Rowdy Girl – Director Jason Goldman

Executive produced by Moby, ROWDY GIRL showcases the inspiring work of Renee King-Sonnen, a former Texas cattle rancher who in 2015, after a spiritual awakening, left the cruel cycle of animal agriculture. After going vegan, King-Sonnen and her husband, Tommy Sonnen, transformed her husband’s beef operation into Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, a farm animal sanctuary that seeks to rescue farm animals from factory farming. Rowdy Girl Sanctuary, located between San Antonio and Houston, in Waelder, TX, has a mission to educate the public about the cruelties of factory farming, to advocate a vegan lifestyle, and to inspire other ranchers to experience a paradigm shift and help them move from participating in the cruelty of factory farming to living with compassion towards the animals whose lives usually end in brutal death. Renee has lived on both sides of the fence, proving that there is a common ground between farmers and vegans: a shared mission of compassion and sustainability. Filmmaker Jason Goldman’s verité style documentary lovingly captures the dynamic connection between Renee, her husband Tommy and the hooved and feathered friends who inhabit Rowdy Girl Sanctuary. Director / Producer Jason Goldman stops by for a conversation on his goal in making Rowdy Girl was to work on a project that reflected his personal values and giving Renee a platform to reach a wider audience, particularly farmers who she believes can change the world by moving to more sustainable and humane care of our furry friends. 

 

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For more go to: argotpictures.com/rowdy-girl

And rowdygirlfilm.com

Argot Pictures is proud to present the US theatrical release of ROWDY GIRL, a documentary film by Jason Goldman. ROWDY GIRL will open at the Firehouse DCTV in New York on May 31st, and at Laemmle Monica in Los Angeles on June 7th. Select cities will follow.

About the filmmaker – Jason Goldman is a director/producer from New York City. His earliest filmmaking experience came under acclaimed documentarian Albert Maysles where he learned the foundation of direct cinema. He’s produced award winning shorts, feature length films, and documentaries. In 2018 he produced the award winning doc “Sidelined” in conjunction with A&E IndieFilm which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. “Rowdy Girl,” his directorial debut, was recently signed with The Film Collaborative and Impronta Films covering worldwide representation for a 2023 release. Go to: thefilmshop.org/jason-goldman

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Reviews: 
“A provocative, vital and engrossing documentary” – Avi OfferNYC Movie Guru

Invisible Nation – Director Vanessa Hope

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Vanessa Hope’s takes full advantage of her unprecedented access to the first female president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen. Thorough, incisive and bristling with tension, INVISIBLE NATION is a living account of Tsai’s tightrope walk as she balances the hopes and dreams of her nation between the colossal geopolitical forces of the U.S. and China. Hope’s observational style captures Tsai at work in her country’s vibrant democracy at home, while seeking full international recognition of Taiwan’s right to exist. At a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated the ever-present threat of authoritarian aggression, INVISIBLE NATION brings punctual focus to the struggle of Taiwan as it fights for autonomy and freedom from fear. Director and Co-Producer Vanessa Hope (William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe, Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America) joins us for a conversation on the high-wire diplomacy facing President Tsai daily, her ability to engage her constituents and determination to provide Taiwan with a future that includes freedom and self-determination.

 

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For more go to: abramorama.com/invisible-nation

Winner, Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary – 2024 Sonoma • One in a Million Award for Best Documentary – 2024 Sun Valley Film Festival • Winner, The Cinema for Peace Honorary Award – 2024 • Cinema for Peace Foundation
Winner, Audience Award – 2023 Middleburg Film Festival

About the filmmaker -Vanessa Hope is an award-winning producer and director who has produced multiple acclaimed films in China including Berlin International Film Festival selection, Wang Quanan’s “The Story Of Ermei” and Cannes Film Festival selection, Chantal Akerman’s “Tombee De Nuit Sur Shanghai,” part of an omnibus of films, “The State Of The World.” She has also produced and directed her own short films, including “China In Three Words” with contemporary Chinese author Yu Hua, an official selection at DOC NYC.Hope’s additional producing credits include Zeina Durra’s “The Imperialists Are Still Alive!” and Sarah and Emily Kunstler’s Academy award shortlisted feature documentary, “William Kunstler: Disturbing The Universe” and the award-winning film, “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America.” She served as Executive Producer of Paula James-Martinez’s “Born Free.” Vanessa and her husband, Ted Hope, share a company, Double Hope Films, with many independent fiction and documentary features and series in development. Vanessa is on the advisory board of the Equal Rights Amendment Coalition and the Fund for Women’s Equality. Prior to her film career, Vanessa worked on foreign policy issues at the Council on Foreign Relations with Senior Fellow and Director of Asia Studies, Elizabeth Economy. She received her B.A. from the University of Chicago in Anthropology and East Asian Studies and completed the coursework for a PhD at Columbia University before going into film.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Watching it, one is driven to anger and, hopefully, to action.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“Advocates for Taiwan ought to be pleased with Invisible Nation’s degree of focus, nuance, and…” – Anthony Kao, Cinema Escapist

“Although the film is not an especially illuminating portrait of Tsai, Hope makes a convincing case for why Taiwan’s fears should concern the world.” – Tim Grierson, Screen Internationa

“Taiwan’s transformation from an authoritarian state to a flourishing democracy determined to decide its own future is charted in the engrossing and highly informative documentary “Invisible Nation.” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

Roots So Deep – Director Peter Byck

Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there) is a 4-part documentary series all about inventive farmers and maverick scientists building a path to solving climate change with hooves, heart and soil. Can an underutilized way to graze cattle, that mimics the way bison once roamed the land, help get farmers out of debt, restore our depleted soils, rebuild wildlife habitat and draw down huge amounts of carbon? Cattle have been seen as eco-villains for a long time. What if they can help save us from catastrophic climate change? ROOTS SO DEEP is guided by director and wrangler of scientists Peter Byck as he meets farmers on both sides of the fence – the folks practicing an adaptive way to graze, and their neighbors set in their family’s generations-old method of doing things. Byck’s team of outcast scientists are measuring what’s happening on both sides of the fences – exploring if this adaptive grazing could help slow down climate change. And one question looms over the whole series: even if the science shows that the adaptive way to graze is better for the land and the farmers’ pocket books, will the old school farmers change, will they adopt a different method? Will they evolve into climate heroes? Will they save our friggin’ asses from the impending climate catastrophe?

 

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For more go to: rootssodeep.org

Also check out: carboncowboys.org

Episode I – Mavericks & Meadowlarks – Mississippi – Meet a team of maverick scientists and the farmers they study, to find out whether cattle, long regarded as eco-villains, can help protect the environment if we ditch modern, destructive practices and instead work with nature. City folk turned first generation farmers share their journey to the farm.

Episode II – Losing is Winning – Alabama – Our first pair of Alabama farmers: Retired school teachers turned regenerative farmers on one side of the fence and a family feud and risk of losing the farm after six generations of ownership on the other, looms large over the scientific work.

Episode III – Change is Hard – Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky – Meet the rest of our farmers, including two country music superstars, while our scientists deal with the struggles and realities of messy science in real world settings on working farms.

Episode IV – One Lane Road Ahead – The science is in and we revisit all the farms to share the information with the farmers. How will they react? Will knowledge instill change?

About the filmmaker – Peter Byck is currently helping to lead a $10 million research project comparing Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing with conventional grazing; collaborating with 20 scientists and 10 farm families, focused on soil health & soil carbon storage, microbial/bug/bird biodiversity, water cycling and much more. The research also includes a new, 4-part docuseries called “Roots So Deep (you can see the devil down there),” directed by Byck, which is all about the inventive farmers and maverick scientists building a path to solving climate change with hooves, heart and soil. See the CNN segment on the docu-series here. Byck is a professor of practice at Arizona State University, in both the School of Sustainability and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, where he teaches students to make short documentary films about sustainability solutions. He is the director, producer and writer of carbon nation, a documentary film about climate change solutions. In 2020, Byck completed carbon cowboys, a 10-part documentary short film series, focused on regenerative grazing.

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Motorcycle Mary – Director Haley Watson

Haley Watson directorial debut MOTORCYCLE MARY, documentary short, brings the remarkable life of Mary McGee’s to the big screen with stunning never-before-seen archival footage and photographs. McGee’s racing career spanned thirty years and saw Mary shatter gender norms while mastering multiple racing disciplines. Born in Alaska on the eve of World War II, Mary’s early life is riddled with fear but despite that she conquers her apprehensive nature and discovers  the art of composure—a skill that serves  her to take on the racetrack. Following in her brother’s footsteps, her remarkable racing odyssey begins in the world of cars, where she outshines her male competitors, only to later discover her greatest sense of freedom racing motorcycles. She was the first woman to race motorcycles in the United States. Confronted by sexism and personal tragedy, Mary perseveres, pushing herself to greater and greater heights—culminating in her most hair-raising challenge: Becoming the first person ever to solo the grueling Baja 500 on a motorcycle. MOTORCYCLE MARY was produced by Rachel Greenwald, executive produced by two-time Oscar® winner and founder of Breakwater Studios Ben Proudfoot, and seven-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. MOTORCYCLE MARY will come to the big screen at the 2024 Tribeca Festival in New York where it will make its world premiere in the shorts competition on Friday, June 7th (with additional screenings June 13 and 15).  Director Haley Watson joins us for a conversation on Mary McGee’s unwavering courage and fearless spirit that continues to inspire.

 

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For more go to: tribecafilm.com/motorcycle-mary

MOTORCYCLE MARY premieres at Tribeca Film in the “Shorts: Personal Best” program on June 7th, 2024 at 5:30 PM ET in New York City at AMC 19th Street East 6 (890 Broadway, New York, NY 10003), followed by subsequent screenings at 6:15 pm on Thursday, June 13th and 2:15 pm on Saturday, June 15th. Director/producer Haley Watson and film subject Mary McGee in-person for Q&As along with other filmmakers.

About the filmmaker – Haley Watson is a Los Angeles-based director and cinematographer. Haley’s recent work includes directing and producing “Motorcycle Mary,” an original short documentary set to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival 2024. The film was acquired by ESPN, to be curated into the Emmy / Peabody winning 30 for 30 series from ESPN Films.  Her producing partner is the 2-time Academy Award-winning production company, Breakwater Studios. The film is executive produced by seven-time Formula One world champion – Lewis Hamilton. Haley’s keen eye for storytelling has also been proven groundbreaking research. Haley found and pitched the original story for “The Queen of Basketball,” which became the 2021 Academy Award winner for Best Short Documentary Subject. Haley began her career by working through the ranks of the camera department. While serving as a first assistant camera, she had the opportunity to work with many notable directors, such as Lynn Shelton and David Lynch. Her technical skills earned her placement in the AFI Cinematography Intensive for Women in 2019, as well as ASC’s Vision Mentorship Program in 2020 (Paired with Marshall Adams from “Better Call Saul” as her mentor). Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Haley joined Breakwater Studios and played a pivotal role in developing an innovative remote shooting method. She applied this method as the Director of Photography for “The Beauty President,” which premiered at SXSW. Additionally, she spearheaded the establishment of Mariposa Camera, a boutique camera house in Los Angeles, demonstrating her entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the industry. Haley has embarked on collaborative projects with other industry giants such as Microsoft, Puma, Amazon and Subaru.

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The Riot Report – Director Michelle Ferrari

Director Michelle Ferrari’s comprehensive documentary THE RIOT REPORT tracks a time in recent American history when Black neighborhoods in scores of cities erupted in violence during the summer of 1967. After four consecutive summers of urban violence, President Lyndon Johnson appointed the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders – informally known as the Kerner Commission, (named after its chair, Governor Otto Kerner Jr. of Illinois) – to answer three questions: What happened? Why did it happen? And what could be done to prevent it from happening again? The bi-partisan commission’s 708 page final report, -issued in March of 1968, just days before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., would offer a shockingly unvarnished assessment of American race relations – a verdict so politically explosive that Johnson not only refused to acknowledge it publicly, but even to thank the commissioners for their service. THE RIOT REPORT explores this pivotal moment – in the nation’s history and the fraught social -dynamics that simultaneously spurred the commission’s investigation and doomed its findings to political oblivion. Directed by Michelle Ferrari, joins us for a conversation on the reasons why and how the commission members and staff were able to break away from the bureaucratic norms and get closer to the root causes and closer to breaking thru the seemingly intractable barriers to a more equitable society. THE RIOT REPORT was co-written by Ferrari and New Yorker journalist Jelani Cobb, and executive produced by Cameo George.

 

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For more go to: pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/riot-report

The Riot Report premieres on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, 9:00–11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings), on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App.

About the filmmaker – Michelle Ferrari has been creating innovative, critically acclaimed documentary narratives for more than two decades. Her work as a screenwriter and story editor has been seen on PBS, HBO, and at film festivals nationwide, and has garnered honors from the Writers Guild of America, the Western Writers Association, the Organization of American Historians, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The writer of numerous American Experience episodes including The Perfect Crime, Silicon Valley, Roads to Memphis, and Kit Carson, Ferrari is perhaps best known for the highly rated Seabiscuit, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing. She most recently wrote and directed American Experience’s Rachel Carson. Additional recent credits include the landmark PBS series Half the Sky and the Emmy-winning HBO documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and holds an M.A. in American History from Columbia University.

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Taking Venice – Director Amei Wallach

At the height of the Cold War, the U.S. government is determined to fight Communism with culture. The Venice Biennale, the world’s most influential art exhibition, becomes a proving ground in 1964. Alice Denney, Washington insider and friend of the Kennedys, recommends Alan Solomon, an ambitious curator making waves with trailblazing art, to organize the U.S. entry. Together with Leo Castelli, a powerful New York art dealer, they embark on a daring plan to make Robert Rauschenberg the winner of the Grand Prize. The artist is yet to be taken seriously with his combinations of junk off the street and images from pop culture, but he has the potential to dazzle. Deftly pulling off maneuvers that could have come from a Hollywood thriller, the American team leaves the international press crying foul and Rauschenberg questioning the politics of nationalism that sent him there. Director Amei Wallach (Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here) stops by for an in-depth conversation on a time and place where the long reach of the Cold War, the internal machination’s of the Olympic’s of the art world and the ascendency of modern art’s bête noire and how they all crossed paths in this John le Carré-ish tale.

 

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For more go to: zeitgeistfilms.com/taking-venice

About the filmmaker – Amei Wallach is an award-winning art critic, filmmaker, and television commentator. Her critically acclaimed films, Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here, remain in international demand. In her articles, books, media appearances – and more recently in her films – Wallach has chronicled, and known, artists from Willem de Kooning and Lee Krasner to Jasper Johns and Shirin Neshat. As an art writer, she watched Robert Rauschenberg make prints in New York and paintings in Captiva, Florida. She is uniquely able to tell this story. Wallach has written or contributed to more than a dozen books and was an on-air arts commentator for the PBS M acNeil/Lehrer Newshour. Her articles have appeared in such publications as The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, Smithsonian, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Art in America, and ARTnews. 

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Reviews:

“While not a biopic of the artist per se, Taking Venice gives viewers a better appreciation of Rauschenberg and how art can be strategic beyond what an artist might intend.” – Valerie Kalfrin, AWFJ.org

“Ultimately, Taking Venice is about how art can and sometimes does change society, for better and maybe sometimes for less better.” – Shana Nys Dambrot, LA Weekly/Village Voice

““a gripping journey into how deeply politics can infiltrate the arts” and “a fascinating expose on the U.S. government’s manipulation of the art world to counteract Communist influence during the Cold War.” He says that “every scene resonate(s) with the thrill of a spy mission” and calls it “a must-see for anyone interested in the crossroads of art, history and politics.” –

“With audiences expecting more unique footage in similar documentaries today, Taking Venice does not quite stand out from the crowd. However, it’s an exciting ride, especially for Rauschenberg fans.” – Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

“The account is well-told and worth knowing, even without conspiratorial murmurs.” – Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

Space: The Longest Goodbye – Director Ido Mizrahy

In the next decade, NASA intends to send astronauts to Mars for the first time. To succeed, crew members will have to overcome unprecedented life-threatening challenges. And while many of these hazards are physical, the most elusive are psychological. Throughout their three-year absence, crew members won’t be able to communicate with Earth in real time due to the immense distance. The psychological impact of this level of disconnectedness and isolation—both from mission control and loved ones—is impossible to predict, endangering the mission itself. Directed to mitigate this threat is Dr. Al Holland, a NASA psychologist whose job is to keep astronauts mentally stable in space. Space: The Longest Goodbye follows Holland, rookie astronauts Kayla Barron and Matthias Maurer, and former astronaut Cady Coleman, among others, as they grapple with the tension between their dream of reaching new frontiers and their basic human need to stay connected to home. This conflict transcends space travel: how do humans balance the quest for progress with a deep connection to history and each other? Director Ido Mizrahy stops by for to talk about the feasibility of interstellar travel, the physical, mental and psychological adaptability of humans, and getting to know the extraordinary people willing to embark on a perilous journey into worlds unknown.

 

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For more go to: pbs.org/independentlens/the-longest-goodbye

 About the filmmaker – Ido Mizrahy’s narrative and documentary films premiered at SXSW, Tribeca, and ND/NF, among many other festivals, and went on to win several awards. His films have been distributed by AMC, Sundance, Netflix, Amazon, and MTV. Mizrahy is co-directing a fictional VR experience, with Nir Sa’ar, that’s equal parts family drama and space thriller.

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80% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s easy to assume that the biggest hurdle to sending people to Mars is vehicle propulsion. Ido Mizrahy’s riveting documentary… suggests the real issue is isolation.” – Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“Succeeds in creating a real sense of the efforts it will take to get ‘soft, squishy humans’ to Mars” – Amber Wilkinson, Screen International

“It’s a fascinating documentary, yet the longer it goes on, the less desirable a mission to Mars seems.” – Pat Stacey, Irish Independent

“[A] fitfully intriguing, sometimes wide-eyed documentary…” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“As this insightful documentary suggests, the real challenge (of long-term space flight) may be in tending to the softest of software: the emotional health of both the intrepid men and women who make the trip — and those waiting for them back on Earth.” – Bill Newcott, The Saturday Evening Post

LaRoy, Texas – Director Shane Atkinson

This twisted tale of love and death begins and ends with Ray, an ordinary man who runs an ordinary business in the fictional town of LaRoy, Texas. He longs for his wife Stacy-Lynn’s affections, but Ray discovers that she is cheating on him and decides to end his life in a motel parking lot. Just before taking action, a stranger breaks into his car, thinking he is dealing with the killer he hired. Confused by this misunderstanding, Ray ends up accepting the mission, convinced that people will finally respect him. The plan had to be simple. But very quickly Ray finds himself caught in a spiral from which he will have to get out before it is too late… LaRoy, Texas is a complex plot involving love triangles real and fake, blackmail, counter-blackmail and manslaughter duly unfolds around inadvertent detective duo Ray and Skip, who will have to solve the mystery at the heart of their community. LaRoy, Texas is at once a film about friendships forged from fragile masculinity and a dark Western that probes the aftermath of the financial crisis in the US. Director and writer Shane Atkinson joins us for a conversation on his film’s blend of modern film noir, macabre humor, and how he assembled a terrific cast that includes John Magaro, Steve Zahn, Galadriel Stineman, Dylan Baker, and Matthew Del Negro.

 

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For more go to: brainstormmedia.comt/laroy-texas

Watch LaRoy, Texas at: vertigoreleasing.com/watch-at-home

About the filmmaker – Shane Atkinson is an American writer and director based in Los Angeles. He received his MFA in screenwriting and directing at Columbia University in New York. His work as a director is described by his mother as “very funny” and “why are there so many dirty words?” Shane has directed many short films, including “Penny Dreadful” (Audience Award in Clermont-Ferrand, Grand Prix SNCF du Polar) or “The Ambassador” shot on the French Riviera. He also wrote the screenplay for “Poms”, starring Diane Keaton, released in May 2019.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“With LaRoy, Texas, Atkinson proves himself a confident filmmaker and screenwriter with an ear for dialogue and skill in designing intriguing characters and situations.” – Anthony Francis, Film Threat

“Indulging in genre influences while carving its own narrative niche, this dark crime comedy infuses its Fargo-style atmospherics with sharp dialogue and compelling characters.” – Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue

“LaRoy, Texas channels the Coen brothers in a hilarious black comedy with tragic twists. John Magaro, Steve Zahn, and a terrifying Dylan Baker are superb in a film that continually surprises. LaRoy, Texas is a must-see.” – Julian Roman, MovieWeb

““LaRoy, Texas” remains as unpredictable as an overly agitated Texas rattlesnake and has just about as much bite to it.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

“Atkinson’s hilarious feature debut is a barn burner of a western-thriller whose Coen Brothers-inspired nods give life to its meek protagonist.” – Robert Daniels, RogerEbert.com

The Keeper – Co-director Angus Benfield (Kendall Bryant Jr.)

Based on a true story, THE KEEPER tells a sweeping story of US Army veteran George Eshleman, a man heavily impacted by his fellow veteran’s suicides, he decides to help raise awareness for military member suicides by hiking the entire nearly 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. On the trek, he carries 363 name tapes from the uniforms of military members who committed suicide, given to him by their families. Along the way he is given the trail name of “The Keeper” (of the names) and finds support and comfort from fellow hikers, civilians, military and veteran hikers (Michael Maclane, Haley Babula, Andrew Ferguson, Nicholas Asad) who shadow his hike, motivate his efforts along “Hiker Universe.” Despite their support, his depression threatens to overtake his judgment as the days pass. With his darkness only a few paces from his mind as he travels the trail, George struggles to prove his mettle, conquer his depression, and focus on the mission. Co-director, Co-Producer and lead actor Angus Benfield joins us to talk about the importance of remembering those who have sacrificed and died while in and out of uniform, how he sought to honor them and the support he received from his film crew, his cast and the people he met along the Appalachian Trail, many of whom are on the trail for the same reasons he made The Keeper. 

 

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For more go to: thekeepermovie.info

For more on the filmmaker go to: angusbenfield.com

About the filmmaker – Angus Benfield is an Australian-born, accomplished, multi-award-winning, and incredibly versatile actor, having acted in an extensive number of roles in film as well as roles in television and theater. Angus is also an award-winning director, producer, and writer and has appeared on multiple news shows and podcasts to talk about his body of work. Angus has acted alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood including, Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, Eric Roberts, Julia Garner, Bob Gunton, Brian Doyle-Murray, Angus Macfadyen, Doug Jones, Corbin Bernsen Brian Posehn, Kris Poloha, Cate Blanchett, Anna Chlumsky, Kathy Garver, Judy Norton, LL Cool J, Eric Christian Olsen and Chris O’Donnell. In 2023 demonstrated a broad range and versatility as an actor, starring as Pro Football Coach Stan Jacobs in STAN THE MAN, Army Veteran George Eschelan in true story THE KEEPER, DJ Connor McCloud in THE GREAT TURKEY TOWN MIRACLE, grieving father and accused murderer Jet Sanders in THE POST, as ex-cult member Ben Green in THE DEPROGRAMMER, crooked lawyer Jo Fortune in PURGATORY STATION and once successful P.R. Specialist, turned Grocery Store Manager, Jake Rush in YELLOW BIRD. Angus started off January 2024 co-starring alongside legendary American comedians Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Brian Doyle-Murray in Christmas Comedy, THE CHRISTMAS LETTER and Angus Macfadyen, Doug Jones and Corbin Bernsen in thriller THE WEIGHT OF DARKNESS (March 2024). Films featuring Angus have been released theatrically and can be found streaming on Amazon, AppleTV, Prime, YouTubeTV, Tubi, Vimeo, Roku, PureFlix, and many other digital platforms. For more: angusbenfield.com

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Gasoline Rainbow – Co-directors Bill Ross IV & Turner Ross

Celebrated directorial duo the Ross Brothers (Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,  Contemporary Color, 45365) turn their pioneering hybrid approach to  the cinematic road trip with GASOLINE RAINBOW.This raw and deeply affecting film is an expansive portrait of the new generation as told in their own words. With high school in the rearview, five teenagers from inland Oregon embark on one last adventure together. Piling into a van with a busted tail light, their mission takes them to a place they’ve never been — the Pacific coast, five hundred miles away. The plan, in full: “Fuck it.” Through desert wilderness, industrial backwaters, and city streets, they connect with outsiders on the fringes and discover their lives will be determined by the trails they blaze themselves. These are forgotten kids from a forgotten town, but they have their freedom and they have each other, hurtling toward an unknowable future — and The Party at the End of the World. A SXSW and Venice Film Festival selection, GASOLINE RAINBOW depicts a wild and true coming-of-age. With a beating heart and an irrepressible spirit, this rhapsodic look at today’s American West reminds us of the timeless joys of community. We are joined by the co-directors Turner Ross and Bill Ross to talk about the immensely challenging logistics of the shoot, working with a young cast of actors, and embracing the chaos and opportunities that made Gasoline Rainbow the remarkable cinematic experience that we see on screen.

 

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Watch at: mubi.com/gasolinerainbow beginning May 31

See Gasoline Rainbow at a theatre near you

About the filmmaker – Turner Ross and Bill Ross IV are an American filmmaking team whose work has brought them renown as some of the most innovative independent filmmakers working today — pushing the art of presenting uninhibited portraits of people and places with all the complicated, humanistic, and lyrical truth that that entails. Their work has been featured at museums and festivals throughout the world, including the Berlinale and Sundance, where they premiered Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets in 2020, and received a Special Jury Prize for Western in 2015. They have been the recipients of an Independent Spirit Award as well as accolades from CPH:DOX, Full Frame, and South by Southwest.  According to Metacritic they are tied with Paul Thomas Anderson as the 6th best reviewed filmmakers of the 21st century. In 2023, their body of work was celebrated with a retrospective at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. They are members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences. 

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s not a documentary, but its portrayal of those first tastes of freedom is so accurate that it might as well be.” – Christian Zilko, indieWire

“For all the monkey business the kids get into, the film never condescends. If anything, you sense the filmmakers’ determination to record an as yet unjaded generation’s capacity for fun.” – Zhuo-Ning Su, Awards Daily

“Gasoline Rainbow is a joyous movie for everyone who’s ever sought community and found it waiting for them where they least expect it.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“Gorgeous to look at, with a delicate, fuzzy tactility, this is a sincere and moving study of what it means (and how it feels) to be growing up in the 2020s.” – Calum Baker, Radio Times

“There’s a distinctly timeless quality to Gasoline Rainbow… The film is too alive to be called a collection of liminal spaces, but there’s a kind of perpetual “present tense” sensation.” – Daniel Gorman, In Review Online

“An Ecstatic Road Trip Movie” – New York Magazine

“The Ross Brothers are organic, brilliant filmmakers, we’re lucky to be along for the ride.” – RogerEbert.com

“A piece of mesmerizing realism” The Film Stage

Finding the Money – Director Maren Poitras

FINDING THE MONEY follows American economist Stephanie Kelton on a journey through Modern Money Theory or “MMT”. Kelton provocatively asserts the National  Debt Clock that ticks ominously upwards in New York City is not actually a debt for us taxpayers at all, nor a burden for our grandchildren to pay back. Instead, Kelton describes the national debt as simply a historical record of the number of dollars created by the US federal government currently being held in pockets, as assets, by the rest of us. MMT bursts into the mainstream media, with journalists asking, “Have we been thinking about how the government spends money, all wrong?” But top economists and politicians from across the political spectrum condemn the theory as “voodoo economics”, “crazy” and “a crackpot theory”. FINDING THE MONEY traces the conflict all the way back to the story we tell about money, injecting new hope and empowering countries around the world to tackle the biggest challenges of the 21st century: from climate change to inequality. Filmmaker Maren Poitras tackles the fascinating linked concepts of taxation and debt by foregrounding the work of an underdog group of American economists including Stony Brook professor Stephanie Kelton. With a radical shift in thinking around a concept dubbed Modern Money Theory, Kelton provocatively asserts new hope for democracies around the world to tackle the biggest challenges of the 21st century.

 

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For more go to: findingmoneyfilm.com

Opens in select theaters nationwide & digital platforms on May 3rd
Featuring Q&As with special guest moderators, film protagonists, and filmmakers:
May 14: Laemmle Claremont 7:30pm — 450 West 2nd St. Q&A with Director Maren Poitras
May 15: Laemmle NoHo 7:30pm — 5240 Lankershim Blvd. N Hollywood — Q&A Panel with Stephanie Kelton, Maren Poitras, Michael Mezzatesta and Cory Doctorow!
May 16: Laemmle Royal 7:30pm — 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. West LA — Q&A Panel with Stephanie Kelton, Maren Poitras, and Harry Shearer!
May 17: SEATTLE — University of Washington, 6pm – Special Q&A with Randall Wray, Maren Poitras, Bryce Smith of LevelTen Energy, Professor Dargan Frierson, and moderated by David Goldstein of Pitchfork Economics. Arc 147, 3943 West Stevens Way
May 20: PORTLAND —  Clinton St. Theater, 7pm – Special Q&A with Maren Poitras, Randall Wray, Rohan Grey, Erik Dean, Yan Liang, and Eric Tymoigne
May 21: SAN RAFAEL — The Rafael Theater, 7pm – Special Q&A with Stephanie Kelton and Maren Poitras – 1118 4th St, San Rafael, CA
May 22: OAKLAND, CA  — The New Parkway, 7pm – Special Q&A with Maren Poitras – 474 24th St, Oakland, CA
May 22: NANTUCKET, MA — Nantucket Dreamland Theater, 7pm 17 S Water St, Nantucket, MA – Virtual Q&A with Maren Poitras to follow
June 3: ANCHORAGE, AK — Bear Tooth TheatrePub – 5:30pm, 1230 W. 27th Avenue

About the subject – Stephanie Kelton is a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University. She is a leading expert on Modern Monetary Theory, a former Chief Economist on the U.S. Senate Budget Committee (Democratic staff), and an advisor to Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns. She was named by POLITICO as one of the 50 people most influencing the policy debate in America. Her highly-anticipated book, The Deficit Myth (2020), became an instant New York Times bestseller.

About the filmmaker – Maren Poitras’s feature documentary debut FINDING THE MONEY premiered at Woodstock Film Festival in fall 2023, received the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Green Film Festival of San Francisco, and has its European premiere at Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival. She is Associate Producer with Codebreaker Films on Enemies of the State (2020) and Reality Winner (2023). Originally from the California Bay Area, Poitras has a background in environmental science and agriculture from UC Berkeley.

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LYD – Co-directors Sarah Ema Friedland & Rami Younis

Filmmakers Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland feature length, speculative documentary, LYD follows the rise and fall of a 5,000-year-old metropolis, Lyd. It  was once a bustling Palestinian town until it was conquered when the State of Israel was established in 1948. As the film unfolds, a chorus of characters creates a tapestry of the Palestinian experience of this city and the trauma left by the massacre and expulsion, while vivid animations envision an alternate reality where the same characters live free from the trauma of the past and the violence of the present. Using never-before-seen archival footage of the Israeli soldiers who carried out the massacre and expulsion, the personified city explains that these events were so devastating that they fractured reality, and now there are two Lyds — one occupied and one free. As the film cuts between fantastical and documentary realities, it ultimately leaves the viewer questioning which future should prevail. Lyd dares to ask the question: what would the city be like had the Israeli occupation of Lyd never happened? Co-directors Rami Younis and Sarah Ema Friedland join us for a wide ranging conversation on the utterly fascinating and pivotal role that the city of Lyd has played in the multiple empires, ancient and modern, the establishment of the state of Israel, the forced expulsion of Palestinians during Nakba and the provocative question at the heart of the film… What if?

For more go to: icarusfilms.com/if-lyd
For more about the filmmakers go to: lydinexile.com
 
For Los Angeles area screenings go to: laemmle.com/lyd
All other screenings: Go to: icarusfilms.com/playdate#lyd

LYD premiered at the 2023 Amman International Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize for Best Documentary and the FIPRESCI prize from the International Critics Association. 

About the Filmmaker – Director and Cinematographer Sarah Ema Friedland is an NYC-based media artist and educator. Her work has screened at institutions including Cannes Film Festival, Lincoln Center, Anthology Film Archives, PBS, the Tang Teaching Museum, The Chelsea Museum, The Queens Museum, The 14th Street Y, and the MIT List Center. Her works have been supported by grants and fellowships, including the Jerome Founation, NYSCA, the Palestine American Research Center, the LABA House of Study, and the MacDowell Colony. Named one of the “Top 10 Independent Filmmakers to Watch” by Independent Magazine, she is a recipient of the Paul Robeson Award from the Newark Museum, and was nominated for a New York Emmy. Friedland is a member of the Meerkat Media Collective and the Director of the MDOCS Storyteller’s Institute at Skidmore College where she is also a Teaching Professor in the MDOCS Program. sarahfriedland.com

About the filmmaker – Director and Producer Rami Younis is a Palestinian filmmaker, writer, journalist and activist from Lyd. He was a 2019-20 Fellow at the Harvard Divinity School. As a journalist, he mainly wrote for the online magazine +972 and served as both writer and editor of its Hebrew sister site, “local call”, a journalistic project he co-founded, designed to challenge Israeli mainstream journalism outlets. Rami served as a parliamentary consultant and media spokesperson for Palestinian member of Knesset (Israeli parliament) Haneen Zoabi. Rami is also co-founder and manager of the first-ever Palestine Music Expo, an event that connects the local Palestinian music scene to the worldwide industry. Younis is the host of the Arabic-language daily news show, “On the Other Hand.”

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Reviews:

“Lyd is a film that should, for all that it touches upon and how it does what it sets out to do, certainly stand the test of time. Above all, it’s a cinematic What if…?.” – Schayan Riaz, The International Federation of Film Critics “A unique artistic and historical journey.” – Mohamed Tarek, The International Federation of Film Critics

“A harrowing watch, but a vital one if the goal is gaining greater understanding the history of Israel-Palestine conflict.” – ScreenHub

“A cinematic achievement that breaks down the wide divide between documentary and science fiction.” – The National

“Lyd occasionally spins its wheels across modes of storytelling, but it never loses sight of these slippery questions about what is, and what could be, achieved through the power of our collective imagination.” – Chris Cassingham, In Review Online

“Provocative, heartfelt and eye-opening.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

SLOW – Director Marija Kavtaradze

In Marija Kavtaradze’s latest film, SLOW, contemporary dancer Elena meets Dovydas when he is assigned to interpret via sign language in a class she is teaching to deaf youth. Their connection is immediate, kinetic, and frictionless. As they gravitate toward each other, resisting the forces and interventions of their separate daily lives, their bond deepens from platonic to romantic. When Dovydas discloses his asexuality, the couple commits themselves to honoring their individual needs in tandem. As they  continue to weave more tightly together, they struggle to negotiate sacrifice and compromise and are forced to discover the edges of their generosity toward the other. The result is an instantly recognizable dance between self and other, this one choreographed with elegance, grace, and love. The two leads, Greta Grinevičiūtė (Elena) and Kęstutis Cicėnas (Dovydas), conjure up undeniable chemistry that is heartbreakingly complicated, stubborn, and humanizing. Director and writer Marija Kavtaradze’s (Summer Survivors) sophomore feature shows off her fine tuned ability to portray intimacy and psychological exploration through dance, tense quietude, and stunningly singular examination of asexuality. Kavtaradze emphasis on the couple’s physicality and how the inherent limitations of a full physical expression plays out with own unique emotional expectations is superbly realized.

 

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For more go to: kimstim.com/slow

 2023 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL
World Cinema dramatic competition
Directing Award: World Cinema Dramatic
2023 Lithuania’s Official Oscar® Selection for Best International Feature

 

About the Filmmaker – Born in 1991, film director and scriptwriter Marija Kavtaradze graduated from Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Film Directing studies in 2014. Marija’s debut feature film SUMMER SURVIVORS premiered at Toronto IFF in 2018 and did a solid career at the festivals, also sold to Italy, Albania, Latvia, etc. SUMMER SURVIVORS achieved 26k admissions at the domestic box office, which made it the most appreciated independent Lithuanian film in 2019. Her debut film received 3 Lithuanian Film Academy awards. Considered to be one of the most talented upcoming filmmakers in Lithuania, Marija Kavtaradze is now preparing for the release of her second feature film SLOW, which got Producer’s Network prize at When East Meets West and was a part of Berlinale Co-Production Market. 

About the distributor – KimStim is a Brooklyn based, full-service distribution company dedicated to the release of exceptional independent, foreign, and documentary film. KimStim brings to US and North American audiences selected films from around the world gleaned from the most prestigious film festivals and include top prize winners from Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, and Tribeca.  For more go to: kimstim.com

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96% on RottenTomatoes

“A supremely confident piece of filmmaking that negotiates the tricky terrain of non-typical sexualities with sensitivity, humor, and a refreshing lightness of touch.” ~ SCREEN DAILY

“An involving drama … magnetic performers … give something to the audience that’s really hard to fake: great chemistry.”~ THE FILM VERDICT

“Choreographs and X-rays the feeling of love with extreme sensory delicacy under the bark of the extraordinary of a case of asexuality.” ~ CINEUROPA

“It’s stirring and moving at every turn.” ~ VOX

“Slow is a subtle but impactful film. Moving and beautiful.” ~ FILM INQUIRY

“Slow” announces Kavtaradze as a director with keen insight into human psychology and a true knack for working with actors.” ~ ROGER EBERT.COM

The Last Stop in Yuma County – Director Francis Galluppi

Director Francis Galluppi’s feature film debut, THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY is a rockin’ good time of a genre hopping gun-toting Western, double-cross film noir and desert dry dark comedy. While awaiting the next fuel truck at a middle-of-Arizona rest stop, a traveling young knife salesman is thrust into a high-stakes hostage situation by the arrival of two similarly stranded bank robbers with no qualms about using cruelty—or cold, hard steel—to protect their bloodstained, ill-begotten fortune. THE LAST STOP IN YUMA COUNTY boasts an outstanding ensemble cast of Jim Cummings (The Wolf of Snow Hollow), Jocelin Donahue (The House of the Devil), Sierra McCormick (The Vast of Night), Nicholas Logan (I Care a Lot), Michael Abbott Jr. (Killers of the Flower Moon), Connor Paolo (A Creature Was Stirring), Alexandra Essoe (The Haunting of Bly Manor), Robin Bartlett (The Fabelmans), Jon Proudstar (Reservation Dogs), Sam Huntington (Being Human), Ryan Masson (Good Girls), and Barbara Crampton (Suitable Flesh, Re-Animator), with Gene Jones (Killers of the Flower Moon), Faizon Love (Elf) and Richard Brake (Barbarian). Director / Writer / Producer / Editor Francis Galluppi joins us for a geeked out conversation on the film’s origin story and cinematic inspirations for YUMA COUNTY, pulling together this terrific cast, and his personal filmmaker favorites. 

 

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For more go to: wellgousa.com/last-stop-yuma-county

About the filmmaker – Francis Reid Galluppi was born on November 17th, 1988 in Los Angeles, California. He is a writer, director, producer, editor, and music composer, known for High Desert Hell (2019), The Gemini Project (2020), and The Last Stop In Yuma County (2023). Galluppi’s first short film, High Desert Hell, went on to win several awards, including the “Wes Craven Award” at the Catalina Film Festival in 2019. The Gemini Project, Galluppi’s follow-up film, won “Best Science Fiction/Fantasy Short Film” at the Burbank International Film Festival in 2020. Well Go USA will release his western, crime, thriller film The Last Stop In Yuma County in Theaters and On Digital May 10, 2024. It had its World Premiere Fantastic Fest before heading to Sitges where it won the best film prize in the Orbita section.  For more go to: francisgalluppi.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“There are little moments of blackhearted comedy among the bloodshed, but through it all, The Last Stop in Yuma County makes sure that those gunshots resonate.” – Ross McIndoe, Slant Magazine

“The Last Stop In Yuma County tells a simple story but does so in an extraordinary way. It’s a film you won’t forget for a long, long time.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“Pulling off a remarkable tonal balancing act, it manages to be consistently funny and whimsical while also legitimately tense and gripping. The ending blew me away and knocked its huge curveball out of the park.” – Stephanie Malone, Morbidly Beautiful

“A genuinely fun time that makes a feast out of familiar scraps. Jim Cummings is terrific as always. Richard Brake gets a role worthy of his menacing appeal. Feels like 3 movies in 1 where new people want to get in on the fun while we are in for all of it.” – Erik Childress, Movie Madness Podcast

“Director Francis Galluppi has put together one of the coolest movies of the year. A modern western, mixed with a heist, and easily one of my favorite movies of 2023.” – Leo Brady, AMovieGuy.com

“Director Francis Galluppi transcends expectations of the Western to create a sun-bleached crime thriller that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.” – Mary Beth McAndrews, Dread Central

Resistance – They Fought Back – Director Paula S. Apsell

RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK, from award-winning filmmakers Paula S. Apsell and Kirk Wolfinger’s, is a passionate refutation of one of our collective misunderstandings of the Holocaust, one which holds that Jews went to their deaths passively, “as sheep to the slaughter.”  RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK, instead focuses on Jewish communities and individuals throughout Eastern Europe who bravely rose up in resistance against the all-powerful Nazi war machine. The film also features narration from actors Corey Stoll, Dianna Agron and Maggie Siff, among many other recognizable names in the entertainment industry. Winning awards at the 2023 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, 2023 LA Indies, and the 2023 Toronto Documentary Feature & Short Film Festival, RESISTANCE – THEY FOUGHT BACK provides a much-needed corrective to the myth of Jewish passivity during the  Holocaust. There were uprisings in ghettos large and small, rebellions in death camps, and thousands of Jews fought Nazis in the forests. Everywhere in Eastern Europe, Jews waged campaigns of non-violent resistance, standing up against Nazi brutality by feeding the hungry, caring for orphans, recording German war crimes, and maintaining a high level of cultural activities and spiritual observance. Director Paula S. Apsell joins us for a conversation on the inspiration for taking on the mythology of Jewish acquiescence to the horror of Nazi brutality, finding the right people to tell the story and how does their righting of history bear on the politics of today.

 

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For more go to: abramorama.com/resistance-they-fought-back

Resistance website: theyfoughtback.com 

 

About the filmmaker – PAULA S. APSELL created the feature documentary Resistance — They Fought Back with the goal of correcting the myth of Jewish passivity during the Holocaust. Before that, she spent 35 years as the senior executive producer of the PBS NOVA science series, responsible for more than 650 documentaries in the sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, which won every major broadcasting award including the Emmy; the Peabody; the duPont-Columbia University Gold and Silver Batons; and an Academy Award® nomination for Special Effects. She has been recognized with numerous individual awards, including the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Emmy of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Now CEO of Leading Edge Productions, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public charity, she directed, wrote and executive producer Resistance — They Fought Back

About the filmmaker – KIRK WOLFINGER directed Resistance — They Fought Back, traveling to Poland, Lithuania, and Israel to establish a unique visual approach to tell the important story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust.  He is an Emmy and Peabody Award winning filmmaker and President of Lone Wolf Media, production partner for the feature-length documentary film. Lone Wolf is widely known as a leader in factual entertainment and is responsible for many award-winning nationally broadcast documentaries on PBS as well as the National Geographic, History and Smithsonian Channels, and more than 25 documentaries for the science series NOVA alone. Kirk’s forte is adventure, science, and historical programming. Among the many NOVA episodes he produced and directed is Holocaust Escape Tunnel, which tells the story of a landmark archeological discovery of a tunnel that Jewish prisoners used to escape their Nazi and Lithuanian captors. 

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Resistance: They Fought Back is a vital documentary for anyone wanting a deeper understanding about the courage and the necessity of resistance by Jewish people and allies during the Holocaust. The movie combines history with personal testimonials.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

“A vital, eye-opening and engrossing documentary” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“Successful in the way it shares the stories and shows the remnants of so many inspirational heroes.” – Christopher Campbell, Nonfics

“A vital, eye-opening and engrossing documentary” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“People have this myth stuck in their heads that Jews went to their deaths like sheep to the slaughter. But this is where the real story begins…Jews did not go as sheep to the slaughter… They fought back.” – Professor Richard Freund

“Presents a well-made overview of acts of Jewish resistance against the Nazis during the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, emphasizing insight that stereotyped images of Jews going to their deaths “like sheep to slaughter” were from Third Reich propaganda.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Maven’s Nest

Catching Fire: The Story of Anita Pallenberg – Co-directors Alexis Bloom & Zvetlana Zill

For many Anita Pallenberg was at many points in her life a newspaper headline: a “rock n’ roll goddess,” a “voodoo priestess,” and an “evil seductress.” She was accused of trying to break up the Rolling Stones, among other things. What is made clear in co-directors Alexis Bloom & Svetlana Zill’s compelling documentary CATCHING FIRE: THE STORY OF ANITA PALLENBERG those who loved her considered her an exciting cultural force, and a loving mother – and innocent of the accusations. The film includes never-seen-before home movies and family photographs explore life with the Rolling Stones and tell a bittersweet tale of both triumph and heartbreak. From Barbarella to the Swiss Alps, and the Lower East Side to London, Anita Pallenberg was a creative force ahead of her time. CATCHING FIRE: THE STORY OF ANITA PALLENBERG is a vital portrait of the charismatic and fierce rock ‘n’ roller, actress, muse, and mother who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 1970s after a chance encounter with the Rolling Stones. Scarlett Johansson voices Anita (based on the words of her unpublished memoir) and the film includes her children, Marlon and Angela Richards, and their father, Keith Richards. Co-directors Alexis Bloom & Zvetlana Zill join us to talk about setting out to give voice, figuratively and literally, to a spirited woman who lived many lives in one lifetime. Working with producer and son of Anita and Keith Richards, Marlon, together they have succeeded brilliantly.

 

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For more go to: magpictures.com/catchingfire

About the filmmaker – Director Alexis Bloom was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and now lives in New York. In her early career, she produced widely for the National Geographic Channel, and for BBC World. She also produced extensively for PBS Frontline and NOVA.  In 2014, Alexis won the Producers Guild of America Award for We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, a feature documentary for Universal Pictures, also nominated for a BAFTA Award. In 2017, she was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, and an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking (Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, for HBO.) Alexis directed, Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2019. Alexis’ films have shown in film festivals around the world: the Cannes Film Festival, Telluride, Toronto, and the New York Film Festival to name a few. 

About the filmmaker – Director Svetlana Zill is a filmmaker born and raised in New York City. She has worked as a producer for some of the most renowned documentarians of our time including Alex Gibney, Errol Morris, and Morgan Spurlock. She began her career as an archival researcher on Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story and Mike Mills’ Beginners and worked as a consulting producer for the Academy Award nominated Cutie and the Boxer, which also won an Emmy. Her work explores an impressive range of subjects that include vast CIA conspiracies, eccentric sports fans, pop culture icons and fine artists, and has been presented by HBO, Showtime, Netflix, PBS and The New York Times. CATCHING FIRE is Svetlana’s directorial debut. 

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“The radiant and compelling Pallenberg finally gets her due as a creative force in her own right, a woman of alluring beauty, intelligence, dysfunction, addiction, and yes, an important figure in the world of the Stones at their apex.” – Matthew Carey, Deadline Hollywood Daily

“A fascinating, not-quite-complete portrait of a worldly but unschooled woman with talents finding her way into a life that offered her something more than “housewife” in an age when women’s “power” was too often defined by their allure.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“All in all, this documentary has a perfect balance of heart, soul and humor that resonates within its core and just makes for some informative viewing.” – Richard Schertzer, Battle Royale With Cheese

Enter the Clones of Bruce – Director David Gregory

Within hours of his funeral, Hong Kong movie studios began to produce hundreds of unauthorized biopics, spin-offs and rip-offs starring a competing roster of Bruce Lee lookalikes. Over the next decade, ‘Bruceploitation’ would become a staple of global cinema. Director David Gregory examines this fascinating phenomenon via interviews with Bruce LiBruce LeBruce Liang and Dragon Lee; martial arts legends like Angela MaoDavid ChiangPhillip Ko and Sammo Hung; and the producers, directors, distributors and experts – along with copious clips from the films themselves – that for the first time reveal the history, controversy and legacy behind one of the most bizarre genres in movie history. Director, cinema aficionado and founder of Severin Films David Gregory (Lost Souls: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau) joins us for a spirited conversation on the twisted tale of Bruce Lee’s actual career in film, the shadow careers of look-a-likes and the filmmakers willing to push the limits of credibility and propriety to satiate an audience of martial arts cinephiles.

 

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For more go to: severinfilms.com/enter-the-clones-of-bruce

Available at: tv.apple.com/enter-the-clones-of-bruce

About the filmmaker – Executive Producer/Director David Gregory made his first feature-length documentary TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE – THE SHOCKING TRUTH in 2000 for the distribution company he co-founded, Blue Underground. He soon went on to direct – and often produce and edit – over 100 documentary features and shorts for DVDs that included THE DEER HUNTER, BADLANDS, FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!, HEATHERS and THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, as well as the longer documentary projects THE JOE SPINELL STORY, BAN THE SADIST VIDEOS!, THE GODFATHERS OF MONDO and the IFC original production THE SPAGHETTI WEST. He made his narrative feature-directing debut in 2008 with PLAGUE TOWN, which he also co-wrote and co-edited. Gregory co-produced and co-directed the 2011 Grand Guignol-inspired anthology horror feature THE THEATRE BIZARRE, and it was during post- production that David began the process of making LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU. The documentary had its world premiere at London’s Frightfest in August 2014 and its US premiere at Austin’s Fantastic Fest a month later. It took the ‘Best Documentary Award’ at Sitges, the ‘Director Award’ at the Morbido Festival in Mexico, and collected additional awards at festivals in Melbourne, Sydney, and Cape Town. Gregory also served as co- producer on Stanley’s return to feature directing after two decades, H.P. LOVECRAFT’S THE COLOR OUT OF SPACE. Gregory’s subsequent documentary feature BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE & GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival in July 2019. In 2020 he directed and co-produced TALES OF THE UNCANNY, a documentary on anthology horror featuring Roger Corman, Greg Nicotero, Tom Savini and over 50 more luminaries from the horror genre. TALES OF THE UNCANNY took the top award at Abattoir Festival in Wales where in premiered in October 2020. In 2021, Gregory executive produced the landmark folk-horror documentary WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED. Hailed as “brilliant” (AV Club) and “mind-blowingly epic” (Film Threat), the film has screened at over 40 international festivals and received nearly a dozen major awards, including the Midnighters Audience Award at SXSW and Best Documentary at Fantasia International Film Festival. David Gregory is co-founder and CEO of Severin Films, the production/distribution label dedicated to the world’s most provocative cinema for physical media, theatrical, streaming and beyond. Founded in 2006, their distribution catalogue includes projects by iconic filmmakers Alejandro Jodorowsky, Roman Polanski, Dario Argento, Paul Morrissey, Mike Leigh, Lucio Fulci, Just Jaeckin, Peter Greenaway, Dennis Hopper, Joko Anwar, Patrice Leconte, Walerian Borowczyk, Sergio Martino, Álex de la Iglesia and UK comedy legends The Comic Strip. Severin has also elevated the oeuvres of such fringe auteurs as Andy Milligan, Al Adamson, Ray Dennis Steckler, Bruno Mattei, Frederick Friedel, Luigi Cozzi, Claudio Fragrasso, Umberto Lenzi, Juan Piquer Simón, Joe D’Amato and Goya-Award winner Jess Franco. Learn more about their production services here.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Directed by David Gregory, a Severin co-founder, the film captures something of the chaotic energy of the grindhouse era, one that is interestingly balanced by the ambivalence, in some cases regret, that the stars have over their roles.” – Sean Gilman, In Review Online

“A hugely entertaining documentary that explores the oft-disreputable faux-Bruce Lee movies that followed the great star’s death.” – Stephen Silver, The SS Ben Hecht

“If cult films appeal to you, there’s no way to walk away from “Enter the Clones of Bruce” without a whole list of titles to track down.” – Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

“A zippy, smartly-cut story of the absolute moral depths the film industry can sink to, all while forming a genuinely heartfelt love letter to kung fu genre movies.” – Ben Robins, HeyUGuys

“Enter the Clones of Bruce is a breezy and fascinating deep dive into Bruce Lee-inspired movies and actors who tried to continue the legacy of Lee after his tragic death. The movie’s commentary is superb and includes some people who rarely give interviews.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

I Am Gitmo – Director Philippe Diaz

Based on real events, I AM GITMO follows the reaction the United States to the 9/11 attack and the human cost that came about from the implementation of the War on Terror. The film focuses on Gamel Sadek, a Muslim schoolteacher as he is taken from his home and delivered to Bagram Air Base, a CIA black site, where he is questioned on the whereabouts of the 9/11 mastermind, Osama Bin Laden. He is tortured when he denies knowing him. Chained and hooded, he is put on a cargo plane to Guantanamo Bay. John Anderson, a military interrogator, is brought out of retirement and assigned to Gamel’s case leaving his daughter behind in New York. Despite relentless beatings, starvation, and torture in Gitmo, Gamel maintains he has no affiliation with Al Qaeda or Bin Laden. John struggles to accept the new torture methods imposed by General Miller, newly in command of the prison, and the mandate to force a confession at any cost. As Gamel prepares for a hearing on his status as an enemy combatant, he realizes he could be held indefinitely, and that John’s testimony will be the deciding factor. Director and writer Philippe Diaz stops by to talk about his inspiration for telling this particular story, the fatally flawed planning, execution and objectives of the War on Terror, the collateral damage done to America’s standing in the world, the staggering loss of innocent human life and the failure of American leadership to acknowledge or compensate the innocent people who were swept up in the overreaction.

 

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For more go to: iamgitmo.com

About the filmmaker –  Philippe Diaz is known for directing documentaries “The End of Poverty?” (Invited to over 41 film festivals including official selection at Cannes Critics’ Week), “The Empire In Africa,” (official selection at Cannes Critics’ Week, Best Documentary awards at SlamDance, African Film Festival Montreal and Hollywood Film Festival) and the narrative feature “Now & Later.” He has produced over 25 films and was awarded the Louis Delluc, France’s top award, in 1986 for “Mauvais Sang” which was nominated for 3 Césars. In 2004, he created Cinema Libre Studio, to provide an alternative structure for intelligent, indie films to get developed, financed, produced and distributed. 

Postscript – Since 2002, roughly 780 detainees have been held at the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Now, 30 remain. Of those, 11 have been charged with war crimes in the military commissions system — 10 are awaiting trial and one has been convicted. In addition, three detainees are held in indefinite law-of-war detention and are neither facing tribunal charges nor being recommended for release. And 16 are held in law-of-war detention but have been recommended for transfer with security arrangements to another country. 

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Nowhere Special – Director Uberto Pasolini

James Norton (Bob Marley: One Love, Little Women) stars as John, a 35-year-old window cleaner who has dedicated his life to bringing up his 4-year-old son, Michael (Daniel Lamont), after the child’s mother left them soon after giving birth. When John is given only a few months left to live, he attempts to find a new, perfect family for Michael, determined  to shield him from the terrible reality of the situation. Although initially certain of what he is looking for in the perfect family, John gradually abandons his early convictions, over- whelmed by doubts on the decision. How can he judge a family from a brief encounter? And does he know his own child well enough to make this choice for him? As John struggles to find the right answer to his impossible task, he comes to accept the help of a young social worker, opening himself to solutions he would never have considered. And he finally comes to accept his anger at the injustice of his destiny, the need to share the truth with his son, and to follow the child’s instincts on the biggest decision of their lives. Director / Producer / Writer Uberto Pasolini joins us for a conversation on bringing lead actor James Norton (John), how he found BIFA nominated actor Daniel Lamont (Michael), how they became trusted friends before and during the shoot and the story behind this unfettered and heartfelt film.

 

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For more go to: cohenmedia.net/product/nowhere-special

Nominated:
BIFA Award for Breakthrough Performance Daniel Lamont
BIFA Award for Best Actor, James Norton
Opens April 26 In NYC at the Quad Cinema and
in LA Laemmle Royal,
National Rollout to Follow

About the filmmaker – Uberto Pasolini founded Red Wave Films in 1993. He produced “The Full Monty,” which took over 250 million dollars at the worldwide box office, won a Bafta for Best Film and was nominated for four Oscars including Best Picture. Other Red Wave produced films include “Palookaville” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” In 2007 Uberto directed, wrote and produced “Machan,” winner of numerous international awards including the Europa Cinemas Label Award in Venice. “Still Life,” his second feature, starred Eddie Marsan and Joanne Froggatt and went on to win Best Director, Orizzonti, Venice 2013 and numerous international festival awards. “Nowhere Special” starring James Norton premiered in Orizzonti at the 2020 Venice Film Festival. Numerous festival awards included the Audience Awards at the Warsaw FF, Valladolid and Pula. His latest feature “The Return,” starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche, was shot last summer in Corfu and Rome and is currently in post-production. Past TV credits include “The Full Monty” series for Disney on which he was the Executive Producer. 

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100% on RottenTomatoes

” [Norton’s] performance is tremendous.” The Guardian

“Norton’s performance dominates, with a battered, hangdog demeanour and the most syllable-perfect Belfast accent since Daniel Day-Lewis in In the Name of the Father.” – Kevin Maher, Times (UK)

“Norton is spectacular, but little Lamont delivers one of those uncanny performances that doesn’t seem like acting, and makes you feel for the kid almost as much as his onscreen parent does.” – Glenn Kenny, New York Times

“There are so many ways to go wrong with this story, which we are told was inspired by an unidentified real father and son. [Pasolini] does not let that happen, relying on the most ordinary details to take on greater and greater weight.” – Nell Minow, RogerEbert.com

“There is something quite profound here about learning to achieve what you can in the moment and for making peace with a situation you are unable to change.” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

Freedom Hill – Director Resita Cox

After the Civil War, freed African Americans settled in the floodplains along North Carolina’s Tar River. This land becomes Princeville, the first town   chartered by Blacks in America. FREEDOM HILL is an immersive tour of this historic site that chronicles the ongoing legacy of this community. Guided by Princeville native Marquetta Dickens, the camera captures what makes the town so special: a car caravan to celebrate the106th birthday of a beloved resident, aunties who love to tell stories, and a classic North Carolina barbecue.The town of Princeville sits atop wet, swampy land along the Tar River in North Carolina. In the 1800s this land was disregarded and deemed uninhabitable by white people. After the Civil War, this indifference left it available for newly freed enslaved Africans to settle. Before its incorporation, residents called it ‘Freedom Hill,’ gradually establishing a self-sufficient, all Black town. Resting along the floodplain of the river, Princeville and its residents are not strangers to adversity. The historical town has been inundated with flooding over the centuries. With each flood, a little more of the small town erodes. Yet these moments in Princeville are haunted by the specter of the floods that regularly brutalize the town, forcing people to rebuild their homes time and time again. Filmmaker Resita Cox exposes a history of environmental racism and why ultimately, “Black towns always exist within this larger white governance regime.” By sharing the spiritual, ancestral, and political landscapes of Princeville, Freedom Hill pushes against America’s historical and present legacy of racist displacement.

 

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For more go to: thefreedomhilldoc.com

About the filmmaker – Resita Cox is an Emmy Award winning documentary film director and producer. Born and raised in the South, her films center Southern, Black communities and use them as a lens to examine topics ranging from environmental justice to racial justice. With a degree in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Resita started her career as a storyteller in TV news as a reporter in North Carolina and later in Chicago. Resita was awarded a 2023 Regional Emmy for her work as director on WTTW’s series Firsthand: Life After Prison. She is the director/producer of Freedom Hill, an award-winning documentary about the environmental racism that is washing away the first town chartered by Black people in the nation, with which she was named a 2021 Hulu/Kartemquin Accelerator Fellow. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University in Documentary Film and was named a 2022 Esteemed Artist by the City of Chicago. She is one of Elevate’s 2022 Climate Changemakers and is the producer of Bike Vessel, which premiered at the 2023 59th Chicago International Film Festival. Her films have screened across North America at esteemed festivals such as Full Frame, New Orleans, Black Star, Slamdance, Pan African and DC Environmental Film Festivals. Resita is developing her debut feature, Basketball Heaven, a love letter to her hometown: Kinston, NC, with which she won the 2023 South Pitch Documentary with New Orleans Film Society. Her films and impact work have been supported by Chicken and Egg Pictures, Perspective Fund, PBS, Cucalorus, South Arts, Points North Institute, Chicago Filmmakers and other prestigious film organizations. She organizes an annual youth media camp in her home community, eastern North Carolina.

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The Big Bend – Director Brett Wagner

Brett Wagner’s compelling drama THE BIG BEND tell the story of two families, the Prices and the Talbotts, getting together for a long overdue reunion in the remote West Texas desert. Not long after the Talbotts’ arrival events quickly spiral after one of their daughters goes missing during a family hike. The crisis takes on an ominous turn with news that there is an escaped convict on the loose. Personal and marital further complicate an  already fraught  situation. THE BIG BEND mixes human frailties with one of the wildest places in America, testing the boundaries of marriage, friendship, and parenthood, while their best to survive the experience. Showcasing a terrific cast that includes Jason Butler Harner, Virginia Kull, Erica Ash, David Sullivan, and Delilah Wagner, director and writer Brett Wagner joins us for a conversation on the daunting challenges of filming in such a remote and starkly beautiful location, getting the most from his cast while working under the constraints of a very tight shooting schedule and striking the right balance.

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For more go to: wagnervision.com

About the filmmaker – Brett’s current project is the feature film THE BIG BEND, starring Jason Butler Harner, Virginia Kull, Erica Ash, and David Sullivan. THE BIG BEND premiered at the Austin Film Festival and has won three “best feature” awards in its year-long festival run. Previously, he made a movie called CHIEF, which premiered at Sundance and was hailed by IndieWIRE as a “must-see.” His next film, called CARE, starred Rachel Brosnahan (THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL). CARE won Best Dramatic Film at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival, Best Short Film at the Kansas City Film Festival and Best Narrative Short at the Williamsburg International Film Festival. Both films received Academy Award qualification as a result of their festival wins. His adaptation of the New York Times bestselling memoir, THE DEVIL’S TEETH, for executive producer Terrence Malick, received a Sloan Foundation Development Grant from the Tribeca Film Festival. Brett directs lots of commercials and web films, which have won dozens of industry accolades. Clients include Bristol Myers, Emblem Health,  Road Runner, MTS Mobile, McDonalds, American Savings Bank, Lexus, Toyota, Hawaiian Airlines, Starwood Resorts, Burger King (don’t tell McDonalds) and North Carolina Lottery. His feature film, FIVE YEARS, was distributed internationally (under the release title THE HIDDEN) after a 30-festival tour that included awards for Best Feature Film at the Victoria Film Festival and Best Screenplay at Avignon. It’s been dubbed into many fun languages; check it out in Turkish! Brett grew up in Cleveland and earned an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.For more go to: wagnervision.com

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“An exceptional film” – Film Threat

“While those onscreen may not like the curveballs life throws their way, it keeps things interesting in “The Big Bend.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“There’s a lot to unpack in Brett Wagner’s The Big Bend. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, Wagner tosses in a grenade and blows up your expectations.” – Rebecca Murray. Showbiz Junkies

Little Empty Boxes – Co-directors Max Lugavere & Chris Newhard

In this quietly powerful documentary, Little Empty Boxes strong and independent woman, Kathy Lugavere finds herself struggling with her memory. In a quest to find his mother the  best care, 32-year-old son Max moves home to New York City and begins to consult with top health experts to investigate the origins of Dementia, a disease which now affects a staggering 55 million people globally. The deeply personal film chronicles Kathy’s experience with Dementia as Max explores methods outside of prescription medication to slow her illness down. LITTLE EMPTY BOXES presents a raw perspective of Kathy’s journey, the hardships of being a caretaker, and a son willing to do anything to save his mother. Co-directors Max Lugavere (Genius Foods) and Chris Newhard (Are You Lonely, Self Tape) join us for a conversation about their loving and observant film about a woman grappling with her own mortality and a devoted son doing his best to help her navigate the relentless cruelty of dementia.

 

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For theatrical screenings and more: littleemptyboxes.com

Or go to: abramorama.com/film/little-empty-boxes

About the filmmaker – Max Lugavere is a health and science journalist, filmmaker, and bestselling author. He is the author of the Genius trilogy of books, including the New York Times bestseller Genius Foods and the Wall Street Journal bestseller Genius Kitchen. He hosts The Genius Life podcast, one of the top health and wellness podcasts in the U.S, and has an audience of over 1.5 million followers across social media. His contributions to programs like The Rachael Ray Show, The Today Show, PBS’s Brief but Spectacular, and The Doctors, along with features in VICE, Fast Company, The New York Times, People Magazine, and CNN, and appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience and The Diary of a CEO, have made him a respected and well-known voice in the field. 

About the filmmaker – Indie Filmmaker Chris Newhard, a native of Pennsylvania, has worked across the continental USA, Central America, Africa, and Europe for the last 16 years. Grounded in fine arts, design, and drama club as a teen, his work tends to delve into the shadows of life and the conflicts of being human. Since college, Chris has had a camera in his hand and searches the world for frames of perfect imperfections. Thematically, his filmmaking style could be described as being both hopeful and authentic to the human experience with a sprinkle of anti-commercialism. His film school thesis, “Pearl” (2010, 20 min), explores falling in love while terminally ill, and kickstarted a career shining light on the darker themes in life. As his career became more fluid, his work had to expand and contract, allowing him to work in the music industry as a music video director, working with artists like Sia, Maroon 5, Sirah, Chevelle, Grayscale, Jessie J, American Authors, and many more. His first documentary film, “Are You Lonely” (2012, 55 min), follows American Folk band The End of America to the Adirondack mountains as they travel by canoe to a small island to write their album. In 2013, after spending time in Africa working on a documentary feature about the Peace Train, South Africa’s first 500 voice multiracial band and youth choir in 1992 that toured the country by train during Apartheid, he traveled the US on tour with Grammy winning Pop Rock band Train. Over the course of his career he has shot many documentaries, short films, and commercials. 2023 saw the release of his latest short, “Self Tape” (25 min), which explores the intricacies and anxiety-inducing choices of an aspiring actress in the modern film industry. His most recent Documentary, “Little Empty Boxes”, tears down the walls of the realities of battling dementia, and was co-directed alongside Max Lugavere. 

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“The film’s determination to shed light on systemic causes of dementia is admirable, but the real takeaway of Little Empty Boxes is that caring for a parent in a state of serious decline is an impossible task.” – Christian Zilko, indieWire

“Little Empty Boxes gets its message across in a less direct manner than a lot of films, and that’s a good thing.” – Christopher Campbell, Nonfics

“A poignant and illuminating documentary. Little Empty Boxers is a potent reminder that there’s always hope for some light at the end of a dark tunnel.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal – Director Jamila Ephron

Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal tells the dramatic and inspiring story of the ordinary women who fought against overwhelming odds for the health and safety of their families. In the late 1970s, residents of Love Canal, a working-class neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York, discovered that their homes, schools and playgrounds were built on top of a former chemical waste dump, which was now leaking toxic substances and wreaking havoc on their health. Through interviews with many of the extraordinary housewives turned activists, the film shows how they effectively challenged those in power, forced America to reckon with the human cost of unregulated industry, and created a grassroots movement that galvanized the landmark Superfund Bill. Director / Producer Jamila Ephron (Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies) joins us for a conversation on her detailed look into the incredible story of Niagara Falls, developer and con man William T. Love, hydro-electric power, Hooker Chemical, birth defects, cancer, miscarriages, Lois Gibbs,  empowered woman, Griffon Manor, the taking of “hostages”, President Jimmy Carter, New York Governor Hugh Carey, establishment of the EPA and 22,000 tons of toxic chemicals under the feet of an unsuspecting community.

 

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Poisoned Ground: The Tragedy at Love Canal premieres Monday, April 22, 2024, 9:00–11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on American Experience on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App.

pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/poisoned-ground

About the filmmaker – Jamila Ephron (Writer, Producer, Director) has been producing and directing documentary films for nearly 20 years. Her most recent film was The Blinding of Isaac Woodard, which premiered on American Experience in 2022. Her previous works for the series include Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, which was released theatrically, and George W. Bush. Ephron also produced and co-directed Far from the Tree, based on the bestselling book by Andrew Solomon for Participant Media and Sundance Selects. Additional work for American Experience includes My Lai (winner of the Primetime Emmy and Peabody Award), The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln and Clinton. She co-produced Makers: Women Who Make America, a three-hour documentary on second wave feminism, and Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

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Breathe – Director Stefon Bristol

BREATHE is a heart pounding thriller set in the future.  After Earth is left uninhabitable due to lack of oxygen, a mother Maya ( Jennifer Hudson) and her daughter Zora (Quvenzhané Wallis) are forced to live underground, with short trips to the surface only made possible by a coveted state of the art oxygen suit made by Maya’s husband, Darius (Common), whom she presumes to be dead. When a mysterious couple arrives claiming to know Darius and his fate, Maya tentatively agrees to let them into their bunker but these visitors are not who they claim to be ensuing in mother and daughter fighting for survival. Director Stefon Bristol (See You Yesterday) joins us to talk about working with writer Doug Simon, finding the right “look” for this dystopian tale, what he learned turning his time as an assistant to Spike Lee and how he assembled a superb cast that includes; Jennifer Hudson, Milla Jovovich, Quvenzhané Wallis, Raúl Castillo, Common and Sam Worthington.  

 

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For more go to: capstonepictures.com/breathe

BREATHE in theaters & On-demand Friday April 26

About the filmmaker – Stefon Bristol is a film director and screenwriter hailing from Brooklyn, New York. He co-wrote and directed the Netflix time travel film, See You Yesterday, released in 2019. Bristol studied at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and New York University’s Graduate Film program, under mentor Spike Lee, who helped produce his debut feature. Bristol also acted as an assistant to Lee, while Lee was filming BlacKKKlansman. Bristol originally shot See You Yesterday as a short, for his thesis film, before expanding it into a feature film. It took five years to complete the film. Bristol received nominations for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay (with Fredica Bailey) at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards. Bristol and Bailey won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay and thanked Lee in their acceptance speech. Bristol is set to direct the intense, sci-fi thriller Breathe with Thunder Road Films. The script, written by Doug Simon, was on the 2019 Black List. Basil Iwanyk and Brendon Boyea producing. For more go to: stefonbristol.com

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Pure O – Director Dillon Tucker

Cooper Ganz’s (Daniel Dorr) seemingly perfect life quickly unravels when he is diagnosed with a crippling form of OCD called Pure Obsessional. This often  misunderstood illness forces him to question his identity and sanity, all while trying to keep it together for his fiancé, Emily (Hope Lauren) family, and co-workers. As he struggles to accept his disease, and the vulnerability that comes along with it, his world starts to open up. The addiction recovery clients he works with at a high-end Malibu drug rehab center return the favor and help Cooper through his darkest hour. Inspired by the filmmaker’s own story, director / producer / writer / editor and songwriter Dillion Tucker joins us for a conversation on his own personal journey to tackle a litany of universal issues: grief, coming-of-age, addiction, redemption and the power of social connection.

 

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For more go to: gooddeedentertainment.com/pure-o

About the filmmaker – Dillon Tucker is a Southern California native, is an acclaimed actor, filmmaker, and musician. Tucker’s directorial feature debut, Pure O, a semi-autobiographical film that he wrote, produced, edited, acted in and provided the music for the soundtrack, was nominated for the grand jury award at SXSW 2023. The film is set to be released worldwide by Good Deed Entertainment. He co-wrote and starred in Gina Cassavetes’ directorial debut LOVE & SKIN. Tucker also co-wrote and starred in the features UNEASY LIES THE MIND and THAT SIDE OF A SHADOW, both of which were distributed worldwide by Gravitas Ventures. An alumni of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Tucker was awarded the Charles Jehlinger Award for best actor. In addition to filmmaking, Tucker is an accomplished singer-songwriter having released six studio albums. He loves smoky scotch, New Hollywood cinema and believes Bob Dylan is a deity in human form.

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Reviews:

“PURE O is an early contender for film of the year…as touching as it is informative.”  – The HoloFiles

“There are a few films in a lifetime that you feel make you a better person having watched it. Pure O from Dillon Tucker is one of those films.” – Signal Horizon

“A refreshing take on both mental illness and addiction, with both subjects addressed with an honesty and unashamed attitude that is inspiring and effective.” – AIPT News

“Pure O is raw and emotional, refusing to hold back, leaving audiences reeling from the emotional impact.” – Elements of Madness

“The storytelling is vulnerable, honest, and remarkably, it feels real.” – Script Magazine

“An extraordinarily grounded and vulnerable performance from lead actor Daniel Dorr.” – Pop-Culturalist

“One of the most poignant and optimistic films I have ever seen.” – Signal Horizon

“Pure O provides a deeply personal and accurate chronicle of living with OCD like few, if any, films and television shows have done before.” – The Holo Files

An American Bombing – Director Marc Levin & Producer Daphne Pinkerson

AN AMERICAN BOMBING: THE ROAD TO APRIL 19TH looks at the surge in homegrown political violence through  the story of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, showing the roots of anti-government sentiment and its reverberations today, The Oklahoma City bombing was the single, deadliest act of homegrown terrorism against the government in U.S. history. On April 19, 1995, American Timothy McVeigh ignited a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168 people, including 19 children. AN AMERICAN BOMBING: THE ROAD TO APRIL 19TH parses the details of that day, the experiences of the people who were there, the manhunt for the perpetrators, and the pivotal moments of the trials. The film also goes back in time to reveal the personal trajectory of McVeigh, his struggles after serving his country in the Gulf War and his association with pro-gun, anti-government groups. AN AMERICAN BOMBING: THE ROAD TO APRIL 19TH connects McVeigh with the ideology of a larger extremist movement that was forged in the aftermaths of the farm crisis, the Gulf War, Ruby Ridge, and Waco. The film questions the lessons learned from past acts of domestic terrorism and stands as an essential wake-up call. Director Marc Levin & Producer Daphne Pinkerson join us for a conversation on the historic relevance of April 19th to several bloody events in American history, how their previous work on anti-government radicals activities and why it is important for every American to understand the danger posed by these same people.

 

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For more go to: hbo.com

For more on the filmmakers go to: blowbackproductions.com

The HBO Original documentary AN AMERICAN BOMBING: THE ROAD TO APRIL 19TH, directed by Emmy®-winning filmmaker Marc Levin (HBO’s “Stockton on My Mind,” “One Nation Under Stress”) and executive produced by Katie Couric, debuts TUESDAY, APRIL 16 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream on Max.

About the filmmaker – Mark Levin has won four Emmys, four duPont-Columbia awards, the Peabody Award, the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among others.  Highlights include: Slam, his Sundance festival hit; Brick City, the groundbreaking docu-series about the city of Newark, New Jersey and its charismatic mayor, Cory Booker; Cable Ace winner, Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock; National Emmy-winner Thug Life in DC; and Chicagoland, an eight hour docu-series for CNN and Robert Redford, nominated for a 2014 IDA award for Best Limited Series.One of America’s most respected filmmakers, Levin and his producing partner, Daphne Pinkerson, have made over a dozen acclaimed documentaries for HBO, including a revealing trilogy of films showing how economic forces have impacted working people.  He was also Executive Producer on the Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary I Am Evidence and Baltimore Rising, which won the Cinema Eye Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction Documentary in 2019. After collaborating with TV journalist Bill Moyers on several films in the 1990’s, they reunited on Rikers: An American Jail, which won the Robert F Kennedy Human Rights award for Media Advocacy.  Levin and filmmaker Mark Benjamin also teamed up with Robert Redford and Paul Allen to Executive Produce the Animal Planet series Ocean Warriors, which won the 2017 Jackson Hole Wild Life Film Festival Award for Best Limited Series. Levin’s work in scripted TV includes show running and directing the Showtime series Street Time. He has also worked with Dick Wolf as a director on Law & Order and in 2017 they teamed up on the six-hour doc-series Inside the FBI: New York. Most recently Levin directed Stockton on My Mind following 29-year-old Mayor Michael Tubbs’ bold initiatives to provide more opportunities for the youth of his city and I Promise, which chronicles the first year of the innovative Akron public school created by LeBron James and his foundation.  Both were selected for World Premieres at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. I Promise was honored by the African American Film Critics Association as the Best Short Form Series of 2020 and Stockton on My Mind was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Current Affairs documentary. In 2021, Marc completed three documentaries as an executive producer,  Adrienne and The Slow Hustle, currently streaming on HBO, and Kevin Garnett: Anything Is Possible, for Showtime.

About the filmmaker – Daphne Pinkerson is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and the long-time documentary film partner of Marc Levin. Throughout her career, she has worked on a range of critically acclaimed social and political documentaries for almost every major media outlet. She directed Triangle: Remembering the Fire, which won the prestigious duPont-Columbia Award, and premiered on HBO in March of 2011. The US Secretary of Labor hosted a screening of the film at the White House to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the fire. In 2001, NARAL presented their Courageous Advocate Award to her for Soldiers in the Army of God, a film she produced and co-directed for HBO. She has produced 18 films in total to date for HBO, most recently Stockton on my Mind, a film that looked at the work of millennial mayor Michael Tubbs and One Nation Under Stress, with Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent. She was also the supervising producer on two HBO documentaries that premiered in the fall of 2021, Adrienne, about the life and death of actress Adrienne Shelly, and The Slow Hustle, about police corruption in Baltimore.  Her other HBO work includes a trilogy looking at the effects of global economic forces on working people. It began with Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags, a film about what happened to manufacturing in America through the emblematic story of the Garment Center in Manhattan, then Hard Times: Lost on Long Island, which looked at the fallout of the 2008 recession on upper middle-income people, and finally Class Divide, which profiled hypergentrification in one NYC neighborhood as a microcosm of what was happening in major cities throughout the world. She was the Supervising Producer on Brick City, a five-hour docu-series on Newark, NJ, which premiered on the Sundance Channel. In 2007, she was the Supervising Producer on Mr. Untouchable, a film about heroin kingpin Nicky Barnes, which was theatrically released by Magnolia Films. In 2006, she was the Supervising Producer on Protocols of Zion, Levin’s personal look at 9/11, which aired on HBO/Cinemax and was theatrically released by ThinkFilm.  Heir to an Execution, a film she produced about Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO in 2004. In 2003, she produced Godfathers and Sons, a film on Chicago Blues for Martin Scorsese’s PBS series on Blues music. In the year 2000, she produced two PBS films, Speak Truth to Power, a special on human rights activists and Twilight Los Angeles, Anna Deavere Smith’s performance film on the riots in South Central. For The Execution Machine, which also aired on HBO, she was able to secure unprecedented access to Death Row in Texas. She was the Supervising Producer for the critically acclaimed Discovery Channel series, CIA: America’s Secret Warriors. Her other HBO films include Mob Stories, Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock and its ten year follow-up Back in the Hood, Prisoners of the War on Drugs, Gladiator Days, and Baltimore Rising. For Bill Moyers she produced The Home Front, The Politics of Addiction, Oklahoma City: One Year Later, and three parts of his series, What Can We Do About Youth Violence? In addition to producing and directing, she shoots stylized film and video with small format cameras. She has captured some cinematic firsts, filming a gang drive-by shooting in Little Rock, Arkansas (HBO’s Gang War: Bangin’ in Little Rock) and inmates injecting drugs in prison (HBO’s Prisoners of the War on Drugs.) She was also the Associate Producer and additional shooter on the dramatic feature SLAM. In 1988, during the press restrictions in South Africa, she launched South Africa Now, a weekly half-hour news program which commissioned pieces from inside South Africa for broadcast on Public Television, CNN World Report and ITN. She holds a master’s degree from the Graduate School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University where she did a combined program with the School of Journalism.  Before that, she graduated cum laude from Barnard College with a B.A. in political science.

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Reviews:
“A first-rate film about a too-often-forgotten event.” – Stephen SilverThe SS Ben Hecht
“What Mr. Levin and his producer, Daphne Pinkerson, do, while justifying nothing, is separate the righteously angry from the opportunistic and the people with legitimate grievances from the exploiters of those grievances.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story – Director Jennifer Takaki

For 50 years, Chinese American photographer Corky Lee documented the celebrations, struggles, and daily lives of Asian American Pacific Islanders with epic focus. Determined to push mainstream media to include AAPI culture in the visual record of American history, Lee produced an astonishing archive of nearly a million compelling photographs. His work takes on new urgency with the alarming rise in anti-Asian attacks during the COVID pandemic. Jennifer Takaki’s intimate portrait reveals the triumphs and tragedies of the man behind the lens. Corky Lee was born in 1947 in New York to Chinese immigrants who owned a laundry in Queens. He majored in history at Queens College and became a community organizer in Manhattan’s Chinatown in the 1970s. Over the next five decades he photographed countless protests and cultural events in the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Lee’s photographs documented the birth and growth of the Asian American movement for social justice and he became known as “The Undisputed, Unofficial, Asian American Photographer Laureate.” His death in 2021 at the age of 73 due to COVID was mourned in the press worldwide. Director Jennifer Takaki stops by to talk about meeting Corky Lee over 20years ago, his willingness to be the subject of a documentary, his mentorship of other photo-journalist, and his legacy.

 

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For more go to: photographicjustice.com

PHOTOGRAPHIC JUSTICE: THE CORKY LEE STORY
will be released theatrically in:
New York (DCTV’s Firehouse Cinema) on April 19
Los Angeles (Laemmle Glendale) on April 26

 

About the filmmaker – Filmmaker Jennifer Takaki  is a fourth generation Japanese American from Colorado. She began her career in journalism  at a Denver TV station and later moved to Hong Kong to work with Encore International. In Hong Kong she produced English-based news programming broadcast in China, India, and the Middle East via Rupert Murdoch’s STAR-TV.  In New York, she produced and directed  “Photographic Justice: The Corky Lee Story” which premiered at DOC NYC and was supported by the Ford Foundation and The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). She was awarded the prestigious Better Angels Lavine Fellowship in 2023.

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In Flames – Director Zarrar Kahn

Zarrar Kahn’s feature film debut focuses on the lives of Mariam (Ramesha Nawal),  her younger brother Bilal (Jibran Khan) and their mother,  Fariha (Bakhtawar Mazhar) in a tiny apartment in Karachi. When Mariam’s maternal grandfather passes, his brother tries to manipulate them into signing over their apartment to him, a common occurrence in Pakistan, where women’s property rights are fragile. Mariam’s mother, grieving and isolated, is easy to influence. Mariam, distraught by her mother’s foolishness, finds solace in a secret romance with a fellow student, Asad. When their relationship takes an unexpected turn, Mariam becomes consumed by nightmares. Meanwhile, her mother, caught between her coercive Uncle and a murky legal system, is oblivious to her daughter’s deteriorating mental state. Mariam’s nightmares begin to bleed into reality. Mother and daughter must come together if they hope to overcome the real and phantasmal forces that threaten to engulf them. Director and writer Zarrar Kahn joins us for a conversation the inspiration for this layered and multi-genre film, assembling a superb cast of veteran and new actors, the systemic bias and barriers that women struggle to navigate in Pakistani society and the joy of being picked to represent Pakistan for the 2024 Academy Awards© in the Best International Feature Film category.

 

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For more go to: gametheoryfilms.com/in-flames

More about Zarrar Kahn at CityLightsMediaPro

Pakistan’s Official Entry Best International Films – 2024 Academy Awards
Director’s Fortnight – 2023 Cannes Film Festival
Official Selection – 2023 Toronto International Film Festival
Winner of the Golden Yusr Award For Feature Film – 2023 Red Sea Film Festival

About the filmmaker – Zarrar Kahn is an award-winning Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker whose film IN FLAMES premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival as part of the Director’s Fortnight. His works have been screened and awarded in over 100+ film festivals, including TIFF, Locarno, and BFI London. In Flames, his feature directorial debut, has garnered critical acclaim and prizes worldwide – including the Golden Yusr for Best Picture at Red Sea FF and the Grand Prize – International Newcomer Award at Mannheim-Heidelberg FF. Born in Karachi, and currently based out of Toronto, Kahn is committed to telling stories that amplify historically marginalized communities.

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93% on RottenTomatoes

“A haunting tale of oppression.”  – Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter

“In Flames finely straddles the line between a bold genre exercise and a bruising portrait of contemporary Pakistan to deliver a welcome story about resistance and resilience.” – Manuel Betancourt, Variety

“It’s a seedy ride through a bleak existence that would be entertaining enough to watch with popcorn if it didn’t depict a life that’s all too real for too many people. – Christian Zilko, indieWire

“The intense craft and torque we saw in Ari Aster’s Hereditary, but with more heart and conviction.” – The Globe and Mail

“In Flames does not let its characters, or audience, rest easy in its earthy, tangible hauntings, ones that spring from the violence barely contained beneath a veneer of politeness and conformity to which only some are truly subject.” – Shelagh Rowan-Legg, ScreenAnarchy

“Writer/director Zarrar Khan uses techniques borrowed from the horror genre to address the experience of living an environment where one is seen as less than fully human, or even as prey.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“The performances are excellent and the script is tight, making full use of every line and every glance. A disconcerting and compelling watch.” – MovieScramble

Lost Angel: The Genius of Judee Sill – Co-directors Brian Lindstrom & Andy Brown

LOST ANGEL: THE GENIUS OF JUDEE SILL is an intimate documentary portrait of a one-of-a-kind singer-songwriter from 1970s LA – Judee Sill.  It charts her life from a troubled adolescence of addiction, armed robbery and prison through her meteoric rise in the music world and early tragic death. In two years, Judee went from living in a car to a deal with Asylum Records and the cover of Rolling Stone. As told by David Geffen, Linda Ronstadt, JD Souther, Jackson Browne and Graham Nash — along with Judee herself — the film explores Judee’s unique musical style and the inspiring recent rediscovery of her singular music fostered by Shawn Colvin, Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes, Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek of Big Thief, and Weyes Blood.   Co-directors Brian Lindstrom and Andy Brown join us for a conversation how they discovered this nearly forgotten artist, their search for archival material on Judee Sill, finding the “right” way to tell her story, and connecting with wide array of artist, young and older who have been inspired by Judee’s enduring work.

 

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For more go to: lost-angel-the-genius-of-judee-sill

In Theaters and On Amazon & Apple TV on April 12

About the filmmaker – Director and Producer Brian Lindstrom’s award-winning films explore the inner resources of marginalized people. His 2019 New York Times Op-Doc We Are Forbidden, produced with his wife, Cheryl Strayed, is a participatory film empowering teen girls in Nepal to share their experiences of menstrual stigma. Mothering Inside follows incarcerated moms and their children. It was instrumental in the advocacy movement which made Oregon the first state to pass a Bill of Rights for the Children of Incarcerated Parents. His film Alien Boy: The Life & Death of James Chasse is an intense examination of police brutality in the death of a non-violent man experiencing mental illness (iTunes, Amazon, Hulu+, Kanopy; distributed by Breaking Glass Pictures). Finding Normal (2007) follows longtime heroin and crack addicts trying to rebuild their lives with the help of recovery mentors. It was selected by The Oregonian as one of the top ten films of the year. In 2016, Lindstrom was awarded the Media Arts Fellowship by the Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, Oregon. This award is partially funding his documentary-in-progress about the only marathon program in the country for incarcerated youth.

About the filmmaker – Andy Brown is an actor and screenwriter from New York City.  This is his first documentary. His acting credits include The Daytrippers (1996) and a recurring role in the MTV series Austin Stories (1996) for which he also wrote. He co-wrote, co-directed and co-starred in the independent feature Pop Life(2002). As a writer-director, Andy also co-created the series The Horrible, Terrible Misadventures of David Atkins, which won an award at the New York Television Festival.  He has also worked in series development for Marshall Brickman and Castle Rock Entertainment.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Directors Andy Brown and Brian Lindstrom… create something that attains the same grace and beauty heard in Sill’s music.” – Jason Anderson, Uncut Magazine [UK]

“The definitive documentary of a brilliant, innovative early’70s singer-songwriter.” – Variety

“This forgotten music just has to be heard.” – The Guardian

“It is a great piece of lost classic rock history that so many will relish. It’s the kind of film that buries itself in your ribcage and keeps glowing for days afterward.” – Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat

Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion – Director Eva Orner

BRANDY HELLVILLE & THE CULT OF FAST FASHION dives int a world where fashion is identity for teenage girls and one brand, Brandy Melville, has developed a cult-like following despite its controversial “one size fits all” tagline. Hiding behind its shiny Instagram façade is a shockingly toxic world, a reflection of the global fast fashion industry. Through a calculated social media presence and promoting an unattainable aesthetic, fueled by Instagram campaigns featuring its own employees and select “Brandy girls,” Brandy Melville conferred a sense of coolness to the teens who wore the tiny clothes that quickly exploded and today has nearly 100 stores in over 15 countries and over 80 cities worldwide. Fast fashion isn’t all glitz and glamor – it’s an exploitative business that pollutes the planet for the sake of profit. Media stories have exposed some of Brandy Melville’s unsavory practices and that’s why some call it Brandy Hell-Ville. BRANDY HELLVILLE & THE CULT OF FAST FASHION examines the far-reaching reverberations of mass-produced fast fashion by Brandy Melville and other mainstream fashion brands, as well as the consequences of the collective increase in consumption and production of cheap clothing, traveling to Accra, Ghana, a destination for discarded textiles that end up polluting landfills and waters. Director Eva Orner joins us to talk about the cult-like brand and the devastating impact that fast fashion, disposable clothing, and the pernicious culture that Brandy management has cultivated inside and outside the stores, and how prescient BRANDY HELLVILLE & THE CULT OF FAST FASHION is for exposing systemic exploitation within the global fashion industry.

 

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For more go to: hbo.com/brandy-hellville-cult-of-fast-fashion

Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion held its world premiere on HBO Original Documentary “Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion” will premiere on Tuesday, April 9 on HBO and then will be available to stream on MAX.

About the filmmaker – Academy and Emmy Award winner Eva Orner is an Australian filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Her credits include Chasing Asylum, which she directed and produced. The film tackles Australia’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers over the past 15 years, focusing on offshore detention. Eva has also written a book Chasing Asylum about the making of the film, published by Harper Collins. The film was shot in Australia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan. Other credits include Out Of Iraq, Co-Directed and Produced by Eva with LA based production company World of Wonder. The film follows a gay Iraqi couple over a decade as they try to stay alive and together and seek asylum in the US. Prior to Chasing Asylum Eva Directed and Produced the feature documentary The Network, set behind the scenes at the largest and most successful television network in one of the most unstable and dangerous places on earth, Afghanistan. Eva wrote, directed and produced The Network. Eva’s US Producing credits include the feature documentaries Taxi To The Dark Side, Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S Thompson, The Human Behavior Experiments and Herbie Hancock’s Possibilities. Her work has screened at festivals including Cannes, Sundance, Tribeca and Sydney, has been released theatrically and sold to VOD and television across the globe. In Australia Eva has won an AFI, Logie and Human Rights Award for her work. 

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Brandy Hellville Reviews:

“While there’s no easy fix to fast fashion, perhaps after learning about the deeply disturbing company practices at Brandy Melville, we can collectively eliminate at least this one brand from that scene.” – Liz Kocan, Decider

“While Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion makes strong points, it does so with a relatively generic shooting style. In this case, the message is more important than the filmmaking.” – Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

“But that’s always been the vibe of Brandy, a handful of employees and, photographers claim, older men—sometimes with braces, sometimes European—who appear out of nowhere and control the entire company.” – Fletcher Peters, The Daily Beast