Press Release

November 13 2018

America ReFramed: 'Winter at Westbeth' | Press Kit


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“…A moving, life-affirming visit with the elderly residents of an artists’ community in New York’s West Village.” – American Society of Cinematographers, Screen International

New York, N.Y. — November 13, 2018 — The elderly residents of Westbeth Artists Housing in New York City are immersed in their art practices as though there is no tomorrow.

Winter at Westbeth, a film by Rohan Spong, puts the spotlight on three longtime residents as they continue to engage with their craft. While most dancers retire by their late thirties, 75-year-old contemporary dancer Dudley Williams, a former company member of both Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey ensembles, prepares for an electrifying return to the stage. Eighty-two-year old poet and breast cancer survivor, Ilsa Gilbert, who has written over 350 poems, weaves her experience about confronting mortality into her work. Finally, 95-year old experimental filmmaker and video artist Edith Stephen hopes to complete an experimental film for her birthday.

Winter at Westbeth will make its U.S. television premiere and streaming debut on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CT / 9 p.m. PST, over a multicast seven-day window) on WORLD Channel (check local listings) and as part of the current season of America ReFramed, public media’s award-winning documentary series. It will also be available to stream for free on all station-branded PBS platforms including, and on PBS apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

The film takes place at Westbeth Artists Housing,a vast rent-controlled apartment community in New York City, inhabited since 1970. Previously the home of Bell Laboratories, Westbeth is an example of thoughtful public housing, where abandoned industrial buildings are repurposed to create a vibrant artistic community.

Shot over four seasons in New York by Australian director Rohan Spong, Winter at Westbeth captures inspirational stories about aging and the need to keep creating.


Writer/Director/Cinematographer: Rohan Spong