Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People
Feature length documentary for PBS' American Masters that examines the life and legacy of the great newspaper publisher, Joseph Pulitzer. Narrated by Adam Driver. Voice of Pulitzer - Liev Schreiber.
Accepted at Mill Valley Film Festival and Hot Springs Film Festival.
PBS American Masters (2019)
Feature length documentary following a year of the Witness Theater Program, in which high schoolers and Holocaust survivors share stories and create a play based on survivor experience.
Production completed (2018)
The Ruins of Lifta
Lifta is the only Arab village abandoned in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been completely destroyed or repopulated by Jews. Its haunting ruins are now threatened by an Israeli development plan that would convert it into an upscale Jewish neighborhood. After learning that Lifta was once a place where Jews and Arabs coexisted, Menachem Daum—an Orthodox Jew from Brooklyn— joins Yacoub Odeh—expelled from the village and campaigning to save its ruins—in an effort to preserve Lifta as a place of reflection and reconciliation. This sets up a climactic encounter between a Holocaust survivor and a Nakba refugee amidst the ruins of Lifta.
Colliding Dreams, from award winning filmmakers Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky, is a feature length documentary on one of today’s most explosive issues—the question of Zionism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The film is a searching and dramatic exploration of the dream of a Jewish state and its impact on both Jews and Arabs, unfolding across the broad one hundred fifty year canvas of history from 19th century Europe to the modern Middle East. Told through the remarkable lives and voices of Jews and Palestinians living in the Middle East today, Colliding Dreams weaves together past and present, ideas and passions, and wars and peace talks. It unites brilliant minds with the voices of ordinary citizens to develop a film portrait of sensitivity and depth like none before, of the story of Zionism and its controversies.
Time for school
Time for School: 2003-2016, a longitudinal documentary project, portrays the gripping stories of five kids in five countries who are struggling against the odds for a basic education. These children live in countries—India, Brazil, Kenya, Afghanistan and Benin—where poverty, child labor, early marriage, and the chaos of war prevent legions of young people from getting an education.
Time for School began filming with these students during their first days of school and followed them for 12 years. In 2003, they all began at the same starting gate, all bright and eager to learn. Soon, growing contrasts emerged in the quality and stability of the children’s educations and each faced obstacles that threatened their ability to remain in school.
The unique longitudinal documentary project was inspired by the Millennium Development Goal of "education for all," a promise that 189 nations made to the United Nations in 2000, to provide every child around the world with a free primary education by 2015. While there has been progress over the past 15+ years, there are still 58 million children out of school around the globe and around 100 million who do not complete primary school—in spite of universal recognition that education is the smartest anti-poverty investment that any country can make.
Released 2003 -2016
Risk Takers is a series for Bloomberg TV; Oren Rudavsky wrote two episodes. Michelle Rhee, an American educator active in education reform, was the focus of one of the two episodes. Rudavsky's second episode is about Michael Burry, a New York based polymath, physician, investor, and hedge fund manager.
Russian Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Media
To Educate a Girl
In 2000, 110 million children in the world were not in school—two thirds of them were girls. In 2010, filmmakers Frederick Rendina and Oren Rudavsky traveled to Nepal and Uganda, two countries emerging from conflict and struggling with poverty, to find the answer to one question: what does it take to educate a girl? Framed by the United Nations global initiative to provide equal access to education for girls by 2015, To Educate a Girl takes a ground-up and visually stunning view of that effort through the eyes of girls out of school, starting school or fighting against the odds to stay in school.
Letter On The Blind,
For the Use of Those Who See
Whitney Biennial film by artist Javier Téllez, produced by Oren Rudavsky. Borrowing the title from French philosopher Denis Diderot's treatise on how the blind and sighted do and do not understand each other, Téllez's video and installation enact an Asian parable in which six blind individuals relay the experience of touching an elephant.
Jake Singer is an anxious young schoolteacher in New York, barely on speaking terms with his father, recently abandoned by his girlfriend, and heading for a life of compromise and mediocrity. Emotionally paralyzed by his mother's death, he embarks on a course of psychoanalysis with a maniacal Freudian—Dr. Ernesto Morales, therapist from hell. But when he meets socialite widow Allegra Marshall and finds himself upwardly mobile in the Manhattan of serious money and glamour (as he bounces from the couch to Allegra's bed in the allegedly real world and back again) his whole life begins to take on the eerie, overdetermined quality of an analytic session and he must figure out his escape.
Hiding and Seeking
Is it possible to heal wounds and bitterness passed down through generations? An Orthodox Jewish father tries to alert his adult sons to the dangers of creating impenetrable barriers between themselves and those outside their faith. He takes them on an emotional journey to Poland to track down the family who risked their lives to hide their grandfather for more than two years during World War II. Like many children of survivors, the sons feel that Poland is a country that is incurably anti-Semitic, but it is precisely here that they meet people who personify the highest levels of compassion. Hiding and Seeking explores the Holocaust's effect on faith in God as well as faith in our fellow human beings. A co-presentation with the Independent Television Service (ITVS).
And Baby Makes Two
And Baby Makes Two follows a group of single New York City 30- and 40-something women (and their often shocked and concerned parents), for whom the ticking of biological clocks is louder than the screech of the city's subway trains and taxi horns. Funny and poignant, the documentary takes the viewer on an emotional roller-coaster ride as we come to know and identify with the very human desires of the women in the film.
These are not strident political activists trying to make a point but rather ordinary women who have not found a partner willing to commit to a relationship, marriage, and/or fatherhood. Over the course of several years, these six women provide support and encouragement for one another as they journey towards motherhood in a world that has not looked kindly on single moms.
A Life Apart: Hasidism in America
A 90 minute documentary that takes an in-depth look at a distinctive and traditional Eastern European Religious community that migrated to America at the end of World War II. Hasidism, while challenging American values, also embraces those which many Americans hold dear: family, community, and a close relationship to God. The film examines the conflicts, burdens, and rewards of an Hasidic life, integrating critical scholarship with portraits of the daily lives of New York City's Hasidic Jews.
Twitch and shout
Twitch and Shout is told through the eyes of Lowell Handler, a photojournalist who has traveled around the world taking pictures of people who, like himself, have TS. Their stories are fascinating, awe-inspiring, humorous, and sometimes heartbreaking. Desireé Ledet, an aspiring New York City actress, tells how men often misinterpret her involuntarily twitching eyebrows as a sexual come-on. David Jansen, an Alberta lumberjack, recalls the time he thought of taking a knife and cutting out that devil inside him. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (formerly Chris Jackson), a basketball player for the Denver Nuggets who channeled the obsessive behaviors into hours of practice, received the NBA's Most Improved Player Award in 1993. "For every infirmity," he says, "God gives you a strength."
Sparks Among The Ashes
"Jews of Cracow Await US Bar Mitzvah Boy," read the New York Times headline, as Eric Strom, a 13-year-old Connecticut boy, stood at the center of a complex human drama that attracted world-wide attention.