Experiencing Interruptions?

The Invisible Father

Beat poet and experimental filmmaker Piero Heliczer’s daughter, Thérèse, explores the artistic legacy and life of a man she never knew.

  • Therese Heliczer
  • Eric Frith
    Down the Fence (2017), Big Sonia (2016), The Breach (2014)
  • John Jeffcoat
    Big in Japan (2014); Outsourced (2007)
  • Kate Dandel
    Gold Balls (2016); PERSONHOOD (2019)
  • Piero Heliczer
    Key Cast
  • Gerard Malanga
    Key Cast
  • Jean Claude van Italie
    Key Cast
  • Stan Mack
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    57 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 22, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    75,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • New Haven Documentary Film Festival
    New Haven, CT
    United States
    August 23, 2020
  • Local Sightings Film Festival
    United States
    September 18, 2020
  • Portland International Film Festival
    Portland, OR
    United States
    March 5, 2021
  • Female Eye Film Festival
    March 8, 2021
    Canadian Premiere
Director Biography - Therese Heliczer

Thérèse Heliczer graduated from THE FILM SCHOOL and Wesleyan University. As an emerging filmmaker, Heliczer has been very active in the independent Seattle film community for the past several years and thanks the mentorship and resources from the Seattle Documentary Association, Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), Women in Film and Northwest Film Forum. Heliczer was a programmer for the Post Alley Film Festival which spotlights women filmmakers and was a cast member in the short film, “Signs Everywhere,” and the feature film, "The Boy Who Lived Before." Heliczer has also spent the last 30 years in public sector communications and project management. Currently, she is a project manager at the Seattle Department of Transportation where she manages over $50 million in transportation projects and this experience has given her the skills to produce and direct her first feature length documentary film, "The Invisible Father."

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Director Statement

Growing up without a father, I always heard stories about my dad’s collaborations with Andy Warhol and Allen Ginsberg. His artistic work and close connections to those legendary figures felt important but there was a dark side. When I became a parent and I saw the relationship my daughter had with her dad, I began to realize what I had missed. I began to crave a deeper understanding of my father, his work, and the circumstances that had robbed me of a normal relationship with him. I also began to wonder if he really was the creative genius everyone said. I’ve been following the trail of my father’s underground life for the past 7 years. In my journey to understand his poetry, film and influence, I’ve tracked down many of the famous people he knew and worked with. They are still making art today. I’ve been on a journey to not only know my father, but also to better know myself. My quest is a universal journey to find myself, express myself, and connect with others to be seen for my true, authentic self. Just like my father, Piero Heliczer. While invisible in my life, Piero has had a bigger impact on me than I realized. And this film is my journey to find out.