Since founding Shorts International in 2000, Carter Pilcher has worked to make his company the world’s leading short movie entertainment company. Shorts International has become the first choice distributor, broadcaster and producer for hundreds of films. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. Carter talks to us about the fifteen wonderful films nominated for the Live Action, Documentary and Animated Short Film 2016 Academy Awards.
Douglas Tirola‘s outrageous documentary DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON, is an inside look at the rise and fall of the legendary humor magazine that launched dozens of careers and broke thousands of taboos. From the 1970s thru the 1990s, there was no hipper, no more outrageous comedy in print than The National Lampoon, the groundbreaking humor magazine that pushed the limits of taste and acceptability – and then pushed them even harder. Parodying everything from politics, religion, entertainment and the whole of American lifestyle, the Lampoon eventually went on to branch into successful radio shows, record albums, live stage revues and movies, including ANIMAL HOUSE and NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, launching dozens of huge careers on the way, including John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Christopher Guest, Richard Belzer, Gilda Radner, Brian Doyle-Murray, Bill Murray, Joe Flaherty, Harold Ramis, Michael O’Donoghue, Doug Kenney, Henry Beard, George W. S. Trow, Chris Miller, P. J. O’Rourke, Michael O’Donoghue, Chris Rush, Sean Kelly, Tony Hendra, Brian McConnachie, Gerald Sussman, Ellis Weiner, Danny Abelson, Ted Mann, Chris Cluess, Al Jean, Mike Reiss, Jeff Greenfield, and John Hughes. As well as cartoonists, photographers and illustrators appeared in the magazine’s pages, including Neal Adams, Gahan Wilson, Michael Sullivan, Ron Barrett, Peter Bramley, Vaughn Bode, Bruce McCall, Rick Meyerowitz, M. K. Brown, Shary Flenniken, Bobby London, Edward Gorey, Jeff Jones, Joe Orlando, Arnold Roth, Rich Grote, Ed Subitzky, Mara McAfee, Sam Gross, Charles Rodrigues, Buddy Hickerson, B. K. Taylor, Birney Lettick, Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Marvin Mattelson, Stan Mack, Chris Callis, John E. Barrett, Raymond Kursar and Andy Lackow. Director Tirola tells the story of its rise and fall through fresh, candid interviews with its key staff, and illustrated with hundreds of outrageous images from the magazine itself (along with never-seen interview footage from the magazine’s prime). Director Tirola stops by to talk about the supernova of comedic satire that was The Lampoon and its influential legacy.
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON opening in Los Angeles at the Nuart Theatre on October 2, and at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena and Laemmle’s NoHo 7 in North Hollywood on October 9 (opens in NY and on VOD/iTunes September 25).
Director Douglas Tirola will be doing a Q & A Friday, October 2nd and Saturday, October 3rd after the 7:30PM screenings.
“Punch-drunk and very much alive. A generous and briskly entertaining doc that traces the titular humor magazine’s lasting influence on American comedy – a real nonfiction crowdpleaser. ” – Ben Kenigsberg, Variety
“Energetic, laugh-stuffed and very colorful – A lively, very entertaining look at the Lampoon’s unlikely empire.” – John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
On September 26th, 1983, an alarm sounded to indicate that five American nuclear missiles had been launched against the Soviet Union. Russian Lt. Colonel Stanislav Petrov defied military protocol, ignoring the incoming attack that was being confirmed by all his warning systems. He followed his own sense of responsibility and declared it a false alarm. His decision spared the world a nuclear holocaust. Decades later, this forgotten hero travels to the United States to accept an award from the United Nations and finally receive acknowledgement for his historical act. The Man Who Saved the World becomes a dramatic hybrid documentary; a historical thriller, and a story of great, personal redemption. It seamlessly melds together non-fiction and narrative filmmaking depicting the actual events that took place more than thirty years ago. Stanislav Petrov reminds us how close the world came to World War III – but, he also challenges us to contemplate the true alternative to his choice: The complete annihilation of human life on earth. Featuring Kevin Costner with appearances by Walter Cronkite, Robert De Niro, Matt Damon, and Ashton Kutcher. Director / writer Peter Anthony joins us to talk about a man and an event that has been virtually unknown to the world outside a small circle of people who have long understood the impact Stanislav Petrov’s actions had on the fate of the world.
“I was just at the right place at the right time,” Mr. Petrov says, a simple truth that becomes shocking when considering the alternative. For that alone, this account of a Cold War near miss deserves a wide audience.” – Daniel Gold, New York Times
“The Man Who Saved The World…combines elements of narrative and documentary filmmaking for a true and powerful story about (and starring, as himself) Stanislov Petrov, who actually averted a nuclear holocaust but remained unknown, until now.”
– Mitch Myers, The Hollywood Reporter
“I often get the chance to play heroes. But Stanislav is a true real-life hero.” – Kevin Costner
Change was coming to America and the fault lines could no longer be ignored—cities were burning, Vietnam was exploding, and disputes raged over equality and civil rights. A new revolutionary culture was emerging and it sought to drastically transform the system. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense would, for a short time, put itself at the vanguard of that change. THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails. Renown documentarian Stanley Nelson goes straight to the source, weaving a treasure trove of rare archival footage with the voices of the people who were there: police, FBI informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, and Black Panthers who remained loyal to the party and those who left it. Featuring Kathleen Cleaver, Jamal Joseph, and many others, THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION is an essential history and a vibrant chronicle of this pivotal movement that birthed a new revolutionary culture in America. THE BLACK PANTHERS: VANGUARD OF THE REVOLUTION, is the latest film from renowned documentarian Stanley Nelson (FREEDOM RIDERS, THE MURDER OF EMMETT TILL). Director / writer / producer Nelson joins us to talk about the formation of the Black Panther Party, the assassination of Panther leader Fred Hampton, the social unrest that made it a such a influential force in the struggle for political power and racial equality.
Opening Friday September 25th at the Landmark Nuart with Director Stanley Nelson - Friday, September 25 1:30 Q & A; 4:15 Q & A; 7:00 Q & A - Saturday, September 26 1:30 Q & A; 4:15 Q & A; 7:00 Q & A
9/25, 1:30pm: Stanley Nelson in person
9/25, 4:15pm: Stanley Nelson and Panther Michael McCarty, moderated by Prof. Joshua Bloom of UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies
9/25, 7:00pm: Stanley Nelson and Panther Michael McCarty, moderated by Ava DuVernay
9/26, 1:30pm: Stanley Nelson and Panther Mohammad Mubarak, moderated by Denise Hamilton of BADWest
9/26, 4:15pm: Stanley Nelson and Panther Mohammad Mubarak
9/26, 7:00pm: Stanley Nelson and Panther Mohammad Mubarak, moderated by Prof. Melina Abdullah of Cal State LA
” Critics’ Pick. EXCELLENT. What is clear from from this sober yet electrifying film is that the power of the Panthers was rooted in their insistence – radical then, radical still – that black lives matter.” -A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“MAGNIFICENT! A coherent picture of the messiest, most contentious radical group of a chaotic era, and arguably its most consequential.” -Stuart Klawans, The Nation
“It’s the kind of documentary that’s easy to view as distant history, except that so many of the issues the Panthers took up (police brutality, systemic poverty, healthcare, feeding children) are, sadly, not history at all.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
Inspired by true events, A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND tells the story of teenage math prodigy Nathan (Asa Butterfield), who struggles when it comes to building relationships, not least with his caring mother, Julie (Sally Hawkins). In his confusing world, Nathan finds comfort in the predictability of numbers. And when he’s taken under the wing of an unconventional and anarchic teacher (Rafe Spall), the pair forge an unusual friendship. Eventually, Nathan’s talents win him a place on the U.K.’s National team at the International Mathematics Olympiad (IMO) and the team travels to a training camp in Taiwan, under the supervision of enthusiastic squad leader Richard (Eddie Marsan). Featuring an all-star British cast, A BRILLIANT YOUNG MIND is directed by BAFTA award-winning filmmaker Morgan Matthews and photographed by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Danny Cohen. We are joined by the director Morgan Matthews (Beautiful Young Minds) for a conversation on the inherent advantages of moving from the documentary into narrative filmmaking, balancing multiple storylines and working with a remarkable cast of new and experienced actors.
“A Brilliant Young Mind” is not the film you think it is. It’s better.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times
“Hawkins gives a performance of remarkable grace and sensitivity.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
“[A] deeply affecting, sensitively handled British drama.” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
“At the core of this tender-hearted and moving British indie film is a fascinating relationship between a single mum and her autistic teenage son.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“The sensitive young genius story has been done to death, but apparently there’s still room for the gentle nuance presented in “A Brilliant Young Mind.” – New York Daily News
The Guadalajara International Film Festival in Los Angeles or FICG in LA is a window into the world of contemporary Mexican and Ibero-American cinema and it is an extension of the Guadalajara International Film Festival. This year′s FICG in LA will be back at the Hollywood′s historic Egyptian Theatre, right in the heart of the worldwide film and entertainment industry. The festival is designed to help critically acclaimed films from Mexican and Ibero-America cinema reach a wider audience. Among this year’s attendees will be Karina García Casanova (director, screenwriter and producer Juanicas), Safa (director, El Jeremías), Sebastián Schindel (director, screenwriter, producer, El patrón, radiografía de un crimen), Flavio Florencio (director, scriptwriter and photography, Made in Bangkok), Michael Dwyer (director, Pocha-Manifest Destiny), Verónica Sixtos (lead actress, Pocha-Manifest Destiny), Jean-Cosme Delaloye (director, screenwriter, and sound La Prenda), Carolina Ramírez (actriz principal, Ciudad Delirio), Humberto Busto (director, scriptwriter, La teta de botero), Ximena Urrutia (director, Ella), Sofía Carrillo (director, Prita Noria and La Casa Triste), and Luis Téllez (animator, screenwriter, Jacinta and La Noira). This week FICG in LA, Director / Producer Hebe Tabachnik joins us to talk about the exciting and dynamic collection of films being offered at this years festival/
For more information call (424) 382-2535 or visit www.ficginla.com
Davina is an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl who often escapes into a beautifully twisted fantasy life. Having grown up quickly as the sole caretaker of her disabled mother, she looks for salvation in a new relationship with an older boy. Davina is swept into a whirlwind of romance and adventure, but the enchantment of her new relationship quickly fades when Sterling’s volatile side begins to emerge. I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love. Leah Meyerhoff’s debut feature film I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS premiered in narrative competition at SXSW 2014 and traveled to over 50 film festivals around the world, winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Atlanta Film Festival, Best Score at the Nashville Film Festival, Honorable Mention at the Woodstock Film Festival and additional awards from IFP, San Francisco Film Society, Tribeca Film Institute and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation. Director and writer Leah Meyerhoff joins us to talk about her imaginative, daring and emotionally resonant feature film debut.
I Believe in Unicorns open at the Arena Cinema Hollywood in LA this Friday, June 19th and opening in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater July 3rd.
“Haunting, and beautiful, and as painful as love can be, “I Believe in Unicorns” left me musing on the power of our personal magic, wondering why we choose to spend it where we do.” – Huffington Post
“Writer-director Leah Meyerhoff asks a lot of Dyer for the emotionally taxing role, and Dyer flies with the challenge. She’s complete dynamite.” – Indiewire
“I Believe in Unicorns is one of the most authentic and down-to-earth coming of age stories I’ve seen in cinema.“ – Filmmaker Magazine.
“Refreshing in its sexual frankness and uniquely feminine perspective on young love’s complications, the dreamily evocative Unicorns is a beautiful 16mm nightmare.” – The Skinny
Recently divorced, newly rich, and utterly miserable, Danny (Kevin Corrigan) would seem to be the perfect test subject for a definitive look at the relationship between money and happiness. Danny’s well-funded ennui is interrupted by a momentous trip to the local gym, where he meets self-styled guru/owner Trevor (Guy Pearce) and irresistibly acerbic trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders). Soon, their three lives are inextricably knotted, both professionally and personally. Writer/director Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess, 2013) returns with a fun, intimate fable that’s utterly grounded in real life. As wrinkles turn into complications, then blow up into full-fledged issues, the talented ensemble keeps the pensive tone light and the complex plot breezy. Bujalski stops by to talk about his charming shaggy-dog tale that’s been hitting the gym: taut, limber, and powerful.
“ENCHANTING – WONDERFULLY ALIVE AND UNPREDICTABLE. Plus it’s funny as hell. Results manages to reinvent the rom-com.” – Bilge Ebari, New York Magazine
“KEVIN CORRIGAN IS SOMETHING OF A COMIC GENIUS. A pleasing romantic-comedy triangle. The triumph of ‘Results’ is that it pretends to be loose, lazy and lived-in when it’s actually disciplined, hard-working and IN ALMOST PERFECT SHAPE.” – A.O. Scott, NY Times
“AN IRRESISTABLE TALE. A love story full of twists and turns.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
A TERRIFIC, VERY FUNNY NEW COMEDY. What’s really wonderful is director Buljaski’s sympathy for his characters.” – Ella Taylor, NPR
“One of the strangest and strongest of recent romantic triangles forms in the course of this lyrical, fanatically realistic comedy.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker
The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, held in the scenic and majestic setting of Mammoth Lakes, California, has announced its line-up of screenings for the festival’s inaugural year. The five-day festival will take place May 27-31, 2015, and will open with acclaimed Academy Award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney’s new documentary Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine. The festival will present sixteen films in Narrative and Documentary Competition, as well as special events and screenings, and an industry panel discussion on women in the filmmaking world, with producer Allison Amon (The Queen of Versailles), actress Kristanna Loken actress (Terminator 3) and other guests. Taking place five hours north of Los Angeles by car and thirty minutes south of the entrance to Yosemite National Park, the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival will deliver an intimate and unique experience for festival goers, filmmakers, and industry guests, with the opportunity to experience screenings and events in a beautiful mountain setting. The festival will present a diverse collection of feature films – from world premieres to film festival favorites, short film screenings and Q&As over five days. The festival will also include nightly gala events that celebrate the excitement and discovery of visionary filmmaking. Mammoth Lakes Film Festival Founder Shira Dubrovner joins us for a lively conversation on the exciting and inspiring new addition to the film festival lineup.
Ticket sales and updates for the festival go to: www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director – a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure- filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision. Dior and I director Frédéric Tcheng is a French-born filmmaker. Originally trained in civil engineering, he moved to New York City in 2002 to attend Columbia University’s film school, from which he obtained a Masters of Fine Arts in 2007. He co- produced, co-edited and co-shot Valentino: The Last Emperor (directed by Matt Tyrnauer), the 2009 hit documentary shortlisted for the Best Documentary Oscar. He is the co-director (with Lisa Immordino Vreeland and Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt) of DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL, a Samuel Goldwyn release. Director Tcheng joins us to talk about his enthralling behind the scenes look at the iconic fashion institution, its founder, the talented men and women who make it work and the “new” guy in the world of haute couture.
“A piece of superb filmmaking that opens a window into a hidden world.” – Independent
“If the ungodly star-driven media frenzy that surrounds the spring collections of the great Paris houses like Christian Dior is the public face of designer fashion, “Dior and I” shows us that what goes on behind the scenes is even more intriguing.” – Kenneth Turan, LA Times
“The drama of getting new dresses on the runway turns out to be transfixing, while the hero redefines the notion of intense.” Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“’Dior and I’ intimately demonstrates the tricky balance between art and commerce, between perpetuating a mythology while attending to the bottom line, and doing it with the pressure of a ticking clock.” – Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com
The Newport Beach Film Festival seeks to bring to Orange County the best of classic and contemporary filmmaking from around the world. Committed to enlightening the public with a first-class international film program as well as providing a forum for cultural understanding and enriching educational opportunities, the Festival focuses on showcasing a diverse collection of both studio and independent films. The Festival supports the creation and advancement of innovative and artistic cinematic works from both emerging and seasoned filmmakers and proudly embraces the passion, vision, and independent spirit of these talented artists. With the integration of the local community and educational institutions, the Festival stimulates an interest in the study and appreciation of film and encourages people of all ages and backgrounds to participate. Since its inception in 2000, the Festival has presented many acclaimed films such as the U.S. Premiere of Crash and other notable films including (500) Days of Summer, The Cove, Waitress, Son of Rambow, Paprika, Broken English, American Teen, Fugitive Pieces, Death Note: The Last Name, The King of Kong, Layer Cake, The Illusionist, Art School Confidential, Emmanuel’s Gift, Mad Hot Ballroom, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Spellbound, Castle in the Sky, Born into Brothels, and Pieces of April. Through tributes, special screenings and seminars, the Festival has honored film industry notables, including Aaron Sorkin, Haskell Wexler, Robert Wise, Henry Bumstead, Elmer Bernstein, John Waters, Alan Arkin, Bruce Brown, Richard Sherman, Penelope Spheeris, and McG. Co-founder and CEO Gregg Schwenk stops by to talk about the 2015 edition of NBFF, the opening night film, The Water Diviner, directed by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe and many of this year’s special screenings and events.
Newport Beach Film Festival – Thursday, April 23rd – Sunday April 30th
Ned Rifle is the third and final chapter of Hal Hartley’s tragicomic epic which began with Henry Fool (1998) and continued with Fay Grim (2007). At once a saga concerning the Grim family of Woodside Queens and how their lives are turned upside down by the arrival of the self-proclaimed genius, Henry Fool, the trilogy is also an illustration of America’s grappling with ideas, art, politics, and religion over the course of twenty years. In this swiftly paced and expansive conclusion, Henry and Fay’s son, Ned, sets out to find and kill his father for destroying his mother’s life. But his aims are frustrated by the troublesome, sexy, and hilarious Susan, whose connection to Henry predates even his arrival in the lives of the Grim family. A funny, sad, and sexy adventure, Ned Rifle is an intellectually stimulating and compassionate satire. Hartley is an American filmmaker who attracted considerable attention in the early 1990’s with such films as Trust (1990), Simple Men (1992), and Amateur (1994) featuring Isabelle Huppert, often cited for their dialogue that is both humorous and philosophical. He has made twelve feature films, won awards at Cannes and Sundance, and staged theater and opera on occasion. He runs his company, Possible Films, from his base in New York City. Director Hartley joins us for a conversation on filmmaking, music and his desire to challenge an audience with his own approach to satire, conflict and redemption.
*** Friday, April 3, 8:00 pm Cinefamily (Los Angeles premiere) An Evening with Hal Hartley featuring NED RIFLE. Join Hal Hartley, and film stars Aubrey Plaza, James Urbaniak, and Liam Aiken in attendance for Q&A
“(W)hen the writer-director is on his game, as he is in “Ned Rifle,” the effect is bizarre black comedy that is designed to set you thinking about what his satire is really saying.” – Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
“Like the best of Hartley’s work (“Fool,” “Trust,” “Simple Men”), “Ned” leaves behind little bits of wisdom.” – Joe Nuemaier, New York Daily News
“For all the evident despair, Hartley can’t repress his love of cinema; the comic dialogue sings and many of the images have a fragile beauty.” – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
“Move over, Boyhood. And less Boyhood than perhaps Boy In The Hood, Hal Hartley completes his bio-trilogy half a dozen years longer than Linklater’s decidedly conventional odyssey – an infinitely more dark and daring, toxically tantalizing suburban noir.” – Prairie Miller NewsBlaze
What the Funk Brothers did for Motown…The Wrecking Crew did, only bigger, for the West Coast Sound. Six years in a row in the 1960s and early 1970s, the Grammy for “Record of the Year” went to Wrecking Crew recordings. And now, THE WRECKING CREW tells the story in pictures and that oh, so glorious sound. The favorite songs of a generation are all here, presented by the people who made them for you. THE WRECKING CREW is a documentary film produced and directed by Denny Tedesco, son of legendary late Wrecking Crew guitarist Tommy Tedesco. The film tells the story of the unsung musicians that provided the backbeat, the bottom and the swinging melody that drove many of the number one hits of the 1960s. It didn’t matter if it was Nat “King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, The Monkees, The Byrds or The Beach Boys, these dedicated musicians brought the flair and musicianship that made the American “west coast sound” a dominant cultural force around the world. The film is a fun and moving tribute from Denny to his father and to the music, the times and to the secret star-making machine known only as “The Wrecking Crew”. Director Denny Tedesco joins us to talk about a remarkable group of artist and the indelible impact they had on music and the people who love music.
“Wonderful, touching and hilarious about the unsung stars of so many records that you carry in your heart.” – Elvis Costello
“It’s astounding to consider how many eternal earworms are in our brains, courtesy of this accomplished group of West Coast musicians.” – Jim Slotek, Toronto Star
“The enchanting Kaye – “I was making more money than the President” – probably deserves her own film.” – Brad Wheeler, Globe and Mail
“Long on nostalgia, the film does shed further light on the genius of Brian Wilson and the unfair uproar over the Monkees’ need for musical backup. Turns out even the Beach Boys required the Wrecking Crew to rock.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star
Sex, bondage, and butterflies: two women explore the extremes of carnal desire in this kinky, deliciously twisted tale of erotic obsession. In a crumbling European estate, butterfly researcher Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and her lover Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) repeatedly enact a sadomasochistic role-playing game, with Cynthia as the stern mistress and Evelyn her subservient sex slave. But as the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and Cynthia grows increasingly uneasy with Evelyn’s insatiable appetite for punishment, their relationship is pushed to the limit. Dripping with dreamlike imagery, Gothic atmosphere, and a lush chamber pop score by Cat’s Eyes, this critically-acclaimed, darkly comic erotic fantasia is a seductive feast for the senses. THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY is the new film from Peter Strickland, the British award winning writer and director of Berberian Sound Studio and Katalin Vargar. Dripping with eroticism and dread,The Duke of Burgundy is a darkly decadent melodrama starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (Borgen, After the Wedding), and Chiara D’Anna (Berberian Sound Studio). Director / writer Strickland joins us to talk about his mesmerizing new film.
“Nothing if not a mood piece, but amid its atmospherics and winking asides, it’s also a fascinating portrait of a relationship.” – Sheri Linden, LA Times
“Leaves plenty to think about, but it’d be just as rewarding to turn off your mind and let the sounds and images wash over you like lapping waves.” – Matte Prigge, Metro
“At its core, this is one of the most incisive, penetrating, and empathetic films ever made about what it truly means to love another person, audaciously disguised as salacious midnight-movie fare.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club
“An act of cinephilic homage that transcends pastiche to become its own uniquely sensuous cinematic object …” – Scott Foundas, Variety
Carol Leifer began her career as a stand up comedian in such well know Manhattan comedy clubs as the Comic Strip, Catch a Rising Star and the Improv. Her “big break” came when David Letterman unexpectedly showed up at the Comic Strip and caught one of her performances. His visit led to twenty-five appearances on NBC’s “Late Night with David Letterman.” Carol has also appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Dr. Katz, Politically Incorrect, Hollywood Squares, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Her hosting duties have included four seasons of A&E‘s Caroline’s Comedy Hour, as well as guest stints on Talk Soup and Later. She has also written for numerous Academy Awards shows. Carol joined the Seinfeld writing staff during its fifth season (1993–94), and wrote six episodes for the show between then and its seventh season (1995–96). She has been dubbed “the real Elaine,” the character having been partially based on her. After Seinfeld ended, Carol served as a writer and supervising producer on HBO’s critically acclaimed “The Larry Sanders Show. ” Despite her success in television, Carol has remained a fixture on the stand up circuit. “I’ve played every two-bit laugh shack across this great country of ours,” she quips. One highlight of Carol’s roadwork includes opening for Frank Sinatra at Bally’s Las Vegas. He was quoted after the show as saying “I wish my mother had been that funny. I wouldn’t have had to work so hard.” Carol joins us to talk about her second book, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Crying…Lessons From a Life in Comedy” her career and hosting the 30th Annual International Documentary Association Award show here in Los Angeles.
January 2010: In the buckle of the Bible Belt, 10 churches burn to the ground in just over a month igniting the largest criminal investigation in East Texas history. No stone is left unturned and even Satan himself is considered a suspect in this gripping investigation of a community terrorized from the inside-out. Families are torn apart and communities of faith struggle with forgiveness and justice in this incredible true story. Director Theo Love stops by for a conversation on the culture of East Texas and the unbending drive of the people in the area to find the perpetrators, and the unlikely culprits.
“It’s Americana unvarnished and, because of that, as absorbing as it is respectful.” – Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
“The film’s exploration of the tenuous bonds within a community will surely prompt serious soul-searching.” – Martin Tsai, Los Angeles Time
“A fascinating story told with deep insight, Little Hope Was Arson finds that both fire and forgiveness burn in different ways.” – Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
“How the investigation unfolds, and the dramatics escalate, is as engaging as any compelling narrative can be…” – Mark Bell, Film Threat
In the book Concrete Wedding Cake: What I Have Learned about Motion Picture Editing and Other Stuff, author and editor John Heath has written a concise, practical and clear approach to motion picture editing based on his over thirty years of editing, directing and producing. The book is not overly technical or theoretical, but is a light approachable explanation of what editing is, how to make solid editing choices and the techniques to help make those choices work as well possible. He has also include a section for “directors only,” so that they may have a positive editorial experience. Heath is third generation to the motion picture business. His grandfather was a part of the very beginnings of the film industry in the “Silent Era,” and his father was an editor through the “Golden Age” of Television. He started his career in film editing, and went on to direct and produce. Editing such dramas as St. Elsewhere, LA Law, and Pickett Fences, comedies such as The Bob Newhart Show, and Major Dad and recently action sci fi series Warehouse 13. Producing on six series including The Guardian, Chicago Hope, and Roswell with three Emmy nominations. He has directed episodes of The Guardian, Chicago Hope, and St. Elsewhere. He recently directed the Indie feature Last Night Inn based on the play of the same name which he also directed. He has also done “labors of love” short films Reflections and Mama Doesn’t Know Best.
……..a lively, instructive and highly readable handbook on the are of film editing….
Excellent! As a long time editor and editing teacher , I highly recommend it .” Michael Sales
Delving deep into the underbelly of India’s film industry, where back-alley producers churn out everything from pulpy horror movies to soft-core porn, MISS LOVELY takes us back to the Mumbai of the 1980s with lurid detail and intoxicating style. Working out of sleazy hotels and abandoned warehouses, brothers Sonu (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and Vicky (Anil George) are prolific producers of trashy, C-grade films for Mumbai’s booming and underground markets. The ambitious, domineering Vicky is the unquestioned brains of the operation, leading the dim-witted Sonu deeper into a world of divas, money men and movie-loving gangsters. But this precarious partnership is put to the test when the brothers meet Pinky (Niharika Singh), an exquisite ingénue with a shady past. Director Ashim Ahluwalia joins us to talk about the hyper-stylized, retro thriller that explores the awful truths of exploitation cinema as well as its strange pleasures.
I hope we do hear more from Indian director Ashim Ahluwalia, whose lively, fast-and-loose Miss Lovely, about two brothers toiling in the world of Bollywood B-movie and softcore porn production in the Eighties, had an off-kilter, at times delirious first hour and then settled into a pungent story of jealousy, betrayal, and doomed love.” – Gavin Smith, Film Comment
A self-reflective piece of cinematic art that will leave you drained when you leave the cinema – J. Hurtado, Twitch
An Indian film like I’d never seen. Ahluwalia is a very impressive talent. – Jonathan Romney, Sight and Sound
Magnificent! One feels real affection for this sordid universe.” – Le Monde
A People Uncounted: The Untold Story of the Roma is a journey into the world of the Roma (commonly referred to as Gypsies)—a people who through the ages have been both romanticized and vilified in popular culture, politics and art, and who have endured centuries of intolerance and persecution. Visiting 11 countries and interviewing dozens of Roma artists, historians, musicians and Holocaust survivors, this revealing film documents their culturally rich but often difficult lives, taking us back to ancient times and forward to the little-known story of Roma genocide at the hands of Nazis during World War II. As we watch the incredible story of the Roma unfold, both the people and their history come to life through the interplay of their evocative music and poetry, interwoven with true stories told by the survivors of the camps. As intolerance is on the rise in European politics, this remarkable film reminds us that ethnic minorities all too often fall prey to racism and genocide. Director Aaron Yeger talks about the Roma’s on-going struggle for basic human rights, dignity and the fight to be seen as more than a pop-culture stereotype.
“Much of this movie is composed of survivors who give harrowing accounts of their experiences, and their warnings about rising ethnic hatred in Europe should not be ignored.” – Andrew Webster, New York Times
“Profoundly moving, a powerful documentary on the plight of the Roma people through history… an expansive essay on prejudice and the resilience of the human spirit. 4 stars” – T’Cha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette
“Needed no star power to keep me glued to the screen…A one-of-a-kind find…a virtually unknown piece of history… a fascinating, hyperbole-free inquiry into what one recent study determined is the most discriminated-against group in all of Europe.” – Lauren Wissot, Filmmaker Magazine
“The most vital portrait of genocide since Lanzmann’s Shoah.” 4 Stars – Greg Klymkiw, Producer, Journalist, Filmmaker
Ralph Steadman is the last of the original Gonzo visionaries. Made over the course of fifteen years, “For No Good Reason,” explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, this is a study in honesty, friendship and the ambition that drives an artist. Ralph’s rise to prominence began in the early 1970’s during the fallout from the love and hope that had swept the western world during the 1960’s. This legendary time for music, literature, art and philosophy was the catalyst, along with his developing relationship with writer Hunter S Thompson, for Ralph to express and chart the wreckage that followed; a large-scale disintegration of a demoralized counter-culture. His art gained recognition in the press and popular-culture publications, both in the U.K. and U.S., for its bold comment on his fiercely heart-felt politics. Director Charlie Paul and Producer Lucy Paul joins us to talk about one of the world’s most electrifying and insightful painter / cartoonist / satirist.
“There’s no more exciting effect in the documentary than the look of pure pleasure on Depp’s face as he stands by Steadman’s drawing table, peeking over his shoulder as he attacks a sheet of paper.’ – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
“Ralph Steadman is one of the greatest, most underappreciated living artists, so it’s wonderful that this celebratory documentary has arrived. It also happens to be one of the finest docs ever made about an artist.” – David Noh, Film Journal International
The M Word follows the personal changes at a local TV station that is threatened by economic downturn, possible in-house theft and massive job loss. They decide to subvert all of this by taking on an ill-advised documentary about Menopause. In the midst of impending lay-offs, Moxie (Tanna Frederick) suddenly finds herself leading an extraordinary band of rebelling women better treatment and a more secure future. Director Henry Jaglon (Irene in Time, Festival in Cannes, Always, Can She Bake a Cherry Pie) and actress Tanna Frederick (Just 45 Minutes to Broadway, Queen of the Lot, Irene in Time, Hollywood Dreams) stop by for a free-wheeling conversation on filmmaking, comedy, acting, love, life and the shockingly taboo subject of menopause.
Love has no borders and therein lies the premise of the charming, new Iranian-American romantic comedy “Shirin in Love.” Nazanin Boniadi plays Shirin, an absent-minded, young Iranian-American living in “Tehrangeles” (the large Iranian community in Los Angeles) with her overbearing mother and empathetic father. Despite being engaged for years to a successful Iranian plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Shirin finds herself breaking loyalty and tradition when she falls in love with a mysterious young man who lives in a lighthouse in northern California. As her secret unravels and cultures clash, Shirin discovers what it ultimately means to be true to herself. Director Ramin Niami joins us to talk about his cross-culture dramedy on love and family.
Director Ramin Niami will be presenting Shirin in Love at the 8:10 PM screening, Saturday, March15th at the AMC Theatres (Block 30) in the City of Orange.
“Shirin in Love, like its protagonist, looks ditzy at first but quickly becomes a thinking woman’s romantic comedy, making a lie of recent media claims that the genre is defunct.” – Marsha McCreadle, Film Journal International
KIDS FOR CASH is a riveting look behind the notorious scandal that rocked the nation when it first came to light in 2009. Beginning in the wake of the shootings at Columbine, a small town in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania elected a charismatic judge who was hell-bent on keeping kids in line. Under his reign, over 3,000 children were ripped from their families and imprisoned for years for crimes as petty as creating a fake MySpace page. When one parent dared to question this harsh brand of justice, it was revealed that the judge had received millions of dollars in payments from the privately-owned juvenile detention centers where the kids—most of them only in their early teens—were incarcerated. Producer Lauren Timmons joins us to talk about his remarkable, frightening film and the on-going wreckage done by a small cadre of judges to the lives of thousands of families.
“Without sensationalizing his already scandalous material, Mr. May arranges the contributions of reporters, lawyers and anguished relatives of young offenders into a shocking and impartial portrait of justice denied and childhoods erased.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times
“[A] harrowing documentary.” – Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
“Kids for Cash is… an honest investigation—unprejudiced toward its subjects, thorough in its research, comprehensive in its intellectual framework—and it’s a tragedy.” – The Nation
In THE STUNT MAN, Vietnam veteran Cameron (Steve Railsback) is on the run from the police when he stumbles onto the set of a war movie directed by megalomaniac Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole). But when the young fugitive is forced to replace a dead stunt man, he falls in love with the movie’s leading lady (Barbara Hershey) while trying to avoid getting arrested or killed. Is Eli trying to capture Cameron’s death on film? And what happens to a paranoid stunt man when illusion and reality change places? Completed in 1979 but unreleased until 1980, this innovative dramatic comedy/action thriller has become one of the most acclaimed cult hits of our time. Director, writer and Oscar nominated filmmaker Richard Rush joins us for an engaging conversation the challenges of making a movie about making a movie and the rewards of working with one of cinemas all-time greats, Peter O’Toole.
** Landmark Theatres and Reel Talk with Stephen Farber present the Anniversary Classics Series, returning to The Landmark LA on Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00pm with THE STUNT MAN, celebrating the film’s 35th Anniversary, with in person guests director Richard Rush, lead actor Steve Railsback, and others to be announced.
“THE STUNT MAN is a virtuoso piece of kinetic moviemaking.” – Pauline Kael, New York Times
“Richard Rush’s inventive narrative about the blurred lines between movie reality and factual reality is vastly entertaining, boasting Peter O’Toole in a diabolical, delicious Oscar-nominated performance.” – Emanuel Levy
“At the 1980 San Francisco Film Festival, François Truffaut was asked to name his favorite director. He replied, ‘I don’t know his name, but I just saw his picture last night. It’s called The Stunt Man.’” – Mark Bourne, DVD Journal
Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio–with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane–once again leapfrogs over earth-bound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in Black and White digital 4K projection, VISITORS reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, VISITORS takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves. Director Reggio joins us for an engaging conversation on his brave and challenging new film.
The effect is akin to a mediated staring contest: the film audience looks into the eyes of the individual people on screen, who look back, their expressions changing in slow-motion, as Glass’s minor-key score triggers emotional synapses deep within. – TCha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette
We see unadorned faces staring at the camera; afternoon shadows moving across a large, institutional-looking building; forlorn images of an abandoned amusement park; the misty, magical quiet of a swamp.– Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
For better or worse, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
Some of what [Godfrey] Reggio is trying to say is obvious, and some is elusive. Either way, the effect is remarkable. – Noel Murray, Dissolve
The word for the film is transfixing. – Stephen Holden, New York Times