Friday, December 19, 2014 – The Joe Show, Director Randy Murray

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the world’s most famous and entertaining law enforcement officer, knows that in today’s politically competitive world of instant fame, politicians need their time in the spotlight. And Joe loves the spotlight. Response time is compromised for screen time, credibility for celebrity and safety for soundbites. Joe’s desire for fame corrupts everything he stands for and the voters cheer as ratings soar. Eight years in the making, The Joe Show is a wildly entertaining yet important case study of the increasingly dysfunctional relationship between modern media, politics and law enforcement in America. It’s a tragi-comedy of historic significance. Can democracy survive when entertaining voters is more important then protecting them. Director Randy Murray stops by to talk about Sheriff Arpaio’sharsh  law enforcement practices and their diminishing public support.

For news and update on The Joe Show go to: joeshowdoc.com

“An equally entertaining and infuriating overview of a very American self-made phenomenon.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“You begin to wonder where reality ends and Arpaio’s own world begins. (There doesn’t seem to be a lot of overlap.)” – Bill Goodykontz, Arizona Republic

December 12, 2014 – Difret – Writer / Director Zeresenay Berhane Mehari

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Three hours outside of the city of Addis Ababa, a bright 14-year-old girl, Hirut, is on her way home from school when men on horses swoop in and kidnap her. The brave teenager grabs a rifle and tries to escape, but ends up shooting her would-be husband. In her village, the practice of abduction into marriage is common and one of Ethiopia’s oldest traditions. Enter then Meaza Ashenafi, an empowered and tenacious young lawyer. She arrives from the city to represent Hirut and argue that she acted in self-defense. Meaza boldly embarks on a collision course between enforcing civil authority and abiding by customary law, risking the ongoing work of her women’s legal-aid practice to save Hirut’s life. Based on a real-life story, DIFRET goes beneath the layer of polite social customs to explore an aggressively rooted patriarchy that perpetuates inhospitable conditions for women in Ethiopia and portrays the complexity of a country’s transformation toward equal rights, featuring the courageous generation that dares to own it. Writer / director Zeresenay Berhani Mehari joins us to talk about a story that challenges a culture of inequality.

For news and updates on Difret go to: difret.com

“A quiet and powerful drama.” Hollywood Reporter

“Deftly examines the issues facing women and girls in Ethiopia.” CNN

“Nuanced and inspiring.” Cultural Weekly

Friday, December 12, 2014 – Pioneer, Director Erik Skjolbjaerg

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PIONEER is set in the early 80’s, at the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea, authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline 500 meters deep. Petter, a professional diver, is obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea. Along with his brother Knut, he has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world’s most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who is pulling the strings. Gradually, he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake. Director and writer Erik Skjolbjaerg talks about his take on a brief but important era in Norwegian history and the challenge of working underwater and directing an international cast.

For news and updates on Pioneer go to: magpictures.com/pioneer

“A twisty tale of life and death under pressure.” – Variety

“Director Erik Skjoldbjærg’s film offers an amazing opportunity to experience the dark depths of the ocean, while paying homage to 1980s filmmaking.” – Under the Radar

“The underwater sequences stun and terrify – nothing says claustrophobia quite like two weeks in a pressurized diving bell with someone you can’t necessarily trust – and there’s almost as much moisture and terror on land to drive Petter round the bend.” – Ella Taylor, NPR

“A brooding psychological drama where everything that happens is open to multiple interpretations and figuring out who if anyone is on your side gets harder and harder to do.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Friday, December 5, 2014 – Boyhood, Director / Writer Richard Linklater

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Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Richard Linklater’s BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason’s parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay’s Yellow to Arcade Fire’s Deep Blue. BOYHOOD is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It’s impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. Linklater joins us for a conversation on the remarkable journey and artistic growth that occurred making Boyhood became.

For news and updates on Boyhood go to: ifcfilms.com/

“Boyhood” is a stunt, an epic, a home video, and a benediction. It reminds us of what movies could be and – far more important – what life actually is.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“As a film that dares to honor small moments and the life they add up to, “Boyhood” isn’t just a masterpiece. It’s a miracle.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Friday, December 5, 2014 – Writer / Comedian / Producer Carol Leifer

Carol LeiferCarol Leifer began her career as a stand up comedian in such well know Manhattan comedy clubs as the Comic Strip, Catch a Rising Star and the Improv. Her “big break” came when David Letterman unexpectedly showed up at the Comic Strip and caught one of her performances. His visit led to twenty-five appearances on NBC’s “Late Night with David Letterman.” Carol has also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Dr. Katz, Politically Incorrect, Hollywood Squares, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Her hosting duties have included four seasons of A&E‘s Caroline’s Comedy Hour, as well as guest stints on Talk Soup and Later. She has also written for numerous Academy Awards shows. Carol joined the Seinfeld writing staff during its fifth season (1993–94), and wrote six episodes for the show between then and its seventh season (1995–96). She has been dubbed “the real Elaine,” the character having been partially based on her. After Seinfeld ended, Carol served as a writer and supervising producer on HBO’s critically acclaimed “The Larry Sanders Show. ” Despite her success in television, Carol has remained a fixture on the stand up circuit. “I’ve Carol Leifer book IIplayed every two-bit laugh shack across this great country of ours,” she quips. One highlight of Carol’s roadwork includes opening for Frank Sinatra at Bally’s Las Vegas. He was quoted after the show as saying “I wish my mother had been that funny. I wouldn’t have had to work so hard.” Carol joins us to talk about her second book, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying…Lessons From a Life in Comedy” her career and hosting the 30th Annual International Documentary Association Award show here in Los Angeles.

For news and updates on Carol Leifer go to: carolleifer.com

For news and updates on the International Documentary Association go to: documentary.org/

Friday, November 28, 2014 – Little Hope Was Arson, Director Theo Love

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January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside-out. Families are torn apart and communities of faith struggle with forgiveness and justice in this incredible true story. Director Theo Love stops by for a conversation on the culture of East Texas and the unbending drive of the people in the area to find the perpetrators, and the unlikely culprits.

For news and updates on Little Hope Was Arson go to: littlehopewasarson.com

“It’s Americana unvarnished and, because of that, as absorbing as it is respectful.” – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

“The film’s exploration of the tenuous bonds within a community will surely prompt serious soul-searching.” – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Time

“A fascinating story told with deep insight, Little Hope Was Arson finds that both fire and forgiveness burn in different ways.” – Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

“How the investigation unfolds, and the dramatics escalate, is as engaging as any compelling narrative can be…” – Mark Bell, Film Threat

Friday, November 28, 2014 – Antarctica: A Year on Ice, Director Anthony Powell

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Although only a few scientists and researchers brave the extreme conditions of Antarctica year-round, the continent hosts a close-knit international population of base workers, chefs, technicians and tradespeople who keep everything running. ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE is their story. Completely isolated from the rest of the world, enduring months of unending darkness, Antarctic residents experience firsthand the beauty and brutality of the most severe environment on Earth. From everyday moments of work and laughter to holiday celebrations and even the filmmaker’s own wedding, ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE shows a determined community thriving in a world most people will never know. Boasting footage gathered over 15 years, including nine winters spent in 24-hour darkness, this unique documentary speaks to the planet’s natural wonders, humanity’s thirst for adventure and the emotional journey that accompanies a year spent on the ice. Director/photographer Anthony Powell joins us from the frozen continent to talk about the spirit of Antarctic culture and the breathtaking splendor contained within the last pristine wilderness left on the planet.

For news and updates on Antarctica: A Year on Ice go to: musicboxfilms.com/antarctica

Winner! Calgary International Film Festival 2013 – Best International Documentary

Winner! Calgary International Film Festival 2013 – Best First Film, Documentary

Winner! Bel Air Film Festival 2013 – Best Documentary

Winner! Beckenridge Festival of Film 2013 – Audience Award

Winner! New Zealand Film and TV Awards 2013 – Best Documentary Cinematography

Anchorage International Film Festival 2013 – Best Documentary 2nd place

“Breathtaking! A deeply moving experience. I urge you to see this film.” – Michael Sigman, Huffington Post

“Words are entirely inadequate to convey the experience of watching this film. An extraordinary achievement that reinvigorates our sense of wonder about the natural world.” – Peter Calder, The New Zealand Herald

“Spectacular!  A visual feast that gives you the most tangible impression of Antarctica possible.” – Bas Macdonald, Critic Culture

ANTARCTICA: A YEAR ON ICE opens Friday, November 28, 2014 at Landmark’s Nuart Theatre. Landmark’s Nuart Theatre is at 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard

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

Through a Lens Darkly, Director Thomas Allen and Producer / Writer Don Perry 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 

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