119: Shining the Spotlight on Giftedness through Filmmaking with Marc Smolowitz

Why is intensity often cast with a negative connotation? Today’s show highlights an intense and “extra” person who is finding success in the world of filmmaking, embracing intensity, and happy to take the risk to be a shining creative!

Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in over 50 successful independent films. He wears many hats across the film and entertainment industry, and the combined footprint of his work has touched 200 film festivals and markets on five continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television, and VOD outlets. He’s experienced notable box office receipts, numerous awards and nominations, and his long list of credits includes films that have screened at top-tier festivals. As a director/producer, his 2011 film, The Power of Two, premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival and went on to screen at 35 festivals around the globe, winning major prizes, garnering theatrical release in the USA and Japan, and selling on Hulu in the USA and Netflix in Japan. Marc is currently in production on two feature documentaries. The G Word is a film about giftedness, intelligence, and neurodiversity, and is slated for 2020 completion. The Lonely Child is a film about the unexpected present-day footprint of a little-known Yiddish lullaby written during the Holocaust. This film has been developed with the Jewish Film Institute’s Competitive Filmmaker in Residence program in San Francisco.


Show Highlights:

●     Marc’s passion: to work in the film process from the kernel of the idea to the production and marketing pieces

●     Why Marc is passionate about art, activism, social change, LGBTQ issues, public health and community issues, diversity, and inclusionism

●     Marc’s intensity as a kid and ever since---not the kind that alienates others, but he had to learn to modify his responses at times

●     How Marc thrives on other people’s energy

●     The deep resilience instilled by his parents

●     Why Marc calls everyone “they” instead of using gender-specific pronouns

●     How non-binary expression of identity opens up opportunities

●     Why Marc tries to live without regrets, even when his intensity threatens to get out of control

●     Marc’s battle with HIV, an illness with much shame, guilt, and stigma

●     Why it’s NOT a small thing to be the child of Holocaust survivors

●     How Marc uses his fire for good, actively looking forward and behind at the same time

●     Why he can live comfortably in today’s technological world

●     How Marc learned early in life that he couldn’t do things in ways that please everybody

●     How we need to cultivate new ideas and standards for creativity and giftedness

●     Why social and emotional challenges aren’t limited to any one demographic, and how we need to look through the lens that makes us relatable to one another

●     How Marc has experienced mostly positive outcomes from embracing intensity, even though there is always a big risk when you completely express yourself


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Follow Marc on Twitter: @MarcSmolowitz

The Gword Film Find out about Marc’s film about giftedness

Giftedness is not the privilege of a small group of people. ~ Marc Smolowitz on Embracing Intensity Podcast
Shining the Spotlight on Giftedness through Filmmaking
I had a sense very early on that I would be criticized and made fun of if I was myself - and I just didn't care." ~ Marc Smolowitz