2017-06-133:00 PM

Curious Worlds will be screened by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum on Thursday June 15 at 7:00. Stop by for dinner and a movie. 

2017-05-193:15 PM

The Original Richard McMahan will be screening on May 21 at 10:30 am at the NY Producers Club as a part of the 2nd Annual NYC Short Documentary Film Festival.  

2017-05-103:00 PM

The Original Richard McMahan will be screening on May 13 at 3:20 pm at Art Share LA as a part of the the 4th Annual Fine Arts Film Festival sponsored by The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art. 



The documentary will premiere 1/20 in competion at the 2017 Tally Shorts Film Festival and has already been launched online on VHX In the fall of 201…
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With pictures from Chris Sullivan's photo album "Seen @ L'Opéra" From 1993 to 1998, David Beck devoted himself to the production of a single work, L'…
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“I’m not reproducing nature ... that’s not something I’m even interested in doing. I’m using it as like a springboard, like a romantic version in a sense.”

— David Beck

About the Film

Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck pulls back the curtain on the singular artist David Beck: a master sculptor, carver, and miniature architect who works in a fantastical genre all his own, creating intricate worlds that are alive with magical and brilliant observations.

A largely undiscovered genius, David Beck is known to a select group of collectors and curators.  During his early, formative years in New York City Beck lived on the edge of destitution.  Eventually he found gallery representation and established a following of enthusiasts who snap up his work as soon as it comes out.  His pieces have been shown at the MET, the Guggenheim, and some of the world’s most prominent galleries.  His work, "MVSEVM" was commissioned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, where it is on permanent display.  To the larger public, though, he is virtually unknown. 

His intricate, kinetic sculptures might be objects from a dream – fanciful buildings and hollow animals containing detailed, often humorous, scenes that are rendered on a tiny scale. Indifferent to current fashions, Beck combines modern, popular, and classical influences in his own way.  

Curious Worlds captures the artist at work in his studio and reflecting on his art.  It is an intimate insight into what it takes to create a masterwork: extraordinary ideas, an almost eerie ability to focus on the work, and patience.  Beck submits to the camera’s invasive scrutiny with a wit and charm that is both inviting and ambivalent.  Ultimately, he comes across as the smartest, most creative artist you’ve never heard of.

Learn more about David Beck at

Olympia Stone


Olympia Stone is an award-winning independent producer of documentary films about art and artists.  In April 2015, her documentary Curious Worlds: The Art & Imagination of David Beck, a portrait of a largely unknown artistic genius, premiered at the prestigious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC and is currently being screened across the country and internationally. Olympia’s previous film, about the artist James Grashow, The Cardboard Bernini (2012), charts the artist's exhilarating quest to create an intricately detailed cardboard version of the Trevi fountain. The film was broadcast nationwide on PBS, it won Best Documentary at the Art of Brooklyn Film Festival 2013, and was an official selection at Sebastopol, Santa Fe and 18 other festivals. Her first independent film, The Collector: Allan Stone’s Life in Art (2007) chronicles the obsessive collecting of her father, a New York art world gallerist whose habits and prescient scouting shaped his life and the lives of many in his artfully cluttered orbit.


Jody Becker – Writer
Jody is an award-winning documentary film, radio and print journalist. Her work has appeared on PBS, NPR and in, the, Variety and other newspapers and magazines. She worked with Olympia Stone as the story editor for the PBS broadcast version of The Cardboard Bernini, and she is collaborating on Olympia's next film about the sculptor Elizabeth King. Her reporting in the public interest was recognized with a distinguished Knight Fellowship at Yale Law School.

Willam Noertker – Music Composer
In 2001, bassist/composer Bill Noertker formed his own group, Noertker's Moxie, where he created and performed suites of music inspired by visual artists such as Klee, Kandinsky, Dalí, and others. Noertker has composed over 150 pieces of music for this group and has released eight CDs. He has also composed music for three films that showcase the intimately-scaled sculptures of David Beck, as well as the score for a Nikos Koumoundouros film, The Commandments or the Nostril of Ektor Kaknavatos, that was selected for the prestigious Festival de Cannes 2010 - Short Film Corner.

Matthew Siegel – Director of Photography, Producer. Matt’s company, Imageworks, produces spots for international brands SONY, Toyota, Ford, Audi, MasterCard, Microsoft, Google, and Coca Cola. He has won international recognition for his spot work, including CLIO, ADDY, TELE, Golden Lion, and ACE awards. Along with commercial production, Matt has spent years in episodic television (Everwood, The Mentalist, Joan of Arcadia, Just Legal) and Hollywood features (The Matrix: Reloaded, Master and Commander, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith).

Marie Chao – Additional Camera and photography
With a passion for cinematic storytelling and a portfolio of edgy narrative shorts, Marie received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Film and Video from California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. A recipient of Disney Scholarship for Young Filmmakers and the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences Internship, Marie was no stranger to the festival circuit.  Her short film FULL MOON traveled the world as an official selection in international film festivals, whereas her documentary project THEM was invited to screen at the International Documentary Congress.

Marie was selected as an honoree in the prestigious Project Involve program organized by Film Independent in Los Angeles. Mentored by film industry veterans, she worked alongside award-winning directors and actors such as Ben Affleck, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford, Wim Wenders, and Doug Liman. With a decade of experience in the film industry, she is also a member of the International Cinematographer’s Guild.

Currently she is developing her first feature, a US and Asia co-production set in Asia.


The Southern Documentary Fund is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) arts organization that cultivates documentaries made in or about the American South. Inspired by our core belief that documentaries have the power to change lives, SDF serves as a leading advocate for powerful Southern storytelling, providing filmmakers with professional support, fiscal sponsorship, and creative community. Click here to learn more

“I always had a problem with where I was living. I would be asked to leave all the time. So it was a lot easier to make really tiny things and put them in a suitcase and go to the next place.”

— David Beck


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Past Screenings



2016-07-2012:30 PM

Frank Swietek's three-star review of Curious Worlds for VideoLibrarian

2016-03-0910:00 AM

Shelley A. Sackett reviews Curious Worlds for the 2016 Salem Film Fest in Salem, MA.

2015-04-131:00 PM
2015-04-122:00 PM

Listen to Olympia Stone talk about Curious Worlds on WUNC’s “The State of Things.”

2012-09-128:00 PM

1980-04-098:00 PM

Arts Magazine - April, 1980 – "David Beck at Allan Stone"

“He's not just making a point or creating an entertainment, he actually creates this consistent vision of the world which draws you in and engages you in quite a special way.”

— John Parks, artist

“I’m fascinated with what scale is in his hand, and how far he can take it. And how tiny the needle is that he can thread ... there is a performative aspect there, a kind of Houdini in David's handling of scale.”

— Elizabeth King, artist



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