Wave Contributors Take Top Prizes At Film Festival
It is not often that The Wave or those who write for the paper reach into the heartland of America.
Recently, however, two of the men who contribute to this newspaper each week won first prizes for their short films at the “Script to Screen Bare Bones Film Festival” in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Robert Sarnoff, a local artist who draws The Wave’s editorial cartoon each week won the top prize in the Docudrama category for his 20-minute film, “No Rooms Lobby,” which was filmed at Baxter’s Hotel on Beach 116 Street.
Robert Snyder, the newspaper’s film critic, who writes “MovieScope” each week, worked alongside his brother, Philip, to win prizes for two of their short movies.
“Paperman,” won the top prize in the Short Film Under Ten Minutes category while “The Tell-Tale Cell-A Rehearsal,” won the award for Best Experimental Film.
Sarnoff’s award-winning film focuses on residents at a Single Room Occupancy Hotel such as the Baxter Hotel. It follows a man named Charlie (Baxter) riding his bike to a variety of small-time jobs, where he’s looked down upon, browbeaten, disparaged, lied to and underpaid.
“The people in the hotel are not actually homeless, but there are various degrees of homelessness,” Sarnoff says. “They’re paying $130 a week to live there and many of them are on Social Security, disability, whatever. But I also know that many of them work.”
Snyder’s films are generally about darker topics.
“Paperman,” which runs seven minutes, is a dark comedy based on Snyder’s work as a reporter for a Long Island weekly newspaper. The other film that won a prize, “The Tell-Tale Cell-A Rehearsal,” is based on a short story that Snyder wrote as an updated version of the Edgar Allen Poe Classic, “The Tell-Tale Heart,”
Both Snyder and his brother have been making movies since their early teens and are winners of many awards at local film festivals.
Sarnoff recently had one of his paintings, “Rockaway Jetty,” accepted as a cachet by the USPS.
He regularly exhibits with the Rockaway Artists Alliance and other arts organizations in the area.