A documentary film I edited, "Suzanne Shepherd: A Gift of Fire" debuted last week in New York City. The film is about Suzanne Shepherd, a gifted character actress who is also an influential acting teacher and theatrical director. Suzanne is perhaps most recognizable in roles as mob mothers-in-law. In "Goodfellas," she played Ray Liotta's Jewish mother-in-law. On "The Sopranos," she played James Gandofini's Italian mother-in-law.
The film is a definite labor of love by writer/producer Wendy Sayvetz and features interviews with a wide variety of Suzanne devotees including Alan Alda, Danny Glover, Joan Allen, Bebe Neuwirth, the late Jill Clayburgh, director Larry Arrick and South African playwright Athol Fugard. Wendy started filming footage in 2000. While in Baltimore shooting the film "A Dirty Shame," Suzanne mentioned the prospective documentary to her director John Waters. John Waters immediately recommended Steve Yeager to direct the film. Steve had already won the audience prize at the Sundance Film Festival for his documentary about John Waters called "Divine Trash." Steve brought me onto the project and the rest is history.
|Producer Wendy Sayvetz with yours truly working on the|
film in my dining room. You'd be surprised how many
films were born or finished there!
Here's a little trailer we made a few years ago.
Be sure to read my book: The Promise, or the Pros and Cons of Talking with God.