Final Cut: Filmmakers Showcase

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The new NET documentary “Final Cut: Filmmakers Showcase” presents locally crafted short films and explores a revitalized Omaha theater.

Program Premiere: Monday, May 6 at 8pm (CT) on NET

Local, independent filmmakers are creating art for the big screen at Omaha’s new Dundee Peggy Payne Theater, named after the mother of Academy Award-winning director Alexander Payne. It’s the second venue for Film Streams, an Omaha nonprofit promoting film as an art form.

The Dundee Theater opened in Omaha in 1925 during the silent movie era and later served as a venue for popular Hollywood fare, including its historic 118-week run of “The Sound of Music” in the mid-1960s. It’s the city’s longest surviving single screen neighborhood cinema.

Film Streams is engaging new audiences with local filmmaking in the restored theater – curating a competitive local showcase to find the best independent films produced in the Nebraska/Iowa region, and bring attention to them.

“Final Cut: Filmmakers Showcase” tells the story of the contest, blending five short films, dramatic clips and filmmaker interviews with a private look at the renovation process that turned a shuttered building into a high-tech urban community theater.

“Omaha World Herald” visual journalist Brendan Sullivan had two films in the contest. Both appear in the NET documentary.

The first, “Seeing with Sound,” profiles 13-year-old Russian immigrant Dmitri “Dima” Shaposhnikov, who is thriving in Omaha and excels at the piano despite being completely blind. Sullivan’s second film, “Secret Ingredient: A Pinch of Love,” is about the closing of a restaurant and gallery after owner Rob Gilmer lost his husband René Orduña to cancer.

Seeing with Sound: Dmitri Shaposhnikov

Secret Ingredient: A Pinch of Love

Holdrege, Neb., talent Darcy Lueking Bahensky’s film “Now or Forever” tells the story of a young, expectant bride who wrestles with her own expectations on the day of her wedding.
 

Now or Forever

To Kill a Stoat

Hannah Stephens of Bennington, Neb., is director/visual artist for the film “To Kill a Stoat,” an animated feature about dark Irish folklore. Stephens explained the film was a way to exercise her skills as an animator and share her family’s culture.
 

The fifth film in “Final Cut: Filmmakers Showcase” is “Kap,” written, directed and produced by David Weiss of Omaha. The film offers a child’s perspective on modern day slavery in Haiti. “I want to raise awareness and compel others to help these children, who have so few advocates,” said Weiss.
 

Kap