Friday, November 14, 2014 – Point and Shoot, Director Marshall Curry

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Winner of the Best Documentary Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, POINT AND SHOOT follows Matt VanDyke, a timid 26-year-old with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, who left home in Baltimore in 2006 and set off on a self-described “crash course in manhood.” He bought a motorcycle and a video camera and began a multi-year, 35,000-mile motorcycle trip through Northern Africa and the Middle East. While traveling, he struck up an unlikely friendship with a Libyan hippie, and when revolution broke out in Libya, Matt joined his friend in the fight against dictator Muammar Gaddafi.  With a gun in one hand and a camera in the other, Matt fought in — and filmed — the war until he was captured by Gaddafi forces and held in solitary confinement for six months. Two-time Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker Marshall Curry joins us for a conversation on this harrowing and sometimes humorous story of a young man’s search for political revolution and personal transformation.

For news and updates on Point and Shoot go to: pointandshootfilm.com

Grade: A “The tale told in Point and Shoot is a virtual swashbuckler… a subtle, but nonetheless eloquent critique not just of one man’s compulsions, but a culture’s.”
-John Anderson, Indiewire Read Article

“Spellbinding… addresses such compelling issues as the impact of the camera on human behavior and identity.”
-Lloyd Grove, The Daily Beast Read Article

“A breathless, expertly woven compilation of the almost unbelievable life.”
-Daniel Walber, NONFICS Read Article

“Transformative in every sense of the word, a strangely inspiring tale that will leave you wanting to discuss it for hours… It is without a doubt my favorite [documentary] this year.”
-David Costill, Cut Print Film Read Article

“It’s a remarkable story, and Curry has made a remarkable film.”
-Gary M. Kramer, BOMB Magazine Read Article

Friday, November 14, 2014 – Through a Lens Darkly, Director Thomas Allen Harris

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The first documentary to explore the role of photography in shaping the identity, aspirations and social emergence of African Americans from slavery to the present, Through a Lens Darkly probes the recesses of American history by discovering images that have been suppressed, forgotten and lost. Bringing to light the hidden and unknown photos shot by both professional and vernacular African American photographers, the film opens a window into lives, experiences and perspectives of black families that is absent from the traditional historical canon. These images show a much more complex and nuanced view of American culture and society and its founding ideals.
Inspired by Deborah Willis’s book Reflections in Black and featuring the works of Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Anthony Barboza, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Clarissa Sligh and many others, Through a Lens Darkly introduces the viewer to a diverse yet focused community of storytellers who transform singular experiences into a communal journey of discovery – and a call to action. Director Thomas Allen Harris joins us to talk about the extraordinary power of photography to shape, distort and illuminate African-American lives from slavery to the present.

For news and updates on Through a Lens Darkly go to: firstrunfeatures.com/throughalensdarkly

Opening Friday, November 14th at the Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena

“At-once a deep, rich dive into the history of African American photography and — 
transcending the subject at hand — a master class in visual literacy.”
- Mia Tramz, Time Magazine

“CRITIC’S PICK!

A family memoir, a tribute to unsung artists and a lyrical, at times heartbroken, meditation on imagery and identity. The film is always absorbing to watch, but only once it’s over do you begin to grasp the extent of its ambitions, and just how much it has done within a packed, compact hour and a half. Overall, he is a wise and passionate guide to an inexhaustibly fascinating subject.”
- A. O. Scott, The New York Times



“A timely reminder of how images of African-Americans have been stereotyped and demonized by popular media… cannily juggles an overview of African-American history in general with the specifics of its photographic representation and talents…Harris sometimes echoes the work of his late mentor Marlon Riggs (‘Tongues Untied’) in poetic editorial rhythms.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“One of the most important and necessary documentaries of the year.” – Indiewire 

Friday, November 7, 2014 – The Better Angels, Director A. J. Edwards

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From writer/director A.J. Edwards, a protégé of Terrence Malick (who produced the film), comes the story of young Abraham Lincoln’s difficult childhood. The film is set in the Indiana woods, 1817, when Abe (Braydon Denney, in a striking performance) was eight. The entire nation, only 40 years old and a few years removed from a second war of independence, is raw. Men, women and children alike must battle nature and disease to survive in remote log cabins. The Better Angels explores Abe’s family, the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. Edwards creates breathtaking visual and narrative poetry to express the Lincolns’ world. The stark wilderness they inhabit comes alive in stunning black-and-white cinematography, portraying the physical and emotional struggle of the characters. With an elegant touch and precise attention to historical accuracy, Director Edwards shows the austerity of the era and reveals what shaped one of history’s most distinctive leaders.

For news and updates on The Better Angels go to:betterangelsfilm.com

“Whereas other directors have presented the man in mythic terms, “The Better Angels” renders young Abe relatable, provided auds are willing to put themselves on the film’s wavelength.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“Shot in gorgeous, breathtaking black and white and edited in a documentary-like style, The Better Angels has a timeless sensibility to it.” – Austin Trunick, Under the Radar

“’The Better Angels,’ as pictorially beautiful and emotionally evocative as it is, is so bereft of conventional narrative momentum that you have to consider it a miracle it got made.” Glenn Kenny, Roger Ebert.com

The Overnighters, Director Jesse Moss

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In the tiny town of Williston, North Dakota, tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of honest work and a big paycheck under the lure of the oil boom. However, busloads of newcomers chasing a broken American Dream step into the stark reality of slim work prospects and nowhere to sleep. The town lacks the infrastructure to house the overflow of migrants, even for those who do find gainful employment. Over at Concordia Lutheran Church, pastor Jay Reinke is driven to deliver the migrants some dignity. Night after night, he converts his church into a makeshift dorm and counseling center, opening the church’s doors to allow the “Overnighters” (as he calls them) to stay for a night, a week or longer. They sleep on the floor, in the pews and in their cars in the church parking lot. Many who take shelter with Reinke are living on society’s fringes and with checkered pasts, and their presence starts affecting the dynamics of the small community. Director Jesse Moss joins us to talk about his award-winning documentary The Overnighters and the powerful way he engages and dramatizes a set of universal societal and economic themes: the promise and limits of reinvention, redemption and compassion, as well as the tension between the moral imperative to “love thy neighbor” and the resistance that one small community.

This weekend Director Jesse Moss Nuart Theatre (Los Angeles, CA):

Director Jesse Moss will appear in person on Friday, October 31 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 9:45pm show, Saturday, November 1 for a Q&A after the 7:30pm show and to introduce the 9:45pm show, and Sunday, November 2 for a Q&A after the 2:50pm and 5:10pm shows.

For news and updates on The Overnighters go to: overnightersmovie.com

“riveting…superior documentary filmmaking” – The Hollywood Reporter

“powerful… Steinbeckian…an indelible snapshot of a despairing moment in American history” – Variety

” devastating… one of the most remarkable examples of layered non-fiction storytelling to come along in some time” – Indiewire

“It will leave you stunned…starkly bleak and devastatingly humane, and an indelible American documentary” – The Playlist

“remarkable… magnificent” – Filmmaker Magazine

“fascinating… a standout documentary at Sundance 2014″ – Movie City News

The Great Invisible, Director Margaret Brown

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On April 20, 2010, communities throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States were devastated by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the-art, offshore oil-drilling rig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The blast killed 11 of the rig’s 126 crewmembers and injured many more, setting off a fireball that could be seen 35 miles away. After two days ablaze, the Deepwater Horizon sank, causing the largest offshore oil spill in American history. The spill flowed unabated for almost three months, dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of oil in the ocean, shutting down the local fishing industry, polluting the fragile ecosystem and raising serious questions about the safety of continued offshore drilling. In the thought-provoking new documentary The Great Invisible, Peabody Award-winning documentarian Margaret Brown travels to small towns and major cities in Alabama, Louisiana and Texas to explore the fallout of the disaster on the people of the region. Eyewitnesses reconstruct the spill and its aftermath in their own words, creating a vivid picture of the deadly accident and its consequences. Brown treats her subjects with respect and sensitivity as they provide first-hand accounts of the tragedy from the moment of the explosion to its still unfolding repercussions on the region and its residents. Director Brown talks about the ongoing tension between the haves and the have-nots, exploring the crisis through the eyes of oil-industry executives, survivors, and local residents who are left to pick up the pieces while the world moves on.

For news and updates on The Great Invisible go to: radiustwc.com/releases/the-great-invisible/

The Great Invisble now playing at the
Sundance Cinemas in Los Angeles

“The Great Invisible,” Margaret Brown’s quietly infuriating documentary film about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, includes depressing information that many would probably be happier not knowing.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Brown’s gift is in the interviews she gets, which include a grieving father whose son was killed in the explosion and two oil rig workers who now suffer from a variety of maladies, including PTSD and depression.” – Sheila O’Malley RogerEbert.com

“It effectively demonstrates how the systemic cause of the Deepwater Horizon explosion was tied as much to society’s staggering dependence on fossil fuels as to the oil industry’s greed.” – Nick Prigge, Slant Magazine

“Quietly devastating …” – Andrew O’Hehir

Life Inside Out, Writer / Actor Jill Baird and Director Jill D’Agnenica

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LIFE INSIDE OUT tells the story of Laura, the mother of three teenage boys, and her youngest son Shane, the family misfit and a disappointment to his father. When Laura stumbles upon her long forgotten guitar, she is taken under it’s spell and rediscovers her love for songwriting. When she impulsively flies off to her first open-mic night; she takes an unhappy Shane along for the ride. Despite a rocky entry into the late night mélange of musicians and unusual characters that populate the club, Laura starts to blossom and Shane seems oddly at home. Soon, following his mother’s lead and with a little help from Youtube, Shane begins to discover musical gifts of his own. Although the family struggles under financial pressure and the path to creative expression is bumpy, Together, through the power of music, they’re finally able to make sense of a world in which they’ve felt so lost. Writer / Actor Jill Baird and Director Jill D’Agnenica joins us for a lively conversation on their award winning film, running a successful Kickstarter campaign that and the resoundingly positive chord LIFE INSIDE OUT has struck with audiences across the country.

For News and updates on Life Inside Out go to: http://www.lifeinsideoutthemovie.com/  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LifeInsideOutTheMovie 

Follow on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LIOthemovie

“Gentle, poignant drama whose heart and head are squarely in the right place.”– Los Angeles Times

“The earnest film’s straightforwardness and down-to-earth characters — especially the lead performance by Maggie Baird — have a gentle appeal…” – The Hollywood Reporter

“The film’s two leads, Maggie Baird and Finneas O’Connell, are real life mother and son and that truth infuses the film with a heartfelt intimacy and comfort that will make you laugh and cry along the way.”

“D’Agnenica has a tremendous visual eye and frame after frame of Life Inside Out draws you in and refuses to let you go. D’Agnenica is aided in this endeavor by the top notch lensing of Guido Frenzel, who clearly understands that this is a character-driven film and keeps his lens framed beautifully on the relationships between these characters.” – The Independent Critic

Force Majeure, Director Ruben Östlund

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A critical favorite at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it took the Jury Prize in Un Certain Regard, this wickedly funny and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family—handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond children —on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche suddenly bears down on the happy diners. With people fleeing in all directions and his wife and children in a state of panic, Tomas makes a decision that will shake his marriage to its core and leave him struggling to reclaim his role as family patriarch. Director / Writer Ruben Östlund joins us to talk about the exploration of gender roles, cultural perceptions and the idea of “every man for himself.”

For news and updates on Force Majeure go to: magpictures.com/forcemajeure/

“As a slow-burn melodrama, “Force Majeure” is expertly crafted.” – Eric Kohn, indieWIRE

“The “pleasure” of Östlund is in his command of silence and detail. A sigh or physical twitch says more than a line of dialogue, and what it says is more alarming and more provocative than anyone bargains for.” – Colin Fraser, FILMINK

“Easily one of the films of the year; a must-see, and on the big screen, so you can’t escape. You’ve got to just sit there, and squirm.” – CJ Johnson, ABC Radio

“Ruben Östlund masterfully manages the marital tensions that drive the film’s plot forward while imbuing the scenario with these carefully layered philosophical reflections.” – Tomas Horchard, Slant Magazine

Evolution of a Criminal, Director Darius Clark Monroe

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In the moving and compelling documentary EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL, filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe asks this very question—about himself. After seeing his mother and stepfather struggle to make ends meet while living outside of Houston, Texas, Monroe decided to help them by robbing a bank with two friends. Returning to his neighborhood several years after the crime, Monroe creates an incredibly intimate and personal journey of reflection and forgiveness while examining lower class struggles, the desperation of a teen under pressure, and the emotional impact that rippled in the aftermath of that day. The people from the bank remember that day vividly, as he asks for their forgiveness 10 years after the act. EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL examines the intersections of economic inequality, poverty, race, and the importance of family in a very moving and insightful way. The film is executive produced by Monroe’s professor at NYU Film School Spike Lee and Jen Gatien, and the DP is the amazing newcomer Daniel Patterson. Director and subject Monroe joins us to talk about pursuing this very personal project and the journey he has taken to get to where he is today.

For news and updates on Evolution of a Criminal go to: evolutionofacriminal.com

“Its images, its shape, its tone, and its implications make it a terrific movie, as well as the birth of an artist.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Raising significant questions about the psychological effects of poverty on young children, this unsettlingly direct stab at atonement feels genuine.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

“Vital, thoughtful, and deeply personal, first-timer Darius Clark Monroe’s autobiographical doc stands as a testament to the power of movies to stir empathy.” – Alan Scherstuhl

“But the crisp confidence shown in so much of the film, as well as its all-too-rare moral intelligence, marks Evolution of a Criminal as a highly worthy debut from a filmmaker who hopefully has more stories to tell besides his own.” – Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

Under Our Skin 2: Emergence, Director Andy Abrahams Wilson

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In this dramatic follow-up to the widely acclaimed UNDER OUR SKIN, EMERGENCE takes the viewer on a journey from horror to hope. We witness the emerging epidemic of Lyme disease as infection and education spread globally. We watch as the truth emerges about the disease’s persistence and reach, about promising new research, and about medical collusion and conflicts of interest that continue to impede progress. We revisit the characters from UNDER OUR SKIN as they emerge into better health, reclaiming their lives and dignity, and offering hope to the legions now suffering. As Lyme disease explodes, EMERGENCE shines a probing light on the issue and becomes a beacon in the dark. Producer /Director/ Cinematographer
 Andy Abrahams Wilson talks about the continuing resistance from the medical establishment, an expanding level of research into the various manifestations of Lyme disease and the hopeful new therapies that are helping thousands of people live happier and healthier lives.

For news and updates on Under Our Skin 2: Emergence go to: underourskin.com/ – home-emergence

“Heart-rending…scary enough to make the faint of heart decide never to venture into the woods. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Fascinating…artful and compelling.” – Frank DiGiacomo, Vanity Fair

“Eye-opening…frightening, powerful stuff.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

“Head-spinning…riveting…a rigorously researched and highly thorough piece of investigative reporting.” – Lauren Wissot, Slant Magazine

“Stirs the deepest emotions and reveals the most unsettling truth.” – Justin Berton, San Francisco Chronicle

Young Ones, Director Jake Paltrow

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Set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from the macro of political policy to the detailed micro of interpersonal family and romantic relationships. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) lives on this harsh frontier with his children, Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Mary (Elle Fanning). He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But Mary’s boyfriend, Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult), has grander designs. He wants Ernest’s land for himself, and will go to any length to get it. Director Jake Paltrow joins us for a conversation on his making of a sci-fi western and the challenges of working in South Africa and a bug-like robotic cargo carrier.

For news and updates on Young Ones go to: screenmedia.net/project/young-ones

Opening October 17th at the Laemmle NoHo Theatre in North Hollywood - 5240 Lankershim Blvd. – 310-478-3836

“Perhaps most fascinating about the movie is its three-tiered baton pass from protagonist to protagonist (all of them types of different patriarchs). Exploring themes of blame, sin, guilt, lies and violence, as the title suggests, “Young Ones” tackles notions of what our kin inherit, and the baggage passed down from generation to generation. Thoughtful and well-considered, Paltrow’s film is most effective when meditating on these textures, that take on the look and feel of Greek tragedy.” – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“It avoids the typical trappings of the genre pastiche by utilizing its clear indebtedness to numerous other films as merely a starting point, rather than an end.” – Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine