Featured Profile

Francine Rzeznik
Filmmaker, Documentary Producer

Francine Rzeznik earned her Master of Fine Arts degree and graduated with distinction
from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. She is an award-winning filmmaker who has written, directed and produced a wide variety
of projects including social commentary documentaries, reality television series, and feature films. Her current project is Marriage Makes a Word of Difference, produced by the Love Makes a Family Foundation.

Fran’s awards include 3 Cable Ace Awards for original programming, 2 National Emmy Awards from NBC Sports for her post-production work on NFL Live and the’92 Barcelona Olympics and 2 Los Angeles Local Emmy Award nominations for producing and directing of original programming.

Fran co-produced and co-directed One Nation Under God, the feature length documentary that challenges the reparative therapy movement and its claims that homosexuality is a curable disease. One Nation Under God made its North American debut on the prestigious PBS series Point of View in 1994. One Nation screened in Europe and Africa via French television satellite outlet Planete and in Australia on SBSTV. One Nation screened at numerous international film festivals including Berlin, Montreal, Chicago, Frameline San Francisco, and OutFest LA where it has won numerous awards. It is currently distributed by First Run Features. Since its release over a decade ago, One Nation Under God remains timely and continues to debunk the damaging and false premise that homosexuality is “curable.”

Fran’s original programming, created as producer, writer and director for LA Channel 35, earned her 3 Cable Ace Awards, two as writer/director for programming about “at risk” youth struggling to avoid the South Central Los Angeles gang culture. The other for her work as a producer on LA Fire, local news show. Fran also produced for the PBS/ITVS series HIV, Positive: Life With AIDS. Fran’s segment Viviana follows an HIV+ 19-year-old Latina mother and her HIV+ infant daughter as they struggle to negotiate their challenging lives.

Fran’s latest project, Marriage Makes a Word of Difference, portrays the personal struggles and political challenges of Connecticut’s same-sex couples and their families who are fighting for the freedom and civil right to marry. Marriage Makes a Word of Difference won second place as audience favorite in the 2008 Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

In addition to her social justice documentary work, Fran has written, produced and directed for a wide variety of reality television projects. Her credits include directing, field producing and writing pilots and series for outlets such as MTV, Turner Broadcasting, The Discovery Channel, TLC and HGTV.

On top of her documentary work, Fran wrote and directed Equinox Knocks, a quirky screwball gender-switch feature comedy in which the lead character, a small-town Texas girl named Allie, makes a wish to become a boy and her wish comes true, leading to disastrous and hilarious consequences. Equinox is currently distributed by Vanguard Cinema.

Fran also worked as an assistant video editor at NBC Network in New York. She worked regularly for Saturday Night Live, NBA Showtime, NFL Live and Network Advertising and Promotion.

Finally, Fran also shares her love and knowledge of film with others as an educator. In Los Angeles, she worked as a teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where she developed and taught a film curriculum to students at an urban middle school. Fran, herself an inner city kid from the Bronx, particularly enjoys helping immigrant and African American students find their filmic voice to tell their unique stories. In the summer of 2007, Fran worked with The Color of Words in conjunction with Empower New Haven, teaching digital story telling to urban high school students. She will also be teaching documentary filmmaking at Wesleyan University’s Green Street Art Center in Middletown during the Spring and Summer of 2008 and at Quinnipiac University in the Fall and Spring of 2008 and 2009.

 


Programs:
Recent Contributions by Francine Rzeznik