Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino reports on her documentary, The Paper House Report…

I met Nicole Cimino in an acting class. She immediately stood out to me, well, because she is sort of brilliant. She is an extremely talented actress, she is brave, and most importantly she is honest. When I heard that Nicole had teamed up with a production company, Jack Boar Pictures, I was intrigued. I asked Nicole what she was working on with Jack Boar… She told me that together, they recently completed a documentary called The Paper House Report. I asked her how I could see it. She sent me the link… The Paper House Report.

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

I watched Nicole’s documentary [shot by director of photography Luigi Benvisto] and found out another thing about her… That she is an activist. I had no idea what the subject of her documentary was about but as I started watching it, I quickly found out that it is a cry, a plea, and a bold message to Save Jerry Delakas from losing the license to operate his newsstand on Astor Place that he has been operating for the past 25 years.

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

I wanted to know more about The Paper House Report and Jerry Delakas’ story, so I met up with Nicole and had the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

The Frogge: How did you hear about what is happening to Jerry Delakas?
Nicole Cimino: Last summer I was writing a one woman show about the Italian Actress Anna Magnani… I was waiting for my costume designer on the corner of Astor Place where Jerry Delakas’ newsstand is located. I walked up to the newsstand and realized there were many newspaper articles about him. There was also a petition to sign and a large picture of him which said “SAVE JERRY.” As soon as I started reading about Jerry’s story, I became touched and curious. I immediately wanted to know more about him, so I approached him, introduced myself, and asked him about the article clippings that I had just read… Jerry began to tell me a little bit about his story.

TF: What inspired you to go ahead and make this documentary?
NC: While I was talking to Jerry, I felt a deep connection to his story. I believe each one of us can relate to someone who is in the process of losing everything that he has worked so hard for all of his life. I felt so much empathy for Jerry… Maybe because he is an immigrant, just like me, who left his country and came to America to pursue a dream. But also because I could know that he is a good man, honest, and hardworking. Now that he has reached the age of 62 years old, it would be so difficult for him to start over again… But the truth is, Jerry should not have to start over again, after all, he is the one who has been running the newsstand for 25 years! The more Jerry spoke about his life, the more I kept wondering what I could do to take action and help him. After I said goodbye, I kept thinking about him all day… It was as if I knew him my entire life. Since I am an artist, I thought about ways that I could help Jerry- that is when I got the idea to team up with Jack Boar Pictures and director of photography Luigi Benvisto to make a documentary.

TF: Now that the documentary is finished, how do you plan on using it to help Jerry?
NC: As soon as I finished the documentary [produced by Jack Boar Pictures] I started to promote the documentary to let people know about Jerry’s story. I have done radio & TV interviews. I also had the opportunity to present a trailer last week at Trump World Tower. I created a blog called The Paper House from the first day I started to work on the documentary. I use the blog to share all the information I obtain. There is also a link where you can sign the petition to help Save Jerry’s newsstand. In addition, we are planning on submitting the documentary to film festivals. Lastly, we are organizing a press screening of the documentary where Jerry himself will be in attendance. Anyone who attends will be able to speak with Jerry Delakas personally, listen to his voice, and hear his story straight from his mouth. Hopefully, all of this will have an influence on the city’s decision regarding Jerry’s newsstand license. I also sent a copy of The Paper House Report to Mayor Bloomberg. If anyone would like a copy of the documentary, there are copies available for donation (as this is a non-profit project) at Jerry’s newsstand. If you stop by to pick one up, please remember to sign the petition! There are already thousands of people who are asking the city to grant Jerry a license. I know in my heart that Jerry should be granted a license to continue operating the newsstand. I know this is the right thing to do… I hope this documentary helps.

TF: Do you know what the status of Jerry’s newsstand is now?
NC: The Supreme Court of New York should have come out with the decision at the end of March, but they have not yet… We should be hearing the final decision in the next few weeks. Once the final decision is made, there will not be any chance to make an appeal. I am in touch with Jerry’s lawyer, Gil Santamarina, and he will let me know as soon as they decide. In the meantime, I keep going to see Jerry and to support him during this long waiting period. I really hope that the DCA and the Court will soon come to a decision that will grant Jerry the license he needs to keep on operating his newsstand.

TF: Is there anything we can do to help Jerry?
NC: If you haven’t done so yet, please sign the petition which you can find on It would be even better if you find yourself by Jerry’s newsstand on Astor Place to sign the petition in person! You could also pick up a copy of the documentary. But, above all, if you could say a few supportive words to Jerry, that would be the best. I think encouraging Jerry in this moment is the best thing that we can do. He gets so happy when people go to see him and just say, “Hi, I am with you in this.” I am planning to have a party at Jerry’s Newsstand as soon as he gets the license he deserves and everyone is invited.


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