Friday, November 4, 2016 – By Sidney Lumet, Director / Producer Nancy Buirski

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Film legend Sidney Lumet tells his own story in a never-before-seen interview shot in 2008. With candor, humor and grace, Lumet reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being. The documentary features clips from Lumet’s films – 44 films made in 50 years – including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Network and Before the Devil Knows Your Dead. Peabody and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (Afternoon of a Faun, The Loving Story) combines these elements to create a network-film-posterportrait of one of the most accomplished, influential and socially conscious directors in the history of cinema. By Sidney Lumet reveals the spiritual and ethical lessons at the core of his work. First and foremost a storyteller, Lumet’s strongly moral tales capture the dilemmas and concerns of a society struggling with essentials: how does one behave to others and to oneself? By Sidney Lumet director and producer Nancy Buirski joins us for a lively conversation on Lumet’s complex and fascinating life, the relentless honesty of his work and the horrifying incident that impacted his perception of our collective humanity.

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

News and updates for Director Nancy Buirski go to: facebook.com/nancy.buirski

“It allows Lumet to remind us, in his own voice, of the passion in his ostensible dispassion – the way he deftly subsumed self-expression within the brisk rhythms of his material and the superb performances of his actors.” – Justin Chang, LA Times

“Makes the case for Lumet not only as one of the Hollywood greats, but also one of its rare filmmakers of conscience-a passionate storyteller whose films wrestle with dilemmas of decency, justice, and fairness.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“Mr. Lumet comes across as a mensch, but he was also a complex artist whose often literally dark films were filled with shadows, rage and spit, not just nobility.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The movie is simply Lumet and his films, which turns out to be an astonishingly satisfying experience, because he’s an incredible talker, with the same earthy electric push that powers his work.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

 

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

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

For news and updates go to: kateplayschristine.com

Also check out Kate Plays Christin edistributor grasshopperfilm.com

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

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

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

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

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

Author: The JT Leroy Story, Director Jeff Feuerzeig

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On January 9, 2006 the New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40­-year-­old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert. Director Jeff Feuerzeig’s AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert – ­like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids – breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self­-expression. Director Jeff Feuerzeig join us for a lively conversation on how Laura’s life, her traumas and innate brilliance made JT Leroy such a hugely fascinating saga, on and off the screen.

For news and updates go to: jtleroydocumentary.com

Author: JT Leroy Story Distributor Magnolia Pictures

“Wildly entertaining. The movie this crazy, endlessly fascinating story deserves.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

“Four stars. Endlessly riveting. Albert is a hell of a storyteller.” – Nigel Smith, The Guardian

“Strange, existential and ultimately thrilling.” – Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times

“A fascinating treatise on creative desire and fame, as compelling as anything the writer herself dreamed up.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

August 19, 2016 – Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny, Co-directors Louis Black and Karen Bernstein

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Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny takes the viewer from the Academy Awards for the acclaimed, Boyhood, and an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Linklater’s latest film, Everybody Wants Some. Throughout the film, Richard Linklater himself addresses his own life at mid-career point, at times while embarrassed and shy. He tells of the influential array of filmmakers, playwrights and criminals that continue to form his own independent work, and the philosophical modalities which have guided the path; all in conversation with Louis Black, an Austin-based journalist who has known him since the 1980’s. Other interviews include Ethan Hawke, Jack Black, Jonathan Demme, Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Adair and Julie Delpy, members of the Linklater family, Clark Walker and more. Richard Linklater: Dream is Destiny was produced for PBS’ American Masters series is an unusual look at a fiercely independent style of filmmaking that arose from Austin, Texas in the 1980s/ early 90’s.  It is an unconventional look at how Linklater’s films of that period, Slacker, Dazed and Confused and Before Sunrise, sparked a low budget, in your own backyard movement in this country and around the world. Co-directors and co-producers Louis Black and Karen Bernstein joins us for a spirited conversation on what makes Richard run, the early days of the Austin film scene and how Linklater has influenced and mentored many of the independent film world’s brightest talents.

For news and updates go to: linklaterdoc.com

“It’s shamelessly partial but also warmly pleasurable, partly because Mr. Linklater is an engaging and humble conversationalist who moves easily to the beat of his own soundtrack.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

“A documentary portrait of the director of ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Dazed and Confused’ is full of revealing offscreen footage as well as a pinpoint feeling for the filmmaker’s visionary humanism.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Warm, familial and unhurried portrait of the great Austin auteur provides a good overview of an underappreciated director’s work and unusual approach.” – Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

“Black and Bernstein understand what it is that makes Linklater so curious, and in chronicling his career in such a clear and entertaining way, they’ve put together a worthwhile and winning portrait of a very special filmmaker.” – Adam Chitwood, Collider

Nuts! Director Penny Lane

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Inventive and wildly fun, NUTS! recounts the unbelievable true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men. From there, the story only gets more bizarre. Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a very unreliable narrator, NUTS! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles, amasses an enormous fortune, is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas, invents junk mail and the infomercial, builds the world’s most powerful radio station, and generally annoys the heck out of the establishment. Filmmaker Penny Lane has skillfully borrowed a page from her subject – charming viewers into believing the unbelievable, building their trust and excitement, until the final chapter bares the painful truth and reveals the doctor for what he truly was. NUTS! reminds us that our love of (and need for) compelling narratives is exactly what makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned. Director Penny Lane stops by for a conversation on Brinkley, our collective need to believe in something and any contemporary parallels to be drawn from this bizarre story.

For news and updates go to: nutsthefilm.com

NUTS! had it’s World Premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Editing.



“Mixing droll animation, stock footage and a restrained number of talking head interviews, the director Penny Lane’s biography has all the whimsy of a tall tale, until a late change in tone surprises with genuine emotion.Nuts! is really a kick.” – The Guardian

“Don’t let the synopsis fool you, there’s much more here than a simple movie about a guy who likes to put goat balls in people…[Lane] explores the peculiar and undeniably fascinating story of Brinkley in what is easily an early contender doc of the year…Nuts! is a film you’ll definitely want to check out.” – Film Pulse

“Penny Lane is a documentarian who blends the archival with the personal in powerfully emotive ways… [she] is now firmly ensconced as a leading voice among her documentary filmmaking peers. “ – Vimeo

“What won’t spoil the film is my spewing praise for Lane’s craft… Lane is the answer to a question more people should be asking: who’s the great documentarian of this generation?” – The Verge

“In keeping with a recent trend in documentary filmmaking, nontraditional, sometimes controversial storytelling techniques will be on full display, Mr. Cooper said. The director Penny Lane, for instance, uses animated re-enactments and “one seriously  unreliable narrator” to trace the “mostly true” story of a man who found success selling a goat-testicle impotence cure..” – New York Times

Life, Animated, Director Roger Ross Williams

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From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams (“Music by Prudence”), is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age documentary follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three-year-old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent—and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him. Life, Animated evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with vérité scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality. Director and Producer Roger Ross Williams (God Love Uganda) joins us to talk about the challenge of presenting a balanced portrait of Owen Suskind and his family.

For news and updates go to: lifeanimateddoc.com/

Winner of the Audience Award – San Francisco Film Festival

Winner of the Audience Award – Full Frame Film Festival 

Winner of the Directing Award – Sundance Film Festival, Life, Animated

“A captivating portrait of a young man for whom Disney animated movies have provided a powerful lifeline to progress, language and understanding. – Justin Chang, Variety

“Williams smartly devotes large portions of the documentary to Owen on his own, letting him explain his fears himself rather than relying on the other Suskinds for clarification and translation. – Noel Murray, A.V. Club

“Incredibly moving documentary takes us into the interior life of an autistic person, and explores how films helped him communicate with the outside world.” – Lanre Bakare, The Guardian

“Instead of false hope, it offers up possibility, the chance of a stimulus that might get past the blocks of developmental disorder.”- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Producer Carthew Neal

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HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is a zany tale of a defiant city kid, Ricky, raised on hip-hop and foster care, gets a fresh start in the New Zealand countryside. He quickly finds himself at home with his new foster family: the loving Aunt Bella, the cantankerous Uncle Hec, and dog Tupac. When a tragedy strikes that threatens to ship Ricky to another home, both he and Hec go on the run in the bush. As a national manhunt ensues, the newly branded outlaws must face their options: go out in a blaze of glory or overcome their differences and survive as a family. Equal parts road comedy and rousing adventure story, director Taika Waititi (WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS, upcoming THOR: RAGNORAK) masterfully weaves lively humor with emotionally honest performances by Sam Neill, Rima Te Wiata, Rachel House and Julian Dennison. A hilarious, touching crowd-pleaser, HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE reminds us about the journey that growing up is (at any age) and those who help us along the way. Producer Carthew Neal (Tickled, A Band Called Hook Ups) joins us to talk about how Barry Crump’s classic book, Wild Pork and Watercress found its way into the hands of the talented director and writer Taika Waititi and onto the screen.

For news and updates go to: wilderpeople.film

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” takes a troika of familiar story types – the plucky kid, the crusty geezer, the nurturing bosom – and strips them of cliché.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“Every once in a while, a small, unheralded film comes along, so smart and funny, such a pleasure to experience, you can’t believe your luck. “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” is such a film.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“It’s off-beat in all the best ways, has fantastic actors all delivering fantastic performances, and is a uproarious adventure with endless heart.” – CinemaBlend.com

“An oddball and oddly affecting take on two misfits finding their metaphorical partner-in-crime match.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

The Witness, Director James Solomon

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Fifty years ago, the name “Kitty Genovese” became synonymous with urban apathy after 38 eyewitnesses did nothing while an attacker stabbed her to death on a street in New York City. “For more than half an hour,” The New York Times report began, “38 respectable, law-abiding citizens watched a killer stalk and stab a woman in three separate attacks.” Forty years later, her brother Bill Genovese, who was 16 at the time of his sister’s death, decides to re-examine the details of the crime. THE WITNESS is a probing and deeply personal investigation into one of the most iconic crimes in New York history, featuring interviews with those closest to the murder including the surviving witnesses to Kitty’s death. It offers an illuminating look into the way stories take form and their rippling effects on the lives they touch.  THE WITNESS, a gripping and emotional documentary look at the mythic death and little-known life of Kitty Genovese, is the directorial debut of New York screenwriter (“The Conspirator”) James Solomon.  James sits down to talk about Kitty’s brother and his personal story and how Kitty’s tragic story came to condemn a city and define an era.

For news and updates go to: thewitness-film.com

Pasadena – Laemmle Playhouse 7 – TICKETS – opens 6/17
Director James Solomon will participate in a Q&A on Saturday, June 18th after the 3pm screening.

Santa Monica – Laemmle Monica Film Center – TICKETS – opens 6/17
Director James Solomon will participate in Q&As on Friday, June 17th and Saturday, June 18th after the 7:20 screenings.

THE WITNESS will also open in Los Angeles on June 17 at the Edwards Westpark 8 in Irvine and the Laemmle Claremont 5 in Claremont.

New York Times Critics’ Pick



“STUNNING!” – Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal



“EXTRAORDINARY!” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“ASTONISHING!” – Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek



“FASCINATING!” – Jordan Hoffman, The Guardian



“A VISUALIZED SERIAL!” – John Surico, Vice

“A RIVETING DEEP DIVE INTO A CULTURAL FLASHPOINT!” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

Margarita with a Straw, Director Shonali Bose

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In Margarita with a Straw Indian writer/director Shonali Bose beautifully portrays the story of a luminous Indian teenager with cerebral palsy who leaves her homeland to study in New York, falls in love with a young blind woman, and begins a remarkable journey to self-discovery and independence.  Bose was inspired to write this humane story by her cousin’s experience with cerebral palsy. Margarita with a Straw features award-winning performances from some of India’s most acclaimed actors, including Kalki Koechlin as Laila in a remarkable and life affirming portrayal.  Margarita with a Straw is told with insight and humor.  Director Shonali Bose joins us for a conversation on censorship, changing perceptions within her home country of India on same sex relations and how her own life experience inspired the making of this warm hearted film.

Official Facebook page for Margarita with a Straw

For news and updates go to: margarita-with-a-straw

Margarita, With a Straw California is opening on May 20th at:

LOS ANGELES. Arena Theater in Hollywood. Arena Cinema in Hollywood

On Friday May 20 there is a pre-screening reception at 7pm and a Q&A with Director Shonali Bose following the 7:40pm show. Join her for Q&A’s after the following showtimes: Sat 4 pm, Sun 5 25pm.

“MARGARITA WITH A STRAW is an unexpected delight of charm and substance.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“An acting triumph. Kalki is amazing . . . her spirit flying as she tastes the delights and dilemmas, from crushes to creative pushes, of a college student’s life.” – Times of India

“A coming-of-age tale that treats its subject with the sensitivity it deserves …” – The Huffington Post

“Emotionally direct study of disability and sexuality… Big issues handled with dignity.” – The Guardian

Bridgend – Director Jeppe Rønde’s

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BRIDGEND premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, winning 3 of the 6 main awards – Best Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. Based on a real life, mysterious teenage suicide cluster that took place in a former coal mining province in Wales, filmmaker Jeppe Rønde followed teenagers in the area for six years, and wrote the narrative script based on their life stories. Shot entirely on location in Wales, many of the local teenagers act in the film as well. Deftly structured around young heroine Sara (an award-winning performance from Hannah Murray from UK’s Skins and Gilly on Game of Thrones), the film paints a sensitive exploration of natural adolescent confusion, romanticism, and sadness, set amidst rugged natural landscapes and spectacular cinematography. This is filmmaker Jeppe Rønde’s fiction film debut. Director Jeppe Rønde joins us to talk about his haunting and mysterious tale of lost youth and intense love.

Bridgend is being released theatrically as well as through the stream service FANDOR

To sign up and watch Bridgend go to: fandor.com/

“Hannah Murray is excellent! This is ripped-from-the-headlines cinema reformulated as real-world horror film, with a shivery stylistic nod to the crime drama of Rønde’s homeland.”  – Variety

“Haunting! (Hanna) Murray’s Tribeca win for Best Actress is well deserved. A provocative film that eventually blazes to a searing finish.” – The Playlist

“15 Must-See Movies at Tribeca Film Festival 2015. While the movie could have played the story for cheap creeps, (Filmmaker) Ronde instead puts a sharp focus on how its heroine’s natural adolescent confusion, romanticism and sadness are magnified by the continuing loss of her peers.” – Rolling Stone

“Throughout, (Filmmaker) Ronde’s visuals are intense and exhilarating.” – Screen Daily

My Father’s Vietnam, Director Soren Sorensen

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A personal film about a public subject, MY FATHER’S VIETNAM explores the human bonds forged and shattered by war. Set against the backdrop of never-before-seen photographs and 8mm footage of the Vietnam War, the film is the story of three soldiers, only one of whom made it home alive. MY FATHER’S VIETNAM  won the Soldiers and Sacrifice Grand Prize at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) and the Best Picture Documentary at the 2016 Flagler Film Festival. MY FATHER’S VIETNAM was directed by first-time filmmaker Soren Sorensen. Gravitas Ventures will release the film on VOD and across all other digital platforms on May 24, 2016, to coincide with Memorial Day Weekend. Director Sorensen joins us to talk about his father and the other soldiers that went to Vietnam and never truely came back.

For news and updates go to: My Father’s Vietnam

“I give this film my highest praise. I want people to see it to understand the deep thinking that went into the tough decision made by most veterans to serve in that lengthy and controversial military engagement—now remembered as the Vietnam War. Many veterans paid a high price. The tribute to the fallen is breathtaking.” Jan Scruggs Founder, Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

My Father’s Vietnam is a powerful and gripping story—a worthy testament to complex lives and impossible choices made by young people coming of age while the world was in flames. These accidental heroes—soldiers, resisters, the women who waited and worried—emerge as fully human beings thrust into situations not of their making, struggling to make sense and create meaning out of chaos. This is a dazzling documentary and a necessary addition to the chronicle of the Viet Nam years.” Bill Ayers, Author, Fugitive Days

Elstree 1976, Director / Writer Jon Spira

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ELSTREE 1976 explores the lives of the actors and extras behind one of the most celebrated science fiction films in cinematic history: STAR WARS. A captivating look at the unheralded stars of George Lucas’s original film – from the man behind film’s most iconic villain, to the actor whose character was completely cut from the final film – the documentary delves into the eccentric community these individuals have formed and how the Star Wars franchise – which spans five decades from A NEW HOPE to THE FORCE AWAKENS –  from Millennium Falcon Pilots to uncredited Temple Guards to Darth Vader himself, ELSTREE 1976 shows the profound impact that STAR WARS had on all involved, no matter the role. Director and writer Jon Spira joins us to talk about his own journey into their world.

For news and updates go to: filmrise.com/elstree-1976/

** New York Times Critics Pick

** LA Times Critics Pick

“A sweet, quietly funny, fascinating and contemplative study of 10 character actors and extras, none of whom had any idea back in the 1970s they’d forever be defined by the one or two days they spent on the set of a sci-fi movie.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun Times

“In telling a small story of bit players, the director, Jon Spira, captures a more universal picture of the droplets of fame created by a pop-culture tidal wave.” – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

“It finds a way of proving valuable not just to fans, but to Force agnostics as well.” – Oliver Lyttelton, The Playlist

The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West, Director and co-producer Barry Strugatz

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THE PROFESSOR is the first major feature documentary about the martial art of Tai Chi and one of its greatest masters, Cheng Man-Ching, the man who brought the Chinese practice to the U.S. during the turbulent 1960s. Professor Cheng Man-Ching (1901-1975) is considered one of the greatest Tai Chi masters of modern times. Strugatz’s documentary tells the story of the man who overcame cultural divides to bring ancient traditions to the Western world, in the process teaching Westerners how to seek an ethical, open-minded and joyful way of life with Tai Chi – not only as a martial art, but also as a spiritual practice and form of mindful exercise.
Part of a centuries-old Chinese lineage, Tai Chi is an ancient form of exercise originally created as a fighting art. Known as the “Supreme Ultimate” martial art, it is deeply rooted in classic Chinese culture and philosophy, combining mental concentration with slow, controlled movements to focus the mind, challenge the body, and improve the flow of ”chi” – the life energy thought to sustain health and quiet the mind.

Filmmaker Barry Strugatz, a student of Tai Chi, became aware that the legacy of Cheng Man-Ching as a transformational figure was in danger of being lost. Strugatz has written screenplays for Jonathan Demme (Married to the Mob), Meryl Streep (She-Devil) and directed Melissa Leo in From Other Worlds. THE PROFESSOR is his first documentary. He joins us to talk about how Cheng Man-Ching impacted the physical, psychological and spiritual lives of countless lives.

For news and updates go to:firstrunfeatures.com/professor.html

Director Barry Strugatz will participate in a Q & A after the 7:40 PM screenings at the Music Hall on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7.

“East engagingly meets West in ‘The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West,’ an affectionate documentary portrait of Cheng Man-Ching, the Chinese master who brought Tai Chi to New York during the groovy but stressed-out ’60s.” 
- Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times

“Must-see!” – Brigid Brown, BBC America

“Forms a sort of oral history of Cheng and his methods… The documentary succeeds in highlighting Cheng’s importance, not in making tai chi relevant to a wider audience.” – Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International

“For those of us who study these arts and are certainly familiar with Professor Cheng Man-Ching the chance to see any footage of him in action at all is a real treat. Excellent.” – Steven Ruskin, AV Maniacs

“Sweet… it’s refreshing to watch a film about a man who has helped so many individuals grow.” 
- Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card

“VERY MOVING. It reveals how completely universal and accessible Tai Chi is to anyone. A perfect martial art for this time of fear and anger.” – Julie Taymor, Award-Winning Broadway & Film Director

Rabin In his Own Words, Director and Erez Laufer

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RABIN IN HIS OWN WORDS is an “autobiography” of sorts, the story is told entirely in the voice of former Israeli Prime Minister, former head of Israeli Defense Forces Yitzhak Rabin. Through a combination of rare archival footage, home movies and private letters, his personal and professional dramas unfold before the viewer’s eyes – from his childhood as the son of a labor leader before the founding of the State of Israel, through a change of viewpoint that turned him from a farmer into an army man who stood at some of the most critical junctures in Israeli history. RABIN IN HIS OWN WORDS brings the man – flesh and blood – back to life, if only momentarily. The film combines rare archives that, since they were originally broadcasted 40 years ago, have not been seen or heard, a private 8 mm mostly shot by Rabin, a super 8 mm of Rabin in color in 1948 shot by American couple visiting Israel, and private letters to his sister his father and to his wife Leah.  Director Erez Laufer is the co-Editor of two Oscar nominated documentaries: Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker’s The War Room (1993) and Laura Poitras’ My Country My Country (2006) His own film Mike Brant, Laisse-moi t’aimer won the 2002 Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary, and had its international premiere at the Directors Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2003. Director Laufer stops by to talk about his fascinating portrait of a man in the middle of many of the Middle East’s defining historic events and how his words resonate today.

For news and updates go to: menemshafilms.com/rabin

“In His Own Words is a deeply involving look at the man’s entire life, using archival footage, home movies, private letters but most of all filmed interviews Rabin gave, to let us hear him tell his own story just about from cradle to grave.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“Rabin’s consistent, thoughtful self-criticism and colorful storytelling animate what might otherwise be a pat, or at least familiar, history of Israel in the 20th century. By making it specific, Laufer makes it new.” – Diana Clarke, Village Voice

“A thoroughly fascinating, captivating, well-edited and provocative documentary. It should be mandatory viewing for anyone even remotely interested in politics and history.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

Now Playing in Select Theaters


New York, NY – Lincoln Plaza Cinema

Los Angeles, CA – Laemmle’s Royal Theatre

Starts May 13th

Encino, CA – Laemmle’s Town Center 5

Team Foxcatcher, Director Jon Greenhalgh

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Meant to be a retreat for elite American athletes, Foxcatcher Farms, and all it was intended to represent, was lost in the paranoid downward spiral of its troubled benefactor John Du Pont. Heir to the Du Pont family fortune, John Du Pont funneled his considerable resources into his love of sports—wrestling in particular. Aiming to reinvigorate the US Olympic wrestling team, Du Pont created Foxcatcher, and invited gold medal champion Dave Schultz to lead the charge. What began as an idealistic sports idyll soon deteriorated into suspicion, distrust, and ultimately murder. Through fascinating archival footage and never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz’s time at the farm, director Jon Greenhalgh’s absorbing film unpacks the events leading up to Foxcatcher’s well-documented tragedy, exploring the complex and contradictory character Team Foxcatcher IIof Du Pont, while serving as a poignant memoir to the legacy of Schultz as a champion wrestler, husband, and father. Team Foxcatcher charts a true American tragedy of Olympic dreams, ambition, mental illness, and murder. Jon Greenhalgh is an acclaimed director, producer, and writer specializing in sports documentaries with titles that include The Smashing Machine (HBO’s America Undercover), Rank (IFC Documentaries), and Team Foxcatcher, his debut film on Netflix. Director Jon Greenhalgh stops by to discuss this compelling and heartbreaking look at a tragedy as seen through the eyes of those closest to it.

Watch Team Foxcatcher at netflix.com

“It’s a straightforward documentary and a good one for those who haven’t already spent enough time with this strange, unsettling story.” – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

“The tense, nerve-racking score and our own knowledge of the outcome gives the events a sense of doomed inevitability.”- Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

“It’s the absence of Dave’s brother and athletic partner, Mark, that most glaringly sticks out in director Jon Greenhalgh’s film. That incompleteness is a nagging issue throughout, though it shouldn’t hinder this otherwise sterling documentary’s appeal …” – Nick Schager, Variety

I Don’t Belong Anywhere: The Cinema of Chantal Akerman, Director Marianne Lambert

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I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE: THE CINEMA OF CHANTAL AKERMAN explores some of the Belgian filmmaker’s 40 plus films, and from Brussels to Tel Aviv, from Paris to New York, it charts the sites of her peregrinations. An experimental filmmaker, a nomad, Chantal Akerman shared with I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE director Marianne Lambert her cinematic trajectory, one that never ceased to interrogate the meaning of her existence. And with her editor and long-time collaborator, Claire Atherton, she examines the origins of her film language, and aesthetic stance. I DON’T BELONG ANYWHERE includes excerpts from many films made throughout Akerman’s career, including JEANNE DIELMAN, 23, QUAI DU COMMERCE, 1080 BRUXELLES (1975), NEWS FROM HOME Chantal Akerman(1976), THE RENDEZ-VOUS OF ANNA, JE, TU, IL, ELLE (1974), SOUTH (1998), FROM THE EAST (1993), FROM THE OTHER SIDE (2002), LÀ-BAS (2006), and, what would be Chantal Akerman’s last film, NO HOME MOVIE (2015). Director Marianne Lambert joins us to reflect on the work of an artist who charted her own intimate, audacious and stunningly original work in the history of film.

For news and updates go to: icarusfilms.com

“A career-spanning documentary [that] provides valuable insights” —Variety

“Offers an overview of Akerman’s career while showcasing the behind-the-scenes process of her work.” —IndieWire

“The least sentimental love letter you’ll ever come across.” —Vogue

Wedding Doll (Hatuna MeNiyar), Director Nitzan Gilady

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In the Wedding Doll Hagit, (Moran Rosenblatt) young talented woman with a mild mental deficiency who lives with her mother Sara, a divorced mother, in a small suburb town in the desert. She has a part time job in a toilet paper factory and longs to be independent. Her mother Sara (Assi Levy), who gave up her dreams, works as a chambermaid in a hotel and her life surrounds around taking care of her daughter. Hagit’s biggest dream is to get married. Secretly and without the knowledge of her mother, she’s in love with the son, Omri (Roy Assaf) of the factory owner, who gradually falls in love with her. In her mind, she believes that one day they’ll get married. The announcement of the closing of the factory shakes Hagit and Sara’s life and jeopardizes Hagit’s love story. Written and directed by Nitzan Gilady, an Israeli film director who has written, produced and directed the documentary films IN SATMAR CUSTODY (2003), JERUSALEM IS PROUD TO BE PRESENT (2008) and THE LAST ENEMY (2010). Wedding Doll is his first feature film. Gilady joins us for a conversation on making his internationally acclaimed award-winning film and the challenge of crafting Hagit’s story that is sensitive and respectful.

For news and updates go to: weddingdollthemovie.com

Recognition for Wedding Doll:

2015 Toronto International Film Festival – Official Selection


2015 BFI London Film Festival – Official Selection


2016 The Haggiag Award for Best Actress – Moran Rosenblatt

2015 Jerusalem Film Festival – WINNER Best Actress, Best Israeli Debut Feature, Official Selection


2016 International du Film d’Amour de Mons – WINNER Best Actress, Official Selection


“WEDDING DOLL has echoes of ROMEO AND JULIET in the romance between Hagit and Omri… Moran Rosenblatt has the look of a young Patricia Arquette and her Hagit glows with an inner radiance”
 – Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

“[A] fantastic debut feature… deftly executed and built on two remarkable leading performances”
 – Ben Nicholson, Cine-Vue

“A mildly mentally disabled young woman strains for independence in this well-crafted drama” 
- Dennis Harvey, Variety



“It’s a movie that deserves to be seen for many reasons, but especially the way it portrays a kind of character who’s quite often either dismissed, or made a cliche”
 – John Anderson, Indiewire

Hostile Border, Actress Veronica Sixtos

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In the film Hostile Border Claudia, a twenty-something Chicana, is chasing the bling of a lux life, making bad choices – and eventually she gets caught. Despite the fact that she barely speaks a word of Spanish, her undocumented status gets her deported to Mexico. Although she can never legally return to the U.S. Claudia refuses to accept life with her estranged father and grandmother in her foreign “homeland,” and she spirals into a dangerous situation with a handsome smuggler. Veronica Sixtos’ gives a nuanced performance as an emotionally withholding anti-hero who’s trouble for anyone who dares to care about her. Hostile Border is pitched in a heightened style between a slow-burning thriller and a noir western, this smartly conceived allegorical tale confronts the dark side of the American dream. Veronica Sixtos as Claudia and leads an exceptional supporting cast of Julio Cedillo, Roberto Urbina, Jorge A. Jimenez, Jesse Garcia, and María del Carmen Farías, Hostile Border is a taut, high stakes family drama. The lead actress Veronica Sixtos join us to talk about her brilliant breakout performance, her music career and Hollywood’s growing embrace of latino-based stories.

For news and updates go to: hostileborder.com

Opening at the Laemmle NoHo theatre in North Hollywood April 15th featuring a Q&A with actress Veronica Sixtos, Saturday and Sunday evening, writer Kaitlin McLaughlin on Saturday evening and director Michael Dwyer on Sunday evening, April 17th.

Available on Google Play, Vudu and iTunes

Official Selection 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival – Winner of the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Directing (Michael Dwyer).

“Co-directors Dwyer and Kaitlin McLaughlin prove more adept at the first act’s low-key character building than the action-movie showdowns they’re building toward, but Claudia’s use of a makeshift flamethrower late in the game is an unexpected joy.” – LA Weekly

“Slick and engaging” – Cinapse

Friday, April 8, 2016 – Louder Than Bombs, Director and co-screenwriter Joachim Trier

Louder Than Bombs (film) 

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LOUDER THAN BOMBS is a stunningly intimate portrait of parents and children and the many things that tear them apart and bring them together. Three years after the death of famed photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert), her husband, Gene (Gabriel Byrne), and her sons Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg), and his younger brother, Conrad (Devin Druid), are still trying to cope with their loss. Shifting between past and present, and juxtaposing external reality with privileged glimpses into the interior lives of each of its four major characters. LOUDER THAN BOMBS captures the sadness of losing a loved one at the same time it celebrates the importance of family. The English-language debut of acclaimed Norwegian director Joachim Trier, (Reprise and Oslo, August 31) who was named one of the “20 Directors to Watch” by the New York Times in 2013, LOUDER THAN BOMBS was co-written by Trier and Eskil Vogt and photographed by Jakob Ihre. Joining Isabelle Huppert, Gabriel Byrne, Jesse Eisenberg, and Devin Druid in a stellar ensemble cast are Academy Award® nominees David Strathairn and Amy Ryan, and Emmy® nominee Rachel Brosnahan. Director Joachim Trier joins us to talk about the values and emotions that get passed down from generation to generation and the consequences.

For news and updates go to: louderthanbombs.film

“A family drama of extraordinary beauty… the film lives and breathes with a lovely intimacy” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“’Louder Than Bombs’ Trailer is a Powerful Mediation on Grief” – IndieWire

“The grief is honest and beautiful in ‘Louder Than Bombs'” – New York Post

“‘Louder Than Bombs’: A Moving, Essential Take on Family, War and Loss” – New York Observer

Friday, April 8, 2016 – SOLD, Director Jeffrey Dean Brown and Producer Jane Charles

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The intense, emotional story of one 13 year-old girl’s quest for freedom after finding herself a victim of human trafficking between Nepal and India, will hit the big screen in the feature film SOLD. Globally, the average age of a girl who is trafficked for sex is 13-14 years old, according to ECPAT, a global network dedicated to protecting children.

The acclaimed film is directed by Oscar®-winning filmmaker Jeffrey Dean Brown (MOLLY’S PILGRIM), executive produced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson, and produced by Jane Charles. The ensemble cast includes Gillian Anderson (X-FILES) and David Arquette. Based on the international bestselling novel by Patricia McCormick, inspired by true events, SOLD depicts the story of an extraordinary girl Lakshmi who is trafficked across the Nepal-India border and forced to work in a brothel in Kolkata, India. By telling one girl’s story, SOLD gives voice to the millions of trafficked children who are unheard and unseen. Director Jeffrey Dean Brown and Producer Jane Charles joins us to talk about the making of this illuminating and compelling film and about the world-wide, but often invisible epidemic of human trafficking.

For news and updates go to: soldthemovie.com

“The film gives us a vibrant, tangible sense of place, the color and dust of a crowded ancient city, and the layers of secrecy and corruption under which Lakshmi and those like her are trapped.” – Joyce Kulhawik, RogerEbert.com

SOLD humanizes the issue of child trafficking. By pulling us into the world of one child who is trafficked, the film provides insight into the horrors children experience but also illustrates the resilience they have to overcome such horrible situations. Emily Pasnak-Lapchick, End Trafficking Program Officer, U.S. Fund for UNICEF

Marvelous script and courageous and brilliant cast… [we] feel able to act without feeling the kind of rage and hopelessness that gets in the way of doing anything. Emma Thompson, SOLD Executive Producer

Brilliantly made. Unlike other films on child trafficking and modern slavery, SOLD makes the problem personal for the audience. Though heartbroken by what she endures, the viewer is left inspired by Lakshmi’s strength and bravery, motivated to help end modern slavery through real-world action. Alex K. Monroe, Senior Campaigns Manager, Walk Free

The Dark Horse, Director / writer James Napier Robertson

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Based on a powerful true story, The Dark Horse is the uplifting portrait of a man searching for the courage to lead, despite his struggles with mental illness. The film features a stunning, award-winning performance by Cliff Curtis (Whale Rider, Blow, “Fear the Walking Dead”) as Genesis “Gen” Potini, a brilliant but troubled New Zealand chess champion who finds purpose by teaching underprivileged children about the rules of chess and life. After years in and out of mental institutions, Genesis is released into the care of his estranged brother Ariki (Wayne Hapi) and thrust into his volatile gang lifestyle. Seeking to escape this toxic environment, Genesis finds solace by volunteering at the Eastern Knights chess club and sharing his gift with the disadvantaged Maori children of his community.  Charismatic and impassioned, Gen encourages the group to train for the upcoming National Chess Championships.  But his teaching puts him at odds with his brother when Ariki’s son Mana (James Rolleston) shows an interest in the game – chess is considered a distraction from the teen’s imminent initiation into his father’s gang. The Dark Horse is rugged and raw gem of filmmaking anchored by brilliant central performance from Cliff Curtis. Director / writer James Napier Robertson stops by to talk about the amazing Genesis Potini, the lives he touched and the inspiration he provided to the cast and crew of The Dark Horse.

For news and updates go to: thedarkhorsefilm.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thedarkhorsemovie/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thedarkhorsemov

 Curtis is so heartbreakingly convincing in the lead role that he routinely frees you of the feeling you’re watching one more adversity saga with scrappy kids and a third-act tournament.” – Robert Abele, LA Times.

 “The Dark Horse” brings Cliff Curtis back home, and he gives a performance that’s transcendent in more ways than one.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

 “Combines several potentially tired subgenres – the inspirational-teacher drama, the mental illness drama, and the gang thriller – but, helped immeasurably by Curtis’s performance, makes something new out of them.” Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

 “It’s a film with the texture and truth of life, and at its heart is a beautiful performance by Cliff Curtis.” – Cath Clarke, Time Out

Lolo, Director Julie Delpy

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Violette (Julie Delpy), a 40-year old workaholic with a career in the fashion industry falls for a provincial computer geek, Jean-Rene (Danny Boon), while on a spa retreat with her best friend. Though Jean-Rene faces a major challenge: he must win the trust and respect of  Violette’s teenage son, Lolo (Vincente Lacoste), who is determined to wreak havoc on the couple’s fledging relationship and remain his mother’s favorite. After TWO DAYS IN PARIS, TWO DAYS IN NEW YORK and SKYLAB, Julie Delpy returns with a sharp romantic comedy, alongside Dany Boon, the irresistible creator of WELCOME TO THE STICKS. Lolo recently premiered at the 2015 Venice Film Festival and North American Premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Writer / director Julie Delpy joins us for a spirited conversation on working with her own ensemble of talent and the making of films that inspire her.

For news and updates go to: filmrise.com/lolo/

Currently screening at:
Playhouse – Pasadena – TICKETS
Monica Film Center – Santa Monica – TICKETS
Noho 7 – North Hollywood – TICKETS
Music Hall – North Hollywood – TICKETS
Edward Westpark 8 – Irvine – TICKETS

“Lolo is fun and fresh to look at: Violette’s habitat is fashion-world, Centre-Pompidou new Paris, blessedly free of the Louvre-and-Seine shorthand that sells French movies to American audiences.” – Ella Taylor, NPR

“Delpy brings an unflinching perspective to the realities of balancing new love and motherhood, even while playing it for laughs.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Lolo is a maternal horror film in the guise of a light romantic comedy, and therein lies much of its charm.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“A curiously unsentimental director of romantic comedies, Julie Delpy sees romance for the work that it primarily is.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

Take Me to the River, Director Matt Sobel

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In Take Me to the River a Nebraskan family reunion couldn’t seem more backwards to a gay Californian teenager. If Ryder had his way, he’d choose a moment just like this to come out, the bigger the scene the better. For his mother’s sake however, Ryder agrees to keep quiet, save parading around the picnic in his most audacious pair of short-shorts. Ryder’s antics raise dubious eyebrows from his hardened cowboy relatives, but 9-year-old Molly can’t get enough. She follows her cool California cousin everywhere. After lunch, they walk to the barn to look for a bird’s nest in the rafters. Their strange encounter, and whatever happened while the two escaped their family’s watchful eyes, makes Ryder the sudden target of suspicion, and places him at the center of a long buried family secret. Robin Weigert (Concussion, Synecdoche, New York, Deadwood) anchors a superb ensemble cast that includes Richard Schiff (West Wing, The Automatic Hate), Josh Hamilton (Kicking and Screaming, Frances Ha and Gracepoint) and a breakout performance by Logan Miller (The Stanford Prison Experiment, Night Moves). Director / producer / writer Matt Sobel stops by to talk about his stunning, controversial and brilliant feature debut.

For news and updates go to: filmmovement.com/Take Me to the River

Facebook.com/TakeMetotheRiverFilm

“Writer-director Matt Sobel’s quietly engaging debut is one of the great discoveries of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival: His fish-out-of-water observations have a personal edge — the film is shot partly on his own extended family’s Nebraskan property — but it soon builds to a place of nightmarish psychosexual revelations.” – Ibad Shah, Indiewire

“Superlatively acted culture-clash indie chillingly evokes primal dread and sexual transgression….” –Ronnie Scheib, Variety

“TAKE ME TO THE RIVER provides a fresh and haunting perspective on the ‘family secrets’ subgenre… the film is narratively claustrophobic, beautiful, disturbing and ripe.” – John Fink, The Film Stage

“….Sobel is worthy of the title of best new American independent filmmaker.” – Eric Lavalle, Ioncinema

The Confirmation, Director Bob Nelson

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Clive Owen shines in this irresistible comedy as Walt, a down-on-his luck carpenter tasked with entertaining his eight-year-old son Anthony while Anthony’s mom (Maria Bello) and her new husband are away. But when Walt’s prized toolbox is stolen, a quiet father-and-son weekend turns into an adventure of a lifetime. Aided by an oddball drywall repairman (Patton Oswalt), Walt and Anthony go on a wildly funny search for the thieves—and find something they never imagined: a true family connection. As Walt and Anthony set about finding the guys who stole the tools and improvise around their other misfortunes, they begin to discover a true connection with each other, causing Walt to become a better father and Anthony to reveal the promise and potential of the good man he will become…Director and Oscar nominated screenwriter Bob Nelson (Nebraska) joins us for a conversation on moving into the director’s chair and the challenges and rewards of working with a strong ensemble cast.

For news and updates go to: lighthousepictures.ca

Opening Friday, March 18 at the Laemmle’s NoHo 7 5240 Lankershim Boulevard • (310) 478-3836

“Feature films these days rarely come as gentle and equitable as “The Confirmation.” – Gary Goldstein, LA Times

“One of the selling points of “The Confirmation” is how it steers clear of melodrama or tidy perfection in favor of a taste of life on the margins, where even living paycheck to paycheck would be a luxury.” – Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

“In the best moments, Nelson juxtaposes … ephemeral, eternal doubt against the concrete realities of small-town American poverty and marginality.” – Adam Nayman, AV Club

“The movie’s not just good but moving, funny and true to the way people actually live in hard-times America.” – Alan Scherstuhl , Village Voice

Only the Dead See the End of War, Director Michael Ware

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Australian journalist Michael Ware arrived in Baghdad in 2003 as a novice reporter on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops, as well as a myriad of demons – the after-effects of witnessing seemingly endless, horrific violence. Examining the Iraq War and its moral consequences through the story of the rise and fall of jihadi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the progenitor of ISIS, ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR is a harrowing and graphic account from both sides of the war zone, as well as an illuminating window into the origins of a modern terrorist organization. Directed by two-time Oscar® winner Bill Guttentag in collaboration with Michael Ware, won three 2015 Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (Australian equivalent of the Academy Awards) including Best Direction in a Documentary and the 2015 Walkley Documentary Award (Australian equivalent of the Pulitzer).  Co-director / journalist / subject Michael Ware joins us for a lively conversation on what motivates him to put himself in such insanely dangerous situations and what he has learned about the consequences and future of the on-going wars in the Middle East.