HUMAN AFFAIRS is a compassionate drama about a young, successful theatre couple in New York City who meet their surrogate mother for the first time, and embark on a startling and intimate weekend of surprises and emotional revelations. Featuring powerful performances from Kerry Condon (Better Call Saul, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Dominic Fusuma (13 Hours, Focus) and a standout portrayal by young French actress Julie Sokolowski (star of Bruno Dumont’s Hadewijch) as Genevieve, the film also features David Harbour (Stranger Things). Writer / director / actor Charlie Birns has crafted a nuanced debut feature drama about embarking on the precarious closeness of surrogacy while bravely searching for human connection. Featuring exquisite cinematography by Sean Price Williams, (Good Time and Heaven Knows What with the Safdie Brothers, Listen Up Philip and Queen of Earth with Alex Ross Perry), the film experiments with new modes of cinematic storytelling, employing raw performance, unexpected sound design, editing, narration and the use of still photography to dazzling effect. Director Charlie Burns joins us for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of directing his first feature film and the film’s debut at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival.
Slamdance Film Festival narrative feature “Quest,” starring: Dash Mihok (“Ray Donovan,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Romeo + Juliet”), and Lou Diamond Phillips (“La Bamba,” “Courage Under Fire,” and “Young Guns”) is included in the Slamdance 2018 Special Screening section. “Quest,” a beloved audience award winner that debuted at the Mill Valley Film Festival this fall, and has continued to win award after award throughout it’s festival journey. Quest’s will debut on Monday, January 22nd, 2018, at the Slamdance Film Festival. This powerful film addresses the brutality of child abuse in a way we haven’t seen before, winning praise from the foster child community, among others who see the plight of this epidemic firsthand. Quest is a story that speaks to the power of love, and it’s ability to reach us even through the darkness and pain that surround us. Based on a true story, the film follows an uncertain friendship between a 12-year-old graffiti addict “ Mills” (Greg Kasyan, in his debut role), who faces abuse from his stepfather (Lou Diamond Phillips), and a devoted teacher & coach named Tim Moellering (Dash Mihok), who believes there is no such thing as a bad kid – only a bad situation. Based on the stories of their lives in the Bay Area of California, the first draft of Quest was written together by first time director Santiago Rizzo, and his mentor & teacher Tim Moellering (whom has sadly since passed away from Pancreatic Cancer before he could see the film made). Director, producer and writer joins us for a conversation on his debut film.
SLAMDANCE SPECIAL SCREENINGS
Monday, January 22, 6:30 PM
Wednesday, January 24, 12:30 PM
Treasure Mountain Inn — Ballroom
Berkeley Video & Film Festival
Won, Grand Festival Award for Best Film
Mill Valley Film Festival
Won, Audience Award for U.S. Cinema Indie
Napa Valley Film Festival
Won, Audience Award for Favorite Narrative Feature
Won, Audience Award for Favorite Actor
Won, Jury Award for Best Lounge Feature
Oldenburg Film Festival
Won, Seymour Cassel Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor
Nominated, German Independence Award – Audience Award for Best Film
introducing us to the charismatic Gabriel Cordell. After hitting rock-bottom, this newly sober paraplegic attempts to save his gang-banger (and barely out of rehab) nephew’s life by bringing him along on a record breaking 3,100-mile wheelchair trek across the United States. This intense trip will challenge Gabriel physically and emotionally as he becomes a vision of hope for countless strangers along his journey. Gabriel’s support crew is an unlikely team, that become a family. All of them are from very different backgrounds and each dealing with their own issues – PTSD, homelessness, unemployment, family estrangement and sobriety struggles. What started out as a challenge to push an unmodified wheelchair from California to New York, morphs into a most transcendent journey that fills your heart for long after the movie ends and the screen grows dark. In an age divided, Roll With Me ignites our common humanity and urges us to find our inner hero or heroine. We can be heroes…every single day that we reach outside of ourselves. Director Lisa France joins us to talk about her own journey and the challenges involved with a cross-country trek with 9 people in a small SUV and no film making experience.
“Roll With Me” Slamdance Film Festival Premiere & Red Carpet:
Monday, January 22nd
3:30pm— Red Carpet
4:00pm— Festival Premiere Screening
5:40pm — Q&A to follow with cast & filmmakers.
*Select tickets for screening still available upon request.
Location: The Ballroom at Treasure Mountain Inn
Virginia Film Festival
Won, Audience Award for Documentary Feature
Woodstock Film Festival
Won, Carpe Diem Andretta Award
Runner Up, Audience Award
Ivan Williams is a partner and Scenario’s executive vice president of finance. After a successful career as a senior business leader at major energy companies (ARCO and BP), he has been active starting up a media technology company, and executive producing feature films, Broadway musicals, musical recordings, theatrical plays, and Web tv shows. A member of Film Independent and the Sundance Institute, Ivan holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University, and is a Dean’s M.B.A. Scholar at the UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business, and a veteran Naval Reserve intelligence officer. An active contributor to his alma maters, Ivan serves as a member of the board of directors for Oregon State University’s Alumni Association, and is active with the University of California Irvine as chairman of the Dean’s Arts Council of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, serving as a member of the Graduate Division’s Dean’s Leadership Council, as an entertainment industry advisory board member for the Cybersecurity Policy & Research Institute, and a founding board member of the L.A./Orange County Anteaters in the Arts organization. Ivan joins us for a conversation on the his latest projects and the exiting future of digital film and arts at the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at the University of California, Irvine.
Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American landscape. On the surface all seems normal, but what appears to be a simple vacation soon gives way to a dark and complex web of secrets. THE STRANGE ONES had its world premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival where it was awarded the Special Jury Recognition for Breakthrough Performance for James Freedson-Jackson.
Director’s Statement – “There is a line late in the film where two teenage characters are engaged in an awkward conversation that consists more of silence than words. “It’s crazy to think,” the girl says, “that you like, never really know a person. You know?” The idea of “not knowing” is at the core of The Strange Ones. As filmmakers, we are most interested in stories that leave a strong impression but somehow stop short of surrendering a tidy explanation, and in characters that have secrets that may or may not ever be fully revealed. There is something more satisfying in this for us – as if the truth, by virtue of remaining unseen, can expand upon speculation and become something larger, more profound, and more fascinating than a straightforward answer. Perhaps we find also that this is a more accurate reflection of real life – so often we believe we understand something or someone in their entirety, only to find out that we have only really glimpsed the surface; and that beneath lies a world of complexity that we might never fully know. In that regard, The Strange Ones is a story that presents a rather simple surface, as well as a more complicated and mysterious hidden dimension.” – Lauren Wolkstein and Christopher Radcliff.
Official Website: www.thestrangeones.com
“Secrets curl with thick dread around a man and boy on the run from a dark past in this elliptical and mysterious road movie.” – Chris Barsanti, Film International Journal
“The Strange Ones is a solid movie on first watch that becomes a seriously good movie on second watch. Maybe that’s a poor framework for an endorsement, but the film is more than the shock of its climax.” – Andy Crump, Paste Magazine
“It’s an artful, boundary-pushing debut from Radcliffe and Wolkstein, with breakthrough performances from Freedson-Jackson, and Pettyfer, perhaps signaling a new direction in his career.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times
“As with all great films, it takes an angle that we may have never thought of before, and one we may not soon forget.” – Fernando Andres, Film School Rejects
Grand Saline, Texas, a town east of Dallas, has a history of racism, a history the community doesn’t talk about. This shroud of secrecy ended when Charles Moore, an elderly white preacher, self-immolated to protest the town’s racism in 2014, shining a spotlight on the town’s dark past. MAN ON FIRE untangles the pieces of this protest and questions the racism in Grand Saline today. Overall, MAN ON FIRE encapsulates the racial climate in Grand Saline and chronicles Moore’s life and death, presenting Grand Saline and Moore as two pillars of the film’s narrative: one a disjointed man seeking truth and communal repentance and the other a community whose present is inextricably tied to their past. MAN ON FIRE was Joel Fendelman’s thesis film for the completion of his MFA program at the University of Texas in Austin. The film went into production late May of 2016 and was completed late May of 2017. The crew took seven trips to the Van Zandt County area to film and compile interviews as well as a weekend of filming in Austin and one in Dallas. The recreations were filmed over three days in Austin, Texas. Director Joel Fendelman joins us to talk about what led Reverend Charles Moore to commit such a radical act, his approach to telling this timely story and MAN ON FIRE’s upcoming debut at the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival.
Co-winner of the International Documentary Association (IDA) 2017 David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
Joel Fendelman’s site