Friday Night - Shoreline Premiere


Shoreline Premiere - Confidence Game 

Screening With Matthew Modine Shorts: "Jesus Was A Commie" and "Somebody"

Not you typical, sensational Wall Street’s gone wild film, but rather a jaw dropping street level, 360-degree view of systemic malfeasance and widespread corruption. It reveals how an amalgam of Washington policy and regulatory failures, compliant ratings agencies, media manipulation and fraud in the subprime mortgage market on a massive scale short-circuited Wall Street nearly destroying the American Economy. As Jack Webb used to say, “just the facts mam” and that’s how this film plays out in a very understandable fashion.

 

Through the eyes of former Bear Sterns employees, shyster mortgage brokers, devastated homeowners, whistle blowers and eminent financial journalists including Bryan Burrough, William D. Cohan and Andrew Ross Sorkin, Confidence Game reveals to the viewer that this crisis was in fact, ten years in the making. Featuring a take-no-prisoners, yet empathetic approach to story telling, we come to understand just how far reaching the tentacles of Bear Sterns were and how, to this day, we are all paying the price for their own personal confidence game that nearly destroyed the American economy.

Confidence Game Filmmaker: Nick Verbitsky - An unlikely filmmaker emerges when you meet Nick Verbitsky face to face. This physically imposing star college football player is at first not who you think he might be. Graduating from Colgate University with a degree in History, one would have thought he would go on to become a lawyer, a football coach or just another suburban corporate dad. Instead, upon getting Masters degrees in finance and marketing from NYU, Nick decided to follow in his father’s and brother’s footsteps and join the family business.

In 1998 Nick and his brother, Paul, started Blue Chip Films – a nuts to bolts television production company. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut. They bring docu-series style television to life and have written and produced shows for WeTV (“The Secret Lives of Women” - a mini series about polygamy) and SPEED (“Intersections” – where fast machines are highlighted to show their intersecting similarities). They also produce shorter form human-interest pieces for ESPN, CBS, and TLC.

As the financial implosion of Bear Sterns unfolded in 2008, Nick found himself drawn to the story - and reading between the lines. In a Reuters on-air interview he said “…at the time that Bear went down…the rumors were rife that there was a conspiracy among hedge fund managers to bring the firm down”. His interest peaked, the investigative wheels began to turn and Confidence Game – The Film was born. “…I had several friends who worked at Bear Sterns and the impact that it had on their lives inspired me to at least start looking into it…”

Revolving around the tumultuous week of March 10, 2008 - when the early tremors of America’s sub-prime mortgage meltdown began rippling through the hallowed boardrooms of Wall Street - Confidence Game takes the viewer on a seven day tornado–driven roller coaster ride.

In one short week, Bear Sterns, the eighty-five year old investment bank known for its financial pugilism, outsized profits, and unabashed hubris, suddenly found itself on the brink of unthinkable collapse. Down on it’s knees, and begging for mercy; Bear Sterns was ground zero for a crisis that would go on to engulf the entire global financial system. Through the eyes of former Bear Sterns employees, shyster mortgage brokers, devastated homeowners, whistle blowers and eminent financial journalists including Bryan Burrough, William D. Cohan and Andrew Ross Sorkin, Confidence Game reveals to the viewer that this crisis was in fact, ten years in the making. Featuring a take-no-prisoners, yet empathetic approach to story telling we come to understand just how far reaching the tentacles of Bear Sterns were and how, to this day, we are all paying the price for their own personal confidence game that nearly destroyed the American economy.

But why zero in on Bear Sterns and not some other firm? Nick replies ”as I kind of pealed back the layers of the onion so to speak it was clear there was a lot more to this story than just the firm going down in one week. It had started long before then and certainly Bear’s reputation and a lot of other facets of the Bear story made it very compelling….”

Much like his television work there is a decidedly human element to what could otherwise be a very dry story about just another bank collapse. Self-financed and paid for with sweat equity, the story that emerges is of a filmmaker determined to uncover the truth and to illuminate the faces behind the numbers. Confidence Game is not just another ‘Wall Street’ moment - it’s a street level, 360-degree view of systemic malfeasance and widespread corruption. Like the filmmaker himself, this story is multi -faceted and sure to surprise at every turn!

As for what’s next for Nick Verbitsky – our unlikely hero filmmaker - let’s just say his wheels are turning every time he picks up a newspaper…and no doubt he will again read between the lines!

 

06.29.12 - 7:00 pm
1 hour 45 minutes
The Kate