In Silico – Director Noah Hutton

In 2010 filmmaker Noah Hutton set out to document the work of visionary, and TED Talk supernova, neuroscientist Henry Markram, as he turns his frustration with his chosen field’s vested interest in maintaining a status quo attitude. With time elapsing and millions of dollars on the line, this compelling and fascinating documentary, IN SILICO, explores an audacious 10-year quest to simulate the  entire human brain on supercomputers. Along the way, IN SILICO reveals the profound beauty of tiny mistakes and bold predictions — a controversial space where scientific process meets ego, and where the lines between objectivity and ambition blur. Director, producer, writer, cinematographer, editor and composer Noah Hutton (Lapsis, Crude Independence, Deep Time) joins us for an entertaining conversation on the visionary / foolhardy project to map and replicate the most complex organism / data processor in the known universe as well as Hutton’s own personal and professional determination to chronicle the jagged trajectory of this groundbreaking enterprise.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: insilicofilm.com

For more on the work of Noah Hutton go to: couple3films.com

About the filmmaker –  Director, Cinematographer, Editor, Composer Noah Hutton directed, edited, and scored the award-winning a number of documentary features, including Deep Time (SXSW 2015) and Crude Independence (SXSW 2009). In 2015, Noah was named a Salzburg Global Fellow in Neuroscience & Art, and created Brain City, a multi-platform installation in Times Square commissioned by the Times Square Arts Alliance that brought visuals from six leading neuroscience labs to some of the largest outdoor displays in the world. In 2020, he wrote and directed the sci-fi feature Lapsis, which premiered in the narrative feature competition at SXSW 2020 and was acquired by Film Movement for U.S. theatrical release in early 2021. He graduated from Wesleyan University, where he studied art history and neuroscience, and received the Jacob Burns Film Center’s 2015 New Lens Award. For more go to: couple3films.com

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“In attempting to synthesize so much material into In Silico, he creates something that feels more like a series of encyclopedia entries than a story.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“In the end, this isn’t about science. It’s about the universals of power, greed, ego, and fame. Enjoy.” – Neely Swanson, Easy Reader

“A fascinating window into the trouble grandiose research projects and grandiose personalities can generate.”- Nature Magazine

“The project’s spectacular size and public profile serve as a magnifying lens held to the system at large, allowing us to examine the rot of corporate bureaucracy taking hold of scientific research institutes everywhere.” – Science for the People Magazine

“In Silico shows the scientific process in all its messy glory, with its revelations, missteps, labor, frustrations, self-promotion, fights for funding, and fractious egos. And it shares a filmmaker’s progress from an awestruck acolyte to a wiser and more objective observer.” – Boston Globe

The Bengali – Director Kavery Kaul

In Kavery Kaul’s deeply personal documentary, THE BENGALI, Fatima Shaik embarks upon an unlikely quest when she travels from New Orleans, the city of her birth, to India, home of her grandfather Shaik Mohamed Musa. An African-American writer whose family has lived in Louisiana for four generations, she travels with Kolkata-born filmmaker Kavery Kaul to a part of India where no African-American has ever gone. Her search for the past is fraught with uncertainty, as she looks for her grandfather’s descendants, the land he claimed to own, and the truth behind the stories she grew up with. Through Fatima’s moving and inspiring personal journey, THE BENGALI, tells the untold story of ties between South Asians and African-Americans in the U.S. In the late nineteenth-century, men from India arrived in the United States and married African-American women. The men were Muslims; the women were Christian. Together, they built families in an America that held them all at arm’s length. THE BENGALI, reaches across seemingly insurmountable cultural divides to shine light on timely issues. Its boldly different story of immigration reclaims timeless themes of family. Award-winning filmmaker Kavery Kaul (Cuban Canvas, Long Way from Home) joins us for an illuminating conversation on this intriguing and little-known story of migration, trials and triumphs of mostly Bengali men who came to America searching for a better life in America.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: thebengalifilm.com

THE BENGALI will be screening at the Quad Cinema in New York on September 9 at the AMC Jersey Gardens Theatre on September 9 and at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles on September 16.

About the filmmaker – Award-winning Indian-American filmmaker Kavery Kaul’s documentaries challenge who “we” are and who tells that story. Founder of riverfilms, her works have been featured at DOC NYC, Telluride, London, Rotterdam, and Sydney Festivals; in countries including India, Japan, Burkina Faso, and Italy; at the Kennedy Center (DC), National Museum of Women in the Arts (DC), Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Cleveland Museum, and High Museum (Atlanta). Kavery directed the prestigious Imagen Foundation Award Nominee Cuban Canvas, a Margaret Mead Film Festival Selection. Showcased at the Maysles Cinema (NYC), Back Walking Forward went on to numerous screenings internationally; Long Way from Home was a Film Threat and Time Out Critic’s Pick. Her cultural documentaries include the theatrically-released One Hand Don’t ClapFirst Look, a National Latino Consortium presentation on PBS-TV; and Wild at Art, in the PBS-TV “Art to Art” series executive produced by Asian Women United. Through an intimate lens, Kavery crafts stories which boundlessly straddle different worlds. She has been awarded a Fulbright and a Logan Fellowship. Her highly-acclaimed TEDx Talk speaks to the power of storytelling to connect people across divides. Learn more at kaverykaul.com

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“There’s plenty of skepticism to be found in The Bengali; however, that’s just the starting point for an important conversation about first encounters, cultural education and life-changing travel experiences.” – Q.V. Hough, Vague Visages

Kavery Kaul’s documentaries explore the shifting frames of culture, race, class, and belonging. The Bengali addresses the important issue of engagement between people of different faiths.” – Span

“An absolute gem of a documentary.” – Neon Graffiti

“In this documentary, award-winning filmmaker Kavery Kaul unfolds the fascinating story of the first South Asian male immigrants to the U.S. who married African-American women and made a home in the black community.” – Henry Louis Gates Jr.

From the Hood to the Holler – Director Pat McGee

Running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate seat held by Mitch McConnell, Charles Booker attempts one of the biggest upsets in political history by challenging establishment-backed candidate Amy McGrath. FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER follows Booker’s campaign across Kentucky, from the most urban to the most rural settings, with Booker and his team rewriting the campaign playbook. Instead of exploiting divisions, they lean into the idea that average Kentuckians have common bonds, united by their shared day-to-day fight to survive. His message is simple: Whether you are from the city “hood” — like Booker — or the Appalachian “holler,” you are not invisible. Igniting a movement known as FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER, political activist Charles Booker works to unite people of all socio-economic backgrounds while fighting against big money in politics, voter suppression, and systemic corruption. Filmmakers, director Pat McGee and producers Adam Linkenhelt, Terry Hahin, Gregory Taylor capture a young man finding his voice as a leader and his incredible journey against the odds.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: fromthehoodtothehollerfilm.com

For more about the filmmaker: patmcgeepictures.com

FROM THE HOOD TO THE HOLLER will be released the film in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Monica Film Center, and in New York City at the Cinema Village and additional select markets on September 16. Pat McGee Pictures will release the film on digital platforms beginning September 30.

About the filmmaker – Pat McGee is a documentary director in both film and television who works to unearth character-driven stories that push to find a common ground. Most recently, McGee directed and produced the award-winning “From the Hood to the Holler,” a feature on political activist Charles Booker of Kentucky, one of the rising stars of the progressive political movement. In 2022, Pat also executive produced and directed the soon-to-be-released project about Warren Jeffs the leader of the Former Latter Day Saints for Warner Bros. The three-part documentary series is told through the lens of Warren Jeffs’ 65th wife as she survives and escapes Jeffs and the FLDS. Pat’s debut feature documentary  American Relapse, won feature documentary honors at film festivals across the country. American Relapse enjoyed a theatrical release in Los Angeles and New York. In 2018, Vice TV launched the original  Pat McGee Pictures series Dopesick Nation, a 10-part documentary about the opioid epidemic in Florida. In 2017,  Pat created and produced 24 to Life for A&E Networks. 24 to Life was the highest-rated unscripted show on Lifetime Movie Network for 2016 and subsequently was awarded a second season. Other documentary feature credits include The Deported featuring Rosario Dawson, CAL FIRE, allowing Pat and his team to embed with one of the country’s largest and most active firefighting agencies and Bernie Blackout, chronicling the behind-the-scenes marriage of politics and media during the Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign for Vice TV. Pat McGee is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has operated under his production company Pat McGee Pictures since 2015.

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“It Booker goes on to unseat the hilariously hated, Russia loving Rand Paul for a Senate seat this fall, “From the Hood to the Holler” will make a fascinating footnote for a sea change in American politics and…when Kentucky finally woke up.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Murder at the Cottage – Director Jim Sheridan

MURDER AT THE COTTAGE shines a bright light on the events and investigation into the brutal killing of two days before Christmas in 1996 of  French TV producer Sophie Toscan du Plantier at her holiday cottage in Schull, West Cork. In 2019, the key suspect, English journalist Ian Bailey – the first reporter on the scene – was found guilty in absentia by the French courts yet was never found guilty in Ireland, owing to a lack of reliable evidence.  In the true crime docuseries, MURDER AT THE COTTAGE: THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE FOR SOPHIE, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Jim Sheridan takes viewers on a journey of the unsolved case that has haunted West Cork for almost 25 years. Piecing together original evidence, never-before-seen footage and interviews with those closest to the case, Sheridan tries to make sense of what happened that night. Having successfully fought repeated extradition requests from the French authorities, Bailey still resides in West Cork and maintains his innocence to this day. Six-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot, In the Name of the Father, The Boxer) joins us for a conversation on the haunting specter Sophie Toscan du Plantier’s savage murder had in motivating him to make this docuseries, the complicated “suspect” that Ian Bailey became over the last two and a half years, the international political and judicial hand grenade that the case presented for France and Ireland, and the role that the local Irish police had in bolloxing the entire investigation into the victim’s unsolved death.

 

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Watch Murder at the Cottage at: topic.com

About the filmmaker – Jim Sheridan is the father of Amira Sheridan. Following a distinguished career in the theatre between the 1960s and the 1980s, Jim Sheridan wrote and directed his first critically acclaimed feature MY LEFT FOOT in 1989. The film was nominated for two European Film Awards. He followed this in 1990 with THE FIELD which he also wrote and directed. In the same year he wrote the screenplay INTO THE WEST which was directed in 1992 by Mike Newell. In 1993 he wrote, produced and directed IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER, which again was nominated for a European Film Award, and in 1995 he wrote and produced SOME MOTHER’S SON, which was directed by Terry George. In 1997 he wrote, produced and directed THE BOXER and in 1999 he produced AGNES BROWNE, directed by and starring Anjelica Huston. He was also executive producer of BORSTAL BOY, ON THE EDGE and BLOODY SUNDAY. IN AMERICA, which he produced, directed and wrote, was released in 2003. In 2005 he directed and produced GET RICH OR DIE TRYIN’. BROTHERS was released in 2009 and DREAM HOUSE in 2011. His most recent feature film is THE SECRET SCRIPTURE. He directed the short film 11th HOUR at the end of 2016 and also the documentary SHELTER ME. Jim Sheridan’s films have achieved popular and critical acclaim throughout the world. His films have garnered sixteen Oscar nominations and have won two Academy Awards as well as numerous prestigious international awards. Jim Sheridan lives in Dublin and is married and he is the father of four daughters. 

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About Topic – Topic is the criminally good streaming service from First Look Entertainment for thrillers, mysteries, dramas and documentaries from around the world, serving viewers who crave entertainment beyond the mainstream. Whether it’s a Nordic-noir crime thriller (The Killing), an Italian supernatural political drama (The Miracle), or a haunting true crime docu-series from the UK (The Missing Children), Topic expands your view of the world. Topic is available to US and Canadian audiences ontopic.com, AppleTV & iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android & Android TV, Samsung, Apple TV Channels, Roku Premium Channels, Bell Fibe, Amazon Prime Video Channels, Comcast and Comcast’s entertainment platforms, including Xfinity X1, Xfinity Flex and XClass TV. Topic is part of First Look Entertainment which also includes Topic Studios, the award winning entertainment studio which develops, finances, and produces content for all platforms.For more go to: topic.com

Our American Family – Hallee Adelman and Sean King O’Grady

Addiction is an all-encompassing force, in not only of the lives of the afflicted, but also those around them. OUR AMERICAN FAMILY provides an honest, unfiltered look at a close-knit Philadelphia family dealing with generational substance abuse. Captured at a pivotal “nothing to lose” moment, for over the course of a year, five family members tired of life with addiction on center stage, each struggle to transcend their crippling histories. What will it take to shift this entrenched, wrenching pattern in their lives? Will they be able to make significant shifts to help their next generation? The members of OUR AMERICAN FAMILY – Nicole, Lynda, Bryan, Chris and Stephen – invite us into their lives to find hope and to explore what’s possible. Though they often falter, their familial loyalty is powerful, demonstrating how through love and dedication people can rise out of the deepest depths. For a touching, eye-opening look into one of America’s most pressing crises, look no further. Co-directors Hallee Adelman (Writing with Fire, Us Kids, Truffle Hunters) and Sean King O’Grady (In A World, The Assistant, Dinner in America) join us for a remarkably candid look inside the internal dynamics of a family operating at the edge of viability as well as a dogged determination to not give up.

 

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For screenings and updates go to: ouramericanfamilyfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Hallee Adelman is a writer, filmmaker, and co-founder of World of HA Productions. She is an executive producer on the Emmy-winning documentary “The Social Dilemma,” and the Oscar-nominated international film, “Writing with Fire.” Other titles include the Academy shortlisted, “The Truffle Hunters,” the Sundance premiere “UsKids,” and the soon to be released, “Art & Krimes by Krimes.” Recent festival premieres, “Aisha,” “Broadway Rising,” and “Your Friend, Memphis.” Adelman is a Board Member of the International Documentary Association. Adelman co-directed and produced OUR AMERICAN FAMILY after a writing project deepened her connection with the brave participants featured in the film. For more go to: halleeadelman.com

About the filmmaker – Sean King O’Grady is a filmmaker based in Michigan. His award-winning feature films have screened at Sundance, Tribeca, Telluride, Berlinale, Sitges, SXSW, Woodstock and dozens of other festivals around the world. As a producer, he has worked on FOR LOVERS ONLY, BIG SUR, IN A WORLD…, DINNER IN AMERICA, THE ASSISTANT, USERS, and most recently the SXSW winning I LOVE MY DAD, with THE LISTENER in post-production. He also was an Executive Producer on the Netflix limited series LIVING UNDOCUMENTED. Sean has directed LAND GRAB, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING, REVOLUTION: GMC HUMMER EV, and an entry in MTV’s long running series TRUE LIFE. He co-directed OUR AMERICAN FAMILY with Hallee Adelman.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Addiction is a complex, challenging topic, and “Our American Family,” in its sharp specificity, handles it with grace.” – Natalia Winkelman, New York Times

“Heartbreaking, unflinching and inspirational. It’s a poignant cautionary tale and powerful wake-up call. As Pablo Neruda’s poem wisely states, “They can cut all of the flowers, but they can’t stop the spring from coming.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“Our American Family humanizes the people suffering from addictions.” – Sarah Bea Milner, Slashfilm

“One of the most blunt and intimate documentaries you’re ever likely to see.” – Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

“Our American Family is a brutally honest documentary that gives viewers an inside look into how addiction affects families.” – Raquel Stecher, Quelle Movies

Katrina Babies – Director Edward Buckles Jr.

Edward Buckles Jr’s gripping feature documentary debut KATRINA BABIES, brings focus and context the sixteen years since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, and an entire generation still grappling with the lifelong impact of having their childhood redefined by tragedy. New Orleans-based filmmaker Edward Buckles Jr., was 13 years old during Katrina and its initial aftermath, spent seven years documenting the stories of his peers who survived the storm as children. In his award winning film, KATRINA BABIES, Buckles draws upon his community’s tradition of oral storytelling to open a door for healing and to capture the strength and spirit of his city.  He found common cause-and shared trauma–with young people whose lives were similarly shaped by the storm. KATRINA BABIES interview subjects were between 3 and 19 years old when the storm hit: Some stayed in New Orleans, Others fled the city and the neighborhoods that held so much history for them. Director Buckles joins for a conversation on his award winning film and how he was able to capture both the unique, joyful flavor of Black culture in the Crescent City as well as the nightmarish conditions that swallowed up so many in the aftermath of Katrina.

 

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Debuts on HBO and HBO MAX on August 24, 2022

About the filmmaker – Edward Buckles Jr. is a first-time director, New Orleans native, and Best New Documentary Director winner of The Albert Maysles Award, as well as the Best New Documentary Director and the Human Nature Award at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“A moving, intimate, and humane work that deserves to be put on the same shelf as Spike Lee’s “When the Levees Broke.” RogerEbert.com

“Katrina Babies tells the story of a forgotten, displaced, furious—and yes, resilient— generation in their own words.” Karen McMullen

“Katrina Babies’ seems to say New Orleans wasn’t rebuilt, but, rather, built over. The formerly Black neighborhoods have been broken up and gentrified. And, sometimes, the old residents are too afraid of the new New Orleans to ever come home.” – Wayne Broadway, Black Girl Nerds

““Katrina Babies” is deeply personal and thoughtfully political.” – Lisa Kennedy, New York Times

“A powerful documentary that focuses on not only the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, but also on the resilience of the people of New Orleans.” – Radhika Menon, Decider

The Territory – Director Alex Pritz

In his debut feature documentary THE TERRITORY Alex Pritz provides an immersive look at the tireless fight of the Amazon’s Indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers. With awe-inspiring cinematography showcasing the titular landscape and richly textured sound design, the film takes audiences deep into the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau community and provides unprecedented access to the farmers and settlers illegally burning and clearing the protected Indigenous land. Partially shot by the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, THE TERRITORY relies on vérité footage captured over three years as the community risks their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth. Director Alex Pritz joins us for a informative conversation on the importance that he placed an even-handed approach to conveying the disparate strands of a complex story whose outcome will have a profound impact on the indigenous Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, the region surrounding the Amazon rainforest and planet Earth.

 

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For news and updates go to: nationalgeographic.com/the-territory

To watch: nationalgeographic.com/the-territory/watch

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About the filmmaker – Director and cinematographer Alex Pritz is focused on human’s relationship with the natural world. Pritz’s directorial debut, THE TERRITORY, premiered in the World Cinema competition at Sundance 2022, winning both an Audience Award and Special Jury Award for Documentary Craft, making it the only film at that year’s festival to win awards from audience and jury alike. Pritz also worked as a cinematographer on the feature documentary “The First Wave” with director Matt Heineman, as well as a cinematographer and field producer on Jon Kasbe’s feature documentary “When Lambs Become Lions”. Prior to that, Pritz co-directed, shot and edited the documentary short “My Dear Kyrgyzstan”. He is a co-founder of Documist and has received grants from the Sundance Institute, IDA Enterprise Fund, Catapult Fund and Doc Society. Pritz holds a Bachelor of Science from McGill University, where he studied Environmental Science and Philosophy. In 2012, he received an inaugural Dalai Lama Fellowship for his work developing film curricula alongside low-income communities in the Philippines and taught participatory film workshops for lawyers and human rights advocates around the world.For more go to: alexpritz.com

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96% on RottenTomatoes

“A stunningly intimate look at the stakes surrounding this conflict, shot over three years with remarkable clarity and beauty by Pritz and Tangãi Uru-eu-wau-wau, a member of the tribe.” – Amil Niazi, Globe and Mail

“The Territory is visually magnificent in its construction as it beholds all of this while remaining resolute as it confronts the bleak future ahead.” – Chase Hutchinson, Collider

“A harrowing, tense, and often frustrating experience, The Territory is an unmitigated success in capturing both sides of a problem.” – Christopher Cross, Tilt Magazine

“When settler Sergio says, “They don’t create anything, they just live there” as a justification for illegally encroaching on their land, the moral hollowness of capitalism lands like a sick thud.” – Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader

“This stunning eco-thriller shows a devastating reality. An incredible feat and first feature from Alex Pritz.” – Morgan Rojas, Cinemacy

“A primordial and exemplary cinematographic piece..” – Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla

One Man Dies a Million Times – Director Jessica Oreck

One Man Dies a Million Times chronicles the story of two young botanists as they fall in love as the world wages war around them. A record-breaking, desperate winter sets in and the city slowly, painfully, begins to starve to death. Savagery transplants civility. Maksim and Alyssa defend the seed bank and its priceless collection of edible specimens from  the starving masses of the city, the enemy, hordes of rats, and each other. Alyssa (Alyssa Lozovskaya) and Maksim (Maksim Blinov) both work at the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources in the center of the city. The Institute houses the world’s first seed bank—an irreplaceable trove of living genetic diversity which holds the potential both to preserve and transform modern agriculture. Part documentary, part legend, One Man Dies a Million Times is the true story of the seed bank and the botanists who worked there throughout the Siege of Leningrad (1941–1944). Though the characters portrayed in this film actually lived, and the events they experienced actually happened, this is not a reenactment. Director Jessica Oreck (Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga) and cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Her Smell, Frownland) artfully transplant their narrative from 1940’s Leningrad to a science fiction-inflected modern day.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: myriapodproductions.com/oneman

About the filmmaker – Director, Producer, Writer, Editor Jessica Oreck makes projects large and small that hope to re-inspire a sense of wonder about the world of the everyday. She’s made a few features (Beetle Queen Conquers TokyoAatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys, and The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga). And she makes shorts too. She has two animated series for TED and several series for the soon-to-launch, online, educational, children’s network. This is Jessica’s first fiction film.

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“One Man Dies a Million Times reflects a reckless ambition that it also, amazingly, fulfills…Jessica Oreck brings furious historical research and anguished empathy to the scientists’ struggle to survive and to protect the inestimable treasures that would nourish future lives…Sean Price Williams films in a hard and contrast-seared black-and-white palette. The images’ raw and tangled textures combine with the harrowing, turbulent action to evoke a Soviet-era super-spectacle rather than a low-budget American independent film.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Mesmerizing and meditative…a harrowing and lustrous black and white drama.” – Beatrice Loayza, MUBI Notebook

“[i]ncredible black-and-white imagery via Oreck’s regular collaborator, DP Sean Price Williams.” – Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine

“A haunting meditation on the nature of humanity and how to survive our own downfall.” – Christopher Reed, Hammer to Nail

“Mesmerizing, spellbinding and profoundly moving.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

Three Minutes – A Lengthening – Director Bianca Stigter

THREE MINUTES – A LENGTHENING explores the human stories hidden within the celluloid. This powerful and emotionally compelling documentary presents a home movie shot by David Kurtz in 1938 in a Jewish town in Poland and tries to postpone its ending. The film is a haunting essay about history and memory. As long as we are watching, history is not over yet. The three minutes of footage, mostly in color, are the only moving images left of the Jewish inhabitants of Nasielsk before the Holocaust. Those precious minutes are examined moment by moment to unravel the human stories hidden in the celluloid. Different voices enhance the images: Glenn Kurtz, grandson of David Kurtz, and Maurice Chandler, who appears in the footage as a young boy. AcademyAward winning filmmaker Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave). BAFTA Award winning actress Helena Bonham Carter narrates the film. Director Bianca Stigter joins us for a conversation on her own journey in pursuit of the people behind a providential 16mm home movie, finding an invaluable eye witness from Nasielsk, and working with the son of Glenn Kurtz, David.

 

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For news & screenings go to: superltd.com/three-minutes-a-lengthening

Watch Three Minutes – A Lengthening starting Friday, August 19th at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles and in New York at theQuad Cinemas 4

Director’s Statement As a child, David Kurtz emigrated from Poland to the United States. In 1938 he returned to Europe for a sightseeing trip and whilst there he visited Nasielsk, the town of his birth. Specifically for this trip, he bought a 16mm camera, then still a novelty rarely seen in a small town never visited by tourists. Eighty years later his ordinary pictures, most of them in color, have become something extraordinary. They are the only moving images that remain of Nasielsk prior to the Second World War. Almost all the people we see were murdered in the Holocaust. On Facebook, I stumbled upon a book written about this film, Three Minutes in Poland by Glenn Kurtz. The title fascinated me. I ordered the book and watched the footage, which can be found on the website of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. While watching, I wondered: could you make those three minutes last longer, to keep the past in the present? –  Bianca Stigter

About the filmmaker – Writer and Director  Bianca Stigter is a historian and cultural critic. She made the short film essays Three Minutes -Thirteen Minutes – Thirty Minutes (2014) and I Kiss This Letter – Farewell Letters from Amsterdammers (2018). She is associate producer of Steve McQueen’s feature films 12 Years a Slave and Widows. In 2019 she published the book Atlas of an Occupied City: Amsterdam 1940-1945

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“There is a lengthening here – but also a shortening of the emotional distance between us the viewer and those caught on camera.” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

“A powerful, essential piece of filmmaking.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“The history itself is devastating, but Stigter recognizes a tragedy still unfolding in how fragile the stock it’s printed on is.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“A masterpiece that uses the medium of cinema with exemplary creativity and passion to preserve history and create a monument.”Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla

“An original and incisive meditation on history, memory, memorials and the very nature of celluloid.” – Alissa Simon, Variety

Free Chol Soo Lee – Co-directors Julie Ha and Eugene Yi

Co-directors Julie Ha and Eugene Yi damning documentary begins on June 3, 1973 with the of a man was murdered in a busy intersection of San Francisco’s Chinatown as part of an ongoing gang war. Chol Soo Lee, a 20-year-old Korean immigrant, who had previous run-ins with the law, was arrested and convicted based on flimsy evidence and the eyewitness accounts  of white tourists who couldn’t distinguish between Asian features. Sentenced to life in prison, Chol Soo Lee would spend years fighting to survive behind bars before journalist K.W. Lee took an interest in his case. The intrepid reporter’s investigation would galvanize a first-of-its-kind pan-Asian American grassroots movement to fight for Chol Soo Lee’s freedom, ultimately inspiring a new generation of social justice activists. Revisiting this pivotal yet largely forgotten story, filmmakers Eugene Yi and Julie Ha draw from a rich archive as well as firsthand accounts of those inspired to come to Lee’s defense. But even as Free Chol Soo Lee explores this miscarriage of justice, the film also reveals the man behind the cause, and the complex legacy — and human cost — of becoming the symbol of a movement.

 

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For updates go to: fcsl-film.com

Where to watch go to: /mubi.com/freecholsoolee

About the filmmaker – Julie Ha’s storytelling career spans more than two decades, in both ethnic and mainstream media, with a specialized focus on Asian American stories. She worked as an editor for 10 years at KoreAm Journal, a national Korean American magazine, and served as its editor-in-chief from 2011 to 2014, during which time she led award-winning coverage of the 20-year anniversary of the Los Angeles riots. She has written for the Hartford Courant in Connecticut, the Rafu Shimpo, a Los Angeles-based Japanese American newspaper, and the Los Angeles Times. Her feature stories have earned her awards from New American Media and the Society of Professional Journalists.  In 2018 the Korea Economic Institute of America honored her for her contributions to journalism. A graduate of UCLA, where she studied English-American Studies and worked as a student editor, she is a past board secretary of the Asian American Journalists Association, Los Angeles Chapter, and a founding board member of the late ’90s reboot of Gidra, a progressive Asian American magazine that originated in 1969. Free Chol Soo Lee, which made its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, is her first documentary film.

About the filmmaker – Eugene Yi is a filmmaker, editor and journalist. His film editing work has premiered at Berlin International Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, TriBeCa Film Festival, and others. Selected titles include the Emmy-nominated Farewell Ferris Wheel, a documentary about guestworkers in the carnival industry, and Out of My Hand, a fiction-documentary hybrid which was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival. His web video work has been in The New York Times, CNN, Frontline, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed News, Al Jazeera, and Deadspin. He served as assistant editor on Inside Job (2010), which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. He was named one of the 2017 National MediaMaker Fellows with the Bay Area Video Coalition, for Free Chol Soo Lee. He teaches at the Edit Center, a school for film editing based in Brooklyn. Yi’s print journalism has been honored with numerous awards, including the LA Press Club Award for his oral history of the 1992 Los Angeles unrest from the Korean American perspective for KoreAm Journal. He is a native of Los Angeles and a graduate of Brown University, where he studied neuroscience.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“A loving depiction of a lonely and often misunderstood man.” – Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter

“As much as it celebrates the exoneration of its subject, a Korean immigrant in California named Chol Soo Lee, this documentary… is concerned with how the consequences of the failure of justice rippled through the rest of his life.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“It deliberately and pointedly asks far more questions than it can ever answer, questions it quietly implores the audience to take home, to debate, to take to the ballot box and the court room.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“Ha and Yi combine careful editing and sensitive direction to ultimately deliver a shocking and sobering insight into a normal guy, whose only ‘crime’ is looking different” – Katie Smith-Wong, Flick Feast

“Directors Julie Ha and Eugene Yi craft a powerful indictment of systemic racism and the criminal justice system, while providing Lee a chance to have agency and tell his story through his own words.” – Josh Flanders, Chicago Reader

Five Summer Stories – Co-director Greg MacGillivray (Jim Freeman)

Greg MacGillivray and Jim Freeman were already celebrated for producing gold standard surf films when, in 1972, they released FIVE SUMMER STORIES. They were two young Southern California filmmakers who entered the surf-film world in the mid-‘60s. FIVE SUMMER STORIES originated as a “farewell to surfing” from the talented duo, who were being courted by Hollywood and ready leave the surf-film world for other creative work. They handpicked great sequences they hadn’t used yet, secured legendary cinematographer Bud Browne for new material, and wove all the elements together into a series of stories. They topped it off with original music from the band Honk and classic songs of the Beach Boys and suddenly you have an enduring cinema classic. From the allure of its Rick Griffin poster art to its tightly framed ultra-slow-motion camera work, this was a state-of-the-art film that authentically, and often humorously, captured the state of a sport. Since its initial release FIVE SUMMER STORIES has toured America 10 times in four successive versions that played to more than a million people, many of them surfers and many more that had never even touched a surfboard! Although very much in the surf film genre, FIVE SUMMER STORIES raised the art form to a new level and set the standard for the next two decades. Even today, it remains the standard by which all surf films are artistically measured. Co-director Greg MacGillivray joins us for a conversation on the long, strange trip that FIVE SUMMER STORIES has been for his soaring career, how it allowed him and MacGillivray / Freeman Film to become world’s leading producer and distributor of giant screen (IMAX) films. 

 

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For news and screenings go to: fivesummerstories.com

For more on their films go to: macgillivrayfreeman.com

For more go to: macgillivrayfreeman.com/five-summer-stories

About the filmmaker – Greg MacGillivray has been producing and directing award-winning films for more than 50 years. He started making films when he was just 13 and later partnered with Jim Freeman to form MacGillivray Freeman Films in 1966. He loves the continual chess game of making a film, where each move affects every element. Today, he has more than 60 films to his credit, including over 40 IMAX productions. Since the 1976 production of his first IMAX film, To Fly!, Greg has produced some of the most enduring films in the giant-screen genre. He has shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history and is the first documentary filmmaker to reach the $1 billion benchmark in worldwide ticket sales. Greg has received two Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject: first in 1995 for The Living Sea, and then in 2000 for Dolphins. In 2002, the Giant Screen Theater Association honored Greg as one of the five most important contributors to the success of the industry. That same year, Greg accepted the Bradford Washburn Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Museum of Science in Boston, for his contribution to science education. For more go to: macgillivrayfreeman.com/team

 
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“My favorite surf movie of all time.” – Laird Hamilton

“Dazzling” – Rolling Stone

“The greatest surf movie ever made” – Sam George, Surfline

“An incredible barrage of audio-visual stimulus.” – Surfer Magazine

The Legend of Molly Johnson – Director Leah Purcell

THE LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON drops us into Australia in 1893 on an isolated property, where a heavily pregnant woman named Molly Johnson (Leah Purcell) and her children struggle to survive the harsh Australian landscape; her husband is gone, droving sheep in the high country. Molly then finds herself confronted by a shackled Aboriginal fugitive named Yadaka (Rob Collins). As an unlikely bond begins to form between them, secrets unravel about her true identity. Meanwhile, realizing Molly’s husband is missing, new town lawman Nate Clintoff becomes suspicious and sends his constable to investigate. The deadly encounter between Molly, Yadaka and the constable results in a tragic chain of events with Molly becoming a symbol of feminism and anti-racism. THE  LEGEND OF MOLLY JOHNSON is a reimagining of Leah Purcell’s acclaimed play and Henry Lawson’s classic short story. Director, producer and co-screenwriter Leah Purcell joins us for a conversation on her searing Australian revenge tale and a stark revisionist Western, and a film that offers a powerful new interrogation of Australian history and a universal story of what a mother will do to protect her children.

 

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For updates & screenings go to: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/the-drovers-wife

About the filmmaker – Leah Purcell is a multi-award winning director, actor, producer, screenwriter and showrunner.. She has written and directed landmark Australian film, television and theatrical work now part of the Indigenous canon such as Box the PonyRedfern NowCleverman, The Secret Daughter and The Drover’s Wife.  At the core of Leah’s storytelling are female and First Nations themes, characters and issues. The Drover’s Wife The Legend of Molly Johnson film started its life as a play, The Drover’s Wife written by and starring Purcell, which premiered in late 2016.  The play swept the board during the 2017 awards season, winning the Australian equivalent of the Tony, Pulitzer, Olivier, Peabody and Booker Prize awards for Literature, Theatre and Excellence in Writing.  The play was then adapted in to a screenplay alsowritten by, directed and starring Leah Purcell and is slated for a late 2021 release.

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80% on RottenTomatoes

“A riveting debut. Purcell’s supreme acting takes center stage.” – Debbie Zhou, The Guardian

“A wholly confident, brutal appraisal of Australia’s colonial history.” – Roxana Hadadi, Pajiba

“An engrossing thriller. Purcell throws herself into the central role with fiery conviction.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“This riveting film from an anti-colonial, feminist, First Nations lens is something to be celebrated.” – Stephen A. Russell, Time Out

“Wow, Leah Purcell, wow. With The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, you have made an instant classic in Australian film.” – Stephen Romei, The Australian

Claydream – Director Marq Evans

In the engaging and illuminating documentary from director Marq Evans takes us into the world of the “Father of Claymation,” Will Vinton as he revolutionized the animation business during the 1980s and 90s, creating such iconic characters as the California Raisins and Domino’s The Noid. But after thirty years of being the unheralded king of clay, Vinton’s carefully sculpted American dream came crumbling down. Structured around interviews with this charismatic pioneer and his close collaborators, along with a treasure trove of clips of their work together, CLAYDREAM charts  the rise and fall of the Oscar®- and Emmy®-winning Will Vinton Studios. Director, screenwriter and producer Marq Evans joins us for a conversation on the challenges of bringing to life the battle between art and commerce in this affectionate, insightful portrait of an artist who put so much of himself into his craft.

 

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For news and screenings go to: claydream.oscilloscope.net

About the filmmaker – Marq Evans is an award-winning independent filmmaker and creative entrepreneur. His most recent documentary, CLAYDREAM, premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival to critical acclaim. His debut feature film, THE GLAMOUR & THE SQUALOR, won top prize at film festivals around the world and was named one of the Top 20 music documentaries of all time by American Songwriter. He is represented by XYZ Talent Management. In addition to film, Marq has produced commercials for clients including the Smithsonian Institute, U.S. Navy, the government of Haiti and Clinton Global Initiative. With his wife, Angela, and son, Jude, Marq leads The McCaw, a boutique creative studio. The family business creates film, books, photography and other unclassifiable works such as the Cow by Bear dinner party experience. Marq holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Washington State University. He lives and works in Bremerton, Washington where he teaches Digital Filmmaking at Olympic College.

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95% on RottenTomatoes

“A must for animation history fans! Answers almost all that you ever wondered about the rise and fall of “Claymation” – and its corporate re-birth as Laika Studios.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Maven’s Nest

“The story of a pioneer of American animation, and how he was denied his rightful place.” – Stephen Silver, Tilt Magazine

“The career-highlights structure is perhaps overly familiar, but “Claydream” benefits from extensive interviews with Vinton and his many associates, and from the fact that Claymation is an engaging onscreen subject.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“Through copious clips of studio work and bittersweet interviews with Vinton, his former colleagues, and his family members, we get a sense of both his strengths and weaknesses.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, TheWrap

“Evans’ take on Vinton is sympathetic, but his film’s strength is its attention to the complexities of a man who was closed off from his own feelings.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

Bliss – Director Henrika Kull

Director Henrika Kull’s new film BLISS drops us into a world where women and their femininity are considered a commodity. The story centers of two sex workers, Sascha (Katherina Behrens) and Maria (Adam Hoya) fall in love with each other. Together – and yet each on her own – they experience the one moment when happiness seems possible – but their love is threatened by different ideas of life and their own personal abysses. Director, screenwriter, editor, casting director, Henrika Kull (Jibril, Intimate Distance) joins us for a conversation on her inspiration for the story behind BLISS, shooting inside a working brothel, recognizing the workplace normalcy taking place there and weaving brilliant performances from her two lead actors, Katharina Behrens (Sascha) and Adam Hoya (Maria) into this raw and passionate film.

For more go to: flare-film.com/bliss

 

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“This is a pointed, candid drama.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“The world of prostitution eclipses the love story between the protagonists… realizing themselves in one of the most stigmatized trades in the world. However, the end result is novel and for many, perhaps a tad irreverent. “ – Carlos Bonfil, La Jornada

“Bliss is one of those films whose craft may not immediately be apparent to the average viewer, but it’s a beautifully constructed piece of work.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“A refreshing and thought provoking love story between two sex workers that throw up questions regarding identity, vulnerability and attraction.” – Rosalynn Try-Hane, Liquid Marmalade

A Love Song – Director Max Walker-Silverman

Faye (Dale Dickey) is a lone traveler biding her time fishing, birding and stargazing at a rural Colorado campground as she awaits the arrival of Lito (Wes Studi), a figure from her past who is navigating his own tentative and nomadic journey across the rugged West. Like the country music that has traditionally channeled the heartbreak and resilience of Americans in search of themselves     and others, A Love Song weaves a lyrical and ultimately joyful refrain out of the transformative act of being alone —and reminds us that the mysteries of love can transform us at any age. Director Max Walker-Silverman (Lefty/Righty) joins us for a conversation on how his homegrown film project became viable, his dream to get Dale Dickey (Winter’s Bone, Leave No Trace) and Wes Studi (Last of the Mohicans , Dances with Wolves) to sign on to A Love Song, and striking a delicate balance in the film between the bittersweet notion of love lost, hope, tenderness and cosmic comedy.

 

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For updates go to: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/a-love-song

For screenings go to: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/theaters-a-love-song

About the filmmaker – Max Walker-Silverman grew up in Telluride and has been employed as a cowhand, literary editor and community organizer in addition to his work as a writer and director. These days, his work revolves around the kindness found in the American West and his films have been awarded the Kodak Vision Award, the SXSW Special Jury Prize and a Vimeo Staff Pick, among others. His latest work includes short films Lefty/Righty (Mountainfilm 2019) and Chuj Boys of Summer (Mountainfilm 2021).

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95% on RottenTomatoes

“Make no mistake: A Love Song is, first and foremost, a love letter to Dickey… It’s the sort of performance that makes you stop taking great actors for granted.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

““A Love Song” has the narrative economy and the sneaky emotional power of a well-crafted short story, plus a feel for isolation and rootlessness that harks back to some of the great drifter portraits of American independent cinema.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“Slow, sweet and subdued, “A Love Song,” Max Walker-Silverman’s lovely first feature, is about late-life longing and needs that never completely go away.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

“Both Dickey and Studi deliver deeply spiritual performances, harmonizing their gazes and bodily moves in an achingly restrained dance, against nature’s mystical grandeur.” – Tomris Laffly, Harper’s Bazaar

Lie Hard – Director Ian Niles

LIE HARD follows Rob Smart (Ian Niles) a compulsive liar with an out-of-his-league girlfriend, Katie (Melanie Chandra). After Rob makes a poor impression on Katie’s wealthy father (Patrick Kilpatrick) Rob aims to impress him by borrowing millions of dollars from Big Sally, a vicious crime boss (Catherine Curtin), to purchase a mansion and fake his own wealth. After his plan succeeds and Rob is welcomed by Katie’s family with open arms, the crime boss alters the deal and Rob needs to scramble to pay the money back by the end of the week. Big Sally leverages Rob’s job at a real estate development company to get him to sabotage contracts in her favor, her scheme all along. Unfortunately for Rob, the weight of his lies gets him fired, rendering the scheme useless and putting Rob further into jeopardy. Like all of his dishonest plans, this one spirals out of control as well. Will Rob survive through the night? Director, screenwriter and lead actor Ian Niles (Millenniums, A Mother’s Greatest Fear, Black Water) joins us to talk about the inspiration for the film, demolishing a “mansion” in service to the story and wrangling together a top-notch cast of talented actors that includes Melanie Chandra, Catherine Curtin, Joel Marsh Garland, Alysia Reiner, Claire Coffee, Patrick Kilpatrick, Jordan Lane Price, Karalynn Dunton, Ari Barkan, Adam Lindo, Sean Patrick Folster, Sid O’Connell, Mellini Kantayya, Chris Jarell, and Peter Reznikoff..

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Alex’s War – Director Alex Lee Moyer

WHO IS ALEX JONES? Is he a dangerous lunatic or a patriotic hero? Does he even believe the things he says? Everyone has a strong opinion. And per usual in today’s America, both sides cannot agree on the basic facts. Alex’s War is an unprecedented close examination of this guarded, mythic figure, and the story of the fracturing of the American narrative—through the eyes of this man who helped break it. Building around Jones’ first ever independent long-form interviews, behind-the- scenes footage from his studio and rallies, and full access to the Infowars archives, acclaimed director Alex Lee Moyer (TFW NO GF, SXSW, 2020) traces the twenty-five year rollercoaster of a career that brings him to the manic election in the winter of 2020 – a moment Jones sees not just as the culmination of his lifelong mission, but the decisive point in the fate of humanity. Director Alex Lee Moyer joins us for a conversation on the importance of not shying away from who Alex Jones is, where he came from, why he is so appeals to so many and the importance of understanding the political maelstrom that birthed him.

For updates and screenings go to: alexswar.com

About the filmmaker – In 2020, director, producer, screenwriter, editor Alex Lee Moyer made her debut as a director with the independent low-budget documentary TFW NO GF—  which became the sleeper hit of SXSW, going viral in a week-long Amazon COVID run that attracted both widespread acclaim and controversy. Critics called it “memorably unnerving,” “a layered, fascinating  exploration of a subculture,” and even “the defining  documentary of our generation.” Alex’s War (2022) is Moyer’s second documentary feature film. 

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A Run For More – Director Ray Whitehouse and Subject Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe

A RUN FOR MORE is an intimate cinema-vérité look at Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe’s brave and arduous campaign to become the first trans woman to run for city council in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. As a corporate executive, political campaigner, military spouse, and proud Latinx daughter of immigrants, Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe is used to fighting for other people’s causes, but this time it’s personal. Filmed over the course of three years, this moving documentary follows Frankie as she embarks on her 2019 campaign,  drawing on the strength she needed when recovering from a pre-transition assault. Now happily married to a loving, supportive husband and surrounded by a loyal team of volunteers and  friends, Frankie takes on the fight of her life. A RUN FOR  MORE follows Frankie’s political and personal journey of discovery over the course of her historic campaign, and what she uncovers about herself along the way is as eye-opening as the reactions she receives from the community she hopes to represent. Director Ray Whitehouse and Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe join us for a conversation on the mutual decision to move forward on documenting not just the public facing campaign of running for city council, but allowing Whitehouse and his crew into their home, as well as, bracing for the reaction, positive and negative, that comes when marginalized people speak up.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: arunformore.com

About the filmmaker – Ray Whitehouse works at the intersection of documentary film and journalism. After growing up in Chicago, he lived in San Antonio, Texas, before moving to Washington, D.C. He served as the second unit director of photography on TO THE END, directed by Rachel Lears, which premiered at Sundance in 2022. BRING THEM HOME, a documentary short he co-directed and DP’d, premiered at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2022. He’s worked as a cinematographer on more than 20 documentary features and filmed, produced and edited projects for The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, and Univision, among others. He is community coordinator for the D.C. chapter of Video Consortium and a regional co-chair of the Documentary Producers Alliance. He holds an M.A. in documentary journalism from UNC Chapel Hill and a B.S. in journalism from Northwestern University. The core tenets of his practice are transparency, collaboration and critical reflexivity.

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Bad Axe – Director David Siev

Director and son, David Siev leaves his apartment in New York City to head back to his rural hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan. His arrival comes at a time when the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is making itself felt across much of the Mid-West. In this insightful and intimate documentary, BAD AXE, Asian-American filmmaker, David Siev, documents his family’s struggles to keep their restaurant open just as racialized fears surrounding the virus grow and deep generational scars dating back to his parent’s history in the Cambodian Killing Fields are unearth between the family’s patriarch, Chun, and his daughter, Jaclyn surface. When the BLM movement takes center stage in America, the family uses their voice to speak out in their town where Trumpism runs deep. What unfolds is a real-time portrait of 2020 through the lens of this multicultural family’s fight to keep their American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, the trauma of having survived a genocide and generational scars from the Khmer Rouge era that ravaged Cambodia. Director and subject David Siev joins us to talk about his family’s resolve in the face of physical threats, balancing privacy with the importance of telling a story that ultimately reveals universal truths about the state of political discourse and community in a post-Trump world.

 

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For updates and news go to: facebook.com/badaxefilm

About the filmmaker – David Siev – Director /Producer/ Cinematographer – After graduating from the University of Michigan, David Siev left his small Midwest town of Bad Axe, MI for Los Angeles. He landed a home at Jeff Tremaine’s production company, Gorilla Flicks, where he spent several years finessing the art of guerrilla filmmaking. As a jack of all trades filmmaker, David holds producing, camera, and consulting credits on everything from hidden-camera blockbuster comedies like BAD TRIP (Netflix) to rock and roll biopics such as THE DIRT (Netflix). David first made waves in the Asian-American festival circuit with the debut of his award-winning short film, YEAR ZERO. The film would go on to win Best Narrative Short awards from the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Manhattan International Film Festival, and several others. David currently lives in New York where he is now focused on writing and directing his own projects.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“While the documentary refrains from giving family members clear direction on how to mitigate their fears and anxieties, they have each other. That familial strength is what injects this poignant documentary with so much optimism.” – Andrew Stover, Film Threat

“A deeply personal film that feels essential when we tell the story of how 2020 shaped this country.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“With as much as Bad Axe presents, it’s not offering solutions, and that’s fine. It’s asking a lot for a director’s feature debut to find answers for things like PTSD, systemic racism, pandemics, and political strife.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“If you’ve made any missteps when it comes to how you changed your life… you’ll be able to see a lot of the messy artistic truth in Bad Axe — and it’s even easier to find emotional resonance in this family saga.” – Dan Fienberg Hollywood Reporter

“With as much as Bad Axe presents, it’s not offering solutions, and that’s fine. It’s asking a lot for a director’s feature debut to find answers for things like PTSD, systemic racism, pandemics, and political strife.” – Therese Lacson, Collider

Medusa – Director Anita Rocha da Silveira

In Director Anita Rocha da Silveira’s provocative new film MEDUSA, Mari and her friends broadcast their spiritual devotion through pastel pinks and catchy evangelical songs about purity and perfection, but underneath it all, they harbor a deep rage. By day they hide behind their manicured facade, and by night they form a masked, vigilante girl gang, prowling the streets in search of sinners who have deviated from the rightful path. After an attack goes wrong, leaving Mari scarred and unemployed, her view of community, religion, and her peers begin to shift. Nightmares of repressed desires and haunting visions of alluring temptation become undeniable and the urge to scream and release her paralyzing inner demons is more powerful than ever before. A neon-tinged genre-bender that gives provocative form to the overwhelming feminine fury coursing through modern life, MEDUSA dares us not to look away. Director Anita Rocha da Silveira stops by to talk about the subversive take on cultural norms and gender conformity as experienced through the prism of regressive religious doctrine, vigilante justice and a corrupt political system.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: musicboxfilms.com/medusa

About the filmmaker – Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, director, writer and editor Anita Rocha da Silveira has directed three short films: The Noon Vampire (2008),  Handball (2010), winner of the FIPRESCI Award at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen), and The Living Dead (2012), Cannes Directors’ Fortnight. Her first feature, Kill Me Please (2015), was screened in the Orizzonti section at Venice International Film Festival, New Directors/New Films and SXSW, among others. Medusa (2021) is her second feature film.

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83% on RottenTomatoes

“Compelling… a queasily satirical take on matters of sex and violence among emotionally flammable youth… [with an] explicit sociopolitical critique. – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Da Silveira sets a tone that nimbly flows between comedy, mystery and discomforting satire.” Demetrious Matheou, Screen Daily

“An electrifying work of art.”Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat

“There’s plenty to like here: gorgeous cinematography… propulsive synth beats… and stellar performances.”Jarek Mobarek, The Film Stage

“Da Silveira’s film seeks to dismantle this very concept of the monstrous woman, and especially how women themselves uphold it.” – Marya E. Gates, RogerEbert.com

Queen of Glory – Director Nana Mensah

In Nana Mensah’s beautifully realized feature film debut, QUEEN OF GLORY,  Sarah Obeng (Nana Mensah),  a doctoral student at Columbia University, is weeks away from following her very married boyfriend to Ohio when her mother dies suddenly. Her inheritance? A small, but beloved, Christian bookstore in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx where she was raised in the tight-knit Ghanian immigrant community. Tasked with planning a culturally respectful funeral befitting the family matriarch, Sarah must juggle the expectations of her loving yet demanding family while navigating the reappearance of her estranged father all while grappling with what to do with the bookstore. Aided by an only-in-New York ensemble of Eastern European neighbors, feisty African aunties and a no-nonsense ex-con co-worker, Sarah faces her new responsibilities while figuring out how to remain true to herself. Director / writer / lead actor Nana Mensah joins us for a conversation on her belated decision to tackle her multi-hyphenated roles in making the film, spotlighting Ghanian culture and assembling a very talented cast of actors able to do justice to the poignant portrayals that lift Queen of Glory into the realm of something truly special.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: filmmovement.com/queen-of-glory

Aside from capturing the “Best New Narrative Director” Award at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, QUEEN OF GLORY also won the “Best Feature Film” at the San Diego International Film Festival, the “Excellence in Directing” Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival and “Best Narrative Feature” and the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Among its many festival nominations, QUEEN OF GLORY received a pair at the 2022 Film Independent Spirit Awards including “Best First Feature.”

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86% on RottenTomatoes

“Nana Mensah’s winning indie.. generates endearing pathos

from a story whose familiarity is offset by its humor and authenticity. “ – Nick Schager, Variety

“Mensah’s tightly conceived, witty and compassionate dark comedy

is a love letter to children of Ghanaian immigrants and to the Bronx.” – Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter

“In Queen of Glory, writer-director-star Nana Mensah has put forth a striking New York story that is both hopeful and true to life. Mensah proves herself as a triple-threat, marking the beginning of a bright new face in indie film.” – M.J. O’Toole, Hammer to Nail

“Queen of Glory is funny and charming, bringing an intensely relatable tone and familiar story with a new edge.” – Rebecca Cherry, Film Carnage

“[Nana] Mensah couldn’t have crafted a more impressive display

for her many talents.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

How To Please A Woman – Director Renée Webster

Gina (Sally Phillips) is turning fifty and not feeling fabulous. When she is dismissed from her role in a liquidation company, she knows future job prospects for someone her age are slim. Gina despairs of what her future might hold. In this beguiling, sweet hearted comedy, HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN, Gina is taken by surprise when for her fiftieth birthday a male sex worker, a gift sent by her girlfriends, offers to do anything she wants. She asks him to do for her what no one else will – she has him clean her house. Amused and delighted, her friends wish for a sexy cleaner themselves, sparking a new career for Gina who decides to employ the entire male removals team as house cleaners…with benefits. Written and directed by Renée Webster, and starring Sally Phillips (Bridget Jones’s Diary, VEEP). HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN is a precarious, often hilarious and revealing journey into the vulnerable world of what women really want and how hard it can be to get it right.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: how-to-please-a-woman

HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN will open in Los Angeles at Laemmle Monica, as well as in Seattle, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Santa Barbara and other cities on July 22. HOW TO PLEASE A WOMAN will be available on VOD beginning July 29, 2022.

Director’s Statement – I wanted to make a film that would come roaring out of left field and aim at your heart. I also wanted to really find meaningful ways to explore one of our themes of female sexual empowerment. There is a lot of sexual content in the film, but I don’t sexualize the visual representation of women. Instead, we honor what women look like, and I give sexual stories to women in that huge, under explored area of those ‘no longer young, and not yet old.’ – Renée Webster

About the filmmaker – As both Writer and Director Renée Webster is known for her ability to emotionally reach her audience, across a range of genres and formats. Renée was nominated for a 2020 ADG award for her directing on THE HEIGHTS. Renée’s short film SCOFF secured awards and festival screenings world-wide, including Berlin Asia Pacific Film Fest (Berlin), LA Short Shorts Film Festival, Hampton Film Festival (New York), High Falls (New York), Female Eye Toronto Film Festival and All Time Best Shorts, London Australian Film Festival. Her second short film EDGAR AND ELIZABETH garnered awards and festival screenings including: World of Comedy Film Festival (Toronto), Short Shorts (Tokyo), St Louis International Film Festival (USA), Moondance International Film Festival (USA – Most Popular Film list), Rochester International Film Festival (Best of the Fest), Rushes Soho Shorts UK and Brisbane International Film Festival (Top 5 Most Popular Films).

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“This is a rare film that makes you feel lighter, fresher, and fully revitalised after watching it. It’s the kind of film that you want to spend hours talking with your friends about, reminiscing about how you could relate to what you’ve just seen.” – Andrew F. Peirce, The Curb

“It’s a relatable film that touches on many of the frustrations that plague a generation of women who have been made to feel invisible.” –  Wenlei Ma, News.com.au

“Most definitely not for the prudish or faint-hearted, How to Please a Woman is a raucous, if slightly ragged tale.” – James Croot, Stuff.co.nz

“Its candour is engaging and so, too, is the camaraderie between Gina and her pals, male and female.” – Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald

“This is a surprisingly sensitive (considering the set-up could have come from a 70s sex comedy) look at what it is that women want, and it turns out it’s a man who’s good at cleaning and good in bed” – Anthony Morris, It’s Better in the Dark

My Old School – Director Jono McLeod

MY OLD SCHOOL re-tells the unbelievable story of 16-year-old Brandon Lee.  In 1993 Brandon enrolled at Bearsden Academy, a secondary school in a well-to-do suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. What followed over the next two years would become the stuff of legend. Brandon had been privately tutored in Canada while he accompanied his mother, an opera diva, on tour before her tragic  death. The preternaturally bright student surprised teachers by blazing toward his goal of entering medical school, displaying a wealth of knowledge beyond his years. Brandon found friends despite his initial awkwardness, taking bullied students under his wing, introducing  classmates to seminal retro bands, and even starring in the school’s production of South Pacific. But then his unbelievable secret was revealed.  Filmmaker Jono McLeod returns to his old school for a   nostalgic look at the strange but true story of his former classmate, Brandon Lee. Utilizing playful, period-specific animation, a pitch-perfect soundtrack, the memories of students and teachers, and the talents of Alan Cumming to bring the tale to life, MY OLD SCHOOL offers more than one surprise along the way. With so many shocking twists and turns, MY OLD SCHOOL pushes the idea of documentary storytelling beyond a traditional lineage. 

 

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For updates and screenings go to: magpictures.com/myoldschool

MY OLD SCHOOL is opening in Los Angeles on Friday, July 29 theatrically.

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93% on RottenTomatoes

“The most brilliant aspect of McLeod’s project: He’s built a virtual time machine of sorts, one that invites everybody to head back to their old school in their minds.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“One of those unbelievable true stories so wild it must be true, Jono McLeod’s entertaining documentary “My Old School” is a must see.” – Nate Adams, The Only Critic

“Deliciously compelling…” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter

“This exceedingly creative and endlessly clever look back at a mysterious new student at a Scottish high school… works its true-crime storyline in a way that sticks with you as much as the more “serious” nonfiction entries.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

“A fascinating mystery, a weird case study and an unalloyed delight.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Murina – Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

Winner of the Caméra d’Or at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival

Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović latest film, MURINA, is set on a remote island along Croatia’s Adriatic coast.  Seventeen-year-old Julija (Gracija Filipovic) spends her days diving for eel with her domineering father Ante (Leon Lucev) and watching other teens party on a nearby yacht. Julija bristles at Ante’s heavy handed cruelty and resents her mother Nela’s (Danica Curcic) passivity. She longs for independence but is unsure how to achieve it, until the arrival of the rich and mysterious Javier seems to offer a way out. Once Ante’s employer and Nela’s lover, Javier (Cliff Curtis) flirts shamelessly with Nela and Julija, setting off a subtle battle of hyper-masculine one-upmanship that pushes Ante to humiliate and control Julija even more. Flattered by Javier’s praise and stories of traveling the world, Julija sees him as the solution to all her problems. But does his affection portend freedom, or something more sinister? Winner of the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, lensed by award-winning cinematographer Hélène Louvart (THE LOST DAUGHTER), and Executive Produced by Martin  Scorsese, MURINA features a ferocious, star-making central performance by Gracija Filipović and the most sumptuous images of the Mediterranean since THE BIG BLUE. Equal parts fiery feminist outcry and stirring coming-of-age drama, the film announces director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović as a major new talent in world cinema.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: kinolorber.com/film/murina

MURINA will open theatrically on Friday, July 8th at Metrograph in New York, and on Friday, July 15th at Laemmle Theatres in Los Angeles with rollout to select cities.

About the filmmaker – Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović is a New York based writer, director, and producer born in Dubrovnik. Her directorial feature debut, Murina – a tense family drama set on an isolated island off the Croatian coast – won Camera D’or for the best first feature film at the 74th Cannes Film Festival. Her short Into The Blue was awarded at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for a Student Academy Award. Antoneta is an alumna of the Residence du Festival of Cinefondation, Jerusalem Film Lab, the Berlinale Talent Lab, Sarajevo Talent Lab, La Femis Producing Atelier and Marcie Bloom Fellowship. She holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University in New York, and a Masters in Producing from the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Zagreb, Croatia.

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92% on RottenTomatoes

An exceptional debut. The perfect, darkly dazzling vehicle for a sunshine noir.” – Jessica Kiang, VARIETY

“A superb study in sustained subliminal menace…this tense

drama takes aim at the patriarchy with sinister restraint.” – Tim Grierson, SCREEN INTERNATIONAL

“Murina is a triumph of familial tension and a spectacular feature debut.” – Christopher Cross, Tilt Magazine

“A sensory explosion. Masterful direction. Exquisite cinematography.

An intoxicating deep dive into oppression, the taste of freedom.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ

“A vivid picture of a troubled paradise.” – Steve Pond, THE WRAP

Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down – Co-directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Co-directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s latest documentary GABBY GIFFORDS WON’T BACK DOWN tells the extraordinary story of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, her relentless fight to recover following an assassination attempt in 2011, and her new life as one of the most effective activists in the battle for gun violence prevention and in promoting understanding of the language condition aphasia. Featuring extensive verité filming of Gabby and her husband, astronaut-turned-Senator Mark Kelly; interviews with President Barack Obama and other friends and colleagues; and exclusive access to stunning videos taken in the weeks following her near-death experience, this film is the story of a rising star transformed by an act of violence, and a close-up portrait of the marriage that sustains her.  Co-directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West join us for a conversation on the indomitable spirit of a bright young woman who refuses to give up, the nexus of gun violence and American politics and their own commitment to using their journalism background to create compelling portraits of extraordinary people.

 

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For screenings and updates go to: briarcliffentertainment.com

About the filmmaker – Director and Producer Betsy West is a filmmaker, journalist and professor. She co-directed RBG (Magnolia, Participant, CNN Films 2018,) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She is a 21-time Emmy Award winner for her work as an ABC News producer and EP of the documentary series Turning Point. As Vice President at CBS News from 1998 to 2005, she oversaw 60 Minutes and 48 Hours. She was executive producer of the MAKERS (AOL & PBS) documentary and digital series, the documentary The Lavender Scare, and the short doc The 4%: Film’s Gender Problem (Epix). She is the Fred W. Friendly professor at Columbia Journalism School.  Find out more at: storyville.org

About the filmmaker – Director and Producer Julie Cohen has directed and produced nine feature documentaries, including RBG (Magnolia, Participant, CNN Films), The Sturgeon Queens (7th Art Releasing/PBS); and American Veteran (Freestyle). She has won a duPont Columbia Award, two Gracie Awards, three New York Emmy Awards and the 2017 Panavision Showcase Award for best New York filmmaker. Before she started making documentaries, Julie was a staff producer for Dateline NBC and the creator and producer of Supreme Court Watch on Court TV. She holds a B.A. from Colgate and master’s degrees from Columbia Journalism School and Yale Law School. Find out more at: storyville.org

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s a beautiful film about a beautiful soul.” – Phil Villarreal, ABC Tucson

“It takes a first-rate intelligence to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time, as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote. In a film that suggests what might have been and what is, Giffords proves first-rate.” – Lisa Kennedy, Variety

“Harrowing, sad and inspiring in equal measures…”  Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

“A truly inspirational offering an almost verite kind of fly-on-the-wall account of what can only be termed as a comeback story like no other.” – Pete Hammond, Deadline Hollywood Daily

“This film represents more than a politician’s success story: it embodies grief, dignity, and above all, love.” – Dina Barrish, Austin Chronicle

Good Madam – Director Jenny Cato Bass and Screenwriter Babalwa Baartman

The  harrowing story of the GOOD MADAM, begins with the death of her grandmother, the woman who raised her, Tsidi (Chumisa Cosa) and her daughter are forced to move in with Tsidi’s estranged mother, Mavis (Nosipho Mtebe), who has lived and worked in the wealthy suburbs of Cape Town for most of Tsidi’s life. Residues of apartheid-era domestic servitude confront legacies of colonial land theft in South African auteur Jenna Cato Bass’s daring horror-satire. Jenna Cato Bass (High Fantasy, Flatland) transforms the legacies of South Africa’s colonial land theft and Black domestic service to white bosses into a gutsy psychological thriller. Co-written with Babalwa  Baartman, Mlungu Wam (Good Madam)  grapples with the daily violence that haunts the nation’s most pressing political issues, long after the end of apartheid. Summoning horror-satire references from Ousmane Sembène’s  Black Girl to Jordan Peele’s Get Out, Bass and Baartman’s suspenseful descent into complex, searing allegory insists on reckoning with the enduring presence of traumas deceptively labelled “history.” Director Jenny Cato Bass and co-screenwriter Babalwa Baartman join us for a conversation on the inspiration for GOOD MADAM, impact and legacy on today’s South Africa, their on-going collaboration, and the superb cast of actors who helped them realize their vision.

 

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For more on Good Madam go to: shudder.com

About the filmmaker – Jenna Cato Bass is a director, writer, and photographer living in Cape Town, South Africa. She is a graduate of AFDA film school, Cape Town and has worked as a director, writer, cinematographer, photographer and magician. She has directed over ten short films, and seven music videos. Her video, Hold the Sorrow, was accepted into the 2008 ViMus International Music Video Festival. Her short film, The Tunnel, was selected for the Focus Features Africa First Program. Jenna’s award-winning work has run the spectrum of sci-fi (So Long to the City), experimental  (Jellyfish), teenage coming of age (Already Gone) and historical magical realism  (The Tunnel). Some of her other films include Love the One You Love (2014), winner of Best Feature Film at Jozi Film Festival 2015, and High Fantasy  (2017), winner of the Artistic Bravery Prize at Durban International Film Festival 2018.

About the filmmaker – Babalwa Baartman is a social entrepreneur and aspiring creative producer who uses storytelling as a medium of healing to affect social change within the African community at large. Through her production company, Sanusi, and with Jenna Cato Bass, Baartman co-wrote and co-produced the short film Sizohlala (19), a story that highlights the occupation movements in South Africa, and the TIFF 2021 selection Mlungu Wam (Good Madam), a psychological horror that addresses inequality in South Africa through the story and experience of a domestic worker and her daughter. In animation, Baartman currently has a feature in development,  Azania, and runs a 2D animation programme with False Bay College graduates.

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88% on RottenTomatoes

“Jenna Cato Bass’ tight, unnerving thriller creates a landscape of small signals.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Mlungu Wam is a masterclass in how horror can speak to race and inequality, set in a world of servitude presented as a terrifying, powerful and unrelentingly enduring mode of postcolonial possession” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

“The film expertly blends satirical social commentary and disturbing horror tropes to shine a light on the appalling racial and economic divides that still shape the country 30 years after the end of apartheid.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen International

“Matching familiar genre tropes to a particular national malaise, it pulls off a fine balance of universal resonance and cultural specificity.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On – Director Dean Fleischer Camp

In this smart, funny and beguiling film, MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON, Jenny Slate (Obvious Child) gives voice and life to an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings  Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unprecedented dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. Marcel gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners. Director / co-screenwriter Dean Fleischer Camp joins us for a conversation on backstory behind Marcel, working with Isabella Rossellini, the viral explosion of Marcel more than 10 years ago and his determination to tell Marcel’s story the way he and Marcel’s extended family wanted it told.

 

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For news and screenings go to: a24films.com/marcel-the-shell-with-shoes-on

See Marcel in a theatre: tickets.marceltheshell.movie

About the filmmaker – Dean Fleischer Camp is the award-winning filmmaker and New York Times-bestselling author who created viral sensation MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON. Since appearing on Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2011, Camp’s work has been profiled in virtually every major American media outlet. In 2018, his first feature FRAUD was released to widespread controversy and acclaim, described as “brilliantly provocative” (Filmmaker) and “exhilarating” (Sight+Sound) “masterwork” Documentary Magazine) that “pushes the boundaries of documentary filmmaking” (Variety).  His first scripted feature, an adaptation of MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON starring Jenny Slate, Isabella Rossellini and Rosa Salazar, is slated for a 2022 theatrical release via A24. He has directed for Comedy Central, HBO, TBS, Adult Swim and Disney Interactive. Commercial clients include Atlassian, Pop-Tarts, Clearasil, Maltesers, and many others.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“It fills a movie about a talking seashell with such a realistically sad context and a tender, deep-seated sense of longing and pain that’s near impossible to shake while watching.” – Trace Sauveur, Austin Chronicle

“What you’ll scope out in this small marvel of a mockumentary is how Marcel copes with loss of family, loneliness and sudden media fame, and how he relates, on 60 Minutes, to Lesley Stahl. I can’t wait to see it and him again.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“Many films claim to be an antidote to this moment in history, but Marcel’s flick might be the first one I’ve seen in the past two years that actually fits that bill.” – Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter

‘“Pack a hankie. But don’t miss this strange, special little film.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“Marcel the Shell” seamlessly marries big ideas with charm and humor (and inventive stop-motion work to boot).” – Kate Erbland, indieWire

Clara Sola – Director Nathalie Álvarez Mesén

CLARA SOLA drops us into a remote village in Costa Rica, 40-year-old Clara (Wendy Chinchilla Araya) who endures a repressively religious and withdrawn life under the command of her mother (Flor María Vargas Chaves). Clara is believed to have a special connection to God. As a “healer”, she sustains a family and a village in need of hope, while she finds solace in her relationship with the natural world. After years of being controlled by her mother’s repressive care, Clara’s sexual desires are stirred by her attraction to her niece’s new boyfriend. Tension builds within the family as Clara’s younger niece (Ana Julia Porras Espinoza) approaches her quinceañera. This newly awakened force takes Clara to unexplored territory, allowing her to cross boundaries, both physical and mystical. Empowered by her self-discovery, Clara gradually frees herself from her role as “saint” and begins to heal herself. Director and co-screenwriter Nathalie Alvarez Mesén joins us for a conversation on her enthralling and beautifully drawn character study of a complex and determined woman, finding the right setting for the story, and eliciting a slew of captivating performances, led by Wendy Chinchilla Araya as Clara.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: clarasola.oscilloscope.net

WORLD PREMIERE – 2021 CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
– DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
OFFICIAL ENTRY – 95TH ACADEMY AWARDS® – COSTA RICA

 

About the filmmaker – Nathalie Álvarez Mesén is a Costa Rican-Swedish screenwriter/director. Her debut feature film CLARA SOLA premiered in Cannes 2021 in the Director’s Fortnight section. She started her career in physical theater in Costa Rica before pursuing her B.F.A. degree in Mime Acting at the Stockholm University of the Arts in Sweden. Nathalie later graduated from Columbia University’s Graduate Film Program in NYC with an M.F.A. in Film Directing/Screenwriting. An alumna of the Berlinale Talents, TIFF Filmmaker Lab and NYFF Artist Academy, Nathalie’s shorts have screened at film festivals all over the world. Her short, FILIP, won Best Film Under 15 Minutes at the 2016 Palm Springs Shortfest, and ASUNDER, screened at the 2016 Telluride Film Festival. Nathalie also co-wrote ENTRE TÚ Y MILAGROS, winner of the Orizzonti Award for Best Short in the Venice Film Festival 2020 and she is developing her second feature, THE WOLF WILL TEAR YOUR IMMACULATE HANDS, in the Torino ScriptLab 2021.

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95% on RottenTomatoes

“Álvarez Mesén’s alchemy keeps the hidden without revealing itself … the finesse of her craft condenses a film that addresses the initiation of love as well as the terror in the abysses of madness.” – Icnitl Y García, Butaca Ancha

“Spellbinding. A strange and mesmerizing tale of mysticism and sexual awakening.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“The unique and wholly original Clara Sola is a gorgeous, finely etched character study.” – Loren King, AWFJ Women on Film

“‘Clara Sola’ mixes religion, mysticism and sexuality in a way that feels simultaneously odd, disquieting and richly rewarding.” – Steve Pond, The Wrap

Apples – Director Christos Nikou

Christos Nikou’s beguiling new film, APPLES, takes place during a worldwide pandemic that causes sudden amnesia in growing numbers. A middle-aged man, Aris (Aris Servetalis), finds himself in a hospital and later in a recovery program designed to help “unclaimed” patients build new identities. Prescribed daily tasks on cassette tapes so he can create new memories and document them on camera, Aris slides back into ordinary life, meeting Anna (Sofia Georgovasili), a woman who is also in recovery. Through images deadpan, strange and surreal, Greek writer-director Christos Nikou posits a beguiling reflection on memory, identity, and loss, exploring how a society might handle an irreversible epidemic through one man’s story of self-discovery. Are we the sum of the images we compile and display of ourselves, or are we something richer, and deeper?

 

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For news and screenings go to: cohenmedia.net/apples

World Premiere – 2020 Venice Film Festival
Official Selection – 2020 Telluride Film Festival
European Film Awards – 2021 Nominee European University Film Award
Official Entry – Greece – 2021 Academy Awards

About the filmmaker – Christos Nikou was born in Athens in 1984. His short film KM participated in over 40 international film festivals, including Rotterdam, Stockholm, Palm Springs, Sydney, Tallinn Black Nights, Interfilm Berlin, and winning the Best Short Film Price at the Motovun Film Festival of Croatia. For the past ten years, he has worked as an assistant director on many feature films like DOGTOOTH (Yorgos Lanthimos) and BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Richard Linklater). APPLES is his first feature film.

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96% on RoittenTomatoes

“An offbeat treat that manages to embrace ironic distance and emotional weight through a prism of perfectly judged absurdism.” -Empire Magazine

“Crisp and flavorful, with a lingering aftertaste.” -The Hollywood Reporter

“Splendidly poignant and creepy.” -The Guardian

“RICHLY AFFECTING. An intimate tale of loss, memory, and healing.”-Leonardo Goi, MUBI

“A hugely accomplished, satisfyingly textured first feature.” -Screen International

Dreaming Walls, Inside the Chelsea Hotel – Co-directors Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier

Co-directors Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier illuminating documentary film DREAMING WALLS takes us inside the legendary Chelsea Hotel, an icon of 1960s counterculture and a haven for famous  artists and intellectuals including Patti Smith, Janis Joplin and the superstars of Warhol’s Factory. The iconic structure is undergoing an extensive renovation. Soon it will  reopen to the public as one of New York’s most fashionable luxury hotels. Dozens of long-term residents, most in their later years, have lived  amidst the scaffolding and constant construction for close to a decade. Against this chaotic backdrop, DREAMING WALLS: INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL takes us through the hotel’s storied halls, exploring its living body and the bohemian origins that contributed to its mythical stature. Its residents and the walls themselves now face a turning point in their common history. Co-directors Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier stop by to talk about their distinctive, dreamy and beautifully rendered look into the history, architecture, ambiance and denizens that have imbued the Chelsea with its power and glory.

 

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For updates and screening go to: magpictures.com/dreamingwalls

To watch at home go to: magpictures.com/dreamingwalls

About the filmmaker – Director AMÉLIE VAN ELMBT – After studying film at the Belgian Film School IAD, Amélie van Elmbt worked as a casting director and assistant director with French director Jacques Doillon. In 2011 she directed and self-produced her first feature, HEADFIRST, which screened in Cannes’ ACID section and won the main award at the New York First Time Festival. There she met Martin Scorsese, who executive produced her second feature, THE ELEPHANT & THE BUTTERFLY (2017), which premiered at the Tribeca Festival and won the Grand Prize at the Heartland International Film Festival. Amélie co-directed DREAMING WALLS with Maya Duverdier and is currently working on a new fiction feature, to be produced by Les films du Fleuve. 

About the filmmaker – Director MAYA DUVERDIER – After receiving a bachelor’s in arts in France, Maya Duverdier obtained her Master’s degree in cinema at the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne with her documentary JEANNE SANS ARC (2014). Along with her work as a director and writer for narrative and documentary projects, she’s also active within various positions of film, television and advertising production. DREAMING WALLS is Maya’s first feature documentary. 

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88% on RottenTomatoes

“An enigmatic documentary that artfully honours the Chelsea Hotel’s legacy.” – Greg Wetherall, Little White Lies

“When the film focuses on paying homage to the legacy of the Chelsea, Dreaming Walls becomes a meditative and hypnotic reverie of a life lived in the shadows of greatness, and a reminder of a time that is now left only to lore and superstition.” – Mark Johnson, Awards Daily

“Theres not much new in this lovingly made impressionistic documentary about New Yorks very well-chronicled Chelsea Hotel, but the place and its tenacious residents still have a pull.” – Jay Weissberg, The Film Verdict

“Aficionados of New York history will devour Dreaming Walls, though it obviously comes with hefty melancholy. There are pieces of beauty interspersed with the wistfulness, though, often manifesting in unexpected ways.” – Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic