WXXI AM News

the little theatre

The One Take Film Festival is coming back for its third year. This hour, we get a preview of the line-up and discuss two of the documentaries highlighted in the festival.

"Midnight Traveler" follows an Afghan family as they flee their country after the Taliban puts a bounty on the head of the family, film director Hassan Fazili. We talk about their journey, the dangers faced by refugees, and the process used to make the film.

We also discuss "Jawline," a documentary that follows a teenager in Tennessee who hopes social media will help him find a better life outside of his hometown. It's a look at the impact social media can have on users and content creators.

Our guests:

A film called "The Limits of My World" tells the story of a nonverbal young man with autism as he transitions from high school to adulthood. It will be screened at The Little Theatre on Monday, November 12. 

We talk about the challenges young adults like him face, and how parents, caregivers, and community members can help ease that transition. Our panel includes experts and parents who share their personal experiences. Our guests:

  • Sarah Milko, executive director of AutismUp, and parent of a teenager with autism
  • Dr. Stephen Sulkes, M.D., professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Melissa Parrish, Golisano Autism Center Family Navigator at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester, and parent of a teenager with autism
  • Heather Cassano, director of “The Limits of My World”

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk

The Little's Theater 1 set to reopen this week

Oct 20, 2018
Scott Pukos / WXXI News

The Little Theatre's main Theater 1 will soon be showing movies again, as phase one of its renovation project wraps up.

The theater expects to be showing movies there in the next week.

Chris Brandt is the project architect with Bero Architecture.

"Everything inside the auditorium itself, floor to ceiling ... no surface was untouched. All finishes have been replaced; all the seating has been replaced."

He says these renovations are a generational investment.

Scott Pukos / WXXI

Actor Robert Forster, a Rochester native who has been in dozens of films and TV shows, was in town over the weekend.

He hosted a private showing for family and friends at The Little Theatre of his new film, called  What They Had,  which is about a family dealing with Alzheimer’s disease. Its cast also includes Hilary Swank, Blythe Danner, and Michael Shannon.

WXXI’s Randy Gorbman caught up with Forster after the screening of the film on Saturday. The Rochester screening was the first time Forster had seen the film, which has previously been shown at the Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.


Tianna Manon/WXXI News

The Little Theatre in downtown Rochester kicked off a major fundraising campaign Thursday evening. The goal for the six-month long “Little Big Picture Campaign” is one million dollars to match the money given to the venue this year from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council.

Scott Pukos / WXXI

An East Avenue landmark will soon have a new look.

The marquee at the Little Theatre is being replaced for the first time in about 85 years. The new marquee is being installed Wednesday and a lighting party is scheduled for this coming Monday evening.

Theatre spokesman Scott Pukos won't divulge exactly what the debut message will be when the lights go on for the first time.                       

We preview the documentary, Real Boy. It's the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a trans teenager undergoing a gender transition. While navigating the transition and a strained relationship with his family, Wallace connects with trans folk singer Joe Stevens, who takes Wallace under his wing. Wallace and Stevens are in Rochester for the film's screening at The Little Theatre and a musical performance at Geva Theatre Center, but first, they're our guests on Connections. In studio:

The One Take Film Festival is coming to The Little Theatre. It's a celebration of documentary films, education, art, music, food, and empowerment.

We talk to filmmakers about their work, and learn about the origins of this festival. Our guests:

  • Linda Moroney, director and programmer for the One Take Film Festival, and producer of The Last Dalai Lama?
  • Bri Merkel, special events manager for The Little Theatre
  • Jennifer Brea, director and subject of Unrest

Why are politicians so self-destructive? That's what you might find yourself wondering after you head to The Little to watch Weiner, which some critics have called the best political documentary ever made. It's hard to watch at times; the former Congressman takes his own career apart, while nearly destroying his family.

We talk to the filmmakers, as well as a panel that will discuss why the pursuit of power is so corrosive. Our guests:

  • Dr. Kathleen Donovan, assistant professor in the Political Science Department, Legal Studies Program, and Statistics Program at St. John Fisher College
  • Joe Rittler, former chief of staff for the Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature
  • Dr. Hinda Mandell, assistant professor in the School of Communications at RIT

Rochester native Robert Forster joins us to talk about his new film, The American Side, a mystery/thriller/noir about a conspiracy involving scientist Nikola Tesla. The film will be screened as part of a special event at The Little Theatre on Thursday.

The American Side kicks off our discussion of summer films, from movies for film lovers, to popcorn flicks and more. Our guests:

Pages