Sandi DuBowski: Trembling Before G-d
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Sandi Simcha DuBowski (Director/Producer) is a filmmaker and writer based in New York. His current project, Trembling Before G-d is in theatrical release in the United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, UK, and Czech Republic (in the U.S. with New Yorker Films). Trembling Before G-d was launched at New York's Film Forum to incredible audience, critical, and box office response. It broke Film Forum's Opening Day box office records previously held by Paris Is Burning and is opening in over 80 U.S. cities. Trembling had a World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and has been the recipient of twelve awards including The Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the Berlin Film Festival, The Mayor's Prize for the Jewish Experience at the Jerusalem Film Festival, The GLAAD Media Award for Best Documentary, and The Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at OUTFEST Los Angeles. The film was nominated for the 2002 Independent Spirit Awards for the IFC/Directv Truer Than Fiction Award. The L.A. Weekly named it one of the 10 Best Films of 2001. It is being co-produced and broadcast by Keshet/Channel Two in Israel, the first co-production with U.S. producers and will be broadcast in Israel in Winter 2004. It is airing on BBC, HBO Latin America, The Sundance Channel, ARTE, Denmark's Channel 2, Australia's ABC, Netherlands’ NIK, and other TV stations worldwide in 2003-2004.
DuBowski is a recipient of the Rockefeller Foundation's Film/Video/Multimedia Fellowship. In addition, his work has received support from Skywalker Sound - a division of Lucas Digital, Ltd. as well as over twenty-five foundations including The Creative Capital Foundation, The Steven Spielberg Righteous Persons Foundation, The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Artslink, The Jerome Foundation, The Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, The H. van Ameringen Foundation, The Threshold Foundation, The Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund, The Mathilde & Arthur B. Krim Foundation, and The National Foundation for Jewish Culture's Fund for Jewish Documentary Filmmaking. Feature stories on the project have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Miami Herald, Filmmaker Magazine, The Jerusalem Post, The Village Voice, The Globe and Mail, CNN, and BBC News among other print and media outlets. The Trembling Before G-d DVD, which contains three hours of original films about the making of the movie and its life-changing movement around the world, was nominated for Best Documentary DVD of 2003 by the International Press Academy.
At the World Premiere of Trembling at the Sundance Film Festival, director DuBowski and Rabbi Steve Greenberg, the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi, hosted the first-ever Shabbat at Sundance and with partner Working Films, an unprecedented Mormon-Jewish gay dialogue. Since then, Rabbi Greenberg and DuBowski have traveled to sixty cities doing over 600 Q & A's, dialogues, events, discussions with organizations across faith, sexuality, age, racial, and Jewish denominational lines. Steven Spielberg's Righteous Persons Foundation awarded them seed funding to launch an Orthodox community education project in the U.S., Israel and the U.K. with the film (already fifteen Orthodox synagogues have invited the film to screen). DuBowski, Rabbi Greenberg and Working Films are inaugurating a tour in Fall 2003 of Christian theological seminaries in the American South. DuBowski was named along with Mel Brooks, Bob Dylan, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, as one of The Forward 50, fifty Jews who have been at the center of the year's events, demonstrating leadership, offering new ideas and representing a distinct Jewish presence in American life.
DuBowski is now the producer of a film called In the Name of Allah, about the complex intersection of Islam with homosexuality, currently being shot in US, UK, France, and Pakistan.
DuBowski signed with Keppler Associates, one of the country's largest agencies specializing in professional speaking engagements. He has been featured at Yale University, University of Chicago, MTV Networks' Diversity Series, Vassar College, University of Florida, Harvard University, The Schusterman Hillel International Leadership Assembly, University of Oregon, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wesleyan University, Bowdoin College, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, Unity and Diversity: The American Association of University Professors Conference on Academic Freedom at Religiously Affiliated Colleges and Universities, Princeton University, Arizona State, Swarthmore College, Rice University, Macalester College, Kenyon College, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Barnard College and The Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay and Transgender And Ally College Conference. He served on juries for The 10th Anniversary Hamptons Film Festival Documentary Jury, The National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the McKnight Filmmaking Fellowship, written for Filmmaker Magazine, The Independent, and International Documentary Magazine, and spoken on numerous panels at conferences and festivals - the Sundance Film Festival, International Documentary Association, The Hot Docs Film Festival, ShowBiz Expo, and Independent Feature Project.
DuBowski's award-winning short, Tomboychik, received the Golden Gate Award for Best Short Documentary at The San Francisco International Film Festival, was broadcast on WNET, and has screened at The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Rotterdam Film Festival, and The Jewish Museum's "Too Jewish?" show among other museums and festivals worldwide. It is distributed by Video Data Bank in Chicago (www.vdb.org) and is available on the Trembling Before G-d Deluxe 2-Disc DVD.
Previously, DuBowski worked for nearly three years as a Research Associate at Planned Parenthood Federation of America merging strategic analysis and video of the anti-abortion movement and the Christian right. One of the videos he produced, Missionaries Form Militias, which documented national anti-abortion leader Rev. Matt Trewhella calling for the formation of armed militias, was screened for Attorney General Janet Reno and top federal law enforcement officials after Paul Hill's murder of abortion provider Dr. Bayard Britton. The piece was excerpted on CBS News, reported on by The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and The Nation, and is being used by the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment to train human rights activists. The pieces were broadcast in "Hey There Good Neighbor," a five-part series curated by The Whitney Museum of American Art and The Getty Center for the History of Art and Humanities.
In 1992, DuBowski graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University. He received two Ford Program for Undergraduate Research grants for his work on homosexuality in Hollywood and independent film.