August 10 – Scotty and the Secret Story of Hollywood, Director Matt Tyrnauer

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood  is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide de camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male — and female — stars. In the 1940s and ’50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities – straight and gay – for decades. In 2012, he finally spilled his secrets in the New York Times bestselling memoir “Full Service,” which revealed a dramatic, pre-Stonewall alternate history of Hollywood. While the studio PR machine were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them. This cinema-vérité documentary tells his story, as well as presents eye-opening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more. Director Matt Tyrnauer (Studio 54, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Valentino: The Last Emperor) joins us for spirited conversation on the days when the Hollywood PR machine mattered more than the lives of the artist who made it successful and the role Scotty Bowers played in breaking that stranglehold on them.

 

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For news and updates go to: scottymovie.com

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood open July 27th at the Arclight Hollywood

“Scotty” rolls out across the country beginning August 3, find theatres near you.

Hashtag: #ScottyMovie

Twitter / Instagram: @ScottyTheMovie

Facebook: Facebook.com/ScottyTheMovie

92% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Scotty” is more than just a portrait of the man, also serving as a history lesson on how the film industry once tried to project a repressive, clean-cut image to satisfy moral watchdogs” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

“A nicely filled-out look at different eras, one secrecy-ridden and dedicated to the preservation of illusion, the other wide open and blasé about personal predilections.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“There’s plenty of gossip to be found here, but there’s also no shortage of humanity.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“The present-day footage is more compelling than any of the gossipy bits, which turn out to be the hook that pulls the film into more fraught and complex directions.” – Kevin Ritchie, NOW Toronto

“’Scotty and the Secret History’ is a fascinating portrait that neither lionizes nor judges its subject. It merely lets you take him for what he is.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

July 20 – Generation Wealth, Director Lauren Greenfield

For the past 25 years acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield has travelled the world, documenting with ethnographic precision and an artist’s sensitivity a vast range of cultural movements and moments. Yet, after so much seeking and searching, she realized that much of her work pointed at one uniting phenomenon: wealth culture. With her new film, Generation Wealth, she puts the pieces of her life’s work together for in an incendiary investigation into the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen. Spanning consumerism, beauty, gender, body commodification, aging and more, Greenfield has created a comprehensive cautionary tale about a culture heading straight for the cliff’s edge. Generation Wealth, simultaneously a deeply personal journey, rigorous historical essay, and raucously entertaining expose, bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of capitalism, narcissism and greed. Emmy-award-winning photographer / filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield’s expansive artistry includes her monographs (Girl Culture, Fast Forward, THIN, Generation Wealth), and documentaries (THIN, kids+money, The Queen of Versailles). The Queen of Versailles won her the 2012 Best Documentary Director Award at Sundance Film Festival. Director Lauren Greenfield joins us to talk about her sweeping film and the damning indictment of a profligate world of depraved indifference, hell-bent on stockpiling pointless possessions.

 

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For news and updates go to: generation-wealth.com

“[An] alarming film…” – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

“Through her dedication to other people’s lives, and with such open-book storytelling of her own, Greenfield is able to make a stunningly deeply resonant documentary about notions as seemingly obvious as the value of love over wealth itself.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“Greenfield makes a compelling argument for a society on the brink of precipitous decline, choosing to interpret the runaway vanity and rampant materialism observed in her own work as harbingers of our imminent destruction.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety

“This personal approach gives the film a sharp intimacy, and from here Greenfield pulls out to reveal how similar patterns are reshaping lives and families the world over.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen International

June 22 – The Icarus Line Must Die, Director Michael Grodner

Punk’s not dead in this cool AF drama riffing on actual events. THE ICARUS LINE MUST DIE is a dramatic narrative feature set against the backdrop of the current LA underground music scene. The film tracks Joe Cardamone, front man of notorious punk bad boys The Icarus Line as he navigates his way through the ups and downs of the modern music landscape. With a new record completed and a major label deal within sight, Joe fights to keep his band, his relationship and his life from completely falling apart. Ariel Pink, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Pearl Charles, Melissa Brooks (The Aquadolls), Justin Pearson (RETOX, The Locust), Rafael Reyes (Prayers) and Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight) are featured along with performances by Pink Mountaintops, Together Pangea, The Icarus Line, Retox, Obliterations and Annie Hardy of Giant Drag. The film was directed by Michael Grodner and written by Michael Grodner and Joe Cardamone. THE ICARUS LINE MUST DIE will open in LA on June 22 at the Laemmle Royal and will rollout theatrically over the summer by Dark Star Pictures.  The film will also be available on digital on 7/10 (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Xbox and local Cable Providers). Director Michael Grodner joins us to talk about his collaborator and star, Joe Cardamone, the blurred lines between narrative and documentaries, his take on the LA music scene, past and present and Dirty Laundry.

 

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Social media:

facebook.com/theicaruslinemustdie

facebook.com/pg/DirtyLaundryTV

The Icarus Line Must Die is now screening at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles

“What sets Grodner’s story apart is its intense focus on specific people in the scene who are emblematic of a way of living and surviving in Los Angeles that’s slowly dying.” – April Wolfe, The Wrap

“The movie’s only intermittently successful at blurring the lines between art and life. But it’s a sincerely felt experiment, and it has spirit. – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“The Icarus Line Must Die should be celebrated as an example of a return to great independent filmmaking. Like its main character, The Icarus Line Must Die overcomes the challenges, simply because it must.” – Donna Balancia, California Rocker

June 22 – Half the Picture, Director Amy Adrion

HALF THE PICTURE celebrates the groundbreaking work of female film directors and investigates the systemic discrimination that has, for decades, denied opportunities to far too many talented women in Hollywood. The film consists of interviews with high profile women directors including Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, Lena Dunham, Catherine Hardwicke and Miranda July, among many others, who discuss their early careers, how they transitioned to studio films or television, how they balance having a demanding directing career with family, as well as challenges and joys along the way. HALF THE PICTURE also includes interviews with experts about gender inequality in Hollywood including the ACLU’s Melissa Goodman, Sundance Institute’s Caroline Libresco, Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan, USC’s Dr. Stacy Smith and San Diego State University’s Dr. Martha Lauzen, who establish the magnitude of this employment discrimination issue as women are shut out, across the board, of an industry that systemically denies their expression and point of view. HALF THE PICTURE Director / Producer Amy Adrion joins us to talk about a unique time in the film industry where systemic change seems possible and whether, unlike previous efforts to address gender inequality in Hollywood, will this time be different?

 

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For news and updates go to: halfthepicture.com

Social Media:

facebook.com/halfthepicture

instagram.com/halfthepicture

twitter.com/amyadrion

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Half the Picture is a vital, comprehensive documentary on a subject that’s so fundamental to the industry it’s about, you have to wonder why dozens of movies on this scale or bigger haven’t already been made.” – Leslie Felperin

“Half The Picture is an inspiring, important documentary that should be seen by as many people as possible, particularly those who aren’t aware of the problems women face in Hollywood.” – Manon de Reeper, Film Inquiry

“Half the Picture, Amy Adrion’s no-frills documentary, offers a diligent, straightforward overview of the innumerable obstacles facing today’s female directors, both aspiring and accomplished.” – Natalia Winkelman, Film Threat

“A platform for those who want to hear about the reality of being a woman in Hollywood from dozens of women who have lived it, it’s an invaluable resource.” – Rebecca Pahle, Film Journal International

“It’s experiential revelation as advocacy filmmaking, an incisive and inviting example of the personal as political.” – Serena Donadoni, Village Voice

June 22 – Izzy Gets The F*ck Across Town, Director Christian Papierniak

Izzy is the textbook definition of a hot mess. She wakes up hungover from a one-night stand, puts on her stained clothes from the night before and plans to start yet another aimless day. That is, until she finds out that her ex is getting ready to celebrate his engagement to her former best friend. Izzy has to make it to the other side of town to break them up, and nothing will stand in her way. Further proving that she’s one of the most promising new actresses working today, Mackenzie Davis plays Izzy with a manic energy that is utterly electrifying. Featuring a killer supporting cast made up of Carrie Coon, Haley Joel Osment, and Alia Shawkat, Izzy Gets the F*ck Across Town is a chaos-filled ride through Los Angeles, one that introduces a bold new voice in indie cinema. Director and writer Christian Papierniak talks about the making of his kinetic, off-kilter vehicle for the amazing MacKenzie Davis and working with a brilliant cast of supporting performers.

 

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For news and updates go to: izzygetsacrosstown.com

“brilliant absurdity” – The Hollywood Reporter

“includes a spellbinding performance by Davis and Coon of the riot grrrl anthem “Axemen” – Los Angeles Times 

“…dizzying mashup of frenetic visual styles and clashing narrative techniques” – The Hollywood Reporter  

“…Davis embodies the idea of betrayal and hurt, but also a resilience that’s hard to shake” – Cromeyellow 

“…Mackenzie Davis is bound for greatness” – Cut Print Film 

“…electrifying” – Cut Print Film 

Opening June 22 at the following theatres:

Laemmle Monica – Santa Monica

Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 – Pasadena

Edwards University Town Center 6 – Irvine

AMC Fullerton 20 – Fullerton

AMC Ontario Mills 30 – Ontario

AMC Puente Hills 20 – City of Industry

AMC Rolling Hills 20 – Torrance

June 8 – Hearts Beat Loud, Director Brett Haley

In the hip Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook, single dad and record store owner Frank played by Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec) is preparing to send his hard-working daughter Sam played by Kiersey Clemons (Dope) off to college, while being forced to close his vintage shop. Hoping to stay connected through their shared musical passions, Frank urges Sam to turn their weekly “jam sesh” into a father-daughter live act. After their first song becomes an Internet breakout, the two embark on a journey of love, growing up and musical discovery. In addition to Offerman and Clemons, Hearts Beat Loud also stars Ted Danson (Cheers), Sasha Lane  (American Honey), with Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents) and Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine). Director Brett Haley sits down for a conversation on the power of music, the bond of a dad and daughter and his endearing, funny and touching film, Heart Beat Loud.

 

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For news and updates go to: Hearts Beat Loud

95% Rotten Tomates

“Hearts Beat Loud steals your heart, makes it beat faster and you’ll love this story out loud.” – Jamie Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

“Both actors are capable of projecting nuclear levels of charisma, so it’s fun just to watch them share the screen.” – Jason Bailey, Crooked Marquee

“The real charm isn’t in the way the story unfolds, but in the human moments shared onscreen. Offerman and Clemons feel at first like an unlikely pair, but their chemistry is genuine.” – Neil Miller, Film School Rejects

“Kiersey Clemons proves she’s the real deal. As for the film around her, Haley’s 21-drum solo salute to the passage of time is, like Frank, merely fine.” – Amy Nicholson, Variety

“Hearts Beat Loud will put a spring in your step. The music is great, the story is heartwarming, plus Offerman and Clemons make a great father/daughter duo.” – Fred Topel, Monsters and Critics

June 8 – Bernard and Huey, Director Dan Mirvish

Directed by Slamdance Film Festival co-founder Dan Mirvish (BETWEEN US) from a long-lost script by Oscar/Pulitzer-winning cartoonist and screenwriter Jules Feiffer (Mike Nichols’ CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, Robert Altman’s POPEYE) based on characters that date back to 1957, BERNARD AND HUEY is the story of roguish Huey (David Koechner, ANCHORMAN) and nebbishy Bernard (Oscar-winner Jim Rash, THE WAY WAY BACK), who are unlikely collegiate friends in late 1980s New York. Years later, a bedraggled Huey crashes at Bernard’s upscale bachelor pad. As the two reconnect, Bernard falls in love with Huey’s estranged daughter Zelda (Mae Whitman, GOOD GIRLS), an aspiring graphic novelist who’s got a seductive new creative partner, Conrad (Eka Darville, JESSICA JONES). Huey slowly gets his mojo back and tries to seduce the various women in Bernard’s life, including his off-again girlfriend Roz (Sasha Alexander, RIZZOLI & ISLES) and colleague, Mona (Nancy Travis, SO I MARRIED AN AXE MURDERER), while reconnecting with his ex-wife  (Bellamy Young, SCANDAL) and brother (Richard Kind, ARGO).  As Bernard and Huey return to their old ways, at least one of them finds himself in danger of marrying a woman old enough to be his wife. An award-winning film that’s screened at over 25 festivals in 5 continents, BERNARD AND HUEY is a particularly timely story of two men behaving badly, and the smart women who rein them in. Director Dan Mirvish joins us for a conversation on getting older, acknowledging that we get older, love, romanced the genius of Jules Feiffer.

 

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For news and updates go to: bernardandhueymovie.com

76% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Devoted Feifferites, not to mention fans of Mr. Rash and Mr. Koechner, who get to flex their muscles nicely here, will be well sated.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“Mirvish has stylishly blended the past and present for a comfortable vibe that makes the film fun and cool despite the ridiculous relationship chaos swirling around.” – Bradley Gibson, Film Threat

“As you might hope for a film with a script from the great Jules Feiffer, Dan Mirvish’s Bernard and Huey bristles with anxious, circuitous, hilarious talk.” – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“Feiffer’s distinctive writing resonates even decades later.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

International Documentary Association (IDA) Executive Director, Simon Kilmurry

International Documentary Association (IDA) is fiercely committed to protecting and defending the rights of documentary filmmakers to practice their craft, seek and reveal truth in their films, and make and sell their work freely in a fair marketplace. We strenuously uphold the principles of free speech and believe that documentary films, however provocative they may be, should never be silenced by an authority, corporation or legal system that may feel threatened by their content. Where filmmakers are under fire, and their predicament stands to set precedent for us all, the IDA brings together the weight of our community to fight for their rights in the courts, the press, congress or wherever that threat may lie. IDA is the only group advocating specifically for the documentary filmmaking community. In many ways, this makes IDA’s advocacy work the most important and relevant work we do. If documentary films better inform your world, if you believe in freedom of speech, if you are concerned that the media space grows ever smaller and cherish the diversity that independent voices bring, and if you’re a fan of David (over Goliath) then you probably share our values. Documentary storytelling expands our understanding of shared human experience, fostering an informed, compassionate, and connected world. The International Documentary Association (IDA) is dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture. Through its programs, the IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists, and journalists. Executive Director Simon Kilmurry joins us to talk about IDA, the screening series currently underway and the state of documentary filmmaking in 2017.

 

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For news and updates go to: documentary.org

Watch some of the year’s best film through the IDA’s documentary screening series

Support Documentary filmmaking and watch great films by becoming an IDA member

August 18, 2017 – Gook, Director Justin Chon

 

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In Justin Chon’s feature film GOOK is a dramedy about Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, who own a struggling shoe store and their unique and unlikely friendship with Kamilla, an 11-year old African American girl. The film opens with Eli scoring a stash of fresh sneakers as his golden ticket to get out of debt and fix his biggest problem: keeping his dad’s shoe store open. Against her brother Keith’s warnings, Kamilla ditches school again to help out at the shoe store, her mother’s former workplace. Everything is going as planned until Kamilla accidentally reveals a gifted pair of expensive sneakers to Keith. Keith realizes Kamilla has been going to the shoe store. Out of anger towards Eli and Daniel he uses this opportunity as revenge and plans to steal all the shoes. Eli must make the ultimate decision for the future of the store and the people he loves. With the chaos of the LA Riots moving towards them, the trio are forced to defend their store against Keith while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family. Director, Writer and Executive Producer Justin Chon joins us for a conversation on his powerful, soul searching film about race, friendship, and family.

For news and updates go to: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/gook

WINNER – Best Actress; Best Director; Audience Award Best Film; and Grand Jury Prize – LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 2017

WINNER – Audience Award Best Film; Honorable Mention Jury Award – CAAM FEST 2017 – SAN FRANCISCO

WINNER – Best Feature Film Jury Award – LAS VEGAS FILM FESTIVAL 2017 

“Chon’s drama is uneven but bristling with life, and it offers a new perspective on a calamitous moment, one whose 25th anniversary has been commemorated in recent months with a slew of potent documentaries.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

“Director, writer and actor Justin Chon remembers the 1992 LA Riots with a rare Korean-American perspective in “Gook,” which reveals itself as a poignant picture of race and friendship.” – Kyle Kohner, The Playlist

“Nodding to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Kevin Smith’s Clerks, this sophomore feature exemplifies the grunge and angst-ridden energy of the 90s, with a humorous streak as frank as its racially charged title.” – Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader

“Gook may not come close to the electric greatness of Lee’s 1989 film but, as a gesture in its direction, it’s alive with biting promise.” – Alison Wilmore, BuzzFeed

Vegas Baby, Director Amanda Micheli

 

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Executive Producer Morgan Spurlock presents director Amanda Micheli’s provocative documentary follows several aspiring parents who desperately want to have a baby but are struggling with infertility and the high cost of treatments. They place themselves in the hands of a Las Vegas doctor and his annual contest, which offers a prize of a free round of in-vitro fertilization—with no guarantee of success. Contestants post their video entries on YouTube, counting on the votes of strangers to make their dreams of parenthood come true. Despite the fact that 1 in 6 couples worldwide are unable to naturally conceive and carry a baby to term, for fear of judgment or heartache or both, infertility stories are largely kept secret. While exposing private pain online to win a contest is a brutal proposition, IVF is rarely covered by insurance in the U.S., so many infertile couples consider this a gamble worth taking. Through this controversial contest, VEGAS BABY navigates the complexities of America’s burgeoning fertility industry and unveils the class disparity within a topic that is often clouded by judgment and stereotypes.Oscar-nominated Director Amanda Micheli joins us to talk about the universal themes of desire and loss through her intimate portrait of the diverse individuals – from a devoutly Catholic Latino couple in Texas to a lesbian Lady Gaga Impersonator in New York – determined to have a baby against all odds.

For news and updates go to: Vegas Baby

“Through a humane, emotional examination of the contest… director Amanda Micheli’s documentary highlights the complexities and despair of America’s fertility industry.” – Joe McGovern / Entertainment Weekly

“The economic and emotional costs of in vitro fertilization are powerfully evident from the first moments of VEGAS BABY… having gained remarkable access to fertility patients over a two-year period, Micheli follows them through roller-coaster waves of despair and hope.” – Sheri Linden / Hollywood Reporter

“VEGAS BABY offers a look inside an otherwise intensely private sphere, marked by economic difficulties, raw emotions, and—with luck—confetti-strewn celebrations.” – Laura Regensdorf / Vogue

“New IVF Doc Exposes Underground World of Hunger Games-Esque Baby Raffles; Amanda Micheli’s VEGAS BABY explores a digital-age concept for women failing to conceive.” – Elissa Strauss / Elle

“Micheli turns an unrelenting eye on tough stories that transcend sex and gender.” – Kate Erbland / Indiewire

** LAFF – What We Started, Co-Directors Bert Marcus and Cyrus Saidi

 

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WHAT WE STARTED aims to establish itself as the defining film of the electronic music genre.  Through an artfully crafted narrative and stunning visual techniques, the film delves into the highly popular world of electronic dance music, providing backdoor access to a widely misunderstood, self-driven and well-insulated industry on its way to global domination.  Presently, the genre is booming at a pinnacle higher than ever before, however most do not realize that electronic dance music began as an underground movement that originated in America.  The film sets out to illuminate this rich history: from its underground inception in the late 1980s in America to the musicians and fans of this genre that relentlessly fought for their rights around the world, both in the dance club and on the streets, to find a safe space to express themselves, to the development of this modern, mainstream revolution that has taken the world by storm. Specifically, and with unprecedented access, WHAT WE STARTED follows industry pioneers, like Carl Cox, who are juxtaosed by the journey of a young, superstar of today, Martin Garrix.  These dichotomous journeys of past and present are carefully interwoven to illuminate all viewpoints and highlight the momentous and groundbreaking time that electronic dance music is experiencing presently, while also leaving open the question of what will happen next for this incredible genre of music. WHAT WE STARTED Co-directors Bert Marcus and Cyrus Saidi join us to talk about the history of today’s dynamic soundtrack and their film’s world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

For news and updates go to: bertmarcus.com/what-we-started/

** For news and updates go to: filmindependent.org/la-film-festival

World Premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival

Thursday, June 15, 5:30 p.m. – Arclight Santa Monica

 Press and Industry screening

Monday, June 19, 1:30 p.m. – Arclight Culver City

** LAFF – Skid Row Marathon, Director Mark Hayes and Producer Gabrielle Hayes

 

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In this compelling and compassionate documentary SKID ROW MARATHON we watch as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Craig Mitchell hands down sentences to convicted criminals. But at the Midnight Mission on LA’s Skid Row, Judge Mitchell trades his robes for running shoes, leading a long-distance running club that gives its members a sense of purpose and pride. A budding artist, a single mom and a former rock musician are among the members, all of whom are fighting their way out of homelessness, addiction or the prison system. Through the streets of LA and around the world, Judge Mitchell and the Skid Row Running Club truly approach each race and  each day one step at a time, as they run their way toward a brighter future. With compassion and care, SKID ROW MARATHON from director Mark Hayes shares the inspiring story of people who bravely face not only the grueling physical demands of running marathons, but the relentless doubts that threaten one’s sense of self-worth, accomplishment and joy. Director Mark Hayes and Producer Gabrielle Hayes stop by to talk about finding humanity and hope among people who are often seen as having neither. For news and updates go to: skidrowmarathon.com

** For news and updates go to: filmindependent.org/la-film-festival

** LAFF – Your Own Road, Director Brandon Buczek

 

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An idealistic recent film school graduate with few local professional options takes a road trip from Ohio to Los Angeles with his anxious best friend, his troubled high school sweetheart, and a hitchhiker hippie, to chase his dream of becoming a filmmaker. Your Own Road is about not letting extenuating circumstances determine your path in life. Brian (ASHTON MOIO) wants to make films but whether it’s his parents’ wishes, his geographical location, or just his self-doubt, the world seems stacked against him. Brian hits the road to break away from what is expected of him and pursue what he truly wants out of life. Along for the ride is his best friend Dan (AMIR MALAKLOU) whose whole  life is structure and routine until his   abusive ex-girlfriend dumps him and his plans go out the window. Brian also “accidently” invites his next-door-neighbor and hormer crush, Ally (CORTNEY PALM), who abuses prescription drugs to deal with her depression from caring for her grandmother with Alzheimer’s. Along the road they meet vibrant characters none more so than Ariel (KYM JACKSON), an Australian hitchhiker hippie who is not all that she seems, who they pick up in Colorado going in no place in particular. Each one of these characters takes the journey to California for unique reasons but they all find their inner selves traveling through such a diverse and sometimes scary country. Director and writer Brandon Buczek joins us to talk about his debut film world premiere at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival.

** Screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival 

For news and updates go to: filmindependent.org/la-film-festival

Instagram: @yourownroadfilm

Catching Feelings, Director / Writer Kagiso Lediga

Max  Matshane  (Kagiso  Lediga),  is  a  34-year  old  author  who  wrote  a  South African bestseller  in  his  20’s,  but  whose  star has  waned  and  now  finds  himself  as  a disgruntled  professor,  teaching  creative writing  at  the  local  university. Max  lives in  a  leafy  Johannesburg  suburb  with  his exceptionally  beautiful  wife,  Samkelo (Pearl  Thusi),  whose  career  is  on  the  rise as a reputable  journalist. Despite  their love  for  each  other,  their  relationship has  hit  a  rut.  Max  now  spends  his  time at  dinners  and  events,  musing  over  his frustrations  with  his  key  conspirator  and sounding  board,  Joel  (Akin  Omotoso), who  himself  has  his  hands  full  with  an illicit affair. A  wintery  Johannesburg  sets  the  scene, as  it  brings  with  it  a  very  successful  and flamboyant  author,  Heiner  Miller  (Andrew Buckland),  who  abandoned  South  Africa for greener pastures and now returns to  do  a  residency  in  Max’s  department.  But  after  Heiner  suffers  a mild  heart  attack, Max is  forced  to  bring him into his own home to recuperate. Instantly,  tensions  rise  as  the  infectious joie  de  vivre  of  Heiner  is  set  on  a  collision course  with  the  mundane  life  that  Max and  Sam  have  cultivated.  With  new questions  about  love  and  truth  thrust upon  them,  Max  and  Sam  are  faced  with an  unexpected  crossroad,  as  they  search for reason and purpose to life. Director and writer Kagiso Lediga joins usto talk about his edgy, sophisticated and funny feature and its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Film Festival.

Los Angeles Film Festival Screening Time:

Sunday, June 18th at 6:10pm (ArcLight Culver City)

For news and updates go to: bigdog.digitalworkshop.tv/CatchingFeelings or go to: diprente.co.za/portfolio/catching-feelings

facebook.com/FeelingsMovie

Hooligan Sparrow, Director Nanfu Wang

Hooligan Sparrow film poster IThe danger is palpable as intrepid young filmmaker Nanfu Wang follows maverick activist Ye Haiyan (a.k.a Hooligan Sparrow) and her band of colleagues to Hainan Province in southern China to protest the case of six elementary school girls who were sexually abused by their principal. Marked as enemies of the state, the activists are under constant government surveillance and face interrogation, harassment, and imprisonment. Sparrow, who gained notoriety with her advocacy work for sex workers’ rights, continues to champion girls’ and women’s rights and arms herself with the power and reach of social media. Filmmaker Wang becomes a target along with Sparrow, as she faces destroyed cameras and intimidation. Yet she bravely and tenaciously keeps shooting, guerrilla-style, with secret recording devices and hidden-camera glasses, and in the process, she exposes a startling number of undercover security agents on the streets. Eventually, through smuggling footage out of the country, Wang is able tell the story of her journey with the extraordinary revolutionary Sparrow, her fellow activists, and their seemingly impossible battle for human rights. Director Nanfu Wang stops by for a conversation on her daunting journey to bring this story to light and Ye Haiyan’s bravery in the face of overwhelming obstacles. 

http://hooligansparrow.com/

LA Asian-Pacific Film Festival – Grand Jury Prize

Dallas Film Festival – Silver Heart Award

Sheffield Doc/Fest – Special Jury Prize

International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights – Youth Prize AND Jury Prize

Movies that Matter – Golden Butterfly AND Human Rights Award

Nashville Film Festival – Special Jury Prize for Badass Filmmaking

Ashland Independent – Best Documentary

Greenwich Film Festival – Best Documentary AND Best Social Impact Film

Human Rights Watch NY – Nestor Almendros Award for Courage in Filmmaking

Northwest Fest – Best International Feature

“A whistleblowing documentary made with fearless guerrilla cunning …” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Other movies have more powerfully exposed the corruption of contemporary China, but few have so articulately confronted how women always seem to be the first citizens to have their wings clipped.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“[A] tremendous documentary …” – Diana Clark, Village Voice

“This is independent filmmaking at its most courageous. By keeping faith with her subjects, she put herself at risk, which is beyond admirable.” – Joe Bendel, Epoch Times

Don’t Think Twice, Co-Star Kate Micucci

Dont Think Twice film Poster IFor eleven years, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. Commune members Miles, Samantha, Jack, Allison, Bill and Lindsay invent comedy without a script and without a net. They’re ingenious, they’re fast, and they build on each others’ ideas like best friends – which they also are. Night after night they kill onstage and wait for their big break. Day after day day they work menial jobs to support themselves. Then they get news that their theater is shutting down, and scouts from a hit TV show come to a performance, looking for talent. Only two cast members get the nod, upsetting the dynamic of the group and leaving its future in doubt. Relationships begin to crack as six best friends face the truth that not all of them will make it, and for some, it may be time to give up on the dream and move on. Funny, insightful and honest, DON’T THINK TWICE looks at a common experience that’s an uncommon subject for a film: failure. As he did in his acclaimed debut about a stand-up comedian, SLEEPWALK WITH ME, writer/director/actor Mike Birbiglia captures universal human experiences that happen in the lives of professionally funny people. With a top-flight ensemble of comic actors including Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, KateKate-Micucci poster Micucci, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher and Birbiglia, DON’T THINK TWICE tells a nuanced story of friendship, aspiration and the pain and promise of change. Co-star Kate Micucci joins us to talk about being a part of the summer’s breakout hit, doing improv, on stage and on screen. Kate Micucci, along with partner Riki Lindhome, make up the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. The two met at Upright Citizens Brigade theatre in Los Angeles in 2007 and named their group after the “two famous rock-and-roll second bananas” Art Garfunkel and John Oates. The duo, which regularly performs and tours across the country, were named one of the Top 10 Comics to Watch by Variety.

For news and updates go to: dontthinktwicemovie.com

“Don’t Think Twice is hilarious, yes, but it’s also thoughtful and sad and sweet. Birbiglia knows how to communicate those things, too.” – Sheila O’Malley, RogerEbert.com

“Don’t Think Twice,” which has a warm heart, could have been a much nastier movie. Yet its disappointed show-business hopefuls dreading their expiration dates make no bones about their insecurities.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“”Don’t Think Twice” really shines as an improv procedural, a film that celebrates, in illuminating detail, the skills and anxieties of this showbiz subgenre.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“Birbiglia continues to mine a scene he knows well, and even though he doesn’t strike you as a natural-born filmmaker (some of these scenes are as flatly lensed as the SNL sketches being spoofed), he’s evolving as a confrontational dramatist.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out

Gleason, Director Clay Tweel

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GLEASON is the powerful, inspiring story of Steve Gleason and his mission – after being diagnosed with ALS – to leave a legacy for his son and make the world a better place for all people with neurological disorders. At the age of 34, Gleason, a former NFL defensive back and New Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Steve and his wife Michel discovered that Michel was pregnant with their first child. Director Clay Tweel’s GLEASON masterfully assembles roughly four years of footage, including personal and surprisingly humorous video journals shot by Gleason himself for his then-unborn son Rivers, and the athlete’s globe-trotting adventures undertaken as part of his mission to live his life to the fullest. What emerges from this incredibly intimate portrait is not only a showcase of an astonishing assertion of the human spirit, but, more importantly, a powerful and inspirational look at life, love and family, and the intense bonds between husbands and wives and fathers and sons, in sickness and in health. GLEASON premiered to standing ovations and widespread critical acclaim at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival before garnering an audience award at the recent SXSW Film Festival. Director Clay Tweel (Finders Keepers, Print the Legend) joins us to talk about getting to know Steve and Michel, witnessing the day-to-day challenges that come with the devastating impacts of ALS and the process of editing down over 1,300 hours of video.

For news and updates go to gleasonmovie.com

To see Steve, Michel, Clay and others from Gleason at Q&A screenings on July 29 and 30 go to: gleasontickets.com theaters

“There are moments of such raw, intimate anguish in this film that you can’t help but turn away.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

“One of the most powerful, poignant documentaries of the past decade.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“Tweel’s approach is no-frills, with much of the footage having been shot by Gleason and his wife Michel. This is wise: The story itself is so wrenching that any attempt to gussy it up would run the risk of feeling overwrought, even manipulative.” – Mike Nordine, The Wrap

“Having followed [Gleason] from the start, we can’t help but see the active mind inside that body, one full of love for his family and determination to stay with them as long as he can.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

How He Fell in Love, Director Marc Meyers

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Travis (Matt McGorry), a young struggling musician, crosses paths with Ellen (Amy Hargreaves), an older married yoga teacher who is trying to adopt a child with her husband. Travis and Ellen begin an affair that slowly deepens into something more intimate and profound. As their encounters continue, Ellen is confronted with her failing marriage while Travis must face the consequences of his actions.  Written and directed by Marc Meyers (HARVEST) and stars Matt McGorry (Orange is the New Black)Amy Hargreaves (Homeland, BLUE RUIN), Britne Oldford (American Horror Story) and veteran film and theatre actor Mark Blum (Mozart in the Jungle). Director Marc Meyers joins us for a conversation on managing the responsibilities of writing, producing and directing his own unforgettably intimate film.

For news and updates go to: howhefellinlove.com

There will be Q&As opening weekend in Los Angeles on Friday, July 8th following the 7:00pm show with Marc Meyers, Matt McGorry and Amy Hargreaves; on Saturday July 9th following the 7:00pm show with Marc Meyers and Matt McGorry and on Sunday, July 10th following the 1:20pm show with Marc Meyers.

*** Official Selection – 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival***

“How He Fell in Love is truly adult moviemaking that respects both carnality and commitment. It’s the type of mature drama that’s rarely seen in American movies.”Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News

“…the subtly wrought interior life  (Amy)Hargreaves instills her in character holds your gaze throughout.”John Lopez, The Huffington Post

“… (Marc) Meyers has so grounded the narrative that it feels like a fresh unique take.”Terence Johnson, Award Circuit

“…the real standout of this story is the five-star turn by the wonderful and heartbreaking Amy Hargreaves who lays barren equal parts love and hate, joy and sorrow in a brave performance that isn’t afraid to show the emotional turbulence and confusion of a woman of age…” Star Pulse

The Music of Strangers, Director / Producer Morgan Neville

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THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE follows an ever-changing lineup of performers drawn from the ensemble’s more than 50 instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they gather in locations across the world, exploring the ways art can both preserve traditions and shape cultural evolution. Over the past 16 years, an extraordinary group of musicians has come together to celebrate the universal power of music. Named for the ancient trade route linking Asia, Africa and Europe, The Silk Road Ensemble, an international collective created by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, exemplifies music’s ability to blur geographical boundaries, blend disparate cultures and inspire hope for both artists and audiences.  Blending performance footage, personal interviews and archival film, Academy Award winning director of 20 FEET FROM STARDOM Morgan Neville (Cool School, Beauty is Embarrassing, Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story, Best of Enemies) and producer Caitrin Rogers focus on the journeys of a small group of Silk Road Ensemble mainstays from across the globe to create an intensely personal chronicle of passion, talent and sacrifice.

For news and update go to:themusicofstrangers.film

THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS SPECIAL APPEARANCE: The universal power of music is celebrated in THE MUSIC OF STRANGERS: YO-YO MA AND THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE, opening at The Landmark on Thursday, June 9 at 7:15pm, with daily screenings beginning Friday, June 10. The film’s Oscar-winning director, Morgan Neville (20 Feet from Stardom), will appear in person on Saturday, June 11 for a Q&A after the 7:40pm show; and Monday, June 13 for a Q&A after the 7:40pm show.

**2016 Berlin Film Festival – Special Gala**

**2015 Toronto International Film Festival – Official Selection**

“Neville is keenly aware of how to show the musicians’ kinetic energy onscreen, and he relies on this talent to keep the film consistently alive and moving.” – Tina Hassannia, Rogertebert.com

“Neville is as expert at getting the human stories behind the songs as he is in capturing the music.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times

“Morgan Neville’s documentary is a joyous revelation, a group portrait of superb musicians from all over the world offering music as an emblem of what people can do in these fractious times when they live in concert with one another.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

King Jack, Director / Writer Felix Thompson

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KING JACK is the story of a scrappy fifteen year-old kid, Jack, stuck in a run-down small town. Trapped in a violent feud with a cruel older bully and facing another bout of summer school, Jack’s got all the problems he can handle. So when Jack’s aunt falls ill and his runty younger cousin must stay with him for the weekend the last thing Jack wants to do is look after him. Unfortunately no one really cares what Jack wants. Set over a hazy summer weekend, KING JACK is a tough and tender coming of age story about friendship and finding happiness in rough surroundings. It feature a terrific ensemble cast of young actors headed up by an beautifully realized performance from Charlie Plummer, as Jack. Director Felix Thompson previous short films have been in competition at festivals such as SXSW, Tribeca and the BFI’s London Film Festival. His first short film “Bedford Park Boulevard” was awarded a grant from the National Board of Review and also picked up the top prizes at NYU’s First Run Film Festival in 2010. KING JACK is his first feature film and was selected for the Sundance Creative Producing Labs along with producer Gabrielle Nadig. Director Felix Thompson joins us to talk about his honest, gritty, award winning feature film debut.

For news and updates go to: kingjackmovie.com

Winner of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival Audience Award and the Independent Spirit Award for the Someone to Watch Award (Felix Thompson)

KING JACK will open in the following theaters June 10th as well as On Demand

LOS ANGELES – Laemmle’s Music Hall 3 – 9036 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA  – NEW YORK – Cinema Village – 22 E 12th St, New York, NY

“Thompson’s leads are so natural in their roles, and his filmmaking is so immediate and intimate, that King Jack is instantly absorbing.” = Tasha Robinson, The Verge

“For everyone who ever had a close call as an adolescent and kept it from the grown-ups, “King Jack” will hit you where you live.” – Helen T. Verongos, New York Times

“An exceptionally powerful coming-of-age story that pairs the charm and heart we’ve come to expect from the genre with some especially intense and brutal drama.” – Perri Nemiroff, Collider

“With a beautifully poised script, King Jack delivers an honest depiction of adolescent sexuality and a terrifying depiction of teen violence.” – Tara Brady, Irish Times

Dr. Feelgood, Director / Producer Eve Marson

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In 2004 Dr. William Hurwitz was convicted of over 50 counts of narcotics distribution and handed a 25-year prison sentence. Eve Marson’s documentary, DR. FEELGOOD, traces Dr. Hurwitz’s trial and eventual appeal, detailing the events that lead to his arrest. Testimonies from the witnesses in Dr. Hurwitz’s case contradict one another – some revere him, while others condemn him. Taken together, their accounts reveal a profile of a compassionate yet flawed doctor. DR. FEELGOOD, in telling his story, underscores the tension between every patient’s right to pain relief and the lawful need for drug control. In 2016, statistics of drug abuse are skyrocketing nationwide and doctors continue to be targeted by the DEA. The federal government recently issued its first national guidelines to control opioid prescriptions. There could not be a more critical time to spark a discussion on this topic and call for careful thought and action.  Director Eve Marson has worked on a wide variety of documentary projects, including television programming for PBS, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet and independent feature films such as Fed Up (released with Radius-TWC May 2014) and Craigslist Joe (released with Gravitas Ventures, August 2012). Marson has also created a large library of nonfiction video work in collaboration with GOOD Inc. and other social-action organizations. evemarson.com. Director / Producer Marson join us for a conversation on her balanced and thought provoking portrait of a doctor who’s life and practice embodies the best and the worst in modern medicine.

For news and updates go to: drfeelgoodfilm.com

The House on Coco Road, Director Damani Baker

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THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD is the personal and intimate account of filmmaker Damani Baker’s mother – Fannie Haughton – and her role and participation in American history. Over the years she has been active as a student, teacher, writer, scholar, and activist/organizer.  In this family portrait of nationalism and freedom, Baker draws on poignant archival footage and insights from well-respected activists, including Angela Davis offering historical and emotional truths through the journey of one family striving for a better society. In the midst of the racial violence sparked by President Reagan’s war on drugs, leading a normal life had become unfeasible for many citizens of Oakland, California. In a moment of inspiration, activist and teacher Fannie Haughton decided to show her children a different way of life. She and her children moved to the island nation of Grenada to participate in an Afro-centric revolution with the goal of realizing a utopian, socialist society. But in Grenada, a U.S. military invasion threatened their safety and dreams. THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD director Damani Baker joins to talk about his family’s remarkable journey through the worlds of racism, activism and international politics.

THE HOUSE ON COCO ROAD will have it’s WORLD PREMIERE at the LA FILM FESTIVAL

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damanibaker.com/grenada-a-dream-deferred

They Call Us Monsters, Director Ben Lear

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THEY CALL US MONSTERS takes viewers behind the walls of the Compound, the facility where Los Angeles houses its most violent juvenile criminals. To their advocates, they’re kids. To the system, they’re adults. To their victims, they’re monsters. Three such young offenders sign up to take a screenwriting class to write a movie while they await their respective trials: Jarad, who was arrested at 16 and faces 200-years to life for four attempted murders; Juan, who was arrested at 16 and faces 90-to life for first-degree murder; and Antonio, who was arrested at 14 and faces 90-to life for two attempted murders. Halfway through the class, Antonio returns to juvenile court and gets released with time served. Once back in his neighborhood, he quickly falls victim to the same environment and patterns that led to his incarceration in the first place. Meanwhile, the realities of Jarad and Juan’s crimes and pending trials set in.  Ultimately, the film asks how should the system deal with offenders like these young boys. Do they have a capacity to change and return to society one day? Does society have a responsibility to these kids? Or to their victims? Do they deserve a second chance? Director Ben Lear stops by to talk about all of the social, political and cultural issues that have made children “irredeemable” and vilified when it comes to crime and punishment.

For news and updates go to: theycallusmonsters.com

World Premiere – 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival

Screenings:

Monday, June 6th, The Bing Theater at LACMA, Los Angeles – 7:30 pm (Sold Out)

Tuesday, June 7th, Culver Theater 1 – 4:15 pm

Hostile Border, Actress Veronica Sixtos

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In the film Hostile Border Claudia, a twenty-something Chicana, is chasing the bling of a lux life, making bad choices – and eventually she gets caught. Despite the fact that she barely speaks a word of Spanish, her undocumented status gets her deported to Mexico. Although she can never legally return to the U.S. Claudia refuses to accept life with her estranged father and grandmother in her foreign “homeland,” and she spirals into a dangerous situation with a handsome smuggler. Veronica Sixtos’ gives a nuanced performance as an emotionally withholding anti-hero who’s trouble for anyone who dares to care about her. Hostile Border is pitched in a heightened style between a slow-burning thriller and a noir western, this smartly conceived allegorical tale confronts the dark side of the American dream. Veronica Sixtos as Claudia and leads an exceptional supporting cast of Julio Cedillo, Roberto Urbina, Jorge A. Jimenez, Jesse Garcia, and María del Carmen Farías, Hostile Border is a taut, high stakes family drama. The lead actress Veronica Sixtos join us to talk about her brilliant breakout performance, her music career and Hollywood’s growing embrace of latino-based stories.

For news and updates go to: hostileborder.com

Opening at the Laemmle NoHo theatre in North Hollywood April 15th featuring a Q&A with actress Veronica Sixtos, Saturday and Sunday evening, writer Kaitlin McLaughlin on Saturday evening and director Michael Dwyer on Sunday evening, April 17th.

Available on Google Play, Vudu and iTunes

Official Selection 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival – Winner of the Audience Award and Special Jury Prize for Directing (Michael Dwyer).

“Co-directors Dwyer and Kaitlin McLaughlin prove more adept at the first act’s low-key character building than the action-movie showdowns they’re building toward, but Claudia’s use of a makeshift flamethrower late in the game is an unexpected joy.” – LA Weekly

“Slick and engaging” – Cinapse

Overlooked films of 2015 – Finders Keepers, co-directors Clay Tweel and Bryan Carberry

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In the remarkable documentary Finders Keepers Shannon Whisnant has a nose for a bargain. But when he bought a used grill at a North Carolina auction, the severed human foot he found among its ashes was not part of the deal. Soon the gruesome discovery becomes the toast of the infotainment world, and the new owner spies a golden opportunity to cash in on the media frenzy, until struggling addict and amputee John Wood recognizes his missing member and demands his own foot back. This astonishing, stranger-than-fiction tale defies definition because it uniquely traverses the quirks of a small town in the midst of a media phenomenon, while it examines manifold human paradoxes such as greed, ego, familial dysfunction, and that most elusive of all human conditions, redemption. Co-directors Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel joins us for a conversation on their wildly entertaining, and surprisingly touching film.

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

“Filmmakers Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel, over the film’s quick 84 minutes, find some humanity and pathos in the story, which eventually takes an unexpectedly heartwarming turn.” – Moira MacDonald, Seattles Times

“This hysterical, insightful and genuinely empathetic documentary could easily prove a specialty hit.” – Andrew Barker· Variety

“This shockingly funny, weirdly touching custody battle is as authentic as the North Carolina vernacular in which it unfolds.” – Jeannette Catsoulis New York Times

“Finders Keepers” is a thorough, frequently hilarious and ultimately touching investigation of a legal dispute between two North Carolina men, each of whom lays claim to severed human foot.” – Michael O’Sullivan Washington Post