The L.A. story — Cynthia Wade quits Slope for Hollywood

The Brooklyn Paper
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Park Slope is losing an Oscar-winning director to Los Angeles.

The westward move of Cynthia Wade is no minor blow to Brooklyn’s star power — Wade wins prestigious awards everywhere she shows her documentaries, culminating in her 2007 Academy Award for “Freeheld.”

But the HBO and History Channel star is not leaving without a bang. Her newest documentary short, “Born Sweet,” made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last week and received an honorable mention citation, one of only seven short films to receive such an honor out of the thousands that were submitted. The film won’t be screened in Brooklyn for now, but Wade knows where her heart lies.

“Of course, I’ll be back to visit,” she said. “I’m excited about my future, but I’ll never forget that I lived on Eighth Avenue and met some great people.”

Her newest venture is a 28-minute heartfelt journey into one of Cambodia’s most impoverished villages, and one dying boy’s dream to become a karaoke star, despite conditions of squalor and an incurable case of arsenic poisoning.

Making multiple trips to Cambodia in 2009 while filming and prepping another documentary was no short order, given that she’s a mother of two and runs a successful documentary company, Cynthia Wade Productions.

But alas, in April, she’ll move that company and those two kids to L.A. where the gossip is usually about movies, not about whether you should only have organic snacks for playdates. She said her work will pull her back to Brooklyn from time to time, but that Tinseltown is the final stop.

Looking back on the wild ride of the past few years, Wade was at a loss for words.

“I can’t believe where I am,” she said. “It’s surreal.”

Updated 4:25 pm, January 27, 2010
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