The Five Demands

New York City, New York | Film Feature


Jezebel Productions

1 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $32,100 for production phase 2. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

177 supporters | followers

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In April 1969, Black and Puerto Rican students shut down the City College of New York with five basic demands for better access and inclusion for students of color. “The Five Demands" tells the little known story of this two week strike that changed the face of higher education forever.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Jezebel Productions is a nonprofit 501c3 organization that creates thought-provoking, entertaining films that have garnered two Emmy Awards and numerous international awards."The Five Demands" continues Jezebel’s tradition of telling captivating stories that connect the historical past and present.

The Story

WELCOME! We’re excited to launch this crowdfund campaign with YOU, our supporters! There are many ways to continue supporting The Five Demands: through pledges, social media and a genuine interest and engagement with key education issues. The struggle for equitable education in The Five Demands is our struggle today.

We’re so glad you’re here; thanks for joining our journey!



Although the late 1960s are widely known as an era of student activism, very few people today know about the protests organized by Black students on nearly 200 college campuses around the country in 1968 and 1969. Far more attention has been given to white middle class students in opposition to the Vietnam War, yet this little-known history of Black student protest had the greater impact: it transformed American higher education and the culture of the university.  


The City College strike was homegrown in Harlem, the most famous Black neighborhood in America.  Its unshakeable coalition of Black and Puerto Rican student organizers, in a city with the largest Puerto Rican population on the mainland, was a powerful symbolic alliance. With the onset of Open Admissions in 1970, City College began to serve as an engine for social mobility for a much wider cross-section of the city. The City University of New York, of which City College is the flagship campus, became the single largest degree-granting institution for Black and Hispanic students in the United States. As generations of these graduates took up positions of power and responsibility in the workings of the city and across the country, the social and political map of New York City and the nation was redrawn.  






PRODUCTION: You can help us bring more voices to the film and the conversation. We have documented many of the student protestors and want to be sure to include a variety of perspectives on the takeover from students to scholars to educators.



ARCHIVE RIGHTS: We have identified amazing archival footage including police surveillance film, news footage, and on the ground footage from students to bring this story to life. Your pledges will help secure these rights to fully tell our story!





MUSIC RIGHTS: The 1960s was a spectacular era for music, from soul to salsa to spoken word. We’re compiling a great soundtrack and need your support to help us get our groove on!



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Now is the time to tell the story of the 1969 CCNY student protest: key participants are still alive and education policy, from pre- K to Ph.D., is in the news daily. Teaching standards, the role of race and ethnicity in the core curriculum, and what constitutes fairness in the admissions process are all under intense debate. This film raises provocative questions about our still unresolved understanding of American history, and provides an important perspective on the current turbulent political climate, in which education is — once again — a battleground.




As the events of the last year show — protests in New York last summer, repeated calls to defund police departments across the country,  the trial of the officer who murdered George Floyd — it is essential for Americans to educate ourselves about the true history of racial injustice in the U.S. In a very real sense, this film is even more urgent now than when we began production a few years back.


The Five Demands, produced by Tracy Daniels and Andrea Weiss and directed by Greta Schiller, continues Jezebel Productions’ 35 year tradition of creating innovative, thought-provoking and entertaining films that make deep connections between the historical past and present.

We are the ideal team of people to make the film because we have a very strong track record of producing award-winning historical documentary films, we are a diverse crew of filmmakers in terms of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality, and we have unrestricted access to the people and archives of City College, while maintaining complete independence as storytellers.



Director Greta Schiller has been resolutely independent in her filmmaking throughout her entire career.  Born in Detroit, where her working class family made a secure living in the auto factories, she grew up hearing stories of the union organizing that offered a glimpse of America’s great potential. When her family moved to Ann Arbor, the winds of positive social and political change blew new ideas of empowerment into her life. She lived in a multi-racial housing project on the edge of town and her mom worked as a secretary to support four kids. So when she heard that City College was tuition-free and considered the Harvard of the Poor, she moved to New York and enrolled in City College under Open Admissions. There she discovered women’s studies and cinema studies and was selected for the prestigious film production program, the Picker Film Institute. 




Fast forward to the late 70’s where Greta met Andrea Weiss, when they were both employed at Women Make Movies.  Jezebel Productions evolved out of their collaboration on Greta Schiller's groundbreaking documentary, Before Stonewall (1984), for which both of them won Emmy Awards.  From the very beginning, Schiller and Weiss were true independents, making films that reflected their political and artistic values. They set out to make documentary films that uncover stories of people and communities whose lives were overlooked and systematically erased from cultural memory.  



Five years ago they began production on The Five Demands and have supported the film through an artist grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, private donations, and self-funding. Producer Tracy Daniels joined the team in 2019 to support production at the filming of the student takeover’s 50th anniversary celebration.  Having grown up in New York, Tracy was instantly taken with the subject of the film.  She has drawn on her roots in activism and production on several films from New York’s early Black independent film scene to bring a keen social justice awareness and a broad range of skills to the film. Together the Five Demands team is committed to bringing this untold story not only to the communities that fought in the struggle for equity in higher education, but also to new audiences that continue that struggle today!

Your generous pledge will help us film final interviews with key participants in the takeover and experts on topics ranging from education to contemporary and historical social justice initiatives. You will further help us secure invaluable archival materials that are essential to telling our story. And, finally you will help us secure music rights that will bring the best sounds of the era to our soundtrack!




Over the past year, production of The Five Demands was greatly affected by the pandemic. We were unable to access City College campus, resulting in shoots being postponed and losing access to the City College archive collection, a key resource for us.

We were fortunate to briefly resume production late last year and took great care to follow health and safety protocols as outlined by the CDC and NY State. Here are some of the key steps we’ve taken and will continue to adopt as required by state and industry regulations while completing the film.

• There will be a limited number of people allowed on set and in common areas, and access to the set is restricted to ­essential personnel only.

• All cast/crew members are required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination and in the absence of vaccination provide proof of Covd-19 testing 72 hours prior to the start date.

• All cast/crew members are required to wear acceptable face coverings at all times.

• A supply of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available throughout production in designated areas.

While many obstacles still remain for us, this crowdfund campaign is a welcome opportunity not only to engage and update our wonderfully supportive audience, but also to help us get back on the road to completion!










Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Additional interviews

Costs $7,000

To ensure that we have a wide range of perspectives represented in the film.

Sound design and mix

Costs $9,500

We will need a professional surround-sound design and mix for the final film.

Music Licensing

Costs $15,000

We have a rich soundtrack of music to re-create the era of the late 1960s.

Archival Footage

Costs $8,500

To license TV news and other footage that dramatizes the takeover.

About This Team


Greta Schiller (Director) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of Jezebel Productions. Since 1984 she has produced over a dozen films, inducting lost histories of marginalized groups into the cultural narrative, including international favorites like:  Before Stonewall (1984, Emmy Award), International Sweethearts of Rhythm (PBS, 1986 Best Doc, Philadelphia Film Festival), Paris Was a Woman (1995 Audience Award Winner, Berlinale), and The Man Who Drove With Mandela (PBS, 1998 Best Documentary at Berlinale). Her films have screened at the most prestigious international film festivals and, over the last 35 years, her intimate style has made her one of the most respected, longest-producing independent filmmakers of her generation. After earning her M.Ed in Science Education, Schiller’s investigations shifted to science, society, and the environment. Her latest film, The Land of Azaba (2020) tells a tale of epic proportions set in an ecological reserve on the Spanish-Portuguese border and will be part of the UN Decade of Ecological Restoration programming. An awardee of two Fulbright Fellowships: the first ever US/UK Fulbright Arts Fellowship in Film in 1989-90, and a Global Fulbright Award in 2016, Schiller is also the recipient of a Rachel Carson Fellowship, the Townsend Harris Medal: Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2018 she was inducted into the CCNY Alumni Hall of Fame. Greta’s films have been funded and/or distributed by Kino Lorber, PBS (USA), New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Suffolk County Film Commission, Eurimage, VPRO, ARTE, Channel Four UK, South African Arts Council, London Production Fund, European Media Fund and The Arts Council of England.   

Andrea Weiss (Writer/Producer/Editor) is a documentary filmmaker and founder, with Greta Schiller, of Jezebel Productions. She is Producer/Director/Editor of Bones of Contention, a feature documentary delving into the historical memory movement in Spain and the unknown story of LGBT repression under the Franco dictatorship. Bones of Contention premiered in the Berlin Film Festival, screened on the film festival circuit around the world, and had an art-house cinema release in Spain. It won several jury and audience awards, including in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Valladolid, Spain. Her many other film credits include the award-winning documentaries Escape to Life, Seed of Sarah, Paris Was a Woman, Before Stonewall (for which she won an Emmy Award), A Bit of Scarlet and International Sweethearts of Rhythm, among others. A nonfiction author as well, her books include Paris Was a Woman (Harper Collins, 1995; reissued by Counterpoint Press, 2013) which won a Lambda Literary Award, Vampires and Violets: Lesbians in Film (Penguin, 1992) and The Shadow of The Magic Mountain: The Erika And Klaus Mann Story (University of Chicago Press, 2008) which won the Publishing Triangle Award for Best Nonfiction. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, German, Korean, Swedish, Japanese, and Slovenian. Weiss has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, the U.S./Spain Fulbright Commission and the D.A.A.D. Artist Program in Berlin. She holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History and is Professor of Film at the City College of New York, where she co-directs the MFA Program in Film. 

Tracy Daniels (Writer/Producer) is an independent producer whose passion for storytelling has taken her around the globe from New York to New Delhi. She has specialized in branded content for clients including Paramount Pictures, Campbell Soup Company, and Lifetime Television. Her work as a Production Assistant on Great Performances' The Colored Museum, Warner Bros.’ New Jack City, and Alma’s Rainbow directed by Ayoka Chenzira inspires her to collaborate with filmmakers bringing untold stories from the margins to the screen.  She served as Deputy Director for the Rainbow Push Coalition’s Wall Street Project initiative headed by Founder and President Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., supporting non-profit economic development-focused initiatives that challenged corporate America to create a more balanced playing field for under-served communities. Her desire to showcase women's voices in film and television informed her advocacy work with New York Women in Film and Television where she served on the Board of Directors and Special Events, Archive and Documentary committees. Tracy co-produced the award winning short After Words: The Opposite of Foreplay which premiered at the 2017 NY International Shorts Film Festival and won the 2017 Audience Choice award at the Flicks X Chicks festival in Dallas, TX. She recently served as Production Manager for The Heart Stays, an original Native American feature and winner of the Made in New York Women's Fund Award.  Tracy holds a Master of Science in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. 

Octavio Warnock-Graham (Cinematographer) is an award winning  producer, director and cinematographer. He works with a variety of clients including CUNY TV, Twelve Publishing, Simon and Schuster and Grand Central Press.  Previous to producing and directing,  he worked for over 10 years as a lighting technician and gaffer. His experience includes, Yo! MTV Raps, the Howard Stern Show, The Apprentice, the 2004 Olympics, the RuPaul Show as well as many other major network programs. He served as lead cinematographer on Jezebel Productions’ feature documentaries U.N. Fever and No Dinosaurs in Heaven.  In the fall of 2004, he returned to school to pursue an MFA at the City College of New York in documentary writing and producing. His film, Silences, won best documentary in national film festivals including the San Francisco Black Film Festival. The film has aired on Black Entertainment Television and Al Jazeera English and is currently distributed by New Day Films.

Bhima Aryateja (Sound Recordist) grew up in Jakarta Indonesia. Had been involved with documenting cultural events at Sacred Bridge Foundation (the first private cultural organization in Indonesia being recognized as a cultural counterpart by UNESCO), where he worked as Documentation Manager on “Listen to The World”. In 2014 he earned his bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting Journalism at Universitas Pelita Harapan in Indonesia; in 2015 he completed a conservatory documentary filmmaking program at New York Film Academy in New York; and in 202 he earned his MFA  in Film at The City College of New York, with his award-winning thesis film “Dry Rain”.  He currently works as a freelance sound recordist in New York.

J.T. Takagi (Sound Recordist) is an award winning independent filmmaker and sound recordist. Her films are primarily on Asian/Asian-American and immigrant issues and include BITTERSWEET SURVIVAL, THE #7 TRAIN, THE WOMEN OUTSIDE and NORTH KOREA: BEYOND THE DMZ, which all aired on PBS. As a sound engineer, she has recorded for numerous public television and theatrical documentaries with Emmy and Cinema Audio Society nominations including the 2018 Oscar nominated and Emmy winning STRONG ISLAND by Yance Ford, BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION and TELL THEM WE ARE RISING by Stanley Nelson, and others.  She also manages Third World Newsreel, a non-profit alternative media center, and serves on the boards of both community and national organizations working on peace and social justice.

Joann Huang (Titles and Graphics) discovered her passion for filmmaking while earning her MFA in Design and Technology at The New School’s Parsons School for Design. From there she went on to earn an MFA in Film from the City College of New York.  Since 20104, she has worked as Creative Design Specialist for City College, and has also served as Editor, Graphic Artist, and Production Designer on various films including A Way Back Home, Cinema Sanctuary, For Your Smile and The Snakes. She holds a BA in Business Communication with a specialization in Graphic Design from CUNY’s Baruch College. 

Additional Camera:

Emmanuel Adu-Poku     

Jorge Gomez           

Frank Hooker


Victoria Anderson

Warut Snidvongs

Current Team