Palisadian Documentary Producer Premieres Short Film at Virtual Festival
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Robin Ungar, a longtime resident of the El Medio Bluffs, produced a short film that premiered this week at the 29th annual Woods Hole Film Festival—and community members who are interested in tuning in can do so virtually.
Ungar shared with the Palisadian-Post that over the course of her career as a speech-language pathologist, she had always dreamed of making documentary films. She discovered the subject of her first film, “Soy Cubana,” a documentary about an Afro-Cuban a cappella female quartet, when she encountered the Vocal Vidas during a trip to Cuba.
The piece, created in 2016, went on to 60 film festivals, taking home audience awards and jury prizes from around the world. Ungar said that she is in the final edits of turning the short film into a feature film, which should be complete later this year.
One year later, Ungar explained that a friend approached her about another idea for a documentary: musicians who are autistic collaborate with music students and professionals from their Maryland community to put on a concert.
“It’s a story of joy and resilience of a group of people that come together and music is the common ground,” Ungar explained.
The film, featuring a tagline of “when words fail, try music,” tied into her career as a speech-pathologist, where she has devoted much of her time to treating clients with communication challenges.
“‘As We Are’ follows a group of inspiring young players on the autism spectrum as they prepare for a benefit concert with local professionals in Annapolis, Maryland,” according to a statement about the film. “Uplifting and brimming with youthful energy, ‘As We Are’ celebrates both the differences and common goals of all the musicians involved in one night’s magical performance.”
“As We Are” was directed by Michael Faulkner, an award-winning filmmaker who is “passionate about telling unique stories of collaboration and imagination that awaken new perspectives,” according to the statement. Ungar met Faulkner through the film festival circuit.
The film festival, including “As We Are,” will be available online through midnight August 3 at woodsholefilmfestival.org. There are eight films total in the category “Shorts: Art in Many Forms,” with the 25-minute “As We Are” screening last—marking a “grand finale,” Ungar shared.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that the festival ended on August 1, which has since been extended to August 3.
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