Office of Children and Family Services

News Article
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

First Upstate Community Volunteer Project Under “Film Good/Do Good” Initiative Kicks Off In Buffalo Marshall Film Crew In Buffalo to Join Students Working on Habitat for Humanity Home

The first upstate project under a first-of-its-kind community service initiative called “Film Good/Do Good” took place in Buffalo on June 13, where the production team working on the film, Marshall, will volunteer with students from Western New York YouthBuild to rehabilitate an inner-city Habitat for Humanity home. This is the second project since the program was announced earlier this year.

Gigi Semone, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Motion Picture and Television Development says the members of the casts and crews who film in New York have a genuine desire to leave lasting goodwill in the communities. "The generosity of time and spirit shared by the Marshall producers and crew on this service event will be a model for other productions to follow," says Semone.

The Marshall production crew assisted in the rehabilitation of a Lasalle Avenue home in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity of Buffalo, The Service Collaborative of Western New York, the Governor’s Office for Motion Picture and Television Development (GOMPTD) and the New York State Commission on National and Community Service (NYSCNCS), which joined with the GOMPTD to form the “Film Good/Do Good” program to promote volunteerism from film production companies who can “give back” to the communities that host them during filming.

Linda J. Cohen, Executive Director of NYSCNCS welcomes the volunteers from Marshall, whose work will assist Habitat for Humanity Buffalo in its mission to fight poverty and serve the homeless. "The Commission is proud to work with the Marshall production team and the Service Collaborative of Western New York on this project,” Cohen said.

“Film Good/Do Good is a one-of-a-kind anti-poverty program that builds on the work we’ve been doing with Governor Andrew Cuomo," says Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, "work that supports growing industries, including Buffalo’s emerging film industry, which generates millions of dollars to the local economy."

The collaboration at 667 Lasalle included drywall finishing, interior carpentry, siding installation, painting and the installation of a porch.

Marshall Producer Jonathan Sanger called it a chance to show appreciation to the people of Buffalo. "Everyone on Marshall has felt the hospitality of this city, and we understand there are parts of every community that could use some uplift."

Kate Sarata, Executive Director of The Service Collaborative of WNY said the Service Collaborative, its WNY YouthBuild program and VolunteerWNY are thrilled at the opportunity to serve alongside the filmmakers. "Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity-Buffalo, we not only are able to provide quality construction support to homes for needy individuals, we are able to shape the experiences and life skills of students who are enrolled in our YouthBuild program.”

Hero Films, Chestnut Ridge Productions and Hudlin Entertainment are filming a courtroom thriller that focuses on a young Thurgood Marshall, who later became the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, and his handling of a case that proved important to the Civil Rights movement. Filming is happening primarily in Niagara Square at the Dillon Courthouse, in the heart of downtown Buffalo. The production expects to spend at least $4.5 million, hire more than 400 crew and extras, and book an estimated 1,100 hotel room nights.


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