Her Magnum Opus

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Marta Renzi, Director, has choreographed and edited  more than 20 short films which have won awards

in over 100 festivals both nationally and internationally, including the prestigious Dance on Camera Festival at the Film Society of  Lincoln Center. She is the creator of two seminal half-hour videodances commissioned for public television. You Little Wild Heart to the music of Bruce Springsteen (1981) received the PROCIREP prize at Cannes, and was followed by Mountainview, a second dance narrative, made in collaboration with maverick filmmaker John Sayles. In 1992 Renzi received a "Bessie" - a New York Dance and Performance award, and in 1995 was the first recipient of a Dancing in the Streets award as “a fearless explorer of unconventional sites.” Renzi is a 2013 Bogliasco Fellow and a seven-time recipient of funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Renzi has received numerous choreographic commissions from dance companies in the US and abroad, and has directed both live dances and dance films featuring students from university dance departments. As part of a mission

to make art accessible to a wide audience, in the 80's and 90's Renzi's Project Co. took every opportunity to perform outdoors for free in venues such as Central Park Summerstage and the Inside Out stage at Jacob's Pillow.

Renzi on the set of Incident at Chekhov Creek, with cinematographer Robin Doty.  Also pictured are PA

Hannah Hancock-Rubinsky and cast member Robert Sorrentino.  Photo by Katherine Kaplan.

Paul Galando, Producer, is an educator, producer, director, interdisciplinary artist, technologist, executive and entrepreneur. He leads the Emerging Movement Council (EMC2) at New York University in collaboration with NYU’s Digital Studio. As founding director of Dance and New Media at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, he collaborated to launch a cutting edge MFA program and department wide initiative designed to teach and encourage dancers’ involvement in all areas of digital media: filming live works, creating film/dance and interactive work, projections, coding, VR and AR, motion capture, multi-media collaborations, and internet-based art. He has taught filmmaking, digital media and technology courses in the graduate and undergraduate departments at Tisch. He created partnerships and educational collaborations with leading organizations in the fields of dance, film & new media and created grants and fellowships for students and alumni of his program. Organizations include New York City Ballet, The Merce Cunningham Trust, Lois Greenfield Studio, The 92Y Harkness Dance Center, Gibney Dance, Martha Graham Dance Company, Film Society of Lincoln Center, and

Dance Films Association. 

Director Jonathan Demme and Paul Galando, President of Dance Films Association,
at the screening of Justin Timberlake & the Tennessee Kids.     Photo by Daniel Rodriguez.

Jonathan Demme, Presenter, is the Oscar-winning director of numerous features and documentaries, created an extraordinary oeuvre of documentaries, shorts and features, from Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia to

I'm Carolyn Parker and Cousin Bobby.  

Renzi's neighbor for decades in Nyack, New York, Demme frequently professed great admiration for her short films. In the summer of 2016, when Renzi asked for his input on the nearly-finished edit of Her Magnum Opus, Demme responded with his trademark enthusiasm. Sitting together at a laptop on his back porch for several sessions over the course of the summer of 2016, Demme offered editing advice and encouragement. 

Later that fall, Demme facilitated a preview of the

rough cut for the cast and crew at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York and gave further valuable score/sound advice. Maximum respect and gratitude to Jonathan Demme, who died the following spring.

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The photograph at right is taken by fellow Nyacker Robert Vergara who was stills photographer on several Demme features.  Vergara's portraits also appear in the end credits

of Her Magnum Opus.