Friday, June 26, 2015 – The Tribe, Director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy

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Teenage Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko), a new student at the boarding school, realizes immediately that he must prove himself worthy to be brought under the protective wing of the school gang’s leader to survive unscathed. After an indoctrination of harmless initiation pranks and rites, Sergey’s new-found clique soon introduces him to their common activities of robbery, bribery and prostitution. At first assimilating seamlessly into his new role in the tribe, he finds himself compromised as he begins to fall in love with his female classmate—and one of the gang’s escorts—triggering a sequence of stunningly diabolical events. Winner of multiple 2014 Cannes Film Festival Awards (including the coveted Critics’ Week Grand Prix), Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe is an undeniably original and intense feature debut set in the insular world of a Ukrainian high school for the deaf. The Tribe unfolds through the non-verbal acting and sign language from a cast of deaf, non-professional actors—with no need for subtitles or voice over––resulting in a unique, never-before-experienced cinematic event that engages the audience on a new sensory level. We go on the road to sit down with Writer / Director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy and talk about the challenges and the rewards of working with a non-professional, deaf cast and the story behind The Tribe and a real-life deaf Russian mafia.

 For news and updates on The Tribe go to: drafthousefilms.com/the-tribe

“Actions, emotions and desperate impulses speak far louder than words in “The Tribe” a formally audacious coup de cinema that marks a stunning writing-directing debut for Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy.” – Justin Chang, Variety

“The use of sign language, deafness and silence itself adds several heady new ingredients to the base material, alchemically creating something rich, strange and very original.” – Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

“Any expectations of conventional enjoyment must be checked at the door. Nevertheless, the film stands as a singular achievement.” – Joel Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“It toys with our pity, then it toys with our outrage, then it toys with our identification. Before we know it, we’ve been sucked into its wicked, all-too-human drama.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine / Vulture

“An utter astonishment” – Wesley Morris, Grantland

Friday, June 26, 2015 – In Stereo, Director / Writer Mel Rodriquez

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IN STEREO centers on David (Micah Hauptman) and Brenda (Beau Garrett), who are perfect for each other and everyone knows it… except David and Brenda. After they break-up, their lives spiral out of control. David self-destructs as an artist while dating an immature woman who sleeps with his best friend. Brenda endures a failing acting career, an eviction notice, and a boyfriend who just doesn’t do it for her. And then chance brings Brenda and David back together on the streets of New York … at the worst possible time. mA sharply observed, un-romantic comedy by writer/director Mel Rodriguez III, IN STEREO is a stylish and striking first feature. With an innovative structure and bold performances, it offers an unflinching look at the complexity of modern relationships. Music is also an integral part of the film, with songs by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley & Menahan Street Band and Budos Band. Director Rodriquez joins us for a lively conversation on the satisfaction of making an anti-romcom and working with a very talented group of rising new actors.

IN STEREO will open July 3, 2015 in the following cities: New York, Beverly Hills (Music Hall 3), Pasadena (Laemmle’s Playhouse 7), Las Vegas, Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Francisco and Miami. It will also be available via VOD on July 3.

IN STEREO writer-director Mel Rodriguez III will participate in a Q&A after the 7:20 screening at the Music Hall on Friday, July 3rd.

“What ensues is a dark, manic farce, as much about the destructive things we do to those we care most about as it is a cautionary tale for love-seekers in their thirties.” – Matthew Kassel, New York Observer

Friday, June 19, 2015 – I Believe in Unicorns, Director and Writer Leah Meyerhoff

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Davina is an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl who often escapes into a beautifully twisted fantasy life. Having grown up quickly as the sole caretaker of her disabled mother, she looks for salvation in a new relationship with an older boy. Davina is swept into a whirlwind of romance and adventure, but the enchantment of her new relationship quickly fades when Sterling’s volatile side begins to emerge. I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love. Leah Meyerhoff’s debut feature film I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS premiered in narrative competition at SXSW 2014 and traveled to over 50 film festivals around the world, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival, Best Score at the Nashville Film Festival, Honorable Mention at the Woodstock Film Festival and additional awards from IFP, San Francisco Film Society, Tribeca Film Institute and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Director and writer Leah Meyerhoff joins us to talk about her imaginative, daring and emotionally resonant feature film debut.

For news and updates go to: ibelieveinunicorns.com

For upcoming screenings go to: Unicorn screenings

I Believe in Unicorns open at the Arena Cinema Hollywood in LA this Friday, June 19th and opening in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater July 3rd. 

“Haunting, and beautiful, and as painful as love can be, “I Believe in Unicorns” left me musing on the power of our personal magic, wondering why we choose to spend it where we do.” – Huffington Post

“Writer-director Leah Meyerhoff asks a lot of Dyer for the emotionally taxing role, and Dyer flies with the challenge. She’s complete dynamite.” – Indiewire

“I Believe in Unicorns is one of the most authentic and down-to-earth coming of age stories I’ve seen in cinema.“ – Filmmaker Magazine.

“Refreshing in its sexual frankness and uniquely feminine perspective on young love’s complications, the dreamily evocative Unicorns is a beautiful 16mm nightmare.” – The Skinny

*LA Film Fest – Pocha (Manifest Destiny), Co-directors Michael Dwyer and Kaitlan McLaughlin

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Chasing the bling of a lux life, Claudia, a twenty-something Chicana, makes bad choices – and gets caught. Despite the fact that she barely speaks a word of Spanish, her undocumented status gets her deported to Mexico. Although she can never legally return to the U.S. Claudia refuses to accept life with her estranged father and grandmother in her foreign “homeland,” and she spirals into a dangerous situation with a handsome smuggler. Veronica Sixtos gives a nuanced performance as an emotionally withholding anti-hero who’s trouble for anyone who dares to care about her. Pitched in a heightened style between a slow-burning thriller and a noir western, this smartly conceived allegorical tale confronts the dark side of the American dream. Led by a breakout performance by Veronica Sixto as Claudia and an exceptional supporting cast of Julio Cedillo, Roberto Urbina, Jorge A. Jimenez, Jesse Garcia, and María del Carmen Farías, Pocha (Manifest Destiny) is a taut, high stakes family drama. Co-director and cinematographer Michael Dwyer and co-director and screenwriter Kaitlan McLaughlin join us to talk about their brilliant feature debut and its screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

See Pocha (Manifest Destiny) Sunday June 14, 2015 6:30 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 8

For ticket information and updates for the LA Film Festival go to: lafilmfest.com

*LA Film Fest – Bridging the Divide, Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race, Director Lyn Goldfarb and Producer Alison Sotomayor

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Thirty-five years before Barack Obama’s election as President, the question of race and the possibility of bridging racial and ethnic barriers was put to a test in an overlooked and untold story in American politics:  The 1973 election of Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city with an ovewhelmingly white population. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE tells the little known story of Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor elected in a major American city with an overwhelmingly white majority. His extraordinary multi-racial coalition redefined Los Angeles, transformed the national dialogue on race, and encouraged elections of minority candidates nationwide, including our nation’s first black president. The film brings into sharp focus issues of police brutality in minority communities and the challenges of police reform. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE is the story of the pressures which face our cities, the paradox of race, and the complexities of coalitions in a changing America. Director/ Producer/ Writer Lyn Goldfarb and Producer/ Writer/ Research Director Alison Sotomayor began the groundwork for BRIDGING THE DIVIDE while working on THE NEW LOS ANGELES, an hour-long documentary, part of the 2006 national primetime PBS series, CALIFORNIA AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. The tow filmmakers joins us for a conversation on the contentious history of the Los Angeles Police Department and the resolute determination of Tom Bradley to reshape the city he loved.

For news and updates on Bridging the Divide go to: mayortombradley.com

For ticket information and updates for the LA Film Festival go to: lafilmfest.com

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE will be screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival!

By popular demand, there will be a second screening on Tuesday, June 16 at 4 p.m.

Tickets are free and are available online through the Los Angeles Film Festival website. There is a $1.00 surcharge per ticket.

Friday, June 12, 2015 – One Cut, One Life, Co-directors Lucia Small (Ed Pincus)

One Cut, One Life film poster 

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When seminal documentary filmmaker Ed Pincus (Black Natchez, The Axe in the Attic), considered the father of first-person nonfiction film, is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he and his collaborator Lucia Small (My Father, The Genius, The Axe in the Attic) team up to make one last film.  Before his death in November 2013, Ed and Lucia fulfilled their long-discussed idea for a personal documentary told from two separate points of view – two filmmakers, two worlds. This final collaboration –fueled by an urgent certainty– navigates discussions of mortality, love, loss and legacy with palpable vulnerability and piercing intimacy rarely seen in non-fiction. From the perspectives of their different backgrounds, generations, genders, and classes, each filmmaker captures the challenging and delicate territory of Ed’s unfolding illness, Lucia’s bereavement in the wake of the sudden, violent deaths of two close friends, along with Ed’s wife Jane’s on-again, off-again resistance to the project. Through their all-out commitment to the film and their friendship, One Cut, One Life gives the viewer access not only to what the film meant to its creators, to their bodies of work, and to first-person nonfiction film, but also to the daring and fiery impulses of human creativity. Co-director Small joins us to talk about her personal and professional journey in making an extraordinarily intimate portrait of life, love and death.

For news and updates go to: onecutonelife.com/

Co-director Lucia Small and executive producer Neal Baer will participate in a Q&A at the 7:20 PM screening at the Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills, June 12th

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Ed Pincus: a discussion on pushing boundaries — up close and personal featuring Neal Baer, Jim Lane, and Scott Foundas at Emerson College LA Sunday, June 14, 2:00pm-3:30pm, screening to follow at Laemmle Music Hall

“Extremely personal and moving…as much as the film is shadowed by a keen awareness of mortality, ‘One Cut, One Life’ often pulses with an almost ecstatic vitality. In its vision of human existence, life is as messy and unpredictable as it is precious. CRITIC’S PICK!” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

CRITICS’ PICK! A stunning doc of living while dying. – Diana Clarke, Village Voice

“Deeply personal and unavoidably moving.” – Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter

“An elegy for the dead, the dying, and those who live on, ‘One Cut, One Life’ is a singular work made from a double vision… It’s a thing of lovely imperfections: profound and banal, self-absorbed and insightful, weighted with grief and buoyed by resilience. In short, as messy and precious as life itself” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“Without censoring themselves, the filmmakers turn their cameras on themselves, using their art to reveal their psyches in a masterpiece of personalized direct cinema. Brilliant. Brave. Moving. A must-see.” – Jennifer Merin, Women’s eNews

Friday, June 12, 2015 – Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll, Director John Pirozzi

DTIF Cambodia film poster 

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During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other. Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music styles sweeping, America, England and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing. DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide. The film is a celebration of the incredible music that came from Cambodia and explores how important it is to Cambodian society both past and present. Director Pirozzi joins us for a conversation on Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and the phenomenal courage and conviction of the artists who remained true to their vision even when faced with horrific repercussions.

For news and updates go to: dtifcambodia.com/

“A rich and defiant effort at recovery, showing that even the most murderous totalitarianism cannot fully erase the human drive for pleasure and self-expression.” –New York Times – A.O. Scott (NYT Critics’ Pick)

“As expressionistic as it is journalistic, Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten triumphs as both an objective record and a poetic lament: It’s a film that’s every bit as entrancing and haunting as the lost music it celebrates.” —A.V. CLUB (rating: A-)

“A rich patchwork tapestry of powerful and ebullient music.”
–Village Voice (Critics’ Pick)

“Sometimes a music documentary reaches a state of transcendence. John Pirozzi’s new film Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll is that kind of movie.” –Phoenix New Times

 “More than a music documentary.”
–Spectrum Culture

Friday, June 12, 2015 – The Yes Men are Revolting, Director Laura Nix

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For the last 20 years, notorious activists the Yes Men (Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum) have staged outrageous hoaxes to hijack public dialogue worldwide about the issues of the day. In their third cinematic outing (after The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix The World), they are now well into their 40s, and their mid life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever – even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced, climate change. Frustrated by each other, and worried they can’t make a difference anymore, how can they keep fighting the world’s most urgent threat? Revealing the real people behind the ruses, their latest film is as much a character study as it is a thrilling ride depicting their latest interventions against corporate greed. Following their lives for over four years, The Yes Men Are Revolting reveals their creative process, hilarious strategies, and personal conflicts while they juggle the demands of getting older, holding down jobs, and maintaining some shred of personal lives. From villages in Uganda’s Karamoja region to the toxic oil fields in Canada’s tar sands, these iconoclastic revolutionaries take on big oil, lobbyists, Wall Street, and the U.S. government, armed with nothing but thrift-store suits and a lack of shame. Overcoming personal obstacles to deliver uproarious actions of global significance, the Yes Men deliver a hopeful message about ordinary people breaking through the paralysis to take back their planet. Director Laura Nix stops by to talk about the dedication and creativity of Mike and Andy and the chance to shine a light on why all politics are personal for two of the world’s best-known activists.

For news and updates go to: theyesmenarerevolting.com

“Who said that a political film can’t be sweet, too? In its grandest triumph, “The Yes Men Are Revolting” is an activist doc inspired by more than just its topical issues.” – Nick Allen, Rogerebert.com

“Entertaining mix of agitpop, pranksterism and autobiography” – Variety

“There aren’t too many stunts this time around, but that’s not really what ‘Revolting’ is about.” – Matt Prigge, Metro

“”The Yes Men Are Revolting” is an entertaining and interesting examination of the anxieties that make us question who we are and if we’re making a difference. “ – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“The Yes Men show that while reality might get lost in this struggle, the truth does occasionally emerge from the chaos.” – Oleg Ivanov, Slant Magazine

Friday, June 5, 2015 – Results, Director Andrew Bujalski

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Recently divorced, newly rich, and utterly miserable, Danny (Kevin Corrigan) would seem to be the perfect test subject for a definitive look at the relationship between money and happiness. Danny’s well-funded ennui is interrupted by a momentous trip to the local gym, where he meets self-styled guru/owner Trevor (Guy Pearce) and irresistibly acerbic trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders). Soon, their three lives are inextricably knotted, both professionally and personally.  Writer/director Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess, 2013) returns with a fun, intimate fable that’s utterly grounded in real life. As wrinkles turn into complications, then blow up into full-fledged issues, the talented ensemble keeps the pensive tone light and the complex plot breezy. Bujalski stops by to talk about his charming shaggy-dog tale that’s been hitting the gym: taut, limber, and powerful.

For news and updates go to: magpictures.com/Results

“ENCHANTING – WONDERFULLY ALIVE AND UNPREDICTABLE. Plus it’s funny as hell. Results manages to reinvent the rom-com.” – Bilge Ebari, New York Magazine

“KEVIN CORRIGAN IS SOMETHING OF A COMIC GENIUS. A pleasing romantic-comedy triangle. The triumph of ‘Results’ is that it pretends to be loose, lazy and lived-in when it’s actually disciplined, hard-working and IN ALMOST PERFECT SHAPE.” – A.O. Scott, NY Times

“AN IRRESISTABLE TALE. A love story full of twists and turns.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

A TERRIFIC, VERY FUNNY NEW COMEDY. What’s really wonderful is director Buljaski’s sympathy for his characters.” – Ella Taylor, NPR

“One of the strangest and strongest of recent romantic triangles forms in the course of this lyrical, fanatically realistic comedy.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

Friday, June 5, 2015 – Sweet Micky for President, Director Ben Patterson and Producer Pras Michel

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SWEET MICKY FOR PRESIDENT follows Pras Michel, Grammy award-winning rapper and founder of the hip-hop group The Fugees, as he returns to his homeland of Haiti post-earthquake and finds a corrupt government in paralysis. With no experience or money, Pras passionately mobilizes a presidential campaign for the unlikeliest of candidates: Michel Martelly, aka “Sweet Micky”, Haiti’s most popular and most outlandish pop star. The idealistic and politically inexperienced pair set out against a corrupt government, civil unrest, and a fixed election system to change the course of Haitian history. When Pras’ former bandmate — superstar Wyclef Jean — also enters the presidential race, their chances seem further doomed and the story takes on the wild twists of celebrity drama.  Pras Michel acts as masterful storyteller in SWEET MICKY FOR PRESIDENT and Director Ben Patterson brilliantly captures an important part of Haiti’s history as a fledgling democracy struggling to produce a government worthy of the world’s first black republic. Producer Michel and Director Patterson join us to talk about the political, social, personal and cinematic challenges that went into their informative, entertaining and compelling documentary.

For news and updates go to: sweetmickyforpresident.com

“Fascinating and wildly entertaining.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Artfully takes us through a roller coaster ride.” – Indiewire

“It’s an important film and one that acts as a time capsule for future generations.” – FilmPulse

“One of the most unlikely stories ever captured on film.” – Billboard