Evan York can tell a story. Working "shoulder to shoulder" with one of the greatest screenwriters ever, Mardik Martin for more than 10 years, on Martin's life documentary ("Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood"), York's story telling skills were honed. To sum it up, it's all about the audience. It's their time. Make it honest. Make it compelling. Make it worth their while. York's award winning shorts have won praise, worldwide.
Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood
Baghdad-born screenwriter Mardik Martin looks back on a life as tumultuous as those of the memorable characters he created for some of Martin Scorsese's most stunning masterpieces, including Mean Streets and Raging Bull. Growing up in the capital of Iraq, Mardik Martin was captivated by the glamour of far-off Hollywood. But it was Manhattan that he first called home stateside, sent by his father to study business and economics at New York University. When a 1958 coup toppled the Iraqi monarchy, the ensuing turmoil back home meant Mardik was left to fend for himself, balancing his studies with his job as a busboy. It also, however, ensured sudden liberation from his family's expectations, and he soon enrolled in NYU's film school. There he met a young Scorsese, sparking a friendship that has spanned decades – and yielding the collaborative successes that inevitably led him to the city of his childhood dreams. But Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood does not end there. Via interviews not only with Mardik but with his colleagues, students and friends (including Scorcese), York depicts not only the triumphs their subject could never have predicted but the failures he never saw coming: no sooner was he on the rise than was his fall precipitated by the stuff of Hollywood tragedy – drug addiction. Without flinching from the blows Mardik endured, the documentarians go on to show the gradual comeback of a wistful and wise storyteller as he discovers a new calling: inspiring the screenwriters of the future as senior lecturer at one of the foremost film schools in the world, the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.
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This award winning animated short truly comes from the Blood, Sweat and Tears of Evan York. In "7 Weaks", York tells his own riveting story, after going through a crippling 7 week, 24/7, severe anxiety attack. York's, seemingly (at the time) never ending, nightmare documents the severe struggle York experienced. It's real. It happened. You're taken from start of his attack, through its escalation and finally what appears to be the path of nomality. Tears and chuckles are iminent. York has received many personal letters, notes and cards from people everywhere, who have experienced some level of this type of attack. It seems, York's story is one many can relate to.
As if the story itself isn't enough, York's animation style is captivating. This short took the "Best Animated Short Film", at the 2010 Beverly Hills Film Festival, taking top prize, over tough competitors, consisting of high tech, high budget production teams. Check out the trailer.