DISCLOSURE (formerly titled Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen) is an unprecedented, eye-opening look at transgender depictions in film and television, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and manufactures our deepest anxieties about gender. Leading trans thinkers and creatives, including Laverne Cox, Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Jen Richards, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono, share their reactions and resistance to some of Hollywood’s most beloved moments. Grappling with films like A Florida Enchantment (1914), Dog Day Afternoon, The Crying Game, and Boys Don’t Cry, and with shows like The Jeffersons, The L-Word, and Pose, they trace a history that is at once dehumanizing, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous. What emerges is a fascinating story of dynamic interplay between trans representation on screen, society’s beliefs, and the reality of trans lives. Reframing familiar scenes and iconic characters in a new light, director Sam Feder (Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger) invites viewers to confront unexamined assumptions, and shows how what once captured the American imagination now elicit new feelings. DISCLOSURE provokes a startling revolution in how we see and understand trans people. Director Sam Feder joins us for a conversation on the prejudice and crippling stereotypes being pushed out by film and television as well as barrier breaking stories being told by filmmakers, writers and artists
Statement from the filmmakers:DISCLOSURE shows audiences that decades-old stereotypes, memes, and tropes in the media both form and reflect our understanding of trans issues. They have shaped the cultural narrative about transgender people, and inform everything from dating and domestic violence, to school policy and national legislation. Since 80% of the population have never met a transgender person, all they know is rooted in media depictions, which are predominantly problematic and have rarely included participation by actual trans people. Disclosure is aimed at that 80%.
“Crafted with obvious love, Feder beautifully guides the audience through the many pitfalls transgender people have faced along the road to representation.” – Ian Thomas Malone, FanSided
“(Disclosure) not only leaves us with the hope that things will improve, but it also shows us how much better the industry is when everyone is included, represented, and respected.” – Norman Gidney, Film Threat
“In making the film, Feder and Cox are rewriting the very history they set out to tell, adding one more title to “positive representation” list. That alone is worth coming out for.” – Jude Dry, indieWire
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own – between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive. The Apple+TV limited drama series is a gripping, character-driven thriller based on the 2012 New York Times best selling novel of the same name by William Landay. Creator and Executive Producer Mark Bomback joins us to talk about how he and his creative team, including director Morten Tyldum, brought this complex and nuanced tale to life.
“One thing that’s evident from the outset is that all of the actors are perfect for their roles. Jaeden Martell, in particular, is still a young actor, but he handles the dark material with ease, and I appreciated the way the journey began with him.” – Paul Dailly, TV Fanatic
“The director applies an autumnal hue, with a color range of frosty blues that really adjusts to the atmosphere of slowly crumbling feelings.” – Jorge Loser, Espinof
“Chris Evans does some of the best work of his career as Andy… He expertly conveys Andy’s desperate, ferocious need to protect his son, his genuine love for his wife – and the haunting memories that jolt him awake in the middle of the night.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“The pilot does a remarkable job of building up the situation and its main players, but leaving enough in a nebulous spot that there’s still some doubt and some questions to dig deeper into.” – Kevin Lever, Tell-Tale TV
Released on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic, PLANET OF THE HUMANS takes a harsh look at how the environmental movement has lost the battle through well-meaning but disastrous choices, including the belief that solar panels and windmills would save us, and by giving in to the corporate interests of Wall Street. PLANET OF THE HUMANS is the debut movie from director Jeff Gibbs, whom Executive Producer Michael Moore calls “a brave and brilliant filmmaker whose new voice must be heard.” Gibbs is a lifelong environmentalist and longtime collaborator of Moore’s with whom he co-produced Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11. Gibbshas dared to say what no one will — that “we are losing the battle to stop climate change because we are following environmental leaders, many of whom are well-intentioned, but who’ve sold out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America.” This film is the wake-up call to the reality which we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the so-called “environmental movement’s” answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. Moore and Gibbs decided that with the American public — and much of the world – confined to their homes and suddenly having to consider the role humans and their behavior have played in our fragile ecosystem, the moment was too urgent to wait until later this year for the film’s planned release. Director / Producer / Writer / Editor and Cinematographer Jeff Gibbs joins us for a free-wheeling conversation on the hard truths we all face and the dawning realization that we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into believing the billionaire class is going to ensure a sustainable collective future.
“A bleak picture of a near future that mankind’s very existence is irrevocably condemning.” – Simon Foster, Screen-Space
“This doc, directed by long-time Michael Moore collaborator Jeff Gibbs, advocates passionately for a planet suffering from environmental devastation but offers few glimmers of hope.” – Liam Lacey, Original Cin
“From the warnings of the 1950s to the 21st-century corporate takeover of green energy, a grim look at humanity’s fate as the planet heats up. Is there any hope? This feels like only half the story.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
In a hospital room, the Daughter recalls a childhood moment when as a little girl she tried to share her experience with an injured bird with her Father. A moment of misunderstanding and a lost embrace has stretched into many years all the way to this hospital room, until the moment when a window pane breaks under the impact of a little bird.
Director’s Biography: studies animated film at FaMU in Prague. her student films featured at many international festivals. Daria’s original to accept won the Nespresso talents 2017 film competition in Cannes. in DAUGHTER, her Bachelor’s puppet animation, Daria experiments with camera motion and explores the topic of father-daughter relationships.
Winner – Rome Independent Film Festival 2019 – Winner Student Academy Awards 2019
The 46th Student Academy Award – Gold Medal in International Animation film category
Annecy International Animated Film Festival (France) 2019 Cristal for the Best Student Film – Young Jury Award for the best Student film
Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia) 2019 – City Post Award for Best Animation Short Film
Fantoche International Animation Film Festival (Switzerland) 2019 – Best film of Fantoche
World Festival of Animated Film Varna (Bulgaria) 2019 – Best student film
Tirana International Film Festival (Albania) 2019 – Best Student film
Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival (USA) 2019 – Best Student Animation Award
Balkanima (Serbia) 2019 – Best Student film
Taichun International Animation Festival TIAF (Taiwan) 2019 – Grand Prix for the best Student Film
Animafilm (Azerbaijan) 2019 – Best Short Animated Film
Whistler Film Festival (USA) 2019 International – ShortWork Award and many more…
‘KITBULL,’ directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, reveals an unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. together, they experience friendship for the first time.
Director’s Biography: Rosana Sullivan joined pixar animation Studios in April 2011. She worked as a story artist on THE GOOD DINOSAUR, and the academy award®-winning feature film COCO. Sullivan also directed the SparkShorts film KITBULL that debuted in February 2019. As a story artist, Sullivan provides visual storytelling to a project’s script pages, utilizing compositional staging, environment, and character blocking. Each story board aims to maximize drama and entertainment, while making the story point clear as possible. Story artists have to draw characters acting, camera moves, and very limited effects animation to sell an idea or emotion.prior to Pixar, Sullivan attended the University of San Francisco before earning an internship with Pixar University. She later attended Academy of Art University, and worked for Kabam gaming studio in San Francisco. Born in Charleston, SC, Sullivan grew up in Texas and San Francisco.
A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?
Directors Statement – The genesis of SISTER came from a question I get asked a lot throughout my childhood: What is it like to grow up with a sibling? As a “Little Sister” myself, I was born as the second child in my family at the height of China’s One Child Policy. At that time, it’s really hard to have a second child in one family. Luckily, my parents put in a lot of effort to keep me and raise me. Otherwise, I would not have existed and lived a life. Although many other “Second Child” in my generation never had a chance to get born. Therefore most of my friends don’t have siblings. Growing up with my brother has been a privilege and a bittersweet experience for me. Throughout my childhood, the question that had been asked a lot by friends is that, what is it like to grow up with a sibling? So, I have been telling stories about me and my brother since I was a kid. And I have heard stories of my friends and cousins could not have little sisters and brothers because of the one-child policy. The narrator of this film, for example, told me that he lost a younger sister when he was four years old. He always imagines how his life would be if his sister was ever born. So, I want to make a film to tell my friends what it is like to grow up with a sibling. More importantly, I also want to tell the stories of my friends, who would’ve had a different life if their siblings were born. This film is dedicated to this group memory. – Siqi Song
Director’s Biography – Siqi Song is a Chinese writer, director and animator, currently based in Los Angeles. Her animated films have been recognized internationally by Sundance, SXSW, BAFTA, and ASIFA-Hollywood. Siqi is an alumnus of California Institute of the Arts and China Central Academy of Fine Arts. She is named a Film Independent Directing Fellow in 2018 and BAFTA Los Angeles Newcomer in 2019.
Tender and empowering, HAIR LOVE is an ode to loving your natural hair – and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. It’s when it’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters. Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Mum always does Zuri’s hair just the way she likes it – so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her – and her hair – happy.
MATTHEW A. CHERRY – in 2007, after retiring from the NFL, Matthew a. cherry moved to los angeles, and switched gears to begin work as a production assistant. after working on over forty commercials, he developed his skills as a director, transitioning from music videos to his first feature film (2012’s THE LAST FALL). in 2017, he launched a kickstarter campaign for an animated short about a black father’s struggle to learn how to style his young daughter’s hair. it became the most highly-funded short film campaign in the platform’s history, and was later released in theaters nationwide. Matthew was an executive at Jordan peele’s production company Monkeypaw productions, he served as an Executive producer on the Spike lee film BLACKKKLANSMAN, and has most recently directed on the aBc hit show BLACK•ISH.
EVERETT DOWNING JR. – is an animator, story artist and director living in the greater los angeles area. Everett began his career as a story artist at Big idea productions before making his break into feature film, animating at Blue Sky Studios on the original ICE AGE. he worked as an animator and story artist on 3 more features there (including ROBOTS, ICE AGE 2 and EPIC) before taking a position as an animator at pixar animation Studios. after animating on several award-winning feature films (every feature from RATATOUILLE to MONSTER’S UNIVERSITY), he transitioned back into story where he boarded on THE TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT and CARS 3. currently he’s working at Netflix animation where he just finished storyboarding on Jorge Gutierrez’s animated mini-series, MAYA AND THE THREE.
BRUCE W. SMITH – is a feature film director, animator and television producer. he is best known as the creator and executive producer of the Disney channel hit show THE PROUD FAMILY and for supervising the animation of the evil villain Dr. Facilier in the Walt Disney animated film THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. Smith studied animation at California institute of the arts and later joined the Walt Disney Studios as an animator on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Smith went on to direct the paramount pictures film BEBE’S KIDS and co-directed on the Warner Bros. live action/animated movie SPACE JAM before returning to Disney to supervise animation on TARZAN and THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE. Smith’s knack for unique character design led him into the visual development of other projects at the studio such as WRECK-IT RALPH and FROZEN. Smith is currently signed to an overall deal at Disney television animation.
92nd Oscars – 2020 Nominated Best Animated Short Film
Black Reel Award Nomination – Outstanding Short Film
American Black Film Festival
LightBox Animation Expo
Ottawa International Animation Festival Spark Animation Festival
Animation is Film Festival
Black Filmmaker Foundation Summit World Animation and VFX Summit
CTN Animation eXpo
In Afghanistan, many young girls are not able to participate in sports. cultural and religious norms, along with other factors such as safety concerns and years of warfare,have resulted in limited athletic and recreational opportunities for women and girls, especially those who come from impoverished neighborhoods. But there is a new generation of afghan girls who believe they can do anything. LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) tells the story of young afghan girls learning to read, write – and skateboard – in Kabul.
Director’s Biography: Carol Dysinger is a filmmaker, writer, artist, and educator, whose contemporary work offers a counter-narrative to traditional stories of conflict. She is in the midst of a trilogy on Afghanistan and America post 9/11. Alternating between fiction and documentary storytelling practices throughout her career, she had made a lifelong inquiry into the mechanics of story and the role storytelling plays in what we come to believe is true. She began in the theatre as an actor, moved into editing music videos for the clash in New York, and has won many awards for her short narrative work. She then moved on to write screenplays for 20th Century Fox, Disney, and HBO independent and has edited feature-length narrative and documentary films. in 2005, she traveled solo to Afghanistan with camera in hand to make her feature directorial debut, camp Victory, Afghanistan, which screened at MOMA, SXSW, human Rights Watch and at the Hague. ONE BULLET AFGHANISTAN is the second in the trilogy about the human impact of international conflict post 9/11 currently being completed in Denmark. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018, a new work in multimedia installation, which draws from decades of memoirs and family history, footage shot over 15 years in Afghanistan, and brings it together to take down the veil between human experience, story, and history.
Nominee – Best British Short Film – BAFTA Awards 2020
Winner – Best Short – IDA Documentary Awards 2019
Best Documentary Short – Tribeca Film Festival 2019
Youth Vision Award – United Nations Association Film Festival 2019
Best Documentary Short – Flyway Film Festival 2019
Audience Choice Award For Best Documentary Short – Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 2019
DOC NYC Shorts Shortlist
SFFILM Doc Stories
AFI Meet The Press Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Film Independent The New Wave Screening Series Scad Savannah Film Festival
Social Justice Film Festival
Original Thinkers Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
United Nations Assocation Film Festival Washington West Film Festival
Hamptons Doc Fest
Nevada City Film Festival
Paris Surf & Skateboard Festival
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Louisville’s International Festival Of Film
Flyway Film Festival
LIFE OVERTAKES ME tells the story of traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair that they withdraw into a coma-like state. in Sweden, over 400 refugee children have been afflicted with this life-threatening psychosomatic illness, and the film will accompany two of them and their families on their frightening odyssey through Resignation Syndrome.
Directors Biographies: Producers/Directors John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson make documentary essays. their films have addressed such disparate subjects as tourism in Paris, the Vietnam War, and homelessness, and have screened at festivals worldwide, from Sundance and San Francisco to Leipzig, Sao Paulo, and Seoul, and have appeared on PBS and at museums including NY MOMA. their recent film Tokyo Waka premiered theatrically at Film Forum in New York. their work has been supported by artist fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris, the Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, the Japan-U.S. Friendship commission, and the California Arts Council. Samuelson taught in the Documentary Film and Video M.F.A. program at Stanford University for thirty years, serving as program Director for ten years. She was nominated for an academy award for Arthur and Lillie and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Haptas is a freelance documentary editor.
When the passenger ferry MV Sewol sank off the coast of South korea in 2014, over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren. Years later, the victims’ families and survivors are still demanding justice from the national authorities.
Director’s Biography: Yi Seung-Jun’s work focuses on the life of unseen minorities, which has informed his signature style of filmmaking. he has directed several feature-length documentary films. CHILDREN OF GOD (2008) follows a group of siblings who eke out an existence on the sacred Bagmati River in Nepal. the feature made its rounds on the international film festival circuit, including hot Docs Festival and Jeonju Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC award. Yi received a Sundance institute grant and served as director, director of photography, and editor on his subsequent documentary, the critically lauded PLANET OF SNAIL (2011), which follows Young-chan, who has been deaf and blind since childhood, as he gently moves through life with his partner Soon-ho. PLANET OF SNAIL was a darling of the festival circuit, either receiving nominations or winning awards at Tribeca Film Festival, Amsterdam international Documentary Film Festival (Best Feature-length Documentary in 2011), Dubai international Film Festival, Silverdocs and Documenta Madrid, and others. his next film, WIND ON THE MOON (2014), which he wrote, directed, edited and served as director of photography, recounts the journey of a mother and her daughter, who was born deaf and blind, as they navigate the world. he received grants from the Sundance institute, Tribeca institute and Korean Film council to make the film. his feature documentary film, CROSSING BEYOND was the international Olympic committee’s official film of the Pyeongchang Winter Games and travelled to the Busan international Film Festival, Tokyo international Film Festival, Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinn), and more. Most recently, Yi directed SHADOW FLOWERS (2019), which premiered at international Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.
Nominee – 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Nominee – 2019 International Documentary Association Awards, Best Short Nominee – 2019 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Best Short Documentary Winner – 2018 DOC NYC, Short Jury Award
Winner – 2019 AFI DOCS, Grand Jury Prize for Short Film
Winner – 2019 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest, Long Form – 1st Prize Winner – 2019 Indy Shorts, Documentary Audience Choice Award
DOC NYC 2018 – World Premiere
International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2018 – International Premiere AFI DOCS 2019
Indy Shorts 2019
Meet The Press Film Festival with AFI 2019
Pittsburgh Shorts 2019
THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW tells the story of Alli (Maria Dizzia), a mother of young children who has grown frustrated with her daily routine and husband (Greg eller). But her life is shaken up when two free-spirited twenty-somethings move in across the street and she discovers that she can see into their apartment. Inspired by a true story, the film was written and directed by three-time Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker, Marshall curry. Starring tony-nominated Maria Dizzia (Orange is the New Black, 13 Reasons Why, White We’re Young); Greg Keller (Law and Order); and Juliana Canfield (Succession).
About the filmmaker: Marshall Curry is a three-time academy award nominated documentary director, cinematographer, and editor. his films cover a wide range of interests and include STREET FIGHT, about Cory Booker’s first run for mayor of Newark, N.J.; RACING DREAMS, which tells the story of two boys and a girl who dream of becoming NASAR drivers; IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT, which chronicles a radical environmental group; POINT AND SHOOT, about an American who leaves home to join the Libyan revolution; and A NIGHT AT THE GARDEN, about a Nazi rally that filled Madison Square Garden in 1939. his films have won top honors at Sundance and Tribeca, played in theaters and on television around the world, and earned two Emmy nominations and two Writers Guild of America nominations. curry also Executive produced and helped to edit MISTAKEN FOR STRANGERS, a comedy documentary about the indie rock band, the National.
Palm Springs Shorts Fest – Audience Award, Best Live Action Short
Traverse City Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Fiction Short
Rhode Island Film Festival – First Prize, Best Live Action Short
Woodstock Film Festival – Best Short Film
Port Townsend Film Festival – Jury Award, Best Narrative Short
Port Townsend Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Narrative Short
Santa Fe Film Festival – Audience Award, Best Narrative Short
Washington West Film Festival – Best Narrative Short
Washington West Film Festival – Best Short Film Director
Kinematic Shorts – Audience Award
Coronado Film Festival – Audience Award
Short Shorts Film Festival – Best International Actress, Maria Dizzia
Sulmona International Film Festival – Best Editing
Atlanta Shortsfest – Best Cinematography, Wolfgang Held
It all began when a group of cheerful, subversive filmmakers weren’t accepted into the Sundance Film Festival. Unwilling to take “no” for an answer, they instead started their own event – Slamdance: Anarchy in Utah. 26 years later, Slamdance has become a year-round organization fostering the development of unique and innovative filmmakers. The organization now consists of the Film Festival, Screenplay Competition and Slamdance Studios. It has also created Slamdance On The Road, a traveling theatrical showcase that brings popular Slamdance films to audiences that otherwise would not have the opportunity to see them. Dan Mirvish, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn and Peter Baxter are the founding forefathers who, along with co-conspirator Paul Rachman, fought for truly independent filmmakers by giving them a voice in 1995 at the very first Slamdance Film Festival. Since then, the festival takes place every January in the breathtakingly stunning, snow-capped mountains of Park City, Utah at the exact same time as the Sundance Film Festival, to provide a more authentic representation of independent filmmaking. Up-and-coming writers, directors and producers, alongside seasoned veterans and film lovers, converge for the weeklong celebration of independent cinema, realizing that Slamdance is a great place to find those next, great, visionary films. Slamdance lives and bleeds by its mantra By Filmmakers For Filmmakers. No other film festival in the world is entirely run and organized by the creative force that can only be found in filmmakers. Slamdance adamantly supports self-governance amongst independents, and exists to deliver what filmmakers go to festivals for – a chance to show their work and a platform to launch their careers. The festival has earned a solid reputation for premiering films by first-time writers and directors working within the creative confines of limited budgets. Co-founder and President Peter Baxter joins us to talk about this year’s Slamdance, the groundbreaking films and the innovative new distribution and digital initiatives being launched by Slamdance.
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound reveals the hidden power of sound in cinema . . . and our lives. Few have “ears to hear” or comprehend the emotional storytelling impact sound plays in so-called visual media. Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas have both declared“sound is 50% of the movie,” with Steven Spielberg noting, “Our ears lead our eyes to where the story lives.” Through film clips, interviews and archival footage–an enlightening and nostalgic look at many of Hollywood’s biggest box office hits–the film captures the history, impact and unique creative process of this overlooked art form and the artists behind it. Filled with insights from legendary directors–including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, David Lynch, Ang Lee, Sofia Coppola and Ryan Coogler, among others–who share revealing stories about the award-winning work their sound collaborators help to create. In Making Waves, we witness the wild creativity of some of the industry’s most-respected key sound designers–including Oscar winners Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now), Ben Burtt (Star Wars), Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan) and Lora Hirschberg (Inception); and Oscar-nominees Cece Hall (Top Gun), Anna Behlmer (Braveheart) and Bobbi Banks (Selma)–who, in pursuing their art and desire to push the medium, are the very people who will go down in the history of cinema as developing sound into the immersive storytelling force it is today. Audiences will discover many unsung collaborators for the key creative artists they are, in a domain that has for too long been characterized as “technical.” Director Midge Costin joins us to evangelize on the power and glory of sound and the visionaries who have pioneered a new frontier in cinema.
“Accessible, illuminating and entertaining, it’s a documentary of huge value, something that will enhance not just your understanding but your future experience of film.” – Emma Simmonds, The List
“A practically perfect primer for anyone interested in the history and craft of filmmaking, answering most of the pertinent, baseline questions while leaving plenty of room for supplemental research.” – William Bibbiani, TheWrap
“Provides an exhaustive history of the medium right before our ears and eyes, jumping quickly from decade to decade and bringing it all together as a comprehensive cinematic dissertation of aural complexity.” – John Fink, The Film Stage
“Making Waves will likely inspire viewers to seek out their favorite films and experience them with fresh ears.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
The acclaimed PBS documentary series Independent Lens, recently honored with two Peabody Awards, a Primetime Emmy nomination and 12 News & Documentary Emmy nominations, returns for a new season on Monday, October 28.This year’s premiere is Made in Boise,an engrossing look at the complex and controversial world of gestational surrogacy told through the stories of four women carrying babies for gay men and infertile couples in the conservative heartland of Idaho — the unofficial “surrogacy capital” of the United States. Also on the fall schedule is Decade of Fire, which travels back to the 1970s when the South Bronx was burning, to showcase the dedicated citizens who outlasted the flames and saved their community; The Interpreters, a moving look at the Afghan and Iraqi interpreters who risked their lives aiding American troops and who now struggle to find safety and security for themselves and their families; Conscience Point, which unearths the deep clash of values between the Native American Shinnecock of Long Island and their affluent Hamptons neighbors; and Attla, the rousing story of Alaska Native George Attla, who with one good leg and a determined mindset went on to become a champion dogsled racer. Other highlights of the Winter/Spring 2020 slate include Always in Season, a harrowing look at the history of lynching and the 2014 case of Lennon Lacy, a North Carolina teen who died under unexplained circumstances; Bedlam, a psychiatrist’s chronicle of what mental illness means in the U.S. today, interwoven with the story of how the system tragically failed his own sister; and Rewind, a devastating, autobiographical documentary about the far-reaching consequences of multigenerational child sexual abuse. Independent Lens Executive Producer Lois Vossen joins us to talk about the fundamental principles to support filmmakers telling stories about their communities and commitment to showcase thought-provoking documentaries about the issues that divide us and the ideals and beliefs that bind us together.
Made in Boise by Beth Aala(Monday, October 28)Go inside the lives of four surrogates and the intended parents whose children they carry. As the number of surrogate births surge across the country, a surprising epicenter of the movement is Boise, Idaho, where hundreds of women are choosing to be surrogates. For gay couples, single men, and those who struggle with infertility, this booming industry is often the last resort to biological parenthood. The film follows the four women as they navigate the rigors of pregnancy and the mixed feelings of their own families, who struggle to understand their choice to risk the physical and emotional complications of carrying babies for someone else.
Decade of Fire by Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, Gretchen Hildebran and Julia Steele Allen(Monday, November 4)In the 1970s, the Bronx was on fire and close to a quarter-million people were displaced when their close-knit, multiethnic neighborhood burned. While the abandonment of landlords and dwindling support from government officials led to the devastation, Black and Puerto Rican residents were blamed. Now, Bronx-born Vivian Vázquez Irizarry explores the truth about the borough’s untold history and reveals how her community chose to resist, remain and rebuild.
The Interpreters by Andrés Caballero and Sofian Khan(Monday, November 11)More than 50,000 local interpreters helped protect U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, enabling soldiers to communicate with the local population. But those who took the job were often considered traitors. In the aftermath of war, some have been able to leave their home countries and reach safety, while others still languish in hiding and fear for their lives.
Conscience Point by Treva Wurmfeld(Monday, November 18)In Long Island’s Hamptons, one of the wealthiest areas in the nation and an epicenter of the luxury property boom, a clash of values is taking place. The original inhabitants of the beautiful peninsula — the Shinnecock Indian Nation — find themselves squeezed onto a tiny, impoverished reservation. Over hundreds of years they have seen their ancient burial grounds plowed up for the widening of roads, mega-mansions, and ultra-exclusive golf courses like the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club. Now Shinnecock activists and long-standing residents, including farmers and fishing communities, are taking a stand against a never-ending tide of wealthy transplants, overdevelopment, pollution, congested highways and skyrocketing property taxes.
Attla by Catharine Axley (Monday, December 16)The inspiring but little-known story of legendary Alaska Native dogsled champion George Attla, who — with one good leg and fierce determination — rose to international fame. In the final chapter of his life, Attla emerges from retirement to mentor his 20-year-old grandnephew. With their sights set on reviving proud cultural traditions, the pair embark on a journey to compete in the world’s largest dogsled sprint race, one that has seen a steep decline in Native competitors.
In this brilliant followup to his award-winning documentaries (SENNA, AMY) DIEGO MARADONA captures the athletic brilliance and maddening duality of a soccer player widely considered to be best player in the world from the moment he burst onto the scene in his native Argentina. And yet success proved elusive. He failed at Barcelona. He was considered a problem player, too interested in partying. Meanwhile, having never won a major tournament, the ailing Italian football giant SSC Napoli were perennial underachievers. Their fanatical support was unequalled in both passion and size. But how they ached for success… On 5th July 1984, Diego Maradona arrived in Naples for a world-record fee and for seven years all hell broke loose. The world’s most celebrated football genius and the most passionate but dangerous city in Europe were a perfect match for each other. Diego Maradona was blessed on the field and treated like a God off it; the charismatic Argentine loved a fight against the odds and led Naples to their first-ever League title. It was the stuff of dreams. But there was a price… Diego could do as he pleased while performing miracles on the pitch, but as time passed, darker days closed in. Italy turned on him. The third film from the Academy Award-winning & multi-BAFTA-winning team behind SENNA and AMY (director Asif Kapadia, producer James Gay-Rees, editor Chris King, composer Antonio Pinto), and also Paul Martin, DIEGO MARADONA was constructed from over 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from Maradona’s personal archive.DIEGO MARADONA is crafted in the style of SENNA and AMY. It is the definitive feature documentary on the charismatic enigma that is Maradona. In a city where even the devil would need bodyguards, Diego Maradona became a god. Maradona in Naples is the story of his life, the wild and unforgettable story of an unrivalled talent. He was a rebel, cheat, hero and god. This is a story of glory, despair and betrayal, a tale of corruption and, ultimately, of redemption. Director / Producer Asif Kapadia joins us to talk about the enigma of “Diego” and “Maradona.”
“MESMERIZING… one of the most colorful and fascinating personalities in all of sports, with a life story bordering on the mythic. You may know outlines of the soccer legend’s life, but there’s no way you won’t learn something from DIEGO MARADONA, Asif Kapadia’s absorbing and exhaustive new film.” – Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press
“a fame-technique movie, measured in crowd roars, off-field revelry, media run-ins, and fan scrums as dizzying accoutrements to success, but also – when Maradona succumbed to scandals surrounding women, an unclaimed son from an affair, cocaine, loyalty, and powerful mob friends – in how those same trappings can suddenly turn vicious, and a hero’s fall can go shockingly unsupported.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
“[Kapadia] has edited cruddy video footage (some of which appears barely more than camcorder-grade) and photographs into a movie so fluid that it moves like a Hollywood production. He also dispenses with much of the filler common to documentaries… It is exhausting and exhilarating, cheap looking and slick, a documentary for Maradona fans but also for many others besides.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“Asif Kapadia has put together an extraordinarily intimate account of [Diego Maradona’s] rise and fall, enriched by grainy but graphic footage recording every phase of his life.” – Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Herald
Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice is a love song to one of the most memorably stunning voices that has ever hit the airwaves, Linda Ronstadt. She burst onto the 1960s folk rock music scene in her early twenties as the lead singer of the Stone Poneys, Ronstadt eventually branched out to begin her decades long career as a solo artist, touring the world selling out stadiums and, at one point, setting the record as the highest paid female artist in rock. Most remarkable to this day is her interest in and willingness to jump into new and challenging styles of music, including opera, jazz, and Mexican folk, excelling fantastically with each. Ronstadt has also been an outspoken political advocate for causes such as same-sex marriage and the inhumane treatment of undocumented immigrants, never shying away from fighting for what she believes both on and off the stage. Oscar-winning directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk, The Celluloid Closet, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, Howl, Lovelace and End Game) use deep-cut archival footage, and Ronstadt’s own astute recollections, to celebrate an artist whose desire to do justice to the songs that touched her soul made generations of fans fall in love with her – and with the sound of her voice. Co-directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman join us to talk about a remarkable singer /artist and an even better person.
“She shows herself to be one of its indispensable interpreters, as a vocalist and also as a thinker – covering a sprawling landscape with elegance, passion and insight.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times
“It captures the life and career of a rock ‘n’ roll star who never looked back, never apologized, never compromised.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“Astutely chronicling an amazing musical career that ended prematurely due to Parkinson’s disease, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice will delight the singer’s old fans and likely make her many new ones as well.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
“An excellent retrospective and celebration of Ronstadt’s trailblazing career.” – Sophia Stewart, Nonfics
ICE ON FIRE, an eye-opening documentary that focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis, goes beyond the current climate change narrative and offers hope that we can actually stave off the worst effects of global warming. Eleven years after Conners’ first collaboration with Executive Producer Leonardo DiCaprio on “The 11th Hour,”which emphasized the problems of climate change, ICE ON FIRE instead focuses on the cutting-edge research behind today’s climate science – and the innovations aimed at reducing carbon in the atmosphere, which could pave the way for a reduction in the global temperature rise and a benefit to the planet’s life systems. ICE ON FIRE emphasizes the importance of an immediate, two-pronged approach to reversing the crisis: reducing carbon emissions through traditional renewable energy sources and new ones, like tidal energy, and implementing “drawdown” measures, focusing on methods for drawing down and sequestering carbon, including direct air capture, sea farms, urban farms, biochar, marine snow, bionic leaves and others. Director Leila Conners joins us to talk about the looming catastrophe and the emerging and encouraging techniques and technologies that can provide a sustainable path forward.
** Spotlight on the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival
Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its outstanding program of films and events for the upcoming 35th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running MAY 2 – MAY 10, 2018. The all encompassing annual film celebration is presented across Los Angeles in West Hollywood, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, and Hollywood. Visual Communications proudly celebrates the Film Festival’s 34 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind. LAAPFF launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 100 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international artists. For over three decades, the Festival has presented nearly 5,000 films by Asian Pacific American and Asian International talent. This year’s festival will feature over 130 short films during the nine day fest from May 2 – May 10. These cinema gems from around the globe featuring stories about love, family, heartbreak, friendships, and self acceptance are all part of the exciting line up. The Festival opens May 2nd with the World Premiere of YELLOW ROSE directed by Diane Paragas and starring Broadway legend Lea Salonga and emerging star Eva Noblezada. Two acclaimed festival favorites will screen as the Centerpiece Films at the Festival; GO BACK TO CHINA directed by Emily Ting and MS. PURPLE directed by Justin Chon. The closing night film is the world premiere of EMPTY BY DESIGN directed by Andrea A. Walter premiering on Friday, May 10. LAAPFF Executive Director Francis Cullado of Visual Communications stops by to talk about the ever expanding interest in Asian filmmakers and the trailblazing artistry being done by them.
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché,is a documentary about the first female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché, which explores the heights of fame and financial success she achieved before she was shut out from the very industry she helped create. Over the span of her career, she wrote, produced or directed 1,000 films, including 150 with synchronized sound during the ‘silent’ era. Her work includes comedies, westerns and dramas, as well as films with groundbreaking subject matter such as child abuse, immigration, Planned Parenthood, and female empowerment. She also etched a place in history by making the earliest known surviving narrative film with an all-African American cast. Pamela B. Green has dedicated more than eight years of research in order to discover the real story of Alice Guy-Blaché (1873-1968) – not only highlighting her pioneering contributions to the birth of cinema but also her acclaim as a creative force and entrepreneur in the earliest years of movie-making. Green discovered rare footage of televised interviews and long archived audio interviews which can be heard for the first time in Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché, which affords Alice Guy-Blaché to tell her own story. Director Pamela B. Green joins us for a conversation on the winding journey of discovery and the exhilaration that comes from showcasing a visionary artist, producer, studio head, entrepreneur, feminist, and groundbreaking filmmaker.
“What starts as a biography turns into a detective thriller as Green crisscrosses the globe, searching for clues as to why Guy-Blaché has been forgotten.” – katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times
“A scrupulously well-researched documentary about one of early cinema’s greatest pioneers and the world’s first woman filmmaker.” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter
“The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché is essential viewing for those who want a complete perspective on the history of film.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat
“In her passionate debut film, Green achieves a feat of making a two-level research project informative and entertaining. Exciting and essential documentary for film history!” – Nora Lee Mandel, Maven’s Nest
In a media environment dominated by increasingly concentrated corporate interests, eight distribution companies who have long championed the best in independent features, documentaries, and social issue films, have joined forces to help launch a new subscription streaming service, OVID.tv. Starting today, OVID.tv offers more than 350 quality documentaries and art-house films from the collections of its founding content partners: Bullfrog Films, The dGenerate Films Collection, Distrib Films US, First Run Features, Grasshopper Film, Icarus Films, KimStim, and Women Make Movies. Most of the films on OVID.tv are not available on any other streaming platform, and OVID.tvwill be adding even more films every two weeks–14 fiction feature films and one 10-part documentary series are already scheduled for release. Despite the odds and with little capital, Icarus Films, Docuseek, and our partners have decided that the time has come to step forward and build a new, independent space, dedicated to the films that we believe in and care about, and that we believe you care about, and value as well. OVID.tv co-founder Jonathan Miller joins us to talk about an affordable option for film lovers looking for the highest quality cinema experience presented by people who share your passion.
“A cornucopia of international movies and documentaries… recent ones as well as classics. It’s far better for recent movies than FilmStruck ever was, and its spectrum of new movies is far more substantial than that of Netflix, wider-ranging than that of Amazon.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker, March 22, 2019
DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE tells the tale of two policemen, one an old-timer, Ridgemen, (Mel Gibson), the other his volatile younger partner, Anthony, (Vince Vaughn), who find themselves suspended when a video of their strong-arm tactics become the media’s cause du jour. Low on cash and with no other options, these two embittered soldiers descend into the criminal underworld to gain their just due, but instead find far more than they wanted awaiting them in the shadows. What bad things will good men do for their families? In the hardboiled world of DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE, who lives, who dies, and who gets rich is a fate written in bullets. Director S. Craig Zahler stops to talk about his stylishly brutal, modern day film noir and his determination to tell this story on his own terms.
“S. Craig Zahler’s latest film is a true master stroke in filmmaking. It is elegantly slow, contained, precise and notably beautifully framed throughout.” – Ben Ralph, Discussing Film
“Anchored by three brilliant central performances, Dragged Across Concrete is an interesting, unpredictable movie that presents two plots that feel like we’ve seen them before and then zigs when we expect it to zag.” – Sean Fallon, Film Inquiry
“S. Craig Zahler is a singular voice in cinema, one who is willing to take pulp concepts and craft them into unflinchingly violent features.” – Niall Browne, Movies in Focus
“Few filmmakers come to mind who could orchestrate these slow-burning set pieces with such precision; it’s like watching a chess game in which everyone thinks they’re a king but most of them are pawns” – Michael Nordine, IndieWire
Lois Vossen is the Executive Producer of Independent Lens and has been with the show since its inception as a primetime series on PBS. Lois is responsible for commissioning new films, programming the series and working with filmmakers on editorial and broadcast issues. Independent Lens films have received 17 Emmy Awards, 16 George Foster Peabody Awards, five Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Journalism Awards and eight Academy Award nominations. The series was honored in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 with the International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Series. Before joining ITVS, Lois was the Associate Managing Director of Sundance Film Festival and Sundance Labs. Lois is a member of the Television Academy Board of Governors, representing the documentary branch. She has served on the jury at Shanghai Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW, DOC New Zealand and Palm Springs International Film Festival, among others. Under her leadership, films funded or co-produced by Independent Lens include I Am Not Your Negro, Always in Season, Bedlam, One Child Nation, Black Memorabilia, The King, People’s Republic of Desire, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, TOWER, Newtown, Best of Enemies, The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, (T)ERROR, The House I Live In, The Invisible War, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali, among many others. Widely regarded as one of the most influential supporters of independent and documentary filmmaking, Lois Vossen joins us for a conversation on the role that Independent Lens /POV and Public Broadcasting has had in maintaining the highest standards for innovative storytelling in non-fiction cinema.
’63 Boycott is the award-winning film directed by Gordon Quinn, the co-founder of Kartemquin Films, and produced by Rachel Dickson and Tracye A. Matthews. ’63 Boycott revisits October 22, 1963, when more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest racial segregation. Many marched through the city calling for the resignation of School Superintendent Benjamin Willis, who placed trailers, dubbed ‘Willis Wagons,’ on playgrounds and parking lots of overcrowded black schools rather than let them enroll in nearby white schools. Blending unseen 16mm footage of the march shot by Gordon Quinn when he was just 21 years old with the participants’ reflections today, ’63 Boycott connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism. Director Gordon Quinn joins us for a conversation on his lacerating look at the historic non-violent campaign to win access to educational parity and basic human rights.’63 Boycott is an overview of how much Chicago has changed and how much remains the same.