Tag Archives: distribution

On Tour: Blue Bell, PA

7 Oct

September 21, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Blue Bell, PA

The next day I drove to Blue Bell PA, where Montgomery County Community College hosted the Sweet Dreams screening. Brent Woods, Director of Cultural Affairs greeted me warmly and explained that our screening was part of the “Lively Arts Series” run out of the college. While he hoped that students would attend (it was the first two weeks of semester) their mandate was to reach out into the larger community as well.  So, in fact, it was older community members who made up the majority of our audience.

The screening room was small and cozy and we had a great discussion after the  film.

 Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Lisa Fruchtman.

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On Tour: Brookville, NY

7 Oct

September 20, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Brookville, NY

As Rob was finishing Part 1 of the Sweet Dreams screening tour, I began Part 2.

I arrived at Long Island University Post in Brookville, NY and was astonished to find the beautiful Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. Tilles Center is a major concert hall which hosts world- renowned music, theater and dance artists as well as being home to the Long Island Philharmonic and the Eglevsky Ballet.

Though our screening was a small event by comparison, Production Manager Bob Goida took care to make sure that all was set up properly and Sweet Dreams looked and sounded fantastic. What a treat!

For the Q&A after the film I was joined by Shawn Welnak, Asst. Professor of Philosophy and Carol Boyer, Associate Professor of Finance who graciously gave time after their busy work days to attend and be part of the conversation with the audience.

 Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Lisa Fruchtman

On Tour: Waynesboro, VA

28 Sep

September 20, 2016 | Sweet DreamsWaynesboro, VA

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Waynesboro, Virginia is nestled in the lush folds of the Shenandoah Valley, not far from the West Virginia border. In the heart of town, The venerable Wayne Theatre, built in 1926 for traveling vaudeville acts and overhauled in 2013 into a modern theatre venue, is the center of cultural life for the entire region. There was a healthy turnout for “Sweet Dreams” (helped by an above-the-fold front page article about it in the local paper). After a lively Q&A, Tracy Straight, the Wayne’s indefatigable director, organized a panel of local women entrepreneurs to talk about their struggles and successes, comparing their efforts with those of their sister entrepreneurs in Rwanda featured in our film. The highlight, though, has to go to the pre-screening ice cream event at Kline’s Ice Cream Shop, where local kids and their parents came to greet me (and share some fantastic ice cream) courtesy of Kim Arehart, Kline’s friendly owner and sponsor of the evening’s screening.  It was a great day because Waynesboro is one of those towns that sneak up on you – in a very very good way.

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Post by On Screen/In Person filmmaker Rob Fruchtman

On Tour: Bloomsburg, PA

15 Sep

September 12, 2016 | Sweet Dreams | Bloomsburg, PA

I arrived in Bloomsburg University in the afternoon of September 12th, the date of my first Mid-Atlantic Tour screening. Fortunately, there was time for me to walk around the town and the campus, and get a sense of college life in central Pennsylvania. For an entrenched urbanite, the bucolic setting was delightful; I wished I could return to my college years and attend a school like this in a community like this (I went to a large city university). Randall Presswood, Bloomsburg University’s director of the Mid-Atlantic Arts program, welcomed me and duly I formed me that in his 31 years of running the arts program at Bloomsburg, the university had never hosted a film with the filmmaker present. I told him that I was glad to be the guinea pig for this experiment.

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“Both of these themes – entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment – are major components of Sweet Dreams”

Randall arranged a panel prior to the film’s screening. The panel consisted of a local female architect who spoke of the challenges of starting her own business and overcome the stereotyped image of a female in the largely male world of architecture. Both of these themes – entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment – are major components of Sweet Dreams, a local Rwandan story that can be applied to countries and communities everywhere. Other women on the panel echoed this theme.

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The screening, while not heavily attended, did create a very engaging Q&A afterwards. I was happy to bring the film to this campus, and hope they continue to bring films (and filmmakers) to their students as a way of opening the world to them.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Rob Fruchtman.

On Tour: Bethlehem, PA

25 Apr

April 19, 2016 | Deaf Jam | Bethlehem, PA

Zoellner Arts Center was the last stop on the tour and I decided to take my 11-year-old son along on the trip. Planes, trains, subways, and buses – all modes of public transportation were my means of travel for the tour and it gave me a chance to immerse myself in the landscape of the sites visited and meet other travelers. The bus ride to Bethlehem was an adventure beginning with a mix- up in hotels! We arrived at our destination and phoned the Holiday Inn Express for a shuttle ride from the bus station. It was a quick 5-minute ride but when we arrived at the Hotel, I found that we needed to go to the other Holiday Inn Express across town. Cyndy Brinker, my contact at Zoellner, had arranged for a pick up from the Hotel to the Theater but I wasn’t sure which Holiday Inn Express the ride would be arriving at. It was a very funny predicament that worked out fine in the end but in the midst felt like a comedy of errors.

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Zoellner Arts Center is a state of the art theater complex. The screening had an intimate gathering of members and students. The post screening discussion allowed for a personal dialogue with all the members of the audience.

One person asked if I had considered submitting the film to the U.N. or other organizations dealing with diplomatic relations. While the film has participated in the American Embassy program, it has not participated in a U.N. program yet. It was an intriguing idea to pursue and one that had not occurred to me.

After the screening, Deborah Sacarakis, brought my son and I to an amazing Greek restaurant where we indulged in a delicious meal and delightful conversation with the restaurant owner – a relaxing closure to an inspired tour.

A round of applause is due to the amazing efforts of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation staff and host sites. I am humbly grateful to have had the opportunity to bring Deaf Jam to Carnegie Hall, BlackRock Center, Light Up the Queen, Christopher Newport University, Monmouth University, the Tilles Center, and the Zoellner Arts Center.  I hope the film was an inspiration to all that saw it. It certainly was an inspiration sharing it with all the diverse communities I met and had the pleasure of speaking with.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Judy Lieff.

On Tour: Brookville, NY

25 Apr

April 13, 2016 | Deaf Jam | Brookville, NY

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Sharon Maier-Kennelly, General Manager and Director of Programming Initiatives, led me on a tour of LIU – Brookville – formerly known as C.W. Post.  The campus was the former home of C.W. Post’s daughter Meriwether, and is reminiscent of a tranquil English Country Estate. Inside the Admissions building we were invited to climb into a tower off limits to most visitors. The top of the tower holds an octagonal room surrounded by windows looking onto a garden area – not quite big enough for Rapunzel but magical.

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The Tilles Center holds a beautiful theater with a terrific sound system.

Clara Zahler, Campus Arts Liaison, and Sharon were fantastic hosts who reached out to the surrounding schools for the Deaf as well as the campus community. We had one of the largest attended audiences of the tour with over 60 people.

The post screening discussion-included questions about the characters, inspiration for the film, future plans, and a potential poetry slam between the schools for the Deaf next year!

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Judy Lieff.

On Tour: Long Branch, NJ

25 Apr

April 11, 2016 | Deaf Jam |Long Branch, NJ

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Interior Pollack

The projection and sound at the Pollak Theatre was superlative!

For the Q+A, I was very fortunate to be joined by Liz Wolter, the driving force from Lexington School featured in the film.  Liz is also the author of the companion guide for the Deaf Jam educational DVD. She is the kind of teacher that every parent hopes his or her child is fortunate enough to work with.

We fielded questions concerning the current climate of deaf education. The most recent out cry had just occurred a few days prior to the screening when the A.G. Bell Association released a statement negating the importance of sign language acquisition for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children. 

In a recent Washington Post column, (Polus, March 28, 2016), Nyle DiMarco, the popular star of “America’s Next Top Model” and now, a favorite contestant on “Dancing with the Stars”, shared his views that there are many deaf children who are being deprived of their own language, American Sign Language. He also shared that he recently established a foundation, the main goal of which is to improve deaf infants’ access to ASL. A firestorm was ignited when the Alexander Graham Bell (AGB) Association characterized the comments of Mr. DiMarco, who is profoundly deaf himself, as spreading myths about the benefits of American Sign Language and in so doing they alleged that the need for American Sign Language had diminished for children who are deaf. Additionally they alleged that the use of ASL is declining dramatically and that “the window for a deaf child to acquire listening and spoken language is much shorter than the window in which ASL can be acquired.” Ironically, no actual research was cited.

A detailed editorial favoring bilingual education and siting factual evidence contrary to the AG Bell association’s statement was published by a reporter for the Gallaudet Publication – The Buff and Blue.

While Deaf Jam is not a political film, it does showcase the profound attributes of ASL practice. Of note, was that the audience at Monmouth was entirely hearing and the discussion regarding the on-going controversy over best practices for deaf education was new for everyone.

Post by On Screen/In Person touring filmmaker Judy Lieff.

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