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 Feature narrative films in competition will include NEIGHBORHOOD FOOD DRIVE, WITHDRAWN, SPACE DETECTIVE.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.
Jacob Garchik, multi-instrumentalist and composer, was born in San Francisco and lived in New York since 1994. At home in a wide variety of styles and musical roles, he is a vital part of the Downtown and Brooklyn scene, playing trombone with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Ohad Talmor/Steve Swallow Sextet, Mary Halvorson Octet, and the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble. He has released 4 albums as a leader including “The Heavens: the Atheist Gospel Trombone Album”. He co-leads Brooklyn’s premiere Mexican brass band, Banda de los Muertos. Since 2006 Jacob has contributed dozens of arrangements and transcriptions for Kronos Quartet of music from all over the world. He composed the score for Kronos for the documentary “The Campaign” (2013), and “The Green Fog” (2017) directed by Guy Maddin. He has created arrangements for vocalists Anne Sofie von Otter, Angelique Kidjo, Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens, kd lang, Natalie Merchant, Tanya Tagaq, and Alim Qasimov. Garchik returns to San Francisco Sunday, April 16 for a live performance during the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival’s closing night screening of The Green Fog – A San Francisco Fantasia. Commissioned by the San Francisco Film Society, that reimagines one of the most iconic San Francisco films of all time, Vertigo, as a visual collage by award-winning filmmaker and cultural iconoclast Guy Maddin. The Green Fog will screen at the historic Castro Theatre on Sunday, April 16 at 7:00 pm, followed by the Closing Night Party at Mezzanine. Jacob Garchik joins us for a conversation on collaborating with director Guy Maddin and his own musical journey.
Joe’s Violin – During a drive to donate musical instruments to public schools, 91-year-old Holocaust survivor Joseph Feingold offers his beloved violin, which he has played for more than 70 years. The instrument goes to the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls, where young musician Brianna Perez is inspired to become friends with her benefactor. Joining us will be Director Kahane Cooperman to talk about this beautifully told story about survival, and the ties that bind us together. 2017 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short Film.
Pear Cider and Cigarettes – Hard-living Techno Stypes has been Robert’s best friend since childhood, and over the years, Robert has been amazed by Techno’s ability to sabotage himself. When Techno is hospitalized in China and needs a liver transplant, Robert goes on a wild ride to get him home to Vancouver. Director(s) Robert Valley and Cara Speller stop to discuss the creative process and determination behind their visually striking vision of friendship and heartbreak. 2017 Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Short Film.
World’s Only Short Movie Channel To Showcase Oscar Shorts Release with Theatrical Premieres of Live Action Short, Animated Short and Documentary Short Categories
This marks the 12th consecutive year of the Oscar® nominated short films theatrical experience and is the only opportunity for audiences to watch the nominated short films prior to the 89th Academy Awards® ceremony on Sunday, February 26, 2017. “This year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts are formidable storytelling at its best,” said Carter Pilcher, CEO of ShortsHD, the TV network behind the annual theatrical compilations. “Short films are exploding in popularity around the globe, and these Oscar® noms are the pinnacle—and ShortsHD’s theatrical release is the only way to see this year’s Live Action, Animation and Documentary shorts nominees on the big screen, a delight for movie fans the world over.” ShortsHD™ is the first high definition channel dedicated to short movies and is available on DIRECTV (Channel 573), and AT&T U-Verse (Channel 1789), CenturyLink Prism TV (1789), Verizon Fios TV, Frontier Communications (Channel 1789), Google Fiber. ShortsHD™ is operated by Shorts International, the world’s leading short movie entertainment company with the world’s largest movie catalogue dedicated to short movies. Shorts™ is the short movie on-demand service available on iTunes movie stores in 54 countries across the globe and Amazon Instant Video. The company is headquartered in London, England with an additional office in Los Angeles and is led by Carter Pilcher, Chief Executive. Find them on Facebook: facebook.com/shortshd and twitter: twitter.com/shortshd.For a sneak peak at The Oscar® Nominated Short Films 2017 program, please visit: http://shorts.tv/theoscarshorts/
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.
Two-time Academy Award-Winner® Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA, American Dream) follows Grammy-nominated R&B dynamo Sharon Jones during the most courageous year of her life. Often compared to the legendary James Brown because of her powerful and energetic performances, Sharon Jones is no stranger to challenge. For years her music career struggled as she was kept in the wings by a music industry that branded her “too short, too black, too fat.” After decades of working odd jobs, from a corrections officer to a wedding singer, Sharon had a middle-aged breakthrough after joining forces with Brooklyn R&B outfit The Dap-Kings. In 2013, on the eve of the release of the much-anticipated album Give the People What They Want, Sharon was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Miss Sharon Jones! is a triumphant crowd-pleaser that captures an irrepressible human spirit as she battles back to where she belongs; center stage. Director / Producer Barbara Kopple joins us to talk about the daunting personal and career challenges Miss Sharon Jones has faced and her inexhaustible energy to create and carry on.
“The film’s real success lies in having Jones as its primary subject, and that’s because she’s a wickedly funny, fierce, phenomenal force of nature, a positive, vivacious character whose generosity and charisma touches every single person.” – Tina Hassannia, rogerebert.com
“When she bounds onstage with a holler and a howl – and diction that nails every last word to the melody – it’s clear she deserves that exclamation point in the title.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
“Intimate without digging too deeply, but still a highly satisfying portrait of a resilient soul singer.” – David Noah, Film Journal international
“In the empowering tradition of Shut Up & Sing, Running From Crazy and Force of Nature, veteran documentarian Barbara Kopple serves up another portrait of female strength and resilience with Miss Sharon Jones!” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
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
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/
For more information call (424) 382-2535 or visit www.ficginla.com
A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON – a glorious portrait of beloved singer-songwriter Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974. A fascinating time capsule filled with wall-to-wall music (including performances by legends such as Willie Nelson and George Jones, amongst many others), the film finally had its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival (with Russell in attendance), and will open theatrically in LA at Cinefamily on July 9, followed by a national release. An ineffable mix of unbridled joy and vérité realism, A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON lets us into the world of Russell and his friends and fellow artists in and around his recording studio in northeast Oklahoma, capturing intimate, off-the-cuff moments and combining them with mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing live. This singular film about an artist and his community never got an official theatrical release and has attained legendary status; now after more than forty years it can finally be seen and heard in all its rough beauty. Executive Producer and the son of Director Les Blank, Harrod Blank joins us for an intimate look at the making of this classic documentary and the journey he took to bring his dad’s lost masterpiece back from the dead.
“One of the great AWOL music docs. An intimate look at a Seventies star in action. It’s finally getting a theatrical run over 40 years after the fact; do not let this minor miracle pass you by.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone
“Les Blank’s long-lost Leon Russell documentary is a beguiling snapshot of a lost era.” – Andrew Barker, Variety
“A poetic exploration of a moment, a place and an artist.” – A. O. Scott, New York Times
“One of the greatest rock documentaries I’ve ever seen, as eloquent an evocation of the reality-distortion field around rock stars as D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back or Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues, but funnier and stranger than either.” – Alex Pappademas, Grantland
Shot over the course of five years by first time filmmaker Al Hicks, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON depicts the remarkable story of 93-year-old jazz legend Clark Terry. A living monument to the Golden Era of Jazz, Terry — a mentor to Miles Davis — is among the few performers ever to have played in both Count Basie’s and Duke Ellington’s bands. In the 1960’s, he broke the color barrier as the first African-American staff musician at NBC — on “The Tonight Show.” Today, after a life spent working with and teaching the most totemic figures in jazz history, Terry continues to attract and cultivate budding talents. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON highlights his friendship with the preternaturally gifted Justin Kauflin, a blind, 23-year-old piano prodigy who suffers from debilitating stage fright. Not long after Kauflin is invited to compete in an elite Jazz competition, Terry’s health takes a turn for the worse. As the clock ticks, we see two friends confront the toughest challenges of their lives. Director Al Hicks joins us to talk about one of the true giants of jazz and his indomitable spirit.
Opening September 19 in Los Angeles
Arclight, Hollywood 15. 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Landmark Theater, 10850 West Pico at Westwood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA
Starts Friday, September 19 at The Landmark Director Alan Hicks & Jazz Pianist Justin Kauflin In Person for Performances Fri – Sun, September 19 – 21 at Select Shows!
“The relationship between Terry and his mentee, Justin Kauflin, gives the movie a strong narrative spine and, more importantly, an emotional throughline unlike most other biographical docs I’ve seen.” – Dan Schindel, Movie Mezzanine
“The advice that Clark gave me musically has been able to transcend to the filmmaking process—that whole idea of trusting what you’re doing and just working really hard. He’s helped me find the possibility of a voice in another medium.” – Judy Gelman Meyer, Directors Talk
Of all the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. With a body unlike any before hers, she mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike. With her elongated, race-horse physique, she became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. Because of her extraordinary movement and unique personality on stage, she became a muse to two of the greatest choreographers in dance, George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. She eventually married Balanchine and Robbins created his famous version of Afternoon of a Faun for her. She had love, fame, adoration, and was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped at the age of 27. The ballet world has been haunted by her story ever since. Director Nancy Buirski joins us to talk about an iconic artist with an indomitable spirit.
“GRADE A…spooky, heartbreaking… a hymn to her rapture and infinite resilience.” – Entertainment Weekly, read review
“a magnificent behind-the-scenes view of the New York City Ballet…a compelling tale of love, friendship, and perseverance.” – San Francisco Chronicle, read review
“While it does profile the work of brilliant dancer, the film also contains two complex and moving love stories as well an account of a physically devastating tragedy followed by an extraordinary tale of struggle and survival.” – RogerEbert.com, read review
“With its extraordinary footage and a story replete with tragic ironies, Nancy Buirski’s documentary on famed prima ballerina Tanaquil Le Clercq often soars” – Variety
Wild Combination is director Matt Wolf’s visually absorbing portrait of the seminal avant-garde composer, singer-songwriter, cellist, and disco producer Arthur Russell. Before his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, Arthur prolifically created music that spanned both pop and the transcendent possibilities of abstract art. Now, over fifteen years since his passing, Arthur’s work is finally finding its audience. Wolf incorporates rare archival footage and commentary from Arthur’s family, friends, and closest collaborators—including Philip Glass and Allen Ginsberg—to tell this poignant and important story. Matt joins us in a conversation about art, music and Arthur’s enduring legacy.
“A tender, fascinating documentary that will delight the Russell cult and instantly convert new members. – New York Times
“A profoundly moving love story” – Time Out
“Infinite and Intimate” – Village Voice
“Pungently evokes the petrie dish of the late-1970s, early-1980s downtown” – Variety
“Artful… Wolf plays visual accompanist to Russell’s remarkable compositions.” -Chicago Sun-Times
“The film itself plays out like music, retaining the languid, soothing, and dreamlike aesthetic of Russell. – V Magazine
“This is one of the finest music documentaries of recent years.” -Sight & Sound