July 21, 1994

Yvonne Leblanc

Westmount filmmaker Ezra Soiferman has co-written, co-produced and co-directed a short film entitled PRESSURE DROP, which will be shown at Concordia University's Too Funny For Words Festival next Thursday night.

PRESSURE DROP was awarded a grant to aid in its post-production by Warner Bros. Pictures in association with the Dean of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in the spring of 1994.

The film is the story of Morris Potashner, the 75-year-old Jewish grandpa with severe glaucoma-induced eye pressure who refuses an operation and opts for a rather lesser known treatment: marijuana. Morris attends an established New York City "outpatient clinic," which turns out to be a multicultural senior-citizens' pot den.

In addition to creating the script for the feature-length version of PRESSURE DROP, the 22-year-old Soiferman will be teaching a filmmaking workshop to summer campers.

He is co-founder of a production company called Mensch Films and he says he will be going back to New York because the film industry there is booming and not as much is happening here.

But Soiferman says he is a Westmounter at heart and hopes to work here some day.

"Instead of pulling out, we should be pitching in. There is no reason why we can't make a film right here in Westmount."

The Filmmaking Students Association & Department of Cinema will host the one-night screening of approximately 20 to 30 short comedy films in conjunction with the Just For Laughs Festival.

"We were too late to be an official participant in this year's festival, but we have registered already for next year," event co ordinator Jerry Jacobs says.

These are all films that have comedy in them one way or another. There are two types of films that will be shown: animation and live action.

"The work is getting really good because the technology has improved so much and they can do more technically. Also, young people have originality and a fresh viewpoint," says Jacobs.

The cinema department of Concordia makes close to 200 films a year. Jacobs says that all are shorts films because of the cost involved. Animated films are the shortest because of the length of time it takes to make each one.

Soiferman studied filmmaking at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Hambone, a musical documentary he made, won Best Music Video at the 1994 NYU Video Festival. He was also presented with a University Honors Scholar Medal upon graduating

Soiferman took internships through NYU at Limelight Films, Jim Henson Productions, The Entertainment Group and DMB&B Advertising. He worked on the set of Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and on several HBO television specials. He also directed and hosted a video commissioned by Reebok that deals with inner-city kids and their attitudes towards the sneaker industry.