On Nov 13th 2013, The Picture House hosted a special screening of Head Games with Q&A Nov 13th



The Picture House is excited to announce the screening of the  powerful documentary Head Games, which is about the issues surrounding head injuries in children’s sports. ABC news said “Head Games” exposes viewers to one of the leading public health issues of our time, raising the question “How much are you willing to lose for a game?”  Please join us for this FREE SCREENING with Q&A by leading NYU Doctors who specialize in head trauma.


Center Co-Director, Laura J. Balcer, MD, MSCE is Professor and Vice Chair of theDepartment of Neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center. A neurologist and epidemiologist, Dr. Balcer is a co-leader of national collaborative clinical and research efforts in the neuro-ophthalmology of multiple sclerosis (MS) and sports-related concussion.
Dr. Balcer received her medical degree in 1991 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Following residency in neurology at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Balcer’s postgraduate training included a clinical fellowship in neuro-ophthalmology in 1996 and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology (M.S.C.E.) at Penn in 2000.

During the past 15 years, Dr. Balcer’s clinical and research work has focused on the development of visual function tests and other outcomes for clinical trials in multiple sclerosis (MS).  Using the non-invasive technique of optical coherence tomography (OCT), Dr. Balcer’s collaborative teams at Penn, Johns Hopkins, University of Texas Southwestern at Dallas, University of Pittsburgh and University of California San Francisco have led international efforts to model axonal and neuronal loss in vivo in patients with MS.
Dr. Balcer’s expertise has been more recently sought to examine new vision-based tests and other tools for concussion diagnosis and management.  Assessments of rapid number naming (King-Devick test) and the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) scale of the SCAT2 have suggested important correlations of vision and cognition among professional athletes.  Dr. Balcer has also provided specialized care for collegiate and professional athletes at Penn prior to joining NYU Langone in November 2012.  She is a member of the Ivy League Concussion Committee and a co-director of a collaborative concussion research effort between the Ivy League and Big 10.  Dr. Balcer was recently appointed as a member of a new NCAA Concussion Task Force.

Steven Galetta, MD is currently the Philip K. Moskowitz, MD, Professor of Neurology, and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Formerly, he was the Associate Dean of Admissions for the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also served as the Director of Neurological Training and Neuro-ophthalmology at Penn for over two decades. Dr. Galetta received his MD from Cornell University Medical College. He then completed his neurology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his neuro-ophthalmology fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami.

Dr. Galetta has served on the editorial board for the journals Neurology, and the Journal of Neuro-ophthalmology.  He is co-author of the textbook, Neuro-ophthalmology: Diagnosis and Management. In 2004, he was named the American Neurological Association’s distinguished teacher of the year. He was also named the Robert J. Glaser Alpha Omega Alpha distinguished teacher of the year by the Association of American Medical Colleges in 2004. In 2008, he received the Parker Palmer award from the ACGME for his contributions to graduate medical education. Dr. Galetta has been involved in various capacities in a large number of clinical trials and has over 200 original publications concerning clinical, radiologic and research aspects of multiple sclerosis, sports related concussion and neuro-ophthalmology

About The Film

From acclaimed director Steve James, Head Games is a revealing documentary about the silent concussion crisis in American sports. Athletes from the professional to the youth levels share their personal struggles in dealing with the devastating and long-term effects of concussions, an epidemic fueled by the ‘leave everything on the field’ culture so prominent in American sport. Inspired by events from the book Head Games written by former Ivy League football star and WWE wrestler Christopher Nowinski, and featuring interviews with Nowinski, Bob Costas (NBC Sports), Keith Primeau (NHL All-Star), Cindy Parlow Cone (Olympic Gold Medalist, Women’s Soccer), and many more, the film contrasts eye-opening evidence and cutting-edge science on head trauma from the nation’s leading medical experts with first-hand accounts from the athletes, coaches and parents who must tread the difficult balance between sports excellence and basic self-preservation. Head Games exposes viewers to one of the leading public health issues of our time, raising the question: “How much of you are you willing to lose for a game?”
Sponsored by Symmetry Physical Therapy, NYU and Pelham Youth Hockey Association

Girls of Daraja and School of My Dreams with Q&A

On Monday, October 28, 2013, The Picture House will host two screenings of the short films ‘Girls of Daraja’ and ‘School of My Dreams.’ at 7:30 p.m.


Both films document the extraordinary work taking place at Daraja Academy, the unique free boarding school in Kenya devoted to the education of exceptional girls living in poverty. As the first free school of its kind in East Africa, the academy provides shelter, food, healthcare and counseling services which allows students to focus on their academic and personal potential, without being hindered by the everyday barriers of poverty. The films are made possible by grants from Executive Producer Deborah Santana, founder of Do A Little – a charity devoted to the health, education, and happiness of women and girls worldwide.


Daraja Academy founders Jenni and Jason Doherty, award-winning filmmaker Barbara Rick of Out of The Blue Films, Inc., and cinematographer Jim Anderson (a husband-and-wife production team residing in Throggs Neck) will be on-hand after both the afternoon and evening screenings to take questions and speak about their life-changing experiences of working with the outstanding young women at Daraja Academy.


Tickets to all screenings are $5/general public and FREE for members.  For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.thepicturehouse.org or visit the box office at 175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham, NY. To become a member of The Picture House or to make a donation please visit: www.thepicturehouse.org or email membership@thepicturehouse.org or call (914) 738-3161.

Mothers of Bedford with Q&A w/Director Jenifer McShane


Director Jenifer McShane

Many parents find it hard to imagine being away from a child for a week. Imagine being separated for ten or twenty years? Mothers of Bedford explores the effects of a long-term prison sentence on the mother-child relationship.

The film examines the struggles and joys these five women face as prisoners and mothers. It shows the normal frustrations of parenting as well as the surreal experiences of a child’s first birthday party inside prison, the cell that child lives in with her mother, and the biggest celebration of the year, Mother’s Day in prison!

“Mothers of Bedford is a beautiful film. It provides audiences with unprecedented access to this community of women and will move our national conversation about incarceration to a new level.”
– The Fledging Fund

Eighty percent of women in US prisons today are mothers of school-age children. Filmmaker Jenifer McShane spent four years visiting Bedford Hills and following the women and their families. A mother herself, Jenifer was drawn to the universal themes of motherhood and the staggering power of the mother-child relationship. In all walks of life, mother and child care for each other. As we watch the mothers inside Bedford trying to become their better selves, we see parts of our own selves – and that gives us all hope.

Jenifer’s first documentary, A Leap of Faith, about an integrated school in Belfast, Northern Ireland premiered at The Sundance Film Festival in 1996. Mothers of Bedford teams her again with the gifted editor, Toby Shimin.



Broadway Idiot



The tension could be felt in the rehearsal room when Green Day showed up to see if they liked what was going on ...Billie Joe Armstrong never – ever – thought he would end up doing a musical on Broadway.  Broadway is a long way from punk rock mosh pits and singing to thousands of Green Day fans in stadiums around the world.

So when Tony Award winning director, Michael Mayer, suggested turning Green Day’s mega-hit album, American Idiot, into a staged musical, something strange and wonderful was bound to happen.  No one, however, could have guessed what, and so following Billie Joe Armstrong into this strange world of theater became the subject of our film:  Broadway Idiot.

But from the start, filming the story was never going to be easy.

Even getting cameras inside a Broadway rehearsal room is hard.   Actors unions have long limited access to them, and for good reason, the actor’s rehearsals are the time to “find their performance” or in other words, it’s a time for them to take some risks experimenting with different ways to sing or act a scene with the hopes of discovering the best way to do it.  All of this experimentation is a necessary part of the process of theater to develop performances that are stage worthy, but the problem is that experimenting like that means making mistakes and potentially looking or sounding bad.   Few artists, of any medium, are eager to put their “sketches” out for public display, so if you bring cameras into the rehearsal room – and record some of those “mistakes” or early drafts –  are you violating that sacred space?   Or worse, getting in the way of the process itself.

Tony Award winning Broadway director Michael Mayer (right) stages 'Holiday'

While I respect what happens in the rehearsal room, I know that for a documentary, you need to show how things develop – not just present the finished performance.  After all, that is what you see on the stage.   And while the actors are developing their performance, the creative team is shaping the story.  So to really see how a Broadway-bound show comes together, you need to be in that “room.”

Thankfully, the cast and creative team were very generous and allowed cameras into their process, giving Broadway Idiot a unique window into the art of theater.

That said when filming began, we still didn’t know where it would go.   I wondered how these two very different worlds of punk rock and traditional Broadway would work together.   Would there be creative clashes?  How would rock stars and stage stars deal with different ideas and creative conflicts?

What surprised me, and I think everyone involved with the process, is how smoothly the collaboration went.  Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool of Green Day were very supportive of the original idea – but kept a respectful distance at first.  They were also touring during the early stage and could only check in from time to time, but their creative generosity impressed me even as it frustrated me as a filmmaker in search of a story.

billie joe armstrong, doug hamilton

Fortunately, if one thematic door closes, often another opens, and indeed another more interesting story began to take shape – one that was far more personal:  Billie Joe Armstrong’s own surprising reaction to the world of theater.     Early on Billie Joe wanted to step back and let the theater team do something different with “his baby,” the album of American Idiot.  What he never expected was how much he would fall in love with the world of theater and the community of actors in the show.

As the rehearsal process went on, Billie Joe started hanging out with the company and found a community of friends and fellow artists that reminded him of the early days of Green Day.

I never imagined at the start of this process, that one of the world’s biggest rock stars would let us tell such a personal story, but Billie Joe is ultimately an artist with a cavalier punk rock attitude.   He never put up walls with me and certainly not with anyone in the company.   He was shockingly open and helpful.   So too was his collaborator Michael Mayer – and much to my delight, I learned that Michael had a secret plan:  he wanted to convince Billie Joe to perform in the show itself.

Now Billie Joe had never acted and certainly never thought about performing in a Broadway musical.  Fortunately our cameras were once again in that rehearsal room and along for the ride.

Doug Hamilton, Director


Eye on the 60′s with Q&A w/ Pelham Native Rowland Scherman

Eye on the 60s - black letters full titles



EYE ON THE 60s is an authentic piece of American History…an intimate portrait of former LIFE photographer Rowland Scherman and how his eye captured the essence of America’s most remarkable decade. Experience candid recollections with seldom seen moments of major celebrities, politicians, and breathtaking events. Follow the path pf a self-driven man who became the first Peace Corps photographer, an insider to the Kennedy and Shriver families, and who created an astounding record of the March On Washington. Travel with Scherman through time to witness the yound Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Arthur Ashe, Barbra Walters, Joni Mitchell, and Judy Collins. From Washington, DC to the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival– and to the healing vistas of Cape Cod, EYE ON THE 60s is the story of a man that despite technological change and the great passage of time, moves in a space of peace, humor, and hope…while remaining forever driven by the need to create.

“An absolutely loving, and astute work.”– Legendary Journalist Richard B. Stolley
“I am deeply moved.”– Bill Moyers
Audience Favorite 2013 SIDEWALK FILM FESTIVAL
Official Selection EDINDOCS 2013


Final Theater Poster (smaller jpeg) copy

lincoln memorial





Special Event screening of Deceptive Practice with Ricky Jay post screening Q&A

DECEPTIVE PRACTICE: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay
Sunday September 15th
8:30pm Post Screening Q&A with
Ricky Jay
Director Molly Bernstein
Producer Alan Edelstein
Writer Mark Singer
General $12
Students & Seniors $10
Members Free

Movie Info

Ricky Jay is a world-renowned magician, author, historian and actor (often a mischievous presence in the films of David Mamet and Paul Thomas Anderson) — and a performer who regularly provokes astonishment from even the most jaded audiences. DECEPTIVE PRACTICE traces Jay’s achievements and influences, from his apprenticeship at age 4 with his grandfather, to such now-forgotten legends as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini and his primary mentors, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Featuring rare footage from his 1970s TV appearances (doing 3-card Monte with Steve Martin on The Dinah Shore Show) and told in Jay’s inimitable voice, this is a remarkable journey inside the secretive world of magic and the small circle of eccentrics who are its perpetual devotees. (c) Kino Lorber


MARK SINGER (Executive Producer, Author of The New Yorker profile about Ricky Jay that was the inspiration for the film).
Mark Singer has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1974. “Secrets of the Magus,” his Profile of Ricky Jay, originally appeared in the issue of April 5, 1993. It was reprinted in “Life Stories,” the magazine’s seventy-fifth anniversary anthology of Profiles, and Singer also included it in his 2005 collection “Character Studies: Encounters With the Curiously Obsessed.” Among his other books are “Funny Money,” “Mr. Personality,” “Citizen K,” and “Somewhere in America.”

MOLLY BERNSTEIN (Producer/Director)
Molly Bernstein has written and directed documentary profiles of leading figures in the arts, including Bernardo Bertolucci, Estelle Parsons, John Sayles and others for the Sundance Channel and AMC. She has also worked extensively as an editor on documentary films including the 2009 Emmy and Peabody Award winning JEROME ROBBINS: SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT, featured on the PBS series American Masters. Other editing credits include WITNESS TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, an historical series written by Elaine May, and LIBERTY!, a PBS series on the American Revolution produced by Middlemarch Films. Molly has recently made numerous short films with Particle Productions about contemporary artists for the James Cohan Gallery, and about art collectors in Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Los Angeles and San Francisco for the VIP Art Fair and Christie’s. She has an MFA in film from Columbia University.

ALAN EDELSTEIN (Producer/Co-Director)
Alan Edelstein received an Academy Award nomination for his documentary short THE WIZARD OF STRINGS, a profile of the 1920′s string instrumentalist and vaudeville star Roy Smeck. He has worked as a writer and producer for Nowak Associates, Great Projects Film Company, and Sundance Channel, among others. Recent projects include a promotional film for Education For Employment, a nonprofit organization addressing the dire unemployment problem among youth in the Middle East and North Africa, shot on location in the West Bank, Jordan, and Yemen. A journalist as well as filmmaker, he has written on arts and culture for publications including The New York Times, the Forward, and Transition.

Special Event: Blackfish Screening with John Hargrove Q&A


Former killer whale trainer John Hargrove will join us at The Picture House for a screening and discussion of the award winning film Blackfish . John has nearly two decades in the industry at SeaWorld of California, SeaWorld of Texas, and Marineland in the south of France and is interviewed in the film.

September 4th

Film Starts at 7:30pm

Discussion and Q&A at 9:00pm

General Admission $12

Students & Seniors $10

Members are Free (email here or call 738-3161 for more information on becoming a member for this event)

About Blackfish

Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000 pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black and white mammal is like a two -faced Janus-beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who-unlike any orca in the wild-has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong?


Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

What happens when documentary filmmakers—whose mission is to probe, explore, and Reveal—take as their subject one of the world’s greatest living magicians, whose life and art are basically off limits to probing, exploration and revelation? More than a decade in the making, Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is the captivating result of this curious conundrum: a mesmerizing journey into the world of modern magic and the small circle of eccentrics who were its perpetual devotees.

At its center is the multitalented Ricky Jay, a best-selling author and historian, an acclaimed actor, a leading collector of antiquarian books and artifacts, but above all a conjurer capable of creating a profound sense of wonder and disbelief in even the most jaded of audiences. In his extraordinary—and extraordinarily popular—one-man shows, Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants and Ricky Jay: On the Stem, he proved himself to be the contemporary embodiment of an elite lineage, offering audiences not only exhilarating entertainment, but also a rare glimpse of a secret, lost world.

Told largely in Ricky’s own inimitable voice, Deceptive Practice traces the story of his achievement, from his early apprenticeship, beginning at age 4, with his grandfather Max Katz, an accomplished amateur magician, as well as Al Flosso, Slydini, Cardini, Francis Carlyle, and Roy Benson, all of whom were among the best magicians of the 20th century. Above all it celebrates the remarkable lives of Ricky’s two primary mentors of his young adulthood, Dai Vernon and Charlie Miller. Of the latter, Ricky recalls: “For Charlie a good evening could be asking you to do the same shuffle 16,000 times … It was just endless the variations and the craziness, but it was often as close to pure joy as anything I can imagine.” The film weaves together stunning performance footage from his one-man shows and classic TV appearances, and also includes friends and collaborators such as Steve Martin (who joins him in a hilarious turn on a ’70s vintage Dinah Shore TV show) and David Mamet, who says of Ricky: “He’s devoted to that theater that he alone sees. He has the ideal of magic in his mind to which he’s devoted his life: to teaching it, to performing it, to perfecting it, to researching it.”

By the end of the film, viewers not only have a deep appreciation for the arduous and arcane demands of the magician’s craft, but also for the use of language and storytelling central to the art. And of where this ancient tradition is headed, that shall remain a mystery…

Dirty Wars

Director Richard Rowley‘s documentary Dirty Wars examines how the United States has responded to international terrorist threats in ways that seem to go against the established laws of the land. The movie focuses on the Joint Special Operations Command, a unit that is centered around worldwide responses to terrorism.



20 Feet from Stardom

Filmmaker Morgan Neville pays homage to some of the greatest vocalists you’ve never heard of in this documentary. While the lead singers in rock, pop, and R&B are the ones who get the glory, knowledgeable music fans will tell you the backing vocalists often add the touches that make a performance truly memorable, and though many backup singers have the respect of their peers in the music business, they’re all but unknown to the average listener. Twenty Feet From Stardom pays homage to some of these unsung heroes, including Darlene Love (the uncredited lead voice on some of Phil Spector‘s most memorable productions of the 1960s), Merry Clayton (who contributed a striking vocal cameo on the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”, Lisa Fischer (who has appeared on albums by Sting, Tina Turner, and Aretha Franklin, as well as touring with the Rolling Stones, and the Waters Family (they sang with Michael Jackson on the album {^Thriller} and lent their voices to the films The Lion King and Avatar). The film also includes interviews with such superstars as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Mick Jagger on the role backing vocalists play in music and the music business, while a number of veteran singers share their stories of the ups and downs of their careers. Twenty Feet From Stardom received its world premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.