Director: Laurie Simmons
Genre: Narrative Feature
Running Time: 86 min
Sponsored by: National Museum of American Jewish History
New York City artist Ellie (Laurie Simmons) is convinced her career is in a rut. Although she’s a well-respected professor in a prestigious art college, she has not produced any work of her own in years. She plans to spend the summer housesitting a wealthy friend’s sprawling upstate mansion while reinventing herself with an ambitious new project. Accompanied by her adorable handicapped pup, Bing, Ellie cannot wait to immerse herself in her new surroundings.
Unlike back home, no one in this small, idyllic town questions Ellie’s credentials as an artist. If anything, it’s here that being an artist earns celebrity status. Finding confidence in a more supportive environment, Ellie dives into making her art. Restaging elaborate scenes from iconic films like Some Like It Hot and A Clockwork Orange, she substitutes legendary film stars with ordinary people to play the leading roles.
Frank (Robert Clohessy), a widowed actor-turned-gardener who never rid himself of the acting bug, and John (John Rothman), a practicing lawyer whose failed marriages have him questioning his life choices, have embraced their roles as Ellie’s love interests. As the project begins to take off, Ellie, Frank, and John find that they have grown less concerned with their own problems and more willing to consciously lose themselves in the illusory world of cinema.
In MY ART, Simmons (a notable graduate of Temple University’s Tyler School of Art) runs the show as writer and director, crafting a rom-com about self-realization and its limits and contradictions. Featuring great cameos by Lena Dunham, Parker Posey, and Broadway legend Blair Brown.
Special Guests: John Rothman, Star of My Art.
For Fans of: Art, arthouse cinema, Blair Brown, comedies, film history, Hollywood classics, Laurie Simmons, Lena Dunham, New York art scene, Parker Posey, photography, surreal cinema
Official Selection: Tribeca Film Festival and Venice International Film Festival
Reviews: “[Laurie] Simmons pulls triple duty on the film, writing, directing and starring in the feature, and although she knows how to compose lovely shots and her insight into the art world is keen, it’s her performance as artist Ellie that stands out.” (Kate Erbland, IndieWire)
ALL THESE VOICES
Screening with My Art
Directed by David Henry Gerson | Narrative Short | USA | 2015 | 15 min | Polish and German with English subtitles
An SS officer hides out in an abandoned theater and comes across a group of actors celebrating the end of the war in this surreal tale of grief and forgiveness.
Official Selection: AFI FEST, LA Jewish Film Festival, Las Vegas International Film Festival, Student Academy Awards, and Washington Jewish Film Festival
Awards: Gold Medal and Student Academy Award at Student Academy Awards
Reviews: “Beautiful and harrowing.” (Nancy Doyle Palmer, Huffington Post)