St. Louis-native returns to share documentary shorts

Mary Anne Rothberg

St. Louis-born Mary Anne Rothberg, a 1978 Clayton High School graduate, is bringing a bit of the Big Apple to St. Louis with the showing of two award-winning documentary shorts she co-produced and co-created through her New York based production company, Provenance Productions. “Do Not Duplicate” and “Half Sour” offer glimpses into the lives of New Yorkers who have forged unique paths to career and personal success.  Both films will screen at the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase sponsored by Cinema St. Louis at 7 p.m. Monday, July 14 at the Tivoli Theater, 6350 Delmar Boulevard in University City. 

“Do Not Duplicate” tells the story of the eccentric Phil Mortillaro, an eighth-grade dropout who built a successful career as a locksmith and safecracker. Yearning to leave a gift to his “one true love,” New York City, Mortillaro affixed to the façade of his Greenwich Village shop a sculpture he welded from tens of thousands of keys. The film, which won awards from Big Sky Film Festival, Docutah, WorldFest Houston, the NYLA International Film Festival and was a finalist for the Academy Award-qualifying USA Film Fest National Short Film Competition, explores the nature of creativity, independence and the desire to leave a legacy.

Winning prizes from WorldFest Houston, the Kansas City Film Fest and the USA Film Festival, “Half Sour” focuses on a group of disenfranchised skateboarders in their early 20s. Under the leadership of John Till, their peer and “father” figure, they find direction after starting a pickle business in New York.

Rothberg, who moved to New York to work in advertising after graduating from Stanford University, freelanced in independent film production after receiving her MBA from Harvard. 

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Rothberg said she is thrilled to return to St. Louis and present some of her work.  

“St. Louis and New York City are my two homes and favorite cities in the world,” she said. “I’m excited to share my New York observations with my friends and family back home.”