2018 Filmmakers in Residence

Marc Smolowitz

With 25+ years of experience across the entertainment business, Marc Smolowitz is a director, producer and executive producer with a focus on powerful social issue filmmaking. His production company 13th Gen works with a dynamic range of global independent film partners and funders from around the world to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. To date, Smolowitz has been producer, executive producer or consulting producer on 30+ films. His work has screened at Sundance, Berlinale, IDFA, CPH:DOX, Melbourne, Krakow, Viennale, among others. As director, he has helmed 4 successful films – Still Around (2011), The Power of Two (2011), Keep the Promise: The Global Fight Against Aids (2013) and Brave Spaces: Perspectives on Faith and LGBT Justice (2015), and currently has 2 feature documentaries-in-process -- The G Word and The Lonely Child. He enters the 2018 JFI Filmmaker in Residency in production on his documenary-in-process The Lonely Child, an exploratory documentary that traces the impact of a Yiddish lullaby written during the Holocaust throughout generations. 

Connect with Marc: The Lonely Child Website | 13th Gen Website | The Lonely Child Facebook

Read an interview with Marc Smolowitz on the JFI blog

About "The Lonely Child"

"The Lonely Child" is a Yiddish lullaby written during the Holocaust describing Sorele, a little girl in hiding. Almost 75 years later, the daughter of the girl in the song -- Alix Wall -- goes on a quest to meet the people who are keeping the song alive today, inviting musicians she admires to perform their own interpretations of it. Through interviews and performance, the song becomes a vehicle to explore themes of inherited memory and trauma, music and art as resistance, and the song's surprising relevance amidst today's global refugee crisis. What starts as a personal family story becomes a music documentary that brings together artists from different parts of the world around a common theme.

Ben Berkowitz

Hailing from New England, Ben Berkowitz is an impact media producer. He began his career in film distribution at Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia Pictures; having developed content to support the strategic planning of impact marketing campaigns for theatrical releases including Academy Award® Nominated A Royal Affair, and The Hunt, as well as the critically received, award winning documentary Blackfish. Recently, he was a line producer on CNN Film's Unseen Enemy premiering April 6, 2017. In 2015, Ben and his brother Max joined forces and launched Not A Billionaire, a production company that crafts stories through rich filmmaking to further engage, influence and make positive social impact. Ben is at work on a narrative mini-series – Vagrant Viking – about the explorer Peter Freuchen.

Connect with Ben: Not a Billionaire Website

Read an interview with Ben Berkowitz on the JFI blog

About "Vagrant Viking"

During his JFI residency tenure, along with his brother/co-founder  of Not A Billionaire Max Berkowitz, writing partner Christian Harrington and co-producer Peter Ittinuar (Peter Freuchen's actual grandson - based in Canada), Ben will be developing a narrative mini series based on the extraordinary life of explorer, Peter Freuchen. The series will be based primarily off of his autobiography, Vagrant Viking, however they will be taking bits and pieces from his other books as well (he wrote nearly 30 books in his lifetime)!

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