The 2008 financial crisis seemed to hit the American landscape out of nowhere. But in reality, it was both the inevitable conclusion to 40 years of Wall Street misconduct, and a warning for the meltdown that threatens to engulf us now. In the gripping original five-part docu-series THE CON, filmmaker Patrick Lovell investigates what happened, beginning with personal stories — including the foreclosure of his own Utah home, and the suicide of a 91-year-old African American widow in Akron, Ohio — before zooming out to examine the corrupt systems that doomed the United States to government funded bailouts that would only perpetuate a predatory system. Lovell also looks back to when the government properly functioned for the people it represented by holding banks accountable during the Great Depression and rescuing the country from the S&L Crisis of the late 1980s. Through interviews with those inside the 2008 crisis — regulators, former officials, foreclosure victims, industry whistleblowers, and journalists — Lovell and writer-director Eric Vaughan connect the dots to what America used to be, and most crucially, where we’re going in 2020, as nearly 40 million Americans are claiming unemployment by summer 2020. Amongst the many heartbreaks and horrors of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cracks that it exposed in the fragile financial tapestry of the world’s biggest economy are more evidence that THE CON is still on. Producer Patrick Lovell joins us to talk about THE CON’s sweeping inquiry into the blatant criminality perpetrated by the country’s most powerful financial and real estate interests colluding to bilk millions of Americans out of trillions of dollars, robbing them of their most important assets, pensions and housing.
THE CUBAN tells the story of nineteen-year-old Mina Ayoub, (Ana Golja) a pre-med student who has given up her dream of becoming a singer. Orphaned as a baby in Afghanistan, Mina’s grandfather sent her to Canada at the age of eight to live with a lone aunt, Bano (Shohreh Agdashloo). Mina longs to return to a better time when, as a child, she and her grandfather would sing and play music together. Thanks to Bano, Mina has a part-time job in a long-term care home. It’s there that Mina meets the withdrawn and enigmatic resident Luis (Louis Gossett Jr.). Luis spends his time in a wheelchair in a quiet corner of the room, retreated inside his own mind. Mina brings a record player into his room. Luis reacts, reminisces, dances, reveals his incredible life as a famous musician in Cuba, and talks about the one great love who was left behind. THE CUBAN is a celebration and exploration of the power of music to connect and reset people’s outlook on life. Director, Producer and Co-screenwriter Sergio Navarretta joins us to talk about his warm-hearted tale of people in search of place and end up on a musical journey of love, friendship and the power of imagination.
About the filmmaker: Sergio Navarretta made his directorial debut with LOOKING FOR ANGELINA, a true crime feature that tells the story of one of the most sensational murder cases in North American history. LOOKING FOR ANGELINA won numerous awards, was showcased at festivals around the world, played to sold-out theatres in fifteen Canadian cities, and ranked amongst the top five in box office revenues for Canadian films at the time. Navarretta’s follow-up feature, THE COLOSSAL FAILURE OF THE MODERN RELATIONSHIP, starring Enrico Colantoni (“Just Shoot Me”). Between features, Navarretta has directed a number of award-winning short films, including THE FORTUNE COOKIE, OVER A SMALL CUP OF COFFEE and EN PLEIN AIR, an homage to the Group of Seven. He also worked as a producer, service producer and executive producer under his own company banner, S.N.A.P. Films Inc., as well as for various international clients. He executive produced (for Canada) the sci-fi movie, ANDRON starring Danny Glover and Alec Baldwin. He is an executive producer of the biopic LAMBORGHINI, starring Alec Baldwin and Antonio Banderas, and was a consulting producer on TRADING PAINT, starring John Travolta. Navarretta is proud to have executive produced and overseen all aspects of production and casting for the star-studded animated theatrical feature ARCTIC DOGS, now on Netflix, featuring Jeremy Renner, James Franco, Anjelica Huston, Alec Baldwin, John Cleese and Heidi Klum.
Winner – Audience Favorite Award – Pan African Film Festival 2020
Winner – Special Programmers’ Award – Pan African Film Festival 2020
Winner – Best Cinematography in a Borsos Competition Film – Whistler Film Festival 2019
Runner up – Audience Award – Whistler Film Festival 2019
Official Selection – Sonoma Film Fesstival 2020
“Perhaps sensing that the rest of his story – mostly focusing around the earnest do-goodery of Golja’s aide – falls emotionally flat, Navarretta lavishes attention on his two marquee players, creating tiny moments of poignancy.” – Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail
THE CURRENT OCCUPANT drops us into a mysterious psychiatric ward, where a man named Henry Cameron, with no memory comes to learn that he is the President of the United States and the subject of a diabolical political conspiracy. As the asylum’s soul-crushing forces bear down on him, he fights to preserve his sanity and escape so that he can return to power. THE CURRENT OCCUPANT is part of the Blumhouse anthology, INTO THE DARK, currently airing on HULU with each episode tied to the relevant holiday. The film is loosely tied to 4th of July. The story is a timely, edge-of-your-seat-until-the-very-end thriller that is part SHUTTER ISLAND meets BLACK MIRROR. THE CURRENT OCCUPANT features a number of terrific performances anchored by Barry Watson as “President” Henry Cameron, as well as Sonita Henry, Marvin Jones III, and Lilli Birdsell. Director Julius Ramsay stops by to talk about his creative process and how his background as a film editor informs his eye for filmmaking as well as the cinematic influences that echo throughout this taut thriller.
About the filmmakers: Julius Ramsay is a critically acclaimed film and television director. His latest feature, THE CURRENT OCCUPANT, is a mind-bending, psychedelic horror film about a man trapped in a mysterious psychiatric ward with no memory who comes to believe that he’s the President of the United States and the subject of a diabolical political conspiracy. Produced by Blumhouse as a Hulu Original, it was released on Hulu in July 2020. Julius made his directorial debut with MIDNIGHTERS, a taut psychological thriller centered on a troubled marriage that explodes in an emotional bloodbath over the course of a single night. The film won numerous accolades, including the top prize at the Ravenna Film Festival, and garnered rave reviews at the Los Angeles Film Festival. In 2018, MIDNIGHTERS was distributed by IFC and is currently available on Hulu.Julius spent five years working as an editor and director on THE WALKING DEAD, the highest rated series in the history of cable television. His directorial work for television ranges from the science fiction series KRYPTON for David Goyer’s Phantom Four and Warner Horizon, to the adaptation of the blockbuster franchise THE PURGE for Blumhouse/NBCUniversal. His additional directorial credits include OUTCAST for Cinemax and SCREAM for The Weinstein Co & MTV. Prior to his career as a director, Julius was nominated for three Primetime Emmy awards for his work as an editor on such groundbreaking series as ALIAS and BATTLESTAR GALACTICA. For more on the filmmaker: juliusramsay.com
“While the latest Into The Dark installment is bleak and will crush your hopes, it’ll have you wondering about conspiracies, reality, and what really happens when the institutions that are established to help us actually end up harming us instead.’ – Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish Conjurings
When he was only eight, Guor Mading Maker (formally known as Guor Marial) ran from captivity in war-torn Sudan to eventually seek safety in the US. In his new life, Maker began running again, participating in high school track and field and eventually becoming a sensation and qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. But because the newly formed South Sudan was not recognized by the International Olympic Committee, Maker had to fight to compete independently, refusing to run for Sudan and taking a stand against its oppression. RUNNER depicts Maker’s difficult and triumphant journey from refugee to a world-renowned athlete, told in intimate interviews with gorgeously animated flashbacks of Guor’s upbringing, and culminating in a heart-wrenching reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation. His story is a distinctly inspirational one in which the indomitable human spirit emerges against all odds. Director Bill Gallagher joins us to talk about the indomitable spirit of Guor Mading Maker and how the hope he has for “the world’s newest” country and love of his family have fueled his determination for finish his race.
About the filmmaker: BILL GALLAGHER is the director and producer of the award-winning documentary RUNNER that is currently playing at festivals around the world. He was the line producer for the Academy Award nominated documentary IF A TREE FALLS (Sundance), and Production Manager on the documentary RACING DREAMS (Tribeca – Best Documentary). Both films were in theaters and broadcasted on BBC and PBS. Originally from outside of Boston in the United States, he is now living in Madrid, Spain. He studied Documentary Media at The New School and has lectured on documentary production at the University of Navarra in Spain. RUNNER is his first film as director.
In her searingly insightful latest documentary, All That I Am, Director Tone Grøttjord-Glenne drops us into the life of eighteen year old Emilie Andrea. After five years in the foster system, she is returning to her family home to rebuild a fractured relationship with her mother and younger half-siblings. Over the next two years a determined Emilie begins to heal the trauma that haunts her, learns to speak her truth aloud, and takes her first steps towards a self-determined future. Now Emilie must gather the courage to reveal to her half-siblings the reason their father was imprisoned and their sister went away. Told with a commitment to emotional insight and dedication to Emilie’s subjective experience, this is the story of an extraordinarily courageous young woman on the cusp of adulthood finding the voice that was long denied to her. Director Tone Grøttjord-Glenne joins us for conversation on embedding herself into the lives of Emilie and her family, how a well intentioned Norwegian justice and welfare system can sometimes do more harm than good and the reception her remarkably intimate look at trauma, struggle and healing has received in her native country of Norway and the recent North American premiere at the HotDocs film festival.
About the filmmaker – Tone Grøttjord-Glenne has a master’s degree in direction from the National Film and Television School in England, and both her graduation film Brother (2003) and her debut film Prirechnyy won numerous awards, both in Norway and internationally. In 2005 she founded Sant & Usant with a vision of creating an environment for documentary film that had room to discuss both images and visual storytelling. Sant & Usant has produced several award-winning documentaries since then. Together with co-owner and producer Anita Rehoff Larsen, she has produced Bravehearts (2012), When the Boys Return (2012 ), I Am Kuba (2014),Maiko – Dancing Child (2015) and 69 Minutes of 86 Days (2017), among others. Currently she is directing Norway’s first Netflix Original, Sisters on Track, and is executive director on Gunda, which premiered at the Berlinale earlier this year, as well as working on the impact project for a cinematic release of ALL THAT I AM.
“Gorgeously shot, expertly paced, and overwhelmingly emotional documentary All That I Am is the kind of film you hope everyone sees because it might make the world a more understanding and empathetic place.” – The Gate
“Tone Grottjord-Glenne directs this emotionally touching Norwegian documentary with a powerful appreciation of the lasting damage of sexual abuse on children and those closest to them.” – Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat. Spirituality and Practice
FERAL tells the story of Yasmine (Annapurna Sriram), a homeless woman living in the tunnels underneath Manhattan’s West Side. Surviving on her own terms while trying to build a new life alone, she is reeling from the loss of her mother, who was deported when she was 16. Older now, Yasmine, struggles to rise from poverty as the perils of the underground fill her with despair. Along her journey, Yasmine meets a cast of characters and real New York personalities, each living in their own form of exile: a lonely piano player who’s never played his music out loud; a mother who regrets the birth of her six-year-old; a lonely grandmother nostalgic for her salsa music past and the Mission who is there to help, but only if she’s willing to play by their rules. Based on actual stories of living underground and working with former homeless individuals, FERAL peers deep into Yasmine’s emotional reality, staring this bold young woman directly in the eyes as she struggles to carry on. Lead actor Annapurna Sriram stops by to talk about her theatre background, adapting to working in a cramped, underground setting and collaborating with director and writer Andrew Wonder.
About – Annapurna Sriram, (Yasmine) Nashville-born actor, writer, and director, landed her first agent at thirteen in Nashville, Tennessee. After turning eighteen, Annapurna left Nashville and headed to Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts, where she studied for a year at London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, and was chosen to perform as part of the Sam Wanamaker Festival. Recent stage credits include the origination of “Reshma” in Jesse Eisenberg’s “The Spoils,” which was directed by Scott Elliot for The New Group and later reprising that role on the West End in London and Wallace Shawn’s United States premiere of “Evening at the Talkhouse.” 2019 has been a banner year for Annapurna, as two of her projects have been getting international attention. Her performance in the 2019 film Feral was her first lead role in a narrative feature film, and after its premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival, the film has been featured at the Sidewalk Film Festival, Bushwick Festival (where she won the Best Actor Award), and The Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema World Film Festival garnering excellent accolades from critics for her work. Her short film, Dom, won the Sidewalk Film Festival as “Best Narrative Short,” and has been programmed at the Brooklyn Film Festival, LES Film Festival, Indie Memphis, and the Cucalorus Film Festival. Annapurna resides in New York City, where she is currently working on films as writer, director and actor.
“Sriram is extraordinary in her role as Yazmine and carries the film on her own.” – Deirdre Crimmins, High Def Digest
“Sriram gives an amazing, empathic, and heartfelt performance. ” – Tim Murr, Biff Bam Pop
“Annapurna Sriram is truly captivating as Yasmine. Her striking beauty is juxtaposed with her fierce attitude, but as the film progresses she also exhibits a serene spirituality coupled with a heartbreaking vulnerability. Like a force of nature in her own right, she flows and crashes into other denizens of the city. ” – Alec I. Gillis, Lewton Bus
“Sriram’s performance is exceptional; she completely embodies Yazmine, in her moments of loneliness, self-entertainment, brutality, pain, and brief moments of joy. We never doubt her completeness as a character, even if our view of her ranges from sympathy to anger to laughter. ” – Shelagh Rowan-Legg, Screen Anarchy
FERAL tells the story of Yasmine (Annapurna Sriram), a homeless woman living in the tunnels underneath Manhattan’s West Side. Surviving on her own terms while trying to build a new life alone, she is reeling from the loss of her mother, who was deported when she was 16. Older now, Yasmine, struggles to rise from poverty as the perils of the underground fill her with despair. Along her journey, Yasmine meets a cast of characters and real New York personalities, each living in their own form of exile: a lonely piano player who’s never played his music out loud; a mother who regrets the birth of her six-year-old; a lonely grandmother nostalgic for her salsa music past and the Mission who is there to help, but only if she’s willing to play by their rules. Based on actual stories of living underground and working with former homeless individuals, FERAL peers deep into Yasmine’s emotional reality, staring this bold young woman directly in the eyes as she struggles to carry on. Director, producer, writer and cinematographer Andrew Wonder joins us fr a deep dive into the inspiration for Feral, his journey as a filmmaker, working with Paul Schrader and his organic approach to making one of the year’s best films.
Director’s Statement –Yet for as many people as the tunnels beneath New York City represent fear, there are the few who see it as freedom. FERAL is inspired by my experiences underground and living with mole people in New York. To explore this world, our story revolves around the journey of a young homeless woman, Yasmine, living in the tunnels beneath the West Side (same as the one featured in Dark Days) in the days leading up to a blizzard. Within a month our key crew of four, cast of professional and non professional actors including former homeless people as well as those who work in the system, came together to create what we want to be an exploration of invisibility and the masks we put on when we face the world. The story is told, through the lens of a homeless woman, Yasmine, who only feels safe underground. – Andrew Wonder
“With its staggeringly beautiful cinematography of down-and-dirty New York and a layered central performance, Adam Wonder’s debut feature is a complex and dynamic look at social outliers and how we find the means to survive.” – Chloe Leeson, Screen Queens
“Feral is a sobering and introspective journey into depression and isolation associated with life in the city, but it also presents a powerful social parable as the secret behind the protagonist’s sorrowful predicament is revealed.” – VyceVictus, Lewton Bus
Terrence McNally, Every Act Of Life, tells the story of the groundbreaking life and work of 5-time Tony-winning playwright Terrence McNally: a personal journey through 6-decades of the American theatre, the struggle for LGBT rights, triumph over addiction, the power of the arts to shape society, and finding love and inspiration at all ages. F. Murray Abraham, Audra McDonald, Christine Baranski, Edie Falco, Nathan Lane, Angela Lansbury, Rita Moreno and others weigh in on the pioneering playwright’s influential career, and speak frankly of his struggles as well as his monumental successes. The voices of Dan Bucatinsky, Bryan Cranston and Meryl Streep are also featured. Intimate conversations with the late McNally complete this essential portrait of the four-time Tony winner and 2019 recipient of the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. Playwright, librettist, scriptwriter and outspoken LGBTQ activist Terrence McNally died of coronavirus complications in April 2020 at age 81. American Masters and the filmmaking team explored McNally’s six-decade career through the intimate and revealing documentary. Director Jeff Kaufman and Producer Marcia Ross join us for a look back at one of the greatest playwrights in American theatre history.
About the filmmakers: Jeff Kaufman produced, directed, and wrote the documentaries Every Act Of Life (2018 Tribeca premiere, aired June 2019 on American Masters), The State of Marriage, Father Joseph, The Savoy King: Chick Webb and the Music That Changed America, Brush With Life: The Art of Being Edward Biberman, and Education Under Fire, plus a number of short films for Amnesty International, and programs for The Discovery Channel, and The History Channel. He also edited/designed a book based on the film Every Act Of Life, contributed cartoons to The New Yorker, and illustrations to The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, wrote/illustrated several children’s books, and hosted daily radio shows in Vermont and Los Angeles.
Marcia S. Ross produced the documentaries Every Act Of Life, The State of Marriage, Father Joseph, and The Savoy King. Additionally she has an over 3-decade career as an independent casting director and casting executive, serving 16 years as EVP for Casting at Walt Disney Motion Pictures, and 5 years as VP for Casting and Talent Development at Warner Brothers TV. Some of her film and television credits include Clueless, Cujo, thirtysomething, Murder in Mississippi, 10 Things I Hate About You, The Princess Diaries, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, The Lookout, Enchanted, Oblivion, and Parental Guidance. She has received career achievement awards from the Casting Society of America and the Hollywood Film Festival.
91% on Rotten Tomatoes
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.
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 It, Romeo is Bleeding, The 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.
“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
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.
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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.
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.
“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
Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than twenty years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His fourteen-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student. Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own – between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive. The Apple+TV limited drama series is a gripping, character-driven thriller based on the 2012 New York Times best selling novel of the same name by William Landay. Creator and Executive Producer Mark Bomback joins us to talk about how he and his creative team, including director Morten Tyldum, brought this complex and nuanced tale to life.
“One thing that’s evident from the outset is that all of the actors are perfect for their roles. Jaeden Martell, in particular, is still a young actor, but he handles the dark material with ease, and I appreciated the way the journey began with him.” – Paul Dailly, TV Fanatic
“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
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.
“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
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.
“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 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
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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 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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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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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.
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
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
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).
** 2020 Academy Award nomination – Best Live Action Short **
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
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.
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
“… 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
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
“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
** 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.
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