Last December when the last truck rolled down the assembly line in Moraine, many of the plant workers assisted in a local documentary about the closing. Local filmmakers Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert befriended a group of employees, following them in the last days of the plant and even taught some of them how to work cameras, which they snuck into work to document the last days on the assembly line.
Little did they know then, how that story would earn them a trip to Hollywood. But this weekend, 4 of the former automakers will attend the 82nd Academy Awards in Los Angeles. Paul “Popeye” Hurst, Kim Clay, Kate Geiger and Kathy Day will all head out to LA to celebrate the nomination of The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, which is up in the documentary short category.
As part of the Cinderella story, Price Brothers donated tuxes to outfit both Clay and Popeye, while the women bought new dresses with funds raised by friends. A donor “who would prefer to remain anonymous” (my guess- a major cable network) is footing the travel expenses for the foursome.
And while the trip is certainly a treat, all four of the former GM workers have said they ‘d rather be back at work. None of the 4 have found full time jobs.
Filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar, while too modest to admit it, were responsible for convincing HBO to lobby for making the trip to the awards show possible for these subjects of the film. It’s that rare sense of compassion these filmmakers have, that built the trust in their subjects in the first place, which made the film so moving and real. Whether they come home with the coveted Oscar statue or not, the experience these former GM workers will have this weekend are sure to be once in a lifetime moments!
Can’t make the trip to LA to celebrate? Then join FilmDayton for an Oscar Watch party at Geez Pub & Grill on Far Hills Drive in Kettering. Funds raised will support the local nonprofit who’s mission is to foster the growth of our regional film industry and audience. The party begins at 7pm and a buffet of pizza, pasta, chicken wings and more are included in the $18 ticket price. You can buy your tickets online or at the event. There will be a silent auction for movie memorabilia, including a DVD copy of Last Truck, donated by Steve & Julia.