Urcunina Films
HomeAbout the FilmNewsSupportersPressFor EducatorsStore


  • We are sad to announce the passing of former Annapolis Mayor, Roger "Pip" Moyer on Jan. 10, 2015. Read More here about Pip Moyer. Remembrances can be contributed to: the Annapolis Community Foundation, Moyer Trust, P.O. Box 5736, Annapolis 21403, a nonprofit that contributes to programs in Annapolis.

  • "Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship" to be broadcast in Maryland on Anne Arundel County Cable Television at 4 PM daily through Feb. 1, 2015. Watch it on: Comcast 198, Verizon 38 and Broadstripe 98.

  • "Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship" the full documentary available to stream on YouTube.


    "Pip & Zastrow" received two great reviews from Video Librarian and Booklist Magazine:

    "Pip & Zastrow" offers a unique perspective on the civil rights era in Maryland - a state geographically north of the Mason-Dixon line but still entrenched at the time in a suffocating Jim Crow mentality - but its real attraction lies in Moyer and Simms' charisma and genuine affection for each other: these men are natural charmers and their wonderful rapport lends the produciton emotional heft. A warm and touching documentary, this is recommended. P. Hall, Video Librarian

    This moving program records an enduring friendship and the poignant process of growing old. Candace Smith, Booklist Magazine

    Zastrow Simms attended many screenings with enthusiastic audiences at:
    - Historic Douglass Theater in Macon, GA
    - Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta, GA with the Atlanta Film Festival
    - South River High School, Edgewater, MD
    - St. Matthews United Methodist Church, Shady Side, MD
    - Jessup Correctional Institution, Jessup, MD

    Zastrow Simms held a lively Q&A in October after the New York premiere of "Pip & Zastrow" at the NewFilmmakers Fall Festival 2009.

    The The Baltimore Women's Film Festival welcomed the film for a screening in October, with 50% of all festival ticket sale proceeds donated to breast cancer research and the outreach/survivorship program for Johns Hopkins breast cancer patients.

    "Pip & Zastrow" had great screenings at the Atlanta Film Festival in April 2009

    Zastrow Simms with Atlanta Film Festival Director Gabriel Wardell.
    Photo by Karin Hayes

    "Pip & Zastrow" wins Special Jury Award at the Indie Memphis Film Festival in Memphis, TN.

    Zastrow Simms onstage with Karin Hayes (director) and judge (and filmmaker) Peter Gilbert.
    Photo by Robin Salant

    "Pip & Zastrow" wins Target Filmmaker Award to Dream in Color at the American Black Film Festival in Los Angeles! See Capital article below in News.

    Zastrow Simms goes to Hollywood for the American Black Film Festival.
    Photo by Karin Hayes

    (L to R) Elonzo Hayes (Flawless), Victoria Bruce (Director/Producer) with kids, Matt Scott (Post Production Supervisor), Karin Hayes (Director/Producer) with Alexis Smith (holding poster), Marcus Hayes (Flawless), Zastrow Simms, Jerry Januszewski (Associate Producer), Mike Griffin (Flawless), Janice Hayes-Williams (Producer), Stacie Williams (Production Assistant) at the American Black Film Festival, Los Angeles, CA

    In the News...

    THE CAPITAL Pip, Zastrow and Barack: 50 years of change

    Published: November 18, 2008
    By Eric Hartley, Staff Writer

    Half a century ago, when Roger "Pip" Moyer became the only white player on an Annapolis basketball team that included Joseph "Zastrow" Simms, it was a scandal to some.
    Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 Capital Gazette Communications

    THE BALTIMORE SUN – 'Pip and Zastrow' wins film award

    Published: August 14, 2008
    A movie about the relationship of two Annapolis men during the civil rights era has won the Target Filmmaker Award to Dream in Color at the American Black Film Festival... Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore Sun

    THE CAPITAL – Local Film Garners Award at L.A. Festival

    Published: August 12, 2008
    By E.B. FURGURSON III, Staff Writer

    The local film "Pip and Zastrow: An American Friendship" won a special award at its first film festival in Los Angeles while Zastrow himself took Hollywood by storm.
    Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 Capital Gazette Communications

    THE CAPITAL – 'Pip and Zastrow' stirs audience

    Published: March 16, 2008
    By E.B. FURGURSON III, Staff Writer

    After three years in the works, "Pip and Zastrow: An American Friendship," previewed...
    Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 Capital Gazette Communications

    THE BALTIMORE SUN – New film documents a bond of friendship

    Published: March 15, 2008
    By Nicole Fuller, Sun reporter

    Neighborhoods in Baltimore, Washington and Cambridge were already burning after the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. Annapolis Mayor Roger "Pip" Moyer feared it wouldn't be long before race rioting struck the state capital.... Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 The Baltimore Sun

    Bay Weekly – Pip and Zastrow: A Friendship in Black and White

    Published: March 13, 2008
    previewed by Diana Beechener

    They shouldn't have met. In segregated Annapolis, Roger 'Pip' Moyer grew up to be mayor, while Joseph 'Zastrow' Simms landed behind bars for a burglary conviction. ... Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 New Bay Enterprises

    THE CAPITAL – Women in film: The making of 'Pip & Zastrow'

    Published: March 13, 2008
    By Janice Hayes-Williams

    They walked through the old Ward 4 of Annapolis, a community rich with a glorious history from ship building to brick making, the center of enterprise for both blacks and Jews, a self reliant community, powerful in its numbers, and always influencing city and county politics.... Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2008 Capital Gazette Communications


    THE BALTIMORE SUN – Friendship bridges deep racial divide: Roger Moyer and Joseph Simms' story of loyalty will be captured on film

    Published: April 4, 2006
    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Sun Reporter

    They are fuzzy now on where they met - a baseball field or a basketball court... See Full Story
    Copyright © 2006 The Baltimore Sun

    FOX 5 News Television Segment

    Interviews with Pip Moyer, Zastrow Simms, George Phelps and Alphonso Coates.
    Broadcast on Sunday, April 2, 2006
    The piece coincided with the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and chronicles the story of what happened in Annapolis that night in 1968. Comcast customers in Annapolis, MD watched Fox 5 on channel 75.

    ON ANOTHER NOTE... Pip was interviewed in his house on March 15, 2006. Then the following week, fire destroyed his home. Thankfully, everyone was able to get out safely and Pip is relocating to an apartment in Eastport while his house is rebuilt. Also, on the same day, a fire ruined part of George Phelps' (narrator for the documentary film) home. Luckily, everyone got out safely, and he will be living elsewhere until his home is repaired. Read Full Story (PDF)
    Published: March 22, 2006, Copyright © 2006 The Capital

    THE CAPITAL (Annapolis, MD) – Our say: Editor's notebook

    Published: January 21, 2006

    'PIP & ZASTROW' -- Often the documentarians - not the fiction-makers from Hollywood - have the best eye for stories. Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes certainly came up with a great one when they decided to do a film on the enduring friendship of former mayor Roger "Pip" Moyer and longtime civic activist Joseph "Zastrow" Simms. The friendship made a dramatic difference to Annapolis in spring 1968, after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in Memphis and rioting erupted in African-American neighborhoods across the country. Read Full Editorial (PDF)
    Copyright © 2006 The Capital


    THE CAPITAL (Annapolis, MD) – Documentary tells a story of race relations in Annapolis

    Published: January 17, 2006
    By E.B. FURGURSON III, Staff Writer

    Two award-winning documentary filmmakers previewed their next project yesterday at the Martin Luther King Breakfast: "Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship." It is the story of boyhood friends, one the white mayor of Annapolis, the other a street-wise African American who ended up in trouble and in jail - but together they helped change race relations in Annapolis. Read Full Story (PDF)
    Copyright © 2006 The Capital

    2006 Events News

    With the help of many, we held a very successful
    TRIBUTE EVENING & FUNDRAISING GALA on Thursday, June 1, 2006
    to Honor Former Mayor Roger "Pip" Moyer, for a Half-Century of Public Service
    See Capital newspaper article (pdf)

    Honorary Chairs: Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens, and Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer, and Film Directors Victoria Bruce and Karin Hayes (Urcunina Films) hosted the event of the season – a trip into Annapolis's historical past, honoring Roger "Pip" Moyer for 50 years of public service. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts gymnasium became an old Annapolis jazz club; guests entered through a facade of the Washington Hotel – an historic Annapolis nightclub owned by "Udie" Legum where Pearl Bailey, Duke Ellington and Sarah Vaughn once brought down the house. The evening included:

  • A vignette performed by Scottie Preston and a debut of the Naptown Players (a new group of local youth dancers and performers) directed by Janice Hayes-Williams
  • Live Jazz Music by The Spa Creek Band with songs performed by Desiree Simms
  • Spectacular cuisine and beverages from the finest Annapolis purveyors, and more...
  • The Tribute Evening and Gala was a fundraiser to preserve Pip Moyer's legacy in the upcoming documentary film, Pip & Zastrow: An American Friendship. Read Full Press Release (PDF)