A documentary about renowned author Elmore Leonard, But Don’t Try to Write, will be featured at the California Capital International Documentary Film Festival in Rancho, Cordova, CA, June 10th to 12th. Writer/Director John Mulholland and Producer/Editor Richard Zampella will attend the festival.
The California Capital International Documentary Film Festival at Rancho Cordova will be the first documentary film festival in the Sacramento Region. Hosted by the California Capital Arts Foundation, this event will feature nonfiction works from around the globe. They have curated an exciting array of film selections for this year’s viewings, along with special guest panels and events. This is a great opportunity for documentary film fans or anyone interested in learning more about the art of documentary filmmaking to support local filmmakers.
But Don’t Try to Write explores the author’s legacy and his influence on generations of writers. Directed and written by John Mulholland and narrated by Campbell Scott. It will premiere on public television stations nationwide, beginning July 1, 2022. The film features interviews with Jim Born, Mike Lupica, Wendy Calhoun, Neely Tucker, Graham Yost and many others. Through these conversations, the film paints a portrait of an artist who has profoundly impacted our culture and our language. It also includes 30 minutes of original, unreleased interview footage with Elmore Leonard.
The film will be shown at The California Capital International Documentary Film Festival on June 10th, 2022, at 11 am at Rancho Cordova City Hall. But Don’t Try to Write is a production by Dutch Films, LLC and distributed by American Public Television (APT).
Elmore Leonard was one of the most acclaimed novelists of the past half-century. He is the author of forty-six novels including Get Shorty, Out of Sight, and LaBrava. He was known for his crime novels, but he was also a master of other genres, including westerns, comedies, and dramas. In addition to being a prolific writer, Leonard was also a gifted storyteller, and his books were beloved by readers worldwide. In this documentary, Leonard’s colleagues, friends, and family share their memories of the man and his work. Featuring exclusive images and previously unseen footage, Elmore Leonard: But Don’t Try to Write is a tribute to one of the greatest writers in recent history.
Leonard’s exploration of racism in America is unparalleled. His Black characters are rich, complex, and full-bodied. His women, both good and bad, are not victims; they are real women negotiating femaleness in a male-driven world. His cops try to do the right thing in a murky, very gray America. Leonard’s working-class men and women seem to be forever beyond the grip of the American Dream. Like Ernest Hemingway, his mentor, Leonard is a master of economy and brevity. His prose is lean and mean, and his dialogue is sharp as a knife.
Best-selling author Rachel Howzell Hall said, “Elmore Leonard’s novels more honestly represent America than any other novelist.”
About John Mulholland
John Mulholland is a writer, director, and film historian best known for his documentary films. He is also a writer of books, screenplays, articles, and a popular lecturer and podcast host. His work includes the documentaries Elmore Leonard: But Don’t Try to Write; Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen a film that explores the 20-year friendship between three-time Academy Award-winning actor Gary Cooper and Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway – a New York Times Critics Pick; Sergeant York: Of God and Country narrated by Liam Neeson; Liza Minnelli Reflecting; Reflections on Gaslight; Charles Dickens and ‘A Christmas Carol’; The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh and Theo Van Gogh; On Macbeth; Eastern European Composers; The Lake Poets; and the soon to be released documentary Inside High Noon: the Making of the 1952 Film High Noon.
In addition, Mulholland was the host of an online podcast Icons Radio Hour. He is also the author of Classic Film Chatter, a book series about notable film genres published by Cine Monde Classique. Colossal New York is publishing three of John Mulholland’s graphic novels this year. The first is entitled TENDERLOIN, which takes place during the Gilded Age of New York.
He has authored many other books, screenplays, and articles for newspapers and magazines, including Newsweek, The Financial Times, Idaho Press,and others. Mulholland is a popular speaker and lectures on film and literature in cities across the U.S.
Mulholland is now doing research on the author Graham Greene for his next documentary. Mulholland lives in New York City.
About Richard Zampella
Richard Zampella is a documentary film and multimedia producer. He has produced several documentaries with filmmaker John Mulholland. Their collaboration documentaries include:
Elmore Leonard: But Don’t Try to Write, Cooper & Hemingway: The True Gen, written and directed by Mulholland and with narration by Sam Waterson and voicing by Len Cariou, Sergeant York: Of God and Country, narrated by Liam Neeson, Other notable Zampella production credits include Duke Ellington, a documentary tribute released on April 29, 2009, the 110th birthday of the jazz great and a date designated as “Duke Ellington Day” by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Zampella is also a photographer and writer and received a CNN “Editor’s Pic” for his photo essay and article on the September 11th terrorist bombing of the Twin Towers in New York City.
Zampella works in multimedia as the managing partner of Transmultimedia, Inc., a New York City-based creative services agency that creates websites, motion graphics, and media for small businesses. He also the owner of Idylease Inn in Newfoundland, New Jersey, that features resort accommodations in a 1902 building that is a historically significant example of early 20th century resort architecture. Zampella credits his father for instilling his interest in the arts and history.