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NYC filmmaker Weinstein to visit Suwanee

SUWANEE -- Inspired by his mother and grandfather, who were cab drivers in New York City themselves, Joshua Weinstein set out to capture real life for middle class people behind the wheel in the Big Apple.

So in 2009, Weinstein, a cinematographer based in New York whose family is from Eastern Europe, worked with editor and producer Jean Chin, who was born in Taiwan, to film cab drivers who Weinstein called some of the hardest working and honest people around.

The film, "Drivers Wanted," will be shown at 7 p.m. on Monday at the Movie Tavern at 2855 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road as part of the ongoing Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers.

Admission is $6 and Weinstein will be available for a question and answer session after the showing.

This is the second time Weinstein has participated in this film tour. In 2009, his film "Flying on One Engine" was shown.

Because of their family backgrounds, Weinstein said he and Chin could relate and better show the real lives of cab drivers, who have to know every inch of the city. Even those areas that are less than savory.

"Now I know where prostitutes are in the city," Weinstein said. "They know where a lot of things are. You definitely learn about the city in ways that the mainstream media isn't covering."

Weinstein said he learned the cab industry is "cliquey" and the face of the immigrant in New York has changed from being Russian and Irish, to now Bangledeshian and African.

While many documentaries are authoritarian, Weinstein said his films are intimate and personal.

"It's wonderful to bring films to people," he said. "My goal in life is to make movies where people come in a room, they laugh and cry and leave in an orderly fashion."

Working on this project, Weinstein said he learned that while people may not look the same, or even speak the same language, they have things in common.

Along with "Drivers Wanted," Monday's event will also have Weinstein's short film, "I Beat Mike Tyson," which documents boxer Kevin McBride's struggles with fatherhood and his failing boxing career.

Other recent projects Weinstein's been a part of include "Give Up Tomorrow," which is about a person wrongly accused of murder in the Phillipines and "Code of the West," which is about medicinal marijuana in Montana.

The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will continue in Suwanee through April.