METROFOCUS: APRIL 24, 2019

April 25, 2019 at 5:30 am

Sesame Workshop is teaching viewers how to live with and love those on the autism spectrum. As Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches, two renowned rabbis ask, “what is the message of yesterday for today?” We have a preview of this year’s inclusive lineup at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Aired on April 24, 2019.

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>>> TONIGHT ON "METROFOCUS."
AUTISM SPEAKS TO SESAME STREET.
IN CELEBRATION OF AUTISM
AWARENESS MONTH, JULIA, THE
MUPPET WITH AUTISM, IS GETTING A
FAMILY AND TEACHING VIEWERS HOW
TO LIVE WITH AND LOVE THOSE ON
THE SPECTRUM.
WHAT'S THE MESSAGE OF YESTERDAY
FOR TODAY?
TWO RENOUNCED RABBIS POSE THAT
QUESTION.
AS ANTI-SEMITISM GROWS AROUND
THE GLOBE, CAN THEY HELP STEM
THE CURRENT TIDE?
AND LGBT AND FEATURE FILMS
DIRECTED BY PEOPLE OF COLOR.
WE HAVE A PREVIEW OF THE LINEUP
AT THIS YEAR'S TRY BECKA FILM
FESTIVAL.
THOSE STORIES AND MORE
"METROFOCUS" STARTS RIGHT NOW.
>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH
RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND
JENNA FLANAGAN.
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --
CORPORATE FUNDING FOR
"METROFOCUS"
WAS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF
AMERICA,
YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY.
AND BY PSE&G, SERVING
CUSTOMERS, STRENGTHENING THE
BUSINESS COMMUNITY AND INVESTING
IN THE FUTURE.
>>> GOOD EVENING.
APRIL IS WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS
MONTH AND THIS YEAR, AS IN YEARS
PAST, AUTISM SPEAKS IS
CELEBRATING IN A VERY BIG WAY.
THE ORGANIZATION FOUNDED BY MY
FRIENDS AND HIS LATE WIFE
SUZANNE.
LAUNCHING A NEW PUBLIC AWARENESS
CAMPAIGN WITH OUR GOOD FRIENDS
AT THE SESAME WORKSHOP BETWEEN
JULIA, THE FIRST SESAME STREET
MUPPET, WITH AUTISM.
THEIR GOAL, TO PROVIDE RESOURCES
ABOUT AUTISM IN BOTH SPANISH AND
ENGLISH TO HELP LOWER THE AGE OF
AUTISM DIAGNOSIS AND TO EMPOWER
PARENTS.
HERE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT
RAISING AWARENESS AND
CELEBRATING THOSE INDIVIDUALS
WHO LIVE WITH THE DISORDER AND
THEIR FAMILIES, ANGELA, WHO IS
THE CEO AND PRESIDENT OF AUTISM
SPEAKS.
A GOOD FRIEND FOR A LOT OF
YEARS.
GOOD TO SEE YOU.
>> GOOD TO SEE YOU TOO, JACK.
>> I WANT YOU TO EXPLAIN TO US
THE NOTION OF AUTISM AND WHAT IT
ENCOMPASSES.
I SUSPECT A LOT OF PEOPLE THINK
IT IS A SINGLE CATEGORY
CONDITION.
>> I THINK THAT YOU'RE CORRECT.
IT IS ONE OF THE MISCONCEPTIONS.
YOU MAY KNOW ONE PERSON WITH
AUTISM AND THINK EVERYONE IS
LIKE THAT BUT IT IS A SPECTRUM.
YOU HAVE MANY WHO ARE HIGHLY
FUNCTIONING IN DAILY LIFE,
EMPLOYED, WORKING, AND THEN YOU
HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO
NEED 24/7 CARE FOR THE REST OF
THEIR LIVES AND MOST ARE
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE.
>> YOU'VE SAID THIS.
I'VE HEARD IT SAID OFTEN.
IF YOU MET ONE PERSON WITH
AUTISM, YOU'VE MET ONE PERSON
WITH AUTISM.
BECAUSE OF ALL THE VARIETY OF
CIRCUMSTANCES THAT YOU TALKED
ABOUT.
LET'S DISPEL ANOTHER NOTION OUT
THERE.
THE IDEA THAT AUTISM CAN BE
CAUSED BY VACCINE.
WHAT HAS SCIENCE TOLD US ABOUT
THAT?
>> AFTER DECADES OF RESEARCH, IT
IS VERY CLEAR THAT VACCINES DO
NOT CAUSE AUTISM.
>> AND YET PEOPLE STILL CLING TO
THIS.
>> YEAH.
IT'S INTERESTING.
I THINK THAT'S REALLY SOFTENED
OVER THE YEARS.
FOR EXAMPLE, THE REASON COVERAGE
IS FEATURING AUTISM MUCH LESS
THAN SOME OTHER ISSUES.
>> AUTISM SPEAKS.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE
ORGANIZATION AND WHAT YOU'VE
BEEN DOING AND THEN I WANT TO
GET INTO SOME SPECIFICS.
>> IT IS STILL A YOUNG
ORGANIZATION.
NOT EVEN 15 YEARS OLD.
AND IT WAS REALLY THE BRAIN
CHILD, AS YOU SAID, OF BOB AND
SUZANNE WRIGHT AND LEADING
ORGANIZATIONS CAME TOGETHER TO
COALESCE, TO MAKE A BIG
DIFFERENCE IN ADVOCACY AND
RESEARCH AND THEN HELPING
FAMILIES AND PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
DIRECTLY.
>> I MENTIONED THE PARTNERSHIP.
AND JULIA, THE NEW PERSON ON
SESAME STREET.
WHAT IS THE CONCEPT BEHIND THAT?
>> JULIA IS 4.
AND THE IDEA IS THAT HER PARENTS
RECOGNIZED THESE SIGNS.
SHE CLEARLY HAD A DIAGNOSIS
EARLY.
AND WE'RE USING HER AS A MODEL
FOR WHEN YOU GET EARLY
INTERVENTION, IT MAKES LIFETIME
OF DIFFERENCE TO THE FAMILY.
>> SO WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THE
IDEA OF EARLY DIAGNOSIS MAKE?
>> WELL, EARLY DIAGNOSIS LEADS
TO EARLY INTERVENTION.
RESEARCH SHOWS EARLY
INTERVENTION CAN MAKE A LIFETIME
OF DIFFERENCE.
I WAS JUST WITH A FATHER TODAY,
STEVEN, WHO TOLD US HIS SON WAS
NONVERBAL AND WAS DIAGNOSED,
THEY RECOGNIZED THE SYMPTOMS
EARLY.
THEY HAD FORMAL DIAGNOSIS WHEN
HE WAS 3.
GOT HIM TO A SPEECH THERAPIST IN
THE HOUSE AND AS HIS FATHER
SAYS, HE WON'T STOP TALKING.
>> SO WHAT SORT OF THINGS SHOULD
PARENTS BE LOOKING FOR?
ANYONE BE LOOKING FOR?
>> SO AUTISM CAN BE DIAGNOSED
BETWEEN 18 MONTHS AND 2 YEARS OF
AGE.
YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE
DEVELOPMENTAL MARKS.
EYE CONTACT, SOME WORDS LEADING
UP TO THAT, TO 2, AND CERTAINLY
MAKING EYE CONTACT AND
INTERACTING.
ONE OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS IS
NO MATTER HOW OLD YOU ARE, IF
YOU HAVE A LOSS OF WORDS OR
SOCIAL SKILLS, YOU SHOULD TALK
TO YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.
>> DOES THAT MEAN FOR ANYONE OUT
THERE WATCHING, I HAVE A CHILD
WHO IS NOT REALLY BABBLING YET
OR TALKING YET, OH, MY GOODNESS,
THEY MUST BE WITHIN THE AUTISM
EX
SPECTRUM?
>> YOU CAN GO TO AUTISM
SPEAKS.ORG AND TAKE A SCREENING
TOOL.
IF YOU'RE CONCERNED.
IF YOU ANSWER A FEW SIMPLE
QUESTIONS AND IT TELLS YOU
WHETHER OR NOT YOU SHOULD
CONSULT A HEALTH CARE PROVIDER.
>> WHAT SORT OF SERVICES, ONCE A
DIAGNOSIS IS MADE, CAN BE
PROVIDED FOR THE CHILD AND THE
CAREGIVERS.
>> WE TALKED ABOUT IT BEING ON
THE SPECTRUM.
SO IT VARIES BY CHILD.
IT WILL PROBABLY INCLUDE
BEHAVIORAL THERAPY AND IT MAY
INCLUDE THINGS LIKE OCCUPATIONAL
THERAPY, SPEECH THERAPY,
SOMETIMES MOTION, DIFFERENT
THINGS.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS THE
ORGANIZATION IS DOING IS GETTING
BEHIND THE NOTION OF
LEGISLATION.
LET'S SEE WHAT WE CAN GET THE
GOVERNMENT TO DO TO HELP US.
TELL US SOME OF THOSE EFFORTS.
>> THE MOST IMPORTANT THING
WE'RE WORKING IS THE AUTISM
CARES ACT.
IT IS THE FUNDAMENTAL BILL THAT
PROVIDES THE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR
AUTISM RESEARCH AND CARE.
>> WHAT HAS BEEN IN PLACE SO FAR
AND WHAT ARE YOU HOPING TO GET
IN PLACE IN THE FUTURE?
>> SO, ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE
HOPING FOR IS CONTINUED
INCREASED RESEARCH FUNDING.
IT IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT
AUTISM WAS FUNDED LESS THAN $10
MILLION 15 YEARS AGO.
IT WAS THAT MINIMAL.
IT IS NOW IN THE HIGH $200
MIL
MILLIONS.
IT STILL PALES IN COMPARISON TO
THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.
BUT IT PROVIDES FUNDING FOR THE
MEDICAL TREATMENT CENTERS AROUND
THE COUNTRY THAT TREAT CHILDREN
WITH AUTISM.
>> WHAT ARE WE SEEING?
YOU'LL GET SOME SORT OF STUDIES
COMING OUT AND THEY'LL GIVE YOU
NUMBERS.
IN TERMS OF THE INCIDENTS OF
AUTISM.
WHAT ARE WE SEEING IN TERMS OF
RELIABLE NUMBERS?
>> SO THE CDC'S OFFICIAL NUMBER
IS 1 IN 59.
IT IS PRETTY WIDELY RECOGNIZED
THAT THAT NUMBER IS PROBABLY, IT
IS TOO LOW.
THAT WE SEE STATES THAT HAVE
NUMBERS 1 IN 33.
1 IN 42.
SO I THINK IT IS DEFINITELY, WE
DEFINITELY SEE A YEAR OVER YEAR
DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THINGS ARE
CALCULATED DIRECTLY.
LAST YEAR THEY WERE REPORTING A
15% INCREASE IN AUTISM.
SO IT WAS DEFINITELY ON THE
RISE.
>> YOU HAD A SENSE THAT THERE IS
SOME MOMENTUM THERE.
SOME BIPARTISAN HELP.
>> I WAS ON THE HILL LAST WEEK
HAVING BEEN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE
AISLE OF THE I BARELY GOT AN ASK
OUT AND PEOPLE WERE TELLING ME
HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS TO THEM.
>> I THINK PROBABLY EVERYBODY
KNOWS SOMEBODY, RELATED TO
SOMEBODY.
LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.
A NUMBER OF THE GOALS THAT YOUR
ORGANIZATION HAS, AMONG THE
NUMBER OF GOALS.
ONE IS AWARENESS.
AND WE'VE CERTAINLY BEEN WORKING
ON THAT.
THE OTHER IS UNDERSTANDING.
GETTING MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO
UNDERSTAND, JUST BECAUSE
SOMEBODY MIGHT BE ON THE
AUTISTIC SPECTRUM DOESN'T MEAN
THAT THEY CAN'T BE PART OF
SOCIETY.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU'RE MAKING
PROGRESS IN TERMS OF
UNDERSTANDING?
>> I DO.
WE REALLY THAT I HAVE HAD A
COUPLE YEARS AGO TO CREATE A
WORLD THAT'S MORE UNDERSTANDING
FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM.
WE'RE SEEING IT IN SOCIAL MEDIA.
PEOPLE ARE POSTING THEIR STORIES
AND HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE, THAT'S
AMAZING.
WHAT A GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENT.
AND BEING SUPPORTIVE FOR PEOPLE
WHO HAVE A LOT OF CHALLENGES.
>> AND YOU SEE IN SOCIAL MEDIA,
OUT IN THE ENTERTAINMENT WORLD.
THE GOOD DOCTOR.
WHICH IS A FABULOUS TELEVISION
SHOW THAT ALSO HAPPENS TO FOCUS
ON A DOCTOR ON THE SPECTRUM.
IT IS INTERESTING HOW THEY TELL
THE STORIES.
I WOULD MANNING IT HELPS IN
TERMS OF THE UNDERSTANDING
ASPECT.
>> ABSOLUTELY.
IT IS ALWAYS GOOD TO TALK WITH
YOU.
YOU'RE DOING MARVELOUS WORK OUT
THERE.
GOOD LUCK TO YOU.
>> GOOD SEEING YOU AGAIN.
>>> A REMINDER TO YOU, FOR MORE
INFORMATION ON AUTISM SPEAKS,
YOU CAN VISIT OUR WEBSITE ON
METROFOCUS.ORG.
>>> AS ANTI-SEMITISM AND WHITE
NATIONALISM CONTINUE TO GROW
BOTH ONLINE AND AROUND THE
WORLD, SO HAS THE DENIAL AND
REVISIONIST HISTORY OF THE
HOLOCAUST.
ACCORDING TO THE NAZIS' RECORDS,
6 MILLION JEWS, ONE-THIRD OF ALL
EUROPEAN JEWRY, WERE
SYSTEMATICALLY MURDERED OVER SIX
YEARS IN THE LIKES HUMANITY HAD
NEVER SEEN BEFORE OR SINCE.
HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY BEGINS
AT SUNDOWN ON MAY 1st.
THE HOLIDAY HONORS THE VICTIMS
OF THE ATROCITY.
THIS YEAR THE CONGREGATION ON
LONG ISLAND WILL HOST A SPECIAL
PROGRAM WELCOMING NEWS AND J
NONJEWS ALIKE TO DISCUSS THIS
QUESTION.
WHAT IS THE MESSAGE OF YESTERDAY
FOR TODAY?
HERE TO HELP ANSWER THAT
QUESTION, RABBI JOSEPH, THE
EVENTS GUEST SPEAKER AND
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE
NEW YORK BOARD OF RABBIS.
ALSO, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY.
WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU.
THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME
WITH US.
FIRST, LET ME TOSS OUT SOME VERY
TROUBLING STATISTICS FOR YOU.
REASON STUDY REVEALED THAT
ONE-THIRD OF ALL AMERICANS
BELIEVE THE SCOPE OF THE MURDER
OF JEWS IN THE HOLOCAUST WAS
EXAGGERATED.
ONE-THIRD OF THE PEOPLE.
THIS FAIRLY EXTENSIVE STUDY, IT
SHOWS THAT ADDITIONALLY, 66% OF
MILLENNIALS COULD NOT STATE THE
SIGNIFICANCE OF AUSCHWITZ.
70% THAT PEOPLE ARE LESS
CONCERNED ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST
TODAY THAN IN THE PAST.
WHILE 58% BELIEVE THE HOLOCAUST
OR SOMETHING LIKE IT COULD
HAPPEN AGAIN.
WHEN YOU HEAR THOSE NUMBERS,
WHAT IS YOUR IMMEDIATE REACTION?
>> I THINK IT IS FRIGHTENING.
THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SO MANY
DIFFERENT PLACES TO FIND THE
NEWS, THE FACT THAT WE HAVE SO
MANY DIFFERENT WEBSITES.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE LOOKING AT?
WHAT ARE THEY READING THAT THEY
ARE GETTING THAT KIND OF
MISINFORMATION?
SO I'M WORRIED ABOUT HOW WE
TRANSMIT, HOW WE CONVEY.
AND MAKING SURE THAT WE GET THE
STORY OUT.
THE REAL STORY OUT.
NOT SOME KIND OF FACTUAL
REVISION I OR UP IN A FACTUAL
REV
REVISIONISM.
>> JUST GOING BACK TO THOSE
NUMBERS, WORKING WITH ELMS, ARE
YOU SURPRISED THAT 66% CAN'T
EVEN EXPRESS THE ROLE OF
AUSCHWITZ AND THE SIGNIFICANCE?
>> WELL, I HAVE TO DEGREE.
I THINK THE FACT THOSE NUMBERS
ARE TRUE, IT'S SCARY WHEN WE
THINK ABOUT WHAT OUR YOUNG
PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT AND
THE DIFFERENT NARRATIVES THAT
THEY'RE CONSTANTLY BEING
BOMBARDED WITH ONLINE AND IN
BOOKS THEY READ, MAGAZINE
ARTICLES.
THE FACT THAT THERE IS A PLACE
FOR OTHER OPINIONS THAT ARE JUST
BEING PUT OUT WITHOUT ANY
COUNTER BALANCE, I THINK, IS
REALLY VERY SCARY.
I THINK FOR THEM, IT IS VERY
HARD TO FATHOM A NUMBER LIKE 6
MILLION.
YOU GO TO GIANTS STADIUM, WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT 80,000 PEOPLE.
A COULD GO CAMPUS.
THERE MIGHT BE 7,000 UNDERGRADS.
TO HEAR A NUMBER LIKE THAT, IT
IS JUST CHALLENGING FOR THEM TO
GET THEIR MINDS AROUND.
>> THE TALK THAT YOU'RE GOING TO
GIVE, WHAT IS YOUR MESSAGE GOING
TO BE IN TERMS OF WHAT WE CAN
LEARN FROM YESTERDAY?
WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN.
MAYBE THAT'S A BETTER WAY.
WHAT WE NEED TO LEARN FROM
YESTERDAY.
>> FIRST, I THINK IT WAS SAID
YEARS AGO THAT THE TRAGEDY OF
THE HOLOCAUST WAS THAT THE NAZIS
THOUGHT THEY COULD GET AWAY WITH
IT AND THEY DID GET AWAY WITH
IT.
FOR SO MANY MILLIONS TO HAVE
BEEN SLAUGHTERED.
THE SECOND LESSON OBVIOUSLY IS
THAT WE SHOULD HAVE SHOUTED.
INSTEAD WE WERE SITE.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT REPORTS WHAT
WAS BEING TRANSMITTED IN VARIOUS
PUBLICATIONS, THE HOLOCAUST WAS
ONE OF MANY STORIES.
IT WAS NOT THE PRIMARY STORY.
SO JUST IMAGINE THAT PEOPLE ARE
BEING MURDERED AND YET BARBECUES
ARE TAKING PLACES.
IT WAS ANOTHER DAY IN THE NEWS.
SO I THINK WE HAVE TO PRIORITIZE
AND PUBLICIZE THINGS WHICH RAE
DEMAND OUR ATTENTION.
SO ALL OF US HAVE TO SHOUT
RATHER THAN BE SILENT.
YOU MENTIONED ABOUT THE PEOPLE,
WHEN YOU GO ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES,
THERE ARE HOLOCAUST COURSES
BEING TAUGHT EVERYWHERE.
I DON'T THINK YOU CAN GO TO ANY
CAMPUS --
>> MORE SO THAN EVER.
>> YES.
SO THIS DICHOTOMY OF THE
INFORMATION BEING CAUGHT AND
MISINFORMATION BEING LEARNED IS
SOMETHING THAT WE HAVE TO
ADDRESS AS BEST WE CAN.
AND BY THE WAY, WE CAN'T WAIT
UNTIL LATER ON.
BECAUSE KIDS, THEIR MINDS ARE
FORMATIVE.
I'M A CHILD OF SURVIVORS.
MY PARENTS LOST FIVE CHILDREN
DURING THAT HORRIFIC PERIOD.
I'VE ALWAYS MADE A POINT OF
TELLING THEIR STORY.
EVEN THOUGH THEY DID NOT WANT TO
TALK ABOUT IT TOO MUCH.
I'VE TOLD THEIR STORY.
THIS GENERATION OF SURVIVORS IS
DIMINISHING.
>> WE'VE DONE SOME CONVERSATIONS
WITH FOLKS HERE WHO ARE
SURVIVORS AND TALKING ABOUT HOW
WE PRESERVE THE STORIES.
HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THEY'RE
TOLD?
>> THAT GETS ME TO YOU.
TELL ME THE HOLOCAUST
REMEMBRANCE DAY.
YOU WANT TO FOCUS ON THE YOUNG
PEOPLE.
>> SO ALTHOUGH THIS IS NEVER TOO
FAR FROM WHAT WE'RE DOING ALL
THE TIME, WHICH IS A REAL KEY.
SPECIFICALLY FOR HOLOCAUST
REMEMBRANCE DAY, WE HAVE SEVERAL
ACTIVITIES.
ONE, WE BRING IN A SPEAKER.
WE HAVE A SURVIVOR COME TO
SPEAK.
WE HOST SOMETHING CALLED SIX
HOURS FOR THE SIX MILLION.
FOR SIX HOURS, STUDENTS COME
TAKE FIVE OR TEN-MINUTE BLOCKS.
THEY COME IN AND READ NAMES OF
THOSE LOST IN THE HOLOCAUST.
THE BOOK OF NAMES WE HAVE ARE
ACTUALLY CHILDREN THAT HAVE
PERISHED.
TO SEE PEOPLE, AND THIS IS
ADMINISTRATORS, STUDENTS,
MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY, COME.
WE ENCOURAGE THEM TO BRING THEIR
OWN NAMES IF THEY HAVE THEM IN
THEIR FAMILY.
YOU CAN SEE THE IMPACT HAPPEN
IMMEDIATELY.
AND ALSO, TO READ THE NAMES.
THEY READ THE NAMES AND THE
AGES.
FOR ME PERSONALLY, YOU'LL SIT
THERE AND YOU'LL HEAR A NAME, A
FAMILY NAME AND AN AGE, AND THEN
THE SAME FAMILY NAME FIVE TIMES,
SIX TIMES.
YOU CAN SEE ON THEIR FACE, THE
IMPACT THAT IT IS MAKING.
>> I HEAR FOLKS, CHILDREN OF
HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, AND I HEARD
THEM SAY THEIR GENERATION
REMEMBERS.
SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO SO THAT
THIS NEXT GENERATION AND
SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS, NOT JUST
KNOW, BUT TRULY UNDERSTAND?
HOW DO WE DO IT?
>> RWANDA, SOMALIA, YOU LOOK
AROUND THE WORLD AT PLACES THAT
HAVE SUFFERED SO MUCH GENOCIDE.
I THINK THEY HAVE TO KNOW THAT
WHAT HAPPENED IN THE HOLOCAUST
CAN HAVE A DIFFERENT
MANIFESTATION FOR ANOTHER
PEOPLE.
AND IT CAN HAPPEN TO JEWS.
I THINK WE HAVE TO ALSO TELL OUR
KIDS THAT THERE IS A POSITIVE
SIDE TO RELIGION.
THERE'S A POSITIVE SIDE.
IF ALL WE TALK ABOUT IS THE
HOLOCAUST.
AS IMPORTANT AS IT IS, AFTER A
WHILE KIDS SAY IT IS ALL VICTIM
HOOD.
THERE HAS TO BE MORE THAN THAT.
>> WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, THAT
WAS THE MAIN IDEA.
THAT THE HOLOCAUST BECAME SUCH A
CENTRAL PART OF THE NARRATIVE.
TRUTHFULLY, WHEN STUFF HAPPENED,
WE WERE UNPREPARED IN MANY WAYS.
I THINK THAT THE KEY REALLY IS
THE TWO THINGS.
ONE IS THE HONOR AND THE
EDUCATION.
WHEN WE'RE REMEMBERING THESE
PEOPLE, THEY'RE REAL PEOPLE WITH
REAL STORIES.
AND THESE THINGS COMING UP, THEY
CONNECTED VERY WELL TO WHO WE
ARE TODAY.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
A REMINDER FOR YOU FOR MORE
INFORMATION ON THE
CONGREGATION'S HOLOCAUST
REMEMBRANCE EVENT, YOU CAN VISIT
OUR WEBSITE AT METROFOCUS.ORG.
>>> LIGHTS, CAMERA, DIVERSITY.
THIS YEAR THE TRIBECA FILM
FESTIVAL WILL BE KICKING OFF ITS
18th ANNIVERSARY AT THE APOLLO
THEATER.
WITH 103 FEATURE FILMS FROM
ACROSS THE GLOBE.
IT IS ABOUT MORE THAN STORY
TELLING.
IT IS ALSO ABOUT INCLUSION.
WITH OVER 40% OF FEATURE FILMS
DIRECTED BY WOMEN.
29% PEOPLE OF COLOR AND 13%,
PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY AS LGBT.
THIS JUST MIGHT BE THE
FESTIVAL'S MOST INCLUSIVE YEAR
YET.
HERE WITH A PREVIEW IS LAUREN,
THE SENIOR PROGRAMMER.
NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> I WANT TO GET INTO SOME
SPECIFICS BUT FIRST I WANT TO
TALK ABOUT THE SELECTION
PROCESS.
I LOOKED AT IT AND SAID THIS IS
REALLY DAUNTING.
GIVE ME AN ESTIMATE OF HOW MANY
SUBMISSIONS DO YOU HAVE?
SURE.
BETWEEN OUR FEATURE FILMS AND
SHORT FILMS, OVER 9,000
SUBMISSIONS THIS YEAR.
IT GROWS EVERY YEAR.
SO OF COURSE, WE HAVE A
DEDICATED TEAM OF SCREENERS AND
PROGRAMMERS LOOKING AT THE FILMS
AND GIVING THEM ALL A FAIR SHOT
FOR INCLUSION.
>> SO HOW DO YOU MAKE THE
SELECTION?
DO YOU START WITH CERTAIN
CATEGORIES AND A ROUGH NUMBER
FOR EACH?
OR DO YOU EACH YEAR, IT DEPENDS
UPON THE QUALITY OF THE FILM?
>> IN TERMS OF THE FEATURE, WE
LIKE TO KEEP IT AROUND 100.
RELATIVELY SMALL FOR A FESTIVAL
OF OUR SIZE.
WE DO HAVE SEPARATIONS WITHIN
THE PROGRAM.
LIKE OUR U.S. NARRATIVE
COMPETITION AND OUR
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE
COMPETITION.
SO WE'RE REALLY JUST LOOKING FOR
A WELL ROUNDED GROUP OF FILMS
THAT REALLY APPEALED TO THE NEW
YORK COMMUNITY AND THE
INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY.
>> I MENTIONED THE INCLUSION AT
THE TOP.
AND MY QUESTION IS, OFTENTIMES
PEOPLE SAY, IS THIS A CHICKEN OR
AN EGG SITUATION?
ARE YOU GETTING MORE IN TERMS OF
THOSE INCLUSION NUMBERS BECAUSE
YOU'RE LOOKING FOR MORE?
OR YOU GET MORE BECAUSE MORE
PEOPLE ARE COMING TO YOU?
OR SOME COMBINATION OF ALL OF
THOSE THINGS?
>> I THINK IT IS A COMBINATION.
WE ARE DEFINITELY LOOKING TO
WIDEN THE BREADTH OF FILMMAKERS
AND CREATORS WE HAVE AT THE IF I
AM FILM FESTIVAL.
IF YOU ARE ABLE TO DIVERSIFY THE
VOICES TELLING THE STORIES, THEN
YOU GET A MUCH RICHER EXPERIENCE
FOR THE AUDIENCE.
SO WE ARE DEFINITELY OUT THERE
HOOK.
AND WE WANT TO REFLECT THE CITY
THAT WE ARE IN.
AND IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE
REALLY DO HAVE TO LOOK AT
INCLUSION.
>> I SUSPECT SOME PEOPLE WOULD
SAY, HOW WOULD I NOTICE THE
DIFFERENCE?
DIFFERENT VOICES?
STORIES ARE BEING TOLD BY PEOPLE
OF COLOR, BY WOMEN, BY PEOPLE
WHO ARE IDENTIFYING THEMSELVES,
AS I MENTIONED, LGBTQ.
WHAT'S THE ANSWER?
HOW DOES THAT ENHANCE STORY
TELLING?
>> I DON'T THINK THERE'S AN EASY
ANSWER TO THAT.
I THINK IT IS REALLY ABOUT AN
INDIVIDUAL.
SO AN INDIVIDUAL FILMMAKER OR
CREATOR THAT IS COMING FROM A
CERTAIN PERSPECTIVE.
YOU DO FEEL THAT WITHIN THE
STORY TELLING.
BUT I DON'T THINK THAT THERE IS
ANYTHING THAT YOU CAN PUT INTO A
BOX THAT SAYS, THIS IS A FILM BY
A PERSON OF COLOR OR THIS IS A
FILM BY A PERSON WHO IDENTIFIES
AS LGBTQ QIA.
I THINK MORE, WHEN YOU SEE ALL
OF THESE FILMS ACROSS THE BOARD,
FROM EVERY DIFFERENT TYPE OF
CREATOR.
THAT'S WHERE THE RICHNESS AND
THE ENRICHMENT OF THE ENTIRE
PROGRAM COMES IN.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK BITS THE
TRI-BECA FESTIVAL?
WHY HAS THIS BECOME SO POPULAR
SO QUICKLY?
>> WELL, I THINK IT ALL GOES
BACK TO THE ORIGIN OF THE
FESTIVAL.
SO THE FESTIVAL WAS STARTED 18
YEARS AGO BY OUR FOUNDERS.
ROB DE NIRO AND JANE ROSENTHAL
AS A DIRECT RESPONSE TO 9/11.
AND THEIR IDEA WAS TO CREATE
SOMETHING THAT COULD REALLY
REVITALIZE THE COMMUNITY AT THAT
TIME.
AND GET PEOPLE EXCITED TO BE IN
NEW YORK AND START TO LOVE EACH
OTHER AGAIN AND GET RID OF THE
FEAR.
AND THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS
THROUGH ART.
SO I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT
IS STILL IN OUR DNA.
AND IT HAS CONTINUED.
AND OUR FESTIVAL HAS GROWN AND
EVOLVED TO BECOME SOMETHING MORE
THAN JUST A FILM FESTIVAL.
WE ARE MORE OF A STORY TELLING
FESTIVAL.
WE HAVE ALL OF THESE PLATFORMS
LIKE TELEVISION, IMMERSIVMMERSI
ONLINE WORK.
WE HAVE A GREAT SERIES OF TALKS,
STORY TELLERS AND DIRECTOR
SERIES.
>> LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE
OTHERS.
IT IS SUCH A MARVELOUS LINEUP.
OFTENTIMES YOU HAVE FILMS THAT
ARE HIGHLY ANTICIPATE.
OTHER TIMES THEY'RE FILMS NOBODY
KNOWS ABOUT BUT THEY WALK AWAY
KNOWING.
GIVE ME AN ILLUSTRATION OF ONE
OF THE OTHERS.
>> SO OF COURSE, WE ARE STARTING
OUR OPENING NIGHT WITH THE
APOLLO WHICH WE'RE SO EXCITED
ABOUT.
>> I WANT TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT.
WHY THE APOLLO?
>> SO AGAIN, BACK TO THE ORIGIN
OF OUR FESTIVAL.
WE'RE ALL ABOUT BRINGING ARTS TO
THE COMMUNITY.
AND CONTINUING TO HAVE THAT
RELATIONSHIP.
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE
INSTITUTION OF THE APOLLO HAS
BEEN ABOUT FOR 85 YEARS.
THE FILM DIRECTED BY ROGER ROSS
WILLIAMS, ACADEMY AWARD WINNER,
OF COURSE, YOU KNOW, THAT FILM
TELLS ABOUT THE IMPACT THAT THE
APOLLO HAS HAD IN NOT JUST THIS
CITY BUT IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.
SO WE'RE STRIVING FOR SOMETHING
SIMILAR.
WE REALLY, REALLY WANTED TO DO
THAT.
OF COURSE, WE'RE BETTER TO SHOW
THAT FILM.
>> EXACTLY.
>> WE'RE EXCITED TO BE UPTOWN.
>> A GREAT KICKOFF.
>> ONE OR TWO OTHER FILMS FAIRLY
ANTICIPATED.
>> WE'RE SUPER EXCITED ABOUT OUR
CLOSING NIGHT'S FILM.
THIS IS A FILM WITH AN AMAZING
PREMISE.
IT IS BASICALLY ABOUT STRUGGLING
SINGER-SONGWRITER WHO GETS IN AN
ACCIDENT DURING A WORLDWIDE
BLACKOUT.
WHEN HE COMES TO, HE REALIZES
THAT HE'S THE ONLY PERSON ON
EARTH WHO KNOWS THAT THE BEATLES
EVER EXISTED.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THAT?
>> I SAW A TRAILER FOR IT
REASONLY.
MY WIFE AND I WATCHED IT SAYING,
THAT SOUNDS FASCINATING.
>> IT IS SUCH A BRILLIANT
PREMISE.
>> AND HE IS SO GOOD PLAYING.
>> HE'S AMAZING.
AND THIS IS HIS FEATURE FILM
DEBUT.
HE CARRIES THIS FILM.
IT IS JUST REALLY, REALLY HEART
WARMING, ROMANTIC, IT IS REALLY
FUNNY.
>> IT MAKES YOU SMILE.
>> SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS
YOU'RE DOING.
TALK ABOUT CONVERSATION.
YOU MENTIONED ROBERT DE NIRO.
AND YOU HAVE A REALLY
FASCINATING CONVERSATION
SCHEDULED WITH HIM.
TELL ME ABOUT THAT.
>> SO WE HAVE HIM IN
CONVERSATION WITH MARINE
SCORSESE.
THEY HAVE HAD SUCH A GOOD
RELATIONSHIP OVER THE DECADES SO
THEY'RE TALKING ABOUT THEIR
RELATIONSHIP, THE WORK THEY'VE
DONE TOGETHER AND INDIVIDUALLY.
AND I THINK THIS IS THE FIRST
TIME THAT THEY'VE HAD THIS
OPPORTUNITY TO SIT DOWN IN FRONT
OF AN AUDIENCE AND HAVE THIS
CONVERSATION.
SO OF COURSE, I'M ANTICIPATING
THAT.
I'M A FAN.
>> TO BE ABLE TO LISTEN ON ALL
OF THAT.
YOU HAVE A MINUTE OR SO LEFT.
>> ONE THAT'S VERY FUN AND VERY
NEW YORK.
WE HAVE A FILM PART OF OUR ESPN
SPORTS FESTIVAL.
IT IS CALLED THE GOOD, THE BAD,
AND THE HUNGRY OF I THINK ABOUT
THE NATHAN'S HOTDOG EATING
CONTEST.
IT IS ABOUT COMPETITIVE EATING.
IT IS REALLY, REALLY SOMETHING
THAT I THINK AUDIENCES WILL
LOVE.
I KNOW PEOPLE MIGHT SHY AWAY
FROM WATCHING SOMEONE EATING
THAT MANY.
>> IT'S LIKE WATCHING TRAIN
WRECK.
OH, THAT'S AWFUL.
WHAT TIME IS IT ON?
>> EXACTLY.
YOU SEE THE REAL COMPETITIVE
SPIRIT THAT COMES INTO THIS.
IT IS REALLY FASCINATING.
AND THEN OF COURSE, WE LOVE TO
THINK OF OURSELVES AS A
DISCOVERY FILM FESTIVAL AS WELL.
SO WE HAVE WONDERFUL FILMS IN
OUR U.S. NARRATIVE COMPETITION.
WE HAVE SOME GREAT SPOTLIGHT
FILMS.
WE HAVE SO MANY.
OVER 100.
BUT JUST OVER 100.
>> ANYBODY WHO HAS NEVER BEEN
THERE BEFORE.
GET IT ON YOUR SCHEDULE.
ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT YOU CAN
GO PARTICIPATE IN.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPENDING
SOME TIME WITH US.
GOOD LUCK THIS YEAR AND WE LOOK
FORWARD TO TALKING WITH YOU NEXT
YEAR.
>> ALL RIGHT.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> HAVE A GOOD ONE.
>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE
BY
JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH,
SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,
THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA
PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT
ANTI-SEMITISM.
BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ,
ROSALIND P. WALTER,
BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG,
AND BY --

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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