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Left on Purpose
Directed by
Justin Schein
Co-Director: David Mehlman

USA / 2015 / 85

World Premiere

Screening Times and Venues:

Q&A Attendees
*subject to change:
Justin Schein, David Mehlman, Eden Wurmfeld
LIMITED TICKETS are available at UPSTATE FILMS in RHINEBECK for the Rhinebeck screening.

When director Justin Schein set out to film the life story of Mayer Vishner, an aging hippy and former political activist living alone in NYC in a tiny, overly crowded apartment, it is unlikely he anticipated the turn the story would take. Loneliness is one of the hardest maladies to live with, and Mayer, after years of coping with solitude, and six months into filming, announces that his last political act will be the taking of his own life. An ethical struggle ensues as the filmmaker can't help but put himself inside the story, trying to help his subject create a different ending. As Schein's own young child becomes a part of the film in a tender moment that restores hope that Vishner's life can be preserved, the viewer is inadvertently pulled into the unfolding tragic drama in a rare and deeply affective experience of self-questioning. Left on Purpose is a cinematic journey that poses ethical questions not easily answered, yet oh so important to be asked. --Svetlana Krotek

Justin Schein has been shooting and directing character-driven, social issue documentaries for more than 20 years. As a cinematographer he has shot on over 60 films internationally for broadcasters including The BBC, The Discovery Channel and PBS. His film No Impact Man premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and has screened throughout the world. Justin received his master's degree in Documentary Film and Video Production from Stanford University and went on to found Shadowbox Films with fellow graduate David Mehlman in 1998.

David Mehlman was supervising editor of the 2007 Oscar-winning short subject documentary, Freeheld, that also won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance. He edited and sound designed the 2005 Academy Award-winning animated short documentary, The Moon and the Sun. Recent film and television credits include Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (Oscar and Emmy nominee), Iconoclasts, My So-Called Enemy, IFC Media Project, Small Town Security, Chuck Jones: Memories of Childhood; and MTV True Life: I'm a Gun Owner and I'm a College Baller, which he directed, produced and edited. David received a master's degree in Documentary Film and Video Production from Stanford University. He founded Shadowbox Films with Justin Schein in 1998.

Cast/Featuring: Michael Ventura, Paul Krassner, Mayer Vishner
Executive Producer(s): Doug Liman
Producer(s): Eden Wurmfeld, Yael Bridge (Co-Producer)
Director(s): Justin Schein
Co-Director: David Mehlman
Cinematographer(s): Justin Schein
Editor(s): David Mehlman
Composer(s)/Music: David Mansfield
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The Woodstock Film Festival is a not-for-profit, 501c3 organization with a mission to present an annual program and year-round schedule of film, music, and art-related activities that promote artists, culture, inspired learning, and diversity. The Hudson Valley Film Commission promotes sustainable economic development by attracting and supporting film, video and media production.
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