ABOUT

Developed as the follow-up film to Megumi Sasaki’s award-winning documentary HERB & DOROTHY (2008) that moved millions of art-lovers worldwide, HERB & DOROTHY 50X50captures the last chapter of the Vogel’s extraordinary life and their gift to the nation, raising various questions on art, and what it takes to support art in today’s society. 

In 2008, legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel made an announcement that stunned the art world. Known and loved as a retired postal worker (Herb) and librarian (Dorothy) who built a world-class art collection on their humble salaries, the Vogels launched a national gift project with the National Gallery of Art (NGA) in Washington DC that would constitute one of the largest gifts in the history of American art: to give a total of 2,500 artworks to museums in all fifty states.

 

This came sixteen years after the Vogels had transferred their entire collection to NGA, the majority as a gift, making headlines in 1992. During those years at the NGA, the collection had grown to nearly 5,000 pieces, too large for any one museum to contain. As a solution, a national gift project titled The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States was conceived. Though their collection was now worth millions of dollars, the couple did not sell a single piece, instead giving fifty works to one museum in every state. Having worked their whole lives as civil servants, their wish was to give back to the people of the United States.

 

One year ago, on July 22, 2012, Dorothy declared their collection closed after the passing of her husband Herb. Dorothy works to create a living tribute to their partnership, the collection they created together, and the overwhelmingly positive legacy they have left on the American art world for generations to come.

 

CREW BIOGRAPHIES

 

MEGUMI SASAKI, Director & Producer

Megumi began her career as journalist for print media before joining NHK, Japan’s sole public broadcaster (equivalent to BBC in UK) in 1992. She worked both in front and behind the camera, as anchor, reporter and news director for a popular morning news program called Ohayo Nippon.

 

In 2002, Megumi founded a production company, Fine Line Media, to streamline ongoing commitments to Japanese television while facilitating her new interest in feature documentary projects. HERB & DOROTHY is the first of these projects, a labor of love for which Megumi is both director and producer.

 

HERB & DOROTHY enjoyed both national and international success, winning numerous US film festival awards in 2008 and 2009 including at Hamptons International Film Festival, Philadelphia Film Festival, and SILVERDOCS.  Internationally, the film had a wide theatrical release and was invited to a number of art fairs including Art Basel Miami Beach, Art Fair Tokyo, and Art Taipei. In Japan, Megumi and a group of volunteers self-distributed the film and set the 2010 box office record for a documentary film in the country.

 

In 2013, Megumi completed the highly anticipated follow-up documentary to HERB & DOROTHY titled HERB & DOROTHY 50X50, which focuses on the next (and final) chapter in the lives of legendary art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel. The majority of the film’s funds were raised by crowdsourcing in both the US and Japan, raising a combined $220,000 from nearly 2,000 supporters around the world. The film made headlines as the most successful crowdsourcing film project ever in Japan, and kicked off a countrywide theatrical release in Spring 2013.

 

BERNADINE COLISH, Editor

Bernadine Colish has edited a number of award-winning documentaries. HERB & DOROTHY (2008) won Audience Awards at Silverdocs, Philadelphia and Hamptons Film Festivals, and Body of War (2007), was named Best Documentary by the National Board of Review. A Touch of Greatness (2004) aired on PBS Independent Lens and was nominated for an Emmy Award. Her career began at Maysles Films, where she worked with Charlotte Zwerin on such projects as Thelonious Monk: Straight No ChaserToru Takemitsu: Music for the Movies and the PBS American Masters documentary, Ella Fitzgerald: Something To Live For. Additional credits include Band of SistersRise and DreamThe Tiger Next DoorAbsolute WilsonMuslims and Beyond the Motor City.

 

ERIK SHIRAI, Director of Photography 

Erik Shirai is a NYC based filmmaker; he has worked all around the world on numerous documentaries and TV shows. His work can be seen on National Geographic, PBS and more recently on the Emmy award winning show Anthony Bourdain on Travel channel.  Erik’s work was also recently featured at last years TEDx conference in NYC. In 2008, Erik launched his own production company Cebu Osani Creative as a way to produce original content that is compelling and visually cinematic. Erik’s main goal is to produce one-of-a-kind content with integrity and respect.

 

DAVID MAJZLIN, Composer

David Majzlin is an Emmy®-nominated composer whose film credits include The Loving Story (Oscar Shortlist, Peabody Award – HBO Films), Herb & Dorothy, (Audience Award – Silverdocs, Hamptons Film Fest), Youth Knows No Pain (HBO Films), Sins Of My Father (HBO Films – Emmy nomination), Stille, (Winner – Best Score – Avignon Film Festival), Being Reel, (Winner – Grand Prize – Project Greenlight Competition), and Shenandoah (Louverture Films, Netflix), directed by Pulitzer Prize Winning photographer, David Turnley. He also wrote additional music for Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel (Samuel Goldwyn Films, Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival), Sunshine Cleaning (Nomination – Grand Jury Prize – Sundance Film Festival), and source music for The Ghost Writer, All Good Things, and The Joneses.

 

His music has appeared in numerous television projects and promos including Ugly BettyCSIThe CleanerThe Ghost WhispererGrey’s Anatomy, The Tony AwardsCNN, Desperate Housewives, and 60 Minutes. David’s commercial compositions have earned a Telly, Caddy, the First London International Advertising Award, and the International Monitor Award. Theater credits include Manigma (starring Michael Aronov), Lily: Her Life, His Music (DiCapo Opera Theater) starring mezzo-soprano, Audrey Babcock, and The Winter’s Tale with Omar Metwally (Miral, Munich), a rock musical produced for The Rude Mechanicals Theater Company.