Friday, October 28, 2016 – Fire at Sea, Director Gianfranco Rosi


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Fire at Sea is the first documentary to ever win the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival. It is the story of a twelve year old boy, Samuele living on an island in the Mediterranean, far away from the mainland. Like all boys of his age, he does not always enjoy going to school. He would much rather climb the rocks by the shore, play with his slingshot or mooch around the port. But his home is not like other islands. For years, it has been the destination of men, women and children trying to make the crossing from Africa in boats that are far too small and decrepit. The island is Lampedusa, which has become ground zero for the flight of refugees to Europe and a symbol of the hope and fate of hundreds of thousands of emigrants fleeing dire living conditions. These people long for peace, freedom and happiness, and yet so often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. Thus, every day the inhabitants of Lampedusa are bearing witness to the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our times. With tenderness and a nocturnal grandeur, Director Gianfranco Rosi creates a remarkable narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today as well as bear witness to the resiliency at the core of our humanity.

For news and updates go to: kinolorber.com/Fire at Sea

FIRE AT SEA filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:15 PM screenings at the Fine Arts on Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29. Laemmle Fine Arts Theatre

Also opening at the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena

“A clear-eyed, sublimely made account of a heartbreaking, sometimes gut-wrenching subject. A quietly profound study in contrasts. This isn’t just an apt documentary, but a very fine film” Demetrios Matheou, Indiewire

“REMARKABLE. Rosi’s masterstroke is to not approach the hot-button material – of sinking boats, clamouring migrants, bellowing officials – head on, but instead watch it at one remove, through the eyes of the locals on Lampedusa, the Sicilian island that has become a major gateway for the exodus. Rosi’s film is a collection of tiny details that morph, almost by osmosis, into a shocking excavation of the mechanics of crisis.” – Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

“POWERFUL, at times shocking, but also intensely human.”  Lee Marshall, Screen International

“Where journalism leaves off, Fire at Sea begins. It takes a unique documentary filmmaker like Gianfranco Rosi to capture the drama through the periscope of his camera focused on the small Sicilian island of Lampedusa.” -The Hollywood Reporter

Friday, October 28, 2016 – The Uncondemned, Director Michele Mitchell (co-Director Nick Louvel)

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Directors Michele Mitchell and Nick Louvel’s THE UNCONDEMNED is a riveting documentary about an underdog group of lawyers and activists who defied the odds to do what had never been done: prosecute rape as an international war crime. In 1997, the young men and women at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found themselves inexplicably in charge of the first case of genocide in history. Underfunded, understaffed and overwhelmed, they faced incredible hurdles as they pursued their first case against a small town mayor. Crimes of war and against humanity had not been prosecuted since 1946, and surviving witnesses feared for their lives. And then, based on a last minute revelation, the prosecuting team amended the charge to include rape. Three heroic women would overcome their fears and shame to speak for all those who could not. Secret memos, witness assassinations, setbacks and barriers – THE UNCONDEMNED captures the untold, remarkable story that changed the course of international judicial history. Co-director and producer Michele Mitchell joins us for a conversation on the Rwandan genocide, an unprecedented prosecution, and remarkable courage by remarkable women.

For news and updates go to: theuncondemned.com

facebook.com/theuncondemned

theuncondemned.com/screenings

The Uncondemned is screening the starting Friday, October 28, 2016 at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles

Q & A schedule with special guests at the following screenings:

Friday, October 28 – 7:10 Pierre Prosper, Michele Mitchell

Saturday, October 28 – 4:30 pm Naama Haviv, executive director of Panzi USA, & Michele Mitchell, co-director/producer 

7:10 pm Mike Brand, atrocities prevention expert and advocacy director, Jewish World Watch; Naama Haviv, executive director, Panzi USA; Michele Mitchell, co-director/producer

Tuesday, Nov 1 – 7:10 pm Dr. Caroline Heldman, associate professor of politics at Occidental College, principal researcher at Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media; Chelsea Byers, creative action coordinator at Beautiful Trouble and campaign activist with CODEPINK: Women for Peace; Schatzi Throckmorton, associate producer, THE UNCONDEMNED

Wednesday, Nov 2 – 7:10 pm Mike Brand, atrocities prevention expert and advocacy director, Jewish World Watch; Schatzi Throckmorton, associate producer, THE UNCONDEMNED

Thursday, Nov 3rd – 7:10 pm Junemarie Justus, Human Rights Watch; Schatzi Throckmorton, associate producer, THE UNCONDEMNED

“What “The Uncondemned” convincingly demonstrates is the cumulative power of a small group of people with an intense passion for justice, idealists with practical experience whose belief in the power inherent in speaking the truth is not to be denied.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“Though it is, indeed, at times hard to take, it should be seen by everyone. – David Not, Film Journal International

“While this sober documentary about rape during wartime treats those words and its subject with the required gravity, there are also moments of inspiration.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

“In their eye-opening documentary, directors Nick Louvel and Michele Mitchell reveal how the young, idealistic prosecutors, already overextended, uncovered evidence of the systematic violation, torture, mutilation, and enslavement of women in Taba.” – Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

Friday, October 21, 2016 – Tower, Director Keith Maitland

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50 years ago on August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas, Austin, Tower, and opened fire at 11:48am, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes.  When the gunshots finally ceased, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand.  In Keith Maitland’s critically acclaimed documentary TOWER, the film’s subject, 18-year-old freshman, Claire Wilson was the first person shot from the Tower.  Claire, who was eight months pregnant, was walking with her boyfriend Tom, who reached down to help her; he was struck down as well.  For over an hour of the siege, Claire remained exposed to the shooter, conscious and steadily losing blood, while knowing that her boyfriend had been killed and that she lost her baby. TOWER combines archival footage with rotoscopic  animation of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first documented mass school shooting, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy.  The film highlights the fear, confusion, and visceral realities that changed the lives of those present, and the rest of us, forever – a day when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Director Keith Maitland joins us to talk about the mayhem and the courage that marked a day of infamy and prescience that echoes today.

For news and updates go to: towerdocumentary.com

Also check out facebook.com/TowerDocumentary

FOR CALL TO ACTION: Twitter Handle: @TOWERfilm – Hashtag: #TOWERtogether – Hashtag: #GetAnimated

“Tower’ isn’t looking back on the tragedy – it’s living in it, a tick-tock of an afternoon’s terror, as uncertain of its causes or its outcome as the people on the UT campus were that afternoon.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

“I rarely, if ever, use the cliche “a must-see movie,” but in this case it’s entirely apropos.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle

“A piece about adrenaline, bravery, grief and memory that stands as one of the year’s crowning achievements in emotional, illuminative storytelling.” – Robert Adele, The Wrap

“Maitland crafts an absorbing account of the circumstances surrounding the massacre, setting aside the analysis of Whitman’s motives (he also killed his wife and mother) for others to dissect.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

Friday, October 21, 2016 – A Stray, Director and Writer Musa Syeed

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In Minneapolis’ large Somali refugee community, Adan (Barkhad Abdirahman) has nowhere to go. His mom kicked him out, and his friends are tired of his headstrong ways. As a last resort, he moves into the mosque, praying for a little help. Surprisingly, God seems to answer. Adan quickly lands a good job, devout friends, and a newfound faith. When Adan nearly hits a stray dog on the job, he’s forced to take it in for a night. But one of his new mosque friends considers the dog impure, and he throws Adan out. With Adan back on the streets, surrounded by his old crew, ex-girlfriends, prying FBI agents, and his estranged family, the dog may be his only friend asmusa-syeed-director-photo he tries to keep his faith and get through the night. Filmmaker Musa Syeed’s first narrative feature VALLEY OF SAINTS won the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance and was a New York Times Critics Pick. The result of an immersive research process similar to A STRAY, the film was shot during a military curfew in Kashmir, employing a community of boat people as cast and crew. His previous documentaries, also produced with cinematographer Yoni Brook, include BRONX PRINCESS (Berlinale, POV) and A SON’S SACRIFICE (Tribeca Best Short Doc, Independent Lens)Director and writer Musa Syeed stops by for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of making an intimate and moving portrait of a stranger in a strange land.

For news and updates go to: musasyeed.com

World Premiere – SXSW

Best MN-Made Feature – Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival

Official Selection – BAM Cinemafest, Maryland Film Festival, Blackstar Film Festival

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The substantial pleasures of the movie are supplemented by the gratification of seeing an emerging talent with concerns far outside the conventional indie realm asserting himself with such authority.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“The writer-director’s seemingly random yet never aimless narrative avoids predictable sentimental notes as well as any explicit backstory, leaving us to fill in the blanks.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“A truly empathetic look at the immigrant experience in today’s jittery American “homeland.””  – Shirley Sealy, Film Journal International

Friday, 10-14-16 – Newtown, Director Kim A. Snyder

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There are no easy answers in NEWTOWN – no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back the 20 children and six educators who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Instead, Director Kim A. Snyder gives us exclusive access into the lives and homes of those who lost loved ones, and others in the community who have been indelibly changed by the events. Each person, be it a parent, school nurse, or state police officer, tries in their own way to make sense of their loss, as well as confront our nation’s inability to quell gun violence in even the most peaceful of communities. NEWTOWN bears witness to their profound grief and allows it to reverberate within our collective conscience – exploring what happens to a community after it becomes the epicenter of a national discussion, and what is still left to cope with after the cameras leave. Filmed over the course of nearly three years, the film uses unique access and never-before heard testimonies to tell a story of the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. The film premiered at Sundance this year, before playing at SXSW, BAMcinemaFest and – the week of the Orlando shootings last month – at the White House. Director Kim A. Snyder stops by to talk about her touching, haunting and hopeful film.

For news and updates go to: newtownfilm.comnewtown-live-a-national-conversation-120786-160x236

On November 2nd Abramorama and Fathom Events will present a special event screening in over 300 theaters nationwide, followed by a live town hall discussion moderated by CNN’s Chris Cuomo and including several members of the Newtown community.

100% – Rotten Tomatoes

”A breathtaking punch. An important historical record, and an important reminder of an event in American history that could have changed everything, that should have changed everything. There’s no reason it still can’t.” – Katie Walsh, The Playlist

“You won’t truly understand gun violence until you see the Newtown documentary. It is a visceral, powerful experience. You will cry. It is worth it.” – John Hendrickson, Esquire

“A shocking and compelling piece of work.” – Lanre Bakare, The Guardian

“Powerful and illuminating.” – New York Times

“Newtown emerges as a blistering, if tacit, indictment of the nation’s broken promise to never forget.” – Indiewire

Friday, October 14, 2016 – Do Not Resist, Director Craig Atkinson

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DO NOT RESIST is an urgent and powerful exploration of the rapid militarization of our police force in the United States.  The Tribeca Film Festival BEST DOCUMENTARY WINNER puts viewers in the center of the action – Starting on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, as the community grapples with the death of Michael Brown; to the all too familiar sight of law enforcement in full riot gear and armored tanks driving through peaceful protests;  to a ride-along with a South Carolina SWAT team; to a front row seat inside a police training seminar that teaches the importance of “righteous violence”; to the floor of a congressional hearing on the proliferation of military equipment in small-town police departments – before exploring where technology could lead the field next. DO NOT RESIST offers an unflinching look at the current state of law enforcement in America and a glimpse into the future. Director Craig Atkinson joins us to talk about a documentary film that is literally ripped from today’s headlines painting a startling picture of the direction our local law enforcement are headed.  

For news and updates go to:donotresistfilm.com

*WINNER* BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE 2016 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

 Opens in Los Angeles October 14th, 2016:

Laemmle’s Monica Film Center- Santa Monica- Friday 7:30 PM Q&A with Craig Atkinson

Laemmle Playhouse 7- Pasadena- Saturday Q& A with Craig Atkinson

“DO NOT RESIST allows us to see our present moment for the science-fiction dystopia it has become.”  – Red Carpet Crash 

“Atkinson observes with a passionate eye.” – Indiewire

“Chilling…”- Variety

“An eye-opening experience…” – The New York

Friday, October 7, 2016 – Kate Plays Christine, Director Robert Greene

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What does it mean to tell somebody else’s story? In this ingenious blend of documentary and psychological thriller, Robert Greene (ACTRESS) follows Kate Lyn Sheil (House of Cards, LISTEN UP PHILIP) through her creative process as she prepares for her next, tragic role: Christine Chubbuck, the Florida newscaster who committed suicide live on-air in 1974. As Kate investigates (and ultimately becomes obsessed with) Chubbuck’s story, she discovers that little is actually known about the real woman (despite the urban myth that her story was the inspiration for the classic Hollywood film NETWORK). Through their collaboration, Robert, Kate and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT) raise questions surrounding the sometimes unstable boundaries between performance, the authentic self and the storytelling impulse. Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE is as much about unraveling a mystery as it is a document of the creative process. Director Robert Greene joins us for a conversation on blurring the line between documentaries and narrative films, just what did he learn about Christine Chubbuck’s life  and how has making KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE changed his approach to storytelling.

For news and updates go to: kateplayschristine.com

Also check out Kate Plays Christin edistributor grasshopperfilm.com

** Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival

“Kate’s transformation shifts from merely documenting a process to questioning the motives behind it. The final result is deeply unsettling, and (likely unintentionally) a timely indictment of recent headline-making method-acting histrionics.” – Mallory Andrews, Movie Mezzanine

“ documentary Vertigo, Robert Greene’s re-creation of a woman who fell to her inner demons — something of a ghost story — feels dangerous. It pokes the bear, then slaps it.” – Joshua Rothopf, Time Out

“We are a society of gawkers,” asserts one newsperson as Sheil wrestles with the task at hand. By the end of Kate Plays Christine, Greene seems to argue that we’re all complicit in that indictment.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“A tour de force in the blending and bending of genres.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

Friday October 7, 2016 – Among the Believers, Co-directors Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s

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Charismatic cleric Abdul Aziz Ghazi, an ISIS supporter and Taliban ally, is waging jihad against the Pakistani state. His dream is to impose a strict version of Shariah law throughout the country, as a model for the world. A flashpoint in Aziz’s holy war took place in 2007, when the government leveled his flagship mosque to the ground, killing his mother, brother, only son and 150 students. With unprecedented access, Among the Believers follows Aziz on his very personal quest to create an Islamic utopia, during the bloodiest period in Pakistan’s modern history. The film also follows the lives of two teenage students who have attended madrassahs (Islamic seminaries) run by Aziz’s Red Mosque network. Throughout the film, their paths diverge: Talha, 12, detaches from his moderate Muslim family and decides to become a jihadi preacher. Zarina, also 12, escapes her madrassah and joins a regular school. Over the next few years, Zarina’s education is threatened by frequent Taliban attacks on schools like her own. Intimate and shocking, Among the Believers offers rare insights into the ideological battles shaping Pakistan and the Muslim world. The co-directors of Among the Believers, Hemal Trivedi (Producer) and Mohammed Ali Naqvi join us for a conversation on their beautifully balanced film.

For news and updates go to: amongthebelieversfilm.com

“It insists on seeing its subjects’ humanity – something rare in the Western press, particularly when reporting on Islam, and especially fundamentalism.” – Diana Clark, Village Voice

“The filmmakers skillfully orchestrate the various levels of their exploration, from the intimate details of Talha and Zarina’s lives to the workings of the big national picture.” – Ronnie Schieb, Variety

“Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi’s Among the Believers takes viewers to the frontlines of an ideological battle playing out in the Islamic world that receives little coverage in the Western media.” Oleg Ivanov, Slant Magazine

Awards

Winner, FACT Award Jury Prize, CPH:DOX Copenhagen Documentary Festival
Winner, Grand Prix, International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH), Geneva
Winner, Docu/Right Competition (Special Mention), Docudays UA Film Festival, Kiev
Winner, Best International Feature (Special Mention) & Best International Director, Doc Edge Festival, New Zealand
Winner, Best Documentary Feature, Hollywood Film Festival
Winner, Best Documentary & Audience Choice Prize, Tasveer South Asian Film Festival
Winner, Amnesty International Prize, San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival
Winner, Power of Film Award, Beloit International Film Festival
Winner, Best International Documentary, Oaxaca Film Fest
Winner, Best Director, Documentary Feature SOMA Film Festival
Winner, David Ponce Award for Best Film, Chagrin Documentary Film Fest
Winner, Best Feature, Abraham Lincoln Brigade Association Human Rights Film Festival