Bloom/Spiegel Film Exchange Unveils Participants, Honors ‘Crystal Swan’ Director

Elsa Keslassy

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The Bloom/Spiegel Film Exchange, an alliance between New York’s IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film and the Jerusalem-based Sam Spiegel Film School and lab, has selected the nine filmmakers who will take part in its fourth edition.

The cross-cultural program will welcome Israeli filmmakers including Aalam-Warque Davidian, Margarita Belaklav, Tamar
Kay, Tal Miller, and Noa Shaham from the Sam Spiegel lab. They will be joined by Adrian Cardenas, Ben Gottlieb, Haley Anderson and Katrina Vogl from the New York-based Marcie Bloom Fellowship.

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During a four-day seminar, the participants will meet with producers, directors, foreign sales agents, festival directors, programmers, poster designers, restorers and visit unique theaters and companies around the city. These meetings are meant to help them develop relationships with the film industry and encourage future collaborations.

“we started the Marcie Bloom Fellowship with the intention of bringing together a dynamic community of thoughtful, kind hearted and extremely curious filmmakers,” said the co-directors of the IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship in Film, Dylan Leiner, who is the exec VP of acquisition and production at SPC, and Alex Uhlmann.

“As the industry continues to change we find it incredibly exciting to bring together filmmakers from around the world who maintain a passion for independent and auteur driven cinema and we believe that the chosen participants are important up and coming artists within this community,” said Leiner and Uhlmann.

Sam Spiegel’s founder Renen Schorr said the institution “believes in continuous study, curiosity and fulfillment in (our) graduates,” and added that the “partnership with Marcie’s fellows has proven to be a life ‘exchanging’ experience for participants from both groups.”

This year’s guests include John Tintori, the academic director of NYU and NYU Production Lab founder; Nicholas Brittell, the Oscar-nominated composer of “Moonlight;” Shannon Treusch, the founder and partner at Falco Ink.; Sue Jacobs, the music supervisor of “The Farewell;” and Pamela Koffler, the producer of “Still Alice,” among others.

Meanwhile, the IFP Marcie Bloom Fellowship will hand out this year’s Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award to Darya Zhuk, whose feature debut “Crystal Swan” was Belarus’ first entry into The Oscar’s international feature film category in 22 years.

Set in the 1990’s, “Crystal Swan” follows a young DJ Velya whose dream of leaving Belarus and becoming a DJ in the United States is derailed by an error on her forged visa application. The award, which comes with a $5,000 grant, will be presented by Leiner, Nicholas Britell, Jack Riccobono and the Louvel family. Zhuk will participate in a special session with the Bloom/Spiegel Film Exchange participants.

The honorary prize was created in homage to the late director Nick Louvel (“Domino One”). Cathy Yan, the director of
“Dead Pigs” won the inaugural Nick Louvel Breakthrough Filmmaker Award last year.

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