The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, August 25, 2016


Feature length documentary about a tobacco heiress and free-spirited artist to open in New York and Los Angeles
Altina Schinasi, (1907 – 1999), was a paradox.
NEW YORK, NY.- Victoria Sanders Film Partners LLC in conjunction with Eight Twelve Productions announced the theatrical release of Altina, the award-winning feature length documentary about a tobacco heiress and free-spirited artist who defied convention her entire life, both personally and professionally. The film, directed by Peter Sanders (The Disappeared), will open on Friday, September 12 at the IFC Center in New York and on Friday, September 19 at the Laemmle Music Hall Theater in Los Angeles. The film won the Best Film and Best Director Award at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival.

Altina Schinasi, (1907 – 1999), was a paradox. Simultaneously seductive and reserved, her sheltered upbringing was in sharp contrast to the bold sexuality of her artwork, and she created a fashion sensation in the 1930s with her design for Harlequin eyeglasses. Altina is an affecting, provocative, and richly informative documentary about an American trendsetter–a woman before her time.

Free of academic constraints and confident in her keen intellect, she crafted fragments of her life into sculptures that defined her surreal and original world. Her whimsical art was also anchored in social issues: her film on George Grosz took on the Holocaust, earning her an Oscar nomination and winning her the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. She befriended Martin Luther King Jr. and supported his struggle. And during the Red Scare, she did not hesitate to hide John Berry–who was blacklisted for having directed a documentary on the Hollywood Ten–in her Beverly Hills home. As a sculptor, her most original creations were called “chairacters.” Exuding Altina’s unencumbered feminist sexuality, these large, almost life-size chairs and benches depicted lovers in passionate embrace or turning away from each other to express the absence of love.

First Run Features Presents a Victoria Sanders Film Partners Production with Eight Twelve Productions, LLC. A film by Peter Sanders; Music by David Robbins; Edited by Clark Harris; Executive Producer Diane Dickensheid; Produced by Victoria Sanders and Peter Sanders. Directed by Peter Sanders.






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