NewRealities' first film & video festival based on the ideas found
on this website.
NEW REALITIES FILM FESTIVAL April 8th, 9th & 10th 2010
New Realities' first film festival. New Realities is happy to present its 1st annual
film festival, based on the ideas found on this website in cooperation with Streetwise
Pictures. Featuring documentaries, animations and narratives focusing on body, mind
and spirit. Producers of the festival: Alan Steinfeld and Kim Jackson.
Film Festival for Mind, Body and Spirit
-reviewed by Victoria Barkley
I recently attended the First Annual New Realities Film Festival,
co-produced by Ms. Kim Jackson of Streetwise Productions and
Mr. Alan Steinfeld. The event, presented over a number of days
both at the Subud Center and at the Meta Center in New York City,
featured "documentaries, animations and narratives, focusing on
mind, body and spirit." Mr. Steinfeld, who also hosts the weekly
New Realities television program, introduced the festival on
opening night to an auditorium filled with film and video
enthusiasts, eager to view something new.
Here's a brief synopsis of the Festival's 10 films:
Never Wear a Dead Man's Shoes
A short movie written by Mr. Judd Lear Silverman and directed
by Mr. Alan Steinfeld was by far one of my favorites. In just 15
minutes, this comedy had everyone smiling about the Thanksgiving
Day adventures of a young man visiting a family gathering at
his late uncle's home. Who says a film needs to be nearly
two hours long? This little gem, packed enough character
development, magic and wit, to win over several currently
running Hollywood movies, at local theaters. I just loved it!
And judging by the audience's endlessly rolling laughter,
everyoneelse loved it too.
The comical travel documentary, which followed the above
mentioned little masterpiece, was directed by Alexander
Snelling. This film had many Laurie Handlers fans in the
audience, applauding her on-screen adventures with a bus
full of spiritual seekers traipsing through India, filmed by
A London Film School graduate project of Mr. Mark Lee: In this
short narrative, a chance encounter with a bag lady on a New York
City subway creates a cascading chain of events leading to all
sorts of surprising, synchronistic connections. I especially liked
the ending, which left me wanting more. Perhaps Mr. Lee could
expand his scope by developing it into a feature length story. I
would love to see a longer version, or a sequel!
This docu-fiction, written and directed by Mr. Zach LeBeau —
chronicling a grief stricken, self-medicating, physicist's scientific
exploration into the great unknown, in search of his dead wife and
daughter — did not disappoint.
The Little Soul and the Sun
A children's animated tale of resolving issues around forgiveness,
as seen through the belief system of Mr. Neale Donald Walsch —
perhaps a bit too religious for secular consumption, but charmingly
appropriate for smaller kids in Sunday school.
Sita Sings the Blues
An animated musical amalgam of the Hindu myth of Ramayana
and the filmmaker, Nina Paley's, own marital break-up yarn.
This creative project uses hilariously hip shadow puppets and
original 1920's recordings of jazz singer, Annette Hanshaw to
tell the story. Ms. Paley's work recently aired on PBS, and is now
available for free viewing online at WNET/Thirteen's "Reel13.org."
Bill Cote documentary: Cote, famous for speculative quests,
filmed yet another one of his thought provoking journeys into
the mysteries of rock formations apparently etched by unknown
hands on a plateau, high in the Andes Mountains.
Moving Cloud Productions' cinematic critique of the Bureau
of Land Management portrays the plight of the wild mustang,
swiftly disappearing from the US southwest.
The Hidden Hand
Explores the UFO phenomena and extraterrestrial contact
throughout history, offered just a taste of filmmaker Mr. James
Carman's half completed work in progress.
The Festival ended with a much awaited special screening of
For the Next 7 Generations. Director Carole Hart, filming a
group of 13 indigenous grandmothers from around the world,
traveling and healing together, sharing their collective wisdom
through spontaneous rituals around the globe. My favorite scene
was the grandmothers' audience with the Dalai Lama at his
residence in the Tibetan community in India.
Ms. Jackson and Mr. Steinfeld are two brave souls to venture
into showcasing ten films that are not easily categorized.
These carefully chosen independent works, off the beaten path,
were well worth watching. Below budget, yet groundbreaking
indies like these are generally under-represented by distributors.
Some in spite of winning awards at various film festivals, are still
not picked up for wider circulation. Mr. Steinfeld mentioned a
trend by producers to privately fund their distribution in order to
bring their work to the public. While Hollywood is churning out
computer generated, high budget, action films for public consumption,
guerrilla filmmakers are quietly offering quality entertainment
to stretch our minds and feed our souls.
To paraphrase Mr. Steinfeld's closing comments in a nutshell:
"It is the artist who intuitively perceives alternate realities first and
brings back images to inform and inspire the rest of us." Film is the
perfect art form for passing on new vision.
I am looking forward to seeing next year's selections.
* * *
New Realities Film Festival Schedule
April 8th at the Subud Center, 230 West 29th street, NYC (bet. 7th and 8th ave.) Admission $12
7:15pm Never Wear a Dead Man’s Shoes – short narrative, 15 minutes
This romantic comedy is a modern day telling of the Jewish superstition… What happens at Thanksgiving when young Oren he tries on his late uncle’s Buddy’s shoes - is a tale of romance, betrayal and the eternal hope of love. Written by Judd Lear Silverman / Directed by Alan Steinfeld, festival director and founder of NewRealities.
7:45pm: Tantric Tourism – Feature Documentary -80 minutes New York Premiere
The hilarious award-winning documentary has New York tantra guru, Laurie Handlers, escorting a group of spiritual seekers on a riotous pilgrimage to India. Drunken train rides, sexual exercises on buses, along with culture shock and the contradictions of new-age tourism is so surreal that it can only seen as truly human. What happens to these people is comic and deep with profound spiritual change, making this kind of guerilla filmmaking uplifting cinema. Directed by Alexander Snelling. http://www.tantrictourists.com
April 9th - at the Meta Center NY, 214 West 29th street, 16th floor, NYC.
7:10pm Tran∙si∙tions, short feature, 16 minutes
What connects us as people? A shared space, common interest, a basic drive; blood. In our
teeming city of millions, lives criss-cross in ways both expected and unexpected. The bag lady; The straphanger; The summer intern; The single mom. In a single evening, these familiar characters discover just what it is that connect one to the other, and along way confront their own deep secrets. tran∙si∙tions is a snapshot of our modern-day lives, played out on the ultimate world stage. Directed by Mark Lee, Produced by Kim Jackson
7:30pm - The Scientist, feature narrative, 88 minutes, New York Premiere
The question now is science vs. spirit. This narrative film that tackles this question as brilliant physicist comes to terms with existence and beyond. Dr. Marcus Ryan (Bill Sage) anguishing over the tragic death of his wife and daughter secretly constructs a mysterious energy generator in his basement. The machine unleashes energies that triggers a series of multi-dimensional events that propels Ryan towards the realization of higher level of consciousness. Director Zach LeBeau. http://thescientistmovie.com/
April 10th - at the Meta Center NY, 214 West 29th street, 16th floor, NYC.
Each program $12
$20 for the whole day.
Late Morning Program $12 - Great films for children and adults.
12pm- New York Spirit -5 minutes, by Muriel Stockdale
12:05pm- The Little Soul in the Sun – Animation - 30minutes, New York Premiere
This story by Neale Donald Walsch is about a young boy who encounters a bully at school and must ponder what forgiveness is really about. His mother helps by telling him the story of the little soul who asks the source about the lessons in life and their deeper spiritual meaning. This beautifully animated tale holds a message for all of us, whether young or simply young-at heart. http://www.littlesoulandthesun.com
12:30pm - Sita Sings the Blues – Feature Animation - 82 minutes
This is a modern update of the ancient Hindu tale of the goddess Sita separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama, traditionally called the Ramayana. Here film animator, Nina’s husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy set to the jazz vocals of 1920's. Directed, written, produced and animated by Nina Paley.
Afternoon Program - $12
2:00pm - Environmental Shorts and trailers, 10 minutes
2:15pm - Makawasi – Documentary - 30 minutes
"High atop a remote plateau in Central Peru, hundreds of illusive shapes and faces that can be seen in the living rock. Are they merely natural erosion, or were they carved, as some think, by the hand of man? And if so, whose hand, and for what reason?" This fascinating video focuses on the most mysterious spots on the planet. Why do so many of the stones look like ancient monuments from around the world? Did the ancient Egyptians visit this high mountain plateau in the Andes? And what about the Monument to Humanity which contains images of the four distinct races of man situated at the entrance to the plateau as it greets visitors. Filmmaker Bill Cote will be present to answer questions after the screening.
3:00pm- Disappointment Valley: Modern Day Western - Feature Documentary - 75 min
Special New York Screening
James Kleinert examines the effects of the recent "Burns Bill" which gutted the Free Roaming Wild Horse and cleared the way for the removal and slaughter of wild horses in America. Greed and corruption take center stage, exposing deceit within the Department of the Interior. The once free-roaming horses now face euthanasia and being shipped to Mexico for brutal slaughter. The film also explores the impact on public lands by oil, gas, mining and corporate cattle grazing. “I hope this film will inspire change to the future of these precious animals.” Film has comments by Michael Blake, (Writer of Dances With Wolves and Wild Horse Advocate), the Bureau of Land Management, Sheryl Crow, Daryl Hannah, and others. http://www.theamericanwildhorse.com
Early Evening -$12
4:30pm The Hidden Hand, documentary, 30 minutes (work-in-progress)
Filmmaker James Carmen tackles the most controversial topic ever. Are we being visited by aliens? And is the government covering up contact. See this work-in-progress as you hear from witnesses, military and government officials about the Disclosure of a secret that can no longer be denied. Carmen will be present after to answer questions.
5:15pm - For the Next 7 Generations – feature documentary, 80 minutes
In 2004, thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers from all four corners, moved by their concern for our planet, came together at a historic gathering, where they decided to form an alliance: The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. This film documents their unparalleled journey and timely perspectives on a timeless wisdom. Four years in-the-making, it was shot in the Amazon rainforest, the mountains of Mexico, North America and at a private meeting with the Dalai Lama in India. Facing a world in crisis, these women share their visions of healing and a call for change on planet Earth, before it's too late. Director Carole Hart will be present to answer questions. http://www.forthenext7generations.com
Each Program is $12
Whole Festival, Thursday, Friday, Saturday $35
Two days: $25
All-day Saturday: $20