Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Speed Cinema+ Presents a Free Film: Making Morning Star and Sparkle

February 15 at 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Making Morning Star
Directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar


Directed by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar


Making Morning Star presents a behind-the-scenes look at the joys and challenges of developing a new American opera. Featured are interviews with and footage of the composer Ricky Ian Gordon, librettist William M. Hoffman, and director Ron Daniels. The fate of Ricky Gordon’s long-neglected opera, Making Morning Star, depends upon the collaboration between composer, writer, and director. When the team gets off to a bad start, we are left to question if the opera will be ready for the opening performance. Much of the footage was shot in Cincinnati during a workshop hosted by the Cincinnati Opera and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. 2016, U.S., DCP, 37 minutes. Recommended for 12+.

Sheri “Sparkle” Williams has been a star dancer with the legendary Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for nearly 40 years—a record unheard of in the professional dance community. Williams is one of the few dancers outside of New York City to have been honored with the prestigious Bessie Award for Individual Performance. When this powerhouse dancer suffers her first serious injury, she faces the question—does she have the will to return to the stage as her 50th birthday approaches? 2012, U.S., DCP, 18 minutes. Recommended for 12+.

CINEMA+ Directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar will be present for a post-screening discussion.


Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film
This retrospective celebrates one of the most distinguished bodies of work in American independent film and one of our most accomplished documentarians—Julia Reichert.
Reichert is a pioneering documentary filmmaker and a three-time Academy Award-nominee. Reichert’s first film, Growing Up Female (1971), made with Jim Klein, was the first feature documentary of the modern women’s movement and was recently selected for the National Film Registry. Her films, Union Maids (1976) and Seeing Red (1984) (also with Klein), were both nominated for Academy Awards for Best Feature Documentary. Seeing Red premiered at the Telluride and New York Film Festivals, and it screened theatrically in more than 100 cinemas across the country.
Reichert’s landmark four-hour documentary, A Lion in the House (2006), made with Steven Bognar, premiered at Sundance, screened nationally on PBS, and won the Primetime Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking. Her film, The Last Truck (2009, also with Bognar), premiered on HBO and screened at the Telluride Film Festival.
Reichert and Bognar created the interactive multi-platform web project, Reinvention Stories (2012/2013). She also co-directed the short films Sparkle (2012) and Making Morning Star (2016), which have been seen in numerous festivals and on PBS. Reichert is a co-founder of New Day Films, an independent film distribution co-op. She is the author of Doing It Yourself, the first book on self-distribution in independent film. She is a mother and a grandmother who lives and works in small town Ohio, drawn to stories that explore class, gender, and race in America. Presently, Reichert completed American Factory in 2019 (shortlisted for the Best Feature Documentary Oscar) and is working on 9to5: The Story of a Movement (2020)—two feature documentaries probing the themes that have guided her life’s work.
Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and is curated by Wexner Center Director of Film/Video David Filipi. Special thanks to Chicken & Egg Pictures for its support. Film descriptions courtesy the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The Speed’s presentation of Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.


February 15
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category: