Friday, February 19, 2016 – ** Claude Lanzmann, Spectres of the Shoah, Director Adam Benzine

Spectres of Shoah poster 

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In the Academy Award nominated short documentary film Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah director Adam Benzine explores the arduous 12-year journey that led to the creation of one of the most important films of our time. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of Shoah — Claude Lanzmann’s nine-and-a-half-hour examination of the Holocaust of European Jews — this documentary reveals for the first time the trials and tribulations the French iconoclast faced. Notably, the film features an array of previously unseen outtake footage that was shot during the creation of Shoah, to illustrate Lanzmann’s journey from the bright-eyed journalist of 1973 to the world-weary auteur of 1985. The outtake footage has been digitally restored and was provided by the United States Shoah film posterHolocaust Memorial Museum and Israel’s Yad Vashem. In addition to exploring the making of Shoah the documentary also reflects on several key points in Lanzmann’s life, including his teenage years fighting in the French resistance, his love affair with Simone de Beauvoir and his deep friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre, as well as his hopes and expectations for the future. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah is the first major documentary to be made on the life of the 90-year-old auteur. Writer, producer and director British filmmaker and journalist Adam Benzine joins us for an in-depth conversation on the Lanzmann, the remarkable story behind the making of Shoah and the tremendous impact Shoah has had on our collective understanding of Holocaust.

For news and updates go to: lanzmannfilm.com

For the latest from Facebook go to: facebook.com/LanzmannFilm

** Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short Film

** Embrace of the Serpent – Director Ciro Guerra and Actor Brionne Davis

EOTS 

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The **2016 Academy Award nominated Best Foreign Language Film is at once blistering and poetic in its examination of the ravages of colonialism and the dark shadow it casts over the South American landscape in EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. It is director Ciro Guerra third film and the first film shot in the Amazonian rainforest in over 30 years. Filmed in stunning black-and-white, the film centers on Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman and the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists (Evan and Theo, portrayed by Brionne Davis and Jan Bijvoet) who, over the course of 40 years, build a friendship with him. The film was inspired by the real-life journals of two explorers (Theodor Kock-Grünberg and Richard Evans Schultes) who traveled through the Colombian Amazon during the last century in search of the sacred and difficult-to-find psychedelic Yakruna plant. EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it was awarded the top prize, the CIACE Art Cinema Award, and is Colombia’s official Oscar® entry for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Ciro Guerra and Brionne Davis stop by Film School to talk about the many challenges of filming in the jungles of Brazil and the rewards of shining a spotlight on the brutality of European colonial dominance over indigenous people.

** 2016 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film

* 2016 Spirit Award nominee for Best International Film

For news and updates go to: embraceoftheserpent.oscilloscope.net

“An intense journey and very rewarding visual feast.” Nathaniel Rogers, THE FILM EXPERIENCE

“Shot on sumptuous Super 35, the black and white photography lends itself to the film’s sorrowful ode to a world devastated, but it is the ceaseless teeming life of the soundtrack that transports the audience into the midst of the rainforest.” – Ben Nicholson, CINEVUE

“A visual astonishment… There’s no denying the film’s chastening moral conviction or the transfixing power of its black-and-white imagery.Not just an ethnographic study but also a striking act of cinematic witness.” – Justin Chang, Variety

“‘Embrace of the Serpent’ is simply a work of art, and one of the most singular cinematic experiences you could hope to have in Cannes, or anywhere really. It’s an absorbing, even thrilling head trip. It is a Heart-of-Darkness voyage of discovery. It is a lament for all the lost plants and peoples of the world.” – Jessica Kiang, Indiewire’s “The Playlist”

*** The Hunting Ground, Producer Amy Ziering

the hunting ground poster 

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The statistics are staggering. One in five women in college are sexually assaulted, yet only a fraction of these crimes are reported, and even fewer result in punishment for the perpetrators. From the intrepid team behind The Invisible War comes The Hunting Ground, a piercing, monumental exposé of rape culture on campuses, poised to light a fire under a national debate. In a tour de force of verité footage, expert insights, and first-person testimonies, The Hunting Ground follows undergraduate rape survivors pursuing both their education and justice, despite ongoing harassment and the devastating toll on them and their families. Scrutinizing the gamut of elite Ivies, state universities, and small colleges, filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering reveal an endemic system of institutional cover-ups, rationalizations, victim-blaming, and denial that creates perfect storm conditions for predators to prey with impunity. Meanwhile, the film captures mavericks Andrea Pino and Annie Clark, survivors who are taking matters into their own hands—ingeniously employing Title IX legal strategy to fight back and sharing their knowledge among a growing, unstoppable network of young women who will no longer be silent. Since the film’s premiere at Sundance, it had been screened at the White House and hundreds of college campuses across the country. The documentary has inspired new laws in New York and California and changes in campus policies.

For news and updates go to: thehuntinggroundfilm.com

 *** Awards: Producers Guild of America Award – Stanley Kramer Award

Download our Parent Guide for The Hunting Ground to take action protecting your college-age children on campus.

Download the TAKE ACTION TOOLKIT to take action on your campus or in your community.

“The Hunting Ground,” a documentary shocker about rape on American college campuses, is a must-watch work of cine-activism.” – Manohla Dargis·New York Times   Full review

“…this galvanic and compelling doc seems likely to reverberate in the public discourse and beyond,” – Ben Kenigsberg – Variety Full review

“Horrifying but essential-to-hear stories from U.S. campuses.” – Joe Neumaier·New York Daily News Full review

“Think of a famous school, and it may well appear in The Hunting Ground.”- Jesse Hassenger·A.V. Club   Full review

Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong – Director / Writer Emily Ting

Already Hong Kong poster 

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In this sparkling romance, ALREADY TOMORROW IN HONG KONG, Ruby (Jamie Chung), a Chinese American toy designer from LA, visits Hong Kong for the first time on business. Finding herself stranded, she meets Josh (Bryan Greenberg), an American expat who shows her the city. Meandering through nighttime streets pulsing with energy and possibility, they fall into a winding and carefree conversation, buoyed by an undeniable attraction.  As effervescent as a perfect first date, Emily Ting’s charming directorial debut takes full advantage of the chemistry of its leads, the playfulness of their exchanges, and the magical landscape that is Hong Kong at night.  Director, writer and producer Emily Ting join us for a conversation on the making of her ode to the beauty of Hong Kong and her inspiration for a dazzling and romantic story.

For news and updates go to: alreadytomorrowfilm.com

“Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong channels Before Sunrise in a very good way.” – Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times

“Ting, to her credit, is more interested in the battle between heart and head, instinct and obligation, than in what follows. [The film] is about ambivalence, not gratification, and is more interesting for it.” – Tom Keogh, Seattle Times

“Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong is welcome proof that they can still make romantic comedies.” – Sherilyn Connelly, Village Voice

“The film is beautifully executed, with gorgeous cinematography and a lovely sense of rhythm, long walking and talking steadicam shots juxtaposed with environment-establishing shots of the nighttime city. The editing, sound design, and music, both diegetic and non, weave together a sensory tapestry of sound and light.” – Katie Walsh, Indiewire

“Ting has a talent for natural dialogue and relatable situations and with a crisp 80 minute runtime, a nice pace as well… a highly enjoyable and impressively put together film.” – CJ Perry, Film Slate

* ** Mustang, Director Deniz Gamez Ergüven

MUSTANG Film poster 

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Based on the personal life of the film’s director Deniz Gamze Ergüven personal life Mustang tells the story of five free-spirited teenage sisters living in a village in Northern Turkey. As the sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmate their innocent fun a neighbor reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family.  The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides.  As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to avoid the same fate.  The fierce love between them empowers them to rebel and chase a future where they can determine their own lives in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut, a powerful portrait of female empowerment. Mustang was selected as the French entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making the December shortlist of nine films. The film was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Director Ergüven’s joins us for a conversation on her beautifully rendered story of five young women who refuse to be shackled by a repressive social system.

For news and updates go to: mustang

* Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Film

** Spirit Award nomination for Best International Film

Official Selection – France – 2016 Academy Awards
Official Selection – Cannes Film Festival 2015 Directors’ Fortnight
Special Presentation – Toronto International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Heart of Sarajevo Award, Sarajevo Film Festival 2015
Winner – Europa Cinemas Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2015
Winner – Audience Award, Chicago International Film Festival 2015
Winner – Best First Film Award, Philadelphia Film Festival 2015

“Part of a welcome international wave of films made by women directors that focus on girls growing up in worlds of men – and on what they look like when no one’s looking.” – Ty Burr, Boston Globe 

“It’s a moving portrait of sisterhood, a celebration of a fierce femininity and a damning indictment of patriarchal systems that seek to destroy and control this spirit.” – Katie Walsh, LA Times

“’Mustang’ is the début feature of Deniz Gamze Ergüven, and it’s quite something: a coming-of-age fable mapped onto a prison break, at once dream-hazed and sharp-edged with suspense. – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

*LA Film Fest – Pocha (Manifest Destiny), Co-directors Michael Dwyer and Kaitlan McLaughlin

Pocha Film Poster 

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Chasing the bling of a lux life, Claudia, a twenty-something Chicana, makes bad choices – and 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 Sixto’s gives a nuanced performance as an emotionally withholding anti-hero who’s trouble for anyone who dares to care about her. 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. Led by a breakout performance by Veronica Sixto as Claudia and an exceptional supporting cast of Julio Cedillo, Roberto Urbina, Jorge A. Jimenez, Jesse Garcia, and María del Carmen Farías, Pocha (Manifest Destiny) is a taut, high stakes family drama. Co-director and cinematographer Michael Dwyer and co-director and screenwriter Kaitlan McLaughlin join us to talk about their brilliant feature debut and its screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

See Pocha (Manifest Destiny) Sunday June 14, 2015 6:30 PM Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 8

For ticket information and updates for the LA Film Festival go to: lafilmfest.com

*LA Film Fest – Bridging the Divide, Tom Bradley and the Politics of Race, Director Lyn Goldfarb and Producer Alison Sotomayor

Tom Bradley film poster 

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Thirty-five years before Barack Obama’s election as President, the question of race and the possibility of bridging racial and ethnic barriers was put to a test in an overlooked and untold story in American politics:  The 1973 election of Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city with an ovewhelmingly white population. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE tells the little known story of Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley, the first African American mayor elected in a major American city with an overwhelmingly white majority. His extraordinary multi-racial coalition redefined Los Angeles, transformed the national dialogue on race, and encouraged elections of minority candidates nationwide, including our nation’s first black president. The film brings into sharp focus issues of police brutality in minority communities and the challenges of police reform. BRIDGING THE DIVIDE is the story of the pressures which face our cities, the paradox of race, and the complexities of coalitions in a changing America. Director/ Producer/ Writer Lyn Goldfarb and Producer/ Writer/ Research Director Alison Sotomayor began the groundwork for BRIDGING THE DIVIDE while working on THE NEW LOS ANGELES, an hour-long documentary, part of the 2006 national primetime PBS series, CALIFORNIA AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. The tow filmmakers joins us for a conversation on the contentious history of the Los Angeles Police Department and the resolute determination of Tom Bradley to reshape the city he loved.

For news and updates on Bridging the Divide go to: mayortombradley.com

For ticket information and updates for the LA Film Festival go to: lafilmfest.com

BRIDGING THE DIVIDE: TOM BRADLEY AND THE POLITICS OF RACE will be screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival!

By popular demand, there will be a second screening on Tuesday, June 16 at 4 p.m.

Tickets are free and are available online through the Los Angeles Film Festival website. There is a $1.00 surcharge per ticket.