May 18 – Filmworker – Director Tony Zierra

Filmworker is an observation on how legends and legendary works are created. The complex, productive and interdependent relationship between Leon Vitali and Stanley Kubrick was founded on devotion, artistic passion, sensibility, sacrifice and the grueling joy of the creative process. It’s a rare person who would give up fame and fortune to toil in obscurity for someone else’s creative vision. Yet, that’s exactly what Leon Vitali did after his acclaimed performance as ‘Lord Bullingdon” in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. On the brink of a successful acting career, the young actor stepped back from the limelight in order to become the right-hand man to perhaps the most influential and ground-breaking filmmaker of his time, Stanley Kubrick. Vitali played a crucial part in the director’s career, working tirelessly in close collaboration with Kubrick in helping to make and maintain his extraordinary legacy of work. Vitali’s unique working relationship with Kubrick is explored through anecdotes about his candid, funny (and sometimes shocking) experiences with the director, enhanced with a rich variety of previously-unseen archival materials including photos, videos, letters and notebooks from Vitali’s personal collection, and brought together through interviews with actors, family, and key film industry professionals who worked with both Kubrick and Vitali. Filmworker. Director Tony Zierra joins us to talk about the creative process, Stanley Kubrick and his closest and most dedicated collaborator, Leon Vitali, who once described his own occupation simply as “Filmworker.”

 

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For news and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/filmworker

93% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Movie love at its purest. A celebration of its anonymous inhabitants’ role in bringing our collective dreams to life.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Five stars! Tender. A revealing and stirring celebration of one of cinema’s unacknowledged heroes.” – Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian

“An arresting cinemaniac documentary. Pure candy for Kubrick buffs.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Revealing. A fascinating portrait of Stanley Kubrick’s devoted aide de camp. Honors the hard-working, often unacknowledged craftsmen in the film industry.” – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

“Catnip to Kubrick obsessives.” – Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

“The ultimate fan story: a tale of what it means to live vicariously through a genius.” – Ben Kenigsberg, RogerEbert.com

May 4 – The Test and the Art of Thinking, Director Michael Arlen Davis

The story of why and how more than 3 million high school students take the SAT or ACT, the college entrance exams required by most four-year colleges, is vividly dissected in THE TEST & THE ART OF THINKING. For decades there have been questions about exactly what these tests measure, what role they play in the admissions process and how predictive they are of academic success. The anxiety-provoking exams, and the multibillion-dollar test-prep industry that has grown up around them, have also become lightning rods in the ongoing national debate over equity in educational opportunity. No matter what age the child,  they will have, or have had, a lot of pressure to perform well on these tests. There is also much money to be made from students and their parents in education particularly when it comes to the SAT/ACT with the not-for-profit College Board and the thousands of independent tutors reaping millions of dollars in profits. THE TEST & THE ART OF THINKING traces the history and evolution of the SAT/ACT as a major player on the pathway to higher education in America, and documents its current power in our culture. Director Michael Arlen Davis examines this controversy through interviews with students, parents, counselors, test-prep professionals and academics, to provide a fascinating look at this uniquely American rite of passage and how it reflects deeper issues in our educational system — and our society as a whole. Davis joins us for a lively conversation on how we got here and other options that may provide viable alternatives.

 

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For news and updates go to: thetestdoc.org

The Test opens in Los Angeles on May 4 at Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

Social Media:

Facebook.com/thetestdocumentary

“It’s a brutal takedown of a practice now warping K-12 education and should embarrass every school that still requires them.” – Daphne Howard, Village Voice

“It’s a film that doggedly questions an exam that affects the futures of millions and feeds the fortunes of several big industries.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean Michel Basquiat – Director Sara Driver

Conveying Basquiat’s personal magnetism, eccentricity and non-stop creativity without romanticizing him, BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT serves as another chapter in the ongoing effort to rescue the artist from his own hype. To tell this story, Driver, who was part of the New York arts scene herself, worked closely and collaboratively with friends and other artists who emerged from that period. Drawing upon their memories and anecdotes, the film also uses period film footage, music and images  to visually evoke the era, drawing a portrait of Jean-Michel and Downtown New York City-pre AIDS, President Reagan, the real estate and art booms – before anyone was motivated by money and ambition. BOOM FOR REAL: THE LATE TEENAGE YEARS OF JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT follows Basquiat’s life pre-fame and how New York City, the times, the people and the movements surrounding him formed the artist he became. Using never-before-seen works, writings and photographs, director Sara Driver worked closely and collaboratively with friends and other artists who emerged from that period: Jim Jarmusch, James Nares, Fab Five Freddy, Glenn O’Brien, Kenny Scharf, Lee Quinones, Patricia Field, Luc Sante and many others. Sara Driver made her directorial debut with the short film YOU ARE NOT I in 1981, which she adapted from the 1948 Paul Bowles short story of the same name. The film, named as one of the best movies of the 1980s in a Cahiers du Cinéma critics’ poll, was lost for many years until its rediscovery in 2008 among Bowles’ belongings in Tangier. Director Sara Driver joins us for engaging conversation with one of the late-twentieth century’s brightest and innovative artist.

  

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For news and updates go to: boomforrealfilm.com

“A treasure. A transporting doc about the early career of Basquiat and the environment where he flourished. Conveys his personal magnetism, eccentricity and non-stop creativity without romanticizing him.” – John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

“Vivid and beautifully meditative. It shows how one of the most emblematic American artists of the late 20th century found his voice in the rubble.” – Chris Barsanti, AV Club

“Movingly remembers him -forever young- as unique figure who connected punk, hip hop, hardcore, DIY films, gallery, graffiti and street art, across genres, classes, and races.” – Nora Lee Mandel, FF2 Media

“Driver does a great job of showing how Basquiat’s graffiti smears were more than just a subjective piece of art but also spoke candidly to social commentary on race, poverty, and oppression.” – Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

Friday, May 4 – After Auschwitz – Director Jon Kean

Jon Kean’s After Auschwitz, is a “Post-Holocaust” documentary that follows six extraordinary women after their liberation from Nazi concentration camps, capturing what it means to move from tragedy and trauma towards life. Following its North American premiere in Toronto on April 14, the film will have its U.S. theatrical premiere in New York City April 20 and then roll out to select theaters across the country, including Los Angeles and Miami. After Auschwitz, examines the question, “What happens after surviving an unspeakable horror?” with six stories of remarkable women who survived the Holocaust and went on to build lives in the United States, but never truly found a place to call home. For survivors of the Holocaust, liberation was both an incredible moment and a devastating one. It marked the beginning of a life-long struggle. Most wanted to go home, but there was no home left in devastated post-war Europe. Many came to America and wanted to tell people about their experiences, but were silenced. “You’re in America now, put it behind you” is what they were told. The women Kean follows became mothers and wives with successful careers, but never fully healed from the scars of the past. Their stories show the indelible role immigrants and women played in the history of America during the second half of the 20th century, and they serve as our guides on an unbelievable journey – sometimes celebratory, sometimes heart-breaking, but always inspiring. After Auschwitz director, Producer and writer Jon Kean (Kill The Man; Swimming in Auschwitz) stops by for a conversation on the unspeakable horror of the Holocaust and the fierce determination of six remarkable women who refused to allow the genocidal massacre to ruin them.

 

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For news and updates go to: afterauschwitz.com

Social Media:

facebook.com/StoriesOfSixWomen

instagram.com/afterauschwitz

“For the death camp survivors we meet in the brisk, engaging, and sneakily profound After Auschwitz, the day of liberation was the best and worst day of their lives.” – Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News

“Jon Kean, the director, chose the material wisely and doesn’t shy from severe images. He and his team also have good ears for anecdotes.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

“A powerful testament to individual humanity emerging from inhuman horrors.’ Serena Donadoni, Village

“Lively and moving documentary about six women who survived the Holocaust to live fruitful lives that serve to defy the Nazis’ extermination plans.” – Frank Lovece, Film Journal International

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema – Paul Malcolm, FIlm Programmer

When UCLA Film & Television Archive launched its annual UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in 1990, it was the first showcase for new Iranian films in the U.S. It has been a platform for exciting new voices in cinema as well as a dialogue to foster cultural understanding—and in that time Iranian filmmakers have moved to the forefront of the cinematic world. It has also been a barometer of global politics. In partnership with Farhang Foundation, this year’s UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema offers Los Angeles the chance to see a stellar lineup of new Iranian films that includes four Los Angeles premieres and three U.S. premieres, along with the revival of a modern classic. From fraught intimate relationships to big social issues, these expertly crafted films reveal the complexities – and universalities – of contemporary Iran. The annual celebration, now entering its 28th year, showcases the best in contemporary Iranian Cinema. Paul Malcolm is the film programmer for UCLA Film & Television Archive where he began in 2007. He was an associate programmer of feature and short films for the Los Angeles Film Festival 2006-2010. As adjunct faculty at Chapman University, he has taught classes on the history and aesthetics of 3D cinema and film reviewing at Chapman University. He was also assistant film editor and film critic for the LA Weekly from 1998-2006. Malcolm graduated from USC with a BA in journalism and he received his MA in Film Studies from UCLA. He is a Sundance Institute Arts Writing Fellow (2001).

 

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WHAT: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation

All films originate from Iran and are in Persian or Azari with English subtitles.

WHEN: April 28 – May 19, 2018

WHERE: UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission available here.

For news and updates go to: UCLA Celebration iranian Cinema

For information on the Billy Wilder Theater

Friday, April 27, 2018 – Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Festival Co-Director David Magdael

Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its outstanding program of films and events for the upcoming 34th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running MAY 3 – MAY 12, 2018. The all encompassing annual film celebration is presented across Los Angeles in West Hollywood, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, and Hollywood. Visual Communications proudly celebrates the Film Festival’s 34 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  LAAPFF launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 100 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international artists.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented nearly 5,000 films by Asian Pacific American and Asian International talent. This year, 39 feature films and 79 shorts from the over 800 submissions will be showcased during the ten-day fest. The Festival opens with the Los Angeles premiere of Aneesh Chaganty’s feature debut  SEARCHING starring John Cho and Debra Messing giving audiences an early chance to see the movie that took the NEXT audience award and the Alfred P. Sloan award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other programs include  CENTERPIECE FILMS will feature two outstanding world premieres with IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC and FICTION & OTHER REALITIES. Centerpiece Films will be presented on Saturday, May 5th at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.  The CLOSING NIGHT FILM will be the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed 2018 Sundance World Documentary Special Jury Award winner MATANGI/ MAYA/ M.I.A., directed by Stephen Loveridge.  Inspired by her roots, M.I.A. created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the voice of multicultural youth. Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Co-Director David Magdael will join us to talk about this years’s exciting festival line up.

 

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For news and updates on the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival go to: Festival.VConline.org/2018

Friday, April 27, 2018 – Behind the Curve, Director Daniel J. Clark

Centuries ago, many cultures believed the Earth was a flat disc. As scientific thought and technology evolved, the Earth was revealed to be a globe, a view that’s widely accepted today—but not by everyone. In Daniel J. Clarks feature documentary, Behind the Curve explores the internet fueled resurgence of the flat Earth movement. These conspiracy theorists deny the scientific model of the globe and join together through conventions, forums and online platforms to discuss their belief system. On the other end of the spectrum, the scientific community aims to counter this resurrected myth, resulting in an ever- growing public battle of conspiracies and anti-intellectualism.  Giving a well-rounded look at all sides of the debate, Behind the Curve shows that no matter where you stand on this issue, the conversations and people around it are anything but flat. Director Daniel J. Clark joins is to talk about all of the various factions and personalities that make up flat-earth society and his film’s debut at the 2018 Hot Docs Film Festival.

For news and updates go to: behindthecurvefilm.com

Behind the Curve at HotDocs 2018

“Unlike a few other films about people who hold questionable beliefs, Behind The Curve is a remarkably clear-eyed look at the Flat Earth movement, in which people around the globe (but mostly in America) labour to convince the rest of us that our planet is flat – more like a terrarium, really – but sinister forces have gone to elaborate lengths to keep it quiet.” – Norman Wilner, NOW

Friday, April 27, 2018 – Warrior Women, Co-Directors Elizabeth Castle and Christina D. King

Warrior Women is the untold story of American Indian Movement activists who fought for civil rights in the 1970s, and the children who served as their inspiration and their cohorts. The film is anchored by one of the Red Power Movement’s most outspoken Lakota leaders, Madonna Thunder Hawk, and her daughter Marcy Gilbert. Together, they weathered some of the most turbulent battles for Native sovereignty in the modern era: Thunder Hawk as an activist and mother, Marcy as a teenager growing into a young woman while sharing her mother with a movement that was bigger than either of them. Thunder Hawk lived through a time when Natives were ashamed to be themselves and violently pressured to conform to white culture or punished for holding on to what little Native identity they had left. She did not want her children to live through a continuation of that history. Now, forty years later, Madonna is moving into the twilight of her life, fighting the inevitable slowing she dreads. She constantly worries aloud who she will “pass the torch” toWarrior Women unveils not only the women’s perspective on history, but also real-life activism echoing far beyond news events into generations to come. Co-directors Elizabeth Castle and Christina D. King stop by to talk about the Native American struggle for human rights and social justice and the strong women who continue to fight for their homeland, values and people.

For news and updates go to: Warrior Women at ITVS

Or go to the Warrior Women home page: warriorwomen.org

Warrior Women at HotDocs 2018

Friday, April 20, 2018 – In the Intense Now, Director João Moreira Salles

Made following the discovery of amateur footage shot in China in 1966 during the first and most radical stage of the Cultural Revolution, IN THE INTENSE NOW speaks to the fleeting nature of moments of great intensity. Scenes of China are set alongside archival images of the events of 1968 in France, Czechoslovakia, and, to a lesser extent, Brazil. In keeping with the tradition of the film-essay, they serve to investigate how the people who took part in those events continued onward after passions had cooled. The footage, all of it archival, not only reveals the state of mind of those filmed—joy, enchantment, fear, disappointment, dismay—but also sheds light on the relationship between a document and its political context. What can one say of Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, or Beijing by looking at the images of the period? Why did each of these cities produce a specific sort of record? Narrated in first person, the film reflects on that which is revealed by four sets of images: footage of the French students’ uprising in May of 1968; the images captured by amateurs during the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of the same year, when forces led by the Soviet Union put an end to the Prague Spring; shots of the funerals of students, workers, and police officers killed during the events of 1968 in the cities of Paris, Lyon, Prague, and Rio de Janeiro; and the scenes that a tourist—the director’s mother—filmed in China in 1966, the year of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Director João Moreira Salles joins us to talk about family, memories, politics, the immediacy of the moments that made up one of history’s most consequential years.

 

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For news and updates go to: Icarusfilms.com – In the Intense Now

This week at the Laemmle Music Hall – 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles

89% on Rotten Tomatoes!

”Find solace, enlightenment and surprise in João Moreira Salles’s ‘In the Intense Now,’ a bittersweet, ruminative documentary essay.” —A. O. Scott, The New York Times
“Melancholy, inspiring and evocative.” —J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books
“One of the 10 best films of Berlin Film Festival! Remarkably resonant and personal.” —Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“Spellbinding! The [Chicago Film Festival’s] most ambitious documentary is a meditation on cameras in times of political spectacle.” —Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
“Recommended! A dazzling, true-world dreamscape; deeply personal even as the kaleidoscopic imagery bursts forth in grandiloquent poetry. Cataclysm awaits. So much history ahead. Such dense, ordered beauty behind.”—Ray Pride, Newcity Film
“A rich, immersive contemplation of the emotional battery life of revolutions, Brazilian filmmaker João Moreira Salles’ remarkable, deeply felt essay film ‘In the Intense Now’ examines 1968’s turbulence in four countries through the prism of what its amateur documentarians filmed.”—Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

Library Award and Best Soundtrack Award, 2017 Cinéma du Réel Film Festival

Best Documentary, 2017 Civil Society of Multimedia Authors (SCAM)

Panorama Selection, 2017 Berlinale Film Festival

U.S. Premiere, 2017 Chicago International Film Festival

Official Selection, 2017 It’s All True International Documentary Festival

Friday, May 4, 2018 – In the Last Days of the City, Director Tamer El-Said

A film within a film IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY, Tamer El Said’s ambitious debut feature, tells the fictional story of a filmmaker from downtown Cairo played by Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner, United 93, Green Zone, The Square) as he struggles to capture the soul of a city on edge while facing loss in his own life. IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY is a haunting yet lyric chronicle of recent years in the Arab world, where revolutions seemed to spark hope for change and yield further instability in one stroke. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Shot in Cairo, Beirut, Baghdad and Berlin during the two years before the outbreak of revolution in Egypt. Throughout, friends send footage and stories creating a powerful, multilayered meditation on togetherness, the tactile hold of cities, and the meaning of homeland. Shot in 2008 and completed in 2016, the film explores the weight of cinematic images as record and storytelling in an ongoing time of change. IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY is a multi-layered stories are a visually rich exploration of friendship, loneliness and life in cities shaped by the shadows of war and adversity.  Director, producer and writer Tamer El-Said joins us for a conversation on his remarkably accomplished film debut.

 

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For news and updates go to: inthelastdaysofthecity

AWARDS
Caligari Film Prize at Berlinale
Critics Award for Best Arab Film in 2016, Arab Cinema Center 
Grand Prix of New Horizons International Film Festival
Grand Prix of Festival des 3 Continents, Nantes
Best Film, San Francisco Arab Film Festival, USA, 2016 
Best Director at Buenos Aires International Film festival (BAFICI)

82% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“Without doubt the most important event in Egyptian cinema, if not Arab cinema, in a very long time.” — Jean-Michel Frodon, Slate.com

“A melancholic love-hate poem to Cairo and the role of filmmakers in any city in pain.” —Jay Weissberg, Variety

“Majestic… a lionhearted elegy for the Egyptian capital, artistic heritage in the Arab world, inspired politics, and hope itself” —Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, Artforum

“Beautifully lensed and complexly edited in a dense patchwork of people, feelings and events”  —Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

Friday, April 20, 2018 – The Judge, Director Erika Cohn

When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. He laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts. THE JUDGE offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud—her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, THE JUDGE presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine—custody of children, divorce, abuse—while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari’a. Director and producer Erika Cohn stops by to talk about her warm, moving portrait of a dedicated professional officer of the court determined to see that men and women receive the highest level of justice.

 

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For News and updates go to: thejudgefilm.com

Find out where The Judge is screening

Social Media:

facebook.com/thejudgedocumentaryfilm

twitter.com/thejudgefilm

instagram.com/thejudgefilm

100% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“The documentary is an inspiration to women – not just in the Middle East – who are determined to rise to the top of their professions, despite the odds being stacked against them.” – Gayle MacDonald, Globe and Mail

“There are scandalously few female-empowerment documentaries about Arab women that also aim to counter Islamophobia, which is why Erika Cohn’s “The Judge” is a welcome addition.” – Jay Weissberg, Variety

“This skillfully conceived documentary focuses on a charismatic Muslim judge, a woman appointed to the Palestinian Shari’a court.” – Maria Garcia, Film Journal International

“The Judge is packed tight; it’s enlightening and suspenseful and paced for maximum enjoyment.” – Daphne Howland, Village Voice

The Heart of Nuba, Director Kenneth Carlson

In the piercingly straightforward documentary The Heart of Nuba we meet the only surgeon within 200 miles, Dr. Tom Catena does his best to save lives in the midst of carnage and terror, treating as many as 400 patients a day at Mother of Mercy Hospital, nestled in the heart of the Nuba Mountains. The region is the latest target of Omar al-Bashir, a man wanted by the International Criminal Court for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. Surrounded by a country at war, living under the constant shadow of aerial bombardment, Dr. Tom Catena and his mostly local staff defy Bashir’s ban on humanitarian aid, and work tirelessly to serve the Nuba people. This population of one million Muslims, Christians, Animists and Africans of traditional belief have lived together harmoniously for centuries. Now, together with ‘Dr. Tom’, they struggle to survive. His patients come to him from hundreds of miles away on foot, in carts, or often cradled in their mother’s arms. Welcome to the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, an area of the world so void of humanitarian and media attention that years of war go ignored, and cries for help go largely unheard. Here, this lone American surgeon tends with equal compassion to patients ranging from malnutrition and leprosy, to grave wounds inflicted by the indiscriminate bombings ordered by their own president, Omar al-Bashir. When a government can attack defenseless men, women and children with supersonic bombers,and it doesn’t make anyone’s newswire, something is terribly awry. Dr. Tom’ and his staff defy Bashir’s ban on humanitarian aid, work tirelessly to save the lives of the Nuba people, and bring hope to one million people who would be otherwise forgotten. Director Kenneth Carlson joins us to talk about Dr. Tom’s selfless work, the people of the region and the impact that The Heart of Nuba is having on their plight.

 

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For news and updates go to: theheartofnuba.com

Take action: theheartofnuba.com/contact-washington

Social media:

facebook.com/TheHeartofNuba

twitter.com/TheHeartofNuba

youtube.com/channel/the heart of nuba

instagram.com/theheartofnuba

100% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“Absorbingly, unfussily captures Catena’s daily challenges and feats while also painting a vivid, often heartbreaking portrait of a forgotten people trapped in an underreported sociopolitical nightmare.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

“The film is worth seeing because it’s a moving and remarkable story and it represents a great cause.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“A most down-to-earth saint presented in the most refreshingly candid manner.” – Louis Project, counterpunch.org

“The only surgeon for hundreds of miles, Tom Catena earns $350 a month but given his dedication to the poor people in Sudan’s Nuba mountains, he should be nominated for sainthood.” – Harvey S, Karten, schockya.com

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami, Director Sophie Fiennes

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami is an electrifying journey through the public and private worlds of pop culture mega-icon Grace Jones.  The documentary contrasts musical sequences with intimate personal footage, all the while brimming with Jones’s bold aesthetic. A larger-than-life entertainer, an androgynous glam-pop diva, an unpredictable media presence – Grace Jones is all these things and more. Sophie Fiennes’s documentary goes beyond the traditional music biography, offering a portrait as stylish and unconventional as its subject. Taking us home with her to Jamaica, into the studio with long-time collaborators Sly & Robbie, and backstage at gigs around the world, the film reveals Jones as lover, daughter, mother, and businesswoman. But the stage is the fixed point to which the film returns, with eye-popping performances of “Slave to the Rhythm,” “Pull Up to the Bumper,” “Love is the Drug,” and more. Jones herself has said watching the film “will be like seeing me almost naked” and, indeed, Fiennes’s treatment is every bit as definition-defying as its subject, untamed by either age or life itself. Director Sophie Fiennes (Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, Legend of Leigh Bowery) joins us to talk about the dynamic in-concert performances, her access to Grace and her startling candor concerning her public and private life and the critical recognition the film has garnered.

 

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For news and updates got to: kinolorber.com/film/gracejonesbloodlightandbami

Social Media:

facebook.com/GraceJonesBloodlightAndBami

twitter.com/miss_gracejones?lang=en

instagram.com/gracejonesofficial

90% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Brilliantly and beautifully engaged in the present. A sparkling example of how to document our icons. Allows us to appreciate the reality of the artist in her most candid moments, in her own words, which is way more interesting than what we’d find in yet another standard biopic.” – Daisy Jones, VICE

“Pure energy, fierce, and empowering. If you want a rock-n- roll, sexy, feel good, empowering film, pull up to the theater in your most audacious outfit and get ready for the Grace Jones experience.” – The Huffington Post

“A celebration of art and life. Jones herself has promised the film ‘will be like seeing me almost naked.’” – Michael-Oliver Harding, Interview Magazine

“A sumptuous sensory treat.” – Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter

“A true testament to the power of style.” – Caitlin Agnew, The Globe and Mail

“The film feels as epic as the artist herself. A mix of concert doc and intimate verité, Fiennes has crafted a film that feels like Stop Making Sense via Frederick Wiseman. As an intimate look at Jones the film succeeds, as a powerful testament to her talent the film soars.” – Jason Gorber, BirthMoviesDeath

I Am Evidence, Co-directors Trish Adlesic and Geeta Gandhbir

I AM EVIDENCE exposes the alarming number of untested rape kits in the United States through a character–driven narrative, bringing much needed attention to the disturbing of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault survivors.  Why is there a rape kit backlog? What can we do to fix the problem? This film explores these questions through survivors’ experiences as they trace the fates of their kits and re-engage in the criminal justice process. I AM EVIDENCE illuminates how the system has impeded justice while also highlighting those who are leading the charge to work through the backlog and pursue long-awaited justice in these cases. In this film, we seek to send a clear message to survivors that they matter, that we as a nation will do everything possible to bring them a path to healing and justice, and that their perpetrators will be held accountable for their crimes. Trish Adlesic (Co-director / Producer) and Geeta Gandbhir (Co-director / Supervising Editor) join us to talk about the institutional breakdown in American judicial system, putting an end to a scandalous epidemic of justice denied and working with I AM EVIDENCE producer Mariska Hargitay.

For news and updates go to: iamevidencethemovie.com

Take action at: iamevidencethemovie.com/action-center

100% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“It’s full of fighting spirit and the conviction that society can do better.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“The film is intense, making for one of the sniffliest audiences in which I’ve ever been included, so viewer discretion is certainly advised. But with that kind of emotional power too comes the intellectual and statistical weight we need to enact change.” – Jacob Oller, Paste Magazine

“Most of all, Adlesic and Gandbhir’s cameras listen to their stories, and give them the attention they deserve. For once.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, Mike Dougherty, Director of Programming

The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) is a nonprofit organization devoted to a greater appreciation of Indian cinema and culture by showcasing films, supporting emerging filmmakers, and promoting the diverse perspectives of the Indian diaspora. Each year the festival features a rich mix of film programs designed to build and support the growing interest in the Indian entertainment industry. This includes programming that cultivates an audience for Indian films while supporting filmmakers of Indian descent in career development as they navigate the larger studio system in Hollywood. The Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, runs from Wednesday, April 11 – 15 at Regal Live in downtown Los Angeles, featuring programs that include One-on-One program where film industry professionals from major and independent production and distribution companies are invited to participate in meetings with the IFFLA filmmakers; and panel discussions with speakers from the film industry. We are joined by IFFLA’s Director of Programming Mike Dougherty to talk about the past, present and future of Indian cinema and the increasing acceptance among mainstream American film lovers.

 

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For news, updates and screening information go to: Indianfilmfestival.org

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King in the Wilderness, Director Peter Kunhardt

King in the Wilderness chronicles the final chapters of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, revealing a conflicted leader who faced an onslaught of criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. While the Black Power movement saw his nonviolence as weakness, and President Lyndon B. Johnson saw his anti-Vietnam War speeches as irresponsible, Dr. King’s unyielding belief in peaceful protest became a testing point for a nation on the brink of chaos. Dr. King’s leadership during the bus boycotts, the sit-ins and the historic Selma to Montgomery marches is now legendary, but much of what happened afterward – during the last three years of his life – is rarely discussed. It’s a time when Dr. King said his dream “turned into a nightmare.” From the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 to his assassination in 1968, King remained unshakably committed to nonviolence in the face of an increasingly unstable country. The documentary debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and is directed by Peter Kunhardt (HBO’s Emmy-winning Jim: The James Foley Story). Drawing on conversations with those who knew Dr. King well, including many fellow members of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), King in the Wilderness reveals stirring new perspectives on Dr. King’s character, his radical doctrine of nonviolence and his internal philosophical struggles prior to his assassination in 1968. The documentary also features interviews with Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson, archival footage, behind-the-scenes video of Dr. King’s private moments, intimate archival photographs and phone conversations recorded by President Johnson, who were both ally and adversary in King’s fight for civil rights. Director Peter Kunhardt talks about his moving, insightful and illuminating film about an extraordinary human being.

 

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For news and updates go to: hbo.com / King in the Wilderness

For more on Peter Kunhardt’s remarkable filmography go to: kunhardtfilms.com

Twitter: #KunhardtFilms #HBO #HBODocs

100% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“It veers from the very public to the deeply personal, including heart-wrenching scenes of King’s father collapsing with grief over his son’s coffin.” – Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press

“The movie humanizes King, in occasionally startling ways.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“The film’s message remains timely, shaped by the voices and vivid recollections of King’s intimate associates in the struggle for equality.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“Employs a simple and straightforward method to extraordinary effect.” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

The Green Fog, Director Guy Maddin

Guy Maddin and collaborators Galen and Evan Johnson made this ode to VERTIGO and the city of San Francisco for the closing night world premiere gala of the 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival. The iconoclastic Winnipeg-based filmmakers, working together since 2015’s THE FORBIDDEN ROOM, set themselves the challenge and constraint to remake VERTIGO, creating what they call a “parallel-universe version.” Using Bay Area-based footage from hundreds of sources—studio classics, ’50s noir, documentary and experimental films, and ’70s prime-time TV—and employing Maddin’s mastery of assemblage technique, seen in work like MY WINNIPEG and BRAND UPON THE BRAIN, the result exerts the inexorable pull of Hitchcock’s twisted tale of erotic obsession while paying tribute to the City by the Bay and the ways it looks and feels through the medium of cinema   Composed by Jacob Garchik and performed by Kronos Quartet, the film’s score nods to Bernard Hermann’s classic VERTIGO music as it collides and converses with Maddin and Johnsons’ irreverent and loving footage to create a distinctive musical extravaganza. Through 12 features and many shorts, adventurous artist Guy Maddin exhibits the rare ability to simultaneously subvert and honor the craft of  filmmaking. His credits include the Emmy Award-winning ballet film Dracula: Pages From A Virgin’s Diary (2002); The Saddest Music in the World (2003); My Winnepeg (2007) and US National Society of Film Critics Best Experimental Film Prize-winners Archangel  (1990) and The Heart of the World (2000). Guy Maddin talks about the “City by the Bay,” scriptwriting, storytelling and his favorite film, Vertigo.

 

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For news and updates go to: balconyfilm.com/the-green-fog

94% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“First and foremost, “The Green Fog” is a marvel of film scholarship that looks backward and forward from the Hitchcock masterpiece.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“The Green Fog fairly closely follows the structure of Hitchcock’s film; achieving that in itself is some sort of accomplishment. However, it’s not so much an assemblage as it is a conjuring.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“The film is a brilliant exercise in meta-narrative, which raises questions galore about reality and representation, time and space, genre and gender, individual and urban identity, cinematic suture and casting. Mainly, though, it’s just very, very funny.” – Geoff Andrew, Sight and Sound

“The work of a sensibility as impish as it is scholarly, animated by a mischievous sense of the medium’s possibilities” – Justin Change, Los Angeles Times

“It demonstrates the act of creation as a perpetually reconstructive effort…” – Lawrence Garcia, Cinema Scope

Defining Hope, Director Carolyn Jones

We aren’t dying the way we used to. We have ventilators, dialysis machines, ICUs—technologies that can “fix” us and keep our bodies alive—which have radically changed how we make medical decisions. Defining Hope takes on the topic of dying in our death-denying culture, no matter how sick we get, there is always “hope.” The will to live is a powerful force, and eventually we will all have to make individual decisions when faced with very complex choices. Filmmaker Carolyn Jones spent four years interviewing and photographing nurses for the groundbreaking American Nurse book and film, and another year of research and interviews focused on what Dying in America looks like, all of which has led her to making this new film, the culmination of a journey, called Defining Hope. Defining Hope is a story about people weighing what matters most at the most fragile junctures in life, and the nurses who guide them. It’s a documentary that follows patients with life-threatening illness as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves when life is threatened. It is optimistic and reminds us that we have choices in how we die. Defining Hope is critical and relevant right now, with our rapidly aging population and incalculable challenges in healthcare and end-of-life care. Director Carolyn Jones (American Nurse) joins us for a conversation on her empathetic, clear-eyed look at death and living.

 

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For news and updates go to: hope.film

WINNER – Best Premiere for Documentary Feature 2017 Heartland Film Festival

DEFINING HOPE DEBUTS ON PBS/PUBLIC TELEVISION STATIONS NATIONWIDE ON APRIL 1, 2018 VIA AMERICAN PUBLIC TELEVISION

“Shining a light on hospice and palliative care, approaches that are still considered alternative, Defining Hope builds a persuasive case for the ways they empower patients and their loved ones.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

A Suitable Girl, Co-directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra

A Suitable Girl follows three young women in India struggling to maintain their identities and follow their dreams amid intense pressure to get married. Ritu, Dipti and Amrita represent the new India. Educated, financially stable and raised with a mix of traditional and contemporary values in the urban cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, they have access to the world in ways their mothers did not. Yet their lives take a dramatic turn when the pressure to settle down and get married hits. Career aspirations become secondary to the pursuit of a husband, and the women struggle with the prospect of leaving their homes and families to become part of another. Documenting the arranged marriage and matchmaking process in vérité over four years, the film examines the women’s complex relationships with marriage, family and culture; the many nuanced ways society molds them into traditional roles; and a rarely-seen portrait of India’s urban middle class. Co-directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra join us for a conversation on the underlying changing social, economic and cultural dynamics influencing a generation young women growing up in modern India.

 

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For news and updates go to: asuitablegirldoc.com

85% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“This is a film full of love, colour and warmth, and it takes a nuanced view of its subject, but the loneliness saturating some of the celebrations is palpable.” –  Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Movingly chronicles its subjects’ emotional travails and the societal and family pressures they face.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“A Suitable Girl proves a somber lament for a part of the world still clinging to its restrictive past, at great cost to (particularly) its female population.” – Nick Schager, Variety

“Regardless of your background, it’s impossible to not be moved by A Suitable Girl.” – Clay Cane, BET

The Peacemaker, Director James Demo

The Peacemaker is an intimate portrait of Padraig O’Malley, an international peacemaker who helps make peace for others but struggles to find it for himself. At the heart of the world’s seminal conflicts is an international peacemaker riddled with internal strife. Padraig O’Malley has made it his life’s work to bring leaders on both sides of the most explosive conflicts to the same table. His innovative behind the-scenes work has established Padraig as a publicly unrecognized but highly influential figure in conflict resolution. Yet, these dramatic undertakings serve as a sharp contrast to the man – an alcoholic bar owner who fails to manage the most basic of personal relationships. His solitary life hangs in a delicate balance, bound together by weekly AA meetings and relentless work. As age takes its toll, he begins to lose his only source of solace and the motivation behind his life’s work comes into question. The Peacemaker plunges us into the depths of the journey of a man utterly defined by conflict. The film takes us from Padraig’s isolated life in Cambridge, Massachusetts to some of the most dangerous crisis zones on Earth – from Northern Ireland to Kosovo, Nigeria to Iraq – as he works a peacemaking model based on his recovery from addiction. We meet Padraig in the third act of his life in a race against time to find some kind of salvation for both the world and himself. Director James Demo joins us to talk about his film and the conflicted man working to resolve turmoil internally and in the world.

 

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For news and updates go to: peacemakermovie.com

Visit The Peacemaker’s Facebook page

THE PEACEMAKER filmmaker James Demo and the film’s subject, Padraig O’Malley, will participate in Q&A’s after the 4:40 PM screenings at the Music Hall on Saturday and Sunday, March 24 and 25.

Awards:

• Jury Award Best Documentary – Cleveland International Film Festival

• Special Jury Award for Vision and Storytelling at the Florida Film Festival

• Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival

• Service Above Self Award – Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

92% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“The weight of the world is evident in O’Malley’s dour gaze, but it’s clear too, in Demo’s sensitive, piercing portrait, that the endless job he’s carved out for himself is his lifeblood, and its own kind of addiction.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

“The more we get to know him, the more his core motivation – is he an idealist or something else? – becomes the mystery of the film.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“An intense, intimate portrait of a visionary capable of sophisticated analysis, abrupt anger, self-deprecating wit, and profound insights – all while existing at considerable remove from his fellow man.” – Daphne Howland, Village Voice

“A deeply moving portrait of its truly admirable, complex subject.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“The movie is a fascinating portrait that is if anything too brief.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

In the Land of Pomegranates, Hava Kohav Beller

In the Land of Pomegranates is a suspenseful, multi-layered documentary about a group of young people who were born into a violent and insidious ongoing war. They are young Palestinians and Israelis invited to Germany to join a retreat called ‘Vacation From War’ where they live under the same roof and face each other every day. In these highly charged encounters they confront the entrenched myths and grievances that each side has for the other. As they try to gain insight into the seemingly irreconcilable narratives, the paradoxes and contradictions born of legend and history along with passionately held ideals and the daily fight for survival surface. Interwoven into this intense footage, adding context, the film also follows other embattled lives in the Occupied Territories and Israel: a mother and her four children living in the shadow of the wall abutting Gaza; an imprisoned Palestinian and the subsequent path he’s taken; an Israeli survivor of a suicide bombing; and a daring Palestinian mother whose son’s life is saved by an Israeli doctor. They are all caught in the duality of the pomegranate: will they embrace rebirth and each other’s humanity, or will they pull the pin on the grenade? We are joined by the Director Hava Kohav Beller (The Restless Conscience: Resistance to Hitler within Germany 1933-1945) for a conversation on what, if any, options may be available to break the cycle of violence and mistrust for people living in a place where hatred and retribution have been normalized.

For news and updates go to: firstrunfeatures.com/landofpomegranates

“The state of affairs in the Middle East may actually be thornier than it seems from afar: that is the position this brave, intimate perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict seems to take.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Philosopher

“Amidst tense airings of grievances, context is set against beautiful images of the disputed homeland, archival footage, and personal testimonials of clashes and cooperation” – Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward

“Sobering. A tough and clear-eyed look at how things are, rather than how we want them to be.” –  Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times

“Hava Kohav Beller’s beautifully shot documentary gives an urgent and very modern new face to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” – New York Magazine

Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes, Dick Cavett

With its upcoming premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes directed by Robert S. Bader tells the extraordinary story of a famous friendship played out before a captivated national audience Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes, directed by Robert S. Bader, shares the rich history of the Muhammed Ali and Dick Cavett’s relationship that spanned decades and late night TV. From his 1960’s Olympic Gold Medal win, the heavyweight championship against Sonny Liston in 1964, to joining the Nation of Islam, refusing induction into the United States Army, and his legendarily epic battles in the ring with Joe Frazier and George Foreman, Muhammad Ali remained a unique and powerful force of nature in our popular culture. More than any sports documentary, this unique film deeply delves into hotly contended political and social matters that remain equally as relevant today. Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes Director Robert S. Bader produced the acclaimed documentaries Dick Cavett’s Watergate and Dick Cavett’s Vietnam for PBS. He is the writer and producer of the Warner Bros. documentary The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk, and the author of Four of the Three Musketeers: The Marx Brothers on Stage. Legendary television host Dick Cavett joins us to talk about his 53-year relationship with “the greatest of all time,” Muhammad Ali.

 

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Check out the SXSW screening schedule for Ali & Cavett: Tale of the Tapes

Leaning into the Wind, Director Thomas Riedelsheimer

Sixteen years after the release of the Rivers and Tides Thomas Riedelsheimer returns to work with renown artist Andy Goldsworthy. LEANING INTO THE WIND—ANDY GOLDSWORTHY, The film follows Andy on his exploration of the layers of his world and the impact of the years on himself and his art. As Goldsworthy introduces his own body into the work it becomes at the same time even more fragile and personal and also sterner and tougher, incorporating massive machinery and crews on his bigger projects. LEANING INTO THE WIND subject Andy Goldsworthy makes works of art using the materials and conditions that he encounters wherever he is. Using earth, rocks, leaves, ice, snow, rain, or sunlight, the resulting artworks exist briefly before they are altered and erased by natural processes. He also uses his own body as a medium, as with his Rain Shadows, or through actions such as spitting, throwing, climbing and walking. He has undertaken commissions in the Queensland rainforest, Australia and the New Zealand coast; in Rio de Janeiro, New York City, St Louis, Montreal and San Francisco; in the New Mexico desert, the mountains of central Spain and Haute-Provence, France, and the fells of Cumbria and Dumfriesshire. Goldsworthy has published many books throughout his career, beginning with Rain, sun, snow, mist, calm: Photoworks (1985). Director Thomas Reidelsheimer joins us for a conversation on what inspires Andy Goldsworthy to make his art, what attracts him to the work and why did he return to work with the Andy Goldsworthy 16 years after their first collaboration, Rivers and Tides.

For news and updates go to: leaningintothewindfilm.com

 

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97% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“A nonfiction-focused director and cinematographer frequently attracted to the intersection between artistic expression, nature, and spirituality (however unarticulated), Riedelsheimer is well-matched to Goldsworthy’s methods and interests.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“There are moments where you may want to stop the film to assure yourself you’re seeing what you’re seeing, so disordering to the senses are Goldsworthy’s re-orderings of nature.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe

“Leaning Into the Wind” offers viewers a welcome chance to consider the work of an artist who defies the recent commodification cult to embrace the ephemeral and the nominally “worthless.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
“Even if some things have changed, spending time with an artist who’s concerned, as he’s said in interviews, with “the permanence of temporary objects and the temporality of permanent objects,” is always worth the journey.’ – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Survivor Guide to Prison, Director Matthew Cooke

You’re more likely to go to prison in the United States than any other country in the world, so in the unfortunate case it happens to you, this is the Survivors Guide to Prison. Narrated by Academy Award winner Susan Sarandon, the nonstop film chronicles the stories of two men who spent decades behind bars for murders they did not commit. With additional commentary by activist celebrities like Danny Trejo, Patricia Arquette, Jesse Williams, Ice T, RZA, Busta Rhymes, Tom Morello, Macklemore, B-Real, Deepak Chopra, Warren G and more joining forces to change this broken system, Survivors Guide exposes a failed “punishment model.” Gripping testimony from inmates, guards, staff, police, analysts, lawyers and reformers lend further credibility as documentarian Matthew Cooke examines the system cell by cell and by contrast, the dramatic programs proven to work. Director Matthew Cooke (How to Make Money Selling Drugs) joins us for an honest conversation on a broken and brutal criminal justice system that continues to incarcerated and warehouse use millions of Americans with little to no genuine oversight.

 

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FACEBOOK: @survivorsguidetoprison

TWITTER: @surviveprison

HASHTAGS: #survivorsguidetoprison #cut50

“Matthew Cooke’s assaultive documentary hammers away at injustices in U.S. justice system.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

“Survivors Guide to Prison has changed the way I view the American justice system. There’s not enough room in any review to account for all of it’s essential information. It is a testament to how the 1% rule our world at the expense of everyone else,” – Amyana Bartley, Film Inquiry

“Cooke crams in so much persuasively appalling information … that it’s easy to forgive him for seemingly trying to push all viewers’ proverbial buttons at once.” – Simon Abrams, Village Voice

“Familiar but important points about our broken justice system, packaged for viewers who don’t usually watch documentaries.” – John Defore, Hollywood Reporter

Chasing Great, Director Michelle Walshe

All Black captain Richie McCaw has lived his dream with characteristic precision and calculated determination.  He’s 34 and perhaps the best rugby player ever.  But the dream is almost over.  He is old by professional sport standards and everyone is asking when he’s going to retire.  Before his career ends Richie McCaw sets his sights on a risk-all attempt to win the Rugby World Cup back to back. No team has won it a  second time in a row.  No captain has won it twice. He will either end his career on an impossibly high note or take a nation’s dreams down with him. Chasing Great follows the incomparable Richie McCaw through his final season as he attempts to captain the All Blacks to the first ever-back-to back World Cup win. Director and writer Michelle Walsh joins us to talk about her access to McCaw’s professional and  personal McCaw, the heartache and exhilaration of competition and what it takes, physically, emotionally and  psychologically to compete at an elite level.

 

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For news and updates go to:chasinggreat.film

facebook.com/RichieMcCawFilm

“It’s clear where all of this is going, but McCaw surprises with his mental rigor (he excelled academically) and total commitment to his sport (he plays with a stress fracture in his foot).” – Chris Packham, Village Voice

“Rugby union fans will draw long and lasting satisfaction from this documentary tribute to All Blacks all-time great Richie McCaw.” – Leigh Paatsch, Herald Sun

“Even non-rugby fans will know how it ends but it’s worth the nostalgic pain to keep watching until the final siren.” – Stephen Romei, The Australian