IDA and Getting Real Conference, Executive Director Michael Lumpkin

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Independent film veteran and Executive Director of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Michael Lumpkin joins us to talk about the IDA sponsored Getting Real Conference and the supportive role IDA plays in the work of documentary filmmakers.

Unlike any other event on the documentary calendar, GETTING REAL is a unique gathering of filmmakers and industry professionals that will ignite what is desperately needed in the documentary community: a frank public conversation about the state of our industry that will lead to action and change. Produced by the International Documentary Association and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, GETTING REAL is an unprecedented 3-day national conference for documentary filmmakers that will take place in Los Angeles from September 30 – October 2, 2014.

Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes nonfiction filmmakers, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness for the documentary genre. Our major program areas are: Advocacy, Filmmaker Services, Education, and Public Programs and Events. Through its programs, IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists, and journalists. As an advocate for filmmakers, IDA has been in the forefront important issues confronting our industry: Net Neutrality, Fair Use, and Lobbying for the Arts

Lumpkin is an experienced executive leader with over 20 years at the mlumpkin_photohelm of Frameline, an international media arts organization that presents the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, operates Frameline Distribution, and runs other important programs providing funding and training to filmmakers. Michael was also co-producer of the landmark documentary The Celluloid Closet.

Gideon’s Army, Director Dawn Porter

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Film Independent Spirit Award nominee and winner of a Sundance Film Festival award, GIDEON’S ARMY follows the personal stories of Travis Williams, Brandy Alexander and June Hardwick, three young public defenders who are part of a small group of idealistic lawyers in the Deep South challenging the assumptions that drive a criminal justice system strained to the breaking point. Backed by mentor Jonathan “Rap” Rapping, a charismatic leader who heads the Southern Public Defender Training Center (now known as Gideon’s Promise) they struggle against long hours, low pay and staggering caseloads so common that even the most committed often give up in their first year. Director Dawn Porter joins us to talk about her compelling film and a barely functional judicial system.

For the latest news on Gideon’s Army go to: gideonsarmythefilm.com

“The soldiers of ‘Gideon’s Army,’ Dawn Porter’s stirring debut docu, are public defenders  —  lawyers who dedicate themselves to representing the indigent, and regularly answering the question, ‘How can you defend those people?’ Like the film itself, Porter’s handful of devoted, charismatic attorneys do a righteous job of reminding people that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, and that the criminal justice system seems otherwise disposed.”– Variety

“In this comprehensive revelation of the craziness and dysfunction of the world of public defenders, filmmaker Porter sagely shows us the personal toll it takes on the lawyers. Overall, Gideon’s Army is an eye-opening insight into a judicial hellhole world that ordinary citizens can never imagine.  Throughout the unsung heroism of these three warriors in the legal trenches is fittingly stirred.” – The Hollywood Reporter

“Do yourself a favor and watch this gripping and beautiful film. If the inequitable system to which they have dedicated themselves doesn’t make you proud to be an American, the dramatic stories of these young lawyers will.” – Esquire

Short Term 12 – Director Destin Cretton

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A 20-something supervising staff member of a foster care facility navigates the troubled waters of that world alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend. From writer / director Destin Daniel Cretton’s simple premise comes a complex and nuanced story where no good choice is often the only choice. Funny, moving, surprising and emotional, Short Term 12 director Cretton stops by to talk about the risks and the rewards that come with working on a film that defies easy answers. Nominated for three Film Independent Spirit awards, Short Term 12 continues to resonate with audiences and critics.

“Magical. A shining example of what cinema is all about” – Germain Lussier, Slash Film

Short Term 12” expresses its serious subject matter in a fresh and authentic manner, never relying on the content itself to keep the viewer’s interest but how it unfolds for the audience, anchored to these characters who we grow to deeply care about. In the end, “Short Term 12” is a roller coaster of every emotion, managing to be both heartwarming and heartrending at once. But what a great ride. – Katie Walsh, The Playlist

“Phenomenally moving” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

 “The performances are outstanding and should be remembered when the time comes to remember who did great things this year. Everyone filling in the tapestry of the film is memorable. This is a film I will remember for a long time.” Fred Topel, Crave Online

Concussion – Director Stacie Passon

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Nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and a Film Independent Spirit, Concussion is a poignant sexual examination of Abby Abelman (Robin Weigert, in a star-making, turn), a married and wealthy forty-something lesbian housewife who suffers a blow to the head, only to find herself re-examining every corner of her suburban New Jersey life in an effort to confront a mounting desire for something more. Soon Abby sets in motion a double life as a high-end escort. Palpably sensual and deliciously contained, Concussion is a keen observation of the complicated contours in one woman’s epic mid-life crisis. The film mark the auspicious debut effort from writer-director Stacie Passon.

“Explicitly sexy.” — Screen Daily

“The film is frank in its depiction of sex, with many highly charged erotic scenes… Robin Weigert is spectacular in the film, delivering a performance of intense vulnerability and complete abandon.” — AfterEllen

“Concussion isn’t some sultry, titillating sex-fest, it’s an exploration of not just sexuality and human growth, but… a brilliantly nuanced look at the complications of modern relationships.” — Film Threat

Key to Concussion is the fearless performance of Weigert, best known for playing Calamity Jane on Deadwood.  – Village Voice