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Norwalk Family Documentary Makes Film Festival Debut

Left to right: Mike Drasky, Jeanne Drasky and Kathy Drasky.
Left to right: Mike Drasky, Jeanne Drasky and Kathy Drasky. Photo Credit: Holly Owen

NORWALK, Conn. -- A short documentary film about a Norwalk family whose home is a wall-to-wall exhibit of paintings, photographs and crafts created by three generations of self-taught artists was part of the program at the Underfunded Film Festival recently held in Provo, Utah.

The documentary is called "Jeanne & Mike: Original Art."

At the heart of this 14-minute film are Jeanne and Mike Drasky, lifelong Norwalk residents now in their early 80s.

As Jeanne Drasky explains, “We’ve been married for 56 years and we have never bought a piece of art (or) artwork for this house.”

Mike concurs, “Everything is original.”

Shot on an iPhone by their daughter, Kathy, who gives the film its third generation, 21st Century angle, the Draskys recount how each of their fathers, Mike Drasky Sr. and Charles Rogowski, born in Norwalk at the beginning of the 20th Century, were the family’s original self-taught artists.

Drasky Sr. was the painter and detailer behind Norwalk’s Drasky & Gage Auto Paint and Body Shop. In his spare time, he taught himself to draw and paint with oils, watercolors and pastels.

Rogowski, a factory foreman, purchased one of the first 16mm cameras available in Connecticut in 1929. For the next 40 years, he documented family life in Norwalk with his home movies, as well as still photography.

Jeanne Drasky, who worked as an executive secretary and Mike Drasky, a mailman for 30 years in Norwalk, followed in their fathers’ footsteps, creating arts and crafts in their spare time while raising three daughters.

"Jeanne & Mike: Original Art" is Kathy Drasky's first film, made for about $500, which qualified it for its selection in the Underfunded Film Festival. The festival is dedicated to showing films made for less than $25,000. Hundreds of films were submitted. Approximately 50 were chosen for screening.

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