BY JOANNE A. CALITRI
Producing artistic director and board president of Throughline Artists NYC, J.J. Kandel is creating his next Stage to Screen project titled In This, Our Time, written and directed by Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman), based on Dinelaris’s play by the same name that J.J. directed in 2011.
In “the biz” for more than 10 years, Kandel’s many successes include working at Throughline’s Stage to Screen Initiative, whose first three films were made with critically acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Neil LaBute, the Maui Film Festival Audience Award for 10 K , and he was nominated for the Tribeca Film Festival Best Narrative Short Award for The Mulberry Bush , now part of the Screening Room Series online at The New Yorker.
J.J. said, “I’ve been quite lucky with The Hurt Locker (2008) taking me to Jordan and Zero Dark Thirty (2012) to India (thank you, Kathryn). I’m very interested in using the process of live theater to create filmed content. It’s an extraordinarily valuable connection that is being overlooked. Our Stage to Screen film 10 K is a 19-minute, single moving shot that we captured in one day. I don’t think that would have been possible, or even attempted, without the benefit of the live theater process. I was doing theater for as far back as I can remember, performing skits and comedy routines at the family dinner parties. If I had an audience, I was going to put on a show. These days, I find myself leaning toward film. I like the permanence of film and that a wider audience can enjoy the work. It’s always bothered me that all live theater has a closing night. I think of coming to New York as what I did instead of getting a master’s degree. NYC can be one hell of a great teacher. Not always kind but always instructive. And like a great teacher, I think it can reward you, both in terms of possibility and opportunity if you put enough work in.”