Sittin’ On A Million (2008)



THE SOMETIMES TRUE STORY OF MAME FAYE, who ran a world famous house of prostitution in Troy, New York for almost forty years (c. 1906 to 1941). Despite being snubbed by official historians, everyone past the age of retirement has a story – funny, sordid, unbelievable – about Troy’s most famous madam.

SITTIN’ ON A MILLION (2008, 26 minutes, co-directed and co-produced with Annmarie Lanesey) presents these stories in all their contradictory glory, alongside vintage erotica, reenactments, and street performances. The film asks us to consider the role of memory and imagination in creating history, and reminds us about all those ordinary, extraordinary people erased from the official record.

Who was Mame Faye? Read “Mame Faye” & Other Myths from the Golden Age of Prostitution”(a short essay by Penny Lane), visit Mame’s Wikipedia page, and download this PDF with all the facts on Mame.

WITH SUPPORT FROM Experimental Television Center and LEF Moving Image Fund

MOST BADASS! Sittin’ on a Million won the “Most Badass” award at the 2009 Iowa City Documentary Film Festival. From the judges’ statement: “your dip into the minds of the elderly about the overtly sexual subject matter made us smile and recognize the importance of remembering (or maybe even imagining) more risqué moments of history.”

“Doc Tales” Andrew Sherburne Little Village 04/08/09 (link)
“Mame Faye & Other Myths from the Golden Age of Prostitution” Penny Lane On The Issues 08/15/08 (link / longer version here)
TV Interview: Penny & Annmarie TvFilm WMHT July 2008 (video)
“Mame Faye gets her place in Troy history” Tom Caprood The Record 06/16/08 (link / PDF)
“Troy’s Famous Lady of the Night” Channel 13 News WNYT 06/14/08 (video)
“Five noteworthy regional artists you ought to know about” Tracy Ormsbee The List (Albany Times Union Blogs) 06/13/08 (link)
Radio Interview: Annmarie Lanesey The Al Roney Show, WGY 810AM 06/13/08 (link / download mp3)
“A Legend Remade” Danielle Furfaro Albany Times Union 06/13/08 (link / PDF)
“The Worth Seeing Department” Sara Foss Life & Arts Blogs (Schenectady Gazette) 06/13/08 (link
Entertainment “Pick” of the Week Metroland 06/12/08 (PDF)
TV Interview: Penny Lane Schenectady Today, SACC-TV, 06/06/08 (video)
Filmmaker Profile: Annmarie Lanesey (PDF) Troy Record, 05/30/08
Interview with Penny & Annmarie, All Over Albany 01/29/08 (link)
Photos of the Mame Faye Birthday Party and Sneak Preview (08/15/07) here and here!
“Filmmakers creating ‘monument’ to infamous Mame Faye”
Sara Foss The Sunday Gazette 08/12/07 (PDF)
“Scarlet Women of the Collar City” Casey Seiler Albany Times Union 08/03/07 (PDF)
“The Many Faces of Mame Faye” Kathryn Caggianelli The Record 07/30/07(PDF / web link)
“‘Sittin’ on a Million’ Mame Faye and Troy’s Red Light District” David Flint The Eastwick Press 06/08/07 (PDF)
Radio Interview: Annmarie Lanesey The Al Roney Show WGY 810 AM 09/09/06
“Filmmakers Focus on Troy Madam” Tim O’Brien Albany Times Union 09/06/06 (PDF / JPG)
“Mame Faye” Channel 10 News 09/01/06

October 22, 2009 Hot Springs AR Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
September 21-27, 2009 Troy NY The Arts Center of the Capital Region
April 14, 2009 NYC 8pm Anthology Film Archives
April 11, 2009 Iowa City IA Iowa City International Documentary Festival
February 20-22, 2009 Gainesville FL Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival (FLEX FEST)
February 13, 2009 West Sand Lake NY 7:30pm Sand Lake Center for the Arts
November 21, 2008 Albany NY 2pm Researching New York: Perspectives on Empire State History
November 15, 2008 Wilmington NC Cucalorus Film Festival
October 17, 2008 Chatham NY FilmColumbia Festival of Film
September 27, 2008 NYC video_dumbo
Sittin’ on a Million will repeat on WMHT, Thursday Oct 2 at 7:30pm as part of the TvFilm series.
September 27 – October 2 (various times) Troy NY Hudson Valley Community College 
Sittin’ on a Million will air on WMHT, Thursday July 17 at 10pm and Saturday July 19 at midnight as part of the TvFilm series.
July 16, 2008 Albany NY 7pm Spectrum 8 Theatres
June 15, 2008 Troy NY ENCORE (MATINEE) SCREENING 1pm The Sanctuary for Independent Media
June 14, 2008 Troy NY PREMIERE PARTY 7pm & 8:45pm The Sanctuary for Independent Media
June 7, 2008 Troy, NY 1-3pm WMHT Studios TvFilm Launch Screening
March 26, 2008 9pm Turners Falls MA The Rendez-Vous
March 4, 2008 7pm Hamilton NY Alternative Cinema Series (Colgate University)
January 17, 2008 Hudson NY Time and Space Limited
January 16, 2008 Brooklyn NY ISSUE Project Room
August 15, 2007 Troy NY The Sanctuary for Independent Media (Mame Faye Birthday Party and Sneak Preview!)