Frances Barth

Born in the Bronx, having received her advanced degrees from Hunter College, CUNY, Frances Barth has been working and showing her painting in New York and internationally since the 1960's. For more information please see:

While an art student Frances also studied modern dance. She performed with Yvonne Rainer at Lincoln Center and the Billy Rose Theater in 1968-9, and with Joan Jonas in dance and video in 1970.

Video: During the last 15+ years she has created two animations, two documentaries, and two short narrative films. Her films have shown in the US, Canada, Europe and South America and have won awards. Frances' new film is Cock Robin, a comedy. Her previous film, Dreaming Tango premiered in New York through Anthology Film Archives in August 2020 and won Best Experimental Short at the Cannes Short Film Festival. Her next project will be an experimental film with movement based on her graphic novel Ginger Smith and Billy Gee. Frances has studied film history, cinematography, editing and producing indy film at SVA and Film and TV at NYU in a certificate program.

In 2017 she published her first graphic novel Ginger Smith and Billy Gee with settings derived from her paintings. This was expanded as a script for 7 actors with a performance at Silas Von Morisse gallery in 2018. Her first animation End of the Day, End of the Day has also been scripted and presented at Triangle Artists in 2019 with 2 actors and projection.
Frances is a member of the Filmmaker's Cooperative

Learn more about Frances:

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?

Cock Robin is a comedy/romance/farce, quirky and fast paced, and in the category of an art house film. Vincent finally is getting his dream to shoot his first narrative film when he finds out the scriptwriter has bailed on him. His girlfriend and her friends working at a ghostwriting company step up to help him out of the jam.


What are your ambitions with your project?
My main ambition is to get the film into festivals with different viewing audiences, and to be able to see it on the big screen.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
This was a micro budget SAG short film. I shot 18 scenes in three days and what pleasantly surprised me was how well everything went-even when one of the actors didn’t show up and the boom operator who is also an actor stepped in for the part!

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For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
Anyone who is willing to love language, oblique connections, and cinema.

Why should distributors buy your film?
I think it would make sense for collections of art, comedy, and cinema.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
I think my oddball sense of humor and love of French new wave, uses of realism and symbolism characterize my films.

Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
I’ve most of my life been an abstract painter but have also always written, and early on started out in performance; in order for me to tell stories- that directed me to film.

Who is your role model?
I have many role models: Yvonne Rainer, Agnes Varda, Fellini, Marguerite Duras, Truffaut …

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
For the invention of different ways of dealing with narratives : La Pointe Courte by Agnes Varda, and India Song by Marguerite Duras. They were very important to me when I saw them early on and they opened up how I could tell a story.

Jules and Jim by François Truffaut was the first French film I saw when I was in high school and it started my love of French film.

La Strada by Fellini is one of my favorites. It is so moving emotionally, beautifully shot; I love everything about it, and I grew up loving black and white film.

The pacing and storytelling in Tender Mercies, directed by Bruce Beresford from The screenplay by Horton Foote .

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
No one place in particular; I think everything in art, literature, music, dance, and what is happening in the world is what inspires me.

Which topics interest you the most?
That’s hard to answer. I’m very open to so many.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
I think that my ability to keep going every day to my studio and painting, and making cinema is my biggest achievement.

What do you consider most important about filming?
The most important thing is to have a good script, and to have the knowledge and will to make it into a film.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I don’t have an opinion on this—whatever makes the best film.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I love all kinds of cinema, from good blockbusters to edgy art films.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
If when I start viewing the movie I already know where it’s going and how it will end.

Who supports you in your film career?
My husband, an actor and director, is always there for me emotionally and helps me to keep going. Also there have been my cinematography teachers, the actors, every crew that I’ve worked with who has supported me, and every festival that has shown one of my films encourages me.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
I’ve been lucky to have very positive reactions- different ones from different audiences from narrative to comedy to experimental.

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
I got to go to Marfa, Paris, Amsterdam, and Nova Scotia. But since covid all have been online.

What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
I’m working on my next experimental film which will be scripted from my graphic novel “Ginger Smith and Billy Gee.” It will be shot in a large greenscreen space and include choreography.