I am delighted to share this short documentary that I have directed, produced, and written — “Reopening.”
Information about the WORLD PREMIERE and other screenings is at the bottom of this page.
In the diverse and divided neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with mom and pop shops closing all around them, several small business owners work tirelessly and creatively to keep their doors open during the Covid-19 PAUSE order, experiencing understandable fear, interminable hope, radical generosity, and even miraculous visions.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. – Theodore Roosevelt
About the Film
Back in January 2020, I was attached to a feature film as a director. My first feature! However, I am a mother, and the two producers on that project are mothers; and so when the pandemic took over in March of 2020, we all had to stop and home school our children, until the schools were ready to take over with remote learning. It took us a few months to realize this wasn’t just postponement. We had to completely pivot because we realized our original financing plan was no longer valid. All of this placed me in a very dry creative moment in June 2020.
I needed to create something!
I was listening to a podcast and learned about Agnes Varda’s film “Deguerreotypes,” in which she turned her camera on the business owners on the street where she lived in Paris. At the time I was living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. We were living through the worst that covid had to offer. Sirens all day long. Washing our groceries. We were in the middle of the PAUSE mandate and all non-essential businesses were closed. At least we had the 7 pm cheers for the healthcare workers.
Inspired by Varda, I wondered what the small business owners in my neighborhood would say about their struggle to stay open. I asked a friend of mine, cinematographer Steve Carmona, who at the time also lived in Bay Ridge, to walk around the neighborhood with me and interview shop owners about their struggles.
What stories might we find?
The number of small business owners willing to speak with us was surprising. Even more surprising was the myriad of ways that each of these businesses had survived. What came out of this project was a clear sense of hope, community, perseverance, and passion.
Welcome to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Here you’ll find a community full of passion and hope.
I hope you enjoy your visit!
BIG APPLE FILM FESTIVAL — WORLD PREMIERE
I am so excited to share that “Reopening” will premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival (same festival that “Jerry & Diane” premiered at!). The date and time is:
Program: DOCUMENTARY SHORTS 2
Date: Saturday, May 20th, 4:35 pm
Location: Theater 3 Cinema Village, 22 East 12th Street, New York, NY 10003
You can ORDER TICKETS HERE.
OVER-THE-RHINE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL — OHIO PREMIERE
We are honored to be included in the Over-The-Rhine International Film Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Program: MORE INFORMATION
Date: July 6, 2023 to July 8, 2023
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
IMPACT DOCS AWARDS
We are delighted to be selected for inclusion in the Impact Docs Awards in their July 2023 festival.
Program: MORE INFORMATION
Date: July 2023
Director of Photography
Graphics & Additional Editing by
RYAN M. FRITZSCHE
Cast (in order of appearance)
BRYAN & AMY STORKEL
CHESS AT THREE
JAY & DANA DEL TURCO
LAURA DOWLING SHEA
EVELYN, ANDREA, & MICHAEL SMARGIASSI
NANCY HYNES & IAN FOSTER
PETER & CHANTAL ASH
SHERYL J. ANDERSON
VERONICA L. HUNTER
Shot on location in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NYC.
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