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Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers #4: Chiemi Karasawa Celebrates Broadway Legend 'Elaine Stritch'

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 2, 2013 at 1:41PM

Documentary producer Chiemi Karasawa ("The Betrayal - Nerakhoon") makes his directorial debut with "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," about the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress. The 87-year-old is most known for her performance in Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical "Company," as well as her more recent part as Jack Donaghy's mother Colleen on NBC's "30 Rock." Karasawa, who shares the same hairdresser with Stritch, tells the story of the still-working legend through interviews with Nathan Lane, Tina Fey and others.
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Chiemi Karasawa
Chiemi Karasawa
Documentary producer Chiemi Karasawa ("The Betrayal - Nerakhoon") makes her directorial debut with "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me," about the Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress. The 87-year-old is most known for her performance in Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical "Company," as well as her more recent part as Jack Donaghy's mother Colleen on NBC's "30 Rock." Karasawa, who shares the same hairdresser with Stritch, tells the story of the still-working legend through interviews with Nathan Lane, Tina Fey and others.

What it's about: "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" is an intimate, entertaining and unflinching portrait of the Broadway legend on and off-stage as she approaches her 87th year.

About the filmmaker: This is my directorial debut, so take it easy on me. I've been producing documentaries exclusively for the past 7 years, including: "Billy the Kid," "The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)", "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," "Elevate," "Love Etc." and "Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction."



What else do you want audiences to know about your film? This film was the brain-child of my hairdresser, who is also Ms. Stritch's hairdresser.



What was your biggest challenge in developing this project? Elaine Stritch.

"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me."
Sundance Selects "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me."



What would you like Tribeca audiences to come away with after seeing your film? Elaine Stritch is a dynamic, complex and inspiring human being, no less diminished by age. The process of aging is universal and should be embraced and celebrated, as well as one's individuality.

Did any specific films inspire you? All great films are sources of inspiration. Most recently Haneke's "Amour", which I found to be so beautiful and honest. I love the documentary work of D.A. Pennebaker, the Maysles, and Nicolas Philibert.

What do you have in the works? I'm currently working on a documentary called "Pliè", which is told from perspective of handicapped girls who take dance classes, and also "Aretha Franklin's Amazing Grace", which is the documentary film of her best-selling album.

Indiewire invited Tribeca Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.



Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on April 17 for the latest profiles.

This article is related to: Tribeca Film Festival, Meet the 2013 Tribeca Filmmakers, Elaine Stritch, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Chiemi Karasawa, 30 Rock







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