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Union Square Awards
Support provided in part by the Union Square Awards, a project of the Tides Center,


The New York State Council on the Arts,

Union Square Awards
and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

A quarterly series all about funny documentaries and comedy concert films. Curated by Adam Schartoff, Filmwax.

The box office is open for advance ticket purchases Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday, 12 - 6 pm, and one hour before the start of all events until they end. If the door is locked during these hours, knock on the store front window. Ticket-holders arriving 15 minutes before showtime are guaranteed a seat inside the theater. Overflow seating available for sold out shows.
Tickets $10 suggested donation, unless otherwise noted.
Members only: Reserve your seat at [email protected]
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Our Cinema and one of our restrooms are handicap accessible. Feel free to call the Box Office at (212) 537-6843 if you have any additional questions or concernsc.


Aug. 19th,
4:00 pm
A bi-monthly series all about funny documentaries and comedy concert films. Curated by Adam Schartoff, Filmwax.
Winnebago Man

Brute Force
Winnebago Man

Ben Steinbauer, 2010, 85 min.
Type "The Angriest Man in the World" into any search engine, and one name appears—Jack Rebney, a.k.a. "The Winnebago Man"—an '80s RV salesman whose hilarious, profanity-strewn, on-the-job meltdown was captured on video and passed around on VHS tapes, before exploding into an Internet phenomenon seen by millions. Filmmaker Ben Steinbauer goes in search of the infamous viral video star and discovers him living a hermit–like existence on top of a mountain, unaware of his fame. Rebney turns out to be as sharp-tongued as ever, but more intelligent and lovable than anyone could have imagined. An outrageously funny and unexpectedly redemptive tale of one man's response to unintended celebrity, and proof that the truth is both stranger and funnier than fiction.

Winnebago Man will be preceded by the Ben Steinbauer short, Brute Force (15 min.), a profile about the singer/songwriter who goes by the name… Brute Force
In 1967, Brute Force had just released his first album on Columbia Records and was on the brink of becoming a star. The Beatles championed his next single, "King of Fuh," to be released on Apple Records. But dreams of fame and fortune quickly turned into nightmares when the record was censored and permanently shelved. In 2010, Sony and Apple reissued Brute Force's controversial music from the sixties, giving him another chance to re-capture his dreams of rock stardom.  

Q&A with filmmaker Ben Steinbauer as well as a special live performance by Brute Force & Daughter of Force to follow the screening.

Dec. 19th,
7:30 pm
  Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Dirs. Ricki Stern & Annie Sundberg, 2010, 84 min.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work takes the audience on a year long ride with legendary comedian Joan Rivers in her 76th year of life. Peeling away the mask of an iconic comedian and exposing the struggles, sacrifices and joy of living life as a ground breaking female performer. The film is an emotionally surprising and revealing portrait of one the most hilarious and long-standing career women ever in the business.

Screening followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Ricki Stern. Afterward stick around for a joke contest hosted by comedian Amber Nelson. Get up and make the audience laugh, win a free DVD of Joan Rivers: Piece of Work courtesy of our friends at IFC Films/Sundance Selects.


Feb 9th,
7:30 pm
  A Black History Month Special:
Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy

Dir. Robert Townsend, 2009, 95 min.
Robert Townsend's Sundance Film Festival hit, Why We Laugh, with off-screen narration, four dozen talking heads, and clips of performances tell a chronological story about Black comedy: who has made us laugh since 1901, what is the nature of their humor, and what social and political contexts inform it. We look at minstrels, Stepin Fetchit, Amos 'n Andy, Beulah, Redd Foxx, Dick Gregory, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, The Cosby Show, Chris Rock, Whoopi, Hollywood Shuffle, entrepreneurship and Black comedy clubs, Robert Harris, urban street culture and In Living Color, the rise of the Fox network, Def Comedy Jam, and the Original Kings of Comedy. The film asserts Black comedy helps America change.

Stand Up and Q&A with comedian Mark Theobald who has appeared on "Chapelle Show," "Showtime at the Apollo," BET and "Last Comic Standing."
Watch a bit from Mark Theobald

  Mark Theobald

MAY 2013
May 11th,
7:30 pm
A bi-monthly series all about funny documentaries and comedy concert films. Curated by Adam Schartoff, Filmwax.

Vikran Gandhi, 2011, 84 min.
A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, Kumaré follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life -- and wondering if and when to reveal his true self. Will his followers accept his final teaching? Can this illusion reveal a greater spiritual truth? Winner of South by Southwest's Audience Award, Kumaré is an insightful look at faith and belief.

There will be a post-screening Q&A with director Vikran Gandhi.

Vikram Gandhi is an award-winning director of narrative and documentary films. He grew up consuming equal parts ancient Indian mythology and American movies. After graduating from Columbia University, he began working as a filmmaker for hire. He’s since worked as a video journalist covering terrorism, natural disasters, and social unrest throughout Asia and as a cinematographer and producer on documentaries, television, and narrative films. He now directs commercial campaigns, music videos, branded content, and films through his New York-based production company, Disposable. Over this time, Vikram documented the emergence of the yoga industry in the US by interviewing spiritual leaders around the country until he decided to become one himself. In 2010, Vikram combined his passion mythology and documentary to create Kumaré. Vikram lives in Brooklyn and Kumaré is a manifestation of his ideal self.
The Maysles Cinema is located at:
343 Malcolm X Boulevard / Lenox Avenue (between 127th and 128th Streets)