We’re excited to announce that two of our Doc Studies program alums, Alexis Neophytides and Trina Rodriguez, have worked together on a feature documentary titled, Dear Thirteen, that will have its world premiere at DOC NYC this November. Alexis and Trina have been long time collaborators since they met as students at The New School. Prior to this film, they co-created, produced, and directed Neighborhood Slice among other projects. Learn more about their backgrounds, the film’s synopsis, and screening info below.
“From a team of artists attuned to the power of images… Dear Thirteen bravely suggests that looking back just might be the way ahead.” – Film Threat
Alexis Neophytides is a documentary filmmaker and educator based in New York City. Her work centers around community and how we find meaning in people and place. Her short documentaries Doctor Kong, Coney Island’s for the Birds and Ethan 2018 (a Vimeo Staff Pick) screened at festivals worldwide. Dear Thirteen is her first feature length documentary, and she is currently in post-production on her second feature, Fire Through Dry Grass. Her work has been supported by ITVS, the Ford Foundation, Field of Vision, IDA, Perspective Fund, Fork Films, the New York State Council on the Arts and the NYC Women’s Fund. She is also one of this year’s Sundance Institute Documentary Film Grantees.
Trina Rodriguez is a filmmaker living in Queens. Trina produced the feature-length documentary High Tech, Low Life, about citizen journalists in China that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and aired on the acclaimed PBS series, POV. She edited Black in America: Black and Blue, a feature documentary about the impact of aggressive policing tactics on the lives of young black men, which aired on CNN. Her short documentary Our Lady Queen of Harlem which she filmed, directed and edited, premiered at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and is distributed by Third World Newsreel. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, New York Magazine, on PBS and a variety of nonprofit and documentary broadcast platforms.
“Equal parts funny and emotionally affecting…. it’s a refreshing reminder in a world community that seems increasingly cynical.” – Film Threat
Dear Thirteen weaves together the stories of nine thirteen-year-olds from France, Australia, Mexico, Nepal and the US. Video diaries and candid interviews reveal how global issues are shaping and being shaped by young people: In Australia Evie, a trans girl, begins her medical transition with confidence and optimism; in France Oren prepares for his Bar Mitzvah while reckoning with prejudice in his hometown; in Brooklyn Madeline finds joy and creativity on Tik Tok while contending with the pressures of the pandemic; in Mexico Fany dreams of breaking the mold as a female boxer while navigating her parents’ separation. The film’s score by Dan Deacon underlines the complexity and the beauty in transition and finding adulthood today.
The film will have two in-person screenings at Cinepolis Chelsea. Currently, only rush tickets are available for the premiere on Sunday, November 13th at 2:15pm, which will be followed by a Q&A with Alexis Neophytides, Trina Rodriguez, and the film subjects (Madeline, Awa, and Julius). The director would love to see support from The New School community at the second screening on Tuesday, November 15th at 11:45am. The film can also be viewed online between November 14th – 27th.
As a Doc Studies community member, please use the code “DOCNYC_PTNR_22” for $3 off a ticket! For further updates about Dear Thirteen, check out the film’s website, Facebook, and Instagram.