Bestselling Jersey City Memoir Seeks Funding for Documentary

New York, New York – Beginning October 20, 2014, New York Times journalist and acclaimed memoirist Helene Stapinski is teaming up with experienced filmmakers to launch a Kickstarter campaign that will turn her bestselling book, Five-Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History, into a long-form broadcast documentary slated to air on public television. 

Stapinski, who published Five-Finger Discount in 2002, saw the corruption of 1970s Jersey City firsthand. Growing up in a family of swindlers, bookies, embezzlers, political “fixers” and mobster wannabes, Stapinski wrote about the cast of characters who colored her world and defined her understanding of life as it existed in Jersey City, then the poster child of urban political corruption. 

Five-Finger Discount: The Documentary aims to bring Helene’s Damon Runyon characters and straight-shooting personal and political stories to a wide television audience. The film will feature rich gangland plots and poignant family episodes alongside tales of innocent victims and stoic domestic guardians.  It will follow Helene’s escape from her sordid history to a future of her own design, alongside Jersey City’s own transformation from its grimy past to its glowing present. 

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop says, Five-Finger Discount is a book that is an institution in Jersey City, an institution in New Jersey, and it’s one literally across the country that I think many families can relate to.”

He continues, “If you love Boardwalk Empire, if you love stories about corruption, if you love stories about family, if you love comedies, this is a perfect fit. And this book is just a wonderful thing and we’re excited about the movie.”

The film is seeking $45,000 + for its next production phase and the crowdfunding site will run over 35 days. According to producer Rosanne Braun, “WNET is already on board, but in order to shoot the film the way we know it needs to be shot, we have to supplement our early funding with contributions from the book’s many fans as well as from the larger Jersey City community.  We’re also reaching out to immigrant and urban history enthusiasts, to women’s groups and to people who just want to be associated with an entertaining and provocative movie.”  

Besides Rosanne Braun, the Five-Finger Discount: The Documentary team includes widely-acclaimed documentary producer Charles Hobson, award-winning director Steven Fischler of Pacific Street Films and much-admired cinematographer John Miglietta.

Learn more about and contribute to the film here.

Distributed by CrowdfundingPR

Media Contact
Company Name: Five-Finger Discount Film
Contact Person: Rosanne Braun
Phone: (631) 334-8517
Country: United States