Member News & Events


Posted: 07/18/2014 by Lorenzo DeStefano

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Sunday August 24, 2014 - 6:30-8:30pm
Libbey Bowl, Ojai, California

In a world filled with music, there is a wonder in the making and her name is Rachel Flowers

The filmmakers behind the new feature documentary, "RACHEL FLOWERS-HEARING IS BELIEVING",
are pleased to announce a FREE CONCERT the evening of Sunday August 24th, 2014 at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl, by the young Ventura County multi-instrumentalist and composer Rachel Flowers. Subject of a May 29, 2014 cover story in the VC Reporter ttp://,

Rachel is 20 years old and has been blind since birth. This has not kept her from developing into a major talent since beginning her studies at the age of 4 at the Southern California Conservatory of Music.
Producer/Director Lorenzo DeStefano and his team have been in production since April and are producing this free community event, to be filmed for the documentary. They hope that Rachel's growing number of fans of all ages, as well as those who want to discover this rare talent for themselves, will turn out to help make Rachel's concert debut a big success as well as to support the production of the film.

Visit &
& contact /805 641-3845 for more information

Lorenzo DeStefano - Productions Á-Propos
P.O. Box 2063, Ventura, CA. 93002
(805) 641-3845 / /

Tags: Music  
The Official World Premiere of Avner The Eccentric in "I Was Born Hungry & I'll Die Hungry, But It Feels So Good To Fill Up In-b

Posted: 07/18/2014 by Brian A. Bernhard

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From the EMMY award-winning creators of "ART or something like it!" comes a brand new chapter in the esteemed artist profile docu-series "A FOOL'S IDEA -- PRESENTS" featuring the world-renowned vaudevillian, hypnotherapist, juggler, mime, expert NLP (neural linguistic programming) teacher, magician and master eccentric performer - Avner Eisenberg (AKA "Avner the Eccentric").


Possibly best known in pop-culture for playing the titular role in the 1985 film "Jewel of the Nile" (co-starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner), as well as a guest appearance in the 1986 hit television series "Webster". However, before all that, in 1984 Mr. Eisenberg became the first solo performer to take over New York's theater district with a hit Broadway clown show called "Avner the Eccentric".

"I remember standing backstage at opening night on Broadway...and there were lots of movie stars and all the New York press... and starting to talk myself into getting worried and then going...wait a character has to be naïve. And I just let go of all that, went out and did the show and got good reviews and ran for almost a year!" - Avner Eisenberg

Currently, he travels the world with his incredible one-man show "Exceptions to Gravity" while teaching the ancient & powerful art of eccentric performing.

"I've discovered a lot of very interesting...sort of...they're not anomalies obviously, but they look like anomalies of balance. Balancing things in surprising ways," says Mr. Eisenberg; continuing with, "I think the basic idea is a kind of reverse engineering, of finding a trick that I could do and then saying...okay, that's the solution...what was the problem?"

His unique scientific approach to stagecraft, comedy and teaching has led to incredible breakthroughs with professional performing artists from all around the world.

"Most of my creativity is going into teaching others, and also to doing directing and coaching. And I have a series of principles, eccentric performing principles, that are a pretty good guide for creating and maintaining rapport with the audience and with one's partners, and then looking for the comedy in terms of problem solving." - Avner Eisenberg

Using the skills he has learned as a professional hypnotherapist, as well as being an expert practitioner of NLP, Mr. Eisenberg teaches his students how to understand what is going on inside the human brain, so they may be able to create stronger, more authentic connections when performing for an audience.

"It's not about costumes, makeup, funny faces, funny's the attitude you have to solving the problems that you find along the way to doing your job." - Avner Eisenberg


A portion of the proceeds raised through our Patreon page (to support Avner's episode of the docu-series) will be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research!
A FOOL'S IDEA is an independently produced crowd-funded large scale documentary project exploring the lives, passions, inspirations and work of some of the worlds most eccentric performing artists.

Click here for the project website:

Find "A FOOL'S IDEA" on Facebook:

Brian A. Bernhard
Creator | Producer | Director | Editor
Mobile: 718-809-3391

Max Eternity article on Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts

Posted: 07/13/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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Max Eternity article on Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts
July 13, 2014

Nancy Bechtol: On Free Speech, Journalism and the Arts By Max Eternity In 2009, a Chicago artist named Chris Drew...


ME: What happens when artists are criminalized for expressing themselves?

NB: This is so far beyond Chris. It’s a pervasive thing. I think the whole environment has shifted in the last 15 years. It’s become a really oppressive environment for artists. Everything is like “maybe.” If you step outside the standard prescription—there could be non-support, and artists need support. It’s about freedom of speech. And if art is speech, then freedom of speech is art. And if you don’t have that then you don’t have the First Amendment. I never heard anybody say it that directly, when Drew said “artist’s speech.” Art is a big signifier to any movement. Chris was an artist.

ME: What kinds of legal protections would you like to see?

NB: It’s a whole thing. When they [lawmakers] equal selling socks with selling art on the streets, there’s a problem. I can’t speak to what peddling should or should not be, but I remember in the 90’s when they passed a law that said there’s no peddling. You had to get a peddling license for like $60 a month, and you had to show what you were going to sell.

It’s a real extreme manner of controlling freedom of expression.

I think it’s up to the public…let the public decide what art they want to see on the sidewalk.

ME: How do you see this affecting the identity and dynamic of the city and urban culture-at-large?

NB: It’s marginalizing and isolating artists.
Continue Reading... includes Channel 2 News video on the Ill Supreme Court Decision in 5/14

Ruth L Ratney's REEL Chicago article by Ed M Koziarski notes Bechtol indie "Free Speech & the Trancendent Journey of Chris Drew"

Posted: 07/04/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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Ruth Ratney's REEL CHICAGO. by Ed M Koziarski:(mentions my indie film) "Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist" special preview to benefit ARC Gallery. Chicago 6.15.14 NANCY BECHTOL. with ongoing thanks to Hey Now Records for music "Paper Airplane" music by Andy Alton and David Mansfield.
LA company options Gaunt's Uptown-set crime thriller | Chicago film, commercials, advertising, video, production, post, tech news from

Bruce Scivally comments on Nancy Bechtol Experiential and Experimental feature Indie Doc

Posted: 06/24/2014 by Nancy Bechtol

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"Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist"
is not your typical narrative documentary,
but rather a mesmerizing, experiential—and experimental—film more akin to an art film,
which is appropriate considering that its subject is an artist.
Chris Drew set out to challenge Chicago's street vending laws,
but ended up being a champion of free speech
when he was charged with felony eavesdropping for recording his arrest.
His fight to then overturn the eavesdropping law
became a true David-versus-Goliath tale,
with the efforts of the maverick Drew captured by maverick filmmaker Nancy Bechtol.
The result is an engrossing and timely film.”

~ Bruce Scivally, Documentary Filmmaker & Author
"Superman on Film, Television, Radio and Broadway"
and co-author of the book "James Bond: The Legacy" with John Cork.

Gamer Age film Screening + after party

Posted: 06/23/2014 by Ian Todd Santer

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Gamer Age is a document of video game culture which not only surveys the evolution of an industry and it's major effects on arts and media; but also delves into the psychology, and the deep rooted passion shared by video gamers around the globe. The film screens this Saturday June 28th at the Crest Theatre in Westwood, starting around 9pm and followed by live performances from many of the artists/musicians featured in the film. Gamer Age has been screening around the US in association with the traveling exhibition- the Art of Video Games. It was directed and produced by Ian Santer and is currently seeking out a digital distribution deal.

2014 Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video

Posted: 06/21/2014 by Thelen Creative

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA - Delight in tales of wondrous places, true achievements in the crafts of animation and live-action filmmaking, and above all- portraits of fascinating people with this collection of films that are currently on the screening circuit at over 100 prestigious international film festivals - including Sundance, Cannes, Rotterdam and many more!

Fourteen productions honored of the 150 submissions from 18 different countries at this year’s Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video. The award-winning shorts will be screened daily, Wednesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 6 in the 300-seat Showcase Theatre at the 2014 Marin County Fair in San Rafael, CA. The 44th Annual Marin County International Film Festival is FREE with admission to the Marin County Fair.

44th Annual Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video Honorees Announced

Posted: 06/21/2014 by Thelen Creative

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CA - The historical documentary The San Agustín : California Shipwreck, produced by George Thelen of Thelen Creative, has received an honorable mention for documentary shorts from the 44th Annual Marin County International Festival of Short Film & Video. The half-hour documentary chronicles the expedition of the 16th Century Spanish galleon San Agustín, and its’ sinking off Point Reyes (CA) in 1595. It is the oldest known shipwreck on the U.S. West coast.

The documentary is one of fourteen productions honored of the 150 submissions from 18 different countries at this year’s international festival. The award-winning shorts will be screened daily, Wednesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 6 in the 300-seat Showcase Theatre at the 2014 Marin County Fair. The 44th Annual Marin County International Film Festival is FREE with gate admission to the Marin County Fair.

The San Agustín : California Shipwreck, aired earlier this year on PBS, KQED-TV San Francisco and received the 2013 Citizen Journalist Award given by CreaTV of San Jose, California. Thelen, of Novato, is a freelance content producer who recently led the creation of the Marin History Museum’s award-winning mobile Application and audio documentary series.

Visit for more information.

Doc on Viral Video "I Am a Ukrainian" Now Filming

Posted: 06/19/2014 by Lynne Moses

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On November 30, 2013, my filmmaking partner, Ben Moses, arrived in Ukraine and found himself in the middle of a revolution. Subsequently ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, had just rejected the European trade agreement and citizens were pouring out into the streets in protest. No stranger to political conflict overseas, Ben decided to go with his friend and translator, Yulia Marushevska, down to Kiev’s Maidan, the central square and heart of the movement. The protests were passionate, but peaceful.

Two months later, Maidaners, as they were called, started dying. When three of them fell to sniper fire by Yanukovych's Berkut police, Yulia, a 24-year-old doctoral student at Taras Shevchenko University, decided to tell the world what was happening. She stood on the Maidan, where a friend filmed as she poured her heart out, pleading for help. Despite the very real dangers associated with being recognized, she sent her extraordinarily moving video to us. Ben edited and uploaded the resulting 2-minute video to the YouTube page of our most recent documentary, "A Whisper to a Roar."

The video went viral, passing 8 million views. But what happened to Yulia after she uploaded that fateful video? We all wanted to know...and thought answering the question would make a great film.

We started filming when Yulia began a European/North American speaking tour in March and haven't stopped. The documentary will be about how social media profoundly changed one young woman’s life, the subsequent changes in Ukraine and the role of myth and narrative in shaping world events.

Our project made it to the final round of a very important grant program and we just launched our Kickstarter campaign! Check it out and share it when you've got a moment.

And tell me about your projects! Love to support other filmmakers, especially my IDA cohorts.

Release of "Dominó: agarrado por la crisis (Domino: Caught in the Crisis)" this coming Friday in Spain

Posted: 06/18/2014 by Eve A. Ma

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Eve A. Ma is pleased to announce the world release of her feature-length drama, "Dominó: agarrado por la crisis" ("Domino: Caught in the Crisis") this coming Friday, June 20, 2014, in Jerez de la Frontera. Spain. Ma, who has directed numerous documentaries about world music & dance and topics related to cultural diversity, believes her work is something of a hybrid genre in that it uses actual events related to the economic crisis in Spain (such as demonstrations and notices of closed shops) to complement the dramatic narrative.

The release is being presented by the City of Jerez de la Frontera. Other sponsors include the Bay Area non-profit Media Art Works (MAW) and the Jerez winery Gonzalez-Byass (especially its division Tío Pepe). In line with the theme of "Domino," Ma has decided that the release will be free and open to the public so that everyone, no matter what their financial situation, can attend.

Ma has received favorable reviews in Jerez-area newspapers, and a nice interview on the local, Jerez, television station. She is grateful for the support she has received and is looking forward to a gala event.