More Art Upstairs

Filmmaker: Jody Hassett Sanchez
Runtime: 77 min

A revolution is taking place in the art world and it isn’t happening in Paris, Berlin or Hong Kong—but in Grand Rapids, Michigan. ArtPrize is the most highly attended art show in the world, and it awards cash prizes larger than all other competitions combined. For three weeks, international critics and general crowds pack bars, galleries and abandoned buildings all over town, taking in over 1,500 works created by cerebral conceptualists and weekend hobbyists. An acclaimed jury awards a winner $200,000 and the ballot-carrying public does the same. Nimble cameras follow four artists, each vying not only for critical recognition but for every public vote they can drum up. Part classy game show, part engaging art exploration, More Art Upstairs captures the debates ArtPrize has triggered: Can culture be democratized? Do artists need or want to connect with audiences? And is the canonical art establishment on its way out?

About The Filmmaker

Jody Hassett Sanchez is president of Pointy Shoe Productions, a documentary and TV production company. Her latest documentary, More Art Upstairs world premiered at HOT DOCS, North America’s largest documentary film festival and made its US debut at the Nantucket Film festival before traveling to other festivals including DOC NYC.
Jody’s previous documentary SOLD: Fighting the New Global Slave Trade, filmed in India, Pakistan and West Africa, was broadcast in more than 60 countries, screened on 400 + campuses and included in the State Department’s previous cultural diplomacy program.

In 2009, Jody created the Africa Film Project to support Africa’s next generation of storytellers sparking social change through short documentary films. She previously covered religion, culture, and education for ABC’s World News Tonight and Nightline. Earlier, she traveled the globe as CNN’s State Department producer and senior producer of CNN’s 24-part Cold War Postscript. Jody was part of the CNN team that won a national Emmy award for coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing and the ABC team that won a national Emmy for 9/11 coverage.

She’s a native Cape Codder and Smith College graduate who lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband, a journalist and photographer and their 8-year-old son, a Lego enthusiast born in Kazakhstan.