Here Come The Videofreex

  • Melisande Charles


The Main 2 Fri, Apr 8, 2016 3:15 PM
The Main 2 Wed, Apr 13, 2016 7:10 PM
Ticket Prices
General Public:$13.00
Child (12 & Under):$7.00
Film Info
Premiere Status:Regional Premiere
Programs:- Documentaries
- Women and Film
Women Directors
Release Year:2015
Runtime:79 min
Print Source:Long Shot Factory
Director:Jon Nealon
Jenny Raskin
Producer:Jon Nealon
Jenny Raskin
Cinematographer:John Foster
Editor:Jon Nealon
Composer:T. Griffin
Principal Cast:Skip Blumberg
Nancy Cain
David Cort
Bart Friedman
Davidson Gigliotti
Chuck Kennedy
Mary Curtis Ratcliff
Parry Teasdale
Carol Vontobel
Ann Woodward
Abbie Hoffman
Fred Hampton


Forty years before YouTube, a collective of intrepid journalist in the 1960s changed the landscape of television by adopting the portable video camera. Calling themselves the Videofreex, the group initially worked for CBS documenting some of the most important stories of the time—interviewing Abbie Hoffman during the trial for the Chicago 8, as well as Black Panther Fred Hampton weeks before he was killed—until censorship sent them to work independently paving the road for cable access and democratized reporting. Using restored archival video, Here Come the Videofreex highlights the unsung victories of these heroes of free speech.


"A can't-miss viewing for culture heads." - Village Voice

Directors' Statement

We first learned of this incredible story a number of years ago when we met one of the Videofreex, Bart Friedman,at a film screening in Woodstock, NY. We sat down for a beer with him, and didn’t move for three hours. We knew the story he told could make a great film, and had relevance to today’s media landscape. But when we asked about the footage, we learned that most of the tapes had been in attics and basements for decades, many in very poor condition. We began working with the Videofreex on their efforts to catalogue and take stock of the archive. Since the collective had been focused on “process” more than “product,” the tapes were often taped over, and no one knew exactly what had been saved. Labeling was creative and often wrong.Each tape had to undergo an extensive restoration process that involved baking at a low heat for many hours before even being viewed.Sometimes we would discover a treasure, other times something very mundane. But as we began to see more of the material, we were struck by the immediate and visceral quality it has -nothing like the usual images we see of this era.

Over the next decade, we helped uncover and restore more than 100 videotapes, interviewed the original members of the collective and built this film entirely from their perspective. Even though the events took place forty years ago, our aim is for the film to feel alive, as if unfolding in front of our eyes,and connected to the present. Once you understand the story of the Videofreex, you can’t help but see their legacy of independent media thriving on the Internet and all around the world.Our Director of Photography, John Foster, traveled on this extended journey with us, becoming invested in the story of the Videofreex himself throughout the years. And more recently, our brilliant composer T. Griffin crafted a score that helps the film hit notes of emotion and playfulness. We hope that when audiences see the film, they experience the spirit of creativity and hope that inspired us when we first learned about the Videofreex.

Directors' Bio

jon nealon, mspiffJON NEALON Jon works as a documentary producer and editor. For two seasons, he was the senior producer of the series Women and the Badge for the Oxygen Network. He edited and produced the powerful examination of the Randy Weaver case, Ruby Ridge: Anatomy of a Tragedy, for Discovery. He produced and edited multiple episodes of The First 48. His independent documentary Goodbye Hungaria, was screened at festivals around the world, and was broadcast internationally on Aljazeera English.

jenny raskin, mspiffJENNY RASKIN Jenny is a documentary director, producer and editorial consultant. She also works as the Vice President for Development and Filmmaker Relations at Impact Partners, a film fund that supports social issue documentaries. Her work includes On Hostile Ground (director/producer), Motherland Afghanistan (producer), Our Nixon (executive producer) and Do I Sound Gay? (co-producer).

Included Shorts

Melisande Charles (6min) More