September 23, 2016 – 100 Years, Director Melinda Janko

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

For news and updates go to:100yearsthemovie.com

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

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

September 23, 2016 – Cameraperson, Director Kirsten Johnson

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

For news and updates go to: camerapersonfilm.com

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

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

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

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

“… a beautifully curated collage …” – The Guardian

“Transfixing…”- The New York Times

September 23, 2016 – Landfill Harmonic, Co-directors Brad Allgood (Juliana Penaranda-Loftus)

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

For news and updates go to: landfillharmonicmovie.com/

OPENS IN LOS ANGELES SEPTEMBER 23rd

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

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

****WINNER: Audience Award: BEST DOCUMENTARY- SXSW

****WINNER: Audience Award: BEST DOCUMENTARY- AFI FEST

**** SPECIAL MENTION The Environmental Award- SHEFFIELD DOC FEST

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

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

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

Operation Avalanche, Director Matt Johnson and Producer Matthew Miller

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

For news and updates go to: operation-avalanche

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

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

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

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

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

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

For news and updates go to: whentwoworldscollide.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

The If Project, Director, Producer and Writer Kathlyn Horan

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

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

For news and updates go to: theifprojectmovie.com

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

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

– The Sun Break, Seattle

Friday, August 19th – Little Men, Director Ira Sachs

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

For news and updates go to:littlemenfilm.com

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

LAEMMLE ROYAL – LOS ANGELES, CA
SUNDANCE SUNET CINEMA – WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA
LAEMMLE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE – PASADENA, CA

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

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

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

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

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

Hooligan Sparrow, Director Nanfu Wang

Hooligan Sparrow film poster IThe danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media. Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights. Director Nanfu Wang stops by for a conversation on her daunting journey to bring this story to light and Ye Haiyan’s bravery in the face of overwhelming obstacles. 

http://hooligansparrow.com/

LA Asian-Pacific Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize

Dallas Film Festival – Silver Heart Award

Sheffield Doc/Fest – Special Jury Prize

International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights – Youth Prize AND Jury Prize

Movies that Matter – Golden Butterfly AND Human Rights Award

Nashville Film Festival – Special Jury Prize for Badass Filmmaking

Ashland Independent – Best Documentary

Greenwich Film Festival – Best Documentary AND Best Social Impact Film

Human Rights Watch NY – Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking

Northwest Fest – Best International Feature

“A whistleblowing documentary made with fearless guerrilla cunning …” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Other movies have more powerfully exposed the corruption of contemporary China, but few have so articulately confronted how women always seem to be the first citizens to have their wings clipped.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“[A] tremendous documentary …” – Diana Clark, Village Voice

“This is independent filmmaking at its most courageous. By keeping faith with her subjects, she put herself at risk, which is beyond admirable.” – Joe Bendel, Epoch Times

Friday, July 29, 2016 – Don’t Think Twice, Co-Star Kate Micucci

Dont Think Twice film Poster IFor eleven years, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. Commune members Miles, Samantha, Jack, Allison, Bill and Lindsay invent comedy without a script and without a net. They’re ingenious, they’re fast, and they build on each others’ ideas like best friends – which they also are. Night after night they kill onstage and wait for their big break. Day after day day they work menial jobs to support themselves. Then they get news that their theater is shutting down, and scouts from a hit TV show come to a performance, looking for talent. Only two cast members get the nod, upsetting the dynamic of the group and leaving its future in doubt. Relationships begin to crack as six best friends face the truth that not all of them will make it, and for some, it may be time to give up on the dream and move on. Funny, insightful and honest, DON’T THINK TWICE looks at a common experience that’s an uncommon subject for a film: failure. As he did in his acclaimed debut about a stand-up comedian, SLEEPWALK WITH ME, writer/director/actor Mike Birbiglia captures universal human experiences that happen in the lives of professionally funny people. With a top-flight ensemble of comic actors including Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, KateKate-Micucci poster Micucci, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher and Birbiglia, DON’T THINK TWICE tells a nuanced story of friendship, aspiration and the pain and promise of change. Co-star Kate Micucci joins us to talk about being a part of the summer’s breakout hit, doing improv, on stage and on screen. Kate Micucci, along with partner Riki Lindhome, make up the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. The two met at Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in Los Angeles in 2007 and named their group after the “two famous rock-and-roll second bananas” Art Garfunkel and John Oates. The duo, which regularly performs and tours across the country, were named one of the Top 10 Comics to Watch by Variety.

For news and updates go to: dontthinktwicemovie.com

“Don’t Think Twice is hilarious, yes, but it’s also thoughtful and sad and sweet. Birbiglia knows how to communicate those things, too.” – Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com

“Don’t Think Twice,” which has a warm heart, could have been a much nastier movie. Yet its disappointed show-business hopefuls dreading their expiration dates make no bones about their insecurities.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“”Don’t Think Twice” really shines as an improv procedural, a film that celebrates, in illuminating detail, the skills and anxieties of this showbiz subgenre.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“Birbiglia continues to mine a scene he knows well, and even though he doesn’t strike you as a natural-born filmmaker (some of these scenes are as flatly lensed as the SNL sketches being spoofed), he’s evolving as a confrontational dramatist.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

Friday July 29, 2016 – Gleason, Director Clay Tweel

gleason film poster I 

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GLEASON is the powerful, inspiring story of Steve Gleason and his mission – after being diagnosed with ALS – to leave a legacy for his son and make the world a better place for all people with neurological disorders. At the age of 34, Gleason, a former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Steve and his wife Michel discovered that Michel was pregnant with their first child. Director Clay Tweel’s GLEASON masterfully assembles roughly four years of footage, including personal and surprisingly humorous video journals shot by Gleason himself for his then-unborn son Rivers, and the athlete’s globe-trotting adventures undertaken as part of his mission to live his life to the fullest. What emerges from this incredibly intimate portrait is not only a showcase of an astonishing assertion of the human spirit, but, more importantly, a powerful and inspirational look at life, love and family, and the intense bonds between husbands and wives and fathers and sons, in sickness and in health. GLEASON premiered to standing ovations and widespread critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival before garnering an audience award at the recent SXSW Film Festival. Director Clay Tweel (Finders Keepers, Print the Legend) joins us to talk about getting to know Steve and Michel, witnessing the day-to-day challenges that come with the devastating impacts of ALS and the process of editing down over 1,300 hours of video.

For news and updates go to gleasonmovie.com

To see Steve, Michel, Clay and others from Gleason at Q&A screenings on July 29 and 30 go to: gleasontickets.com theaters

“There are moments of such raw, intimate anguish in this film that you can’t help but turn away.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“One of the most powerful, poignant documentaries of the past decade.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“Tweel’s approach is no-frills, with much of the footage having been shot by Gleason and his wife Michel. This is wise: The story itself is so wrenching that any attempt to gussy it up would run the risk of feeling overwrought, even manipulative.” – Mike Nordine, The Wrap

“Having followed [Gleason] from the start, we can’t help but see the active mind inside that body, one full of love for his family and determination to stay with them as long as he can.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

July 22, 2016, The Seventh Fire, Director Jack Pettibone Riccobono

Seveth Fire film poster 

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From executive producers Terrence Malick, Natalie Portman, and Chris Eyre comes this haunting and unflinching debut feature, THE SEVENTH FIRE, directed by Jack Pettibone Riccobono. When gang leader Rob Brown is sentenced to prison for a fifth time, he must confront his role in bringing violent drug culture into his beloved American Indian community in northern Minnesota. As Rob reckons with his past, his seventeen-year-old protégé, Kevin, dreams of the future: becoming the most powerful and feared Native gangster on the reservation. Director, Producer, Writer, and Director of Photography Jack Pettibone Riccobono has produced and directed a wide range of work across the five boroughs of his native New York City and around the world, from Moscow to Shanghai to Freetown. His narrative short KILLER premiered at New Directors / New Films and won Best Short at the Nantucket Film Festival. His short documentary THE SACRED FOOD, shot on the same reservation as THE SEVENTH FIRE, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Riccobono joins us for a conversation on the chronic unemployment and sense of desperation that permeates Native American reservations like Pine Point as well as the sliver of hope that may point to a brighter future.

For news and updates go to: theseventhfire.com

“The betrayal of Native Americans by larger forces looms over this powerful movie without ever being explicitly discussed.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“Riccobono films it all with intelligence, sensitivity and a feel for offhand poetry; his camera captures moments of intimacy and tension without ever quite intruding.” – Bilge Ibiri, Village Voice

“This documentary, by the first-time director Jack Pettibone Riccobono, is a deep drink of bleak. But there are incidental moments of beauty or startling surreality to marvel at “ – Leslie Pelperin, Guardian

“Bracingly candid in both tone and image.” – Mathew Anderson, CineVue

Friday, July 22, 2016, The Netflix Effect, Technology and Entertainment in the 21st Century, Co-author and editor Kevin P. McDonald

The Netflix Effect- Technology and Entertainment in the 21st Century 

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Netflix is the definitive media company of the 21st century. It was among the first to parlay new Internet technologies into a successful business model, and in the process it changed how consumers access film and television. It is now one of the leading providers of digitally delivered media content and is continually expanding access across a host of platforms and mobile devices. Despite its transformative role, however, Netflix has drawn very little critical attention-far less than competitors such as YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Comcast, and HBO. The Netflix Effect, Technology and Entertainment in the 21st Century addresses this gap, as the essays are designed to critically explore the breadth and diversity of Netflix’s effect from a variety of different scholarly perspectives, a necessary approach considering the hybrid nature of Netflix; its inextricable links to new models of media production and distribution, to new modes of viewer engagement and consumer behavior, its relationship to existing media conglomerates and consumer electronics, to its capabilities as a web-based service provider and data network, and to its reliance on a broader technological infrastructure. Marking the first scholarly work to address its significance. Co-author and editor Kevin P. McDonald talks about how The Netflix Effect provides a critical framework for understanding the company’s specific strategies as well as its broader social, economic, and cultural impact. McDonald teaches at the Communication Studies Department at Cal State Northridge, USA. His research focuses on film theory, contemporary Hollywood, and media industries. His work has appeared in Jump-Cut, Velvet Light Trap, and Alphaville. 

For more on Netflix Effect go to: bloomsbury.com/us/the-netflix-effect

Friday, July 15, 2016 – Unlocking the Cage, Co-directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennabaker

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The latest documentary from the renowned filmmaking team of Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker (The War Room), UNLOCKING THE CAGE follows trailblazing animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. UNLOCKING THE CAGE premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Given that the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, why not chimps? Attorney Steven Wise and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project, are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. Supported by affidavits from primatologists around the world, Wise maintains that, based on scientific evidence, cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants have the capacity for limited personhood rights that would protect them from abuse. The filmmakers capture Wise’s progress: from the halls of academia to animal sanctuaries and zoos, and finally into the courtrooms where he makes a compelling case on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State.  UNLOCKING THE CAGE captures a monumental shift in our culture, as the public and judicial system show increasing receptiveness to Wise’s impassioned arguments. It is a provocative and intimate look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man’s lifelong quest to protect “nonhuman” animals. Among the most renowned and accomplished documentary filmmakers ever, co-directors Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker join us to talk about their latest groundbreaking film.

For news and updates go to: unlockingthecage

Get involved: nonhumanrightsproject.org and unlockingthecagethefilm.com/sanctuaries

“Thoughtful, Compelling and Heroic. The film made me proud to be a primate.” – Jon Stewart

“In their new documentary, D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus bring their relaxed, acute observational style of filmmaking to bear on a thorny tangle of legal and philosophical questions. Observant and absorbing.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Engaging… makes a worthy case for reconsidering the sturdiness of laws that explicitly separate humans from animals. With legal-thriller pacing and emotional intelligence, it chronicles attorney Steven Wise’s gung-ho effort to get a U.S. court to recognize a chimpanzee as a legal person with protections, as opposed to a legal “thing” without rights.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“A smart, heroic act of film-making. This compassionate and distinctive work is a combination of single-minded legal drama and humane consciousness raising possibilities. It is a story about something that is often very near to our hearts.” – Isa Freeling and Deborah Kane, The Huffington Post

Friday, July 15, 2016 – Making the American Man, Director Gregory Caruso

Making American Man film poster 

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Men’s style has changed dramatically over the past few years. MAKING THE AMERICAN MAN will grant viewers access into the creative minds of the artisans and entrepreneurs who are leading this movement. Some of these “makers” are tried-and-true, rediscovered heritage American brands, dedicated to an unwavering tradition of union-made quality. Others are young entrepreneurs who mourn the transition to disposable, imported clothing—and so were inspired to make menswear that equaled the artisanal quality products that their parents and grandparents took for granted. MAKING THE AMERICAN MAN draws its power from intimate conversations with over 35 cult-cool designers and tastemakers who have defined what classic masculinity looks like today, and how they feel it must be produced. From Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between, these cultural trendsetters shed light on the modern age of American men’s style, the value of American-made goods—and how one cannot exist without the other. MAKING THE AMERICAN MAN Director Gregory Caruso joins us to talk about the present and future of American manufacturing, craftsmanship and modern masculinity.

Now available on Netflix

For news and updates go to: makingtheamericanman.com

Friday, July 8, 2016 – Nuts! Director Penny Lane

Nuts! the film poster 

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Inventive and wildly fun, NUTS! recounts the unbelievable true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men. From there, the story only gets more bizarre. Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a very unreliable narrator, NUTS! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles, amasses an enormous fortune, is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas, invents junk mail and the infomercial, builds the world’s most powerful radio station, and generally annoys the heck out of the establishment. Filmmaker Penny Lane has skillfully borrowed a page from her subject – charming viewers into believing the unbelievable, building their trust and excitement, until the final chapter bares the painful truth and reveals the doctor for what he truly was. NUTS! reminds us that our love of (and need for) compelling narratives is exactly what makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned. Director Penny Lane stops by for a conversation on Brinkley, our collective need to believe in something and any contemporary parallels to be drawn from this bizarre story.

For news and updates go to: nutsthefilm.com

NUTS! had it’s World Premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing.



“Mixing droll animation, stock footage and a restrained number of talking head interviews, the director Penny Lane’s biography has all the whimsy of a tall tale, until a late change in tone surprises with genuine emotion.Nuts! is really a kick.” – The Guardian

“Don’t let the synopsis fool you, there’s much more here than a simple movie about a guy who likes to put goat balls in people…[Lane] explores the peculiar and undeniably fascinating story of Brinkley in what is easily an early contender doc of the year…Nuts! is a film you’ll definitely want to check out.” – Film Pulse

“Penny Lane is a documentarian who blends the archival with the personal in powerfully emotive ways… [she] is now firmly ensconced as a leading voice among her documentary filmmaking peers. “ – Vimeo

“What won’t spoil the film is my spewing praise for Lane’s craft… Lane is the answer to a question more people should be asking: who’s the great documentarian of this generation?” – The Verge

“In keeping with a recent trend in documentary filmmaking, nontraditional, sometimes controversial storytelling techniques will be on full display, Mr. Cooper said. The director Penny Lane, for instance, uses animated re-enactments and “one seriously  unreliable narrator” to trace the “mostly true” story of a man who found success selling a goat-testicle impotence cure..” – New York Times