PLASTIC MAN wins the Audience Award at JFilm Pittburgh, last month!  Artist  Jerry Barrish attended the screening with Producer, Janis Plotkin. 

Festival Director, Kathryn Spitz Cohan organized a panel with Artists Clayton Merrell, who just completed an installation at the Pittsburgh airport (that is worth the trip there just to see the airport’s floor design)…Also participating was  Carin Mincemoyer, a found object and installation artist who produces the RE:New Festival, a Pittsburgh celebration of creative Reuse, Transformation and Sustainability next September. 

Fellow panelists  Carin Mincemoyer and Clayton Merrell

Fellow panelists Carin Mincemoyer and Clayton Merrell

Our lively discussion probably contributed to this:

Award winning Director, William Farley commented on the award by saying this:

"What a cherished moment it is for a filmmaker to get a best film award, it validates all of the enormous effort which was expended in making the film, and gifts the makers with knowing they touched others in the telling of their story."

Artist Jerry Barrish with partner Nancy Russell looking happy following the screening

Artist Jerry Barrish with partner Nancy Russell looking happy following the screening

next stop…The Tropic Cinema in Key West, Florida….thank you for telling  your friends and family they can see the film at the gem of a theatre, the Tropic Cinema on Sunday May 15.  3:30 PM Champagne Reception, 4:00 pm screening, 416 Eaton Street, Key West, Florida.  For tickets, check out the special events page HERE


It has been a year of steady and hard work, but ultimately thrilling to experience Plastic Man with appreciative audiences.  More than a thousand people saw an updated version of the film last July at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival….

The best audiences were found in Berkeley ( Jerry received a standing ovation!), Phoenix and Washington DC  where the discussions were so exciting as the audience responded to the multi layered story of art, dyslexia and the bail bond stories.

After completing and launching the first version of Plastic Man October, 2014 here is what else has been accomplished:

*Developed a website: with the creative eye of Courtney Buffington

*Produced a trailer that is now available on our website.

*Hosted two “market screenings” at the February, 2015 European Film Market at the Berlin Film Festival.  Email promotion was sent out to 4,000  film festival programmers, museum curators, sales agents and TV buyers.  This resulted in film festival invitations and a sale to Israel Television Channel 8!

*Invited to film festivals at Mill Valley, Sedona, Mendocino, San Francisco, San Diego, Washington DC Jewish and Denver Film Festival in the United States.  Jerry and Director William traveled to Hof, Germany for our International film festival premiere.

*Invited for special screenings in New Jersey (art community in Lambertville), New York City (Soho’s Bowery Poetry Center) arranged for a screening in Phoenix in conjunction with the International Sculpture Conference at the Arizona Jewish Historical Society’s Cutler/Plotkin Cultural Center.  This was so special…the old building was the original Temple Beth Israel built in 1920’s…my dad was part of the team that bought the building back from a Mexican Baptist Church...

*A special moment at the Denver Film Festival where we had a multigenerational audience —
One thirteen year old boy “Do you ever get frustrated and want to quit?"  And Jerry responded: I go to the studio every day, I get frustrated all the time..that is part of the creative process..and I never quit.."

*Produced promotional materials, poster, postcards and press kit
*Booked Plastic Man into the Roxie Theatre for a one week run in conjunction with a retrospective of Jerry’s 3 independent films and his recent short videos using his art as characters, followed by 3 days at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.

*Hired Larsen Associates PR and received rave reviews in the Huffington Post, SF Chronicle, Examiner, SF Weekly, the Bay Area Reporter and the J- Weekly.  Links to the press attached here:

*Best of all, Jerry’s commissioned bronze was (finally) installed last March, 2015 in a neighborhood park in the Bay View/Hunters Point.  We were able to film the installation of the "BayView Horn', a 16 foot bronze sculpture that inspired this film.  We replaced the last 6 minutes with images of a large truck careening down the street with a big sculpture on it, the fork lift that raised the art off the flat bed and then the construction workings securing the base into the ground.

The installation process was followed by a scene of Jerry back at his studio, surrounded by friends and sculptures, with the blinking neon " Barrish Bail Bond" sign giving additional punch to the film’s ending visually and emotionally.  I am so happy with this film!

- Janis


Our screenings in Mendocino, California and Lambertville, New Jersey brought our quest for creativity to new audiences outside our home turf.  Thanks to filmmaker and former festival Program Director, Pat Ferrero (pictured here on left) and current Program Director, Toney Merritt for including our film in Pat’s Picks at the Mendocino Film Festival in late May.

Left to right: Pat Ferrero, Jerry Barrish, Janis Plotkin, William Farley, Richard Levien and Nancy Russell

Left to right: Pat Ferrero, Jerry Barrish, Janis Plotkin, William Farley, Richard Levien and Nancy Russell

nd thanks to the Festival and the Mendocino Art Center for their exhibiting Jerry’s sculpture and filling the theatre!

and then a few days later we were off to Lambertville, New Jersey.. a real taste of Americana with a screening room inside City Hall in a former bakery..Acme Bread trasforms into the Acme Screening Room.  We were part of their Artist Visions Film Series.  We were in good company!

with gratitude to our friends Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Bill Jersey and  wife, Shirley Kessler who hosted us for the evening with:

and introduced us to life on the canals of the Delaware River...


Our screenings in both towns opened up a conversation about creativity, mentors and the political times that Jerry served as the bail bondsman to activists from the 1960’s.


More to come...

What folks are saying about PLASTIC MAN

Thank you all for your kind words & support.

“Five plastic thumbs up!
William Farley has shaped a compelling study of the legendary Beachcomber Artist who searches for the soul hidden in detritus and offers salvation to the hopeless lost trash of the world: "Don't perish on beaches, become Barrish masterpieces!"
Philip Kaufman, Filmmaker
The Right Stuff, Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June


“Plastic Man is a film about an unlikely artist, a bail bondsman from a long line of Jewish tough guys, who has that artist gene -- the one that makes art inevitable- and touches people with ones art.  If you are interested in the process of art making or think you might need a bail bondsman, you'll love this film.”
- Judith Ehrlich,  Filmmaker 

Daniel Ellsberg, The Most Dangerous Man in America


“Adroitly assembled, intriguing and fascinating ...”
Mansel Stimpson, Co-Editor Film Review, London


“An inspiring portrait of the artist as an older man, Plastic Man is a crowd-pleaser from its whimsically enigmatic opening sequence to its triumphant finale. Jerry Barrish’s talent for creating soulful sculptures from soulless plastic and rubber is nothing short of amazing, yet it’s only one facet of this endlessly surprising portrait of a genuine iconoclastic.”
Michael Fox, KQED Arts, San Francisco


Thanks to all who made our screenings in Sedona a great success!

"I think you have got a message in here about using what you find inside and what you find outside and making both of them into art."
“The thing that is also really beautiful about your film is that, as artists, most of us stumble upon our creativity. We trip over something and we look down and think, “Oh, cool, I know what I can do with that.” You did that as a film and he is the embodiment of that. As an artist, that so speaks to the creative process.“

“One thing I want to say about your gift as filmmakers and what you have created is it feels like you have almost created a new genre of [film]…I would say it is public art. Where Jerry’s art is most profound is in how it affects the public. It’s our trash. He has taken something we have discarded and he makes beauty from it and really, it’s exquisite beauty.”
“You capture the transcendent relationship between the artist and the creation and there are all these moments when he is quietly communing with what he has made in a sense of wonder and marvel.  When he sat alone in that room surveying all that he’s made, it was like he had a personal relationship with all of them [his sculptures]. What is it like to sit there quietly with what you have created and not know how you did it? That didn’t need any words from him. That was so powerful.”

“The soundtrack is amazing. The variations of the theme in minor, and the different instruments, I don’t know how you did that. One of the characters is the soundtrack.” 

Closing in on finishing the finishing line for our film!

And we are accepted as at the Mill Valley Film Festival – our hometown screening will happen Oct. 5 and 8th!!

After a career 30 years as a Film Festival programmer I am more attuned to  looking at docs and finding inspiration in the mostly true stories they tell…I would rather get lost in the visuals of a film or following a compelling story that reveals something totally unexpected.

Now in the trenches of the making of a film, I wonder if civilian movie goers understand what actually happens.  I pose the question now because as we approach ‘picture lock’ I am aware of what the audience will not know.  No one will know about the debates between…the makers: the director, editor, composer, story consultant and producer all creative people sitting together conferring, reviewing, deleting and constant reshaping the story from the four years of planned interviews, the joy of discovering amazing archival footage and spontaneous moments that are miracles.

So I have also learned to welcome the miracles!

There were little miracles that went into the making of the film, like the chance contact with a fellow filmmaker, Vicki Abeles who tipped me off that Dr. Sally Shaywitz of Yale University would be speaking in San Francisco.  She is the leading authority on dyslexia and creativity. Within minutes of my email of introduction, Dr. Shaywitz called and agreed to participate in the doc about a Dyslexic artist.

Why, because after Dr. Shaywitz viewed Jerry’s sculpture on his website:  she was excited that his art confirmed her theory that the special brain wiring that  causes reading challenges for dyslexics, can also provide gifts.  Out-of-the-box thinking, creativity, empathy and compassion are attributes of dyslexics.

Other miracles?  The enthusiastic reception of Laurence Kardish, former Film Curator at the New York Museum of Art to being interviewed for the film.  He was the guy who championed Jerry’s first film, DAN’S MOTEL that he selected for New Directors New Films in 1982. 

Filming in Berlin at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival with the hopes that when Jerry goes to a German filmmaker dinner that director Wim Wenders would show up…he did!!  And we filmed Jerry and Wim chatting with each other. 

More miracles…having the perfect morning light for William Farley to shoot the Pacific Ocean in front of Pacifica, the town where Jerry lives.

Producer/Director Mark Kitchell helping us secure archival footage from his Academy Award nominatedfilm Berkeley in the 60’s. Mark and I were ‘hall mates’ when we both had offices at the Fantasy Films building in the 80’s and 90’s.

Archivist Blanche Chase finding the right archive for all the rest of the political 60’s footage and negotiating an affordable price..

Finding a method for telling a life story that engages, creates drama and is not a mere promotional reel was achieved by April…but the money ran out…at the moment where the creativity and drive is most needed. Our story was so compelling that the length grew from 54 to 72 mintes.  More time means more money

 Yipes…and major expenses were incurred when we decided to go for an original composition, by local musician and composer Beth Custer.  But the music has given the film the right amount of humor and gravitas that makes the viewing experience transformational.  Thank you Beth!!

And as we moved towards the finishing line with scheduled sound mix and color correction we feel the excitement of having told an important story about the nature of the yearnings of the soul to find meaning in life by making art.

It has been a journey for me to work with great creative people on both sides of the camera to know more about the creative process…and mostly what I have learned is that it is a gift.

I will keep you posted on the next stops for our film…looking ahead my hope is that the film will find it’s next miracle and be selected at one of the top film festivals in the world, Berlin!

The Story of the title…

Objects of Desire, came from the fertile brain of Director, William Farley.  And it works, metaphorically as we observe Jerry obsessive search for the discarded detritus of our society. I also had a chance with a title Jerry Barrish, Found.   A simple way to say so much about a found objects artist who found his calling in mid life.

But, Objects of Desire is also the name of popular porn websites selling all types aids to sexual pleasure…

And so here is the list of other possibilities created by Jerry and Nancy:

Note: without editing or judgment

Nancy said, “When I read the entire list to Jerry - we both thought "DREAMING OUTLOUD" really resonated.  I've always said that Jerry isn't afraid to dream out loud.”

Intuitive Eye

Intuitive Life

Intuitive Journey

Art of Intuition

Life of Intuition

Make them Laugh, Make them Cry

Laughter and Tears

No Help, No Mentors

I Don't know How I got Here

Don't Know How I Got Here

How Did I Get Here?

Without a Net

Purpose and Repurpose

Strange Tales

Stories of the Flawed

Flawed Souls

Flawed People

Broken Souls

Broken and Remade

Fractured Images

Fractured Beings


There's Got to be Something Out There to Be

There's Got to be Something Out There

Got to Be Something Out There

Seems to be Something

Something Out There

Something To Be

Something Made

Becoming Something


Scrounger or The Scrounger

Scrounger's Way

Lucky Scrounger

Luck of a Scrounger

Life of a Scrounger

Life of Scrounging

Valuable Salvage


Found Scavenge

Found Scrounge

Found Objects

Art of Found Objects

Art of Assemblage

Assembled Life

An Assembled Life

Assembled Journey

Artistic Assembled Journey

His Assembled Journey

Scavenge Hunt

Scavenger's Way

Scavenger's Life

Scavenger's Story

Handmade Stories

Handmade Tales

Made by Hand

Hand of the Artist

Artistic Hands

Artistic Life

On Stage

Three Acts


Full of Purpose

Full of Potential

Proven Potential

Potential Purpose

Creative Potential

Another Way

Another Path

Another Route

Found Way

Found Path

Found and Refound

Lost and Refound

Lost and Found

Freight and Salvage

(something to rhyme with) Salvage

Valuable Salvage

Salvage and Rescue

Salvage of Value

Worthy Salvage

Worthy Rescue

Worthy Repurpose

Worthy Purpose

Lucky Purpose

Self Made

Desirable Objects

Plastic Dreams

Plastic Powers of Imagination

Power of Imagination

Power of Plastic

Power of Objects

Dream Power

Power of Dreaming

Not Afraid to Dream

Dreaming Out loud

Plastic Dream(s)

Plastique Dreams


Bronze and Plastic

Plastic and Bronze

Without a Plan

Lucky Guy

Oh Lucky Guy

Interesting Journey

Some Kind of Journey


Right Place at Right Time

Lucky Location


Assembled refuse

Discarded and found


Bearish on Barrish

Bearish Tale

Lucky Tales

Lucky Trash

Tales from the Trash

Tails and Tales

Trails, Tails and Tales

Don't Perish in Jail


Art of Bail

Art and Bail

Art, Bail, Cinema

Art, Bail, Film

Bail, Film, Art

Art and Film


Telling Tales

Singular Tales

Making Stuff

Something Out There To Be

Something from Nothing

Rhymes with Perish

Search and Rescue


Flotsam and Setsam

Jetsam and Flotsam

Flotsam Journey

Flotsam Path

Life of Flotsam

Lagan (or Ligan)

Derelict Life

Derelict Cargo

Derelict Journey


His Way

Seems to be Worthy

Worthy Purpose

Worthy (re)Purpose

Found and Worthy

Lucky Find

Fortunately Found

None of them were right…and then our editor, Richard Levien struck on Plastic Man, my friend Stuart Rickey came up with Plastic Plastik with Plastik meaning sculpture in German.  And then writer Robert Anbian chimed in with “ the artful life and now we have:  Plastic Man; the artful life of Jerry Ross Barrish..

Come join us on Sunday Oct. 5 at 2:30 in Mill Valley at the Sequoia Theatre for our world premiere and Enjoy the film!