COAL COCKED is a grassroots campaign documentary meant to help stop Arch Coal strip mining in Montana. Women from West Virginia to Oregon and Washington are interviewed. COAL COCKED premiered January 15, 2014 at the Hollywood Theater in Portland Oregon.
About me, Gene Bernofsky:
Since 1966 I have been active as a proletarian/grassroots film and video creative artist. Copies of all my work, including most originals, and papers, are archived at the University of Kansas Spencer Research Library in Lawrence, Kansas. My first recognition for creative art was winner of the 1965 Mid-America Art Show at the Nelson Art Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri. This competition was judged by the late Richard Diebenkorn.
My film and video work is dedicated to non-commercial, non-profit, creativity. I seek to interpret, document and understand the world and human activity and to share results with an interested audience. My non-commercial dedication to personal art expression and exploration has led me to seek a living for myself and family in the blue collar world of work as a construction welder and postal worker. An account of my environmental film/video and work life is profiled in the July-August 1999 edition of AUDUBON magazine and in the KANSAS ALUMNI publication, Volume 98 NO 1, 2000.
In the winter of 1978 I had my first one-man show of 16mm films at the San Francisco Art Institute. I showed there again in the summer of 1983. Neshnabek premiered at the University Theatre, University of Kansas, 1985. I Never Saw The Buffalo premiered at the Wildlife Film Festival at the University of Montana, Missoula, 1987. Which Side Are You On? received a Letter of Appreciation from the United Mine Workers of America, 1989.Undermining Yellowstone received an Honorable Mention at the Best of the Northwest Video Festival at Southern Oregon University, Ashland Oregon, 1992. A River Cries received an Award of Excellence at the Best of the Northwest Video Festival, Portland Oregon, 1994. Red Thunder received a Merit Award at The International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula, Montana 1997 and a Letter of Thanks from the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation. Swimming Woman has a Letter of Appreciation from the Central Montana Wildlands Association, 1998. Diet Coke Montana received a screening recognition at the 1999 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Trembling Waters was a 1999 Hometown Video Festival Winner, Washington, DC and a Winner of Director’s Choice Award at the Black Maria Film and Video Festival at New Jersey City University, New Jersey 1999. Dongo Kundu received a Certificate of Merit from the 43rd Rochester International Film Festival, 2001, Rochester, NY and a Finalist Award at the FICA Film Festival at Goiania, Brazil 2002. Dongo Kundu has been screened as an Award Winner at the Indigenous Film Festival of Toronto, Canada, 2001 and broadcast repeatedly on Nation TV, Nairobi, Kenya 2001-2002.
In 2000 I began video working in digital format and produced; Cream of Feet, Frontburner, Gassing the Big Sky, No Histrionics!, Oh No Lolo and Hear The Buffalo. In the Spring of 2010 I traveled to the Bialowieza Primeval Forest in Poland to film their forest bison and produced Wisent. In the summer of 2013 I interviewed women from West Virginia to Portland Oregon for the film, Coal Cocked, about irresponsible coal mining planned for Montana.
My community involvement in Missoula includes pioneering the establishment of Missoula Community Access Television, (MCAT), and serving on the Board of Directors for ten years. I also served on the Board of the Wildlife Film Festival as Vice-President for several years. I am currently retired from 10 years of school bus driving for Beach Transportation of Missoula.