In Anthony Desiato's case, purple equals "Wacky Man: The Rise of a Puppeteer" and the White Plains film director's second invitation to screen a documentary at the Yonkers Film Festival -- best known as YoFi -- at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22.
"Wacky Man" is Desiato's third documentary. This year, there were more than 1,000 submissions to air at YoFi -- narrowed down to about 100 films invited. "I'm really honored I made the cut,'' Desiato said.
His newest documentary chronicles a young Bronx man's struggle to break into the puppetry industry. The first word Zach Woliner ever spoke was "Ernie" -- the orange half of the famous Sesame Street duo Bert and Ernie. Over the next three decades, Woliner's childhood affinity for the Muppets became a lifelong passion, hobby, and, if Woliner attains his dream -- a career.
In 2008, Woliner created his own purple puppet named Wally Wackiman, a Jewish, self-aware character who advocates puppet freedom and equality with humans. "He knows someone is controlling him," Desiato explained. (Wally even thinks the hour-long documentary should have been named after him!)
By day, Desiato, 29, works at Pace University Law School's admissions office in White Plains. His website, www.flatsquirrelproductions.com includes Desiato's biography as well as a link to his first film, "My Comic Shop DocumentARy."
Daily Voice wrote about Desiato's second documentary, "By Spoon! The Jay Meisel Story" in 2014. That film profiled a comic book vendor's final days at the Empire State Flea Market in Port Chester before it closed for good in 2013.
The full lineup of YoFi films can be found by clicking here. A link to "Wacky Man's" trailer can be found here. On Nov. 15, the film will be available through Vimeo. It is currently up for pre-order by clicking here.
The subject of Desiato's first documentary, a Scarsdale comic book shop called Alternate Realities, closed last year. Desiato launched a podcast chronicling the store's final days. It is called "My Comic Shop History" and is available by clicking here. Desiato produced the inaugural "comic shop" film while studying law and working at Alternate Realities.
Tickets for "Wacky Man, The Rise of a Puppeteer" are available at the Yonkers Festival box office, 66 Main St., as well as online.
"Zach will be there on the 22nd, and he may just have a purple friend with him," Desiato said on Thursday. " I do have a new documentary project in mind, though not ready to announce yet."
Footnote: Next Saturday's screening of "Wacky Man" won't be the most important life event for Desiato this month: He and his new bride, Stephanie, were married last Saturday in Ringwood, N.J.
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