Frances Barth

Born in the Bronx,New York City, having received her advanced degrees from Hunter College, CUNY, Frances Barth has been working and showing her painting since the 1960's ,and making short films and animation for the past 15+ years in New York and internationally.

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 three short narrative films. Her films have shown in the US, Canada, Europe and South America and have won awards. Frances' 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. 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. She released her new film "Cock Robin" this past year, 2023, and is now working on editing her new film "Ginger Smith and Billy Gee" based on her graphic novel.

Frances is a member of the Filmmaker's Cooperative.

More about Frances and her projects

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
Vincent finally is getting his dream to shoot his first narrative film when he finds out the scriptwriter has bailed on him. His longtime girlfriend and her friends working at a ghostwriting company step up to help him out of the jam. The film is comedic, romantic, and farcical.


What are your ambitions with your project?
I hoped to get my film out to different audiences and so far I have been very lucky that it’s been well received both by festivals and with awards.


Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
All the scenes (18) were shot in 3 days in different locations; I had a cast that was new to me except for the lead actor, and I was grateful and amazed that they were a terrific and generous bunch of actors who worked right away as an ensemble.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
Mostly an art film audience, but I think the film will appeal to many audiences.


Why should distributors buy your film?
I think it would be a good addition as a micro budget indy SAG film to a group of shorts.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
Quirky humor, subtle changes in the characters lives, fast pace and good writing.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
I love storytelling and I love film and cinematography. It gave me a way to tell my stories in a unique way that couldn’t happen in any other form.

Who is your role model?
I have a number of role models. Early on when I was still in High School my friend and I would go downtown to watch French films-Truffault especially, and I was drawn to Agnes Varda and Marguerite Duras. My life has been full of role models and it keeps growing.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?
I have many. One of my favorites is Fellini’s “La Strada.” I love and am so touched by Gelsomina. The film is seamless and complex. My new film considers her when I cast and recently shot “Ginger Smith and Billy Gee.” Another is Agnes Varda’s “La Pointe Courte” and Marguerite Duras “India Song” both of which influenced my ability to structure narrative

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

Which topics interest you the most?
I think stories that are part of our lives and our day- to- day experiences. I’m also a big reader of mysteries, and now that I’m older I am interested in older actors and their stories.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
I think my greatest achievement is that I am still painting and making films. It’s now over 50 years and I am gratefully still working.

What do you consider most important about filming?
Figuring out how best to tell the story.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I think any technique that doesn’t draw too much attention to itself and manages to convey the story.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I try not to rate or judge current filmmaking. Even if I wind up walking out or stopping watching a film, there’s always an understanding of how much commitment it took to film it.

What can disappoint you in a movie?
If I know what’s coming, if the story is shallow and obvious, and if action is unnecessary and gratuitous.

Who supports you in your film career?
Filmmaker friends and my family.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
I think reactions differ. My films have a lot of dialogue, symbolism and metaphor, which is why they do best in an art film setting, and in Europe and South America.
My film “Dreaming Tango” won best experimental film and an audience award at the Cannes short film festival and my recent film, “Cock Robin” has won many awards. I am very grateful for this encouragement.


Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
Not the very big ones, but I’ve visited good film festivals in Amsterdam, Paris, Marfa TX and Canada.

What are your future plans in your filmmaking carreer?
I just finished shooting a live action film totally in greenscreen: “Ginger Smith and Billy Gee”, adapted from my graphic novel of the same name. I’m wishing myself luck with all the post production editing of this!