The Documentary Flm: Hand Held

 

This was the official website for the 2010 documentary film, Hand Held.
The content is from the site's 2010 archived pages and other outside source.

Rating: NR
Genre: Documentary, Special Interest
Directed By: Don Hahn
Runtime: 85 minutes
Studio: Stone Circle Pictures

HAND HELD is a documentary film produced and directed by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Don Hahn. Hahn shot in Boston, Bucharest and Bistrita, Romania for nearly two years on this extraordinary motion picture about one guy with a camera, a band of New Englanders, four hundred thousand orphans, and the unforgettable story of how they changed each other’s lives forever.

Mike Carroll was one of the first photographers to travel to Romania after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. When he arrived, he walked into one of the most horrific scenes of the 20th century. His incredible photographs and heart wrenching stories of the pediatric AIDS epidemic in Romania ran in the Boston Globe and New York Times and opened the eyes of the western world to the plight of the Romanian children. What followed was a twenty-year odyssey for Mike and his colleagues as they fought to bring help to a population of children in need, in a country that they hardly knew.

 

Uploaded on Jul 30, 2009
Mike Carroll was one of the first photographers to travel to Romania after the fall of the communist regime in 1989. When he arrived, he walked into one of the most horrific scenes of the 20th Century. His incredible photographs and heart wrenching stories of the pediatric AIDS epidemic in Romania ran in the "Boston Globe" and "New York Times" and opened the eyes of the western world to the plight of the Romanian children. What followed was a twenty-year odyssey for Mike and his colleagues as they fought to bring help to a population of children in need, in a country that they hardly knew.

HAND HELD is the new documentary film produced and directed by two-time Academy Award ®-nominated filmmaker Don Hahn. Hahn has been shooting in Boston, Bucharest, and Bistritsa, for nearly two years on this extraordinary motion picture about one guy with a camera, a band of New Englanders, a hundred sixty thousand orphans, and the unforgettable story of how they changed each other's lives forever.

 

* SCREENING AT THE RHODE ISLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 

Sunday, August 14th at 5:00 PM
PAFF Auditorium, University of Rhode Island

* DON HAHN AND MICHAEL CARROL APPEAR ON NBC CHICAGO

Saturday, April, 2, 2011

* DON HAHN AND MICHAEL CARROL APPEAR ON FOX'S GOOD DAY CHICAGO

Friday, April, 1, 2011

ROMANIAN CHILDREN'S RELIEF

The mission of Romanian Children's Relief is to support Romanian children and families in order to prevent abandonment.

www.rcr.org (English site)

www.inocenti.org 
("Fundatia Inocenti" Romanian site)

STONE CIRCLE PICTURES

Stone Circle Pictures is an innovative new media company founded by two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Don Hahn.  With film projects that confront contemporary social issues, and showcase creative people, to a slate of publications that focus on arts mentorship and education, Stone Circle is a hothouse for ideas that challenge and celebrate the creative spirit.
www.stonecirclepictures.com 

 

Press Article

 

Pepperell's reluctant movie star
Photographer who turned lens on plight of Romanian children gets Hollywood treatment
By Nancye Tuttle Lowell Sun
UPDATED:   03/01/2010

BOSTON -- Mike Carroll was reluctant to become a movie star when Disney producer Don Hahn first pitched the idea to him three years ago in Hollywood.

But the Pepperell photographer stepped graciously into the spotlight Saturday at the world premiere of Hahn's Hand Held, a stirring documentary about Carroll and Romanian Children's Relief, or RCR, a nonprofit charity Carroll founded 20 years ago to aid Romanian orphans and abandoned children.

The splashy event, a benefit for RCR, was held at the WGBH Studios. It was a far cry from the horrific sights of orphaned babies -- some stricken with AIDS, others dead or dying of the disease -- that Carroll had photographed in 1989 while in Romania after the fall of the communist regime of dictator Nicolae Ceauscescu.

IMAGE- little girl
Carroll's photos and story, published in The Boston Globe in March 1990, paved the way for the founding of RCR a few weeks later at the kitchen table in his Pepperell home.

"The story's compelling. So are Mike's photos," said Hahn, twice nominated for Academy Awards for The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. "I wanted to make a movie about it.

And it really started over lunch, he added.

Carroll was in Anaheim, shooting photos for Disney, a regular client. He and Hahn, who had become friends, were chatting over lunch.

"When he was leaving, Mike mentioned he was going to Romania and told me about his nonprofit," said Hahn, whose production company, Stone Circle Pictures, produced the film. "I was so inspired by this guy.

More than 200 hours of footage, shot in Pepperell, California and Romania, were winnowed down to the 85-minute film, edited by J.

 Pepperell photographer Michael Carroll, left, and Don Hahn, the director of the movie Hand Held, about Carroll’s efforts to help children in Romania.
Pepperell photographer Michael Carroll, left, and Don Hahn, the director of the movie Hand Held, about Carroll's efforts to help children in Romania. PHOTO COURTESY Michael Nesmith

He's really cool and humble and has done so much. I called him a couple of days later and told him I wanted to do a documentary on him and the organization."
"It's humbling and embarrassing," Carroll said after a standing ovation at the film's conclusion Saturday.

Then, focusing on others, he thanked "so many who have helped the organization through the years."
More than 200 hours of footage, shot in Pepperell, California and Romania, were winnowed down to the 85-minute film, edited by J.

 More than 200 hours of footage, shot in Pepperell, California and Romania, were winnowed down to the 85-minute film, edited by J.

D. Ryan, whose Hollywood credits include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Other Hollywood names include George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, where the film's final mix was completed by the crew who worked on Academy Award-nominated Avatar

Ironically, there's footage of Ceauscescu's trip to Disneyland, where he met Mickey and Minnie Mouse and rode the rides, and later, shots of Carroll photographing Mickey and Minnie in the Magic Kingdom.

To counter the death and despair, Hand Held ends positively, with Carroll visiting Romanian families, recounting their stories and sharing RCR's successes.

Throughout, he is depicted as a Pied Piper to the kids, taking their pictures, sharing their sorrow and laughter, holding their hands.

"Since I couldn't adopt one of them, I decided to adopt them all," Carroll says, following a wrenching segment, where he is shown with a small boy he fell in love with but couldn't bring home because the child had AIDS.

Two who made it out -- and celebrated with Carroll on Saturday -- are Gabriela Brodeur, 20, and Georgiana Riley, 18, sisters adopted by American sisters, Lisa Brodeur of Concord, N.H. and Sarah Riley of Barnstead, N.H.

Carroll greeted the girls -- his "miracles" -- with joy.

"Look at you," he said, embracing the girls. He had documented Gabriela's adoption and her mother, Lisa, was RCR's first president.

Hand Held will be submitted to film festivals and made available on DVD for purchase next winter. Hahn hopes to showcase it on PBS stations and at colleges and universities around the country. All proceeds will benefit RCR.

He's thrilled to document Carroll's story.

"He's genuine and has a sense of truth about him," Hahn said. "He's a rich character to follow, and it was like peeling back the layers of an onion and finding the truth. It's very gratifying to share this story."

 

HandHeldTheMovie.com