Saturday, February 28th
US NAVAL HERITAGE CENTER
$12 IN ADVANCE HERE OR AT THE DOOR
Gasper & Son
Directed by Hannah Jayanti, Jen G. Pywell and Miguel A. Rodriguez
World Premiere/ Post-screening Q&A with Director
Gasper & Son is a short documentary about the dying art of neon sign making told by father Gasper and his son Robbie, who is carrying on the craft against the backdrop of a well loved but often unforgiving NYC. Decade after decade, through thick and thin, this business has become their life’s work because they’ve put so much of themselves into it. With only a handful of neon sign makers left in the US, Robbie’s kind is rare, but his struggle as a small business owner in an increasingly difficult economy is not. What he carries on is more than a skilled craft, it’s an important family tradition.
Instead of enrolling in college courses, Robbie goes into his father’s neon sign shop called Aristic Neon in Queens, seeking apprenticeship. Without question his father says, “Son, let’s go into the fires.” After a tough 5 year apprenticeship and now over 25 years of experience, Robbie reflects on what neon is today, after it’s “hey day” when he began work in the 70s.
Running a small business in NYC is tough as it is, but burning fingers while bending glass is the least of Robbie’s worries as he tries to navigate a city engulfed in mass produced and cheaper lighting technologies that threaten his livelihood, the craft of neon sign making and the light it sheds on NYC.
Screens with the accompanying Feature:
CANADA / 2013 / 77mins
Directed by Julie Perron
East Coast Premiere / Post-screening Q&A with Director
A portrait of artist and seed grower Patrice Fortier who dedicates his passion and expertise to preserving plant diversity.