Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories 2017 – Short Films from Central Europe

New York Women in Film & Television (NYWIFT) continues Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories with Central European short films from makers Kristen Swanbeck (At Least You Are Here), Katie Orjonikidze-Casey (Georgian Bread), and Serena Dykman (Welcome).

Women Filmmakers: Immigrant Stories is a free screening series of work by women filmmakers focusing on the immigrant experience throughout the five boroughs of New York City. This series showcases a themed exhibition of short and feature-length films.

Date: Monday, April 24th, 2017

Time: 6:30PM

Location: Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave, Queens, NY 11106

Travel Directions

Screening followed by a Q&A and reception with the filmmakers.

Free Admission. RSVP in advance to reserve seats.

At Least You Are Here
Kristen Swanbeck (Writer/Director/Editor)
2016, 12 mins

(Pictured above) Katia’s lover has just left her. Alone in her apartment in Brooklyn, she obsessively watches footage of war taking place in her home country, Ukraine, on YouTube. Unable to bear her loneliness, she leaves her apartment to roam around the city. She overhears another man speaking Ukrainian on his cell phone and decides to follow him. After initiating an introduction, she invites him back to her apartment. From there, two lonely people, both far from home, stumble for connection in the context of an unspeakable far away war.

Kristen Swanbeck grew up on the outskirts of Cleveland, Ohio. She studied sociology and communication arts at Antioch College and then received her MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Swanbeck has directed a number of short films, including Single Girl, which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and went on to play at festivals around the world. Her film Between Josie and Maria received a Warner Bros Production grant, a Hollywood Foreign Press post production grant, and premiered at the Marfa Film Festival. At Least You Are Here premiered at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival. Swanbeck also works as an editor on documentaries, narrative features, and commercial content for broadcast and web.

Georgian Bread
Katie Orjonikidze-Casey (Director)
2016, 20 mins.

Legendary Georgian actor Kakhi Kavsadze plays George, an immigrant, who despite his age and distance from his country, tries to work hard and keep up with his traditions and dignity. The story takes place in Brooklyn, in a city with its own set of rules, where we find young businessman Michael struggling to keep his bakery business going. Even thought he deeply loves and respects George, he has the opportunity to swap his cozy little Georgian bakery for a sushi place that will be more profitable for his business. In the globalization era, this story demonstrates that people of different generations, cultures, and languages can still have a love and understanding for each other.

Katie Orjonikidze-Casey is an award-winning director, writer and producer. She got her Master’s in Journalism back in her country, Georgia, at Tbilisi State University, and has been a political reporter over 10 years. When she came to the USA, she started writing stories about immigrants, and publishing them in various magazines and newspapers. At the same time she attended directing and producing classes at NYU and later received a BA in Art, majoring in Film Production at Brooklyn College. Orjonikidze-Casey’s credits include a number of short films based on true immigrant stories. Her film The Parrot was screened at 8 international film festivals. She was awarded an “Emerging Female Director Award” from NYWIFT for the film Nana. She has also received a Royal Reel award at the Canada International Film Festival and her films have been screened at Cannes and Berlinale Film Festivals. Orjonikidze-Casey is in pre-production on her new film The Return.

Serena Dykman (Writer/Director/Producer)
2015, 17min.
Anna, a young Czech doctor, gets held up at U.S. immigration after a humanitarian trip to Uganda, the day her boyfriend wants to propose to her.

Serena Dykman is a New York-based filmmaker, and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her work, ranging from comedy to drama and documentary, has won her over 20 awards in the past two years. Her films The Doorman, Bed Bugs & Company, and Welcome have been selected for over 70 film festivals around the world, including at the Cannes Film Festival, and Oscar-qualifying film festivals. Dykman is a “third-culture kid” born in Paris, and raised between London, Brussels, and New York. Her passion for travel has informed much of her work. Her first feature film, Nana, is a transgenerational documentary about her grandmother, Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant, an Auschwitz survivor and activist for tolerance. Dykman is the founder and president of Dyamant Pictures, a New York-based production company.

Special Thanks

NYC Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

April 24 @ 6:30pm
6:30 pm — 8:30 pm (2h)

Museum of the Moving Image

Celeste and Armand Bartos Screening Room

3601 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.