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Project of the Day: Two Young Women Documentarians Befriend an Alleged Con-Artist

Project of the Day: Two Young Women Documentarians Befriend an Alleged Con-Artist

Here’s your daily dose of an indie film in progress; at the end of the week, you’ll have the chance to vote for your favorite.

In the meantime: Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell us in the comments.

U R Not Alone

Tweetable Logline:
the true story about the unlikely friendship that develops between two young women and an alleged con-artist
Elevator Pitch:
Set in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Joe’s trinket shop symbolizes a fusion of
two worlds: where antiquated American-Italian ideals meet young liberal

U R Not Alone depicts the evolution of an unlikely friendship between
this controversial man and two young women and continues with their
dilemma once he is arrested. As they delve deeper into investigating
Joe’s crimes and past, they bring audiences on their moral roller
coaster ride – questioning the intrinsic societal predicaments he stands

Production Team:

Ashley Benzwie – Co-Producer/director
Arielle Tayar – Co-Producer/director
About the Production:
“Joe, the main character is entirely what motivated this film. After
stumbling upon him in our Brooklyn neighborhood we knew we needed to
make this movie and tell his story. It was only after beginning production that we realized the most honest
way of portraying him was to acknowledge our presence in the space as
young female filmmakers. Once we became characters in the film we allowed ourselves to become
invested in Joe’s livelihood and our friendship grew. His incarceration
shifted production in a new direction, and we were forced to re-examine
the line between documentarian and subject.” — Arielle Tayar

Current Status:

For more information and to support this project:

IndieGoGo Page
Film Website

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This Article is related to: Filmmaker Toolkit and tagged


elaine satin

Very unusual subject matter, well presented by the young directors.

Hank Hartman

Very impressive

Ellen Feig

Really interested in seeing this as a full length film as there are so many aspects to it.

Laurie Lieberman

A fascinating documentary following the downward trajectory of a very colorful but flawed– perhaps dangerous — local character. The two young filmmakers , Benzwie and Trayor begin their journey examining a quirky Brooklyn man, befriending him and then discovering his possible dark side. Is he a protector,sexist, or sexual predator — Victim or perpetrator?

The two young women initally build an unusual comraderie that begins in Joe's junk store and transitions with him in prison. They must question their own perceptions of their subject and their relationship with him.

As one viewer said of a longer clip, "The film is mesmerizing… I can't take my eyes away ( M. Kantrowitz)."

I agree.

One is uncomfortable with Joe and his interactions with Benzwie and Trayor but despite these feelings, the viewer is both amused and engrossed in the unfolding of Joe, a deeply disturbing, and at times an endearing and wisely, lucid character.

UR Not Alone promises to be a truly unique film exploring the engaging and complex personalities of all three players in this documentary as both filmakers and reprobate (or should one say "retrobate") become the story.

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