. It’s a bonus for me that this is, in one sense, a local story. Maryland’s censors were among the nation’s highest profile censors—they did the TV talk-show circuit regularly—and many important Supreme Court decisions originated here. But you don’t have to be from Maryland to appreciate this story. “Sickies” is a movie for enthusiasts and lovers of film and film history.

Current Status: We are fundraising, in production (pre-editing), and hoping to complete post-production this summer.

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