Breakfast @ Tiffany's: Summer 2015 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I love the rhythm of summer...long, lazy weekends balanced by productive days during the week that still have sunshine to enjoy when you get home. We're finishing up two films that will be premiering this fall. This is my favorite part of the process: receiving videos from all of you (2 more weeks to send), selecting the right images to take ideas further, and editing anything extraneous. For those of you in the Bay Area, there'll be a theater premiere of one of the new films "The Making of a Mensch" at JCCSF Arts & Ideas on Sept 18. After the screening, one of my favorite minds, NPR's Michael Krasny, will be interviewing me on stage. Tix for public go on sale on Aug 17. I know many of you are also hosting screenings that day for Character Day. There are now over 3500 events planned around the world. It will be a fantastic day of films and conversation and thinking on who we are and who we want to be:)

In the spirit of having people, films, books, and events around you that inspire you, this summer newsletter is overflowing with things to explore...



 *All Details Below Table of Contents*



Ken Goldberg, "Secrets & Passwords" @ Headlands | July 14
ArcLight Documentary Series | Now until July 28
MoMA Film Exhibition: Glorious Technicolor | Now until August 5
7 Billion Others | Now until Sept 13

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 35 | July 23 - Aug 9
AspenBrainLab | July 25
Arc Fusion Summit Health, IT & Science Conference | Sept 1-3

JCCSF Arts & Ideas Premieres "The Making of a Mensch" | Sept 18
Character Day around the globe | Sept 18
Life is Beautiful Festival | Sept 25 - 27 National Forum on Character Education | Oct 15 - 17




A Small Good Thing

(DIS)HONESTY - The Truth About Lies
I Believe in Unicorns
Love & Mercy



Schiller Water Bikes
Leilani Bishop Fragrances
Camelia Skikos Fashion
Martha Davis Shoes & Fashion
Origin Magazine
Plated: Food Delivery to Cook 
Serena & Lily Fashion
Reso: Booking Kids' Activities in SF
The Grand Meringue
Your Contribution to the California Drought, New York Times
WTF with Marc Maron: Interview with President Barack Obama



The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida
Still Writing 
by Dani Shapiro
The Road to Character
by David Brooks
The Rainman's Third Cure by Peter Coyote
The Beauty by Jane Hirshfield
50 Dangerous Things (you Should Let Your Children Do) by Gever Tully
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz
Go Ahead and Like It by Jacqueline Suskin
Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff
Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom by Colleen Yee

Ken Goldberg's "Secrets & Passwords"
@ Headlands Center for the Arts

July 14 | The Headlands, CA


"Like passwords, physical keys are personal and idiosyncratic. While we trust them to provide access and security, they also tell stories about who or what we’re connected to. Artist and robotics engineer Ken Goldberg (AIR ’08) will lead us in an intriguing investigation of privacy and secrets, while helping us to decipher the clues these everyday physical totems may provide into our individual and collective memories. Bring your keys!" 

Fieldwork Session
Headlands Center for the Arts
Tuesday, July 14 | 7–9PM (doors open at 6:30 for wine and house made breads and spreads)
$35 | $30 Members

I am completely biased on this one. I always look forward to Ken's art installations and experiments. - t

More info here.

ArcLight Documentary Series

Now until July 28 | Los Angeles, CA


"For the past few years, ArcLight Cinemas has shown its commitment to documentaries through the ArcLight Documentary Film Festival. Now, they continue that tradition with the ArcLight Documentary Series. On Tuesday nights, the Documentary Series brings some of the best documentary films of the year to ArcLight Hollywood’s cinephile audience."

Marjan Safina is curating a great series of docs in LA. - t 

More info here.


MoMA Film Exhibition, 
"Glorious Technicolor: From George Eastman House and Beyond"

Now until August 5 | New York City, NY


"This 100th-anniversary celebration of Technicolor presents more than 60 feature films, along with a rich selection of cartoons, short subjects, industrials, and screen tests." 

As a lover of all nostalgic cinema, I can't wait for this showcase at MoMA. - t

More info here.


7 Billion Others

Now until Sept 13| San Diego, CA


"6,000 interviews were filmed in 84 countries by about twenty directors who went in search of the Others. From a Brazilian fisherman to a Chinese shopkeeper, from a German performer to an Afghan farmer, all answered the same questions about their fears, dreams, ordeals, hopes." 

A fascinating project that just went live. - t

More info here.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 35

July 23 - Aug 9 | San Francisco, CA


"This year's lineup features diversity in Jewish filmmaking and honors complexity and depth in the stories we look forward to sharing with you onscreen. Featuring a newly redesigned Festival website and a gorgeous hardcopy program guide, there are more ways than ever to explore and discover SFJFF films." 

Just bought a ton of tix to this. A great program. - t

More info here.


July 25 | Aspen, CO


"AspenBrainLab presents a provocative program of 12 brilliant short talks and meditations, all about the brain that re-frame what we know and what we think." Speakers include Walter Isaacson, Steven Kotler, Mick Ebeling, Howard Fillit, Joshua Gordon, Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, William Moyers, Dr. Michael Smith, Dr. Aric Prather, Dr. Joseph Weiss, Ed Harrold, Karen Newell, Dr. Eben Alexander." 

They have asked me to speak in the Future Brain section of the program. Exploring some new research here. Looking forward to it.
All of you into exploring topics involving the brain, I hope to see you there.
 - t

More info here

Arc Fusion Summit Health, IT & Science Conference

Sept 1-3 | San Diego, CA


"The Arc Fusion Summit is 3 days of real talk and real action. Our mission is to accelerate the fusion of health, IT and biomedicine through discussions on critical topics. Arc does not, however, follow the predictable patterns of gatherings that promulgate the same ideas and formats that we’ve heard and seen too many times. Arc will dig deep to create collisions of disciplines and points of view that one seldom, if ever, sees on the same stage."

David Ewing Duncan creates great events bringing together health, art, and biology. - t

More info here.

JCC Arts & Ideas Premieres "The Making of a Mensch"

Sept 18 | San Francisco, CA


For Character Day in SF, I am looking forward to this premiere of "The Making of a Mensch" & the 10 year anniversary of "The Tribe"
There will also be a special performance by Vanessa Hidary.
Looking forward to this! - t  

More info here.

Character Day

September 18, 2015


Join us on Sept 18 for Character Day- a global day exploring character from different perspectives- science, education, philosophy and more. There are now over 3500 schools, classrooms and orgs who have signed up to do events premiering one of our three films (The Science of Character, The Making of a Mensch, & The Adaptable Mind), delving into discussion through our materials, and tapping into google hangout with experts in character education that will be happening for a 24 hour time period to hit all the timezones. Participation, film & printed education materials are all free, generously supported by grants. This is a project by our nonprofit Let It Ripple: Mobile Films for Global Change.- t

More info here.

Life is Beautiful Festival

Sept 25 - 27 | Las Vegas, NV


"In addition to a killer musical lineup, Life is Beautiful brings a unique twist to the festival experience. Food, art and learning are equally curated. Say so long to traditional festival fare!" 

When they asked me to speak and show a film in a geodesic dome, I couldn't say no. Will be there with the family. - t

More info here. National Forum on Character Education

Oct 15 - 17 | Atlanta, GA


" aims to benefit society through school reform that addresses not only academics, but also social, emotional, and ethical issues. has the tools, methods, and strategies to empower principals, teachers, counselors, parents and community members to help schools achieve the important goals of character development." is a great partner for our Character Day. - t

More info here.

Films to Watch



From director Albert Maysles, "IRIS pairs the 87-year-old Maysles with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, the documentary is a story about creativity and how, even at Iris' advanced age, a soaring free spirit continues to inspire."

Iris is such a hero. May we all only get more authentic, funky, and beautiful as we get older. - t

More info here.

Ex Machina


From director Alex Garland, "Caleb Smith, a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman. Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava, a breathtaking A.I. whose emotional intelligence proves more sophisticated--and more deceptive--than the two men could have imagined."

If you are interested in A/I, robots, and possible futures, definitely see this film. - t

More info here.

A Small Good Thing


From director Pam Boll, "For the longest time, we've been living as though the more we have -- the more money, the more goods, the more territory -- the happier we'll be. Following six people over a year, A SMALL GOOD THING looks at the small truths that are creating the New American Dream."

Filmmaker Pam Boll made the great doc, "Who Does She Think She Is?"
Her new doc illuminates alternate choices to living a good life.
 - t

More info here.

(DIS)HONESTY - The Truth About Lies


From creators Dan Ariely and Yael Melamede: "A documentary feature film that explores the human tendency to be dishonest. Inspired by the work of behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, the film interweaves personal stories, expert opinions, behavioral experiments, and archival footage to reveal how and why people lie."

Yael is a great filmmaker who made Oscar-winning short, "Inocente".
Can't wait to experience her new project.
 - t

More info here.

I Believe in Unicorns


 From director Leah Meyerhoff, "I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love. Available in San Francisco theaters and on iTunes July 3rd."

Director Leah Meyerhoff founded the fantastic women filmmaker group Film Fatales. Those of you in the Bay Area, come to the Roxy Theater in SF on for the Thursday night screening at 7pm. After the film, I'll be moderating a panel with Leah and filmmaker Abby Ginsberg. - t

More info here.

Love & Mercy


From director Bill Pohlad, "LOVE & MERCY presents an unconventional portrait of Brian Wilson, the mercurial singer, songwriter and leader of The Beach Boys. Set against the era-defining catalog of Wilson’s music, the film intimately examines the personal voyage and ultimate salvation of the icon whose success came at extraordinary personal cost."

Just saw this film. It's so good. I love the way they showed Brian Wilson's creative process making the album "Pet Sounds". -t

More info here.

To Check Out

Schiller Water Bikes


"Schiller was founded on the daring belief that a blue planet is meant for biking. We want to give people of all athletic abilities the most exhilarating and dynamic cycling experience riding the world’s most advanced water bike."

I love when a friend tells you of a dream full of moxie... then one year later, the prototype is done.
Judah Schiller did just that with a water bike.
 - t

More info here.

Leilani Bishop Fragrances


"Roll-On Fragrances Oils inspired by Leilani’s upbringing in Hawaii and travels around the world as a fashion model."

I met Leilani at a yoga retreat, of course;) .
She creates these beautiful fragrances that are all natural, that I am wearing as I write this x. - t

More info here

Camelia Skikos Fashion


"Camelia’s design philosophy stems from a continuing fascination with the human body resulting in carefully orchestrated designs that fit to perfection."

Camelia designed my dress that I wore to The Emmy's last year. She is such an SF talent. I loved wearing everything from SF Designers:) - t

More info here.

Martha Davis Shoes & Fashion


"With an award-winning, fifteen year career in industrial design as a foundation, Martha Davis combines the challenge of fairly complex functionality with amazing sculptural possibilities. All of Martha's shoes are designed in San Francisco and constructed in Italy, at the same Italian factory that produces footwear for Chanel and Chloe." 

I love Martha's shoes...I still wear her gold Wonder woman boots to important occasions where I need the extra power. - t

More info here.

ORIGIN Magazine


"ORIGIN's 100 Top Creatives Making a Difference features Makers: Female Pioneers, Badass Female Athletes, Top Female Change makers, National Geographic Explorers, Conservation International, Wildaid protecting endangered species, women rising, eco + humanitarian heroes and more than 80+ artists sharing wisdom."

This magazine by Maranda Pleasant and Paul D. Miller is a great mix of creativity, spirituality, and the good. - t

More info here.

Plated: Food Delivery to Cook


"A weekly box of fresh and seasonal ingredients, pre-portioned, starting at $12 per plate."

My sister Kimberly turned me on to these weekly cooking projects that feel like art projects.
I love making new dishes each week with my family. Highly recommend. - t

More info here.

Serena & Lily Fashion


"Creating a world that’s more colorful, more comfortable, more meaningful, more true. A beautiful backdrop for the life well-lived."

I already adore their sumptuous linens...and now they have beautiful clothes. - t

More info here.



"Book the most amazing kids' activities in San Francisco." 

Any tool that helps me be more organized as a mom, I am grateful for. - t

More info here.

The Grand Meringue


  Janet Ryvin and Jane Friedman "handcraft bite-sized meringues that are unlike anything you have tasted…crunchy on the outside with mallowy soft, melt-in-the-mouth centers."

Their bite-sized meringues are divine. - t

More info here.

Your Contribution to the California Drought
The New York Times


"California farmers produce more than a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. To do that, they use nearly 80 percent of all the water consumed in the state."

By Larry Buchanan, Josh Keller and Haeyoun Park. Photos and video by Tony Cenicola and Dave Frank. Read and watch video below.

I found this article so powerful visually. Highly recommend. It will make you think twice before you buy and eat. - t

More info here.

WTF with Marc Maron
Interview with President Barack Obama


"Marc welcomes the 44th President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, to the garage for conversation about college, fitting in, race relations, gun violence, changing the status quo, disappointing your fans, comedians, fatherhood and overcoming fear."

I worked with Marc Maron when he MC'd one of The Webby Awards back in 1999...I am loving watching the trajectory of his career.
His podcast where he interviews the president is pure gold. - t

Things to Read

(devoured all of these books. Highly recommend)

The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty
by Vendela Vida


"... a taut, spellbinding literary thriller that probes the essence and malleability of identity."

 Vendela is one of my best again I'm biased here..but I believe her writing is so evocative, haunting, funny and intimate...this is a great suspenseful summer read. You can check out her recent interview with Terri Gross on NPR's Fresh Air here. - t

More info here.


Still Writing
by Dani Shapiro


"'Everything I know about life,I learned from the daily practice of sitting down to write.' From the best-selling author of Devotion and Slow Motion comes a witty, heartfelt, and  practical look at the exhilarating and challenging process of storytelling. At once a memoir, meditation on the artistic process, and advice on craft, Still Writing is an intimate and eloquent companion to living a creative life."

If you are interested in the creative process, you will love the candor and insights from Dani Shapiro. - t

More info here.


The Road to Character
by David Brooks


"Responding to what he calls the culture of the Big Me, which emphasizes external success, the author challenges us to rebalance the scales between achieving wealth and status—and those that exist at the core of our being."

For the past 3 years, my producer Sawyer and I have immersed ourselves in ideas around character.
We really e
njoyed reading this new book by Brooks on the subject and his insights on humility and how our ideas around character have changed.  We've been thinking a lot about these ideas in the production of our two new films. - t

More info here

The Rainman's Third Cure

by Peter Coyote


"The guiding metaphor in Peter Coyote’s new spiritual biography is drawn from a line in an early Bob Dylan song. For Coyote, the twin forces Dylan identifies as Texas Medicine and Railroad Gin – represent the competing forces of the transcendental, inclusive, and ecstatic world of love with the competitive, status-seeking world of wealth and power."

Peter is a great writer and I loved working with him as a narrator.
It is terrific how he continues to share what he has learned. - t

More info here.

The Beauty

by Jane Hirshfield


"The Beauty, an incandescent new collection from one of  American poetry’s most distinctive and essential voices, opens with a series to explore the magnitude, singularity, and permeability of our shared existence."

Jane is so talented. My favorite piece involves three puffs of rabbits breath...this is a perfect book to read on a summer afternoon. - t

More info here.

50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)
by Gever Tully


"In a time when children are too often coddled, 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) reminds readers that climbing trees is good for the soul, and that a pocket knife is not a weapon."

Ken and I are trying one of these per weekend with our daughters. - t

More info here.


Rad American Women A-Z
by Kate Schatz


"... a taut, spellbinding literary thriller that probes the essence and malleability of identity."

A kids book that will inspire people of all ages (originally got it for my 6 year old but realized it was good for me and anyone) to read about these rad, bad-ass role models. - t

More info here.


Go Ahead & Like It
by Jacqueline Suskin


"...the second book by author and performance artist Jacqueline Suskin, grew from years of making lists of things she likes. Making lists is a tradition of celebration, a way to name and note the simplicities of life by calling them sacred."

I am a list maker....if you are too..this book is for you. - t

More info here.


Machines of Loving Grace

by John Markoff


"Since the 1960s computing design has largely fallen into AI and IA camps (artificial intelligence vs. intelligence amplification). Originally the AI community was best exemplified by John McCarthy and SAIL and the IA community was best expressed by Douglas Engelbart and his Augmentation Research Center. Since then the two communities of researchers have largely not spoken. What might a synthesis of these two philosophies look like?"

Markoff's ideas around technology are always compelling. - t

More info here.

Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom
by Colleen Saidman Yee


"From a rebellious young woman with a dangerous heroin habit to a globe-trotting fashion model to “First Lady of Yoga” (The New York Times), Colleen Saidman Yee tells the remarkable story of how she found herself through the healing power of yoga—and then inspired others to do the same."

I've been lucky to have attended Colleen's yoga retreats. The writing and ideas in this book are as wise and frank as she is and a perfect book to leave you with as I hope we can do a lot of stretching and breathing deeply this summer. - t 

More info here.


“Summer afternoon; to me those have always been the
two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
― Henry James

Breakfast @ Tiffany's is published each season since 1998 with a collection of things
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