Premiering this weekend at the Brooklyn Film Festival is Lower East Side resident and actor Clayton Dean Smith’s film Off Track Betty. An ode to the Lower East Side written and directed by Smith, Off Track Betty tells the story of longtime resident Betty Kaminski and her journey through her now unrecognizable L.E.S. neighborhood. The story examines the question of neighborhood change and the challenges of letting go.
The 20 minute film was shot amidst, quite literally, a crumbling landscape of buildings about to be demolished or renovated in preparation for all the new development happening in the neighborhood. Many of the locations used for the story no longer exist.
In an earlier interview with The Lo-Down Smith said, “Every frame of this short documents a landscape that will be totally changed.” In that same interview, Smith also addressed the jarring tension and the mental misplacement that residents of these changing neighborhoods can feel.
Shot on a 16mm Kodak camera, Smith’s directorial debut short is one of the last films to be processed in the city after New York Film Lab’s shut down in 2014.
Sunday, June 5th | Windmill Studios, 300 Kingsland Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222 | 10:30 PM
Friday, June 10th | Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, at N. 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249 | 10:00 PM
$ 13 | Visit the website for more information.