Friday, October 21, 2016 – Tower, Director Keith Maitland


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50 years ago on August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas, Austin, Tower, and opened fire at 11:48am, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes.  When the gunshots finally ceased, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand.  In Keith Maitland’s critically acclaimed documentary TOWER, the film’s subject, 18-year-old freshman, Claire Wilson was the first person shot from the Tower.  Claire, who was eight months pregnant, was walking with her boyfriend Tom, who reached down to help her; he was struck down as well.  For over an hour of the siege, Claire remained exposed to the shooter, conscious and steadily losing blood, while knowing that her boyfriend had been killed and that she lost her baby. TOWER combines archival footage with rotoscopic  animation of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first documented mass school shooting, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy.  The film highlights the fear, confusion, and visceral realities that changed the lives of those present, and the rest of us, forever – a day when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Director Keith Maitland joins us to talk about the mayhem and the courage that marked a day of infamy and prescience that echoes today.

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FOR CALL TO ACTION: Twitter Handle: @TOWERfilm – Hashtag: #TOWERtogether – Hashtag: #GetAnimated

“Tower’ isn’t looking back on the tragedy – it’s living in it, a tick-tock of an afternoon’s terror, as uncertain of its causes or its outcome as the people on the UT campus were that afternoon.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

“I rarely, if ever, use the cliche “a must-see movie,” but in this case it’s entirely apropos.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

“A piece about adrenaline, bravery, grief and memory that stands as one of the year’s crowning achievements in emotional, illuminative storytelling.” – Robert Adele, The Wrap

“Maitland crafts an absorbing account of the circumstances surrounding the massacre, setting aside the analysis of Whitman’s motives (he also killed his wife and mother) for others to dissect.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Friday, October 21, 2016 – A Stray, Director and Writer Musa Syeed


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In Minneapolis’ large Somali refugee community, Adan (Barkhad Abdirahman) has nowhere to go. His mom kicked him out, and his friends are tired of his headstrong ways. As a last resort, he moves into the mosque, praying for a little help. Surprisingly, God seems to answer. Adan quickly lands a good job, devout friends, and a newfound faith. When Adan nearly hits a stray dog on the job, he’s forced to take it in for a night. But one of his new mosque friends considers the dog impure, and he throws Adan out. With Adan back on the streets, surrounded by his old crew, ex-girlfriends, prying FBI agents, and his estranged family, the dog may be his only friend asmusa-syeed-director-photo he tries to keep his faith and get through the night. Filmmaker Musa Syeed’s first narrative feature VALLEY OF SAINTS won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance and was a New York Times Critics Pick. The result of an immersive research process similar to A STRAY, the film was shot during a military curfew in Kashmir, employing a community of boat people as cast and crew. His previous documentaries, also produced with cinematographer Yoni Brook, include BRONX PRINCESS (Berlinale, POV) and A SON’S SACRIFICE (Tribeca Best Short Doc, Independent Lens)Director and writer Musa Syeed stops by for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of making an intimate and moving portrait of a stranger in a strange land.

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World Premiere – SXSW

Best MN-Made Feature – Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

Official Selection – BAM Cinemafest, Maryland Film Festival, Blackstar Film Festival

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The substantial pleasures of the movie are supplemented by the gratification of seeing an emerging talent with concerns far outside the conventional indie realm asserting himself with such authority.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“The writer-director’s seemingly random yet never aimless narrative avoids predictable sentimental notes as well as any explicit backstory, leaving us to fill in the blanks.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“A truly empathetic look at the immigrant experience in today’s jittery American “homeland.””  – Shirley Sealy, Film Journal International

Friday, 10-14-16 – Newtown, Director Kim A. Snyder


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There are no easy answers in NEWTOWN – no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back the 20 children and six educators who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Instead, Director Kim A. Snyder gives us exclusive access into the lives and homes of those who lost loved ones, and others in the community who have been indelibly changed by the events. Each person, be it a parent, school nurse, or state police officer, tries in their own way to make sense of their loss, as well as confront our nation’s inability to quell gun violence in even the most peaceful of communities. NEWTOWN bears witness to their profound grief and allows it to reverberate within our collective conscience – exploring what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what is still left to cope with after the cameras leave. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the film uses unique access and never-before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. The film premiered at Sundance this year, before playing at SXSW, BAMcinemaFest and – the week of the Orlando shootings last month – at the White House. Director Kim A. Snyder stops by to talk about her touching, haunting and hopeful film.

For news and updates go to: newtownfilm.comnewtown-live-a-national-conversation-120786-160x236

On November 2nd Abramorama and Fathom Events will present a special event screening in over 300 theaters nationwide, followed by a live town hall discussion moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and including several members of the Newtown community.

100% – Rotten Tomatoes

”A breathtaking punch. An important historical record, and an important reminder of an event in American history that could have changed everything, that should have changed everything. There’s no reason it still can’t.” – Katie Walsh, The Playlist

“You won’t truly understand gun violence until you see the Newtown documentary. It is a visceral, powerful experience. You will cry. It is worth it.” – John Hendrickson, Esquire

“A shocking and compelling piece of work.” – Lanre Bakare, The Guardian

“Powerful and illuminating.” – New York Times

“Newtown emerges as a blistering, if tacit, indictment of the nation’s broken promise to never forget.” – Indiewire

Friday, October 14, 2016 – Do Not Resist, Director Craig Atkinson


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DO NOT RESIST is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of our police force in the United States.  The Tribeca Film Festival BEST DOCUMENTARY WINNER puts viewers in the center of the action – Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown; to the all too familiar sight of law enforcement in full riot gear and armored tanks driving through peaceful protests;  to a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team; to a front row seat inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of “righteous violence”; to the floor of a congressional hearing on the proliferation of military equipment in small-town police departments – before exploring where technology could lead the field next. DO NOT RESIST offers an unflinching look at the current state of law enforcement in America and a glimpse into the future. Director Craig Atkinson joins us to talk about a documentary film that is literally ripped from today’s headlines painting a startling picture of the direction our local law enforcement are headed.  

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 Opens in Los Angeles October 14th, 2016:

Laemmle’s Monica Film Center- Santa Monica- Friday 7:30 PM Q&A with Craig Atkinson

Laemmle Playhouse 7- Pasadena- Saturday Q& A with Craig Atkinson

“DO NOT RESIST allows us to see our present moment for the science-fiction dystopia it has become.”  – Red Carpet Crash 

“Atkinson observes with a passionate eye.” – Indiewire

“Chilling…”- Variety

“An eye-opening experience…” – The New York

Friday, October 7, 2016 – Kate Plays Christine, Director Robert Greene


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What does it mean to tell somebody else’s story? In this ingenious blend of documentary and psychological thriller, Robert Greene (ACTRESS) follows Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards, LISTEN UP PHILIP) through her creative process as she prepares for her next, tragic role: Christine Chubbuck, the Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates (and ultimately becomes obsessed with) Chubbuck’s story, she discovers that little is actually known about the real woman (despite the urban myth that her story was the inspiration for the classic Hollywood film NETWORK). Through their collaboration, Robert, Kate and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT) raise questions surrounding the sometimes unstable boundaries between performance, the authentic self and the storytelling impulse. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE is as much about unraveling a mystery as it is a document of the creative process. Director Robert Greene joins us for a conversation on blurring the line between documentaries and narrative films, just what did he learn about Christine Chubbuck’s life  and how has making KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE changed his approach to storytelling.

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** Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

“Kate’s transformation shifts from merely documenting a process to questioning the motives behind it. The final result is deeply unsettling, and (likely unintentionally) a timely indictment of recent headline-making method-acting histrionics.” – Mallory Andrews, Movie Mezzanine

“ documentary Vertigo, Robert Greene’s re-creation of a woman who fell to her inner demons — something of a ghost story — feels dangerous. It pokes the bear, then slaps it.” – Joshua Rothopf, Time Out

“We are a society of gawkers,” asserts one newsperson as Sheil wrestles with the task at hand. By the end of Kate Plays Christine, Greene seems to argue that we’re all complicit in that indictment.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“A tour de force in the blending and bending of genres.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

Friday October 7, 2016 – Among the Believers, Co-directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s

among-the-believers-film-posterCharismatic cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, is waging jihad against the Pakistani state. His dream is to impose a strict version of Shariah law throughout the country, as a model for the world. A flashpoint in Aziz’s holy war took place in 2007, when the government leveled his flagship mosque to the ground, killing his mother, brother, only son and 150 students. With unprecedented access, Among the Believers follows Aziz on his very personal quest to create an Islamic utopia, during the bloodiest period in Pakistan’s modern history. The film also follows the lives of two teenage students who have attended madrassahs (Islamic seminaries) run by Aziz’s Red Mosque network. Throughout the film, their paths diverge: Talha, 12, detaches from his moderate Muslim family and decides to become a jihadi preacher. Zarina, also 12, escapes her madrassah and joins a regular school. Over the next few years, Zarina’s education is threatened by frequent Taliban attacks on schools like her own. Intimate and shocking, Among the Believers offers rare insights into the ideological battles shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world. The co-directors of Among the Believers, Hemal Trivedi (Producer) and Mohammed Ali Naqvi join us for a conversation on their beautifully balanced film.

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“It insists on seeing its subjects’ humanity – something rare in the Western press, particularly when reporting on Islam, and especially fundamentalism.” – Diana Clark, Village Voice

“The filmmakers skillfully orchestrate the various levels of their exploration, from the intimate details of Talha and Zarina’s lives to the workings of the big national picture.” – Ronnie Schieb, Variety

“Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s Among the Believers takes viewers to the frontlines of an ideological battle playing out in the Islamic world that receives little coverage in the Western media.” Oleg Ivanov, Slant Magazine


Winner, FACT Award Jury Prize, CPH:DOX Copenhagen Documentary Festival
Winner, Grand Prix, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH), Geneva
Winner, Docu/Right Competition (Special Mention), Docudays UA Film Festival, Kiev
Winner, Best International Feature (Special Mention) & Best International Director, Doc Edge Festival, New Zealand
Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Hollywood Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary & Audience Choice Prize, Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
Winner, Amnesty International Prize, San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival
Winner, Power of Film Award, Beloit International Film Festival
Winner, Best International Documentary, Oaxaca Film Fest
Winner, Best Director, Documentary Feature SOMA Film Festival
Winner, David Ponce Award for Best Film, Chagrin Documentary Film Fest
Winner, Best Feature, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Association Human Rights Film Festival

October 7, 2016 – A Man Called Ove, Director Hannes Holm

en_man_som_heter_ove_ver2A Man Called Ove is a charming adaptation of Fredrik Backman’s international best-selling novel, Ove is the quintessential angry old man next door. An isolated retiree with strict principles and a short fuse, who spends his days enforcing block association rules that only he cares about, and visiting his wife’s grave, Ove has given up on life. Enter a boisterous young family next door who accidentally flattens Ove’s mailbox while moving in and earning his special brand of ire. Yet from this inauspicious beginning an unlikely friendship forms and we come to understand Ove’s past happiness and heartbreaks. What emerges is a heartwarming tale of unreliable first impressions and the gentle reminder that life is sweeter when it’s shared.  One of Sweden’s biggest locally-produced box office hits ever, director Hannes Holm finds the beating heart of his source material and Swedish star Rolf Lassgård, whose performance won him the Best Actor award at the 2016 Seattle Int’l Film Festival, affectingly embodies the lovable curmudgeon Ove.

For news and updates go to: A Man Called Ove

Los Angeles Release Date: September 30, 2016 at Laemmle’s Royal Theatre in West L.A. and on October 7 at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino. 

Orange County Release Date: October 7, 2016 at Regal Edwards Westpark 8 in Irvine and Regency Rancho Niguel in Laguna Niguel.

A Man Called Ove has been selected as Sweden’s 2016 Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film. 

Winner – Audience Award, Best Actor (Rolf Lassgård),

Best Make-Up (Love Larson & Eva Von Bahr) – Guldbagge Awards 2016

“Lassgard isn’t the whole show, but he’s most of it, and he’s rock steady without being predictable, or falling into easy caricature, even when the movie veers that way.” Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“A darkly funny, tragic, and ultimately heartwarming tearjerker about the life of one lonely but extraordinary man.” – Devan Coggan, Entertainment Weekly

“A morbidly funny and moving success. Director Holm’s grip on the film’s tricky, tragicomic tone is masterful.” Odie Henderson,

“The dopes saying that movies are dead haven’t seen the moving, tender ‘A Man Called Ove.’” Nick Schager, Village Voice

September 30, 2016 – Command and Control, Director Robert Kenner

command-and-control-film-posterOn the evening of September 18, 1980, Airmen David F. Powell and Jeffrey L. Plumb were performing routine maintenance at the Titan II silo in Damascus, Arkansas. At the age of 21, Powell was considered a highly experienced missile technician; Plumb, who had just turned 19, was still in training. As the two stood on a platform near the top of the Titan II, a socket fell from Powell’s wrench, plummeted 70 feet and, shockingly, punctured the missile. A stream of highly explosive rocket fuel began pouring into the silo of the most powerful nuclear warhead ever built by the United States. A chilling, Dr. Strangelovian nightmare plays out at a Titan II missile complex in Arkansas in September, 1980. A deadly accident leads Air Force personnel, weapon designers, and first responders to work feverishly to prevent a catastrophic explosion. Directed by Robert Kenner (FOOD, INC.) and based on the critically-acclaimed book by Eric Schlosser (FAST FOOD NATION), COMMAND AND CONTROL is a minute-by-minute account of this long-hidden story – much of it based on recently declassified documents that expose other freak accidents and near-misses. How do you manage weapons of mass destruction without being destroyed by them? COMMAND AND CONTROL chronicles nine hours of terror that prevented an explosion 600 times more powerful than Hiroshima. Director Robert Kenner joins us for a lively conversation on impact nuclear weapons have on our lives and the horrifying 36-year old apocalyptic tale that is just now being told.

For news and updates go to:

Screening in Los Angeles at the Landmark Theatres Nuart Theatre | 11272 Santa Monic Blvd | Los Angeles, CA 90025 |

In person Q&As with director Robert Kenner and Author Eric Schlosser following the 7:30pm screenings on 9/30 and 10/1.

“Lots of documentaries these days will tell you to be afraid, to be very afraid, but few will scare you as coolly and as convincingly as “Command and Control.”” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“Kenner stages his story like a thriller, using the reminiscences of those who were on site to unspool the white-knuckle story.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“Our most destructive weapons are somehow immune to our own clumsiness and inexactitude, aren’t they? No, they’re not.” – Neil Genzlinger, The NYTimes

“Despite the high stakes, Command and Control is morbidly fun to watch, in the manner of good suspense thrillers and disaster films.” – Chris Packham, Village Voice

**Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2016**

**Official Selection – Sheffield/Doc Fest 2016**

**Official Selection – AFI Docs 2016**

September 30, 2016 – Southwest of Salem, Director Deborah Esquenazi and Film Subject Anna Vasquez

sw-of-salem-film-posterThe award winning acclaimed SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR chronicles the nightmarish persecution of Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassandra Rivera, Kristie Mayhugh, and Anna Vasquez – four Latina lesbians wrongfully convicted of gang-raping two little girls in San Antonio, Texas over 20 years ago during the “Satanic Panic” of the 1980s-1990s. Despite flawed medical evidence and convictions based solely on the testimony of two young children, the women always maintained their innocence—and have waged an ongoing fight for exoneration.  Documentary filmmaker  Deborah S. Esquenazi weaves together emotional interviews with the women (labeled the San Antonio Four) and their families with actual news footage and home videos, equally showcasing the injustice of the situation and the families that were torn apart as a result.  Unique to the San Antonio Four case, none of the four women ever took a plea bargain or even considered it, despite serving their time in separate prisons. While the state offered deferred adjudication, requiring no time in prison but probation for ten years, the women turned down the offer, maintaining their innocence and faith in truth and justice. Esquenazi follows the work of attorneys from the Innocence Project of Texas, who played a pivotal role in securing an on-camera recantation by one of the victims, now 25 years old—and their ultimate release from prison in 2013. Director Deborah S. Esquenazi and film subject Anna Vasquez stop by to talk about the journey, heartbreak and triumph of a 22-year nightmare.

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September 30 Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo, MI

September 30 – October 5 Laemmle Music Hall Los Angeles, CA

October 1 Arc Cinema Canberra, AU

October 13 Frameline Encore Screening Roxie Theater San Francisco, CA

“Has your blood pressure been sufficiently raised by shows like “Making A Murderer” and movies like the “Paradise Lost” trilogy? Buckle up, because we’ve got another unbelievable true crime story story that will leave you equal parts fascinated and furious.”-  INDIEWIRE

“With intimate access to the subjects over a period of years, Esquenazi’s film builds into a horrifying indictment of justice gone awry, and one that left much of the audience in tears. Among those who broke down were the four subjects of the film, who have been released pending a new trial and who say they still cry every time they see the movie.” – Steve Pond, THE WRAP

“Its heart lies in the relationships between the women, who remained close and loyal to one another through it all, and the families and children they had to leave behind. “- Jen Yamato, THE DAILY BEAST

“Director Deborah S. Esquenazi brilliantly tells a toxic tale mix of discrimination, familial dysfunction, religious/political paranoia, and a system full of biases. Grade: A+” – Lee Romero, CORRIENTE LATINA

September 30, 2016 – Danny Says, Director Brendan Toller

danny-says-film-posterDANNY SAYS is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. DANNY SAYS follows Fields from Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient. DANNY SAYS is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant-garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation. DANNY SAYS is lead by Fields voice and is largely crafted from over 250 hours of present-day interviews and items from Danny Fields’ immense archive (thousands of photographs, audio cassettes, ephemera). Director Brendan Toller joins us for a conversation on the wild, hedonistic, boundary pushing times when Danny Fields was the first and last word on music that changed American culture.

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Watch Danny Says in theatres:

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“One of those colorful non-famous characters whom “everyone” knows gets his due in this lively doc celebrating both him and the music scene in which he thrived.” – David Noh, Film Journal International

“Music buffs will want to see all these now-famous folks in their obscure early days. But they’ll come away admiring a man they’ve barely heard of before.” – Noel Murray, LA Times

“Danny Says is that delightful case in film where the subject whose raison-d’etre is explored is an immeasurably influential person you may not have known about.” – Charles Sternberg, Under the Radar

“Rock gadfly Danny Fields’ reminiscences of the 1960s and 1970s are pure gold in Brendan Toller’s documentary.” – Dennis Harvey

100 Years, Director Melinda Janko

100-years-film-posterWith the current coverage of the North Dakota Pipeline Protest, we are shown how the sacred lands of Native Americans in the United States are constantly being destroyed for capital and economic gain with the government failing to protect these tribal lands. In the new documentary 100 YEARS,  we see another similar story come to the forefront when Elouise Cobell from the Blackfeet tribe in Montana discovers that the United States government has been mismanaging funds and the lands and exploiting the Blackfeet reservation. Many of the Blackfeet tribe members could see the oil being pumped out from their land on a daily basis.  But they saw barely a few dollars from the millions that was being made from their land’s natural resources. It was with the fierceness and dedication that Elouise Cobell embarked on a 30 year fight with the U.S. government that lead her to file the largest class action lawsuit in the history of the United States Government.  100 YEARS  is her story!  Below is more information on the theatrical release of this important film and event in our own American history. Director Melinda Jenko joins for a conversation on the indignities and the injustice that Native Americans continue to suffer under an oppressive and unethical federal government.

For news and updates go

“100 Years” will be screening for a limited engagement in the Laemmle Monica Film Center,

September 23-30, with a Q&A with the Director on Saturday, September 24.  The film will also screen in the Cinema Village in New York City, from October 14-21, with a Q&A with the Director on Saturday, October 15th.

Cameraperson, Director Kirsten Johnson


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What does it mean to film another person? How does it affect that person – and what does it do to the one who films? A boxing match in Brooklyn; life in postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina; the daily routine of a Nigerian midwife; an intimate family moment at home: these scenes and others are woven into Cameraperson, a tapestry of footage captured over the twenty-five-year career of documentary cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Through a series of episodic juxtapositions, Johnson explores the relationships between image makers and their subjects, the tension between the objectivity and intervention of the camera, and the complex interaction of unfiltered reality and crafted narrative. A work that combines documentary, autobiography, and ethical inquiry, Cameraperson is both a moving glimpse into one filmmaker’s personal journey and a thoughtful examination of what it means to train a camera on the world. Director and subject Kirsten Johnson stops by to talk about her career, what inspires her, the power of the image and often conflicting realities of documentary filmmaking.

For news and updates go to:

Sept. 23 – 29 — Los Angeles | Laemmle Royal | [More Info]

***Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson in-person Sept. 23 and 24

“… a uniquely insightful memoir-cum-critical-treatise on the nature and ethics of [Johnson’s] craft.” – Variety

“…an extraordinary self-portrait and an existential statement.” – Rolling Stone

“… a beautifully curated collage …” – The Guardian

“Transfixing…”- The New York Times

Landfill Harmonic, Co-directors Brad Allgood (Juliana Penaranda-Loftus)

landfillharmonic-posterLANDFILL HARMONIC chronicles the incredible journey of Paraguay’s Recycled Orchestra of Cateura.   Orchestra Founder Favio Chavez had hopes of sharing music with the children of Cateura, a poverty stricken slum next to the capital’s largest landfill.  Since expensive musical instruments were not within attainable for families in Cateura, Favio, along with carpenter and trash picker Nicolas “Cola” Gomez, began to craft instruments from materials found in the landfill to provide children with the opportunity to play.  They journey exceeds all expectations as they find themselves playing for audiences around the world, even accompanying artists such as Stevie Wonder, Metallica and Megadeth.  They’ve also played for Pope Francis, and recently performed at The United Nations in NYC.  Winner of the Audience Award at the South By Southwest Film Festival, AFI DOCS Festival, Vancouver Film Festival; official selection at the Sheffield Film Festival and winner of the Documentary Award for The Humanitas Prize. Co-director Brad Allgood joins us for a conversation on this uplifting and captivating film.

For news and updates go to:


Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Laemmle’s Pasadena Playhouse, 673 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101




“From Trash to Triumph: The Recycled Orchestra” – NPR

“An inspiring tale – if it were fiction you’d dismiss it as unbelievable.” – The New York Times

“[A] deeply inspiring doc about how trouble for a real-life river city was transformed into triumph.” – David Noh, Film Journal International

Operation Avalanche, Director Matt Johnson and Producer Matthew Miller

operation_avalanche-film-poster-i1967: the height of the Cold War, Tte CIA suspects there is a Russian mole inside of NASA, sabotaging the Apollo program. They send two young agents on a mission to go undercover, posing as documentary filmmakers to capture NASA’s race to the moon. The real mission – use their access and technology to hunt down the leak. But what they discover is far more shocking than soviet spies… Their government may be hiding a secret about Apollo that could define the decade, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence anyone who learns it. Operation Avalanche, Director Matt Johnson’s follow-up to the widely-acclaimed The Dirties, is another fake documentary film starring Johnson and collaborator Owen Williams, once again as young would-be filmmakers. This time, though, the DV cameras and school-shooting plot are swapped out for 16mm and the faking of the moon landing. Director Matt Johnson and Producer Matthew Miller join us for a conversation on the inspiration for Operation Avalanche , striking the right tone and the wide variety of reactions of filmgoers to the “conspiracy.”

For news and updates go to: operation-avalanche

“A bold, imaginative and refreshingly diverting “documentary” that’s occasionally uneven in tone, and most fun and clever when it doesn’t take itself too seriously.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guide

“Matthew Johnson may not have his big breakout with Operation Avalanche, but there is enough here to suggest that he possesses the triple-threat skills to build a comedy auteur career on the model of (hyperbole alert!) Woody Allen or Albert Brooks.” – Michael Agresta, Austin Chronicle

“A film for nerds, of the film, science and conspiracy variety. The attention to detail is astounding and the obsession with art and history is infectious.” – William Babbiani, CraveOnline

“Operation Avalanche” weaves well-known conspiracy theories into a goofily entertaining satire of youthful ambition co-opted as a tool of government intrigue.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

When Two Worlds Collide, Co-directors Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel


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In this tense and immersive tour de force film, When Two Worlds Collide, audiences are taken directly into the line of fire between powerful, opposing Peruvian leaders who will stop at nothing to keep their respective goals intact. On the one side is President Alan Garcia, who, eager to enter the world stage, begins aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land. He is quickly met with fierce opposition from indigenous leader Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia’s destructive actions prove a powerful rallying cry to throngs of his supporters. When Garcia continues to ignore their pleas, a tense war of words erupts into deadly violence. Co-director Heidi Brandenburg (Mathew Orzel) joins us to talk about the physically arduous and personally dangerous challenges they faced in making this dynamic and compelling film. 

For news and updates go to:

Opening Friday, September 16th  at the Laemmle Monica Film Center

Critic’s Pick! A stellar doc…devastating…the rawest vision of capitalism run amok. Epochal moments on the screen.” – Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

“A potent chronicle of the fight between indigenous tribes and government-supported business interests in the Peruvian Amazon.” – Variety

“Potent…harrowing. Startlingly immersive in its immediacy.” – Kenji Fujishima , Paste Magazine

“A tour-de-force…damning…a must-see.” – Manuel Betancourt, Remezcla

“Gripping… serves as a reminder that when it comes to a fight between government-backed business interests and the rights of the people, the official story is rarely the whole story.” – Noel Murray, AV Club

The If Project, Director, Producer and Writer Kathlyn Horan


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In 2008, Seattle police detective Kim Bogucki walked through the gates of the Washington Corrections Center for Women, intent on asking a group of mothers for permission to work with their school-aged daughters in a Girl Scouts Beyond Bars troop for girls with incarcerated parents. On that day, Bogucki asked the mothers a critical question: “If there was something someone could have said or done that would have changed the path that led you here, what would it have been?” For one of the inmates in particular, this question struck a chord; Renata Abramson, a repeat offender serving a nine-year sentence. In the days that followed, Renata took it upon herself to answer that question inthe-if-project-kim-and-renata writing, and invited her fellow prisoners to do the same. When Bogucki returned to prison a month later, Renata handed her a stack of raw and poignant essays and The IF Project was born. In the United States, there are over 6.8 million people in prison, jail, on probation or parole. That is 1 in every 35 adults. Perhaps even more alarming is that women are the fastest growing segment of the incarcerated population, increasing at nearly double the rate of men since 1985. Director Kathlyn Horan joins us for a conversation on the challenges, the disappointments and the rewards that have been part of the 8-year odyssey behind the making of The If Project.

BROADCAST PREMIERE: Premiering on Logo on Wednesday, September 14 at 8pm ET/PT,

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Seattle International Film Festival – Winner Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision and Special Jury Award

“The IF Project I totally agree with it’s nutritive value as a story of prison reform’s human side, but I also think it’s a genuinely solid movie movie that plays really well on a big screen. It’s got the story thrust, colorful characters, nuance, and gradually unfolding structure of a great narrative fiction feature for me.”

– The Sun Break, Seattle

Author: The JT Leroy Story, Director Jeff Feuerzeig


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On January 9, 2006 the New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40­-year-­old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert. Director Jeff Feuerzeig’s AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert – ­like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids – breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self­-expression. Director Jeff Feuerzeig join us for a lively conversation on how Laura’s life, her traumas and innate brilliance made JT Leroy such a hugely fascinating saga, on and off the screen.

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Author: JT Leroy Story Distributor Magnolia Pictures

“Wildly entertaining. The movie this crazy, endlessly fascinating story deserves.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

“Four stars. Endlessly riveting. Albert is a hell of a storyteller.” – Nigel Smith, The Guardian

“Strange, existential and ultimately thrilling.” – Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times

“A fascinating treatise on creative desire and fame, as compelling as anything the writer herself dreamed up.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Demon, Producer Olga Szymanska, widow of DEMON director Marcin Wrona

demon-film-posterNewly arrived from England to marry his fiancée Zaneta (Agnieszk Zulewska, Chemo), Peter (Israeli actor Itay Tiran, Lebanon) has been given a gift of her family’s ramshackle country house in rural Poland.  It’s a total fixer-upper, and while inspecting the premises on the eve of the wedding, he falls into a pile of human remains.  The ceremony proceeds, but strange things begin to happen…During the wild reception, Peter begins to come undone, and a dybbuk, the iconic ancient figure from Jewish folklore, takes a toehold in this present-day celebration-for a very particular reason, as it turns out.  Based on noted Polish writer Piotr Rowicki’s play Adherence, DEMON is the final work by Marcin Wrona, who died just as DEMON was set to premiere in Poland, is part absurdist comedy, part love story-that scares, amuses, and charms in equal measure.  Acclaimed at several festivals including New Directors/New Films, the Toronto Film Festival, and Austin Fantastic Fest where it won the Award for Best Horror Feature. Producer Olga Szymanska, widow of DEMON director Marcin Wrona joins us for a conversation on this hauntingly beautiful film.

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Winner: Austin Fantastic Fest, Best Horror Feature, 2015

Winner: Haifa Film Festival, Tobias Spencer Award, 2015

“Wrona keeps everything creepily ambiguous right up to the end, when the foggy dawn breaks and what we have witnessed becomes like a dream within a dream.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

“..a unique take on the Jewish legend of the Dybbuk that feels both deeply rooted in cultural nightmares and refreshingly new…“Demon” is stylish and clever from its concept..but it’s the execution that really matters.  There’s a great energy to the piece, from the framing of the visual compositions, to the eerie atmosphere created by the lights hanging from the ceiling of what looks like a barn.  There’s fantastic costume design as well as a lead performance that engages on every level.” — Brian Tallerico,

“Crackling, spookily atmospheric, intelligent, sometimes funny ghost story. It builds on family secrets to take on wider social and historical resonance for Poles and Jews.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Film Forward

“A darkly humorous reworking of “The Dybbuk,” with a deftly realized switch that turns that familiar tale of love from beyond the grave into a parable of Polish anti-Semitism in the post-war era….  a black comedy in the vein of “The Exterminating Angel.” — George Robinson, The Jewish Week

Little Men, Director Ira Sachs

Little Men film Poster 

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When 13-year-old Jake’s (Theo Taplitz) grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father’s old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony (Michael Barbieri), whose single mother Leonor (Paulina Garcia, Gloria), a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs. Soon, Jake’s parents Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle) — one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist — ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults. At first, Jake and Tony don’t seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can’t avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship. Director and co-writer Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, Keep the Lights On, Forty Shades of Blue) with his trademark humanism and insight, Little Men highlights the New York City landscape with a story of life-defining friendships in the midst of familial turmoil. He joins us for a conversation on his latest cinematic gem.

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Opens Friday, August 12th in Los Angeles at the following theaters:


“As Leonor, Garcia, who killed as a grouchy middle-aged single woman in the Chilean “Gloria,” manages to combine grace with stridency.” – Matt Prigge, METRO

“I don’t know how to do justice to Garcia. When she smokes outside her shop, it’s as if her anger is keeping the cigarette burning.” – David Edelstein, NEW YORK MAGAZINE

“Garcia, though meek of manner, has a resilience that verges on the unnerving. We are so accustomed to cranky characters undergoing a sentimental sweetening that it’s a shock when Leonor does the opposite.” – Anthony Lane, THE NEW YORKER

“Garcia gives Leonor formidable strength of character.” – David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Garcia is all simmering, passive-aggressive resentment as Leonor. Behind the character’s pinched smile, we sense a lifetime of having to put up with the more fortunate, always having to balance between being friendly and sticking up for herself.” – Tim Grierson, PASTE MAGAZINE

Sun Choke, Director Ben Cresciman

sun-choke-film-posterAs Janie recovers from a violent psychotic break, she’s subjected each day to a bizarre holistic health and wellness regimen designed, and enforced, by her lifelong nanny and caretaker. But when she develops an obsession with a stranger, Janie’s buried demons begin to surface.

In the words of Director Ben Cresciman Sun Choke is a study of the magical and terrifying things that can happen at the furthest margins of a personality. Watching a character work desperately inward from these margins can be among the tensest, and ultimately most cathartic experiences we can have in a movie theater. It creates a sense of disorientation and terror that elevates our fear beyond knee jerk reactions and into the realm of emotional identification. True terror is loneliness and confusion. It’s a psychological state of pure dread, not a simple mechanism to elicit scares. My goal with Sun Choke was to create a world where the beautiful and the terrifying, fantasy and reality, are inseparable from one another. It’s an exercise in holistic horror, in which the breakdown of the mind is inexorably tied to the destruction of the body. Employing abstraction and obstruction in equal measure to unspeakable violence and terror, what results is a hallucinatory meditation on loneliness wrapped inside a psychological horror film that strikes at the most fundamental fears in our collective unconscious.” Director Ben Cresciman stops by to talk about his thrilling, disorienting and challenging new film.

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“This slow-burn thriller offers intense psychological drama, but its deliberate coolness and ambiguity may frustrate genre audiences looking for a more conventional payoff.” – Maitland McDonagh, Film Journal International

“Ben Cresciman’s intense psychological horror film, Sun Choke, is the story of a woman staring into the abyss of nothingness and liking what she sees: absolute nothing, a retreat from the chaos of the light.” – Martyn Conterio, CineVue

“A wonderfully-twisted blend of psycho-drama, suspense and body horror.” – Garry McConnachie, Daily Record

“Sun Choke is, in keeping with a protagonist who comes in more than one ‘version’, a disorienting, dissociative affair, reminiscent in parts of Yorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth (2009) – and all beautiful, tense, hallucinatory and deeply disturbing.” – Anton Bitel, Sight and Sound

“Style and substance come together perfectly in this unique psychological thriller.” – Betty Jo Tucker, Reel talk Movie Reviews