The Filmmaker

BETH B photo

Beth B

Beth B produced, directed, filmed & edited CALL HER APPLEBROOG. Beth B exploded onto the New York film scene in the late ‘70s, after receiving her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 1977. These breakthrough films, such as Black Box, Vortex, and The Offenders, were shown at Max’s Kansas City, CBGB’s, the New York Film Festival and the Film Forum. These and more recent films have been shown at, and acquired by, the Whitney Museum and MoMA. Beth B’s career has been characterized by work that challenges society’s conventions, embraces the underdog, and focuses on social issues and human rights.

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During her prolific career, Beth B has produced over 30 films within the narrative, documentary, and experimental genres. She has produced and directed narrative independent films and cable television productions, mounted large-scale media installations as well as creating a theatrical production for BAM’s Artist in Action series. Her work has been shown at The Sundance Film Festival, The New York Film Festival, The Berlin Film Festival, The Locarno Film Festival and in galleries and museums including MoMA, the Whitney Biennial, the Tate Modern, the Pompidou Center, Deitch Projects, and PPOW Gallery. Her early films, along with those of Jim Jarmusch and Amos Poe, are the focus of the documentary, Blank City. Her films have been the subjects of several books and other documentaries, including The Cinema of Transgression; Art, Performance, Media; Downtown Film and TV Culture; and No Wave: Underground 80.  Beth B is currently teaching in the Fine Arts Department at the School of Visual Arts and in the Film Department at Montclair State University. She is in development on the television series, Free Fall and is collaborating on a large-scale media installation entitled, Near Death, with musician Jim Coleman.

In 2016, Director Beth B completed the feature documentary, Call Her Applebroog, which was 15 years in the making. An intimate and complex portrait of her mother, acclaimed New York–based artist Ida Applebroog, the film premiered at the Museum of Modern Art, opened theatrically in NY at the Metrograph Theater and will open at 5 Laemmle Theaters in September 2016. Call Her Applebroog offers a universal and touching story of filial bonds as well as a deeply rewarding portrait of two artists at the height of their craft. Beth B received a 2016 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

In 2007, she began work on EXPOSED, a non-fiction feature about 8 women and men who are using their naked bodies in spectacular and provocative ways to tease and criticize society. The film premiered in the Panorama section at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival and was distributed worldwide.

Beginning in 2001, Beth B began a new phase of her career, making television documentaries and docudramas, which she continues to do. Titles include Positive ID: The Case Files of Anthony Falsetti; Death of a Rising Star; Crimes Scenes Uncovered; and An Unlikely Terrorist.

Her first 35mm film, Salvation! (1987), a sharp-edged social satire starring Viggo Mortensen and Exene Cervenka, prefigured pop culture’s fascination with tele-evangelism. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and played theatrically worldwide. In 1988, her screenplay Life in Luxury was selected for the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab. Two Small Bodies (1994), based on Neal Bell’s play and starring Fred Ward and Suzy Amis, was featured at the Locarno, Toronto and Sundance Film Festivals.

Her films have been the subject of retrospectives at London’s National Film Theater; the Montreal Film Festival; Lisbon’s Nucleo Dos Cineastas Independentes; and the Danish Film Institute.  She has also served on the competition juries at the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals. Critics at the New York Times, Village Voice and other outlets have praised her work as “compelling,” ”captivating,” “extraordinary,” “a tour de force,” and have written that “her videos are haunting and her feature films brilliant.”

Throughout her career, Beth B has continued to make interdisciplinary pieces involving painting, sculpture, photography and media installations.  They have been shown at museums, galleries and public art spaces, including MoMA, the Whitney Biennial, the Tate Gallery, and PPOW Gallery. A series of photographic portraits of vaginas caused a sensation at Deitch Projects, and resulted in publication of a book of her photographs, titled Portraits. Hysteria, an exhibition of her work at the Hayward Gallery in London, dealt with censorship of female sexuality using a combination of video, sculptures and live performance.

In addition to her film and art productions, Beth B teaches fine arts at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and teaches film at Montclair State University.


  • 2016         CALL HER APPLEBROOG
  • 2013         EXPOSED
  • 2000         BREATHE IN/BREATHE OUT
  • 1996         VISITING DESIRE
  • 1994         TWO SMALL BODIES
  • 1997         SALVATION!
  • 1983         VORTEX
  • 1981         THE TRAP DOOR
  • 1979         THE OFFENDERS
  • 2007         FAMILY SECRETS
  • 2007         THE BLACK WIDOWER
  • 2006         PATTERN OF DECEPTION
  • 2005         DEATH OF A RISING STAR
  • 2004         A DAUGHTER’S LOVE
  • 2002         BADGE OF DISHONOR
  • 2001         AN UNLIKELY TERRORIST
  • 2001         HYSTERIA
  • 2000         NERVE.COM, segments
  • 2000         EGG, the Arts Show, segments
  • 2001         AFTEREFFECTS, segments
  • 1997         VOICES UNHEARD
  • 1995         OUT OF SIGHT / OUT OF MIND
  • 1995         HIGH HEEL NIGHTS
  • 1993         AMNESIA
  • 1993         UNDER LOCK AND KEY
  • 1991         STIGMATA
  • 1991         THANATOPSIS
  • 1989         BELLADONNA
  • 1979         BLACK BOX
  • 1979         LETTERS TO DAD
  • 1978         G-MAN
  • 1984         Joan Jett, I NEED SOMEONE
  • 1984         Taka Boom, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT
  • 1983         Dominatrix, THE DOMINATRIX SLEEPS TONIGHT