Located just south of Buffalo, tiny Lily Dale, NY, is home to the world’s largest concentration of mediums, people who claim to be able to communicate with spirits of the deceased. Every year, thousands of visitors from all over the world flock to this quaint Victorian community to have their questions answered and grief assuaged. Directed by Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Steven Cantor (HBO’s “Devil’s Playground”), NO ONE DIES IN LILY DALE follows visitors on their emotional quests, chronicling their mysterious and deeply personal interactions with the town’s unusual residents, when it debuts MONDAY, JULY 5 (9:00-10:30 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.
Other HBO playdates: July 8 (3:30 p.m., 12:35 a.m.), 11 (2:30 p.m.), 14 (8:00 a.m.) and 17 (11:00 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: July 7 (8:00 p.m.) and 15 (3:30 p.m.)
Since 1879, Lily Dale’s residents have thrown open their doors to the outside world, allowing visitors to “meet” and “speak” with the spirits of loved ones who inhabit the realm between this world and the next. Registered through rigorous testing by the town’s
boards of directors, the 40 spiritualists of Lily Dale, who practice “mystical mediumship,” include: Anne Gehman, a well-known medium who often works with police forces and government agencies looking to solve crimes; Greta Lestock, whose father was a medium in Poland, although she did not start practicing spiritualism until she moved to Lily Dale; Gregory Kehn, who says he died three times in one week at age 11, and believes the spirits are always with us; Sherry Lee Calkins, who claims to have been able to see spirits since she was six, and whose two sisters are also mediums in Lily Dale; and internationally renowned visiting medium Michelle Whitedove, a medical intuitive who describes her gift as “a blessing and a curse.”
NO ONE DIES IN LILY DALE visits this idyllic community, described by visitors and residents alike as a place with a concentration of energy, where every year more than 25,000 people come to find closure after the loss of a loved one. Among those featured in the film are: Ronald Holt, a Chicago police officer whose teenage son was an innocent victim in a gang shooting; Rebecca Fabricius, a young woman seeking answers about the mysterious death of her fiancé; and Debbie and Rom Hamernick, who hope to understand why Debbie’s recently deceased mother cut her out of her will.
While some visitors are skeptical, and remain so after their “readings,” they come for help in the healing process. Along with the inevitable tears, the town and its inhabitants usually evoke smiles and bring a profound, surprising sense of connection with the world beyond to its visitors. Whatever their story, each one leaves with a different view of Lily Dale.
The founder of the New York-based Stick Figure production company, Steven Cantor received an Oscar® nomination for producing and directing 1994’s “Blood Ties: The Life and Work of Sally Mann.” He was nominated for an Emmy® for producing HBO’s “Devil’s Playground,” and won an Emmy® for “Willie Nelson: Still Is Still Moving.” Cantor’s other HBO credits as executive producer, producer or director include the 2004 documentary series “Family Bonds” as well as the 2007 documentaries “What Remains”
and “I Am an Animal: The Story of Ingrid Newkirk and PETA,” and 2009’s Sundance hit “Reporter,” which debuted on HBO in Feb. 2010.
NO ONE DIES IN LILY DALE is directed and produced by Steven Cantor; producers, BJ Levin, Terry Clark and Daniel Laikind; executive producers, Neil Pilzer, Damon Leary and Allan Grafman; editor and co-producer, Pax Wasserman; director of photography, Claudia Woloshin; original music by James Lavino. For HBO: senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.