217 Films is an independent film company devoted to the American artistic experience.
In 2005, Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton released their first film "Cleophas and His Own" taken from the American Modernist painter Marsden Hartley's epic narrative of love and loss, a private and personal narrative which was first published many years after his death. In "Cleophas and His Own," Maglaras both directed and played the role of Hartley.
In 2008, 217 Films' second release was the first-ever documentary film on the life of Hartley, called "Visible Silence: Marsden Hartley, Painter and Poet".
In 2010, with their film "John Marin: Let the Paint be Paint!" they established, through the first documentary made about this important painter, that John Marin was one of the fathers of American Modernism.
Among other distinctions, these films have been shown to acclaim at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
In 2012, in honor of the re-publication by the Library of America of the six seminal graphic novels of the American master Lynd Ward, they released the film "O Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward."
Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the art exhibition that introduced Modernism to America, in September 2013 "The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show" was released and screened to standing room only audiences throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
Their sixth film "Enough to Live On: The Art of the WPA" was released in May 2015 in celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Federal Art Project under Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal.
In November 2016, their new film titled "American Faces: Portrait of a Nation" will be released. This film traces the history of America through the portraits of the American people.
The Sacramento Bee called Michael Maglaras a film maker of "Bergman-like gravitas." His films have been described as "virtuoso filmmaking" (National Gallery of Art) "alive and fresh" (Art New England) "elegiac and insightful" (Naples Daily News) and "unforgettable" (Journal of American History). David Berona, author of "Wordless Books" has said of "O Brother Man" --"This film is stunning" and Judith Regan of Sirius XM called it "magnificent." A recent review in The Dartmouth said of "The Great Confusion" that "Michael Maglaras...brought the drama of the original show back to life." Scott Whipple of the New Britain Herald said "Maglaras and Templeton's work is comparable to that of the widely acclaimed Ken Burns." Maglaras has recently been featured in a full-length interview on "Conversations from Penn State" on Public Television.
If you'd like to learn more about the spoken word, jazz, and alternative rock recording projects of 217 Records, the sister company of 217 Films, click here.