About the Film
3Conversations in April is an experimental short that
attempts to capture a moment in time and place during the coronavirus pandemic.
The film is the series of recordings made of the first phone calls I ever made to my brother, a man with autism and severe cognitive disabilities, and a sweet and patient disposition. I placed twice daily calls to my brother, Alan, after he was diagnosed with Covid19 and relocated to his bedroom, in complete isolation. My brother is now well into his senior years, pushing 70. But as I gave him ever cheerier pep talks from my apartment in Brooklyn, I couldn’t know whether he would be able to grasp who it was that was speaking — whether it was his sister, whose voice he was hearing at the other end of the phone for the first time.
Meanwhile, the viewer will watch as darker themes emerge — the series of illogical and unfeeling policy decisions made by a system that governs the care of those with intellectual disabilities, the worried lives of the staff who work in the homes. Through a steady interspersing of titles and reenactments, the film gradually reveals some unsettling realities. There are perhaps multiple reasons why you’ll see me quietly pacing in my own self-isolating space.
Actions to take in support of people with autism and developmental disabilities will be a part of the film’s outreach.
Semi Finalist • Indie Shorts (Los Angeles)
Finalist • Online Isolation Short Videos (Moscow)
Best Documentary • Hong Kong National Film Festival
Angaelica Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA) December 21-31, 2021
Rockland in Motion (Rockland County, NY) December 21-January 1
The Hong Kong National Film Festival November 5 - 7
The Alder Film Festival 2021 (Chicago, IL)
Isolation Short Video Festival (Moscow)
ZShorts Plus international Film Festival (Santa Barbara, CA)
Indie Shorts (Los Angeles, CA)
5th Rosarito International Film Festival (Los Angeles, CA)
Producer/Director, Susan Hamovitch I have been passionate about independant film ever since I sat at the receptionist’s desk of the Women’s Interart Center (a now defunct non-profit that showcased women’s interdisciplinary work) back in the 80’s and overheard the soundtrack of just-produced experimental film extraordinaire, Savage/Love, by Shirley Clarke. It played every day, sometimes two or three times. I would strain to hear the soundtrack but kept dutifully to my work. Read more
Videographer, Braulio Jatar.
Sound Designer, James Redding III. James has become one of the leading sound designers in the field. His productions as sound editor and special effects editor have included The Queens Gambit, The Americans, 30 Rock and many more. He is currently on the faculty of NYU’s film department.
Production associate; assistant editor, Chloe Bowman
Above the Line talent
Marjorie Bryant, all three direct care staff members Patrice, Sarah, Eugenie
Jeremy Rudick, brother
Goueadala Marius, voice of staff
The story you told about not only your relationship but
also how people with disabilities have been overlooked
was perfectly balanced. This documentary really made
Ben Bowles — Organizer, Margate Bookie Film Festival, 2021
Susan Hamovitch’s 11-minute film, the tender but morally firm "3 Conversations in April,” opens a window to the world of siblings, as experienced during the pandemic at her brother Alan's group home. It sort of broke my heart. That said, I really mean it
when I say: Enjoy.
Judith Karasik — co-author of The Ride Together,
A Brother and Sister's Memoir of Disability in the Family.
Susan Hamovitch has a gift for making imaginative and stirring personal documentaries. Her sensitivity, concern, and profound commitment to her brother permeate the film. She is also able to subtly insert a few apt critical political remarks about the treatment of people with special needs. The film should get shown widely
Leonard Quart —film critic and editor, Cineaste
Susan Hamovitch’s 3 Conversations in April poignantly portrays the filmmaker’s struggle to connect with her brother Alan who is nonverbal, COVID-positive, and quarantined in a group home during the height of the pandemic. Her deep concern and the group home staff’s heroic efforts are a moving testimony to sisterly love and the challenges of providing quality care to the most vulnerable members of our community.
Don Meyer is the Founder of the Sibling Support Project and the creator of Sibshops. Don created SibTeen Sib20, and SibNet, online communities for brothers and sisters which allow thousands of siblings from around the world to connect with their peers.