Christmas From Coast to Coast: San Francisco Couple Brings Christmas Cheer to the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival
"Making Christmas: The View from the Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree" a documentary film by Richard Gutierrez is making its east coast debut at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival on Friday, Sept 23 at 7:00pm at the Riviera Theater.
- Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY (1888PressRelease) September 21, 2011 - Holiday traditions bring family and friends closer together. This year, Dr. Jerry Goldstein and his partner Tom Taylor, are bringing the holidays home to their family and friends in Buffalo, New York. They will present the Signs For The Future documentary production, "Making Christmas: The View From the Tom and Jerry Christmas Tree" during its east-coast premiere at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival on Friday September 23, 2011 at the Riviera Theater.
Every year since 1984, San Francisco couple Tom Taylor and Dr. Goldstein, a Buffalo native, have invited the entire Bay Area community to visit their own 65-foot tall child, a Norfolk Island Pine Christmas Tree, at their home in the Castro District of San Francisco. For over 27 years, Tom and Jerry have pulled out all the stops to create a dazzling Christmas gift for the community creating a winter wonderland in their front yard. Generations of San Franciscans make the pilgrimage to Tom and Jerry's home to take in the tree's spectacular lights, the whimsical decorations, and the gorgeous city view behind it.
A longtime artist and design professional in San Francisco, Tom Taylor is the creative mastermind behind the tree's concept, which has become his annual show of shows, as he creates and manages the making of Christmas. The tree is the centerpiece of a holiday wonderland that includes more than 10,000 lights, hundreds of stuffed animals, giant gift-wrapped boxes, miniature train sets, and even a live Santa that greets visitors each night through Christmas Eve.
Tom and Jerry don't ask for donations, and they don't charge a cent to share in the holiday spirit. This is their holiday gift to San Francisco. And making the annual visit has become a cherished tradition for thousands of people over the years. "It's our gift to the city and to our community, to give back for everything this city has done for us," Dr. Goldstein said.
In 2010, independent filmmaker Richard Gutierrez approached the couple to document the tree's tranformation from plain pine to holiday spectacular. "I was born on December 23rd, so Christmastime is very special to me" Gutierrez said. "I had come to see the tree for years, and was always amazed at the beauty and sheer creativity involved.
Every time I visited, the crowds were so enthusiastic, and the kids loved it. I wondered, 'how do they make this tree happen?' I had to know more," Guiterrez explains. Gutierrez' documentary gives us a behind-the-tinsel sneak peek to see the volunteers team, the creative force, and the hard work that brings this beloved tradition to life, year after year. And we get a first-hand look how this tree has brought a community together. While most Christmas trees take a few hours to create, the film documents how the Tom and Jerry tree takes a full six weeks to plan, stage, build, and complete. The film was recently screened at the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco to rave reviews.
"I have come to learn that this longtime couple brings so much to the city of San Francisco not only during Christmas but year round on so many levels," Gutierrez said. "This project shows us only a small part of Tom and Jerry's contribution to the San Francisco community."
Tom adds, "What could be better, especially in these challenging times, to bring a smile to everyone who visits? And now, with the film, we can spread that Christmas cheer all year long."
Jerome Goldstein and Tom Taylor will be available for interviews at the Riviera Theater on 23 September 2011.
About the BNFF
The Buffalo Niagara Film Festival is committed to providing opportunities to fellow filmmakers and all others in bringing cinematographic arts and other related entertainment products to Western New York through high-profile community events, talent, productions and films from around the country and the world. The 5th Annual BUFFALO NIAGARA FILM FESTIVAL FALL EDITION runs from September 22nd thru 25th. The BNFF is a World-Wide Film Festival & Market, open to the public, filmmakers, and entertainment professionals abroad.