BRUCE & ME

girl with blue hammock2.jpg

About the Film

Oren is a violin teacher who makes documentaries. Bruce is an outlaw who has seen the inside of more jails, and owns more fake credit cards, and aliases than a Hollywood con man.


Oren lives a quiet life by the sea in Byron Bay, Australia. Bruce is on the road avoiding the law when he's not in his hideaway in hillbilly country of the southern USA.


Their connection ... Bruce is Oren's father. Bruce & Me is Oren personal exploration into her unusual relationship with her con-artist, white-collar criminal father.

Filmmaker Oren Siedler's personal exploration into her troubled and unusual relationship with her brilliant, charming, con-artist, white-collar criminal father takes us around the world, from Australia to the USA and Cuba.

The backdrop for Oren's journey is candid, verite style interactions with her eccentric and quirky family members. Aside from her felonious father, you'll meet her cranky, four-foot-five, 97-year-old grandmother; her zany artistic mother living on an Australian Aboriginal community; and her father's young sexy, cunning Cuban girlfriend. Viewers are guaranteed an unforgettable journey where Oren’s big questions take a backseat to the weird and wonderful world of life on the road with Bruce! 

Bruce & Me Trailer

About the Director

Raised in rural Australia and all over the USA, Siedler's work is heavily informed by her experiences growing up in two completely different worlds. The first was inhabited by a mother on a spiritual quest, bringing her in contact with the Dalai Lama. The other was her birth-father's; a Zen-like outlaw/con-man straight out of a Jack Kerouac novel.


After a year playing violin in an Australian all-girl rock band, Siedler entered the film business in California in consummate entry-level fashion, working in various crew positions in several feature films, including John Water's Hair Spray with New Line Cinema.


With practical experience under her belt, she moved back to Australia to absorb film theory and artistic tutelage. She graduated with an Arts Degree in Communications from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), with a major in Film& Video Production/Direction and Screen Studies. As a student, she amassed credits - producing and directing numerous short films and documentaries, while working professionally on shoots with several Sydney-based production companies. Her run up the production ladder included stints as First and Second Assistant Director, Continuity, Assistant Editor and Stills Photographer.


Already possessed of a solid professional reputation in the "real world," Oren was offered TV commercial direction work immediately after graduation. She followed that by directing an Australian Film Commission-funded documentary entitled Red Sand Blue Seas. The film was accepted into competition at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), where she was invited to present the film to international audiences. Red Sand Blue Seas was subsequently sold to the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Channels.


Away from the director's chair, Oren plays violin in a classical string quartet and teaches music privately. She is based in Byron Bay Australia.

bruceandme01.jpg

FESTIVALS

  • International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam

  • Nashville Film Festival

  • London Australian Film Festival

  • Norwegian Documentary Festival

  • Zagreb Dox International Documentary Film Festival

bruceandme12.jpg

Critical Acclaim

  • "Absorbing first-person doc with commercial potential, "Bruce & Me" speaks a universal language while focused on the specifics of a unique father-daughter relationship. Siedler's efforts to reunite with (or at least comprehend) her unrepentantly roguish father, a career con man and white-collar criminal, should fascinate anyone who has ever lunged at the real or perceived chance to make things right with a distant parent. "Bruce & Me" sustains a satisfying mix of deadpan humor, heartfelt emotion and wistful amazement as it charts a circuitous journey toward understanding."  -Joe Leydon - Variety

  • " a pleasantly quirky doc"  -Jim Ridley - Nashville Scene

  • " The legendary Al Maysles, cinematographer for "Gimme Shelter" and maker of dozens of independent documentary films, was in the audience. He and I both loved the film, and I raised my hand to tell the director, Oren Siedler, how much it reminded me of my own mad youth. And then Maysles, a little white-haired 75-year-old man hugged me. He identified with my comments. Would that have happened at Sundance?" -Francine Hardaway at IDFA

  • "Outstandingly excellent!..." -Albert Maysles at International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam

  • " Bruce & Me had moviegoers talking about the conventions and approaches to documenting one's own experiences" -Eugene Hernandez - Indiewire @ IDFA

  • “Odd, quirky and sometimes disturbing”  -Jim Bawden – The Toronto Star

  • “Bruce & Me deserves a wider audience than it’s likely to get on the Life Network… …”a soul-searcher”… “a toughand tender treatise on the strength of familial ties” -Henrietta Walmark – The Globe & Mail

  • “Bruce & Me is reminiscent of a 1970’s road picture – like Five Easy Pieces 25 years later” -Brian Gorman – The Toronto Sun

  • “filmmaker Oren Siedler has come up with a remarkably candid study of herself, parts of which will resonate with the inner child that lurks in us all” -James Wegg – Jamesweggreview.org

  • “ Funny… Moving…” -The Calgary Herald

  • " a scintillating film" -Independent Cinema Organization (UK)

  • " This style of filmmaking is not for the faint-hearted" -Barbara Karpinski - filmmaker, writer

  • “a delightful, touching film about coming to terms with where we come from—and how we learn to deal with it" -Nashville Film Festival

  • “There’s a pervasive sadness here, and it’s captured in gripping fashion. Highly recommended” -Alan Bostick – The Tennessean

  • “an adventure well worth taking” -Kim Linekin – Eye Weekly