SOMEWHERE TO BE is an eye-opening look behind the doors of a Greenwich Village senior center. Every New Yorker over sixty is welcome to come to the Center On The Square between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday and take an Italian class, have some lunch, write a poem, paint a picture, or make a friend. Using a mix of verité and interviews, this funny and moving documentary explores the human need to be with others. Veteran filmmaker Peter Odabashian's intimate camera style reveals that it’s possible to have a good life if you’re able to become part of a community, if you can find somewhere to be.
"if it don't come from your heart,
it don't come from nowhere"
the center's custodian
Peter Odabashian has worked in film for over 45 years. He was a sound editor on over 17 feature films from REDS to Carlito’s Way and he's edited more than 23 documentaries. In 1984, he won a Golden Reel Award for best feature sound editing for the film Places In The Heart. In 1987, he cut his first feature-length documentary, The Beat Generation, an official selection of the Berlin Film Festival. From 1988 to 1992 he edited five films for producer Irv Drasnin that were broadcast on Frontline, Nova, and American Experience on PBS. He worked with Andy Kolker and Louis Alvarez for the first time in 1996 on the Peabody and Columbia-DuPont winning documentary, Vote for Me, and won a national editing Emmy for his efforts. In 1997, he cut America in the 40’s, the first non-fiction musical documentary, for Tom Spain and in 1998 he returned to The Center for New American Media to work on four more documentaries, MOMS, People Like Us, Sex: Female, and Small Ball.
Peter became a producer/director in 2004 and went on to share credits with Andy and Louis on The Anti-Americans and You Got To Swing. In 2013 he completed Getting Back To Abnormal with them and Paul Stekler, and that film became an official selection of SXSW and was featured on the PBS series, POV.
Old Friends was Peter’s first solo effort after 40 years of collaborative filmmaking, and it had a joyous premiere at DOC NYC in 2015. He followed that with Somewhere To Be which also opened at DOC NYC and went on to play at film festivals and theaters all over the country. His new film, MY 2020, is a personal chronicle of what turned out to be a difficult, surprising, and memorable year.
I've often been asked, all these years, to write a biographical statement, to explain who I am - one of those linear statements no one likes to read: I was born here, moved there, travelled inbetween. The way we talk about ourselves so rarely tells the reader much: those rational details - my height, my weight, number of husbands, number of children, everybody's names. The titles of my published stories, published poems (God Is A Tree, Breakfast With Allen Ginsberg), my novel about Nazareth, No Charge For Looking, the next, Book Doctor, which took a long time to write. Here's what I can tell you, that you might like to know. I love to write, and always have: the way words fall onto a page, out from some mysterious place. I love stories, especially stories from strangers: the tall foreign woman next to you on a plane who tells you every single detail she can about her life, then vanishes at the Cleveland airport, leaving you her story forever.
What's often most interesting about all of us is what we do not say
Esther Cohen, executive producer