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DIRECTOR: Matthew Kaplowitz
Q/A with Matthew Kaplowitz & Andrea Levine
PRODUCER: Matthew Kaplowitz
EDITOR: Matthew Kaplowitz
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Matthew Kaplowitz
HECTOR LEONARDI ART & INSPIRATION AWARD
This award goes to a film that embraces the vibrancy of an artist to whom art and life are one and the same. This award is named in honor of Hector Leonardi who has been communicating the joy of painting through art and color for over 50 years.
This film represents two years in the life of Hank Virgona, an 88-year-old painter and great uncle of Director Matthew Kaplowitz. Hank treks four hours each day from his home in Woodhaven, Queens to his studio in Union Square. He has been doing this religiously since 1960, originally using his studio to create illustrations for commercial clients and later focusing his efforts on his own pursuit of art and what it means to him. Despite dealing with poor health, prostate cancer, obscurity, and a rapidly dwindling bank account, Hank sojourns on, doing what he loves to do, creating art solely for the purpose of making it.
Matthew Kaplowitz previously directed, produced and edited Girl Fight: A Muay Thai Story. The documentary was selected in ten film festivals, and won the award for best editing at the 2015 Rahway International Film Festival. In a joint production with Breakfall Studios, he made Concrete & Crashpads: Stunts in New York, a short that was selected in ten film festivals. He was also a Top 12 Finalist in the Fusion Five Day Documentary challenge with his entry, En Pointe.
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