Ordinary Days
24 minutes, 16mm b/w, 1974
Produced, Written, Directed, Shot, Edited by Sally Heckel

Fictional portrait of two people living in New York City.


“Making use of what Pudovkin called the 'deeply embedded detail,' Heckel built a loving portrait of a couple engaged in quiet, daily heroisms. The film was quite convincing as a recording of real people living a simple life presented in a series of telling vignettes that casually unroll, its off-hand style disguising the fine use of a well-placed camera. …not an applause film, but the effect lingers.”

Win Sharples Jr., Filmmaker's Newsletter

“Although Ordinary Days was improvised and strives for naturalism in its black and white footage and low key performances, it exhibits strong directorial restraint. … The composition and lighting throughout, as well as the editing, all manifest tight control over technique.”

Marion W. Weiss, Division of Radio, TV, Film, University of Maryland, Film News

“Ordinary Days is an exceptional film. I used it in working with a group of married couples for a seminar on 'Communication Patterns in Marriage.'”

H. Kimball Jones, Director, Westside Pastoral Counseling Center, Clinical Associate, Program in Psychiatry and Religion, Union Theological Seminary

Awards and Festivals

Silver Hugo for Graduate Student film - Chicago International Film Festival

First Prize Narrative Film - Womanview Exhibition, Iowa

Judges' Award - Washington National Student Film Festival

Directing Award - New York University Film Festival

Cinematography Award - New York University Film Festival

Cine Golden Eagle

New American Filmmakers Series - Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Festival for Independent Film - Thonon Las Baines, France.


Micky - MA Knoke

Sam - Josh Waletzky

Boss - Fredrik Rostock

Dialogue improvised

Written, Directed, Edited by Sally Heckel

Photography - Sally Heckel

Assistant Camera - Susanne Rostock

Original Piano Music by Josh Waletzky

Special thanks to Ellie Hamerow

Thanks to Institute for Cancer Research, Delafield Hospital, NYC

Produced at NYU Graduate Institute Film/TV


To buy a DVD of Ordinary Days and Lou send an email with DVDOL in the subject line to sal @

15 minutes, 16mm b/w, 1971
Produced, Written, Directed, Edited and Partially Shot by Sally Heckel

Poetic fictional portrait of a young woman in New York City feeling overwhelmed by the Vietnam War.

Awards and Festivals

Abraham Schneider Award for Filmmaking - New York University Film Festival

Rochester Festival of World Films, Rochester, NY


Lou - Khane Kliger

Young girl - Amy Beinart

Teddy - John Greenman

Singers - Yugntruf Ensemble

Weaver - Barbara Gordon

A film by Sally Heckel

Camera - Robin Johnson, Doug McIntosh, Sally Heckel

Sound - Susanne Rostock, David Hahn, David Groover

Music Consultant - Josh Waletzky

Produced at NYU Graduate Institute Film/TV

Co-Producer - Robin Johnson

Thanks to:

WBAI Radio - 99.5 FM

NYC Transit Authority


To buy a DVD of Ordinary Days and Lou send an email with DVDOL in the subject line to sal @