In October 2008—during the last days of Barack Obama’s first bid for the presidency and the country’s worst economic disaster since the Great Depression—WFMU radio reporter Clay Pigeon takes to the streets of New York to talk to people about their lives, their dreams, and their relationship with a transforming city.

As part of what he calls a “radio experiment,” this transplanted Iowan roams the streets bearing a handheld recorder and a kindly probing nature: “Has he popped the question?” “When did you become a woman?” “When is the last time you’ve had a regular roof over your head?” “Do you love America?”

These revealing interviews are woven between vivid scenes of New York’s eccentric byways, which together reveal a city—and a nation—at a crossroads.

On screen the city unfolds as a densely choreographed stage for rituals marking the onset of autumn. City dwellers bask in the last days of sunshine, jack-o-lanterns begin to decorate the stoops, observant Jews toss breadcrumbs into the Hudson River on Rosh Hashanah, and Muslims mark the end of their Ramadan fast with Eid al-Fitr prayers and expressions of forgiveness.

Yet in this historic moment, major investment banks have failed and the Dow has tumbled. In nearly all neighborhoods the real estate explosion beckons the wealthy and displaces longtime residents with fewer means. And while Obama’s message of “Hope” seems to be everywhere, even optimistic voters wonder if anyone can truly change America’s course.

Lyrical, loving, and often humorous, ONE OCTOBER is a city symphony that celebrates the resiliency of the human spirit and the dynamism of a multicultural metropolis. Seen from our current vantage point, the film is also a remarkable time capsule that presages the roiling political upheaval spreading across the country today.


Clay is the host of The Dusty Show with Clay Pigeon on WFMU, an independent freeform radio station broadcasting from Jersey City. The show began airing in 2005 and can be heard every Thursday at 6pm EST on WFMU 91.1 in the tri-state area and streamed from Clay was raised in Audubon, Iowa, where he developed a conversational interview style that has informed his work over the years. After broadcasting school, he migrated to Clearwater, Florida, where he DJ’ed at WTAN and 96FEVER and played in the rock band, Deloris Telescope. In 1998, Clay created a street interview–based program for WMNF in Tampa, which he continued to produce after moves to Los Angeles and Milwaukee. He relocated to New York in 2007, where he lives with his wife, illustrator Kirsten Ulve.


Rachel Shuman (Director, Editor, Producer) Originally from Boston, Rachel lives and works in New York City as a documentary filmmaker and editor. Her directorial debut Negotiations premiered at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. She co-directed Art, Architecture, and Innovation: Celebrating the Guggenheim Museum, which aired on PBS and is now on view at the museum. Her editing credits include Wallace, The Dollar General, Peter Eisenman: University of Phoenix Stadium (Checkerboard Films), and After the Cup (Variance Films). Rachel has also worked as an editor on nonfiction programming for A&E, History, and MTV and she is proud to be a Board Member of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship.

 garret savage_portrait
Garret Savage (Producer) Garret is a producer and editor based in Brooklyn. His documentary editing credits include the Peabody Award-winning My Perestroika, HBO’s How Democracy Works Now series, Ready, Set, Bag! (LA Film Festival), and IFC’s 4-Cylinder 400. He was an associate producer of the Emmy-nominated feature documentary Pressure Cooker (Participant Films). He has enjoyed working for Paramount Pictures, ABC/ESPN, Discovery, IFC, AMC, MTV, and more. Garret was a 2009 Sundance Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow. He was the Program Director of the Nantucket Film Festival’s Teen View Film Lab and is a founder and Board President of the Karen Schmeer Film Editing Fellowship.
David Sampliner (Cinematographer) David’s most recent documentary feature, My Own Man, premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. His first documentary feature, Dirty Work (co-directed with Tim Nackashi), screened at the Sundance Film Festival, won Best Documentary Feature at the Atlanta Film Festival, and aired on the Sundance Channel. He co-directed Art, Architecture, and Innovation, a documentary about the history of the Guggenheim Museum broadcast on WNET Channel 13 and now on permanent exhibition at the Museum. His recent short films include Bread Power for Etsy’s website, and the DVD featurette on the making of By the People: The Election of Barack Obama (Sony Pictures).
 Paul Brill
Paul Brill (Composer) Paul Brill has received three Emmy Award nominations for his scores for the films The Trials of Darryl Hunt (HBO), The Devil Came on Horseback (Break Thru Films) and Full Battle Rattle (National Geographic) and recently won the first-ever Best Music Award from the International Documentary Association for his score for the film, Better this World. He collaborated with Rock legends U2 on the HBO film, Burma Soldier, composing a new string arrangement for an acoustic version of their classic song, “Walk On.” He scored the hit documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (IFC), the Emmy Award-winning Page One: Inside the NY Times (Magnolia), and the widely-acclaimed documentary Gideon’s Army (HBO). He recently completed work on Abigail Disney’s The Armor of Light, and the Emmy, DuPont and Peabody Award-winning, 6-hour PBS documentary, The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.
Consulting Producers:
Cathryne Czubeck
Jessica Wolfson

Associate Producer:
Sarah Wainio

Writers/Story Advisors:
Annie Bruno
Whitney Henry-Lester

Consulting Editors:
Linda Hattendorf
Kristen Nutile


Woods Hole Film Festival, MA
Saturday, July 29, 2017 @7PM



Lighthouse International Film Festival, Long Beach, NJ

Saturday, June 10 @ 11:00AM

Stranger Than Fiction, NYC

Wednesday, May 17, 2107 @ 7PM


Sunday, April 30, 2017 @12:45PM

Full Frame (World Premiere)

Saturday, April 8, 2017 @ 1:30PM

Audiences Everywhere, May 16, 2017

The Arts Fuse, May 6, 2017

Arts Fuse review

“18 Movies to Watch: The 2017 Independent Film Festival Boston”

NC Flix, April 6, 2017

NC Flix review

Durham Herald-Sun, April 4, 2017

One October review

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