As a pioneer of integrative medicine, which combines conventional medicine with cutting edge alternative treatments, veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein has been called everything from “maverick” to “miracle-worker.” Attracting four-legged patients from around the world, Dr. Goldstein’s practice, Smith Ridge Veterinary Center, provides holistic care for animals after other vets have given up hope. In THE DOG DOC, director Cindy Meehl (BUCK), goes behind the scenes at Smith Ridge to capture the full drama of “Dr. Marty” and his colleagues’ life-changing commitment to wellness and the astounding results they achieve. Filmed over a 2½ year period, Meehl’s unobtrusive camera highlights the vulnerability of her subjects – canine and human – while tracking each animal’s progress. THE DOG DOC joins the touching stories of families with the hard science of integrative care. By casting an intimate lens over this unique world, THE DOG DOC shows the healing powers of wellness, compassion and hope. Director Cindy Meehl joins us for a conversation of why conventional techniques and alternative medicines coupled with compassionate care make Doctor Goldstein’s approach so successful.
“An admiring portrait, to be sure, but one that poses penetrating questions about what passes for health care today in the United States, for people and their pets alike.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
“A riveting documentary about a veterinarian who cures seemingly hopeless cases of dog disease with the addition of alternative tweaks.” – Harvey S. Karten, Shockya.com
“”The Dog Doc” doesn’t just tug on the heart to make its point about alternative treatment, but resonates with the mind.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest
By virtually every yardstick, antisemitism in the US and Europe is rising and worsening in ways not seen since the 1930s. It comes in the forms of vandalism, social media abuse, assault and murder. Like a virus, it mutates and evolves across cultures, borders and ideologies, making it all but impossible to stop. Filmmaker Andrew Goldberg explores its infectious behavior in his film VIRAL: ANTISEMITISM IN FOUR MUTATIONS as he travels through four countries to speak firsthand with victims, witnesses, antisemites, and interviewees including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Fareed Zakaria, George Will and Deborah Lipstadt. VIRAL: ANTISEMITISM IN FOUR MUTATIONS examines how some on the American far right have incited such acts as the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. In Hungary, we see how the Prime Minister has launched a massive campaign against Jewish Holocaust survivor and billionaire George Soros that’s reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. Moving to the far left in England, we see members of the traditionally anti-racist Labour party conflating Israel and Jews, causing tremendous pain for the Jewish community. And in France, the film illuminates the seemingly endless wave of violence against Jews by Islamists and radicals. The increasing bigotry, and at times violence, within each of these four countries paints a terrifying portrait of how global hatred disseminates and harms. As activist Maajid Nawaz says in the film, “If we don’t draw a red line in the sand when it comes to antisemitism, Muslims will be next, gays will be next and everyone else who is deemed a minority will be next.” Director Andrew Goldberg joins us to talk about this particularly virulent strain of racism going back hundreds of years, continues to threaten the lives of Jews in Europe and the United States.
“As a topic of tremendous ongoing importance with roots that desperately need exploration, anti-Semitism deserves, and needs, a look into its global impact and perpetuation that makes a deeper dive than this documentary provides.” – Todd Gilchrist, TheWrap
Director/Editor Pi Ware’s (“Solitude,” “The Act”) powerful new documentary “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons,” takes a deep dive approach into the heated controversy surrounding Morgellons disease, a skin condition that most of the medical industry considers delusional. “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons,” explores the controversy surrounding Morgellons—a disease where fibers grow from sufferers’ skin, but a disease that the medical industry considers, “all in the patient’s head”. The film brings to light the heated debate as to who is delusional—the patients who believe or the doctors who deny– and whether medical treatment for Morgellons should be antibiotics or anti-psychotics. The documentary follows subjects on both sides of the debate: a Texas nurse who suffers from the disease, and a skeptical dermatologist who asserts “there are no bad doctors”. The film investigates new research that claims the fibers are protein-based filaments created by the body, explores historical patterns of medical arrogance, and exposes the fatal flaws in the 2012 Morgellons study by the CDC. “Skin Deep: The Battle Over Morgellons” climaxes in a showdown at the Morgellons Conference in Austin, Texas, where the skeptical dermatologist presents his controversial opinions, and where bridges between doctors and patients will either be built… or burned.Director Pi Ware stops by to talk about the embattled victims and advocates fighting for relief from a debilitating, life-altering disease.
“A beautifully constructed, honest and earnest call-to-action about one of the most baffling and stigmatized illnesses of our time.” – ANDY ABRAHAMS WILSON, DIRECTOR OF UNDER OUR SKIN
“A superb documentary exploring the skin-crawling disease of Morgellons and the plight of its sufferers. A reminder that physicians need to be open-minded about emerging new diseases.” – KRIS NEWBY, AUTHOR OF BITTEN: THE SECRET HISTORY OF LYME DISEASE AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS
“This incredible documentary exposes the debilitating difficulties and barriers to effective treatment that Morgellons sufferers experience. The film dives deep into the denialism conventional medicine has towards emerging illnesses and how this attitude can have severe consequences when it comes to funding, needed research, patient care and treatment for these diseases. This is a must see for anyone looking for a better understanding of Morgellons.” – DR KELLY BAY, FUNCTIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONER, NYC
When Nancy Paulikas, a vivacious woman, engineer and pilot, with early onset of Alzheimer, goes missing from a visit to a Los Angeles museum, the film takes you on a journey to show the unseen boundaries and gaps between our society and the system. It also highlights how a small number of determined people including Kirk Moody, Nancy’s husband, and LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn team up to create ‘LA Found’ program that is helping countless families. The film creates such an excellent portrait of Nancy that by the end of the movie you will know her like your close friend. Director and editor Thiago Dadalt joins us for a conversation on the heartbreaking story of love, loss and the determination of the people who cared about Nancy and their refusal to let tragedy me the end of the story.
About the filmmaker: Thiago Dadalt is an award winning writer, producer, and director from Brazil. He has won numerous awards with Chocolate, an Oscar qualified short film about the early onset of Alzheimer’s and the homeless community in L.A. His latest project Duke(about severe autism) was officially selected at the “Emerging Filmmaker Showcase” at CANNES 2019, Cleveland, Stage 32 contest (showing at HollyShorts, Raindance and Austin Film fest 2019) and many others.
In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild. In THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES Anne (now 86) retraces her steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today. Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research findings ultimately became the foundation for many scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she loves have each experienced triumphs as well as setbacks. In THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES Anne takes us on her first expedition back to Africa to retrace where her trail-blazing journey began more than half a century ago. By retracing her original steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage, Anne offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today. Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research findings ultimately became the foundation for many scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she loves have each experienced triumphs as well as nasty battle scars. THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFESgives us a moving perspective on both. Director Alison Reid joins us for a conversation on meeting Anne Innis Dagg and learning how this gentle soul is more than a pioneer in understanding these magnificent creatures, but just as importantly an advocate for women and science.
About the filmmaker: Alison Reid (Director, Writer, Producer) is an award-winning director who began her career as a stunt coordinator and second unit director. After accumulating 300 credits, she formed Free Spirit Films to produce projects diverse in genre but similar in their exploration of the human spirit. Reid received the 2007 Crystal Award for Emerging Director from DGC/WIFT. Her independent feature, The Baby Formula (2009), sold internationally, won the Audience Award at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, ‘Best LGBT Film’ at Nashville Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Zenith at the Montreal World Film Festival. Her television directing credits include Saving Hope, Heartland and Murdoch Mysteries.
“This warm documentary uses one woman’s singular passion to fuel a tale of zoological discovery, blatant sexism and environmental alarm.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“INSPIRING… A bright spot in the middle of this dark month, Alison Reid’s unabashedly sincere documentary offers gentle comfort even when it brushes up against tough subjects.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, THE WRAP
“Her research was groundbreaking, and the 16 millimeter color footage she shot at the time, amply displayed in the documentary, is breathtaking.” – Peter Rainer, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
“Alison Reid’s loving documentary affectionately celebrates little-known giraffologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg’s groundbreaking scientific work and generous contributions to women’s equality.” – Tomris Laffly, VARIETY
“An inspiring documentary that should be at the top of everyone’s list of must-see films.” – , THE ALLIANCE OF WOMEN FILM JOURNALISTS
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.
“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
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.
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 Awards, 16 Peabody Awards, five duPont-Columbia University Awards, and have received 10 Academy Award nominations. Independent Lens won the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Continuing Series.
In Afghanistan, many young girls are not able to participate in sports. cultural and religious norms, along with other factors such as safety concerns and years of warfare,have resulted in limited athletic and recreational opportunities for women and girls, especially those who come from impoverished neighborhoods. But there is a new generation of afghan girls who believe they can do anything. LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) tells the story of young afghan girls learning to read, write – and skateboard – in Kabul.
Director’s Biography: Carol Dysinger is a filmmaker, writer, artist, and educator, whose contemporary work offers a counter-narrative to traditional stories of conflict. She is in the midst of a trilogy on Afghanistan and America post 9/11. Alternating between fiction and documentary storytelling practices throughout her career, she had made a lifelong inquiry into the mechanics of story and the role storytelling plays in what we come to believe is true. She began in the theatre as an actor, moved into editing music videos for the clash in New York, and has won many awards for her short narrative work. She then moved on to write screenplays for 20th Century Fox, Disney, and HBO independent and has edited feature-length narrative and documentary films. in 2005, she traveled solo to Afghanistan with camera in hand to make her feature directorial debut, camp Victory, Afghanistan, which screened at MOMA, SXSW, human Rights Watch and at the Hague. ONE BULLET AFGHANISTAN is the second in the trilogy about the human impact of international conflict post 9/11 currently being completed in Denmark. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018, a new work in multimedia installation, which draws from decades of memoirs and family history, footage shot over 15 years in Afghanistan, and brings it together to take down the veil between human experience, story, and history.
Nominee – Best British Short Film – BAFTA Awards 2020
Winner – Best Short – IDA Documentary Awards 2019
Best Documentary Short – Tribeca Film Festival 2019
Youth Vision Award – United Nations Association Film Festival 2019
Best Documentary Short – Flyway Film Festival 2019
Audience Choice Award For Best Documentary Short – Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 2019
DOC NYC Shorts Shortlist
SFFILM Doc Stories
AFI Meet The Press Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Film Independent The New Wave Screening Series Scad Savannah Film Festival
Social Justice Film Festival
Original Thinkers Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
United Nations Assocation Film Festival Washington West Film Festival
Hamptons Doc Fest
Nevada City Film Festival
Paris Surf & Skateboard Festival
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Louisville’s International Festival Of Film
Flyway Film Festival
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 Mundhra’s A SUITABLE GIRL premiered at Tribeca in 2017 and won the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director. KHOYA, Sami Khan’s feature debut, was selected for the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access® fellowship.
LIFE OVERTAKES ME tells the story of traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair that they withdraw into a coma-like state. in Sweden, over 400 refugee children have been afflicted with this life-threatening psychosomatic illness, and the film will accompany two of them and their families on their frightening odyssey through Resignation Syndrome.
Directors Biographies: Producers/Directors John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson make documentary essays. their films have addressed such disparate subjects as tourism in Paris, the Vietnam War, and homelessness, and have screened at festivals worldwide, from Sundance and San Francisco to Leipzig, Sao Paulo, and Seoul, and have appeared on PBS and at museums including NY MOMA. their recent film Tokyo Waka premiered theatrically at Film Forum in New York. their work has been supported by artist fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris, the Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, the Japan-U.S. Friendship commission, and the California Arts Council. Samuelson taught in the Documentary Film and Video M.F.A. program at Stanford University for thirty years, serving as program Director for ten years. She was nominated for an academy award for Arthur and Lillie and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Haptas is a freelance documentary editor.
When the passenger ferry MV Sewol sank off the coast of South korea in 2014, over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren. Years later, the victims’ families and survivors are still demanding justice from the national authorities.
Director’s Biography: Yi Seung-Jun’s work focuses on the life of unseen minorities, which has informed his signature style of filmmaking. he has directed several feature-length documentary films. CHILDREN OF GOD (2008) follows a group of siblings who eke out an existence on the sacred Bagmati River in Nepal. the feature made its rounds on the international film festival circuit, including hot Docs Festival and Jeonju Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC award. Yi received a Sundance institute grant and served as director, director of photography, and editor on his subsequent documentary, the critically lauded PLANET OF SNAIL (2011), which follows Young-chan, who has been deaf and blind since childhood, as he gently moves through life with his partner Soon-ho. PLANET OF SNAIL was a darling of the festival circuit, either receiving nominations or winning awards at Tribeca Film Festival, Amsterdam international Documentary Film Festival (Best Feature-length Documentary in 2011), Dubai international Film Festival, Silverdocs and Documenta Madrid, and others. his next film, WIND ON THE MOON (2014), which he wrote, directed, edited and served as director of photography, recounts the journey of a mother and her daughter, who was born deaf and blind, as they navigate the world. he received grants from the Sundance institute, Tribeca institute and Korean Film council to make the film. his feature documentary film, CROSSING BEYOND was the international Olympic committee’s official film of the Pyeongchang Winter Games and travelled to the Busan international Film Festival, Tokyo international Film Festival, Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinn), and more. Most recently, Yi directed SHADOW FLOWERS (2019), which premiered at international Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Nominee – 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Nominee – 2019 International Documentary Association Awards, Best Short Nominee – 2019 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Best Short Documentary Winner – 2018 DOC NYC, Short Jury Award
Winner – 2019 AFI DOCS, Grand Jury Prize for Short Film
Winner – 2019 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest, Long Form – 1st Prize Winner – 2019 Indy Shorts, Documentary Audience Choice Award
DOC NYC 2018 – World Premiere
International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2018 – International Premiere AFI DOCS 2019
Indy Shorts 2019
Meet The Press Film Festival with AFI 2019
Pittsburgh Shorts 2019
WALK RUN CHA-CHAhas 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 includesother 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.
“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
THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW tells the story of Alli (Maria Dizzia), a mother of young children who has grown frustrated with her daily routine and husband (Greg eller). But her life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street and she discovers that she can see into their apartment. Inspired by a true story, the film was written and directed by three-time Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, Marshall curry. Starring tony-nominated Maria Dizzia (Orange is the New Black, 13 Reasons Why, White We’re Young); Greg Keller (Law and Order); and Juliana Canfield (Succession).
About the filmmaker: Marshall Curry is a three-time academy award nominated documentary director, cinematographer, and editor. his films cover a wide range of interests and include STREET FIGHT, about Cory Booker’s first run for mayor of Newark, N.J.; RACING DREAMS, which tells the story of two boys and a girl who dream of becoming NASAR drivers; IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, which chronicles a radical environmental group; POINT AND SHOOT, about an American who leaves home to join the Libyan revolution; and A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, about a Nazi rally that filled Madison Square Garden in 1939. his films have won top honors at Sundance and Tribeca, played in theaters and on television around the world, and earned two Emmy nominations and two Writers Guild of America nominations. curry also Executive produced and helped to edit MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS, a comedy documentary about the indie rock band, the National.
Palm Springs Shorts Fest – Audience Award, Best Live Action Short
Traverse City Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Fiction Short
Rhode Island Film Festival – First Prize, Best Live Action Short
Woodstock Film Festival – Best Short Film
Port Townsend Film Festival – Jury Award, Best Narrative Short
Port Townsend Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Narrative Short
Santa Fe Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Narrative Short
Washington West Film Festival – Best Narrative Short
Washington West Film Festival – Best Short Film Director
Kinematic Shorts – Audience Award
Coronado Film Festival – Audience Award
Short Shorts Film Festival – Best International Actress, Maria Dizzia
Sulmona International Film Festival – Best Editing
Atlanta Shortsfest – Best Cinematography, Wolfgang Held
ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS takes place off the coast of Indonesia, in the Australian territory of Christmas Island, inhabited by migratory crabs traveling in their millions from the jungle towards the ocean, in a movement that has been provoked by the full moon for hundreds of thousands of years. Poh Lin Lee is a “trauma therapist” who lives with her family in this seemingly idyllic paradise. Every day, she talks with the asylum seekers held indefinitely in a high-security detention centre hidden in the island’s core, attempting to support them in a situation that is as unbearable as its outcome is uncertain. As Poh Lin and her family explore the island’s beautiful yet threatening landscape, the local islanders carry out their “hungry ghost” rituals for the spirits of those who died on the island without a burial. They make offerings to appease the lost souls who are said to be wandering the jungles at night looking for home. ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS is a hybrid documentary that moves between the natural migration and the chaotic and tragic migration of the humans, which is in constant metamorphoses by the unseen decision-making structures. Director Gabrielle Brady joins us to talk about her beautiful and quietly powerful tale of desperate people trapped in a place of pervasive uncertainty and a woman trying to help them cope.
“ Island of the Hungry Ghosts is one of the year’s most impressively made documentaries, a film that’s as occasionally surreal as it is persistently moving. Island of the Hungry Ghosts is a true discovery.” – JOSHUA BRUNSTING, CRITERION CAST
“A documentary overflowing with empathy, poetry, and elemental power.” – HUBERT VIGILLA, FLIXIST
“Hauntingly beautiful Island of the Hungry Ghosts combines multiple narratives…into one glorious whole… A mesmerizing work of visual wonder, the breathtaking images forming an evocative setting for a vital discussion of human rights… A stunning, visceral first feature, announcing the director as a major talent to watch” – CHRISTOPHER LLEWELLYN REED, FILM FESTIVAL TODAY
“The best documentary award goes to a film that demonstrates extraordinary mastery of the full symphonic range of cinematic tools: cinematography, editing, score, sound design and, perhaps greatest of all, an exquisite use of metaphor. To a film that moved us deeply, impressed us immensely and made us feel we were witnessing nothing less than the emergence, fully formed, of a major new cinematic talent” – TRIBECA JURY
BASTARDS’ ROAD tells the story of the many combat veterans, like Jon Hancock who are navigating the complicated transition back to civilian life. After years of struggling, Jon decided to take an epic journey across the country – on foot. Walking nearly 6,000 miles alone, Jon confronts the demons that had overtaken his life. Visiting his fellow 2/4 Marines – known as the The Magnificent Bastards – and families of their fallen along the way, Jon finds a mission greater than his own redemption. Veterans everywhere are struggling with PTSD. They are taking their own lives at an alarming rate – 50% higher than non-veterans. With remarkable honesty, insight and humor, Jon’s journey is uniquely positive. It’s about changing the ways one relates to traumatic memories. It’s about beginning the healing process. Director Brian Morrison joins us to talk about the raw emotions and the deep pain of men and woman who have done what their country asked them to do.
Premiere: Sunday, January 26th at 1pm in the Ballroom Screening Room
Second Screening: Thursday, January 30th at 6pm in the Gallery Screening Room
Slamdance Film Festival Headquarters
Treasure Mountain Inn
255 Main St.
Park City, UT
Veteran Suicide Statistics
More than 60,000 Veterans died by suicide from 2008-2017. The suicide rate for Veterans is 50% higher than it is for non-veterans.
The suicide rate among Veterans aged 18-34 increased 76% from 2005-2017.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT – Why would somebody walk that far, for so long? That’s what I asked myself after seeing a news story on TV about somebody I went to high school with. I didn’t know him back then, but we shared many mutual friends. When I first contacted Jon on his walk I knew nothing about what he’d been through. The military was a foreign world to me. None of my family or friends had served. All I had to go on was that he was a Marine and had PTSD. But I was immediately drawn to his story and we quickly took steps to organize a trip for me to follow him for a few days. Over the course of the last 8 months of Jon’s walk, I was able to make a handful of trips to capture pieces of his journey. We became great friends. Most days it was just him and I, but I was lucky enough to meet many guys Jon served with, as well as several Gold Star families of their fallen. It was eye-opening to see Jon’s transformation in their presence. He smiled brighter, laughed harder and cried less. It’s like they kept the best versions of themselves for each other. I learned about the tremendous weight they carry day after day, the scars of war that will never heal, the lost brothers whose ultimate sacrifices they never stop thinking about. But I also learned about strength and selflessness that goes way beyond what most of us as civilians can comprehend. Together, they reminded each other how important it is that they are still here. – Brian Morrison
In ASK NO QUESTIONS Chinese State TV blames his faith for a fiery public suicide, Chen Ruichang is detained in a Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing facility and forced to accept the government’s account. But Chen, a former insider of the state TV himself, believes it was all a government plot. A CNN reporter smuggled out footage of the event that day, but was then muzzled by Beijing. Now, her eyewitness testimony helps untangle an intricate conspiracy, as Chinese authorities begin pressuring the filmmaker’s family and business associates. The terrifying danger of a government nefariously crafting the narrative & imprisoning its citizens who practice Falun Gong in China in the gripping feature documentary ASK NO QUESTIONSfrom filmmakers Jason Loftus (The Bleeding Edge, Human Harvest) and Eric Pedicelli (Black Code, Tin City Voices), which world premieres on Saturday, January 25th. In the vein of a journalistic true crime documentary, painting the scope of the crime, and the depths of the investigation. The story leads into allegations of criminal conduct at a governmental scale. Evidence is credibly presented, shocking, and thorough. Director Jason Loftus stops by for a conversation on the terrifying reach of a totalitarian state power structure and the impact it can have on those who dare challenge it.
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. 26 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.
In Rosine Mbakam’s loving and intimate documentary we get to know shop owner, businesswoman Sabine. Recruited by a Lebanese maid agency, Sabine leaves Cameroon and embarks for Lebanon. After many years of servitude, she escapes to Belgium, but her arrival there is complicated by the fact that she enters illegally, by way of Greece and Syria. She settles in Matonge, the African quarter, where she becomes the manager of the beauty salon Chez Jolie Coiffure. Sabine attaches a hair weave and gets to work. Her hands move quickly and precisely, as she tightly braids the hair in front of the sign in her salon promising African, European, and American-style coiffure. Sabine is a larger than-life personality crammed into a tiny, glassed-in shop in the largely immigrant Brussels district of Matonge. Here, she and her employees fit extensions and glue on lashes while watching soaps, dishing romantic advice, sharing rumors about government programs to legalize migrants, and talking about people back home in West Africa. Patrons, many of them undocumented immigrants, are not only be made to feel beautiful but can also escape the daily difficulties and harsh realities of their lives.
“Critic’s Pick! Rosine Mbakam makes a remarkable debut; demonstrates a mastery of perspective, a rare ability to include the camera in community.” —The New York Times
“Intense vulnerability makes the film emotionally gripping; the contrast between a public storefront and intimate confessions makes it engrossing… Unequivocally extracts a powerful sense of empathy—and urgency.” —Vox Magazine
“Immersive, provacative; a warm, appealing portrait. Mbakam’s portrait is knit as tightly as the braids Sabine weaves.” —Film International
“A must-see! Highly revealing, an atypical and timely portrait of the intersection between the immigrant experience and female identity.” —IndieWire
“An original filmmaker of exquisite sensibility; one of the foremost filmmakers of creative nonfiction working right now.” —The New Yorker
Filmmaker Rosine Mbakam left Cameroon at 27 to live in Belgium. Seven years later—having studied film and married a European—she returns to make what she calls a journey into darkness—to the village of her birth, and later to the capital city of Yaoundé, where her mother now lives most of the year. In the village of Tonga, her mother, Mâ Brêh, shares memories of the horrors of the war against French colonizers, and of daily life for a Cameroonian woman in an arranged marriage—a fate Rosine herself barely escaped, leaving the family of an angry ex-fiance behind. As she spends more time with her mother and the women around her, Rosine reveals the strength of their solidarity and their ability to face adversity.
A hallucinatory cinematic fever dream, Dawson City: Frozen Time tells the bizarre true story of some 533 silent film reels, dating from the 1910s and 20s, that accumulated at the end of a film distribution line in northwestern Canada and which were miraculously discovered some 50 years later, in 1978, buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool, deep in the Yukon permafrost. Filmmaker Bill Morrison (Decasia, The Miners’ Hymns, The Great Flood) deftly combines excerpts from this remarkable collection with historical footage, photographs, and original interviews, to explore the complicated history of Dawson City, a Canadian Gold Rush town founded across the river from a First Nation hunting camp, and then traces how the development of that town both reflected and influenced the evolution of modern Cinema. Combined with a powerful, evocative score by Alex Somers ( Captain Fantastic; Hale County This Morning, This Evening; Honey Boy), orchestrated and arranged by Ricardo Romaneiro, Dawson City: Frozen Time is a triumphant work of art that spins the life cycle of a singular film collection into a breath-taking history of the 20th century. Director, writer and editor Bill Morrison joins us to talk about his amazing re-creation of a time and place that existed in the parallel universes of a nascent film industry and crushing avarice of a gold rush that still resonates today.
About the filmmaker: Bill Morrison has premiered films at the New York, Rotterdam, Sundance, and Venice film festivals, and multi-media work at major performance venues around the globe such as BAM, the Barbican, Carnegie, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Morrison’s films typically source rare archival footage in which long-forgotten, and sometimes deteriorated, imagery is reframed as part of a collective mythology. His work has been recognized with the Alpert Award, Creative Capital, the Foundation for Contemporary Art, a Guggenheim fellowship, and a mid-career retrospective at MoMA. His found footage opus Decasia (2002) was the first film of the 21st century to be selected to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The Great Flood (2013) was awarded the Smithsonian Ingenuity Award of 2014 for historical scholarship. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016) won a Critics’ Choice Award for the most innovative documentary of the year, and was named the best documentary of 2017 by the Boston Society of Film Critics.
“an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times
“Bill Morrison, whose extraordinary documentary Decasia turned decomposing film stock into the stuff of avante-garde reverie, returns with another staggering journey into the past.” – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
“The thrilling documentary “Dawson City: Frozen Time” is indescribable not because it’s ambiguous (it’s totally straightforward) but because it does so many things so beautifully it is hard to know where to begin.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
In tennis, measurement – specifically, judging whether a ball is in or out – is particularly crucial. The new ESPN Films 30 for 30 Short,SUBJECT TO REVIEW takes a close look at not just the technology that’s been developed to determine the right calls with better accuracy, but the meaning and significance of that pursuit. The film, directed by Theo Anthony (“RAT FILM”) will air Sunday, Dec. 22, at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN. Tracing the history of photographic review back more than a hundred years, and chronicling controversial moments before and after the age of review in tennis, SUBJECT TO REVIEW explores the mechanisms of the cameras and computerized simulations that now serve as the final word on close calls – but also the limits of the veracity of those calls. Ultimately, it’s a story about technology in sports – but also a study of what we want from our machines, and our minds, well beyond any court of play. “’Subject to Review’ is about how some images are made and why they’re made that way,” said director Anthony. “It’s a film about the inescapable rift between the world and how we image that world. I hope that audiences can take this small exercise in critical curiosity beyond the world of tennis, giving audiences a little space to look differently at the world.” Theo Anthony joins us to talk about the complex relationship between flawed human judgement and the “certainty” of technology.
“Subject to Review” has screened at New York Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, Vancouver Film Festival and Mar Del Plata Film Festival.
About the Filmmaker – Theo Anthony is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker whose films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and SXSW. His first feature, “RAT FILM,” was released by Cinema Guild in 2017 to critical acclaim. “Subject to Review” is produced by Sebastian Pardo and Riel Roch-Decter of MEMORY, an independent artist-driven studio specializing in producing and curating innovative, thought-provoking works that push the formal boundaries of their medium. Together, the duo has produced and distributed multiple award-winning fiction and non-fiction films.
SUBJECT TO REVIEW will air on ESPN beginning Sunday, December 22, at 3 p.m. (Eastern)
The Disappearance of My Mother chronicles Benedetta Barzini desire to leave this world behind. An iconic fashion model in the 1960s, she became a muse to Warhol, Dali, Penn and Avedon. As a radical feminist in the 1970s, she fought for the rights and emancipation of women. But at the age of 75, she is fed up with all the roles that life has imposed upon her and decides to leave everything and everybody behind, to disappear to a place as far as possible from the world she knows. Hiding behind the camera, her son Beniamino witnesses her journey. Having filmed her since he was a child in spite of all her resistance, he now wants to make a film about her, to keep her close for as long as possible – or, at least, as long as his camera keeps running. The making of the film turns into a battle between mother son, a stubborn fight to capture the ultimate image of Benedetta – the image of her liberation.Director Beniamino Barrese joins us to talk about this remarkably intimate, raw film and his complex relationship with his muse and mother who reluctantly helping him with his “project” as she prepares for her final exit.
“One of the most moving and complex films at Sundance. I’ll add to my list of heroines Benedetta Barzini, an Italian 1960s supermodel who became a leftist feminist and mother.” – Amy Taubin, Film Comment
“A film that both beguiles and unsettles as it salutes a remarkable woman… who has spent a lifetime challenging the influence of the fashion industry and staring down the unflinching gaze of the camera.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International
“One solitary word cannot fully encapsulate how utterly personal the documentary comes across. Barrese guides the audience through his mother’s mindscape, and as a thoughtful, remarkably insightful woman, the documentary reflects this sentiment through its visual language and fluid editing… ‘The Disappearance of My Mother’ is a noble effort, and as the subject of the film, Barzini herself is an intriguing personality; her perspective on the world is genuinely moving to hear at times, and her insights often work their way into your mind, inspiring you to openly consider your own life. Similarly, Barrese’s talents as a filmmaker cannot be disregarded.” – THE PLAYLIST, Jonathan Christian
“Deeply personal and shot through with fascinating contradictions, ‘The Disappearance of My Mother’ is a portrait of a woman in rebellion… Barzini is a severe, unsparing critic of the commodification and exploitation of the female body by men, which greatly complicates her son’s insistent, at times intrusive gaze. It also deepens the movie, making the personal ferociously political.” – NEW YORK TIMES, Manohla Dargis
** Update – MIDNIGHT FAMILY is a shortlisted nominee for the 2020 ACADEMY AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARY
MIDNIGHT FAMILY has won more than 25 national and international awards, played in 135 film festivals around the world. MIDNIGHT FAMILY is set in Mexico City, where the government operates fewer than 45 emergency ambulances for a population of 9 million. This has spawned an underground industry of for-profit ambulances often run by people with little or no training or certification. An exception in this ethically fraught, cutthroat industry, the Ochoa family struggles to keep their financial needs from jeopardizing the people in their care. When a crackdown by corrupt police pushes the family into greater hardship, they face increasing moral dilemmas even as they continue providing essential emergency medical services. MIDNIGHT FAMILY is an enthralling. harrowing, and intimate look at a family business of dedicated professionals who often fo more than simple transport the helping the people who end up in their ambulance. Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor Luke Lorentzen joins us to talk about his mesmerizing film and the challenges of capturing all the different facets of the Ochoa family.
About the filmmaker:Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor Luke Lorentzen is a graduate of Stanford University’s department of Art and Art History. His first film, Santa Cruz del Islote (2014) – a short documentary about a small and densely populated fishing community in Colombia – won awards at over ten international film festivals including the San Francisco International, Full Frame Documentary, Camden International, and Chicago International. Midnight Family (2019) – Luke’s first feature documentary out of school – tells the story of a family-run ambulance business in Mexico City. Midnight Family has played at over 130 film festivals around the world and has won over 25 awards including a Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest. Midnight Family will be released theatrically around the world in December of 2019. Luke is also a director and producer on the Netflix documentary series, Last Chance U. His work explores elements of everyday life, often through rigorous formal means, questioning and experimenting with the ways in which non-fiction stories are told. Originally from Connecticut, Luke currently lives in San Francisco.
Special Jury Award for Cinematography, U.S. Documentary, Sundance Film Festival
IDA Documentary Awards, Winner, Best Editing
IDA Documentary Awards, Nominee, Best Feature
IDA Documentary Awards, Nominee, Best Cinematography
Cinema Eye Honors, Best Film Nominee
Cinema Eye Honors, Best Cinematography Nominee
Cinema Eye Honors, Best Production Nominee
Cinema Eye Honors, Unforgettables Award, Juan Ochoa, Nominee
Golden Frog for Best Documentary, EnergaCAMERIMAGE
Best Documentary, Films from the South, Oslo
Maysles Brothers Award, Special Jury Mention, Denver Film Festival
Best Film, WatchDocs IFF, Warsaw
FIPRESCI Rellumes Award for Best Director, Gijón Film Festival
100% on Rotten Tomatoes
“10 Best Movies of Sundance 2019″
“Fantastically shot by the director Luke Lorentzen, the documentary develops an urgency that suits the life-or-death stakes onscreen. By turns terrifying and exhilarating, “Midnight Family” unfolds with such velocity that it may take a while for your ethical doubts to catch up to what’s happening. When they do, they leave you gasping.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“Arguably the most exhilarating documentary to come out of Sundance this year, Midnight Family follows the Ochoa family—the gruff but compassionate Fer and his two underage sons, Juan and Josué—at intensely close range on these Sisyphean missions of mercy.” – Museum of Modern Art and Film Society of Lincoln Center
“A deft mix of big-picture doc-making and intimate moments… not to mention a wild — and remarkably eye-opening — ride.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone
“An intimate verite documentary… the Ochoas emerge as fascinating embodiments of a country working overtime to correct its shortcomings and keep the lights on. This bracing U.S. competition documentary is poised to provide a personal window into the fast-paced mayhem of Mexico after dark.” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire
The highly entertaining new documentary What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael is an unvarnished portrait of a pioneer who was both admired and resented for what she said about art in an era of great moviemaking. New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael battled to make her mark — fueled by brilliance, unshakable self-confidence, a complicated past, and a deep love of the arts. In a field that has historically embraced few women film critics, Kael was charismatic, controversial, witty, and discerning. Her decades-long berth at The New Yorker energized her fans (“Paulettes”) and infuriated her detractors on a weekly basis. Her turbo-charged prose famously championed the New Hollywood Cinema of the late 1960s and ‘70s (BONNIE AND CLYDE, NASHVILLE, CARRIE, TAXI DRIVER) and the work of major European directors (François Truffaut, Bernardo Bertolucci), while mercilessly panning some of the biggest studio hits (THE SOUND OF MUSIC, MIDNIGHT COWBOY, DIRTY HARRY). Her creepy battle with Andrew Sarris and his auteur theory was legendary, and her stint in Hollywood, trying her hand at producing, was a disaster. What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael includes over 35 new interviews and never-before seen archival material. Sarah Jessica Parker reads from Kael’s reviews; filmmakers Quentin Tarantino, Paul Schrader, and Francis Ford Coppola and critics Camille Paglia, Molly Haskell, Greil Marcus, and David Edelstein speak to her enormous gifts and influence. Director, editor and producer Rob Garver joins us for a conversation on the life and impact of an iconoclastic, gifted, generous, vindictive writer and fierce champion of film and filmmakers.
“The most powerful, loved, and hated film critic of her time.” – Roger Ebert on Pauline Kael
“Garver’s film blossoms into something more comprehensive than complimentary, a film that doesn’t balk at the trickier aspects of Kael’s career, even as it never fully engages with the tensions that informed her.” – Kate Erbland, indieWire
“Garver’s film also works as a great overview of the sweeping changes in both filmmaking and film culture over the course of her career from the perspective of someone in and yet not of the industry.” – Glenn Dunks, The Film Experience
“An exquisitely crafted documentary about the woman who was arguably the greatest movie critic who ever lived…” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“Garver’s film is above all a celebration of the pleasure of intellectual and emotional response to art… and a picture of a style of thinking that might be seen as distinctively but non-stereotypically female.” – Jonathan Romney, Screen International