** Chau, Beyond the Lines, Director Courtney Marsh and ** Body Team 12, Director David Darg

Body_Team_12_poster  

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Body Team 12 is tasked with collecting the victims at the height of the Ebola outbreak. These body collectors have arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world. The story is told on the ground in Monrovia, Liberia through the eyes of the only female member of the team, Garmai Sumo. A mother and a caretaker, Garmai posesses a certain type of maternal heroism. And through Garmai, we see the heartbreaking, lifesaving work of removing bodies from loved ones in order to halt the transmission of the disease. Director David Darg shot the film himself at great personal risk in an effort to humanize the workers he felt were saving the world. He edited the film while in quarantine upon returning to the United States.

Director David Darg on the making of Body Team 12: “Being on the ground during the height of the viral Ebola outbreak in 2014, I was astonished by the bravery of Liberia’s Ebola body teams, and in particular, Garmai Sumo, the BT12-Dargfemale body collector featured in the film BODY TEAM 12. I was immediately inspired by her – by her fearlessness, determination and love for her community. History is defined by people who stood up against huge odds to fight immense battles. If it was not for the courage of the body teams, the Ebola epidemic would be far worse. Africa, and ultimately the world, owes so much to this small group of brave young Liberians. I hope BODY TEAM 12 earns them gratitude from people all around the globe.”

For news and updates go to: bodyteam12

** 2016 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary – Short Subject

“… it is Body Team 12 that clutches at the heart. Not only is Sumo a redemptive presence in an apocalyptic moment in her country’s history, but she represents the best in all of us. For that reason, Darg and Mooser might just nab the Oscar.” – Film Journal

 “It’s a showcase of the human spirit and a selfless attitude to do what’s necessary for the greater good because today’s generation deserves the chance to have the same future every generation before them had. It’s also a memorial for the nameless and faceless victims… Darg gives them something with his film by immortalizing them through Sumo’s mission. And one day it’ll all be worth it.” – Jared Mubarek

Chau, Beyond the lines posterChau, Beyond the Lines Chau, a teenager living in a Ho Chi Minh care center for children disabled by Agent Orange,
battles with the reality of his dream to one day become a professional artist.

Director Courtney Marsh on the making of Chau, Beyond the Lines: “Eight years ago, I traveled to Vietnam with a classmate to make a documentary on the plight of the street kids in Ho Chi Minh City. However, not too long into our trip, we were introduced to a small care center for kids disabled by Agent Orange, tucked away in the back of a maternity hospital. When I entered, something struck deep inside me and I decided to volunteer there for a week, becoming close with the kids almost instantly. I asked them if I could film their lives, andCourtney Marsh thus, began a two month journey that would span out into my 8-year endeavor. And as I finished this film, what I saw and began to believe was the truth of the unconquerable human spirit. I focused on Chau’s story because of the relentless pursuit for his dream to be an artist. He taught me to hope in a world where, most often than not, there is a lack of such. If we could all look at the larger picture, focus on what we have rather than what we don’t have, perhaps our seemingly impossible dreams would be actually within our reach.” Director Marsh joins us for a conversation on the remarkable spirit of Chau and the impact that Agent Orange has had, and continues to have on the people of Vietnam.

 For news and updates go to: beyondthelinesfilm.com

** 2016 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary – Short Subject

 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival – Jury Award Best Documentary Short Film

45th Annual USA Film Festival – Jury Award Best Documentary Short Film

30th Annual Fort Lauderdale Int’l Film Festival – Jury Award Best Documentary Short Film

5th Annual Irvine International Film Festival – Jury Award Best Documentary Short Film

Friday, January 29, 2016 – Requiem for the American Dream

Requiem Film Poster 

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REQUIEM FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM is the definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky, widely regarded as the most important intellectual alive, on the defining characteristic of our time – the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few. Through interviews filmed over four years, Chomsky unpacks the principles that have brought us to the crossroads of historically unprecedented inequality – tracing a half-century of policies designed to favor the most wealthy at the expense of the majority – while also looking back on his own life of activism and political participation. Profoundly personal and thought provoking, Chomsky provides penetrating insight into what may well be the lasting legacy of our time – the death of the middle class, and swan song of functioning democracy. A potent reminder that power ultimately rests in the hands of the governed, Requiem for the American Dream is required viewing for all who maintain hope in a shared stake in the future. Co-directors Jared P. Scott and Peter Hutchison (and Kelly Nyks) joins us for a conversation on the entrenched, structural for the vanishing American dream and how it is still possible to re-envision a new one.

For news and updates go to: requiemfortheamericandream.com

US Theatrical premiere: NYC: Cinema Village 22 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

Official Selection – TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL • IDFA • AFI DOCS 

“ONE OF THE BEST ENTRY POINTS TO THE DISCUSSION OF INEQUALITY.”
– THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“MUST SEE! A MUCH-NEEDED PUNCH IN AMERICA’S GUT.” 
- INDIEWIRE

“A LUCID ANALYSIS THAT’S BREATHTAKING IN ITS SIMPLICITY, AND ALL THE MORE SCARY FOR IT.”
- TIME OUT NEW YORK

★★★★ “A FASCINATING FILM.”
- KAM WILLIAMS, THE SLY FOX FILM REVIEWS

Friday, January 29, 2016 – 2016 Academy Award Nominated Short Program, Carter Pilcher

2016 OSCAR SHORT POSTER 

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Since founding Shorts International in 2000, Carter Pilcher has worked to make his company the world’s leading short movie entertainment company. Shorts International has become the first choice distributor, broadcaster and producer for hundreds of films. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. Carter talks to us about the fifteen wonderful films nominated for the Live Action, Documentary and Animated Short Film 2016 Academy Awards.

Friday, January 22, 2016 – *Diary of a Teenage Girl, director / writer Marielle Heller

Diary of a Teenage Girl poster 

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THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL is based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel of the same name, hailed by Salon as “one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender and beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.” Writer/Director Marielle Heller unlocks this diary with a richly comedic and deeply personal vision. It is a coming of age story that is as poignant as it is unsettling. Set in 1976 San Francisco, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL begins at the crossroads of the fading hippie movement and the dawn of punk rock. Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. Minnie begins a complex love affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world,” Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative account of one girl’s sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment. Minnie emerges defiant— taking command of her sexuality and drawing on her newfound creative talents to reveal truths in the kind of intimate and vivid detail that can only be found in the pages of a teenage girl’s diary. In her feature film directorial debut, director / writer Heller brings Gloeckner’s book to life through fearless performances, inventive graphic novel-like animation sequences, imagination, humor and heart.

For news and updates go to: thediaryofateenagegirl

* Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead (Bel Powley)

Sundance Film Festival 2015 and New Directors/New Films 2015

“What makes Minnie — on the page and now on the screen — greater than any one girl is how she tells her own story in her own soaringly alive voice”. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“This adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckners heavily autobiographical novel is ideally cast and skillfully handled.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Powley, a British twentysomething whose big, curious eyes and quavering, thoughtful voice allow for a seamless transition back to her teenage years, gives a remarkable performance.” – Jesse Hassenger, A.V. Club

“It’s unlikely to make a box office splash, but it’s a startlingly tough, authentic depiction of budding womanhood.” Elaine Tang, New Republic

Friday, January 22, 2016 – *Advantageous, Director and co-writer Jennifer Phang

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Advantageous is the story of a mother named Gwen (Jacqueline Kim) who just wants the best for her daughter Jules (Samantha Kim). Having recently been laid off by the Center for Advanced Health and Living, a company on the verge of a breakthrough in terms of transferring consciousness from one body to another, Gwen struggles with putting Jules into a private school that could set her up for life, ultimately wondering if she should take part in her former employer’s latest experiment to help her cause. The Center’s newest and untested health procedure offers Gwen a dangerous, life-altering chance to continue her career. To weigh her options, Gwen attempts to reconnect with an estranged relative (Ken Jeong), but as seems standard for all in this dystopian landscape, Gwen remains alienated and alone. Also starring Jennifer Ehle (The Gifted Man, Zero Dark Thirty) and James Urbaniak (The Venture Bros., Henry Fool). Director and co-writer Jennifer Phang joins us for a conversation on femininity and motherhood and how they intersect with questions of beauty, surveillance and the economy.

 For news and updates go to: advantageous.me

Winner of the 2015 Sundance Special Jury Award, Collaborative Vision

*2016 Spirit Award nomination for the John Cassavetes Award

“YOU FEEL THE NEED BOTH TO TALK TO SOMEONE IMMEDIATELY AND TO GREEDILY HORDE THE EXPERIENCE FOR YOURSELF” – THE VERGE

 “BEWITCHING” – THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

 “EXQUISITELY CRAFTED” – MOVIE CITY NEWS

 “BEAUTIFUL… IMPRESSIVE… UNIVERSALLY HUMAN… INCREDIBLY URGENT” WIRED

“A MARVEL OF A FILM… ARRESTING AND HEARTBREAKING” – CINEFILLES

 “VISUAL ALCHEMY… RENEWED MY AWARENESS OF BEING ALIVE AND PRESENT IN A CHANGING WORLD” – HAMMER TO NAIL

The Big Short, co-screenwriter Charles Randolph*

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When four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything. The Big Short is being talked about as the best picture of the year. Its script, adapted by director Adam McKay (The Other Guys) and writer Charles Randolph (Love & Other Drugs) from Michael Lewis‘s bestselling 2009 book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, is considered one the frontrunners for the best adapted screenplay 2016 Academy Award. Randolph is an American screenwriter and producer for film and television. Randolph has written screenplays for several films and TV movies including The Life of David Gale (2003), The Interpreter (2005), and Love & Other Drugs (2010). Randolph received nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay and BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and an Academy Award nomination for co-writing The Big Short. Randolph joins us to talk about the challenge involved in writing a script about a complex event and subject that is informative, intelligent and entertaining.

For news and updates go to: thebigshortmovie.com

* Nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Adam McKay) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Adam McKay and Charles Randolph)

“McKay co-wrote The Big Short’s screenplay with Charles Randolph, and they know how to keep an audience engaged, broadcasting this knowledge often, as both parody and indictment.” – Chicago Reader

“A funny, energetic and self-aware film that manages to entertain without diluting the complications – or the gravity – of its subject matter.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“A true crime story and a madcap comedy, a heist movie and a scalding polemic, “The Big Short” will affirm your deepest cynicism about Wall Street while simultaneously restoring your faith in Hollywood.” – A. O. Scott, New York Times

Band of Robbers, co-director Aaron Nee

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Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are all grown up in this reimagined, modern day fable that finds them still searching for a hidden treasure that has eluded them since childhood. A modern-day retelling of Mark Twain’s iconic books, Band of Robbers is a comedic adventure that re-imagines the characters as grown men, and small-time crooks.  When Huck Finn is released from prison, he hopes to leave his criminal life behind, but his lifelong friend, and corrupt cop, Tom Sawyer, has other plans. Not ready to give up on his childhood fantasies, Tom forms the Band of Robbers, recruiting their misfit friends, Joe Harper and Ben Rogers, to join them for an elaborate plan to find a fabled treasure. But the plan soon unravels, thrusting the guys on a wild journey with dangerous consequences. Band of Robbers premiered to stellar reviews out of LA Film Festival this year and stars Kyle Gallner (American Sniper, Dear White People, The Finest Hours), Adam Nee (Drunk History), Matthew Gray Gubler (Criminal Minds, 500 Days of Summer, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou), Hannibal Buress (SNL Emmy-nominated writer, Broad City, Neighbors), Melissa Benoist (Glee, Supergirl), Daniel Mora (The Bridge), Eric Christian Olsen (NCIS: Los Angeles), and Stephen Lang (Avatar films, Salem). Co-director Aaron Nee stops by for a conversation on this kinetic, funny and entertaining feature debut film.

For news and updates go to: bandofrobbersmovie.com

Special appearance by directors and cast

NEW YORK: At the AMC EMPIRE 25 co-director Adam Nee and cast Kyle Gallner and Hannibal Buress will be doing a Q&A. (More details coming soon.) Later at the Nitehawk Cinema a special 12:25 AM screening will be introduced by Adam, Hannibal and Kyle.

LOS ANGELES: Co-director Aaron Nee, DP Noah Rosenthal and some of the cast will be doing a Q&A at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena at 7:10 PM. 

“A film that’s as hilarious as it is beautiful.” – Paste Magazine

“Wound tight by a killer premise, polished direction, and a tone as though Anton Chigurh sauntered into “Bottle Rocket.” – Indiewire

“A wonderfully absurd crime comedy.” – Playlist

“This comic take on “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” is infused with a gleefully absurdist sense of humor while retaining a childlike sense of wonder.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

* ** Mustang, Director Deniz Gamez Ergüven

MUSTANG Film poster 

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Based on the personal life of the film’s director Deniz Gamze Ergüven personal life Mustang tells the story of five free-spirited teenage sisters living in a village in Northern Turkey. As the sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmate their innocent fun a neighbor reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family.  The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides.  As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate.  The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut, a powerful portrait of female empowerment. Mustang was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films. The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Ergüven’s joins us for a conversation on her beautifully rendered story of five young women who refuse to be shackled by a repressive social system.

For news and updates go to: mustang

* Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film

** Spirit Award nomination for Best International Film

Official Selection – France – 2016 Academy Awards
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival 2015 Directors’ Fortnight
Special Presentation – Toronto International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Heart of Sarajevo Award, Sarajevo Film Festival 2015
Winner – Europa Cinemas Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2015
Winner – Audience Award, Chicago International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Best First Film Award, Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

“Part of a welcome international wave of films made by women directors that focus on girls growing up in worlds of men – and on what they look like when no one’s looking.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe 

“It’s a moving portrait of sisterhood, a celebration of a fierce femininity and a damning indictment of patriarchal systems that seek to destroy and control this spirit.” – Katie Walsh, LA Times

“’Mustang’ is the début feature of Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and it’s quite something: a coming-of-age fable mapped onto a prison break, at once dream-hazed and sharp-edged with suspense. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

* Last Day of Freedom, co-directors Nomi Talisman and Dee Hibbert-Jones

Last Day of Freedom film poster 

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When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime, he agonizes over his decision – should he call the police? LAST DAY OF FREEDOM is a richly animated personal narrative that tells the story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. LAST DAY OF FREEDOM is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day, veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice. Created from over 32,000 hand-drawn images, the film has garnered international film and art attention and has won numerous awards since its premiere at the 2015 Full Frame Film Festival. First time filmmakers Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman have been working together since 2004, collaborating on art, film and interactive projects that look at the ways power structures and politics impact everyday lives. Dee is originally from the U.K., and is an Associate Professor of Art & New Media at UC Santa Cruz; Nomi was born in Israel and is a freelance editor and animator. They join us to talk about a brother’s courage and love for his troubled sibling, as well as the cultural, social, and political issues surrounding this tragic story.

For news and updates go to: lastdayoffreedom.net 

* 2016 Academy Award nomination, Best Documentary, Short Program

Winner – Best Short Documentary – IDA Awards

Winner – Best Short Documentary – Full Frame Festival Filmmaker

Winner – Best Short Jury Award – Full Frame Film Festival

Winner – (In)Justice for All Film Festival Justice for All Impact Award

Winner – SF Doc Fest Best Short Audience Award

 “The film that stands out” – Variety

 “A searing study of our most pressing social issues” – Indiewire

Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, Director Stig Bjorkman

 Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words poster 

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After a chance encounter with the daughter of Ingrid Bergman, Isabella Rossellini, director, screewriter Stig Bjorkman was she presented with a proposition: ”Shall we make a film about ‘mama’?” After gaining access to Bergman’s rich posthumous work – diaries, letters, photographs, amateur movies – Bjorkman appreciation of Ingrid Bergman as a strong and most determined artist grew. Through never-before-seen private footage, notes, letters, diaries and interviews with her children, INGRID BERGMAN – IN HER OWN WORDS presents a personal portrait and captivating look behind the scenes of the remarkable life of a young Swedish girl who became one of the most beloved and celebrated actresses of American cinema. Stig Björkman, is a writer, director and film critic. His previous films about cinema include BUT FILM IS MY MISTRESS (2010) and TRANCEFORMER – A PORTRAIT OF LARS VON TRIER (1997). As a writer he has published interview books with Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen and Joyce Carol Oates among others. Between 1964 and 1972 he worked as chief editor for the Swedish film magazine Chaplin and has, over the years, contributed to Cahiers du Cinéma and Sight & Sound. Bjorkman joins us for a conversation on the life and times of a complex and supremely talented artist.

For news and updates go to: Ingrid Bergman: Her Own Words

“A rich, generous-spirited portrait of a woman who, in her unapologetic pursuit of art, fame and personal growth, was far ahead of her time..” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“Bjorkman leaves behind the image of a uniquely strong, independent woman whose relaxed modernity was way ahead of its time.” – Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

“The exceptional home movies, many shot by Bergman herself, are an unending source of pleasure, visually reinforcing her children’s warm-hearted reminiscences: Their mother was fun to be around.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety