Films and Filmmakers Series
Miracle on 42nd Street is a fascinating documentary about the history and impact of the Manhattan Plaza apartment complex in New York City. Starting with the history of the blighted Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood and the facilities’ initial commercial failure in the mid-1970s, the story recounts how – in a moment of bold inspiration or maybe desperation – the buildings were “re-purposed” as subsidized housing for people who worked in the performing arts. The social experiment was a resounding success in the lives of the tenants, as well as the neighborhood and local economy. The film makes a compelling case for both the value of subsidized housing for artists in America, as well as the value of supporting the arts to the American economy. The film features on-camera interviews with people whose lives were positively impacted by the complex, including Alicia Keys, Terrance Howard, Donald Faison, Larry David and Samuel L Jackson, Angela Lansbury, and many others.
Alice Elliott is an Academy Award® nominated director, writer, producer, university-level teacher, advocate for the disabled, cinematographer, and the recipient of a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Her short documentary The Collector of Bedford Street was nominated for an Academy Award® and aired on HBO/Cinemax.
Alice was the director, co-producer, and the principal vérité cinematographer on her film “Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy” which aired on PBS for National Disability Awareness Month. She was invited by the US State Department to screen “Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy” in Uzbekistan through The American Documentary Showcase, sponsored by the University Film and Video Association. Alice is a full-time faculty member at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and has been producing documentaries for almost twenty years.