On November 13th, Lisa Cohen, A87, won the Boston Jewish Film Festival’s Short Film Competition for her informative, poignant, and downright fun “B-Boy,” a documentary about a break dancing adolescent from Connecticut. Cohen, who studied Fine Arts at Tufts and currently resides in Seattle, was reconnecting with old friends at a Tufts reunion when she gained the inspiration to undertake “B-Boy,” an ambitious project that has kept her researching, filming, and editing for four years. “B-Boy” tells the story of Eli, a teen from the suburbs who furiously prepares for his bar mitzvah – and consequently experiences the anxieties of reaching Jewish adulthood – while also pursuing his passion for artistic expression on the side, dazzling his friends and family on the dance floor.
The film has received wide acclaim throughout the US: it received the Audience Choice Award at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and was also an official selection at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. Cohen plans to continue showing the film this winter, with upcoming screenings at The Jewish Museum in New York, as well as at several venues on the West Coast. She is thrilled about the film’s success, and excited about the film’s groundbreaking subject matter.
In a director’s statement, Cohen explained: “What I found, after four trips to the East Coast to shoot interviews, the bar mitzvah and two breakdancing battles, was that Eli was able to cross boundaries and bring seemingly disparate worlds together with a grace and maturity that was far beyond his years.”
Check out the trailer for “B-Boy” here: