Provocative, funny, intelligent and fiercely political, audiences had better be ready to dive in for the new documentary feature MR. FISH: CARTOONING FROM THE DEEP END. Directed by Pablo Bryant, will have its NYC Premiere at the DOC NYC 2017. In this documentary we discover the dangerously funny cartoonist Mr. Fish, struggling to make a living in an industry that is dying out. In a world where consumerism is king, and opportunities are few, will this uncensored artist find a way to sell his art, or be forced to sell himself out?After a rousing, standing ovation laden World premiere, comes word that director Pablo Bryant’s MR. FISH: CARTOONING FROM THE DEEP END has won the 2017 Hiscox Audience Award for Best documentary at at the Austin Film Festival. Director Pablo Bryant joins us for a lively conversation on free speech, our political culture, and the artistic sensibilities of today’s most scathing and insightful political satirist.
GKIDS, the acclaimed producer and distributor of animation for adult and family audiences, Annecy International Animation Film Festival, the world’s leading animation Festival and Market, and Variety magazine, have announced the launch of ANIMATON IS FILM, an annual animation film festival in Los Angeles. The first edition will run October 20-22 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood (Mann’s Chinese Theater) with a showcase of 20 programs including feature films in competition, special presentations, retrospectives and short film programs. ANIMATION IS FILM aims to fill a gap in the US market by establishing a world class animation festival on par with the major events in Europe and Asia – and locating it in the world capital of animated filmmaking. The Festival will be a vocal advocatein the heart of Hollywood, for excellence in animation, and for filmmakers who push the boundaries of their art to the fullest range of expression that the medium is capable of. GKIDS and Animation is Film founder Eric Beckmanstops by to talk about his love of animation and the endless possibilities for enriching and entertaining filmmaking contained in it.
Shira Dubrovner, longtime resident of Mammoth Lakes, is a community organizer and leader, arts advocate, and film lover who followed her lifelong passion for cinema to become the founder of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival. Shira is also the Artistic Director of this well regarded theatre company. After her experience creating a successful theatre in Mammoth (established at the Edison Theatre, which will serve as one of the key screening venues during this year’s film festival), she decided to introduce the community to her other passion – independent film – by creating the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.This year’s Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is a five-day festival that screens independent features and shorts in the spectacular setting of Mammoth Lakes—California’s premier mountain resort, high in the Eastern Sierras from May 24 – 28, 2017, Memorial Day weekend. The 3rd Annual Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, taking place in the magnificent mountain setting of Mammoth Lakes, California, has announced its line-up of screenings, which will include premieres, festival favorites and classic films. The five-day festival will take place May 24-28, 2017, beginning on Wednesday with the Opening Night Screening of Cheech and Chong’s much-loved first feature UP IN SMOKE. Tommy Chong, one of its stars as well as its uncredited co-director, will be present for a Q&A after the screening, which is followed by the Gala Opening Night Party at the Sierra Events Center. Saturday evening will feature the SIERRA SPIRIT AWARD CENTERPIECE GALA & SCREENING: A Night with John Sayles.The evening will begin with a screening of his 1983 film BABY IT’S YOU starring Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano, followed by a conversation with Sayles and a presentation of the Sierra Spirit Award. Sayles’s credits include THE BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET, MATEWAN, EIGHT MEN OUT, LONE STAR, and THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH, amongst others. In addition to the two classic films representing the work of Chong and Sayles, an additional 18 features will be screened over the five days of the festival. Feature documentary films in competition will include EIGHT (US Premiere), FOREVER B, (World Premiere), THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES, OLANCHO, RAT FILM, STRAD STYLE and WHAT LIES UPSTREAM. Spotlight Screening Documentaries not in competition will include THE CHALLENGE, DINA, and MACHINES. Feature narrative films in competition will include NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE, WITHDRAWN, SPACE DETECTIVE. Foreign films in competition will include COLD BREATH, THE ERLPRINCE, THE FIXER and THE GREAT UNWASHED (U.S. Premiere). The final Narrative Feature, not in competition, will be the rave-reviewed Sundance hit MENASHE, which has been picked up by A24 for distribution. In addition to the Opening Night Gala and the Sierra Spirit Award Event, there is a Filmmakers Bash on Saturday evening at Rafters featuring the band Jelly Bread and the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, May 27 at the Sierra Events Center. Founder and Director Shira Dubrovner joins us to talk about this year’s festival highlights.
TICKLING GIANTS is a great story about the power of political satire in the face of oppression. In the midst of the Egyptian Arab Spring, Bassem Youssef makes a decision that’s every mother’s worst nightmare… He leaves his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time comedian. Dubbed, “The Egyptian Jon Stewart,” Bassem creates the satirical show, Al Bernameg. The weekly program quickly becomes the most viewed television program in the Middle East, with 30 million viewers per episode. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart averaged two million viewers. In a country where free speech is not settled law, Bassem’s show becomes as controversial as it popular. He and his staff must endure physical threats, protests, and legal action, all because of jokes. As Bassem attempts to remain on the air, keep his staff safe, and not get arrested, he continues to let those in power know they’re being held accountable. Despite increasing danger, the team at Al Bernameg employ comedy, not violence, to comment on hypocrisy in media, politics, and religion. Directed by Sara Taksler TICKLING GIANTS follows the team of Al Bernameg as they discover democracy is not easily won. The young women and men working on Bassem’s show are fearless revolutionaries, who just happen to be really, really funny. The subject of Tickling Giants, Bassem Youssef joins us for a conversation on the cost and consequences of speaking out.
“Tickling Giants surprises us on several levels. It reveals Egypt’s familiar Arab Spring experience through a lens, that of satiric comedy, which is very different from the way we usually see it. And it has the personal element of Youssef’s involving story.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
“Mostly, the movie makes you understand how every society – and ours more than ever – needs people like Bassem Youssef to demonstrate that laughter will always be one of the essential ways to keep power in check.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“There’s a lot to laugh at, and to learn from, in “Tickling Giants,” a documentary that starts off by telling the story of one man and ends up speaking volumes about satire, freedom of expression and political pressure.” – Ken Jaworoski, New York Times
“Media are their own giant, they shape beliefs and create community, instill hope and fear. Perhaps it’s a lesson that will be taken seriously by viewers in the US.” – Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
It all began when a group of cheerful, subversive filmmakers weren’t accepted into the Sundance Film Festival.Unwilling to take “no” for an answer, they instead started their own event – Slamdance: Anarchy in Utah. 22 years later, Slamdance has become a year-round organization fostering the development of unique and innovative filmmakers. The organization now consists of the Film Festival, Screenplay Competition and Slamdance Studios. It has also created Slamdance On The Road, a traveling theatrical showcase that brings popular Slamdance films to audiences that otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them. Dan Mirvish, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn and Peter Baxter are the founding forefathers who, along with co-conspirator Paul Rachman, fought for truly independent filmmakers by giving them a voice in 1995 at the very first Slamdance Film Festival. Since then, the festival takes place every January in the breathtakingly stunning, snow-capped mountains of Park City, Utah at the exact same time as the
Sundance Film Festival, to provide a more authentic representation of independent filmmaking. Up-and-coming writers, directors and producers, alongside seasoned veterans and film lovers, converge for the weeklong celebration of independent cinema, realizing that Slamdance is a great place to find those next, great, visionary films. Slamdance lives and bleeds by its mantra By Filmmakers For Filmmakers. No other film festival in the world is entirely run and organized by the creative force that can only be found in filmmakers. Slamdance adamantly supports self-governance amongst independents, and exists to deliver what filmmakers go to festivals for – a chance to show their work and a platform to launch their careers. The festival has earned a solid reputation for premiering films by first-time writers and directors working within the creative confines of limited budgets.Co-founder and President Peter Baxter joins us to talk about this year’s Slamdance, the groundbreaking films and the innovative new distribution and digital initiatives being launched by Slamdance.
Neil (Michael Johnston) is an introverted, questioning high school freshman. Lacking any friends IRL, his main social outlet is the steamy fan fiction he writes about Vanguard, the brawny, galaxy-hopping hero of a popular sci-fi franchise. When his stories are exposed in class Neil is mortified, but the slightly older, effortlessly cool Julia (Hannah Marks) comes to his defense. An erotic fan fic writer herself, Julia pushes Neil to publish his stories to an online “adult” forum, where they quickly grab the attention of the site moderator, Denis (Michael Ian Black). When Neil is invited to present his work at a comic con live-read event, he has to face the fact that Denis’ interest in him may be more than simply professional… perhaps like his own feelings for Julia. Director Clay Liford stops by to talk about his endearing, beautifully rendered story of angst, creativity and self discovery.
“An effortlessly engaging dramedy that somehow manages to sustain an air of buoyant sweetness even while repeatedly referencing erotic fantasies and sexual anxieties.” – Joe Leydon, Variety
“This sweet-natured coming-of-age movie, written and directed by Clay Liford, is perhaps more complicated than most by having characters whose sexual orientations aren’t settled.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“Charming and slightly, beautifully dangerous” – BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH
“Effortlessly engaging” – VARIETY
“Grounded, funny, and relatable” – AIN’T IT COOL NEWS
50 years ago on August 1st, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas, Austin, Tower, and opened fire at 11:48am, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots finally ceased, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. In Keith Maitland’s critically acclaimed documentary TOWER, the film’s subject, 18-year-old freshman, Claire Wilson was the first person shot from the Tower. Claire, who was eight months pregnant, was walking with her boyfriend Tom, who reached down to help her; he was struck down as well. For over an hour of the siege, Claire remained exposed to the shooter, conscious and steadily losing blood, while knowing that her boyfriend had been killed and that she lost her baby. TOWER combines archival footage with rotoscopic animation of the dramatic day, based entirely on first person testimonies from witnesses, heroes and survivors of America’s first documented mass school shooting, in a seamless and suspenseful retelling of the unfolding tragedy. The film highlights the fear, confusion, and visceral realities that changed the lives of those present, and the rest of us, forever – a day when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others. Director Keith Maitland joins us to talk about the mayhem and the courage that marked a day of infamy and prescience that echoes today.
FOR CALL TO ACTION: Twitter Handle: @TOWERfilm – Hashtag: #TOWERtogether – Hashtag: #GetAnimated
“Tower’ isn’t looking back on the tragedy – it’s living in it, a tick-tock of an afternoon’s terror, as uncertain of its causes or its outcome as the people on the UT campus were that afternoon.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
“I rarely, if ever, use the cliche “a must-see movie,” but in this case it’s entirely apropos.” – Marc Savlov, Austin Chronicle
“A piece about adrenaline, bravery, grief and memory that stands as one of the year’s crowning achievements in emotional, illuminative storytelling.” – Robert Adele, The Wrap
“Maitland crafts an absorbing account of the circumstances surrounding the massacre, setting aside the analysis of Whitman’s motives (he also killed his wife and mother) for others to dissect.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire
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.
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.
“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
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.
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
Riding at night through streets deemed dangerous in Eastside Los Angeles, the Ovarian Psycos use their bicycles to confront the violence in their lives. At the helm of the crew is founder Xela de la X, a single mother and poet M.C. dedicated to recruiting an unapologetic, misfit crew of women of color. The film intimately chronicles Xela as she struggles to strike a balance between her activism and nine year old daughter Yoli; street artist Andi who is estranged from her family and journeys to become a leader within the crew; and bright eyed recruit Evie, who despite poverty, and the concerns of her protective Salvadoran mother, discovers a newfound confidence. Co-directors Joanna Sokolowski & Kate Trumbull-LaValle stop by to talk about the boldness of Ovas’ politics, their brazen approach to feminism, and unapologetic aesthetic: a hybrid mix of Chicana, Riot Grrrl, Zapatista and militant-punk cultural markers and the individual personalities that make Ovarian Psycos such a compelling watch.
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.
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 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.
“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
In a madcap art world obsessed with money, fame and hype, how does an artist driven by justice, defiance and his own singular style thrive? ART BASTARD is the rousing tale of a rebel who never fit into today’s art world… yet has become one of its most provocative, rabble-rousing characters nevertheless. At once a portrait of the artist as a young troublemaker, an alternate history of modern art and a quintessential New York story, ART BASTARD is as energetic, humorous and unapologetically honest as the uncompromising man at its center: Robert Cenedella. Cenedella was a contemporary of Andy Warhol. But he has essentially served as the anti-Warhol. His noisy, raucous, color-splashed paintings of city scenes approach the world with a sincerity that defies the irony, frivolity and controversy-for-the-sake-of-controversy that have become the cultural currency since the 60s. In a fast-moving series of riveting interviews with family members, art critics, museum directors, New York power brokers, art students and Cenedella himself, director Victor Kanefsky candidly presents Cenedella’s personal journey – and reveals the creation of a modern art career that ignored all the modern art rules. What ART BASTARD shows, in stunning cinematic detail, are the living, breathing, storytelling canvases that Cenedella has created for six decades. The result is a visceral art documentary that also has the sweeping impact of a feature film – at once an investigation of a man’s identity, an inquiry into what art is and who it’s for and a feisty portrait of the ups and downs of a life lived on one’s own terms. The artist and subject of ART BASTARD, Robert Cenedella joins us for a spirit discussion of love, life and art.
Artist Robert Cenedella and ART BASTARD executive producer Chris Concannon will participate in Q&A’s at the Monica Film Center following the 7:30 PM screenings on Friday and Saturday, June 17 and 18, as well as after the 2:30 and 5 o’clock screenings on Saturday the 18th.
“An intimate portrait of the iconoclastic artist Robert Cenedella… Socially conscious and often mordantly humorous, the paintings are wonderfully exhibited in this film which benefits from being seen on the big screen.” –Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“THE BEST FILM ABOUT ART I HAVE SEEN… A scintillating, visually splendid look at the life and satirical work of socially conscious, talented and articulate art rebel Robert Cenedella. The art establishment should take a fresh look at Cenedella’s work, which certainly deserves a major, reflective New York exhibition at this point in time.” – William Wolf, wolfentertainmentguide.com
**Winner – Best Documentary – 2016 Manchester Film Festival**
**Winner- Best Documentary, Best Director – 2016 IDYLLWILD**
**Winner – Focus on Art Award – 2015 Orlando Film Festival**
**Winner – Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Creativity – 2015 Utopia Film Festival
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.
“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 Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, recognizing the leadership of entertainment industry performers and business executives, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Each year the festival is held at ArcLight Hollywood and features a rich mix of film programs designed to build and support the growing interest in the Indian entertainment industry. This includes programming that cultivates an audience for Indian films while supporting filmmakers of Indian descent in career development as they navigate the larger studio system in Hollywood. IFFLA’s creative and business programs include the the One-on-One program where industry professionals from major and independent production and distribution companies are invited to participate in meetings with the IFFLA filmmakers; and panel discussions with speakers from the film industry. The 14th Annual Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) will take place April 6-10, 2016 at ArcLight Hollywood, the elegant, state-of-the-art facility at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood, and the festival’s home since its inception. Director of Programming Mike Dougherty join us to talk about the wide ranging films that will be showcase at this year’s festival.
Since founding Shorts International in 2000, Carter Pilcher has worked to make his company the world’s leading short movie entertainment company. Shorts International has become the first choice distributor, broadcaster and producer for hundreds of films. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. Carter talks to us about the fifteen wonderful films nominated for the Live Action, Documentary and Animated Short Film 2016 Academy Awards.
THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL is based on Phoebe Gloeckner’s novel of the same name, hailed by Salon as “one of the most brutally honest, shocking, tender and beautiful portrayals of growing up female in America.” Writer/Director Marielle Heller unlocks this diary with a richly comedic and deeply personal vision. It is a coming of age story that is as poignant as it is unsettling. Set in 1976 San Francisco, THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL begins at the crossroads of the fading hippie movement and the dawn of punk rock. Like most teenage girls, Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is longing for love, acceptance and a sense of purpose in the world. Minnie begins a complex love affair with her mother’s (Kristen Wiig) boyfriend, “the handsomest man in the world,” Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). What follows is a sharp, funny and provocative account of one girl’s sexual and artistic awakening, without judgment. Minnie emerges defiant— taking command of her sexuality and drawing on her newfound creative talents to reveal truths in the kind of intimate and vivid detail that can only be found in the pages of a teenage girl’s diary. In her feature film directorial debut, director / writer Heller brings Gloeckner’s book to life through fearless performances, inventive graphic novel-like animation sequences, imagination, humor and heart.
* Spirit Award nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay and Best Female Lead (Bel Powley)
Sundance Film Festival 2015 and New Directors/New Films 2015
“What makes Minnie — on the page and now on the screen — greater than any one girl is how she tells her own story in her own soaringly alive voice”. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“This adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckners heavily autobiographical novel is ideally cast and skillfully handled.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety
“Powley, a British twentysomething whose big, curious eyes and quavering, thoughtful voice allow for a seamless transition back to her teenage years, gives a remarkable performance.” – Jesse Hassenger, A.V. Club
“It’s unlikely to make a box office splash, but it’s a startlingly tough, authentic depiction of budding womanhood.” Elaine Tang, New Republic
When Bill Babbitt realizes his brother Manny has committed a crime, he agonizes over his decision – should he call the police? In this Academy Award nominated documentary (Short Program), LAST DAY OF FREEDOM a richly animated personal narrative unfolds as a story of Bill’s decision to stand by his brother in the face of war, crime and capital punishment. LAST DAY OF FREEDOM is a portrait of a man at the nexus of the most pressing social issues of our day, veterans’ care, mental health access and criminal justice. Created from over 32,000 hand-drawn images, the film has garnered international film and art attention and has won numerous awards since its premiere at the 2015 Full Frame Film Festival. First time filmmakers Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman have been working together since 2004, collaborating on art, film and interactive projects that look at the ways power structures and politics impact everyday lives. Dee is originally from the U.K., and is an Associate Professor of Art & New Media at UC Santa Cruz; Nomi was born in Israel and is a freelance editor and animator. They join us to talk about a brother’s courage and love for his troubled sibling, as well as the cultural, social, and political issues surrounding this tragic story.
In HEART OF A DOG, musician and performance artist Laurie Anderson’s playful, lucid and heartbreaking nonfiction feature on the life and death of her dog, Lolabelle, told in a style only this unique artist could create. Taking as a jumping off point the recent passing of her beloved terrier Lolabelle, Anderson touches on what her love for her dog means to her by processing her childhood, music, and her life as an artist. Through all of it, she draws upon her childhood experiences and political beliefs as she lovingly tries to help Lolabelle’s spirit face the tribulations it will experience immediately after death (as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead). Aided by a beautiful use of her own compositions, animation and 8 millimeter film from her family archive, Anderson creates a gorgeous, heartbreaking tapestry on love and loss – reminding us that every love story is a ghost story. Director Laurie Anderson joins us to talk about spirit and intention of Heart of a Dog, her thoughtful, funny and beautiful film.
“Wildly innovative but also quiet and modestly scaled. A philosophically astute, emotional meditation on death, love, art and dogs.” – A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“A dog is at the heart of this film, but there’s room for all manner of extraordinary insights about finding love and giving love, being canine and being human.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“Exceptionally potent. I could write a whole essay about the way Anderson uses her light, scintillating voice in this movie. Her incredible control of the artistic arsenal this medium provides her with-images, music, sound, language-enable her to construct a work that’s both highly intellectually engaging and provocative and also emotionally wrecking.” – Glenn Kenny, RogerEbert.com
Douglas Tirola‘s outrageous documentary DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON, is an inside look at the rise and fall of the legendary humor magazine that launched dozens of careers and broke thousands of taboos. From the 1970s thru the 1990s, there was no hipper, no more outrageous comedy in print than The National Lampoon, the groundbreaking humor magazine that pushed the limits of taste and acceptability – and then pushed them even harder. Parodying everything from politics, religion, entertainment and the whole of American lifestyle, the Lampoon eventually went on to branch into successful radio shows, record albums, live stage revues and movies, including ANIMAL HOUSE and NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, launching dozens of huge careers on the way, including John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Richard Belzer, Gilda Radner, Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill Murray, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Michael O’Donoghue, Doug Kenney, Henry Beard, George W. S. Trow, Chris Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Michael O’Donoghue, Chris Rush, Sean Kelly, Tony Hendra, Brian McConnachie, Gerald Sussman, Ellis Weiner, Danny Abelson, Ted Mann, Chris Cluess, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jeff Greenfield, and John Hughes. As well as cartoonists, photographers and illustrators appeared in the magazine’s pages, including Neal Adams, Gahan Wilson, Michael Sullivan, Ron Barrett, Peter Bramley, Vaughn Bode, Bruce McCall, Rick Meyerowitz, M. K. Brown, Shary Flenniken, Bobby London, Edward Gorey, Jeff Jones, Joe Orlando, Arnold Roth, Rich Grote, Ed Subitzky, Mara McAfee, Sam Gross, Charles Rodrigues, Buddy Hickerson, B. K. Taylor, Birney Lettick, Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Marvin Mattelson, Stan Mack, Chris Callis, John E. Barrett, Raymond Kursar and Andy Lackow. Director Tirola tells the story of its rise and fall through fresh, candid interviews with its key staff, and illustrated with hundreds of outrageous images from the magazine itself (along with never-seen interview footage from the magazine’s prime). Director Tirola stops by to talk about the supernova of comedic satire that was The Lampoon and its influential legacy.
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON opening in Los Angeles at the Nuart Theatre on October 2, and at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in North Hollywood on October 9 (opens in NY and on VOD/iTunes September 25).
Director Douglas Tirola will be doing a Q & A Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd after the 7:30PM screenings.
“Punch-drunk and very much alive. A generous and briskly entertaining doc that traces the titular humor magazine’s lasting influence on American comedy – a real nonfiction crowdpleaser. ” – Ben Kenigsberg, Variety
“Energetic, laugh-stuffed and very colorful – A lively, very entertaining look at the Lampoon’s unlikely empire.” – John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
The Guadalajara International Film Festival in Los Angeles or FICG in LA is a window into the world of contemporary Mexican and Ibero-American cinema and it is an extension of the Guadalajara International Film Festival. This year′s FICG in LA will be back at the Hollywood′s historic Egyptian Theatre, right in the heart of the worldwide film and entertainment industry. The festival is designed to help critically acclaimed films from Mexican and Ibero-America cinema reach a wider audience. Among this year’s attendees will be Karina García Casanova (director, screenwriter and producer Juanicas), Safa (director, El Jeremías), Sebastián Schindel (director, screenwriter, producer, El patrón, radiografía de un crimen), Flavio Florencio (director, scriptwriter and photography, Made in Bangkok), Michael Dwyer (director, Pocha-Manifest Destiny), Verónica Sixtos (lead actress, Pocha-Manifest Destiny), Jean-Cosme Delaloye (director, screenwriter, and sound La Prenda), Carolina Ramírez (actriz principal, Ciudad Delirio), Humberto Busto (director, scriptwriter, La teta de botero), Ximena Urrutia (director, Ella), Sofía Carrillo (director, Prita Noria and La Casa Triste), and Luis Téllez (animator, screenwriter, Jacinta and La Noira). This week FICG in LA, Director / Producer Hebe Tabachnik joins us to talk about the exciting and dynamic collection of films being offered at this years festival/
A high speed roadtrip through modern creativity, Station to Station is a revolutionary feature comprising 62 one-minute films highlighting an exciting and eclectic mix of artists, musicians, writers, places and perspectives. In the summer of 2013, a train designed as a kinetic light sculpture by director and ringmaster Doug Aitken traveled from New York City to San Francisco over 24 days. Aitken is an American artist and filmmaker. Defying definitions of genre, he explores every medium, from film and installations to architectural interventions. Aitken’s work leads us into a world where time, space and memory are fluid concepts. His films often explore the modern condition, and his transformative installations create immersive cinematic experiences. Rolling into ten stations on the route, the train set in motion a series of happenings, each unique to its location and mix of creative participants. The film includes profiles, intimate moments on the train, conversations, and performances at the happenings: Ed Ruscha describing the discoveries to be made in the great American landscape; Beck performing with a gospel choir in the Mojave desert; Jackson Browne reflecting on the influence of the railroad on his music, as well as many more. Director Aitken joins us to to talk about his exciting and wildly diverse kaleidoscope of experience and artistic production, as much as Station to Station is a story of our evolving creative culture.
“It suggests that a one-minute part can be the whole for one viewer or that, conversely, the whole is made up of an infinite amount of smaller parts that can each tell only a small part of the story.” – Hollywood Reporter
“Banding together a community of outliers, wunderkinds and indie kids, Station to Station is a bubbling gumbo that Aitken evolves into a newly sculpted vernacular of dissolving landscapes, soundscapes and visual splendours.” – Cormac O’Brien, Little White Lies
“Watching all 62 films consecutively provides an experience every bit as exciting, thought-provoking, and ultimately ephemeral as an LED-laden train full of artists passing in the night” – Sarah Kurchak, Consequence of Sound
The film THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT is based on Dr. Phillip Zimbardo’s 1971 psychology experiment focused on the psychology of imprisonment. The study assigned 24 male undergraduates as either guards or prisoners in a mock prison setting on campus. Virtually overnight the students became their roles, the guards exhibiting sadistic behavior by degrading their prisoners. The study is perhaps one of the most well-known of its kind. If you’ve taken a psych course in college you covered it along with Pavlov’s dog. It’s famous for its revelations about the fragility and impressionability of the human condition but also the experiment itself, not just its results, was so scandalous that it was shut down in a matter of days. Dr. Zimbardo was consultant on the film. He is one of the most distinguished living psychologists, having served as President of the American Psychological Association, designed and narrated the award winning 26-part PBS series, “Discovering Psychology,” and has published more than 50 books and 400 professional and popular articles and chapters, among them, Shyness, The Lucifer Effect, The Time Cure and The Time Paradox. Dr. Zimbardo join us for a conversation on what his famous experiment has taught him, torture, the nature of evil, on working with Billy Crudup, who portrays him in the film, and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez.
“Alvarez captures the sickly green and dingy gray environment, and even though he emphasizes the claustrophobic nature of the stuffy hallway, brings movement and dynamism to the space.” – Kate Walsh, Los Angeles Times
“The result is a viscerally unsettling experience, and a testament to the enduring relevance of the study’s findings on the psychology of incarceration.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post
“Disturbing, honest and compelling, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” turns a well-known story into must-see storytelling, depicting the ugly truth through gorgeous filmmaking.” – James Rocchi, The Wrap
“An incredibly tense indie with strong performances across the entire ensemble … a who’s who of great, young male actors.” – Under the Radar
For the last 20 years, notorious activists the Yes Men (Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum) have staged outrageous hoaxes to hijack public dialogue worldwide about the issues of the day. In their third cinematic outing (after The Yes Men and The Yes Men Fix The World), they are now well into their 40s, and their mid life crises are threatening to drive them out of activism forever – even as they prepare to take on the biggest challenge they’ve ever faced, climate change. Frustrated by each other, and worried they can’t make a difference anymore, how can they keep fighting the world’s most urgent threat? Revealing the real people behind the ruses, their latest film is as much a character study as it is a thrilling ride depicting their latest interventions against corporate greed. Following their lives for over four years, The Yes Men Are Revolting reveals their creative process, hilarious strategies, and personal conflicts while they juggle the demands of getting older, holding down jobs, and maintaining some shred of personal lives. From villages in Uganda’s Karamoja region to the toxic oil fields in Canada’s tar sands, these iconoclastic revolutionaries take on big oil, lobbyists, Wall Street, and the U.S. government, armed with nothing but thrift-store suits and a lack of shame. Overcoming personal obstacles to deliver uproarious actions of global significance, the Yes Men deliver a hopeful message about ordinary people breaking through the paralysis to take back their planet. Director Laura Nix stops by to talk about the dedication and creativity of Mike and Andy and the chance to shine a light on why all politics are personal for two of the world’s best-known activists.
“Who said that a political film can’t be sweet, too? In its grandest triumph, “The Yes Men Are Revolting” is an activist doc inspired by more than just its topical issues.” – Nick Allen, Rogerebert.com
“Entertaining mix of agitpop, pranksterism and autobiography” – Variety
“There aren’t too many stunts this time around, but that’s not really what ‘Revolting’ is about.” – Matt Prigge, Metro
“”The Yes Men Are Revolting” is an entertaining and interesting examination of the anxieties that make us question who we are and if we’re making a difference. “ – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist
“The Yes Men show that while reality might get lost in this struggle, the truth does occasionally emerge from the chaos.” – Oleg Ivanov, Slant Magazine