NICK NEWS: RACHEL
I loved producing this story. This is one of the reasons I’m in the business. Television has the power to educate and change public perceptions and hopefully we did a little of that with this piece. At a time when we still didn’t know very much about HIV and AIDS, Rachel and her parents were brave enough to not only come out to her classmates but to the nation as well. When you take a look and listen to this happy little girl, people couldn’t help but re-examine the judgment and prejudice associated with this disease in its early days. Also, for me personally, it was an honor to get to work with one of my news heroes, Linda Ellerbee.
GORDON PARKS/PATRICIA RIGGEN: FAMILY PORTRAIT
We were lucky enough to do the last known television interview with Photographer/Director/Writer, Gordon Parks, speaking with him and Director, Patricia Riggen about the sad and yet, ultimately somewhat hopeful story of the Fontanelle family and Riggen’s documentary about them, “Family Portrait”. Many years ago, Parks had done a well-known photo spread and story for Life Magazine on the Fontanelle family, showing the human cost of urban poverty in the 60’s. Five decades later, Riggen caught up with the family’s two surviving members.