Jacob Burns Film Center Student's Film Accepted Into Major Festivals

Arts and Entertainment

May 4, 2013

From: Jacob Burns Film Center

Pleasantville NY -- Tamara Rabil’s first film, Unburden, has been accepted into five film festivals in the United States and has won two of them, the Gasparilla International Film Festival and the Lifetree Film Festival. Rabil, a co-writer and co-producer of the film, took 17 classes at the Media Arts Lab at the Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) in Pleasantville, where the idea for the film was developed. Unburden is a JBFC Spotlight Production.

“The numerous classes that I took at the Media Arts Lab helped me to find my voice to tell my story and bring my film to fruition. I was surrounded by intellectual, caring, and creative people with whom I learned the craft of filmmaking,” Rabil said.

Unburden tells the fictionalized version of the true story of an incident nine years ago when Tamara accidently dropped her six-month old daughter causing her to suffer a fractured skull. The incident changed her relationship with her husband as well as her confidence in her ability to be a good mother. The film interweaves the trauma and guilt of the incident along with the emotional fallout and reveals the power of forgiveness to heal the deepest wounds.

“It’s always been our goal at the Media Arts Lab to teach students the skills they need to tell their own story,” said Emily Keating, JBFC’s Director of Education Programs. “It is very rewarding to watch Tamara grow as a storyteller and filmmaker and to be a part of her first film project.”

Several faculty members from the Media Arts Lab became key members of the crew in the making of Unburden, including cinematographer Andrew L. Young who served as director of the film as well as director of photography. His wife Susan Todd, also a teacher at the Media Arts Lab, served as a producer along with Rabil, and Todd Sandler, a former JBFC staffer, was the editor. Unburden was co-written by Billy Shebar, who wrote the award-winning films Dark Matter and 50 Ways to Make a Better Memory. All editing was done at the Media Arts Lab.

Rabil not only originated the idea for the film and served as a co-writer and co-producer of the film, but also formed her own distribution company, Wild Angel Films. Rabil lives in Armonk with her husband, and three children.

Date and Time: Sunday, May 19 at 5:00 pm.

Location: Jacob Burns Film Center

Tickets are $9 (members), $14 (nonmembers) and all proceeds from the event will support the JBFC’s education and outreach programs.