HAL, Director Amy Scott

Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s—HAROLD AND MAUDE, THE LAST DETAIL, SHAMPOO, COMING HOME, BEING THERE—he is often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott’s HAL is an exuberant portrait that explores that curious oversight, using rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings to reveal a passionate, obsessive artist. Ashby was a Hollywood director who constantly clashed with Hollywood, but also a unique soul with an unprecedented insight into the human condition and an unmatched capacity for good. His films were an elusive blend of honesty, irreverence, humor, and humanity. Through the heartrending and inspiring HAL, you feel buoyed by Ashby’s love of people and of cinema, a little like walking on water. On camera interviews his many collaborators, including Oscar®-winning actors Lee Grant, Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Louis Gossett Jr, Jeff Bridges and more recall how they were empowered by Ashby and granted them artistic freedom. Contemporary directors include Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow, Lisa Cholodenko, and David O. Russell attest to the quiet but powerful influence Ashby has had on their own filmmaking. Behind the camera colleagues Norman Jewison, Robert Towne, Haskell Wexler, and Pablo Ferro stand witness to Ashby’s brilliance as a filmmaker and the forces that led to his undoing.  Director Amy Scott joins us to talk about her artistic connection to Hal Ashby, as editor and director, and her desire to correct many of the lingering misperceptions of Ashby through her riveting and loving film about a true maverick.

 

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

“If there’s still the sense that Ashby isn’t as sanctified as American New Wave stalwarts Coppola or Scorsese, Amy Scott’s breezy tribute of a documentary is out to correct that oversight.” – Robert Abele, TheWrap

“A vivid portrait of artistic integrity and complete commitment to the art of filmmaking.” – J.R. Kinnard

“Hal is a loving tribute to a filmmaker who rarely gets the attention he deserves.” – Brian Thompson, Film Threat

“Just before the documentary slips into hero worship, Amy Scott pries beneath the calm surface of her bearded and bespectacled subject to reveal the silent rage that fueled his work.” – A.J. Serrano, Slant Magazine

Crime + Punishment, Director Stephen Maing

Meet the NYPD12: a group of minority whistleblower officers who risk everything to expose racially discriminatory policing practices in the NYPD and smash the blue wall of silence. Using stunning cinematography and intimate, character-drive access, CRIME + PUNISHMENT captures the story of these brave individuals right from the beginning, as several officers meet up to talk about the New York Police Department’s outlawed practices of quota-driven policing and officer retaliation — and find themselves starting a class-action suit against the city. Using secret recordings between officers and commanders, firsthand accounts, and emotional testimony, the NYPD12 detail the explosive truth when no one else will listen. In the meantime, Manuel Gomez, an ex-cop turned private investigator, collects testimony from young minorities who have been affected by these policies and targeted by officers in the name of fighting crime. Told from the rarely heard perspective of active whistleblower officers and the young men and women of color they police, CRIME + PUNISHMENT is a once-in-a-generation film that considers the complexities of police work when faced with the unjust systemic and institutional practices fueling social justice movements across America. Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor Stephen Maing joins us for conversation on how he came to know the brave men and women who stepped forward, and why this is not just a New York City issue.

 

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For news and updates go to: crimeandpunishmentdoc.com

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Los Angeles, CA – Royal Theater  Opens August 24, 2018

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

94% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A triumph of documentary filmmaking.” – Tim Wu, THE NEW YORKER

“Amazing. An awesome film.” – Eugene Hernandez, FILM COMMENT

“It’s a real achievement, this film. Gorgeously composed…Vital, necessary and groundbreaking. It’s a significant work of investigative journalism.” – Nic Rapold and Eric Hynes, FILM COMMENT PODCAST

“Remarkable. Maing becomes so embedded with his subjects, we get to see them up close and personal. We need to recognize that the way racism functions in our society is out in public, and we must stand with those who are brave enough to put their livelihoods on the line to change the system. Crime + Punishment makes that argument clearly, persuasively, and with immediacy.” – Matt Goldberg, COLLIDER

“Maing doesn’t seek to offer any solutions; instead, he does something that we often fail to do in our embattled society, he gives these particular officers and the people that they police their humanity back.” – Aramide A. Tinubu, SHADOW AND ACT

Support the Girls, Director Andrew Bujalski

In Andrew Bujalski’s comedy Lisa (Regina Hall) is the last person you’d expect to find in a highway-side “sports bar with curves,”– but as general manager at Double Whammies, she’s come to love the place, and its customers. An instinctive den mother, she nurtures and protects her ‘girls’ on the staff fiercely — but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction… Double Whammies sells a big, weird American fantasy, but what happens when reality pokes a bunch of holes in it?

Director Andrew Bujalski’s Statement – It seems like just about the simplest business concept you could imagine — “What if all the waitresses in this restaurant wore tight, cleavage-y halter tops?”— but I couldn’t get over how bizarre it ultimately was. No culture besides present-day America would ever produce mass-scale demand for such a place, a business that seems about 10% strip club and 90% TGI Friday’s / Applebee’s / Chili’s / Cracker Barrel. Strippers are supposed to make men feel like badass transgressors. But these women are just supposed to make you feel normal — the proverbial “red-blooded American male.” You don’t see many stories set in this  slice of Americana, and with good reason. It does not lend itself to grand dramatic arcs, or, really, to gut-busting comedy. But it certainly is full of contradictions, and incredibly fertile with opportunities for subtle spiritual conflicts. I couldn’t pretend to untangle these from an insider’s perspective, so I dreamed up a kind of outsider character, Lisa the general manager, to walk in there with a spirit of openness and love — and plenty of her own pathologies–to see what she might discover in there. While it is a very specific story in many ways, I hope that anyone who’s ever worked for a living will relate. Most of us have to buy/sell one crazy “concept” or another to pay our bills, and some days, you’re not sure if your humor and dignity will survive to the end of the shift…

Director and writer Andrew Bujalski (Beeswax, Computer Chess, Results) joins us to talk about his insightful “girl power” comedic drama with a ground-level take on masculine hurly-burly in a vanishing American paradigm.

 

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For news and updates go to: supportthegirlsfilm.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Its light, sweetly frisky exterior and easygoing pace camouflages what a subtle and brilliant piece of bracing social commentary it is; a deft portrait of sisterhood existing under the thumb of capitalistic patriarchy.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Hall’s superb, deeply felt performance keeps the movie grounded, allowing the supporting cast to provide hilarious liftoff at regular intervals.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

“Bujalski frames most of Support the Girls as an almost real-time delineation of chaos, but his storytelling elegance – delicate, nearly invisible foreshadowing; cogent evocations of backstory – adds reflective layers to the surface anarchy.” – Danny King, Village Voice

“The sharp-elbowed humor is laced with aching tenderness, tightrope-tense frustrations over money and love, and an underlying mix of social pathologies that bubbles through the show-biz surfaces…” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Hall’s performance – tender, tough, empathetic, controlled – crumples from tears to laughter in a blink. It’s phenomenal.” – Amy Nicholson, Variety

We the Animals, Director Jeremiah Zagar

Us three. Us brothers. Us kings, inseparable. Three boys tear through their childhood, in the midst of their young parents’ volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over. While Manny and Joel grow into versions of their loving and unpredictable father, Ma seeks to shelter her youngest, Jonah, in the cocoon of home. More sensitive and conscious than his older siblings, Jonah increasingly embraces an imagined world all his own. With a screenplay by Dan Kitrosser and Jeremiah Zagar based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel, We the Animals is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by layered performances from its astounding cast of Sheila Vand, Raul Castillo, and three talented, young first-time actors, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Gabriel as well as stunning animated sequences which bring Jonah’s torn inner world to life. Drawing from his documentary background, director Jeremiah Zagar creates an immersive portrait of working class family life and brotherhood. Director and screenwriter Jeremiah Zagar joins us to talk about his gorgeous and ethereal tale of young boys struggling to find their own way in a tattered landscape of family and identity.

 

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For news and updates go to: wetheanimals.film

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95% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Every once in a while a movie grabs you, unsuspecting, and hustles its way into your heart. Jeremiah Zagar’s “We the Animals” does that.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“On one level… “We the Animals” is a classic coming-of age tale; on another, it’s a near perfect depiction of the emotional damage that can result from economic insecurity” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“An impressionistic swirl of a film about masculinity, about abuse, about growing up queer, about chaotic family life, about the jumble of incidents and stirrings through which a child discovers a self. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“In every scene, We the Animals evokes not only the specificity of that world but the deep-seated challenges of escaping it.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

The Rider, Actor Brady Jandreau

In the beautifully realized story of struggle and determination, young cowboy Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit and an uniquely gifted horse trainer, is warned that his riding days are over after a horse badly crushed his skull at a rodeo and put him in a three-day coma. Back home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Brady struggles with the physical and emotional complications of the accident. He is comforted by his inimitable little sister Lilly (Lilly Jandreau), who has Asperger’s Syndrome, while tensions between him and his gambling father, Wayne (Tim Jandreau), approach a breaking point when Wayne resorts to selling Brady’s favorite horse to keep their trailer home. Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Lead actor Brady Jandreau talks about his journey from the rodeo to his portrayal of a fictionalized version of his own brush with death, depression, and recovery, and the thrill of working with family and friends in this celebrated film debut by award-winning (Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight, Best Picture) director/writer /producer Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me).

 

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For news and update go to: sonyclassics.com/therider

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96% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The Rider marries the majestic vistas of the greatest American westerns with a deeply interior story of a cowboy having to renegotiate his identity.” – Ben Croll, The Wrap

“It’s just plain excellent.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“A remarkable, deeply moving melding of fact and fiction.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

“Filmmaker Chloé Zhao turns the story of real-life bronc rider Brady Jandreau into a gritty, graceful character study. Once The Rider hooks you – and believe me, it will – there’s no way you will ever forget it.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“One of the year’s most arresting and unforgettable films.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

Minding the Gap, Director Bing Liu

First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. In his quest to understand why he and his friends all ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult. Director Bing Liu joins us for a lively conversation on masculinity, adulthood, the joy of skateboarding and the crippling legacy of domestic violence.

 

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For news and updates go to: mindingthegapfilm.com

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“One of the year’s great, small treasures, Bing Liu’s extraordinary documentary “Minding the Gap” is like a deluxe skateboarding video, yet so much more.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

“”Minding the Gap” is a personal documentary of the highest sort, in which the film’s necessity to the filmmaker-and its obstacles, its resistances, its emotional and moral demands on him-are part of its very existence.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

“Even some of the best coming-of-age films cannot capture the beautiful and awful tangible qualities of real life that may only exist in documentaries, and Bing Liu has caught lightning in a bottle.” – Musanna Ahmed, Film Inquiry

Madeline’s Madeline, Co-producers Krista Parris and Elizabeth Rao (editor)

Madeline (Helena Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives. Writer/director Josephine Decker has long been an independent filmmaker to admire, utilizing a welcome expressionistic approach that imbues her subjects with a vibrant sense of urgency. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from newcomer Helena Howard, whose powerful screen presence commands attention, Decker’s film displays a rare sensitivity for capturing the messy struggles of discovering a sense of one’s self that defies easy narrative categorization. Producers Krista Parris and Elizabeth Rao joins us to talk about this immersive “psychological horror” narrative, collaboration in creative process, the casting of newcomer Helena Howard.

 

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

90% on Rotten Tomatoes

“An ecstatically disorienting experience that defines its terms right from the start and then obliterates any trace of traditional film language, achieving a cinematic aphasia that allows Decker to redraw the boundaries between the stories we tell and the people we tell them about.” – David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

“In her third film, writer-director Josephine Decker confirms her position as the American indie queen of improv, whose self-styled mission it is to push the outer limits of film language into the stratosphere.”Deborah Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Among its other astonishments, Josephine Decker’s new feature, MADELINE’S MADELINE, does something very simple: it dispels the shibboleth that movies spotlighting strong and original performances differ from ones that innovate at the level of cinematic style. MADELINE’S MADELINE does both, with equal intensity. Decker’s film, in its dramatic contours, is an utterly clear and classical drama about a Queens family.” – Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER

“One of this year’s headiest, most dazzlingly assured moviegoing experiences.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

Actor Piper Laurie (Snapshots)

In her latest project,SNAPSHOTS, legendary actor Piper Laurie plays family matriarch Rose.. The story will resonate with every person who has lived through the complexity of family relationships, It reminds us that if we are loved no secret is too difficult to hear and accept. Or is it? Rose (Gran) is the matriarch. She has lived in this house for over fifty years. She and her deceased husband Joe raised their daughter Patty in this home. Patty, now a widow in her early 50’s, lives in St. Louis. Each year Patty and her newly married daughter Allison spend a laughter filled girl’s weekend with Gran. This year will be different. Piper Laurie joins us for a conversation on the making of her latest project (Snapshots) in a legendary film career that includes three Academy Award nominated performances (The Hustler, Carrie, Children of a Lesser God) and an Emmy nomination for David Lynch’s groundbreaking television serial (Twin Peaks).

 

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For news and updates go to: snapshotsthefilm.com

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Facebook:facebook.com/threewomeninabox

Twitter:@SNAPSHOTSmovie

Instagram: @Snapshotsthefilm

“Performances all around are strong, with Piper Laurie’s Rose taking the lead and directing us through the story’s narrative. We are invited to soak in the retro atmosphere as the story unfolds at a leisurely pace.” – Paul Parcellin, Film Threat

Night Comes On, Director Jordana Spiro

Jordana Spiro’s intimate, detailed feature debut drama, NIGHT COMES ON, tells the story of Angel LaMere. released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, Angel embarks on a journey with her 10-year-old sister to avenge her mother’s death. NIGHT COMES ON won the 2018 Sundance NEXT Innovator Prize that features riveting performances by Dominique Fishback (Angel) and Tatum Marilyn Hall (Abby). Director and writer Jordana Spiro joins us for a conversation about her remarkably nuanced tale of pain, loss, empathy and revenge.

For news and updates go to: Night Comes On

 

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A strikingly tender handling of such a tough albeit totally human tale. The amount of empathy within Night Comes On is a spectacle itself.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“‘Night Comes On’ is, true to its title, blanketed in a dim, crepuscular state of waiting. Fishback, her film career unfurling clearly before her from scene to scene, blazes a way out of it.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“But just below the surface, Night Comes On is a careful, layered portrait of a person navigating her uncertain way through a sea of trouble, and we come to care about her and admire her spirit.” – Kelly Vance, East Bay Express

“Night Comes On will stick with you long after turning it off, yearning for more female-driven stories like this one and hoping they become just as poignant as other films to broader audiences.” – Jaime Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

Dark Money, Director Kimberly Reed

DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide—to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. For decades, Montana had arguably the cleanest campaign laws in the U.S., precisely in reaction to a long history of political corruption. Its small population and rich natural resources like copper, had made it particularly vulnerable to private-industry bribery and extortion. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed/produced by Kimberly Reed (PRODIGAL SONS) and produced by Katy Chevigny (E-TEAM). Kimberly joins us for a conversation on where our increasingly fragile democracy is and the very troubling place where it may be headed if dramatic measures are not taken to stop the shadowy corporate money from overwhelming our electoral process.

 

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For news and updates go to: darkmoneyfilm.com

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Q & A’s with Kimberly Reed this weekend at screenings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Damning, clear-eyed, and as gripping as any John Grisham thriller.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“There’s not a dull or dry moment in Reed’s briskly paced film about the secret assault on the American electoral and judicial process by corporations whose agenda is nothing less than the dismantling of government itself.” – Ella Taylor

“A densely packed documentary that earnestly and obsessively addresses campaign finance reform, its history and vital importance.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“An air-raid siren of a documentary about the pernicious influence of corporate cash in American politics.” – Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

Generation Wealth, Director Lauren Greenfield

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

The King, Director Eugene Jarecki

Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and not, join the journey, including Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers, and Dan Rather, among many others. To investigate these questions, THE KING traces Elvis’ rise and fall from the Deep South to New York, Las Vegas, and countless points between. Alongside this, the film examines America in parallel, from her auspicious founding to her own struggles with excess power up to the acute challenges of today. This was always Jarecki’s intent, but he could never have anticipated the election of Donald Trump, which happened in mid-production and sent a shock wave through the filmmaking process.

 

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For news and updates go to: theking.film

74% on Rotten Tomatoes

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Eugene Jarecki’s one-of-a-kind doc on the rise and fall of Elvis turns into a metaphor for Trump’s America, but when it happens – kapow!” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Perceptive, probing and ultimately devastating, The King is for anyone who cares about where this country has been and where it’s headed.” – Stephanie Zachary, Time Magazine

“The journey is the destination in a movie that gives you plenty to think about and argue with, as it racks up the miles and people clamber in and out of both the Rolls and the movie.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The overall merging of the two stories offers deeper insight into the fall of both the King and the country as a whole.” – Gwen Ihnat, A/V Club

“Sprawling and brilliant.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Leave No Trace, Director Debra Granik

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini and based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock. Director Debra Granik joins us to talk about her modern day tale of two people grappling with a sense of place, loyalty, love, and deep wounds.

 

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For news and updates go to: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/leavenotrace

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“When civilization feels threatened, starting over in the woods seems not only appealing, but maybe even necessary. Especially when seen though Granik’s discerning eye. How lucky we are to have her work.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“A profound story about love, family, loyalty, understanding, and compassion.” – Tiffany Tchobanian, Film Threat

“Minimalistic, deliberate and largely silent, “Leave No Trace” clings to each word like an endangered species. It demands patience from the audience, but that patience is richly rewarded.” – J.R. Kinnard, Seattle Times

“The heart of Leave No Trace is the rapport between the father and daughter, and McKenzie and Foster are keyed to each other’s movements, perhaps even each other’s thoughts.”- David Edelstein, New York Magazine

Three Identical Strangers, Director Tim Wardle

Tim Wardle’s acclaimed documentary THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is the most amazing, incredible, remarkable true story ever told. Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret –– a secret with radical repercussions for us all. Winner of Sundance Film Festival’s Special Jury Award, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is an exuberant celebration of family that transforms into a thriller with colossal implications and proof that life is truly is stranger than fiction. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS is part emotional family drama, part conspiracy thriller, and a gripping cinematic experience. Director Tim Wardle talks about gaining the confidence of the brothers, being faithful to this very complex saga and wrestling with the crucial “nature vs. nurture” question posed by their story, a question that lies at the heart of human behavior.

 

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For news and updates go to: threeidenticalstrangers.com

96% on Rotten Tomatoes

**WINNER: Sundance Film Festival 2018 – Special Jury Award for Storytelling**

“RIVETING.” – New York Post, Sara Stewart

“JAW-DROPPING.” – The Week, Noel Murray

“So unlikely and twist-filled that you keep picking your jaw up off of the floor.”- Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty

“Proves the dictum that life is stranger than fiction. Enjoyable, funny, sweet, smart, and heartbreaking. Don’t miss it.” – RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico

“Carefully structured and suspenseful. The backstory that emerges has so many sinister twists and turns that it becomes mind-boggling. A documentary that plays like a nerve-jangling thriller.” – The Wrap, Dan Callahan

“GRADE: A. SHOCKING, THRILLING and WILDLY ENTERTAINING. This film packs a heck of a lot of surprises, most of which will make your jaw drop… I can confidently guarantee this movie hooks you from the very beginning and never lets up. It’s also incredibly moving, leaving a lasting impression that you won’t easily shake. I have a feeling this is a film we’re going to be talking about for a long time to come.” – Collider, Adam Chitwood

Half the Picture, Director Amy Adrion

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

 

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For news and updates go to: halfthepicture.com

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instagram.com/halfthepicture

twitter.com/amyadrion

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

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

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

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

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

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

Filmworker – Director Tony Zierra

Filmworker is an observation on how legends and legendary works are created. The complex, productive and interdependent relationship between Leon Vitali and Stanley Kubrick was founded on devotion, artistic passion, sensibility, sacrifice and the grueling joy of the creative process. It’s a rare person who would give up fame and fortune to toil in obscurity for someone else’s creative vision. Yet, that’s exactly what Leon Vitali did after his acclaimed performance as ‘Lord Bullingdon” in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. On the brink of a successful acting career, the young actor stepped back from the limelight in order to become the right-hand man to perhaps the most influential and ground-breaking filmmaker of his time, Stanley Kubrick. Vitali played a crucial part in the director’s career, working tirelessly in close collaboration with Kubrick in helping to make and maintain his extraordinary legacy of work. Vitali’s unique working relationship with Kubrick is explored through anecdotes about his candid, funny (and sometimes shocking) experiences with the director, enhanced with a rich variety of previously-unseen archival materials including photos, videos, letters and notebooks from Vitali’s personal collection, and brought together through interviews with actors, family, and key film industry professionals who worked with both Kubrick and Vitali. Filmworker. Director Tony Zierra joins us to talk about the creative process, Stanley Kubrick and his closest and most dedicated collaborator, Leon Vitali, who once described his own occupation simply as “Filmworker.”

 

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For news and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/filmworker

93% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Movie love at its purest. A celebration of its anonymous inhabitants’ role in bringing our collective dreams to life.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Five stars! Tender. A revealing and stirring celebration of one of cinema’s unacknowledged heroes.” – Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian

“An arresting cinemaniac documentary. Pure candy for Kubrick buffs.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Revealing. A fascinating portrait of Stanley Kubrick’s devoted aide de camp. Honors the hard-working, often unacknowledged craftsmen in the film industry.” – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

“Catnip to Kubrick obsessives.” – Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

“The ultimate fan story: a tale of what it means to live vicariously through a genius.” – Ben Kenigsberg, RogerEbert.com

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema – Paul Malcolm, FIlm Programmer

When UCLA Film & Television Archive launched its annual UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in 1990, it was the first showcase for new Iranian films in the U.S. It has been a platform for exciting new voices in cinema as well as a dialogue to foster cultural understanding—and in that time Iranian filmmakers have moved to the forefront of the cinematic world. It has also been a barometer of global politics. In partnership with Farhang Foundation, this year’s UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema offers Los Angeles the chance to see a stellar lineup of new Iranian films that includes four Los Angeles premieres and three U.S. premieres, along with the revival of a modern classic. From fraught intimate relationships to big social issues, these expertly crafted films reveal the complexities – and universalities – of contemporary Iran. The annual celebration, now entering its 28th year, showcases the best in contemporary Iranian Cinema. Paul Malcolm is the film programmer for UCLA Film & Television Archive where he began in 2007. He was an associate programmer of feature and short films for the Los Angeles Film Festival 2006-2010. As adjunct faculty at Chapman University, he has taught classes on the history and aesthetics of 3D cinema and film reviewing at Chapman University. He was also assistant film editor and film critic for the LA Weekly from 1998-2006. Malcolm graduated from USC with a BA in journalism and he received his MA in Film Studies from UCLA. He is a Sundance Institute Arts Writing Fellow (2001).

 

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WHAT: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation

All films originate from Iran and are in Persian or Azari with English subtitles.

WHEN: April 28 – May 19, 2018

WHERE: UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission available here.

For news and updates go to: UCLA Celebration iranian Cinema

For information on the Billy Wilder Theater

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Festival Co-Director David Magdael

Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its outstanding program of films and events for the upcoming 34th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running MAY 3 – MAY 12, 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, 39 feature films and 79 shorts from the over 800 submissions will be showcased during the ten-day fest. The Festival opens with the Los Angeles premiere of Aneesh Chaganty’s feature debut  SEARCHING starring John Cho and Debra Messing giving audiences an early chance to see the movie that took the NEXT audience award and the Alfred P. Sloan award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other programs include  CENTERPIECE FILMS will feature two outstanding world premieres with IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC and FICTION & OTHER REALITIES. Centerpiece Films will be presented on Saturday, May 5th at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.  The CLOSING NIGHT FILM will be the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed 2018 Sundance World Documentary Special Jury Award winner MATANGI/ MAYA/ M.I.A., directed by Stephen Loveridge.  Inspired by her roots, M.I.A. created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the voice of multicultural youth. Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Co-Director David Magdael will join us to talk about this years’s exciting festival line up.

 

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For news and updates on the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival go to: Festival.VConline.org/2018

Where is Kyra, Director Andrew Dosunmu

Presenting Michelle Pfeiffer in one of the most acclaimed performances of her storied career, Andrew Dosunmu’s WHERE IS KYRA?  tells the story of Kyra Johnson,  a middle-aged divorcee who moves into her elderly mother’s Brooklyn apartment while she looks for work and tries to get back on her feet.  When her mother suddenly dies, Kyra is left without any support, both emotional and financial, and finds herself with very few options–none of them good.  Despite a blossoming affair with a sympathetic neighbor (Kiefer Sutherland) with struggles of his own, Kyra can’t accept that her once-tidy life has fallen apart, and she resorts to increasingly desperate measures to hold onto what little she has left. Another unique and evocative portrait of life in contemporary New York City, WHERE IS KYRA? is Dosunmu’s follow-up to his award-winning feature, Mother of George,  widely considered one of the best independent films of recent years. Re-teaming with writer Darci Picoult, cinematographer Bradford Young (Academy Award-nominated for Arrival, Selma), and composer Philip Young, Dosunmu brilliantly conveys the plight of a strong-willed, capable woman who nonetheless finds herself slipping through society’s cracks, and toppling from a stable, secure life to the very edge of ruin. Director Andrew Dosunmu joins us to talk about take on the “invisible” people living at the margins of our major urban centers, a collective loss of empathy, and the impact his photo-journalism work had on the making of this starkly beautiful film.

 

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The little minx artist collective

Andrew Dosunmu homepage

Andrew Dosunmu photo collection

80% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“This woman may be lost to the world, but in Dosunmu’s quietly shattering vision, she is also unexpectedly, triumphantly found.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“It’s a performance of such nuance and vulnerability, so quietly catastrophic in communicating this woman’s accumulation of loss.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

“Where Is Kyra? finally allows [Pfeiffer] to explore the darker, unvarnished side of her talent and gives her the opportunity to do perhaps the best work of her lengthy, eclectic career.” – Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com

“A shattering portrait of a luckless woman unable to pull out of the tailspin that is her life, “Where Is Kyra?” is a powerfully moody character study anchored by a remarkable performance from Michelle Pfeiffer.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

“Rarely on film has the sheer debilitating exhaustion of poverty been so clearly conveyed.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

Wild Wild Country, Director Maclain Way and Chapman Way

On a quiet day in 1981, disciples of an obscenely wealthy religious guru named Bhagwan Rajneesh suddenly appear in the small, conservative Oregon town of Antelope, dressed in all red and with portraits of their leader hanging from their necks. This, of course, makes the townsfolk uneasy. The Rajneesh followers spend over $125 million to build Rajneeshpuram, a 64,000-acre utopia, complete with a hospital, schools, restaurants, a shopping mall, and their own airport. The spokesperson for the movement is Ma Anand Sheela, a fearless disciple whose belief in the principles of Rajneesh are only outweighed by her feisty spirit. In order to stack the results of county elections in their favor, the Rajneesh bus thousands of homeless people onto the ranch. When these new recruits are denied voting rights by the state, Rajneesh leaders surreptitiously infect local restaurants with salmonella, resulting in the largest biochemical terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And that’s only the beginning … Directors Maclain and Chapman Way, whose debut documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, return with this riveting six-part docu-series that recounts the amazing true story of a fallen religious movement. They join us to talk about this amazing, riveting and unbelievable story.”To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series.” 

 

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For news and updates go to: netflix.com

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Wild Wild Country…is a true story that seems too strange to be real, but with the sure hands of directors Chapman and Maclain Way, who weave this together with a keen artistic skill, it manages to feel not only tangible, but it provokes sincere emotion.” – Kristy Strouse, FIlm Inquiry

“To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series.” – Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

“Wild Wild Country couldn’t be more timely-even if the particulars of its story are crazily unique to itself.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“It’s a slice of partially forgotten history in which real life just keeps getting more and more outlandish and implausible.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

Thoroughbreds, Director Cory Finley

Childhood friends Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Lily has turned into a polished, upper-class teenager, with a fancy boarding school on her transcript and a coveted internship on her resume; Amanda has developed a sharp wit and her own particular attitude, but all in the process of becoming a social outcast. Though they initially seem completely at odds, the pair bond over Lily’s contempt for her oppressive stepfather, Mark, and as their friendship grows, they begin to bring out one another’s most destructive tendencies. Their ambitions lead them to hire a local hustler, Tim, and take matters into their own hands to set their lives straight. From first-time writer-director Cory Finley comes a darkly comic psychological thriller exploring friendship, privilege and morality in a rarefied Connecticut setting of sprawling mansions, equestrian stables and elite private schools. Starring Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) and Anton Yelchin (Green Room), in one of his final screen performances, Thoroughbreds takes its cues from classic film noir, locating a deadpan wickedness in the maneuvers of his dual protagonists Amanda and Lily.  Director and writer Cory Finley joins us to talk about his his background as a playwright, adjusting to life on a film set and working with his stellar cast of young actors.

For news and updates go to: focusfeatures.com/thoroughbreds

 

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86% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“It’s a testament to the twisted brilliance of (Cory) Finley’s film that a scumbag drug dealer becomes its moral center.” – Rob Thomas, Capital Times

“Set in the opulent, WASP-y world of teen divas with killer instincts, Cory Finley’s deliciously depraved satire skewers an empathy drain that he sees as sadly emblematic of modern life.” – Peter Travis, Rolling Stone

“Remember the name Cory Finley.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety

“Thoroughbreds was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Cory Finley, and for other amateurs it’s a masterclass in squeezing everything you can out of a small budget.” – Andrew Lapin, NPR

“Thoroughbreds, in other words, has been made with diabolical craft and intelligence, the kind that marks director (Cory) Finley as a major new American talent.” – A.A. Dowd, AV Club

“One of the most assured and impressive American debut movies of the year.” – Oliver Lyttleton, The Playlist