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by Indiewire
April 25, 2013 10:16 AM
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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 minds.

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 for. 

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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  • elaine satin | April 30, 2013 8:10 PMReply

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

  • Hank Hartman | April 29, 2013 9:32 PMReply

    Very impressive

  • Ellen Feig | April 29, 2013 5:03 PMReply

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

  • Laurie Lieberman | April 29, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    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.