Lost Bohemia is a documentary about the little known yet culturally significant Carnegie Artist Studios. The film began as an attempt to capture the unique and eccentric residents of this landmark community, but as filming progressed, the atmosphere of the building was drastically changed due to a series of renovations implemented by the Carnegie Corporation, renovations that converted 160 19th century studios into office space and evicted an entire community of artists, musicians, actors and writers, ending a century old tradition.
The production of Lost Bohemia was completed in 2010, and the film went on to do a theatrical run at the IFC Center in New York City, where it was enthusiastically received. Audiences were not only drawn in by the residents of the Carnegie Studios and their struggles, but also the film’s larger anti-gentrification message. While the film focuses on one small group in New York, it is about any community that has been destroyed in the name of progress: the neighborhoods that have been replaced with sleek condos and boutiques, the Mom and Pop stores driven out of business by megamarts, the little patches of heaven that have been paved over and turned into parking lots. It’s about art being replaced by commerce, and how it can happen anywhere, at any time, even on such hallowed ground as Carnegie Hall.
The film has a universal message that appeals to a number of audiences that, at this point, have no way of receiving it, which is why we're committed to securing funds for nationwide and international distribution. Documentaries like this have a tendency to operate at a loss, so it’s hard to get financial backing from a big studio: if your film isn’t poised rake in the big bucks, they generally aren’t interested.
And that’s why we need your help. We need funding to make prints of Lost Bohemia, to get it playing in theaters and art houses worldwide, and to promote the film in a wide array of media. Anything you can do to help us fulfill our goals, even if it’s just donating a dollar or helping to spread the word, is greatly appreciated. We also have some unique incentives to offer you, from books to illustrations to records to photographs, each of which was made by a resident of the Carnegie Studios.
By distributing this film, we hope to achieve two things:
1. To preserve the legacy of the Carnegie Artist Studios as well as its remarkable tenants, from Marlon Brando to Bill Cunningham, from Isadora Duncan to Editta Sherman.
2. To ensure the future by bringing attention to the fragile state of our cultural ecology in a way that will help others in preventing similar tragedies.
We, as well as the many residents of the Carnegie Artist Studios in Exile, thank you.
- (30 days)