We Are Many, Director Amir Amirani

WE ARE MANY focuses on February 15th, 2003, when up to 30 million people, many of whom had never demonstrated before in their lives, came out in nearly 800 cities around the world to protest against the impending Iraq War. The New York Times called this movement the “Second Superpower”. How did this day come about? Who organized it? And was it, as many people claimed, a total failure? This fearless, thought-provoking documentary is the remarkable inside story behind the first ever global demonstration and its surprising and unreported legacy. WE ARE MANY features testimony from a unique cast of direct participants, including organizers, activists, high-profile figures, and of course the public, filmed in seven countries – Italy, Spain, Egypt, Sweden, Australia, UK, and the USA. Extraordinary testimony from activists in Egypt reveals how, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, the global anti-war protests inspired those in Tahrir Square to go on to engage in the massive democratic movement that ultimately led to the Arab Spring. In the UK, the government was defeated over the proposed invasion of Syria, a historic event that might not have transpired without the legacy of those demonstrations a decade ago. The star-studded list of contributors includes Danny Glover, actor Mark Rylance, film director Ken Loach, Prof. Noam Chomsky, musicians Brian Eno and Damon Albarn, writer and Vietnam Vet Ron Kovic (author of ‘Born on the 4th of July’), Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Branson, and Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, amongst others. WE ARE MANY is a bold documentary by Amir Amirani charts the birth and growth of the new people power movement, now sweeping the world, taking us up to the Arab Spring and Syria, a little over 10 years after that historic day.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: wearemany.com

About the filmmaker – Amir Amirani is a film-maker with a strong track record of work for some of the most respected series of the BBC. He has a degree in Biology from Nottingham University, and an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge University. Amir joined the BBC in 1992 and took up a Graduate Production Traineeship. In 1994, Amir and his brother Taghi established Amirani Films to produce documentaries for the major UK broadcasters, the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, and other international broadcasters. Amir has made films for a several of the BBC’s flagship series, including the multi BAFTA award winning Arena, Timewatch, Picture This, Correspondent and Newsnight, for which he was nominated for an Amnesty International Award. A film he directed in South Africa was nominated for the One World Broadcasting Trust Awards. Amir also works in radio, where he has produced programmes for leading series on BBC Radio 4, such as In Business, From Our Own Correspondent, The World Tonight, and single programmes such as From Tehran With Laughter. He has also directed British televisionís most popular soap opera. His journalism includes writing for the New Statesman, New Scientist,Business Traveller Asia and the Economist Intelligence Unit. His work has been well reviewed by the press.

The Swerve, Director Dean Kapsalis

In the gripping psychological thriller THE SWERVE focuses on the life on the edge. Holly seems to have it all: two kids, a nice house, a good job as a teacher, and a husband with his career on the way up. But there are troubling signs that all is not right in her world. The insomnia. The medication for the insomnia. The dreams from the medication for the insomnia. The arrival of her estranged sister and a mouse invading her home don’t help either. Add the weight of a dark secret, and her already delicate balance collapses, sending her spiraling out of control. THE SWERVE is anchored by an unforgettably riveting performance by Azura Skye as Holly. Skye masterfully crafts a portrait of a struggling mother on the edge. Writer/director Dean Kapsalis’s joins us to talk about his powerful heart-wrenching feature debut that explores a week in the life of a woman on the verge in this haunting meditation on mental illness.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: epic-pictures.com/film/the-swerve

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100% on Rottentomatoes

“It is an amazingly cathartic experience. I’m incredibly impressed that Dean Kapsalis was able to convey the suffering of a woman so well, without belittling or objectifying Holly in the process.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

“…no less irresistible and poisonous than the nation’s prevailing patriarchy, making Holly’s violent deviation from her prescribed homemaking path the last tragic swerve of a woman in trouble.” – Anton Bitel, Sight and Sound

“Azura Skye’s broken, powerhouse performance animates this brittle psychological thriller about a woman on the edge.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“A beautiful and brutal study of depression, paranoia and the descent into the unthinkable. The message that Kapsalis voicing is one that, like Holly, needs to be heard.” – Kat Hughes, THN

Miracle on the Desert, Director Greg Bassenian

Greg Bassenian (“CSI: Miami”) eye-opening award-winning documentary Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea, which lays bare the startling environmental disaster that is the Salton Sea in California’s coveted Coachella valley.  Charting the Salton Sea’s creation in 1905 to the current devastating environmental crisis that it faces today, this harrowing journey takes the viewer into the toxic dust. As the largest lake in California begins to dry, millions of lives are in danger as clouds of toxic dust threaten the health of millions of Californians. Following in the footsteps of Al Gore’s eye opening An Inconvenient Truth, Bassenian’s  new documentary carefully plots the course of economic growth that sprouted a shimmering desert riviera laden with costly construction challenges developing into the perfect storm – creating an unstable ecosystem that now lays to waste the health of the Coachella Valley’s community as both local and federal governments look to pass the cost of fixing things onto someone other than themselves. Director Greg Bassenian joins us to talk about this accidental body of water’s orgin-story, it’s moment of fleeting fame and the dire consequences for all of Southern California if measures are not taken to rescue The Salton Sea from total collapse.

 

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Miracle in the Desert: The Rise and Fall of the Salton Sea, will be released by Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company across North America on all VOD/Digital & Blu-Ray/DVD platforms beginning on September 22nd, 2020.

Director statement –  The Salton Sea is a cautionary tale of ego, ambition and neglect that stand to impact the health of millions of people, many of them right here in Southern California. There’s been a lot of said about the Salton Sea in the past, but this film sets the record straight, and we’re proud to partner with Gravitas to bring it to the world.  You might not believe some of what you see, but we assure you, it’s all real and happening as we speak. Greg Bassenian

“a riveting documentary about the plight of the Salton Sea.” – Greg Archer, Palm Springs LIfe Magazine

“A complete, riveting and entertaining history of the Salton Sea. A must see!”- Joe Smith, NBC Palm Springs

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Co-directors Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes

ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY is a riveting examination of voter suppression in the United States of America. The film weaves rich archival storytelling with the personal experiences of experts, activists, and would-be voters deprived of their rights. Current activism as well as historical insight expose what corrupted our democracy from the moment it was founded. Every time we the people take a step toward a more just and equal nation — granting rights to the disenfranchised, from women’s suffrage to desegregation — new forces and obstacles emerge that require us to fight for the right to vote once again. Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives and the first female African-American major-party gubernatorial nominee, offers an insider’s look at the patchwork of laws and barriers designed to hinder voting. Many U.S citizens remain unaware of this dangerous threat to their basic right to wield their power and raise their voices at the polls.ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY explores fundamental questions: Who gets to participate in our democracy, and who is pushed aside? How can we all fight back? Voting is the cog that makes the machinery of democracy work — and if the machinery breaks for some, it will eventually break for all. Co-directors Liz Garbus (Nothing Left Unsaid, I’lll Be Gone in the Dark, Lost Girls) and Lisa Cortes (The Apollo, The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion, The Woodsman) join us to talk about how incredibly important voting rights are in determining the outcome of our elections and out quickly they can be taken away.

 

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ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY will open in select theaters on September 9th and will be available on Amazon Prime Video on September 18th.

About the filmmaker – Liz Garbus is a two-time Academy Award®-Nominee, two-time Emmy Winner, Peabody Winner, Grammy Nominee, DGA Nominee, BAFTA-nominated director. LOST GIRLS (Netflix, 2020) is Garbus’ narrative feature debut, starring Amy Ryan, Gabriel Byrne, and Thomasin McKenzie. When Mari Gilbert’s daughter disappears, police inaction drives her own investigation into the gated Long Island community where Shannan was last seen. Her search brings attention to over a dozen murdered sex workers Mari will not let the world forget. LOST GIRLS will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and then will be released in theaters and on Netflix.For more on the work of Liz Garbus go to: storysyndicate.com/work

About the filmmaker – Lisa Cortes Executive producer After graduating she went into the music business where she worked with Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin, the founders of Def Jam. Cortes then joined the staff at Mercury Records. After leaving the music industry, Cortes turned her interests to film. She enrolled at the School of Visual Arts in New York and later the New York Film Academy. A producer and close friend, Lee Daniels, was producing Monster’s Ball and Cortes and Daniels together subsequently collaborated on movies such as Woodsman (2004), Shadowboxer (2005), Tennessee (2008), and Precious (2009). Cortes founded her own company, Cortes Films in 2010. Cortes Films has produced two films Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: a Portrait of My Mother, a film about Mickalene Thomas’ mother and her struggle with aging and kidney disease, and Kwaku Ananse a film about West African fables of Kwaku Ananse and a young woman named, Nyan Koronhwea, attending her estranged father’s funeral while trying to come to terms with her father’s double life. 

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A documentary of supreme relevance that has the effect, at once chilling and rousing, of a political cautionary tale.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“All In: The Fight for Democracy is a must-watch documentary…” – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“Voter suppression is broken down within an inch of its life with this informative, no holds barred documentary from Liz Garbus and Stacey Abrams. Our vote has never counted more and been more crucial. Don’t let you democracy be robbed!” – Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

“Stacy Abrams’ urgent, powerful , and compelling documentary about voter rights and the attempt to suppress them could and should have a real world impact this election season.” – Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood Daily

My Name Is Pedro, Director Lillian LaSalle

First-time director Lillian LaSalle’s award-winning and timely documentary MY NAME IS PEDRO explores what public education meant to South Bronx Latino maverick educator, Pedro Santana, and what he, in turn, meant to public education. MY NAME IS PEDRO is a profound story of how one person actualizes learning and positive change in children, adults, environments and communities through an ‘impact’ ripple effect strategy that he has effortlessly perfected. MY NAME IS PEDRO is also an essential and timely reminder of the importance of great educators that exist within the infrastructure of our country’s public education system. Infectious in his optimism, Santana becomes one of the most influential public-school teachers and then administrators in the New York public school system after turning his troubled Bronx middle school, MS 391, around. He is unapologetic in his commitment to create change for kids, no matter the odds. When a glowing front-page New York Times article catapults him into the spotlight, he is recruited and then accepts a promotion to use his famed ‘out of the box’ and transformative practices to save a corrupt and divided suburban school district. But the political challenges there may simply be too great, even for the infallible Santana. Director Lillian LaSalle joins us to talk about her beautifully rendered story of a man determined to guide and motivate young people to be better students and better people.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: mynameispedro.com

Find out where to watch: mynameispedro.com/screenings

My Name is Pedro is opening: New York (The Maysles Cinema) September 17 – Los Angeles (Laemmle) on October 2.  A multi-city regional expansion on October 9 including: Philadelphia (Film Society), Buffalo (North Park), Baltimore (Senator, The Charles), Vancouver (Kiggins Theater), Tucson (Loft), Cleveland (Cleveland Cinemas), Phoenix (Film Bar), Bellingham (Pickford Center), San Jose (3 Below Outdoor), Winston Salem (Aperture Cinema), Tampa (Tampa Theater) and more.

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Winner: Best Documentary, Golden Door International Film Festival
Winner: Spotlight on Documentary Award, St. Louis International Film Festival 
Winner: Audience Award, Chicago Latino International Film Festival
Winner: Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival
Winner: Award of Merit, Impact Docs 
Winner: Honorable Mention, Woodstock Film Festival

“Director Lillian LaSalle takes a narrowly focused story and connects it to larger themes that affect everyone. It’s an emotional journey that hits uncomfortable truths.” – Daniel Eagan, Film Legacy

One Hour Outcall, Director T. Arthur Cottam and Writer / Lead Actor William Norrett

ONE HOUR OUTCALL is a sophisticated, sexy drama unraveling the complex relationship between a call girl and her client who meet every Thursday night. Esmeralda (Natalia Ochoa) is a college-aged, high-class escort, Greg (William Norrett ) a middle-aged, divorced introvert. Sexual tension and curiosity fill the air during their first rendezvous, each vying for the upper hand. As they continue their weekly explorations, however, they start to develop an intimacy that goes beyond the transactional and into the deeply personal. When his ulterior motive is revealed, their interludes force Greg to confront his relationship with Esmeralda, his family, and his own inner demons. And it forces Esmeralda to question whether or not she can truly leave her emotions at the door. ONE HOUR OUTCALL stars Natalia Ochoa (The Pastor, The Real Steal), William Norrett (Carbuncle, Elysian Gardens), Kristin Carey (Hall Pass, Criminal Minds), Shannon Leigh Godwin (Fake The Joy, Fantasy Fitness), Octavio Rodriguez (NCIS: New Orleans, Homeland”), and Will Holbrook (Ride Home, The Gunman). Director T. Arthur Cottam and Writer / Lead Actor William Norrett join us to talk about their character driven drama told in a series of flashbacks and real-time fragments that add up to a gripping story of power, control and hidden agendas. 

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: onehouroutcall.com

Where to watch: onehouroutcall.com/where-to-watch

About the filmmaker(s) Award-winning director T. Arthur Cottam is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His critically-acclaimed first feature film, Carbuncle, was nominated for Best Feature Film at the Milan Film Festival and was hailed as “brilliant” by Campus Circle and “wonderfully eccentric” by Films In Review. His follow-up film, Pollywogs, was nominated for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival and is available on various streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime and iTunes. His short film phenomenon, Pornographic Apathetic, won 9 awards and played at film festivals and art museums around the world from 2003 until 2019. The Los Angeles Times said, “The piece makes you laugh while illustrating one of the paradoxes of smut: At its core, it’s rather idiotic and boring.” The film became the most viewed film on Atom.com which was later acquired by Comedy Central. His controversial 2006 film Filthy Food received the award for Best Experimental Short film at CineKink NYC, screened at numerous film festivals and was licensed for French television by Canal+. Filthy Food was also banned for 12 years in Italy and Korea, and was censored at the former AFI Dallas Film Festival. Cottam’s short 52 Takes of the Same Thing, Then Boobs was featured at several film festivals, including theFestival Internacional de Curtas Metragens de Sao Paulo (Brazil), Lille International Short Film Festival (France), Visionaria (Italy) and the Austin Film Festival. It was described as “the most outrageously ‘out there’ film that we have scheduled” by AFI Fest Director of Programming, Lane Kneedler. His feature film One Hour Outcall won Best Screenplay at the Block Island Film Festival and was an official selection of the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival. Cottam is currently in post-production on two additional feature films, Objects and No Apparent Motive.

Writer / Lead Actor William Norrett is a graduate of Regis High School in New York City and Duke University, William Norrett is the author of several plays, including The Sophisticated RogueThe Dealer Was Showing Six, and Brendan O’Lenihan Leaves Three Daughters, and the co-author of the musical comedy Presidential Suite. He wrote the novel The Vanilla Gigolo Prescription. He is also the writer/director of the short film collection You Know What This Song’s About?

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Our Time Machine, Co-director S. Leo Chiang (Yang Sun)

The emotionally gripping documentary, OUR TIME MACHINE, focuses on 43-year-old Maleonn, one of China’s most influential conceptual artists, and his father, Ma Ke, former artistic director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Theater. After being humiliated and forbidden from working for a decade during the Cultural Revolution, Ma Ke immersed himself in theater. The mysterious excitement of Ma Ke’s creative world inspired the young Maleonn, but his father’s absences stoked early feelings of resentment. When Ma Ke is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Maleonn pours everything into an ambitious new theater project: “Papa’s Time Machine,” a visually stunning time-travel adventure told with human-sized puppets. At the play’s heart are autobiographical scenes inspired by Maleonn’s memories with his father. He hopes this will bring them together artistically and personally. Facing his father’s painful decline, Maleonn becomes more aware of life’s complexities. There are no effortless masterpieces or simple solutions. And there’s no traveling back in time to retrieve what has been lost. OUR TIME MACHINE probes the complex relationships of a family in transition, generation to generation, filtered through the lens through art, theatre and puppeteering. Co-director S. Leo Chiang joins us to talk about his collaboration with co-director Yang Sun and subject Maleonn as well as unpack the multi-layered questions concerning memory, dreams, love, and family.

For news, screenings and updates go to: timemachinefilm.com

Directors’ Statement Those who grew up in post-Cultural Revolution China lived through a kind of socio-economic transformation that would have taken another country 100 years to bring about. In the span of 20 years, cities emerged from towns, the economy generated unprecedented wealth for some while leaving others behind, and new roads and digital networks connected China to the world. These migrations within our country and its rapid digitization have fundamentally changed the way people communicate and relate to one another. So, when we came across Maleonn and his ageing father, both artists, but who came of age on opposite sides of the Cultural Revolution in China, we made immediate personal connections. We see a story that could be our own in the not-so-distant future. For us and for Maleonn, the struggle to express affection towards one’s family goes hand in hand with defining and sharing the meaning behind devoting one’s life to art. Our intentions in crafting our film are to move others the way it has profoundly moved us. This is an evergreen story, relevant for past and future generations and across cultural divides, so long as there is love between children and their parents. Our story provides a needed addition to highlight the similarities between people in the West and in China during a time where the political language can be hostile and divisive.We hope this film celebrates the process in which two men reconcile their past feelings and create something together that repairs a distressed part of the fabric of Chinese society. – S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“The issues of aging and familial relationships and the appealing nature of this family would make “Our Time Machine” worthy of a look in any case, but what puts it over the top is Maleonn’s fascinating visual creations.” – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

“S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun’s vibrant documentary about this labor of love proves to be a multi-layered metaphor of the interplay of art, memory, loss, and reconciliation, as well as a study of a touching and fraught father-son relationship.” – Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“Even though Our Time Machine is about a big, ambitious stage production with some visually stunning puppets, the documentary’s smaller, quieter moments with Maleonn and his family are where the movie is at its best.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

“Maleonn’s wondrous creations are enough of an attraction on their own, but the film… has many more layers to reveal about the legacy of Cultural Revolution, familial relationships, the agonies of love and loss and the circle of life.” – Scott Tobias, Variety

Space Dogs, Co-directors Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter

In their mesmerizing new film, SPACE DOG, Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter chronicle the legacy of Laika, a stray dog picked up by the Soviet space program on the streets of Moscow, the first living being to orbit the earth when she was launched into space on Sputnik 2. Kremser and Peter trace the persistence of her memory and legacy into the present day. As the capsule containing the lifeless body of Laika re-entered Earth’s orbit and began to burn up, the narrator announces “What had been a Moscow street dog had become a ghost.”The ghost Laika lives on in the present-day strays of SPACE DOGS. Photographed at ground level with wandering, hypnotic camera movements, the strays are seen navigating the urban environs of modern Moscow. In hewing closely to the dog’s point of view, the city is rendered as a strange, alien environment. Pulsating music from buildings and unidentified passerby take on an unfamiliar quality as the dogs explore this strange new world. Archival footage of the Soviet space program is interwoven throughout the film, reveling in the bizarre tests and procedures the canines were subjected to in preparation for space travel. Co-directors Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter join us for a conversation on their fascinating project that features stunning cinematography and meditative pacing that recalls the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, and how SPACE DOGS de-centers humans in order to uncover a forgotten history.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: icarusfilms.com/if-spaced

For more about the filmmakers go to: raumzeitfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Director ELSA KREMSER Born 1985 in Austria, Elsa Kremser studied Film at the University of Vienna and the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg. As an author and producer, she realized several documentaries that were shown worldwide. Her diploma film NEBEL premiered at the Berlinale. She was a jury member of Visions du Réel and participated in the Nipkow Grand and the EuroDoc program. In 2016 she founded the Vienna-based production company RAUMZEITFILM together with Levin Peter. As a directing duo, they are currently working on their first fiction feature, THE GREEN PARROT, which received the Berlinale Kompagnon Script Award. Their recent documentary SPACE DOGS premiered at Locarno IFF where it received two special jury mentions. It was presented at over 50 festivals worldwide and awarded as the “Best Austrian Film 2019” at the Viennale.

About the filmmaker – Director LEVIN PETER Born 1985 in Germany, Levin Peter studied at the Filmakademie Ludwigsburg where he realized several documentaries that were shown worldwide. His diploma film BEYOND THE SNOWSTORM won the German Upcoming Film Award and was presented as a Guest at the Berlinale. He was a jury member at Visions du Réel and received the Nipkow and the Gerd Ruge Grant. In 2016 he founded the Vienna-based production company RAUMZEITFILM with Elsa Kremser. As a directing duo, they are currently working on their first fiction feature, THE GREEN PARROT, which received the Berlinale Kompagnon Script Award. Their recent documentary SPACE DOGS premiered at Locarno IFF where it received two special jury mentions. It was presented at over 50 festivals worldwide and awarded as the “Best Austrian Film 2019” at the Viennale.

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“Brutal but also deeply sensitive; a complex work that got under my skin.” —Film Comment

“No one leaves this movie unchanged.” —Publico

“Radical and rigorous; one of the documentaries of the year.” —Film Idea

“Like Disney directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.” —CineVue

“Undoubtedly the most exciting film at Locarno: a philosophical film that does what cinema has to do: show unseen images.” —Deutchland Funk

“Successfully subverts the anthropocentric gaze to illustrate the violent way humans inhabit space.” —Little White Lies

“A total work of art, foreshadowing a near future in which man is no longer the center of the world.” —Kino Zeit

“Ingenious; Kremser and Peter connect a roughly hewn space traveling animal history with modern stray subjects.” —IonCinema

“The scariest film of the year.” —CineEuropa

Buoyancy, Director Rodd Rathjen

BUOYANCY is the story of a Cambodian teenager sold into forced labor on a Thai fishing boat is a passionate testimony against social injustice and a moving coming-of-age tale about a boy whose humanity is put to the test. Spirited 14-year-old Chakra works the rice fields with his family. He yearns for independence and seeks out a local broker who can get him paid work in a Thai factory. Without telling his family, Chakra travels to Bangkok to make his fortune. But when he gets there, he and his new friend Kea realize the broker has lied to them. Along with other Cambodians and Burmese, they are sold to a fishing captain as slaves. Chakra and Kea are trapped at sea, trawling fish 22 hours a day, surviving on just a handful of cold rice a day. The captain quickly weeds out those weakened by the conditions or trying to escape, and throws them overboard. The trawler sells its catch and restocks its supplies without going to land, making escape impossible. Chakra looks to Rom Ran to understand what it will take to be free. With hope and humanity dwindling, Chakra decides to take matters into his own hands. Director Rodd Rathjen joins us to talk about shooting at sea, with a cast composed of mostly non-English speaking actor, making his first feature film.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/buoyancy

Australia’s Official Oscar Submission
Ecumenical Jury Prize – Berlinale Panorama

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“A terse minimalist thriller… supremely satisfying.” – Paul O’Callaghan, Sight & Sound

“A harrowing edge-of-your-seat adventure tale with social punch.” – Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“Taut and urgent.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“Powerful. A gripping debut.” – Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald

The Social Dilemma, Director Jeff Orlowski

Set in the dark underbelly of Silicon Valley, THE SOCIAL DILEMMA fuses investigative documentary with enlightening narrative drama—think An Inconvenient Truth meets The Matrix. Expert testimony from tech whistle-blowers exposes our disturbing predicament: the services Big Tech provides—search engines, networks, instant information, et cetera—are merely the candy that lures us to bite. Once we’re hooked and coming back for more, the real commodity they sell is their prowess to influence and manipulate us. Technology wizards have masterminded a new form of capitalism, and humanity is now the raw resource feeding the machine. THE SOCIAL DILEMMA focuses on the powerful, hidden artificial intelligence tasked with hijacking our attention is tearing apart social norms, jeopardizing truth and democracy, and putting civilization on a programmed path toward self-destruction. Award-winning filmmaker and environmentalist Jeff Orlowski (Chasing Ice, 2012; Chasing Coral, 2017) disrupts the disrupters by uncorking the invisible story purring from that mobile phone hidden in your pocket. Cunningly entertaining, THE SOCIAL DILEMMA sounds the alarm on surveillance capitalism in hopes of preserving the very fabric of our society before it’s too late. Director Jeff Orlowski joins us to talk about his incredibly relevant and important film.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: thesocialdilemma.com

THE SOCIAL DILEMMA is screening on Netflix beginning September 9th.

About the filmmaker: Jeff Orlowski is the director, producer, and cinematographer of Chasing Coral (2017 Sundance Film Festival winner of the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary) and Chasing Ice (2012 Festival winner of the Excellence in Cinematography Award Documentary). Both films screened at the United Nations and Congress and won Emmy Awards. Orlowski was awarded the inaugural Sundance Institute Discovery Impact Fellowship and named a United Nations Environment Programme Champion of the Earth. For more on the work of Jeff Orlowski go to: exposurelabs.com

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“An exemplary explainer, made with wit and clarity.” – Leslie FelperinHollywood Reporter

“[A] densely packed yet lively and entertaining documentary, whose accessibility is heightened by some narrative play-acting.” – Dennis HarveyVariety

“The film will definitely make you more cognizant of your own behavior – not just of how you use the internet, but how the internet uses you.” – David EhrlichindieWire

“The Social Dilemma really hits hard about what happens on the other side of the screen.” – Danielle SolzmanSolzy at the Movies

The Mole Agent, Director Maite Alberdi

In Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent Sergio is a Chilean spy. Sort of. At least, Sergio is offered the role of one after a casting session organized by Detective Romulo, a private investigator who needs a credible mole to infiltrate a retirement home. Romulo’s client, the concerned daughter of a resident, suspects her mother is being abused and hires him to find out what is really happening. However, Sergio is 83, not 007, and not an easy trainee when it comes to technology and spying techniques. But he is a keen student, looking for ways to distract himself after recently losing his wife. What could be a better distraction than some undercover spy action? While gathering intelligence, Sergio grows close to several residents and realizes that the menacing truth beneath the surface is not what anyone had suspected. Director Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent is a stylish combination of an observational dcumentary and a spy movie, with sleek camerawork and wonderfully watchable characters. It’s a unique meditation on compassion and loneliness that will infiltrate your heart and never let go.

 

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For news and updates go to: cinereach.org/films/the-mole-agent

About the filmmaker – Director Maite Alberdi has developed a particular style that is characterized by an intimate portrait of small worlds, and her renowned personal hallmark has made her one of the most important voices in Latin American documentaries. In 2011 she released her first feature The Lifeguard. Her second film Tea Time won more than 12 international awards and was nominated for Best Ibero-American Film at the Goya Awards in 2016. In that same year, her short film I’m Not From Here premiered, and was later nominated for the European Films Award. Her most recent feature film The Grown Ups received 10 international awards. Additionally, she co-authored the book Documentary Film Theory in Chile 1957-1973. Maite is a Global Shaper, Young Leaders by the World Economic Forum (WEF), and a member of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

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“The most heartwarming spy movie ever made.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

“Funny, poignant and finely crafted. A refreshing, beautifully made documentary.” – John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“A perfect movie that will make you laugh and break your heart.” – Jonathan Christian, The Playlist

“There’s no small irony here when it takes the perceived artifice of a movie to get at a reality about aging that most of us would rather not face, but the more Sergio is asked to go undercover in “The Mole Agent,” the deeper it gets for everyone.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

Starting at Zero (Reimagining Education in America), Director Willa Kammerer

Starting at Zero (Reimagining Education in America) explores the power of investing in high-quality early childhood education so that all children and families have the opportunity to attain the American Dream. The film brings together the voices of policymakers, educators, academics, business leaders, pediatricians, parents, and children. Starting at Zero features five current and past governors who are champions of early childhood education: Governors Steve Bullock of Montana, Kay Ivey of Alabama, and Ralph Northam of Virginia, as well as former Governors Jim Hunt of North Carolina, and Phil Bryant of Mississippi. Starting at Zero examines the latest developmental brain science to demonstrate how essential the earliest years of learning are to maximize human potential. Key features of high-quality early childhood learning environments and experiences are outlined and then brought to life as the film delves into the evolution of Alabama’s #1 nationally ranked state Pre-K program. Director Willa Kammerer joins us to talk about the increasing awareness of early childhood education, why is it so critical to our nation’s current and future success and the long-term societal benefits of a maximizing human potential

 

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For neews, screenings and updates go to: startingatzerofilm.com

About the filmmakers – Willa Kammerer, Director & Co-Producer is a documentary director and producer based in Providence, RI, and runs the creative agency Firestarter Interactive. Willa is committed to using film and storytelling to improve the wellbeing of people and the planet, and has deep experience working with education institutions, nonprofits, and foundations to bring this vision to life. Willa began her career as an intern in public radio, studied radio storytelling at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, and holds a B.A. in Italian from Middlebury College, as well as professional certificates from Georgetown University in Social Impact Storytelling and Social Impact Partnership Design. She is also a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. Starting at Zerois her first feature-length documentary.

***Accolade Global Film Competition Award of Excellence***
***Film Invasion Los Angeles Audience Choice Award for Outstanding Documentary Film***
 
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The Prison Within, Director Katherin Hervey and Producer Erin Kenway

Katherine Hervey’s emotionally charged new documentary THE PRISON WITHIN exposes the devastating impact untreated trauma has on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in San Quentin prison. The prisoners and survivors come together and participate in the Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG)—an innovative restorative justice program enabling prisoners to discover how the trauma they’ve experienced contributed to their criminality and to understand the impact their crimes have on their victims. Together, the prisoners and survivors confront and expose the pain, shame, and rage caused by the extreme trauma they’ve experienced throughout their lives. THE PRISON WITHIN goes beyond why and how the system is inadequate, deftly exposing the torment experienced by people on both sides of prison walls. Through personal stories illustrative of the systemic injustices that perpetuate cycles of violence and trauma, this film lays a path to heal and reconcile our notions of justice. The Prison Within is narrated by Hill Harper (The Good Doctor, Homeland, CSI:NY, Covert Affairs) and author of Letters to an Incarcerated Brother, which speaks to the current mass incarceration crisis. Director Katherin Hervey, a former Los Angeles Public Defender and volunteer prison college instructor, and Producer Erin Kenway, is the first filmmaker to gain access to chronicle these intimate and revealing sessions inside San Quentin Prison.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: theprisonwithin.org

THE PRISON WITHIN is now available on all VOD/Digital & Blu-Ray/DVD platforms.

About the filmmakers – Director / Producer / Writer Katherin Hervey is a multimedia artist and activist. She has over a decade of experience in the criminal justice field as both an attorney and prison university educator. Katherin received her Bachelor’s degree in Cross-cultural Communications in America from University of Washington and is a graduate of Vancouver Film School. She also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Loyola Law School. Prior to law school, she was the Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Shades of Contradiction, a nationally distributed arts and culture magazine dedicated to promoting critical thinking and creative action. Katherin has produced, directed and art-directed short documentary and narrative films, including “Bob vs. The Incubus” (Best Documentary, Vancouver Film School Festival), and was the Art Director for “Her Urge” (Best Short Film, Sydney Mardi Gras Film Festival and Outstanding Women’s Short, Dallas Out Takes Festival). Katherin is also Co-founder of Raw Love Productions, a multimedia production ensemble dedicated to visual storytelling with social and artistic value. She is currently co-producing The Spirit of a Child, an interactive web documentary based in Ghana, West Africa. The Prison Within is her first feature film.

About the filmmaker – Producer / Writer / Executive Producer Erin Kenway graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree with honors from University of California, Irvine, majoring in both Criminology, Law & Society, and Psychology & Social Behavior. She holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Seattle University School of Law, is admitted to the National Order of the Barristers, and is a certified mediator. Prior to shifting careers to focus full-time on independent filmmaking, she practiced law for over a decade primarily represented economically disadvantaged victims of domestic violence in civil dissolution and child custody cases, and also served on several committees for both the Washington State and King County Bar Associations. She was also a Global Campaign Manager for broadcast, print, digital, and social advertising campaigns for Amazon’s award-winning Brand / Mass Advertising team. She is the co-founder of Tarina Productions, which is currently in development on multiple feature documentaries.

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Feels Good Man, Director Arthur Jones and Giorgio Angelini

In November 2016, a nasty election cycle had exposed a seismic cultural rift, and the country suddenly felt like a much different place. For underground cartoonist Matt Furie, that sensation was even more surreal. Furie’s comic creation Pepe the Frog, conceived more than a decade earlier as a laid-back humanoid amphibian, had unwittingly become a grotesque political pawn. FEELS GOOD MAN is a Frankenstein-meets-Alice-in-Wonderland journey of an artist battling to regain control of his creation, while confronting a disturbing cast of characters who have their own peculiar attachments to Pepe. Now, as Pepe continues to morph around the world – FEELS GOOD MAN offers a vivid, moving portrait of one man, one frog, and the very strange reality we’ve all found ourselves living in. Director Arthur Jones and Producer Giorgio Angelini stop by to talk about their mind-blowing journey into an internet / social media / 4Chan rabbit hole where a hippy-dippy cartoon character becomes an avatar and unfathomable messenger of hatred and bigoted propaganda.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: feelsgoodmanfilm.com

To watch Feels Good Man go to: feelsgoodman.watch

For more on Pepe the Frog creator mattfurie.com

About the filmmakers: Arthur Jones – Director / Animator / Writer FEELS GOOD MAN is Jones’s directorial debut, but he’s uniquely suited to tell the story. He’s a cartoonist who came up in the same indie comics scene as the film’s subject, Matt Furie. Jones published a book of his illustrations in 2011: Post-it Note Diaries (Penguin/Plume Paperbacks). Over his career, he’s art directed animation and motion graphics for journalists and documentary filmmakers, working with companies including The New York Times, VICE, The Center for Investigative Reporting and The International Consortium of Journalists. Recently he’s been a part of several documentary features: Seed Money: The Chuck Holmes Story (2015), BUNKER 77 (Amazon Studios, 2017), Owned, A Tale of Two Americas (2018) and Hal (Oscilloscope Films, 2018). Jones is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. For more on the work of Arthur Jones go to: futuresmells.com

Giorgio Angelini: Producer / Writer / Cinematographer came into film from a longer, multi-faceted career in the creative arts. After touring in bands like The Rosebuds and Bishop Allen for much of his 20s, Giorgio enrolled in the Masters of Architecture program at Rice University during the depths of the 2008 real estate collapse. It was during this tumultuous time that the seeds for Giorgio’s directorial debut, OWNED: A Tale of Two Americas began to take shape. Following graduate school, Angelini began working with the boutique architecture firm, Schaum Shieh Architects, where he designed the White Oak Music Hall in Houston, Texas, as well as the headquarters for The Transart Foundation for Art and Anthropology, which won the Architect’s Newspaper’s “Design of the Year” award in 2018. 

WINNER – U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Emerging Filmmaker – 2020 Sundance Film Festival
WINNER – Best Feature Documentary – 2020 Lighthouse International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2020 True/False Film Festival
Official Selection – 2020 Big Sky Documentary Festival
Official Selection – Festival Favorites – 2020 SXSW Film Festival

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94% on Rotten Tomatoes

“You’ve just got to see it. It is chilling, hopeful, terrible, and wonderful—and made with care, gorgeous animation, and perfect pacing.”Allen Salkin, Los Angeles Magazine

“An expansive forensic look at the life cycle of an idea, a warp-speed analysis of internet sociology, and a harrowingly modern fable about innocence lost.“ – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“It’s mesmerizing and kind of trippy, but also makes the film feel like a one-of-a-kind creation in the greater context of the Pepe the Frog legacy…an outstanding documentary.” 9/10 – Alex Billington, FirstShowing

“The most urgent and poignant political documentary of the year.” – Matt Patches, Polygon

Andorra Hustle, Director Eric Merola

Andorra, a tiny, independent country situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains with a total population of 80,000 people found itself at the center of one of the most convoluted and outrageous bank robberies in modern history: on March 10, 2015, Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), a private bank in Andorra, was shut down by Spanish, American, and Andorran governments in Spain’s efforts to destroy the Catalonian Independence Movement thus leaving dozens of innocent civilians facing prison for money laundering crimes that never existed, and scores of innocent families have had their entire life savings stolen from them. The incentive for the Spanish government to destroy BPA was part of Spain’s ongoing “Operation Catalonia”—a covert state-sponsored war-like operation meant to undermine the progress of Catalonia’s efforts to separate from Spain due to generations of  humanitarian and economic repression Madrid has inflicted upon Catalonia. America’s incentive was to protect Spain’s interests, as they are an ally of the United States. Andorra’s incentive appears to be purely economical on behalf of its leadership.  Director Eric Merola, (Burzynski, Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering, Burzynski: The Cancer Cure Cover-Up, and The God Cells) joins us to talk about this shocking, but true story of an international banking system, and a regulatory oversight regime that is only incidentally concerned with banking integrity or financial criminality.

 

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For news and updates go to: andorrahustle.com

Merola Productions is proud to present the VOD release of THE ANDORRA HUSTLE, a documentary film written and directed by the award-winning filmmaker Eric Merola. The film will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime on September 4, 2020. 

To Watch Andorra Hustle go to: amazon.com/Andorra Hustle

About the filmmaker – Eric Merola is an internationally award-winning documentary filmmaker. For the last decade Eric has directed and produced four documentaries exploring disruptive scientific technologies in the space of medical research. All of his documentaries can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video Merola’s 5th documentary, The Andorra Hustle, releases worldwide in English, Spanish, and Catalan on Amazon Prime Video.  Merola’s first documentary, Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business was an international success seen by tens of millions of people worldwide. This project was presented on Netflix, PBS, The Documentary Channel, and various international television outlets. The positive reception of the Burzynski story led Merola to produce its sequel, Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, Part II Merola’s third documentary, Second Opinion: Laetrile At Sloan-Kettering tells the story of Ralph W. Moss, PhD, who blew the whistle on the successful laetrile studies conducted for 5 years at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in the 1970s. Today, Eric Merola is most passionate about investigating fetal stem cell therapy, where he spent four years researching and releasing his most recent documentary, The God Cells: A Fetal Stem Cell Journey. Merola continues to follow new patients who seek fetal stem cell treatment and share their stories. Merola feels that fetal stem cells could be the most disruptive technology he’s discovered in the medical research space, potentially replacing nearly every pharmaceutical medication on the market. Eric is also a painter and fine art currently holding a residency at the 18th Street Studios in Santa Monica.

Get Duked!, Director Ninian Doff

GET DUKED! follows teenage pals from Glasgow Dean, Duncan and DJ Beatroot as they embark on the character-building camping trip — based on a real-life program — known as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, where foraging, teamwork and orienteering are the order of the day. Eager to cut loose and smoke weed in the Scottish Highlands, the trio find themselves paired with strait-laced Ian, a fellow camper determined to play by the rules. After veering off-path into remote farmland that’s worlds away from their urban comfort zone, the boys find themselves hunted down by a shadowy force hell-bent on extinguishing their futures. From writer-director Ninian Doff — making his feature debut after a slew of award-winning music videos and short films for artists including Run the Jewels, The Chemical Brothers, Miike Snow, Migos, and Mykki Blanco — comes an anarchic satire of generational politics, hip-hop-loving farmers and hallucinogenic rabbit droppings that pits the youth of tomorrow against the status quo of yesterday. GET DUKED! stars Eddie Izzard, Kate Dickie, Georgie Glen, James Cosmo and a breakout young cast featuring Samuel Bottomley, Viraj Juneja, Rian Gordon, and Lewis Gribben. Creator and director Ninian Doff joins us for a raucous conversation on the brilliance of Eddie Izzard, getting a chance to bring his music video chops to a feature film and why the Brits are so attuned to the power of satire.

 

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Watch Get Duked! at amazon.com/Get-Duked!

About the filmmaker: Ninian Doff is a robot built by the military as an advanced ruthless killing machine. Unfortunately when they booted him up he showed no interest in murder and to their dismay started making films instead. He is considered the greatest military failure in history. Nominated for 9 British Arrows 2020 (Sainsburys and Veg Power), Grammy 2020 Best Music Video Nominated (Chem Brothers), Campaign’s Top 10 Directors 2019, Winner Shots Awards “Television Commercial of the Year – Up to and including 60 second” (Veg Power), BIFA Best Debut Director Nominated (Boyz In the Wood/ Get Duked!), Winner Just Film Grand Prix Talin Black Night Festival (Boyz In the Wood/ Get Duked!), Winner The Siren Award for Best Feature Film 2019 Lund Fantastik Film Festival (Boyz In the Wood/ Get Duked!), Winner Music video of the year Ars Independent Festival (Chemical Brothers), Nominated Best Dance Video UKMVA 2019 (Chemical Brothers), Winner SXSW Audience Award Midnighters (Boyz In The Wood), Winner of Best Director at UKMVA 2016. Winner Best Urban Video, Best Pop Video UKMVA 2016. D&AD Director Pencil 2016. Gold in FilmCraft at Europebest 2015. UKMVA 2015 Best Director Nominee. UKMVA 2104 “Best Director” Nominee. Winner UKMVA 2014 “Best Choreography”. Winner of UKMVA 2013 “Best Indie Video”. Jury and Audience award at ‘Depict13 at Brief Encounters Film Festival 2013. Nominee at UKMVA’s in last 3 years running including “Best New Director”. Selected for Saatchi and Saatchi’s New Director’s Showcase at Cannes 2012 and One Dot Zero’s “New British Talent 11”. Work has been screened at over A BILLION festivals around the world including SXSW, LA Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Las Vegas Film Festival, Montreal Museum of Modern Art, The V&A London. For more on the filmmaker fo to: niniandoff.com

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“Fabulously funny and subversive.” – Anne Brodie, What She Said

“Serves as a distinctive calling card for a gifted yet twisted comedian, one without the slightest qualms about turning a bucolic countryside jaunt into a bloody “The Hills Have Eyes”-style hunting party.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“A rambunctious film shot through with daft humour and an endearing, toxic masculinity-smashing sweet streak.” – Jamie Dunn, The Skinny

“An anarchic, pitch black, generation gap horror comedy that’s also one of the funniest films in a year where we are desperately in need of a laugh.” – James Croot, Stuff.co.nz

Love Fraud, Co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

Bigamy. Identity theft. Fraud. For the last 20 years Richard Scott Smith has used the internet and his dubious charms to prey upon unsuspecting women in search of love — conning them out of their money and their dignity. But now his victims have banded together determined to seek sweet revenge. LOVE FRAUD is a 4-part limited documentary series that follows (in real time) a con-man who is on the loose and the dynamic women determined to put him behind bars. Oscar-nominated directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady take viewers on a bizarre, engrossing ride through the twisted mind of a criminal and the chaos he leaves in his wake. LOVE FRAUD premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival on Day One, marking the first time an episodic series was programmed on opening day in festival history. Co-directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady join us for a conversation on the determination of the women who refused to be victimize by a sociopathic abuser and helped bring about some measure of justice, despite the collective ambivalence of several law enforcement agencies across multiple local and state jurisdictions.

 

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Watch Love Fraud on Showtime at: sho.com/love-fraud

For more on Love Fraud go to: lokifilms.com/love-fraud

RACHEL GRADY – DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER –  Co-owner of New York’s Loki Films, Grady is the co-director of “Jesus Camp” (Oscar nominee), “The Boys of Baraka”  (Emmy nominee) 12th & Delaware (Peabody winner) and DETROPIA (Sundance and Emmy winner). Most recently Grady co-directed “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” which premiered as the opening night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film opened theatrically in July 2016 and will be broadcast on PBS October 25th. Most recently, she and co-director Heidi Ewing completed, “One of Us,” a documentary thriller about the ultra-insular Hasidic community of New York City, currently streaming on Netflix. Rachel is a member of the Directors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She Resides in Brooklyn, N.Y. For more on the work of Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing go to: lokifilms.com

HEIDI EWING – DIRECTOR, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – Co-owner of New York’s Loki Films, Ewing is the co-director of “Jesus Camp” (Oscar nominee), “The Boys of Baraka” (Emmy nominee) 12th & Delaware (Peabody winner) and DETROPIA (Sundance and Emmy winner). Ewing co-directed “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” which premiered as the opening night film at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, she and co-director Rachel Grady completed “One of Us,” a documentary thriller about the ultra-insular Hasidic community of New York City, currently streaming on Netflix. Heidi is a member of the Directors Guild and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. For more on the work of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady go to: lokifilms.com

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“There’s a fun kind of justice rolling across the American Midwest in this four-part documentary… Stunning graphics add to the slightly hyperreal feel.” – Brad Newsome, Sydney Morning Herald

“The work of collage artist Martin O’Neill and the animation by Andrew Griffin help to create an atmosphere of surrealistic fantasy around the hard facts of the case.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

“As twisty and juicy as the story here is, Love Fraud keeps threatening to slip through your fingers, which makes it a bit like Richard Scott Smith, if you’re into that sort of mirroring.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

“This is one of the fastest 200 minutes you’ll see all year.” – Brian Tallerico. RogerEbert.com

Song Without a Name, Director Melina León

Based on harrowing true events, SONG WITHOUT A NAME tells the story of Georgina, an indigenous Andean woman whose newborn baby is whisked away moments after its birth in a downtown Lima clinic – and never returned. Stonewalled by a byzantine and indifferent legal system, Georgina approaches journalist Pedro Campas, who uncovers a web of fake clinics and abductions – suggesting a rotting corruption deep within Peruvian society. Set in 1988, in a Peru wracked by political violence and turmoil, Melina León’s heart-wrenching first feature renders Georgina’s story in gorgeous, shadowy black-and-white cinematography. SONG WITHOUT A NAME is a Kafkaesque thriller that unflinchingly depicts real-life, stranger-than fiction tragedies with poetic beauty. A 2019 Cannes Camera d’Or nominee, SONG WITHOUT A NAME, and winner of more than 30 international awards including “Best Film” at the Lima Latin American Film Festival and “Best Film by an Emerging Director” at the Munich Film Festival, the Latin American period piece has garnered raves around the world. Director Melina León joins us to talk about her starkly beautiful film and the heart-wrenching story of loss, and love against the backdrop of political and social upheaval.

 

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For news and updates go to: filmmovement.com/song-without-a-name

Learn more about Virtual Cinema at filmmovement.com/virtual-cinema-guide

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“There are similarities here with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma which go beyond the striking black and white photography. Both films deal with social hierarchies in Latin American countries which divide the population along racial lines; both feature wrenching depictions of interrupted motherhood.” – Wendy Ide, Screen Daily

“…haunting…. The racism and exclusion addressed here remain pertinent issues. The power of León’s work lies in the way that she explores these themes without ever taking her finger off the pulse of the narrative. “ – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“With gorgeous monochrome visuals and rich musical layers, the film is evidence of a strong new directorial voice, ear and eye. Song Without a Nameis above all an exquisite audiovisual experience. – Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

“prompted surface-level comparisons to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma…but León’s far more modestly scaled Latin American period piece is entirely its own film, meshing vérité-style technique with passages of dark, folkloric reverie, as its characters’ investigation of a single kidnapping spirals into a heady vortex of institutional corruption. León’s world-building remains mesmerizing, steeped as it is in local lore, rituals and haunting traditional music.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

Epicentro, Director Hubert Sauper

EPICENTRO, a richly textured portrait of the resilient people of Cuba directed by renowned documentarian Hubert Sauper (We Come As Friends, Oscar-nominated Darwin’s Nightmare). Winner of the 2020 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Documentary, the film launches in virtual cinemas through Kino Marquee starting Friday, August 28. EPICENTRO is an immersive and metaphorical portrait of post-colonial, “utopian” Cuba, where the 1898 explosion of the USS Maine still resonates. This Big Bang ended Spanish colonial dominance in the Americas and ushered in the era of the American Empire. At the same time and place, a powerful tool of conquest was born: cinema as propaganda. In his latest film, Hubert Sauper explores a century of interventionism and myth-making together with the extraordinary people of Havana—who he calls “young prophets”—to interrogate time, imperialism and cinema itself.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/epicentro

About the filmmaker: Hubert Sauper is an Academy Award–nominated director, cinematographer, writer, and producer living in France. Best known for his documentaries We Come As Friends (2014) and the Academy Award-nominated Darwin’s Nightmare (2004), he has been recognized for his work with more than 50 film awards, among them a European Film Award, a French César, and awards at the Berlin, Venice and Sundance film festivals. Hubert is a visiting professor at several universities, including Harvard, Yale and Columbia.

Winner: Grand Prize, World Documentary – Sundance Film Festival

“A brilliant mixture of historical-poetic analysis and a ground-level journey among the denizens of Havana… The director’s remarkable eye for lived-in detail and for spectacular imagery will mesmerize you.” – Bilge Ebiri, Vulture

“Acclaimed nonfiction filmmaker Hubert Sauper turns his rigorous but compassionate gaze on this fascinating place in Epicentro… Sauper and his co-editor… work the material with a remarkable fluidity and gracefulness that’s consistently engaging and surprising.” – Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter

“[A] tender portrait of Cuba. Politics, people and the power of cinema are brought together to create a mosaic-like reflection on Cuba’s history… Epicentro shines in Sauper’s many encounters with the people of Cuba.” – Alan Hunter, Screen International

Coup 53, Director Taghi Armirani and Editor Walter Murch

While making a documentary about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953, director Taghi Amirani and editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, Godfather IIdiscovered extraordinary, never-before-seen archival material that had been hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents they uncovered not only allowed them to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but it also led to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. Working with Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Schindler’s List, The English Patient) to help bring the lost material to life, what begins as a historical documentary about four days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters. Ten years in the making, COUP 53 tells the story of the 1953 the Anglo-American coup d’état that overthrew Iran’s government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah. The CIA/MI6 covert action was called Operation Ajax. It was all about Iran’s oil and who gets to control and benefit from it. BP was at the heart of this story. Shot in seven countries, featuring participants and first-hand witnesses, and unearthing never seen before archive material, COUP 53 is a politically explosive and cinematically innovative documentary that lifts the lid on secrets buried for over sixty-six years. Director Taghi Armirani and Editor / Writer Walter Murch join us to talk about their own journey to tell the definitive story behind one of the 20th Century’s most consequential geo-political events.

 

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For news and updates go to:coup53.com

To watch go to: coup53.com/screenings

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“A MASTERPIECE OF POLITICAL INTERVENTION. Beyond extraordinary.” – Ariel Dorfman, Author and human rights activist

 “BREATHTAKING. THE MOST ENTHRALLING AND REVELATORY DOCUMENTARY I’VE SEEN OVER THE PAST YEAR. Remarkable. Taghi Amirani’s passionate and fearless work grew from an impudent home movie into a magnum opus.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

 “As compelling as a John Le Carré novel or a Costa-Gavras classic.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

 “This is big.” – Werner Herzog, Filmmaker

Love Express: The Disappearance of Walerian Borowczyk, Director Kuba Mikurda

How does a filmmaker Walerian Borowczyk go from creating cutting-edge work and competing in Cannes to being labelled a failed erotic filmmaker? The debut documentary feature, from Polish film critic and academic Kuba Mikurda, Love Express, The Disappearance of Walerian Borowczyk, investigates the work of a film director and animator of unparalleled creativity & sensitivity, revered in the 1970s for creations including Goto, Island of Love, The Beast, & Immoral Tales. The documentary features interviews with his closest collaborators, filmmakers, and leading intellectuals, including Bertrand Bonello, Neil Jordan, Patrice Leconte, Slavoj Ziek, Terry Gilliam, Mark Cousins and the late Andrzej Wajda. Love Express, offers a rare insight into his groundbreaking animated films, short films, and controversial narrative films as it poses questions about artistic freedom. Director Kuba Mikurda joins us to put the life and career of a trailblazing, visionary, now nearly forgotten director Walerian Borowczyk into perspective.

For news, updates and screenings go to: alteredinnocence.net/loveexpress

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Apocalypse ’45, Director Erik Nelson

Erik Nelson’s latest documentary Apocalypse ‘45 draws upon over 700 reels of footage from the National Archives covering the harrowing expanse of the final months of the War in the Pacific. Very little of this material has ever been screened, and none of it has ever been digitally restored, frame by frame, to 4K. Because of Apocalypse ‘45 another treasure was uncovered and restored — astonishing new footage captured by legendary director John Ford. In essence, a “lost film” by Ford, it depicts the ruins of the Pacific Fleet, and the terrible aftermath of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Also driving the narrative of Apocalypse ‘45 are recently completed interviews with two dozen men who lived through these nightmarish events. All of these men were in their mid to late 90’s, with the oldest, B-29 pilot Thomas Vaucher, 101 years old at the time of his February 2020 interview. Apocalypse ‘45  documents events from the flag raising at Iwo Jima in February to the harrowing kamikaze attacks and vicious ground combat at Okinawa in April to the first test of the atomic bomb in the remote deserts of New Mexico on July 16th. In addition, we witness the air war over Japan in the summer of 1945, and perhaps most astonishingly, the still burning ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when a U.S Army medical camera crew photographed the devastation to both the city and its inhabitants. Director Erik Nelson (Grizzly Man, A Gray State, Cave of Forgotten Dreams), joins us to talk about the recent discovery of “lost” film, access to hundreds of hours from the National Archive, his conversations with the men who fought in the Pacific and the fate of the American Empire. 

 

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For news and updates go to: discovery.com/shows/apocalypse-45

To watch Apocalypse ’45 go to: abramorama.com/apocalypse45

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“As you watch “Apocalypse ’45,” the story of what war is only becomes deeper.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“A fascinating look at the final months of the brutal War in the Pacific [that] stands apart from most other takes on the subject.” – Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

“A stately, somber reminder of the soul-scarring god-awfulness of war and its catastrophic consequences, and a heartfelt salute to those who answered the call of something much bigger than themselves.” – Neil Pond, Parade Magazine

“Narrated by members of The Great Generation, this documentary about the final six months of the Pacific theater in World War II, contains startling archival film never before shown.” – Harvey S. Karten, Big Apple Reviews

Desert One, Director Barbara Kopple, Ambassador John Limbert and Staff Sergeant Taco Sanchez

In 1979, soon after Ayatollah Khomeini took power in Iran and the ousted Shah found shelter in the United States—to the great frustration of Iran’s new leaders—a group of revolutionaries attacked the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage. They were held captive there for 444 days. President Jimmy Carter announced that he wanted to resolve the situation through diplomatic channels, but later on he planned a secret military rescue mission. DESERT ONE is a fast paced as a thriller from acclaimed director Barbara Kopple. Kopple draws upon a wealth of unearthed archival sources, as well as intimate interviews with President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Walter Mondale, Ted Koppel, former hostages, journalists, and Iranian student revolutionaries who orchestrated the take-over of the American Embassy in Tehran—to meticulously reconstruct this defining period in history when U.S.-Iranian relations were on the brink of disaster. Illustrated with animations and lots of archive footage, the story focuses on the woefully unsuccessful rescue mission and the political wrangling in the background, culminating in Carter’s landslide loss to Ronald Reagan in 1980. Director and Producer Barbara Kopple, Ambassador John Limbert and Staff Sergeant Taco Sanchez joins us to talk about the roller coaster story that includes a game-changing sand storm, equipment failure, a deadly crash and a US President willing to take responsibility for a mission gone wrong. The fallout from the failed mission still hangs heavy over the fractured US-Iranian relationship.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: film/desert-one

About the filmmaker: Barbara Kopple is a two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker. A director and producer of narrative films and documentaries, her two most recent projects are the documentaries Miss Sharon Jones! which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015, was the opening night film of DOC NYC and tracks the talented and gregarious soul singer of the Grammy-nominated R&B band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings during the most challenging year of her life and Shelter which tells a story of vets saving vets, delving into the psychological trauma created by military service, the effects that remain long after active duty, and the difficult road back to a normal life for these women and men. Other recent projects include Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation which examines America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine through the eyes of the passionate journalists who have sustained its critical voice and Running from Crazy, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and received a 2014 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Fight To Live, which through the eyes of terminal patients and their advocates tells the story of the struggles many with rare and orphan diseases face in choosing their preferred therapies through the roadblocks imposed by the current FDA approvals process. A Force of Nature, which celebrates the life and work of journalist and philanthropist Ellen Ratner, following her from her home base in Washington, DC, to hurricane-ravaged Mississippi to war-torn South Sudan; Gun Fight, which explores the place of guns in US culture, profiling victims of gun violence and proponents on both sides of the gun debate; The House of Steinbrenner, part of ESPN’s Emmy nominated “30 for 30” series, which received a 2010 Peabody Award as well as the International Documentary Association Award for Best Continuing Series; and the Emmy-nominated, Woodstock: Now and Then, a look back at the legacy of the historic music festival, 40 years later. Well known for her work on US labor issues, Barbara directed Steamfitters Local Union 638 in 2007 for HBO’s acclaimed Addiction Series. The New York Times likened this short documentary to “crisp tonic with lime.” This program was awarded the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences Governor’s Award.  For more on Barbara Kopple’s films go to: cabincreekfilms.com

 
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“Kopple covers every angle of the story and the history in this gripping documentary that combines incredible archival footage and recordings with interviews of some surviving hostages and members of Delta Force, the unit that attempted the rescue.” – Catherine Springer, AwardsWatch

“You emerge from “Desert One” knowing certain aspects of the Iran-hostage crisis better than you did before. That makes it a worthy film, and an absorbing one.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“A thorough and moving remembrance” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“As usual, master documentarian Barbara Kopple is up to the task.” – Cameron Meier, MeierMovies.com

Ravage, Director Teddy Grennan

In this taut psychological thriller, RAVAGE, Harper (Annabelle Dexter-Jones), a young nature photographer on assignment in the woods of the Watchatoomy Valley, captures a disturbing event of a man being brutally whipped and beaten in the woods. After reporting the incident to the local sheriff, she is quickly captured by the culprits and taken to an abandoned farm in the woods to be tortured. Due to Harper’s experience as a survivalist she is able to escape but is on the run and has to quickly outsmart capturers. Harper explains to the Police how she fought her way out of the Watchatoomy Valley, they dismiss her crazed and violent story as a meth-induced nightmare. The RAVAGE also features two-time Oscar-nominee Bruce Dern (ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, PEANUT BUTTER FALCON, NEBRASKA, COMING HOME) and Robert Longstreet (DOCTOR SLEEP, HALLOWEEN KILLS). RAVAGE Director / Writer Teddy Grennan joins us to talk about his skillful blending of the sights and sounds that produce a heart-pounding story that ranges from the damsel in distress to a bad-ass warrior woman a la Ripley.

 

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For news and updates go to: brainmedia.com/films/ravage

RAVAGE opens at select drive-ins on August 14th and August 21st via video on demand everywhere you can rent or buy movies. 

Winner – Best Feature – New York City Horror Film Festival 2019
World Premiere – Genre Blast 2019
Official Selection – Cucalorus Festival 2019
Official Selection – Austin Film Festival 2019
Official Selection – ScreamFest Horror Film Festival 2019
Official Selection – Phoenix Film Festival 2019
Official Selection – NOLA Horror Film Fest 2019
 
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“”RAVAGE” is a tension filled, realistic horror movie about the evil that men do and how things can go very wrong very quickly. It presents a strong female character who isn’t waiting around to be rescued […]. She’s not a super powered spy or superhero, just any ordinary woman who refuses to lie down and die.”- Dolores Quintana, Nightmarish Conjurings

Accidental Climber, Director Steven Oritt and Subject Jim Geiger

ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER tells the story of Jim Geiger, a retired forest-ranger and amateur mountaineer from Sacramento, CA who at 68 years old, attempts to become the oldest American and first great grandfather to summit Mt. Everest. The world’s highest mountain is known to torture the mind, body, and soul of those who dare to do what few have ever achieved. ACCIDENTAL CLIMBER follows Jim as he embarks on a journey to transform from a weekend hiker to attempting one of the most extreme and physically demanding feats known to man. Driven by a desire to prove that age is just a number, Jim pushes his body to the limits in the quest to summit the world’s tallest mountain. What ensued however, was the worst disaster in mountaineering history, leaving sixteen climbers dead in a tragic avalanche and forever changing Jim’s life. Director Steven Oritt joins us to talk about getting to know Jim Geiger, working through the multiple challenges of shooting in high altitude and Jim Geiger talks about the rigors of climbing in the Himalayans and the emotionally wrenching experience he witnessed during his journey to conquer the world’s highest peak.

 

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For news and updates go to:facebook.com/accidentalclimber

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“Succinct but affecting, Accidental Climber serves as a gentle reminder that age really is just a number, and sometimes it’s not about achieving your dreams, it’s about the pursuit of them.” – Alex Saveliev, Film Threat