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The Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   World  Premiere   Hot  Docs  Documentary  Festival  2013   GAT  PR  Press  Summary    


Feel Good  Jewel  Thief  Tale  'Doris  Payne'  Charms   Hot  Docs  Audiences   BY  PETER  KNEGT    |  APRIL  29,  2013  1:04  PM   http://www.indiewire.com/article/feel-­‐good-­‐jewel-­‐thief-­‐tale-­‐doris-­‐payne-­‐charms-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐ audiences    

One of  the  many  world  premieres  that  enjoyed  a  warm  response  from  Hot  Docs'  opening  weekend  (here's  our   take  on  another),  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond's  "The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne"  tells  the  remarkable   story  of  their  titular  subject  -­‐-­‐  a  woman  who  went  from  a  poor,  single  African-­‐American  mother  from   segregated  1950s  America  to  becoming  one  of  the  world’s  most  notorious  jewel  thieves.       Doris  Payne  -­‐-­‐  now  81  years  old  -­‐-­‐  comes  across  as  blissfully  unapologetic  and  unusually  inspirational  in  the   film,  which  uses  interviews  with  Payne  and  her  friends  and  family  as  well  as  archival  footage  and  recreations  to   tell  her  mind  blowing  tale.  She  was  a  black  woman  traveling  around  the  world  hobnobbing  in  circles  in  Monte   Carlo  and  Paris  in  high  end  jewelry  stores.  She  was  convincing  people  she  was  one  of  their  ilk  when  in  the   States  she  had  to  sit  at  the  back  of  the  bus.  In  some  ways,  she's  very  much  a  pioneer  for  civil  rights.       "I  think  there  are  lessons  to  be  learned  from  Doris,"  Pond  told  Indiewire  this  weekend.  "There's  a  real  joy  that   she  has  to  her.  And  she  lives  in  the  moment.  I  think  part  of  what  enables  her  to  do  what  she  does  is  her  


fearlessness. If  she  gets  caught  and  thrown  in  jail,  she  still  maintains  that  joy.  There's  no  deterrent  for  her   because  she  has  such  an  innate  joy.  Her  happiness  level  is  set  to  a  high  bar."     Pond  -­‐-­‐  making  his  feature  film  debut  with  the  film  (Marcolina  previously  directed  2006's  doc  "Camp  Out"   with    Larry  Grimaldi),  went  and  visited  Payne  in  an  Orange  County  jail  a  little  over  3  years  ago  after  reading   about  her  in  the  newspaper.       "I  drove  down  to  the  jail  and  introduced  myself,"  he  said.  "She  was  behind  the  glass.  I  had  a  phone,  and  she  had   a  phone,  and  we  just  started  talking.  From  there,  we  developed  a  relationship  and  I'd  go  visit  her  once  a  week.   She  was  released  a  few  months  after  that  and  then  Kirk  and  I  started  filming  shortly  thereafter."     Pond  said  that  the  process  that  came  after  was  easy  in  the  sense  that  Payne  very  much  likes  the  camera,  but   not  so  easy  because  she's,  well,  a  jewel  thief.     "Part  of  her  MO  is  to  deceive  people,"  he  said.  "She  lies,  but  she's  charming  and  sweet  at  the  same  time.  So   there  was  a  lot  of  push-­‐pull,  push-­‐pull.  She  was  very  guarded  at  times  with  what  she'd  share  with  us."     "I  think  it  was  a  case  of  mutual  seduction,"  added  Marcolina.    "We  wanted  to  make  a  documentary  about  this   interesting  character  but  at  the  same  time  she  is  proud  of  being  a  jewel  thief.  She  feels  that  this  her  legacy  and   she's  very  proud  of  it.  She  wanted  her  story  to  be  shared  with  the  world.  So  she  was  seducing  us  because  she   had  this  great  story  and  we  were  seducing  her  because  we  were  providing  an  outlet  for  her  to  tell  her  story   which  she  really  wanted  to  get  out  there."   Marcolina  said  working  with  Payne  was  always  a  bit  complex.       "I  always  think  of  her  like  an  onion,"  he  said.  "You  peel  back  another  layer  and  you  see  another  side  of  Doris.  At   times,  we  were  charmed  by  her.  At  times,  we  wanted  to  pull  our  hair  out.  She  could  be  very  frustrating  and   hard  to  work  with.  But  most  of  the  time  it  was  just  fun  to  sit  there  and  listen  to  her  stories."     So  what  were  some  of  Pond  and  Marcolina's  favorite  Doris  tales?     "We  were  never  entirely  sure  if  what  she  was  telling  us  was  entirely  truthful,"  Pond  said.  "But  we  got  the  FBI   files  from  the  Freedom  of  Information  Request  and  they  backed  up  so  much  of  what  she  had  said.    She  escaped   at  least  four  times  from  custody.  She  told  us  about  two  of  them.  Jumping  off  trains,  forging  her  way  out  of  jail...   She's  truly  resourceful  and  outrageous  and  lives  in  the  moment."     Marcolina  added  that  they'd  wrap  the  interview  and  think  there  was  no  way  that  story  could  be  true.       "And  low  and  behold,  we  get  the  FBI  files  and  it's  all  true,"  he  said.  "You're  never  quite  sure  if  she's  telling  the   truth  or  not  at  any  given  time.  She  lives  in  a  world  where  creating  stories  and  playing  roles.  So  when  those  FBI   files  came  in  and  backed  up  so  much  of  what  she  said  I  was  just  'wow...  she  really  is  as  good  as  she  says  she  is."     "Or  even  better,"  Pond  added.  "She's  a  badass  with  a  good  heart."     Pond  said  he  likes  to  think  of  "Doris  Payne"  as  a  "feel  good  crime  story."     "There's  no  guns,  there's  no  violence,"  he  said.  "She  does  take  advantage  of  people  but  they  are  jewelry  stores   with  insurance  companies."     Marcolina  said  that  was  how  Payne  seemed  to  feel  about  it.     "She  would  always  say  she's  not  really  hurting  people,"  he  said.  "They  have  insurance  and  they  are  just  going  to   get  paid  by  the  insurance  company.  They  might  make  more  money  that  way  then  selling  this  ring.  In  her  mind,   she  didn't  feel  like  she  was  doing  any  harm."     Judging  from  the  intense  applause  at  the  end  of  the  film's  world  premiere  in  Toronto,  the  audience  so  far   seems  to  agree  with  Payne.  You  can  see  for  yourself  as  the  film  continues  what  will  surely  be  a  healthy  run  on   the  festival  circuit  (and  hopefully  beyond).  


The two  faces  of  jewel  thief  ‘Diamond’  Doris  Payne   Payne,  82,  who  has  spent  60  years  stealing  gems,  is  the  subject  of  a  Hot  Docs  world  premiere   The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne.   By  Linda  Barnard  |  April  27  2013   http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2013/04/27/the_two_faces_of_jewel_thief _diamond_doris_payne.html    

Octogenarian international  jewel  thief  Doris  Payne  was  so  skilled  at  manipulation,  she  even  scammed   one  of  the  directors  making  a  documentary  about  her  life.   And  yet  filmmakers  Kirk  Marcolina  (Camp  Out)  and  Matthew  Pond  still  speak  affectionately  about  the   diamond-­‐snatching  diva,  an  elegant  woman  now  aged  82,  who  has  been  stealing  for  six  decades  and   is  the  subject  of  the  new  documentary  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne.   “There’s  no  one  like  Doris  Payne,”  said  Marcolina,  just  before  the  film  had  its  world  premiere  at  Hot   Docs  Friday  night.  It  screens  again  Sunday  and  Wednesday.   “I  had  never  met  a  thief  before  Doris  Payne  and  I  was  charmed  by  her,”  Marcolina  added  of  the   woman  who  had  32  aliases,  11  U.S.  Social  Security  numbers  and  passports  in  nine  different  names.   Pond  says  Payne  is  clearly  proud  of  her  glamorous  life,  even  if  she  is  often  working  against  the  law;   she  even  puts  “jewel  thief”  down  as  her  occupation  on  forms.  


Payne honed  her  skills  slowly,  starting  out  with  stores  in  Pittsburgh  and  Chicago,  eventually  jetting   from  Paris  to  Tokyo  in  the  1970s.  She  made  a  career  of  ripping  off  high-­‐end  jewelers  like  Tiffany  with   a  mix  of  looking  the  part  of  a  well-­‐heeled,  classy  patron  mixed  with  diversionary  tactics,  and   used  Town  &  Country  magazine  like  a  shopping  list.   Payne’s  story  is  so  compelling,  Hollywood  has  come  calling.  A  feature  film  starring  Halle  Berry  is  in   the  works.   Pond  and  Marcolina  were  finishing  up  work  on  the  doc,  which  took  about  three  years  to  complete,   when  they  witnessed  the  real  Payne  at  work.  They  got  a  call  from  the  court.  Seems  the  woman  who   one  judge  described  as  being  “like  the  terminator;  she  will  not  stop  stealing,”  had  claimed  to  be  with   Pond  on  a  recent  afternoon  when  she  failed  to  check  in  with  her  parole  officer.  She  wasn’t.   “It  really  put  us  in  a  moral  quandary,”  said  Pond.  “We  liked  Doris  and  we  wanted  to  help  her  but  she   really  put  us  between  a  rock  and  a  hard  place.”   Pond  —  who  had  no  intention  of  appearing  in  the  film  —  decided  he  had  to  confront  Payne  on   camera  about  her  lie.  And  the  resulting  scene  reveals  the  astonishing  slickness  of  a  career  criminal  as   she  tries  a  variety  of  tactics  to  wriggle  out  of  the  situation.  It’s  a  fascinating  display.   Pond  had  worked  to  build  a  relationship  with  Payne,  approaching  her  while  she  was  serving  time  in   Orange  County,  Calif.,  near  Los  Angeles  for  the  theft  of  a  coat.  A  recent  film  school  grad,  he  had  read   her  story  in  the  local  newspaper  and  figured  she  was  a  perfect  subject  of  a  documentary.   Marcolina  said  all  three  of  them  became  close.  “There’s  something  truly  lovely  and  sweet  and  fun   about  her.”   But  she’s  also  a  chameleon,  added  Pond,  instantly  able  to  captivate  and  just  as  suddenly  ready  to   switch  it  off.   “She’s  that  charming  old  lady  and  when  she’s  in  a  good  mood  and  she  wants  to  relive  some  of  her   adventures  and  stories,  she’s  got  such  a  joy  about  her  there’s  no  one  in  the  world  I’d  rather  be  with,”   said  Pond.  “But  that’s  one  Doris  Payne.  Then  there’s  the  larcenous  Doris,  the  liar,  the  manipulator,   the  belligerent,  cranky  old  lady.  And  she’s  all  of  those  things.”now   Now  82,  Payne  was  born  in  poverty  in  Slab  Fork,  W.Va.  Her  father  was  a  coal  miner,  yet  Payne   wanted  more  for  herself,  and  dreamed  of  being  a  ballerina  as  a  girl.   “She  wanted  this  big,  glamorous  life  and  somebody  said,  ‘There  are  no  black  ballerinas,’”  said   Marcolina.   “And  so  she  told  us  at  that  point,  something  clicked  in  her  brain  and  she  was,  ‘Screw  you,  I’m  going   to  have  this  big  life.’  And  she  did,”  added  Pond.  “She  went  to  Paris.  She  went  to  Monte  Carlo.  She’s   this  well-­‐dressed,  well-­‐spoken  lady.”   The  filmmakers  use  an  actress  to  recreate  some  of  Payne’s  life,  explaining  how  she  made  off  with   some  of  her  $2  million  haul.  But  nobody  can  tell  the  story  like  Payne  herself.  She  does  so  with  gusto.   The  notoriety  Payne,  dubbed  Diamond  Doris,  has  received  because  of  her  criminal  life  may  not  be   the  kind  of  fame  she’d  envisioned,  but  it’s  fame  nonetheless.   “She’s  sort  of  achieved  the  American  dream  in  a  sense,”  said  Pond.  


10 Films  You  Must  See  From  This  Year's  Hot  Docs   BY  PETER  KNEGT  |   MAY  3,  2013  11:45  AM  

http://www.indiewire.com/article/10-­‐films-­‐you-­‐must-­‐see-­‐from-­‐this-­‐years-­‐hot-­‐docs?page=1#    

 

 

Kirk Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond's  "The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne"  tells  the   remarkable  story  of  their  titular  subject  -­‐-­‐  a  woman  who  went  from  a  poor,  single  African-­‐ American  mother  from  segregated  1950s  America  to  becoming  one  of  the  world’s  most   notorious  jewel  thieves.  Doris  Payne  -­‐-­‐  now  81  years  old  -­‐-­‐  comes  across  as  blissfully   unapologetic  and  unusually  inspirational  in  the  film,  which  uses  interviews  with  Payne  (who   is  very  charismatic)  and  her  friends  and  family  as  well  as  archival  footage  and  recreations  to   tell  her  mind  blowing  tale.  She  was  a  black  woman  traveling  around  the  world  hobnobbing  in   circles  in  Monte  Carlo  and  Paris  in  high  end  jewelry  stores.  She  was  convincing  people  she   was  one  of  their  ilk  when  in  the  States  she  had  to  sit  at  the  back  of  the  bus.  In  some  ways,   she's  very  much  a  pioneer  for  civil  rights.  And  "Life  and  Crimes"  definitely  does  her  justice.        


What’s hot  at  Hot  Docs   by  Brian  D.  Johnson  |  Wednesday,  April  24,  2013   http://www2.macleans.ca/2013/04/24/whats-­‐hot-­‐at-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐4/      

Doris Payne,  compulsive  jewel  thief,  in  'The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne'     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   We  all  love  a  criminal  with  class,  especially  one  devoted  to  lifting  the  most  useless  and  priceless   luxuries  on  earth.  From  To  Catch  a  Thief  to  The  Pink  Panther,  we’ve  learned  that  there’s  no  more   romantic  felon  than  a  jewel  thief.  From  a  young  age,  Doris  Payne  devoted  her  life  to  making   diamonds  a  girl’s  best  friend,  after  escaping  a  childhood  of  strife  and  hardship.  Filmmakers  Kirk   Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond  find  her  at  the  age  of  81,  still  unrepentant  after  having  stolen  an   estimated  $2  million  in  jewels  over  an  illustrious  60-­‐year  career.  Their  movie  offers  a  mischievous   twist  on  the  American  Dream.  Payne  transformed  herself  from  a  poor  black  single  mother  in  ’50s   America  to  a  glamorous,  jet-­‐setting  con  artist,  who  used  sleight-­‐of-­‐hand  and  brazen  chutzpah  to  lift   diamond  rings  from  counters  of  Cartier  and  Tiffany,  from  Paris  to  Monte  Carlo.  Posing  as  a  high-­‐ society  shopper,  she  says  she  acted  the  part  so  well  people  didn’t  even  realize  she  was  black.  The  film   reconstructs  her  remarkable  life  with  too  many  cheesy  re-­‐enactments.  But  as  Payne  goes  on  trial  for   the  theft  of  a  diamond  ring  from  a  department  store,  she  plays  the  game  all  the  way  to  the  end  with   glittering  authenticity.  


New Film  On  Doris  Payne  -­‐  International  Jewel   Thief  &  Black  Woman  (Not  Halle  Berry's  Project)   BY  TAMBAY  A.  OBENSON   MARCH  27,  2013  3:58  PM    

  Waaaay  back  in  2008,  before  S&A  was  born,  some  of  you  might  remember  the  announcement  (I   posted  it  on  my  old  personal  blog,  The  Obenson  Report)  that  Halle  Berry  had  signed  up  to  star  in  a   project  called  Who  Is  Doris  Payne,  a  Eunetta  Boone-­‐scripted,  fact-­‐based  film  about  the  international   jewel  thief,  whose  career  spanned  6  decades,  and  who,  by  the  way,  happens  to  be  black  and  a   woman!   At  the  time,  I  noted  how  Payne's  real  life  story  could  make  for  a  potentially  riveting  film,  and  a  plump   role  for  Halle,  in  the  hands  of  the  right  director.   For  those  unfamiliar  with  Doris  Payne...  in  short,  she  began  her  "career"  as  an  international  diamond   thief  in  her  late  teens  -­‐  this  was  in  the  1940s.    


Her reasons?  Partly  to  please  and  take  care  of  her  mother.   When  I  first  heard  about  her  story,  I  was  reminded  of  a  2001  film  called  Lift,  which  starred  Kerry   Washington  in  a  very  similar  role  -­‐  an  intelligent,  young,  African  American  woman  who  shoplifts  from   upscale,  high-­‐end  department  stores,  mostly  to  please  her  very  critical  mother.   Doris  Payne  was  caught,  and  has  been  serving  time  in  prison  -­‐  successive  sentences  in  different  states   where  she  committed  theft,  which  will  likely  continue  until  her  death.     As  recently  as  2005,  at  75  years  old,  she  served  a  2-­‐year  sentence  in  a  Nevada  jail,  on  charges  that   she  stole  a  diamond  ring  from  a  Neiman  Marcus  store  in  Palo  Alto,  California,  and  sold  it  in  Las   Vegas.   Following  her  term  in  Nevada,  she  was  transferred  to  a  prison  in  Denver,  Colorado  to  serve  a  4-­‐year   sentence  for  a  similar  crime  elsewhere,  and  so  on.     From  what  I  learned  about  Payne,  she  seems  to  relish  this  questionable,  yet  likely  thrilling  life  she  has   led  as  a  jewel  thief  for  almost  her  entire  life.  Certainly,  she  has  some  regrets;  but,  at  over  80  years   old  today,  she's  seen  the  world,  stealing  from  jewelers  in  places  like  Paris,  Monte  Carlo,  Japan  and   more,  and  lived  the  kind  of  life  many  of  us  can  only  dream  of,  given  how  prolific  a  thief  she  was,   stealing  countless  diamonds,  costing  tens-­‐of-­‐thousands  of  dollars  each,  and  selling  them  for  tidy   sums.     What's  even  more  fascinating  about  all  this  is  that,  she  was  able  to  do  this  for  decades,  as  a  black   woman,  beginning  in  a  time  in  our  history  when  black  people  were  already  under  intense,   conspicuous  "surveillance"  and  scrutiny.     Reading  between  the  lines  of  some  of  Doris  Payne's  statements,  she  will  likely  do  it  all  again,  if  she   could!     So  what  happened  to  the  Halle  Berry  project?  It  probably  died.  At  the  time  of  the  announcement,   there  was  no  word  on  when  it  would  go  into  production,  nor  who  its  director  would  be.   It's  still  listed  on  IMDB,  but  only  under  writer  Eunetta  Boone's  page,  with  status  unknown.     I  doubt  it'll  ever  happen;  and  if  it  does,  it  likely  won't  be  with  Halle  Berry  anymore.     But  I  plan  to  try  and  get  in  touch  with  Boone  to  see  what  she  can  tell  us.   In  the  meantime  however,  you  should  be  aware  of  this  upcoming  new  documentary  on  Doris  Payne's   life,  titled  The  Life  And  Crimes  Of  Doris  Payne,  directed  by  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina.     Here's  their  summary  of  the  feature:   A  glamorous  81-­‐year-­‐old,  Doris  Payne  is  as  unapologetic  today  about  the  $2  million  in  jewels  she’s   stolen  over  a  60-­‐year  career  as  she  was  the  day  she  stole  her  first  carat.  With  Doris  now  on  trial  for   the  theft  of  a  department  store  diamond  ring,  we  probe  beneath  her  consummate  smile  to   uncover  the  secrets  of  her  trade  and  what  drove  her  to  a  life  of  crime.  Stylized  recreations,  an   extensive  archive  and  candid  interviews  reveal  how  Payne  managed  to  jet-­‐set  her  way  into  any   Cartier  or  Tiffany’s  from  Monte  Carlo  to  Japan  and  walk  out  with  small  fortunes.  This  sensational   portrait  exposes  a  rebel  who  defies  society’s  prejudices  and  pinches  her  own  version  of  the   American  Dream  while  she  steals  your  heart.   Not  that  I  condone  stealing,  but  I  think  this  is  an  absolutely  riveting  story,  far  more  interesting  than   some  of  the  fiction  that  makes  it  to  theaters  these  days;  and  while  I'm  certainly  interested  in  seeing   the  documentary,  I'd  really  love  to  watch  a  scripted  narrative  film,  with  the  right  talent  and  budget,   on  Payne  as  well.     In  addition  to  Lift  (the  Kerry  Washington  drama),  the  story  also  reminds  me  of  Chameleon  Street  -­‐  another  film  about  a  real  life  African  American  con.     The  documentary  from  Pond  and  Kirk  will  make  its  world  premiere  at  the  Hot  Docs  documentary  film   festival  in  Toronto  next  month,  and  will  likely  travel  south.  We'll  be  watching  for  it.  


The Art  of  the  Scam:  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne   Barbara  Tong,  BNN  Chase  Producer   2:19  PM,  E.T.  |  May  2,  2013   Web  Exclusive   http://www.bnn.ca/News/2013/5/2/The-­‐Art-­‐of-­‐the-­‐Scam-­‐The-­‐Life-­‐and-­‐Crimes-­‐of-­‐Doris-­‐Payne.aspx    

Bernie  Madoff  and  Earl  Jones  may  be  the  notorious  fraudsters  of  this  decade,  but  Doris   Payne,  the  82-­‐year  old  African-­‐American  grandma  is  the  undisputed  international  jewel  thief   of  the  century.     Over  the  span  of  six  decades,  Payne  has  stolen  $2  million  in  jewels  from  upscale  jewelers   across  the  world.  With  32  aliases  and  passports  in  9  different  names,  Payne  charmed  her   way  into  Tiffany,  Cartier  and  Bulgari  in  North  America  and  Europe.   Her  biggest  payday  came  in  1970  when  she  walked  out  of  Cartier  in  Monte  Carlo  with  a   $150,000  diamond  ring.     Andy  Bell  talks  with  filmmaker  Kirk  Marcolina,  director  of  "The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne,"  a  film  screened  at  the  2013  Hot  Docs  Documentary  Film  Festival  chronicling  the  life   of  the  legendary  and  charismatic  jewel  thief.  


Hot Docs  Fest  –  WILLIAM  AND  THE  WINDMILL,   THE  MANOR,  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE   HTTP://THELIP.TV/HOT-­‐DOCS-­‐FEST-­‐WILLIAM-­‐AND-­‐THE-­‐WINDMILL-­‐THE-­‐MANOR-­‐LIFE-­‐AND-­‐CRIMES-­‐ OF-­‐DORIS-­‐PAYNE/     EPISODE  SYNOPSIS   BYOD  visits  the  Hot  Docs  festival  to  share  three  of  the  most  talked-­‐about  films  that  are  coming  out.  We  speak   to  WILLIAM  AND  THE  WINDMILL  maker  Ben  Nabors  and  see  footage  of  the  African  story  of  invention  and  self-­‐ determination.  Next,  THE  MANOR  shows  the  story  of  filmmaker  Shawney  Cohen’s  family  strip  club  located  in  a   32  room  motel  in  Canada.  THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE  is  the  unbelievable  true  story  of  a   septuagenarian  jewel  thief,  told  by  makers  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond.    

  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE:   How  does  a  poor,  single,  African-­‐American  mother  from  segregated  1950s  America  wind  up  as  one  of  the   world’s  most  notorious  jewel  thieves?  A  glamorous  81-­‐year-­‐old,  Doris  Payne  is  as  unapologetic  today  about  the   $2  million  in  jewels  she’s  stolen  over  a  60-­‐year  career  as  she  was  the  day  she  stole  her  first  carat.  With  Doris   now  on  trial  for  the  theft  of  a  department  store  diamond  ring,  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  probes   beneath  her  consummate  smile  to  uncover  the  secrets  of  her  trade  and  what  drove  her  to  a  life  of  crime.   Stylized  recreations,  an  extensive  archive  and  candid  interviews  reveal  how  Payne  managed  to  jet-­‐set  her  way   into  any  Cartier  or  Tiffany’s  from  Monte  Carlo  to  Japan  and  walk  out  with  small  fortunes.  This  sensational   portrait  exposes  a  rebel  who  defies  society’s  prejudices  and  pinches  her  own  version  of  the  American  Dream   while  she  steals  your  heart.  


23 Hot  Docs  movies  reviewed   Linda  Barnard  |  April  22,  2013   http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/movies/2013/04/22/hot_docs_2013_ten_recomme nded_titles.html#   An  updated  batch  of  documentary  reviews  from  Toronto’s  Hot  Docs  festival,  which  runs  to   May  5.   The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne:  “I  did  not  think  I  was  stealing,”  says  octogenarian  jewel   thief  Doris  Payne,  an  international  sleight-­‐of-­‐hand  robber  dubbed  “Diamond  Doris.”  But   there’s  far  more  to  her  story  than  the  $2  million  in  jewels  she  palmed  over  five  decades  from   Pittsburgh  to  Monaco.  Black,  raised  in  poverty  in  Slab  Fork,  W.V.,  Payne  had  a  good  reason  in   her  mind  for  stealing:  payback.  Using  Town  &  Country  magazine  like  a  shopping  list  and   dressed  to  the  nines,  she  ripped  off  jewelers  all  over  the  world.  Soon  to  be  a  feature  film   starring  Halle  Berry.    

This is  the  real  life:  Mini  reviews  of  this  year’s  Hot   Docs  films   CHRIS  KNIGHT  |  13/04/26  4:57  PM  ET   http://arts.nationalpost.com/2013/04/26/hot-­‐docs-­‐minis/


A conversation  with  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew   Pond,  Directors  of  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne     By  Liam  Volke  |  April  30,  2013   http://thetfs.ca/2013/04/30/a-­‐conversation-­‐with-­‐kirk-­‐marcolina-­‐and-­‐matthew-­‐pond-­‐co-­‐directors-­‐of-­‐ the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne/       At  first  glance,  there’s  nothing  about  Doris  Payne  that  screams  “jewel  thief”.  But  this  82-­‐year  old   African-­‐American  woman  from  West  Virginia  has  in  fact  stolen  at  least  $2  million  in  jewels  in  a  career   that’s  spanned  five  decades.  I  recently  spoke  with  directors  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond  about   their  new  documentary  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  and  their  experiences  working  with  Doris   to  bring  her  story  to  the  screen.     Doris  is  obviously  quite  an  actor.  Were  there  times  when  you  felt  you  were  taken  in  by  her?   Kirk  Marcolina:  Without  a  doubt.  I  feel  like  every  day  we’d  film  with  her  we’d  be  driving  back  home   and  saying,  “Is  she  telling  the  truth?  Is  she  not  telling  the  truth?”  Because  you  could  never  know   when  she  was  playing  a  role  and  making  something  up,  never  knew  when  she  was  being  honest  with   you.  For  the  longest  time  we  weren’t  sure.  And  then  we  got  her  FBI  files  about  a  year  and  a  half  into   the  process,  and  they  backed  up  almost  everything  she  said.   Matthew  Pond:  Well,  at  least  for  some  of  the  time  and  some  of  the  FBI  files  backed  her  up.  There   were  certainly  things  where  she  led  us  down  the  garden  path.     She’s  certainly  good  at  weaving  a  tale.   MP:  She’s  a  great  storyteller,  for  sure.  And  that’s  part  of  the  joy  of  spending  time  with  Doris.  She,  at   this  point  in  her  life,  you  know  she’s  82  and  she  has  some  fabulous,  fascinating  stories,  and  when   she’s  reliving  it,  she  does  that  with  a  certain  amount  of  joy  and  nostalgia,  and  it’s  just  a  lovely   experience  when  she’s  like  that.  When  she’s  not  ripping  us  a  new  one,  and  we’re,  like,  pulling  all  our   hair  out.     Did  that  happen  a  lot?   KM:  Oh  yes.   MP:  There’s  many  Doris  Paynes,  I  think.  Many  different  personalities  within  that  one  person.   So  how  did  you  actually  find  out  about  her?   MP:  I  read  about  her  in  a  newspaper  and  I  thought  “what  a  great  story”.  It’s  a  perfect  marriage  of   character  and  story.  And  I  had  just  freshly  arrived  in  Los  Angeles  and  I  was  looking  for  a  project,  and   so  I  went  to  visit  her  unannounced,  she  was  in  jail  for  another  crime  at  the  time,  and  did  that  for  a   few  months.  And  when  she  got  out  Kirk  and  I  started  filming  shortly  thereafter.    


Did it  take  much  to  convince  her  to  do  this  project?   MP:  Yes  and  no.  I  mean,  she  likes  the  camera  and  I  think  she’s  interested  in  having  a  legacy  and  I   think  she  would  like  her  legacy  to  be  of  the  glamourous,  international  jet-­‐setter.  So  she  was   interested  in  sharing  those  parts  of  her  life.  She  was  a  little  guarded  with  her  family  and  the  more   personal  aspects.  But  it  wasn’t  really  difficult  to  coax  things  out  of  her.   KM:  She’s  proud  of  what  she’s  done.  She’s  proud  of  being  a  jewel  thief.  And  she,  like  Matthew  said,  I   think  she  wants  her  legacy  reported  for  other  people  to  know  about  and  she  was  excited  by  the   opportunity  to  regale  us  with  her  stories,  especially  from  the  ’60s  and  ’70s  when  she  was  jet-­‐setting   around  the  world  and  stealing  hundreds  of  thousands  of  dollars  of  rings.     Do  you  think  there’s  still  a  sense  of  romanticism  around  the  whole  idea  of  being  a  jewel  thief?   MP:  She  identifies  as  being  a  jewel  thief.  She  puts  down  on  government  forms,  like,  “occupation:   jewel  thief”.   KM:  She  romanticizes  her  past  certainly.  I  think  it’s  become  harder  for  her,  I  mean  she’s  older  so  it’s   harder  for  her  because  she’s  not  as  quick  as  she  used  to  be  and  it’s  also  harder  because  of  the   security  cameras.  But  as  the  narrator  in  the  film  says,  it’s  a  testament  to  her  that  she  can  just  get  out   the  door  at  this  age  without  getting  caught.  And  she  is,  because  she’s  so  darn  charming.  She  really  is.   I  wish  she  could  be  here  ‘cause  you’d  fall  in  love  with  her  in  five  minutes.  Everybody  does.    

The  charming  and  infamous  Doris  Payne.     What  is  your  own  creative  dynamic  together  [as  directors]?  Have  you  done  projects  before?   MP:  No.  It’s  our  first  one.  So  we  really  were  partners  on  this  film,  we  produced  it  together,  we   directed  it  together,  we  did  the  PA  work  together,  our  VISA  cards  were  both  charged  for  this  film.   There’s  a  lot  of  room  for  error  when  there  are  two  directors  involved,  because  there  are  all  these   creative  choices,  and  I  think  we  were  really  fortunate  in  the  sense  that  there  were  no  big  creative   arguments  or  fights.   KM:  I  joke  with  my  husband  that  I’ve  been  married  to  Matt  the  last  3  years  because  of  the  film;  I   spend  more  time  with  him  than  my  husband.  And  it  has  its  ups  and  downs  and  the  creative  process  is   a  tough  process  at  times.  But  I  think  what’s  nice  about  us  working  together  is  that  our  strengths  and   weaknesses  are  opposite  in  a  lot  of  ways,  we  compliment  each  other  in  a  way  and  we  sort  of  support   each  other  in  our  weaknesses.  And  that’s  worked  out  really  nicely.     Have  you  ever  done  a  project  like  this  before?  With  a  subject  as…   MP:  Difficult.  I  mean,  let’s  not  sugarcoat  it.  She  was  very  difficult  and  challenging  to  work  with.  


KM: But  also  very  forthcoming  at  the  same  time.  And  she  would  sit  there–literally  we  have,  I  don’t   know,  over  20  hours  of  footage  of  her  just  talking.   MP:  More  than  20.  More  than  that.   KM:  Tons.  She  would  sit  and  talk  forever.  And  that  was  one  of  the  challenges.    She’d  start  going  off   on  this  tangent  that  we  knew  we  couldn’t  use  and  you’d  try  to  stop  her  and  get  her  on  track  and   she’s  like  “no  no  no  I  gotta  finish  the  story.”   MP:  And  she’s  calling  the  shots…and  if  there  were  issues  or  stories  that  she  didn’t  want  to  talk  about,   she  made  it  very  clear  that  she  wasn’t  gonna  do  it  and  so  we  kind  of  had  to  follow  her  lead  a  lot  of   the  time.     What  do  you  think  about  someone  who  believes  that  they  can  compartmentalize  their  own  morals   from  this  one  part  of  their  life?  Do  you  think  it’s  possible?   KM:  She  says  everybody  does  it.  She  says  no  one  is  free  from  doing  that;  she  pointed  out  Bernie   Madoff.  She  says  everybody–look  at  any  successful  businessman.  In  her  eyes,  they  did  something   that  broke  the  law  to  get  them  to  that  point.   MP:  She  definitely  has  done  some  mental  gymnastics  to  get  to  where  she  is  and  do  what  she  does.   KM:  She  certainly  thinks  she’s  a  very  moral  person…and  she’s  not  really  hurting  anyone  in  her  eyes,   because  she’s  stealing  from  these  department  stores  that  have  insurance,  they’re  gonna  get  paid,   anyway–they’re  actually  gonna  make  money  on  the  deal.  That’s  the  way  she  looks  at  it,  whether  right   or  wrong  but  that’s  certainly  how  she  justified  herself.   MP:  I  think  if  you  look  at  Doris  in  historical  terms,  in  terms  of  race  and  class,  the  cards  were  stacked   against  her.  If  she  didn’t  cut  some  corners,  there’s  no  way  this  poor  little  black  girl  in  West  Virginia  in   the  1930s  would’ve  been  able  to  travel  the  world  first-­‐class,  staying  in  fabulous  hotels,  unless  she  did   what  she  did  or  she  won  the  lottery  or  something,  so…I  see  her  point.     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  screens  at  the  Hot  Docs  Canadian  International  Documentary   Festival  this  Wednesday,  May  1.  For  more  details,  visit  the  Hot  Docs  website.    

Hot Docs  2013  Daily:  Pussy  Riot  —  A  Punk   Prayer,  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,   and  Interior,  Leather  Bar.   BY  KIVA  REARDON  |    APRIL  26TH       If  you  want  more  films  about  strong  women—and  who  doesn’t!—another  happens  to  be   playing  today:  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  ( ,  7  p.m.  Scotiabank   Theatre).  Though  Payne  once  dreamed  of  being  a  ballerina,  racial  discrimination  at  the  time   didn’t  allow  for  her  to  make  it  on  pointe.  So,  she  turned  to  jewellery  theft.  While  Payne  is  a   feisty  subject—the  doc  finds  her  living  in  a  halfway  house,  facing  five  years  in  prison—Life   and  Crimes  is  a  conventional  courtroom  drama.  Go  for  the  story,  not  necessarily  the  visuals.  


ENTERTAINMENT MARCH  20,  2013  

The Hot  Docs  Line  Up  Is  Here;  Strip  Club  Stories,   Oil  Sands  Karaoke,  Richard  Nixon,  And  Lots  More   http://www.cbc.ca/strombo/arts-­‐and-­‐entertainment/the-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐line-­‐up-­‐is-­‐here-­‐strip-­‐club-­‐stories-­‐oil-­‐sands-­‐ karaoke-­‐richard-­‐nixon-­‐reindeer-­‐herders-­‐and.html    

And  this  one  sounds  cool:  'The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne'  is  the  story  of  an  81-­‐year-­‐old   woman  who's  a  jewel  thief  as  she  looks  back  (unrepentantly)  on  her  life  of  stealing.      

         


The Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   NOW  RATING:  NNNN     REVIEW  BY  ANDREW  PARKER     http://www.nowtoronto.com/hotdocs/2013/film-­‐ detail.cfm?film=680&ref=reviews&sort=highest    

The eponymous  globe-­‐trotting,  prolific  jewel  thief  faces  a  possible  final  reckoning  after  a  40-­‐ plus-­‐year  "career."     Payne  exudes  the  charm  of  a  sly  and  sophisticated  grifter  who  looks  grandmotherly  at  age   81,  but  the  filmmakers  constantly  remind  us  that  she's  still  a  wily  master  of  manipulation   and  sleight  of  hand.  Her  humanity  comes  through  when  she  talks  about  her  family,  friends   and  place  as  an  African-­‐American  woman  who  was  at  the  top  of  her  game  during  one  of  the   country's  most  turbulent  times  racially.     The  ending  brings  it  all  together  and  comes  with  a  pleasing  sting.  


Hot Docs  2013  Review:  THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF   DORIS  PAYNE  is  Glamorous  and  Mundane   http://twitchfilm.com/2013/04/hotdocs-­‐2013-­‐review-­‐the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne-­‐is-­‐ glamorous-­‐and-­‐mundane.html   Kurt  Halfyard  |  April  26,  10:00  am    

It takes  a  certain  amount  of  chutzpah  to  walk  into  a  jewelry  store  and  pull  a  pure   short-­‐con  swindle.  Doris  Payne,  now  in  her  early  eighties,  remains  as  wiry  and  razor   sharp  as  she  ever  was,  pulling  one  jewel  heist  or  another  around  the  world  as  she  has   been  for  the  past  60  years.    Delightfully  no-­‐tech,  she  uses  sleight  of  hand,  the   expectations  of  the  clerk  and  a  chameleon  ability  to  role-­‐play  -­‐  meaning  she's  a   wonderful  liar!    And  there  is  something  rather  magnetic  (on  screen  anyway  about  a   magnificent  liar.)    Payne  has  her  own  level  of  fame  and  notoriety  in  the  criminal   world,  and  even  at  her  advanced  age,  is  far  from  feeling  too  old  to  retire  from  her  


unusual lifestyle.    But  the  world,  now  bursting  with  technology  and  chain  department   stores  featuring  ubiquitous  surveillance,  has  passed  by  her  criminal  moment.     Still,  there  are  avenues  available  for  a  fast  talker  and  a  larger  than  life  personality,   even  if  it  is  being  the  subject  of  this  documentary,  as  well  as  a  forthcoming  Hollywood   biopic.    Filmmakers  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina  capture  Payne  trying  to  stay   out  of  jail  and  currently  on  trial  for  lifting  an  emerald  studded  piece  from  a  Macy's   department  store.    At  one  point,  it  appears  that  she  may  be  conning  the  filmmakers   to  keep  on  filming  in  an  attempt  to  avoid  her  parole  officer.    Nevertheless,  they   capture  her  in  private  interviews  and  in  public  court,  as  well  as  recreating  her  early   years  in  the  50s  60s  and  70s  with  the  soft  focus  and  sharp  wardrobe  of  the   era.    These  recreations  add  anOceans  11  jet-­‐set  glamour  to  an  otherwise  rather   mundanely  shot  doc.    Doris  Payne,  in  her  heyday,  we  are  told,  was  decked  out  in   pearls  and  designer  suits  with  her  signature  round-­‐lens  sunglasses  and  jumped  from   Monte  Carlo  to  Japan  to  London,  swiping  (and  fencing)  about  2  million  dollars  worth   of  high-­‐end  (but  not-­‐too-­‐high-­‐end)  jewelry.    Would  that  the  film  had  more  of  these   recreations  in  the  place  of  interviews  with  a  screen  writer  and  psychologist  whose   talking  head  segments  offer  a  little  too  on-­‐the-­‐nose  commentary.    Far  more   compelling  is  Payne's  interaction  with  her  earnest  (and  competent)  lawyer,  and  a  trial   judge  who  is  exasperated  with  her  rap-­‐sheet.    Payne  pleads  not  guilty,  naturally,  and   insists  that  her  past  fame  allows  any  old  jewelry  store  to  blame  her  when  a  black  lady   holds  up  the  place.      Doris's  best  friend  of  over  70  years  is  also  a  quite  hoot  with  her   blunt  vernacular  (four  letter  words  ahoy!)  which  is  leavened  by  a  very  genuine   concern  that  Payne  will  die  in  prison,  alone  and  ill,  if  she  is  incarcerated  for  another   stint.     There  is  a  fair  bit  of  myth  making  at  play  here,  after  all,  Payne  was  an  impoverished   black  girl  who  taught  herself  (with  the  help  of  a  quite  educated  Jew)  to  swim  in  social   circles  well  beyond  her  impoverished  (and  domestically  violent)  upbringing  when   America  was  the  model  of  racial  segregation.    At  the  moment,  Halle  Berry  has   optioned  her  life  story  as  a  film  and  I  have  no  doubt  that  it  will  be  a  delightfully   embellished  tale.    The  filmmakers  here  linger  on  the  rootless  existence  of  someone   who  is  living  in  a  halfway  house  with  barely  half  a  closet  of  designer-­‐wear  to  her   name  and  two  estranged  children.    Doris  Payne  has  parole  officers  to  cater  to,  and  is   likely  to  be  spending  the  bulk  of  her  ninth  decade  on  earth  languishing  in  a  prison   cell.    The  mundanity  of  her  waiting  on  trial  lawyers  and  flatly  lit  legal  proceedings  is   the  antithesis  of  the  swinging  sixties,  and  that,  pretty  much  is  where  we  are   today.    Apparently,  it  was  a  good  run  while  it  lasted.              


Life and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  The   A  look  into  the  life  of  one  of  the  world's  most  infamous  jewel  thieves,  now  81  years  old.   BY  CARLY  MAGA   http://torontoist.com/2013/04/the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne/     DIRECTED  BY  MATTHEW  POND  AND  KIRK  MARCOLINA  (USA,  World  Showcase)    

SCREENINGS: Friday,  April  26,  7  p.m.   Scotiabank  Theatre  (259  Richmond  Street  West)   Sunday,  April  28,  4  p.m.   ROM  Theatre  (100  Queens  Park)   Wednesday,  May  1,  1:30  p.m.   Scotiabank  Theatre  (259  Richmond  Street  West)     Like  so  many  young  girls,  Doris  Payne  wanted  to  be  a  ballerina  when  she  was  young.  Unfortunately,  at  the  time,   racial  barriers  wouldn’t  allow  women  of  colour  to  dance  in  the  prestigious  ballet  companies  of  the  world.  So   she  found  another  way  of  supporting  herself,  and,  eventually,  her  two  kids:  jewel  theft.     At  81  years  old,  Doris  Payne  has  stolen  a  total  of  $2  million  worth  of  diamonds  and  jewellery  (that  she  admits   to),  but  a  recent  robbery  has  her  facing  five  years  in  prison,  a  jail  sentence  that  would  in  effect  be  a  death   sentence  as  well.  This  documentary  looks  at  Payne—now  living  in  a  halfway  home,  where  her  health  is   declining  in  tandem  with  her  bank  account—and  her  life  as  a  thief.     Payne  is  a  feisty  character,  and  her  interviews  make  it  easy  to  believe  she  conned,  sweet-­‐talked,  and  slipped   her  way  past  authorities  for  over  60  years.  Her  concerned  best  friend  Jean  is  also  charming.  But  in  the  end,   court  cases  don’t  make  for  stunning  visual  storytelling,  and  the  directors  overcompensate  by  adding  in  cheesy   shots  of  jewels  and  dramatizations  that  look  like  ’80s  glamour  shots  in  motion.  And  though  the  film  makes  an   effort  to  turn  Payne  into  a  sympathetic  character,  she  never  gets  there.  The  audience  knows  from  the  get-­‐go   that  the  con  is  on.  


Interview :  Matthew  Pond   By  Andrew  Parker  |  April  24,  2013   http://dorkshelf.com/2013/04/24/interview-­‐matthew-­‐pond/    

 

Doris Payne  doesn’t  look  like  a  criminal  mastermind.  She  looks  like  someone’s  kindly  old   grandmother  at  age  79,  but  throughout  her  60-­‐plus  years  as  a  master  of  slight  of  hand  and  thievery,   she  amassed  a  wealth  of  stolen  merchandise  and  jewellery  that  totalled  almost  two  million  dollars…   that  we  know  of.     The  subject  of  the  highly  anticipated  Hot  Docs  World  Showcase  feature  The  Life  and  Crime  of  Doris   Payneis  at  a  crossroads  in  her  life  when  approached  by  filmmakers  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew   Pond.  Her  family  life  is  kind  of  a  mess,  with  a  son  who  seems  to  only  be  using  her  for  drug  money  and   a  daughter  who  respectfully  maintains  some  distance.  She’s  also  facing  a  five  year  sentence  for  yet   another  accused  jewel  robbery.  It  wasn’t  as  easy  for  her  coming  up  as  a  thief,  either.  She  was  an   African  American  woman  living  in  a  turbulent  time  historically,  making  her  cunning  and  survival  skills   almost  admirable  if  not  entirely  agreeable.  


It’s amazing  that  she  was  ever  able  to  make  it  even  that  far  in  life.  Over  her  globetrotting  escapades   that  saw  her  stealing  valuables  all  over  the  world,  the  FBI  amassed  a  2,000  page  report  on  her.  This   was  somewhat  newsworthy  to  Marcolina  and  Pond,  who  had  started  filming  before  these  very  files   arrived.  It  created  a  two  year  long  production  and  a  sprawling  look  at  a  woman  about  to  face  a  sort   of  karmic  reckoning.  It  begs  the  question  of  how  late  in  life  can  someone  learn  a  lesson.  The  film  also   asks  the  viewer  to  question  Doris’  sincerity.     Dork  Shelf  caught  up  with  Pond  over  the  phone,  to  talk  about  the  film,  his  impressions  of  Doris,  and   the  many  twists  she  had  in  store  for  them  while  they  filmed.     Dork  Shelf:  Matthew,  you  first  became  acquainted  with  Doris’  story  through  an  article  that  you   read  about  her  life  shortly  before  she  was  due  to  be  released  from  a  holding  facility  and  placed  in  a   halfway  house  in  2010.  What  was  it  like  trying  to  convince  her  to  let  you  into  her  life?   Matthew  Pond:  I  read  about  her  in  an  online  newspaper.  She  was  in  jail  at  the  time  for  another   crime,  and  we  couldn’t  get  access  to  her  right  away.  The  first  time  we  met  was  while  she  was  still  in   prison,  and  she  was  behind  this  partition  and  all  that,  and  gave  me  a  great  big  smile.  I  was  a  little   nervous,  at  first,  but  she  just  started  talking  straight  away.  I  was  really  surprised  that  she  was  willing   to  be  this  open  with  some  stranger  she  didn’t  know,  but  she  also  really  wanted  to  see  her  own  story   told.  She  was  guarded  but  it  was  remarkably  easy.     DS:  Did  you  know  right  away  when  you  were  first  talking  to  her  that  there  was  something   pathological  about  how  she  operated  and  what  was  the  first  time  you  realized  that  she  was  a   masterful  manipulator  of  people’s  feelings?   MP:  I  had  done  my  research  so  I  knew  that  she  was  a  career  criminal  and  that  she  charming.  There’s   a  lot  of  good  and  bad  in  what  she  does  and  how  she  did  them.  It’s  good  in  some  respect  that  she   didn’t  get  caught  and  others  where  she  did.  When  did  I  first  figure  out?  That’s  a  good  question.   There’s  a  scene  in  the  film  where  she  sort  of  embroiled  us  as  an  alibi  and  put  us  in  the  middle  of  her   own  situation.     DS:  I  was  just  going  to  ask  you  about  that  scene  where  she  said  she  used  you  guys  as  an  alibi  for   her  parole  officer.  Did  that  change  how  you  guys  approached  the  filming  at  all?   MP:  No,  it  didn’t  really  change  our  approach,  and  I  think  I  knew  a  lot  of  the  time  from  the  stories  she   was  telling  and  how  she  was  relaying  them  that  she  always  had  a  way  to  keep  us  going.  I  knew  we   were  being  manipulated.  I  think  you  just  let  yourself  go  along  for  the  ride  you  wouldn’t  really  have   been  able  to  convey  who  Doris  truly  was.  We  all  wanted  a  film  done  and  for  her  story  to  be  told  on   screen.  There  was  a  kind  of  unspoken  conspiracy  between  the  subject  and  the  filmmakers  on  this   one.  I  guess  that’s  true  in  a  way.  Not  to  say  that  we’re  condoning  her  crimes  or  that  anything  that   appears  on  screen  is  scripted  or  manufactured.  She  was  aware  of  the  exposure  that  she  was  going  to   be  getting  from  the  film  and  it  never  really  got  in  the  way  beyond  that  point.     DS:  Doris  seems  like  a  grand  storyteller.  Was  there  anything  that  you  couldn’t  use  in  the  film   because  you  either  couldn’t  verify  it  or  because  it  just  didn’t  fit  that  you  wish  you  could  have  kept   in  there?   MP:  Oh,  yes!  So  many  things!  We  got  the  FBI  file  through  a  Freedom  of  Information  request,  and  that   file  contained  even  more  outrageous  stories  than  what  she  shared  with  us.  We  had  a  hard  time  in  the   edit  trying  to  pull  together  what  we  thought  were  the  best  stories  for  the  film.  We  didn’t  have  the   time  or  the  opportunity  to  ask  her  about  these  heists  and  escapes  She  was  a  bit  coy  about  talking   about  how  had  escaped  and  slipped  custody  numerous  times,  which  was  understandable.  We  really   had  to  pick  and  choose.  She  was  at  it  for  about  sixty  years  in  total,  and  that  certainly  leads  to  a  lot  of   great  stories  to  choose  from.  


DS: It’s  also  interesting  seeing  how   Doris  worked  quite  heavily  as  an  African   American  woman  at  the  height  of  the  Civil   Rights  movement  and  was  able  to  travel  the   world  blending  into  her  surroundings.  Was   that  one  of  the  things  that  primarily  drew   you  into  the  making  of  the  film?   MP:  Definitely.  That’s  what  made  her  story   all  the  more  compelling,  I  think.  The  fact  that   she  was  really  fooling  everybody.  It’s  the   great  American  dream,  in  a  way.  She  wanted   to  be  a  ballerina  and  she  was  told  there  were   no  black  ballerinas.  She  always  craved  that   kind  of  life  for  herself.  We  always  took  a   non-­‐judgmental  approach,  but  her   background  and  the  time  period  makes  her   all  the  more  interesting.  Here’s  this  poor   black  girl  from  West  Virginia  who  turns  into   someone  who  hobnobs  with  wealthy  types   in  Paris,  Monaco,  and  Japan  and  make  them   believe  she  was  wealthy  enough  to  run  in   their  circle  if  only  long  enough  so  that  she   can  steal  from  them.  Again,  we’re  not   condoning  crime,  but  there’s  something   that’s  even  at  its  most  basic  at  least  begrudgingly  admirable  and  enviable  about  the  way  she   operated.     DS:  What  was  it  like  trying  to  reach  out  to  Doris’  family,  specifically  her  kids,  one  of  whom  doesn’t   want  to  be  on  camera  and  the  other  of  which  looks  somewhat  suspect  in  his  own  right?  It’s   interesting  to  see  how  her  kids  have  become  polar  opposites  of  each  other.  Neither  of  them  are   even  that  much  like  Doris.   MP:  I  think  you’re  right.  Donna  is  the  long  suffering  daughter  who  every  month  writes  a  cheque  to   storage  place  that  houses  all  of  her  mother’s  stuff  while  in  she’s  in  jail.  She  loves  her  mother  but   there’s  that  slight  sense  of  embarrassment  there  that  we  kind  of  address.  Ronnie,  on  the  other  hand,   has  some  dependency  issues.  We  were  sort  of  torn  revealing  some  of  that,  but  we  got  such  strong   reactions  from  him  when  we  filmed  him.  I  think  he  was  high  part  of  the  time,  actually,  which  kind  of   leads  to  that  kind  of  behaviour  and  makes  such  an  interesting  contrast  to  his  sister.  But  both  are   products  of  Doris’  parenting  and  her  choices,  both  for  better  or  worse.     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  screens:     Friday,  April  26th,  7:00pm  (RUSH  ONLY),  Scotiabank  3   Sunday,  April  28th,  4:00pm  (RUSH  ONLY),  ROM  Theatre   Wednesday,  May  1st,  1:30pm,  Scotiabank  4  

 


The Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   Directed  by  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina By  Scott  A.  Gray  |  April  22  2013  

http://exclaim.ca/Reviews/HotDocs/life_crimes_of_doris_payne-­‐directed_by_matthew_pond_kirk_marcolina

Some people  are  so  good  at  lying  that   they  can  make  you  buy  a  fib  even  when   you  know  it's  an  outright  falsehood.   Graceful,  composed  and  confident  at  81   years  of  age,  Doris  Payne  is  one  of  those   people  and  her  knack  for  charismatic   opportunism  has  been  her  ticket  to   riches  for  nearly  sixty  years.       One  might  think  that  it'd  be  hard  to  pry   trade  secrets  out  of  the  still  active   African-­‐American  mother  of  two  but   Miss  Payne  couldn't  be  more  proud  of   her  achievements;  she's  one  of  the   world's  most  famous  jewel  thieves  and   has  been  sticking  it  to  well-­‐to-­‐do  white   folks  since  the  days  of  segregation.  Making  it  a  race  and  class  issue  is  how  Payne  justifies  her  actions;  considering   theft  from  the  wealthy  to  be  a  victimless  crime.       Filmmakers  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina  catch  up  with  the  utterly  disarming,  witty  and  welcoming  international   criminal  while  she's  preparing  to  stand  trail  for  the  theft  of  a  diamond  ring  from  a  Macy's  department  store.  Of   course,  she  swears  up  and  down  that  she  had  nothing  to  do  with  this  particular  bit  of  thievery  and  has  a  bright   lawyer  to  help  her  prove  that  claim.       While  the  court  case  looms,  the  directors  don't  have  to  do  much  coaxing  to  get  Payne's  memory  faucet  running   strong.  With  a  perpetual  twinkle  in  her  eye,  the  sassy  senior  regales  her  audience  with  tales  of  the  glory  days  she   spent  jet-­‐setting  around  the  globe,  finding  it  all  too  easy  to  take  whatever  she  set  her  sights  on  through  a   combination  of  acting  and  slight  of  hand.       As  noble  as  her  original  intention  was  –  to  get  her  mother  money  to  escape  from  her  abusive  father  –  the  lifestyle   became  an  addictive  game;  she  simply  loves  the  feeling  of  superiority  that  comes  from  outsmarting  people.       To  round  out  Payne's  stories,  the  filmmakers  use  historical  photos  when  possible,  but  mostly  resort  to  stylized   recreations  of  the  situations  being  described.  Being  a  modestly  budgeted  documentary,  they  don't  try  to  re-­‐enact   any  of  the  career  criminal's  daring  escape  stories,  which  sound  like  they'd  be  great  material  for  a  biopic.       Unsurprisingly,  Payne's  life  story  is  currently  set  to  be  made  into  a  film  starring  Halle  Berry,  who  has  her  work  cut  out   for  her  if  she's  going  to  inhabit  the  devilishly  charming  Miss  Doris  Payne.       Before  that  becomes  an  inevitable  awards  season  event,  don't  miss  this  opportunity  to  get  to  know  the  real  Doris   Payne  in  this  consistently  engaging  picture.  Even  though  she  won't  hesitate  to  spoon  feed  B.S.  to  anyone  when  it   serves  her  purpose,  the  egomaniacal  rebel  can't  resist  bragging  about  the  truth  once  she's  got  nothing  left  to  lose.   (Treehouse  Moving  Images  LLC)  


Review: Share  in  'The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne'  SPECIAL   By  Sarah  Gopaul  |  Apr  26,  2013   http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/348828     'The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne'  is  the  portrait  of  an  unapologetic  jewel  thief  her  who  created  her   own  American  Dream  through  a  life  of  crime.   There  are  various  types  of  thieves  in  the  world.  They  include   those  who  steal  out  of  desperation,  greed,  desire  or   enjoyment.  In  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  it's   revealed  Doris  Payne  may  have  started  as  the  first,  but  she   continued  doing  it  because  it  was  fun.   Doris  Payne  is  a  career  jewel  thief,  specializing  in  high-­‐end   merchandise.  As  a  girl  she  would  play  tricks  on  jewelry  store   clerks  to  punish  them  for  their  racism  (she's  black),  but  that   evolved  when  her  abusive  father  became  too  much  to  bear.   If  it  hadn't  been  so  easy,  maybe  she  would  have  stopped.   But  it  was  and  she  didn't.  For  more  than  60  years  Payne   traveled  the  U.S.  and  Europe,  stealing  from  luxury  retailers.   Now,  81  years  old,  she  faces  larceny  charges  for  a  crime   committed  just  last  year.     This  documentary  is  enjoyable  because  Payne  is  a   firecracker.  Even  now  her  eyes  sparkle  as  she  recounts   barely  escaping  arrest  in  Monte  Carlo  when  she  attempted  to  live  out  her  own  version  of  To  Catch  a   Thief.  Over  the  course  of  her  career,  she  stole  more  than  $2  million  in  jewelry  with  the  largest  payoff   being  a  ring  she  sold  for  $148,000.  She's  proud  of  her  history,  claiming  being  a  thief  has  nothing  to  do   with  her  moral  fibre.  For  Payne,  stealing  is  akin  to  breathing  –  it  just  comes  to  her  naturally.   Nonetheless,  stealing  aside,  she  is  a  good  person.  She  shared  her  profits  with  family  and  friends,  and   cares  deeply  for  her  two  children.  During  a  conversation  she  appears  to  be  nothing  more  than   someone's  sweet  grandmother.  Or  as  one  judge  described  her:  Santa  Claus'  wife.  But  she's  possessed   that  charm  most  of  her  life  and  used  it  to  manipulate  sales  people.   The  stylish  recreations  of  a  beautiful,  classy  woman  paint  a  picture  of  what  Payne's  life  must  have   looked  like  all  those  years  ago.  From  fascination  to  empathy,  her  insistence  that  she's  innocent   leading  up  to  and  during  the  trial  helps  the  viewer  connect  with  what  would  otherwise  be  just  a   legend.  It's  the  juxtaposition  of  her  past  and  present  that  draws  in  the  audience.   The  documentary  is  comprised  of  a  variety  of  interviews,  not  only  with  Payne  but  also  her  son,   daughter,  best  friend,  defense  lawyer,  an  UCLA  English  professor,  and  the  screenwriter  adapting  her   story  for  a  film  set  to  star  Halle  Berry.  But  don't  wait  for  the  "true  story"  to  be  released  –  hear  it  from   the  source.   The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  is  screening  during  Hot  Docs,  the  largest  documentary  film  festival   in  North  America,  which  runs  April  25  to  May  5  in  Toronto.    


Hot Docs  2013:  ‘Doris  Payne’  captures  the   inextricable  link  between  its  subject’s  ‘Life  and   Crimes’    By  David  Fiore  |  April  25,  2013   http://www.soundonsight.org/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐doris-­‐payne-­‐captures-­‐the-­‐inextricable-­‐link-­‐between-­‐ its-­‐subjects-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes/     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   Directed  by  Matthew  Pond  &  Kirk  Marcolina   USA,  2013     The  movies  have  taught  us  a  great  many  things.  How  to  “meet  cute”.  How  to  sing  in  the  rain.  How  to   squint  into  the  sun.  How  to  keep   an  eye  in  the  frame  when  a  juicy   tear’s  on  the  way.  But  perhaps   most  of  all,  they’ve  revealed  the   tremendous  allure  (and  symbolic   expressivity)  of  smooth   criminality.  Matthew  Pond  &   Kirk  Marcolina’s  film  creates  an   unforgettable  portrait  of  a   woman  whose  crimes  are  her   life  –  not  merely  in  the  sense   that  they  constitute  her   livelihood,  but  ultimately  in  the   way  that  her  larcenous  resume   functions  as  a  powerful  statement  of  artistic  intent.     The  documentary  introduces  Doris  Payne  as  an  80-­‐something  woman  awaiting  trial  for  a  sleight-­‐of-­‐ hand  performance  at  a  San  Diego  jewelry  counter.  Proud  of  her  ongoing  achievements  and  eager  to   regale  the  filmmakers  with  tales  from  her  globe-­‐trotting,  rock-­‐robbing  past,  the  grandmotherly  Black   woman  nevertheless  insists  that  she  is  not  responsible  for  the  particular  crime  in  question  .  The   message  is  clear  from  the  start:  this  woman  is  not  “repentant”.  She’s  offended  by  the  very  suggestion   that  anyone  could  possibly  catch  her  in  the  act  (even  with  the  aid  of  modern  surveillance  cameras).   The  film  shifts  deftly  back  and  forth  through  the  decades  –  providing  valuable  biographical,   sociological  and  even  pop  cultural  context  for  this  extraordinary  American  life.  Along  the  way,  we  


meet Doris’  lifelong  friend,  her  current  courtroom  champion  and  her  doting  (and,  in  one  case,   perhaps  dependent)  children,  with  whom  she  had  almost  nothing  to  do  until  later  in  their  lives.     With  Doris’  charismatic  encouragement,  the  directors  place  their  subject’s  life  in  the  grand  tradition   of  Josephine  Baker,  Richard  Wright  and  Miles  Davis  –  great  Black  American  artists  who  had  to  cross   the  Atlantic  in  order  reach  their  full  potential.  In  Doris’  case,  mainstream  inspirations  like  Cary   Grant’s  debonair  Riviera  Robin  Hood  in  Hitchcock’s  To  Catch  a  Thief  also  showed  the  way  –  and  the   film  brilliantly  conveys  the  audacity  of  her  imaginative  leap  into  those  suave  shoes  on  the  other  side   of  the  segregationist  divide.  The  Old  World  both  applauded  this  woman’s  stylish  impersonation  of   moneyed  mondainity  and  sought  (for  the  most  part  in  vain)  to  punish  her  for  demonstrating  just  how   closely  her  dexterous  reach  matched  her  grasp  of  the  Continent’s  cultural  codes.     The  meaning  of  Doris’  life  and  crimes  come  startlingly  into  focus  when  she  discusses  her  thwarted   childhood  dream  of  dancing  ballet.  Deprived  (by  oppressive  racial  ideology)  of  the  opportunity  to   exhibit  her  grace  on  a  stage,  she  resolved  to  make  her  mark  in  the  world  by  becoming  a  kind  of  twilit   Terpsichore,  whose  movements  astonish  without  ever  being  seen.  It’s  a  bittersweet  triumph  at  best.   The  film  is  very  clear  on  that  point.  In  building  a  self  and  an  artistic  practice  that  places  her  physical   person  in  constant  jeopardy,  Doris  has  become  the  living  embodiment  of  opposition  to  an  unjust   (and  overwhelmingly  entrenched)  economic  and  social  order.  Her  now-­‐frail  (and  potentially   incarcerated)  octogenarian  form  and  her  transcendent  trickster  smile  display  both  the  ravages  and   the  rewards  of  intransigent  rebellion.     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  makes  its  world  premiere  at  the  Scotiabank  Theatre  on  April  26   (7  pm).  It  will  also  show  at  the  ROM  on  April  28  (4  pm)  and  at  the  Scotiabank  Theatre  on  May  1   (1:30  pm).            

Hot Docs  2013  Overview     By  Basil  Tsiokos  |  APRIL  19,  2013  ·∙  12:01  PM   http://whatnottodoc.com/2013/04/19/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐overview/     Moving  over  to  the  non-­‐competitive  sections  of  the  festival,  World  Showcase  presents  more  than   thirty  features,  including:  (…)  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s  THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS   PAYNE,  a  profile  of  a  notorious  octogenarian  jewel  thief.  

 


Interview: Matthew  Pond  &  Kirk  Marcolina  –  The   Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   http://waytooindie.com/interview/interview-­‐matthew-­‐pond-­‐kirk-­‐marcolina-­‐the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐ crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne/   By  C.J.  Prince  |  April  30,  2013    

When Matthew  Pond  was  looking  for  a  subject  to  possibly  make  a  documentary  about,  he  stumbled   upon  the  story  of  a  jewel  thief  in  her  70s.  Doris  Payne,  an  African-­‐American  who  grew  up  in  a  poor   segregated  mining  town,  spent  over  four  decades  of  her  life  traveling  the  world  and  stealing  things  in   order  to  make  a  living.  Pond  joined  up  with  his  friend  Kirk  Marcolina  and  started  filming  Doris  after   she  was  released  from  prison.     Over  the  next  three  years  Pond  and  Marcolina  followed  Doris  as  she  told  stories  about  her  days   stealing  diamonds  and  jewels  around  the  world  while  facing  yet  another  charge  for  stealing.  This   time  Doris  denies  the  charges  completely,  claiming  someone  else  committed  it  and  that  her  past  has   turned  her  into  a  scapegoat.  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  alternates  between  the  trial  (if  found   guilty,  Doris  would  face  up  to  5  years  in  prison)  and  Doris’  life  story.  On  the  day  of  the  film’s  world   premiere,  directors  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina  sat  down  with  Way  Too  Indie  and  discussed   some  of  the  doc’s  major  themes  along  with  what  it  was  like  to  get  to  know  Doris.     You  found  out  about  Doris’  story  when  you  were  reading  articles  online.  What  specifically   interested  you  in  her  story?  What  made  you  decide  to  pursue  making  it  as  a  documentary  feature?   Matthew  Pond:  I  went  to  film  school  later  in  life,  landed  in  Los  Angeles  and  was  looking  for  a  project.   I  read  about  [Doris’  story]  and  it  struck  me  as  the  perfect  marriage  of  story  and  character,  which  are   two  big  elements  in  any  film.  I  drove  down  to  Orange  County  and  went  to  visit  her,  and  we  continued  


seeing each  other  on  a  weekly  basis  for  a  couple  of  months.  Then  she  was  released  and  Kirk  and  I   started  filming  her  shortly  thereafter.   Kirk,  when  did  you  join  on  the  project?   Kirk  Marcolina:  After  Matthew  read  the  newspaper  article  we  had  lunch  together  and  he  said   “Wouldn’t  it  be  a  great  idea  for  a  doc?”  I  said  definitely,  but  there’s  no  way  we’re  going  to  get  the   rights  to  it.  I  think  it  takes  a  lot  of  courage  to  actually  go  into  the  jail  and  meet  Doris  like  Matthew   did.  I  don’t  think  I  could  have  and  so  he  did  it.  [Matthew  laughs]  I  actually  do  think  that  because   before  meeting  Doris  I  was  never  in  a  jail  in  my  life.  I  never  met  a  criminal  in  my  life.   MP:  Then  you  went  a  number  of  times.   KM:  Yeah,  and  now  I’m  like  “Yeah  I’m  going  to  the  jail.”  So  yes,  we  talked  about  it  early  on.   So  did  you  start  filming  with  her  right  after  she  got  out  of  jail?   MP:  Yes   And  how  long  were  you  communicating  with  her  before  you  started  filming?   MP:  It  was  about  three  or  four  months  I  think.   When  you  approached  her  was  she  apprehensive?  Was  she  interested?   MP:  She  was  interested.  She’s  very  charming  and  greeted  me  with  a  big  smile,  but  she  was  a  little   guarded  nonetheless.  It  took  some  coaxing.   Your  documentary  has  a  very  light-­‐hearted  tone  where  Doris  tells  these  very  entertaining  stories   about  her  crimes,  but  there’s  also  a  dark  side  as  well.  She  has  a  strained  relationship  with  her  kids,   specifically  her  daughter,  and  she  doesn’t  really  have  anything  to  show  after  her  years  of  stealing.   Were  you  trying  to  find  a  way  to  balance  the  two  tones  while  making  the  film?   KM:  I  think  Doris  has  many  different  layers  to  her  character,  and  we  wanted  to  portray  all  of  who   Doris  is.  We  wanted  to  show  the  joyous,  fun  person  who  reminisces  about  her  past  and  really  lives  in   her  day  to  day  life  in  a  positive  way,  but  also  show  her  manipulative  side.  She  can  be  very  charming   one  moment,  and  the  next  moment  she  could  be  stealing  a  diamond  or  setting  you  up  as  an  alibi.  We   tried  to  show  a  complete  picture  of  her.   MP:  We  made  a  conscious  decision  at  the  beginning  not  to  take  any  moral  stance  on  who  she  is,   what  she’s  done  and  the  choices  that  she’s  made.  I  think  we  tried  to  present  her  life  and  story  within   a  larger  historical  context  that  takes  into  account  the  fact  that  she’s  black  and  she  was  born  in  the   segregated  south.  We  really  just  tried  to  present  the  information  to  an  audience  and  let  them  make   their  own  decisions.  

Did Doris  get  charged  with  the  crime  that  frames  the  documentary  while  you  were  filming?  


MP: It’s  a  little  complicated.  We  filmed  her  for  a  year  after  she  was  released  from  jail.  It’s  a  little   complicated  [to  explain]  but  the  train  was  already  in  motion  for  that  trial,  and  that  started  about  a   year  after  we  started  filming.  And  that’s  obviously  the  through-­‐line  to  the  film.   So  how  did  your  original  plans  for  the  documentary  change  once  the  trial  factored  into  everything?   MP:  We  started  off  making  a  pitch  tape,  so  we  thought  that  we’ll  film  a  little  bit  and  do  some   interviews.  We  thought  it  was  a  great  story,  and  we’ll  get  some  funding  and  pre-­‐sales  and  make  the   film.  And  then  things  just  kept  happening.  Doris  was  going  to  her  preliminary  hearing  and  the  main   trial,  so  it  was  like…   KM:  We  couldn’t  stop.   MP:  It  was  make  or  break.  We  have  to  film  it  or  lose  it,  so  we  ended  up  with  the  finished  film.   Two  of  the  more  interesting  parts  of  the  film  were  when  Doris  throws  the  two  of  you  into  her  story   by  stealing  in  front  of  you  and  using  the  two  of  you  as  an  alibi  for  the  probation  officer.   MP:  Kirk  was  adamant  that  we  put  that  in  right  from  the  get-­‐go.   KM:  We  didn’t  set  out  to  make  a  film  that  we’re  a  part  of.  We  really  didn’t  want  to  be  a  part  of  the   film.  We  wanted  to  be  objective  observers.   MP:  We  did  not  want  that  style  of  film.  That  style  of  film  works  well  for  Michael  Moore  and  other   people  who  have  their  voice  of  God  narration  or  their  own  narration,  but  she  embroiled  us  into  the   story  and  made  us  part  of  the  alibi.  At  that  point  it  was  part  of  the  story  so  we  felt  like  we  should  [put   it  into  the  film].   It  feels  like  you  were  forced  to  get  in  front  of  the  camera.   KM:  Right,  and  we  thought  it  also  showed  her  character,  her  personality  and  how  she  manipulates   people  better  than  anything  else  we  had  shot.  That’s  one  of  the  reasons  why  we  put  it  in  as  well.   You  were  given  files  about  Doris’  history  by  the  FBI  while  making  the  film.  How  long  did  it  take  you   to  go  through  them,  and  did  you  find  anything  that  you  didn’t  know  beforehand?   MP:  It  literally  took  me  months.  Every  weekend  I  had  a  laptop  and  I  had  the  PDF  files.  I  would  flip   between  that  and  close  it  and  go  to  work  on  the  documentary.   KM:  Thousands  of  pages.   MP:  I  indexed  the  whole  thing.  I  don’t  know…it  was  probably  months  of  full-­‐time  work.   KM:  It  literally  was  a  stack.  It  was  on  PDFs  but  if  you  printed  it  all  out  it  was  a  stack  of  paper.  We   were  hanging  out  with  Doris  for  about  a  year  and  we  actually  got  these  FBI  papers  after  the  principal   photography  was  done.  We  were  never  sure  interviewing  her.  We  thought  “Was  she  making  this  up?   It  sounds  too  good  to  be  true.”   MP:  By  definition  she’s  a  liar  and  a  thief.   KM:  Most  of  her  stories  were  backed  up  by  the  FBI  file.   MP:  We  were  amazed.  And,  in  addition,  there  were  escapes.  She  told  us  about  two  escapes.  She   escaped  from  custody  four  times  which  she  didn’t  share  with  us  initially.   KM:  At  least  four  times.   Personally  did  you  sympathize  with  Doris  and  feel  bad  for  her  during  the  trial?   MP:  We  certainly  felt  bad  that  she,  at  80,  might  be  facing  a  5  year  sentence.   KM:  Certainly.  I  feel  like  there  has  to  be  some  sort  of  punishment  if  she’s  guilty,  but  it  felt  like  a  very   harsh  sentence.  Also,  and  this  is  a  bigger  issue,  society  is  paying  a  lot  to  keep  her  in  jail.  Is  that  really   the  best  use  of  taxpayer  money  to  keep  this  little  old  lady  who,  sure  she  steals  diamonds,  but  what   do  you  do  with  somebody  like  Doris?  Because  there’s  really  no  good  answer.  It’s  a  feel-­‐good  crime   story  in  a  way.   MP:  There’s  no  drugs,  there’s  no  violence.   It  feels  like  a  victimless  crime.   MP:  That’s  how  she  sees  it  in  her  mind.   KM:  They  have  insurance,  they’re  gonna  get  paid,  they’re  actually  gonna  make  more  money  than   they  could  have  sold  the  thing  for.  


So when  did  you  decide  to  start  doing  the  re-­‐enactments?  How  did  you  go  about  nailing  down  the   look?   MP:  We  wanted  to  make  some  overly  stylized  looks  and  we  wanted  to  capture  some  of  the  glamour   of  the  70s  because  we  only  had  3  stills  [to  work  with].  Apart  from  the  FBI  archive  we  didn’t  have  a  lot   to  deal  with  in  terms  of  imagery  for  the  film.  We  brought  someone  else  on  board  because  we  were   overwhelmed  at  that  point  with  other  obligations,  and  it  also  helped  from  a  practical  point  of  view   because  there  were  sound  edits  that  required  some  visual  coverage.   KM:  Doris  likes  to  talk  in  long,  long,  long  sentences.  That’s  not  the  best  way  to  tell  a  story  necessarily   so  we  had  to  shorten  what  she  said  to  make  it  more  interesting.  To  do  that  there  has  to  be  a  lot  of   edits.   MP:  We  certainly  filmed  some  verité  things,  but  we  didn’t  want  it  to  be  dominated  by  talking  heads.   We  hoped  the  re-­‐creations  gave  people  a  sense  of  the  time  and  place  she  was  in  and  just  mixed  it  up   a  little  bit  visually.   Do  you  have  any  buyers  or  people  looking  into  distribution?   MP:  We  finished  the  film  two  weeks  ago,  and  it  was  a  mad  dash  to  the  end.  Our  time  and  energy  has   really  been  poured  into  getting  the  film  here,  but  since  it’s  been  on  the  Hot  Docs  website  we’ve  been   inundated  by  broadcasters  and  sales  agents.  In  fact  we  have  two  distribution  deals  that  have  been   offered  to  us  so  we’re  just  going  to  see.  We  have  a  whole  stack  of  meetings  [coming  up]  and  we’re   just  going  to  see  how  it’s  received  at  the  screenings.  Hopefully  we’ll  find  a  home  for  it  somewhere.   KM:  And  just  so  you  know,  this  was  a  completely  independent  film  that  was  made  on  Matthew’s  and   my  credit  cards.   You  were  finishing  the  film  across  the  world,  with  one  of  you  in  the  States  and  one  of  you  in   Australia.  In  a  general  sense,  do  you  think  the  existence  of  things  like  Vimeo,  Dropbox,  etc.  makes   it  possible  or  easier  for  more  films  and  documentaries  to  get  made?   KM:  With  me  moving  to  Sydney,  and  it’s  unfortunate  for  the  film’s  sake,  we  couldn’t  have  done  it   without  those  technologies.  Matthew  and  I  were  on  Skype  every  day  for  hours.  We  would  look  at   stuff  together,  and  it  really  allowed  us  to  collaborate  even  though  we  weren’t  in  the  same  city.  It   would  have  been  better  if  I  was  still  in  LA  but  this  was  the  best  we  could  do.  It  literally  would  not   have  been  possible  without  things  like  Vimeo  and  Dropbox.   MP:  We  had  additional  editors  in  Paris,  in  Cincinnati,  graphics  people  in  New  York  and  Philadelphia.   You  were  living  in  Sydney,  and  I  was  in  LA.   KM:  So  literally  it  was  a  global  post-­‐production  process.  


I wanted  to  get  some  of  your  thoughts  on  the  major  themes  in  your  documentary  and  how  they   developed  throughout  the  course  of  filming,  the  biggest  one  being  how  Doris’  story  is  like  a   warped  version  of  the  American  dream.   MP:  Totally,  and  that  was  a  conscious  effort.  We  used  that  concept  in  terms  of  telling  her  story.   So  you  knew  coming  in  that  you  wanted  to  look  at  it  as  a  story  about  the  American  dream?   MP:  We  asked  every  interviewee  [in  the  film]  about  the  American  dream,  does  Doris  fit  that  and  in   some  ways  she  does.  In  fact  Eunetta  (one  of  the  people  interviewed  in  the  film)  summed  it  up  nicely.   She  said  “She  pursued  it  with  a  vengeance,  but  it  came  back  to  bite  her  because  she  was  reminded   every  step  of  the  way  that  she’s  a  woman  and  a  black  woman.”  So  she  lived  two  sides  of  the   American  dream  I  think.   Watching  the  film  it’s  very  difficult  to  condemn  her.  She’s  committing  a  crime,  but  it  has  that  crime   movie  sheen  to  it  so  it  feels  exciting.   KM:  And  she’s  a  little  old  lady!   MP:  One  of  the  things  that  really  interested  us  is  that,  within  that  crime  genre,  it  doesn’t  fit  the   typical  Hollywood  narrative.  Catch  Me  If  You  Can,  a  similar  story  based  on  a  true  guy  who’s  a  criminal   and  then  redeems  himself  and  repents  for  his  sins  and  goes  to  work  for  the  FBI.  Doris  is  only  sorry   that  she  got  caught.  For  us  the  defiance  that  represents  is  kind  of  compelling  and  fascinating,   particularly  when  you  look  at  it  in  a  larger  historical  context  when  you  factor  in  race  and  class.   KM:  Growing  up  she  was  certainly  a  smart  girl  who  knew  she  wanted  to  see  the  world.  She  says  in   the  movie  that  she  wanted  to  be  a  ballerina  but  she  was  told  at  a  very  early  age  that  a  black  girl   cannot  be  a  ballerina.  She  could  have  pursued  other  options,  but  to  her  this  was  the  way  she  got  to   fulfill  her  American  dream.  She  got  to  go  around  the  world,  and  she  wouldn’t  have  gotten  the  chance   to  do  that  had  she  done  pretty  much  anything  else.  

Hot Docs  2013:  Five  Capsule  Reviews,  including   “We  Cause  Scenes”   By  John  C.  |  APRIL  26,  2013   http://onemoviefiveviews.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐five-­‐capsule-­‐reviews-­‐ including-­‐we-­‐cause-­‐scenes/     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne:    Although  on  the  surface  the  81-­‐year-­‐old  Doris  Payne  seems  like  a  sweet   elderly  woman  with  attitude  to  spare,  she  has  made  a  career  out  of  being  a  notorious  jewel  thief,  taking   diamond  rings  from  high  end  shops.    Growing  up  poor  with  an  abusive  father,  she  believes  that  her  thievery  is   payback  for  the  racism  she  used  to  endure,  showing  absolutely  no  remorse  for  the  $2  million  of  product  she   has  ripped  off  over  the  years.    Directed  by  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina,  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne  follows  her  as  she  tells  stories  of  daring  escapes  and  stands  trial  for  her  final  job,  with  an  annoyingly   ruthless  lawyer  by  her  side.    But  the  title  subject  is  interesting  enough  to  overcome  the  more  manipulative   scenes  and  the  overly  glossy  reenactments  that  plague  the  film.    As  it  stands,  this  is  a  pretty  good  documentary   about  a  woman  who  is  described  as  both  the  hero  and  villain  of  her  own  story,  that  is  worth  checking  out   before  the  upcoming  biopic  starring  Halle  Berry.   Friday,  April  26th  –  7:00  PM  @  Scotiabank  Theatre   Sunday,  April  28th  –  4:00  PM  @  The  ROM  Theatre   Wednesday,  May  1st  –  1:30  PM  @  Scotiabank  Theatre  


The Manor  to  open  Hot  Docs   20  March,  2013  |  By  Ian  Sandwell

http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/the-manor-to-open-hot-docs/5053127.article     Other  programs  at  this  year’s  edition  are  the  Canadian  Spectrum  (screening  films  such  as  Michelle   Latimer’sAlias  and  Liz  Marshall’s  The  Ghosts  in  our  Machine),  World  Showcase  (films  including  Matthew  Pond  &   Kirk  Marcolina’s  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  and  Nebojsa  Slijepcevic’s  Gangster  of  Love)  and  Nightvision   (showing  Jeanie  Finlay’s  The  Great  Hip  Hop  Hoax  and  Michal  Marzak’s  Fuck  for  Forest,  among  others).    

Hot  Docs  Unveils  Full  Slate   MARCH  19,  2013  |  08:10AM  PT  |  JENNIE  PUNTER  

http://variety.com/2013/film/international/hot-­‐docs-­‐unveils-­‐full-­‐slate-­‐1200325637/     Notable  pics  in  the  World  Showcase  program  include  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s   portrait  of  an  unrepentant  81-­‐year-­‐old  jewel  thief,  “The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne”;  Victor   Buhler’s  “A  Whole  Lott  More,”  about  an  auto-­‐industry  facility  on  the  brink  of  crisis,  and  sisters   Rena  Mundo  Croshere  and  Nadine  Mundo’s  “American  Commune.”    

 

Shawney  Cohen's  'The  Manor'  to  Open  Hot  Docs   Canadian  Film  Fest   8:06  AM  PDT  3/19/2013  by  Etan  Vlessing   http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/shawney-­‐cohens-­‐manor-­‐open-­‐hot-­‐429693     Elsewhere,  the  World  Showcase  program  has  booked  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s  The  Life   and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  about  an  81-­‐  year-­‐old  jewel   thief,  Laura  Checkoway’s  Lucky,Nebojsa  Slijepcevic’s  Gangster  of  Love,  and  Rena  Mundo   Croshere  and  Nadine  Mundo’sAmerican  Commune.  


Hot Docs  2013:  Reviews  #3  

http://mechanicalforestsound.blogspot.ca/2013/04/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐reviews-­‐3.html   B Y   Mechanical  Forest  Sound  |   S A T U R D A Y ,   A P R I L   2 7 ,   2 0 1 3   Reviews  of  screenings  from  the  2013  Hot  Docs  Canadian  International  Documentary  Festival,   Toronto,  Canada.    

  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  (Dir:  Matthew  Pond/Kirk  Marcolina,  73  minutes,  USA)   "Diamond"  Doris  Payne  has  led  an  unrepentant  life  of  crime  —  a  fact  that  we  are  inclined  to  overlook   somewhat,  given  her  charming  manner  and  advanced  years.  As  we  meet  the  80-­‐year-­‐old,  she's  on   trial  for  stealing  a  ring  from  a  department  store,  and  from  here  we  flash  back  to  learn  her  life  story.   Her  brassy  self-­‐assurance  was  the  ticket  out  of  a  bad  marriage  in  the  segregated  South,  giving  her  the   ability  to  join  the  high-­‐living  jet  set,  if  only  through  the  avails  of  theft.     Being  able  to  hear  Payne  tell  her  story  in  her  own  words  gives  this  film  its  spark;  it's  less  interesting  in   some  of  the  surrounding  material.  Tossing  an  academic  on  screen  to  talk  about  how  her  life  situates   her  in  the  tradition  of  trickster  figures  in  African-­‐American  literature  is  interesting,  but  doesn't  feel   completely  organic  here.  And  cutting  from  Payne  telling  her  story  to  the  screenwriter  working  on  an   upcoming  Hollywood  fictionalization  of  her  life  moves  everything  from  biographical  progression  to   three  act  character  arcs  and  lends  the  whole  thing  the  feel  of  being  an  eventual  DVD  extra.     Still,  I  enjoyed  this  as  a  chance  to  spend  time  with  Payne,  as  well  as  her  most  excellent  longtime   friend  Jean  Herbert,  whose  straight-­‐talking  manner  never  hid  her  unwavering  support.  I  could  have   done  with  more  time  spent  just  hanging  out  with  the  pair  of  them.     Remaining  screenings:  Sunday,  April  28,  4:00  PM  @  ROM  Theatre;  Wednesday,  May  1,  1:30  PM  @  S-­‐ -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐/Paramount  4  


Hot Docs  2013:  our  15  top  recommended  films   http://thetfs.ca/2013/04/22/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐our-­‐15-­‐top-­‐recommended-­‐films/  

The Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne    

  Doris  Payne  has  everyone  fooled:  when  you  look  at  her,  you  see  an  elderly  lady  with  great  taste  and   style.  In  reality,  however,  she  is  an  international  jewel  thief  with  a  60-­‐year  career  that  has  netted  her   about  $2  million.  On  trial  for  her  latest  heist  (stealing  a  diamond  ring  from  Macy’s),  the  film  unravels   the  mystery  behind  the  woman.   Screening:  April  26,  April  28,  May  1  


HOT DOCS  Announces  2013  Line  Up

By News  Division  in Cinemavox ·∙  March  19,  2013  ·∙ No comments

http://www.alternavox.net/18843/hot-docs-announces-2013-line-up/#sthash.90TjQtV5.dpuf

In  the  World  Showcase  program,  notable  films  include:  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s  THE  LIFE   AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE,  the  story  of  an  81-­‐year-­‐old  jewel  thief’s  unrepentant  account  of  her   life  of  crime  

Documentary on  Guelph  strip  club  to  open   international  film  festival   http://www.guelphmercury.com/news-­‐story/2785238-­‐documentary-­‐on-­‐guelph-­‐strip-­‐club-­‐to-­‐open-­‐ international-­‐film-­‐festival/    

There are films about dirt-bike gangs (Lotfy Nathan’s 12 O’Clock Boys), female Shaolin Kung Fu warriors in training (Inigo Westmeier’s Dragon Girls), Lapland reindeer herders (Jessica Oreck’s Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys) and an 81-year-old jewel thief who has no interest in repenting (Matthew Pond and Kirk Marcolina’s The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne).


THE LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE  HOTDOCS   13  REVIEW   By  Christophe  Chanel   http://myetvmedia.com/film-­‐review/the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne-­‐hotdocs13-­‐review/      

 

The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   How  does  a  poor  single,  African  American  woman  become  one  of   the  worlds  most  notorious  jewel  thief?    After  spending  a  long  career   stealing  and  taking  advantage  of  people,  Doris  Payne,  now  81,  is   facing  justice  again.     Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s  world  premiere   documentary  The  Life  And  Crimes  Of  Doris  Payne,  takes  us   through  Doris  Payne’s  life  of  crime.  According  to  Doris,  stealing  is   not  a  crime:  “I  didn’t  think  it  was  stealing,  I  thought,  I  am  not  giving   it  back,  there  is  a  difference”.  The  unapologetic  Doris  leaves  behind   her  a  trail  of  stolen  items  worth  $2   million.  Pond  and  Marcolina’s  extensive  archival  research  and   candid  interviews  cleverly  reveal  how  Payne  managed  to  jet-­‐set  her  


way into  any  Cartier  or  Tiffany’s  from  Monte  Carlo,  Paris,  London  to  Switzerland  or  Japan  and  walk   out  with  small  fortunes.       Using  her  natural  grace  and  charm,  she  would  engage  the  clerk,   asking  to  see  an  assortment  of  items.  Using  her  “Slide  Hand   Game”  where  she  would  look  at  jewelry  pieces,  move  them   around,  wear  them,  move  them  some  more  with  constant   movement  at  a  dizzying  pace,  then  she  would  convince  the  clerk   to  trust  her  by  giving  back  one  of  the  missing  pieces,  have  him   look  away  again  and  then  grab  the  one  she  wanted.  Mind-­‐ boggling.  She  never  got  caught  stealing  in  a  jewelry  store.  Despite   numerous  arrests,  she  escaped  police  custody  on  several   occasions.     This  is  an  absolutely  riveting  story,  far  more  interesting  than  some   of  the  blockbuster  films  being  released  this  year.  Being  a  black   woman  in  the  50’s,  in  a  time  when  black  people  were  under   intense  scrutiny  and  being  able  to  pull  off  such  a  scam  for  so  many   years  is  incredible.  Although  Doris  deserves  what  she  gets,  she   strikes  a  compassionate  cord.  Raised  in  poverty  in  Slab  Fork,  West  Virginia,  she  had  a  good  reason  in   her  mind  for  stealing:  payback.  She  can  charm  anyone  dressed  to  the  nines.  She  is  smart,  using  Town   &  Country  magazine  like  a  shopping  list.  She  is  skilled  with  her  “Slide  Hand  Game”  and  so  her   designated  path  is  to  rip  off  jewelers  all  over  the  world.  It  is  a  profound  story  and  both  directors  keep   the  pace  quite  lively,  you  won’t  be  disappointed.  

   

Picks for  Hot  Docs  2013   http://jaredlorenz.com/picks-­‐for-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐2013/   By  Jared  Lorenz  |  April  29,  2013     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne.  About  an  aged  jewel  thief.  What’s  not  to  love?  

   


Hot Docs  International  Documentary  Film  Festival   2013   Posted  by  MNFSTO  |  on  April  17,  2013   http://themanifesto.ca/hot-­‐docs-­‐international-­‐documentary-­‐film-­‐festival-­‐2013/  

  THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE  ,WORLD  PREMIERE  -­‐APRIL  26,  2013   How  does  a  poor,  single,  African-­‐American  mother  from  segregated  1950s  America  wind  up   as  one  of  the  world’s  most  notorious  jewel  thieves?  Just  ask  her.  A  glamorous  81-­‐year-­‐old,   Doris  Payne  is  as  unapologetic  today  about  the  nearly  $2  million  in  jewels  she’s  stolen  over  a   60-­‐year  career  as  she  was  the  day  she  stole  her  first  carat.  With  Payne  now  on  trial  for  the   theft  of  a  department  store  diamond  ring,  filmmakers  Kirk  Marcolina  and  Matthew  Pond   probe  beneath  her  consummate  smile  to  uncover  the  secrets  of  her  trade  and  what  drove  her   to  a  life  of  crime.   Purchase  Tickets:  http://www.hotdocs.ca/film/title/life_and_crimes_of_doris_payne  


Jewel Thiefs!  Reindeer  Herding!  Sex  for  Trees!   HotDocs  Celebrates  Its  20th  In  Style     By  Kurt  Halfyard   March  19,  2013   http://twitchfilm.com/2013/03/hotdocs-­‐2013-­‐announcement.html    

  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina's  THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE  is  the  story  of  an  81-­‐ year-­‐old  jewel  thief's  unrepentant  account  of  her  life  of  crime.    

Event Preview:  Hot  Docs   By  Joanna  Padovano  |  Published:  April  24,  2013   http://www.worldscreen.com/articles/display/2013-­‐4-­‐24-­‐rea-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐chris-­‐mcdonald     The  event  will  open  with  the  world  premiere  of  Shawney  Cohen’s  The  Manor,  part  of  the  Special   Presentation  program.  Other  cream-­‐of-­‐the-­‐crop  documentaries  on  the  agenda  include  NCR:  Not   Criminally  Responsible,  which  is  in  the  competitive  Canadian  Spectrum  category;  Coffee  Time,  a  short;   and  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  a  World  Showcase  title.    


20th Hot  Docs  Line-­‐Up  Features  World  Premieres,   Top  Docs,  Speaker  Series   http://www.mediacastermagazine.com/news/20th-­‐hot-­‐docs-­‐line-­‐up-­‐features-­‐world-­‐ premieres-­‐top-­‐docs-­‐speaker-­‐series/1002153627/     2013-­‐03-­‐20   In  the  World  Showcase  program,  notable  films  include:  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina’s   THE  LIFE  AND  CRIMES  OF  DORIS  PAYNE,  the  story  of  an  81-­‐year-­‐old  jewel  thief’s  unrepentant   account  of  her  life  of  crime;        

 

Hot Docs  2013:  Full  Lineup  By  Interest   By  Adam  Patterson  |  March  19,  2013   http://filmpulse.net/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐full-­‐lineup-­‐by-­‐interest/   WOMEN  &  WOMEN’S  ISSUES   After  Tiller;  American  Commune;  Anita;  Ballerina;  Buying  Sex;  Chi;  Defector:  Escape  from   North;  Korea,  The;  Dragon  Girls  ;  Eufrosina’s  Revolution;  Exhibition,  The;  Free  the  Butterfly;   Galumphing;  Gangster  of  Love;  Gap-­‐Toothed  Women;  Good  Ol’  Freda;  Julie:  Old  Time  Tales  of   the  Blue  Ridge;  Last  Woman  Standing;  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,  The;  Lucky;  Maidentrip;   Manor,  The;  Menstrual  Man;  New  Life  of  a  Family  Album;  Other  Shore,  The;  Punk  Singer,  The;   Pussy  Riot—A;  Punk  Prayer;  Salma;  Softening;  Wildwood,  NJ;  Women  and  the  Passenger.      


Hot Docs  Review:  'The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne'   http://www.cinemablographer.com/2013/04/hot-­‐docs-­‐review-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of.html     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   (USA,  73  min.)   Dir.  Matthew  Pond,  Kirk  Marcolina   Programme:  World  Showcase  (World  Premiere)    

"I don't  take  life  too  seriously.  I'm  not  going  to  get  out  of  it  alive  anyway."      -­‐Doris  Payne     Are  documentary  subjects  eligible  for  acting  awards?  I  hope  so,  for  Doris  Payne  gives  atour-­‐de-­‐force  performance  in   The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  that  is  worthy  of  the  Academy  Award  for  Best  Actress.  Her  story  is  soon  to  be  a   dramatic  film,  however,  so  pundits  best  keep  an  eye  on  Halle  Berry  when  she  inhabits  this  suave  octogenarian  jewel   thief  on  the  big  screen.  Berry  has  her  work  cut  out  for  her,  though,  since  I  doubt  anyone  can  play  Doris  Payne  as  well   as  Doris  Payne  plays  herself.     I  use  the  words  'play'  and  'performance'  intentionally  because  even  though  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  is  a   documentary,  Payne  is  clearly  playing  to  the  camera  with  a  skill  for  creating  and  inhabiting  characters  that  she  has   been  perfecting  for  years.  Doris  shares  her  art  of  jewel  thievery  with  directors  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina  in   this  terrifically  entertaining  story  of  her  life  as  a  career  criminal.  When  the  film  begins,  Doris  is  on  trial  for  a  theft  she   swears  she  didn't  commit—why  on  earth  would  she  still  a  lousy  $8000  ring  from  Macy's  when  she  has  smuggled   diamonds  worth  over  100  times  that  value?  Doris  insists  her  innocence,  which  seems  convincing  even  though  the   sales  clerk  swears  that  an  eighty-­‐year-­‐old  black  woman  walked  out  of  the  store  with  the  ring  in  question.     Her  judge  likens  her  to  The  Terminator,  but  this  petite,  eloquent,  and  attractive  lady  looks  like  she's  about  to  serve  a   plate  of  cookies  and  tell  you  a  story.  It's  easy  to  believe  Doris  as  she  maintains  her  innocence  while  explaining  her   past  crimes  to  the  filmmakers.  No  woman  with  such  a  checkered  past  would  dare  face  a  jury,  right?  Confidence  and  


cunning, however,  have  always  been  the  key  characteristics  that  have  set  Doris  apart  from  petty  criminals.  She  is  a   woman  who  steals  with  purpose  and  style.  Doris  is  a  smooth  operator.  She  is  composed,  articulate,  and  personable.   How  can  this  sweet  old  lady  have  a  2000  page  FBI  profile  that  lists  32  aliases,  10  dates  of  birth,  11  social  security   numbers,  and  9  passports?     Doris’s  story  begins  with  her  days  as  a  poor  black  girl  growing  up  in  segregated  West  Virginia.  Doris  recalls  her  family   life  as  troubled,  since  her  father  abused  her  mother  and  the  politics  of  the  time  didn’t  make  the  view  outside  the   Payne’s  house  any  prettier.  If  not  for  the  racial  politics  of  America,  Doris  might  have  found  a  calling  other  than  being   a  jewel  thief.  She  could  have  been  a  model  or  an  actress,  but  both  occupations  are  certainly  roles  she  played  in  the   job  that  made  her  famous.     It’s  easy  to  sympathize  with  Doris  as  she  explains  the  logic  behind  her  first  theft.  She  was  still  a  teenager  when  she   walked  into  a  local  store  to  buy  herself  a  reward  for  a  recent  accomplishment.  The  friendly  clerk  was  happy  to  oblige   and  he  showed  Doris  a  fine  display  of  pretty  jewelry;  however,  Doris  notes  that  the  clerk  scuttled  away  immediately   when  a  white  customer  walked  into  the  store.  Doris  was  left  wearing  a  gold  watch  because  the  clerk  didn’t  want  to   be  seen  helping  a  black  girl.  Incensed  and  embarrassed,  Doris  walked  to  door  and  gave  the  clerk  a  “Says  you!”  She   returned  the  watch,  but  she  learned  how  easily  she  could  make  off  with  such  goods  with  the  right  moves  and  the   right  attitude.     As  Doris  elaborates  on  her  cunning  ways  that  allowed  her  to  steal  precious  jewels  from  all  over  the  world,  her   testimony  reveals  a  complex  moral  logic  behind  her  crimes.  Her  rationalization  that  the  bitter  racism  of  the  times   worked  to  her  advantage  offers  a  unique  insight  into  the  mind  of  the  criminal.  If  Doris  wasn’t  given  a  fair  chance  at   life  as  an  African  American  woman,  was  she  really  out  of  line  for  working  outside  the  rules  to  better  herself?  One   could  easily  say  yes,  but  Doris’s  explanation  of  how  she  succeeded  in  conning  so  many  folks  emphasizes  how   frequently  race  seemed  to  be  a  factor.  A  large  part  of  Doris’s  role  was  presenting  herself  so  that  store  clerks  and   security  guards  saw  only  a  beautiful  woman  who  was  well-­‐dressed,  well-­‐spoken,  and  well-­‐mannered.  It  was  hard  to   steal  if  a  clerk  was  hesitant  to  demonstrate  jewels  to  a  poor-­‐looking  black  girl.     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  crosscuts  between  Doris’s  account  of  her  checkered  past  and  the  proceedings   leading  up  to  her  present-­‐day  trial.  As  Doris  and  her  lawyer  establish  a  decent  case  for  her  defense,  though,  it  seems   that  Doris’s  notorious  past  is  bound  to  convict  her  in  a  courtroom.  Can  the  guilt  of  someone’s  past  outweigh  the   innocence  she  maintains  in  the  present?  Doris  is  utterly  unrepentant  for  taking  the  property  of  others.  Her  only   regret  is  that  she  was  caught.  “But  I  was  never  caught  in  the  act!”  Doris  is  quick  to  proclaim.     But  one  can  see  why  Doris  opted  for  a  jury  trial.  She  is  a  masterful  storyteller  and  a  convincing,  charismatic  person.   She’s  easily  the  most  fascinating  subject  of  any  film  I’ve  seen  at  Hot  Docs  this  year.  Doris  displays  the  range  of   mannerisms  and  nuanced  delivery  with  which  a  great  actress  brings  a  fictional  character  to  life.  As  Doris   demonstrates  the  gestures,  comportment,  and  elements  of  manipulation  she  would  use  to  pull  off  a  heist,  her  body   language  and  magnetic  personality  pull  you  into  her  game.  (Her  account  of  the  Monte  Carlo  caper  is  especially   engaging.)     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  builds  a  fascinating  character  study  by  complementing  Doris’s  testimony  with   interviews  with  her  children,  her  closest  friend  (a  hoot!),  biographers,  and  investigators  on  the  present-­‐day  case.   Pond  and  Marcolina  also  recreate  episodes  of  Doris’s  caper  days  using  stylish  re-­‐enactments.  All  the  different   elements  of  the  puzzle  only  add  to  the  enigma  of  Doris’s  character.  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  does  a   commendable  feat  of  situating  the  audience  within  the  psychology  of  a  career  criminal.  Pond  and  Marcolina’s   interwoven  character  study  lets  Doris  present  a  compelling  defense  for  her  present  predicament.  Her  insistence  on   her  innocence  also  allows  the  audience  to  experience  Doris’s  deception  first  hand:  by  the  end  of  the  film,  one  realizes   that  Doris  is  pulling  a  con.  However,  even  though  Doris  has  built  a  life  on  duplicity,  I  found  myself  rooting  for  her  all   the  way.  She's  the  sweetest  career  criminal  you  will  ever  meet.     Rating:  ★★★★½  (out  of  ★★★★★)       The  Life  and  Times  of  Doris  Payne  screens:   Wednesday,  May  1  –  1:30  pm  at  Cineplex  Scotiabank     Please  visit  the  Doris  Payne  Facebook  page  for  more  info  on  the  documentary.   Please  visit  www.hotdocs.ca  for  more  information  on  films,  tickets,  and  showtimes.      


Hot Docs  2013:  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris   Payne   http://www.rowthree.com/2013/04/26/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐the-­‐life-­‐and-­‐crimes-­‐of-­‐doris-­‐payne/    

  It  takes  a  certain  amount  of  chutzpah  to  walk  into  a  jewelry  store  and  pull  a  pure  short-­‐con  swindle.   Doris  Payne,  now  in  her  early  eighties,  remains  as  wiry  and  razor  sharp  as  she  ever  was,  pulling  one   jewel  heist  or  another  around  the  world  as  she  has  been  for  the  past  60  years.  Delightfully  no-­‐tech,   she  uses  sleight  of  hand,  the  expectations  of  the  clerk  and  a  chameleon  ability  to  role-­‐play  –  meaning   she’s  a  wonderful  liar!  And  there  is  something  rather  magnetic  (on  screen  anyway  about  a   magnificent  liar.)  Payne  has  her  own  level  of  fame  and  notoriety  in  the  criminal  world,  and  even  at   her  advanced  age,  is  far  from  feeling  too  old  to  retire  from  her  unusual  lifestyle.  But  the  world,  now   bursting  with  technology  and  chain  department  stores  featuring  ubiquitous  surveillance,  has  passed   by  her  criminal  moment.    


Still, there  are  avenues  available  for  a  fast  talker  and  a  larger  than  life  personality,  even  if  it  is  being   the  subject  of  this  documentary,  as  well  as  a  forthcoming  Hollywood  biopic.  Filmmakers  Matthew   Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina  capture  Payne  trying  to  stay  out  of  jail  and  currently  on  trial  for  lifting  an   emerald  studded  piece  from  a  Macy’s  department  store.  At  one  point,  it  appears  that  she  may  be   conning  the  filmmakers  to  keep  on  filming  in  an  attempt  to  avoid  her  parole  officer.  Nevertheless,   they  capture  her  in  private  interviews  and  in  public  court,  as  well  as  recreating  her  early  years  in  the   50s  60s  and  70s  with  the  soft  focus  and  sharp  wardrobe  of  the  era.  These  recreations  add  an  Oceans   11  jet-­‐set  glamour  to  an  otherwise  rather  mundanely  shot  doc.  Doris  Payne,  in  her  heyday,  we  are   told,  was  decked  out  in  pearls  and  designer  suits  with  her  signature  round-­‐lens  sunglasses  and   jumped  from  Monte  Carlo  to  Japan  to  London,  swiping  (and  fencing)  about  2  million  dollars  worth  of   high-­‐end  (but  not-­‐too-­‐high-­‐end)  jewelry.  Would  that  the  film  had  more  of  these  recreations  in  the   place  of  interviews  with  a  screen  writer  and  psychologist  whose  talking  head  segments  offer  a  little   too  on-­‐the-­‐nose  commentary.  Far  more  compelling  is  Payne’s  interaction  with  her  earnest  (and   competent)  lawyer,  and  a  trial  judge  who  is  exasperated  with  her  rap-­‐sheet.  Payne  pleads  not  guilty,   naturally,  and  insists  that  her  past  fame  allows  any  old  jewelry  store  to  blame  her  when  a  black  lady   holds  up  the  place.  Doris’s  best  friend  of  over  70  years  is  also  a  quite  hoot  with  her  blunt  vernacular   (four  letter  words  ahoy!)  which  is  leavened  by  a  very  genuine  concern  that  Payne  will  die  in  prison,   alone  and  ill,  if  she  is  incarcerated  for  another  stint.     There  is  a  fair  bit  of  myth  making  at  play  here,  after  all,  Payne  was  an  impoverished  black  girl  who   taught  herself  (with  the  help  of  a  quite  educated  Jew)  to  swim  in  social  circles  well  beyond  her   impoverished  (and  domestically  violent)  upbringing  when  America  was  the  model  of  racial   segregation.  At  the  moment,  Halle  Berry  has  optioned  her  life  story  as  a  film  and  I  have  no  doubt  that   it  will  be  a  delightfully  embellished  tale.  The  filmmakers  here  linger  on  the  rootless  existence  of   someone  who  is  living  in  a  halfway  house  with  barely  half  a  closet  of  designer-­‐wear  to  her  name  and   two  estranged  children.  Doris  Payne  has  parole  officers  to  cater  to,  and  is  likely  to  be  spending  the   bulk  of  her  ninth  decade  on  earth  languishing  in  a  prison  cell.  The  mundanity  of  her  waiting  on  trial   lawyers  and  flatly  lit  legal  proceedings  is  the  antithesis  of  the  swinging  sixties,  and  that,  pretty  much   is  where  we  are  today.  Apparently,  it  was  a  good  run  while  it  lasted.     Upcoming  Screenings:   Fri,  Apr  26  7:00  PM  |  Scotia  Bank  Cineplex   Sun,  Apr  28  4:00  PM  |  Royal  Ontario  Museum  Theatre   Wed,  May  1  1:30  PM  |  Scotia  Bank  Cineplex  

Hot Docs:  This  Year’s  Must-­‐See  Films   BY  LORI  MASTRONARDI   http://www.theluxelife.com/article/8463/     2\  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne   Meet  everyone’s  most-­‐loved  jewel  thief  in  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne.  The  81-­‐ year-­‐old  has  stolen  over  $2  million  in  jewels  over  the  last  60  years.  It  probably   shouldn’t  be  so  appealing  but…  just  see  for  yourself:  


Hot Docs:  The  Life  And  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  –   Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina   Posted  by  marajade29sm  on  April  30,  2013   http://themindreels.com/tag/doris-­‐payne/    

  When  I  first  read  the  synopsis  of  this  film  –  about  an  80-­‐year-­‐old  notorious  international  jewel  thief  –   I  knew  I  would  be  in  for  a  fantastic  story,  if  nothing  else.    Just  looking  back  on  what  this  woman  has   seen  and  done  in  her  lifetime  was  bound  to  be  incredible.    What  I  didn’t  expect,  however,  was  to  fall   in  love  with  this  lady  and  root  for  her  happy  ending  so  completely.    


Doris Payne  was  born  to  a  black  coal  miner  father  and  seamstress  Cherokee  mother  in  segregated   West  Virginia,  and  learned  at  a  young  age  how  easy  it  was  for  her  to   steal  –  particularly  from  white  upper-­‐class  people,  who  rarely  paid   much  attention  to  her  at  all.    Slipping  into  the  role  more  completely   as  an  adult,  Doris’  easy-­‐going  charm  and  intelligent  personality   became  some  of  her  most  disarming  attributes,  and  helped  make  it   possible  for  her  to  walk  off  with  millions  of  dollars  worth  of  high-­‐end   jewels  over  her  more  than  60-­‐year  career.    Capturing  the  attention   and  imagination  of  filmmakers  Matthew  Pond  and  Kirk  Marcolina,  a   film  about  Doris  and  her  particularly  unique  method  of  chasing  the   American  Dream  was  born.       It’s  evident  right  from  the  beginning   that  Doris  Payne  is  a  complex  individual.    Using  photographs,   documents,  interviews  with  friends,  family,  and  law  enforcement,  as   well  as  recreations  of  highlights  from  Doris’  life  –  as  well  as   convervations  with  the  woman  herself  –  Pond  and  Marcolina  weave   together  a  tapestry  of  images  and  information  that’s  as  rich  and  as  full   of  life  as  though  they’d  been  alive  to  bear  witness  to  it  all  themselves.     And  at  the  heart  of  it  all  is  Doris,  bringing  her  own  creative  colour  and   flair  to  the  whole  tale.   While  one  can’t  always  be  sure  how  much  is  truth,  memory  tainted  by   too  many  past  years,  and  outright  fabrication,  one  thing  is  clear:    Doris   Payne  is  a  master  storyteller.    It’s  her  seeming  genuineness  and  creativity  that  no  doubt  boosted  her   ability  to  make  her  audience  believe  that  she  was  whoever  she  said  she  was,  every  time,  all  those   years.    Flashing  her  brilliant  smile  and  pairing  it  with  an  outward  calm  that  covers  any  hint  of  nerves   she  may  feel  inside,  Doris  gleefully  and  unapologetically  recounts  her  grandest  adventures  for  the   cameras,  the  courtroom,  and  anyone  in  between  who  will  listen.    She  explains  her  own  sense  of   morality  with  such  conviction  that  it  is  easy  to  get  caught  up  in  her  spirit  and  sense  of  fun,  even  when   she  gives  up  a   plea  bargain  to   risk  another  5   years  in  prison   for  allegedly   stealing  yet   another  ring   from  yet   another  high-­‐ end  boutique.    


Doris continues  to   recount  her  life  story  as   she  awaits  a  verdict  in   her  latest  trial,  and   calmly  allows  the   audience  to  wait  with   bated  breath  on  the   edge  of  our  seats  with   her.    We  sit  with  her  in   the  courtroom,  and  then   as  we  wait  for  the  jury  to   come  back,  Doris  tells  us   more  about  her  daring   past.    She  is  a  unique   and  complex  figure  that   is  almost  impossible  to   judge  for,  in  the  end,   how  many  of  us  can  say   that  we  have  lived  even   an  ounce  of  the  life  that  Doris  Payne  has  carved  for  herself?    Halle  Berry  isn’t  set  to  play  ME  in  a   movie  about  my  life,  for  example,  but  she  will  be  playing  Doris  Payne.    Doris,  who  hasn’t  sat  back  and   waited  for  life  to  deal  her  next  hand  –  she  has  gone  out  and  pulled  her  aces  whenever  possible.     She’s  paid  her  dues  when  needed  (well,  until  she’s  escaped  custody  again),  she’s  been  generous  with   her  fortune,  she  loves  her  children,  and  she’s  travelled  the  world.    Should  she  have  denied  herself   this  life,  because  she  had  the  misfortune  of  being  born  into  a  world  that  would  have  made  it   impossible  to  have  lived  it  any  other  way?    Is  she  a  bad  person  because  she  used  her  talents  and   made  her  own  luck? Before  meeting  Doris  on-­‐screen,  my  answers  to  those  questions  may  have  been  very  different.    But   now,  after  having  been  given  a  fuller  picture  –  as  Doris  herself  says,  “when  the  game  is  rigged  from   the  start,  is  it  unfair  to  cheat?”     The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  has  one  more  screening  at  Hot  Docs  in  Toronto:   Wed  May  1st  at  1:30pm  


Hot Docs:  There's  Something  About  the   Women...  

http://tmtmshow.blogspot.ca/2013/04/hot-­‐docs-­‐theres-­‐something-­‐about-­‐women.html   The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne  |  Wed,  May  1  1:30  PM  |  Scotiabank  4      

There's something  about  Doris:  she's  fabulous,  chic,  a  consummate  liar,  and  a  no   holds  barred  jewel  thief  (the  press  didn't  call  her  "Diamond  Doris"  for  nothing!).   In  The  Life  and  Crimes  of  Doris  Payne,we  learn  from  Doris  that  her  introduction   into  stealing  jewels  was  in  reaction  to  the  racism  she  endured  as  a  dirt  poor   black  child,  whose  father  was  abusive  to  her  mother.  Fearing  for  her  mother's   safety  and  armed  with  a  "take  that"  attitude  towards  whitey,  Doris  stole  some   jewellery  and  rescued  her  mother.    Realizing  that  she  was  good  at  her  new   occupation,  Doris,  who  had  always  played  a  childhood  game  called  Miss  Lady,   took  her  show  on  the  road  and  travelled  the  world  stealing  diamonds  the  likes  of   which  often  graced  the  pages  of  luxury  magazines  such  as  her  favourite,  Town   &  Country.  Tall,  tanned  (she's  part  Black,  part  Cherokee),  and  lovely,  Doris  found   her  "lady-­‐like"  mannerisms  could  get  her  into  the  same  high-­‐end,  European   jewellery  salons  as  white  women.  She  looked  like  a  society  woman,  so  she  was  accepted  as  one.  In  Europe,  manners   were  paramount,  where  in  the  United  States,  black  is  black  no  matter  how  ladylike  you  actually  were  or  pretended  to   be.  According  to  Doris,  she  doesn't  "steal"  she  just  "doesn't  give  things  back".  Whatever  you  may  think  of  Doris,  you   will  find  her  fascinating.  A  woman,  who  is  now  in  her  eighties  and  accused  of  stealing,  what  else,  jewellery,  Doris  was   a  woman  who  in  the  50's,  and  60's,  was  her  own  human  rights  trailblazer.  She  did  it  on  the  wrong  side  of  the  law,  but   she  did  it:  not  even  jail  stopped  her,  as  she  lively  recounts  to  directors  (Matthew  Pond,  Kirk  Marcolina).  As  a   screenwriter  in  the  film  says,  Doris  is  "the  protagonist  and  antagonist"  of  her  own  life,  while  another  references  the   fact  that  Doris'  halo  sits  on  top  of  her  horns.  What  a  woman!  

Hot Docs  2013  -­‐  Wrapping  Up  The  Rest   (Belatedly)  

http://eternalsunshineofthelogicalmind.blogspot.ca/2013/06/hot-­‐docs-­‐2013-­‐wrapping-­‐up-­‐rest-­‐ belatedly.html   The  Life  And  Crimes  Of  Doris  Payne  -­‐  One  of  the  most   disappointing  films  of  the  fest  for  me.  The  story  of  Doris  Payne   sounds  fascinating  -­‐  a  60  year  life  of  crime  stealing  jewels   without  ever  using  violence  or  fear  tactics  -­‐  but  the  film  doesn't   serve  it  well  at  all.  Told  mostly  via  talking  head  interviews  and   several  flat  recreations,  it  never  trusts  its  story.  In  order  to   validate  that  this  is  indeed  an  interesting  person  and  life,  the   film  keeps  coming  back  to  an  interview  with  a  screenwriter  who   is  turning  Doris'  life  into  a  movie  script.  Unfortunately,  the   screenwriter  never  says  anything  of  interest  herself  and  leads   you  to  believe  her  treatment  of  the  story  will  be  abysmal.  As  well,  the  film  never  has  a  minute  where  there  isn't   background  music  (what  sounded  like  pretty  cheap  stock  music  to  me)  playing  behind  the  interviews  and  story.  Every   moment  is  filled  with  a  specific  music  to  make  sure  you  know  how  to  feel.  It  turned  me  off  almost  completely  and  I   eventually  even  came  to  dislike  Doris  by  the  end.  In  other  hands  this  might  have  been  a  barn-­‐burner.  


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The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne Hot Docs Summary  

Press Summary for the World Premiere of The Life and Crimes of Doris Payne at the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival 2013