Margo Newman doesn’t hide her affection for those facing what she calls “unimaginable hardships,” saying there’s a special place in her heart for foster children.
Newman, a South Pasadena resident, is aware that thousands of children, from infants to young adults, enter the foster care system each year in search of a safe place and a loving family to provide a home.
“Truly, caring for these kids needs to be the responsibility of everyone in our communities,” explained Newman, who teamed with others to create the Emmy award-winning film “Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story,” shown on PBS SoCal.
Featured are four youths set on a path beyond the foster care system. Giorianna, 19, an artist, struggles to live on her own after spending 12 years in a residential care facility. Summer, 17, a transgender, wants nothing more than to be adopted. Twins Jaloni and Kalonji, 18, lived a life of poverty, but became top athletes and outstanding students through the support and guiding of two loving adults.
Newman says there should be a special place in everyone’s heart for foster youth.
“Foster care is an urgent issue and these kids deserve all the attention and support we can give,” she explained. “The film was part of a multi-year PBS SoCal initiative called ‘To Foster Change’ intended to help tell the stories around foster care from a variety of perspectives.”
Pamela Tom, the film’s director and producer, was the creative force behind “Finding Home,” while Newman, an associate producer, was kept busy wearing multiple hats during long production days.
“Finding Home: A Foster Youth Story” won in the Crime/Social Issues category. Joining Newmanin winning an Emmy were: Brenda Brkusic, executive producer; Joe Fenstermaker, editor; Karen Hunte, executive producer; Ann Kaneko, camera; Michelle Merker, associate producer; Laurie Parker, producer; John Simmons, camera and Tom.
The 71st Los Angeles Area Emmys late last month at the Television Academy’s Saban Media Center in North Hollywood. Awards are presented to Los Angeles television stations and cable television for broadcast achievement in local news, programming and sports within the local market. Among the honors were the top news stories, sports specials, the best investigative reporting, public service announcement and more. The 71st primetime Emmy Awards are scheduled for September 22.
Newman holds a Masters of Fine Arts in production and direction from UCLA School of Theater Film and Television and has worked in the film industry for several decades, mostly as a writer, producer and director. “Unlike many in the business who specialize in only one area, I have been lucky to work on a wide range of projects–from feature films to documentaries and from huge studio budgets to small independent projects.”
Winning an Emmy, obviously, is no easy achievement. “I guess everyone who works in film and TV dreams of one day winning an Emmy or an Oscar,” said Newman. “I suppose I’m no different. This one came as a bit of a surprise as the Director/Producer Pamela Tom and the rest of the crew and I worked hard to produce this film for PBS SoCAL with a tight schedule and limited resources. We’re all very thrilled and proud.”