If you're not happy with the way things are going in Washington, SUPPORT THIS FILM!

Calling All Women: We Need More Activists! A Project of Documentaries


This is a documentary about my grandmother. About one woman's ability to change the world with little more than Chutzpah and a telephone.

Anyone can be an activist...

Madeline Gilford, a defender of the First Amendment - a remarkable woman who fought the blacklist - one woman against a firing squad. She did what she did best, confused them with words and wasted their precious time. In a world that seems about to come apart at the seams, we need that kind of moxie today.

Stars are lining up to give their support. Thus far we have Bob Balaban, Carl Reiner, Valerie Harper, Lily Tomlin, Richard Dreyfuss, Martin Sheen, James Cromwell, Nick Meyer and Norman Lear, with more to come. However, one common theme has emerged in our interviews... Where are the Madelines of today?


Social justice, women's rights, the threat of nuclear war – everything Madeline fought to fix is in the crosshairs of a dictator in training. Madeline battled bullies like this her entire life. Trump is just McCarthy with more hair. DONATE ABOVE!


Be inspired by Madeline Lee Gilford and all the friends she dragged into battle. We are CALLING ALL WOMEN (AND MEN) to join the fight. We need a million “ Madelines" NOW more than ever!



Max Gilford-Smerling, Director: Grandson of Madeline Lee Gilford, son of Lisa Gilford, Producer of festival darling "ON THE SLY: IN SEARCH OF THE FAMILY STONE." Proud member of Actors Equity. Professionally performed all over the country. Screenwriter of biopic HUBBLE and soon to be produced "FAIRY TALE." Credits on over a dozen films from Lakeshore Entertainment including Academy Award Best Picture winner "MILLION DOLLAR BABY."

Lisa Lee Gilford, Producer: Daughter of Madeline Lee Gilford, proud Red Diaper Baby. As the First Female Film Commissioner for the State of Colorado she facilitated the making of feature films, "City Slickers," (Billy Crystal) "Die Hard 1&2," (Bruce Willis) and "Thelma & Louise" (Ridley Scott). Founder of American Theater Showcase, a not-for-profit theater company in Aspen, Colorado dedicated to producing American musicals on their way to Broadway.


Tom Hurwitz, ASC, DP: Son of Jane Dudley & Leo Hurwitz. "American Masters" (PBS) 1991-2009; "The American Experience," (PBS) 1995-2010; "Frontline" (PBS 1996-2009; Sundance Film Festival winner for "Wild Man Blues- Woody Allen, 1997; "Valentino: the Last Emperor," 2008- Feature film; "Nothing Left Unsaid," 2016 (HBO); Red Diaper Baby, proudly.

George Reasner, DP: Award-winning cinematographer with 20 years of film production experience. He has an M.F.A. in producing & cinematography from Fla. State U Film ad TV Conservatory. DP & Producer on the docs, Liquid Vinyl and Dumbstruck, as well as Cinematographer on the docs At Last: The Terry Fator Story, Q: The Man (The Lives of Quincy Jones) among others.

Rich Brotman, Editor: Since 2003, Rich has developed his brand of family history & cultural legacy films.He partnered with scholar Jose Barreiro PhD, to curate a video archive to help preserve the the oral traditions of contemporary Native American Culture Bearers. Eventually acquired by the Smithsonian Institute.

Kaitlin Fyfe, Editor: Instructor in Editing & Post at UW, Madison. Finishing supervisor, "The Smart Studios Story," (2016) co-writer, co-producer, co-editor "Lonely Baloney" (2016)


Bob Balaban, actor, director, and producer of and in countless films.
Richard Dreyfuss, civics enthusiast.
Ivy Meeropol, director, producer, "Heir to an Execution," "Indian Point," and CNN Films.
Jeff Smith, University of Wisconsin Film and Research Center.
Joe Benincasa, CEO, The Actors Fund.
Sean Rickets, Sardi's Restaurant.
Barbara Brilliant, Peabody award-winning creator of PBS' “Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy."


Lisa and Richard discuss democracy.


A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYBODY WHO HAS HELPED SO FAR (Molly, George, Bob, Tom, Constance, Barbara, Joe - you know who you are!)

Supported by 17 Donations:

  • Gina V.
    I Gave $100
    Because Max in a genius with a pure heart!
  • constance m.
    I Gave $500
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $7
    Great teaser, gang!
  • marc r.
    I Gave $100
    a mother and son act, how can you not donate. roth/pfister
  • Dennis G.
    I Gave $20
    If Jack Giford's daughter is working on this, it will be fine. Dennis Gallagher
  • Shireen K.
    I Gave $25
    Such an inspiring woman--can't wait to see the film!
  • Courtney C.
    I Gave $25
  • Dorothy G.
    I Gave $100
    You may remember my older sister, Anne Gilbert (Drew) -- she became a damn good documentarian. I was in class of '66. Thrilled you're doing this.
  • Ronni S.
    I Gave $25
    Good luck with your effort!
  • Jill R.
    I Gave $75
  • Paul G.
    I Gave $25
    From an EI graduate Class of '62 ... I salute you ... Paul Golden
  • Joshua H.
    I Gave $200
    Josh Hanfling
  • Michael C.
    I Gave $30
  • Silhouette
    I Gave $100
    This movie is so important NOW more than ever!
  • Camilla F.
    I Gave $200
    Nothing beats a great story, other than, perhaps, a timely one that is also great.