Inspired by actual crime. Set in the streets of Las Vegas, away from the strip, PUNCHING AND STEALING is an action comedy vigilante film about Sam Bransby (Ryan Churchill), a young man that becomes jaded and uses violence to get back his dad’s stolen pension money from corporate suits under the direction of his hitman boss (Melvin Rodriguez) in their organization, “Pension Recovery Force”. As fate would have it, as he turns to the dark side (with humor) in his vigilante faction, he meets the love of his life, Jen (Jenny Vilim). As hard as he tries to keep it a secret from her, his vigilante world and love life collide. He attempts to convince her to be his wing-woman but her moral code prohibits her from joining Sam’s underground faction of “beating people until they’re unrecognizable.” A modern day indie caper taking place over 13 years both in plot and film. Co-director, co-producer and lead actor Ryan Churchill stops by to talk about a personal connection to the origin story for his oft-kilter, high-energy comedy and how he pulled together a terrific supporting cast that pushed PUNCHING AND STEALING into a higher trajectory.
Inspired by the massive use of new technologies which intersect with psychopharmacology for therapeutic purposes. Algorithm: Bliss takes a look into how humanity and technology intersect and examines the unintended consequences of applications and innovations that come out of good intentions. Algorithm: Bliss explores where and how lines of morality get blurry once people are dealing with the reality of the noble aspirations for a product versus the potentially dangerous reality of implementation. It’s Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” for a digital age. Vic Beckett (Sean Faris) is a brilliant researcher, creates the ultimate App that taps into the pleasure center of the brain and transmits a feeling of nirvana to the user. Instant celebrity and unlimited commercial applications corrupt his altruistic intention and when problems arise with his creation, he justifies doing whatever is necessary to keep the app online. Algorithm: Bliss stars Sean Faris (Never Back Down), Sarah Roemer (Disturbia), Frank Deal (The Bourne Legacy), James Saito (Life Of Pi), Frank Deal (The Outsider), and Kimberley Locke (American Idol). Algorithm: Bliss is co-directed by Dena Hysell-Cornejo and Isak Borg, from a screenplay by Borg and Golan Ramraz (Iron Man).
Amy Goldstein’s wildly entertaining documentary, KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL, chronicles the meteoric rise and years-long struggle of musician / artist Kate Nash to re-establish a thriving career on her own terms. At 18, Nash reached the stratosphere of pop music, vaulting from a working-class family in North London into worldwide tours, a platinum record, and a season dominating the music charts. Fast forward to ten years later: Kate is breaking down, nearly homeless. Defrauded by her manager, she is forced to take odd jobs–like hosting a QVC show in a comic bookstore–and must sell off her clothes. After hitting bottom, she rises out of the darkness by crowd-funding her third album, using the uplifting power of online culture and her own authentic voice. From pop wonder, to riot grrrl, to TV wrestling queen, Kate’s journey is an inspiring call to the creative heart in all of us: be fearless. Blending performance footage with verité style sequences, KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRLis both a no-punches-pulled look at an artist in flux who manages to come out on top, and at an industry that proves its own gender bias at every opportunity. The film is structured around songs and lyrics, as they are written and performed by Kate Nash, to tell its unfolding story. Director Amy Goldstein joins us to talk about Kate Nash, her work ethic, determination, sense of humor and how that has served her over the many years of struggle.
KATE NASH: UNDERESTIMATE THE GIRL will be released nationally on Friday May 22 via the groundbreaking virtual cinema platform ALAMO ON DEMAND. Following the Saturday, May 23 6:00 PST / 9:00 EST there will be an interactive performance and Q&A with Kate Nash.The exclusive release will then hit a limited traditional theatrical rollout in August. Watch tonight: On Demand.drafthouse.com/film/kate-nash-underestimate-the-girl
About the filmmaker: Amy Goldstein, Director/Producer/Cinematographer Amy Goldstein graduated from Hampshire College with a BA in semiotics and from NYU Film School. She was a Louis B. Mayer fellow at NYU film school. Her short, “Commercial for Murder” (1990), screened at the Berlin Film Festival and was distributed theatrically in a collection of shorts. Her thesis film, Because the Dawn, was presented as the American Independents at the Toronto Film Festival with Todd Haynes‘ Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story. After school, Amy directed music videos for artists from around the world, including Rod Stewart‘s “Downtown Train”. She directed the feature film The Silencer, which she co-wrote with Scott Kraft, and they went on to develop pilots for HBO, CBS, Fox, Showtime, and MTV, and the hip-hop musical Check Under the Hood for Jersey Films/Polygram. She directed the award-winning feature film East of A, an edgy comedy about an alternative family facing the challenges of raising a child with HIV. Amy directed “The Hooping Life” (1999), a chronicle of a worldwide subculture of “hoopers” who transcend their personal toil and the world’s fears through hula-hooping. Her most recent project is the documentary about the career of pop star Kate Nash, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl. Amy Goldstein and Anouchka van Riel, Producer head up Span Productions
“While not quite as saddening as the recent Avicii documentary, Kate Nash: Underestimate the Girl is another indictment of the music business and its tendency to chew up young talent.” – Suzi Feay, Financial Times
Set centuries apart but in the same place, OVID AND THE ART OF LOVE tellsthe story of the renowned Roman poet Ovid, whose comic verses and permissive lifestyle provoked the brutal Emperor Augustus’s ire. As Ovid and the emperor’s granddaughter – thrown together by fate – race to escape execution, Ovid’s story asks: In a world of unrest, is love the most radical act of all? Bringing together togas, high-tops, oration, poetry slams and hip-hop, this film tells a timely story about power, pleasure and politics. Strong women characters clamor for respect and a better place in society. All is set amongst the faded beauty of modern Detroit’s neoclassical architecture. Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) masterfully transforms into the poet Ovid, whose work has been cherished for over 2,000 years, while John Savage (The Deer Hunter) gives an electrifying performance as Augustus, Ovid’s conflicted nemesis. Tara Summers (Mercy Street, Boston Legal) plays Julia, Augustus’s tough, rebellious daughter, and Tamara Feldman (Gossip Girl, Hatchet) is the emperor’s activist granddaughter. Also starring Joseph McKenna (Shutter Island, 12 Monkeys) and Lailani Ledesma (Comedy Central’s Detroiters). Director and writer Esmé von Hoffman joins us to talk about her decision to recast this tale of a free-thinking Roman artist speaking truth to power as a modern parable.
About the filmmaker – Esmé von Hoffman: With a background in theater, journalism and visual arts, Esmé von Hoffman brings a fresh aesthetic to film to create a unique and topical world. An American-German dual citizen, born and raised in the U.S., Esmé has directed several shorts and has worked as a film editor on Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip, and Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior and as a producer. She received a Sudler Fund for the Arts grant for her 16 mm film “Oblivion” and was commissioned to produce and direct a series of short documentaries, including one profiling three editors at The New York Times. Esmé was president of the Yale Film Society, where she oversaw visits of industry leaders including David Lynch, Alexander Payne and Doug Wick. She recently served as Director of the Filmmaking Program at The Edit Center in New York City.
“Though Detroit may seem like an unusual backdrop for a classic story of government intrigue, politicking, and romance, the urban setting works … attracting an aware, woke audience who are almost certainly overdue for discovery of the charms of a 2000 year old poet.” – Picture This Post
“Corbin Bleu masterfully transforms into the poet Ovid, whose work has been cherished for over 2,000 years, while John Savage gives an electrifying performance as Augustus, Ovid’s conflicted nemesis.”– Vimooz
“Such a novel film … extremely entertaining and enlightening… ”– Debbie Elias, Behind the Lens, Adrenaline Radio
“Writer/director Esme von Hoffman has taken the risk of trying to blend the customs and costumes of Ancient Rome with the vibe of 21st century America … giving viewers a sometimes quirky, sometimes humorous, and sometimes brutal film that is unlike most of the fare on today’s big screens.” – Theatre Byte
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own – between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive. The Apple+TV limited drama series is a gripping, character-driven thriller based on the 2012 New York Times best selling novel of the same name by William Landay. Creator and Executive Producer Mark Bomback joins us to talk about how he and his creative team, including director Morten Tyldum, brought this complex and nuanced tale to life.
“One thing that’s evident from the outset is that all of the actors are perfect for their roles. Jaeden Martell, in particular, is still a young actor, but he handles the dark material with ease, and I appreciated the way the journey began with him.” – Paul Dailly, TV Fanatic
“Chris Evans does some of the best work of his career as Andy… He expertly conveys Andy’s desperate, ferocious need to protect his son, his genuine love for his wife – and the haunting memories that jolt him awake in the middle of the night.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“The pilot does a remarkable job of building up the situation and its main players, but leaving enough in a nebulous spot that there’s still some doubt and some questions to dig deeper into.” – Kevin Lever, Tell-Tale TV
Inspired by a couple of true presidential corpse stories: the 1876 plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body, and the exhumation of Zachary Taylor in 1991, RAISING BUCHANAN took the idea of presidential corpse stealing to extraordinary lengths of dark comedy delight with terrible dead presidents. Because there’s certainly something to be learned from terrible presidents, as well as laughing at them. Finding their inspiration in the off-kilter tone of the dramatically rooted comedies of Alexander Payne, the Coen Brothers, and Hal Ashby, the RAISING BUCHANAN stars Amanda Melby (Candid Camera), René Auberjonois (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Cathy Shim (Reno 911!), Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!), Terence Bernie Hines (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jennifer Pfalzgraff (21 Grams), Steve Briscoe (Covet), Lynnette ‘L.A.’ Brown (Kerry and Angie), and M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner). Produced by Melby and Joe Gruberman (Eleven Eleven), this award-winning feature film swept the film festival circuit racking up multiple awards, including: Best Feature, Best Dramedy, Best Actress (Melby) and Best Screenplay (Bruce Dellis), among others. Creator and lead actor Amanda Melby stops by for a lively conversation on her wryly funny and endearing film, Raising Buchanan, and her collaboration with the late, great René Auberjonois.
“Surely, Buchanan was never going to earn the kind of cinematic lionization that so many American filmmaking greats (like Steven Spielberg and John Ford) gave to good old Abe Lincoln, but he could have done a whole lot worse than this.” – Nick Rocco Scalia. Film Threat
In REWIND, Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s candid personal memoir, he revisits his childhood and the events that tore apart his seemingly-perfect world. For as long as Neulinger can remember, his father was constantly filming— from birthday parties, to hockey games, to holidays. But his camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. Drawing upon an incredibly revealing home video archive, Neulinger revisits these events 20 years later to piece together an unflinching story of the cycles and consequences of abuse, to examine what it means to heal, and to use those experiences to effect positive change in the world. REWIND probes the gap between image and reality and proves just how little, and how much, a camera can capture. Director Sasha Joseph Nuelinger joins us for a candid conversation on the psychological, physical and emotional impact of abuse and how he was able to find the appropriate balance in his role as creator and director telling a story of unspeakable horror about himself and his family.
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“Watching the movie is like staring at a blurred image of the past that gradually, over 86 minutes, comes into terrifying focus… A documentary like this one has the effect of a moral thriller.” – OWEN GLEIBERMAN, VARIETY
“Rewind,” as indelibly as any film ever made, illustrates how the very process of investigating your own past can be a trauma unto itself. ” – DAVID EHRLICH, INDIEWIRE
“Somehow in documenting the family’s unraveling, Neulinger comes to show the strength that certain members were able to give to another… there is tremendous power in seeing the filmmaker taking the bad to make some good out of it, capturing the best and worst that humans are capable of in one brave and truly exceptional film.” – STEPHEN SAITO, THE MOVEABLE FEST
“Neulinger’s film, like any great documentary, maintains a steady drip of details whose importance are only revealed later… Rewind not only offers the story of a victim’s ordeal, but a brave and resilient spirit.” – ROBERT DANIELS, 812 FILM REVIEWS
“Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s wrenching surival story is an astounding documentary on sexual abuse trauma… The utter honesty behind these scenes could only be captured in a documentary.” – ANDREW BUNDY, THE PLAYLIST
Co-written by experimental filmmakers James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir (who, along with Paul Dallas, served as producers), The Plagiarists is at once a hilarious send-up of low-budget American indie filmmaking and a probing inquiry into race, relationships, and the social uncanny. A young novelist (Lucy Kaminsky) and her cinematographer boyfriend (Eamon Monaghan) are waylaid by a snowstorm on their way to visit a friend in upstate New York and are taken in by the kindly yet enigmatic Clip (Michael “Clip” Payne of Parliament Funkadelic), who puts them up for the night. But an accidental discovery months later recasts in an unnerving light what had seemed like an agreeable evening, stoking resentments both latent and not-so-latent. Exhilaratingly intelligent and distinctively shot on a vintage TV-news camera, The Plagiarists is a work whose provocations are inseparable from its pleasures. Screenwriters James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir join us to talk about whip-smart project, as well as their creative process, white privilege, blending together acting styles and Dogma 95.
Background – The Plagiarists is a dramatic comedy about the clash of money and culture, reality and desire, race and identity. It’s a social satire about who has the privilege to say what in today’s world. It was conceived as a playful critique of the mannerisms of “indie film” used by aspiring filmmakers to denote authenticity of performance, often resulting in the casual perpetuation of stereotypes. The Plagiarists is at once the thing it mimics: a completely independent micro-budget feature shot entirely on vintage news cameras from the 1980s, despite a contemporary subject matter. The camera cited in the story is also the production camera, recording on real Betacam SP videotape (sourced from eBay) to create a visual style reflecting the internal debate over obsolescence, nostalgia, and the heavy weight of originality.
“Its crude imagery and the sharp editing that implicitly contradicts it are deliberate components of a termite-like digging into the permutations of postmodern cultural work.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times
“The film improves upon reflection, raising, as it does, some knotty questions about originality in art and in life, as well as provocatively positing that even a copy of a copy of a copy has the potential to move hearts and minds.” – Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter
For 35-plus years, the gay porn shop Circus of Books gave Los Angeles’ LGBT+ community a space to socialize and celebrate themselves without judgment. Unbeknownst to many customers, the store was cultivated by owners Karen and Barry Mason, a straight, mainstream couple with three children who went to religious school and were unaware of their parents’ business. The Masons long refused to disclose the nature of their business to friends or family. While maintaining the secret, they witnessed the dawn of the HIV/AIDS epidemic firsthand, losing a generation of treasured employees. Still, during that time, they never identified https://www.netflix.com/title/81011569as activists — just everyday entrepreneurs catering to a market, until the Internet destroyed it. Executive produced by Ryan Murphy, CIRCUS OF BOOKS is the debut documentary from artist Rachel Mason, who finally asks the least radical people she knows — her parents — how they became America’s biggest distributors of gay porn, and why Karen reacted so negatively when her own son came out of the closet.Director and daughter Rachel Mason joins us to talk her parents, her brothers, her own story and the impact her family’s business had on a community fighting to survive.
About the filmmaker – Rachel Mason is an artist, musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles. Mason has recorded 13 albums, has toured, exhibited sculpture, video and performance at the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, LACMA, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Henry Gallery in Seattle, James Gallery at CUNY, University Art Museum in Buffalo, Sculpture Center, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard and Occidental College, Kunsthalle Zurich, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The New Museum, Park Avenue Armory, Art in General, La Mama, Galapagos, Dixon Place, and Empac Center for Performance in Troy among other venues. Reviews include New York Times, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, Flash Art, Art in America, Art News, and Artforum. Her album and feature film, The Lives of Hamilton Fish. has toured festivals and museums internationally and was released in 2016.
98% on Rotten Tomatoes
“Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.” – Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic
“A RARE DELIGHT – AND A NEARLY PERFECT DOCUMENTARY. Mason keeps a thread of tension taut throughout, never losing sight of the contradictions between her parents’ work and their home life.” – Jude Dry, IndieWire
“VERY FUNNY, VERY MOVING. The filmmaker does right by front-loading most of the snicker-worthy scenes. She knows that even the most open-minded among us need to get past a certain level of shock and incredulity to see Karen and Barry as the beautiful, and beautifully complicated, people they are.” – Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter
“Circus of Books tells this complex and enthralling story, about the rise and fall of their family business, with a unique specificity. It’s Mason’s lack of distance from the subject — in fact, it’s that she, too, is part of the story — that makes the picture soar with intimacy.” – Tre’vell Anderson, OUT
Mossville, Louisiana is a shadow of its former self – a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people and free people of color – where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow. Today, Mossville is surrounded by 14 petrochemical plants and the future site of apartheid-born South African-based chemical company Sasol’s newest plant – proposed as a $21.2 billion project and the largest in the western hemisphere. The remaining family members of Mossville struggle to let go of their ancestral home – and at the center of it all is a man named Stacey Ryan. Stacey is 49 years old and a lifelong resident of Mossville. In the past ten years Stacey has lost much of his family to cancer and seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project. Having promised his dying parents to fight the sprawling chemical companies, Stacey struggles to keep his word as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone, or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.,MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall Director and Editor Alexander John Glustrom joins us to talk about one man’s fight to hold on to the last patch of a historic community and the legacy of a shattered community.
About the filmmaker: Alexander John Glustrom – Director / Editor / Director of Photography – Alexander John Glustrom’s first film was the award winning documentary, “Big Charity,” winner of The Jury Award and Audience Award at New Orleans Film Festival and the 2015 Documentary of the Year by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He was awarded “Filmmaker of the Year” at the 2015 New Orleans Millennial Awards and one of New Orleans’ “40 under 40” by Gambit Magazine. He has directed, shot, produced, and edited a wide variety of film and media projects that have reached hundreds of thousands online, played at film festivals internationally and aired on major networks including HBO, CNN, Fusion, NYtimes.com, Great Big Story and Democracy Now. Daniel Bennett, Katie Mathews and Catherine Rierson are Producers, while Linda Karn and Michelle Lanier serve as Executive Producers.
MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31.
MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall opens virtually in theaters in New York on May 7 through the Maysles Documentary Center, and in Los Angeles on May 8 through the Laemmle Theaters. Select screenings will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers. Additional participating theaters include Milwaukee Film Sofa Theater (Milwaukee, WI), Smith Rafael Film Center (Marin County, CA), Grail Moviehouse (Asheville, NC), Frida Cinema (Santa Ana, CA), Broad Theater (New Orleans, LA) and Tampa Theatre (Tampa, FL). Please check the MOSSVILLE website for more information on theaters and Q&As: mossvilleproject.com/screenings
“Striking and Urgent…” – Indie Wire
“Mossville captures the devastation of the destruction of a community with grace and empathy and has a message that will reverberate across generations.” – BRWC
“A sad and uncommonly stunning exploration of environmental racism and the adverse effects of industrialization on fenceline communities.” – Anti-Gravity
“A nightmarish landscape is the battleground for Stacey’s defiant spirit, as he’s forced to choose between a better life for his son and fighting to preserve his ancestors’ legacy.” – Planet in Focus
THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center— on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, THE INFILTRATORS tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language. Co-directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera joins for a conversation on dire conditions that await detainees, the cruelty of a for-profit system designed to frustrate people with legitimate reasons for remaining in the United States and their respect for the people who willingly put their lives and futures on the line for the sake of others.
About the filmmakers:
Alex Rivera is an award-winning filmmaker who tells visually adventurous stories. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, won the screenwriting award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art, and had a commercial release around the world. In 2015 Alex was awarded support from the Surdna Foundation and the Ford Foundation for The Infiltrators.
Cristina Ibarra has been making award-winning films that explore the U.S.-Mexico border for the past seventeen years. The New York Times calls her documentary Las Marthas “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life.” Her PBS documentary collaboration, The Last Conquistador, had a national broadcast on POV. In 2015 she became part of Women at Sundance.
“THE INFILTRATORS manages to personalize the undocumented struggle by transforming it into an unlikely blend of activism and suspense that makes a compelling case for the abolishment of ICE.” – Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE
“A doc mixing interviews, real-time action and reenactment in exciting ways, Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra’s THE INFILTRATORS tells a true story so inspiring it’s a wonder it isn’t better known.’ – John DeFore, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“Chronicling the audacious acts of a group of organized undocumented youth prior to the Obama-implemented, temporary relief known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), THE INFILTRATORS, from Latinx directors Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, is a vital piece of hybrid cinema that shines light into the obscure realm of privately-operated immigration detention facilities.” – Carlos Aguilar, THE WRAP
SHADOWS OF FREEDOM recounts the untold story of the Jewish & French resistance of 1942 in Algiers, which helped change the course of WWII, yet remains largely forgotten. These 388 resistors – mostly young and inexperienced – almost haplessly ended up supporting the Allies in North Africa. In the process they paved the way for a successful invasion of Algiers by the U.S., but also helped to save the lives of over 500,000 Jews in North Africa, targeted by Hitler’s Final Solution. This was all part of OPERATION TORCH the joint American/U.K. mission that was to be the Allies’ first successful strike against the Nazis. This largely forgotten military operation remains to this day as the longest invasion in the history of conflict. Co-directors and co-producers Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud join us to talk about a little known but critically important chapter of French resistance, American and British military strategy and the courageous contributions made by Jewish resistance fighters.
* OPERATION TORCH was the 1942 Anglo-American invasion of North Africa (Algeria and Morocco). It was the 1st joint operation of the U.S. and the U.K., the 1st Allied success against the Nazis and, until D-Day, the largest military operation ever undertaken. It was a hugely significant turning point in the war – aided greatly by the resistance in Algiers – yet remains largely forgotten. SHDOWS OF FREEDOM unveils the importance of Operation Torch in the hopes of highlighting this historical moment that stands as a remarkable achievement by America and Great Britain. This powerful alliance made victory a certainty.
Released on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, PLANET OF THE HUMANS takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has lost the battle through well-meaning but disastrous choices, including the belief that solar panels and windmills would save us, and by giving in to the corporate interests of Wall Street. PLANET OF THE HUMANS is the debut movie from director Jeff Gibbs, whom Executive Producer Michael Moore calls “a brave and brilliant filmmaker whose new voice must be heard.” Gibbs is a lifelong environmentalist and longtime collaborator of Moore’s with whom he co-produced Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Gibbs has dared to say what no one will — that “we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders, many of whom are well-intentioned, but who’ve sold out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.” This film is the wake-up call to the reality which we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the so-called “environmental movement’s” answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. Moore and Gibbs decided that with the American public — and much of the world – confined to their homes and suddenly having to consider the role humans and their behavior have played in our fragile ecosystem, the moment was too urgent to wait until later this year for the film’s planned release. Director / Producer / Writer / Editor and Cinematographer Jeff Gibbs joins us for a free-wheeling conversation on the hard truths we all face and the dawning realization that we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into believing the billionaire class is going to ensure a sustainable collective future.
“This is perhaps the most urgent film we’ve shown in the 15 year history of our film festival” – Filmmaker Michael Moore, Founder, Traverse City Film Festival
“This doc, directed by long-time Michael Moore collaborator Jeff Gibbs, advocates passionately for a planet suffering from environmental devastation but offers few glimmers of hope.” – Liam Lacey, Original Cin
“From the warnings of the 1950s to the 21st-century corporate takeover of green energy, a grim look at humanity’s fate as the planet heats up. Is there any hope? This feels like only half the story.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
Winner of numerous international film awards STRAY, director Dustin Feneley’s feature film debut, takes place in a cold and remote landscape, two strangers, Jack (Kieran Charnock) and Grace (Arta Dobroshi) struggle to repair their broken pasts. A young man is on parole after serving time for attempting to murder the man who killed his girlfriend in a hit and run. A woman is released from a psychiatric facility far from her homeland. These two damaged strangers cross paths in the mountains in winter and fall into a complex intimate relationship, putting to the test their capacity to trust and heal. A stark, complex story of people confronting their past while struggling to find their own resolve to forge a better future. Director / Producer / Writer Dustin Feneley joins us for a conversation on his own journey getting Stray financed and completed as well as crafting a beautifully rendered tale of two lost, psychologically exhausted souls.
Winner – Best Production Design – Rivne International Film Festival 2018 Winner – Best Actress – Festival des Antipodes 2018
Winner – Best Direction in a Feature Film – Australian Directors Guild Awards 2019 Winner – Best New Director – Brooklyn Film Festival 2019
Winner – Best Feature Film – Portoviejo Film Festival 2019
Winner – Best Actor – Balneario Camboriu International Film Festival 2019
Winner – Best Cinematography – Balneario Camboriu International Film Festival 2019
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“Stray is simply contemplative and resoundingly lyrical in representing two kinds of nature set against one another: pained human nature and the Great Outdoors joined at the emotional hip” – Frank Ochieng, Flick Feast
“Stray is a quiet and internalised film that will demand your attention and compassion to really appreciate. A resolution – of sorts – when it arrives, is conveyed in a single, wordless shot.” – Graeme Tuckett, Stuff.co.nz
“While not an apolitical film…Feneley never lets social commentary overpower his narrative, constantly returning to the internal struggle, and never romanticising the damage his protagonists suffer from.” – Doug Dillaman, 4:3
The quietly powerful new film from award-winning director Annie Silverstein BULL focuses on a 14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard), who, after trashing her neighbor’s house in a fit of youthful defiance, seems destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps to the state penitentiary. To make amends, she is forced to help Abe Turner (Rob Morgan), an ex-bull rider scraping by on the Texas rodeo circuit, with errands at home and at his work. While traveling with Abe, she discovers a passion for bull riding. Yet, as Kris sets out to learn the dangerous sport, bad influences lure her back into delinquent ways. Meanwhile, Abe struggles with the aches and pains of growing older and aging out of the only life he has ever known. Together, Kris and Abe forge an unexpected connection, helping each other see new possibilities and hope for the future before it’s too late. Director and writer Annie Silverstein stops by to talk about the inspiration for BULL and how her experience as a social worker informs her instincts as a filmmaker.
About the filmmaker – Annie Silverstein is an award winning filmmaker and media educator based in Austin, Texas. Her films have screened at international festivals including Cannes, SXSW, Silverdocs and on PBS Independent Lens. Her latest film, SKUNK, won first prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival–Cinéfondation. Before attending film school, Annie spent ten years as a youth worker and community media educator. She co-founded and served as Artistic Director at Longhouse Media, an indigenous arts organization based in Seattle. For her work there, Annie received the National Association for Media Literacy Award for outstanding contributions made in the field of media education. Annie is a lecturer at the University of Texas-Austin, where she earned her MFA in Film Production. Annie was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs for Bull, her feature debut. Annie recently premiered Bull at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard.
“By resisting sentimentality, the filmmaker, alongside her naturalistic actors, allows us to sit inside the characters’ despair so that we appreciate the intensity of its stifling oppression.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International
“[Director] Silverstein makes a strong case that these people have something worthwhile to say to viewers. There is a grace and tenderness to the movie that are hard to resist.” – Daniel Eagan, Film Legacy
Somewhere in the Rust Belt of America another factory is closing down. After decades on the job, the reclusive Allery Parkes (Peter Gerety) finds himself out of work. Following his plant’s closure, Allery attempts to bide his time – same as his former, disgruntled, unemployed co-workers. However, despite the best efforts of his conciliatory wife Iola (Talia Shire), to get him to move on with his life. Allery keeps going back to his old workplace. A new morning presents a new opportunity. Allery gets dressed in his factory work clothes, he packs his lunch and, when asked by his perplexed wife where he’s off to, Allery responds, “I’m going to work.” WORKING MAN traces Allery as he sneaks into the closed factory. At first, he does this alone, but in time he gains an unexpected – and initially unwelcome ally. A charismatic neighbor, Walter Brewer (Billy Brown), soon joins Allery at the defunct factory. As their community rallies around them – and as their former corporate bosses strategize how to implode this unexpected movement – Allery learns that he might be something he never thought possible: a leader. Director and writer Robert Jury joins us to talk about his clear-eyed look at a man and a town, gave their job everything, now coming to grips with a haunting past and an uncertain future.
In December 2018, alpinists Ari Novak and Karsten Delap set out for India to explore one of the most remote valleys in the Indian Himalaya with local climber Karn Kowshik. Their goal was to meet with the indigenous population of the Spiti Valley and try to support local ice climbing. What they found was perhaps the biggest treasure trove of unclimbed ice in all the Himalaya. HIMALAYAN ICE (Adventures in India’s Most Remote Valley) tells the history-making story of their journey to put up nine first ascents and start an ice climbing movement by the local population. From their journey to the valley along the most treacherous road on earth to walking amongst Snow Leopards, the expedition was anything but expected. Co-directors Austin Schmitz and Ari Novak join us to talk the challenges of getting to India’s Spiti Valley, connecting with the people, climbers and non-climbers, and the life lessons learned during their remarkable journey.
Supporting Himalayan Ice: Himalayan Ice is presented by La Sportiva to raise money and awareness for impoverished and indigenous populations to enable these native people to climb in their own mountains. By empowering native populations through climbing for conservation we hope to establish and protect safe climbing areas for native populations in the worlds great mountain ranges. Himalayan Ice has partnered with Project Conservation a 501c3 non profit to enable our efforts. Ticket proceeds will directly go to support this non profit effort.
Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting. The subject of a recent smash retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, af Klint was for years an all-but-forgotten figure in art historical discourse, before her long-delayed rediscovery. Halina Dryschka’s dazzling, course correcting documentary describes not only the life and craft of af Klint, but also the process of her mischaracterization and her erasure by both a patriarchal narrative of artistic progress and capitalistic determination of artistic value. Director Halina Dyrschka joins us to talk about her own journey in making this compelling and powerful film and the importance of shattering the art world narrative of marginalizing woman artists.
About the filmmaker – Director Halina Dyrschka was born in Berlin, Germany and is active as a director and producer. After studying acting, classical singing and film production she founded the company AMBROSIA FILM in Berlin. Her first film as a director the short film “9andahalf’s Goodbye” was shown at over 40 film festivals worldwide and has won several awards. BEYOND THE VISIBLE – HILMA AF KLINT marks her directorial feature documentary debut and is the first and only film on the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“One needn’t have a B.F.A. to see the striking resemblances between Klint’s works, painted years earlier, and those of vastly more lauded male artists who came later.” – Kenneth R. Morefield, 1More Film Blog
“Beyond the Visible should reach the general public as a needed and welcome corrective, shining a light on yet another dynamic, trailblazing woman denied her rightful place in history, until now.” – Loren King, AWFJ Women on Film
“Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint reminds us that just because we do not yet know them, does not mean that there are not more than enough women artists to entirely populate their own club of geniuses – and that in itself makes the film worthwhile.” – Lee Jutton, Film Inquiry
D.W. Young’s elegant and absorbing documentary, THE BOOKSELLERS, is a lively tour of New York’s book world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers, past and present: from the Park Avenue Armory’s annual Antiquarian Book Fair, where original editions can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars; to the Strand and Argosy bookstores, still standing against all odds; to the beautifully crammed apartments of collectors and buyers. The film, executive produced by Parker Posey, features a range of commentators, including Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Gay Talese, and a community of dedicated book dealers and collectors who strongly believe in the wonder of the object and what it holds within. Director D.W. David Young joins us to talk about his endearing look into a vanishing institution, local bookstores, and the people who love them and the treasures they hold.
About the filmmaker – D.W. Young / Director and Editor – D.W. Young’s films have screened at festivals around the world including SXSW, Vancouver International Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Provincetown Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival and many more. His features A HOLE IN A FENCE and THE HAPPY HOUSE were released by First Run Features. Most recently his short A FAVOR FOR JERRY, filmed on election night 2016, premiered at IFF Boston.
“Though it opens with a quote from Susan Sontag invoking Jorge Luis Borges’s belief… the film is not about the content, but the container – the tactile, redolent artifact essential to book lovers and sought by collectors.” – Peter Keough, Boston Globe
“[A] charming documentary about the book world – or more specifically the book-as-object world, with antiquarian booksellers trying to reinvent themselves and their industry in a digital era.” – Jennifer Szalai, New York Times
“The Booksellers is a documentary for people who treasure the sheer look and feel of books… As a proud member of this diminishing tribe of obsessives, I am grateful there exists a film featuring my spiritual kinfolk.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
“Pays warm-hearted tribute to the reading, but also the shopping, the rifling, the obsessing, the complaining, the dreaming, the list-making, the shelf-organizing, and everything else book-lovers love to do.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, TheWrap
SELAH AND THE SPADES tells the beautifully complex story of an insulated world at an elite Pennsylvania boarding school, Haldwell, where the student body is run by five factions. Seventeen-year-old Selah Summers (Lovie Simone) runs the most dominant group, the Spades, with unshakable poise, as they cater to the most classic of vices and supply students with coveted, illegal alcohol and pills. Tensions between the factions escalate, and when Selah’s best friend/right hand Maxxie (MOONLIGHT’s Jharrel Jerome) becomes distracted by a new love, Selah takes on a protégée, enamored sophomore Paloma (Celeste O’Connor), to whom she imparts her wisdom onruling the school. But with graduation looming and Paloma proving an impressively quick study, Selah’s fears turn sinister as she grapples with losing the control by which she defines herself. In her feature debut, writer/director Tayarisha Poe immerses us in a heightened depiction of teenage politics. This searing character study encapsulates just how intoxicating power can be for a teenage girl who acutely feels the threat of being denied it. Exciting newcomer Lovie Simone’s performance beautifully embodies both Selah’s publicly impeccable command and the internal fears and uncertainty that drive it. Director and writer Tayarisha Poe joins us for a lively conversation on her own high school experience, The Godfather, the importance of showcasing powerful young women and the remarkably talented actors who make Selah and the Spades so riveting.
About the filmmaker: Director / writer Tayarisha Poe is a storyteller from West Philadelphia who believes that all stories are inherently multi-sensory and multi-dimensional, and thus should be told that way. She was chosen as one of the 25 New Faces by Filmmaker Magazine in 2015, and in 2016 she received the Sundance Institute’s Knight Foundation Fellowship. In 2017 she was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs. Her first feature film, SELAH AND THE SPADES, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“More than the sheer delight of watching a powerful Black girl, Selah and the Spades is an earnest celebration of youth and power -something long-reserved for white teens while excluding young people of color.” – Aramide Tinubu, Shadow and Act
Flailing thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams). But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’s moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family. Director Alex Thompson joins us to talk about his collaboration with screenwriter / lead actor Kelly O’Sullivan, the casting of Frances and his approach to guiding this beautifully rendered story of three women and a child in search of family, love and power over their own lives.
An open letter from Saint Frances writer and lead actor, Kelly O’Sullivan When I got pregnant in my early thirties and knew immediately I would get an abortion, I had no idea what to expect. My mom got me the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” pregnancy book one Christmas, hoping I would hurry up and give her a grandchild, but nobody proudly hands you a guidebook on what to expect with abortion. I had no idea my abortion could be induced just with pills, and I had no idea how long my post-abortion bleeding would last. Women and girls are encouraged, outrightly or subliminally, to keep abortion, postpartum depression, periods, or any other innate part of womanhood that’s considered messy, “gross,” or shameful to ourselves. That makes for lonely, confusing, and isolating experiences. When my Mom finally learned what this movie was about, she said, “Well, you’re the first one in our whole family to get an abortion!” And I clarified, “Maybe I’m just the first person you know about.” Saint Frances endeavors to normalize and destigmatize those parts of womanhood that we’re encouraged not to talk about. I wanted not only to talk about these subjects, but to show them onscreen unapologetically, realistically. This movie could be called “There Will Be Blood 2,” and a sense of humor is a vital intention of the film. Saint Frances tries to show that abortion doesn’t always have to equal trauma, periods shouldn’t equal shame, and postpartum depression shouldn’t equal isolation. This story and these characters are filled with sincerity, empathy, humor and 6 tons of love. And there’s that healthy amount of blood. Thank you for watching. I truly, truly hope you enjoy. – Kelly O’Sullivan
98% on Rotten Tomatoes
“I believe that everyone, especially women, should check out Saint Frances. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will make you think. That doesn’t happen all that often in the same movie.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat
“O’Sullivan and her creation are riveting, and when the film comes to an emotional end that hinges on all its early strengths, the result is satisfying and hard-won, a coming-of-age story told on just a slight delay.” – Kate Erbland, indieWire
“With a warm heart and a nonjudgmental mind, “Saint Frances” weaves abortion, same-sex parenting and postpartum depression into a narrative bursting with positivity and acceptance.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
After the 2008 election, a secretive, well-funded partisan initiative poured money into state legislative races in key swing states to gain control of their redistricting processes and used high-tech analytics to dramatically skew voting maps based on demographic data. The result is one of the greatest electoral manipulations in U.S. history, one that poses a fundamental threat to our democracy and exacerbates the already polarized atmosphere in Congress and state houses across the country. Gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve the party in power, has been around for centuries. But in today’s hyper-partisan political environment it has been taken to unprecedented extremes, fueled by the elimination of corporate campaign contribution limits and the availability of vast amounts of personal information. The effects of this insidious strategy have continued to bear fruit through the 2018 midterms. But voters, fed up with cynical efforts to sidestep the will of the majority, have begun fighting back. In one example, a grassroots movement led by a young with no political experience gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to put an anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in Michigan. The new documentary SLAY THE DRAGON shines a light on this timely issue, and follows a handful of citizens’ groups, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system. Co-directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance stop by to talk about their approach to tackling a complex issue, and finding the grassroots activists who have shown that there is a way to affect real change despite the overwhelming odds.
“The most important political film of the year. It may prove to be one of the key political films of the decade. There is no issue more threatening to the future of American democracy than gerrymandering.” – Owen Gleiberman, VARIETY
“Slay the Dragon does an extraordinarily good job of taking a complex issue and connecting the dots, which seems particularly appropriate for a documentary about gerrymandering.” – Brian Lowry, CNN.com
“Outrage is a likely reaction.” – Karen Martin, ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
“Shocking. It changes the way you see everything.”- Adrian Horton, THE GUARDIAN
THE AMERICAN NURSE explores some of the biggest issues facing America — aging, war, poverty, prisons — through the work and lives of five nurses. It is an examination of real people that will change how we think about nurses and how we wrestle with the challenges of healing America. Jason Short drives up a creek to reach a homebound cancer patient in Appalachia. Tonia Faust runs a prison hospice program where inmates serving life sentences care for their fellow inmates as they’re dying. Naomi Cross coaches patient Becky, an ovarian cancer survivor, through the cesarean delivery of her son. Sister Stephen runs a nursing home where she uses goats, sheep, dogs and llamas for animal therapy and the entire nursing staff comes together to sing to a dying resident. And Brian McMillion, an Army veteran and former medic, rehabilitates wounded soldiers returning from war. Director and Executive Director Carolyn Jones (Defining Hope), joins us to talk about her own journey to the making of The American Nurse and how she came to know the remarkably compassionate and professional people who have provided comfort and care to all of us.
About the filmmaker(s)
Carolyn Jones / Director and Executive Producer Carolyn Jones is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who specializes in telling stories that shed light on issues of global concern. From people “living positively” with AIDS to women artisans supporting entire communities and nurses on the front lines of our healthcare system, Carolyn has devoted her career to celebrating invisible populations and breaking down barriers. She founded the non-profit 100 People Foundation which creates educational films and curricula and has students participating in thousands of schools in over 90 countries worldwide. Her most widely acclaimed book publications include Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS and The American Nurse, which led to a feature documentary included in the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase. In the spring of 2018 her award-winning documentary Defining Hope, which was the culmination of a journey investigating how we can make better end-of-life choices, was broadcast over 1,000 times on PBS stations nationwide. carolynjones.com
Lisa Frank – Producer As Director of Programs and Production for the 100 People Foundation, Lisa has traveled the globe to produce award-winning short documentaries on global issues for students worldwide. She founded a trans-Atlantic production company and produced a narrative short that screened at Cannes and the French-language documentary Démocratie en France which premiered in Paris and at the Alliance Française in New York City. She holds a B.S. in Theater from Northwestern University, and certificats des Beaux-Arts from L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq and L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris, where she also taught movement, dance and acrobatics.
To learn about the American Nurse Project, visit americannurseproject.com
About The American Nurse Project sponsor FRESENIUS KABI: Fresenius Kabi was inspired to launch an endeavor that celebrates nurses in this country– an undertaking that acknowledges the nurse’s critical role at the bedside, and their pivotal role within our healthcare system. The American Nurse Project, which includes the book The American Nurse as well as the forthcoming documentary, seeks to tell a story that needs telling. Capturing intimacy, rare beauty, and refreshing frankness with journalistic objectivity, we hope to celebrate the crucial role that care can have in all our lives, and to celebrate the people that care the most. We are proud to be the sole sponsor of the book and the production of the documentary. Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition. Our products are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. To learn more, please visit us at www.fresenius-kabi.us. For more information about our support of The American Nurse Project, please contact email@example.com.
“A compassionate and psychologically revealing doc.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Carolyn Jones’s portrait of five medical caregivers walks us through day-in, day-out sacrifices without ever coming off as sentimental or aggrandizing.” – The Village Voice
“A solid, worthwhile documentary…Elegantly clear-eyed.” – The New York Times
“Intellectually and emotionally engaging. This is one of the best films you’ll see this year, documentary or otherwise.” – Aisle Seat
The Film Festival Alliance announced it will team with Theatrical-At-Home to present the inaugural Film Festival Day on Saturday, April 11. 30 FFA member film festivals will participate in a virtual screening of Gary Lundgren’s PHOENIX, OREGON, which will benefit each of the film festivals with a share of the evening’s proceeds.
Among the 30 participating film festivals are; Alexander Valley Film Festival (CA), Ashland Film Festival (OR), BendFilm (OR), Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival (IL), Buffalo International Film Festival (NY), Cambria Film Festival (CA), Cinetopia Film Festival (MI), Cucalorus Film Festival (NC), Durango Independent Film Festival (CO), Heartland Film Festival (IN), Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival (MI), Indy Film Fest (IN), Interfaith Film & Music Festival (NY), Flyway Film Festival (WI), Free State Festival (KS), Golden State Film Festival (CA), New Filmmakers Los Angeles (CA), Orcas Island Film Festival (WA), Oxford Film Festival (MS), Phoenix Film Festival (AZ), Poppy Jasper International Film Festival (CA), Sidewalk Film Festival (AL), Scottsdale International Film Festival (AZ), Skyline Indie Fest (VA), South Georgia Film Festival (GA), St. Louis International Film Festival (MO), Tallgrass Film Festival (KS), The Valley Film Festival (CA), Vermont International Film Festival (VT), and Woods Hole Film Festival (MA).
Film fans from across the country will be able to select their festival of choice when purchasing tickets and box office revenue will be generously split with that organization. All ticket purchases will receive a one-time link to watch the movie at home as well as a free digital copy upon its official release this summer. Film festivals across the nation have endured more than 175 cancellations, postponements and quick pivots in the wake of COVID-19, with an estimated economic impact of more than $1.4 million for this group of organizations alone. Of the participating festivals, which come from 19 states, they have combined audiences of more than 200,000, support more than 5,500 filmmakers and collectively screened over 3,700 films in the last year.
Gary Lundgren’s PHOENIX, OREGON is about two friends, a graphic novelist and a chef, who defy a midlife haze by seizing an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives by quitting their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza.” The film stars an impressive lineup of indie film stalwarts and comedy favorites including James Le Gros (DRUGSTORE COWBOY, LIVING IN OBLIVION), Lisa Edelstein (“House”), Jesse Borrego (“Fame,” BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT), Reynaldo Gallegos (AMERICAN SNIPER), Diedrich Bader (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, OFFICE SPACEN, “Veep”), and Kevin Corrigan (THE DEPARTED, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, TRUE ROMANCE). Watch the trailer for Phoenix, Oregon
ABOUT FILM FESTIVAL ALLIANCE Film Festival Alliance creates a collaborative global community for mission-driven film festivals. FFA advocates for a sustainable and inclusive environment for our industry within the cinema exhibition ecosystem and creates a powerful collective voice for film festivals and the people who run them. Founded in 2010 as a program of IFP, Film Festival Alliance (FFA) was established in 2015 as an independent non-profit networking organization, and now serves a membership of more than 180 organizations and individuals – representing a diverse array of size, geographic location and annual budget. FFA presents year-round professional development, and engagement opportunities around the country, offers valuable money-saving benefits and creates a collective community for festival professionals. FFA works year-round to celebrate and support the art of film, filmmaking and film presentation by connecting festival professionals with one another, and with other industry stakeholders including the greater filmmaking community.
CRIP CAMP explores the revolution that blossomed in a ramshackle, unorthodox summer camp for teenagers with disabilities in the early 1970s, transforming their lives and igniting a landmark movement. This joyous and exuberant documentary, co-directed by Emmy®-winning filmmaker Nicole Newnham and sound mixer (and former camper) James LeBrecht, draws from a jaw-dropping store of archival footage to show how the campers’ bonds endured as they migrated West to Berkeley, California — a promised land for a growing and diverse disability community — where they realized that by working together they might secure life-changing accessibility for millions. CRIP CAMP arrives the same year as the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, at a time when the country’s largest minority group still battles daily for the freedom to exist. Co-directors Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht join us for a lively conversation on the personal and professional journey behind the making of CRIP CAMP and the remarkable people who fought and those who continue to fight for human rights.
About the filmmakers: Jim LeBrecht is the founder of Berkeley Sound Artists (BSA), an audio postproduction house. Films that he has mixed have screened at film festivals including Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, Telluride and Berlin. Credits include Unrest, The Force, Audrie and Daisy, The Waiting Room, The Devil and Daniel Johnston and We Were Here. LeBrecht started his career in the theater as the resident sound designer at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for 10 years. He’s also designed sound for the American Conservatory Theatre, The Public Theater in NY, La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Jim co-authored (with Deena Kaye) the book Sound and Music for the Theatre: the art and technique of design. Now in its 4th edition, the book is used all over the world as a textbook. Jim’s work as a disabled rights advocate began in his teens as a member of Disabled in Action, a pioneering disability rights group. While at UC, San Diego, he helped found the Disabled Students Union. Jim is currently a board member at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, a leading organization working for the rights of the disabled through education, legislation and litigation.
Nicole Newnham is a documentary producer and director, Sundance Film Festival alumnus and four time Emmy-nominee. She recently produced the breakthrough virtual reality experience, Collisions, directed by artist Lynette Wallworth. Among her films are The Revolutionary Optimists, winner of the Sundance Hilton Sustainability Award, and Sentenced Home. Both films aired on PBS’ series Independent Lens. Nicole instigated, co-produced and directed the acclaimed documentary The Rape of Europa, about the Nazi war on European culture, which was nominated for a WGA award and shortlisted for the Academy Award. She is known for working to achieve concrete impact from the power of the stories she tells, and co-founded a story and data-mapping platform for youth – linked to The Revolutionary Optimists, own communities, called Map Your World (www.mapyourworld.org).
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“The spirit of revolution – righteously angry yet full of bonhomie, demanding but generous in its reach – is alive and well in the film. As, one hopes, it is everywhere else.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair
“Using a treasure trove of archived footage and colorful contemporary interviews, Lebrecht and Newnham weave together a punchy, straightforward and inspiring documentary that is greater than the sum of its parts.” – Ashlie D. Stevens, Salon.com