News of Otsego County

Jeri Wachter

Area Filmmakers Awarded Top Prize at California Film Festival

Area Filmmakers Awarded Top
Prize at California Film Festival

Mel Vapour (right), executive director of the East Bay Media Center and co-founder of the Berkeley Video Film Festival, presents filmmakers Joseph C. Stillman and Jeri Wachter with the 2022 BVFF “Grand Festival/State of the Nation Award” for their documentary film, “Something in the Water.” (Photo by Maria Farrington)


Gilbertsville’s own Jeri Wachter and Joseph C. Stillman were proud recipients of the Berkeley Video Film Festival’s “Grand Festival/State of the Nation Award” on October 28 in California. Their feature documentary, “Something in the Water,” was recognized at the 31st annual BVFF, an event which highlights achievement in electronic, independent filmmaking and provides a platform for media coverage.

“We’re honored to be recognized by such a prestigious organization because, like them, we believe this country has a lot of wounds that need to be healed and in a small way, our film addresses those needs through the testimonies of people across America,” stated Stillman.

Poverty-Fighting Forum To Include Congressman

Poverty-Fighting Forum

To Include Congressman

‘Faces Of Rural Poverty’ Producer

Planning Panels Oct. 5 At Foothills

Jeri Wachter

ONEONTA – After meeting with poverty-fighting officials in Oneonta earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, R-19, plans to return Saturday, Oct. 5, to participate in a public forum, “Living in Dignity and the Crisis of Poverty in Otsego and Delaware counties,” organized by the Faces of Rural Poverty organization.

Moderated by Jeri Wachter, executive producer of filmmaker Joe Stillman’s “Faces of Rural Poverty” documentary, the forum – 2-5 p.m. at Foothills – will address current issues in education, health care, housing, wages, and transportation.

Filmmaker Stillman’s Next Project: Poverty In Otsego, Delaware

Filmmaker Stillman’s

Next Project: Poverty

In Otsego, Delaware

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal

Filmmaker Joe Stillman and his producer, Jeri Wachter, set up in Southside Mall earlier this month to begin interviewing people on poverty in Otsego and Delaware counties. (Jim Kevlin/

ONEONTA – Filmmaker Joe Stillman wants to open people’s eyes to what he calls “The Invisible Class.”

“In Otsego County, the poverty rate is 16.5 percent,” he said. “In Oneonta, it’s 29.5 percent. That’s one in three. These are our neighbors, friends, relatives and neighbors, people we play with, shop with and work with.”

Now, home from promoting an award-winning documentary on LBJ’s crusading Attorney General Ramsay Clark, Stillman wants to reveal “Faces of Poverty” in his next documentary.

“I want to put a face to the struggle of low-wage earners,” he said. “They’re making our food, washing dishes, waiting tables.  And we take them for granted.”

He’s interviewed Mayor Gary Herzig and Congressman  Antonio Delgado, D-19, as well the Catholic Charities and Opportunities For Otsego leadership.

He is collaborating on the film with Rev. Dana Horrell, husband of First United Methodist pastor Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, and Jeri Wachter, a publisher in Gilbertsville.

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