To A More Perfect Union

About the Film

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Synopsis

To A More Perfect Union: U.S. v Windsor is a feature-length documentary that tells a story of love, marriage and a fight for equality. The film chronicles unlikely heroes -- octogenarian Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, on their quest for justice: Edie had been forced to pay a huge estate tax bill upon the death of her spouse because the federal government denied federal benefits to same-sex couples – and Edie’s spouse was a woman. Deeply offended by this lack of recognition of her more than forty-year relationship with the love of her life, Edie decided to sue the United States government – and won. Windsor and Kaplan’s legal and personal journeys are told in their own words, and through interviews with others of the legal team, movement activists, legal analysts, well-known supporters and opponents. Beyond the story of this pivotal case in the marriage equality movement and the stories behind it, the film also tells the story of our journey as a people, as a culture, and as citizens with equal rights.

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This film is a must see
Gay Star News
A vivid and triumphant tale
Paul Schindler, Gay City News

Participants/Featuring

  • Lillian Faderman, Historian and Author
  • Roberta Kaplan, Windsor Attorney
  • Pam Karlan, Windsor Legal Team & Co-Director, Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
  • Rachel Lavine, Roberta’s spouse
  • Rosie O’Donnell, Comedian, Actor, Activist
  • Frank Rich, Writer-At-Large, NY Magazine
  • Hilary Rosen, Communications Advisor & LGBT Activist
  • Richard Socarides, White House Special Assistant & Advisor to President Clinton
  • Matt Staver, Founder & Chairman, Liberty Counsel
  • Jeff Toobin, CNN Legal Analyst & New Yorker Staff Writer
  • Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, National Public Radio
  • Tony West, Former Associate U.S. Attorney General
  • Edie Windsor, Plaintiff
  • Evan Wolfson, Founder & President, Freedom to Marry

Donna Zaccaro (Director & Producer)

To A More Perfect Union: US v. Windsor Director and Producer Donna Zaccaro is the founder and President of Dazzling Media and Ferrodonna Features Inc. Both are New York-based media production companies – one for profit and the other nonprofit, with a mission of producing films about women, women’s issues and social justice issues. Previously, Donna served as the director and producer of Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, a critically-acclaimed documentary about the trailblazer who made history as the first woman to run for national office on a major party ticket. Prior to founding her media production companies, Donna was a longtime, award-winning producer for the “Today” show at NBC News. She has also worked in other industries including politics, public affairs marketing and communications, and began her career in investment banking.

Donna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brown University and an MBA in General Business Administration from Harvard Business School.


Paula Heredia (Editor & Producer)

Paula Heredia is a Salvadoran award-winning documentary producer, director, and editor, who has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences with an Emmy® for her work in the acclaimed HBO documentary In Memoriam, NYC 9/11/01. She has also been the recipient of the prestigious American Cinema Editors-ACE Eddie Award® for the acclaimed documentary Unzipped, and the Hispanic Creative Award for her director’s work in Teniendo Un Bebe. She received her second ACE Eddie Award® nomination for the HBO series The Weight of the Nation. For her documentary Africa Rising, Paula received the Best Woman Director Award at the International Documentary Film Festival in Soria and at the Festival of Cine Invisible in Bilbao, Spain. Her most recent film Alborada premiere at the Habana Film Festival in Cuba, and this year for her film Toucan Nation Paula received the Humane Society’s Genesis Award for “creating outstanding works that raise awareness of animal protection issues“.

Funding Provided By:

  • Just Films | The Ford Foundation
  • Carol Ammon & Marie Pinizzotto
  • Pamela Seymon
  • S & L Marx Foundation
  • The Marcus Family Fund

Press

Heartfelt documentary reveals humanity in fight for marriage equality

June 27, 2018

It’s fitting that the new documentary To a More Perfect Union comes out today, on the three-year anniversary of marriage equality in the United States. Directed by Donna Zaccaro, the film’s subject, the late Edie Windsor, helped paved the way for the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. Clocking it at a palatable 63-minutes, the documentary succintly reveals the simple truths at the heart of this fight: humanity, love, and dignity. Read Article »

Gay Star News Edie and Thea
Cleve Scene marriage equality in America

Powerful Documentary 'To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor' Closes Out Pride Month Perfectly

June 20, 2018

To a More Perfect Union offers an intimate look at Windsor as a gay rights pioneer, and its correlation with the Stonewall Riots, the AIDS crisis, the Defense of Marriage Act and other staples of LGBTQ history. Read Article »

To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor

June 8, 2018

In interviews, Kaplan describes Windsor and Spyer’s marriage as the perfect encapsulation of the fight for equality by same-sex couples in the 20th century. Echoing that sentiment, To a More Perfect Union frames the decision to affirm same-sex marriage as part of a larger cultural evolution. Zaccaro draws on different eras in American political history  –  the AIDS epidemic, the passing of DOMA, the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)  – to suggest that Windsor was, in addition to her intelligence and charisma, the right plaintiff at the right time for the country. Read Article »

The Austin Chronicle Love Wins
LA Times marriage equality in America

Documentary 'To a More Perfect Union: U.S. V. Windsor' gets to the heart of landmark decision

June 6, 2018

In the moving documentary “To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor,” director Donna Zaccaro establishes both the historical and emotional context for a landmark Supreme Court decision. The film explores the powerful experience of gay rights pioneer — and vivacious personality — Edie Windsor and her fight to be recognized legally as the wife of her decades-long partner, Thea Spyer. Read Article »

The Supreme Court Case that Changed Gay Marriage in America

June 6, 2018

Filmmaker Donna Zaccaro and attorney Robbie Kaplan discuss the documentary To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v Windsor. The film chronicles the experiences of Edie Windsor and her attorney (Kaplan) and their lawsuit against the U.S. government. Windsor had been forced to pay a huge estate tax bill upon the death of her spouse because the federal government denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Windsor decided to sue the United States government – and won. Read Article »

Wnyc Love Wins
The Hollywood Reporter marriage equality in America

Donna Zaccaro recounts the penultimate battle in the fight for marriage equality in America.

June 6, 2018

Zaccaro offers an easily digested explanation of what they were up against. We see how the Defense of Marriage Act was born out of a panic that Hawaii's inclination to legalize gay marriage would spread. The film is quick to make excuses for Bill Clinton, who as president presented himself as an LGBT ally but signed the legislation into law; he was boxed in by Republicans, we're told, and had little choice. (Um, sure. Same thing with welfare reform and the crime bill, right?) Read Article »

These are the stories that this country is built on. It’s about our freedoms and what happens when our country chooses to love.

June 5, 2018

The storytelling and the presentation of the history is masterful and I easily rank this among the top documentary films that I have seen, in recent years. Zaccaro perfectly pieces together a narrative of past and present. Showing the journey of the gay rights movement and placing the past struggles alongside current conflict. In the story of Edie and Thea, there is a summary of the story of an entire group of people. It’s a compelling story that is presented perfectly. Read Article »

Shuffle Online U.S. v Windsor

Cinelife Entertainment Shines a spotlight on Prestigious Doc “To A More Perfect Union: U.S. V. Windsor”

May 19, 2018

Poignant documentary “To a More Perfect Union: U.S. V. Windsor” is set for an expansive U.S. Theatrical rollout in June 2018 as the Second documentary feature under Spotlight Cinema Network’s event cinema division CineLife Entertainment  Read Article »

To A More Perfect Union: US v Windsor wins "Best Documentary Feature" award at the Manhattan Film Festival.

April 29, 2018

New York City, NY - The Manhattan Film Festival announced that To A More Perfect Union: US v Windsor is the 2018 festival’s winner for “Best Documentary Feature”. Director, Donna Zaccaro, said “We’re honored to have received this recognition - and thank the Manhattan Film Festival and those that attended the film’s screening at the festival for their support.” The film was screened at the festival on April 26th, 2018, and was followed by a talkback with Zaccaro and Windsor attorney, Roberta Kaplan, and Freedom to Marry Founder and President Evan Wolfson.

Donna Zaccaro: A "Strong Woman" State of Mind

March 13, 2018

Appropriately for Women’s History Month, with Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, Donna created a film to keep her mother's legacy alive for future generations. To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v Windsor memorializes another life, Edie Windsor’s, and her fight for marriage equality alongside her attorney Roberta Kaplan. “Made by a New York woman, about New York women who made history, it is riveting, impactful, and not to be missed” says Brette McSweeney, the Executive Director of The Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee. Read Article »

New York Makers New York Makers
Gay City News Gay City News

Edie Windsor’s Victory — and Much More — In Barely an Hour

February 22, 2018

Donna Zaccaro accomplishes a whole lot in just 62 minutes. Her new film, To A More Perfect Union: US v. Windsor — which screens in the coming week as part of the Winter Film Awards 2018 International Film Festival — not only tells the personal story of the remarkable woman who triumphed over the Defense of Marriage Act, and the legal strategy behind that victory, but also deftly encapsulates key threads from the past half-century of LGBTQ history in the process. Read Article »

The Impact DOCS Awards: Award of Excellence

February 6, 2018

The Impact DOCS Awards have announced their 2018 winners - and To A More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor has won an “Award of Excellence” for Documentary Feature! Impact DOCS Awards’ mission is “To support and promote filmmakers who are IMPACTING the critical issues of our times by producing entertaining and enlightening documentaries.” We, at Ferrodonna Features, are thrilled to receive such an honor, and we thank Impact Awards for such wonderful recognition and support. impactdocsawards.com

Impact Docs Awards Impact Docs Awards
Winter Film Awards 2018 Winter Film Awards 2018

Official Selection: Winter Film Awards 2018

January 14, 2018

To A More Perfect Union: US v. Windsor has been officially selected to participate in the Winter Film Awards 2018 International Film Festival. The film has been nominated for an award in the Documentary Competition category and will be part of a “Made by Women Double Feature”. The screening on Tuesday, February 27th at 7:45pm at New York's Cinema Village, will be the NYC Premiere of the film. Director Donna Zaccaro will participate in a Q&A after the screening. Those interested can also sign up here for updates.

Statement from To A More Perfect Union Director, Donna Zaccaro, upon the death of Edie Windsor

September 12, 2017

I feel honored and appreciative that I was able to contribute to Edie Windsor’s legacy and share the story of her landmark case and extraordinary life in my film To A More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor. I am so sad that she is no longer with us - though know that her inspiration and leadership will live on. Edie affected many lives and truly changed our country – making ours a more perfect union.

Edith Windsor Edith Windsor
Edith Windsor Edith Windsor

Celebrating the life of Edie Windsor

September 13, 2017

The Woodstock Film Festival would like to take a moment to celebrate the life of Edie Windsor, who passed away September 12, 2017. Edie was a spirited and courageous woman who left a mark on our world with her dedication to LGBTQ rights. We are thrilled that the film To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor, depicting Edie’s story, will have its world premiere at this year’s festival.

Accolade Global Film Competition Winner!

September 1, 2017

We are proud to announce that To A More Perfect Union recently won two of their prestigious awards:

  • Award of Excellence: Documentary Feature
  • Award of Excellence: Women Filmmakers
award award
Woodstock Film Festival Woodstock Film Festival

World Premiere: 2017 Woodstock Film Festival

September 1, 2017

We are proud to announce that To A More Perfect Union will premiere at the 18th Annual Woodstock Film Festival! Buy tickets here »

  • October 14th @ 4pm
  • October 15th @ 1:15pm

Location: Bearsville Theater, 291 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY

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Film Production Company:
Ferrodonna Features Inc.

Ferrodonna Features is a nonprofit (501C3) production company with a mission of producing films about women, women’s issues, and social justice issues.