Jenny Stein & James LaVeck, Founders of Tribe of Heart & Award-Winning Filmmakers

by | Jan 16, 2013

Jenny Stein & James LaVeck–founders of Tribe of Heart, a multifaceted nonprofit organization best known for making award-winning documentaries–discuss how they met and took the first steps toward working together. 874542_300(1)They also describe how they settled on the first project, in the wake of attending an animal rights conference LaVeck was uneasy about–they met Eddie Lama, the rugged Brooklyn construction worker with a fear of animals who’d transformed into an inveterate animal rescuer and advocate…the focus of their first film, “The Witness,” which won all sorts of award and acclaim (Howard Rosenberg, then the Los Angeles Times Pulitzer-winning TV critic noted that it “may be the most important and persuasive film about animals ever made.”) LaVeck and Stein explain the long, complicated path they traveled after “The Witness” toward making their next film, “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home,” and how they experienced a newfound awakening of their own (a central theme of their movies) and more than a little disillusionment at the hands of figures they had previously considered role models in the philanthropic and non-profit worlds. The pair also speak to the idea of filmmaking (or other art forms) as activism, the ability of art to serve as a catalyst for change. ( ;

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ALSO: We spoke briefly with Cheri Hornsby, chief organizer of the then-forthcoming Acoustic Animal Jam, a new two-day festival in Dover, FL, consisting chiefly of bands with animal songs, who described how the idea came about, discusses some of the participating bands and explains that some of the proceeds will benefit Dalmatian Rescue.

COMEDY CORNER: Nick DiPaolo’s “Animal Activists” (portion) (

MUSIC: Johnny Cakes And The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypso’s “Bee Truck,” Moby’s “Pale Horses,” instrumentals  

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Dave Matthews Band’s “Ants Marching”

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