On January 23, 2005, six firefighters became trapped in a tenement in the Bronx, and were forced to jump out of fourth-story windows falling 50 feet to the pavement. Curt Meyran, John Bellew, and Joe DiBernardo, died from their injuries; and another three — Gene Stolowski, Brendan Cawley, and Jeff Cool—barely survived. Firefighter Richard Sclafani died at an unrelated fire in Brooklyn that same afternoon, making that day the first since 1918 that men had died in two separate incidents in the city. The dual tragedies have come to be known as Black Sunday.
WHERE THERE’S SMOKE explores a fictional firefighter’s trauma as a result of surviving a Black Sunday inspired accident. The film aims to bring awareness to the men and woman serving in fire departments who are prepared to make incredible sacrifices in order to save others’ lives. At the same time, the film is able to raise questions about the nature of “invisible” disorders including PTSD, which an estimated 5.2 million Americans will suffer from during the course of a year. The film ruminates on the question of how to move forward after a personal trauma. Does acting ‘okay’ make one ‘okay’, or does that only exacerbate the problem?
DIRECTOR / CO-WRITER
Evan Ari Kelman is a New York City filmmaker with a passion fo creating emotionally powerful experiences for audiences. His NYU thesis film, BANDITO, held its World Premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in 2015 and was awarded the NYU Wasserman Award for Best Directing from NYU. He returned to Tribeca in 2016 with ONE GOOD PITCH, which he co-wrote and produced with director Parker Hill. In the summer of 2016, their company Lioneyes Pictures was named an Artist of Choice by the Kevin Spacey Foundation and awarded a production grant. His first feature film script, WITH THESE EYES, recently won a 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Writing Award. WHERE THERE’S SMOKE marks Kelman’s third consecutive year at Tribeca as a writer/producer and second year as a director.
Commercially, Kelman has concepted and directed content for a multitude of brands including Foot Locker, Converse, Uber, Chevrolet, Gillette, and Coppertone. His award winning commercial, “The Push” for Foot Locker, marked his national television debut as a director in 2015.
Parker Hill is a NYC based writer/director who has a proclivity for wordplay. She graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a focus on directing and producing. Her thesis film, ONE GOOD PITCH, had its world premiere at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Parker co-wrote the short films BANDITO (Tribeca 2015) and WHERE THERE’S SMOKE (Tribeca 2017).
Currently, she is finishing HOMING IN, a short film supported by the Kevin Spacey Foundation. When she’s not making films, Parker is an analogue photographer whose work has been featured in several online magazines including Last Daze, Lekkerzine, and Satellite Journal.
Directed by: Evan Ari Kelman
Written by: Evan Ari Kelman & Parker HIll
Produced by: Lizzie Shapiro, Robert Cervini, Terrance McFadden Jr.
Executive Produced by: Rose Ganguzza, Parker Hill, House Studios
Editor: Henry Hayes
Principal Cast: Tom Lipinski, Robert John Burke, Robert Prescott, Robert Cervini
Supporting Cast: Terrance McFadden Jr., Gregory Cohan, Edward Heegan, Michael Basile, Steve Cavanaugh, Kevin Ralston, Joe Ryan, Colin Murray, Sawandi Wilson