Former Stuy Town resident presents screenings of his hip-hop musical film

Jason Stefaniak and Ryan Carmichael

Jason Stefaniak and Ryan Carmichael

Previously, Town & Village reported on how a film being produced by Stuyvesant Town resident Jason Stefaniak was funded by a neighbor after she read about his crowd-sourcing effort for the project, “But Not for Me,” in this newspaper.

Since then the film, a hip-hop musical directed by his friend and fellow Tisch alum Ryan Carmicahel, has been gone to festivals where it’s won multiple awards.

“But Not for Me,” which focuses on the New York millennial struggle of making ends meet in the city while also trying to live a meaningful life and pursue creative ambitions, had its world premiere at the 2015 Brooklyn Film Festival in June. There it won both the Audience Choice and Best Score Awards. AM New York called the film a “must-see.” It went on to screen in Austin, TX, Bangor, ME, Sedona, AZ, and the prestigious Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, VA.

The film will next be screened at the Queens World Film Festival on Saturday, March 19 at 3 p.m. and New Filmmakers New York on Wednesday March 23 at 8:45 p.m. Both screenings will be followed by Q&A with cast and filmmakers.

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ST ‘angel’ funds neighbor’s film

A scene from “But Not For Me,” produced by Stuyvesant Town resident Jason Stefaniak

A scene from “But Not For Me,” produced by Stuyvesant Town resident Jason Stefaniak

By Sabina Mollot

It was in October, 2013, when Jason Stefaniak, an NYU graduate and Stuyvesant Town resident made an appeal, through an article in this newspaper, to get neighbors interested in a musical film he was producing, or rather hoped to produce after raising the funds via Kickstarter.

The campaign for the film, titled “But Not for Me,” which was about the millennial experience of making the rent in New York while also pursuing happiness, wound up raising an impressive $30,000. However, since that amount was far short of Stefaniak and the film director Ryan Carmichael’s goal of $100,000, under Kickstarter’s policy, this meant they ended up with none of the cash.

Not long after the Kickstarter deadline ended, however, Stefaniak got an email from a neighbor, which, after skimming it, he saw mentioned that its author wanted to make a contribution. Since he was busy at the moment, he figured he’d get back to her later to let her know the deadline had passed.

Then, later, Stefaniak took a closer look at the email and what she was offering. The woman, who said she’d read about the project in Town & Village, “wanted to help us cross the finish line,” he said.

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