The State of Texas vs Melissa, Director Sabrina Van Tassel

In her exasperating new documentary, THE STATE OF TEXAS VS. MELISSA, Sabrina Van Tassel explores the life journey of Melissa Lucio, the first Hispanic woman to be sentenced to death in the state of Texas. For over ten years she has been awaiting her fate, and now faces her last appeal. No one had ever seen Melissa be violent towards her children, yet she was blamed for the daily abuse and subsequent death of her two-year-old daughter, who died from blunt head trauma. Set in the heart of the Latino community of South Texas, the film takes a look at Melissa’s broken childhood, her adult life plagued by poverty and prejudice, and the miscarriage of justice Melissa faced, from the court appointed attorney who willingly set aside evidence, to the District attorney who used her case to help his re-election. THE STATE OF TEXAS VS. MELISSA is the portrait of a woman’s fight against an entire system. Director Sabrina Van Tassel joins us for a conversation on the draconian nature of justice in the state of Texas and how the chance to prove that the accused can pass a point of no return.

For news, updates and screenings go to: the-state-of-texas-vs-melissa

Official Selection of the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival

About the filmmaker – Director Sabrina Van Tassel is a French American film director and a journalist. As an investigative reporter she has directed over 45 documentary films for the last 15 years for major television programs. Focusing mainly on social and politically motivated matters such as women forced into marriage, underage sex trafficking, post-traumatic stress, children in the white nationalist movement, women in prison and the holocaust. THE SILENCED WALLS (2015) was her first documentary theatrically released. Critically acclaimed by the French press, it told her journey to discover the history of the Drancy camp, the biggest internment camp, turned into a social housing building at the end of the war. 

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“Though it’s a gut-wrenching story, The State of Texas vs. Melissa, works hard to offer viewers the smallest semblance of hope.” – Sarah Marloff, Austin Chronicle

“Director Sabrina Van Tassel does an excellent job of drawing in the audience to the labyrinthian case of Melissa Lucio.” – Lorry Kikta,Film Threat

“That Sabrina Van Tassel is able to convey the bafflingly wide array of information available in a fairly calm and reasonable manner is an accomplishment in itself.” – Andrea Thompson, A Reel of One’s Own

“The State of Texas vs. Melissa unfolds slowly, meticulously, and with intent. Every question you find arising will be answered – but in time.” – Stephanie Archer, Film Inquiry

 

J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the Subgenius, Director Sandy K. Boone and Church co-founder Dr. Philo Drummond

What started out as an inside joke amongst two self-proclaimed weirdos in Ft. Worth, Texas soon becomes much more than they bargained for when they decide to turn their conservative southern ideology on its head and invent a new religion all their own and all is chronicled in the rousing new documentary, J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius. The film features appearances from Church devotees Richard Linklater, Penn Jillette and Nick Offerman. The Church of the SubGenius has been called “the most aggressively preposterous theology the world has ever known!” But what is the Church? And who is J.R. “Bob” Dobbs? And why is his name always in quotes? Filmmaker Sandy K. Boone explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. Director Sandy K. Boone and co-founder Dr. Philo Drummond (Reverend Ivan Stang) join us for a lively conversation on how the Church’s subversive and deliberately chaotic anti-dogma was unleashed on an unsuspecting world of pinks and normals.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: subgeniusmovie.com

For more about J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church go to: subgenius.com

Director Statement – My late husband, filmmaker David Boone, and I moved to Austin in the early 1980s to join the film department at the University of Texas, write scripts, make films and raise our family. The Austin Chronicle was a new venture back then and the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE was just being filmed. Austin was being called The Third Coast by longtime friends: directors Jonathan Demme and John Sayles, and singer-songwriter David Byrne of the Talking Heads.In fact it was David’s film INVASION OF THE ALUMINUM which first caught the attention of Jonathan Demme, who went on the present it and five other Austin films at the Collective for Living Cinema in 1981 in New York. Three decades later, INVASION had become a Texas cult classic and I proudly produced a restoration of the film as part of JONATHAN DEMME PRESENTS: MADE IN TEXAS – SIX FILMS FROM AUSTIN, which premiered at SXSW in 2015. At that screening, Richard Linklater shared that seeing the MIT films years earlier at an art gallery screening in Houston actually inspired his move to Austin. In recent years I have co-founded several Austin based film companies with a shared mission to encourage local indie filmmakers, foster creative talent, and perpetuate a sense of community through filmmaking. Diving deeper into the world of film, I served as an associate producer on RICHARD LINKLATER – DREAM IS DESTINY, which premiered at Sundance in 2016. I then went on to executive produce films such as Ethan Hawke’s BLAZE, Karen Skloss’ THE HONOR FARM, and Keith Maitland’s Emmy winning documentary, TOWER. Currently I’ve just wrapped directing and producing my first feature documentary, J.R. “BOB” DOBBS AND THE CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS, a look inside the Church of the SubGenius, of which my late husband was an early disciple.

WINNER – Grand Jury Award, Texas Feature (DIFF 2019)
WINNER – Best International Documentary (MDFF 2019)
WINNER – Best Documentary Feature (Blow-Up Filmfest Chicago 2019)

 

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“Boone gives us both a nostalgic account on this underground movement and how their sci-fi inspired dystopia applies to each decade of history, up till today, where the documentary earns its whole-hearted earnestness.” – Alex Lines,Film Inquiry

“J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius captures a period in history when rebelling against the boundaries of reality could still be a positively charged, life-altering experience.” – Cheryl Eddy, io9.com

“This (mostly) playful, always thoughtful documentary is an unusual cautionary tale about what happens when society abandons absurdity as release and distraction.” – Andrea Chase, Killer Movie Reviews

“A wild, an engrossing look at a fascinating sliver of off-the-wall Americana, a minor religious movement that just sort of happened while two friends were messing around.” – Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See

Where She Lies, Director Zach Marion

The compelling documentary WHERE SHE LIES tells the heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting true story of an assaulted teen, Peggy Phillips, who gives birth out of wedlock in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1962. Upon giving birth, Peggy receives conflicting narratives about her infant’s fate, with one doctor claiming that her baby had passed, and another claiming it was thriving. Thirty-three years later, Peggy’s mother reveals on her deathbed that Peggy’s baby is still alive. After a series of new attempts to uncover the truth, including exhuming her infant’s alleged grave, Peggy reaches an impasse when she runs out of money. Almost two decades later, a documentarian (Zach Marion) helps Peggy uncover the truth about what happened. They become friends, as they sift through an entanglement of local hearsay, claims from a greedy former inmate, and ultimately, DNA testing. Through its investigation of false narratives, memory, and motherhood, the film explores the gas-lighting and discrimination that Peggy faced as a sexual assault survivor in the 1960’s deep south. Director Zach Marion stops by to talk about his beautifully rendered recounting of a woman determined to find where the literal truth lies.

 

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For news and updates go to: whereshelies.com

About the filmmaker – Director, Zach Marion, co-owns Zemma Productions with his partner and cinematographer, Emma Kragen, a commercial video agency whose clients include Lyft, The Grove, and The Salvation Army. Before moving to LA, Marion served as the Head of TV Development for Video Arts Studios in North Dakota. While there, he produced BIRTHS BEYOND BELIEF, an hour-long documentary on home-birth for TLC. Zach Marion, a two-time student recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Directing Award. WHERE SHE LIES is Marion’s first feature-length film. The film was shot by Emma Kragen, a Motion Picture Association of America student award-winner and the Lisa Wiegand Fellowship in Cinematography recipient. Kragen was also featured in Variety’s 110 Students to Watch in 2015.

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“Filmmaker Zach Marion is both a precise, disciplined filmmaker and an inherently compassionate soul.” – Richard Propes, TheIndependentCritic.com

“…a life affirming film experience that many will find inspiring.” – Richard Alaniz, KPFK Film Club

Higher Love, Director Hasan Oswald

Hasan Oswald’s gripping, feature documentary debut, HIGHER LOVE takes a raw look at addiction, poverty, love, and broken promises through the life Daryl Gant a Camden, New Jersey native, father of eight, and printing press operator. Daryl was raised by a single mother and strives to be a better father than his own, who abandoned him at birth. His girlfriend, Nani, is the love of his life but her crippling crack and heroin addiction, is destroying any hope of a sustainable relationship. Nani finds herself pregnant with their new baby boy, Darnez. The pregnancy becomes Daryl’s new-found purpose to forge a better future for the both of them. Despite Nani’s struggles Darnez os born healthy, but in need of specialized care. Their friend, Iman, was once a drug dealing kingpin in Camden in the 1990s. He was also a father and a mechanical engineer until he caught a dealer’s habit selling dope. He embodies the spirit of many disaffected residents of Camden, taking the viewer on a tour of post-industrial American decay. His own quest to sobriety will eventually force the hand of Nani to make a change, as they forge parallel paths to recovery. Director Hasan Oswald joins us for a conversation on how immersing himself into the shattering reality of opioid users affected him and how much does poverty and the lack of economic opportunity impact the people on the business end of a needle.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: higherlovefilm.com

Gravitas Ventures will release HIGHER LOVE on VOD and Digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, Fandango Now and all major cable/satellite platforms on Tuesday, November 3.  

About the filmmaker – Hasan Oswald, Director / Producer / Cinematographer entered the film world only four years ago. In that short period of time Hasan Oswald has quickly established a unique ability to capture the human experience through verité cinema. His unfettered access to and intimacy with his characters creates a seamless veneer between the filmmaker and subject. In making HIGHER LOVE Oswald used a Robert Rodriguez inspired zero-budget strategy to make the film, selling his blood-plasma, racking up no interest credit card bills, and learning all things films on youtube tutorials in lieu of film school.His work first caught the eye of award-winning filmmakers Nick Quested & Sebastian Junger (Restrepo) and he started his professional career as a cameraman for National Geographic’s film Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS. He has since covered the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, drug trafficking and homelessness in Philadelphia. His current project focuses on the Yazidi Genocide in Iraq. Higher Love is his documentary feature directorial debut.

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2020 Slamdance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature

“Most stories need a point of view and with that point of view comes a set of morals and beliefs that angle the focus. For a documentary – or any film for that matter – to expel bias, there must be a highly nuanced approach that allows all views, in equal measure, in one space. Hasan Oswald’s HIGHER LOVE achieves just that.” – Take One Cinema

“Americans exist in this condition. Big Pharma aggressively markets addictive, profitable pain meds, and these ubiquitous drugs have seeped down into abandoned places and people. That these people are invisible and unknown is disgusting beyond the pale. Hasan Oswald shows us this life in Higher Love and calls us to action.” – Film Threat

“It is one of the best films of 2020 so far. This may have been the first truly great film I saw for Slamdance. It is a film that haunted me for days after I saw it. It is a tough tough film about what drugs are doing to society.”  – Unseen Films

“What is most interesting about Oswald’s docu-style feature is the way in which horror manifests through the real-life monster of drug addiction and poverty.” – Horror Buzz

Us Kids, Director Kim A. Snyder

From Kim A. Snyder, director of the Peabody Award-winning documentary  Newtown, comes Us Kids, an insightful, rousing coming-of-age story of a generation of youth leaders determined to take the reins and fight for justice at a most critical time in our nation’s history. Sparked by the plague of gun violence ravaging their schools, Us Kids, chronicles the March For Our Lives movement from the point of view of Emma González, David Hogg, Samantha Fuentes and the expansive coalition of teenage activists involved over the course of several years as they pull off the largest youth protest in American history and set out across the country to build an inclusive and unprecedented youth movement that addresses racial justice, a growing public health crisis, and shocks a political system into change. Director Kim A. Snyder joins us for a conversation on the historic progress made by the reluctant activists who dramatically change the perception that young people should “wait there turn” in terms of affecting the course of politics in America and the world.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: uskidsfilm.com

Get Involved – US KIDS is kicking off its launch with the just-announced Vote With Us Virtual Rally, a national GOTV campaign with the focus to educate, motivate & mobilize young people and communities of color to vote early. The event will take place on Saturday, October 24, at 3 p.m. ET/Noon PT, streaming at www.votewith.us and simulcast across YouTube and more. Ahead of its theatrical release on October 30, never-before-seen clips from the film will be shown throughout the rally, alongside performances, appearances and support by the film’s subjects, Lisa Bonet, Sherry Cola, Common, Andra Day, Candice Dupree, Emma González, David Hogg, Vic Mensa, Renee Montgomery, Mark Ruffalo, and Bria Smith.

About the filmmaker – Kim Snyder’s most recent feature documentary, Us Kids premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2020 Sundance competition. Prior, she directed the Peabody award-winning documentary Newtown, which premiered in the US Competition at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.  Newtown screened at premiere festivals worldwide and was theatrically released followed by a national broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens and Netflix.  Her most recent short, Lessons from a School Shooting: Notes from Dunblane, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and was awarded Best Documentary Short followed by the DocDispatch Award at the 2018 Sheffield DocFest and a Grierson Award nomination.  Lessons… is a Netflix Original and is streaming in 196 countries. Snyder’s prior works include the feature documentary, Welcome to Shelbyville, nationally broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens in 2011, and over a dozen short documentaries. Kim’s award-winning directorial debut feature documentary, I Remember Me was theatrically distributed by Zeitgeist Films. In 1994, she associate-produced the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. Kim graduated with a Masters in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and resides in New York City.

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“A potent testimony to the impact of citizen protest” – Dennis Harvey, VARIETY 

“A galvanizing reminder that change is only possible if we believe in it.” – David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

“A timely picture that chronicles this movement with the emotional gut punch and importance it requires” – John Fink, The Film Stage

“A compassionate portrait, eager to let its subjects speak for themselves.” Hollywood Reporter

Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening, Director Ilana Navaro

Ilana Navaro’s eye-opening new documentary Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening, illuminates the life of iconic artist and human rights activist Josephine Baker, the first global black superstar. World renowned performer, World War II spy, and activist are a few of the titles used to describe Josephine Baker, one of the most successful African American performers in French history. Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening follows Baker from being a poor little black girl from Missouri to becoming the Queen of Paris, before joining the French Resistance and finally creating her dream family “The Rainbow Tribe”, adopting twelve children from the four corners of the world. The film reveals rare and previously unseen archives that will resolve the puzzle of Josephine’s fascinating fifty-year-long “headline grabbing career.” Josephine Baker made three trips “back home” (1936, 1948, 1951), and each time she experienced everyday racism, despite her worldwide fame. Each tragic experience triggered her life-changing decisions. Gradually the battle for Civil Rights became her own, up until 1963, when she was the only woman who spoke on stage besides Martin Luther King during the famous March in Washington. Director Ilana Navaro (La Case de l’Oncle Doc, Toutes Les Télés Du Monde) stops by to talk about how a pervasive racist American society galvanized Josephine Baker’s determination to transcend  the “banana dancer” sobriquet on her way to international recognition as a performer and civil rights warrior. 

 

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For news and updates go to: cinemoi.tv/josephine-baker

Josephine Baker: The Story of An Awakening will be featured exclusively on the Cinémoi Network beginning on Thursday, October 29th at 7pm PST / 10pm EST. Cinémoi Network’s curated programming is available on Apple TV & Apple iOS, Sling TV, Comcast Xfinity, Verizon FiOS, Frontier, Google Play, and Samsung devices.

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Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story, Director Julie Sokolow, Jim and Mary Baumer

Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story is the latest documentary from award-winning filmmaker Julie Sokolow is a loving portrait of Mark Baumer, an environmental activist, avant-garde writer, and vegan, who hiked barefoot for over 100 days across America to draw attention to climate change. In a voice The New Yorker praised as “reminiscent of Andy Kaufman”, Baumer narrates his offbeat take on life and how we all can make a difference. Skillfully edited from Baumer’s own self-recorded videos, along with interviews from family and friends, is filled with laughs, tragedy, and inspiration. Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story is about a man who loved life, loved the world, and it showed in everything he did. Director Julie Sokolow (Women of Fire) and Mark’s parents, Jim and Mary Baumer joins us for a conversation on Mark’s warm-hearted, exuberant approach to life, his commitment to the vision of the life he wanted to champion and their loving support for their only child.

For news, updates and screenings go to: barefootdocumentary.com

About the filmmaker – Julie Sokolow is the award-winning director of Woman on Fire, which aired on Starz in 2017. The film is about Brooke Guinan, the first openly transgender firefighter in New York. She also directed Aspie Seeks Love, which won Best Documentary at the 2015 Cinequest Film Festival. Her short film Street Doctor went viral in 2014 and received over one million views. She is the creator of the Healthy Artists web series (2012-2014), about the challenges of artists without health care access. Her films have been featured by The New York Times, Vimeo Staff Picks, IndieWire, VICE, Salon, Village Voice and Huffington Post. Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story is her third documentary feature. 

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“Barefoot “manages to get at deeper systemic questions that we often don’t face. Who is this world for? Why is it weird to walk from place to place? Why is it completely dangerous to do so? Why was our land designed this way, and what are the repercussions of that? By raising these questions through its material, ‘Barefoot’ becomes something more than a tragic story of a truly unique artist gone too soon — it’s also a profound inquiry into the very way we have to live our modern lives”. “ – The Playlist

“One of the finest American documentary features on offer was writer/director/editor Julie Sokolow’s Barefoot: The Mark Baumer Story”… “Baumer was a nonstop social-media diarist, and Sokolow has skillfully edited his self-recorded videos—and additional material—into a moving portrait that deservedly captured the Best Documentary Premiere Prize.” – Cineaste

“An affectionate and inspiring portrait of someone who walked the walk.” Barefoot is a “clear-eyed documentary” about “a man who discarded not merely his shoes, but also the trappings and constraints of the contemporary rat race.” – The Hollywood Reporter

White Noise, Director Daniel Lombroso

The Atlantic’s first feature documentary, WHITE NOISE, is the definitive inside story of the movement that has come to be known as the alt-right. With unprecedented access, WHITE NOISE tracks the rise of far-right nationalism by focusing on the lives of three of its main proponents: Mike Cernovich, a conspiracy theorist and sex blogger turned media entrepreneur; Lauren Southern, an anti-feminist, anti-immigration YouTube star; and Richard Spencer, a white-power ideologue. Directed and shot by Daniel Lombroso in his directorial debut, this film takes the viewer into the terrifying heart of the movement—explosive protests, riotous parties, and the rooms where populist and racist ideologies are refined, weaponized, and injected into the mainstream. Just as the alt-right comes to prominence, infighting tears the movement apart. Spencer and Cernovich clash over the role of white nationalism in conservative politics. Southern struggles to reconcile her leadership role with the sexism and misogyny of her peers. Lawsuits mount and internecine fights erupt, but even as the alt-right fractures, its once-marginalized ideas gain a foothold in mainstream discourse; in Republican politics; in the establishment right-wing press, especially Fox News—and on the world’s biggest social-media platforms. Director Daniel Lombroso joins us to talk about his immersive experience into the world of the white nationalist movement, an ideology  that echos and trades on the tropes of fascism. 

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: theatlantic.com/white-noise-movie

WHITE NOISE releases on October 21 in the U.S. on iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play.

About the filmmaker – Daniel Lombroso is a freelance director and journalist. For five years, he was a staff producer at The Atlantic, where he directed shorts exploring Russian espionage, the Israeli settlement movement, far-right Christian media, and more. Lombroso graduated from McGill University with a degree in political science and lives in New York City.  His debut feature film, WHITE NOISE, based on his four years reporting inside the alt-right, premiered at AFI DOCS in June 2020 to critical acclaim. It is the first-ever feature film by The Atlantic. For more go to: daniellombroso.com

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“Lombroso did his homework, embedding himself with these people for several years, so that he won their trust and became privy to their private lives. “White Noise” is a deadly serious movie, but it is also, in a certain way, a funny one, because it captures the comedy of how much trouble even the influencers of hate now have squaring their lives with their belief systems.  It takes reality to create characters as rivetingly contemptible as these.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“There have been several documentaries made about the ideological conditions that laid the ground for the Trump era, but White Noise may be the most illuminating.” – Stephen Silver, Splice Today

“Lombroso’s strategy is patient, and ruthless. He listens to these racists, spending long periods with them to better understand their lifestyles. We slowly start to see that they all kind of hate and resent each other; these fissures are at the heart of this movement’s moral and intellectual rot.” – Alan Zilberman, Brightest Young Things

“Director Daniel Lombroso takes a very clear-eyed approach to the subject, utilizing unprecedented access to show the movement for what it is – an effort to launch a full-on culture war, driven by people whose anger and media savvy is matched by their opportunism. Despite refraining from overt commentary most of the time, the last couple minutes of White Noise poignantly pull together the results of recent alt-right messaging.” – Mike McGranaghan, The Aisle Seat

The Sounding, Director & Lead Actor Catherine Eaton

In her riveting feature film debut, THE SOUNDING, Catherine Eaton also stars as Liv, a young woman who has never spoken, raised on a remote island by her grandfather Lionel (Harris Yulin, “Ozark”). When Lionel discovers he’s dying, he calls the driven, privileged son (Teddy Sears, “The Flash”) of his best friend to the island and asks him to protect Liv’s independence, alongside Lionel’s attorney (Frankie Faison, “The Wire”). That night, as Lionel is reading to Liv, his voice fails him. Liv picks up the book of Shakespeare and begins – first reading, then weaving a new language from Shakespeare’s words. She is committed to a psychiatric hospital and becomes a full-blown rebel in the hospital; her increasing violence threatens to keep her locked up for life as she fights for her voice and her freedom.  At a tipping point for otherness in our current climate, THE SOUNDING champions it. Director Catherine Eaton joins to talk about the origin story for THE SOUNDING, the challenges and rewards of being on both sides of the camera and the supportive cast and crew who made the film such a success.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: thesoundingfilm.com

About the Filmmaker – Catherine Eaton’s feature debut as a director and writer, The Sounding has won two-dozen awards on the festival circuit. She was chosen for Tribeca Film Festival’s ”Through Her Lens” Lab and Grant for emerging female directors, and was selected as a Shadowing Director for show runner Ryan Murphy’s Half Program on the hit Fox show “9-1-1.” Her pilot script “Breaking News” – based on her personal experience working with freelance news crews in conflict zones – was selected for IFP’s Project Forum and as a finalist for the Screenwriters Colony. Catherine shared an Emmy with the production team on “The Human Toll of Ethanol” for Bloomberg TV, and did freelance production work for various news crews for five years. As an actor, she’s been seen on Broadway, TV and film, and was nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Catherine teaches Screenwriting at Harvard University. 

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“Ms. Eaton’s film can be… precious in several spasms of ritual jubilation, but it’s never less than fascinating, and often beautiful.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“Makes you want to brush up your Shakespeare: start quoting him now.” – Harvey S. Karten, Shockya.com

TIME, Director Garrett Bradley

Fox Rich is a fighter. The entrepreneur, abolitionist and mother of six boys has spent the last two decades campaigning for the release of her husband, Rob G. Rich, who is serving a 60-year sentence for a robbery they both committed in the early 90’s in a moment of desperation. Combining the video diaries Fox has recorded for Rob over the years with intimate glimpses of her present-day life, TIME director Garrett Bradley paints a mesmerizing portrait of the resilience and radical love necessary to prevail over the endless separations of the country’s prison-industrial complex. Bradley won the U.S. Documentary Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and is the first Black woman to be awarded the prize with TIME, her documentary feature debut. Director and producer Garrett Bradley joins us to talk about her beautifully rendered look into the most intimate moments of a determined matriarch and a family grappling with a life lived under the relentless cloud of uncertainty.

 

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To watch beginning on October 16 go to: amazon.com/TIME-Garrett-Bradley

TIME will open in select theaters on October 9 ahead of its global launch on Amazon Prime Video on October 16.

About the filmmaker – Garrett Bradley works across narrative, documentary, and experimental modes of filmmaking to address themes such as race, class, familial relationships, social justice, southern culture, and the history of film in the United States. Bradley has received numerous prizes which include the 2019 Prix de Rome, and the 2017 Sundance Jury Prize for the short film “Alone,” which was released by The New York Times OpDocs And became an Oscar Contender for short nonfiction filmmaking, included in Academy Shortlist. Bradleys work can be seen across a variety of spaces including her Second Unit Directing work on Ava DuVernays “When They See Us” and the 2019 Whitney Biennial. In December of this 2019, Bradley’s first solo exhibition opened at The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), curated by Rebecca Matalon. In January of 2020, Bradley became the first Black American woman to receive Best Director at the 2020 Sundance Film festival for her first feature length documentary, “Time.” For more go to: garrettabradley.com

Sundance 2020 – Directing Award: U.S. Documentary

The Center for Documentary Studies Filmmaker Award

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2020 – The Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award

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“A vibrant cubist portrait, alive with shadings of Rich’s vulnerability and the psychic bruises from dealing with an indifferent correctional system, expensive lawyers and unresponsive courts.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

“A formally stunning masterwork of empathy, exhaustion, love, and rage.” – Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

“While gripping from start to finish, there isn’t a minute of “Time” that feels engineered for our entertainment.” – David Ehrlich, indieWire

“Transcendent yet down-to-earth.” – Beandrea July, Hyperallergic

“It’s an enormous achievement to crystallize two decades of both fighting and loving in 81 minutes, as Bradley never takes Rich’s voice away to patronize or preach to the viewer about what we should care about.” – Ella Kemp, WeLoveCinema

Belly of the Beast, Director Erika Cohn

BELLY OF THE BEAST shines a white hot spotlight on the pastoral farmlands surrounding the Central California Women’s Facility (CCWF), the world’s largest women’s prison. For decades CCWF concealed the reproductive and human rights violations transpiring inside its walls. A courageous woman, Kelli Dillon, who was involuntarily sterilized at the CCWF, teams up with a radical lawyer, Cynthia Chandler, to stop these violations. Together they spearhead investigations that uncover a series of statewide crimes, primarily targeting women of color, from inadequate access to healthcare to sexual assault to illegal sterilization. With a team of tenacious heroines, both in and out of prison, they take to the courtroom to fight for reparations. But no one believes them. As additional damning evidence is uncovered by the Center for Investigative Reporting, a media frenzy and series of hearings provide hope for some semblance of justice. Yet, doctors and prison officials contend that the procedures were in each person’s best interest and of an overall social benefit. Invoking the weight of the historic stain and legacy of eugenics, BELLY OF THE BEAST presents a decade long, infuriating contemporary legal drama. Director Erika Cohn (The Judge, When the Voices Fade) joins us for a conversation about her incredible tale that chronicles the rampant abuse of incarcerated women, being coerced by a prison-based culture of medical personnel actively subverting their basic human rights.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: bellyofthebeastfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Director Erika Cohn is a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning director/producer who Variety recognized as one of 2017’s top documentary filmmakers to watch and was featured in DOC NYC’s 2019 “40 Under 40.” Most recently, Erika completed The Judge, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated film about the first woman judge appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a courts, which premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2018 Independent Lens series. Erika co-directed/produced, In Football We Trust, an Emmy award-winning, feature documentary about young Pacific Islander men pursuing their dreams of playing professional football, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ 2016 “Independent Lens” series. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including a Director’s Guild of America award for her fiction short film, When the Voices Fade. Erika grew up attending the Sundance Film Festival as a native Utahn, where she first began her career and later studied at Chapman University (California) and Hebrew University (Jerusalem) where she received degrees in Film Production, Middle East Studies, and Acting Performance. In 2013, Erika founded Idle Wild Films, Inc., which has released three feature documentaries and produced numerous branded content and commercial spots, including Gatorade’s “Win from Within” series, for which she received a 2016 Webby award nomination. Belly of the Beast is her third feature-length documentary. For more about Erika Cohn go to: idlewildfilmsinc.com

Social Media
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“A harrowing documentary about the practice of forced sterilization.” – Evan Dossey, Midwest Film Journal

“Inside the belly of documentarian Erika Cohn’s Beast lurks a monstrosity more appalling than horror fiction.” – Scott Marks, San Diego Reader

Wolfman’s Got Nards, Director Andre Gower

When it was released in 1987, The Monster Squad was deemed a failure by critics and was, according to the box office, a film no one cared about. But over the last three decades, word of mouth has turned this sleeping hit into a cultural phenomenon. WOLFMAN’S GOT NARDS explores the relationship a dedicated audience (including celebrities and filmmakers) has with The Monster Squad. The film takes an in-depth look into the film’s conception, response, cult status, and revival. Through interviews with the cast, crew, screenwriters, directors, academics and original reviewers as well as through never-before-seen footage, it turns the lens on an audience of self-proclaimed misfits who have kept The Monster Squad alive for more than 30 years. Director Andre Gower and Monster Squad member, Sean, joins us for a lively conversation on the unlikely saga of a box-office bomb that, like the squad, refuses to give up, and a community of fans that continues to grow.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to:thesquaddoc.com

About the filmmaker – Director André Gower has 40 years of experience in the entertainment industry, making him one of the most recognizable child stars of his generation. His body of work includes network series, movies of the week, and features. He is best known for playing the lead character in the cult classic The Monster Squad. Currently, André heads Fitterpiper Entertainment, a production company focusing on young independent filmmakers, new concepts from industry veterans, experimental digital concepts and short films with a roster of production professionals. He also co-hosts the short film series ‘Short Ends’ (Nerdist/ALPHA) and a podcast, ‘Squadcast with Ryan and André.

Social Media
twitter.com/andregower
twitter.com/thesquaddoc
instagram.com/thesquaddoc
instagram.com/andregowerofficial
instagram.com/gravitasventures
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@andregower
@GravitasVOD

“Wolfman’s Got Nards is a well-made documentary that does right by The Monster Squad.” – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“There’s so much to cover, and Gower and his crew do an astounding job of being as thorough as possible.” – Kyle Anderson, Nerdist

“Watching these films – and this documentary – generates the type of joy we only felt as kids, as well as evoking the warm fuzzy feeling that nostalgia brings.” – Katie Driscoll, Starburst

“As a whole, I cannot recommend Wolfman’s Got Nards enough for those who love The Monster Squad, for fans of the horror genre, or even for anyone who has ever felt misunderstood by the world at large.” – Heather Wixson, Daily Dead

Oleander, Director Kate Hackett

OLEANDER, (Emily Robinson)17, is the star and sole creator of her own provocative, sex-positive YouTube channel. She is also an unwilling student at a Christian abstinence program, led by the poised and charismatic Alissa, (Peri Gilpin) 50s. When Alissa demands that Oleander issue an on-camera apology for mocking her abstinence program online, a fierce battle of wills ensues. Alissa is aided by Kim, (Jennifer Lafleur) 30s, a filmmaker-for-hire who has no allegiance other than to serve her client. Oleander fights desperately for her voice and her beliefs, but will her anti slut-shaming message be able to stand up against the manipulative power of the two adults who seek to suppress her? Director Kate Hackett joins us for a conversation on her thoughtful, sharply focused look at the power of manipulation, respect, trust and sexual agency.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: oleandershortfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Kate Hackett is a filmmaker and film editor based in Los Angeles. She is a 2020 Emmy winner for her editing work on the Netflix documentary series “Cheer.” Her work as an editor also includes the Emmy award winning Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U,” and the Sundance documentary feature Half The Picture. She was the 2018 Sundance Institute Sally Menke Editing Fellow. As a screenwriter, she was a 2016 American Zoetrope Screenwriting contest finalist with the screenplay Purify My Heart.

 Best Director – Short Film, The Method Fest 2020

Official Selection of LA Femme International Film Festival 2020*

Social Media
facebook.com/oleandershortfilm
twitter.com/oleanderfilm
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instagram.com/oleanderfilm
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The Disrupted, Co-director Sarah Colt (Josh Gleason)

Sarah Colt and Josh Gleason’s documentary THE DISRUPTED asked the question, what do a farmer in Kansas, a laid-off factory worker in Ohio, and an Uber driver in Florida have in common? All three are resourceful, positive thinkers who strive to adapt and thrive despite dehumanizing forces at play in the American economy. Donn is a fifth-generation farmer, struggling to hold on to 900 acres of land uncle made a full-time living raising crops and livestock. But in the last decade, corporate consolidation and free-falling commodity prices have made it impossible for small farms to achieve a profit. Cheryl didn’t plan on becoming a driver for Uber and Lyft. She spent years working her way up the ladder in the mortgage industry as a single mother raising hree kids. But her career came to an abrupt halt in 2008 when the crash bankrupted her employer. For Pete the closure of the 3M sponge factory, where Pete held a union job for 12 years, is the latest chapter in the city’s decades- long deindustrialization into the Rust Belt. As the film’s heroes face these roadblocks with courage, certain ideals remain sacred: family, love, and staying strong in the face of adversity. Lush cinematography galvanizes a sense of place and, as the narrative unfolds, the intimacy with the characters results in an emotionally rich observational drama. Ultimately, THE DISRUPTED reveals a collective American experience of financial challenge, family resilience, and the quest for the purpose and dignity of work. Co-director Sarah Colt (Josh Gleason) stops by to talk about the unraveling of the American Dream and the cruel trajectory of economic deprivation and the systemic failure of any feasible path forward.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: thedisruptedfilm.com

Take Action at: thedisruptedfilm.com/take-action

About the filmmaker – Sarah Colt is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work brings to life the figures and forces that have shaped America. Since founding Sarah Colt Productions a decade ago, she has directed and produced numerous films for PBS, including the Emmy-nominated and Peabody finalist “Walt Disney.” Most recently, Sarah’s independent short documentary “True Believer” followed an evangelical pastor’s grassroots campaign for Congress. “True Believer” screened at several major film festivals across the country and had its online premiere on The Atlantic.

Social Media
facebook.com/DisruptedFilm
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instagram.com/thedisruptedfilm
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“Colt and Gleason interweave these stories with subtlety and irony, catching the nuanced details of their subjects’ lives and relationships, the cinematography evoking a mood of fading hope and dogged resistance.” – Boston Globe

“Eye-opening film about people being left behind in our current economy…theoretically the “forgotten men and women” Trump campaigned on. And in the ensuing years, not only have their lives not gotten better, they’ve gotten significantly worse.” – Film Week

“Arguably the most important film I’ve encountered in 2020 thus far.” – Mountain Express

“Squarely takes aim at the beleaguered middle class.” MODERN TIMES

Driving While Black, Co-directors Dr. Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns

DRIVING WHILE BLACK: RACE, SPACE AND MOBILITY IN AMERICA is a ground-breaking, two-hour documentary film by acclaimed historian Dr. Gretchen Sorin and Emmy–winning director Ric Burns. Chronicling the riveting history and personal experiences – at once liberating and challenging, harrowing and inspiring, deeply revealing and profoundly transforming  –  of African Americans on the road from the advent of the automobile through the seismic changes of the 1960s and beyond – DRIVING WHILE BLACK explores the deep background of a recent phrase rooted in realities that have been an indelible part of the African American experience for hundreds of years – told in large part through the stories of the men, women and children who lived through it. The documentary draws upon the wealth of recent scholarship – and based on and inspired in large part by Gretchen Sorin’s recently published study of the way the automobile and highways transformed African American life across the 20th century – the film examines the history of African Americans on the road from the depths of the Depression to the height of the Civil Rights movement and beyond, exploring along the way the deeply embedded dynamics of race, space and mobility in America during one of the most turbulent and transformative periods in American history. Co-directors Gretchen Sorin and Ric Burns join us to talk about the crippling impact of systemic racism and the continuing stain of America’s original sin.

 

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For  more on the story and history behind the the film go to: dwbfilm.com

DRIVING WHILE BLACK will air on PBS on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 9:00 p.m. (check local listings).

About the filmmaker – Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Project Director & Senior Historical Advisor Dr. Gretchen Sullivan Sorin is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Cooperstown Graduate Program. Her dissertation and upcoming book form the basis of the scholarship for this project. Her research explores the role that the automobile played in the lives of African Americans during the Jim Crow era, the way that African Americans expressed middle class American values through car ownership, and how cars helped change deeply entrenched racial etiquette. Sorin received her Ph.D. in history from the University at Albany in 2009. For more on the work of Dr. Gretchen Sorin go to gpmuseumstudies.org

About the filmmaker – Ric Burns is an internationally recognized documentary filmmaker and writer, best known for his eight-part, seventeen and a half hour series, New York: A Documentary Film, which premiered nationally on PBS to wide public and critical acclaim when broadcast in November 1999, September 2001, and September 2003. Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for over 25 years, since his collaboration on the PBS series The Civil War, (1990), which he produced with his brother Ken and co-wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward.  Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, he has directed some of the most distinguished programs for PBS including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002), Eugene O’NeillAndy Warhol (2006), We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision (2009), Into the Deep: America, Whaling & the World (2010), Death and the Civil War (2012), American Ballet Theatre (2015), Debt of Honor (2015), The Pilgrims (2015), VA: The Human Cost of War (2017), and The Chinese Exclusion Act (2018). His work has won numerous film and television awards including six Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards,  two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards,  three Writer’s Guild of America Awards for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Writing;  the Eric Barnouw Award of the Organization of American Historians, and the D.W. Griffith Award of the National Board of Review. Find out more about Ric Burns and Steeple Chaase Films at: ricburns.com  And dwbfilm.com

Social Media
facebook.com/DrivingWhileBlackdoc
twitter.com/ricburnsfilms
twitter.com/dwbdocumentary
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instagram.com/steeplechasefilms
@sullivansorin
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@DWBdocumentary

Shithouse, Director Cooper Raiff

Cooper Raiff’s extraordinarily assured debut film, SHITHOUSE, follows a lonely college freshman Alex (Cooper Raiff) during his first year at college and first time away from home. Alex has closed himself off from his classmates, who all appear to have this whole “college thing” figured out. Among thousands of kids trying their best to make college work, He feels alone and depressed. Home is 1500 miles away and he’s struggling to find a reason not to go back. Maggie (Dylan Gelula, First Girl I Loved), Alex’s sophomore RA, has been crushing college since day one. Today though, Maggie is dealt an unexpected loss. After a party at Shithouse, Maggie wants some company and finds it in Alex. Two young people raised in very different households, Alex and Maggie challenge each other and grow up together. Desperately clinging to his social breakthrough, Alex pulls out all the stops with one more night at Shithouse, hoping to rekindle that moment of connection. Director / Producer / Writer / Editor / Actor Cooper Raiff joins us to talk about the challenge of making his debut feature film, SHITHOUSE, while taking on a multitude of roles and winning the 2020 SXSW Grand Jury Prize for his first film.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: shithousemovie.com

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize (Narrative Film) at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival

Social Media
twitter.com/shithousemovie
https://twitter.com/cooperraiff2
instagram.com/shithousemovie
instagram.com/coop_myself
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@shithousemovie
@cooperraiff2

“One of the most extraordinary debuts on the list of SXSW selections for this year”Richard Whittaker, The Austin Chronicle

“Charmingly funny and surprisingly sweet” Matt Delman, Hammer to Nail

“Whenever “Shithouse” starts drifting towards a more generic energy, or gets the tiniest bit too plotty for its own good down the home stretch, Gelula is there to bring things back on course.”David Ehrlich, Indiewire

“Cooper Raiff is breakthrough filmmaker and actor to watch and these are immensely fascinating characters in all of their anxiety, naivety, vulnerability, pain, and palpable growth as human beings” – Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth

SOFTIE, Director Sam Soko

The directorial debut of Sam Soko, SOFTIE is an intimate look at the life of Boniface Mwangi, a daring and audacious Kenyan photojournalist and activist who fights for Kenyan citizens to change a corrupt political system; his supportive wife Njeri stands by him and was often protesting alongside him. Now that they three small children, her priorities have shifted. Boniface on the other hand, decided to take his ideas further and run for political office. He claims he is fighting for his children and their future, but after receiving serious threats of violence, Njeri worries he is risking the safety of their entire family.  Boniface is forced to face a difficult choice – which should come first, family or country? SOFTIE, the winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing at the Sundance Film Festival, is now streaming as part of Hot Docs Film Festival Online. SOFTIE will have its North American broadcast premiere on October 12 as a part of the award-winning PBS documentary series POV. Director Sam Solo joins us for a conversation on his intimate, moving portrait of Boniface “Softie” Mwangi, a man willing to sacrifice everything for his country, his wife, Njeri and his family.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: softiethefilm.com

WINNER – Special Jury Award for Editing – 2020 Sundance Film Festival

About the filmmaker – Sam Soko is a director and producer based in Nairobi. His work on sociopolitical projects in music and film has allowed him to connect and work with artists around the world. He is co-founder of LBx Africa, a Kenyan production company that produced the 2018 Academy Award–nominated short fiction film Watu Wote. The film Softie is his first feature documentary project.

About the subject – Boniface “Softie” Mwangi has long fought injustices in his country as a political activist. Now he’s taking the next step by running for office in a regional Kenyan election. From the moment Boniface decides to run, telling his wife, Njeri, in passing with a hesitant laugh, he responds to each challenge with optimism. But running a clean campaign against corrupt opponents becomes increasingly harder to combat with idealism alone. And Boniface soon finds that challenging strong political dynasties is putting his family at risk. Should country really come before family, as he’s always believed?

Social Media
twitter.com/softiethefilm
instagram.com/softiethefilm
twitter.com/toni_producer
instagram.com/eyesteelfilm
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#Softiethefilm

 

“Eye-opening as “Softie” is as an immediate account of toxic Kenyan politics, it’s an equally moving marriage story, unsentimental but generously sympathetic in its study of a family brought to the brink of collapse for a greater good cause.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“A marvel of narrative storytelling…” – Filmmaker Magazine

“Softie is a compelling act of defiance, made more alarming by the violent events documented throughout the film, including the torture and murder of an official charged with keeping the elections fair and safe.” – John Fink, The Film Stage

“Softie is a grim assessment of both the cost of revolution and modern-day manhood.” – Aramide Tinubu, Shadow and Act

The Way I See It – Director Dawn Porter

Inspired by a New York Times No. 1 bestseller, The Way I See It is an unprecedented look  behind the scenes at two of the most iconic presidents in American history, Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan, as seen through the eyes of renowned photographer Pete Souza. As official White House photographer, Souza was an eyewitness to the unique and tremendous responsibilities of the most powerful person on Earth. Award-winning filmmaker Dawn Porter’s The Way I See It also reveals how Souza transforms from a respected photojournalist to a searing commentator on the issues we face as a country and a people. The Way I See It also traces Souza’s fearless public transformation from chronicler of history to critic of an administration he believes is destroying the legacy of empathy, honor and hope that he witnessed during his 13 years at the White House. Inspired by his two bestselling books, Obama: An Intimate Portrait and Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, and featuring more than 400 of his photos, the film is an emotional and stirring reminder of America’s pledge of a government for and by the people. Director Dawn Porter joins us for a conversation about the personal journey of an accomplished photojournalist turned activist and when it comes to the most powerful person in the world, why judgement, perspective, honor, and empathy matter.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: focusfeatures.com/the-way-i-see-it

Check out the future of voting at: headcount.org

In select theaters Friday, September 18th

MSNBC Films premiere Friday, October 9th, 10:00pm EDT

About the filmmaker – Dawn Porter (Director, Producer) is an award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on HBO, PBS, Discovery and Netflix, among others. A two-time Sundance Film Festival director, Porter may be best known for her film Trapped, which explored laws regulating abortion clinics in the American South. The film won the Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at Sundance in 2016, in addition to a Peabody and numerous other awards. Porter’s 2013 documentary Gideon’s Army premiered on HBO and won Best Editing at Sundance. Gideon’s Army was nominated for both an Independent Spirit Award and an Emmy Award, and is part of the U.S. Department of State’s American Film Showcase. More recently, Porter completed John Lewis: Good Trouble, a feature documentary about the late congressman that will be distributed by Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films. Porter has been commissioned to make films for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Time and Essence magazines, The New York Times Op Docs and Amazon. Her work has received generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Film Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures and other esteemed organizations. The filmmaker is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and the Directors Guild of America. 

Social Media
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#JohnLewisIsGoodTrouble
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“If you’ve seen Dawn Porter’s John Lewis documentary, you’ll fall in love with this candid look behind the scenes with a former White House photographer in her new documentary The Way I See It.” – Carolyn Mauricette, View From The Dark

“It’s effective because it gives us momentary relief and validates our rage while asking once again for us to have hope and to keep moving ahead.” – Allyson Johnson, The Young Folks

“Chief White House Photographer Pete Souza and the makers of The Way I See It kindly remind us what decency looked like not so long ago.” – Brigid Presecky, Impressionist Media

“Filmmaker Porter delivers a blisteringly-paced documentary that is, virtually from start to finish, nothing short of fascinating…” – David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

Wine and War: The Untold Story of Wine in the Middle East, Co-directors Mark Ryan and Mark Johnston

In 2013, inspired by the book Wines of Lebanon by Michael Karam, filmmakers Mark Johnston and Mark Ryan set out to change the perceptions of the Middle East – and in particular the tiny nation of Lebanon – by examining an enigmatic and misunderstood part of the world with winemakers who had a story to tell. Co-directors Johnston and Ryan released their first award-winning documentary The Invisible Front, but by then, they were already in Lebanon recording stories of courage, adventure and determination. There, they met Michael Karam, and two became three. Wine and War: The Untold Story of Wine in the Middle East tells the story that starts in the 2nd BC, when the Phoenicians, the ancient Lebanese, with their awesome trading empire gave the gift of wine to the then known world. They were the first wine merchants! In doing so, the Lebanese became the masters of crisis management, a skill personified by Lebanon’s winemakers who for thousands of years have gone about their work in war, famine, occupation and the constant hum of political instability. Co-directors Mark Ryan and Mark Johnston join us to talk about the amazing resilience of the Lebanese people and how wine is such a powerful thread in their shared history.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: wineandwar.com

About the filmmaker – Mark Johnston is an executive producer and documentary filmmaker who is known for tackling a full range of near-impossible production challenges with a proven track record of creative development in complex and cross-functional multicultural environments. Mark has invested all his savings to make documentaries. He doesn’t own a home. He literally once moved into a mini van to save money to film a documentary. Mark’s passion for the work takes him to the farthest places on the globe and he always strives to do what he can to help each project realize its full potential. Big budget or big challenge, domestic or around the globe… Mark has done it all with calm collection and inventive problem solving be it feature film documentaries, TV campaigns, brand funded content, animated short films, live event programming, experiential projects, the Lanzarote Iron Man, En Svensk Klassiker, Vasaloppet, and the Stones 100k Ultra Marathon. 

About the filmmaker – Mark Ryan, Director / Producer. Over the past two decades, Mark has been a producer, director, and cinematographer on five continents and the North Pole. Early in his career, Mark was part of a film crew that was the first in thirty years to be given unprecedented access to the Hopi Indians of Arizona. This experience cemented Mark’s desire to sensitively tell the stories of other people. Mark has a number of film credits under his belt including the James Beard Award-winning short films The Scent of Black and Stewards of the Land. He’s also served as a producer on the MTV hit show Pimp My Ride.  A Los Angeles native, Mark is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a BA in Cinema Production. He also holds a post-graduate degree from Central St. Martins School of Fine Art in London.  Today, Mark combines his love for adventure, travel, and hearing the stories of other people with best practices for capturing scenes of film to create stunning imagery for clients around the world.

 
Social Media
facebook.com/wineandwar
twitter.com/wineandwar
instagram.com/wineandwar
@wineandwar

This Is Not a Movie: Robert Fisk and the Politics of Truth, Director Yung Chang

Yung Chang’s This is Not a Movie is a fascinating documentary portrait of world-acclaimed British born Beirut-based foreign correspondent Robert Fisk. Fisk’s work is as vital as ever in an era of “fake news,” politicized facts, and the rise of ethno-nationalist politics. A Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Fisk holds more international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. For more than 40 years, journalist Robert Fisk has reported on some of the most violent and divisive conflicts in the world. Director Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, The Fruit Hunters) captures Fisk in relentless action—feet on the ground, notebook in hand, as he travels into landscapes devastated by war, ferreting out the facts and firing reports back home to reach an audience of millions. Director Yung Chang stops by to talk about Robert Fisk’s dedicated work ethic, stamina and desire to talk with all sides of a story and why, in a time of disinformation and deceit by the powerful, his voice, his pen and his reporting have made him one of journalism’s most reliable sources of information and truth.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: kimstim.com/film/this-is-not-a-movie

For more about Yung Chang’s work go to: yungfilms.com

Watch This Is Not a Movie on virtual cinema at laemmle.com/film/not-movie

About the filmmaker – Yung Chang is the director of Up the Yangtze (2007), China Heavyweight (2012), and The Fruit Hunters (2012). He is currently completing a screenplay for his first dramatic feature, Eggplant. In 2015, Chang was selected to participate in the prestigious Sundance Labs for Eggplant. Chang was the Spotlight Artist for the 2019 Reel Asian Int’l Film Festival where a live script reading of Eggplant was performed to a sold-out audience by talented actors from Kim’s Convenience, The Handmaid’s Tale and Locke & Key.  Chang’s award-winning short, Gatekeeper, qualified for the 2016 Oscars and is distributed by Field of Vision, Laura Poitras’ curated online film unit. His latest feature documentary, This is Not a Movie is about Robert Fisk, the iconoclastic Middle East correspondent. The film is co-produced by the National Film Board of Canada, currently on the festival circuit, World Premiered at TIFF 2019 . A graduate of the Meisner acting technique from the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in NYC and Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montreal, Chang brings emotional depth and cinematic realism into his work. Chang is the recipient of the Don Haig Award, the Yolande and Pierre Perrault Award, and the Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. He is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada. In 2013, he was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Academy Awards. For more about Yung Chang’s work go to: yungfilms.com

Social Media
twitter.com/yungfilms
@yungfilms

“[The film] provides a comprehensive portrait of a man who has become essential reading.” – Hollywood Reporter

“[A] laudatory, engaging profile of [Robert Fisk]…” – Globe and Mail

“In This Is Not a Movie, Fisk’s life history is paired with a director up to the task of presenting the facts in a compelling, cogent manner.” – Hammer to Nail

“It is as fascinating to watch Fisk talk about the media landscape as it is to read his inimitable writings on the Middle East.” – Cineuropa

“Fisk’s story is a compelling reminder of just how real the news can be.”- POV Magazine

InterReflections, Director Peter Joseph

InterReflections explores deep social issues. In three timelines our main story takes us into the future when ecological crisis and inequality has destabilized society. John Taylor, a defected government intelligence agent turned revolutionary leader, is captured by his former colleague and nemesis, Simon Devoe. Simon leads a government spy agency, encouraging John to join him to avoid punishment. Simon humors John as they debate ideas about humanity, seeing no possibility of John’s escape. But John has a secret. Our second timeline follows a woman in modern day, experiencing life as a horror show, reflecting issues such as racism and environmental destruction. Fired from her job, she sets about finding another. Her journey transforms her. Timeline three takes place 100 years forward as four academics of this future talk about the way things used to be in the early 21st century. They speak of “The Great Transition,” a dramatic global revolution that changed everything for the better. Director Peter Joseph (The New Human Rights Movement, The Zeitgeist Movement) joins us for a conversation about his genre-shattering approach to filmmaking and what his film’s vision says about the world we live in.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: interreflectionsmovie.com

InterReflections will arrive online in various VOD outlets on Oct 6th 2020. This page will be updated at that time with both access to the online services and available DVD/Blu-ray.

About the filmmaker – Peter Joseph is an American musician, filmmaker, author and activist. His most recent media work is the live action film InterReflections, to be released on Oct 6th 2020. Other notable credits included the award-winning “Zeitgeist Film Series”, the Culture in Decline web series and his book The New Human Rights Movement, published in 2017 by BenBella books. He is also host of the podcast Revolution Now! started in 2020. In 2009, he founded  “The Zeitgeist Movement”, a global, nonprofit sustainability advocacy group and has been on the Advisory Board/Steering Committee for “Project-Peace on Earth“ since 2013. He also founded and curates the Annual Zeitgeist Media Festival for the arts and periodically works with UN working groups including UNFUCA and The World Academy. Joseph has given talks around the world, including the UK, Canada, GermanyAmerica, Brazil & Israel. He was a featured speaker at the 2011 Leaders Causing Leaders Conference [Lecture Here] and his work has been profiled in the New York Times, Vice, The Huffington Post, The Marker, Free Speech TV, The Young TurksThe Examiner and many other media outlets. He has participated in multiple TEDx Events, has worked with The Global Summit  and is also a frequent social critic on the news network Russia Today. He has appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast, Thom Hartmann’s The Big Picture, Watching The Hawks, BoomBust, Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp, The David Pakman show, Christopher Ryans “Tangentially Speaking” podcast, Telesur’s Empire Files with Abby Martin, The Jimmy Dore Show and others.

 
Social Media
facebook.com/InterReflections
twitter.com/ZeitgeistFilm
instagram.com/peterjosephofficial
@ZeitgeistFilm

 

Dick Johnson is Dead, Director Kirsten Johnson

A lifetime of making documentaries has convinced award-winning filmmaker Kirsten Johnson of the power of the real. But now she’s ready to use every escapist movie-making trick in the book – staging inventive and fantastical ways for her 86-year-old psychiatrist father to die while hoping that cinema might help her bend time, laugh at pain and keep her father alive forever. The darkly funny and wildly imaginative DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD is a love letter from a daughter to a father, creatively blending fact and fiction to create a celebratory exploration of how movies give us the tools to grapple with life’s profundity. DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD was filmed, produced and directed by Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson), produced by Katy Chevigny and Marilyn Ness, co-produced by Maureen A. Ryan and executive produced by Megan Ellison. Director Kirsten Johnson joins us for conversation on her approach to working along side her dad, making the personal universal and how sharing her own acquired wisdom has impacted her life.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: dickjohnsonisdead.com

Watch it: netflix.com/Dick Johnson is Dead

About the filmmaker – Kirsten Johnson is a cinematographer and director interested in addressing the changing dimensions and urgent ethical challenges of documentary camerawork. Her most recent film, CAMERAPERSON, premiered at Sundance 2016, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, won the National Board of Review “Freedom of Expression” prize, and was awarded three 2017 Cinema Eye Honors, including ‘Outstanding Nonfiction Feature’. CAMERAPERSON was named one of the ‘Top Ten Films of 2016’ by The New York Times and The Washington Post, was the Grand Jury Prize Winner of 9 international festivals, won the ARRI Cinematography Award, and is distributed by The Criterion Collection. Her short, THE ABOVE, premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the International Documentary Association ‘Best Short Award’ for 2016. Kirsten’s camerawork has appeared in the Academy Award-winning CITIZEN FOUR, Cannes Premiere RISK, Academy Award-nominated THE INVISIBLE WAR, Tribeca Documentary Winner, PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL, Cannes winner FAHRENHEIT 9/11, and Emmy Award-winning LADIES FIRST. She shared the Sundance 2010 Cinematography Award with Laura Poitras for their work on THE OATH. She and Katy Chevigny co-directed the Berlinale premiering DEADLINE, which won the Thurgood Marshall Award. She teaches “Visual Thinking” in the NYU Graduate Journalism Department. In 2017, she was awarded the Chicken and Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award and she is currently a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow. She is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow and was recently invited to be one of the 4% of ASC members who are women. 

Social Media
twitter.com/RIPDickJohnson
twitter.com/Cameraperson16
twitter.com/MarilynNess9
instagram.com/dickjohnsonisdead
facebook.com/dickjohnsonisdead
@Cameraperson16
@MarilynNess9
@RIPDickJohnson
@Netflix
#DickJohnsonIsDead

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A deeply moving vision of life in the face of bodily death and the threatened loss of selfhood, as well as a loving unpacking of the lifetimes of memories from which families are made.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Instead of pushing her father’s death to the back of her mind, Johnson embraces it fully and even has fun with it. She takes her heartache and turns it into joy.” – Brianna Zigler, Little White Lies

“Unabashedly toying with the conventions of obituary, the documentation of the infirm, and the memorialization of a parent, the end result is a triumph.” – Jason Gorber, POV Magazine

“A touching and funny meditation on embracing life and fearing death at the same time.” – Eric Kohn, indieWire

Our Time Machine, Co-director S. Leo Chiang (Yang Sun)

The emotionally gripping documentary, OUR TIME MACHINE, focuses on 43-year-old Maleonn, one of China’s most influential conceptual artists, and his father, Ma Ke, former artistic director of the Shanghai Chinese Opera Theater. After being humiliated and forbidden from working for a decade during the Cultural Revolution, Ma Ke immersed himself in theater. The mysterious excitement of Ma Ke’s creative world inspired the young Maleonn, but his father’s absences stoked early feelings of resentment. When Ma Ke is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Maleonn pours everything into an ambitious new theater project: “Papa’s Time Machine,” a visually stunning time-travel adventure told with human-sized puppets. At the play’s heart are autobiographical scenes inspired by Maleonn’s memories with his father. He hopes this will bring them together artistically and personally. Facing his father’s painful decline, Maleonn becomes more aware of life’s complexities. There are no effortless masterpieces or simple solutions. And there’s no traveling back in time to retrieve what has been lost. OUR TIME MACHINE probes the complex relationships of a family in transition, generation to generation, filtered through the lens through art, theatre and puppeteering. Co-director S. Leo Chiang joins us to talk about his collaboration with co-director Yang Sun and subject Maleonn as well as unpack the multi-layered questions concerning memory, dreams, love, and family.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: timemachinefilm.com

Directors’ Statement Those who grew up in post-Cultural Revolution China lived through a kind of socio-economic transformation that would have taken another country 100 years to bring about. In the span of 20 years, cities emerged from towns, the economy generated unprecedented wealth for some while leaving others behind, and new roads and digital networks connected China to the world. These migrations within our country and its rapid digitization have fundamentally changed the way people communicate and relate to one another. So, when we came across Maleonn and his ageing father, both artists, but who came of age on opposite sides of the Cultural Revolution in China, we made immediate personal connections. We see a story that could be our own in the not-so-distant future. For us and for Maleonn, the struggle to express affection towards one’s family goes hand in hand with defining and sharing the meaning behind devoting one’s life to art. Our intentions in crafting our film are to move others the way it has profoundly moved us. This is an evergreen story, relevant for past and future generations and across cultural divides, so long as there is love between children and their parents. Our story provides a needed addition to highlight the similarities between people in the West and in China during a time where the political language can be hostile and divisive.We hope this film celebrates the process in which two men reconcile their past feelings and create something together that repairs a distressed part of the fabric of Chinese society. – S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun

Social Media
facebook.com/timemachinefilm
instagram.com/timemachinefilm
twitter.com/timemachinefilm
#OurTimeMachine
@sleochiang
#EndALZ
#ChineseArt
#Puppet

100% on RottenTomatoes

“The issues of aging and familial relationships and the appealing nature of this family would make “Our Time Machine” worthy of a look in any case, but what puts it over the top is Maleonn’s fascinating visual creations.” – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

“S. Leo Chiang and Yang Sun’s vibrant documentary about this labor of love proves to be a multi-layered metaphor of the interplay of art, memory, loss, and reconciliation, as well as a study of a touching and fraught father-son relationship.” – Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“Even though Our Time Machine is about a big, ambitious stage production with some visually stunning puppets, the documentary’s smaller, quieter moments with Maleonn and his family are where the movie is at its best.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

“Maleonn’s wondrous creations are enough of an attraction on their own, but the film… has many more layers to reveal about the legacy of Cultural Revolution, familial relationships, the agonies of love and loss and the circle of life.” – Scott Tobias, Variety

PUSH, Director Fredrik Gertten & Subject Leilani Farha

Fredrik Gertten’s latest documentary, PUSH, is a searing indictment of the systemic corruption that continues to drive the world’s affordable housing toward the edge of collapse. All of which is happening while many of the world’s largest financial and real estate institutions are facilitating a tidal wave of dark money from organized crime, human trafficking, illicit drugs trade and illegal tax “shelters” into the legitimate world of finance. Housing prices are skyrocketing in cities around the world. Incomes are not. PUSH sheds light on a new kind of faceless landlord, our increasingly unliveable cities and an escalating crisis that has an effect on us all. This is not gentrification, it’s a different kind of monster. PUSH follows Leilani Farha, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she’s travels the globe, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of the city and why. Director Fredrik Gertten and film subject Leilani Farha join us for a spirited conversation on the state of the world’s housing stock and how homeownership, real estate and high finance has been such a determinate factor on our society, both past and present.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: pushthefilm.com

About the subject – Leilani Farha has a background in advocacy for the homeless and for three years Leilani was the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, with the right to hold governments accountable if they don’t meet the human rights obligations in the UN Human Rights Charter. She believes that if we really want to make change to ensure people can live in the city.then we have to be able to hold someone responsible for what is going on. Currently Leilani is the Global Director for Make the Shift, a worldwide movement to secure the human right to housing. 

About the filmmaker – Fredrik Gertten is an award-winning Swedish director and journalist. His latest works BECOMING ZLATAN (2016), BIKES VS CARS (2015), BIG BOYS GONE BANANAS!* (2012) and BANANAS!* (2009) have met audiences in over 100 countries and screened at leading festivals. In 1994, Fredrik founded the production company WG Film. He previously worked as a foreign correspondent and columnist for radio, TV and press in Africa, Latin America, Asia and around Europe. Today he combines filmmaking with a role as a creative producer at WG Film – one of Sweden’s most prominent documentary production companies, famous for local stories with a global understanding and impact. In October 2017 Fredrik was named Honorary Doctor at Malmö University’s Faculty of Culture and Society for his work as a documentary filmmaker. 

Social Media
facebook.com/pushthefilm2019
twitter.com/Push_TheFilm
instagram.com/push_thefilm
twitter.com/FredrikGertten
twitter.com/leilanifarha
twitter.com/right2housing
@Make_TheShift
#Right2Housing
@leilanifarha
@Push_TheFilm

Herb Alpert Is… Director John Scheinfeld

With his trumpet he turned the Tijuana Brass into gold, earning 15 gold and 14 platinum records; He has won nine Grammys Awards between 1966 and 2014, and received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2012. Herb co-founded the indie label, A & M Records with his business partner, Jerry Moss, which recorded artists as varied as Carole King, Cat Stevens, The Carpenters, Janet Jackson, Peter Frampton, Joe Cocker, Quincy Jones, Sergio Mendes, and The Police. A&M would go on to become one of the most successful independent labels in history. He has shown his striking work as an abstract painter and sculptor, worldwide. And through the Herb Alpert Foundation, he has given significant philanthropic support of educational programs in the arts nationwide, from the Harlem School of the Arts and Los Angeles City College to CalArts and UCLA. John Scheinfeld’s documentary Herb Alpert is… profiles the artist, now 85, mostly from the perspective of colleagues like Questlove, Paul Williams, Sting, and Bill Moyers. In their words, the shy, unassuming trumpeter is a musical, artistic and philanthropic heavyweight. Director John Scheinfeld stops by to talk about many facets of Alpert’s personal and public life that make him the compelling and warm-hearted person he is.

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: herbalpertis.com

For more on the work and latest news go to: herbalpert.com

About the filmmaker – John Scheinfeld – From pop culture to politics, sports to world religions, Venice and Toronto film festivals to PBS, Emmy®, Grammy® and Writers Guild Award nominee John Scheinfeld is a critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker with a broad range of subjects and productions to his credit. In addition to directing, writing and producing Herb Alpert Is…, Scheinfeld is in post-production on a primetime documentary special about comedy legend Garry Marshall that will air on ABC in the Spring of 2020. Another Scheinfeld feature documentary, Sergio Mendes: In The Key of Joy, had its World Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in January 2020 and will be released worldwide on multiple media platforms later in the year. Previously, his feature documentary, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, was an official selection of the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival before playing on 175 theater screens worldwide during the spring of 2017. In November 2017 it was the season premiere of Independent Lens, the largest showcase for independent documentary film on television. Scheinfeld is best known for two widely acclaimed feature documentaries: The U.S. vs. John Lennon, which tells the true story of the US government’s attempt to silence the beloved musician and iconic advocate for peace and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)?, a compelling yet wildly entertaining documentary about one of the most talented and uncompromising singer-songwriters in pop music history. For more on the work of John Scheinfeld go to: crewneckproductions.com

Social Media
facebook.com/HerbAlpertPresents
twitter.com/HerbAlpert
instagram.com/officialherbalpert
instagram.com/officialherbalpert
facebook.com/JScheinfeld
@HerbAlpert

 

“The story of Herb Alpert is a lot more than a snappy greatest hits collection; it’s a deep dive into the agonies and ecstasies that drive profoundly creative people.” – Bill Newcott, The Saturday Evening Post

“This movie will likely go down as the definitive documentary about Alpert and, as such, it’s not a bad way to be remembered.” – James Berardinelli, ReelViews

“This documentary is a joyous celebration of Herb Alpert’s life and career as it examines his roots not only as a musician but as a painter, sculptor, businessman and philanthropist.” – Charles Koplinski, Reel Talk with Chuck and Pam

“You’ll probably come away from Herb Alpert Is… not only admiring the man but wishing you were him.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter