ReBirth Cinema

ReBirth Cinema

Ethnographic Visual Narratives

The films of Cortlan McManus are produced with his production company, ReBirth Cinema.  

Founded in 1998 in New York City, the primary focuses of the company is the production of documentaries that blend magic realism narrative techniques to produce a sub-genre called "ethnographic visual narratives."  

ReBirth Cinema has made more than 20 productions spanning topics, countries, techniques and formats. We'll be adding more but here's one or two that may catch your fancy.


A Walk-Up With Five Stories

Cortlan McManus' first film, shot and edited on 16mm B&W, is his first trademark "ethno-visual narrative." A man climbs the stairs to his fifth story apartment, seeing and meditating on a visual story for each story he climbs. When Jonas Mekas viewed the piece, he immediately programmed it for a weekend at the famed Anthology Film Archives. Since this time, it has been awarded at many film festivals and played at art houses across the continents. A film print is available for screening.


Shot over a year's time, this experimental documentary examines both the art of New York's most famous urban artist as well as presents the ethics of documentary. De La Vega is known as a sidewalk provocateur, a mural master and a Cornell educated painter. Born in Spanish Harlem, De La Vega is personally familiar with living the life in the urban jungle: poverty, AIDS, and violence mixed with a side of ingenious wit, good natured humor and a propensity to produce massive amounts of work. "Become Your Dream: James De La Vega" also examines and reflects on the ethics that rule all documentaries: who's economic gain; political representation of self and the other; and most importantly, the differences in vision that can result between subject and object. Captured and presented for the first time so that a broader conversation can begin about the ethics of documentary.


Based on the Aztec mythology of the Five Suns, "Divisions" tells a tale of society at the brink of the 21st Century and the impact of our use of technology. YOUR MAN is torn in between the Fifth Sun of ultimate technology and no society and the First Sun where one can shed all forms in the hopes of being able to discover their true passion. Shot on the grounds of an Aztec ruin in addition to across the US and in New York, "Divisions" is an avant-garde film, the first of Cortlan McManus' "Cine Archeology" projects.