SYNOPSIS: In February 2004, after 30 years of my life in SoHo, I made a decision to leave SoHo and move to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This video is about what it feels like to leave a place in which one has spent more time than any other place, and which was also the place of my family life. I am somewhere else now. It’s about beginning of growing roots in a new place, new home, with new friends, new thoughts, experiences.
SYNOPSIS: In business for over 40 years, Cato’s Army & Navy Store claims that not much has changed since it was founded in 1975. Yet while business has been conducted in the same fashion, much has indeed changed, from the clientele to the neighborhood. Owner and manager Ed Veneziano accounts for the old and the new in this short doc, testifying to the purpose this store has served over the years and his own commitments to the Greenpoint community.
SYNOPSIS: The Kingsland Wildflowers Green Roof & Community Engagement Center at Broadway Stages is the setting for an ambitious environmental project that promises to transform the most industrial part of Greenpoint. Made possible by a partnership between Broadway Stages, NYC Audubon, Alive Structures and the Newtown Creek Alliance, this project aims at providing education and events for people of all ages and creating natural habitats for local flora and fauna. In these interviews, landscape architect Marni Majorelle and project manager Niki Jackson talk about the already visible impact of Kingsland Wildflowers and prospects for the project’s expansion, including plans for several more green roofs.
SYNOPSIS: Kingsland Wildflowers is a 20,000-square-foot green roof and community space constructed in the heart of industrial Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2016. Learn how this green infrastructure project is improving the surrounding environment and benefiting the local community. The project is a partnership between New York City Audubon, Alive Structures, Newtown Creek Alliance, and Broadway Stages. Funding for the Kingsland Wildflowers Project was provided by the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation through the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.
Synopsis: Open Source Stories: The Science of Collective Discovery dives into the world of citizen scientists—ordinary people with varying degrees of training who contribute to scientific research in their spare time. This film explores how two citizen science projects are using open hardware tools to monitor their environment and make impactful policy changes.
SYNOPSIS: On October 20, 2018 environmental artist Stacy Levy led a group of volunteer stream painters as they used chalk paint to imagine & trace the paths of historic Bushwick Inlet & Creek from the Inlet, down N 15th Street in Greenpoint Brooklyn. Research & mapping for the creek & connecting underground streams was created by Eymund Diegel. Co-organized by Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park and NYCH2O. Support provided by the North Brooklyn Boat Club and the Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund.
SYNOPSIS:Maria el Diablo is a surrealist short-doc on the topic of the devastating Hurricane Maria, which made landfall in Puerto Rico fall last year. The piece is a timely reminder of the long-lasting impacts that environmental disasters have on the people whose lives are forever changed by them, and a testament to human resilience and the perspective that can be gained.
SYNOPSIS: The Expanded Cinema course focuses on modes of filmmaking that defy classification. It provides students with the historical and political context for nontraditional uses of the moving image. Students experiment with the visual language of cinema and push the boundaries of their work. Topics may include tactile explorations of the medium, experimental film, video art, fiction/nonfiction hybrid, installation, and new uses of video.
Professor Sasha Sumner Students: Will Bermudez, Gianna Cullen, Brighid Fleming, Sam Friedman, Samuel Hardman, Alex Koumbaros, Erika Larson, Alex Leombruno, Paul Plath, Mia Russell, Jake Schwartz, Lucy Shalders, Katrin Spiridonova
SYNOPSIS: In the late 70s and early 80s, Los Sures was one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Diego Echeverria’s film skillfully represents the challenges of its time: drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored just in time for the 30th anniversary of the premiere at the New York Festival, this documentary is a priceless piece of New York City history.
LOGLINE: A woman’s two inner selves recognize each other for the first time.
SYNOPSIS: Striving to create an online persona with the hope of approaching wealthy men to fund her project, a young woman struggles with the thought of sacrificing dignity for the sake of her artistic vision. As the persona takes on a life of its own, gradually shifting her focus and purpose, two inner selves recognize each other for the first time in turmoil.
LOGLINE: From class and race to women’s history and gentrification, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker craft an intimate sociohistorical portrait of an urban laundromat using the people who worked there for decades.
SYNOPSIS: In the 21st century, the laundromat has become a symbol of the aging urban community, one of its last units to disappear as gentrification fleshes its roots out across the neighborhood. The people who have been working there for as long as several decades are almost as invisible, perhaps only recognizable by paper-thin button-up vests or pouches stuffed with quarters. Interviewing and creating performances with several of these individuals, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker craft an intimate sociohistorical portrait of this former staple of urban life. While touching on issues of social class, race, and women’s history, Sachs and Olesker’s documentary avoids exposé to prioritize giving visibility to the people that are the lifeblood of this all-too familiar yet fading institution.
LOGLINE: The life and work of Barney Rosset, the late founder of Grove Press and the Evergreen Review, is laid bare by family and friends as they enter his home and office to interpret one of his last and most personal works: a giant, abstract mural.
SYNOPSIS: Right by Astor Place in Lower Manhattan, and perhaps unbeknownst to its many passersby, rested until recently the office and home of the late Barney Rosset, a WWII veteran, American film distributor, and the founder of the notorious Grove Press and Evergreen Review. Maintained by his widow Astrid Myers Rosset, it was an old yet vibrant space that was decked out with paintings and piles of the books and magazine issues he had published over several decades. Most significant of all was a vast abstract mural in gold, blue, white, and red, featuring crevices filled with paraphernalia sourced from around the world. One by one, a colorful variety of artists, publishers, writers, professors, filmmakers, composers, lawyers, and museum curators came through to interpret his last and most personal work of art. Along the way they offered commentary and memories, painting yet another massive image of a man who, despite an unwavering belief in the American democratic system, demonstrated anarchic and maverick sensibilities as the American publisher of Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer, Naked Lunch, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, among hundreds of other subversive, radical and vital literary works.
LOGLINE: Three women sit down to talk about making her-story.
SYNOPSIS: #womenmarch is a short film about three millennial women living in New York who come together to prepare for one of the biggest moments in history, The Women’s March in DC. After initial excitement the girls start to talk logistics and personal conflicts and their good intentions quickly unravel.
LOGLINE: A man is consumed by a negative relationship with his body, manifested as a slick, toxic companion who lingers on his every move and threatens to sabotage every aspect of his life.
SYNOPSIS: Justin Andrew Davis writes, directs, and stars in his own short film about a man consumed by an eating disorder, manifested as a slick, toxic companion (Ryan Wesen) who lingers on his every move. Over the course of 24 hours, he nearly sabotages his standing at his job and his relationship with his romantic partner (Peyton Michelle Edwards), all while pushing his body to dangerous extremes, giving us a look into how actions motivated by poor self-image can threaten every aspect of a person’s life.
LOGLINE: Jacob M. Appel is a recognized professor, doctor, lawyer, bioethicist, and published creative writer. But despite his eccentric, unassuming intellect and wealth of knowledge and nuanced opinions, the man is as humble as he is accomplished.
SYNOPSIS: Jacob M. Appel is a man of many titles. With 10 degrees from various institutions, including Harvard Law School and Columbia Medical School, he is a professor, a doctor, a lawyer, a bioethicist, and a published author of short stories, poems, plays and novels. The only reason you may not have heard of him is because the man is as humble as he is accomplished. Director Jon Stahl relies on interviews from his teachers, friends, and family to create an adept presentation of an unassuming intellectual who is filled to the brim with warmth and eccentricity.
LOGLINE: A shape evolves with an accompanying sound score, birthing a synesthetic collaboration. A cross-like figure grows, moving in captivating harmony with the sound, until it is unclear where the figure starts, where it ends, and where it begins again.
SYNOPSIS: Multiple-disciplinary artist David Brody directs an experimental animation born from an isometric drawing. Brody’s 2003 installation entitled Descent inspired this 2018 iteration, a “synesthetic drama” featuring a single black image expanding from the corner of the screen. The figure, presented in four flowing episodes, builds upon itself as Zig Gron’s accompanying sound score begins to swell. Together, image and sound consume the screen. Through folding and unfolding graphics and sounds, Proliferation is an examination of the relationship between its visual and sonic loops.
LOGLINE: A look inside the studio, routines and life of Brooklyn-based artist Rodney Dickson as he works “along the edge” of art and seeks to push the boundaries of how it can and should be experienced.
SYNOPSIS: Irish artist and motorcycle enthusiast Rodney Dickson chooses many ways to describe “living along the edge,” from his coming of age amidst the political turmoil of 1960s and 70s Ireland to the arduous task of finishing a satisfying, let alone great, painting. It can only be described as a general state of vital, ecstatic uncertainty that has come to define his artistic process, which is by turns contemplative and fervent.
Filmmaker Bill Page focuses on three subjects—the artist, his materials, and his canvas—and their relationship, emphasizing through space and camera movements their connection. Through this, he documents a highly experiential artistic process that is as exciting as the finished product. He films Dickson in his Brooklyn studio as he squeezes, dabs, brushes, scrapes, dilutes and spills prodigious globs of paint upon his large canvases amidst huffs and puffs, with large pauses as he considers what he’s just done and what he’s about to do. “I have to keep creating and destroying, and then pushing one step further,” says Dickson. “I’ve ruined many paintings that way, but that’s okay.”
LOGLINE: In 2017, the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY, turned 100. Over the course of that year, portraitist Brenda Zlamany painted 100 of its elderly residents in an effort to engage them as participants in her artistic process.
SYNOPSIS: In 2017, the centennial year of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY, artist Brenda Zlamany undertakes a new project and begins a new chapter of her ongoing painting project “The Itinerant Portraitist.” She meets and invites 100 of the home’s elderly residents to sit and have their portrait painted. Zlamany takes every moment as a chance to interact with her subjects, asking them about all aspects of their life. The project, called “100/100,” seeks to show how an artistic process can empower both artist and subject, as well as dignify the often overlooked members of society.
LOGLINE: A Romanian woman is snatched off the streets of London in broad daylight, trafficked through a series of pop-up brothels in the UK, and subjected to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Based on a true story.
SYNOPSIS: A Romanian living in London, Ana (Anca Dumitra) is a part-time nursing student and cleaning lady, until one day she is grabbed off the street in broad daylight. Threatened with the life of her mother, she is flown out to Northern Ireland and trafficked through a series of pop-up brothels in the United Kingdom as a sex slave. She soon becomes known to paying customers as a noncompliant girl and survives physical, sexual, and psychological abuse for a year. Authorities (including Downton Abbey’s Allen Leech) track her movements and those of other girls and women like her, but have no case unless someone comes forth to testify against their captors, who exercise brutal and dehumanizing psychological control over them.