Itzhak and Toby Perlman with filmmaker Alison Chernick at the NYC screening of “Itzhak” at DOC NYC Fest on November 16, 2017 (Photo credit: Max Szadek)
The documentary on Itzhak Perlman, titled “Itzhak”, received its NYC premiere at the DOC NYC Film Festival on November 16th. In attendance were the subjects, Itzhak Perlman and his wife Toby Perlman, and director Alison Chernick. There were two back-to-back screenings at Manhattan’s Cinépolis Chelsea, followed by a Q&A session with the film subjects and director.
Check out this excerpt from the film!
Read below for a piece on the film from Women and Hollywood, featuring director Alison Chernick.
DOC NYC 2017 Women Directors: Meet Alison Chernick — “Itzhak”
By Laura Berger
Women and Hollywood
November 16, 2017
In award-winning documentaries profiling major contemporary artists, Alison Chernick has captured the thoughts and processes of this century’s most prolific visual artists. Her credits include “The Jeff Koons Show,” “Matthew Barney: No Restraint,” and “The Artist is Absent.” Her art documentaries have been screened at various museums around the world, including the five Guggenheims, The Smithsonian, SFMOMA, and The Walker. She started Voyeur Films, a film production company, in 2005.
“Itzhak” will premiere at the 2017 DOC NYC Film Festival on November 16th.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
AC: Itzhak Perlman personifies the resilience, vision, and contribution of the Jewish people. Through Perlman, we hear stories of obstacles and survival while witnessing humor, talent, discipline, and drive.
The film follows the evolution of a musician while exploring Jewish history and culture.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
AC: All the above reasons.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
AC: Perlman is able to create that sound because of how much humanity, passion, and love he has in his heart — which he infuses into his music. All of that beauty comes from within.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
AC: Figuring how much of a story to impose on to this film. His life and personality didn’t need more of a narrative to flow, so the challenge was in the edit room. I had a fantastic editor, Helen Yum, who really helped make this film sing and dance.
W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.
AC: We brought PBS on as co-producers and were able to leverage Perlman’s celebrity status to get the rest of the financing. I also received a NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) grant.
W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at DOC NYC?
AC: We are excited to be part of this great festival.
W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?
AC: If we are the minority then use that to your advantage.
W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.
AC: My friend Julia Solomonoff has been doing great work. Her films include “Nobody’s Watching,” “The Last Summer of La Boyita,” and “Hermanas.”
W&H: There have been significant conversations over the last couple of years about increasing the amount of opportunities for women directors yet the numbers have not increased. Are you optimistic about the possibilities for change? Share any thoughts you might have on this topic.
AC: Yes, I think as the women’s movement progresses, opportunities are increasing for women each day. The fact remains the majority of the country voted for a female president. It’s just about having the confidence to go after what you want.
To read the full article, click here.