WORK (2020)


Documentary | 56 min | USA

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 8,000 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.


Director and Editor: Mani Mehrvarz
Music: Wooden Cities
Animation: Maryam Muliaee
Producers: Buffalo Documentary Project & Wooden Cities
Sponsore: 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)

The documentary will be virtually premiered on this page in partnership with the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State College on Thursday, April 22, 2021, at 7:30 PM.

After the screening, viewers will be able to attend a Zoom “meeting room,” where a Panel Discussion will be held.

Fight For Good

Premiere: April 22, 2021

Documentary | 22 min | USA


Buffalo Documentary Project, in collaboration with Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc., presents a 22-minute film exploring the center’s work, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 disproportionately affects communities of color, highlighting the inequities of our healthcare system.

The CHCB’s overarching mission is to reduce health disparities in our society and city. In “Fight for Good,” a CHCB executive and two physicians—all women of color—are captured in an unguarded style, revealing both their personal motivations and their higher goals.


By Dr. LaVonne Ansari

In the summer of 2020, the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc. was approached by the Buffalo Documentary Project to explore the possibility of sharing our stories with respect to the COVID-19 Pandemic that was plaguing the world and severely threatening the lives of the communities that we serve. Fast forward to the Spring of 2021, and we are both humbled and honored to benefit from the tremendous film-making artistry of the BDP team.  Indeed, we are extremely grateful to have this opportunity to share the experiences and voices of our all too often unheard women, men and children of color. By dedicating ourselves to serving them, we stand with them.

But much more than that, in body, mind and spirit, we are them.

By participating in this 22-minute film entitled Fight For Good…The Unspoken, we have shared and learned by giving voice to our common humanity, including our innermost fears of personal vulnerability and loss. Herein are our frustrations and hopes for a healthcare system that is on one hand truly miraculous, and on the other, afflicted with implicit bias and systemic racism.  Ultimately, our unshakable belief is that the fight for good is both righteous and winnable!

We are truly blessed through the communications medium of film, to have this opportunity to invite you to engage in what we believe are some of the most important conversations of our present time. We invite your perspective, input, and ultimately, your voice. We are but one, but with yourself, and others, “we” quickly become many and as “many”, our power to affect change is infused with significance and possibility.

Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director,
Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc.


Director and Editor: Mani Mehrvarz
Featuring: Dr. LaVonne Ansari, Dr. Kenyani Davis and Dr. Shilpa Kapoor
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