Artists and Orphans: A True Drama
|Artists and Orphans: A True Drama|
|Directed by||Lianne Klapper McNally|
|Music by||Peter Fish|
|Edited by||Ellen Goldwasser, Jonathan Kohen|
|Distributed by||Not By Chance Productions Inc.|
|Country||United States / Georgia|
Artists and Orphans: A True Drama (known in Russian as Артисты и сироты: Настоящая драма) is a 2001 documentary documenting a group of American artists traveling to the Republic of Georgia for an art festival, and their subsequent effort to provide humanitarian aid to a group of local orphans. Directed, produced, and written by filmmaker Lianne Klapper McNally, upon its debut in 2001, the Daily Nexus described it as "heart-wrenching and eventually heart-warming," as well as "short, gritty and brilliantly scored." The film won Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and it was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 74th Academy Awards. Artists and Orphans had won multiple film festival awards by 2002, debuting on television several months later through WE tv.
Artists and Orphans, a short documentary directed by Lianne Klapper McNally, details a group of American artists traveling to the Republic of Georgia after an invitation to take part in an international arts festival. Upon discovering that the country is undergoing a humanitarian crisis, the troupe is introduced to a group of orphans living in Tbilisi, Georgia, who were surviving extreme deprivation in a mental hospital bombed out in the Georgian civil war. With winter approaching, the film documents the artists' attempt to gather funds and supplies for the makeshift orphanage, which lacked heating, food, electricity, and water. They then help prepare the orphanage for winter.
Not By Chance Productions, Inc. served as the production company behind the film. Post-production facilities were provided in major part by Teatown Communications Group in New York, while Ellen Goldwasser and Jonathan "Yoni" Kohen edited the film.
Debut and first awards (2001)
Released in early 2001 and initially making the rounds on the American film festival circuit, in March 2001 Artists and Orphans won the Audience Choice Award for documentaries at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The Lake Arrowhead International Film Festival in Lake Arrowhead, California screened the film in May 2001, with the film winning the Inspiration Award for Best Documentary. In June 2001, the film screened at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. Also that month the film won the audience award for Best Short Film at the Florida Film Festival. Artists and Orphans played at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July 2001, and in September it screened at the Boston Film Festival, with the Boston Phoenix describing it as the "standout" in its round of screenings. At the Docside Film Festival in San Antonio in April 2002, the film was nominated for Best Feature Documentary.
Oscar nomination (2001-2002)
The film was nominated for an Oscar at the 74th Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Subject. Also nominated were Sing! and Thoth, with the latter winning the award in February 2002. On March 18, 2001, the film was one of two runners up for Best Documentary at the Valleyfest Film Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. In March 2002, the press reported that Rosie O'Donnell was seeking to remove her narration from the production after accusations of discrimination, which the filmmakers dismissed as "inflammatory" and "without foundation." On April 22, 2002, the film screened on WE tv as part of an evening of programming meant to raise awareness for children. It was screened in the Czech Republic on April 23, 2002 at the Olomouc Animation Film Festival, and was also included in documentaries for sale at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. At the Crested Butte Reel Fest in central Colorado, the film won the Illumination Award for the film, and Artists and Orphans also tied for second place for audience choice award.
Andy Sywak of the Daily Nexus gave the film a positive review upon its March 2001 debut, describing it as "heart-wrenching and eventually heart-warming." Though Sywak argued the film "appears pretentious" at times by attempting to draw connections between art and humanitarian relief, he further opined that the film was "essentially a documentary about a philanthropy mission," and "the fact that the caregivers are artists ultimately has little to do with the story. Short, gritty and brilliantly scored, McNally definitely knows what she is doing."
Awards and nominations
International Film Festival
|Audience Choice Award
for Best Documentary
International Film Festival
for Best Documentary
|Florida Film Festival||Audience Award for Best Short Film||Won|
|74th Academy Awards||Best Documentary Short Subject||Nominated|
|2002||Docside Film Festival||The Jury Award||Nominated|
|Valleyfest Film Festival||Best Documentary||Runner-Up|
|Crested Butte Reel Fest||Illumination Award||Won|
|Audience Choice Award||2nd place|
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- "Artists and Orphans: A True Drama". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- "74th Annual Academy Awards". NPR. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Edison Carter reports on Valleyfest Film Festival". AintItCool. March 22, 2001. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- "Valley Awards Sleep". FilmFestivals.com. March 15, 2001. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
- O'Donnel, Rosie (March 21, 2002). "Rosie O'Donnell wants name, voice taken off Oscar-nominated short film". Associated Press. Retrieved 2016-06-06.