Two new documentaries filmed on the Upper West Side cover topics that Upper West Siders know very well: the travails of people who move their car for alternate-side parking, and the charm of some of the longtime tree-sellers who descend on our neighborhood every winter.
Ernie Fritz, a local who regularly helps us out with news items and photos, made a short documentary about parking: “I recently finished a short (14 minutes), humorous documentary about Alternate Side of the Street Parking. It’s tilted ‘Don’t Even Think of Parking Here.’ My short film takes place entirely here on the Upper West Side. The film was shot primarily last fall and early winter.” One of his interviewees says the meter maids “stalk you!”
Ernie’s shopping the film to various festivals, and we wish him good luck. Check out the trailer below:
Another documentary made by Upper West Siders Jon Reiner and Brad Rothschild takes a look at a “Tree Man” named Francois who sells Christmas trees on 102nd street and Broadway. It will get its U.S. premiere at the St. Lawrence Film Festival this Friday and Sunday and come to New York’s documentary festival on Nov. 16.
“TREE MAN follows Francois, a Christmas tree seller who’s been working the same corner in the Upper West Side for decades. Every year he leaves his home and family in Quebec to deliver the magic of the season to New Yorkers 500 miles away.
TREE MAN explores Francois’ journey and the relationships that sustain him – with his customers, employees and the people of his adopted neighborhood. While he may sell trees for a living, it is his role as the neighborhood Tree Man that draws the community closer together and gives meaning to his grueling month far from home.”
We published a story by Jon about Francois here. Upper West Siders can watch the documentary at a special screening next month.
Screening: Monday, Nov. 23, 7:00 PM
Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Bernie Wohl Center
647 Columbus Avenue (at 92nd St.)
There will also be a screening on Dec. 8 at the JCC, and it’s expected to be available on iTunes by the holidays..
The video below features Francois: