Stop the Presses
March 27, 2010

RealFilms presents the Houston premiere of Stop the Presses; a documentary that examines the difficult state of the newspaper industry today and what its options for the future might look like. Filmmakers Manny Mendoza and Mark Birnbaum will be in attendance along with a panel discussion featuring Kyrie O'Connor (Houston Chronicle), Joe Leydon (film critic), and Bob LeVitus (Mac guru).

Stop the Presses - 80 minutes

Directors: Manny Mendoza and Mark Birnbaum
Date: Saturday, March 27th, 2010
Location: Houston Community College/Spring Branch Campus- Performing Arts Center/Filmmaking Program Screening Theater
1010 W. Sam Houston Pkwy N. Houston, TX 77043
(northeast corner of I 10/Beltway 8 cloverleaf)
Tickets: $10.00 online or $10.00 cash/check at the door
HCC students with ID, $5.00
Ticket price includes free refreshments: soft drinks, water, and popcorn
Mendoza/Birnbaum Reception: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Screening Time: 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Panel Discussion: 9:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Door Prize: A signed DVD of the film

Stop the Presses takes viewers inside disheartened newsrooms to document the devastating slide of print journalism and into the community to learn what readers think of journalism's fate. The film combines footage from several papers like the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, St. Petersburg Times, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and diverse interviews from a great mix of commentators including Ben Bradley, Walter Cronkite, Dave Berry, and Ed Asner.

About the Producers:
Manny Mendoza - Producer/Director
Mendoza has been a newspaperman since 1979 when he became one of the last copy boys in America and first-hand witness to print journalism's decline. He has been a staff writer covering crime, politics, television, theater and pop music at the Miami News, Bergen Record, Milwaukee Journal and Dallas Morning News, where he was one of 112 journalists who accepted a buyout offer in 2006. He and Mark Birnbaum began shooting Stop the Presses that summer. Mendoza is a winner of the Florida Bar Award and a finalist for the Katie Award. He is now a freelance writer, blogger, film marketer and college journalism instructor.

Mark Birnbaum - Producer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor
From Nicaragua in the 1980s to Tom DeLay in 2006, Birnbaum's documentary films have probed, celebrated and exposed people to places and personalities all over the globe. In Larry v. Lockney, he tells "a riveting story of good people - on both sides - trying to do the right thing for their children and their town" (Houston Chronicle). The Big Buy, about Tom DeLay's rise and fall, "presents its evidence clearly and with a welcome sense of humor" (New York Times) and is "more feisty and fun than a drunken barbecue in Beaumont" (Tallahassee Democrat). His films have chronicled the Second Vatican Council, women trash recyclers in Ecuador, American high school kids in China, medical science, sailboat racing, and salsa dancing. Birnbaum took home gold medals from film festivals in Chicago, Houston and Charleston and is a winner of the George Foster Peabody broadcasting award.

Target Top 10 Documentary Film- AFI Dallas International Film Festival
Grand Festival Award: Documentary, Berkeley Film Festival

"As a piece of sheer film making, "Stop the Presses" shines."
Phillip Wuntch- Dallas Times Herald (Emeritus) Film Reviewer


For More Information:

To View a Trailer:

A special feature for this screening is a panel discussion that follows the film. Participating will be the filmmakers, Mark Birnbaum and Manny Mendoza, Houston Chronicle Deputy Managing Editor for Features Kyrie O'Coonor, Film Critic Joe Leydon (who will moderate), and Mac Guru Bob Levitus. What might the future of the newspaper industry look like? These folks are well positioned to discuss the possibilities.

Mark Birnbaum & Manny Mendoza
See bios above

Kyrie O'Connor
Kyrie O'Connor is deputy managing editor for features at the Houston Chronicle. Born in Rochester, N.Y., she is a graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut. She has worked for newspapers for most of the past 30 years. For 14 years, she was at The Hartford Courant in Connecticut. In 2003, she joined the Chronicle, where she oversees the daily Star sections, Flavor, Zest, Travel and Preview sections, as well as Gloss, the fashion magazine. She writes the daily blog MeMo in O'Connor is also a regular panelist on NPR's news quiz show ``Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me''. She is the mother of two daughters, Bess, a student in the master's in photography program at Savannah College of Art and Design, and Laura, a senior at Champlain College in Vermont. She lives in Houston.

Bob LeVitus
Bob LeVitus, often referred to as "Dr. Mac," has been considered one of the world's leading authorities on the Macintosh and Mac OS for nearly twenty years. A prolific author, LeVitus has sold millions of books worldwide in a dozen languages. His recent titles include: Incredible iPhone Apps For Dummies, iPhone For Dummies 3d Edition, and Mac OS X Snow Leopard For Dummies. He's been a tech columnist for the Houston Chronicle since 1996 and writes regularly for the Mac Observer Web site. His hobbies include playing guitar with the infamous Macworld All-Star Band, engineering audio recordings (mostly of classic rock songs), and budget filmmaking.

Joe Leydon
Joe grew up in New Orleans, where he acquired a taste for fine food and hearty partying, and graduated from Loyola University, where he was mentored by the late Ralph T. Bell, whom Leydon has described as "the finest and most encouraging professor any student could ever hope to have." After repeated failed attempts to find honest work, he decided to make a living by getting paid to watch movies. An award-winning film critic for Variety, he's also an adjunct professor at University of Houston and Houston Community College, communications director for Cowboys & Indians magazine, a contributing writer for MovieMaker magazine, and host of From 1982 until 1995, he was film critic for The Houston Post. He also has reviewed films for the San Francisco Examiner, Houston Chronicle,, and NBC affiliate KPRC-TV, and has written for New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Boston Globe and The Toronto Star; Film Comment and New Orleans magazines; and Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide. His book "Joe Leydon's Guide to Essential Movies You Must See" is available wherever fine books are sold.