Like Coney Island and hot dogs, some things just go together. Such is the combined forces of the award winning documentary series, POV and the Brooklyn Museum’s Thursdays @ 7.
The partnership started as all partnerships do, with an idea and a goal. With the change in museum hours, now open until 10pm, the thought of a film series sparked. A list of potentials ran through my head including: local filmmakers, local films, Brooklyn films, museum films, films about our thriving Brooklyn cultural, films with appropriate subject matter that could play in compliments to our permanent exhibitions and rotating special exhibitions, films by certain distributors, and films you can’t see anywhere else on a big screen. Having evening hours planted a seed. I sent a few emails and wound up connecting with the community engagement folks at POV. After one hour-long meeting, it seemed my jumbled list of potential ideas was taking shape into something more concrete and fluid. I was in Coney Island and I had found the perfect hot dog.
Why POV? The cinema term for “point of view” POV is televisions longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. Their community engagement efforts aim to build new audiences, broaden public debate, and bring important social, political, and economic issues to light (a familiar mission statement). Plus, they reach a large audience and their films have won every major film and broadcasting award (including Emmy’s and Academy Awards just to start).
In January and February we showed POV films Good Fortune and Off and Running respectively. Filmmakers (all local Brooklyn) were on hand for Q&A after each screening. We were pleased with the films and how they relate to the museum, the turn out, audience discussions, and continued excitement for more films from the audience evaluations passed out at the end of each screening.
The series will continue on May 5th with My Perestroika, a story of five Moscow schoolmates living in post-Soviet Russia. They share personal stories of their Soviet childhoods, the huge changes of Perestroika (Restructuring), and let us see the true nature of contemporary Russian life. Screening at the museum around Victory Day of May 9th, (when Russia celebrates the victory over Nazi Germany) and recent, radical government change (think current events), not to mention the large Russian Community living in Brooklyn, and a local filmmaker to boot, the film is timely and appropriate.
We are delighted to have director Robin Hessman on hand for a Q&A after the film. The Meyersons, one of the families in the film, are making the trip from Russian to be here for the screening. If that still doesn’t spark your interest, Perestroika’s recent sold out shows at IFC and this New York Times article and review might.
We encourage you to purchase tickets in advance. We’ve been to Coney Island and found the perfect hot dog so look for more POV films at the Brooklyn Museum Thursdays @ 7.
Beverly Sommer is Marketing and Group Tour Coordinator and works in the Visitor Services Department, where she has been working since 2007. Most recently she served as Theater Manager for the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. She is a founding member of Pop-Up Art and was the first Visual Arts Curator for Art House Productions. Prior to joining the Brooklyn Museum staff she worked as a professional photographer and has been published by Random House, Inc. and Conveyor Magazine. She holds a B.F.A. in Film, Photography, and Visual Arts from Ithaca College and a M.B.A. in Global Management from Rutgers University. Her favorite film is “Trip to the Moon” and she’s an award winning pie baker.