Plague at the Golden Gate – Director Li-Shin Yu and Producer James Q. Chan

PLAGUE AT THE GOLDEN GATE takes us back over 100 years before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world. Back to a time when an outbreak of bubonic plague in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1900 unleashed a wave of fear and anti-Asian sentiment. It was the first time in history that civilization’s most feared disease — the infamous Black Death — made it to North America. Two doctors — vastly different in temperament, training and experience — used different methods to lead the seemingly impossible battle to contain the disease before it could engulf the country. In addition to overwhelming medical challenges, they faced ==unexpected opposition from business leaders, politicians, and even the president of the United States. Fueling the resistance would be a potent blend of political expediency, ignorance, greed, racism, and deep- rooted distrust of not only federal authority but science itself. Scapegoated as the source of the disease early on, the Chinese community fought back against unjust, discriminatory treatment. The gripping story of the desperate race against time to save San Francisco and the nation from the deadly disease, Plague at the Golden Gate is based in part on David K. Randall’s critically acclaimed book, Black Death at the Golden Gate.Director  Li-Shin Yu and Producer James Q. Chan join us for a conversation on the social, political, economic and medical reasons that this little known, potentially devastating outbreak disproportionally impacted the San Francisco’s Chinese community and just how close that their callous bigotry came to unleashing a catastrophic scourge on the entire country.   

 

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For more news go to: pbs.org/americanexperience/plague-golden-gate

Directed by Li-Shin Yu and executive produced by Cameo George, the film premieres Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 9:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App.

About the filmmaker – Director, Editor Li-Shin Yu previously co-directed The Chinese Exclusion Act, also for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. A long-time collaborator of Ric Burns, their most recent film, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, was a critics choice on the festival and theatrical circuit. Their epic series NEW YORK: a documentary film is an eight-part production chronicling the city’s rise from a remote Dutch outpost to the cultural and economic center of the world, for which Yu received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing. Their other titleshave garnered multiple awards, including numerous Emmys, Peabodys, Writers Guild of America Awards, Dupont-Columbia awards and others. Yu began her career collaborating with New York independent filmmakers including Jim Jarmusch, Spike Lee, Sara Driver and Peter Wang and more recently with documentarians Christine Choy, Bill Moyers, Thomas Lennon and Stanley Nelson.

About the filmmaker – James Q. Chan’s film training/mentorship began alongside two-time Academy-Award winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Times of Harvey Milk, Common Threads, The Celluloid Closet). Producing credits with Epstein & Friedman include History Channel’s 10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (Emmy® Award; Outstanding Non-Fiction Series), Howl (Sundance; Nat’l Board of Review Freedom of Expression Award). James’s producing credits include films about a self taught programming child prodigy  :Puck and the Riddle of Codes (IDFA; VPRO); father & son reconciliation Istinma (Best Short, American Indian Film Festival; Smithsonian Showcase); U.S. immigration law impacts on bi-national same-sex couples Entry Denied (Jury Award, Best Short, Provincetown); love and equality Right Down the Line music video for Bonnie Raitt. Prior to filmmaking, James worked as a SAG/AFTRA Talent Agent in San Francisco. Recent producing credits include Plague at the Golden Gate (American Experience, May 2022); Chinatown Rising (America ReFramed, May 2022). Recent directing projects include Bloodline (KQED/Truly CA); large-format 360° Circle Vision films for Disney; and launching the doc series Chinatown Shorts

Emergency – Director Carey Williams

EMERGENCY follows college seniors Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and his best friend, Sean (RJ Cyler), as they ready themselves for an epic night of Spring Break parties. Sean has the whole night planned out, including every party they will hit on their “legendary tour.” Kunle is down, yet mostly concerned with finishing up his mold experiment in his lab, as his acceptance to Princeton is hinging on the results. They return to their apartment to pre-game, yet find that their roommate, Carlos (Sebastian Chacon), left the door open. As they enter with trepidation, Sean and Kunle discover a drunk, semi-conscious White female they don’t know on the floor and an oblivious Carlos, who didn’t hear her come in over the videogame blaring in his ears. The moral and practical dilemma of what these three men of color should do with the incapacitated white girl sets in motion a wildly fraught journey through the social, political and racial landscape of America in 2022. Director Carey Williams (Cherry Waves, Emergency (short)) joins us for a lively conversation on his collaboration with screenwriter KD Davila, and how he pulled together an amazingly talented cast newcomers to help him deliver a multi-layered, funny, terrifying, and thrilling cinematic ride.

 

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For updates and screenings go to amazonstudios.com/emergency

For theatre tickets go to: emergencymovie.com

For more on Carey Williams go to: cdubfilms.com

About the filmmaker – Hailed by Filmmaker Magazine as one of 2018’s New Faces of Independent Film, Carey Williams is a director bringing a unique and visually striking cinematic eye to the exploration of the human condition. Williams’ short film Cherry Waves won Best Short awards from HBO, NBC Shortcuts, San Diego Film Festival, as well as Best Narrative from Holly shorts Film Festival. He premiered his feature R#J, a modern-day retelling of Romeo and Juliet, at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and recently completed the feature version of his 2018 Sundance and SXSW Award-winning short film Emergency. For more go to: cdubfilms.com

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92% on RottenTomatoes

“An elaborate, chaotically hilarious, intensely terrifying journey worth taking.” – Robert Daniels, The Playlist

“An electrifying and thought-provoking ride.” – Carlos Aguilar, The Wrap

“A thrilling comedy of errors. You can’t help but laugh at the riveting absurdity.” – Siddhant Adlakha, IndieWire

“The film’s great accomplishment is in how it infuses depth and emotion into its characters so that we may see them for exactly who are: human beings.” – Allen Almachar, The MacGuffin

“It’s one of the most potent commentaries about racism and brotherhood bonds yet.” – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

Hold Your Fire – Director Stefan Forbes

HOLD YOUR FIRE takes us on a deep dive into an incident that has become a touchstone of hyper-aggressive police tactics and community relations. In 1973, four young African-American Muslim men entered a sporting goods store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn to steal guns. They were soon cornered by a score of New York police. The bungled robbery triggered a response of deadly force by a then mostly-white police force and led to the longest hostage siege in NYPD history. The stand-off eventually became, could a visionary police psychologist,  Harvey Schlossberg, convince his superiors to do the unthinkable –  negotiate with “criminals” – and save twelve hostages from a violent bloodbath? In never-before-seen film and eye-opening interviews, HOLD YOUR FIRE is a look into a policing regime that could revolutionize the ways that American law enforcement protects the citizenry and saves lives in the process. Director Stefan Forbes, (Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story) producer Fab Five Freddy (Grass is Greener) and their team reconstruct what took place through the Rashomon-like perspectives of the robbers, hostages, and cops. 

 

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For updates and screenings go to: holdyourfirefilm.com

About the filmmaker – Producer, Director, Cinematographer, Editor Stefan Forbesis an Emmy-nominated, IDA Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker. His film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story won the IDA Emerging Filmmaker Award, the George Polk and Edward R. Murrow Journalism Awards, and was a WGA Award finalist.

About the filmmaker – Producer Fred Brathwaite, popularly known as Fab 5 Freddy, is an American visual artist, filmmaker, and hip hop pioneer. He is considered one of the architects of the street art movement and was the first host of the groundbreaking hip-hop music video show Yo! MTV Raps. Fred recently directed the Netflix feature documentary Grass Is Greener about the history of cannabis, race, and criminal justice in America.

About the filmmaker – Producer Tia Wou is an entrepreneur and producer of the award-winning documentary film Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, a Critic’s Choice in the New York Times and the Washington Post, which called it “one of the best political films ever.”

About the filmmaker – Consulting ProducerSam Pollard is an Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated producer, director and editor. His films include MLK/FBI (2020), Sammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me (2017), Mr. Soul! (2018), When The Levees Broke  (2006), Bamboozled  (2000),  Four Little Girls (1997) and Eyes on the Prize (1987).

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97% on RottenTomatoes

“Given that peaceful resolution in police encounters remains such a contemporary issue, too, Hold Your Fire has the feeling a key battle revisited in a tragically long, ongoing conflict.” – Jake Coyle, Associated Press

“A searing look into a little-known moment in history with profound repercussions for how we understand policing today.” – Tambay Obenson, indieWire

“Hold Your Fire’ feels like walking through an interactive museum exhibit. There isn’t narration, but rather the words of the survivors who were in the middle of it all, which brings an extra layer of authenticity.” – Cassondra Feltus, Black Girl Nerds

“What emerges is a kaleidoscopic narrative that lays bare the disconnect between the officers and the communities they serve.” – Concepción de León, New York Times

Pleasure – Director Ninja Thyberg

Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature film PLEASURE is a journey into the Los Angeles porn industry through the lens of newcomer Bella Cherry (Sofia Kappel). A strong, self-confident and determined, Bella leaves behind her small Swedish town and embarks on a mission to become the best adult performer at any cost. PLEASURE was written and directed by Ninja Thyberg and showcases a forthright and fearless performance by Kappel.  PLEASURE also features an ensemble of well known adult industry actors. Director Ninja Thyberg (Pleasure (short), Catwalk) joins us for a conversation on the place porn occupies in our public and personal space, the predominance of a male perspective in commercial pornography, the power dynamics that track Bella’s journey through porn’s titular capital, the San Fernando Valley and the celebration of personal sexual pleasure. 

 

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For updates and screenings go to: neonrated.com/films/pleasure

2021 Sundance Film Festival Nominated,
Grand Jury Prize World Cinema – Ninja Thyberg
2022 Independent Spirit Award
Nominated, Best Director – Ninja Thyberg

 

About the filmmaker – Writer / Director  Ninja Thyberg graduated from the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2015. Her short film Pleasure (2013) played at the Sundance Film Festival and received the Canal Plus Award at Cannes Film Festival Critics’ Week. The short Hot Chicks (2014) won the 1km Film Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival, and the short Catwalk (2015) received the Student Visionary Award at Tribeca Film Festival. Stallion played at the Stockholm Film Festival in 2015. 

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88% on RottenTomatoes

“An arresting workplace drama-meets-bildungsroman that demystifies the adult film industry without flat-out demonizing it – a delicate balance to strike.” – Aisha Harris, NPR

“If you’re curious what a feminist take on this world looks like, “Pleasure” might surprise you as much as it did me.” – Manohla Dargis,

“Nothing is that unfamiliar in the plot of Pleasure, but Thyberg, who hails from Sweden, approaches her subject with such a clinical gaze that it’s hard to shake the feeling that she’s doing something revolutionary” – Esther Zuckerman,

“Ninja Thyberg’s film makes a powerful statement about gender dynamics in the workplace, and the blurred lines of consent even in the post MeToo era.” – Natasha Alvar, Cultured Vultures

“A frank and difficult watch that tackles the adult film industry. Spontaneous and engaging. Kappel is fantastic in a role that requires a range of emotions.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

Box Of Rain – Director Lonnie Frazier

Lonnie Frazier’s intimate and endearing documentary film, BOX OF RAIN, asks and answers the question… What do you do when you’re seventeen, suicidal, and believe that the only thing the world has to offer you is violence and pain? You get in your car and drive across the United States to go see the Grateful Dead, of course. At least, that’s what you do if you’re lucky.  In 1985, Lonnie’s life was spiraling out of control. Through a twist of fate she found healing in an unexpected place: the Deadhead community. It all started with a road trip and free tickets to see the Grateful Dead at Red Rocks in Colorado. BOX OF RAIN is an exploration of the Deadhead family, past and present, and the qualities that make it unique. We follow Lonnie as she reconnects with the women she traveled with in her youth, and makes new friends along the way. Through wide ranging interviews, she seeks to dispel the common stereotypes about Dead-heads and document the beauty of the community. We learn how the Grateful Dead touched the lives of so many people, the healing they found through the music, and the memories they cherish most. Twenty-five years after the road trip that started it all, Lonnie returns to Red Rocks in her quest to complete this film. On this journey, she discovers healing, and the power to write her own story. Director Lonnie Frazier  joins us for a conversation on the enduring power of the Grateful Dead’s music to inspire, and connect people to another for their own long, strange trip through life.

 

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 For updates and screenings go to: boxofrainfilm.com

BOX OF RAIN was directed and produced by Lonnie Frazier. The film has a running time of 78 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA. Mutiny Pictures will release the film on digital platforms.

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“If Deadheads aren’t an “American Experience” waiting to be remembered on PBS, I dont know what is.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“A much better film when it’s telling the director’s personal story, than when it’s exploring the much-trodden subject of Deadhead culture.” – Stephen Silver, Splice Today

The Will To See – Co-director Bernard-Henri Lévy (Marc Roussel)

THE WILL TO SEE shadows the old-time war reporter, philosopher and writer, Bernard-Henri Lévy as he accept a dangerous and essential assignment, in the pandemic year 2020, from a consortium of newspapers that includes Paris Match, La ReppublicaThe Wall Street Journal, to bear witness and report from hotspots around the world disrupted by war with the most challenging geopolitical disasters. From the trenches in Donbas, Ukraine and the resistance in the Panjshir Valley fighting the Taliban to the Kurdish fighters combating ISIS, THE WILL TO SEE is an unflinching look at the world’s most unreachable war zones and urgent humanitarian crises and has one message: pay attention and care for common humanity. Co-director Bernard-Henri Lévy (Peshmerga, The Oath of Tobruk) joins us to reflect on our collective human history of warfare and cruelty, usually visited upon the most vulnerable amongst us, as well as the state of a world being torn apart by war and violence that is seemingly unable or willing to see it.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: the-will-to-see

For more: bernard-henri-levy.com/the-will-to-see

About the filmmaker – Bernard-Henri Lévy is a French philosopher, filmmaker, and the author of over 45 books. In addition to his books, he directed five documentary movies among which: Bosna! (filmed in 1993-1994, during the siege of Sarajevo), The Oath of Tobruk (his diary on the battlefield of the Libyan revolution and his documented efforts to convince Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron to intervene in the 2011 Libyan war), Peshmerga (a road-movie, filmed between July and November 2015, along the 1,000 kilometer frontline separating ISIS and the Kurds) and The Battle of Mosul (during the 2015-2016 fierce combat to liberate the so-called Caliphate’s capital, Lévy was embedded with the Kurds and, then, with the Iraqi Golden Division). Three of these films were Official Selections of the Cannes Film Festival. Lévy was one of the founders of the “New Philosophers” movement. A committed intellectual, he is known for his opposition to authoritarianism in its manifold forms and as a proponent of the “duty to intervene.” 

About the filmmaker – A French photographer, director and journalist, Marc Roussel is also the founder of two film production companies and Orizon, a collective of photographers. Marc has directed many reporting features for television since the 1990s and created and produced numerous photo exhibitions and publications. He first met Bernard-Henri Lévy in 2001, following a series of articles by Lévy for Le Monde on forgotten wars. Since then, they have often covered war zones together such as in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Extraordinary. I’m getting chills just remembering it.” – Wade Major, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

“Again and again, we are taken in The Will to See to places where regular reporters never venture, and certainly not filmgoers.” – Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse

“Although Lévy’s impassioned dispatches occasionally exhibit a weakness for purple prose, his mission serves a sobering reminder of those left behind as well as the failure to heed warning signs…” – Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times

“An urgent film which spans a number of countries and types of conflict.” – Rob Aldam, Backseat Mafia

Monstrous – Director Chris Sivertson

In Chris Sivertson’s latest film, MONSTROUS, a terrifying new horror awaits Laura (Christina Ricci) and her seven-year-old son Cody when they flee her abusive ex-husband and try to settle into a new life in an idyllic and remote lakeside farmhouse. As they begin to settle into their new life, they encounter a bigger, more terrifying horror that threatens their already fragile existence and pushes their physical and mental well-being to the limit. MONSTROUS stars Christina Ricci (Buffalo 66, Monster, The Opposite of Sex), with Colleen Camp ( Always Shine, American Hustle) Santino Bernard (Penny Dreadful), Don Balderamos and Nick Vallelonga (Green Book). MONSTROUS director Chris Sivertson (All Cheerleaders Die) joins us for a conversation on his collaboration with screenwriter Carol Chrest, working with award-winning actor Christina Ricci and striking a balanced approach between psychological thriller with an illuminating character study.

 

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For news and updates go to: screenmediafilms.net/Monstrous

To watch Monstrous go to: monstrousmovie.net

About the filmmaker – Chris Sivertson’s first film was All Cheerleaders Die (2001), which he also wrote and directed together with Lucky McKee. In 2003 Siverton and Kevin Ford co-directed a documentary titled Toolbox Murders: As It Was about the making of Tobe Hooper ‘s 2003 film Toolbox Murders. In 2006 Sivertson and Eddie Steeples co-wrote and co-directed The Best of Robbers, starring Steeples. Sivertson’s film The Lost (2006) adapted Jack Ketchum’s celebrated crime novel and has become a cult classic. His next film, I Know Who Killed Me (2007) starring Lindsey Lohan, was not well received by critics and went on to win several Golden Raspberry Awards. However, the film subsequently developed a cult following, with screenings at the Los Angeles Silent Movie Theater and the NuArt, and has been favorably compared by Boston Globe critic Ty Burr to Brian de Palma’s Sisters and  Body Double as well as the works of David Lynch. Sivertson has written and produced other films including Wicked Lake (2008). Sivertson also wrote and directed the 2013 sports film Brawler. All Cheerleaders Die is a 2013 horror film that was directed by Lucky McKee and Sivertson. The film is a remake of the 2001 film All Cheerleaders Die.

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“Once one figures out what is going on in this movie, it actually is interesting. Much more of a psychological thriller than an actual horror movie.” – Tim Cogshell, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

“The whole film hinges on Ricci’s performance and as such it provides a means for her to demonstrate that she’s still got what it takes.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“For the most part this is a captivating mood piece, held together by Ricci’s take on a woman who is chasing an impossible idyll while being trailed by something dark and murky.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“Ricci’s compelling performance, with essential support from director Chris Sivertson … makes you want to follow Laura as she inevitably falls apart.” – Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com

The Wobblies – Co-directors Steward Bird & Deborah Shaffer

In the riveting documentary film, THE WOBBLIES, Filmmakers Deborah Shaffer and Stewart Bird weave history, archival film footage, interviews with former workers (in their 80s and 90s during the making of the film), cartoons, original art, and classic Wobbly songs (many written by Joe Hill) to pay tribute to the legacy of these rebels who paved the way and risked their lives for the many of the rights that we still have today. “Solidarity! All for One and One for All!” Founded in Chicago in 1905, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) took to organizing unskilled workers into one big union and changed the course of American history. This compelling documentary of the IWW (or “The Wobblies” as they were known), narrated by Roger Baldwin, one of the founders of the ACLU, tells the story of workers in factories, sawmills, wheat fields, forests, mines and on the docks as they organize and demand better wages, healthcare, overtime pay and safer working conditions. In some respects, men and women, Black and white, skilled and unskilled workers joining a union and speaking their minds seems so long ago, but in other ways, the film mirrors today’s headlines, depicting a nation torn by corporate greed. Co-directors Deborah and Stewart Bird join us for a conversation on their own journey of making THE WOBBLIES, more than 40 years ago, their reflections on the significance of that nascent labor movement, the deadly violence brought down on those men and women who dared to ask for a fair wage and a decent life and what lessons we can glean from the first labor movement that could be successful in today’s virulently anti-labor workplace.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: kinolorber.com/film/the-wobblies

Filmmaker StatementWhen we started production on The Wobblies in 1977 our goal was to rescue and record an almost completely neglected chapter of American history as told by its elderly survivors. We never imagined then that the themes of labor exploitation, anti-immigrant legislation, and racial and gender discrimination would resonate as strongly today. We couldn’t be prouder to have the film included last year in the National Film Registry, and to have Kino Lorber present the new 4K MoMA restoration nationwide on International Workers Day.  – Stewart Bird & Deborah Shaffe

THE WOBBLIES was restored by the Museum of Modern Art and selected for preservation in 2021 by the Library of Congress National Film Registry, joining other essential documentaries such as The Fog of War, Paris is Burning, and Harlan County, USA. Kino Lorber Presents a New 4k Restoration of the Landmark Labor Movement Documentary The Wobblies’ was digitally scanned by the DuArt Digitization Center in full 4k resolution using the DFT Scanity. For the ultimate equality, the original cut ABC&D rolls of negative were the source for scanning and conforming into 4K 16-bit DPX files. The DPX media represents the new “digital negative” and was subsequently color graded and restored to create the archival and distribution masters. The new archival master is stored in MOMA’s Film Preservation Center.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“One emerges stunned and angry, admiring and amused.” – Time Out

“A vivid look into America’s radical past.” – Pulitzer Prize Winner, Studs Terkel

“The film’s influence on contemporary documentary form… cannot be underestimated.” – Jeffrey Skoller, UC Berkeley

““The Wobblies is a history of the IWW, researched lovingly and corroborated by the reminiscences of some of the union’s former members. When the facts are presented as fully as they have been here, the feelings that accompanied them aren’t difficult to imagine.” – The New York Times

“Iconic. Innovative. Eerily echoing current times. Replete with gorgeous archival footage, the film pays tribute to American workers who took the ideals of equality and free speech seriously enough to put their lives on the line for them. A joyous chronicle.” – New York Women in Film & Television

“A vivid look into America’s radical past. Its heroes and heroines are filled with vitality—a rare attribute these days.” – Studs Terkel

Women of the White Buffalo – Director Deborah Anderson

Deborah Anderson’s WOMEN OF THE WHITE BUFFALO takes a comprehensive look at the ancient, Native, and matriarchal Lakota nation, a community that has been upended by centuries of genocide and colonialism. This sustained assault has resulted in a culturally sabotaged and isolated people that are in a constant struggle to save what remains of their sacred identity. The Lakota women living on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reservations in South Dakota, are rising up against the forces that continue to suppress them. By preserving and protecting their ancestral values and wisdom, they provide a source of hope to their people. With exclusive access to the lives of 9 women, ranging in age from 10 to 98, we explore powerful testimonials of loss and survival as we gain insight into the experience of a modern day Indigenous American living on an Indian Reservation. Gripping historical accounts and startling timely statistics guide viewers down the path that has led to these present day conditions. The indelible voices of these determined women inspire us with their strength, gifting us with ancient insights that speak to our current global, environmental and cultural crises. These are the powerfully rich stories of the brave women and children living in the poorest county in the United States. Director Deborah Anderson takes us along as we listen to their stories of loss, suicide, murder and epidemic meth addiction amongst their community, mirrored by their deep ancestral roots, traditional ceremony, prayer and hope. 

 

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For news and screenings go to: womenofthewhitebuffalo.com

About the filmmaker – Award winning filmmaker and photographer, Deborah Anderson’s work has graced the covers of pop music albums and magazines, as well as the walls of an expansive clientele of private homes and landmark hotels worldwide. Of Indigenous, Black, Irish and Scottish descent, her photographic work has hung in galleries both in Europe and the US, including the world-class Leica Galleries who have hosted three shows for her “Women Of The White Buffalo” series. Her first feature documentary film project AROUSED included a fine art photographic book was theatrically released reaching #3 on iTunes’ documentary most viewed list and was featured on Showtime and Amazon Video. Deborah has released three fine art coffee table books to date and has created short films and music videos for various celebrated artists. Having created “MY REVOLUTION” with award-winning writer and activist (Vagina Monologues author) Eve Ensler, along with the voice of actress Rosario Dawson and the short film RISE with Thandie Newton for the One Billion Rising organization.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“The film is part lament and part tribute, honoring the legacy of women who today — had American progress been less relentless or thoughtless — might be leading a thriving nation of Indigenous people, rather than fighting to keep their communities alive.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“Though the film lacks a clear narrative arc, put together, these stories draw a line between the historical genocide and displacement suffered by Indigenous people and the present destitution on reservations.” – Concepción de León, New York Times

“Women of the White Buffalo is a major triumph from a multi-talented artist. It may be grueling at times, but it is one of the best visions of something unseen released yet.” – Michael Talbot-Haynes, Film Threat

“…has a lot to teach and a film that really delves deep into its subject, letting the women at the center of everything really speak about what is affecting them and how they are managing to help one another as much as they can.” – Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed

Adieu Lacan – Director Richard C. Ledes

ADIEU LACAN tells the story of a young woman’s struggle to understand why her own path to motherhood has reached an unbearable impasse. Jacques Lacan, the controversial French psychoanalyst who is widely recognized as one of the most important intellectuals of the 20th Century, is portrayed by David Patrick Kelly (John Wick, Twin Peaks), who profoundly illuminates the psychoanalyst’s passion for his work. Ismenia Mendes (Orange is the New Black) plays Seriema, the character based on author Betty Milan, whose youth and adherence to the truth of her own experience as a young woman make the encounter between analyst and patient a tempestuous one.  According to Lacan the analyst is in the position of what he called “the object cause of desire,” which can be described as a mystery to be solved by the “analysand” (the person who chooses to do an analysis). The Slovenian philosopher Salvoj Zizek has compared this object cause of desire to Hitchcock’s theory of what the filmmaker called a “macguffin,” the central motivating cause of a plot—like the Maltese Falcon in Huston’s film by the same name—that’s only real value is given to it by its place in the plot as a mystery to be solved and not by any intrinsic quality of its own. Director. producer and writer Richard C. Ledes joins us to talk about his bold take on the philosophy and methods of a Lacan and why he chose to frame Lacan’s story in a stark but highly cinematic presentation.

For updates and screenings go to: adieulacan.com

The film will be distributed by Passion River Films, and will be released on VOD on May 10, 2022 on several platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Vimeo. For more information about the film visit www.adieulacan.com.

About the filmmaker – Producer, writer and director Richard C. Ledes named after her father, a judge in Baltimore, who died of sadness a few months after his son, the schizophrenic, was hit by a train. His first feature film A HOLE IN ONE, set in 1953, starring Michelle Williams, about a woman who wants a lobotomy, originated in a piece of performance art that Ledes based on the psychiatric records of his maternal uncle. He made A HOLE IN ONE after completing a doctorate in comparative literature at NYU. Much of his research for the film derived from the research he did for his dissertation; it was on the cultural traces of the rise of mental healthcare in the U.S. around treating veterans after WWII. His recently completed film ADIEU LACAN, starring David Patrick Kelly and Ismenia Mendes, is based on the play “Goodbye Doctor” and the novel “Lacan’s Parrot” both by Betty Milan. ADIEU LACAN is the story of the struggle of a young woman to understand, through a psychoanalysis with the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, why her own path to motherhood has reached an unbearable impasse. His latest film IKONOPHILE Z, “a light romantic comedy about the extinction of all life on earth,” is currently in post-production. Additionally he is in development on VIENNA 1913, based on a play by the same name written by the late renowned French psychoanalyst and playwright Alain Didier-Weill. Ledes’ film FRED WON’T MOVE OUT was named by the BFI (British Film Institute) as one of the 10 essential films of legendary actor Elliott Gould (MASH, THE LONG GOODBYE). Ledes’ film THE CALLER won Best NY Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival. Ledes is also the only translator of William Burroughs into English (Burroughs did a series of interviews in France that were published in French; the original recordings were lost; for a collection of the work of Burroughs published by Semiotexte, Ledes translated the French translations back into English). For more go to: richardledes.com

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“A gem of a film; in my opinion a true masterpiece that so gently, subtly and accurately portrays an analytic treatment, and more specifically a treatment that proceeds along the lines of a Lacanian cure.”-  Mavis Himes, Psychoanalyst and author of “The Power of Names.”

“The film is born immediately as a classic and from now on it will be absolutely necessary for people in training to see the film.”- Mario Eduardo Costa Pereira, Corpo Freudiano do Rio de Janeiro

“The closest thing to having met Lacan himself. From now on, a film which can’t be missed for whoever undergoes psychoanalytic training!”- Diego Zanelli

“Adieu Lacan”. It is awesome and evokes admiration through many aspects – great actors, characters as well as the truly presented analysand-analyst bond and of course the image of Lacan. I am impressed by the contrast between the emergence of Seriema’s desire and the last Lacan’s years. Thank you for such an unforgettable experience!” – Yordana Hristozova | Bulgaria

Flint: Who Can You Trust? – Director Anthony Baxter

Anthony Baxter’s Flint: Who Can You Trust? exposes the political arrogance and constant danger facing thousands of Flint, Michigan residents. Caused, in large part, by the actions of an unelected governing body, made up of unelected political hacks appointed by the governor. On April 25, 2014, for reasons that remain shrouded in mystery, Michigan governor Rick Snyder signed off on an order that switched the source of Flint water system from the Lake Heron of Great Lakes to the Flint River. That decision resulted in  the poisoning Flint residents and leading to one of the worst human-caused environmental disasters in American history. Award-winning journalist / filmmaker Anthony Baxter’s FLINT: WHO CAN YOU TRUST goes beyond the headlines to investigate the escalating betrayal and deceit by government officials, the breakdown in public trust and faith in official science, and ultimately, the community’s enduring fight for one of our most basic rights: clean water. Director and Producer Anthony Baxter (You’ve Been Trumped, You’ve Been Trumped Too) joins us for a conversation on his searing indictment of local, state, and federal governance, merciless scammers, junk science, charlatans, systemic racism, social and political indifference that is still costing thousands innocent  people their dignity, health and for too many, their lives.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: Flintdocumentary.com

To watch go to: flintdocumentary.com/watchnow

To stop more Flints go to: flintdocumentary.com/resources

About the filmmaker – Director / Producer Anthony Baxter is one of the UK’s leading documentary filmmakers. His iconic You’ve Been Trumped (2011) won 12 awards and is recognized as one of the most important British feature documentaries of the last decade. Translated into a dozen languages, the film was aired in prime time on BBC2 in 2012. In the United States, the it was acquired by Netflix and Participant Media. Baxter’s A Dangerous Game (2014), a searing indictment of the profound ecological and social impact of luxury golf resorts around the world, enjoyed a major UK theatrical release and featured Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin, Robert Kennedy Jr. and a cast of inspiring local heroes. A TV version was broadcast on the BBC. You’ve Been Trumped Too (2016) was released on the eve of the US Presidential vote, and critically acclaimed as a powerful and prescient warning of the nature of a Trump Presidency.

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86% on RottenTomatoes

“There could hardly be a more urgent or relevant film than this” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

“Bound to become only more insightful as time wears on, for better or worse.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“Anthony Baxter’s Flint is one hell of an exposé. Flint is a vital movie for a volatile time.” – Musanna Ahmed, Film Inquiry

“It is a good job someone was there to record it, because it is a tale that would challenge even the most credulous.” – Lucy Mangan, Guardian

Jeannette – Director Maris Curran & Subject Jeannette Feliciano

Director Maris Curran’s feature documentary, Jeannette, is a striking and intimate vérité, this portrait of competitive bodybuilder and queer single mother Jeannette Feliciano. The story unfolds as a nuanced story of balancing the relentlessness of daily existence with the realities of living through trauma. In the wake of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub shooting, Jeannette continues to coach other survivors at the gym while raising her son. Life seems calm again,  until Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico and Jeannette is thrown back into crisis mode. Skirting headlines to instead focus on the tenderness of healing, Maris Curran (Five Nights in Maine) delivers her feature documentary debut with the World Premiere of JEANNETTE. Director Maris Curran and the subject Jeannette Feliciano joins us for a conversation on the process of becoming comfortable with each other as Jeannette facilitates Maris’s camera and crew into every aspect of her life why it was important for both of them to give the horrifying reality of the Pulse Club mass shooting the appropriate perspective in the sweep of Jeanette’s complex and rewarding life.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: thefilmcollaborative.org

About the filmmaker – JEANNETTE is the feature documentary directorial debut of acclaimed queer filmmaker Maris Curran, whose films have shown at Berlinale, TIFF, MoMA, the NY Times Op-Docs, and PBS’s Independent Lens. Among her films are her feature narrative debut, Five Nights in Maine (2016) starring David Oyelowo, Diane Wiest, and Rosie Perez; and two documentary shorts, The Man Is the Music (2016) and While I Yet Live (2018). She holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was a Fulbright Fellow, and is the past recipient of an SFFILM/KRF Filmmaking Grant. After World Premiering at the 2022 San Francisco International Film Festival in Documentary Competition. JEANNETTE will be playing festivals throughout the year, with official announcements to be made soon.

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“Poignant…a thoughtful, meditative look at the struggles of those with PTSD in a gun-rabid, homophobic country.”— KARIN MCKIE, EDGE MEDIA NETWORK

Anaïs in Love, Director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet

From first-time feature writer/director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet (Pauline Enslaved, Joujou) comes a vibrant new French romantic-comedy ANAIS IN LOVE. The film is a sensitive portrait of a complex and impulsive young woman.  Anais, beautifully portraited by Anaïs Demoustier (Alice and the Mayor, Pauline Enslaved, Sweet Evil) is thirty and broke. She has a lover, but she’s not sure she loves him anymore. After attending a friend’s party, Anaïs meets and falls into an affair with a middle-aged publisher named  Daniel, played by Denis Podalydès (The Conquest, Caché, The Da Vinci Code). As their relationship quickly begins to fall apart, Anaïs discovers and becomes enchanted by the literary work of Daniel’s wife, Emilie, played by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (Like Crazy, Human Capital, It’s Easier for a Camel…), and after a chance encounter with Emilie, Anais begins to pursue her. A lighthearted nod to classical romances, the film explores the longings of wayward hearts. ANAIS IN LOVE made its world premiere at Cannes International Film Festival Critics Week. Director Charmine Bourgeois-Tacquet joins us for a bilingual conversation on the striking the right balance of drama, comedy and calamity, working again with Anais Demoustier to create a recklessly complex character with the innate ability to charm.

 

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For news and updates go to: magpictures.com/anaisinlove

To watch go to: magpictures.com/anaisinlove/watch-at-home

Anaïs in Love will open theatrically on April 29 and digitally and on-demand May 6.

About the filmmaker – Director / writer Charline Bourgeois-Tacquet worked for a while in publishing. In 2016 she directed her first self-produced short film. In 2018, she garnered positive attention for her second short film, Pauline Enslaved, chosen for the Semaine de la Critique section of the Cannes Film Festival and then at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival where it received a Special Jury prize and the Telerama magazine press award. This same film was also pre-selected for the 2020 César awards and won a number of prizes in international festivals. Les Amours d’Anaïs (Anaïs in Love), her first feature film, is selected at the Cannes Film Festival’s La Semaine de la Critique in 2021, where it was screened as the film of the 60th anniversary.

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89% on RottenTomatoes

“A summery and youthful film, Anaïs in Love shares a spirit with some all-time-great stories, basking in the moment and celebrating where each one could lead to next.” – Scott Wilson, One Room With A View

“Yeah, Anais gets everything she wants, but sometimes, its good to let women win.” – Valerie Complex, Deadline Hollywood Daily

“A love story as warm and refreshing as the Parisian summer its set against, writer-director Charline Bourgeois-Tacquets feature debut iAnas in Love/i is a dizzyingly euphoric delight.” – Andrew Murray, The Upcoming

“A warm, sandy romance harking back to simpler times, Anas in Love revels in a simplicity uncommon for (increasingly competitive) debut films.” – Sarah Williams, In Review Online

Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes – Director Joe Berlinger

In Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes award winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger pulls back the curtain on the notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy, the one-time aspiring politician, beloved local contractor, and part-time clown-for-hire who murdered 33 young men between 1972 and 1976. The majority of his victims were found buried under his house, in the quiet northwest suburbs of Chicago. Fifty years later, DNA scientists are still trying to identify all of his victims, but thanks to 60 hours of unearthed audio between Gacy and his defense team, we have fresh perspective on the narcissistic mindset of the murderer and a deeper understanding of how he operated for so long with impunity. The second installment in an ongoing series from filmmaker Joe Berlinger (Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes), this three-part documentary also features new interviews with key participants – some of whom have never talked before, including gut-wrenching testimony from one of Gacy’s survivors – all in search of answers to a crucial question: How was a public figure like Gacy able to get away with murder for so long? Director Joe Berlinger (Brother’s Keeper, Crude, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster)  joins us to talk about what draws him to the backstories involving people like Bundy and Gacy, and the personal impact explorng them has on his own outlook on humanity.

 

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For screenings and updates go to: netflix.com

About the filmmaker –  Joe Berlinger is one of the leading storytellers of his generation, drawing attention to social justice issues in the U.S. and abroad and creating landmark films such as: Brother’s Keeper, a DGA Award-winner that broke new ground with its narrative storytelling techniques; HBO’s  Paradise Lost trilogy with resulted in the freeing of the wrongly-convicted West Memphis Three after almost two decades in prison; and Some Kind of Monster, an intimate portrait of Metallica that redefined the rockumentary genre, one of seven Berlinger films to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. Berlinger’s  passion for using media to bring attention to the issue of wrongful conviction served as the inspiration for Wrong Man for Starz, which took an in-depth look into six separate cases of alleged wrongful  conviction over two seasons. In 2019, Berlinger broke new ground for himself by covering the same subject in scripted and unscripted forms simultaneously with Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes  and Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil and Vile, which starred Zac Efron as Bundy. Both aired on Netflix and attracted enormous audiences around the world, with  Conversations becoming the network’s highest-rated nonfiction title last year, and Extremely Wicked landing in the top ten of most-streamed titles in any genre for 2019. Berlinger continued his work for Netflix with the docuseries  Jeffrey  Epstein: Filthy Rich, a victim-focused look at the sordid life of one of the world’s most vile serial pedophiles. Berlinger’s body of social justice films expanded with Starz’s Confronting a Serial Killer, following author Jillian Lauren as she aids law enforcement in solving cold case murders targeting marginalized communities, particularly women of color, through her unprecedented relationship with the most prolific serial killer in American history, Sam Little. For more go to: radicalmedia.com/directors/joe-berlinger

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“A chilling descent into the mind and life of one of Americas most prolific serial killers.” – Romey Norton, Ready Steady Cut

“As an example of the well-worn genre of true-crime docs, it’s decently well-structured, moves fast at a mere three hours(!), and accurately pins down the societal ills that Gacy’s predation highlighted.” – Clint Worthington, Consequence

Algren – Director Michael Caplan

In his mesmerizing feature documentary film, ALGREN, Michael Caplan drops us into the gritty world, brilliant mind, and noble heart of writer Nelson Algren. Exploding onto the national scene in 1950 after winning the first-ever National Book Award for The Man with the Golden Arm, Algren defined post-war American urban fiction with his brilliant depiction of working class Chicago. Hemingway declared him second only to Faulkner; Vonnegut dubbed him a literary groundbreaker. Hollywood soon came calling, immortalizing his breakout novel with none other  than Frank Sinatra in the lead role. Algren even won a notorious place in both the heart and work of France’s premiere feminist, Simone de Beauvoir. Including never-before-seen archival footage, newly uncovered audio recordings and his own rarely seen, personal photo collages, ALGREN charts the rise and fall of a man whose transgressions, compassion and thirst for justice pushed him to dedicate his life and career to giving a voice to the voiceless. Through interviews with Algren’s friends, literary experts and artists – including William Friedkin, Russell Banks, Philip Kaufman, Billy Corgan and John Sayles – the film is an intimate, witty and even antagonistic portrait of a tireless champion of America’s most marginalized. Director Michael Caplan (Stones from the Soil) joins us for a conversation on what inspired him to explore the world of a groundbreaking, deeply American writer who has never reached the level of recognition and acclaim of his literary brethren.

 

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For screenings and updates go to: firstrunfeatures.com/algren

About the filmmaker – Michael Caplan is an award-winning Chicago-based independent film director, producer and educator. He is currently developing several feature films, including a film written by acclaimed Chicago writer, Joe Meno, and a documentary series that illustrates the connection between the smallest microbes in the ocean to climate change and worldwide pandemics. Caplan also directed and wrote Stones from the Soil, a documentary about his father’s escape from the Nazis, which showed on national PBS. Caplan is an Associate Professor in the Cinema and Television Arts Department at Columbia College Chicago.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Enlightening for those who don’t know Algren at all and thrilling for those who knew the man or his work and his life.” -Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune

“A riveting, comprehensive depiction of an author that Ernest Hemingway declared second only to William Faulkner in the pantheon of U.S. writers.” -Duane Byrge, The Hollywood Reporter

“A documentary that fuses the writer and his city in a cosmology of grinding toil and unexpected beauty” -Barlo Perry, Paris/LA Magazine

“An extraordinary portrait of a major author who has fallen into the realm of the forgotten despite his many successes.” -Neeley Swanson, Easy Reader News

The White Fortress (Tabija) – Director Igor Drljača

THE WHITE FORTRESS (TABIJA) stars Pavle Čemerkić as Faruk. He is an orphan who lives with his ill grandmother in the rundown Sarajevo suburb of Alipasino Polje. Faruk and spends his days foraging for scrap metal and dabbling in petty crime. One day he meets Mona, a timid teen from a politically powerful and affluent family. As Mona dreams of escaping the overbearing toxicity of her home life, she seeks refuge and opens herself up to Faruk, a boy from a world entirely different than  her own  THE WHITE FORTRESS was Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Best International Feature Film selection to represent them at the 94th Academy Awards. The film is a Canada/Bosnia co-production feature that had its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival as part of its Generation 14 plus section. The cast also includes Jasmin Geljo, Kerim Čutuna, Alban Ukaj and Irena Mulamuhić. Director and writer Igor Drljača joins us for a conversation on the declining quality of life that has come with fewer and fewer job opportunities in his hometown of Sarajevo, working with professional and non-professional actors and striking the right storytelling balance between despair and resiliency.

 

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To watch go to: gametheoryfilms.com/tabija

To find out more go to: igordrljaca.com

Game Theory will release the film on April 22, 2022.

About the filmmaker – Director / writer / producer Igor Drljača runs the production company Timelapse Pictures with filmmaker Albert Shin, and is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of British Columbia. His award-winning short films include Woman in Purple (2010) and The Fuse: or How I Burned Simon Bolivar (2011), and The Archivists (2020). His critically-acclaimed debut feature Krivina (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and had its international premiere at Rotterdam. He co-produced Albert Shinʼs In Her Place (2014). His sophomore feature The Waiting Room (2015) premiered at the Locarno International Film Festival, and had its North American premiere at TIFF. His first feature documentary The Stone Speakers (2018) had its world premiere at TIFF, and international premiere at Berlinale. The White Fortress (Tabija, 2021), his third narrative feature, is a co-pro- duction between Canada and Bosnia-Herzegovina. It will have its world premiere at the 71st Berlinale as part of the Generation 14Plus competition. To find out more go to: igordrljaca.com

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“Tabija oscillates between thriller and fairy tale. In multi-layered images, the film tells of the romantic dreams of young people and simultaneously documents tangibly the atmosphere of post-war Sarajevo…a declaration of love for Sarajevo.” – Berlinale

“…a sorrowful little love story that is also a touching portrait of a generation trapped in their nation’s divided present, which is itself a legacy of its troubled past…” – Variety

“Bosnian filmmaker Igor Drljača’s new crime-drama, which turns into a romance, is his most accomplished, touching and thought-provoking film yet.”- Cineuropa

“A moving mixture of romance and social realism, The White Fortress uses a thwarted love story as a metaphoric lament for the city of Sarajevo.” – Liam Lacey ,Original Cin

Salma’s Home – Director Hanadi Elyan

The story behind SALMA’S HOME eschews the usual woman in peril narrative that is often presented in today’s Arabic cinema. Director and writer Hanadi Elyan, one of the few female Arab filmmaking voices, follows beautifully in the footsteps of bold voices like Nadine Labaki, Raja Amari, and Jocelyn Saab. SALMA (Juliet Awad) is a talented baker living alone in a large old house overlooking downtown Amman, her daughter FARAH (Sameera Asir) is a young working mother with marital problems. Their lives are disrupted by the death of Salma’s ex-husband- BAKRI. The funeral takes place at his  current wife’s house, LAMIA (Rania Al Kurdi), an aspiring socialite who is obsessed with building her brand online. After the funeral, shocking facts come to light leading to clashes and finally forcing the three women to accept some harsh realities and take control of their lives. Director / writer / editor Hanadi Elyan (Reel Arab Productions) stops by to talk about finding the superb cast of actors who help make the film  take flight, as well as the inspiration for writing and directing this beautifully told story of heartbreak, betrayal, renewal, friendship and love.

 

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For news and updates go to: hanadielyan.com

SALMA’S HOME is the debut feature from Palestinian Jordanian filmmaker Hanadi Elyan, set to have its World premiere at the 2022 Online edition of the Cinequest Film and Creativity Festival in April, followed by a special in-person edition in August 2022 in San Jose.

About the filmmaker – Driven by her love of filmmaking from a very young age, Hanadi’s work focuses on telling stories about social issues facing marginalized communities from a female perspective. She is a trans-national filmmaker that believes in breaking stereotypes through telling stories of the shared human experience. Born in Dubai and raised in an artistic Jordanian / Palestinian Muslim family, Hanadi spent her childhood between the UAE and Jordan. She established Reel Arab Productions in Dubai, a company that created commercials for international brands but then expanded into TV content for MBC, the biggest Arab broadcaster in the world. Later, she moved to Los Angeles after being selected for the MSFF full ride scholarship, where she earned her MFA in Film Production / Directing from UCLA. Today, based in Boston, MA, Hanadi is putting the final touches on her feature film Salma’s Home, and also is serving as Asst. Professor of Narrative Film Directing at Emerson College. Awards include: Jordan Film Fund, Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award, Delia Salvi Memorial award, Special Jury award at Tangiers Film Festival for Mariam’s Chance, George Burns and Gracie Allen Scholarship Fellowship in Comedy and The UCLA Directors Spotlight Award. To find out more go to: reellaproductions.com or: hanadielyan.com

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Marvelous and the Black Hole – Director Kate Tsang

MARVELOUS AND THE BLACK HOLE focuses on a teenage delinquent, Sammy, played by newcomer Miya Cech, (Always Be My Maybe) as she attempts to befriend a surly magician Margot played by Rhea Perlman, (“Cheers,” Matilda) who may or may not be able to help her navigate her inner demons and dysfunctional family with sleight of hand magic. A coming-of- age comedy that touches on unlikely friendships, grief, and finding hope in the darkest moments. Director Kate Tsang joins us for a conversation on the importance of telling a story that did not talk down to a younger audience, that gave voice to the character of Sammy that embraced her volatile behavior and voice to her anger at the loss of a loved one as well as navigating a story that swings between light-hearted comedy and mournful ire and working with the great Rhea Perlman.

 

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For more go to: filmrise.com/marvelous-and-the-black-hole

To watch go to: filmrise-screenings.com/marvelous

About the filmmaker – Kate Tsang is an artist, filmmaker, and Emmy-nominated writer creating imaginative, offbeat stories with heart. Her award-winning live action and animated shorts (“SO YOU’VE GROWN ATTACHED” and “WELCOME TO DOOZY”) have been watched by millions online and broadcasted nationally on PBS. In addition, Kate has written on the hit shows ADVENTURE TIME: DISTANT LANDS (HBO MAX) and STEVEN UNIVERSE FUTURE (Cartoon Network).

About the filmmaker – Rhea Perlman has starred on television, stage and film for more than 30 years.  A four-time Emmy winner for her role on the NBC TV show “Cheers,” she was nominated an unprecedented 10 times during the 11-year series and appeared in all 273 episodes.Other television credits include, “Kirstie,” “The Neighbors,” “Hung,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Kate Brasher,” “Hot in Cleveland” and “Pearl,” in which she both starred and served as executive producer.A fan favorite, Perlman played Mrs. Wormwood to Danny DeVito’s Mr. Wormwood in the film MATILDA, which was directed by DeVito. The pair also worked together on the acclaimed TV series “Taxi,” in which Perlman played DeVito’s Louie DePalma’s love interest, Zena.

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86% on RottenTomatoes

“Marvelous and the Black Hole is quirky and a little punky and a lot of fun, a movie that treats teen girls – even the angry ones – as deserving of respect.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“Funny without being forced, and sincere without being schlocky, Marvelous is guaranteed to warm the hearts of wannabe baby goths everywhere.” – Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader

“Marvelous is enchanting and quirky. It’s a decent show for Tsang’s debut feature film and a strong performance from the lead Mia Cech.” – Therese Lacson. The Beat

“Sammy and Patricia tussle and yell with sheer physicality, occupying space in a way that young Chinese American women aren’t normally afforded in American media.” – Li Lai, Mediaversity Reviews

Tony Hawk: Until the Wheels Fall Off – Director Sam Jones

TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF center around a series of intimate interviews with Tony Hawk himself.  The film is an all-encompassing look at the skateboarder’s life, legendary career, and relationship with the sport with which he’s been synonymous for decades. Hawk, a pioneer of modern vertical skating who is still pushing his limits at the age of 53, remains one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. A wide-ranging, definitive look at Hawk’s life and iconic career, and his relationship with the sport with which he’s been synonymous for decades. Hawk, born in San Diego, Calif., is a pioneer of modern vertical skating and one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. TONY HAWK: UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF features unprecedented access, never-before-seen footage, and interviews with Hawk, and prominent figures in the sport including Stacy Peralta, Rodney Mullen, Mike McGill, Lance Mountain, Steve Caballero, Neil Blender, Andy MacDonald, Duane Peters, Sean Mortimer, and Christian Hosoi. Director and Producer Sam Jones (I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, Off Camera with Sam Jones) joins us for a conversation on his own passion for skateboarding, gaining the confidence of Tony, his family and his peers, as well as peeling back the layers of a highly motivated and hyper competitive athlete who has defined what it means to be an unconventional modern day superstar. 

 

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For updates and screenings go to: hbo.com/documentaries

About the filmmaker – Sam Jones is a director of documentary films and narrative television. He most recently directed an episode of “Ted Lasso” and a film in post production: “Running With Our Eyes Closed, A Film about Jason Isbell,” which is being co-produced by the Duplass Brothers and Jones. Jones is the creator and host of the documentary series “Off Camera with Sam Jones,” which had a 219 episode run on DirecTV’s Audience Network from 2013-2020. Jones is also an acclaimed commercial director and recently wrote and directed a series of commercials for OnePlus featuring Robert Downey Jr. He directed the Showtime series “Roadies,” created by Cameron Crowe, and also directed and produced the feature length Showtime documentary “Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued,” a film that reexamines Bob Dylan’s “The Basement Tapes.” In 2002, Jones started his documentary career with “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart,” which chronicles beloved indie-rock band Wilco’s tumultuous recording of their acclaimed fourth album, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.” Rolling Stone named “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” one of the best rock films of all time. Jones began his career as a photographer and quickly gained acclaim for his seminal portraits of cultural icons. His work has appeared on the covers of Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire, GQ, Time, and many others, and he has had several books published.  Jones lives in Los Angeles with his daughters and still loves to skateboard.

Founded by Tony Hawk, The Skatepark Project (TSP) is a nonprofit organization working to increase access to outdoor recreation and free play through the creation of safe and inclusive community skateparks. TSP provides the resources, advocacy skills, grants and fellowship programs that guide skaters in creating their own community skateparks, from conception through construction.

100% on RottenTomatoes

“A humanistic exploration… chronicles Hawk’s prodigious, at times challenging, skateboarding career, but it also analyzes its subject with a keen psychological eye.” – Lena Wilson, The Wrap

“Whether you’re a skateboarding fan or not, this is an engrossing look back at the unquestionably remarkable career of a true legend, and his story isn’t over yet.” – Ethan Anderton, Slash Film

“An intimate and raw story of Hawk’s journey.” – Cheyenne Rountree, The Daily Beast

“The closing scenes, grappling with the complications of continuing to endanger one’s body at such an advanced age… is first funny, then philosophical, and then poignant.” – Jason Bailey, Crooked Marquee

“Jones still creates a captivating, edge-of-your-seat documentary that manages to make the idea of landing a trick a genuinely moving scenario.” – Ross Bonaime, Collider

The Invisible Pilot – Co-directors Phil Lott and Ari Mark

The HBO Original THE INVISIBLE PILOT, a three-part documentary series by Emmy®-winning filmmakers Phil Lott and Ari Mark, is a tale of a charismatic, daredevil husband and father who unexpectedly jumped off a bridge in 1977, despite a seemingly happy home life and a lucrative career as a pilot. His small-town Arkansas community searches for his body in vain while family and friends seek answers. Years later, a mysterious story emerges involving hypnosis, secret identities and a double life of dangerous missions and law-breaking. And that’s just the beginning… THE INVISIBLE PILOT unfolds in three chapters, each one divulging new, shocking surprises. When Gary Betzner, a father of three, unexpectedly commits suicide the mystery surrounding his death deepens and unfurls a caper-filled tale involving a clandestine world of drug smuggling, gun running, and involvement in a covert war conducted at the highest level of the U.S. government. With a wealth of colorful archival material and shaped by vibrant storytelling by Gary’s wife, ex-wife, children, friends and associates, public defenders, law officers and journalists, THE INVISIBLE PILOT is a cautionary tale of unchecked power and covert operations, centered around a small-town man with outsized dreams. Co-Directors Phil Lott and Ari Mark join us to walk us through the bare-bones description of a multi-layered story that not only defies belief, but illuminates one of the darkest and most consequential political scandals in American history.

 

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For news and screenings go to: hbo.com/the-invisible-pilot

THE INVISIBLE PILOT debuts MONDAY, APRIL 4 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) with new episodes airing subsequent Mondays at the same time. The series will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.

About the filmmaker – Director Phil Lott began his career in London, England, working on feature films and documentaries. As cinematographer, he shot  “Indian Tales” for Academy Award-winning director Asif Kapadia, SXSW winning indie-feature, “Kelly and Cal” starring Juliette Lewis and Cybil Shepherd, and as writer-producer he made indie-feature “Neil’s Party”  released by Warner Bros. Between AMPLE’s doc series slate, Phil continues his work on features including, most recently,  directing 2nd unit on acclaimed IFC release, “Rust Creek”, and on a feature documentary which he and Ari are currently directing. After setting the visual style, and shooting as cinematographer, the pilot episode of Bafta-winning director Bart Layton’s  “Locked Up Abroad”, Phil was asked to direct an episode of season one of the international hit series. This quickly led to more documentary television and becoming a sought after show-runner in the USA. Recognized for bringing filmic storytelling and a distinctive cinematic visual style to all his shows, Phil always seeks to raise the bar of how unscripted television can look and be told. Phil has been behind some of the most recognizable documentary series and non-scripted shows on television including directing and setting the look for the pilot episode of Emmy-winning “Undercover Boss” for CBS, Critic’s Choice-nominated “The Pitch” for AMC (where he met Ari) and the Xbox Entertainment Studios hit series “Every Street United”. For more go to: ampleent.com

About the filmmaker – Before starting AMPLE, Ari Mark served as Senior Vice President of Original Programming for Xbox Entertainment Studios where he was challenged to jump start a digital platform’s ambitious move into non-scripted filmmaking. In a short time, he produced and launched Xbox’s first series, “Every Street United”, a global premium documentary series led by soccer icon, Thierry Henry. He also oversaw Xbox’s documentary slate, executive producing Zak Penn’s cult film, “Atari: Game Over” and Greg Barker’s feature documentary about the Boston Bombing, “The Thread”. Mark also produced Xbox’s first scripted project, “Possibilia”, a choose-your-own-adventure interactive film shown at both Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals.Prior to Xbox, Ari worked at AMC where he oversaw their first launch into non-scripted programming. He developed the massive hit after show, “The Talking Dead”, the cult hit “Small Town Security”, and the critically acclaimed series, “The Pitch”, among others.Ari began his career at Sundance Channel where he quickly developed a reputation for bold programming choices and strong creative instincts. During his tenure, Ari helped develop the hit series “Iconoclasts”, “The Staircase”, “Architecture School”, Brett Morgen’s “Nimrod Nation” and “Brick City”, both of which won Peabody awards. He also helped oversee their feature documentary slate, producing more than 20 films including Alex Gibney’s “Human Behavior Experiments” and D.A. Pennebaker’s “War Room Revisited”.Before Sundance, Mark received his MFA from San Francisco State’s prestigious film program. His films, “The Gift” and “The Metamorphosis” were both acquired by Sundance Channel. For more go to: ampleent.com

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Bull – Director Paul Andrew Williams

BULL is a revenge thriller like no other. This ferocious, audacious, and blood-soaked is the latest from BAFTA-winning writer/director Paul Andrew Williams stars Neil Maskell (Kill List, Peaky Blinders) as Bull, a vicious mob enforcer seeking revenge on the gang that double-crossed him. Ten years after he was last seen, Bull returns home to methodically track down those who betrayed him, including his ex-wife, Sharon, played by Tamzin Outhwaite (Eastenders) and find his beloved son. With the ominous warning: “I’m coming for all of them,” Bull stalks his former gang, leading up to a savage showdown between his wife and her mob boss father Norm, played by David Hayman (Sid and Nancy, Macbeth). Director and writer Paul Andrew Williams  (London to Brighton, Unfinished Song, The Cottage) joins us for a conversation on his intense, brutal and perversely “logical” tale of family grievance and revenge embodied in the tenacious performances of Neil Maskell and David Hayman.

 

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Saban Films will release the thriller BULL in Theaters on April 1st and On Demand and Digital on April 5th.

About the filmmaker – Paul Andrew Williams is an acclaimed writer and Bafta-winning director. His body of work to date includes the theatrical release of four feature films and prime-time television programming for the BBC and ITV. Paul’s films include the critically acclaimed London to Brighton, horror-comedy The Cottage, home invasion thriller Cherry Tree Lane and Song for Marion. In 2014 Paul directed Murdered by My Boyfriend for the BBC, which won the RTS Award for Single Drama and was the highest watched programme on BBC iPlayer behind Sherlock and Top Gear.  Following this he directed the critically acclaimed The Eichmann Show and in 2016/7 he was the lead director of BAFTA-winning drama series Broadchurch as well as directing the Bafta-winning Murdered For Being Different for BBC Studios. In 2018 he directed Strangers, starring John Simm and Emilia Fox, co-produced by ITV and Amazon Studios. Followed A Confession for ITV, written by Bafta winner Jeff Pope, starring Martin Freeman and Imelda Staunton. Most recently he has directed one of 4 Isolation Stories for ITV starring Angela Griffin and Darren Boyd. He has recently completed his fifth feature film ‘Bull’ with Neil Maskell and David Hayman that is due for release at the end of the year and is starting preproduction on an untitled Jeff Pope drama for ITV. Meanwhile ’The Fear Index’ which Paul co-wrote is about to start production with Left Bank pictures for Sky Atlantic.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“An intense, unflinching and riveting crime thriller.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“A must for fans of pulpy crime pictures.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“The film’s rejiggered timeline is a little hard to follow, but the climax swings for the fences and shows an unashamed verve for tale-telling that warms the cockles.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

“Fans of mean, low-budget British crime pictures in the vein of Kill List will find much to admire.” – Wendy Ide, Observer (UK)

“An incredibly stirring, chilling study of violence that is more unhinged than most others.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

Until the Wheels Come Off – Co-directors Matt Dearborn & Rick Weis

UNTIL THE WHEELS COME OFF focuses on the 50 year old cyclist, John Tarlton, as he enters his second Race Across America. The race is considered to be the most grueling bike race in the world. John is an avid endurance athlete who competes  in extreme sports to raise money and awareness for cancer research at the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI). In a race, where more than half of the participants don’t even finish, John is dead set on winning his division. With his loyal family, that includes his wife Jenny Dearborn and friends serving as his support crew as they embark on their arduous 12 day odyssey, stressing not only their physical limits, but their emotional limits as well. John, a gifted athlete, was a cyclist in college, leverages this passion for health by using his athletic ability to help others. To date,  he has participated in six endurance cycling events and donated 100% of the funds raised to SCI. Co-directors Matt Dearborn (Even Stevens, Z Nation) and Rick Weiss (Entourage, The Office) stops by to talk about how the documentary project came together from the hundreds of hours of footage, in multiple formats as well as exploring the behind the scenes drama that gives the film its emotional depth and resonants.

For news and updates go to: untilthewheelscomeoffmovie.com

About the filmmaker – Matt Dearborn has written over a hundred episodes of television and sold original ideas to nearly every major network; Netflix, Sony, FOX, HBO, NBC, CBS, Nickelodeon, Lifetime, Disney Channel and the Cartoon Network. His absurdist comic style has earned Mr. Dearborn three Emmy nominations and a BAFTA award for creating Even Stevens (Outstanding International Series.) Other accolades include nominations for the NAACP’s Image Award and the prestigious Environment Media Award.  Currently Mr. Dearborn is partnering with Karl Schaefer (Z Nation) on High Five, a feature about a band of twenty-something’s who pull off an Ocean’s Eleven like revenge heist. 

About the filmmakers – Rick Weis has working as a grip, electrician, best boy and gaffer on feature films such as “Crossworlds”, “Children of the Corn 5”, “The Glass Shield”, “Murder in the First” and “Pulp Fiction”. He transitioned to editing and immediately got an opportunity to work with legendary documentary filmmakers David Wolper and Robert Guenette on a 2 year CNN historical epic. His scripted credits include many well-known comedy and drama hits “Entourage” and “The Office”. 

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Ride Till I Die – Director Tony Rammos

RIDE TILL I DIE follows the man from Davie, Florida, Ricky Ringer. Ricky comes for a troubled past. His father walked out on his family and Ricky was on his own at 15 years old, but he had already found solace in bull riding. The eight-second duel of man versus beast was his emancipation and Ricky was successful early and often. Prize money earned in the arena was adding up and a chance to make the pro circuit was in sight. But despite all his success, Ricky could never win a championship and with the rigorous schedule came a heavy price. Ricky suffered many injuries, including a horrific incident where his face was crushed in 2010 which nearly ended his career. Twenty-five years later, along with his son, Lil’ Ricky, and fellow rider Ernie Courson, Ricky continues to ride and despite warnings from his wife, mother, and his ailing body. In RIDE TILL I DIE Ricky realizes his time is running out. His body is constantly in pain as over two decades of bull riding has taken its toll. Despite all the broken bones and permanent scars, Ricky keeps riding. Ricky is determined to chase that elusive title or die trying. Director Tony Rammos joins us for a conversation on the insanely dangerous world of bull riding, cowboy culture and what makes Ricky Ringer ride.

For updates and screenings go to: ridetillidiefilm.com

About the filmmaker – Director/ProducerTony Rammos took the long road to directing his first feature film, spending over 17 years in the television industry working in newsrooms, studio shoots, live events and on-remote locations. Eventually, Tony found his true love of storytelling by directing and producing a series of short documentary-style programs for World Fishing Network. That experience helped him in achieving his dream of entering the world of filmmaking. Tony earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, before completing a post graduate program in New Media and Journalism at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. An internship at a national sports television station followed and his career was born. An avid sports fan who`ll watch any major sporting event, Tony also enjoys traveling, attending concerts and working out, as long as something good is playing on the headphones.

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The Business of Birth Control – Director Abby Epstein

In the legacy of their groundbreaking documentary THE BUSINESS OF BEING BORN which revolutionized the way people think about childbirth, filmmakers Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake unpack the power structures surrounding the reproductive health industry complex. Sixty years after the pill revolutionized women’s emancipation, THE BUSINESS OF BIRTH CONTROL examines the complex relationship between hormonal birth control and women’s health and liberation. The documentary traces the feminist movement to investigate and expose the pill’s risks alongside the racist legacy of hormonal contraception and its ongoing weaponization against communities of color.  Weaving together the stories of bereaved parents, body literacy activists and femtech innovators, the film reveals a new generation seeking holistic and ecological alternatives to the pill while redefining the meaning of reproductive justice. Director Abby Epstein (Weed the People, Until the Violence Stops) joins us for a conversation on the confluence of historically poor understanding of women’s health, racial and gender-biased research, industry driven mis-information, and profit driven business interest that have warped the vision for what is best for women.

 

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For news and screenings go to: thebusinessof.life/the-business-of-birth-control

Background – Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein first collaborated on their landmark documentary, The Business of Being Born—a grassroots phenomenon that has become required viewing for expectant parents and childbirth educators. The revelation that pregnant people were unaware of their childbirth options ignited a passion in Ricki and Abby to lift the veil on other areas of reproductive health.  After examining birth culture in America, they began investigating the business of hormonal contraceptives and the lack of birth control options. We are in a moment where women, non-binary, and trans folks are seeking body literacy and empowering forms of healthcare. The more informed we are about our bodies and our choices, the more we can advocate for ourselves.

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TOPSIDE – Co-directors Logan George & Celine Held

TOPSIDE follows Nikki (Celine Held) and her five-year-old daughter Little (Zhaila Farmer) as they navigate a perilous life in a close-knit and loving existence in the cavernous subway tunnels beneath Manhattan. When city officials raid their encampment, mother and daughter are forced “topside” into a nocturnal world that is even more chaotic, menacing and unpredictable than their subterranean routine. TOPSIDE showcases an stunning central performance by Zhaila Farmer, making her feature-film debut, filmmakers Logan George and Celine Held (who also stars as Little’s mom, Nikki) cast a child’s-eye gaze onto two very different environments — one unspooling in muted darkness, the other in harsh and blinding light — eliciting wonder, fury and suspense out of a mother’s desperate and heartbreaking attempts to keep her child safe from harm across one frantic and frigid wintry night. Co-director and co-writers, Logan George and Celine Held join us for a conversation on their affecting tale of the deep love and sacrifice rooted in the parent-child bond and the daunting challenges of setting their riveting feature debut in the underbelly of New York City.

For more information go to: elofilms.com/topside

Venice Film Festival, Critics’ Week Competition – Winner
South by Southwest – Jury Award Winner

 

TOPSIDE is now available through Vertical Entertainment in select theatres and on digital and VOD platforms.

About the filmmakers – Celine Held & Logan George – Writer & Director, ‘Nikki’ (Held), Editor (George) Celine Held & Logan George are a co-writer/director duo based in Brooklyn, New York. Logan & Celine’s debut feature film TOPSIDE will have its world premiere at the 77th Venice Film Festival in the International Critics’ Week Competition. Their work as a team has premiered in competition at Cannes Film Festival (Palme d’Or nominee 2018), Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, SXSW (Jury Award for Best Director 2020), among many more. They were named as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film in 2017. See more at elofilms.com.

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79% on RottenTomatoes

“Held delivers an unnerving and sophisticated performance… Farmer emerges as a true revelation, delivering the most sensitive and sophisticated child performance since Quevanzané Wallis.” -Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“Kinetic and riveting.” – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“…in shining a stark and unflinching light at the marginalized, Held and George have made an arresting debut that certainly poises them as ones to watch in the future. – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“Held and Farmer have natural onscreen chemistry, bringing an almost docudrama realism to their characters’ shared fate even as it teeters on tragedy.” – Michael Nordine, Variety

“This is a first feature for co-directors Held and Logan George, and while small, it is something of a knockout.” – Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

You Are Not My Mother – Director Kate Dolan

YOU ARE NOT MY MOTHER picks up it’s harrowing tale  the week before Halloween and Char’s mother, Angela (Carolyn Branken), has inexplicably disappeared. All that remains is her abandoned car. When she returns home without explanation the following evening, it becomes clear to Char (Hazel Doupe) and her grandmother, Rita (Ingrid Craigie), that something is amiss. She might look and sound the same but Angela’s behavior   has become increasingly frightening, as if she has been replaced by a malevolent force. When Halloween arrives, a night steeped in ancient myth and legend, Char realizes that she is the only one who can save her, even if it means potentially losing her forever. Director and screenwriter Kate Dolan (Catcalls) joins us for a conversation on updating the folkloric tale of the changeling and the connection to a more modern and scientific context of mental health, as well as the razor sharp examination of the mother / daughter relationship, while scaring the pants of viewers. 

 

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For updates and screenings go to: youarenotmymother.com

watch-at-home: magnetreleasing.com/youarenotmymother

About the filmmaker – Director, writer and editor Kate Dolan graduated with an Honours Degree in Film & Television Production from the National Film School, IADT in 2012where she majored in Directing and minored in Editing. Her graduate short Breathe In was selected for a number of Irish and international film festivals. In 2014, she directed a short called Little Doll at the Short Film Script Station. The film depicts the first same-sex crush of a young girl. her second film, Little Doll was included in the British Council’s  fiveFilms4freedom 2016 Global List – 33 inspiring people from around the world promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights every day.In 2017, she directed Catcalls, an irreverent Horror about a sexual predator who gets whats coming to him. The film won Best Short Film at the YDA Ireland in 2018 and has played at many festivals all over the world including BFI London Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Fantasia Film Festival. In 2019 I was selected by Screen Ireland to take part in their inaugural POV scheme with a script Dolan wrote and will direct entitled You Are Not My Mother. The film had it’s premiere as part of the Midnight Madness strand at TIFF in September 2021. The came runner up in the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Awards. You Are Not My Mother also won the Jury Prize at the Festival de Gérardmer 2022.  Dolan was nominated for the Discovery Award at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival 2022 taking place in March.  For more go to: katedolan.ie

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86% on RottenTomatoes

“The film takes a strong script and turns it into something that must be watched more than once to be fully appreciated and showcases strong performances, especially from Hazel Doupe and Carolyn Bracken.” – Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed

“There’s a lot going on here but first time feature director Kate Dolan weaves all her narrative threads together seamlessly.” – Jennie Kermode Eye for Film

“Kate Dolans feature debut is a masterclass in tension from its bold opening to its bittersweet conclusion.” –

“More concerned with creating a slowburn of discomfort than with deploying jumpscares, it is driven by first-rate performances from Bracken and, in particular, rising star Doupe.” – Wendy Ide, Screen International

“What makes You Are Not My Mother such compelling viewing is how it seeks to defamiliarize our moral and ideological expectations surrounding women and the broader concept of strength, challenging us to think in more complex ways about gender and power.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

Wood and Water – Director Jonas Bak

In his graceful feature film debut, WOOD AND WATER, German director Jonas Bak’s thoughtful explanation of a women at a spiritual crossroad moves seamlessly from the tall spires of the Black Forest to the teeming skyscrapers of Hong Kong. Newly retired from her church job, Anke dreams of spending time with her grown children—including her uncommunicative and elusive son, Max, who has been living for years in Hong Kong, and who is unable to join his mother and sister back in Germany due to the ongoing pro-democracy protests. In a daring decision, Anke, though suffering from loneliness and loss, travels to Hong Kong to find Max and perhaps also herself. The people she encounters, and her experience of the city help her to break down the inner walls she constructed years ago, and make way for a new chapter in her life. In his hushed, wholly original approach to this fish-out-of-water set-up, Bak constructs a gentle, ambiguous fable of becoming, shot on 16mm and featuring a wondrous, naturalistic performance by his own mother, Anke Bak. Director Jonas Bak joins us to talk about the his mother in the leading role, working the chaotic political struggle taking place in Hong Kong into a very personal story and finding a cast of actors and mostly non-actors to bring out the intuitive talent Anke possesses.

 

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For updates and screenings go to kimstim.com/film/wood-and-water

About the filmmaker – Writer, Director, Editor Jonas Bak was born in Konstanz in 1985, and now based in Freiburg, Jonas Bak studied film directing at Edinburgh College of Art before moving to London in 2015, and then Hong Kong in 2018 to work as a freelance film director and director of photography. He wrote and directed two short films, WANDERDRACHEN (2016) and ONE AND MANY (2017), both of which were screened at international film festivals including Molodist, Curtacinema Rio de Janeiro and Pacific Meridian. WOOD AND WATER (2021) is his first feature film.

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7 Days – Director Roshan Sethi

7 DAYS jumps into the world of arranged marriages through a pre-arranged date set-up by their old-fashioned Indian parents, Ravi (Karan Soni) and Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan). With apparently nothing in common, their afternoon date, while pleasant enough, couldn’t be any more awkward. Ravi’s conservative and clearly nervous, while Rita’s doing her best to politely keep on smiling. But then circumstances conspire and force Ravi to spend the night at Rita’s place. Before long, he sees that she’s not the straight-laced girl she initially pretended to be—for starters, she’s quick to pound a beer for breakfast. As their time stuck together stretches towards a full week, though, Ravi and Rita develop an unlikely bond, and in the face of a heartbreaking turn of events, that bond grows into something stronger. 7 DAYS is a delightful rom-com that doubles as a showcase for its two stars, Soni and Viswanathan, both of whom carry the film with their natural charm and easygoing chemistry, and a culturally specific spin on its genre’s familiar tropes. Optimistic and full of heart, director/co-writer  Roshan Sethi’s debut captures love in the time of isolation and will leave you on a feel-good high.

 

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Official Selection: BFI London, Tribeca Film Festival 2021

Independent Spirit Award Winner for Best First Feature

About the filmmaker – Director and Co-Writer, Roshan Sethi is a physician and screenwriter working at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He began writing as a student at Harvard Medical School and co-created Fox’s The Resident while finishing his residency. He has a miniseries on Sally Ride at Peacock/USA and a film titled Call Jane with Elizabeth Banks that’s currently shooting. 

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83% on RottenTomatoes

“A charming romantic comedy.” – Lovia Gyarke, The Hollywood Reporter

“An impressive directorial debut.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, The Wrap

“A compact, empathetic wonder.” – Christian Gallichio, The Playlist

“A delightful, unique romantic-comedy… A top-notch showcase for its 2 lead actors.” – Darren Paltrowitz, The Hype Magazine

“A funny, modest charmer… each time the script could take a trite turn, it twists, rebuffing any easy magic.” – Lisa Kennedy, Variety

The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs – Director Pushpendra Singh

Director Pushpendra Singh’s latest film, THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SEVEN SONGS is a stunningly beautiful feminist fable set in the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir, a lush mountainous region claimed by both India and Pakistan. Based on a folktale by Rajasthani writer Vidaydan Detha as well as the life and poetry of 14th century Kashmiri mystic Lalleshwari, SHEPHERDESS follows a young bride, Laila (Navjot Randhawa, in a ferocious and unforgettable performance) who marries into a tribe of nomadic Bakarwal herders. Already harassed by local police as a minority, Laila finds herself targeted for her remarkable beauty by local officials. Her implacable and ingenious manipulation of the men who want to possess her, and the patriarchy that wants to crush her, plays out in a series of seven chapters – the Song of Regret, the Song of Playfulness – each tied into the rapturously gorgeous score by Naren Chandavarkar and Benedict Taylor. Like the mystical films of Sergei Parajanov, Singh weaves breathtaking visuals and music into a hypnotic and indelible experience. The film’s truly cosmic climax, where Laila attempts to shed the bonds of male desire and infatuation pursuing her,  must be seen to be believed.  Award winning director and writer Pushpendra Singh joins us for a conversation on the orgin story for The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs, casting Navjot Randhawa in the title role, and beautifully shooting the film in a way that focuses on the context of the story as a way of bringing the content to life.

 

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For updates go to: deafcrocodile.com/shepherdess-the-seven-songs

Director’s Statement – “I was inspired by the feminist ideas in this folktale by Vijaydan Detha but wanted to make it as a contemporary story. I have always been interested in a folk aesthetic and am always fascinated to find connections in different folk cultures which highlight how oral traditions have traveled across the world over centuries. The ending of this folk tale reminded me of Lal Ded, the 14th century mystic poetess from Kashmir and this led me to adapt it there. We shot the film with the migration cycle of the Bakarwal nomads in three schedules in different seasons. ” – Pushendra Singh

About the filmmaker – Born in Sainyaa, near Agra, India in 1978. After studying at the Film and Television Institute of India in Pune, he first worked as an actor and assistant director. In 2014, his directorial debut Lajwanti  screened in the Berlinale Forum. His second feature film, Ashwatthama, premiered in the New Currents Competition at the Busan International Film Festival while his hybrid film Maru ro moti was shown at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.  His fourth feature is, THE SHEPHERDESS AND THE SEVEN SONGS is the second of Singh’s films to be based on the works of celebrated Rajasthani writer Vidaydan Detha, taking inspiration from 14th-century Kashmiri mystic poetess Lalla Arifa Lalleshwari and folk storytelling traditions of the Bakharwal community in Kashmir.

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93% on RottenTomatoes

“Has a lyrical, folk parable simplicity that instantly summons up memories of Indias greatest filmmaker, Satyajit Ray.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Folklore, feminism and film noir come together in Pushpendra Singh’s meticulously crafted fourth feature “The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs.” – Richard Kuipers, Variety

“The film speaks lyrically to a peoples’ determination to find a meaningful way to live in a rapidly changing modern world.” – Derek Smith, Slant Magazine

“Singh’s methodically well-paced film slowly escalates a potential for betrayal and disaster, mirroring the tightrope stakes of great neo-noirs.” – Glenn Heath Jr., The Film Stage

“The Shepherdess and the Seven Songs feels like a fairy-tale that deals with all-too-real events. Yet Singh ensures that the plot never veers too far into either surrealism or realism.” – Alex Saveliev, Film Threat

Peter Case: A Million Miles Away – Director Fred Parnes

Musician Peter Case has lived a life of constant change, soaring highs, and soul-crushing lows. From the frigid suburbs of Buffalo NY, to his early years living and busking on the streets of San Francisco, to formative experiences with punk band The Nerves and leading the LA power-pop legends The Plimsouls, and now his decades-long, Grammy-nominated solo career, this film walks a million miles in the shoes of one of America’s last great troubadours. brilliant, elusive, sometimes infuriating, and always fascinating Peter Case. A gifted musician who had never found the widespread acclaim they deserved, but who had still managed to find a place in the unforgiving landscape of the music business. Peter Case is a unique and compelling artist with a fascinating life story both heartbreaking and hopeful, who had spent the past four decades steadfastly answering his artistic calling. A dynamic performer, a gifted raconteur with a master storyteller’s flair, a passion for social justice, and a ripping sense of humor. Peter Case: A Million Miles Away features many of Peter’s friends and colleagues, including singer/songwriters; Ben Harper, Steve Earle, Victoria Williams, Jack Lee as well as producers; Van Dyke Parks, Mitchell Froom, Steven Soles, Hobart Taylor and Denise Sullivan. Director Fred Parnes (A Man Is Mostly Water) joins us to talk about his riveting portrait of a musician and artist who has made a career out of charting his own course.

 

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For more on Peter Case go to: petercase.com

About the filmmaker –  Fred Parnes’ first film was Spread the Word, a documentary about a cappella legends The Persuasions. It had a long festival run before finding its eventual home on PBS.  He followed that with the indie comedy A Man Is Mostly Water, which featured the first screen performance of actor Anton Yelchin. He was nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2008 Independent Spirit Award for Starting Out in the Evening, which he wrote and produced with director Andrew Wagner.They re-teamed in 2017 to write and produce Breakable You, starring Holly Hunter, Tony Shalhoub and Alfred Molina. In 2019 he directed the interviews for the documentary Love, Antosha.

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