A Good American, Director Friedrich Moser

 

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The explosion of information in the digital age left government agencies like the NSA struggling with bureaucracy and technology to keep up with the changing times. Responding to the challenge, NSA technical director Bill Binney and a small team of codebreakers develop ThinThread, an astonishingly effective data collecting and sorting program that also protects privacy. Despite its success, ThinThread is discontinued just weeks before September 11, 2001. After Binney and fellow intelligence officials challenge this decision, they find their world upended. The deeply disturbing journalistic docu-thriller about the system that could have prevented 9/11, but was stopped by lies and corruption at the NSA. The mass surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden was not the first scandal in the history of the American intelligence agency NSA. Friedrich Moser’s eye-opening A Good American soberly unfolds the deeply disturbing story of how corruption, lies and personal ambitions led to the closure of a cheap and effective monitoring system that demonstrably could have stopped the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The mind behind the ingenious system was former intelligence agent Bill Binney, whom Moser gives the opportunity to tell the whole story of how his brilliant system was abandoned in favor of an expensive, useless intelligence programm that in turn had the advantage of creating hundreds of jobs at the intelligence agency – and handsomely rewarded a number of former NSA employees. A Good American is a chilling docu-thriller of the most dizzying kind, and may well prove to be one of the year’s most important films. Director Friedrich Moser join us to talk about his compelling, frightening and essential documentary film.

For news and updates go to: agoodamerican.org

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“Shocking, essential documentary looks at the shameful and avoidable failure of the NSA to prevent 9/11. All Americans (and everyone else) should see this film.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Philospher

“A cautionary tale of a man who sought to protect the world with an ingenious creation that could be used for ill as well as good.” – Nick Schager, Variety

“A Good American” gets bogged down in details and personnel talk, but its subjects have an urgent narrative to tell.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“Slow, quiet, and infuriating …” – Daphne Howland, Village Voice

“Stunning and Deeply Disturbing.” – Jeff Stein, National Security Correspondent, Newsweek

“Powerful film – a prequel to SNOWDEN!”  – Oliver Stone

Sunshine Makers, Director Cosmos Fielding Mellen

A real-life ‘Breaking Bad’ for the psychedelic set, THE SUNSHINE MAKERS reveals the fascinating, untold story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture. United in a utopian mission to save the planet through the consciousness-raising power of LSD, these underground chemists manufactured a massive amount of acid, including the gold standard for quality LSD, ‘Orange Sunshine,’ all while staying one step ahead of the Feds. From the producer of SEARCHING FOR SUGARMAN and LISTEN TO ME MARLON, THE SUNSHINE MAKERS premiered last year at the prestigious DOC NYC film festival to critical acclaim. The documentary has thrilled audiences with its stranger-than-fiction look into the lives of two “LSD evangelists.” Director Cosmos Fielding Mellen joins us for a conversation on his clear eyed look back on the good, the bad and the trippy from the golden age of raised consciousness.

For news and updates go to: the-sunshine-makers

“Theirs is a story about the marriage of idealism and criminality, and it’s recounted in amusing and thrilling detail by The Sunshine Makers…the rare documentary to function as time capsule, philosophical inquiry, and rollicking thriller all at once – as well as a cautionary tale about the crazy lengths people will go to experience a heavenly high. Riveting.” – THE DAILY BEAST

“…it’s an astonishing tale…providing further evidence, not that any was needed, that truth is stranger – and oftentimes a lot more fun – than fiction.” – HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“For a documentary about two men who were big-time drug dealers back in the day, The Sunshine Makers is a quaint, damn-near-adorable bit of nostalgia.” – Craig D. Lindsey, Village Voice

Slamdance, Co-founder and President Peter Baxter

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It all began when a group of cheerful, subversive filmmakers weren’t accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. Unwilling to take “no” for an answer, they instead started their own event – Slamdance: Anarchy in Utah. 22 years later, Slamdance has become a year-round organization fostering the development of unique and innovative filmmakers. The organization now consists of the Film Festival, Screenplay Competition and Slamdance Studios. It has also created Slamdance On The Road, a traveling theatrical showcase that brings popular Slamdance films to audiences that otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them. Dan Mirvish, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn and Peter Baxter are the founding forefathers who, along with co-conspirator Paul Rachman, fought for truly peter-baxter-slamdanceindependent 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.

For news and updates on 2017 Slamdance Film Festival go to: slamdance.com/

The Mute’s House, Director Tamar Kay

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Eight-year-old Yousef and his deaf mother Sahar are the last Palestinian residents of an otherwise deserted building in the Israeli part of the city of Hebron. Their island within the Jewish quarter is called “The Mute’s House” by Israeli soldiers, even though Sahar isn’t mute at all. Travel agencies have included the property in their tours. Yousef makes good use of his privilege to cross the border when he goes to school. Through the tour guides’ explanations, we learn the story of Yousef and Sahar, who bravely withstand all the threats and bullying. None of Yousef’s Palestinian classmates can come to his house, and filmmaker Tamar Kay isn’t allowed to cross the border to film the Palestinian quarter with Yousef. Despite his disability – Yousef was born with one arm – he amuses himself with the chickens, goats and rabbits that forage among the ruined neighboring houses, and he plays the guitar and video games. The Mute’s House is an intimate portrait that elegantly illustrates the absurdity of the endless conflict. Director Tamar Kay was born in Jerusalem and graduated The Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & Television School in 2015, stops by to talk about her moving and heartbreaking portrait of life on the edge of chaos and isolation.

“If someone wrote a fictional script for a film about this story, no one would believe it.” Alan Berliner, (dir. Nobody’s Business, Emmy Award Winner)

*Winner – Special Jury Award – IDFA*

*Winner – President’s Award – Full Frame FF*

Academy Award Shortlist for Short Doc program

BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF), Director Lisanne Skyler

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In 1969, filmmaker Lisanne Skyler’s parents bought an Andy Warhol Brillo Box for $1,000. A budding collector, her father was drawn to the work of the young, emerging artists of the time—Pop artists, Abstract Expressionists and Photorealists—and saw it as an investment. Unlike critics of the era, who panned Warhol’s consumer-themed sculptures, her mother considered it a delightful addition to the family’s Manhattan living room. Eventually the piece was traded away, largely forgotten except in family artifacts like a snapshot of baby Lisanne perched on top of the yellow cube. The filmmaker often wondered what happened to the now-iconic work that had briefly decorated her childhood. Forty years later, in 2010, the sameandy-warhol sculpture sold for $3 million at a record-breaking Christie’s auction. Fascinated by this eyebrow-raising turn of events, Skyler wondered about all of the personal decisions that shaped this object’s journey. What was the role it played in other lives, and what secrets did it hold about her own family? Colorfully blending Pop Art history with personal narrative, BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF) follows this Warhol sculpture as it makes its way from a family home to the global art market, exploring the ephemeral nature of art and value, and the decisions that shape family history. Director and daughter Lisanne Skyler to talk about a sweeping and insightful look into the world of POP art and her own intimate family tale.

BRILLO BOX (3¢ OFF) will air exclusively on HBO in June of 2017

For news and updates go to: brilloboxmovie.com

“While tracing the 40-year journey of an Andy Warhol original from her family’s living room to the auction block, documentarian Lisanne Skyler delivers a delightful, nostalgia-tinged snapshot of the American middle class, colorfully framed by a crash course in postmodernism.” – Maggie Mackay, ASPEN INTERNATIONAL SHORTSFEST

“Brillo Box (3¢ off) is about far more than what the sculpture fetched — though that figure is staggering. It considers the aim, meaning, and collection of art. Skyler deftly weaves together photographs, interviews and observations about legacy and family, which makes her story (which is slightly heartbreaking) all the more poignant.” – Gary M. Kramer, FILM INTERNATIONAL

4.1 Miles, Director Daphne Matziaraki

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is a 41-year old local captain of the Greek Coast Guard. He has two wonderful young daughters Vivi and Melissa, and before the refugee crisis exploded in 2014, he had a “normal” life. Lesbos was a small peaceful island and is job involved routine border patrols. Him, like the rest of the crew isn’t trained to do CPR. His boat is not equipped with thermal cameras or other instruments that would help deal with such an emergency. Often times, the captain had to disobey orders and despite rough weather he would continue to go out in the sea to save as many lives as possible. There have been plenty of times that he could turn his back. But he’s choosing to do the opposite: to respond. Director Daphne Matziaraki joins to talk about her work as a photojournalist and filmmaker in Europe, Africa and the US as well as her compelling, compassionate and humanizing film on the refugee crisis gripping Europe.

For news and updates go to:4point1miles.com

Festivals and Screenings

Telluride Film Festival 2016

IDA Screening series 2016

NYC Greek Film Festival 2016

Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2016

SF Film Society Doc Stories 2016

IDFA, Amsterdam 2016

Awards

Gold Medal, Student Academy Award  2016

32 IDA Documentary Awards,

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award  2016

Friday, December 9, 2016 – Friday, December 9, 2016 – Disturbing the Peace, co-directors Stephen Apkon (Andrew Young) and Producer Marcina Hale

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DISTURBING THE PEACE follows a group of former enemy combatants – Israeli soldiers from the most elite units, and Palestinian fighters, many of whom served years in prison – who have come together to challenge the status quo and say “enough.” The film traces their transformational journeys from soldiers committed to armed battle to non-violent peace activists and their founding of Combatants for Peace. The Combatants for Peace, a group of Palestinians and Israelis working together to promote human rights and peace for all, are the only bi-partisan, non-violent activist group of enemy combatants working together in an ongoing armed conflict in the world today.  They are an inspiring modern day example of the importance of using nonviolent solutions to our conflicts. Their personal stories tell an inspiring story of the human potential that is unleashed when people have the courage to follow the power of their own consciences. Co-directors Stephen Apkon and Andrew Young joins us to talk about just how far cooperation and rapprochement between Israelis and Palestinians has come and how much further it needs to go before there is justice in this troubled region.

For news and updates go to: disturbingthepeacefilm.com

100% on Rottentomatoes!

“Their stories are compelling – and persuasive.” – Andy Webster, New York Times

“Well-chosen news and archival clips, footage from CFP’s provocative rallies, plus a series of skillful and useful reenactments help flesh out this inspiring portrait.” – Gary Goldstein, LA Times

“Effectively illustrates the universality of suffering by juxtaposing the stories of people on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” – Matt Fagerholm, RogerEbert.com

“By focusing on combatants from both sides who came together to bring about change, Disturbing the Peace is a rejoinder to pessimism, delivering a message of hope that lands with some success.” Stephen Mayne, Under the Radar

Friday, December 9, 2016 – Harry Benson: Shoot First, Co-director Justin Bare (Matthew Miele)

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HARRY BENSON: SHOOT FIRST charts the illustrious career of the renowned photographer who initially rose to fame alongside The Beatles, having been assigned to cover their inaugural trip to the United States in 1964. With unprecedented “behind the scenes” access, Benson captured some of the most vibrant and intimate portraits ever taken of the most popular band in history. His extensive portfolio includes iconic images of Winston Churchill, Bobby Fischer, Muhammad Ali, Greta Garbo, Michael Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, and his work has appeared in publications including Life, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. Now 86, workaholic Benson has no intention of stopping. Co-director Justin Bare (SCATTER MY ASHES AT BERGDOF’s), joins us for a lively conversation on this charismatic and remarkable artist.

For news and updates go to: magpictures.com/harrybenson

“The film captures not only Harry’s boldness and bravery in pursuing controversial subjects, but also his disarming personality and his ability to achieve intimacy with his subjects.” – Katie Walsh,

“Iconic shutterbug Benson is captured in all his funny, feisty, gritty and graceful complexity in this spellbinder of a doc from Justin Bare and Matthew Miele with images that take the breath away.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“He can shoot fast and make art,” a friend says, and “Harry Benson: Shoot First” makes that point again and again.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“Don’t blink — not even once. That’s the best advice for viewers of the dazzling new documentary Harry Benson: Shoot First.” – Isaac Guzman, Time Magazine

Friday, December 9, 2016 – The Ruins of Lifta, Director Oren Rudavsky

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In this new documentary from filmmakers Menachem Daum and Oren Rudavsky (Hiding and Seeking, A Life Apart), audiences will travel to Lifta—the only Palestinian village abandoned during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that has not been destroyed or repopulated by Jews. Lifta, at the western entrance to Jerusalem, is rarely a destination on any tourist map despite its significant history. The village is now threatened by an Israeli development plan that would convert it into an upscale Jewish neighborhood and forever change its character. With the support of the Palestinian and Jewish Coalition to Save Lifta, Lifta has become a battleground between developers, the Israeli Land authority, and its defenders. Lifta’s unique history and architectural treasures have made it a candidate to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, pending far from certain Israeli government approval. Oren Rudavsky (director, co-producer and director of photography) was co-producer and co-director of HIDING AND SEEKING and A LIFE APART. Rudavsky is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and has received awards and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the New York State Council for the Arts and more. His most recently completed film COLLIDING DREAMS is a feature length documentary that was supported by a media grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Director Oren Rudavsky stops by to talk about his remarkable film and the chance for some form of reconciliation in this troubled land.

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

“Watching these sturdy carriers of suffering inevitably argue, your spirits may sink. But you also can’t help but notice that the rocky terrain requires them at times to hold on to each other.” – Robert Abele, LA Times

“A vital study of loss and memory. Grounded in the art of listening, ‘The Ruins of Lifta’ builds a powerful, personal, political conversation between Palestinians and Israelis looking to live differently. The result is necessary viewing.” – Diana Clarke, Village Voice

“The Ruins of Lifta offers a muscular example of ability of documentaries to make the political intensely personal. More painfully, it’s also a case study in the limits of benign intention.” – Ella Taylor, NPR

“A thoughtful lesson in history – and listening.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

Friday, November 25, 2016 – Blue Jay and Asperger’s Are Us, Director Alex Lehmann

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BLUE JAY is the story of former high school sweethearts Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson) who have been out of touch for more than 20 years — but by sheer coincidence, they run into each other at a grocery store back in their alpine hometown of Crestline, California. Jim’s mother has died and he’s here to put her house on the market. Amanda is visiting her pregnant sister. They get to talking, first over coffee, then over beer and jellybeans. Before they know it they’re at Jim’s mother’s house, where everything sends them spiraling back into the past. Jim and Amanda’s lives have taken different directions, yet here they are, reconnecting like nothing has changed. This is one of 2016’s best films.

For news on Blue Jay go to: blue-jay

“Though the film largely trains on the simple, dialogue-fueled interaction of two people, it feels more spectacular than theatrical, showcasing the acting prowess of two master performers feeding on mutual chemistry and performative bravado.” – Joey Nolfi, Entertainment Weekly

“Even after twenty years apart, Amanda and Jim can ask each other the questions no one else would dare to, and understand the answers that go beyond words.” – Serena Donadoni, Village Voice

aspergers-are-us-film-posterASPERGER’S ARE US is the story of the members of the comedy troupe “Asperger’s Are Us,” whose “condition” make it easier to associate with a faceless audience than with their own families. No matter who the crowd, best friends Noah, New Michael, Jack and Ethan have one simple mantra: “We would much rather the audience appreciate us as comedians than people who have overcome adversity.”   In this coming-of-age heartfelt documentary, this band of brothers finds themselves at a crossroad. With real life pulling them apart, they decide to plan one ambitious farewell show before they all go their separate ways. People with Asperger’s don’t deal well with uncertainty, and this is the most uncertain time in their lives.

“Asperger’s Are Us” rarely stretches to be funny or poignant or touching, and that makes this documentary all the more of each.” Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

“The four young men at the heart of this documentary will easily find a home in all but the hardest of hearts.” – Kimber Myers, LA Times

“Warm, funny and enormously entertaining.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

For news on Asperger’s Are Us go to: facebook.com/aspergersareus/

alex-lehmannDirector / cinematographer Alex Lehmann was born in France and studied film at Emerson College in Boston.  ASPERGER’S ARE US is his first documentary feature, it premiered this year at SXSW and was the first Netflix acquisition of the festival. Alex most recently released BLUE JAY starring Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson which marked his second collaboration (ASPERGER’S ARE US) with the Duplass Brothers. Alex has mostly worked in the industry as a cinematographer, most recently having shot the upcoming Katherine Keener political drama Little Pink House. He and Mark Duplass met on the set of “The League”, where Alex served as a camera operator. Alex stops by for a lively conversation on is collaboration with Mark and Jay Duplass and the on-set challenges / rewards of shooting and directing and bonding with a troupe of four very funny performers.

For more on Alex Lehmann go to: facebook.com/mralexlehmann

Friday, November 25, 2016 – Notes on Blindness, Co-directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney

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Based on the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, Notes on Blindness is the debut feature from writer / directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney. In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, writer and theologian John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began documenting his experiences on audio cassette. Drawing on John’s original audio recordings, Notes on Blindness is a poetic and intimate story of loss, rebirth and transformation, charting his extraordinary journey into ‘a world beyond sight’. To compliment this archive material, the filmmakers recorded over twenty hours of audio interviews with John and his wife Marilyn. These audio interviews are interwoven throughout the film’s soundtrack, forming a lyrical narration, with the couple reflecting on events from a distance of thirty years. This wealth of documentary audio material is embedded within cinematic interpretations, in which actors play John and his family, lip-synching to this documentary audio. This innovative creative approach liberates the scope of the film to explore the interior aspects of John’s journey into blindness – John’s dream life, his memories and flights of imagination. Writer / directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney join us for a conversation on the their innovative approach to conveying the experience of blindness and the challenges of telling this deeply personal story of love and triumph.

Story of film subject John Hull: John M. Hull taught for 30 years at the University of Birmingham until his retirement in 2002. He was the first professor of Religious Education in the UK and recipient of the prestigious William Rainey Harper award from the Religious Education Association of the US and Canada. This award is only held by 12 international scholars, and is presented to ‘outstanding leaders whose work in other fields has had a profound impact upon religious education’, including luminaries such as Marshall McLuhan, Margaret Mead and Paolo Freire.

For news and updates go to: notesonblindness.arte.tv/en/

★★★★★  “The genius of the film is in allowing us to understand and visualise the world of blindness… A beautiful, accessible and thoughtful work of art.”   THE GUARDIAN, Charlie Phillips

★★★★★ “A visionary, lyrical film” THE TIMES, Kate Muir

★★★★★ “Articulate, eloquent and soul-searching” OBSERVER, Mark Kermode

★★★★★ “Remarkable… a haunting, throat-catching documentary that shares some of the lyrical power of Clio Barnard’s The Arbor or Carol Morley’s Dreams of a Life.”  THE LIST, Allan Hunter

★★★★★ “Beautiful and reassuring, Notes On Blindness is a moving and inspiring film” DAILY MAIL, Libby Purves

‘I, Daniel Blake,’ ‘American Honey,’ ‘Notes On Blindness,’ ‘Under The Shadow’ Lead British Indie Film Award Nominations DEADLINE HOLLYWOOD

Friday November 25, 2016 – Finding Kukan, Director Robin Lung

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In the late 1930s China is in dire straits. The country will collapse under Japan’s military juggernaut if it doesn’t get outside help. Chinese American firebrand Li Ling-Ai jolts Americans into action with a new medium — 16mm Kodachrome color film. She hires photo-journalist Rey Scott to travel to China and capture a citizen’s perspective of the war-torn country, including the massive bombing of the wartime capital Chungking (now Chongqing). Their landmark film KUKAN screens for President Franklin Roosevelt at the White House, is called “awesome” by the New York Times, and receives one of the first
kukan-film-posterAcademy Awards for a feature documentary in 1942. Why have we never heard of Li Ling-Ai?
And why have all copies of KUKAN disappeared? FINDING KUKAN uses rare and unseen archival footage to create an unforgettable portrait of a female filmmaking pioneer, and sheds light on the long history of racial and gender discrimination behind the camera, which continues to reverberate in Hollywood today. Director / Producer Robin Lung stops by to talk about the 7-year quest to find the answers to a multitude of questions.

For news and updates go to: nestedeggproductions.com/

“Totally absorbing.” Louis Proyect (Rec Arts)

“Amazing.” “If you love movies or history see this film.” Steve Kopian (Unseen Films)

“4 stars” John Soltes (Hollywood Soapbox)

Friday, November 18, 2016 – National Bird, Director / Producer Sonia Kennebeck

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National Bird is an investigative political documentary that explores the complex issue of drone warfare from a human perspective. National Bird follows the dramatic journey of three whistleblowers who are determined to break the silence around one of the most controversial current affairs issues of our time: the secret U.S. drone war. At the center of the film are three U.S. military veterans. Plagued by guilt over participating in the killing of faceless people in foreign countries, they decide to speak out publicly, despite the possible consequences. Their stories take dramatic turns, leading one of the protagonists to Afghanistan where she learns about a horrendous incident. But her journey also gives hope for peace and redemption. National Bird gives rare insight into the U.S. drone program through the eyes of veterans and survivors, connecting their stories as never seen before in a documentary. Like previous advancements in military technology, combat drones have transformed warfare, outpacing the ability of legal and moral frameworks to adapt and address these developments. Director / producer and journalist Sonia Kennebeck joins us for a conversation on the immediate consequences, long term ramifications and potential for abuse of a technology that has not received an appropriate level of public discourse.

For news and updates go to: nationalbirdfilm.com

“National Bird” is powerful cinematic journalism.” – Kimber Myers, LA Times

“Chilling testimony from those three veterans, each of whom helped to wage war from behind consoles half a world away, serves as the backbone of a film that adds its voice to mounting criticism of the U.S. drone program.” – Peter DeBarge, Variety

“[An] elegantly unsettling documentary about the United States’ reliance on aerial combat drones.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

“This is a truly amazing and eye-opening film about the drone program of the U.S. Air Force and some courageous people who realized what sort of threat these unmanned warplanes represent and who decided to speak out about their experiences.  You will see and hear things you’ve never seen or heard, and you will leave the theater with insight, in the true sense of the word, you did not have before.” – Wim Wenders        

“NATIONAL BIRD is a one-of-a-kind film. It’s nothing short of miraculous that Sonia Kennebeck was able to secure the cooperation of multiple analysts recently active in the U.S. drone program. The film offers an unparalleled glimpse into the surreal landscape of automated murder. – Errol Morris

“NATIONAL BIRD is an extraordinary first person perspective that is starkly riveting, deeply compelling, and a signature eyewitness portrayal of three drone whistleblowers confronted by the remote killing fields of American foreign policy as well as the tragedy experienced by the people of Afghanistan at the everyday level. – Thomas Drake, Whistleblower/ Former Senior Executive of the National Security Agency

Friday, November 18, 2016 – Peter and the Farm, Director Tony Stone

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In Tony Stone’s latest film, Peter and the Farm, Peter Dunning is the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 acres in Vermont. The land’s 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories. The arrival of a film crew causes him to confront his history and his legacy, passing along hard-won agricultural wisdom even as he doubts the meaning of the work he is fated to perform until death. Haunted by alcoholism and regret, Peter veers between elation and despair, often suggesting to the filmmakers his own suicide as a narrative device. He is a tragedian on a stage it has taken him most of his life to build, and which now threatens to collapse from under him. Peter and The Farm sifts through the potential energy of a human life, that which is used and that which is squandered. Imbued with an aching tenderness, Tony Stone’s Peter and The Farm is both a mosaic of its singular subject’s transitory memories and reflections—however funny, tragic, or angry they may be. Director Tony Stone (Severed Ways, Out of Our Minds) joins us to talk about his beautiful, haunting and heartbreaking, film.

For news and updates go to: magpictures.com/peterandthefarm

Watch on demand magpictures.com/peterandthefarm/watch-at-home

Twitter  – #PeterAndTheFarm

“FOUR STARS. Dunning recounts spellbinding tales-he’s a hell of a character.” – Nigel Smith, The Guardian

“A BEAUTIFUL DOCUMENTARY with a rueful, cantankerous yet hugely charismatic figure at its center, rendered with a texture as rich as the soil through his fingers.” – Scott Tobias, Variety

“A NEAR-MASTERPIECE. A consistently lively and surprising film. Powerfully sad but very funny, too.” – Noel Murray, A.V. Club

“BEAUTIFULLY OBSERVED. A penetrating portrait of a complicated personality, inseparable from his environment.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“Entertaining and heartbreaking.” – Noel Murray, Indiewire

Friday, November 18, 2016 – Magnus, Director Benjamin Ree

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How would you react if you discovered that your child –  who is often lost in their own thoughts and disconnected from other children – is actually one of the greatest minds of their time? As a young boy, Magnus Carlsen was very different from his peers. Bullied by the other children, he usually sat by himself, lost in thought. But when a strong interest in numbers led him to the game of chess at the age of 5, he quickly started to climb the ranks of the chess world. At 13, he decided that he would become the World Chess Champion. Magnus is now known as the “Mozart of Chess” – combing the skill and intellect of chess with unrivaled originality and instinct.  Through an extensive amount of archival footage and home movies, filmmaker Benjamin Ree follows Magnus’s meteoric rise to the top in this unique coming-of-age story.  The film invites audiences to not only experience the fascinating world of competitive chess, but also peek into the mind of a modern genius. Director Benjamin Ree joins us to talk about the international culture of chess and the fascinating story of a prodigy with a talent for understanding numbers, patterns and following his remarkable instincts.

For news and updates go to: trustnordisk.com/film/2015-magnus

Opening in Los Angeles on November 25 

Exclusively at Laemmle Music Hall9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Available on VOD NOVEMBER 25 on all platforms

Opening New York on November 18 at Village East Cinema181-189 2nd Ave.  NY, NY 10003

OFFICIAL SELECTION AT THE 2016 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

“Taut and paced with drama…captivating to watch.” – Screen Daily

“Chess has never been quite so riveting.” – We Got This Covered

“Hits all the right beats.” – Film Pulse

“Superb documentary filmmaking.” – The Hollywood News

Friday, November 18, 2016 – The Anthropologist, Co-director Jeremy Newberger (Seth Kramer, Daniel A. Miller)

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The Anthropologist tells the story of Katie Yegorov-Crate, a thirteen-year-old girl from Fairfax, Virginia. She is carted around the globe by her mother, noted environmental anthropologist Susie Crate. Susie studies the effects of climate change on centuries-old indigenous communities. Famed anthropologist Margaret Mead also analyzed how communities confront change, but that which results from war and modernity. Mead’s daughter Mary Catherine Bateson, now 76 and a cultural anthropologist in her own right, provides extraordinary insight into what Susie and Katie discover. Filmed over the course of five years, The Anthropologist is a meditation on change, both individual and societal. Susie and Katie work with people in Siberia, the South Pacific, the Andes, and the nearby Chesapeake Bay, who struggle to reconfigure how and where they live. In Siberia, where Susie met Katie’s father while doing research, Katie’s relatives can no longer farm on land they’ve occupied for generations. Katie’s roots are also threatened by the inhospitable soil. Uniquely revealed from their daughters’ perspectives, Mead and Crate demonstrate a fascination with how societies are forced to negotiate the disruption of their traditional ways of life, whether through encounters with the outside world or the unprecedented change wrought by melting permafrost, receding glaciers and rising tides. Co-director Jeremy Newberger stops by to talk about the rapid climate changes occurring around the world and the increasing human cost.

For news and updates go to: ironboundfilms.com/the anthropologist

facebook.com/TheAnthropologistDocumentary/

THE ANTHROPOLOGIST will have a one-week engagement beginning November 18 at Laemmle’s Music Hall, 9036 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90021, 310-478-3836. Go to: laemmle.com/films/41178

“A highly human look at a single mother field scientist and her teenage daughter as they globetrot to study the effects of climate change.” – Film Journal International

“At this point no documentarian can possibly have a fresh take on climate change, right? Wrong.” – Neil Gezlinger, New York Times

“It may not be handled with the rigor that climate change activists would like to see, but it’s an entertaining way of putting a human face on a problem while still providing enough important facts to promote thought.” – Valeriy Kolyadych, PopMatters

Friday, November 11, 2016 – Behind Bayonets and Bared Wire, Co-Director Richard L. Anderson (w/ Shen Haofang)

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From Oscar and Emmy winning Sound Designer Richard L. Anderson (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, Amazing Stories) and Shen Haofang comes the documentary BEHIND BAYONETS AND BARBED WIRE, Anderson’s directorial debut on the story of American POWs in World War II, who were surrendered after their heroic and hard fought defense of the Philippines.  They were sent to the city of Mukden (today called Shenyang) in Chinese Manchuria by the Japanese Army, where they were condemned to spend the rest of their lives working as slave laborers in factories to produce war materials for their enemy.  This is the story of these men’s fight to survive the brutal winters, disease, and even more brutal guards, while secretly resisting in any way possible. As General Jonathan Wainwright put it, they were “men locked away behind the bayonets and barbed wire of cruel jailers.” Co-director Richard L. Anderson joins us to talk about the bravery and ingenuity of American soldiers under the most dire circumstances.

For news and updates go to: behind-bayonets-and-barbed-wire.com

“There’s nothing quite like hearing such memories from the very people who endured these atrocities, and, in the end, after a slow start, the actors who bring those memories to life do them vivid justice.” – Daphne Howland, Village Voice

“It is a chance to see and hear these men, old and infirm though they are, that provides “Behind Bayonets” with its strongest moments.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Friday, November 4, 2016 – All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone, Director Fred Peabody

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ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone is a timely documentary for audiences who are increasingly seeking alternatives to news media owned by large corporations. News events and journalistic trailblazers stretching over many decades are linked together to tell this important story. This  film will resonate with audiences in the US and worldwide, as news media ownership increasingly falls into the hands of a few giant corporations.  During this year’s election coverage, US viewers continue to get daily doses of the ever increasing corporate owned journalism passing as “breaking news.ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE explores the legacy of I.F. Stone, widely held as the conscience of investigative journalism, whose       groundbreaking reporting filled his tiny 4-page newsletter, I.F. Stone’s Weekly, from 1953 to 1971.  Stone inspired many of our current reporters who are changing the face of journalism today.  These brilliant journalists are featured in the film, including groundbreaking producer, host and author Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!), Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept), Jeremy Scahill (Dirty Wars/The Intercept), Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone), David Corn (Mother Jones), filmmaker Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11), The Young Turks founder and host Cenk Uygur, along with notable opinion leaders Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Chris Hedges, and Carl Bernstein. Director Fred Peabody joins us for a lively conversation on the state of today’s journalism, both the good and the vapid.

https://www.allgovernmentslie.com/film

“Even if you belong to the choir it’s preaching to, it has the rare distinction of being a movie you can agree and argue with at the same time.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“In an era of disaster- and celebrity-obsessed cable news, during an election testing the virtues of objectivity, the documentary All Governments Lie is worthy testimony that many journalists are in it for the truth.” – Daphne Howland, Village Voice

 “Featuring footage from the last six decades, “All Governments Lie” is a timely, convincing documentary that will cause audiences to question what they see and read.” – Kimber Myers, LA Times

“What every aspiring journalist needs to know to battle the news media’s laziness, celebrity obsessions and for-profit strategies” – NOW Magazine

Friday, November 4, 2016 – By Sidney Lumet, Director / Producer Nancy Buirski

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Film legend Sidney Lumet tells his own story in a never-before-seen interview shot in 2008. With candor, humor and grace, Lumet reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being. The documentary features clips from Lumet’s films – 44 films made in 50 years – including Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Network and Before the Devil Knows Your Dead. Peabody and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (Afternoon of a Faun, The Loving Story) combines these elements to create a network-film-posterportrait of one of the most accomplished, influential and socially conscious directors in the history of cinema. By Sidney Lumet reveals the spiritual and ethical lessons at the core of his work. First and foremost a storyteller, Lumet’s strongly moral tales capture the dilemmas and concerns of a society struggling with essentials: how does one behave to others and to oneself? By Sidney Lumet director and producer Nancy Buirski joins us for a lively conversation on Lumet’s complex and fascinating life, the relentless honesty of his work and the horrifying incident that impacted his perception of our collective humanity.

For news and updates go to: facebook.com/BySidneyLumet

News and updates for Director Nancy Buirski go to: facebook.com/nancy.buirski

“It allows Lumet to remind us, in his own voice, of the passion in his ostensible dispassion – the way he deftly subsumed self-expression within the brisk rhythms of his material and the superb performances of his actors.” – Justin Chang, LA Times

“Makes the case for Lumet not only as one of the Hollywood greats, but also one of its rare filmmakers of conscience-a passionate storyteller whose films wrestle with dilemmas of decency, justice, and fairness.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly

“Mr. Lumet comes across as a mensch, but he was also a complex artist whose often literally dark films were filled with shadows, rage and spit, not just nobility.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The movie is simply Lumet and his films, which turns out to be an astonishingly satisfying experience, because he’s an incredible talker, with the same earthy electric push that powers his work.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

 

Friday, October 28, 2016 – Fire at Sea, Director Gianfranco Rosi


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Fire at Sea is the first documentary to ever win the top award at the Berlin International Film Festival. It is the story of a twelve year old boy, Samuele living on an island in the Mediterranean, far away from the mainland. Like all boys of his age, he does not always enjoy going to school. He would much rather climb the rocks by the shore, play with his slingshot or mooch around the port. But his home is not like other islands. For years, it has been the destination of men, women and children trying to make the crossing from Africa in boats that are far too small and decrepit. The island is Lampedusa, which has become ground zero for the flight of refugees to Europe and a symbol of the hope and fate of hundreds of thousands of emigrants fleeing dire living conditions. These people long for peace, freedom and happiness, and yet so often only their dead bodies are pulled out of the water. Thus, every day the inhabitants of Lampedusa are bearing witness to the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our times. With tenderness and a nocturnal grandeur, Director Gianfranco Rosi creates a remarkable narrative that jolts us into a new understanding of what is really happening in the Mediterranean today as well as bear witness to the resiliency at the core of our humanity.

For news and updates go to: kinolorber.com/Fire at Sea

FIRE AT SEA filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi, winner of the Golden Bear at the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, will participate in Q&A’s after the 7:15 PM screenings at the Fine Arts on Friday and Saturday, October 28 and 29. Laemmle Fine Arts Theatre

Also opening at the Laemmle Playhouse in Pasadena

“A clear-eyed, sublimely made account of a heartbreaking, sometimes gut-wrenching subject. A quietly profound study in contrasts. This isn’t just an apt documentary, but a very fine film” Demetrios Matheou, Indiewire

“REMARKABLE. Rosi’s masterstroke is to not approach the hot-button material – of sinking boats, clamouring migrants, bellowing officials – head on, but instead watch it at one remove, through the eyes of the locals on Lampedusa, the Sicilian island that has become a major gateway for the exodus. Rosi’s film is a collection of tiny details that morph, almost by osmosis, into a shocking excavation of the mechanics of crisis.” – Andrew Pulver, The Guardian

“POWERFUL, at times shocking, but also intensely human.”  Lee Marshall, Screen International

“Where journalism leaves off, Fire at Sea begins. It takes a unique documentary filmmaker like Gianfranco Rosi to capture the drama through the periscope of his camera focused on the small Sicilian island of Lampedusa.” -The Hollywood Reporter