Discussion with Producer-Director Susan Saladoff Follows Screening
(Ashland, Ore.) – Ashland filmmaker Susan Saladoff brings her hit documentary “Hot Coffee” back home next week for its first local screening since last year’s Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF). The film will show Tuesday, February 21, at 6 p.m. in the Meese Auditorium of the Art Building on the Southern Oregon University campus.
Saladoff’s SOU presentation “Hot Coffee: Is Justice Being Served” is part of the university’s “Civility” campus theme series this year. The SOU film screening and discussion are free and open to the public.
Since Hot Coffee premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, showed at AIFF and ran last summer on HBO, Saladoff has been traveling the country, sharing the documentary at film festivals, law schools, churches, libraries, and other locations.
“My goal is to get the film seen by every American before the 2012 elections,” says Saladoff. “I want people to know their rights. This is a constitutional issue. It’s about the Seventh Amendment.”
Saladoff spent 25 years practicing law in the civil justice system, representing injured victims of individual and corporate negligence. She stopped practicing law in 2009 to make her documentary. Hot Coffee follows four people whose lives were devastated by attacks on the courts and focuses on the McDonald’s coffee case, often cited as a prime example of how citizens use “frivolous” lawsuits to take unfair advantage of America’s legal system.
The documentary uses the legal battle over a spilled cup of coffee to investigate what’s behind America’s zeal for tort reform. “My message is we need to understand how we’re giving up our constitutional rights,” says Saladoff. “Most people don’t realize the importance of this issue until it happens to them.”
The AARP just named Hot Coffee the runner up for Best Documentary of the year in its annual list of Best Movies for Grownups. Saladoff says her film was also chosen one of the top five documentary DVD’s by the American Library Association.
Hot Coffee also won awards for Best Documentary at the Seattle, Tampa and Albuquerque Film Festivals, and the award for the “Documentary that Every American Should See” at the Traverse City Film Festival, hosted by Michael Moore.
Following the Ashland showing, Saladoff will be back on tour with her film. “I have trips planned to Louisiana, Idaho, Washington, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and more,” she says.
Although Hot Coffee is Saladoff’s first documentary, she says it may not be her last. “I head to London next month to begin research on a new film.”
Editors, for more information and interviews:
Hot Coffee photos and promotional materials: http://db.tt/c4RJCNj
Hot Coffee trailer: http://youtu.be/bBKRjxeQnT4
Web site: http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/