917-674-6708 beth@fivespotfilms.com

Producer/Director Elizabeth Westrate's recent documentary work for Sundance Channel

This year, Westrate produced three features for the Sundance Channel’s series FESTIVAL DAILES, which covered events at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival as they unfolded. Shot and produced in the commotion of Main Street in Park City, the shows aired every night during the last six days of the festival. For a peek behind the scenes of this fun, hectic project, click here: http://www.apple.com/hotnews/articles/2005/01/sundance/

Westrate speaks with Sundance Founder Robert Redford about his great frustrations with America’s current role in the world, and his hopes that the film industry will use its influence to encourage social and political change. He also discusses the reasons behind his decision to add a new competition category for international films at the festival this year, and his belief that documentaries and dramatic films that reach wide audiences have the potential to bridge cultural gaps and foster better understanding between people. Click here for more info.


Westrate profiles a truly international filmmaker, Ziad Doueri. Born in Lebanon and trained in Hollywood, Doueri’s first feature “West Beirut” was widely hailed as an exceptional debut. US funding was hard to come by, though, for his Arab-themed follow up feature LILA SAYS, so Doueri re-wrote the script to be set in Paris and made the film with European investors.

The resulting film, which Doerri describes as “a twisted love story” is both brilliant and controversial, but distributors baffled by how to market this American-style film directed by a Lebanese man in an Arab neighborhood in France.

Westrate follows Doueri through the festival as he struggles to create and identity for both the film, and himself as a director. As he explains, “I belong everywhere and nowhere, and wherever the project takes me, I’ll go." Click here for more info.



Described by the New York Times as “a strange and delightful movie that shouldn't work but does.” THE TALENT GIVEN US was directed, written and shot by first time filmmaker Andrew Wagner, who cast his own mother, father and two sisters to play exagerated versions of themselves in this uproarious family road trip film. Westrate follows Andrew and his hilarious, dysfunctional family as they eagerly invade Park City to celebrate the premiere and work the festival scene. Click here for more info.


Having a film accepted by Sundance and actually getting your film to Sundance are very different things. Westrate followed experimental filmmaker Jake Mahaffy as he struggled to complete his first feature film, WAR, in time for the 2004 Sundance Film Festival with very little time and even less money. Mahaffy spent years producing, directing, shooting, writing, recording and editing this remarkable film entirely by himself -- WAR was a very private project, until now. (Filmed in New York, Virginia, and Park City, Utah.)

For more information about Jake Mahaffy, visit www.handcrankedfilm.com/war.html

Shot in Miami, Florida, this short film profiles child prodigy filmmaker, Chaille Stovall, who by the age of 14 had already directed two documentaries that aired on HBO Family, and was deep in production on his third feature length film. So far in his brief career, Chaille has traveled across America and India, interviewing some of the world's most influential people, including the Dalai Lama, President George Bush, Vice President Al Gore and former President Jimmy Carter.

To learn more about Chaille and his projects, visit www.shutupkidproductions.com

This historical segment explores the alternative arts movement that was active in New York City in the early 1980s. The piece aired in conjunction with the documentary 156 RIVINGTON, which told the colorful and controversial story of one of these alternative groups, ABC No Rio, one of the few still thriving today on Manhattan's Lower East Side.