Film Program, Visiting Filmmakers
Montclair State University
School of Communication & Media
Coordinator: Roberta Friedman 973-655-7282
Tuesdays from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Location University Hall Room 1010 (unless otherwise noted)
Open to All – Admission Free
September 9, 2014 – Introduction
September 16, 2014 – Elana Mugdan – (Actress, Writer, Editor, Director & Producer)
Elana A. Mugdan wrote, directed and edited the film “Let’s Make a Movie,” which is more than a little autobiographical: she made a trilogy of impossibly complicated feature-length fantasy films while she was in high school and college. And like her protagonist Cassie, Mugdan suffered through a pointless, unpaid internship where, instead of making use of her filmmaking talents, the boss assigned her to deliver his dry cleaning. The film was shot primarily in Queens, NY, where Mugdan has lived her entire life.
September 23 – Yedidya Gorsetman and Josh Itzkowit (Director & Producer)
Jammed is Yedidya Gorsetman and Josh Itzkowitz’s first feature film. The film was shot over the course of 9 days, and they had the pleasure of premiering it at the Montclair Film Festival. It has gone on to play at film festivals around the country and has won top awards. Prior to the film Josh and Yedidya produced commercials and other short form media as a way to self finance Jammed.
September 30, 2014 – Jane Weinstock (Director, Writer & Producer)
Jane Weinstock graduated from Princeton University and attended graduate programs at the Slade, NYU and the Paris Film Program. She has taught and written about film and about contemporary art at various institutions including NYU, the University of California Los Angeles and Cal Arts. She has written about such artists as Sally Potter, John Cassavetes, Martha Rosler, Barbara Kruger, and Christian Boltanski. She was also the film and video curator of Difference: On Representation and Sexuality at the New Museum in New York and at the ICA in London. Weinstock began filmmaking with Sigmund Freud’s Dora and went on to make Voices of Silence (for German Television) and The Clean Up. Weinstock participated in the Sundance Directors Lab and then went on to write and direct feature films. Her first feature Easy, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and was in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. She will be presenting her latest film, The Moment, which she co-wrote. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
October 7, 2014 – Pamela Yates (Director)
Pamela Yates, an American documentary filmmaker and human rights activist, was born and raised in the Appalachian coal-mining region of Pennsylvania but left at a young age to live New York City. She has directed films about war crimes, racism, and genocide in the United States and Latin America, often with emphasis on the legal responses. Her films include Granito: How to Nail a Dictator,State of Fear: The Truth about Terrorism, and The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court. She is a Guggenheim Fellow, the Director of the Sundance Award winning “When the Mountains Tremble”, the Producer of the Emmy Award winning “Loss of Innocence,” and the Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning “Witness to War.” Pamela is a co-founder and partner of Skylight Pictures, a company committed to producing artistic, challenging and socially relevant independent media and media strategies on issues of human rights and the quest for justice.
October 14, 2014 – Dan Braun (Producer, Musician & Distributor)
Dan Braun is the co-founder and co-president of New York based Submarine Entertainment, a company whose services include film sales, distribution and marketing services, production and broadband content creation.
Mr. Braun, the chief creative and head of operations at Submarine has been involved with the sale of many feature films and documentaries including The Battered Bastards of Baseball, Dinosaur 13, 20 Ft from Stardom, Man on Wire, Woody Allen an Untitled Documentary, Searching for Sugar Man, Tiny Furniture, Keep on Keepin on, Time is Illmatic, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Cutie and the Boxer, Black Rock, Food Inc,Muscle Shoals, Buck, Dirty Wars, Queen of Versailles, among others.
Braun is an Executive Producer on the upcoming Creepy feature anthology horror TV Project to be directed by Chris Columbus. He is a writer/editor on all the Creepy and Eerie line of comic books and archival volumes being published at Dark Horse Comics and won an Eisner Award in 2009 for Best Archival Comic Book project.
October 21, 2014 – Stacie Passos (Writer & Producer)
Stacie Passon is a film director and screenwriter, whose debut film Concussion premiered at the 2013 Sundance film festival and subsequently won a Teddy award jury prize at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival.
Concussion was released in the United States by Radius/TWC and in 23 other territories around the world. The film garnered two Gotham Nominations for breakthrough director and breakthrough actor, a Spirit Award nomination for best first film and won a 2014 Glaad Media Award for best film in limited release.
Passon has worked extensively as a commercial director and producer creating commercials, music videos and branded content for clients such as Sony Music, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and the Food Network.
Passon is now developing her second feature film, Strange Things Started Happening which is supported by Sundance Institute, IFP and Tribeca Film Institute and working on an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic, “We Have Always Lived In The Castle” For Michael Douglas’ company, Further Films.
October 28, 2014 – Carl Deal & Tia Lessin
Carl Deal and Tia Lessin are Academy Award® nominated filmmakers. Their film CITIZEN KOCH is a searing look at the state of democracy in America that follows the rise of the Tea Party and the trail of money unleashed by the US Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. Weathering a storm of censorship controversy (public television officials pulled funding for the film out of fears that it would upset one of their largest donors, David Koch) that now stands as an essential and powerful portrait of our political times.
They also produced and directed TROUBLE THE WATER, Michael Moore’s FAHRENHEIT 9/11, BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE, and CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY. Tia line produced Martin Scorsese’s Emmy and Grammy winning film No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. Her work as a producer of the series The Awful Truth earned her two Emmy nominations, one arrest and a lifetime ban from Disney World. She is the recipient of the L’Oréal Paris/Women in Film’s Women of Worth Vision Award and the Sidney Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism for Behind the Labels, a film about labor trafficking in the US garment industry. Carl has contributed to many other documentary films, and previously worked as an international news producer and a writer, reporting from natural disasters and conflict zones throughout the U.S., Latin America, and in Iraq. He and Tia are both Sundance Institute Fellows and lab advisors.
November 4, 2014 – Louis Levine, Guest
Directed by Roberta Grossman and narrated by Joan Allen, Blessed Is the Match is the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, Hannah joined a mission to rescue Hungary’s Jews. Shockingly, it was the only outside rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. Hannah parachuted behind enemy lines, was captured, tortured and ultimately executed by the Nazis. Fire in My Heart: The Story of Hannah Senesh is the first-ever exhibition about Hannah Senesh curated by Dr. Louis D. Levine at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. Dr. Levine was the founding Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, New York, where he directed and curated over 20 exhibitions
This film is being shown as part of the Raoul Wallenberg Project sponsored by the Sprague Library and Global Education.
November 11, 2014 – Beth B (Writer & Director)
Since exploding onto the New York underground scene in the late ’70s, Beth B has been breaking boundaries with her controversial films and art installations. Beth B is one of the most innovative film artists of her time. Her early media work, along with those of Jim Jarmusch and Amos Poe, are the focus of a new documentary, Blank City. Her films and artwork have been the subjects of several books and other documentaries, including The Cinema of Transgression; Art, Performance, Media; and No Wave: Underground 80. Beth B’s 8 years of television experience as Executive Producer, Writer, and Director of docudrama series for Court TV and TLC brings a highly informed knowledge of crime drama to her current television series, FREE FALL, now in development. Exposed, profiles eight cutting-edge burlesque stars who use their naked bodies as canvas for their art, melding politics, satire and physical comedy to challenge our notions of gender identity, disability, and sexuality.
November 18, 2014 – The Rule
This documentary tells a rare story of success. In Newark, New Jersey, where the average high school graduation rate is abysmal, St. Benedict’s Prep is the exception — with a near 100 percent college acceptance rate. Filmmakers Marylou and Jerome Bongiorno profile the school and the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey to see how they achieve success among a vulnerable population of inner-city African-American and Latino teenage boys.
The filmmakers will be present.
November 25, 2014 – Pankaj Rishi Kumar (Filmmaker)
After graduating from the Film and Television Institute, Pune, India, in 1992, with a specialization in Film Editing, Pankaj was assistant editor on Sekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen. After editing numerous documentaries and TV serials, he made his first film KUMAR TALKIES. Subsequently, Pankaj has become a one man crew producing, directing, shooting and editing his own films. (Pather Chujaeri, The Vote, Gharat, 3 Men and a Bulb, Punches n Ponytails, Seeds of Dissent). His films have been screened at festivals all over the world. He has won grants from Hubert Bals, IFA, Jan Vrijman, AND (Korea), Banff, Majlis, Sarai and Pad.ma. Pankaj was awarded an Asia Society fellowship at Harvard Asia Centre (2003). He was a TA at the first Asian Film Academy (Pusan). Pankaj also curates and teaches.
December 2, 2014 – Yale Strom – (Director, Composer, Musician, Writer & Photographer)
Yale Strom is a director, composer, musician, writer and photographer. He was a pioneer among klezmer revivalists in conducting extensive field research in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans among the Jewish and Rom communities since 1981. Initially, his work focused primarily on the use and performance of klezmer music between these two groups. Gradually, his focus increased to examining all aspects of their culture, from post-World War II to the present. Yale Strom has become the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer. Strom has directed five award-winning documentary films (“At the Crossroads”, “The Last Klezmer,” “Carpati: 50 Miles, 50 Years”, “L’Chayim, Comrade Stalin!” and “Klezmer on Fish Street”) and has composed music for countless others. He will be presenting his recently completed documentary “A Man From Munkacs: The Gypsy Klezmer. ”
This film is being shown as part of the Raoul Wallenberg Project sponsored by the Sprague Library and Global Education.
December 9, 2014 – Jack Bryan (Writer & Director)
Prior to making his own films, Jack Bryan worked for Vicart Entertainment, an independent production studio, as head staff writer and director. Here he wrote, and oversaw, the writing of over a dozen scripts and directed a low budget feature, Struck. In December 2012 Jack and his partners started Shooting Films LLC and produced the award winning short film And After All. Jack also wrote/directed/produced the feature The Living, which is slated for theatrical release in spring 2015 and will be screened at the Film Forum. He is now preparing his next film as a writer/director/producer, Private Kingdom.
Screening: The Living
A dramatic thriller about a young man who hires an ex-con to kill his sister’s abusive husband. It stars Fran Kranz (Cabin in the Woods), Jocelin Donahue (House of the Devil), Kenny Wormald (Footloose), Chris Mulkey (Captain Philips) and Joelle Carter (Justified). The film won “Best Dramatic Feature” at the Manhattan Film Festival, won the “Stubbornly Independent Award” at the Tallgrass Film Festival, was in the official selection of the Austin Film Festival and the Las Vegas Film Festival and screened during The Tribeca Film Festival and the Woods Hole Film Festival.