Reel Docs presents Off and Running

By Caren Cross

Reel Docs is excited to present the compelling documentary film, Off And Running. As is always the case with Reel Docs events, the director will conduct a Q&A following the film.

Documentary: Off and Running
Wed, Mar 12 and Thu, Mar 13, 4pm
Teatro Santa Ana
La Biblioteca
Reloj 50A
80 pesos for all three events

Off and Running explores the teenage upheaval of 15-year-old Avery as she struggles with her identity. Here is a typical Brooklyn teenager living an atypical life. Her adoptive parents are white Jewish lesbians. She is the only black student in the private Jewish school that she attends. She has a younger brother who is Korean and an older brother who is mixed-race. She becomes a track star and is high on feelings of success. And then one day she decides to contact her biological mother who lives in Austin, TX. She wants to know about her roots. The story that ensues is riveting.

Avery’s constant displacement—whether it was at her Jewish elementary school, or among black friends, or even at home—informs her difficult journey, objectively documented by director Nicole Opper. Most impressive is Opper’s poised camera, able to capture honest and articulate conversations between Avery and her incredibly attentive brother Rafi. Off and Running is a unique and very American coming-of-age story that delves into the psyche of race through a fresh and careful dissection of a family’s struggle.

Off and Running was voted a Top Ten Audience Favorite at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009. Following Tribeca, the film won various awards, notably the best screenplay at Silverdocs, the prestigious film festival in Washington D.C. It was then picked up by PBS and played on P.O.V. Nicole was subsequently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film.

One of the pleasures of Reel Docs is having the director in attendance after each documentary film is presented. In the case of Off and Running, which ends with an enormous crisis, audience members will be able to query the director as to what has happened since the filming ended.

A margarita reception in honor of Nicole Opper will follow the Q&A. The 80-peso donation covers the film, the Q&A and the reception.


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