The Ghost of Peter Sellers, Director Peter Medak

The Ghost of Peter Sellers is a comic-tragic feature doc about what it takes to be a film director and survive your biggest disaster. After 43 years the wounds have barely healed for Director Peter Medak (The Ruling Class, A Day in the Death of Joe Egg, Romeo is Bleeding) and this is his opportunity to tell the story and finally release the weight associated with its failure. At its core lies the story of an unraveling production but also the tale of a young Director firmly on a path to greatness. Medak had made 3 back-to-back successes; most notably ‘The Ruling Class’ in 1972 with Peter O’Toole. This film changed his career forever. In September 1973 Peter Sellers embarked on the production of a 17th Century pirate comedy in Cyprus for Columbia Pictures (Ghost in the Noonday Sun). Structured around the original director Peter Medak and his journey back to the island 42 years later, The Ghost of Peter Sellers is a timeline of events supported by eye-opening and heart-felt interviews with remaining cast members, production staff, Cypriot locals and others from the world of filmmaking. From Los Angeles to New York, from London to Cyprus, Medak recaptures what it was like to work with the genius talents of Sellers and Milligan whilst explaining the saga of the Pirate film and how such a brilliant and funny idea could go so terribly wrong and become a total disaster. Director Peter Medak joins us for a candid conversation on the toll the making of his star-crossed film took on him professionally, personally and psychologically and where he is today.

For news and updates go to: theghostofpetersellers.com

Watch now on Virtual Theatre: theghostofpetersellers.com

About the Director – Peter Medak is an award-winning international Film Director. Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1937. In 1956 he fled to England at the age of 18 during the famous uprising against the communist regime. He studied and worked his way through by being an assistant editor, assistant cameraman and eventually a 3rd, 2nd and 1st assistant Director on some of the most remarkable British Films of the late 50’s and early 60’s. He was fortunate enough to work with some of the most legendary British film Directors such as Sir Carol Reed, Anthony Asquith, Fred Zimmerman and many others. In 1967 he went under contract with Paramount Studios where he directed his first feature film called Negatives with Glenda Jackson in her first ever film. He then proceeded making two highly acclaimed black comedies: A day in the death of Joe Egg (starring Alan Bates and Janet Suzman) and The Ruling Class (Starring Peter O’ Toole) for which he received an Academy Award Nomination. Since that time he has Directed a great number of feature films on both sides of the Atlantic starring Peter Sellers, Alan Bates, George C Scott, Richard Harris, Gary Oldman, Ted Danson and many more. In recent years Peter has made The Krays which won him The Evening Standard  Award for “Best Director in England”. Then he made Let Him Have ItRomeo is BleedingThe Men’s Club etc. In addition, he has directed a great number of television plays, mini-series, films for television, operas and stage productions over the past 50 years of his directing career and continues today.

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“The director has made a documentary that’s both a mea culpa for his role in a botched enterprise that left no one looking good and an affecting attempt to define a life’s turning point.” – Todd McCarthy. Hollywood Reporter

“Deeply entertaining and profoundly moving, The Ghost of Peter Sellers offers a slice of forgotten movie history that, it turns out, is well worth remembering.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“Many times throughout the documentary, Medak’s friends and associated ask him why he’s making this film. Like those tragic moments in our lives, we have to re-live it and confront it in order to move on with life.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

“The Ghost of Peter Sellers beautifully allows the guilt-ridden director to exorcise his demons; against himself, against Sellers and against the film itself, within this surprisingly eloquent contemplation of a well-intentioned misfire.” – Alex Lines, Film Inquiry

Punching and Stealing, Co-director Ryan Churchill (Danny Parker-Lopes)

Inspired by actual crime. Set in the streets of Las Vegas, away from the strip, PUNCHING AND STEALING is an action comedy vigilante film about Sam Bransby (Ryan Churchill), a young man that becomes jaded and uses violence to get back his dad’s stolen pension money from corporate suits under the direction of his hitman boss (Melvin Rodriguez) in their organization, “Pension Recovery Force”. As fate would have it, as he turns to the dark side (with humor) in his vigilante faction, he meets the love of his life, Jen (Jenny Vilim). As hard as he tries to keep it a secret from her, his vigilante world and love life collide. He attempts to convince her to be his wing-woman but her moral code prohibits her from joining Sam’s underground faction of “beating people until they’re unrecognizable.” A modern day indie caper taking place over 13 years both in plot and film. Co-director, co-producer and lead actor Ryan Churchill stops by to talk about a personal connection to the origin story for his oft-kilter, high-energy comedy and how he pulled together a terrific supporting cast that pushed PUNCHING AND STEALING into a higher trajectory.

For news and updates go to: PunchingAndStealingMovie.com

For more on the filmmaker go to: ryanchurchill.com

Available now on:
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Amazon: tinyurl.com/yd385kfxhttps://youtu.be/9JOgvWY0T3o

 

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Ovid and the Art of Love, Director Esmé von Hoffman

Set centuries apart but in the same place, OVID AND THE ART OF LOVE tellsthe story of the renowned Roman poet Ovid, whose comic verses and permissive lifestyle provoked the brutal Emperor Augustus’s ire. As Ovid and the emperor’s granddaughter – thrown together by fate – race to escape execution, Ovid’s story asks: In a world of unrest, is love the most radical act of all? Bringing together togas, high-tops, oration, poetry slams and hip-hop, this film tells a timely story about power, pleasure and politics. Strong women characters clamor for respect and a better place in society. All is set amongst the faded beauty of modern Detroit’s neoclassical architecture. Corbin Bleu (High School Musical) masterfully transforms into the poet Ovid, whose work has been cherished for over 2,000 years, while John Savage (The Deer Hunter) gives an electrifying performance as Augustus, Ovid’s conflicted nemesis. Tara Summers (Mercy Street, Boston Legal) plays Julia, Augustus’s tough, rebellious daughter, and Tamara Feldman (Gossip Girl, Hatchet) is the emperor’s activist granddaughter. Also starring Joseph McKenna (Shutter Island, 12 Monkeys) and Lailani Ledesma (Comedy Central’s Detroiters). Director and writer Esmé von Hoffman joins us to talk about her decision to recast this tale of a free-thinking Roman artist speaking truth to power as a modern parable. 

For news and updates go to: ovidandtheartoflove.com

About the filmmaker – Esmé von Hoffman: With a background in theater, journalism and visual arts, Esmé von Hoffman brings a fresh aesthetic to film to create a unique and topical world. An American-German dual citizen, born and raised in the U.S., Esmé has directed several shorts and has worked as a film editor on Alex Ross Perry’s Listen Up Philip, and Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior and as a producer. She received a Sudler Fund for the Arts grant for her 16 mm film “Oblivion” and was commissioned to produce and direct a series of short documentaries, including one profiling three editors at The New York Times. Esmé was president of the Yale Film Society, where she oversaw visits of industry leaders including David Lynch, Alexander Payne and Doug Wick. She recently served as Director of the Filmmaking Program at The Edit Center in New York City.

 

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“Though Detroit may seem like an unusual backdrop for a classic story of government intrigue, politicking, and romance, the urban setting works … attracting an aware, woke audience who are almost certainly overdue for discovery of the charms of a 2000 year old poet.” – Picture This Post

“Corbin Bleu masterfully transforms into the poet Ovid, whose work has been cherished for over 2,000 years, while John Savage gives an electrifying performance as Augustus, Ovid’s conflicted nemesis.”– Vimooz

“Such a novel film … extremely entertaining and enlightening… ”– Debbie Elias, Behind the Lens, Adrenaline Radio

“Writer/director Esme von Hoffman has taken the risk of trying to blend the customs and costumes of Ancient Rome with the vibe of 21st century America … giving viewers a sometimes quirky, sometimes humorous, and sometimes brutal film that is unlike most of the fare on today’s big screens.” – Theatre Byte

Defending Jacob, Executive Producer Mark Bomback

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.

 

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To watch Defending Jacob go to: tv.apple.com/us/show/defending-jacob

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“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

Raising Buchanan, Creator and Actor Amanda Melby

Inspired by a couple of true presidential corpse stories: the 1876 plot to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body, and the exhumation of Zachary Taylor in 1991, RAISING BUCHANAN took the idea of presidential corpse stealing to extraordinary lengths of dark comedy delight with terrible dead presidents. Because there’s certainly something to be learned from terrible presidents, as well as laughing at them. Finding their inspiration in the off-kilter tone of the dramatically rooted comedies of Alexander Payne, the Coen Brothers, and Hal Ashby, the RAISING BUCHANAN stars Amanda Melby (Candid Camera), René Auberjonois (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine), Cathy Shim (Reno 911!), Robert Ben Garant (Reno 911!), Terence Bernie Hines (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), Jennifer Pfalzgraff  (21 Grams), Steve Briscoe (Covet), Lynnette ‘L.A.’ Brown (Kerry and Angie), and M. Emmet Walsh (Blade Runner). Produced by Melby and Joe Gruberman (Eleven Eleven), this award-winning feature film swept the film festival circuit racking up multiple awards, including: Best Feature, Best Dramedy, Best Actress (Melby) and Best Screenplay (Bruce Dellis), among others. Creator and lead actor Amanda Melby stops by for a lively conversation on her wryly funny and endearing film, Raising Buchanan, and her collaboration with the late, great René Auberjonois.

 

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For news and updates go to: raisingbuchanan.com

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“Auberjonois is so good as the feckless leader, nobly defending his poor decisions, that it makes you long for a full one-man show that will never come.” – Josh Bell, Crooked Marquee

“Surely, Buchanan was never going to earn the kind of cinematic lionization that so many American filmmaking greats (like Steven Spielberg and John Ford) gave to good old Abe Lincoln, but he could have done a whole lot worse than this.” – Nick Rocco Scalia. Film Threat

“Simply as a showcase for two of the best character actors of the last fifty years, Raising Buchanan deserves praise.” – M.V. Moorhead, Phoenix Magazine

The Plagiarists – Screenwriters Robin Schavoir and James N. Kienitz Wilkins

Co-written by experimental filmmakers James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir (who, along with Paul Dallas, served as producers), The Plagiarists is at once a hilarious send-up of low-budget American indie filmmaking and a probing inquiry into race, relationships, and the social uncanny. A young novelist (Lucy Kaminsky) and her cinematographer boyfriend (Eamon Monaghan) are waylaid by a snowstorm on their way to visit a friend in upstate New York and are taken in by the kindly yet enigmatic Clip (Michael “Clip” Payne of Parliament Funkadelic), who puts them up for the night. But an accidental discovery months later recasts in an unnerving light what had seemed like an agreeable evening, stoking resentments both latent and not-so-latent. Exhilaratingly intelligent and distinctively shot on a vintage TV-news camera, The Plagiarists is a work whose provocations are inseparable from its pleasures. Screenwriters James N. Kienitz Wilkins and Robin Schavoir join us to talk about whip-smart project, as well as their creative process, white privilege, blending together acting styles and Dogma 95.

Background – The Plagiarists is a dramatic comedy about the clash of money and culture, reality and desire, race and identity. It’s a social satire about who has the privilege to say what in today’s world. It was conceived as a playful critique of the mannerisms of “indie film” used by aspiring filmmakers to denote authenticity of performance, often resulting in the casual perpetuation of stereotypes. The Plagiarists is at once the thing it mimics: a completely independent micro-budget feature shot entirely on vintage news cameras from the 1980s, despite a contemporary subject matter. The camera cited in the story is also the production camera, recording on real Betacam SP videotape (sourced from eBay) to create a visual style reflecting the internal debate over obsolescence, nostalgia, and the heavy weight of originality.

 

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For news and updates go to: kimstim.com/film/plagiarists

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“An adventurous comic thumping worth the working over of your sensibilities.” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“Its crude imagery and the sharp editing that implicitly contradicts it are deliberate components of a termite-like digging into the permutations of postmodern cultural work.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“The Plagiarists’ perfectly judged mimicry of independent cinema illustrates the profound effect a lack of diversity has on the type of art that gets made.” – Patrick Gamble, CineVue

“The film improves upon reflection, raising, as it does, some knotty questions about originality in art and in life, as well as provocatively positing that even a copy of a copy of a copy has the potential to move hearts and minds.” – Keith Uhlich, Hollywood Reporter

Circus of Books, Director Rachel Mason

For 35-plus years, the gay porn shop Circus of Books gave Los Angeles’ LGBT+ community a space to socialize and celebrate themselves without judgment. Unbeknownst to many customers, the store was cultivated by owners Karen and Barry Mason, a straight, mainstream couple with three children who went to religious school and were unaware of their parents’ business. The Masons long refused to disclose the nature of their business to friends or family. While maintaining the secret, they witnessed the dawn of the HIV/AIDS epidemic firsthand, losing a generation of treasured employees. Still, during that time, they never identified https://www.netflix.com/title/81011569as activists — just everyday entrepreneurs catering to a market, until the Internet destroyed it. Executive produced by Ryan Murphy, CIRCUS OF BOOKS is the debut documentary from artist Rachel Mason, who finally asks the least radical people she knows — her parents — how they became America’s biggest distributors of gay porn, and why Karen reacted so negatively when her own son came out of the closet.Director and daughter Rachel Mason joins us to talk her parents, her brothers, her own story and the impact her family’s business had on a community fighting to survive.

Circus of Books is nows screening at: netflix.com

About the filmmaker – Rachel Mason is an artist, musician and filmmaker from Los Angeles. Mason has recorded 13 albums, has toured, exhibited sculpture, video and performance at the Whitney Museum, Queens Museum, LACMA, Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art, School of the Art Institute in Chicago, Henry Gallery in Seattle, James Gallery at CUNY, University Art Museum in Buffalo, Sculpture Center, Hessel Museum of Art at Bard and Occidental College, Kunsthalle Zurich, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, The New Museum, Park Avenue Armory, Art in General, La Mama, Galapagos, Dixon Place, and Empac Center for Performance in Troy among other venues. Reviews include New York Times, Village Voice, Los Angeles Times, Flash Art, Art in America, Art News, and Artforum. Her album and feature film, The Lives of Hamilton Fish. has toured festivals and museums internationally and was released in 2016.

For more about Rachel Mason go to: rachelmasonart.com

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98% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Circus of Books is the story of an American family who wandered into the eye of history, and a virtuoso example of how to make a movie both very big and very small at once.” – Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

“A RARE DELIGHT – AND A NEARLY PERFECT DOCUMENTARY. Mason keeps a thread of tension taut throughout, never losing sight of the contradictions between her parents’ work and their home life.” – Jude Dry, IndieWire

“VERY FUNNY, VERY MOVING. The filmmaker does right by front-loading most of the snicker-worthy scenes. She knows that even the most open-minded among us need to get past a certain level of shock and incredulity to see Karen and Barry as the beautiful, and beautifully complicated, people they are.” – Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“Circus of Books tells this complex and enthralling story, about the rise and fall of their family business, with a unique specificity. It’s Mason’s lack of distance from the subject — in fact, it’s that she, too, is part of the story — that makes the picture soar with intimacy.” – Tre’vell Anderson, OUT

Mossville, When Great Trees Fall, Director Alexander John Glustrom

Mossville, Louisiana is a shadow of its former self – a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people and free people of color – where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow. Today, Mossville is surrounded by 14 petrochemical plants and the future site of apartheid-born South African-based chemical company Sasol’s newest plant – proposed as a $21.2 billion project and the largest in the western hemisphere. The remaining family members of Mossville struggle to let go of their ancestral home – and at the center of it all is a man named Stacey Ryan. Stacey is 49 years old and a lifelong resident of Mossville. In the past ten years Stacey has lost much of his family to cancer and seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project. Having promised his dying parents to fight the sprawling chemical companies, Stacey struggles to keep his word as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone, or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.,MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall Director and Editor Alexander John Glustrom joins us to talk about one man’s fight to hold on to the last patch of a historic community and the legacy of a shattered community.

 

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For news and updates go to: mossvilleproject.com

About the filmmaker: Alexander John Glustrom – Director / Editor / Director of Photography – Alexander John Glustrom’s first film was the award winning documentary, “Big Charity,” winner of The Jury Award and Audience Award at New Orleans Film Festival and the 2015 Documentary of the Year by Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He was awarded “Filmmaker of the Year” at the 2015 New Orleans Millennial Awards and one of New Orleans’ “40 under 40” by Gambit Magazine. He has directed, shot, produced, and edited a wide variety of film and media projects that have reached hundreds of thousands online, played at film festivals internationally and aired on major networks including HBO, CNN, Fusion, NYtimes.com, Great Big Story and Democracy Now.  Daniel Bennett, Katie Mathews and Catherine Rierson are Producers, while Linda Karn and Michelle Lanier serve as Executive Producers.

For more about Alexander John Glustrom go to: ajgmedia.com

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MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall will be broadcast nationally on the PBS series Reel South beginning May 25 and on the world channel beginning May 31.

MOSSVILLE: When Great Trees Fall opens virtually in theaters in New York on May 7 through the Maysles Documentary Center, and in Los Angeles on May 8 through the Laemmle Theaters. Select screenings will be followed by a Q&A with filmmakers.  Additional participating theaters include Milwaukee Film Sofa Theater (Milwaukee, WI), Smith Rafael Film Center (Marin County, CA), Grail Moviehouse (Asheville, NC), Frida Cinema (Santa Ana, CA), Broad Theater (New Orleans, LA) and Tampa Theatre (Tampa, FL). Please check the MOSSVILLE website for more information on theaters and Q&As: mossvilleproject.com/screenings

“Striking and Urgent…” – Indie Wire

“Mossville captures the devastation of the destruction of a community with grace and empathy and has a message that will reverberate across generations.” – BRWC

“A sad and uncommonly stunning exploration of environmental racism and the adverse effects of industrialization on fenceline communities.” – Anti-Gravity

“A nightmarish landscape is the battleground for Stacey’s defiant spirit, as he’s forced to choose between a better life for his son and fighting to preserve his ancestors’ legacy.” – Planet in Focus

Shadows of Freedom, Co-directors Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud

SHADOWS OF FREEDOM recounts the untold story of the Jewish & French resistance of 1942 in Algiers, which helped change the course of WWII, yet remains largely forgotten. These 388 resistors – mostly young and inexperienced – almost haplessly ended up supporting the Allies in North Africa. In the process they paved the way for a successful invasion of Algiers by the U.S., but also helped to save the lives of over 500,000 Jews in North Africa, targeted by Hitler’s Final Solution. This was all part of OPERATION  TORCH the joint American/U.K. mission that was to be the Allies’ first successful strike against the Nazis. This largely forgotten military operation remains to this day as the longest invasion in the history of conflict. Co-directors and co-producers Amos Carlen and Aline Robichaud join us to talk about a little known but critically important chapter of French resistance, American and British military strategy and the courageous contributions made by Jewish resistance fighters. 

 

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For news and updates go to: shadowsfreedom.com/home

 
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* OPERATION TORCH was the 1942 Anglo-American invasion of North Africa (Algeria and Morocco). It was the 1st joint operation of the U.S. and the U.K., the 1st Allied success against the Nazis and, until D-Day, the largest military operation ever undertaken. It was a hugely significant turning point in the war – aided greatly by the resistance in Algiers – yet remains largely forgotten. SHDOWS OF FREEDOM unveils the importance of Operation Torch in the hopes of highlighting this historical moment that stands as a remarkable achievement by America and Great Britain. This powerful alliance made victory a certainty.

Himalayan Ice, Co-director Austin Schmitz and Ari Novak

In December 2018, alpinists Ari Novak and Karsten Delap set out for India to explore one of the most remote valleys in the Indian Himalaya with local climber Karn Kowshik. Their goal was to meet with the indigenous population of the Spiti Valley and try to support local ice climbing. What they found was perhaps the biggest treasure trove of unclimbed ice in all the Himalaya. HIMALAYAN ICE (Adventures in India’s Most Remote Valley) tells the history-making story of their journey to put up nine first ascents and start an ice climbing movement by the local population. From their journey to the valley along the most treacherous road on earth to walking amongst Snow Leopards, the expedition was anything but expected. Co-directors Austin Schmitz and Ari Novak join us to talk the challenges of getting to India’s Spiti Valley, connecting with the people, climbers and non-climbers, and the life lessons learned during their remarkable journey.

 

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For news and updates go to: himalayanicefilm.com

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Supporting Himalayan Ice: Himalayan Ice is presented by La Sportiva to raise money and awareness for impoverished and indigenous populations to enable these native people to climb in their own mountains. By empowering native populations through climbing for conservation we hope to establish and protect safe climbing areas for native populations in the worlds great mountain ranges. Himalayan Ice has partnered with Project Conservation a 501c3 non profit to enable our efforts. Ticket proceeds will directly go to support this non profit effort.

2020 Oscars© Nominated Short Films, with ShortsTV Chief Executive, Carter Pilcher

For over a decade, ShortsTV has proudly brought the Oscar© Nominated Short Films to audiences across the globe. This exclusive release features the year’s most spectacular short films and for a limited time is available to watch on the big screen. Each nominee is released in one of three distinct feature-length compilations according to their category of nomination: Live Action, Animation or Documentary. The films go into theaters around the world shortly after nominations are announced and are not released anywhere else until a few days before the Oscars©, when they are also made available via on demand platforms, including iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play and Vimeo on Demand. The release ensures the greatest number of viewers can see all the nominees before the ceremony, while providing short filmmakers with an unprecedented opportunity to commercialize their movies. Carter Pilcher founded Shorts International in 2000. Coming from a background in both investment banking and law, Carter has made Shorts International the world’s leading short movie Entertainment Company, functioning as distributor, broadcaster and producer. Carter has extensive experience in short movie production and short movie entertainment. He is a voting member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and a member of the Short Film and Feature Animation Branch of The US Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) – the guys who pick the Oscars. For the last five years Carter Pilcher has been the highlight of Oscar season here on Film School. His insight, commitment and love of the short film format and the dedicated people who create them insures a lively and informative conversation on some of the best films you will see all year.

 

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For news and updates go to: shorts.tv/theoscarshorts

 

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Memorable, Director Bruno Collet

Recently, Louis, a painter, is experiencing strange events. his world seems to be mutating. Slowly, furniture, objects and people lose their realism. they are destructuring, sometimes disintegrating…

Director’s Biography: Born in 1965 in Saint-Brieuc, France, Bruno collet got his art Degree from the Rennes college of Fine arts in 1990. From 1993 he worked as a set designer on numerous productions in stop motion before starting his career as an author director in 2001 with LE DOS AU MUR, awarded at the cannes critic’s Week. THE LITTLE DRAGON, his stop-motion animated tribute to Bruce lee, won 48 awards and was selected at Sundance Film Fest. MEMORABLE is his sixth short film.

Awards:

Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Winner Cristal 2019
Best Short / Prix du Public au Festival International du Film d’Animation Annecy 2019
Audience award Anima Mundi Rio 2019
Best art direction Anima Mundi Rio 2019
Grand prix IAF Krok 2019
Best animated short COLCOA L.A. 2019
Audience award, Calgary Film Festival 2019
Audience award Cinanima Espinho 2019
Best film, Linoleum Film Festival Kiev 2019
Audience award Big Cartoon Moscow 2019
Best film Castelli Animati Roma 2019
Audience award Kaboom Festival Amsterdam 2019
Cristal for a short film, FIFA Annecy 2019
Audience award, FIFA Annecy 2019
Junior jury award for a short film, FIFA Annecy 2019
Best Art Direction award, Anima Mundi Rio 2019
Audience award Rio, Anima Mundi Rio 2019
Audience award Sào Paulo, Anima Mundi Rio 2019
Junior jury award, FMK Pordenone 2019
Best international film award, Linoleum animation festival Kiev 2019

Festivals/Screenings:

Festival Court-Métrange de Rennes 2019
Anima Mundi film Festival de Rio de Janeiro 2019 Festival Séquence Court Métrage de Toulouse 2019 Festival Imaginaria de Conversano 2019
Linoleum Film Festival de Moscou 2019
Bueu International Short Film Festival 2019

Brotherhood, Director Meryam Joobeur

Mohamed is a hardened shepherd living in rural Tunisia with his wife and two sons. Mohamed is deeply shaken when his oldest son Malik returns home after a long journey with a mysterious new wife. tension between father and son rises over three days until reaching a breaking point.

Director’s Biography: Tunisian-American writer/director Meryam Joobeur is a graduate of Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in Montréal. She is currently developing three feature films including the feature version of BROTHERHOOD and has participated in the Berlinale Talent Lab (2016) TiFF Talent Lab (2016) and the Rawi Screenwriter’s Lab (2016).

 

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** 2020 Academy Award nomination – Best Live Action Short **

Awards:

Short Cuts Award for the Best Canadian Short – Toronto Int. Film Festival, 2018
Best Canadian Short Film, Audience Award – Festival du Nouveau Cinema, 2018
Tanit d’Or for the Best Fiction Short – Carthage Film Festival, 2018
ZBK Audience Award – Winterthur Int. Short Film Festival, 2018
Audience Award – Festival Images en Vues, 2018
Methexis Award for Best Short Film – MedFilm Festival, 2018
Best Canadian Short Film – Festival Int. du Film Francophone en Acadie, 2018
Canadian Short Work Award, AWFJ Best Female Directed Short Award – Whistler Film Festival, 2018
Jury’s Mention, Audience Mention – Regard Saguenay Int. Short Film Festival, 2019
Best Int. Short Film Award – Int. Film Festival of Uruguay, 2019

Cyrano, My Love, Director Alexis Michalik

In Alexis Michalik’s rousing, re-telling of the story about France’s enduring and iconic dramatist Edmond Rostand is not yet thirty, but he already has two children and a lot of anxieties. He hasn’t written anything for two years. In desperation, he offers the great Constant Coquelin a new play, a heroic comedy, written in verse for the holidays. There is just one problem: the play hasn’t been written yet. Ignoring the whims of the actresses, the demands of his Corsican producers, his wife’s jealousy, his best friend’s relationship problems and the lack of enthusiasm of all those around him, Edmond begins to write the play that nobody believes in. For the time being, he only has the title: ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’ Director Alexis Michalik joins us o talk about the recasting of this timeless tale as a peak behind the curtain of a failing playwright’s topsy-turvy effort to bring his tale of unrequited love to life and how his own attempts to bring Edward Rostand’s story to the screen eerily mirrored Cyrano’s author Edward Rostand.

 

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Director’s Statement: Cyrano, My Love is a project that I have had in mind for more than fifteen years. I first came up with the idea for it in 1999 when I saw Shakespeare in Love at the cinema. In this film, Joe Madden, based on real facts, recounted how Shakespeare found inspiration and wrote his greatest masterpiece, Romeo and Juliette, inspired by a beautiful muse despite being crippled by debt. I then asked myself why we had never made a similar film in France. A few years later I came across an information booklet which explained the circumstances surrounding the ‘première’ of Cyrano. I said to myself that it was unbelievable that nobody had ever thought to tell the greatest ‘success story’ of French theater. I realized that the author, Edmond Rostand was just 29 years old when he wrote it. He wrote such a masterpiece before even turning 30! I was astounded! I began to make notes and I went to see Alain Goldman, who encouraged me to write a script. It was around six years ago, and I was only 30 years old. We faced a great deal of struggles, as we couldn’t get financial backing for the film, which was deemed too costly. I was about to give up, when I went to London. And there, incredibly, among the many shows performed there was the theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare in Love! The play was marvelous, and so well received, and this gave me the idea to take up my Cyrano, My Love again, rewrite it for the theater and present it to Alain Goldman. Because the plays Le Porteur d’histoire and Le Cercle des illusionnistes had done quite well, they gave me the go ahead. Despite Cyrano, My Love requiring a significant number of comedians, the Palais Royal theater agreed to host it. The play was so successful that we soon found the budget that we needed to finance the film.Alexis Michalik

For news, updates and screenings go to roadsideattractions.com/cyranomylove

Cyrano, My Love opens on October 18 at the Laemmel Royal Theatre in Los Angeles

Social Media

facebook.com/RoadsideAttractionsFilms

twitter.com/roadsidetweets

#CyranoMyLove

instagram.com/roadsideattractionsfilms

“[A] brisk, funny, sneakily poignant love letter to words, plays, playwrights and actors.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

“… Michalik’s Cyrano, My Love is full of rapid-fire dialogue, engaging performances, and sublime direction, all of which capture the energy of a play on celluloid.” – Douglas Davidson, Elements of Madness

“A film that is completely different, a completely distinct proposal, that also ended up sculpting a respect and a love for the theater.” – Erick Estrada, Cinegarage

“A whimsical, charming and amusing antidote for all of the heavy, downbeat awards films.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

Chained for Life, Director Aaron Schimberg

Building on the promise of his hallucinogenic debut GO DOWN DEATH, filmmaker Aaron Schimberg delivers another brilliantly oddball, acerbically funny foray into gonzo surrealism. In a deft tragicomic performance, Jess Weixler (TEETH) plays Mabel, a movie star “slumming it” in an outré art-horror film being shot in a semi-abandoned hospital. Cast opposite her is Rosenthal (UNDER THE SKIN’ s Adam Pearson), a gentle-natured young man with a severe facial deformity. As their relationship evolves both on and offscreen, Schimberg raises provocative questions about cinematic notions of beauty, representation, and exploitation. Tod Browning crossed with Robert Altman crossed with David Lynch only begins to describe something this startlingly original and deeply felt. Director Aaron Schimberg joins us to talk about his hurly-burly, cosmically clever tale of misdirection, expectations and human connection.

Director’s Statement: As a filmmaker with a facial difference, I have never seen my experience accurately represented on screen. This film – the first, as far as I know, made by and starring disfigured people – is my humble attempt to remedy that. When disfigured characters are seen at all in films (usually played by handsome actors with disfiguring latex), they are trotted out to play monsters or objects of pity, made into vessels for the symbolic expression of cruelty, sin, villainy and other ills. “Bitter defectives,” as a character in my film says. Even when they’re portrayed sympathetically, they function only to impart inspirational lessons to the able-bodied people who encounter them. CHAINED FOR LIFE is my response to the way people with disfigurements have been portrayed in films (for instance, in FREAKS, THE ELEPHANT MAN, WONDER) throughout cinema’s history. It asks whether the sum of these portrayals has adversely affected the way we are regarded in real life. I consider it a comedy, but if you think it’s a tragedy, I wouldn’t argue with you.Aaron Schimberg

 

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For news, screenings and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/chained-for-life or chainedforlife.com

Chained for Life open at the Nuart Theatre in Los Angeles on September 13. Opening night with feature a Q&A with actress Jess Weixler following the 7:30 PM screening

Social Media:

facebook.com/chainedforlife

instagram.com/explore/tags/chainedforlife

instagram.com/fliescollective

vimeo.com/fliescollective

“Critic’s Pick! An inventive hall of mirrors… that keeps finding ways to upend its characters’ — and viewers’ — perspectives. Odd, darkly funny and — when it means to be — a little frightening.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“Extraordinary. A cinematic revolution.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Humane and transgressive, an American indie of unusually big ideas and aesthetic ambition.” – Nellie Killian, Film Comment

“Bizarre and beautiful. Leaves us on thrillingly shifty ground.” – Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter

“Mesmerizing. A remarkable mind trip of a movie sure to leave audiences reeling.” – Kate Erbland, Indiewire

“Razor-sharp. Mesmerizingly close to the sensation of a waking dream.” – Calum Marsh, Village Voice

“An intoxicating whirlwind of ideas, spectacularly moving and entertaining. Chained for Life could be a defining film about representation for any group that Hollywood marginalizes.” – Andrew Todd, Birth.Movies.Death

Out of State, Director Ciara Lacy

** Independent Lens Spotlight

The riveting new documentary by Ciara Lacy Out of State provides an inside look at the lives of two native Hawaiians sent thousands of miles away from the tropical islands to a private prison in the Arizona desert. In this unlikely setting, David and Hale find a community of other native Hawaiians and discover their indigenous traditions from a fellow inmate serving a life sentence. Hoping for a fresh start and eager to prove that the experience has changed them forever, the two men finish their terms and return to Hawai’i. But once on the outside, they struggle with life’s hurdles and wonder if it’s possible to ever go home again. Director Ciara Lacy joins us to talk about the challenges and the barriers facing two men struggling to make the best of what may be their last chance.

About the Filmmaker – Ciara Lacy

Director Ciara Lacy is a native Hawaiian filmmaker whose interest lies in crafting films that use strong characters and investigative journalism to challenge the creative and political status quo. She has produced documentary content for film and television, managed independent features, as well as coordinated product placement and clearances for various platforms. Her work has shown in theaters and has aired on PBS, ABC, TLC, Discovery, Bravo and A&E. Lacy is honored to be the inaugural Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellow and a current Princess Grace Awards Special Project grantee. She has also benefited from fellowships with Firelight Media’s Documentary Lab, the Sundance Institute, NATIVe at Berlinale, the Princess Grace Foundation, and IFP. Ciara holds a BA from Yale University, and graduated from Hawai`i’s Kamehameha Schools.

 

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For more on PBS award winning series go to: pbs.org/independentlens

For more about the film go to: outofstatefilm.com

For more about the filmmaker go to: ciaralacy.com

AWARDS

PORTLAND FILM FESTIVAL  Special Jury Award for Artistic Vision

HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL  Made in Hawaii Best Feature Film & Audience Choice for Documentary Feature

SAN DIEGO ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL – Best Feature Documentary

Right to Harm, Co-director Matt Wechsler Annie Speicher

** 2019 Newport Beach Film Festival Spotlight

Through the riveting stories of five rural communities, RIGHT TO HARM exposes the devastating public health impact factory farming has on many disadvantaged citizens throughout the United States. Filmed across the country, the documentary chronicles the failures of state agencies to regulate industrial animal agriculture. Known formally as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFOs – these facilities produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys the quality of life for nearby neighbors. The film features agricultural economist John Ikerd, who abandoned industry beliefs after a 14-year career as a livestock marketing specialist. RIGHT TO HARM tracks the tribulations and triumphs of rural residents across America who are victims of the past 50 years of agricultural consolidation and the consequential laws that now govern the land. Fed up with the lack of regulation, these disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice from their legislators. Filmmakers Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher skillfully weave together five stories that span eight states from the Southwest to the Midwest to the Eastern Shore. Farmers, mothers, scientists and politicians share intimate stories of how their lives were forever changed by factory farming. RIGHT TO HARM is an enlightening exploration that questions whether citizens are entitled to clean air and water, while examining the political issues that stand in the way of nationwide reform.

For news and updates go to: righttoharm.film

** Screening at the Newport Beach Film Festival – Find out when and where

Social Media:

facebook.com/righttoharm

twitter.com/righttoharm

instagram.com/righttoharm

**2019 Cinequest Film Festival Spotlight: Clean Hands, Director Michael Dominic

Stunningly lensed and invoking the very best of cinema vérité, director Michael Dominic (SUNSHINE HOTEL) brings his newest feature documentary CLEAN HANDS to the Cinequest Film Festival for a much anticipated world premiere. Shot over the course of seven years (2011-2018) in Nicaragua, Clean Hands is a feature-length documentary which tells the remarkable, riveting story of the Lopez family surviving against the backdrop of Central America’s largest garbage dump, La Chureca and beyond. It is about family, extreme poverty, the hope and innocence of children, rescue and salvation, and the challenges we all face. This is a slice of life that is rarely seen. Director Michael Dominic stops by for a conversation on how crushing poverty impacts multiple generations and the daunting challenges people face in breaking the poverty cycle.

 

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For news and updates go to: cleanhandsmovie.com

Festival screening dates at Cinequest:

Century 20 Redwood City – Screen 1 Saturday, March 9 @ 3:15 PM

Century 20 Redwood City – Screen 17 Sunday, March 10 @ 4:35 PM

3Below Wednesday, March 13 @ 1:40 PM

Social Media:

facebook.com/cleanhandsmovie

twitter.com/CleanHandsFilm

instagram.com/mdominic

2019 Slamdance Film Festival Spotlight

Spiral Farm, Director Alec Tibaldi

Up a dirt road, nestled in the hills of Southern California lies Spiral Farm, a vibrant and colorful intentional community inspired by the communes of the late 60’s. Its eclectic inhabitants look out for each other, as they work side by side on this completely self sustaining permaculture farm. 17 year-old Anahita (Piper De Palma), has lived on Spiral Farm for as long as she can remember and dreams of one day leaving the safety of Spiral and pursuing a career as a dancer. However, whenever she makes these plans she is always deterred by the thought of leaving Ocean, her eight year old nephew who she cares for and shares a deep bond with. Stifled by her responsibilities to her family and the commune, Anahita has developed what her mother (Amanda Plummer) calls a “bashfulness” when it comes to sexuality. When her mother’s old flame, Maurizio (Cosimo Fusco) arrives for an unexpected visit, he brings along his teenage son, Theo (Teo Halm). Anahita is immediately drawn to him, confused by her newfound feelings. When Theo discovers her passion for dance he encourages her to journey into the city for an audition. Away from the confines of the communes, Anahita discovers that although she lacks the technical skills to be a professional dancer, she may still be able to leave Spiral by going to college in the city changing the course of her life. But will Anahita, who has been so dedicated to others chose to live for herself? Director and writer Alex Tibaldi joins us to talk about his feature film debut and his intimate, moving character study of women in transition, searching for meaningful connections.

Letterboxd.com/film/spiral-farm

Behind the Bullet, Director Heidi Yewman

BEHIND THE BULLET is the directorial debut from author and activist, Heidi Yewman. When her former basketball coach and teacher, Dave Sanders was killed in the Columbine High School massacre along with 12 students, she began profiling the lives of those altered by the impact of gun violence. She is a tireless advocate for gun safety, sitting on the boards of The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Women Donors Network, Stop our Shootings, and Trauma Intervention Program of Portland, OR. In BEHIND THE BULLET will make it’s world debut as a documentary competition selection at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, Yewman chronicles an in-depth look at four individuals who have pulled the trigger and the profound impact it’s had on their lives. Every year, almost 40,000 people are shot and killed in America. Each shooting devastates and forever changes the victim’s family and friends. BEHIND THE BULLET explores a side of gun violence that’s rarely talked about – the impact a shooting has on the shooter. Four individuals share how the pull of a trigger, changed them emotionally, physically, psychologically, and spiritually. They describe the conflicting emotions and moral injury that comes after a self-defense, accidental, or unintentional shooting, offering a new and unbiased perspective on gun violence. Director Heidi Yewman joins us to talk about the devastating impacts that guns and the profound impact they have had on four people’s lives.

 

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For news and updates go to: behindthebulletfilm.com

“BEHIND THE BULLET is a captivating and honest look at what is going on in our country when it comes to gun control.  It looks at all sides of the issue that sometimes the media does not discuss or cover.  This is a must see film in our current climate.”   — Peter Hammond, Deadline

“Behind The Bullet is just WOW – an amazing insight into what we are dealing with in the U.S.  It’s a refreshing insight and a story that needs to be told.”  — Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter

This Teacher, Actor Kevin Kane (Director Mark Jackson)

THIS TEACHER follows a French Muslim woman (Cesar-winner Hafsia Herzi) as she travels to New York City to visit her childhood best friend from the rough neighborhoods outside of Paris. When the reunion proves disastrous, Hafsia steals her friend’s credit card and identity, and disappears to a remote cabin upstate. Deep in the woods and alone for the first time in her life, she experiences a divine revelation of an existence without borders. But when she discovers that she’s not alone on the property, Hafsia’s sojourn in nature gradually descends into a terrifying study of the intolerance and suspicion she encounters and reflects back to an Islamophobic America. Written and directed by Mark Jackson featuring a score composed from the Grammy nominated Dave Eggar, the film stars: Cesar-winner Hafsia Herzi  (The Secret of the  Grain)  Sarah Kazemy (Circumstance)  Lucy Walters (Power), Kevin Kane (Inside Amy Schumer), and Lev Gorn (The Americans). Jackson’s previous films have won 17 awards including an Independent Spirit Award and a Gotham Nomination.  Jackson is also a Sundance, Cinereach and Skywalker Sound Fellow. Actor Kevin Kane joins us for a conversation on THIS TEACHER’S closing night screening at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, intolerance and not being afraid to love.

For news and updates go to: visitfilms.com/This Teacher

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, Director Charlie Tyrell

In the endlessly clever and bittersweet documentary My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes filmmaker Charlie Tyrell Seeks to better understand his emotionally distant late-father through personal belongings he left behind… including a stack of his VHS dirty movies. Director / producer Charlie Tyrell joins us for an engaging conversation on the universality of inter-generational silence and obfuscation surrounding the backgrounds and traumas that shaped the lives of parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. And how this wall of that silence can lead to unwarranted alienation and resentment between fathers and sons.

 

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For news and updates go to: mydeaddadspornotapes.com

Social media

facebook.com/mddptfilm

twitter.com/mddptfilm

mddptfilm@gmail.com

Mill Valley Film Festival 41 – Zoe Elton, Director of Programming

For four decades, the Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) has maintained its position as a vital showcase of the global film community, attracting iconic red-carpet talent, emerging filmmakers, passionate audiences and astutely curated premieres. A destination event for film lovers, drawn by an exciting, diverse program of mainstream studio features and independent visions from around the world, set against the stunning backdrop of Northern California, MVFF also hosts an impressive array of panels, conversations, receptions, parties and live music performances, featuring many of the most acclaimed and in-demand artists and industry professionals of our time. With a reputation for launching new films and creating awards season buzz, MVFF has a knack for spotting emerging talent as well as drawing legendary artists. Known as the filmmaker’s festival, MVFF welcomes more than 200 filmmakers and guests from around the world and has hosted such luminaries as Nicole Kidman, Holly Hunter, Ang Lee, Todd Haynes, Mira Nair, Brie Larson, Costa-Gavras, Damien Chazelle, Marcel Ophuls, Amy Adams, Steve McQueen and Greta Gerwig. Mill Valley Film Festival Director of Programming Zoe Elton, joins us to talk about “the filmmaker’s festival,” and this year’s exciting line-up of documentary, foreign, animated, short and narrative films.

 

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For news and updates go to: Mill Valley Film Festival 41 – October 4 – 14, 2018

Colette, Director Wash Westmoreland

After marrying a successful Parisian writer known commonly as “Willy” (Dominic West), Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (Keira Knightley) is transplanted from her childhood home in rural France to the intellectual and artistic splendor of Paris. Soon after, Willy convinces Colette to ghostwrite for him. She pens a semi-autobiographical novel about a witty and brazen country girl named Claudine, sparking a bestseller and a cultural sensation. After its success, Colette and Willy become the talk of Paris and their adventures inspire additional Claudine novels. Colette’s fight over creative ownership and gender roles drives her to overcome societal constraints, revolutionizing literature, fashion and sexual expression. Director and screenwriter Wash Westmoreland stops by to talk about the story behind a remarkable trailblazing feminist, writer, performer and cultural icon whose influence has inspired artists for the last 100 years.

 

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

“Knightley is exceedingly well-equipped to carry this magnificent film on her own — an Oscar-nominated performance for sure.” – Jeanne Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan

“A witty, spirited portrait of the great French writer and libertine during the early Belle Époque years of her career.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“This timely and gorgeously shot account of a beloved French writer foregrounds Colette’s remarkable freedom from conventional norms as she finds her artistic voice.” – Erica Abeel, Film Journal International

“At first presenting itself as a tightly corseted Big Eyes set during the Belle Époque, Colette erupts into a fun, frothy, and unmistakably feminist biopic.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“The film has a towering performance from Keira Knightley, who plays Colette with such warmth and fiery feminism, that it would be hard not to make woman’s past run parallel with today’s world.” – Jordan Ruimy, The Playlist

Carrie Lozano, Director IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund

The International Documentary Association (IDA) is dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture. Through its programs, the IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists, and journalists. IDA is the only group advocating specifically for the documentary filmmaking community. In many ways, this makes IDA’s advocacy work the most important and relevant work we do. Documentary storytelling expands our understanding of shared human experience, fostering an informed, compassionate, and connected world. The Enterprise Documentary Fund is one of the many logistical and financial programs offered by IDA.

About the Enterprise Documentary Fund: 

In the face of an all-out assault on the press, IDA is committed to standing behind the independent storytellers and watchdogs that make up our community—in large part, through the newly created Enterprise Documentary Fund. Made possible by a generous grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the fund will disburse $1 million per year for the next four years, in the form of production grants up to $100,000 and development grants up to $15,000. The fund is intended to support primarily mid-career filmmakers producing feature-length, in-depth explorations of original, contemporary stories with a journalistic foundation or that incorporate journalistic practice into the filmmaking process. The mission of the Enterprise Documentary Fund is admittedly ambitious: It seeks to provide valuable resources and support systems (not unlike those in newsrooms) for filmmakers taking on the critical stories of our time. Originally sparked by the findings in “Dangerous Documentaries,” the fund is a response to pleas from filmmakers themselves. In interviews recently conducted by Toni Bell, IDA’s Filmmaker Services Manager, filmmakers reiterated the major findings in “Dangerous Docs”: They want access to information about digital and physical security, research databases, legal and other experts, public relations strategists and mentors. Exercising our rights to free speech and freedom of the press are critical for a healthy democracy. As I write this, these rights are clearly under assault, and we owe it to ourselves and to the public to staunchly call ourselves journalists and artists—they are not mutually exclusive.”Carrie Lozano, Director of the Enterprise Documentary Fund

 

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For news and updates go to: documentary.org

For updates on funding resources go to: documentary.org/funding