Oscar-winning doc short 'Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405' available on streaming platforms for first time
Frank Stiefel's endearing film centers on gifted, tormented artist Mindy Alper
Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405, the documentary short about artist Mindy Alper that won the Oscar in March, has become available on iTunes and other streaming platforms for the first time.
Frank Stiefel directed the film about a woman who has managed to produce remarkable sculptures and drawings despite a lifetime of struggle with mental illness. Heaven can be seen on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube.
I spend that time talking to myself out loud about whatever it is going on that outrages me and I have a chance to vent — things that I don't usually say to people, especially politics.
The Oscar victory for the 40-minute documentary, which was produced independently, came as something of a surprise because its competitors were backed by well-established entities -- Netflix, in the case of Heroin(e); The New Yorker for Knife Skills; Kartemquin Films with Edith + Eddie, and HBO forTraffic Stop.
Backstage after winning the Academy Award, Stiefel was asked a question by a reporter who referred to him as a documentarian. The director disavowed that title.
"I'm not a documentarian. This is my second film," he responded. "To make your first film at the age of 63, and to be given an Academy Award at the age of 70... it doesn't qualify me as being a documentarian. It qualifies me as being an extraordinarily lucky and happy 70‑year‑old."
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.