WORK

WORK documents the recording process of the first album by the Buffalo-based new music ensemble Wooden Cities. The film features 56 minutes filmed during their summer 2018 recording sessions, as well as director Mani Mehrvarz’s interviews with Wooden Cities’ musicians and ensemble director Brendan Fitzgerald. The film also includes cutting-edge animations to two sections of Frederic Rzewski’s The Price of Oil (recorded for the first time ever for this album), emphasizing the piece’s themes of labor and environmental justice, and made using stop motion techniques amounting to over 80,000 frames. Also, featured are Cardew’s Red Flag Prelude—a musical commemoration of the martyrs of the early labor movement—and Wooden Cities’ Chain Gang, a dynamic free improvisation.


Directed by MANI MEHRVARZ

Music by WOODEN CITIES

Animation by MARYAM MULIAEE

Produced by BUFFALO DOCUMENTARY PROJECT & WOODEN CITIES

Sponsored by UB Arts Collaboratory

Featuring BRENDAN FITZGERALD, MEGAN KYLE, ETHAN HAYDEN, NICHOLAS EMMANUEL, EVAN COURTIN, KATIE WEISSMAN


“This striking film provides welcome opportunity to meet the musicians of the Buffalo, N.Y. ensemble, Wooden Cities; and see its artistic and educational mission come to life through a series of interviews, rehearsals, and an extended, animated performance. Recommended!”
— Jeffrey Stadelman, Composer

Work captures the collective’s democratic process, as the ensemble decides what kind of music they want to make—and the new Wooden Cities’ album begins to take form. A testament to passion of the performers and the thrill of creation, the film itself is a work of interdisciplinary art, melding documentary footage, music, and cutting-edge animation.”
— Kirsten Miller, New York Times bestselling author

“With an extremely important and present political message, the film, through the dramatization archeology of media, shows us the deep roots of neoliberal exploitation. The compositional structure of the film equally emphasizes the poetic-typographic, musical, graphic-animation treatment of the structure, in comprehensively successful experimentation with form.”
— The Unforeseen – International Experimental Film Festival


Fight for Good (2021)

FIGHT FOR GOOD

post-production (expected January 2021)

documentary | 15 min | USA

Director: Mani Mehrvarz
Director of Photography: Matthew A. Nardone
Art Director and Researcher: Maryam Muliaee
Interview: Naila Ansari and Mani Mehrvarz
Camera Operator: Joe Blodgett
Audio: Michael Bouquard
Photography: Brett Roedel
Gaffers: Mark Pasqualotto and Kash Costner

Fight for Good is a documentary that tells the story of real-life community-based health care center in Buffalo, New York.

“We know that after difficulty, comes ease. In this moment, we have an opportunity to envision a new reality of ‘justice for all’ with the proper guidance, actions, language, and the spirit to breathe together,” says Dr. LaVonne Ansari who is the Chair of the Community Health Care Association of New York State and the CEO of the Community Health Center of Buffalo (CHCB).

Today, societies all around the world are at the mercy of a virus that knows no rank and no title. However, several vulnerable communities such as some racial and ethnic minority groups including the communities of color are facing some of the greatest challenges in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has propelled the conversation in America about racial inequities in health and what can be done in the future, especially in terms of healthcare service and leadership. Taking the camera to the space of a primary care health facility in Buffalo, this film portrays the black woman leadership and retells the stories of communities of color in Buffalo in time of the pandemic. In a conversation with Dr. Ansari and other doctors, staff, and patients, the film presents some of the challenges and invaluable leadership and services that the CHCB has been providing to the underserved community in Buffalo.