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Balloon twister Addi Somekh sees colors and shapes coming out of your head, and brings his visions to life in the form of elaborate sculptural balloon hats. He meets a photographer, Charlie Eckert, who shares his weariness at the barrage of violent images driving the global media. When Charlie offhandedly suggests bringing the balloon hats to random people around the world, Addi agrees, and the two of them set out on a journey to create a photo art book drawn from their adventures.

Laden with backpacks full of balloons and cameras, Addi, a Silicon Valley slacker and Charlie, a Queens, New Yorker, travel the world to prove their thesis: people everywhere need joy to survive, whether it be the Balkan States in the aftermath of war, the strife-ridden Middle East, or the forgotten jungles of the developing world.

As BALLOONHAT travels through different countries, it reveals not only the travails of a grassroots art project, but also America's changing status on the world stage. Each new culture's embrace of their balloon art-from Rio's beaches to the rubble of Sarajevo-stands in stark contrast to the narrowed world view Addi and Charlie find upon their return as they seek an outlet to spread the beauty of their project, and instead are forced to confront the realities of a post-millennial America.

Televised Broadcasts:
Canal Plus Europe, 2007
Maori Television, New Zealand, 2007
Noga TV, Israel, 2007


2006 Best Documentary Feature, Durango Film Festival
2005 Creative Spirit Award in Documentary, Santa Fe Film Festival

Film Festivals:
Rome International Film Festival, 2006
Durango Film Festival, 2006
Maine International Film Festival, 2006
Santa Fe Film Festival, 2005
Global Peace Film Festival, 2005
Filmstock, 2005

Title #267724
Format: DVD-R