BeFilm The Undergound Film Festival (BeTuff) founded by Laurence Asseraf in her art gallery, A Taste of Art in Tribeca, NY (2004). Focusing on short films, “Shorter is Better,” the festival is the first film festival in the world exclusively dedicated to short films with a 3D stereoscopic category.
Winner Best International Feature at Hot Docs, Toronto, The English Surgeon, Dr. Henry Marsh has been going to Kyiv, Ukraine for 15 years with suitcases full of slightly-used equipment that would ordinarily be thrown out after one use. He passes his knowledge of surgical procedures and performs dangerous operations in a Ukrainian hospital full of makeshift equipment and desperate people. Along with an actual operation setting of a wide awake patient, The English Surgeon is an intimate portrait of a medical professional speaking philosophically on the dilemmas of a doctor/patient relationship.
Producer Maureen Ryan provides an insider’s POV on the “Artistic Crime of the Century,” in Man On Wire, a story revolving around Philippe Petit and his daring aerial walk on a wire illegally rigged between the World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1973. The film premiered at Sundance in 2008 winning the Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for World Documentary and nominated for an Academy Award and the Film Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.
What if “Happiness” was literally for sale? A Short film in an unusual setting: a condom factory where a disgruntled worker, played by renowned Polish-American actor Elzbieta Czyzewska, spends days testing the product for leaks. Happiness won the Best Live-Action Under 15-Minutes jury prize at Palm Springs.
Writer/director Courtney Hunt wrote the short, then the feature Frozen River, then Melissa Leo and Misty Upham brought the narrative home, winning the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Competition. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
There are films that leave you hanging or make you quietly introspective, but Playing For Change: Peace Through Music is a film that lingers in your musical soul. A NYC World Premiere, each song has over 35 musicians around the world – who have never met– playing in their own environment. Co directors Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls put it, “It’s a way to start focusing on our connections instead of our difference.”
Bill Plympton’s World Premiere of an animation feature, Idiots & Angels, a dark comedy about a man battling for his soul.
Cynthia Wade, Director of Academy Award winning Short Documentary, Freeheld, talks about elements that make up a “Cynthia Wade” stamp on her work, specifically a story told through the eyes of a strong female character.
A conversation with Melissa Leo in her element at the foothills of the Catskills where mystical energies make things happen. A little over a week ago when writer/director Courtney Hunt who wrote the short, then the feature Frozen River, then Melissa Leo and Misty Upham brought the narrative home, winning the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Competition. A Sony Pictures Classics release.
Thom Powers, Documentary Programmer for Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), co hosted with me NYWiFT’s panel – A Case Study on the Making of a Feature Documentary discussing Manufactured Landscapes, Jennifer Baichwal’s portrayal of renowned photographer, Edward Burtynsky as he composed his large format photos that combine global social issues within an epic sweep.