Betsy Kalin is an award-winning producer/director/writer at Itchy Bee Productions and Bluewater Media and her latest documentary, East LA Interchange has already won ten jury and audience awards to date. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Los Angeles City Historical Society’s J. Thomas Owen Award for illuminating L.A. history.
In her documentary East LA Interchange, Betsy explores the neighborhood of Boyle Heights, a city that was once one of the most diverse city’s throughout the USA, a microcosm where Latinos, Asians, African-Americans, and the largest settlement of Jews west of Chicago lived and worked together side by side. Targeted by government policies, real estate laws and California planners, Boyle Heights was thrown to wolves when City Planners decided to build one of the world’s busiest freeway interchanges joining together Interstate 5, Interstate 10, US Route 101, and California Route 60. Boyle Heights is a testament to endurance. It’s residents understand struggle but they are also resilient. Will it continue to thrive? Can it survive gentrification and environmental pollution? See what can happen when a community works towards the common good. This film took 9 years to come to fruition.
Betsy’s films have been honored with multiple awards at festivals around the world. Her first film, Roof, premiered at New York City’s MoMA for New Directors/New Films and is a part of the Short Shorts compilation. Her feature-length documentary, Hearts Cracked Open premiered to great acclaim at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival and has won several awards. She produced and wrote the feature documentary Before Homosexuals with John Scagliotti, the Emmy award-winning executive producer of PBS’s In the Life. In 2010 she made Chained!, a short documentary that screened in festivals around the world, about the lives of Lesbian women who define themselves through their chains. and in 2013 produced the award-winning narrative film Click. Betsy received a BA in Women’s Studies from Columbia College at Columbia University and an MFA in Directing from the University of Miami. She is a featured speaker at conferences, universities, film festivals and community events.
The Good Radio Network is pleased to be able to support the work of Betsy Kalin and this important documentary. Frankie Picasso pledged to purchase a copy of the DVD for the Robert Louis Stevenson Library. https://www.lapl.org/branches/robert-louis-stevenson since it did not have enough funds for the residents of Boyle Heights to even see the movie.