I AM GRETA, Director Nathan Grossman

In 2018, 15-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg held a school strike outside her country’s Parliament building in Stockholm. At first she sat alone, handing out information and answering questions from passersby. Slowly, others began to join her—and within months she had sparked a worldwide movement. I AM GRETA offers a personal and inspiring glimpse inside Greta’s path to becoming an internationally known environmental activist. Shot in the style of cinéma vérité and with support from the Thunberg family, cameras capture Greta’s meetings with government leaders, headline-making public appearances, and global protests. But they also depict Greta’s life outside of the moments visible on news channels worldwide: laughing at home with her family, writing impassioned speeches, and trying to handle the mounting stress of nonstop travel, public scrutiny and becoming the face of the climate change cause. The film culminates with Greta’s arduous two-week journey by sailboat to the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City, where she’s greeted by crowds chanting her name. (Greta stopped flying because of the high emissions caused by air travel.) Today, her #FridaysForFuture movement has organized climate strikes on every continent except Antarctica. As she tells the UN, “The world is waking up, and change is coming whether you like it or not.” Director Nathan Grossman joins us to talk about his filmmaker instinct to document Greta Thunberg’s first days in front of the Swedish Parliament, the remarkable level of trust he had with Greta and her family as he chronicled the tale of a young woman determined to hold the most powerful people in the world accountable for their pathological abuse of Planet Earth.

 

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For news and updates go to: iamgretafilm.com

A Statement from Greta – “I really like the film and I think it gives a realistic image of myself and my daily life. I hope anyone who watches the film can finally understand that we young people aren’t school striking just for fun. We are protesting because we don’t have a choice. A lot has of course happened since I started school striking, but sadly we are still stuck on square one. The changes and the level of awareness needed are nowhere to be seen today. All that we ask for is for our society to treat the climate crisis as a crisis, and give us a safe future. I think the film shows just how far that is from happening right now. It shows that the urgency of the scientific message isn’t getting through.” – Greta Thunberg

About the filmmaker – Nathan Grossman is educated at The Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts. He started his career as a stills photographer for Rolling Stone India and later moved into documentary filmmaking, mainly focusing on environmental issues. In 2015 Nathan got the world’s attention for his short film The Toaster Challenge where an athlete tries to generate energy to toast a slice of bread. The video became a global phenomenon with over 15 million views. 2017 Nathan completed his first full-length tv-series for public broadcaster SVT, about the growing meat consumption in Sweden. The show sparked a big discussion about meat consumption in Sweden and got nominated for best factual program of the year. 

Social Media
twitter.com/GretaThunberg
twitter.com/nathangrossman
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@GretaThunberg
#IAmGreta

“FASCINATING. A close-up, behind-the-headlines portrait of a passionately committed, media-savvy young woman.” – Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter

“ABSORBING. An uplifting, inspirational story.” – Lee Marshall, Screen International

“INTIMATE AND URGENT. Thunberg’s very existence has been politicized by both friend and foe, but “I Am Greta” is intent on reminding people that she’s really just a kid who has a big dream.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“[Grossman’s] straightforward yet utterly compelling documentary invites us into the life of a remarkable teenager who is sure to accomplish even more remarkable things in the years to come.” – Andrew Collins, Radio Times

Ghost of the Republique, Director Jonathan Narducci

GHOSTS OF THE RÉPUBLIQUE follows Aurelien and Nicolas, who, when confronted with France’s conservative surrogacy laws (where surrogacy is illegal), decide to exhaust their last option by traveling to Las Vegas to start a family of their own through international surrogacy. Nicolas and Aurelien’s story is unique in that it is a portrayal of the same-sex experience in creating a biological family through surrogacy, a technology developed in the 1980’s becoming more and more commonplace each year. This technology is one that has not only brought hope to couples who struggle with infertility but also to couples who struggle with equality. But while it is a source of hope for many, surrogacy also raises ethical considerations with various legal implications across the globe. Through the lens of one family, this film demonstrates the extreme lengths many gay couples go to have children, while highlighting the ever-expanding and controversial surrogacy industry. GHOSTS OF THE RÉPUBLIQUE seeks to explore the complexities of the issues, and in particular, asks, what does define family in our modern age? Director Jonathan Narducci joins us for a conversation on the negative impact of uncertainty in denying people their human rights and how this project has change the lives of the people who participated.

 

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For news and updates go to: ghostsoftherepublique.com

Gravitas Ventures is proud to present the US virtual release of GHOSTS OF THE RÉPUBLIQUE a documentary film by Jonathon Narducci.The film will be available on Amazon Prime, iTunes and other platforms starting November 17, 2020.

Director’s Statement – We’ve achieved marriage equality in the US and other countries around the world, but today’s laws are far from clear when it comes to surrogacy, and that’s where things really get interesting…the idea of what a family is, is one of the most coveted values in society, and GHOSTS OF THE RÉPUBLIQUE shows us that the definition of family is constantly changing. – Jonathon Narducci.

A Crime on the Bayou, Director Nancy Buirski

A CRIME ON THE BAYOU is the third film in director Nancy Buirski’s trilogy profiling brave individuals who fought for justice in and around the Civil Rights era, following The Loving Story and The Rape of Recy Taylor. The story begins in 1966 in Plaquemines Parish, a swampy strip of land south of New Orleans. After months of clashes, the public schools have been integrated by court order. But we are in the land of the white separatist despot, Leander Perez, who rules Plaquemines like his fiefdom, making sure that segregation sticks regardless of federal laws desegregating schools and mandating voting rights. A 19-year old Black fisherman, Gary Duncan, tries to break up a fight between white and Black teenagers outside a newly integrated school. He lays his hand on a white boy’s arm and the boy recoils, as if bitten by snake. That night, police arrest Gary Duncan for assault on a minor. With the help of a young attorney, Richard Sobol, Duncan bravely stands up to Perez. Systemic racism and pervasive anti-Semitism meet their match in decisive courtroom battles, including the U.S. Supreme Court; hate is vanquished by a powerful friendship that will last a lifetime. With the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and abroad, there is no more important story to tell today. The roots and the mechanics of hate groups are in full display in this dramatic story of a crime on the bayou. Together this trilogy demonstrates that regular people standing up for their values are the root of human progress. Mildred Loving, Recy Taylor and Gary Duncan did not set out to change history. But they remind us that anyone can. A CRIME ON THE BAYOU Executive Producer is John Legend. Director Nancy Buirski joins us to talk about the her searing indictment of the systemic racism that is responsible for the hideously unjust incarceration of Gary Duncan and thousands of others as well as how it continues to this day.

 

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For news and updates on A Crime in the Bayou go to: augustafilms.com

“You must also study and learn the lessons of history because humanity has been involved in this soul-wrenching, existential struggle for a very long time.” – Civil Rights leader and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., friend John Lewis

About the filmmakers – Nancy Buirski is Director/Producer/Writer of THE RAPE OF RECY TAYLOR (2017); World Premiere, Venice Film Festival; North American Premiere, New York Film Festival. Awarded the prestigious Human Rights Nights Special Prize for Human Rights at the 74° Venice Biennale. Nominated for the NAACP Image Award and Peabody Award. TV broadcast on STARZ/HULU. Buirski is Director/Producer/Writer of BY SIDNEY LUMET (2015; American Masters); World Premiere at Cannes Film Festival. She is Director/Producer/Writer of AFTERNOON OF A FAUN (2013; American Masters); World Premiere, New York Film Festival, International Premiere, 64th Berlinale, record-breaking U.S Theatrical release with Kino Lorber. She is Director/Producer/Writer of the Oscar shortlisted, Peabody and Emmy Award-winning THE LOVING STORY (2011; HBO) and a Producer of LOVING by Jeff Nichols. Buirski will direct TANNY, a narrative version of AFTERNOON OF A FAUN and ENDANGERED, an animated feature based on award-winning novel of the same name by Eliot Schrefer.

Social Media
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Ronnie’s, Director Oliver Murray

RONNIE’S is a love letter to saxophonist Ronnie Scott and the indispensable night club  he and partner Peter King established in 1959. For more than 60 years music giants have walked through the door of a small basement club in London’s Soho. From the beginning of the burgeoning British modern jazz movement, he and King dreamt of opening a club modeled after the swinging jazz scene of New York’s 52nd Street. From its humble beginnings sixty years ago, Ronnie Scott’s would become the cornerstone of the UK jazz scene and one of the most famous jazz clubs in the world. Ronnie Scott was beloved by many, from the great and famous who frequented his club, to the many hard up musicians who were often helped by his warmth and generous spirit. However, Ronnie was as complex and colourful as the music played on his stage. In private Ronnie battled with depression and when his untimely death occurred in 1996 it left the jazz community bereft of a respected and favorite leader. Funny and moving, Ronnie’s features performances by some of greatest musicians of the 20th Century including…Oscar Peterson, Dizzie Gillespie, Roland Kirk, Cleo Lane and John Danforth, Buddy Rich, Sarah Vaughn, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Mary Lou Williams, Van Morrison and Chet Baker, Nina Simone and Ben Webster.

 

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For news and updates go to: olliemurray.com/portfolio/ronnies

Or go to: orofenafilms.com/Ronnies

About the filmmaker – Oliver Murray was born in Oxford, United Kingdom in 1985. He is a writer and director. He studied Fine Art at The Glasgow School of Art and Film & Animation at The Pratt Institute in New York City. His feature film debut ‘The Quiet One’ was released in 2019. His second feature film ‘Ronnie’s’ is scheduled for release in 2020.

Social Media
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“Such a joyous, visually stunning film – It’s a beautiful piece of work.” – Phil Williams, Times Radio

“An exemplary doc. The founding myths are lively and fascinating. But it’s the study of Ronnie himself, with his depressions and doubts, that provides the depth and soul.” – Jason Solomons

“A subtle portrait of a complicated man, Murray has made an exemplary documentary worthy of its subject.”- Richard Williams, Uncut Magazine, 9/10

“An incredibly important film, It’s beautifully, sensitively and perfectly presented…” – Stephen Fry

“This journey back in time makes for an exhilarating and nostalgic ride.” – The Reviews Hub, 5/5

“It’s a ripping yarn, enlivened by fascinating footage.” – The Wire

“This documentary about the beloved London music venue brings us sterling performers, atmospheric footage, and a sad heart” – The Guardian, 4/5

The Jump, Director Giedrė Žickytė

Giedr Žickyt remarkable documentary, THE JUMP, chronicles the stranger than fiction story of a man determined to free himself from the stifling clutches of a political system that destroyed the lives of millions living behind the Iron Curtain, It’s Thanksgiving Day, 1970. The US coast guard sets out to meet a Soviet vessel anchored just off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard. A one-day conference between the two nations has been set to discuss fishing rights in the Atlantic Ocean. While the talks are in full swing, Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka jumps across the icy water onto the American boat in a frantic bid for freedom. To his horror, and to the outcry of the world media, the Americans return him to the Soviets and he is tried for treason. The event sets off a series of protests throughout the US begging for his freedom and all hope seems lost, until new information about Simas’ citizenship surfaces. Through eye-witness reports, rare archival footage and a dramatic first-person re-enactment by now 90-year-old would-be defector Simas Kudirka, director Giedr Žickyt takes us on a stranger-than-fiction journey that became an inspiration for people, pictures and politics, reaching all the way up to the White House. Director Giedr Žickyt joins us to talk about why Simas Kudirka’s story, and the stories of the thousands of migrants from around the globe, both past migrants and those of the future who will be seeking freedom and a promise of a better life. are so near to her heart and to the people of her native land, Lithuania.

 

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For news and updates go to: metfilmsales.com/the-jump

About the filmmaker – Giedrė Žickytė is an award-winning Lithuanian documentary film director and producer and the co-founder of the production company, MOONMAKERS. She graduated with a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from Vilnius Art Academy in 2007. Her films have been selected at numerous international film festivals including IDFA, Hot Docs, Visions du Réel (Sesterce d’or Fondation Goblet Award), Sheffield Doc/Fest (Short Doc Award), IFFR, Camerimage (Golden Frog), DocumentaMadrid (Audience Award), Krakow IFF (European Film Award), etc. Many of her films have been theatrically distributed and broadcast on television internationally. I’M NOT FROM HERE (co-directed with Maite Alberdi) was nominated at the European Film Academy Awards in 2016. MASTER AND TATYANA won 4 “Silver Cranes”, the Lithuanian Film Academy Awards including the awards for Best Director and Best Documentary, and was selected as one of “Ten Documentary Film Talents of 2015” by international film critic Tue Steen Müller. In 2016, she was awarded a St. Christopher’s statue by the Vilnius City Council for merits in cinema artwork. Giedrė produced THE EARTH IS BLUE AS AN ORANGE by Iryna Tsilyk which premiered in Sundance 2020 World Documentary Competition and received the Best Directing Award. Giedrė is a member of the European Film Academy, Lithuanian Filmmakers Union, alumni of Berlinale Talent Campus, Sources2, CPH:DOX LAB, EURODOC and dok.incubator. 

Social Media
twitter.com/metfilm
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instagram.com/metfilm
facebook.com/metfilm

“The story is brilliantly told and rich in surprises, and The Jump is surely one of this year’s unmissable non-fiction titles.” – Cineuropa

Duty Free, Director Sian-Pierre Regis

Director Sian-Pierre Regis’ poignant feature documentary debut, DUTY FREE, takes us into the world of his mom, Rebecca Danigelis, a British immigrant living in Boston, who has been fired from her job as a hotel housekeeper at the age of 75. An experience that has left her financially and emotionally devastated. Her son, Sian-Pierre, is living in New York City, trying to work his way into the competitive world of TV journalism. With his mother’s reality crashing down, Sian-Pierre resolves to leave New York, and the life he expected to lead, to help his mother get back on her feet. As Sian-Pierre looks for ways to support Rebecca, he gives her an adventure spanning two continents that uncovers a surprising family saga, a story that reveals the compromises and injustices placed on single mothers, the persistence of sexism and ageism, and the difficult dance of duty and freedom where the older and younger generations come together. DUTY FREE and the impact campaign inspired by the film examines ageism, the care crisis, and economic insecurity in America. Who will care for and support our moms and dads? Our grandmothers and our grandfathers? Watch our film, raise these questions in your own community, and together let’s point to solutions that work for all generations. Director Sian-Pierre Regis joins us for a conversation about the challenges facing millions of families as they confront the impacts of aging love ones and how we navigate the challenges and embrace the opportunity to better understand a part of the human experience that awaits us all.

 

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For news and updates go to: dutyfreefilm.com

To find out more about the Impact Campaign go to: dutyfreefilm.com

About the filmmaker – Sian-Pierre is currently a Firelight Media Fellow 2018-2020 and a Film Independent Documentary Fellow 2019. He is also an award-winning journalist, on-camera personality, and cultural critic with an undying love for both pop-culture and social responsibility. He has been a contributor for CNN, HLN, MTV and CBS, covering stories of youth political activism and pop-culture. 

Social Media
facebook.com/DutyFreeFilm
twitter.com/sianpierre
instagram.com/dutyfreefilm
twitter.com/DOCNYCfest

Red Heaven, Co-directors Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe

The endlessly intriguing “what if” documentary, RED HEAVEN, pulls back the curtain on what are the practical implications for the astronauts on a mission to colonize Mars. What are the physical, mental and psychological impacts likely to be on these explorers in an isolated and unforgiving environment as they carry out their mission to colonize Mars? RED HEAVEN focuses on a group of six volunteers, Carmel Johnston, Sheyna Gifford, Christiane Heinicke, Tristan Bassingthwaighte, Andrzej Stewart, and Cyprien Verseux as they take part in the ultimate dress rehearsal, living inside a year-long NASA simulation designed to understand the effects of isolation on the human mind. RED HEAVEN asks audiences to look at their own fundamental needs as human beings, what they can and can’t live without, and pose a fundamental question about why humans seem so determined to explore and expand our boundaries. Co-directors Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe join us to talk about why they see their film in a different light since the COVID pandemic and how they gained a new understanding for what our subjects went through – living together while separated from the rest of the world, everyday a struggle against the pressures of boredom and isolation.

 

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For news and updates go to: redheavenfilm.com

Director’s Statement – We were finishing up graduate school at Stanford University, studying documentary film, in the heart of Silicon Valley at a time when space exploration and traveling to Mars had reemerged in the public consciousness. It was also the moment when climate change was becoming a more prominent threat to the future of humanity. We wanted to interrogate this new fascination with sending humans to Mars. What does this dream of living on Mars say about our culture, about human beings? We both were contending with how to imagine the future at a time when the Earth is in crisis. We started to research possible stories that spoke to this question and we quickly learned about the Hawai’i Space Exploration Analogue and Simulation, where six people would soon be entering a small dome where they would live isolated from the rest of the world for an entire year as if they were on Mars. These six crew members of HI-SEAS were actually going to act out living on Mars, and they would be actually living in this world for an entire year – that was irresistibly intriguing. We were interested in the complex, human side of the story – the intensity of living in a place that is totally inhospitable to us as a species all the while being completely isolated from everything you’ve ever known. We felt that was the most fascinating part, yet it was being repeatedly overlooked in the race to get to Mars. In a way, RED HEAVEN was our mode of expressing an uncertainty about what the future holds. – Co-directors Lauren DeFilippo and Katherine Gorringe

Director/Producer: RED HEAVEN marks Lauren DeFilippo’s feature-length directorial debut. She is currently in production on two upcoming feature documentaries: Free Money (director/producer), about the world’s largest universal basic income experiment, and Ailey (producer) about visionary dance choreographer, Alvin Ailey. 

Director/Producer/Editor: Katherine Gorringe is a documentary director and editor whose work has been featured at numerous festivals including SXSW, CPH:DOX and Hot Docs. Her recent editing work includes the Emmy-nominated Netflix Original Saving Capitalism, which follows former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. RED HEAVEN is her feature documentary directorial debut. 

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

The Last Out, Co-directors Sami Khan and Michael Gassert

THE LAST OUT tells the story of three talented Cuban athletes, Happy, Carlos, and Victor, leave their families and homes behind as they set off in pursuit of the ultimate dream: a contract with Major League Baseball. Cuban ballplayers are among baseball’s brightest stars but Cuban ball-players can’t just sign out of Cuba – the US Embargo is still in place and only being strengthened under the current administration – so Cubans have to leave their homeland, often under dangerous circumstances and establish residency in a third Country like The Dominican Republic, Haiti or Costa Rica. At the rundown Estadio Antonio Escarre, they have spent the past year training long and hard, thousands of miles away from their families in Cuba. They travel to Costa Rica and train under a seedy sports agent who dangles promises while exploiting their talents. As they navigate immigration and the ulterior motives of handlers, each man finds an unexpected path forward to a better life. Set against the backdrop of the dangerous Central American migrant trail, THE LAST OUT offers a rare window into the dark side of professional sports. THE LAST OUT co-directors Sami Khan and Michael Gassert stop by to talk about their process of following the many twists and turns these young men’s lives take them on and the personal risk they and their team took in chronicling it.

 

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Sami Khan’s most recent film, the short documentary St. Louis Superman (with Smriti Mundhra), was nominated for an Academy Award® and won a Special Jury Prize at Tribeca in 2019. Michael Gassert’s documentary and archival work has been supported by IFP, the Sundance Institute, UNESCO, and the Kennedy Center.

CRUTCH, Co-Directors Sachi Cunningham and Vayabobo (Chandler Evans)

CRUTCH takes the audience on a journey that literally spans the entire globe. The documentary features the abandoned Pittsburgh steel mills of Bill’s childhood; his diagnosis with Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, a rare, degenerative condition of the hip; the underground NYC break dance battles of his twenties; his groundbreaking performances in Sydney, Quebec, Madrid, Helsinki, Moscow, London, Paris, Tokyo, and more. CRUTCH is a global story, a powerful story, a transformational story, and one which will have you re-evaluating your own perspectives. From childhood “cripple” to international provocateur,  CRUTCH is an engrossing, emotional story of an artist’s struggle to be understood and an auspicious DOC NYC debut. Two decades in the making and employing a kinetic tapestry of 8mm film from the 70’s, Hi-8 and VHS tapes from the 80’s, mini-DV tapes from the 90’s, and stunning HD footage from the 2000’s,  CRUTCH documents Bill’s extraordinary life’s story: the history of Bill’s medical odyssey, his struggles with chronic pain, the evolution of his crutch dancing and skating, his rise to become a world-renowned performance artist, and his transformation from an angry skate punk to an international hero. Co-directors Sachi Cunningham and Vayabobo (Chandler Evans) join us to talk about Bill Shannon’s fierce determination to breakthrough cultural perceptions of what it is to be a dancer, skateboarder and performance artist.

 

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

About the filmmaker – Director /Producer Sachi Cunningham is an award winning documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor of Journalism at San Francisco State University. A graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and Brown University, Cunningham has worked on the staffs of PBS FRONTLINE/World, where she covered stories from the first Presidential election in Afghanistan to sex trafficking in Dubai, and the Los Angeles Times, where she was recruited to start their first video team. When not making documentaries, Cunningham can be found swimming somewhere in the Pacific, where she is known for her pioneering big wave water surf photography

About the filmmaker – Director / Producer / Writer Vayabobo (Chandler Evans) is a writer/director, whose award winning videos have garnered over 150 million views online. Vayabobo wrote and directed for Disney Interactive and subsequently helped to launch Buzzfeed Video. He wrote Visions of Everest, a feature length documentary about the only blind man to summit Mount Everest and has written for TV shows on CBS, Syfy and CW. His work in advertising includes directing commercial spots for companies such as Disney, Singapore Airlines, Hamilton Beach and KB Homes. When not working, you can catch Vayabobo playing and documenting Capoeira around the world.

Social Media
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instagram.com/crutchdoc

In My Own Time: A Portrait of Karen Dalton, Co-Directors Robert Yapkowitz and Richard Peete

IN MY OWN TIME: A PORTRAIT OF KAREN DALTON explores Karen’s early days in Oklahoma where she experienced the harsh realities of growing up during the Great Depression and follows her through more than two decades at the margins of popular music. With two ex-husbands and two children by the time she was eighteen, she rejected the life of a housewife and set off for New York City. Constantly struggling to find her audience yet too close to her own music to compromise, Karen’s negotiations with fortune and fame were complex, but one thing is clear, she lived the music. While Karen projected a tough exterior, as a musician she was fragile and rife with insecurity. IN MY OWN TIME: A PORTRAIT OF KAREN DALTON focuses on Karen’s difficulties in pursuing success while trying to maintain a pure relationship with the creative process. Through stories from her closest friends, family and collaborators, combined with Karen’s rarely seen personal journals and poetry. We dive deep into the existential struggles she faced, and that ultimately led to her drug use and an untimely death due to AIDs related illness. Co-directors Ricahrd Peete and Robert Yapkowitz join us to talk about an artist who eschewed the spotlight, admired by her peers, difficult to know and the creator of a body of work that will inspire others for as long as music is made.

 

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Social Media
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Coded Bias, Director Shalini Kantayya

CODED BIAS explores the fallout of MIT media lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery, technology based bias is real. Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is biased against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected. Director Shalini Kantayya (Catching the Sun) joins us for a conversation on computerized racial, political, sexual, social, financial, cultural bias and how it is here now and what, if any, way that people can do anything reform it or stop it from determining our collective future.  

 

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

Learn more and take action go to: codedbias.com/take-action

About the filmmaker: Director Shalini Kantayya’s feature documentary, CODED BIAS, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She directed an episode of the National Geographic television series Breakthrough, Executive Produced by Ron Howard, broadcast globally in 2017. Her debut feature film Catching the Sun, premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was named a New York Times Critics’ Pick. Catching the Sun released globally on Netflix on Earth Day 2016 with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio, and was nominated for the Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary. She is an Associate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. shalinikantayya.net

Social Media
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“Racial bias, algorithms, facial recognition and badass women of color put our government on blast for using technology while rolling back privacy and Civil Rights in America. Joy Buolamwini and Shalini Kantayya should get a Nobel Peace Prize!” – Carla Renata, The Curvy Film Critic

“In a time where we as consumers instill unrelenting trust in the people behind the screen, there has never been a more vital documentary.” – Stephanie Archer, Film Inquiry

“Without shying away the issue’s enormity or its devastating consequences, Coded Bias gradually works toward almost inspirational vibe, as Buolamwini and others get to work solving the problem they’ve identified. – Angie Han, Mashable

“Kantayya makes a strong and compelling argument that everyone needs to pay attention to. Not only do we need to be talking about this, but we, the people, need to be doing more about this.” – Amyana Bartley, QBP Reviews

Rebuilding Paradise, Producer Sara Bernstein

Oscar winning Director Ron Howard’s gripping new documentary. Rebuilding Paradise, movingly recounts and expands on the devastating events of Nov. 8, 2018. A tragedy that began with a spark from a transmission line in Northern California, coupled with climate-impacted conditions, quickly grew into a devastating firestorm that engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures. It was the deadliest U.S. fire in 100 years — and the worst ever in California’s history. As residents faced the damage to their lives, to their homes and to more than 150,000 acres in and around their 141-year-old town, they did something amazing: They worked together to heal. The community members went on to forge a bond stronger than what they had before the catastrophe, even as their hope and spirit were challenged by continued adversity: relocations, financial crises, government hurdles, water poisoning, grief and PTSD. From the moment the crisis began, The Camp Fire and its overwhelming aftermath became a de facto lesson in what we all must do: protect our environment, help our neighbors, plan for future dangers and remember to preserve the traditions that unite us — just as these resilient citizens did when they began the important task of REBUILDING PARADISE. Producer Sara Bernstein joins us for a conversation on how the production team, led by Oscar-winning director Ron Howard gained the confidence and trust of families scarred by one of the most devastating fires in California as well as documenting the resiliency and character of the people rebuilding Paradise.

 

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For news and updates go to: nationalgeographic.com/rebuilding-paradise

About the filmmaker – Sara Bernstein is an award-winning producer and Executive Vice President at Imagine Documentaries the newly launched documentary division of Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s, Imagine Entertainment. Recent feature films she has executive produced include Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band (2019) and Dads (2019) which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. The Ron Howard-directed documentary film, Rebuilding Paradise (2020), for National Geographic Films, D.Wade: Life Unexpected (2020) for ESPN Films and the documentary feature film on legendary chef Julia Child, Julia (2021) directed by Academy Award nominees Julie Cohen and Betsy West. Prior to joining Imagine, Bernstein was Senior Vice President, HBO Documentary Films over seeing nonfiction development and production for HBO. Credits include Academy Award-winner Citizenfour (2014), Academy Award-winner Music by Prudence (2010), Academy Award nominees Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country (2008), Iraq In Fragments (2006), The Children of Leningradsky (2005), Poster Girl (2010). Emmy-nominated The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley (2019), Emmy-nominated The Case Against Adnan Syed (2019), Judd Apatow’s Emmy-winning The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (2018), Emmy winners Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (2015), White Light, Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2007) and Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012). Emmy-nominated The Case Against 8 (2014), Mapplethorpe: Look At The Pictures (2016), Chris Hegedus & D.A. Pennebaker’s Emmy-nominated Unlocking The Cage (2016); Beware the Slenderman (2016), I Love You Now Die (2019) and Mommy Dead and Dearest (2017). Bernstein has garnered 10 Emmy wins, 29 Emmy nominations and 11 Peabody Awards. Documentaries she has supervised have garnered 2 Oscars and 13 Oscar nominations.

Social Media
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92% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Rebuilding Paradise might easily have blazed with righteous fury, but its conclusions are quieter and bleaker.” – Ellen E Jones, Guardian

“Filmmaker Howard admittedly does a superb job of immediately drawing the viewer into the briskly-paced proceedings…” David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews

“Howard’s documentary is not so much about the fire as it takes a looks at the resilience members of the community showed. It is both painful and inspirational.” – Rick Bentley,Tribune News Service

“Mr. Howard wants us to know that greater challenges lie ahead… Yet his documentary also dramatizes the resilience and resourcefulness we can bring to bear in meeting them. Calamity, the film says, isn’t destiny.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

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

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

 

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

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

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The Way I See It – Director Dawn Porter

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

 

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

Check out the future of voting at: headcount.org

In select theaters Friday, September 18th

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Are Many, Director Amir Amirani

WE ARE MANY focuses on February 15th, 2003, when up to 30 million people, many of whom had never demonstrated before in their lives, came out in nearly 800 cities around the world to protest against the impending Iraq War. The New York Times called this movement the “Second Superpower”. How did this day come about? Who organized it? And was it, as many people claimed, a total failure? This fearless, thought-provoking documentary is the remarkable inside story behind the first ever global demonstration and its surprising and unreported legacy. WE ARE MANY features testimony from a unique cast of direct participants, including organizers, activists, high-profile figures, and of course the public, filmed in seven countries – Italy, Spain, Egypt, Sweden, Australia, UK, and the USA. Extraordinary testimony from activists in Egypt reveals how, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, the global anti-war protests inspired those in Tahrir Square to go on to engage in the massive democratic movement that ultimately led to the Arab Spring. In the UK, the government was defeated over the proposed invasion of Syria, a historic event that might not have transpired without the legacy of those demonstrations a decade ago. The star-studded list of contributors includes Danny Glover, actor Mark Rylance, film director Ken Loach, Prof. Noam Chomsky, musicians Brian Eno and Damon Albarn, writer and Vietnam Vet Ron Kovic (author of ‘Born on the 4th of July’), Rev. Jesse Jackson, Richard Branson, and Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, amongst others. WE ARE MANY is a bold documentary by Amir Amirani charts the birth and growth of the new people power movement, now sweeping the world, taking us up to the Arab Spring and Syria, a little over 10 years after that historic day.

 

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

About the filmmaker – Amir Amirani is a film-maker with a strong track record of work for some of the most respected series of the BBC. He has a degree in Biology from Nottingham University, and an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge University. Amir joined the BBC in 1992 and took up a Graduate Production Traineeship. In 1994, Amir and his brother Taghi established Amirani Films to produce documentaries for the major UK broadcasters, the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, and other international broadcasters. Amir has made films for a several of the BBC’s flagship series, including the multi BAFTA award winning Arena, Timewatch, Picture This, Correspondent and Newsnight, for which he was nominated for an Amnesty International Award. A film he directed in South Africa was nominated for the One World Broadcasting Trust Awards. Amir also works in radio, where he has produced programmes for leading series on BBC Radio 4, such as In Business, From Our Own Correspondent, The World Tonight, and single programmes such as From Tehran With Laughter. He has also directed British televisionís most popular soap opera. His journalism includes writing for the New Statesman, New Scientist,Business Traveller Asia and the Economist Intelligence Unit. His work has been well reviewed by the press.

Andorra Hustle, Director Eric Merola

Andorra, a tiny, independent country situated between France and Spain in the Pyrenees mountains with a total population of 80,000 people found itself at the center of one of the most convoluted and outrageous bank robberies in modern history: on March 10, 2015, Banca Privada d’Andorra (BPA), a private bank in Andorra, was shut down by Spanish, American, and Andorran governments in Spain’s efforts to destroy the Catalonian Independence Movement thus leaving dozens of innocent civilians facing prison for money laundering crimes that never existed, and scores of innocent families have had their entire life savings stolen from them. The incentive for the Spanish government to destroy BPA was part of Spain’s ongoing “Operation Catalonia”—a covert state-sponsored war-like operation meant to undermine the progress of Catalonia’s efforts to separate from Spain due to generations of  humanitarian and economic repression Madrid has inflicted upon Catalonia. America’s incentive was to protect Spain’s interests, as they are an ally of the United States. Andorra’s incentive appears to be purely economical on behalf of its leadership.  Director Eric Merola, (Burzynski, Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering, Burzynski: The Cancer Cure Cover-Up, and The God Cells) joins us to talk about this shocking, but true story of an international banking system, and a regulatory oversight regime that is only incidentally concerned with banking integrity or financial criminality.

 

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For news and updates go to: andorrahustle.com

Merola Productions is proud to present the VOD release of THE ANDORRA HUSTLE, a documentary film written and directed by the award-winning filmmaker Eric Merola. The film will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime on September 4, 2020. 

To Watch Andorra Hustle go to: amazon.com/Andorra Hustle

About the filmmaker – Eric Merola is an internationally award-winning documentary filmmaker. For the last decade Eric has directed and produced four documentaries exploring disruptive scientific technologies in the space of medical research. All of his documentaries can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video Merola’s 5th documentary, The Andorra Hustle, releases worldwide in English, Spanish, and Catalan on Amazon Prime Video.  Merola’s first documentary, Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business was an international success seen by tens of millions of people worldwide. This project was presented on Netflix, PBS, The Documentary Channel, and various international television outlets. The positive reception of the Burzynski story led Merola to produce its sequel, Burzynski: Cancer Is Serious Business, Part II Merola’s third documentary, Second Opinion: Laetrile At Sloan-Kettering tells the story of Ralph W. Moss, PhD, who blew the whistle on the successful laetrile studies conducted for 5 years at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in the 1970s. Today, Eric Merola is most passionate about investigating fetal stem cell therapy, where he spent four years researching and releasing his most recent documentary, The God Cells: A Fetal Stem Cell Journey. Merola continues to follow new patients who seek fetal stem cell treatment and share their stories. Merola feels that fetal stem cells could be the most disruptive technology he’s discovered in the medical research space, potentially replacing nearly every pharmaceutical medication on the market. Eric is also a painter and fine art currently holding a residency at the 18th Street Studios in Santa Monica.

A Thousand Cuts, Director Ramona S. Diaz

Award-wining filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz’s latest documentary, A THOUSAND CUTS, is a blistering indictment of a free press and democracy are under attack in the Philippines. In the face of journalist Maria Ressa and founder of the on-line news site Rappler is holding the line and fighting back against President Rodrigo Duterte’s escalating threats of assignation and death. Duterte smear tactics and threats against Ressa (discredit journalists/media, spread misinformation, attacks on social media) are similar to what other authoritarian leaders are now using against the press. Duterte’s war on truth and journalism has become a blueprint for other authoritarian regimes around the world. A THOUSAND CUTS spotlights Ressa’s fight for justice in the country is ongoing as she was found guilty of cyber libel last month in a blatant attempt to silence one of the most outspoken critics of the Philippine President. The alarming result is not only an attack on Democracy in the Philippines, but also a warning shot to the rest of the world. Ressa’s lawyer Amal Clooney (also featured in the film) recently penned this Op-Ed  last month underscoring the implications of this trial. Director, Producer, Writer and Co-editor Ramona S. Diaz (Motherland, Imelda) joins us to talk about the suffocating pressure being brought to bear on journalists, her admiration for those who remain committed to a free press and the hope she has for her beloved homeland. 

 

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For news and updates go to: athousandcuts.film

For screenings go to: athousandcuts.film/watch-screenings

Produced by Concordia Studio and Motto Pictures, A THOUSAND CUTS will release nationwide in virtual cinemas on August 7th via PBS Distribution / Frontline PBS.

About the filmmaker Ramona S. Diaz is an award-winning Asian American filmmaker whose films have screened at Sundance, the Berlinale, Tribeca, the Viennale, IDFA, and many other top-tier film festivals. All of Ramona’s feature-length films—Imelda (2004), The Learning (2011), Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey (2012) and, Motherland (2017)—have been broadcast on PBS, on either the POV or Independent Lens series. Motherland won an award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and had its international premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. It was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for best Documentary, a Peabody Award, and a Gaward Urian Award from the Filipino Film Critics. She has received funding from ITVS, Sundance, CAAM, Tribeca, Catapult Film Fund, Chicken & Egg, MacArthur Foundation, the IDA, Cinereach and Creative Capital, among others. For the past four years, Ramona has been a film envoy for the American Film Showcase, a joint program of the U.S. Department of State and the USC School of Cinematic Arts that brings American films to audiences worldwide. She has conducted master classes and production workshops all over the world. Ramona was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) in 2016, and in 2017 received a Women at Sundance Fellowship and a Chicken & Egg Pictures Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. She is a current recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship. Ramona is a graduate of Emerson College and holds an MA from Stanford University.

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Winner – Best Documentary – DocEdge 2020

“[This] engrossing, galvanizing film feels more like a political thriller than an off-the-cuff investigation into embattled journalism in the Philippines, but Ressa’s seemingly boundless energy, good humor, and intelligence make her basically a power plant for the manufacture of inspiration in embattled times.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“A Thousand Cuts provides an expansive, revealing look at the current Filipino political situation, and it doesn’t feel like it’s warning viewers about what will happen in America, so much as telling us what’s coming next.”- Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“Diaz creates a rousing paean to the bravery of Ressa and her colleagues, and a clarion call to action that we should all heed.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“A Thousand Cuts is a must see for those who care about freedom of the press, democracy, and the future of one particular country-our own.” – Max Weiss, Baltimore Magazine

Beyond the Visible, Hilma af Klint, Director Halina Dyrschka

Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting. The subject of a recent smash retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum, af Klint was for years an all-but-forgotten figure in art historical discourse, before her long-delayed rediscovery. Halina Dryschka’s dazzling, course correcting documentary describes not only the life and craft of af Klint, but also the process of her mischaracterization and her erasure by both a patriarchal narrative of artistic progress and capitalistic determination of artistic value. Director Halina Dyrschka joins us to talk about her own journey in making this compelling and powerful film and the importance of shattering the art world narrative of marginalizing woman artists.

 

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About the filmmaker – Director Halina Dyrschka was born in Berlin, Germany and is active as a director and producer. After studying acting, classical singing and film production she founded the company AMBROSIA FILM in Berlin. Her first film as a director the short film “9andahalf’s Goodbye” was shown at over 40 film festivals worldwide and has won several awards. BEYOND THE VISIBLE – HILMA AF KLINT marks her directorial feature documentary debut and is the first and only film on the Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.

For news, screenings and updates go to: zeitgeistfilms.com/film/beyondthevisiblehilmaafklint

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“One needn’t have a B.F.A. to see the striking resemblances between Klint’s works, painted years earlier, and those of vastly more lauded male artists who came later.” – Kenneth R. Morefield, 1More Film Blog

“Beyond the Visible should reach the general public as a needed and welcome corrective, shining a light on yet another dynamic, trailblazing woman denied her rightful place in history, until now.” – Loren King, AWFJ Women on Film

“Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint reminds us that just because we do not yet know them, does not mean that there are not more than enough women artists to entirely populate their own club of geniuses – and that in itself makes the film worthwhile.” – Lee Jutton, Film Inquiry

The Booksellers, Director D.W. Young

D.W. Young’s elegant and absorbing documentary, THE BOOKSELLERS, is a lively tour of New York’s book world, populated by an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers, past and present: from the Park Avenue Armory’s annual Antiquarian Book Fair, where original editions can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars; to the Strand and Argosy bookstores, still standing against all odds; to the beautifully crammed apartments of collectors and buyers. The film, executive produced by Parker Posey, features a range of commentators, including Fran Lebowitz, Susan Orlean, Gay Talese, and a community of dedicated book dealers and collectors who strongly believe in the wonder of the object and what it holds within. Director D.W. David Young joins us to talk about his endearing look into a vanishing institution, local bookstores, and the people who love them and the treasures they hold.

 

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About the filmmaker – D.W. Young / Director and Editor – D.W. Young’s films have screened at festivals around the world including SXSW, Vancouver International Film Festival, Maryland Film Festival, Provincetown Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival and many more. His features A HOLE IN A FENCE and THE HAPPY HOUSE were released by First Run Features. Most recently his short A FAVOR FOR JERRY, filmed on election night 2016, premiered at IFF Boston.

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

The Booksellers is being distributed through greenwichentertainment.com

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“Though it opens with a quote from Susan Sontag invoking Jorge Luis Borges’s belief… the film is not about the content, but the container – the tactile, redolent artifact essential to book lovers and sought by collectors.” – Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“[A] charming documentary about the book world – or more specifically the book-as-object world, with antiquarian booksellers trying to reinvent themselves and their industry in a digital era.” – Jennifer Szalai, New York Times

“The Booksellers is a documentary for people who treasure the sheer look and feel of books… As a proud member of this diminishing tribe of obsessives, I am grateful there exists a film featuring my spiritual kinfolk.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

“Pays warm-hearted tribute to the reading, but also the shopping, the rifling, the obsessing, the complaining, the dreaming, the list-making, the shelf-organizing, and everything else book-lovers love to do.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, TheWrap

The American Nurse, Director Carolyn Jones

THE AMERICAN NURSE explores some of the biggest issues facing America — aging, war, poverty, prisons — through the work and lives of five nurses. It is an examination of real people that will change how we think about nurses and how we wrestle with the challenges of healing America. Jason Short drives up a creek to reach a homebound cancer patient in Appalachia. Tonia Faust runs a prison hospice program where inmates serving life sentences care for their fellow inmates as they’re dying. Naomi Cross coaches patient Becky, an ovarian cancer survivor, through the cesarean delivery of her son. Sister Stephen runs a nursing home where she uses goats, sheep, dogs and llamas for animal therapy and the entire nursing staff comes together to sing to a dying resident. And Brian McMillion, an Army veteran and former medic, rehabilitates wounded soldiers returning from war. Director and Executive Director Carolyn Jones (Defining Hope), joins us to talk about her own journey to the making of The American Nurse and how she came to know the remarkably compassionate and professional people who have provided comfort and care to all of us.

 

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For news and updates got to: kinolorberedu.com/film/the-american-nurse

Watch The American Nurse: kinonow.com/american-nurse

About the filmmaker(s)

Carolyn Jones / Director and Executive Producer Carolyn Jones is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker who specializes in telling stories that shed light on issues of global concern. From people “living positively” with AIDS to women artisans supporting entire communities and nurses on the front lines of our healthcare system, Carolyn has devoted her career to celebrating invisible populations and breaking down barriers. She founded the non-profit 100 People Foundation which creates educational films and curricula and has students participating in thousands of schools in over 90 countries worldwide. Her most widely acclaimed book publications include Living Proof: Courage in the Face of AIDS and The American Nurse, which led to a feature documentary included in the U.S. State Department’s American Film Showcase. In the spring of 2018 her award-winning documentary Defining Hope, which was the culmination of a journey investigating how we can make better end-of-life choices, was broadcast over 1,000 times on PBS stations nationwide.  carolynjones.com

Lisa Frank – Producer As Director of Programs and Production for the 100 People Foundation, Lisa has traveled the globe to produce award-winning short documentaries on global issues for students worldwide. She founded a trans-Atlantic production company and produced a narrative short that screened at Cannes and the French-language documentary Démocratie en France which premiered in Paris and at the Alliance Française in New York City. She holds a B.S. in Theater from Northwestern University, and certificats des Beaux-Arts from L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq and L’Ecole Philippe Gaulier in Paris, where she also taught movement, dance and acrobatics.

To learn about the American Nurse Project, visit americannurseproject.com

About The American Nurse Project sponsor FRESENIUS KABI: Fresenius Kabi was inspired to launch an endeavor that celebrates nurses in this country– an undertaking that acknowledges the nurse’s critical role at the bedside, and their pivotal role within our healthcare system. The American Nurse Project, which includes the book The American Nurse as well as the forthcoming documentary, seeks to tell a story that needs telling. Capturing intimacy, rare beauty, and refreshing frankness with journalistic objectivity, we hope to celebrate the crucial role that care can have in all our lives, and to celebrate the people that care the most. We are proud to be the sole sponsor of the book and the production of the documentary. Fresenius Kabi is a global health care company that specializes in lifesaving medicines and technologies for infusion, transfusion and clinical nutrition.  Our products are used to help care for critically and chronically ill patients. To learn more, please visit us at www.fresenius-kabi.us. For more information about our support of The American Nurse Project, please contact geoffrey.fenton@fresenius-kabi.com.

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“A compassionate and psychologically revealing doc.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Carolyn Jones’s portrait of five medical caregivers walks us through day-in, day-out sacrifices without ever coming off as sentimental or aggrandizing.” – The Village Voice

“A solid, worthwhile documentary…Elegantly clear-eyed.” – The New York Times

“Intellectually and emotionally engaging. This is one of the best films you’ll see this year, documentary or otherwise.” – Aisle Seat

After Parkland, Co-directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman

In the days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that killed 17 people and launched a nationwide student movement, filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman embedded with students and families whose lives were forever transformed. They include senior David Hogg, who recorded his class during the attack and became the face of the Never Again movement; freshman Brooke Harrison, who was in the first classroom under attack; Sam Zeif, a senior who was locked down in the same building, texting with his little brother and unsure if they would ever see each other again; Andrew Pollack, the father of 18- year-old Meadow, who was killed after being shot nine times; and the loved ones of 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, including his parents Manuel and Patricia, girlfriend Victoria Gonzalez, and best friend Dillon McCooty. The filmmakers developed trusting relationships with these students and families, who opened their doors during some of the most difficult moments of their lives, and followed their private journeys as they rose to challenge the nation to end gun violence. Weaving together candid, in-depth interviews, vérité footage, and personal videos, the film chronicles moments both intimate and defining – from the quiet hours of grief and reflection, to those of political awakening, and onto milestones on the public stage – creating a moving portrait of one community’s crusade to turn tragedy into progress. Co-directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman join us to talk about developing the relationships with the students, parents and community that made their intimate, wrenching and hopeful film possible.

 

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For news and updates go to: afterparklandmovie.com

Nationwide Day of Conversation screenings on February 12 to commemorate the second anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Over 100 cities to participate in one-night Demand Film screenings with community partners to turn tragedy into progress.

Find a screening near you: afterparklandmovie.com/screenings

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The movie succeeds where it counts: showing the reverberations of violence long after most cameras left.” – New York Times

“’After Parkland’ is that gentle exchange of a movie – listening, being there – and sometimes that’s all an aftermath doc can be and should be.” –  LA Times

“The film records this experience in a moving and memorable way. After you’ve seen it, you know more about the meaning of this kind of horror than you did before, and that’s a vital thing.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety

What feels important in Parkland is less about pushing any kind of political agenda or viewpoint than about simply listening, and bearing witness.” – Entertainment Weekly

Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, Director Judith Helfand

Twenty-five years after the 1995 Chicago heat wave, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code examines the events that led to the deaths of 739 people, mostly Black and in the poorest neighborhoods of the city. The film arrives at a time of growing calls across the country to declare racism a public health crisis and to reinvest in communities ravaged by the long-term impact of structural racism. A recent NYU study found life expectancy differentials as wide as 20-30 years linked to racial and ethnic segregation between neighborhoods in American cities. Adapted from Eric Klinenberg’s ground-breaking book ‘HEAT WAVE: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago,’ the film is directed and produced by Peabody Award-winning director Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl, A Healthy Baby Girl, Everything’s Cool), produced by Fenell Doremus (co-producer of Academy Award-nominated Abacus: Small Enough to Jail), and Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago documentary production house behind Minding the Gap and Hoop Dreams. In COOKED, Helfand challenges herself, and ultimately all of us, to respond to the man-made disasters taking place in towns and cities across the country before the next unprecedented “natural” disaster hits. Director Judith Helfand joins us to talk about the systemic racism that makes the neighborhoods of the poorest the most likely location for

Independent Lens: COOKED: Survival by Zip Code will have its national television debut on the PBS television series Independent Lens on Monday, February 3 at 10:00 pm (check local listings), preceding coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. The film will also be available to stream at PBS.org and on the free PBS Video App throughout Black History Month.

 

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For news and updates go to: pbs.org/independentlens

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

For more information about Cooked: Survival by Zip Code go to: independentlens/cooked

About Independent Lens – Award-Winning Series
Each week this award-winning series bring you an original documentary film made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today. Independent Lens films have won 19 Emmy Awards16 Peabody Awardsfive duPont-Columbia University Awards, and have received 10 Academy Award nominationsIndependent Lens won the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Continuing Series.

 

Social Media
facebook.com/independentlens
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instagram.com/independentlens
facebook.com/cookedthefilm
twitter.com/CookedTheFilm

 

St. Louis Superman, Director Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

Bruce Franks Jr. is a 34-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis, Missouri. Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure the likes of which you’ve never seen – full of contradictions and deep insights, who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country. This short verité documentary follows Bruce at a critical juncture in his life, when he is forced to deal with the mental trauma he’s been carrying for the nearly 30 years since his 9-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him, in order to find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader for his community.  Co- director Smriti Mundhra  (Sami Khan) join us to talk about how a dynamic and charismatic man from a traumatized community took tragedy and turned into action.

About the filmmakers: Smriti Mundhras A SUITABLE GIRL  premiered at Tribeca in 2017 and won the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director. KHOYASami Khan’s feature debut, was selected for the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access® fellowship.

 

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Social Media:
twitter.com/smritimundhra
facebook.com/smriti.mundhra
facebook.com/SamiKhan
twitter.com/samikhanfilm

 

Awards Shortlists:

Cinema Eye Honors – Short Listed – Best Short

DOC NYC – Best Shorts Short List

WINNER AUDIENCE AWARD – BEST SHORT DOC  – 2019 HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL – 2019 AFI DOCS FILM FESTIVAL – 2019 TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – SPECIAL JURY AWARD  – 2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – BEST SHORT DOC  – 2019 BIG SKY DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – BEST DOCUMENTARY – HEARTLAND FILM’S 2019 INDYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL

“Thank you Mr. Mundhra. The film is powerful and simple.” – Lapacazo Sandoval, Los Angeles Sentinel

Walk Run Cha Cha, Director Laura Nix

WALK RUN CHA-CHA has been nominated for Documentary Short Subject at the 92nd Academy Awards®. Directed by Laura Nix, the film follows Paul and Millie Cao, who lost their youth to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they have become successful professionals in Southern California-and are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor. WALK RUN CHA CHA is now streaming on New York Times Op-Docs.

About the Filmmaker: Director Laura Nix Laura Nix is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction filmmaker based in Los Angeles. WALK RUN CHA-CHA is adapted from a feature-length documentary in progress. It was produced by Concordia Studio for The New York Times Op-Docs and premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Laura’s work also includes  other work includes her feature documentary INVENTING TOMORROW, about teenagers from around the globe tackling environmental issues through science,  THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, a comedy about activism and climate change, the documentary THE LIGHT IN HER EYES, about a Syrian Qur’an school for women and she was a writer on the Emmy-nominated documentary CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: THE LEGACY OF PAT BROWN. In 2001, Nix co-founded the production company Automat Pictures, where she produced and/or directed over 100 presentations, including the feature documentary WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, which played in over a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and worldwide. Previously she was a member of Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s production company Telling Pictures, where she was Associate Producer on THE CELLULOID CLOSET.

 

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For news and updates go to: feltfilms.com

Walk Run Cha Cha is now available at nytimes.com/Op-Docs

 

*** 2020 Oscar nomination for Best Documentary (Short) *** 

 

Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2019

Winner – Grand Jury Trống Đồng Award for Best Short – Viet Film Fest 2019

Official Selection – SFFILM Doc Stories 2019

 

Social Media

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https://twitter.com/WalkRunChaCha

@feltfilms

 

“Laura Nix’s WALK RUN CHA-CHA is a moving, poignant portrait of two aging refugees who have endured a great deal, and who now face one of life’s biggest challenges: figuring out how to stay in love. Through them, Nix also evokes the textures, tastes, and sounds of Vietnamese refugee life, and mixes them in with everything that is good about the United States. Ultimately, WALK RUN CHA-CHA is an optimistic film about both love and hope—the hope that our country will continue to believe in welcoming strangers from other lands, who in the end are not that strange at all.” – Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer