"There’s an authenticity to "Drivers Wanted" that seems so true and tough that it overwhelms any standard immigrants-up-from-their-bootstraps theme." - NY TIMES
"Full of Wacky Jewish Humor" - EU OSHA
“If you get a chance to see DRIVERS WANTED – do it! It’s charming, it’s touching, it’s real, it’s New York!” – Planet Chocko
Johnnie Spider Footman, New York Cities oldest taxi driver passed away on September 11, 2013. He was 94 years old. With a name like Footman, it seemed like he was destined to drive, and for Spider he saw driving as his vehicle to equality. Nothing could be more than the truth, he came to NYC in the 30s to escape the racism of Florida, where he was born. He loved MLK and told me that the movie "Driving Miss Daisy said important things." "I got tired of being called ni**er and I got tired using on the white man, cracker." was his blunt reason for leaving the South. But seeing the new crop of taxi drivers gave him hope "That garage where I am at, everybody in there from everywhere. They may not understand each other right off hand but they get along." Spider called 55 Stan, the taxi garage where he worked his "senior citizen home" and even on his days off he would show up wearing a plastic spider around his neck and a bodega stogie between his lips.
-Joshua Z Weinstein
We are very sad to hear the passing of Johnny "Spider" Footman, the amazing New York cab driver of almost 70 years. The man that we had the honor of following in his final years was a true model of fortitude and endurance, who came to work -- rain, shine, or snow -- until the end. Spider was a true New York City legend. He will be sorely missed.
Read more about Spider in The NY Times, The New York Observer, NY 1, & Huffington Post.
NY TIMES "New York City Taxi Drivers, Alone in the Jungle"
FILMMAKER MAGAZINE "Making of Interview"
HAMMER TO NAIL "Its a Hard Honk Life"
WASHINGTON CITY PAPER
POP MATTERS "8 out 10"
NPR's TRANSPORTATION NATION
REDDIT IAMA "with David Yassky TLC Commissioner"
The New York street system consists of 6174 miles of mostly asphalt roads and legend has it that a real yellow cab driver knows this jungle like the back of his hand. The filmmakers Jean Tsien and Joshua Weinstein mixed with the colourful community of drivers, mechanics and office clerks working for a long-established taxi company in Queens to document that the original ideal of the common man’s Big Apple is still very much alive and present in this slightly seedy enterprise. They avoided the trap of producing a simple assertion of an idyllic or even paradisiacal situation, opting instead for a highly enjoyable demonstration of that unspectacular and delightful feeling described by Hemingway when he remembered an encounter with some craftsmen during a stay in Paris in the 1920s: “It was easier to think if I was walking and doing something or seeing people doing something that they understood.“ What’s left? The certainty that it can’t hurt to feel grateful for little things occasionally. – Ralph Eue (DOK Leipzig Programmer)
Director, Cinematographer: JOSHUA Z WEINSTEIN
Producer, Editor: JEAN TSIEN
Composer: ADAM CRYSTAL
Colorist: SETH RICART
Sound Designer: JORGE BAILON
TAXI PARKING LOT EVENT
featuring Taxi Yoga and Spider NYC's oldest taxi driver
09/07/13 8pm (rain date 09/08)
45-16 VERNON BLVD, LIC, NY
SEBASTOPOL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
NEW YORK CITY THEATRICAL RELEASE
RERUN GASTROPUB THEATER
11/30/12 - 12/06/12
147 FRONT STREET BROOKLYN NY
11/30/12 7PM; Join us for a screening followed by what promises to be a lively discussion about taxi driver and passenger concerns. Topics to include an explanation why the industry struggled so much during and after Hurricane Sandy, what's really behind trip refusals, side effects of long-term driving and tales of tipping. The panel, moderated by WNYC reporter Kathleen Horan features a range of taxi insiders. It includes one of NYC's oldest cabbies, an industry lobbyist, member(s) of the Taxi Workers Alliance, and Drivers Wanted director Joshua Z Weinstein.
11/11/12 IFC CENTER, NY 2PM
SOUTHERN CIRCUIT ARTS TOUR
11/05/12 CITY OF SUWANEE SUWANEE, GA
11/06/12 MADISON MORGAN CULTURAL CENTER MADISON, GA
11/08/12 CAPRI THEATRE MONTGOMERY, AL
11/09/12 GREATER GALLATIN, INC GALLATIN, TN
11/13/12 TUPELO FILM COMMISSION TUPELO, MS
11/14/12 LSU UNION THEATER BATON ROUGE, LA
11/15/12 HELSEY INSTITUTE OF ART CHARLESTON, SC
DOK LEIPZIG, GERMANY
11/01/12 CINÉMATHÈQUE LEIPZIG 10PM
11/02/12 PASSAGE KINOS UNIVERSUM 10AM
11/03/12 PASSAGE KINOS FILMECK 2:30PM