HomeCommunity NewsBrand Library & Art Center to Host Screening of Biopic

Brand Library & Art Center to Host Screening of Biopic

Renown choreographer Bella Lewitzky (above) will be the focus of Bridget Murnane’s film “BELLA.” – Photo courtesy The Lewitzky Dance Company Archive, USC

Described as “one of the greatest American dancers of our age,” Bella Lewitzky became a strong advocate for the arts and the development of Los Angeles as a global dance center.
She is the focus of the film “BELLA,” produced and directed by Bridget Murnane and will be screened at Brand Library & Art Center on Thursday, May 16, at 5:30 p.m. as part of the REEL ART Film Series.
“BELLA” chronicles the life, work, influences and impact of the California-based choreographer.
Lewitzky’s childhood was spent in San Bernardino, California. The desert landscape and surrounding mountains in this area becomes a metaphor for her physical and emotional development as an artist.
The wide-open spaces, textures, colors and sparse vistas mixed with a social consciousness instilled by her parents set the stage for her work and life.
Lewitzky was designated one of America’s irreplaceable dance treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition and also was awarded the National Medal of the Arts by former President Bill Clinton in 1996.
Murnane, who lives in Atwater Village, directed and produced the film and will be at the screening to share her filmmaking insights and answer questions.
Murnane has exhibited her work in theatrical, broadcast and cable platforms. She received a masters degree in dance and in television and film production from UCLA, and is also a former professor of television, film and media studies at California State University, Los Angeles.
Murnane produced the feature “Odile and Yvette at the Edge of the World,” premiering at the Edinburgh Film Festival and receiving theatrical distribution. She was awarded a Pew Fellowship and selected to be a Faculty Fellow by the Television Academy.
In 2019, Murnane received a grant from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to design and implement the course “Women Making Films” in collaboration with Canon Burbank. Her recent film, “BELLA,” received 17 awards, exhibited in more than 50 festivals, qualified for Oscar consideration in the Best Feature Documentary category, and broadcast on the World Channel and PBS SoCal.
Brand Associates, the event sponsor, is a nonprofit organization raising funds to sponsor free cultural programs at the Brand Library & Art Center, including dance, music, film and the Works on Paper National Art Exhibition. The organization was formed in 1969.
The REEL ART Film Series offers select documentary film screenings that focus on the arts, artists and their lives. The series was launched in 2012.
Brand Library & Art Center is located at 1601 W. Mountain St. Free parking is available adjacent to the library in Brand Park. Admission to event is free and open to the public. For more details, call (818) 548-2051.

First published in the May 11 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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