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Aquapio Films
Aquapio Films
The Last Beatnik (Working Title)

With the working title, The Last Beatnik, the film documents 87-year-old David Amram, one of the last musicians of the so-called Beat Generation who actually played along side Jack Kerouac as Mr. Kerouac read his poetry in what may prove to be history’s first poetry slams. David Amram’s storied life in music from the Beats, to an elder of the folk music genre, as well as a classical composer, former Hollywood film scorer, eclectic musician and venerated jazz artist—the last of this kind of musical Renaissance Man.

David’s film will be inspiring and astonishing and the world needs to have a documentation of his extraordinary life of music, art and political activism and dedication to social justice. We look forward to completing this amazing project.

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Filmmaker: Michael Patrick Kelly

Michael Patrick Kelly is a filmmaker and with his wife, Suzanne Hayes-Kelly, the founders of Aquapio Films Ltd. Michael’s current documentary film is entitled: Motian in Motion, a film that documents the extraordinary career of iconic jazz drummer Paul Motian. Michael followed Paul Motian on and off for several years when suddenly Paul became ill and died from a rare form of blood cancer in 2011. In 2015, Michael reorganized the footage and began interviewing and re-interviewing the many musicians Paul had played and recorded with including Bill Frisell, Joe Lovano, Carla Bley, Chick Corea and others.

Michael’s film, Behind the Wall/ Hinter der Mauer, is a documentary film told from the perspective of people living on both sides of the Berlin Wall before, during and after its lifetime. With Behind the Wall, Michael continued his pursuit to make films about ordinary people, social justice and the way people affect and are affected by politics and the social system. The film was preceded by the award-winning film Operation Lysistrata, a documentary of The Lysistrata Project, the first “worldwide theatrical event for peace.” Operation Lysistrata provides an intimate behind-the-scenes look at how two women struggled to transform their individual aspirations for peace into a global movement. Operation Lysistrata captured the drama leading up to the then-imminent preemptive war on Iraq. The Lysistrata Project was originally planned as a local event in New York City, but, within a few weeks, word of the Project spread, resulting in over 1,000 simultaneous productions of Lysistrata, performed in 59 countries around the globe, all on March 3, 2003.

Michael was born in Syracuse, NY. After earning a degree in Television and Radio Production from the State University of New York, he moved to New York City in 1987 to study filmmaking at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the founder of the Duke Ellington Boulevard Music Festival, which provided four music-filled years on West 106th Street in Manhattan, and featured several New York Jazz greats and other noted musicians, including Felicia Collins, Charli Persip, Barry Altschul, Gregoire Maret and Ambrose Akinmusire.

Producer: Suzanne Hayes-Kelly

Suzanne Hayes-Kelly is an actress and producer in NYC whose films include the short THE SPIRAL, which won Best Short Drama at the Brooklyn Film Festival 2000 and also garnered her the Best Actress award, and the award-winning ONLY JOKING (Peach City, Dragon Con, LA and Coney Island Short Film festivals) and THE PAYOFF (LA and West Chester Short Film festivals. Documentaries include award-winning features OPERATION LYSISTRATA (Global Peace, Connecticut and Columbus International Film festivals) and BEHIND THE WALL, (Doc Miami, Docutah, Big Bear Lake and Duke City Docufest) which she also executive produced. She also produced the award-winning feature ISN'T IT DELICIOUS (Rainier Independent, Tupelo, Black Bear, St. Augustine, Ft. Lauderdale, Big Apple, Manhattan, and San Antonio Film festivals, starring Kathleen Chalfant, Keir Dullea and Alice Ripley, in which she also appeared. She received her professional education at Circle in the Square Professional Theatre School in New York and has worked on stage as an actress as well as in films and commercials. She was a longtime member of the Judith Shakespeare Company, which advocated cross-gender casting, and where she played Trinculo in THE TEMPEST and Henry VI in HENRY VI, PARTS I, II & III. She was also a longtime member of the Shakespeare Workout. In addition to her producer duties, she is currently working on an advocacy play, as writer and actor, concerning the Aid in Dying movement and the fight to adopt the law in New York State.

Camera Operator: Lars Elling Lunde

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in film/video and working firmly in that middle ground between puberty & the Age of Reason, Lars is a stubborn survivor of video, film and theater, walking that fine line between documenting the world and just making up new worlds from scratch one gig at a time. (And/or in search of really good coffee…) When not behind the camera, Lars is either designing and building sets, choreographing fights for theater and the occasional vendetta, sculpting jewelry, statuettes and hilts for swords, writing and/or conspiring on all sorts of theatrical tomfoolery, trying to make sense of his son and 2 daughters and hoping to someday develop an alternative energy source based on the reaction of mixing pasta with anti-pasta.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts
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