An Author's Retrospective: Jay Rosenblatt


Jay Rosenblatt
Screening time  
28.02. / Tuesday, 18:00 - 20:00 Theatre 5  
‘The Smell of Burning Ants’ is a haunting documentary on the pains of growing up male.

‘The Smell of Burning Ants’ is a haunting documentary on the pains of growing up male. It explores the inner and outer cruelties that boys perpetrate and endure. The film provokes the viewer to reflect on how our society can deprive boys of wholeness. Through formative events of a boy’s life, we come to understand the ways in which men can become emotionally disconnected and alienated from their feminine side. The common dismissal that ’boys will be boys’ evolves into the chilling realization that boys frequently become angry, destructive and emotionally disabled men. ‘The Smell of Burning Ants’ illustrates how boys are socialized by fear, power and shame. The film is a catalyst for discussion and an opportunity to begin the process of healing the wounds of childhood.


Jay Rosenblatt

Jay Rosenblatt is an internationally recognized artist who has been working as an independent filmmaker since 1980 and has completed over thirty films. His films have received over 100 awards and have screened throughout the world. His most recent films screened for a week at MoMA, and eight of his films have been screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Jay is a recipient of a Guggenheim, USA Artists and a Rockefeller Fellowship. He is a member of the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and served on the Executive Committee for 9 years. Jay is originally from New York and has lived in San Francisco for many years. For more than 20 years he was a film and video production instructor at various film schools, including Stanford University, S.F. State University, and the San Francisco Art Institute. He is currently the Program Director of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. He has a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and, in a former life, worked as a therapist.

General sponsor


1994, 21', color/bw, video

Directed by:
Jay Rosenblatt

Screenplay by:
Jay Rosenblatt

Edited by:
Jay Rosenblatt

Erik Ian Walker

Jay Rosenblatt

Festivals & Awards:

Locarno International Film Festival - First Prize, Short Films; Athens International Film and Video Festival - First Prize
Charlotte Film Festival – Best of the Best; VIPER Experimental Media Festival – First Prize; Melbourne International Film Festival - Best Experimental Film; Sinking Creek Film Festival - Best Experimental Film; Big Muddy Film Festival - Best Experimental Film; Tampere Short Film Festival - Best Documentary; Carolina Film & Video Festival – Silver Medal
Florida Film Festival –  Artistic Courage Award; Onion City Film Festival – Doug Haynes Memorial Award, Audience Choice Award; New York Film Expo – Bronze Award; San Francisco International Film Festival - Honorable Mention; Atlanta Film and Video Festival - Honorable Mention; Visions du Réel - Special Mention