On Sunday, May 20, the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival in co-production with The Firehouse Center for the Arts will present the documentary film BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY. The film profiles the glamour icon whose ravishing visage was the inspiration for Snow White and Cat Woman who was also a technological trailblazer who perfected a secure radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes during WWII. Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.
The evening will start at 6:00pm with a free wine, beer and cheese reception. The film screens at 7:00pm with the director of the film, Alexandra Dean, an Emmy award-winning documentary and news producer, participating in a panel discussion via Skype afterward. Alexandra has spent five years producing for the investigative news-magazine show “NOW on PBS,” where she covered the housing crisis, the student loan crisis, human rights abuses and environmental issues. Following PBS she became a series and documentary producer at Bloomberg television. She co-created the long running Bloomberg series Innovators. Her Bloomberg documentary, THE PLAYER, an investigation of the gambling industry, received a New York Press Club Award and was described as a “breakout” by the channel and received 4 times Bloomberg’s usual viewership.
Panelists in person will be the husband and wife team Gerald Peary and Amy Geller. Gerald is the director-writer of two acclaimed feature documentaries, FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM (2009) and ARCHIE’S BETTY (2015), He was a film studies professor at Suffolk University, a long-time film critic for THE BOSTON PHOENIX. Currently, he writes reviews for the website, THE ARTS FUSE and is the programmer of the Boston University Cinematheque. He is the author of eight books on cinema, including co-editing the pioneering “Women in Cinema: A Critical Anthology.”
Amy Geller is a long-time producer whose credits include: PBS/BBC broadcast docudrama MURDER AT HARVARD (2003), the Sundance Institute-supported narrative STAY UNTIL TOMORROW (2005), THE WAR THAT MADE AMERICA (2006), a four-hour PBS mini-series, and FOR THE LOVE OF MOVIES: THE STORY OF AMERICAN FILM CRITICISM (2009), which was broadcast in the US and abroad. Geller served as the president of Women in Film & Video New England and the Artistic Director of the Boston Jewish Film Festival, where she received a young Jewish leadership award. Her feature-length directorial debut THE GUYS NEXT DOOR, co-directed by Allie Humenuk, was released in 2016 and has been winning jury prizes and audience awards at film festivals across the country.
Tickets for the event are $20 and can be purchased at the Firehouse (978-462.7336) during their box office hours as well as on-line at http://www.firehouse.org/see-a-show/269-bombshell