When Naomi Kutin, a nine-year-old modern Orthodox Jewish girl living in New Jersey, sets a powerlifting world record, “Supergirl” is born. The forthcoming documentary SUPERGIRL follows Naomi’s coming of age journey into her early teens, as she fights to hold on to her title. Along with the universal struggles of adolescence, Naomi is faced with strict religious obligations, cyberbullying, and serious health issues that jeopardize her ability to continue powerlifting.
Can she still be “Supergirl” if she can no longer break world records? Ultimately, as she grows up, she must learn to accept herself and discover that her true strength is not in her muscles but in her heart.
At a time when the women’s empowerment movement is in full force, it is especially crucial to see strong female characters who do not conform to gender stereotypes in film. Naomi is a great example of a young woman who is not afraid to put herself out there, break boundaries and pursue her goals.
While Naomi’s circumstances are unique, her story speaks to many and will hopefully be a source of inspiration to a broad audience, particularly for women and girls as they come of age and face many similar challenges as Naomi, regardless of their background.
SUPERGIRL is not only a story about growing pains or a sports film, nor is it solely about religion or equality of the sexes. It is a combination of all of these elements, which makes it dynamic, nuanced and compelling. At its core, SUPERGIRL is a film about identity and the struggle to figure out your place in the world amidst the pressures of today’s society. It is a film about embracing your differences and holding fast to your beliefs, even in the face of adversity.
By Jessie Auritt, who would like to introduce the team to everyone!
Jessie Auritt (Director, Producer, Editor) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker based in New York City. Her short film, THE BIRDMAN, screened at festivals around the country and received multiple awards, including the Grand Jury Prize for Short Documentary at Slamdance in 2013. In addition to independent filmmaking, she has shot, edited, directed and produced videos for UNICEF, IFC.com, The New York Daily News, and many other companies and nonprofit organizations. Jessie is an alumni of the IFP Documentary Lab and a member of Film Fatales.
Carmen Delaney (Cinematographer, Producer) is a NY & LA based cinematographer, known for her unique narrative approach to shooting documentaries. Her work has been screened at film festivals around the world. Delaney has shot corporate, industrial and commercial work for clients such as Google, Adobe, HP, AirBnB, Puma, Sephora, Chase, Pfizer and The City of New York. She is a fellow of CIFF’s Points North Fellowship, Film Independent’s Fast Track program and Doc Lab, IFP’s Spotlight on Documentaries and Documentary Labs and she is currently a 2016 Project Involve Fellow.
Justin Levy (Co-Producer) is a freelance film producer and writer working in documentary and narrative film. He recently worked with Academy Award-nominated director Marshall Curry on his latest documentary, Point and Shoot, which was awarded Best Documentary Feature at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, as well as Matt Porterfield’s film, I Used to Be Darker. In addition to co-producing Supergirl, he is currently the associate producer for Sacred, a feature documentary for PBS directed by Academy Award-winning director Thomas Lennon.
Erik Dugger (Editor) is a Seattle based documentary editor. Recent projects include “Blood, Sweat & Gears,” featuring a professional American cycling team, and “Adam Blank Gets a Vasectomy,” a first- person documentary dealing with issues of masculinity. Erik’s films have screened at a number of film festivals and received honors including “Most Innovative Documentary” at National Geographic’s Showreal Asia awards, and a finalist medal at the New York Festivals. His work has also been featured on the Discovery Channel, A&E Biography, the Sundance Channel and PBS’s POV series.
Eliot Krimsky (Composer) is a co-founder and lead singer of the band Glass Ghost, composer, and media artist. Glass Ghost has been called “delicately brave” by Andy McCluskey of the electronic group OMD, and “weird and mournful yet highly rhythmic” by Time Out New York. His music has been featured for film and television on HBO and at the Sundance Film Festival, and for dance in the Laurie Anderson curated Live Ideas festival. Krimsky has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center, The Kitchen, O2 Arena London, and Montreal Jazz Festival.
Derek Nievergelt (Music Producer) is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music and the Thelonious Monk Institute at the New England Conservatory. As a member of Terence Blanchard’s quintet, he has toured internationally, recorded the Grammy nominated album, Let‘s Get Lost, and was featured on the score to Spike Lee‘s film Bamboozled. Derek has also collaborated with other artists such Nancy Wilson, Diana Krall, Coldplay, Keb Mo and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.