Mr. Jones, Director Agnieszka Holland

Oscar nominated filmmaker Agnieszka Holland’s thriller, MR. JONES, set on the eve of WWII, sees Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world. Meanwhile an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones (James Norton) becomes famous after publishing an article about his ride on an airplane with the new Chancellor of Germany – Adolph Hitler. Jones uses his political position in the British government as a foreign affairs advisor to David Lloyd George to get privileged access to the Soviet Union. Once there he searches for his next big story, scrutinizing the political and economic situation in Russia. Jones soon learns of government-induced hunger program, known as Holodomor, imposed on the Ukrainian people. The Soviets, with the help of the British and American governments, keep the starvation of 4 to 5 million people mostly secret. Jones efforts to uncover the truth behind the propaganda and expose an international conspiracy could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth behind the façade that would later inspire George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm. Director Agnieszka Holland joins us for a lively conversation on the little known story of mass slaughter prior to the onset one World War II and the craven rationale by the Western Powers willing to look the other way as millions of innocent people perished.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/mr-jones

Watch on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, Google Play, Vudu and Fandango Now

Writer’s Statement: “It was for my grandfather, Olexji, and the countless others who suffered under the Soviet regime that I wrote and produced this film. The idea first came to me in my final year of university and followed me to Ukraine after college and to a road trip through Wales shortly before my wedding, and many research trips for several years after. I wanted to tell a story that would honor the millions of victims of Stalin, who has been resurrected under Putinism as a great hero, and expose how Kremlin propaganda works – sometimes with the help of corrupt Western journalists and political leaders. Fifteen years ago, I never imagined this film would be relevant. It was always my intention to unearth buried history not hold up a mirror to our own times. As surreal as this journey has been against the backdrop of growing authoritarianism around the world, I have been heartened by how our story has brought together so many talented, fearless people determined to fight for the truth. Agnieszka, who survived prison under Soviet occupation and lost loved ones to the regime, put so much of herself into this masterpiece. Never could I have written in detail the rich wonderland that she created on screen, poetically guiding the audience through an adventure, while giving greater context to the challenges the world faces today. It has been a testament of faith that this film came together with these brave artists, and the timing for its release could not be more urgent.” – Writer Andrea Chalupa

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Welcome to Chechnya, Director David France

In this searing documentary, WELCOME TO CHECHNYA, Academy Award –nominated director David France (How To Survive A Plague) brings us a terrifying real-life thriller that shadows a group of brave activists risking their lives to confront the ongoing anti-LGBTQ persecution in the repressive and closed Russian republic of Chechnya. In recent years, tens of thousands of LGBTQ people in the republic have suffered detention, torture and sometimes death at the hands of the authorities. But a small network of queer activists have mobilized into action, smuggling people in need out of their communities, securing visas and sheltering them in safe houses. Shot with astonishing access, largely with hidden cameras that keep rolling throughout every moment of escape, and employing a revolutionary face-swapping technique to protect the anonymity of its endangered subjects, WELCOME TO CHECHNYA exposes these under-reported atrocities, while highlighting an extraordinary group of heroic people confronting a brutal system. Director David France joins us for a conversation on the remarkably effective facial technology used by France to protect the identity of the film subjects and on the Russian republic’s pogrom against defenseless people being tortured and killed because of their sexual identity.

 

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For news and updates go to: welcometochechnya.com

Welcome to Chechnya premieres on HBO June 30

Director’s Statement: In my work as a journalist and author over many years, I have focused closely on the stories of outsiders and people who society has pushed to its margins – the disregarded, the ignored, the hated. When I turned to documentary filmmaking, I chose outsider activism as my subject. My first film, HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE, documented the work of early AIDS activists, ordinary people with no training who marshalled the intricate details of virology to change the course of the epidemic. Next, I opened up the story of early gender radicals in THE DEATH AND LIFE OF MARSHA P. JOHNSON, which chronicled not only the founding of the modern LGBTQ movement but also the founding of the first transgender rights organization in 1970. WELCOME TO CHECHNYA completes this trilogy. It follows a group of ordinary humans who have done something extraordinary, and asks the question that has long preoccupied me: What makes a person assume enormous risk and responsibility when others might turn the other way?  What does it take, in other words, to be a hero?When I left their underground pipeline for the last time, knowing I could never go back once it became known I was reporting on their work, I wept with gratitude for the work they are doing. And for the opportunity they gave me to witness bravery of the most unvarnished kind: selfless, humane, and entirely queer. – David France

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“No one has ever found such a deep and humanitarian use of a ‘deep fake’.” – Zep Armentano, El Cinefil

“David France has created a true masterwork of LGBT empathy, working both as a devastating portrait of hate as well as a rallying cry to arms. This is one of the best documentaries of the year.” – Redmond Bacon, Culture Vultures

“Undoubtedly a magnum opus of sorts on human rights documentation” – Jessica Pena, Jumpcut

“Gripping, essential viewing” – Matthew Jacobs, HuffPost

“Welcome to Chechnya is as fearless as its subjects, unafraid to show the violence and emotional torture of these people.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

The Killing Floor, Director Bill Duke

Praised by The Village Voice as the most “clear-eyed account of union organizing on film,” THE KILLING FLOOR tells a true story of how a group of black and white slaughterhouse workers attempted to break race barriers to build an interracial union for the first time in the brutal stockyards. Damien Leake (SERPICO, APOCALYPSE NOW) stars as Frank Custer, a young black sharecropper from Mississippi – one of tens of thousands of southern blacks who journeyed to the industrial north during World War One, hoping for more racial equality. When Frank lands a job as a laborer on “the killing floor” in one of Chicago’s giant meatpacking plants., he finds a place seething with racial antagonism and decides to support the union cause. His best friends from the South, distrustful of the white-led union, turn against him. As racial violence explodes in the notorious Chicago Race Riot of 1919, management is able to further divide the workforce to defeat the union, and Frank must forge a new path. Director Bill Duke ( A RAGE IN HARLEM, DEEP COVER) stops by to talk about the challenges of making a sweeping historical film on a PBS budget, bringing together a talent group of mostly unknown African-American actor and the joy of seeing his groundbreaking and newly relevant film restored and revisited.

For news and updates go to: filmmovement.com/the-killing-floor

Watch The Killing Floor: filmmovement.com/in-theaters

About The Killing Floor: The film was shot in 1983 in Chicago, working with local union crews and with many talented Chicago actors. It was made in the midst of the Reagan Era and shortly after the election of Chicago’s first African-American mayor, Harold Washington. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, foundations, corporations and dozens of national and local unions, THE KILLING FLOOR premiered on PBS’ American Playhouse series in 1984 to rave reviews. In 1985 the film was invited to Cannes and won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Award. Featuring a screenplay by Obie Award-winner Leslie Lee, based on an original story by producer Elsa Rassbach and directed by Bill Duke (A RAGE IN HARLEM, DEEP COVER), THE KILLING FLOOR. New 4K restoration. Preserved by UCLA Film & Television Archive, laboratory services and DCP by UCLA Film & Television Archive Digital Media Lab, with a special thanks to Elsa Rassbach, Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Rich and revealing, a cry of historical dimensions….” — Variety

 “A classic study in class hate, greed and stubborn idealism.  You won´t forget it.” — Newsday

 “Brilliantly captures the drama of the moment as well as the historical forces that produced it.” — The Journal of American History

“…a particularly brilliant example of a cinema which knows how to use all the resources of fiction, without ever allowing its historical documentary side to be marred.” – La Revue du Cinema

“…fascinatingly recreated period reality, in performances that combine political faith with artistic force….” – London Evening Standard

“A very powerful, very surprising film….” – Le Monde

 “As compelling dramatically as its historical analysis is fascinating …Surprising that a film from the U.S. can be so frank and explicit in its exposure of the class struggle.” — Sight & Sound

Seahorse, The Dad Who Gave Birth, Director Jeanie Finlay

This warm-hearted documentary SEAHORSE follows Freddy, a 30 year-old gay transgender man who yearns to start a family. However for Freddy this ordinary desire comes with unique challenges. Deciding to carry his own baby took years of soul searching, but nothing could prepare him for the reality of pregnancy, as both a physical experience and one that challenges society’s fundamental understanding of gender, parenthood and family. He quickly realizes that what to him feels pragmatic, to others feels deeply confusing and confronting; this was not part of his plan. Against a backdrop of increasing hostility towards trans people the world over, Freddy is forced to confront his own naivety, mine unknown depths of courage and lean on every friend and family member who will stand by him. Made with unprecedented access and collaboration over three years, the film follows Freddy from preparing to conceive right through to birth. It is an intimate, audacious and lyrical story for the cinema about conception, pregnancy, birth and what makes us who we are. SEAHORSE is directed by acclaimed filmmaker Jeanie Finlay (Game of Thrones, The Last Watch, Orion: The Man Who Would Be King). Jeanie Finlay joins us for a conversation on one trans man’s pioneering quest to fulfil an age-old desire: to start his own family.

 

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

About the Director: Director / Producer / Writer Jeanie Finlay is one of Britain’s most distinctive documentary makers. She creates award-winning work for cinema and television, telling intimate stories to international audiences. She has made films for HBO, IFC, BBC as well as four commissions for the acclaimed BBC Storyville strand, including BIFA nominated The Great Hip Hop Hoax and  BIFA Award-winning Orion:The Man Who Would Be King Whether inviting audience behind the scenes of Teesside’s last record shop in her home town (SOUND IT OUT), or to share the extraordinary journey of a British transgender man, pregnant with his child (BIFA nominated Seahorse) or onto the set of the world’s biggest television show (Emmy nominated Game Of Thrones: The Last Watch), all of Jeanie’s films are all made with the same steel and heart, sharing an empathetic approach to bringing overlooked and untold stories to the screen. She set up Glimmer Films in 2008 to develop and deliver ambitious, engaging documentary works, made in the region for an international audience. Glimmer Films aim to: Creatively challenge the form of documentary. Celebrate untold, intimate stories. Further explore “wraparound filmmaking”; continuing a groundbreaking practice of engaging with audiences in innovative and meaningful ways throughout production and distribution. For more on Jeanie and her work go to: jeaniefinlay.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

★★★★ ”A tender – and rather wonderful – documentary about love, family, raging hormones and the complexities of identity.” – The Guardian

★★★★ ”A fascinating, vital story told with heart and tenderness” – Little White Lies

“An engaging, empathetic and affecting film from master-documentarian Jeanie Finlay” TOP 5 FILMS TO SEE IN CINEMAS THIS WEEK – Mark Kermode

★★★★ ”An astonishing, unmissable story” – Financial Times
“One of the most moving things I have ever witnessed. I am forever changed. – Portland Observer

Unsettled, Director Tom Shepard

UNSETTLED is a feature-length documentary revealing the untold stories of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution from their home countries and who are resettling in the U.S. UNSETTLED follows four new arrivals, each of whom have escaped potential peril in their native countries for being different. They’ve landed in the purported “gay mecca” of San Francisco, yet even there, building a new life in an adopted nation is a precarious undertaking. As new  leadership in America continues to restrict immigrants and drastically cut the flow of refugees and asylum seekers, UNSETTLED sheds light on a group about which few people know. What are the costs persecuted immigrants pay for seeking refuge? And how are everyday Americans stepping forward to help those most in need? Director and Producer Tom Shepard joins us for a conversation on the world wide danger faced by gay and transgender people, illegal in 70 countries and punishable by death in four countries, and the daunting challenges facing refugees and asylum seekers in the land of the free. 

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to unsettled.film

Broadcast premiere June 28 on worldchannel.org and pbs.org thru July 12, 2020

About the filmmaker: Tom Shepard, or the last 20 years has produced, directed, edited, and distributed documentary films. Four of his feature projects – SCOUT’S HONOR, KNOCKING, WHIZ KIDS and THE GROVE – have aired nationally on PBS (including POV, Independent Lens and PBS Plus). Coverage of his work has been featured prominently in the U.S. and foreign press, including reviews of three of his films in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, and Boston Globe among others. Shepard’s films have played in hundreds of film festivals worldwide – including Full Frame, Silver Docs and the Sundance Film Festival (where he won two top awards for SCOUT’S HONOR in 2001.) Shepard has raised two million dollars for production of his own work and has received funding from the Independent Television Service (ITVS) four times previously. He is the former Chairman of New Day Films and in 2013, founded the Youth Documentary Academy in Colorado where he teaches regularly. He graduated from Stanford University where he studied human biology and film.

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“It does provide engrossing studies in human interest, as well as an empathetic look at the particular struggles of U.S. immigration in the new millennium.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“It also lets Americans understand how horrible things are for others…” – Lapacazo Sandoval, Los Angeles Sentinel

Street Fighting Men, Director Andrew James

In a rapidly changing America where mass inequality and dwindling opportunity have devastated the black working class, three Detroit men must fight to build something lasting for themselves and future generations. STREET FIGHTING MEN takes a deep, observational dive into the lives of retired cop Jack Rabbit, who continues to patrol his own neighborhood as a citizen; Deris, who wants to further his education and serve as a role model for his baby daughter; and Luke, who labors mightily to rehab a dilapidated house while pulling together a meager living. Shot over three years in the neighborhoods of Detroit, STREET FIGHTING MEN is a story of hard work, faith and manhood in a community that never settles for defeat. STREET FIGHTING MEN takes place in the neighborhoods, where the real fight over Detroit’s future is being waged every day. For the people who live here, Detroit is not a blank slate, it is their home — where they have invested their lives, families, and memories. Director Andrew James joins us to talk about the grinding reality for people determined to do the right thing, get an education, provide for their families, promote a safe neighborhood, buy a home, but are faced with a crippling lack of resources or the opportunities to accomplish anything of last value.

 

For news and updates go to: streetfightingmen.com

firstrunfeatures.com/streetfightingmen

Watch Street Fighting Men at: ovid.tv/videos/street-fighting-men

Watch Street Fighting Men at: vimeo.com/ondemand/streetfightingmen

Director’s Statement – I became interested in making a film in Detroit after reading a Metro Times article about James “Jack Rabbit” Jackson. The article featured a picture of Jack Rabbit standing on a street corner at night with his partner, Keith, close behind him. The two men, Jack Rabbit in particular, had taken it upon themselves to be the neighborhood watch after the local police station shut down, and their story of resistance resonated with me. Jack Rabbit’s story and the struggle of his largely black working-class neighborhood is the story of our times. It has become increasingly hard to ignore how the US system is leaving behind poor, working-class and even middle-class people, many of whom are people of color, in favor of global economic interests. I wanted to create something personal and experiential, with an emphasis on the day-to-day, that could speak to this systemic decay of opportunity. I contacted Jack Rabbit and asked if we could meet. He was enthusiastic about the idea and excited to tell his story, and eager to help me understand the ups and downs of his neighborhood. After spending some time in Detroit and getting to know Jack Rabbit, we began shooting with Deris and Luke as well. It was then that I decided to move to Detroit – to capture their stories in real time. I felt that a longitudinal, fly on the wall style would allow me time to get to know the community better and find the story in collaboration with the subjects. This extended time allowed me to form close bonds with the three men, as well as others in the community, and it gave me a unique opportunity to tell their story in a very personal way. – Andrew James, Director/Editor/Cinematographer

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“Stories of the death and rebirth of [Detroit] are familiar, but Andrew James’s documentary conveys the experience of living there. From the beginning there’s an undercurrent of weariness, of the wear and tear of living in a place to which the rest of the world — or rather, the movie strongly implies, the white world, the money world — has grown indifferent.” – Glenn Kenny, The New York Times

“A painful but honest depiction of black life in urban Detroit, featuring multifaceted men striving against the odds. A portrait of black resilience and perseverance — without sentimentality — that stands in stark contrast to the one-dimensional stories of transformation, but still offers a way out of the dark.” – April Wolfe, Film Critic & Writer

“An incisive, intimate and enlightening cinematic gaze on Detroit, Street Fighting Men triumphs as an authentic story of resilience in a neighborhood that will never settle for defeat.” – Les Roka, The Utah Review

“For those curious about Detroit, this is one of the essential docs.” – Inney Prakash, Cinema Programmer, Maysles Documentary Center

Ask No Questions, Director Jason Loftus

In ASK NO QUESTIONS Chinese State TV blames his faith for a fiery public suicide, Chen Ruichang is detained in a Clockwork Orange-style brainwashing facility and forced to accept the government’s account. But Chen, a former insider of the state TV himself, believes it was all a government plot. A CNN reporter smuggled out footage of the event that day, but was then muzzled by Beijing. Now, her eyewitness testimony helps untangle an intricate conspiracy, as Chinese authorities begin pressuring the filmmaker’s family and business associates. The terrifying danger of a government nefariously crafting the narrative & imprisoning its citizens who practice Falun Gong in China in the gripping feature documentary ASK NO QUESTIONS from filmmakers Jason  Loftus (The Bleeding Edge, Human Harvest) and Eric Pedicelli (Black Code, Tin City Voices), which world premieres on Saturday, January 25th. In the vein of a journalistic true crime documentary, painting the scope of the crime, and the depths of the investigation. The story leads into allegations of criminal conduct at a governmental scale. Evidence is credibly presented, shocking, and thorough. Director Jason Loftus stops by for a conversation on the terrifying reach of a totalitarian state power structure and the impact it can have on those who dare challenge it.

 

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For news and updates go to: asknoquestionsfilm.com

About the filmmakers: Director and Producer Jason Loftus is a Peabody Award-winning film producer and four-time Canadian Screen Award nominee. His work spans documentary, docuseries, virtual reality, narrative games, and animation. He is CEO of the Toronto-based Lofty Sky Entertainment and Lofty Sky Pictures. Ask No Questions is Jason’s directorial debut in a documentary feature.

Director and Editor Eric Pedicelli – Eric’s films have highlighted women’s right to education in Ivory Coast, surveillance of activists in Rio de Janeiro, and internet censorship in Iran. He edited Black Code (directed by Nick de Pencier), examining perils faced by activists in the digital age. It premiered at TIFF and earned Eric a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Editing. Ask No Questions is his feature documentary directorial debut.

 
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“A few cunningly-placed cameras, a couple of threats, and some psychologically unstable recruits – and voila! – a whole new reality may be formed (in that sense, it’s like a real-life version of Barry Levinson’s satire Wag the Dog)” – Alex Saveliev, Film Threat

““Dissects a dramatic event with clear arguments and reasonable analysis–it is very well done. Darkness must be exposed, and Ask No Questions can play a valuable role.” – Ai Weiwei

“The film is particularly relevant now… a cautionary tale about how hard it can be to come to the truth.” – SF Weekly

“It shows the terrifying height of ‘fake news’ and presents a lot of difficult but timely questions about media, governmental authority, censorship, and freedom of the press.” – rocketminer.com

“A wicked trip down the rabbit hole… Without a doubt, Ask No Questions is a must see.” – Unseen Films

“Like an ice bath with each revealed truth being another shred of ice raising the hairs on the back of your neck.” – Slug Magazine

Bully, Coward. Victim. The Story of Roy Cohn, Director Ivy Meeropol

BULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHN takes an unflinching look at the life and death of infamous attorney Roy Cohn. Cohn first gained prominence by prosecuting Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in what came to be known as the “atomic spies” case. The documentary draws on extensive, newly unearthed archival material to present the most revealing examination of Roy Cohn to date. Director Ivy Meeropol (“Indian Point,” HBO’s “Heir to an Execution”) brings a unique perspective as the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, having  spent much of her life feeling both repelled and fascinated by the man who prosecuted her grandparents, obtained their convictions in federal court, and then insisted on their executions. The documentary is a riveting profile chronicles Cohn’s life from the late 1950s as chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy, when he first began wielding political power, through the 1980s, when he became a darling of the Reagan White House, a rabid anti-homosexuality activist and political mentor to Donald J. Trump before meeting his death from AIDS in 1986.  BULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHN includes numerous interviews, including John Waters, Cindy Adams, Alan Dershowitz, Nathan Lane and Tony Kushner, whose 2018 Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning revival of “Angels in America” featured Lane as Cohn. Lane offers insight into how devastatingly dangerous the actual Roy Cohn was and how he wielded power through invective and innuendo.Director Ivy Meeropol joins us to talk about one of the most renowned and reviled political figures of the last 60 years as well as the lasting impact he had on her own life, family and the country.

 

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BULLY. COWARD. VICTIM. THE STORY OF ROY COHN debuts on HBO Thursday, June 18 at 9 PM (ET) and will also be available to stream on HBO GO, HBO NOW, and on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms. June 19 marks the 67th Anniversary of the execution of Meeropol’s grandparents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

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“In its loosely anecdotal way it may bring us a notch or two closer to who Roy Cohn was.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“The film might complicate who Cohn was, but it does not try to humanize his actions-and some aspects of his life, his choices, and what he might’ve been thinking still remain shrouded in mystery to this day.” – Michelle Jaworski, The Daily Dot

Disclosure, Director Sam Feder

DISCLOSURE (formerly titled Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen) is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Jen Richards, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. Grappling with films like A Florida Enchantment (1914), Dog Day Afternoon, The Crying Game, and Boys Don’t Cry, and with shows like The Jeffersons, The L-Word, and Pose, they trace a history that is at once dehumanizing, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives. Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder (Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger) invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions, and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings. DISCLOSURE provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people. Director Sam Feder joins us for a conversation on the prejudice and crippling stereotypes being pushed out by film and television as well as barrier breaking stories being told by filmmakers, writers and artists

 

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For news and updates go to: disclosurethemovie.com 

Watch: Disclosure premieres June 19 on Netflix

Statement from the filmmakers: DISCLOSURE shows audiences that decades-old stereotypes, memes, and tropes in the media both form and reflect our understanding of trans issues. They have shaped the cultural narrative about transgender people, and inform everything from dating and domestic violence, to school policy and national legislation. Since 80% of the population have never met a transgender person, all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people. Disclosure is aimed at that 80%. 

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“A thoughtfully crafted film that puts underheard voices first.” – Beandrea July, Hollywood Reporter

“Crafted with obvious love, Feder beautifully guides the audience through the many pitfalls transgender people have faced along the road to representation.” – Ian Thomas Malone, FanSided

“(Disclosure) not only leaves us with the hope that things will improve, but it also shows us how much better the industry is when everyone is included, represented, and respected.” – Norman Gidney, Film Threat

“In making the film, Feder and Cox are rewriting the very history they set out to tell, adding one more title to “positive representation” list. That alone is worth coming out for.” – Jude Dry, indieWire

Runner, Director Bill Gallagher

When he was only eight, Guor Mading Maker (formally known as Guor Marial) ran from captivity in war-torn Sudan to eventually seek safety in the US. In his new life, Maker began running again, participating in high school track and field and eventually becoming a sensation and qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. But because the newly formed South Sudan was not recognized by the International Olympic Committee, Maker had to fight to compete independently, refusing to run for Sudan and taking a stand against its oppression. RUNNER depicts Maker’s difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to a world-renowned athlete, told in intimate interviews with gorgeously animated flashbacks of Guor’s upbringing, and culminating in a heart-wrenching reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation. His story is a distinctly inspirational one in which the indomitable human spirit emerges against all odds. Director Bill Gallagher joins us to talk about the indomitable spirit of Guor Mading Maker and how the hope he has for “the world’s newest” country and love of his family have fueled his determination for finish his race.

 

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

About the filmmaker: BILL GALLAGHER is the director and producer of the award-winning documentary RUNNER that is currently playing at festivals around the world. He was the line producer for the Academy Award nominated documentary IF A TREE FALLS (Sundance), and Production Manager on the documentary RACING DREAMS (Tribeca – Best Documentary). Both films were in theaters and broadcasted on BBC and PBS. Originally from outside of Boston in the United States, he is now living in Madrid, Spain. He studied Documentary Media at The New School and has lectured on documentary production at the University of Navarra in Spain. RUNNER is his first film as director.

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Crystal Swan, Director Darya Zhuk

CRYSTAL SWAN is set in Belarus a few years after gaining independence in 1990. This vibrant debut feature film by director Darya Zhuk follows the path of young Velya (Alina Nasibullina), who dreams of moving to Chicago where she hopes to pursue her passion for house music.  However, obtaining a U.S. visa proves daunting. After purchasing blank letterhead and forging proof of employment, Velya realizes the American consulate plans to call the fake phone number on her application to confirm her employment. Velya’s only solution is to go to the small factory town and convince the family connected to the phone number to help her. She locates the cramped Soviet apartment on the other end of the line, overrun by a family preparing for the wedding of their son. But Velya’s presence soon upends both the family’s and the town’s order, with potentially disastrous consequences for all. Director Darya Zhuk joins us to talk about where the story behind Crystal Swan came from, casting Velya and how her debut feature film reflects a story about a woman and her country, where feelings of self and belonging are yet to be defined.

 

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For news and updates go to: loco-films.com/crystal-swan

Crystal Swan is available to watch on MUBI

Director’s statement – I’m a Belarus-born film director living in New York. I spent most of my young adult life straddling two worlds: the world of my freshly independent home-country, just starting to define its identity after the split from the Soviet Union, and my new home in America where I stayed after finishing an undergraduate degree at Harvard. Most of this straddling, I spent standing in long cues to the US Embassy in Minsk. I visited my parents a lot, and the visa requirements were quite brutal. It’s in this long line to the embassy that I first thought of Crystal Swan. People waiting on the permission to go to America were like prisoners waiting for the verdict, – they were so stressed out that they often shared their whole life stories with strangers next to them. I wanted to explore what this process of like. My protagonist Velya is a DJ dreaming to go to Chicago to visit the birthplace of house music. We meet her in one of these cues to the embassy. She is young and full of illusions, she still feels like she is the center of her world. She is an archetypal American character placed in the post-Soviet mess. Freedom she seeks is not available, and in the reality where she lives, the individualism doesn’t always win. Her beliefs and approach to life are constantly challenged with every step of her journey. Can she be a free agent in an unfree world? The unfreedom of people around is what stops my main character from reaching her goal. The history, the trauma of the previous history, catches up with her through the abusive actions of the people who surround her. – Darya Zhuk, Director, Co-screenwriter

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Official Oscar Entry for Foreign Language Film – Belarus 
Best Director – Bridge of Arts Film Festival
Best Actress – Bridge of Arts Film Festival
Best Actress – Cineuropa Film Festival
Best Film – Bratislava Film Festival (Fipresci Jury)
Best Debut of 2018 – Russian Critics Guild
Best Picture – Tbilisi Film Festival

 

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Crystal Swan feels like a poison-tipped letter from the filmmaker to her home country that is also an engrossing work of social criticism.” – Phil Guie, Film-Forward.com

“If something stands out above all it’s the excellent performance of Alina Nasibullina, an actress with a lot of presence that dominates the screen at all times.” – Jaime Fa de Lucas, Culturamas

“While some nuances may go over the heads of international audiences, its core social and economic frustrations are universal ones, driven by Velya’s fundamentally sympathetic wanderlust.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“[Crystal Swan] is so effective at capturing the hopefulness of someone who’s seized by the promise of a better life, and the desperation she feels when that promise starts to slip through her fingers.” – David Ehrlich, indieWire

2040, Director Damon Gameau

Award-winning Director Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations. Director Damon Gameau joins us to talk about the how current, scalable technologies are available that can mitigate the damage being done by the scourge of climate damage and move us toward a cleaner, sustainable life for the planet and humanity.

 

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For news and updates go to: madmanfilms.com.au/2040film

For news and updates go to: whatsyour2040.com

Watch 2040 at togetherfilms.org/2040-screenings

Get Involved 

“We have partnered with the curriculum experts at Cool Australia to build a comprehensive package of units of work for upper primary and secondary. These free lesson plans are learning recipes for teachers that utilise short clips from the film to support classroom learning, providing step-by-step instructions, student workshops and engaging content. We interviewed over 100 children from around the world for 2040 and asked them what their hopes and dreams were for the future. It is a world they will be inheriting from us so we have to show them that solutions exist, that there are people who care deeply about their future, and that wonderful careers await with genuine purpose and meaning.” – Damon Gameau 

Visit the “Resources for Teachers” page and sign-up to our Schools Mailing list to learn more about opportunities for schools and to receive updates on when localized curriculum resources will be available in your country.

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“2040 might just shift your world for the better.” – Liam Maguren, Flicks.co.nz

“Gameau pulls away from the apocalyptic doomsaying hard-wired into so much of the enviro-debate…Wisely, his speculations are restricted by the self-imposed discipline that they all need to be rooted in practices that already exist. A very smart move.” – Jim Schembri, 3AW

“None of the ideas explored here are purely theoretical or pie in the sky. Whether technological or systems-based solutions, they all exist now and could be massively expanded to huge global benefit.” –Lynden Barber, Limelight

“Gameau defaults to the position of inspiring people rather than alarming or overwhelming them. You leave the film wanting more, not less, of these sorts of productions.” – Luke Buckmaster, Guardian

“You can’t please everyone. Gameau is at least doing what he can to talk about some big problems, in an entertaining and accessible way.” – Paul Byrnes, Sydney Morning Herald

Feral, Director Andrew Wonder

FERAL tells the story of Yasmine (Annapurna Sriram), a homeless woman living in the tunnels underneath Manhattan’s West Side. Surviving on her own terms while trying to build a new life alone, she is reeling from the loss of her mother, who was deported when she was 16. Older now, Yasmine, struggles to rise from poverty as the perils of the underground fill her with despair. Along her journey, Yasmine meets a cast of characters and real New York personalities, each living in their own form of exile: a lonely piano player who’s never played his music out loud; a mother who regrets the birth of her six-year-old; a lonely grandmother nostalgic for her salsa music past and the Mission who is there to help, but only if she’s willing to play by their rules. Based on actual stories of living underground and working with former homeless individuals, FERAL peers deep into Yasmine’s emotional reality, staring this bold young woman directly in the eyes as she struggles to carry on. Director, producer, writer and cinematographer Andrew Wonder joins us fr a deep dive into the inspiration for Feral, his journey as a filmmaker, working with Paul Schrader and his organic approach to making one of the year’s best films.

 

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For news and updates go to: feralfilmproject.com

Director’s Statement –Yet for as many people as the tunnels beneath New York City represent fear, there are the few who see it as freedom. FERAL is inspired by my experiences underground and living with mole people in New York. To explore this world, our story revolves around the journey of a young homeless woman, Yasmine, living in the tunnels beneath the West Side (same as the one featured in Dark Days) in the days leading up to a blizzard. Within a month our key crew of four, cast of professional and non professional actors including former homeless people as well as those who work in the system, came together to create what we want to be an exploration of invisibility and the masks we put on when we face the world. The story is told, through the lens of a homeless woman, Yasmine, who only feels safe underground. – Andrew Wonder

For news and updates go to: andrewwonder.com

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“With its staggeringly beautiful cinematography of down-and-dirty New York and a layered central performance, Adam Wonder’s debut feature is a complex and dynamic look at social outliers and how we find the means to survive.” – Chloe Leeson, Screen Queens

“The larger truths the film conveys in distinctive artistic terms ultimately win out, and that’s what stays with you.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“A gritty but artful portrait.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

“Feral is a sobering and introspective journey into depression and isolation associated with life in the city, but it also presents a powerful social parable as the secret behind the protagonist’s sorrowful predicament is revealed.” – VyceVictus, Lewton Bus

F

Terrence McNally, Every Act Of Life, Director Jeff Kaufman and Producer Marcia Ross


Terrence McNally, Every Act Of Life, tells the story of the groundbreaking life and work of 5-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally: a personal journey through 6-decades of the American theatre, the struggle for LGBT rights, triumph over addiction, the power of the arts to shape society, and finding love and inspiration at all ages. F. Murray Abraham, Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Rita Moreno and others weigh in on the pioneering playwright’s influential career, and speak frankly of his struggles as well as his monumental successes. The voices of Dan Bucatinsky, Bryan Cranston and Meryl Streep are also featured. Intimate conversations with the late McNally complete this essential portrait of the four-time Tony winner and 2019 recipient of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Playwright, librettist, scriptwriter and outspoken LGBTQ activist Terrence McNally died of coronavirus complications in April 2020 at age 81. American Masters and the filmmaking team explored McNally’s six-decade career through the intimate and revealing documentary. Director Jeff Kaufman and Producer Marcia Ross join us for a look back at one of the greatest playwrights  in American theatre history.

 

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For news and updates go to: everyactoflife.com

Terrence McNally, Every Act Of Life, will be returning to PBS Streaming on June 1st. 

About the filmmakers: Jeff Kaufman produced, directed, and wrote the documentaries Every Act Of Life (2018 Tribeca premiere, aired June 2019 on American Masters), The State of Marriage, Father Joseph, The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America, Brush With Life: The Art of Being Edward Biberman, and Education Under Fire, plus a number of short films for Amnesty International, and programs for The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel. He also edited/designed a book based on the film Every Act Of Life, contributed cartoons to The New Yorker, and illustrations to The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, wrote/illustrated several children’s books, and hosted daily radio shows in Vermont and Los Angeles.

Marcia S. Ross produced the documentaries Every Act Of Life, The State of Marriage, Father Joseph, and The Savoy King. Additionally she has an over 3-decade career as an independent casting director and casting executive, serving 16 years as EVP for Casting at Walt Disney Motion Pictures, and 5 years as VP for Casting and Talent Development at Warner Brothers TV. Some of her film and television credits include Clueless, Cujo, thirtysomething, Murder in Mississippi, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Princess Diaries, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, The Lookout, Enchanted, Oblivion, and Parental Guidance. She has received career achievement awards from the Casting Society of America and the Hollywood Film Festival.

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91% on Rotten Tomatoes

McNally’s life has the sweep of an epic novel, except that the novel’s inevitable movie version could never have as much star power as his life did.” – Ren Jender, Village Voice

“It’s a great introductory piece for those new to this area of theatre, and a pleasing chance for others to reflect on one of its greatest talents.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“It does true justice to its subject by showing how his influence goes well beyond words, finding his tribe on Broadway and making it feel like home for others.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“McNally’s life has the sweep of an epic novel, except that the novel’s inevitable movie version could never have as much star power as his life did.” – Ren Jender, Village Voice

 

American High, Founder Jeremy Garelick

Yale graduate Jeremy Garelick started in the mailroom at the Creative Artists Agency, before going on to work as assistant to legendary writer/director, Joel Schumacher on Tigerland, Bad Company, Phone Booth, and Veronica Guerin. Jeremy made his feature screenplay debut with the Vince Vaughn vehicle The Break-Up and followed that by teaming up with Todd Phillips to pen the production draft of The Hangover, establishing himself as the go-to A-list comedy writer in Hollywood. In 2015 Jeremy directed his first feature film, The Wedding Ringer starring Kevin Hart and Josh Gad. Between writing, directing, and show running his Netflix original limited series, Best. Worst. Weekend. Ever., and executive producing his YouTube Red original, Side Swiped, Jeremy also formed his own production company, American High. Staked with a $45 million film fund, American High has shot five indie comedies in Garelick’s recently acquired school-turned-studio in Syracuse, NY, including Big Time Adolescence, starring Pete Davidson, Jon Cryer, and Sydney Sweeney, which was recently invited to compete in dramatic competition at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, American High Founder Jeremy Garelick is set to direct and produce a slate of three higher budget high school comedy features in 2020.

 

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For news and updates go to: americanhigh.com

 

About American High: Do for this generation what John Hughes did for the audiences of the 1980’s. Embrace the R-rated reality of high school and tell stories from eclectic characters from diverse backgrounds as they navigate the most formative (and often most hilarious) years of their lives. Why high school? Simple. Because it is one of the only shared experiences that we all go through. It’s where every challenge feels like life and death, where every victory is your greatest accomplishment. It’s a world of firsts. It’s where you first snuck out of your house and got in real trouble. Where you first learned how to drive and crashed into a lake. It’s your first kiss. The first time you touched a boob or someone touched yours. Where you discover who your friends are, the music you love, the movies you love, what your style is, who you are. In 2019 American High produced HULU’s very first original film, THE BINGE, starring Vince Vaughn and directed by American High founder Jeremy Garelick.

American High is using its sound stages for manufacturing 3-D Face Shields for our COVID first responders, Watch this video and go to the American High website to see how you can join them. 

Rewind, Director Sasha Joseph Neulinger

In REWIND, Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s candid personal memoir, he revisits his childhood and the events that tore apart his seemingly-perfect world. For as long as Neulinger can remember, his father was constantly filming— from birthday parties, to hockey games, to holidays. But his camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. Drawing upon an incredibly revealing home video archive, Neulinger revisits these events 20 years later to piece together an unflinching story of the cycles and consequences of abuse, to examine what it means to heal, and to use those experiences to effect positive change in the world. REWIND probes the gap between image and reality and proves just how little, and how much, a camera can capture. Director Sasha Joseph Nuelinger joins us for a candid conversation on the psychological, physical and emotional impact of abuse and how he was able to find the appropriate balance in his role as creator and director telling a story of unspeakable horror about himself and his family.

 

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For news and updates go to: RewindDocumentary.com

For more about Rewind go to: rewinddocumentary.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Watching the movie is like staring at a blurred image of the past that gradually, over 86 minutes, comes into terrifying focus… A documentary like this one has the effect of a moral thriller.” – OWEN GLEIBERMAN, VARIETY

“Rewind,” as indelibly as any film ever made, illustrates how the very process of investigating your own past can be a trauma unto itself. ” – DAVID EHRLICH, INDIEWIRE

“Somehow in documenting the family’s unraveling, Neulinger comes to show the strength that certain members were able to give to another… there is tremendous power in seeing the filmmaker taking the bad to make some good out of it, capturing the best and worst that humans are capable of in one brave and truly exceptional film.” – STEPHEN SAITO, THE MOVEABLE FEST

“Neulinger’s film, like any great documentary, maintains a steady drip of details whose importance are only revealed later… Rewind not only offers the story of a victim’s ordeal, but a brave and resilient spirit.” – ROBERT DANIELS, 812 FILM REVIEWS

“Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s wrenching surival story is an astounding documentary on sexual abuse trauma… The utter honesty behind these scenes could only be captured in a documentary.” – ANDREW BUNDY, THE PLAYLIST

Circus of Books, Director Rachel Mason

For 35-plus years, the gay porn shop Circus of Books gave Los Angeles’ LGBT+ community a space to socialize and celebrate themselves without judgment. Unbeknownst to many customers, the store was cultivated by owners Karen and Barry Mason, a straight, mainstream couple with three children who went to religious school and were unaware of their parents’ business. The Masons long refused to disclose the nature of their business to friends or family. While maintaining the secret, they witnessed the dawn of the HIV/AIDS epidemic firsthand, losing a generation of treasured employees. Still, during that time, they never identified https://www.netflix.com/title/81011569as activists — just everyday entrepreneurs catering to a market, until the Internet destroyed it. Executive produced by Ryan Murphy, CIRCUS OF BOOKS is the debut documentary from artist Rachel Mason, who finally asks the least radical people she knows — her parents — how they became America’s biggest distributors of gay porn, and why Karen reacted so negatively when her own son came out of the closet.Director and daughter Rachel Mason joins us to talk her parents, her brothers, her own story and the impact her family’s business had on a community fighting to survive.

Circus of Books is nows screening at: netflix.com

About the filmmaker – Rachel Mason is an artist, musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles. Mason has recorded 13 albums, has toured, exhibited sculpture, video and performance at the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, LACMA, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Henry Gallery in Seattle, James Gallery at CUNY, University Art Museum in Buffalo, Sculpture Center, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard and Occidental College, Kunsthalle Zurich, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The New Museum, Park Avenue Armory, Art in General, La Mama, Galapagos, Dixon Place, and Empac Center for Performance in Troy among other venues. Reviews include New York Times, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, Flash Art, Art in America, Art News, and Artforum. Her album and feature film, The Lives of Hamilton Fish. has toured festivals and museums internationally and was released in 2016.

For more about Rachel Mason go to: rachelmasonart.com

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98% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.” – Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

“A RARE DELIGHT – AND A NEARLY PERFECT DOCUMENTARY. Mason keeps a thread of tension taut throughout, never losing sight of the contradictions between her parents’ work and their home life.” – Jude Dry, IndieWire

“VERY FUNNY, VERY MOVING. The filmmaker does right by front-loading most of the snicker-worthy scenes. She knows that even the most open-minded among us need to get past a certain level of shock and incredulity to see Karen and Barry as the beautiful, and beautifully complicated, people they are.” – Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“Circus of Books tells this complex and enthralling story, about the rise and fall of their family business, with a unique specificity. It’s Mason’s lack of distance from the subject — in fact, it’s that she, too, is part of the story — that makes the picture soar with intimacy.” – Tre’vell Anderson, OUT

Mossville, When Great Trees Fall, Director Alexander John Glustrom

Mossville, Louisiana is a shadow of its former self – a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people and free people of color – where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow. Today, Mossville is surrounded by 14 petrochemical plants and the future site of apartheid-born South African-based chemical company Sasol’s newest plant – proposed as a $21.2 billion project and the largest in the western hemisphere. The remaining family members of Mossville struggle to let go of their ancestral home – and at the center of it all is a man named Stacey Ryan. Stacey is 49 years old and a lifelong resident of Mossville. In the past ten years Stacey has lost much of his family to cancer and seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project. Having promised his dying parents to fight the sprawling chemical companies, Stacey struggles to keep his word as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone, or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.,MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall Director and Editor Alexander John Glustrom joins us to talk about one man’s fight to hold on to the last patch of a historic community and the legacy of a shattered community.

 

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For news and updates go to: mossvilleproject.com

About the filmmaker: Alexander John Glustrom – Director / Editor / Director of Photography – Alexander John Glustrom’s first film was the award winning documentary, “Big Charity,” winner of The Jury Award and Audience Award at New Orleans Film Festival and the 2015 Documentary of the Year by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He was awarded “Filmmaker of the Year” at the 2015 New Orleans Millennial Awards and one of New Orleans’ “40 under 40” by Gambit Magazine. He has directed, shot, produced, and edited a wide variety of film and media projects that have reached hundreds of thousands online, played at film festivals internationally and aired on major networks including HBO, CNN, Fusion, NYtimes.com, Great Big Story and Democracy Now.  Daniel Bennett, Katie Mathews and Catherine Rierson are Producers, while Linda Karn and Michelle Lanier serve as Executive Producers.

For more about Alexander John Glustrom go to: ajgmedia.com

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twitter.com/MossvilleDoc
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MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31.

MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall opens virtually in theaters in New York on May 7 through the Maysles Documentary Center, and in Los Angeles on May 8 through the Laemmle Theaters. Select screenings will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers.  Additional participating theaters include Milwaukee Film Sofa Theater (Milwaukee, WI), Smith Rafael Film Center (Marin County, CA), Grail Moviehouse (Asheville, NC), Frida Cinema (Santa Ana, CA), Broad Theater (New Orleans, LA) and Tampa Theatre (Tampa, FL). Please check the MOSSVILLE website for more information on theaters and Q&As: mossvilleproject.com/screenings

“Striking and Urgent…” – Indie Wire

“Mossville captures the devastation of the destruction of a community with grace and empathy and has a message that will reverberate across generations.” – BRWC

“A sad and uncommonly stunning exploration of environmental racism and the adverse effects of industrialization on fenceline communities.” – Anti-Gravity

“A nightmarish landscape is the battleground for Stacey’s defiant spirit, as he’s forced to choose between a better life for his son and fighting to preserve his ancestors’ legacy.” – Planet in Focus

The Infiltrators, Co-directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera

THE INFILTRATORS is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center— on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, THE INFILTRATORS tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language. Co-directors Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera joins for a conversation on dire conditions that await detainees, the cruelty of a for-profit system designed to frustrate people with legitimate reasons for remaining in the United States and their respect for the people who willingly put their lives and futures on the line for the sake of others.

 

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For news and updates go to: theinfiltrators.oscilloscope.net or infiltratorsfilm.com

About the filmmakers:

Alex Rivera is an award-winning filmmaker who tells visually adventurous stories. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, won the screenwriting award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, was screened at the Museum of Modern Art, and had a commercial release around the world. In 2015 Alex was awarded support from the Surdna Foundation and the Ford Foundation for The Infiltrators.

Cristina Ibarra has been making award-winning films that explore the U.S.-Mexico border for the past seventeen years. The New York Times calls her documentary Las Marthas “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life.” Her PBS documentary collaboration, The Last Conquistador, had a national broadcast on POV. In 2015 she became part of Women at Sundance.

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“THE INFILTRATORS manages to personalize the undocumented struggle by transforming it into an unlikely blend of activism and suspense that makes a compelling case for the abolishment of ICE.” – Eric Kohn, INDIEWIRE

“A doc mixing interviews, real-time action and reenactment in exciting ways, Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra’s THE INFILTRATORS tells a true story so inspiring it’s a wonder it isn’t better known.’ – John DeFore, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Chronicling the audacious acts of a group of organized undocumented youth prior to the Obama-implemented, temporary relief known as DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), THE INFILTRATORS, from Latinx directors Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, is a vital piece of hybrid cinema that shines light into the obscure realm of privately-operated immigration detention facilities.” – Carlos Aguilar, THE WRAP

Shadows of Freedom, Co-directors Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud

SHADOWS OF FREEDOM recounts the untold story of the Jewish & French resistance of 1942 in Algiers, which helped change the course of WWII, yet remains largely forgotten. These 388 resistors – mostly young and inexperienced – almost haplessly ended up supporting the Allies in North Africa. In the process they paved the way for a successful invasion of Algiers by the U.S., but also helped to save the lives of over 500,000 Jews in North Africa, targeted by Hitler’s Final Solution. This was all part of OPERATION  TORCH the joint American/U.K. mission that was to be the Allies’ first successful strike against the Nazis. This largely forgotten military operation remains to this day as the longest invasion in the history of conflict. Co-directors and co-producers Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud join us to talk about a little known but critically important chapter of French resistance, American and British military strategy and the courageous contributions made by Jewish resistance fighters. 

 

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For news and updates go to: shadowsfreedom.com/home

 
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* OPERATION TORCH was the 1942 Anglo-American invasion of North Africa (Algeria and Morocco). It was the 1st joint operation of the U.S. and the U.K., the 1st Allied success against the Nazis and, until D-Day, the largest military operation ever undertaken. It was a hugely significant turning point in the war – aided greatly by the resistance in Algiers – yet remains largely forgotten. SHDOWS OF FREEDOM unveils the importance of Operation Torch in the hopes of highlighting this historical moment that stands as a remarkable achievement by America and Great Britain. This powerful alliance made victory a certainty.

Planet of the Humans, Director Jeff Gibbs

Released on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, PLANET OF THE HUMANS takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has lost the battle through well-meaning but disastrous choices, including the belief that solar panels and windmills would save us, and by giving in to the corporate interests of Wall Street. PLANET OF THE HUMANS is the debut movie from director Jeff Gibbs, whom Executive Producer Michael Moore calls “a brave and brilliant filmmaker whose new voice must be heard.” Gibbs is a lifelong environmentalist and longtime collaborator of Moore’s with whom he co-produced Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Gibbs has dared to say what no one will — that “we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders, many of whom are well-intentioned, but who’ve sold out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.” This film is the wake-up call to the reality which we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the so-called “environmental movement’s” answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. Moore and Gibbs decided that with the American public — and much of the world – confined to their homes and suddenly having to consider the role humans and their behavior have played in our fragile ecosystem, the moment was too urgent to wait until later this year for the film’s planned release. Director / Producer / Writer / Editor and Cinematographer Jeff Gibbs joins us for a free-wheeling conversation on the hard truths we all face and the dawning realization that we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into believing the billionaire class is going to ensure a sustainable collective future.

 

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For news and updates go to: planetofthehumans.com

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“This is perhaps the most urgent film we’ve shown in the 15 year history of our film festival” – Filmmaker Michael Moore, Founder, Traverse City Film Festival

“A delusion-shattering documentary on how the environmental and green energy movements have been taken over by capitalists.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice

“A bleak picture of a near future that mankind’s very existence is irrevocably condemning.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space

“This doc, directed by long-time Michael Moore collaborator Jeff Gibbs, advocates passionately for a planet suffering from environmental devastation but offers few glimmers of hope.” – Liam Lacey, Original Cin

“From the warnings of the 1950s to the 21st-century corporate takeover of green energy, a grim look at humanity’s fate as the planet heats up. Is there any hope? This feels like only half the story.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

BULL, Director Annie Silverstein

The quietly powerful new film from award-winning director Annie Silverstein BULL focuses on a  14-year-old Kris (Amber Havard), who, after trashing her neighbor’s house in a fit of youthful defiance, seems destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps to the state penitentiary. To make amends, she is forced to help Abe Turner (Rob Morgan), an ex-bull rider scraping by on the Texas rodeo circuit, with errands at home and at his work. While traveling with Abe, she discovers a passion for bull riding.  Yet, as Kris sets out to learn the dangerous sport, bad influences lure her back into delinquent ways. Meanwhile, Abe struggles with the aches and pains of growing older and aging out of the only life he has ever known. Together, Kris and Abe forge an unexpected connection, helping each other see new possibilities and hope for the future before it’s too late. Director and writer Annie Silverstein stops by to talk about the inspiration for BULL and how her experience as a social worker informs her instincts as a filmmaker.

 

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About the filmmaker – Annie Silverstein is an award winning filmmaker and media educator based in Austin, Texas. Her films have screened at international festivals including Cannes, SXSW, Silverdocs and on PBS Independent Lens. Her latest film, SKUNK, won first prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival–Cinéfondation. Before attending film school, Annie spent ten years as a youth worker and community media educator. She co-founded and served as Artistic Director at Longhouse Media, an indigenous arts organization based in Seattle. For her work there, Annie received the National Association for Media Literacy Award for outstanding contributions made in the field of media education. Annie is a lecturer at the University of Texas-Austin, where she earned her MFA in Film Production. Annie was named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine and was selected for the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs for Bull, her feature debut. Annie recently premiered Bull at the Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard.

For news, screenings and updates go to: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/bull/

For more on Annie Silverstein got to: anniesilverstein.com

Social Media
facebook.com/samuelgoldwynfilms
twitter.com/goldwynfilms
instagram.com/goldwynfilms

“The fact that this never comes across as maudlin is tribute to a director who knows her way through dark places, and a pair of actors who can create a quiet storm.” – Steve Pond, TheWrap

“By resisting sentimentality, the filmmaker, alongside her naturalistic actors, allows us to sit inside the characters’ despair so that we appreciate the intensity of its stifling oppression.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

“As she proved with her superb, award-winning 2014 short film Skunk, Silverstein portrays marginal lives with unflinching honesty and heart-wrenching humanity.” – Loren King, AWFJ Women on Film

“[Director] Silverstein makes a strong case that these people have something worthwhile to say to viewers. There is a grace and tenderness to the movie that are hard to resist.” – Daniel Eagan, Film Legacy

Himalayan Ice, Co-director Austin Schmitz and Ari Novak

In December 2018, alpinists Ari Novak and Karsten Delap set out for India to explore one of the most remote valleys in the Indian Himalaya with local climber Karn Kowshik. Their goal was to meet with the indigenous population of the Spiti Valley and try to support local ice climbing. What they found was perhaps the biggest treasure trove of unclimbed ice in all the Himalaya. HIMALAYAN ICE (Adventures in India’s Most Remote Valley) tells the history-making story of their journey to put up nine first ascents and start an ice climbing movement by the local population. From their journey to the valley along the most treacherous road on earth to walking amongst Snow Leopards, the expedition was anything but expected. Co-directors Austin Schmitz and Ari Novak join us to talk the challenges of getting to India’s Spiti Valley, connecting with the people, climbers and non-climbers, and the life lessons learned during their remarkable journey.

 

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For news and updates go to: himalayanicefilm.com

Social Media
twitter.com/lasportivatwitt
twitter.com/hashtag/himalayanice

 

Supporting Himalayan Ice: Himalayan Ice is presented by La Sportiva to raise money and awareness for impoverished and indigenous populations to enable these native people to climb in their own mountains. By empowering native populations through climbing for conservation we hope to establish and protect safe climbing areas for native populations in the worlds great mountain ranges. Himalayan Ice has partnered with Project Conservation a 501c3 non profit to enable our efforts. Ticket proceeds will directly go to support this non profit effort.

Slay the Dragon, Co-directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance, Journalist David Daley

After the 2008 election, a secretive, well-funded partisan initiative poured money into state legislative races in key swing states to gain control of their redistricting processes and used high-tech analytics to dramatically skew voting maps based on demographic data. The result is one of the greatest electoral manipulations in U.S. history, one that poses a fundamental threat to our democracy and exacerbates the already polarized atmosphere in Congress and state houses across the country.  Gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve the party in power, has been around for centuries. But in today’s hyper-partisan political environment it has been taken to unprecedented extremes, fueled by the elimination of corporate campaign contribution limits and the availability of vast amounts of personal information. The effects of this insidious strategy have continued to bear fruit through the 2018 midterms. But voters, fed up with cynical efforts to sidestep the will of the majority, have begun fighting back. In one example, a grassroots movement led by a young with no political experience gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to put an anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in Michigan. The new documentary SLAY THE DRAGON shines a light on this timely issue, and follows a handful of citizens’ groups, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system. Co-directors Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance stop by to talk about their approach to tackling a complex issue, and finding the grassroots activists who have shown that there is a way to affect real change despite the overwhelming odds.

 

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

Watch Slay the Dragon AND support local Theatres: slaythedragonfilm.com/tickets

To learn more about the filmmakers and their work go to: ark-media.net

Social Media
facebook.com/SlayTheDragonFilm
twitter.com/SlayTheDragon
instagram.com/slaythedragonfilm

 

“The most important political film of the year. It may prove to be one of the key political films of the decade. There is no issue more threatening to the future of American democracy than gerrymandering.” – Owen Gleiberman, VARIETY

“Slay the Dragon does an extraordinarily good job of taking a complex issue and connecting the dots, which seems particularly appropriate for a documentary about gerrymandering.” – Brian Lowry, CNN.com

“Outrage is a likely reaction.” – Karen Martin, ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE

“Shocking. It changes the way you see everything.”- Adrian Horton, THE GUARDIAN

The American Nurse, Director Carolyn Jones

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

 

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

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

About the filmmaker(s)

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

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

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

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

Social Media
facebook.com/americannurseproject
twitter.com/amnurseproject
instagram.com/carolynjonesproductions

 

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

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

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

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