Monday, January 23, 2012

Documentary in the works on: Marie Castaldo

Kickstarter fundraising for documentary on: The Mystery of Marie Jocelyne



Since 2007, we have been chasing the enigmatic Marie Castaldo, convicted criminal, alleged con-artist, and proprietor of scandal-plagued film festivals. Directed by Martha Shane (Producer and co-director of Bi The Way) and Dan Nuxoll (Program Director of Rooftop Films, co-producer of Kiss My Snake), The Mystery of Marie Castaldo and the Queens International Film Festival will take the audience on a voyage of discovery from Africa to Paris to L.A. to Queens to Riker’s Island, and finally to the small apartment in London where we finally met Marie face to face. In the end, we hope to come to a better understanding of what truly drives Marie. But we can’t do all this without your help. Please, check out our video and pledge today.
My name is Dan Nuxoll, and I am the Program Director for Rooftop Films, an outdoor film festival in New York. It’s a great job and I really enjoy it, but right now I would like to tell you about a different sort of project that I am working on.
In 2007, a festival director named Marie Castaldo called me up at Rooftop Films. She was looking to rent some equipment for her Queens International Film Festival. We rented her some gear, but we never got a deposit, and after the festival was over, Marie disappeared without paying a dime.  A year later, when I discovered that Marie was presenting the festival again, I decided to take action. I called the festival, left a message, and was subsequently contacted by Marie, who threatened that if I showed up at the festival, there would be “men there who would make me regret it.” (For the record, Marie denies this.) As I soon learned, however, Rooftop Films wasn’t the only company that Marie hadn’t paid over the years.
 Around this time, I met a filmmaker named Martha Shane. Martha and I started to do a little research, and bit by bit, we began to uncover a trail of unpaid bills and allegations of fraud that covered Marie’s twenty-plus years of working in the New York and Los Angeles film industries. Finally, Rooftop Films, along with a number of other people who claimed they had been defrauded by the Queens International Film Festival, brought Marie’s actions to the attention of the Queens DA. But for many months, the case rested there, as Martha and I continued to learn of increasingly bizarre allegations against Marie.
 Finally, just as we were beginning to think that no action would ever be taken by the Queens DA’s office, there was a shocking turn of events. Marie was arrested on multiple counts of animal abuse in upstate New York. While she waited in jail there, the Queens DA was informed of her arrest, and Marie was transferred to Riker’s Island. It was nearing the end of 2010 when Marie plead guilty to multiple counts of fraud and animal abuse and was deported back to France.
Now, it’s 2012, and we’re raising money for a feature documentary that will tell this unbelievable story..."  More on Kickstarter & video

Nov 18, 2011 - Upstate NY woman busted for hoarding 48 emaciated dogs

Howard Portnoy

If there is an object lesson to be learned from the case of Marie Castaldo, it might be that people who abuse other people will abuse animals with an equally untroubled conscious.
Castaldo, who was accused last November of swindling a group of Queens, New York, filmmakers out thousands of dollars, has ran afoul of the law again. This time her crime was hoarding dozens of dogs fraudulently obtained from animal shelters in upstate New York.
A year-long investigation by the Ulster County SPCA revealed that Castaldo had gone from one local shelter to the next, seemingly to rescue dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. In point of fact, her goal was nothing like the mission of mercy it might have appeared to be. Instead, it was to turn a profit by selling the rescued pups to unsuspecting owners at pet store prices. At least, that was the case when she wasn’t neglecting the four dozen dogs she had amassed, many of which were reported to be emaciated..."  More

Aug 12, 2010:  Woman charged with hoarding dogs in Ulster arrested on unrelated charges in NYC

The founder and executive director of the Queens International Film Festival has been arraigned on charges that she bilked four vendors out of nearly $14,000 in goods and services during the 2007 and 2008 festivals.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown Wednesday said Marie Castaldo, 52, was accused of duping advertising and film industry vendors into providing their services for free to her film festival by “in most cases” making a small upfront payment and then refusing to make any further payments.

Castaldo, who founded the festival in 2002, was charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, third- and fourth-degree grand larceny, petit larceny, third- and fourth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and second-degree harassment..." More

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