Tigre Hill (born [ when? ]) is a filmmaker known for tackling controversial subjects. He is perhaps best known for his first documentary, The Shame of a City .
Tigre Hill was born in Pittsburgh and raised in the western Philadelphia neighborhood of Wynnefield.The son of a highly decorated Marine officer and a well-known educator, Hill attended Episcopal Academy in Merion and Archbishop Carroll High School (Radnor, Pennsylvania), then graduated with a speech and communications degree from Temple University.
While Hill’s first feature narrative film, Casanova’s Demise, has yet to be released because of various legal issues,its controversial subject matter (the film concerns a man sentenced to castration for committing rape), and its inclusion of local and national celebrities including R&B singer Adina Howard, attracted significant media attention and brought Hill to public notice.
The Shame of a City , a feature-length documentary that catapulted Hill into the local and national political spotlight,has been identified as a tool used by reform candidate Michael Nutter in securing election to Philadelphia mayoral office in 2007. The film, independently released in 2006, followed moderate Republican mayoral candidate Sam Katz as he unsuccessfully sought to defeat incumbent Democrat John Street in 2003 in a race that made national news when a Federal Bureau of Investigation bug was found in Street’s office. Hill’s film gained widespread attention for exposing many high-ranking Street supporters as disingenuous opportunists who intentionally and falsely manipulated racial tensions and suspicion of President George W. Bush's administration to get Street re-elected despite a string of corruption indictments in his inner circle that threatened to implicate him directly
The Shame of a City quickly became a mechanism favored by local politicians, journalists,academics and activists to address the endemic problems of a city once referred to as “corrupt and contented.” The timing of these civic discussions benefited reformer and former city council member Nutter, who was by then attempting to succeed Street by securing the Democratic primary vote for mayor against two Street supporters portrayed negatively in Hill’s movie: Congressmen Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah. After receiving Hill’s endorsement, Nutter himself screened “The Shame of a City” five times to sold-out audiences, using it to raise money and awareness of his opponents’ political techniques. In the primary election of May 2007, Nutter overcame a polling lag to emerge as winner, and easily beat his opponent in the general election.
The film generated substantial press coverage,earning Hill an interview on MSNBC, named references in five successive issues of Philadelphia Magazine, and positive reviews by The Philadelphia Inquirer , among others. Screenings were sponsored by institutions including Philadelphia magazine. The film, beyond solidifying Hill’s reputation as a serious filmmaker who could maintain the respect of even the people vilified in his film, provided an introduction to a Katz campaign consultant, Carl Singley, whose strongly positive appearance in the movie briefly made him the focus of an early, informal citywide campaign for him to run for mayor. Philadelphia magazine picked up on the campaign, but Singley eventually declined to run.
In late 2006, Hill commenced work on a documentary concerning another Philadelphia controversy: the murder in 1981 of white Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and the conviction of black journalist-turned-cab-driver Mumia Abu-Jamal. The case had ignited worldwide controversy, with Abu-Jamal’s arrest and trial becoming a cause célèbre for celebrities, foreign dignitaries and human rights campaigners. Faulkner supporters, however, regarded the controversy as an effort to obscure the truth about Faulkner's death.
The resulting film, The Barrel of a Gun, diverged from earlier documentaries In Prison My Whole Life and A Case for Reasonable Doubt to present the facts of the crime as testified to at trial and the historical events that led up to and may have caused it.It included on-camera interviews with parties to the controversy including widow Maureen Faulkner; Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell; prosecutor Joe McGill; Philadelphia district attorney Lynne Abraham; Abu-Jamal attorney Robert Bryan; celebrities Ed Asner, Mike Farrell, Danny Glover and Sister Helen Prejean; former Philadelphia police commissioner Sylvester Johnson; Pam Africa, head of the International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal and close ally of MOVE founder John Africa; author David Horowitz and radio talk show host Michael Smerconish. Investigative journalist Gerald Posner advised on the movie's production.
The film's release was scheduled for late 2009, but Hill announced in November 2009 that it would be delayed to incorporate a "rare new insight" achieved while the movie was in production.In June 2010 it was announced on Facebook that the film's premiere screening would take place in September 2010. The ticket price will be $46.99, representing Officer Faulkner's badge number.
Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8) distributed copies of the film to Senate offices in Washington, D.C. in February 2014 as part of his efforts to oppose Debo Adegbile’s nomination to serve as the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. Adegbile had contributed to the filing of a 2009 appeal on behalf of Abu-Jamal; ultimately, Adegbile’s appointment was rejected by the Senate.
Hill also directed a music videofor a song that was included in the film that was written by Extreme, and former Van Halen, frontman Gary Cherone titled "The Murder Of Daniel Faulkner". Cherone wrote the song several years ago out of sympathy for the slain Philadelphia police officer's widow, Maureen. It was shot at the location in Philadelphia, 13th and Locust, where Faulkner was murdered. It is available on YouTube.
Hill is currently developing The Corrupt and the Dead, a documentary about the American mafia. Filmed in collaboration with journalist and author George Anastasia (Blood and Honor, The Last Gangster) and Philadelphia FOX 29 investigative reporter Dave Schratwieser,the film focuses on the economic impact of the mob.
Hill was working with journalist Larry Kane on a documentary about Kane’s time as the only journalist to travel with the Beatles for the entirety of their North American tours in 1964 and 1965when Ron Howard announced in July 2014 that he would be doing a documentary about the Beatles’ performing history. Howard's documentary, called The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, would be presented in collaboration with Apple, the Beatles’ company; White Horse Pictures; and Imagine Entertainment. Kane and Hill agreed that Howard's documentary would be a better opportunity for Kane so they ceased production on their documentary. Hill received a consultant credit on Howard's film since it used some of his footage of Kane.
Hill also announced that he is working on a feature film script for a biopic chronicling the life of Philadelphia civil rights activist Cecil B. Moore, who was the head of Philadelphia’s NAACP and successfully led the fight for Girard College’s integration
In December 2020 PhillyMag.com reported that Hill was close to completing a new documentary film titled "72 Seconds In Rittenhouse Square".The documentary is about the controversial 2018 stabbing death of a white, wealthy real estate developer by a young African American Uber Eats delivery person. Michael White claimed that he stabbed Sean Schellenger in self-defense. White was put on trial where he was eventually acquitted of manslaughter. Hill will be detailing the case, the trial, and the aftermath of White's acquittal. He will also be exploring the racial and class dynamics that made this case so controversial.
Mumia Abu-Jamal is an American political activist and journalist who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1982 for the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. He became widely known while on death row for his writings and commentary on the criminal justice system in the United States. After numerous appeals, his death penalty sentence was overturned by a Federal court. In 2011, the prosecution agreed to a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. He entered the general prison population early the following year.
MOVE, originally the Christian Movement for Life, is a communal organization that advocates for nature laws and natural living, founded in 1972 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, by John Africa. The name, styled in all capital letters, is not an acronym. MOVE lived in a communal setting in West Philadelphia, abiding by philosophies of anarcho-primitivism. The group combined revolutionary ideology, similar to that of the Black Panthers, with work for animal rights.
John Franklin Street is an American politician and lawyer who served as the 97th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia. He was first elected to a term beginning on January 3, 2000, and was re-elected to a second term beginning in 2004. He is a Democrat and became mayor after having served 19 years in the Philadelphia City Council, including seven years as its president, before resigning as required under the Philadelphia City Charter in order to run for mayor. He followed Ed Rendell as mayor, assuming the post on January 3, 2000. Street was Philadelphia's second black mayor.
Sam Katz is an American politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the Republican nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia in 1999 and 2003, nearly winning the election in the overwhelmingly Democratic city. His loss to the controversial John F. Street was covered in the documentary The Shame of a City.
Michael A. Smerconish is an American radio host and television presenter, political commentator, newspaper columnist, author, and lawyer. He broadcasts The Michael Smerconish Program weekdays at 9:00 a.m. ET on SiriusXM's POTUS Channel (124), and hosts the CNN and CNN International program Smerconish at 9:00 a.m. ET on Saturdays. He is a Sunday newspaper columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Smerconish has authored seven books: six non-fiction works and one novel. He is also of counsel to the Philadelphia law firm of Kline & Specter.
Benjamin Franklin High School is a public high school located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The school, located north of Center City, is a part of the School District of Philadelphia. Franklin serves sections of North Philadelphia and Center City.
Dave Lindorff is an American investigative reporter,filmmaker, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Tarbell.org,The Nation,FAIR and Salon.com. His work was highlighted by Project Censored 2004, 2011 and 2012.
The 39th District Corruption Scandal refers to a persistent pattern of brutality and corruption among a cadre of Philadelphia Police Department officers, primarily from the Department's 39th District. The scandal emerged in late 1995 and received nationwide attention by 1997, eventually resulting in an investigation by Human Rights Watch. Hundreds of people were involved in the incidents that occurred in North Philadelphia in the early 1990s. Some individuals are notable due to their direct participation, and others for their participation in related events, particularly the legal proceedings of the conviction of Mumia Abu-Jamal for the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner.
The 2007 Philadelphia mayoral election was held on November 6, 2007 when Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States elected Michael Nutter as the Mayor of Philadelphia starting in 2008. The incumbent mayor, John F. Street was barred from seeking a third term because of term limits. The Democratic Party primary campaign saw two well-known, well-funded Philadelphia congressmen – Bob Brady and Chaka Fattah – eclipsed by self-funding businessman Tom Knox and reformist former Philadelphia City Council member Nutter, who won by a surprisingly large margin in the primary election on May 15. He went on to face Republican Party nominee Al Taubenberger in the general election, which he won by a large margin and with the lowest voter turnout in a Philadelphia mayoral election without an incumbent since 1951. Mayor Nutter was sworn in on January 7, 2008.
Arnold Beverly is a Philadelphia man who rose to prominence during the legal appeals following the 1982 trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal. In 1999, Beverly signed an affidavit confessing to the murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. Beverly swore that while acting as a hitman for the mob hired by corrupt Philadelphia police officers, he, not Abu-Jamal, killed officer Faulkner.
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Mumia Abu-Jamal was a 1982 murder trial in which Mumia Abu-Jamal was tried for the first-degree murder of police officer Daniel Faulkner. A jury convicted Abu-Jamal on all counts and sentenced him to death.
Captain Richard Barry Costello was an American police officer in Philadelphia who was President of the Philadelphia Lodge of the FOP. In 2008, he unsuccessfully challenged incumbent John Perzel in Pennsylvania's 172nd Legislative District in Northeast Philadelphia.
The Shame of a City is a 2006 feature-length documentary directed by Tigre Hill about the final month of the 2003 Philadelphia Mayoral Election. During that election, incumbent Democrat John Street sought to defeat his Republican challenger Sam Katz. Philadelphia is predominantly Democratic, but early polls showed Katz with a small lead. Twenty-seven days prior to the election, the FBI revealed that it was investigating Street for corruption, but polls showed that the public supported Street more after the scandal broke. Hill attempts to investigate how Street turned the corruption scandal into an advantage.
In Prison My Whole Life is a 2007 documentary film about American journalist and prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, directed by Marc Evans, and written by Evans and William Francome. Others involved with the project were Robert R. Bryan, Angela Davis, Anthony Arnove, Dead Prez, Howard Zinn, Mos Def, Noam Chomsky, Robert Meeropol, Russell Simmons, Snoop Dogg and Steve Earle. The film's executive producer is Colin Firth.
Mumia Abu-Jamal: A Case For Reasonable Doubt? is a documentary film about journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal and his trial for murder of a Philadelphia police officer, directed by John Edginton. There are two versions, both produced by Otmoor Productions. The first version was 57 minutes long and aired in 1996 by HBO.
A polarizing figure, Mumia Abu-Jamal has attracted widespread attention in popular culture. Since at least 1995, there are examples of references to him in notable popular music recordings and musical performances. He and his case have been the subject of three documentary films and a shorter 20/20 television special which aired shortly after the 27th anniversary of his apprehension.
The 2011 Philadelphia mayoral election was held on November 8, 2011, to elect the mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Incumbent Michael Nutter had been Mayor of Philadelphia since 2008 after being elected in the 2007 election, and was re-elected with approximately 75% of the vote. Primary elections were held on May 17, 2011.
The 2015 Philadelphia mayoral election was held on November 3, 2015, to elect the Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, concurrently with various other state and local elections. Heavily favored Democratic party candidate Jim Kenney won.
Debo Patrick Adegbile is an American lawyer in private practice who also serves as a Commissioner for the United States Civil Rights Commission. He was previously nominated to serve as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. The Senate ultimately failed to confirm his nomination. The Fraternal Order of Police objected vehemently to a brief he filed arguing that there was racial discrimination in jury selection for the trial of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of the murder of a law enforcement officer.
Racial biases are a form of implicit bias, which refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect an individual's understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass unfavorable assessments, are often activated involuntarily and without the awareness or intentional control of the individual. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Police officers have implicit bias, regardless of their ethnicity. Racial bias in criminal news reporting in the United States is a manifestation of this bias.