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Wall Street Crisis Film Opens CT Film Festival

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The 2012 Connecticut Film Festival opens on Thursday, April
26 with the world premiere of CONFIDENCE GAME, an inside look at the Wall
Street economic downfall by the players at the center of the crisis, directed
by local Connecticut filmmaker Nick Verbitzky. Through the eyes of former
employees of financial giant Bear Sterns, shyster mortgage brokers, devastated
homeowners, whistle blowers and eminent financial journalists including Bryan
Burrough, William D. Cohan and Andrew Ross Sorkin, CONFIDENCE GAME reveals to
the viewer that this crisis was in fact, ten years in the making. Featuring a
take-no-prisoners, yet empathetic approach to story telling, we come to understand
just how far reaching the tentacles of Bear Sterns were and how, to this day,
we are all paying the price for their own personal confidence game that nearly
destroyed the American economy.The feature documentary will screen along with
two short films by actor, writer and environmental activist Matthew Modine:
JESUS WAS A COMMIE and SOMEBODY. Immediately following the films, the stage at
the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Danbury will host a lively informal
panel discussion with several prominent investigative journalists from the
film, the director and actor/writer/activist Matthew Modine. After the panel,
the conversation continues in the Grand Lobby with the Premiere After Party and
the delightful epicurean delights of local catering mavens Some Things Fishy
Catering.

The film's director, Nick Verbitzky, has an unusual story
himself. A physically imposing former star college football player, he
graduated from Colgate University with a degree in histry and went on to get a
masters degree in finance and marketing from New York University, deciding to
follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and join the family business. In
1998 Nick and his brother, Paul, started Blue Chip Films – a nuts to bolts
television production company based in Norwalk, Connecticut. They bring
docu-series style television to life and have written and produced shows for
WeTV (“The Secret Lives of Women” - a mini series about polygamy) and SPEED
(“Intersections” – where fast machines are highlighted to show their intersecting
similarities). They also produce shorter form human-interest pieces for ESPN,
CBS, and TLC.

As the financial implosion of Bear Sterns unfolded in 2008,
Nick found himself drawn to the story. which involved some people he knew.
"I had several friends who worked at Bear Sterns and the impact that it
had on their lives inspired me to at least start looking into it.", he
shared. "As I pealed back the layers of the onion, it was clear that there
was a lot more to this story than just the firm going down in one week. It had
started long before then and certainly Bear’s reputation and a lot of other
facets of the Bear story made it very compelling." The film revolves
around the tumultuous week of March 10, 2008, when the early tremors of
America’s sub-prime mortgage meltdown began rippling through the hallowed
boardrooms of Wall Street. In one short week, Bear Sterns, the eighty-five year
old investment bank suddenly found itself on the brink of unthinkable
collapse.  Down on it’s knees, and
begging for mercy; Bear Sterns was ground zero for a crisis that would go on to
engulf the entire global financial system.......which is still recovering over
four years later.

The film kicks off an intensive 5 day film festival event
that includes premieres, panels, special events and receptions. As one of the
more active regional festivals on the circuit, the Connecticut Film Festival
has year round programs around the state and is directly involved in promoting
the film, television and new media industries based in the state and in
showcasing the state as a prime production destination. For more information on
the full program, visit: www.ctfilmfest.com

Sandy Mandelberger, Film New York Editor

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