We held our first family benefit, “Viewing and Doing: An Afternoon of Film and Family Fun,” with a preview screening of The Little Prince followed by an interactive and intergenerational party at our Media Arts Lab. All proceeds benefited our outreach and education programs.
We held a private screening 475: Break the Silence for high school students followed by a discussion with Moroccan filmmaker Hind Bensari, part of our Classroom to Screening Room program. Bensari, a Greenhouse Documentary Film fellow, was at the JBFC as part of our Fellowship for International Understanding Through Film.
JBFC-curated series in 2016 included "Wim Wenders: Portraits Along the Road," "Programmers Picks," "Jonathan Demme's Rarely Seen Cinema," "Westchester Jewish Film Festival," "JazzSessions: The Greats on Camera," and "The Meditative Life: Consciousness, Spirituality...and the Kitchen Sink."
We honored author Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, at our annual Silver Screen Circle Dinner. The evening featured a screening of the Academy Award-nominated film The Big Short followed by a conversation with JBFC Board Member Janet Maslin and a seated dinner. This annual event is held in grateful appreciation for the generous support we receive from Silver Screen Circle members.
In February 2016 we launched "Saddle Up Saturdays," a series of Westerns curated by Jonathan Demme. Showcasing the scope of the genre, this series featured films such as Major Dundee, Johnny Guitar, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Once Upon a Time in the West.
We launched our new "Image, Sound, and Story: Created Equal" curriculum designed to inspire middle school students to learn the history of the civil rights movement, understand the power of media to advance social change, and share their own stories through the creation of multimedia arts projects." ISS: Created Equal" was developed in partnership with the Brooklyn Historical Society and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The 15th annual Westchester Jewish Film Festival kicked off with Presenting Princess Shaw, directed by former JBFC International Fellow Ido Haar, and coproduced by JBFC founder Steve Apkon (pictured).
We launched our monthly free family program, Family Saturdays at the Lab, featuring hands-on creative activities for the whole family the first Saturday of every month at our Media Arts Lab.
On Feb. 26, 2015 Ron Garan, decorated fighter pilot, aquanaut, and the only NASA astronaut from Westchester County, shared his interactive, multimedia presentation with the students from Roosevelt High School (his alma mater), encouraging them to “look skyward, earthward, and forward.”
Two beautiful, intimate screening rooms opened upstairs at our theater on March 6, 2015, allowing us to have a wider range of films and events. In celebration of a generous leadership gift, one theater has been named the Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan Theater.
South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho is the award-winning director/screenwriter of Barking Dogs Never Bite, Memories of Murder, The Host, Mother, and Snowpiercer. While in residence in the spring of 2015, director Bong attended screenings of his four most recent films, participated in Q&As, and worked on preproduction for his upcoming project. In this video Bong Joon-ho sits with JBFC programmer Andrew Jupin and producer Dooho Choi.
Sarra Abidi is a filmmaker from Tunisia. While in residence in the spring of 2015, she screened her first feature film, The Dead Cannot Vote, a documentary about a fledgling democracy facing the problem of chemical pollution in southern Tunisia, followed by a Q&A.
“Culture is for everybody.” —Spike Lee
Remix examines the legacy of institutional racism and the modern black experience in film, media, and art. Bryan Stevenson, founder of The Equal Justice Initiative, and winner of both a MacArthur Fellowship and the ACLU National Medal of Liberty, joined us on opening night for a screening of Confronting Injustice, followed by a discussion with Jonathan Demme and a reception.
During her fellowship in the spring of 2015, Tara Clune, a Mt. Kisco resident, wrote, directed, and animated Hourglass, a stop-motion styled short about a young girl who struggles making friends, and decides to build one from found objects in her home. She also created the original trailer for the JBFC's curated series "Deadly SINema." Tara teaches Motion Graphics: 3D Modeling at the JBFC.
During his fellowship in the summer of 2015, Champ Ensminger created an experimental short film called US/Caterpillar Secrets, scored with original music by Croton-on-Hudson-born musician Zach Cooper, and performed by dancer and SUNY Purchase graduate Lindsey Jones.
During her fellowship in the fall of 2015 Reweina Tessema wrote and produced a short stylized coming-of-age narrative. She was also a Teaching Assistant for several courses.
Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, invited us to present at its leadership retreat. We shared with administrators and teachers from across the country their distinctive approach to media education programs.
JBFC-curated series in 2015 included "We Got Game: Sports on Film," "In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund," "German Cinema Now," "The Films of Bong Joon-Ho," "Westchester Jewish Film Festival," "Greenhouse: Emerging Documentary Voices from the Middle East and North Africa," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "Wine & Film: The Perfect Pairing," "The Meditative Life," "Deadly SINema," "Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries,"
"Contemporary Arab Cinema," "Classic French Cinema," "Focus on Nature," "Global Watch: Crisis, Culture & Human Rights," and "Remix."
In 2015 we hosted Q&A's with Lenny Abrahamson, Laurie Anderson, Mirra Bank, Annie Baker, Noah Baumbach, David Broza, Brandy Burre, J.C. Chandor, Brady Corbet, David Dinkins, Jesse Eisenberg, Bela Fleck, Cary Fukunaga, Bobcat Goldthwait, Leslye Headland, Tom Hooper, Noah Hutton, Duke Johnson, Bong Joon-ho, Charlie Kaufman, Virginia Madsen, Shelley Mayer, Natalie Merchant, Phyllis Nagy, Terence Nance, Richard Price, Gina Prince-Bythewood, and Jacob Tremblay, among others.
On March 27, 2015, we honored filmmaker Alex Gibney at our annual Silver Screen Circle Dinner. The evening included a screening of Gibney’s latest documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief followed by a discussion with JBFC Board President Janet Maslin and a seated dinner. This annual event is held in grateful appreciation for the generous support we receive from Silver Screen Circle members.
In March, 2015 we unveiled our newly imagined Jane Peck Gallery as a community gathering space. Now visitors to our theater can enjoy exhibitions and events, or a causal conversation after a film.
JBFC-curated series in 2014 included "We Got Game: Sports on Film," "Around the World in 18 Films," "Classic French Cinema," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "Something Wild: The Films of Jonathan Demme," "Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries," "Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema," "Focus on Nature," "Dance on Film," "Global Watch: Crisis, Culture & Human Rights," and "Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema."
On May 1, 2014 Edie Demas joined the JBFC community as the first executive director to follow founder Steve Apkon. “From the moment I heard it, I was drawn to the JBFC story. It really is like no other…a community coming together to build and sustain a one-of-a-kind film and educational institution…and I am excited about the endless possibilities.”
USONIA was a sonic art exhibition created by four Media Arts Lab students, a faculty member, and sound artist John Morton. It was installed at Nonna Square in Pleasantville as part of the countywide “In the Garden of Sonic Delights” exhibition commissioned by the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts.
We launched new education website featuring a Visual Glossary and View Now Do Now as well as a new and integrated pre-K–grade 12 curriculum for educators called Image, Sound, and Story.
In 2014, Ellar Coltrane recreated the Boyhood poster following a screening of the film and Q&A with JBFC Board President Janet Maslin.
At a special preview screening of an episode of the highly acclaimed hit series Cosmos on May 18, 2014, we were treated to a surprise appearance by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist, cosmologist, and director of the Hayden Planetarium.
Fiercely committed to ethical filmmaking and the world of indie storytelling, Dryden was nominated for Best New UK Filmmaker in 2012. While in residence in the winter of 2014, Lindsey worked on filming and editing her latest documentary, Plié. We also screened Lost and Sound, her film exploration of music, deafness, and the human brain.
Lebanese filmmakers George Tarabay and Elias Khalil’s residency marked the beginning of a new partnership between the JBFC and Greenhouse, a groundbreaking initiative that helps emerging documentary filmmakers from the Middle East and North Africa work to create a more just, democratic and peaceful society. While in residence, they worked on their documentary The Changing Map of Lebanon.
In the fall we welcomed Guy Reid from the United Kingdom to our campus. Reid worked on his documentary Planetary, a visually stunning meditation on the interconnectedness of all life on earth. While in residence, he encouraged students and audience members alike to ponder the question, “What does it mean to be planetary?” We screened the newly-released film on Earth Day.
On Nov 23, 2014 filmmaker Jason Reitman joined us for a screening Men, Women and Children. In the Q&A following the film, Reitman emphasized the importance of moviegoing as a communal experience.
In 2014, special guests Meryl Streep and Jodie Foster helped us honor Jonathan Demme with the JBFC Vision Award at our 13th Anniversary celebration.
In 2014 we hosted Q&A's with Dick Button, David Byrne, Ellar Coltrane, Rosemary DeWitt, Cary Elwes, Jodie Foster, Anjelica Huston, Brian d'Arcy James, Jenny Lumet, Rob Marshall, Jason reitman, Wallace Shawn, Will Shortz, Jon Stewart, Meryl Streep, Susan Stroman, Jonathan Tropper, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, among others.
Christina Kolozsvary (pictured) is a Westchester-based experimental filmmaker. While at the JBFC in the spring of 2014 she continued scripting and shooting a new project, worked as a Teaching Assistant and took courses at the Media Arts Lab.
Jon Appel is a graduate of Pleasantville High School. While here in the summer of 2014, Jon did postproduction work on Melmilap, a documentary about his travels in Nepal, taught a class, and worked with second graders at Brookside School in Ossining to create digital stories complete with music, text, and voice-over narration.
Matt Keyser is a graduate of Ossining High School and a former participant in both our "Cinemania" and "Unscripted" student programs. While here in the fall of 2014 Matt produced and directed a short narrative film, participated in a screenwriting course, and was deeply involved in the Creators’ Co-op as a Teaching Assistant.
On May 21, 2014 an entire sold-out audience—including Jonathan Demme and David Byrne—were grooving in their seats, singing along to Byrne’s legendary music in Demme’s 1984 masterpiece about the Talking Heads. The evening, which included a Q&A with Demme, Byrne, and Janet Maslin, kicked off our retrospective honoring Jonathan Demme’s work.
JBFC-curated series in 2013 included "Best of the 2012 Transylvania International Film Festival," "Pulp Fictions: Crime Novels on the Big Screen," "The Meditative Life," "Discovering the Comic Genius of Pierre Etaix," "Westchester Jewish Film Festival," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "Contemporary Arab Cinema," "FrameWorks: Art on Film," "Shirley Clarke: No Boundaries," "The Film Music of Aaron Copland," and "Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema."
On Dec. 3, 2013 Bruce Dern joined us for a screening of Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, which was shot in black and white across four states and depicted family life in the heartland.
On Nov. 25, 2013 we honored Richard Gere at the 12th Annual Silver Screen Circle Dinner. This special evening included film clips highlighting Mr. Gere’s career, and a discussion with our Board President Janet Maslin, followed by a seated dinner. This annual event is held in grateful appreciation for the generous support we receive from Silver Screen Circle members.
On May 28, 2013 we discovered the work of rising filmmakers from Haiti’s Ciné Institute, the extraordinary organization that is allowing young Haitians to make their voices heard. After viewing some amazing short films, there was a spirited conversation with David Belle, the Institute’s director, and Institute supporters Ben Stiller and Jonathan Demme. We were proud to present the evening as a free community event.
Lucio Gregoretti (pictured) of Italy joined our long list of International Fellows in the spring of 2013. He has composed the music for approximately 100 plays and film scores, many operas, and symphonic and chamber music pieces. While in residence, Lucio attended screenings, presented public programs, and worked with students.
In the fall we welcomed Mohamed Siam, an Egyptian independent documentary and fiction filmmaker. Siam’s work examines life in Egypt for audiences both inside and out of his country. His shorts have been selected to screen at many film festivals, including International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Madrid Documentary Festival, Alfilm Arab Film Festival, and Rencontres de l’Image. While in residence, Siam collaborated with French film editor Françoise Tourmen on his debut feature documentary.
In July the JBFC, a recognized leader in media education, was one of only 16 organizations to receive a HASTAC/MacArthur Foundation grant. This competitive grant was awarded for Reel Change: Community Visions.
We expanded our popular Summer Teachers Institute into a multidisciplinary experience to serve educators at every grade level and across all subject areas. Teachers chose from a diverse array of workshops to ensure a customized and relevant professional development experience.
Rosie DuPont (pictured) specializes in working with young talent and making videos for kids. During her fellowship, in the spring of 2013, she created four short films and worked as a Teaching Assistant.
Daniel Sitts, a filmmaker and illustrator, who started work on a children’s book about bossy farm animals while taking part in our fellowship.
Christina Kolozsvary is a filmmaker and educator whose work has been screened internationally. During her fall fellowship, Christina worked as a Teaching Assistant, took courses, and began scripting and shooting a new project.
In 2013 we hosted Q&A's with Noah Baumbach, Dick Cavett, Jen Chapin, Andy Cohen, Billy Crystal, Bruce Dern, Richard Gere, Alex Gibney, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rita Houston, Oscar Isaac, Richard Linklater, Bebe Neuwirth, Aiden Quinn, Geoffrey Rush, David O. Russell, Jason Segel, Tracy Shayne, Will Shortz, Fisher Stevens, Ben Stiller, and Debra Winger, among others.
On Sept. 16, 2013 we welcomed the legendary Billy Crystal for an extraordinary evening that celebrated his remarkable career on television, screen, and theater through clips and hilarious conversation. The evening was capped by a reception in the Jane Peck Gallery.
JBFC-curated series in 2012 included "Jeanne Moreau: A Real Woman," "Global Watch; Crisis, Culture & Human Rights," "Apichatpong Weerasethakul: The Fellowship for International Understanding Through Film," "Contemporary Arab Cinema," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "Classic Italian Cinema," "Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries," "Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli," "The Films of Asghar Farhadi," "Focus on Nature," "Hidden China."
On May 3, 2012 we honored Academy Award- and Tony Award-nominated actress Kathleen Turner at our annual Silver Screen Circle Dinner. This special evening celebrated Ms. Turner’s remarkable stage and screen career with selected film highlights, followed by a conversation with our Board President Janet Maslin. The evening was capped by a seated dinner in the Jane Peck Gallery.
Singer/songwriter Stevie Nicks, one of the most distinctive female voices in rock history, joined us on Oct. 8, 2012 to view and discuss In Your Dreams, a rousing documentary that charts the unique creative process of writing and recording that album with producer/songwriter Dave Stewart. “I leave here with a full heart and I will never forget this day,” said Nicks.
On June 22, 2012, the opening night of Sounds of Summer, Paul Simon joined filmmaker Joe Berlinger to view his brilliant film about Simon’s return to South Africa 25 years after his controversial visit in defiance of the UN cultural ban which gave birth to his groundbreaking album Graceland. A Q&A and reception followed the screening of Berlinger’s film Under African Skies.
We launched our "Creators’ Co-op" program, exclusively for high school students. Participants take workshops throughout the semester, create original projects in collaborative crews, and receive support for their individual projects, all while taking advantage of all the equipment and resources our Media Arts Lab has to offer.
After filming I’m Carolyn Parker in New Orleans, Academy Award-winning director and JBFC Board member Jonathan Demme brought his documentary to life at the Burns. Demme did all the postproduction work at the Media Arts Lab with help from JBFC staff and students. The film was featured on PBS’ series POV, and opened for a run at our theater the following week.
In the spring we were thrilled to have the celebrated Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul in residence. During his residency Weerasethakul attended screenings, held Q&As with general audiences and our high school film club, and used the Media Arts Lab for postproduction on a pair of short films, including Mekong Hotel, which was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
In the fall we welcomed two fellows from China, the noted producer, distributor, and independent film advocate Zhu Rikun and filmmaker Wang Wo. While here, they participated in discussions, interacted with students, and curated Hidden China, a special month-long celebration of independent Chinese cinema.
Row 1: Tom Cruise, Amy Irving, Frank Langella, Lina Matta
Row 2: Stevie Nicks, Jason Segel, Paul Simon, Kathleen Turner
Row 3: John Turturro, Paul Williams, Neil Young, Benh Zeitlin
In 2012 we hosted Q&A's with Shalom Auslander, Nancy Buirski, Ed Burns, Majora Carter, Tom Cruise, Stephen Daldry, Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Irving, Eugene Jarecki, Robert Klein, Frank Langella, Lina Matta, Stevie Nicks, James Patterson, Jason Segel, Paul Simon, Kathleen Turner, John Turturro, Sarah Vowell, Paul Williams, Neil Young, and Benh Zeitlin, among others.
Musician Rodriguez, subject of the film Searching for Sugar Man, performed for an audience following a screening of his documentary and a Q&A with JBFC Board President Janet Maslin and filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul.
JBFC-curated series in 2011 included "Focus on Nature," "Charlie Chaplin," "Westchester Jewish Film Festival," "Catherine Deneuve," "Jonathan Demme Presents: Arthur Penn," "JBFC at TEN," "Classic Italian Cinema," "Great Party Movies," "Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries," "Steven Spielberg and Some of His Favorite Movies," "Tales from the Golden Age: New Romanian Cinema," "Dance on Film," "Global Watch: Crisis, Culture & Human Rights," and "Catching Up."
Jacques d’ Ambroise, principal dancer with New York City Ballet and founder of the National Dance Institute, joined us on Oct. 20, 2011 for an evening of clips, short films, and exuberant conversation.
On Sept. 17, 2011 nearly 600 people enjoyed a seated dinner under a spectacular tent in the heart of Pleasantville. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the JBFC 2011 Vision Award to Steven Spielberg in recognition of his unique and powerful impact on the film industry.
Tennis player Renee Richards–formerly Richard Raskin–played on the women’s professional tour for five years but was banned from the US Open. Her court challenge led to a landmark decision in transgender rights. On May 12, 2011 she joined documentary filmmaker Eric Drath for a thought-provoking discussion following his film Renee.
Fran Lebowitz joined us on March 15, 2011 for the screening of Marin Scorsese’s Public Speaking, a provocative and often hilarious documentary that perfectly captures her unique take on modern life.
Robert Redford was our guest of honor at the Silver Screen Circle Celebration on Jan. 9, 2011, a special annual event for our highest level of supporters. After clips and discussion hosted by Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme, Mr. Redford joined us for a seated lunch along with special guest Debra Winger.
The Burns Challenge, our popular 24 hour film challenge for teens, launched this year! One weekend each year, teams of high school students receive a set of guidelines, a camera, and 24-hour access to the Lab’s editing and sound recording facilities. They have 24 hours to make a film and all final projects are shown at the Media Arts Lab Screening Room at the end of the contest!
In Nov. for the first time in our history, we outfitted our theater with 3D projection to present two of the most anticipated films of the year: Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin.
Bucky Pizzarelli—one of the most revered jazz guitarists in the world—joined us on May 19 with his sons, John and Martin Pizzarelli, along with jazz violinist Aaron Weinstein. It was the ultimate jam session!
Yolanda Pividal (pictured), of Spain, lived and worked on the JBFC Campus as our fourth International Flimmaker-in-Residence. While here as part of the Fellowship for International Understanding Through Film, she edited her documentary Fighting Kites and taught Unscripted: Adventures in Nonfiction to high school students.
Mihai Chirilov, a key figure in the renaissance of Romanian cinema, and the founder and artistic director of the Transylvania International Film Festival, curated and presented “Tales from the Golden Age: New Romanian Cinema.” He was in residence for the duration of the series in Sept. and Oct. 2011.
"Seeing Stories," the JBFC’s first early literacy program for schools, launches in pre-K–grade 2 classrooms in Yonkers Public Schools.
Row 1: Ellen Barkin, Buck Henry, Fran Lebowitz, Rob Lowe
Row 2: Elizabeth Olsen, Jason Reitman, Renee Richards, Thelma Schoonmaker
Row 3: Harry Shearer, Gus Van Sant, Gore Verbinski, Peter Weir
In 2011 we hosted Q&A's with Jill Abramson, Pablo Aslan, Ellen Barkin, Simon Curtis, Jacques d'Amboise, Debra Granik, Jennifer Grant, Mark Harris, Sally Hawkins, Buck Henry, Kent Jones, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Fran Lebowitz, Rob Lowe, Brit Marling, Elizabeth Olsen, Susan Orlean, Robert Redford, Jason Reitman, Renee Richards, Thelma Schoonmaker, Harry Shearer, John Turturro, Gus Van Sant, Gore Verbinski, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Peter Weir, and A.B. Yehoshua, among others.
JBFC-curated series in 2010 included "Elia Kazan," "Celebrating Chekhov," "Kurosawa Centennial, 1910-2010," "Sounds of Summer: New Music Documentaries," "The Big Score: The Greatest Heist Films," "Fatih Akin: From Berlin to Istanbul and Back," "Focus on Nature," and "Bogart."
Row 1 : Noah Baumabch, Bruce Beresford, Joe Berlinger, Nigel Cole
Row 2: Ann Curry, Ruby DeeAlex Gibney, James Kaplan
Row 3: Robert Klein, Stephen Lang, Jessica Lange, John Cameron Mitchell
Row 4: Steve Reich, Campbell Scott, Toby and Dan Talbot, Julie Taymor
In 2010, we hosted Q&A's with Kevin Asch, Noah Baumbach, Bruce Beresford, Joe Berlinger, Stuart Blumberg, Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Patricia Clarkson, Nigel Cole, Ann Curry, Dave Davidson, Ruby Dee, Nash Edgerton, Scott Freiman, Alex Gibney, Mark Harris, Ruth Gruber, James Kaplan, Robert Klein, Stephen Lang, Jessica Lange, John Cameron Mitchell, Jo Mennell, Galt Niederhoffer, Niels Arden Oplev, Steve Reich, Ira Resnick, John Schaefer, Campbell Scott, Dan and Toby Talbot, Julie Taymor, and Susanna White, among others.
Another proud moment! Adding to the several prestigious awards the building had already been given from the design community, the Media Arts Lab received a LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold classification by the US Green Building Council, the recognized certification system for building construction that focuses on sustainable environmental performance. To date, it is the only registered LEED Gold N.C. (new construction) building in Westchester County, NY.
Row 1: Robert Altman, Horton Foote, Jeanne-Claude, Frank McCourt
Row 2: Ismail Merchant, Christopher Reeve, Tim Russert, Ted Sorenson
In memoriam: We note the passing of several prominent individuals who honored us with a visit during the past 10 years. Christopher Reeve, Robert Altman, Frank McCourt, Sydney Pollack, Ismail Merchant, Jeanne-Claude, Horton Foote, Tim Russert, and Ted Sorenson all shared their unique gifts, histories, and expertise with the JBFC family and helped make us a more vibrant community.
In partnership with the Mount Pleasant Public Library, we created the Jacob Burns Film Center Curated Collection, a unique assemblage of over 200 films on DVDs available to library patrons throughout Westchester. The collection will be expanded on a regular basis based on recommendations from our film programmers.
Row 1: Alec Baldwin, Michael Caine, Jeff Daniels, Nora Ephron
Row 2: Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, Michelle Monaghan, Mira Nair
Row 3: Chazz Palminteri, Amy Redford, Jason Reitman, Stanley Tucci
In 2009, we hosted Q&A's with Anvil, Alec Baldwin, Michael Caine, Patricia Clarkson, Jeff Daniels, Lee Daniels, Nora Ephron, Ed Harris, Jeremy Irons, Logan and Noah Miller, Michelle Monaghan, Mira Nair, Chazz Palminteri, Jason Reitman, Mary Stuart Masterson, Michelle Monaghan, Amy Redford, Stanley Tucci, and Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, among others.
In 2009, the Media Arts Lab opened for business! It quickly became home to dozens of filmmaking and cinema studies courses for kids, teens, adults, and families during the day, after school, in the evenings, and on weekends. From June to August each year, "Summer @ the Lab" offers camp programs for children and teens.
In 2009, an ongoing monthly series for high school students, “Friday Night Films @ the Lab” was launched. Director Jonathan Caouette was a special guest for a screening and discussion of his film Tarnation.
JBFC-curated series in 2009 included "Pictures at a Revolution," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "The Meditative Life," "International Noir," "Sidney Lumet," "Satoshi Kon," "Adaptations: Books into Film," and "Yves Montand."
Nonprofit organizations learn how to make public service announcements (PSAs) and short films an effective part of their advocacy work in the "Reel Change for Nonprofits" course at the Media Arts Lab.
Bahman Farmanara, Fanta Régina Narco, Ido Haar, Namik Kabil
The JBFC proudly hosted three International Filmmakers-in-Residence fellows in 2009. They were here as part of The Project for International Understanding through Film, which invites filmmakers, programmers, and educators from around the world to live, work, and teach on our campus, nurturing lines of communication between cultures using the power of film.
"Teaching and Technology in the Digital Age" (TTDA) was piloted with eight teachers, grades K-12. This new, intensive two-year professional development program helps teachers master 21st century visual literacy tools and expands their perception of what can be achieved in the classroom.
Another first at the Burns – live, HD broadcasts via satellite from the prestigious National Theater in London. The JBFC is one of only 320 venues around the world to participate in the pilot program of National Theater Live (NT Live), an exciting new venture designed to bring vibrant stage productions of the best of British theater to a wider audience.
Row 1: Alec Baldwin, Danny Boyle, Patricia Clarkson, Pearl Fryer
Row 2: Ron Howard, Eugene Jarecki, Albert Maysles, Meat Loaf
Row 3: Dev Patel, Philippe Petit, John Pizzarelli, David Schwimmer
Row 4: John Scofiled, Kevin Smith, Oliver Stone, Debra Winger
In 2008, we hosted Q&A's with Alec Baldwin, Danny Boyle and Dev Patel, Patricia Clarkson, Pearl Fryer, Werner Herzog, Ron Howard, Bill Irwin, Eugene Jarecki, Elaine May and Julian Schlossberg, Albert Maysles, Meat Loaf, Denis O'Hare, Philippe Petit and Debra Winger, John Pizzarelli, Paul Schrader, David Schwimmer, John Scofield, Kevin Smith, and Oliver Stone, among others.
JBFC-curated series in 2008 included "Stranger than Fiction," "Envisioning Russia: A Century of Filmmaking," "African Film Festival," "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera," "Hitchcock Returns," "Fritz Lang in Germany," "United Artists: The Studio at 90," "From Bach to Glass: A Feast for Classical Music Lovers," and "Europe & Hollywood: The Films of Ingrid Bergman."
"Digital Storytelling" was piloted as a summer workshop for promising students from the Bronx and Yonkers public schools. The program enabled them to discover, share, preserve, and celebrate the stories that lie within their hearts. Through the power of communication technology, they each created their own digital story. The 22 students in grades 10-12 were hosted through the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program.
Film, Food, Jazz, Live Art! Opening night of "FrameWorks: Art on Film," an annual series featuring films and prominent guests from the worlds of filmmaking and visual arts, featured a screening of Helvetica followed by a reception with great food, live music, and spontaneous paintings on the theme of typefaces.
How Cool! Opening night of "Jazz Sessions: The Greats on Camera" featured a special performance by John Pizzarelli followed a screening of Keeping Time: the Life and Photography of Milt Hinton. A reception, book signing, and exhibition of 20 of Hinton's photographs followed. Grammy award winning bassist Todd Coolman hosted the Q&A's in the series.
And the award goes to…the JBFC for screening several films prior to their winning the Oscar for best documentary. First there was Bobby Houston's The Children's March (2004), followed by Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's Born into Brothels (2006) and Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Darkside (2007).
Row 1: Joong-Hoon Park, Judy Collins, Alex Gibney, Ryan Gosling
Row 2: Todd Haynes, Robert Klein, Mark Morris, Sarah Polley
Row 3: Paul Schrader, Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone, John Turturro
In 2007, we hosted Q&A's with Noah Baumbach, Judy Collins, Alex Gibney, Ryan Gosling, Todd Haynes, Robert Klein, Al Leiter, Mark Morris, Joong-Hoon Park, Sarah Polley, Simon Schama, James Schamus and Ang Lee, Julian Schnabel, Paul Schrader, Duncan Sheik, Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone, Julie Taymor and Elliot Goldenthal, and John Turturro, among others.
JBFC-curated series in 2007 included "50 Years of Janus Films," "Thursday Nights at the Opera," "The Meditative Life," "After Dark: Takashi Miike," "The French New Wave," "The View from a United Germany: Films Since 1990," and "Take Me Out to the Movies: Baseball at the Burns."
In Oct. 2007, Danish film director Susanne Bier previewed and discussed her film Things We Lost in the Fire.
Over 1,000 middle and high school students participated in a 24-hour film marathon at the JBFC featuring groundbreaking movies about genocide. The goal of the project was to raise awareness about the crisis in Darfur, but the group also raised more than $70,000 for a selected group of Darfur relief agencies.
A generous grant from philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis made possible the purchase of 5 Grant Street, a residence adjacent to the new Media Arts Lab. The site houses filmmakers, educators, and programmers from around the world who live, work, teach, and screen on the JBFC campus as part of our Fellowship for International Understanding through Film.
We showed the first American retrospective of the films of Korean film star and movie idol Joong-hoon Park, who was on hand for the opening night screening of his newest film, Radio Star, followed by a discussion with filmmaker Jonathan Demme.
Row 1: Angela Bassett, Steve Buscemi, Charles Busch, Christo
Row 2: Donovan, Terrance Howard, William Hurt, Jeanne-Claude
Row 3: Garrison Keillor, Albert Maysles, Ruth Reichl, Isabella Rossellini
Row 4: Campbell Scott, Will Shortz, Kevin Smith, Oliver Stone
In 2006, we hosted Q&A's with Lucy Arnaz, William Baldwin, Angela Bassett, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Buckley, Charles Busch, Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Albert Maysles, Donovan, Nora Guthrie, Terrance Howard, William Hurt, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Garrison Keillor, Edward Norton, Melvin Van Peebles, Ruth Reichl and Farmer John, Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott, Will Shortz, Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, and Oliver Stone, among others.
Opening with an evening dedicated to John Cheever and a play read by Mary Beth Hurt, "Celluloid Suburbia" featured seven film programs on the American dream of suburban bliss and the anxiety of sprawl. This Jan. 2006 series was a collaboration among several of the County's nonprofit cultural organizations: ArtsWestchester, the Hudson River Museum, Katonah Museum of Art, and the JBFC.
On Nov. 16, 2006, ground was broken at 405 Manville Road for the Media Arts Lab. Just up the street from the JBFC Theater, the Lab is the hub for the JBFC's innovative 21st century literacy programs for students of all ages.
JBFC-curated series in 2006 included "New German Cinema," "Four on Food," "Ernest Lehman: The Invisible Art of Screenwriting," "After the Apocalypse," "Ingmar Bergman," "Kenji Mizoguchi," "War in Iranian Cinema," and "Viva Pedro!"
Sixty educators, grades 3-12, took part in the first "Summer Teachers Institute," a week-long course designed to prepare them to integrate 21st century communication tools into their classrooms. The goal: for teachers to learn new ways to empower their students to become active viewers, engaged world citizens, and inspired creators.
Steve Apkon was a featured speaker at the first ever UNESCO Conference on Arts Education in Portugal. The conference was attended by over 1,100 people from 150 countries. Steve's breakout session was "The Power of Story."
Row 1: Noah Baumbach, Horton Foote, Ron Howard, Bill Irwin
Row 2: Jim Jarmusch, Daniel Day Lewis, Jerry Lewis, Alan Menken
Row 3: Paul Reiser, Jason Ritter, Chris Wedge, Gene Wilder
In 2005, we hosted Q&A's with Noah Baumbach, Jonathan Caouette, Judy Collins, Horton Foote, Charles Grodin, Daniel Handler, Geoffrey Holder, Ron Howard, Bill Irwin, Jim Jarmusch, Ang Lee, Daniel Day Lewis, Jerry Lewis, Rob Marshall, Alan Menken, Paul Reiser, Jason Ritter and Tom Arnold, Richard Russo, George Stevens Jr., Chris Wedge, and Gene Wilder, among others.
An unforgettable event. On Jan. 7, 2005, special guest Paul Rusesabagina, the real-life hero depicted in Hotel Rwanda; and Terry George, the film's director, joined us for a preview screening.
Jonathan Demme's "Rarely Seen Cinema" series has developed a loyal and growing following since its launch in 2005. From the forgotten, the wild, the strange, and the outrageous to the never-released and just plain terrific, Oscar-winning filmmaker Demme selects films that take us on a unique journey through the cinematic past and leads a spirited discussion with the audience after each screening.
Opening night of our "Dance on Camera 2005" series featured a screening of Carmen and Geoffrey, a documentary about the lives of dance icons Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder. After, author Esmeralda Santiago led a discussion with the mesmerizing Geoffrey Holder, who later joined JBFC members and area youth at a reception.
JBFC-curated series in 2005 included "Three by Horton Foote," "The Indiscreet Charm of Luis Buñuel," "George Stevens: Hollywood Giant," "The Golden Age of German Cinema 1919-33," "The Marx Brothers," "Stanley Kubrick," "Cinema Caliente: Latin America in Film," and "Louis Malle."
Two exciting new series were added to our annual roster in 2005: "Global Watch" presents a selection of the year's most essential and controversial documentaries; and "FrameWorks: Art on Film" offers an array of films about great visual artists and insights by critics, art historians, filmmakers, and artists.
Executive Director Steve Apkon was one of 35 leading educators, authors, policy makers, and researchers invited to the 21st Century Literacy Summit, a global conference to exchange ideas, explore visual, aural, and digital literacy, and devise strategies to maximize their potential. The summit was sponsored by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Adobe Systems, and The New Media Consortium.
Exciting exhibits have filled the third floor at the Film Center, named the Jane Peck Gallery in 2006 in honor of one of our first and most dedicated volunteers. Highlights include photos of Martha Graham by eminent photographer Barbara Morgan, on view during "Dance on Camera 2004," and the heartbreaking snapshots taken by Calcutta street children on display during the run of the Oscar-winning documentary Born into Brothels.
Row 1: Alejandro Amenabar, James L. Brooks, Ken Burns, Nora Guthrie
Row 2: Tony Hendra, Andrew Jarecki, Mike Leigh, Frank McCourt
Row 3: Mike Nichols, Joyce Carol Oates, Rex Reed, Tim Russert
Row 4: Kevin Smith, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Spurlock, Meryl Streep
Row 5: John Travolta, Stanley Tucci, Melvin Van Peebles, Neil Young
In 2004, we hosted Q&A's with Robert Altman, Alejandro Amenabar, James L. Brooks, Ken Burns, David Denby, Nora Guthrie, Tony Hendra, Andrew Jarecki, Mike Leigh, Frank McCourt, Dow Mossman, Mike Nichols, Joyce Carol Oates, Melvin Van Peebles, Rex Reed, Tim Russert, Kevin Smith, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Spurlock, Meryl Streep, John Travolta, Stanley Tucci, Gene Wilder, Zhang Yimou, and Neil Young, among others.
JBFC-curated series in 2004 included "Another Russia: A Tribute to Lenfilm Studios," "Chris Marker: The Greatest Filmmaker You've Never Heard Of," "Great Pianists of the 20th Century," "French Thrillers of the '50s and '60s," "Werner Herzog," "Orson Welles," and "Lords of the Ring."
On July 3, 2004, director Michael Moore dropped in to surprise 250 stunned audience members at a screening of his film Fahrenheit 9/11. After, he had high praise for the film's exhibition: "The picture was GORGEOUS! The sound was MAGNIFICENT! It was the best experience we have had since Day 1 watching the film."
The perfect brew: Stephen King, horror films, and Halloween. On Oct. 30, 2003, after a week-long showing of films he personally selected for our Halloween programming, Stephen King joined us for a benefit screening of Cujo.
JBFC-curated series in 2003 included "Pushing the Limits with Roman Polanski," "Eric Rohmer's Moral Tales," "Fassbinder," "Films from the Silk Road," "Hitchcock," "Jeff Bridges: The Big Picture," "After Dark: Music Festival," and "Errol Morris: Philosopher-King of Cinema."
Row 1: Tim Burton, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Eve Ensler
Row 2: Colin Firth, Paul Giamatti, Farley Granger, Salma Hayek
Row 3: Scarlett Johansson, Albert Maysles, Mike Nichols, Sydney Pollack
Row 4: Parker Posey, Anna Quindlen, Tim Robbins, Campbell Scott
Row 5: Omar Sharif, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Weinstein
In 2003, we hosted Q&A's with Robert Benton, Jeff Bridges, Tim Burton, Robert Duvall, Clint Eastwood, Eve Ensler, Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson, Stephen Frears, Terry George, Paul Giamatti, Farley Granger, Salma Hayek, Joe Klein, Juliane Lorenz, Rob Marshall, Albert Maysles, Ismail Merchant and James Ivory, Rebecca Miller, Mike Nichols, Philip Noyce, Susan Orlean, Sydney Pollack, Parker Posey, Anna Quindlen, Reno and Nancy Savoca, Tim Robbins, Gary Ross, Joel Schumacher, Martin Scorsese, Campbell Scott, Susan Seidelman, Omar Sharif, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Harvey Weinstein, and Vanessa Williams, among others.
Director Susan Seidelman previewed and discussed her film Gaudi Afternoon as part of our ongoing "Celebrating Women Filmmakers" series.
Row 1: Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, Jessica Lange
Row 2: Rob Marshall, Edward Norton, Kevin Spacey, Hilary Swank
Row 3: Stanley Tucci
Silver Screen Circle members are crucial to our innovative film, education, and outreach programs. In grateful appreciation for their generous annual support, they have access to all that the JBFC has to offer. They also enjoy an exclusive opportunity to celebrate a distinguished film industry leader at the annual Silver Screen Circle Dinner. Past honorees include Stanley Tucci (2002), Robert Duvall (2003), Jeff Bridges (2003), Kevin Spacey (2004), Rob Marshall (2005), Edward Norton (2006), Hilary Swank (2007), Ed Harris (2009), and Jessica Lange (2010).
Model/filmmaker Emme was a guest at our monthly "Girls Outreach" program in 2002. Through screenings and discussions with women filmmakers, this series for at-risk teenage girls presented the art and business of filmmaking as an attainable goal in their lives.
Through such annual series as "Dance on Camera," "Classic Italian Cinema," and the "Jewish Film Festival," our audiences are able to reflect each year on both the cultural diversity and the universality of the global community as expressed in the language of film.
"Personal Favorites with Janet Maslin" brought in prominent actors, filmmakers and authors to share their favorite movies and discuss them with Janet after the screenings. Her first guest was noted columnist and author Anna Quindlen with Waterloo Bridge. Others have included Frank McCourt (The Horse's Mouth), Kevin Smith (A Man for All Seasons), and Tim Russert (Cool Hand Luke).
Row 1: George Clooney, Todd Haynes, Arliss Howard, Stephen King
Row 2: Christopher Reeve, Sam Rockwell, John Sayles, Paul Schrader
Row 3: Kevin Smith, Chris Wedge, Treat Williams, Debra Winger
In 2002, we hosted Q&A's with George Clooney and Sam Rockwell, Todd Haynes, Arliss Howard, Stephen King, Mark Moskowitz, Christopher Reeve, Ruth Reichl, John Sayles, Thelma Schoonmaker, Paul Schrader, Maurice Sendak, Kevin Smith, Mira Sorvino, Chris Wedge, Treat Williams, and Debra Winger, among others.
A dynamic and unique array of film series were curated by our expert programmers in 2002 in partnership with the Film Society of Lincoln Center. They included "Fantasika! The Films of Alexandr Ptushko," "Essential Asian Cinema," "Rendezvous with Jean Gabin," "The Great American Western," "The Amazing Films of Michael Powell," "Akira Kurosawa: The Master at His Peak," "A Cultural Dialogue: 5 Films and 5 Filmmakers from Iran," "Andrei Tarkovsky: Visionary," and "The Early Films of David Lynch."
Ed Burns, William Greaves, Robert Klein, Clive Owen.
The JBFC is more than just a venue to see outstanding films. We are also committed to enhancing the viewing experience through dialogues with great filmmakers, authors, scholars, and other informative speakers. In 2001, guests included Ed Burns, William Greaves, Robert Klein, Sylvia Nasar, Clive Owen, and Stephen Trask.
On Nov. 11, 2001, pianist Sara Davis Buechner performed live piano accompaniment at a rare screening of the 1925 silent classic Ben Hur.
On Oct. 13, 2001, actress Vanessa Williams was the honorary chairperson for a day of interactive exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for young people, exploring how films are made.
In October, 2001, the JBFC presented Krzysztof Kieslowski's 10-part Decalogue series, with discussions led by film scholar Annette Insdorf.
Glenn Close, Ang Lee, Christopher Reeve, and other dignitaries joined us for the ribbon cutting at the Grand Opening of the Jacob Burns Film Center on June 16, 2001. A week of special events to thank our volunteers, donors, and Pleasantville residents preceded the official opening.
The renovated and expanded Jacob Burns Film Center opened to the public in June, 2001. Designed by architects Davis Brody Bond, LLP, and executed under the management of Yorke Construction, the building marries the historic façade of the old Rome Theater with contemporary features and state-of-the-art technology.
On June 18, composer Stephen Trask joined us for a Q&A following a screening of his Grammy-nominated film, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
The dream of creating a unique cultural institution that entertains, challenges, educates, and inspires audiences of all ages through the power of film began to come true in 1998 with the purchase of the old Rome Theater in Pleasantville, NY. The Spanish mission-style landmark was renovated and expanded, and the Jacob Burns Film Center was born, named in recognition of the Jacob Burns Foundation’s leadership gift. Over the past fifteen years, with the generous support of the community, the Film Center has become the largest venue of its kind in the country with a vision that uniquely embraces both film presentation and education.