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New York International Independent Film and Video Festival









The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and showcases independent films in real theatres in New York City and LA.
Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal.
Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, "This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!”



Interview with award-winning screenwriter Dr. Andrea Levinson' Bruno Chatelin Interview with award-winning screenwriter Dr. Andrea Levinson
(Holistic practitioner and former geologist turned award-winning screenwriter)

The dark comedy feature will have its East Coast Premiere on Sunday September 21 at 6PM with a decadent reception to follow at Still NYC. The film has been very well received by critics and recently won multiple awards at the NYIIFVF in LA including, Best Original Screenplay, Best Dark Comedy, a Best Supporting Actress award for Catherine Trail, Best Orignal Score in a Feature Film as well as Best Film Marketing Campaign, and director Bud Dowdey was nominated for Best Director.

Adapted by Dr. Levinson from her 2005 play, “Death Taxes and Chocolate!”, and co-written and directed by “Bud” Dowdey, the film is an indie “dark chocolate” comedy that exposes US health agencies’ bias towards conventional health care. Levinson based the story on real events with herself and seven of her very witty friends, and created six characters for the story including an engineer, turkey farmer, natural medicine doctor, teacher, boat captain and a former CIA Agent who now sells insurance.

Most of the story takes place on a yacht (Levinson’s real healing office), where the six friends lament over the frightening health care options targeted particularly at aging seniors. Together they take charge of their own destiny and devise a plan to avoid the depressing pitfalls of aging. Cast and crew attending the New York screening include Dr. Andrea Levinson, Peggy Droz (General Hospital), Catherine Campbell (Dawson’s Creek, Matlock), Terrie Batson (Cyborg, Chandler & Chandler), Greg Frucci, (PCP...A VanGuard Chronicle, Undoing Time), Jan Hartsell and Dan Donovan.

Levinson tells us of the making of th emovie and explains the crucial catalyst and message in the film, which she also executive produced. “Being totally disabled for four years and losing everything, including custody of my children because of my conventional health care, changes your perspective on life. I became a Doctor of Natural Medicine so others wouldn't have to go through what I did. An estimated over 300,000 Americans are killed and even more are harmed by their health care each year. My mother died from her Chemotherapy, not cancer; yet for the second time my practice was shut down for teaching nutrition and preventative health care to my patients. In my dispair, I wrote the original play that became the movie "Death, Taxes... and Chocolate!" The film encompasses many of the events I had to endure as a doctor of holistic medicine including the fear of going to work. If the Berlin Wall can fall, we Americans need to make the AMA and the FDA held accountable for the failure of health care in this country today,” added Levisnon.
The film was written, produced and filmed entirely in North Carolina and boasts stunning cinematography and an original soundtrack by various local musicians including Andrea and Phil Owens, Margaret Rose, Chantal Hallatschek and Glenn Kolleda and even Levinson herself wrote the compelling song “ Doc’s Lament” and the funny, edited out scene of the “Senior Trot.”

For further information about “Death Taxes and Chocolate, check out or contact Dr. Levinson at 713-376-6570 or 252-638-3311 or via email at

Comments (1)

I agree with Frank. This

I agree with Frank. This movie was astounding. I applaud you Dr. Levinson.

Mike Mitchell
My Blog



About New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

(The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival )

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The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993. NYIIFVF has been recognized by the film and entertainment industry as one of the leading film events on the independent festival circuit. The festival hosts film, music and art events in the two entertainment capitals of the United States: New York and Los Angeles.

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