Films by Filmmaker
Cynthia Salzman Mondell is an independent filmmaker who is committed to making films that she feels have something to say about the world in which she lives. Her first documentary on housing, and the lack of it, Promise and Practice, aired on public television in 1977.
In 1978, Cynthia Salzman Mondell and Allen Mondell founded Media Projects, Inc., a non-profit film production and distribution company. Cynthia is Executive Director of Media Projects and serves as a member of New Day Films, a national film distribution coop. As a team, the Mondells have produced more than 35 documentaries about historical subjects and social issues. Their films have won numerous national awards and have been selected for prestigious screenings in the United States and abroad. Some have received specialized theatrical distribution and have aired on PBS and national cable networks.
Cynthia fundamentally believes in "giving back" to her community - locally, statewide and internationally. She was awarded a Gracie for her work on a Public Service Announcement for Meals on Wheels in conjunction with Women in Film – Dallas. In 2004, she was honored with the Women in Film’s Topaz Achievement Award. She is a past president of Women In Film-Dallas and also served on the Women In Film and Television International’s Board of Directors for two years.
Cynthia has been an Artist in Residence at the University of Texas at Dallas, has been on numerous community boards (including the Texas Jewish Historical Society, Dallas Women’s Center and the Women’s Issue Network), and is a member of The Summit in Dallas. Finally, Cynthia works very conscientiously to mentor many young film students, every academic year, and guides their early steps in establishing meaningful careers in the film industry.
Cynthia produced and directed the CINE Award-winning film, Louie, Louie: A Portrait in Parkinson’s, the personal journey of her family’s struggle to cope with their father’s 30-year battle with the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease. She also produced and directed The Ladies Room, a sassy film that captures women at their most honest situations in restrooms. She traveled extensively across the country, screening the film at colleges and universities.
The Mondells recently won the 2008 Lone Star Emmy for A Fair To Remember, a social history of the great State Fair of Texas, which had its premiere on public television station KERA in Dallas. In 2009, this documentary was the only Texas film among thirty selected for the 2009 American Documentary Showcase, a new cultural program under the auspices of the US State Department’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs. All of the films will tour to American embassies throughout the world to screen for local audiences.
In the last year, the Mondells have also completed The Monster Among Us, a documentary about the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe today, which just won the top award, the 2008 Remi Special Jury Award in the documentary category, at Houston’s Worldfest IFF. A Reason To Live, a documentary about depression and suicide among young adults, ages 15-24 years old, just released in April and is being distributed nationwide. Another of their films, Sisters of ’77, documenting the story of the first federally funded National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977, aired nationwide in 2005 on the award-winning public television series, Independent Lens.
Additional highlights from Media Projects’ body of work include: Films from the Sixth Floor, six films about the life, death and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; West of Hester Street, a docudrama about Jewish immigration through the port of Galveston in the early 1900s; Make Me A Match, a warm-hearted look at the trials and tribulations of Jewish matchmaking in contemporary society; Funny Women, a short film celebrating 50 years of women comedians in American television; and Who Remembers Mama?, an emotional look at the economic and legal problems confronting middle-aged, divorced homemakers.
Together Cynthia and Allen have received such notable awards as the Lone Star EMMY, four CINE Golden Eagles; a Bronze CINDY; three Telly Awards; a Silver Gavel from the American Bar Association and a Recognition Award from the Dallas Metro Association for Outstanding Contribution to the Dallas Metro Association Counseling Profession. Selection to the 2009 American Documentary Showcase continues to expand the influence and scope of Media Projects' films around the world!