"Glory at Sea" Fundraiser Screening - April 26, 2008
Walter Reade Theater
New York, NY
April 26, 2008
Court 13 International and Rooftop Films presented a fundraiser screening to a sold-out audience of Benh Zeitlin’s short film Glory at Sea Saturday night at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater. On their way to Austin, TX, from New Orleans, LA, last month for the South by Southwest Film Festival, Zeitlin and members of his film crew got into a terrible car accident, resulting in severe injuries for the young director who was uninsured. Wheel chair bound, Zeitlin (and company) triumphantly gathered for the New York premiere of Glory at Sea, an awe inspiring narrative short film about a post-storm Louisiana community who band together to make a boat from garbage and wreckage to return a man back to the sea. Approximately $5,000 was raised that evening, according to Mark Elijah Rosenberg of Rooftop Films. Zeitlin was met with a standing ovation after the screening.
Zeitlin called all the cast and crew in attendance up to the stage with him where he answered some questions from the audience. He said that so many people in New Orleans were going through so many different conditions and still helped to make this movie.
The first question asked was how they get the boat to stay afloat. Sophie, one of the film’s art directors, answered that it all goes back to the 2nd grade when she learned about bouncy. It was basically a raft, nothing too complicated. It wasn’t really built to withstand anything like what’s depicted in the film, but it still did. Zeitlin added that Sophie did some re-welding on the boat when it was out on the water. It kept on almost collapsing throughout, but it was a miracle that it didn’t.
Zeitlin was next asked where he found his actors. He had been hanging out in New Orleans figuring out what his film would be, and he met a lot of people in a bar. They were mostly non-actors and they all helped to build the boat. Some of them couldn’t even swim, but they got on the boat anyway.
Zeitlin then introduced the little girl who narrates the film, Chantise, who said she’s an actor in the making and that her aunt found out about the audition on Craiglist.
When asked what amount of loss and death the people in his film experienced during and since Hurricane Katrina, Zeitlin answered that they didn’t really talk about it too much. There had been a lot of other filmmakers down there documenting the storm, and he wanted to do something creative instead. That was a relief to a lot of the people.
The final question asked was how may days it took to shoot the film. Zeitlin said it was shot in three phases with different crews each time and took about six to seven months altogether to finish.