abramson_big.jpgThe Basics
Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
I'm 29 and soon approaching 30, which I guess I am supposed to think is a big deal, but I don't. I run the film division at Gen Art - which means my primary responsibility is overseeing the annual Gen Art Film Festival. I am originally from Minneapolis, MN but by summer's end I will have been a New Yorker for 44 seasons (I think one's time in NY should be measured in seasons). I currently live in Nolita with my actor/rocker girlfriend Dana Varon.

Three Questions from Chris Gage
1. After carefully reviewing the Gen Art site, I'm still a wee tad bit confused about what the Gen Art organization is and does? As they say, give me the my-mother's-elevator-pitch (meaning, short, succinct, and for out-of-the-loop folk).
Gen Art is a national organization dedicated to showcasing emerging artists in film, fashion, music and visual art. We have a built in loyal audience of 21-35 year-old tastemakers who are consistently on the cutting edge of their peer groups. We "tip" our artists - give them a wider reach. Gen Art is a very social environment, inter-mingling with the audience is just as important as interacting with the art and artists. At Gen Art all our artists have the opportunity to feel like "rock stars" for the night. We have offices in NY, LA, San Fran, Chicago and Miami.

2. Gen Art claims to showcase "many of the best emerging independent films." Can "Before Sunset," which is on your roster of films, actually be classified as film created by an emerging independent filmmaker?
All of our art verticals have varying success degrees of artists. While most of our programming showcases new, up and coming filmmakers you have never heard of . . . our 5 City Screening Series (which Acura has been kind enough to support) is more of a member incentive. We give our members an opportunity to see new "indie" films prior to their release. A film like "Before Sunset" is more "indie" in spirit than anything else. Richard Linklater is a prime example of a successful independent filmmaker - and he should not be faulted for his success. And while Before Sunset has the support of the newly formed Warner Independent Pictures, a known cast and director and the fact that it is a follow-up to BEFORE SUNRISE, it STILL needs the support of word of mouth to compete with summer blockbuster releases. Plus Warner Indie is a new company and I want to support them because they are the type of company that will take a chance on first time filmmakers. Also, most distributors allow us to program a short film with the screening program. The money we generate as a part of the screening program goes to benefit our other, more expensive film events.

3. Any chance you can introduce me to models?
Well - the extent of my involvement in the fashion programs is pretty much relegated to running the door to events. (It was my savvy door skills that first got me noticed by the Gen Art upper echelon when I was just a volunteer - which, by the way, I was for five years prior to becoming an employee). However, I COULD escort you backstage and show you to the celery and cheese table where you MIGHT be lucky to catch a model walking by - claiming to be lost and grabbing a toothpick full of food. If you REALLY want to meet one - have a box of Krispy Kreme's secretly stashed nearby and flash it when they walk by.

Proust-Krucoff Questionnaire
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
I would like to go back to the Dutch era - New Amsterdam When Manhattan was still prairies, forest and swamps. I think I was a "Lewis and Clark" type explorer in a former life. I would like to have explored this island and been the one to first pitch a tent in what would become midtown. Then eventually as the city would develop I would forget my love for nature and exploration and become a real estate tycoon - or that era's version at least.

9pm Wednesday - what are you doing?
Either my girlfriend and I have just left a premiere screening and are contemplating going to the party or not. OR - we are at home and I am either pulling up some Discovery Channel show I DVR'd or using go2mypc to log onto work and catch up on emails.

What's your New York Motto?
Walk a different way every day

Best Celebrity Sighting
Was my first sighting. I was a frosh at NYU film - on the Upper West for my first time on a senior thesis film shoot. My job? to guard the generator on the street. I was counting gum marks on the sidewalk when Garrison Keillor came walking up to the brownstone we were shooting in. Having a special affection for a celeb who's fame is intimately tied into his relationship to my homeland (MN), I was smitten. We got to talking a little bit about NY and MN and his stay in the city. He was very normal - which I appreciate as it helped set the course for any future relations with "known" people. I'm not easily star struck, though i can get artist struck. I could be standing next to J Lo and give a rats ass, but if I am standing next to an actor or musician who isn't very well known but who's work I really admire, then I get a little anxious and excited.

Just after midnight on Saturday - what are you doing?
For me - weekends are often for resting or pleasing the soul. I probably will go to bed early on Saturday night so I may be contemplating throwing eggs at the lemmings that have been invading my neighborhood. Not the euro-hipsters but the meatheads who luckily ant-farm it out to the hamptons in the summer which makes it a little more peaceful. You may also find me in the suburbs of nearby New Jersey re-learning how to enjoy quiet.

Most expensive thing inyour wardrobe?
Probably the maroon camel hair smoking jacket my father passed along to me. I have no idea if it is the most expensive but it is probably the most valuable.

Where do you summer?
I summer in the city. I summer in the untouched nooks of the five boroughs and surrounding areas where I bike to my heart's content. Summer weekends in the city can be quite chill if you steer clear of tourist areas.

Who do you consider the greatest New Yorker of all time?
Well - besides Sinatra, I'd just have to generalize and say "The Immigrant" - that's what's so great about NY. Every person counts and it is the biggest mix of people and culture in the world. I admire the struggling newcomer so much more so than the successful icon.

What was your best dining experience in NY?
In college - any post-midnight meal at the French Roast Cafe was amazing. Post-college, finding San Loco again on any drunken east village night is always a pleasure.

What happened the last time you went to LA?
My best friend, girlfriend and I rang in New Years in a 7-Eleven parking lot in Pasadena. Later we crashed some family's house party and got reprimanded by one of the older guests later for singing songs and playing guitar in the cul de sac. Her two pre-adolescent boys were absolutely trashed - glad she had her priorities straight.

Of all the movies made about or highly associated with New York, what role would you have liked to be cast in?
The role of Perry (Robin Williams) in The Fisher King or Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) in The Greaty Gatsby.

If you could change one thing about New York , what would it be?
The mindless race-like pace people tend to adapt to and the uptightness it creates in people. Also the crassness that some men have towards women in this city. Oh and well of course the rents.

The end of the world is happening . . . what are you doing with your last 24 hours in NYC?
Find me in the rambles with a campfire, surrounded by my girlfriend and closest friends. Singing songs.