MAX HECHTMAN, a graduate of the Film and Media Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), NYC, is a Long Island and New York-based filmmaker. His narrative and documentary work has received recognition at various film festivals nationally. His goal is to use the art of film to bring attention to issues that challenge his and other generations, through subject matter and stories that are relatable and impact our lives.
His most recent documentary, "Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide" (2018), which won Best Documentary at the 2019 Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE), was inspired by a Middle School assembly given by suicide prevention advocate, John Halligan, and his seeing "Dear Evan Hansen" on Broadway, which heightened his awareness of the entertainment industry’s portrayal of mental health and youth suicide. The documentary covers the subject matter from the perspectives of the family, clinician, someone with a lived experience and the media, and features interviews with Halligan, whose son, Ryan, committed suicide at age 13; nationally-recognized child and adolescent psychiatrist Harold Koplewicz, President of the Child Mind Institute and Meryl Cassidy, Executive Director of the Suffolk County Response Crisis Center.
"FIT Hives: Sustainability – The Secret to Survival" (2016), which won the Eco Sustainable Award from Fashion Film Festival Chicago, was made as part of an Innovation Fund grant from the Clinton Global Initiative. The documentary, which also screened at the Chelsea Film Festival and NewFilmmakers NY, was produced to educate the FIT community about the importance of bees to the environment, the use of bee-derived resources in the majors taught at the college and the installation of beehives on the roof.
Hechtman’s first narrative film, "I Am Here" (2016) addresses the issue of his generation’s obsession with texting and technology and its effect on their lives and relationships. It was an official selection at festivals including Big Apple Film Festival, New York City International Film Festival and the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE).
"Abigail" (2019), his senior thesis film, which was an ambitious undertaking, touches on the controversial and complicated topic of end-of-life decision-making, as well as grief and loss. The film was named a quarterfinalist in Stage 32's 5th Annual Short Film Contest and it will screen this fall at the 2020 Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE).
In addition to filmmaking, he has been working as a professional video editor for the past five years. He hopes to continue his work in production and post-production and pursue film projects, including short and feature-length narratives and documentaries that get people to think, question and open conversations about subjects that are difficult, but can lead to change and positive outcomes. An avid enthusiast of musical theatre, he also hopes to adapt Broadway musicals for film.
Film (short) by Max Hechtman Films/Max Hechtman and Christonikos Tsalikis (Drama, Fantasy, Mystery and Short) Co-Director/Producer/Camera Operator/Editor A lonely and elderly widower struggles to come to terms with the loss of his wife and the circumstances surrounding her death. When he visits her grave, he encounters a little girl who shows him the path to healing and fills him with hope. Inspired by a true story, "Abigail" addresses the topics of grief, loss and the complicated topic of end-of-life decisions, and the unique challenges it poses on relationships and family dynamics.
Film (short) by Max Hechtman (Thriller and Short) Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor A little project to showcase point-of-view from the cinematic lens. An editor gets distracted while editing, procrastinating to finish a project. Will he make the deadline in time?
Stories of Strength and Hope: Preventing Youth Suicide
Documentary by Max Hechtman Films/Max Hechtman (Documentary and Short) Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor An up-to-date look at Youth Suicide with an examination of the warning signs, statistics and causes, along with possible ways teachers and parents can use to help their child overcome this important social issue. Also includes a look at the media and its handling of the social issue through the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" and the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, "Dear Evan Hansen."
Finger Lakes: A Place for Everyone
Commercial by I LOVE NEW YORK @ Tribeca Student Film Contest (Adventure, Family and Short) Director Short film inspired by the Finger Lakes region in New York State, made as a submission to the 2017 I LOVE NEW YORK @ Tribeca Student Film Contest.
Documentary by Max Hechtman (Documentary and Short) Director of Photography/Editor Mini-Documentary about family-inspired volunteerism at the East Meadow Fire Department, highlighting Second Generation EMT Samantha Mongello; Third Generation Firefighter, Zachary Ludewig; and First Generation Firefighter, Second Assistant Chief Phil Fertitta.
Pathways to Climate Success
Documentary by Dylan Dell'Erba and Max Hechtman (Documentary and Short) Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor A documentary film for our FIT Documentary Film Production class, that examines the cause of climate change, its effect on the NY/Metropolitan Area and potential solutions to reduce and/or reverse global warming. The concept for this film was inspired by Miranda Massie, Director of the Climate Museum, who believes that the need to balance urgency with positive solutions is the key to conquering the effects of global warming – a philosophy she describes as “Pathways to Climate Success.” The film presents examples of the results of climate change, including the increase in severe storms, such as Superstorm Sandy, and the impact on habitat and pollinators, such as the decline of honeybees that are responsible for maintaining our food supply. It highlights solutions currently being implemented and/or are in development. These include lifestyle changes such as reducing our use of transportation that relies on fossil fuels; encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy, such as electric cars; the development of a new biofuel using Lemna or Duckweed by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories on Long Island, and the planting of flowers and trees and installation of urban beehives to preserve the bee population and ensure these pollinators can carry out their role in agriculture, to maintain the quality and quantity of produce.
I Am Here
Film (short) by Christonikos Tsalikis (Drama, Mystery, Romance and Short) Camera Operator/Story Concept/Editor/Producer A young man, looking to start his life over moves into a new neighborhood. In his new home, he discovers a picture of a beautiful girl with a phone number along side of it. As time passes by, his curiosity and affection of the girl grows and compels him to text the number. He eventually gets pulled into an unconventional relationship with the girl over text messages.
FIT Hives: Sustainability - The Secret to Survival
Documentary by FIT Hives (Documentary and Short) Video Production Manager/Director of Photography/1st Camera Operator/Editor A documentary that introduces FIT Hives, a student-run organization at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Their mission is to use education about bees and the environment to spread awareness about why we need bees and do more in regards to sustainability, both in our world and within the FIT community.
Eat Your Vegetables
Film (short) by Carmen Torres (Comedy and Short) Camera Operator/Lighting/Editor Two people discuss vegetarianism as they wait for their friend, who is a vegetarian himself. A class project where we were to take a scene from a dialogue or play we have not seen and create a one-scene short film centered on the dialogue. Based on an educational screenplay by M. Robert Turnage.
Film (short) by Max Hechtman (Thriller and Short) Director/Camera Operator/Editor When a high school student accidentally leaves behind his college acceptance letter, his friend decides to return it to him. A class project where we were to take a fairy tale, children's story or Greek myth and retell it in a way that is relatable to modern-day real life. Based on the Greek myth of Hermes, the Messenger God.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Video by East Meadow High School Theatre Guild (Family, Fantasy, Romance and Musical) Videographer/Editor/VFX East Meadow High School Theatre Guild's 2015 Spring Musical production of the beloved Broadway show, based on Disney's classic animated film. Footage from all four shows and pick-up shots from dress rehearsals were used to create a multi-cam, cinematic look. Visual and audio effects were used to enhance the video, which took 500+ hours to make.
Film (short) by Max Hechtman and Mike Madden (Drama and Short) Writer/Co-Director/Camera Operator/Editor Two sisters argue and one runs away from home. When she crashes her car into a tree, she ends up recovering with a cast on her leg. She and her sister then reconcile through the process of forgiveness. Student project to create a film about a family problem, in which there is a clear conflict/character change.
Film (short) by Max Hechtman (Comedy, Drama, Romance and Short) Director/Camera Operator/Editor An off-screen narrator reminisces about his fun-loving, ex-girlfriend, Isabelle, and the elevator game that she created. By describing the way the game is played, he highlights all the things he misses about her and in the end, expresses his regret about losing her. Based on an educational screenplay "Remembering Jaime" by M. Robert Turnage.
Bard in a Box: The Taming of the Shrew
Video by East Meadow High School Theatre Guild (Comedy) Videographer/Editor East Meadow High School's 2014 Fall Comedy that takes one of Shakespeare's classic comedies and presents in a way you've never seen it before.
Cooking with Kefi
Television by Reel Life Cinematography/Titan Television/MEGA (Talk-Show and Reality-TV) Assistant Editor
Once Upon a Mattress
Video by East Meadow High School Theatre Guild (Comedy, Family, Fantasy and Musical) Videographer/Editor East Meadow High School Theatre Guild's 2014 production of the classic musical comedy, based on the fairytale "The Princess and the Pea." Was applied a multi cam treatment, using footage from all 4 shows and pick-up shots from the dress rehearsal, to give dimension to the amazing performances by the entire cast.
Ten Little Chipmunks
Video by East Meadow High School Theatre Guild (Comedy, Crime and Mystery) Videographer/Editor East Meadow High School's 2013 Fall production of Craig Sodaro's Comedy-Mystery.
Guys and Dolls
Video by East Meadow High School Theatre Guild (Comedy and Musical) Videographer/Editor East Meadow High School Theatre Guild's 2013 production of the classic musical.
Quarterfinalist - Stage 32 5th Annual Short Film Contest (ABIGAIL)
Best Documentary - Long Island International Film Expo (STORIES OF STRENGTH AND HOPE)
Official Selection - Awareness Film Festival (STORIES OF STRENGTH AND HOPE)
Official Selection - NYC Mental Health Film Festival (STORIES OF STRENGTH AND HOPE)
Official Selection - Chelsea Film Festival (STORIES OF STRENGTH AND HOPE)
Official Selection - YoungFilmmakers NY (STORIES OF STRENGTH AND HOPE)
Official Selection - Long Island International Film Expo (I AM HERE)
Official Selection - NewFilmmakers NY (FIT HIVES)
Official Selection - Gold Reel Student Film Festival (FIT HIVES)
Official Selection - Long Island International Film Expo (FIT HIVES)
Official Selection - Fashion Film Festival Chicago (FIT HIVES)
Official Selection - Chelsea Film Festival (FIT HIVES)
Eco Sustainable Award - Fashion Film Festival Chicago (FIT HIVES)
Official Selection - YoungFilmmakers NY (I AM HERE)
Official Selection - New York City International Film Festival (I AM HERE)
Official Selection - Levels Film Festival (I AM HERE)
Official Selection - Big Apple Film Festival (I AM HERE)
Fashion Institute of Technology
East Meadow High School