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    In A Dream World Wide

    March 24th, 2009
    Isaiah and Julia Zagar from the film "In A Dream"

    Julia and Isaiah Zagar from In A Dream

    In A Dream has a big week ahead at international film festivals. It screens today and tomorrow in Cyprus, Sunday in Ireland & Monday in Serbia.

    From the Belfast Film Festival program:

    Who would have thought a film about the break-up of a 43-year marriage could prove so enthralling, creative and inspirational?

    The filmmaker follows his father, a colourful mosaic artist in Philadelphia who covers buildings with symbolic visions of his life story, and his mother, who has supported him through many years of creative adventure and occasional episodes of mental imbalance.

    In a Dream is sometimes deeply personal, yet shockingly universal and ends with an amazing sense of possibility. One of the most visually seductive films around this year, In a Dream is backed up by a viscerally emotive musical score by The Books.

    Nicosia Int’l Documentary Festival
    Tuesday, 3/24 @ 5:00pm in the Pallas Cinematheatre
    Wednesday, 3/25 @ 10:00pm in the Pallas Cinematheatre

    Belfast Film Festival (sponsored by Jameson!)
    Sunday, 3/29 @ 5:00pm in the Queens Film Theatre

    Belgrade Documentary & Short Film Festival
    Monday, 3/30 @ 8:00pm

    Bradford Int’l Film Festival

    March 19th, 2009


    In A Dream screens tonight at the Bradford International Film Festival in West Yorkshire, UK. From the program:

    We are proud to showcase a duo of “personal” documentaries from the USA at this year’s BIFF – see also Kurt Kuenne’s Dear Zachary – both of which have achieved enormous critical and audience acclaim on the global film festival circuit in recent months.

    Of the two, however, only one made it onto the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s 15-strong shortlist for the Best Documentary Oscar – alongside heavy hitters such as Werner Herzog (BIFF 2009 selection Encounters at the End of the World), Errol Morris (Standard Operating Procedure) and James Marsh (Man On Wire) – namely Jeremiah Zagar’s delicately beautiful family chronicle In a Dream.

    On one level, the film, which has picked up awards and honours at half a dozen American festivals so far, is a loving tribute to the director’s father Isaiah, the eccentric artist responsible for the ubiquitous, ethereal, outsize mosaic/murals (“crazy-quilt images of people, often the artist himself, shards of shattered mirror, cracked crockery, bottles, bicycles”) which adorn walls in certain downtown corners of his native Philadelphia.

    But there’s much more going on here than merely a series of beautiful images capturing Zagar Sr’s hypnotic, alluring artworks – though the film’s visuals are astonishing in their limpid clarity. What emerges is a startling and turbulent family chronicle involving both of the director’s parents, plus his elder brother Zeke. It’s a work of remarkable intelligence, tact and grace – especially considering that this is Zagar Jr’s very first feature-length work.

    In the words of Philadelphia Inquirer critic Steven Rea, the film “captures a family imploding. Their lives are laid bare, in broken bits, like the ceramic that Isaiah uses for his art, and they come together in In a Dream with sadness and beauty, rage and insight.”

    Date & Time:
    Thursday, March 19th @ 4:30pm in the Cubby Broccoli Cinema

    Jury Award for Best Documentary

    March 5th, 2009

    Salem Best of Fest

    In A Dream was awarded the jury prize last night for Best Documentary at the Salem Film Festival. From the press release:

    Zagar, who attended Emerson College, began shooting the film when he was 19 years old. Seven years later, it is a hauntingly beautiful glimpse at artistic genius and the toll it can take on the loved ones living within the art, as the family home is literally covered by azure blue tiles and mosaics.

    “The film offers viewers the rare opportunity to observe what makes a talented artist tick,” says Juror Jennifer Evans, Manager of Adult Public Programs at Peabody Essex Museum, “and to see what it means to live with someone so focused on his art. I found it inspiring and very well made. It probes into the essence of art, of madness, of family, sexuality and sexual abuse. The information isn’t forced on the viewer or manipulated for effect — it is just there. The film is honest, sometimes painfully so, and never tries to cover the most difficult truths.”

    “It is one of the best films about an artist that I have ever seen,” says Juror Kereth Cowe-Spigai, manager and film programmer at CinemaSalem. “It was beautifully shot and the editing was superb. If anything, the technical aspects put it over the top, as all our finalists were compelling stories.”

    The film is touring the festival circuit and dates are set for a theatrical release in the spring. For more information, visit http://www.inadreammovie.com

    A best of fest screening has been scheduled for this evening at 5:30pm.

    Salem, MA & Toronto

    February 24th, 2009

    Salem Film Festival

    In A Dream screens this Friday as part of the Mixed Greens year-round series, an off-shoot of the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival.

    It will be showing at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto.

    Mixed Greens Dates & Times:
    Friday, February 27th @ 6:45pm

    The film will also be screening this week and next at the Salem Film Festival in Salem, MA. Kristin D’Agostino from the Salem Gazette wrote about the film:
    When he first began shooting, Jeremiah Zagar, 27, intended to use his film camera as a means of getting to know his father Isaiah, famous in Philadelphia for creating breathtakingly unique mosaics on many of the city’s buildings.
    In the seven years it took to film “In a Dream,” Zagar got much more than he bargained for. The documentary, playing next week at the second annual Salem Film Fest, gives viewers an inside glimpse of Isaiah Zagar’s tortured mind, as his son uncovers secrets never before revealed to his family.

    Read the whole article.

    Salem Film Festival Dates & Times:
    Saturday, February 28th @ 9:30pm
    Wednesday, March 4th @ 7:45pm

    Buy Tickets!

    Artistic Vision

    February 20th, 2009

    In A Dream won the Artistic Vision award last night at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Montana. The jury’s statement:

    We chose to award this film the Artistic Vision Award because of its seamless integration of style and content. Director Jeremiah Zagar’s cinematic artistry equals the stunning artwork created by his father, the primary subject of In A Dream.”

    An encore screening of the film has been added tonight at 7pm.

    Lives on Film

    February 13th, 2009

    In A Dream screens tonight and tomorrow afternoon at the Portland Int’l Film Festival. Emily Harris & David Miller of Oregon Public Radio spoke to Jeremiah Zagar about the film as well as to Agnes Varda, whose The Beaches of Agnes is also screening at the festival.

    The interviews are great and fortunately you can hear the whole show online. Give it a listen.

    Portland Int’l Film Festival Dates & Times:
    Friday, February 13th @ 6:15pm
    Saturday, February 14th @ 1:30pm

    Buy tickets.

    Maine, Oregon, Montana & Calgary

    February 7th, 2009

    Come see IN A DREAM

    First up is a screening in Portland, Maine at Space, an alternative arts venue known for presenting contemporary, emerging and unconventional arts, artists, and ideas.

    Date & Time:
    Thursday, February 12th @ 7:00pm

    Buy tickets.


    Next is another engagement in Portland, this time in Oregon. The film will be screening at the Portland Int’l Film Festival.

    Dates & Times:
    Friday, February 13th @ 6:15pm
    Saturday, February 14th @ 1:30pm

    Buy tickets.


    Then it’s playing at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana.

    Date & Time:
    Saturday, February 14th @ 6:30pm


    And then in Calgary as part of the Movies That Matter series which “strives to program the most recent and award-winning documentaries that are currently on the film festival circuit or in theatrical release.”

    Date & Time:
    Monday, February 16th @ 7:00pm

    German Dream

    January 4th, 2009
    In A Dream in BERLIN

    IN A DREAM in Berlin

    2009. It’s a brand new year and on January 1st a new festival launched in Berlin called Unknown Pleasures: American Independent Film Fest. In A Dream is among the 22 selections of the festival along with The Wrestler, Ballast, Medicine For Melancholy, Momma’s Man, & Nights & Weekends.

    In A Dream screens at the festival for the first time today and it will be shown twice more over the course of the month.

    Dates and times:
    Sunday, January 4th @ 6:00pm
    Monday, Janaury 12th @ 8:15pm
    Friday, January 23rd @ 6:00pm

    All screenings will be held at the Babylon Theater. We can’t be there, unfortunately, but would love to hear how it went. Let us know.

    UPDATE 1/7/09:

    From the English language ExBerliner: American Indies at Babylon

    It’s harder and harder to find American independent, arthouse, or experimental films in German cinemas. During the reign of the infamous W., it’s become unfashionable among the intellectual elite (to which devoted cineastes believe they belong) to like anything American. The cineplexes have been filled with every German film there is, despite the fact that much of this heavily subsidized cinema would be better off at a student festival. This American indie festival is proving to be a lone light in the darkness. Films like Ballast (by Lance Hammer) – repercussions of a suicide unfolding slowly, testing your patience, but sticking in your mind, love it or hate it – are the kind of stuff you can’t look up on the IMDb. More mainstream (and a discussion of what’s an independent film can take whole post-screening evenings) is Darren Aronofsky’s new film The Wrestler, not the masterwork many people make it out to be, but at least you’ll be able to see it here way before it’s general release in February. A must-see is In a Dream:  Jeremiah Zagar’s film about his artist parents is an intriguing, beautifully photographed documentary gem.

    Austin, Texas: Full Circle

    December 12th, 2008

    Austin Film Society Doc Tour

    Austin Film Society Doc Tour

    In A Dream will be screening next week at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown as part of the Austin Film Society Documentary Tour. It is a homecoming of sorts—the film premiered in March at the SXSW Film Festival. We will be at the screening for a Q&A.

    Date & Time:
    Wednesday, December 17th @ 7:00pm

    Buy Tickets!

    In the meantime, we thought we’d post up some reviews from our first go-around in Texas. Give ‘em a read through and then come see the film on Wednesday.

    Cinematical by Scott Weinberg

    As a story about art and artists, In a Dream is soft-spoken, well-paced, and smoothly engrossing. As a portrait of a sweet but slightly fractured man, it’s one of the most unexpectedly touching documentaries I’ve ever seen.

    Doc It Out by Agnes Varnum

    What follows for the Zagars is not only a testament to the power of but also a heart-wrenching tale about a in crisis. For my technically savvy readers, Jeremiah employed a variety of stocks, including 35mm, to create a complicated visual tapestry that matches the complicated artwork and emotions of the story.

    Arthouse Cowboy by Moises Chiullan

    Wondrously, Jeremiah has followed the majestic work of his father and broken these media into shards and chunks, carefully plastering them together in a provocative and fascinating mosaic of his father’s life.

    Austin Daze

    The beauty and brilliance of Isaiah’s mosaics is matched by the film’s vibrant color and brilliant editing and music. This film touched me on such a personal level, taking me on a journey into my own human condition while inspiring the creative within and leaving me with a renewed passion for life. The film has won in the Emerging Visions category at this year’s festival and is the best film I have seen.

    Hammer To Nail by Michael Ryan

    Because the family decided to cooperate, and fully open themselves up, we are treated to an amazingly intimate portrait of a unique family struggling to make sense of life’s cruel twists.

    Toronto / North Carolina

    November 12th, 2008


    Two more screenings are coming up this week for In A Dream. The first is tomorrow at the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival in Toronto. From their website:

    Rendezvous with Madness is an annual film festival that presents features and shorts touching upon the facts and mythology surrounding mental health and addiction.

    Each program focuses on a different theme. Post-screening panel discussions involve filmmakers, artists and people with professional and personal experience with mental illness and addiction.

    Date/Time & Venue:
    Thursday, November 13th @ 1:00pm – The Workman Theater

    Buy Tickets.



    Next is a showing at the Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina. It is a special honor since they were one of the few festivals to screen our first documentary, Delhi House, in 2003.

    The local ‘Alternative Weekly’ Encore Magazine chimes in with a review of the film.

    The footage began in 1999, originally intended to focus upon Isaiah’s art yet became more about his inspiration and his selfishness that threatened to diminish it.

    As the film begins, we see that Zagar’s inspiration comes from many places, but his wife has been his main muse since he can remember. Her face, body and name are etched into the walls of the city for all to see. This has been the way of his work for decades, but lately another woman has started to show up in his murals. Julia talks about how the family began to appear less and less in the work as Isaiah began focusing more on himself and becoming more isolated. “I just let it go,” she says, the insecurity thick in her voice.

    Read the rest of the review.

    Date/Time & Venue:
    Saturday, November 15th @ 1:00pm – The Lumina Theater

    Buy Tickets.