February 21 – Goldie, Director Sam de Jong

Goldie is a star – well, not quite yet, but at least in the eyes of her little sisters Sherrie and Supreme she is. The rest of the world is bound to take note soon too. Her big break surely awaits, she’s just got to pick up that golden fur coat she’s had her eye on first. And land a role as a dancer in a hip-hop video. And keep child welfare services from separating her from Sherrie and Supreme, after their mother is locked up. Holding onto those dreams isn’t easy when fate has placed such daunting obstacles in her path. With Goldie, Dutch director Sam de Jong has delivered a real New York film: raw and glamorous, unflinchingly realistic and relentlessly optimistic, with a ton of heart and at least as much attitude. Director / writer Sam de Jong joins us to talk about his tale of dreams, expectations and reality crash together in this verite explosion.

About the filmmaker: Director Sam de Jong
After graduating from the Dutch Film academy with the acclaimed “Magnesium” Sam went on to write and direct the short film “Marc Jacobs” and entered the Berlinale shorts competition in 2014. With largely the same cast he returned to Berlinale the next year with his first feature Prince. Prince opened the Generations 14 competition in 2015. After Prince, Sam went on to make Goldie with 20th Century Fox and Vice Films. His short work has been shown around the world at festivals like Sundance, Berlin and AFI fest. His first feature Prince was theatrically released in the Netherlands, the United States and in Mexico. His work is heavily influenced by present-day youth culture and studies the implications of growing up in the 21st century: in the face of our rapidly changing multi-ethnic society where pop culture is the new predominant religion. From a mash up of different genres, lavishly coated in bright esthetics, Sam wants to research the meaning of our quest for recognition and identity. Red Sand will be Sam’s first international co-production together with longtime collaborator HALAL. With this movie Sam wants to explore new themes and broaden his horizon.

For news and updates go to: filmmovement.com/goldie

For February 21 Los Angeles screenings go to: lumierecinemala.com/film-goldie

 

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“This film is filled with bursts of color. The high energy visuals counterbalance the tragic malaise of Goldie’s life perfectly.” – Lorry Kikta, Film Threat

“Suspension between can-do spirit and come-down reality pumps blood into the irrepressible heart of this scrappy tale, along with the natural charisma of model Slick Woods, making a disarming feature debut in the title role.” – David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter

“Goldie (played by fashion model Slick Woods in her first movie role) is a lot like the film that bears her name: full of attitude, bursting with scrappy New York style, and stuck under the thumb of a merciless system that won’t let her shine like she knows she can. “ – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

“De Jong brings a jolt of brash energy to a social realist scenario that could easily have attracted Ken Loach or the Dardenne brothers. A charismatic, eye-catching debut performance from Instagirl fashion world star Slick Woods adds considerably to the film’s appeal.” – Allan Hunter, Screen Daily

February 21 – The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, Director Alison Reid

In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild.  In THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES Anne (now 86) retraces her steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today. Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research findings ultimately became the foundation for many scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she loves have each experienced triumphs as well as setbacks. In THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES Anne takes us on her first expedition back to Africa to retrace where her trail-blazing journey began more than half a century ago. By retracing her original steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage, Anne offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today. Both the world’s first ‘giraffologist’, whose research findings ultimately became the foundation for many scientists following in her footsteps, and the species she loves have each experienced triumphs as well as nasty battle scars. THE WOMAN WHO LOVES GIRAFFES gives us a moving perspective on both. Director Alison Reid joins us for a conversation on meeting Anne Innis Dagg and learning how this gentle soul is more than a pioneer in understanding these magnificent creatures, but just as importantly an advocate for women and science.

About the filmmaker: Alison Reid (Director, Writer, Producer) is an award-winning director who began her career as a stunt coordinator and second unit director. After accumulating 300 credits, she formed Free Spirit Films to produce projects diverse in genre but similar in their exploration of the human spirit. Reid received the 2007 Crystal Award for Emerging Director from DGC/WIFT. Her independent feature, The Baby Formula (2009), sold internationally, won the Audience Award at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, ‘Best LGBT Film’ at Nashville Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Zenith at the Montreal World Film Festival. Her television directing credits include Saving HopeHeartland and Murdoch Mysteries.

 

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For news and updates go to: zeitgeistfilms.com/film/thewomanwholovesgiraffes

To see The Woman Who Loves Giraffes in Los Angeles go to: Laemmle.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“This warm documentary uses one woman’s singular passion to fuel a tale of zoological discovery, blatant sexism and environmental alarm.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“INSPIRING… A bright spot in the middle of this dark month, Alison Reid’s unabashedly sincere documentary offers gentle comfort even when it brushes up against tough subjects.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, THE WRAP

“Her research was groundbreaking, and the 16 millimeter color footage she shot at the time, amply displayed in the documentary, is breathtaking.” – Peter Rainer, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

“Alison Reid’s loving documentary affectionately celebrates little-known giraffologist Dr. Anne Innis Dagg’s groundbreaking scientific work and generous contributions to women’s equality.” – Tomris Laffly, VARIETY

“An inspiring documentary that should be at the top of everyone’s list of must-see films.” – , THE ALLIANCE OF WOMEN FILM JOURNALISTS

February 21 – You Go To My Head, Director Dimitri de Clercq

In a desolate stretch of the Sahara, a mysterious car accident leaves a young woman (Delfine Bafort) lost and alone. Jake, (Svetozar Cvetkovic) a reclusive architect, finds her unconscious. He drives her to the nearest doctor, to discover that she’s suffering from post-traumatic amnesia. Intoxicated by the woman’s beauty, Jake claims to be her husband. He names her Kitty and takes her to his remote desert home to recuperate. As Kitty struggles to come to grips with who she is, Jake invents an elaborate life they can share – the life he has always yearned for. Little by little, Kitty begins to fall in love with him. But when shreds of her past begin to surface, Jake increasingly fears losing the love of his life. Director Dimitri de Clercq joins us to talk about the twisted story of love, perception, illusion and identity that is You Go To My Head.

About the filmmaker: Dimitri de Clercq, (Director, Producer, Screenwriter) Producer turned filmmaker, Dimitri de Clercq began his producing career working with directors Mathieu Kassovitz (Café au Lait), Alain Robbe-Grillet (The Blue Villa) and Raúl Ruiz (The Golden Boat, Time Regained and Savage Souls). In 1993, he won an International Emmy Award for producing Ray Müller’s controversial documentary The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl. A native Belgian, de Clercq grew up in the Middle East before majoring in film direction and production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2002, he started his own production company, CRM-114, named in homage to maverick filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. De Clercq’s fascination with the desert led him to produce several award-winning films set in desolate environments, including Afghan writer-director Atiq Rahimi’s Earth and Ashes (2005) and Iraqi director Mohamed Al-Daradji’s Son of Babylon (2009). The sepia-hued, parched wilderness of the desert was also a key inspiration for You Go To My Head, de Clercq’s feature film directorial debut.

 

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For news and updates go to: You Go To My Head.com

For the best in independent feature films go to: firstrunfeatures.com

See You Go to My Head at the Laemmle Glendale starting Friday, February 21

 

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“A stylishly suspenseful drama gains emotional resonance from impressive lead performances by Delfine Bafort and Svetozar Cvetkovic.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

“The movie is clamoring to erupt into melodrama, but de Clercq, content to wallow in teasingly luscious and enigmatically staged images, happily isn’t listening.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

“A new, involving twist on the old theme of amnesia.” – Harvey S. Karten, Shockya.com

“You Go to My Head is a warped and lush tale of obsession, deception, and romance that’ll certainly go to your head. It’ll just take some time.” – Andrew Stover, Film Threat

February 14 – Ordinary Love, Co-directors Lisa Barros D’sa and Glenn Leyburn

Joan and Tom (Academy Award® nominee Lesley Manville and Liam Neeson) have been married for many years. An everyday couple with a remarkable love, there is an ease to their relationship which only comes from spending a lifetime together. When Joan is unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, the course of her treatment shines a light on their relationship as they are faced with the challenges that lie ahead and the prospect of what might happen if something were to happen to her. Co-directors Lisa Barros D’sa (Good Vibration) and Glenn Leyburn (Cherrybomb) join us to talk about their collaboration with two top tier actors, striking a balance in the tone and look for their extraordinarily empathetic look at two people who truly care about each other.

 

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95% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A beautifully understated look at intimacy and devotion in the face of potentially devastating loss; stars Leslie Manville and Liam Neeson tap effortlessly into the relatable routines, rhythms and nuances of a lived-in, long term relationship.” – Todd Gilchrist, TheWrap

“Armed with an incandescent screenplay and unforgettable performances, Ordinary Love is affecting in its own quiet way, as it showcases a deeply moving portrait of a marriage tested under strain after a cancer diagnosis.” – Laura Delaney, RTÉ (Ireland)

“An achingly intimate portrait of a marriage weathering a storm, the third feature from directing team Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn (Good Vibrations) is anything but ordinary.” – Wendy Ide, Screen International

“Everything is completely believable, the relationship and the home clearly lived in, and it’s this that gives Ordinary Love its quiet, but sometimes overwhelming, power.” – Jack Blackwell, One Room With A View

February 14 – After Midnight (Something Else), Co-directors Christian Stella (Jeremy Gardner)

For small-town bar owner Hank (Jeremy Gardner), his 10-year relationship with Abby (Brea Grant) has been storybook-quality. Abby, however, wants more: marriage, to be exact, which Hank doesn’t seem ready to initiate anytime soon. As a result, she leaves him without so much as a note or any subsequent communication. Hank is crushed. Even worse, Abby’s departure seemingly triggers the arrival of an unseen monster that claws at Hank’s front door at night. As the nocturnal threat intensifies, Hank must figure out how to not only save his relationship, but also himself. Co-director Christian Stella (Jeremy Gardner) stops by to talk about the multi-layered film that is After Midnight (Something Else) and his creative cinematography that gives the film its lyrical power.

 

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For news and updates go to: facebook.com/somethingelsefilm

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“Something Else promises monsters but delivers more demons of the human experience variety, as this sweet and sincere creature feature is far more romantically heartfelt than expected.” – Matt Donato, We Got This Covered

“Sublime and emotional, Something Else is one hell of a love story, a nightmarish monster movie, and an overall fantastical experience.” – Michelle Swope, Dread Central

“There’s an honesty in Something Else that makes this man against (his) monsters story one that’ll give you deep meaning, beautiful cinematography, and just the right amount of wtf.” – Kristy Strouse, Film Inquiry

“Jeremy Gardner and Christian Stella’s winsome tale of thirtysomething angst, romance and existential terror, is beautifully written and played.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

February 14 – After Parkland, Co-directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman

In the days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018 that killed 17 people and launched a nationwide student movement, filmmakers Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman embedded with students and families whose lives were forever transformed. They include senior David Hogg, who recorded his class during the attack and became the face of the Never Again movement; freshman Brooke Harrison, who was in the first classroom under attack; Sam Zeif, a senior who was locked down in the same building, texting with his little brother and unsure if they would ever see each other again; Andrew Pollack, the father of 18- year-old Meadow, who was killed after being shot nine times; and the loved ones of 17-year-old Joaquin Oliver, including his parents Manuel and Patricia, girlfriend Victoria Gonzalez, and best friend Dillon McCooty. The filmmakers developed trusting relationships with these students and families, who opened their doors during some of the most difficult moments of their lives, and followed their private journeys as they rose to challenge the nation to end gun violence. Weaving together candid, in-depth interviews, vérité footage, and personal videos, the film chronicles moments both intimate and defining – from the quiet hours of grief and reflection, to those of political awakening, and onto milestones on the public stage – creating a moving portrait of one community’s crusade to turn tragedy into progress. Co-directors Emily Taguchi and Jake Lefferman join us to talk about developing the relationships with the students, parents and community that made their intimate, wrenching and hopeful film possible.

 

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For news and updates go to: afterparklandmovie.com

Nationwide Day of Conversation screenings on February 12 to commemorate the second anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Over 100 cities to participate in one-night Demand Film screenings with community partners to turn tragedy into progress.

Find a screening near you: afterparklandmovie.com/screenings

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The movie succeeds where it counts: showing the reverberations of violence long after most cameras left.” – New York Times

“’After Parkland’ is that gentle exchange of a movie – listening, being there – and sometimes that’s all an aftermath doc can be and should be.” –  LA Times

“The film records this experience in a moving and memorable way. After you’ve seen it, you know more about the meaning of this kind of horror than you did before, and that’s a vital thing.” Owen Gleiberman, Variety

What feels important in Parkland is less about pushing any kind of political agenda or viewpoint than about simply listening, and bearing witness.” – Entertainment Weekly

February 7 – And Then We Danced, Levan Akin

AND THEN WE DANCED is a passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the ultraconservative confines of modern Georgian society, AND THEN WE DANCED follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli—gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak—throws Merab off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family. Director, writer and editor Levan Akin joins us to talk about is sensitive and moving account of finding love, no matter the cost and the way his film has opened a hopeful dialog in his beloved Georgia.

Director’s Statement: In Georgia there are three things that are upheld as the paragon of Georgian Tradition and National Identity: the Church, the traditional polyphonic singing, and the traditional national dance. The lead person I follow in the film actually shares the same name as me, his name is Levan and he is a dancer, I too used to dance when I was younger and I imagined being him in an alternate reality. I interviewed a lot of dancers and they all told me stories of how gender conservative and strict the Georgian Dance scene was. So I decided to set the story in this setting. The Georgian Dance would represent the “old” and the burgeoning love between two of the dancers would represent the new. With this film I find myself really going back to my roots as a filmmaker, working in an organic way, where the real lives of the people in the film and what’s going on in Georgia now affects the story. It is ever evolving. Telling the story of young LGBT+ people and their struggles on a smaller scale but also showing the history and situation of Georgia today on a larger scale. This film will not only be a very interesting look into a part of the world not so many people are familiar with but also a heartfelt movie about the importance of being free. – Levan Akin

 

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For news and updates go to: musicboxfilms.com/film/and-then-we-danced

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February 7 – Cooked: Survival by Zip Code, Director Judith Helfand

Twenty-five years after the 1995 Chicago heat wave, COOKED: Survival by Zip Code examines the events that led to the deaths of 739 people, mostly Black and in the poorest neighborhoods of the city. The film arrives at a time of growing calls across the country to declare racism a public health crisis and to reinvest in communities ravaged by the long-term impact of structural racism. A recent NYU study found life expectancy differentials as wide as 20-30 years linked to racial and ethnic segregation between neighborhoods in American cities. Adapted from Eric Klinenberg’s ground-breaking book ‘HEAT WAVE: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago,’ the film is directed and produced by Peabody Award-winning director Judith Helfand (Blue Vinyl, A Healthy Baby Girl, Everything’s Cool), produced by Fenell Doremus (co-producer of Academy Award-nominated Abacus: Small Enough to Jail), and Kartemquin Films, the award-winning Chicago documentary production house behind Minding the Gap and Hoop Dreams. In COOKED, Helfand challenges herself, and ultimately all of us, to respond to the man-made disasters taking place in towns and cities across the country before the next unprecedented “natural” disaster hits. Director Judith Helfand joins us to talk about the systemic racism that makes the neighborhoods of the poorest the most likely location for

Independent Lens: COOKED: Survival by Zip Code will have its national television debut on the PBS television series Independent Lens on Monday, February 3 at 10:00 pm (check local listings), preceding coverage of the Iowa Caucuses. The film will also be available to stream at PBS.org and on the free PBS Video App throughout Black History Month.

 

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For news and updates go to: pbs.org/independentlens

For news, screenings and updates go to: cookedthefilm.com

For more information about Cooked: Survival by Zip Code go to: independentlens/cooked

About Independent Lens – Award-Winning Series
Each week this award-winning series bring you an original documentary film made by one of the best independent filmmakers working today. Independent Lens films have won 19 Emmy Awards16 Peabody Awardsfive duPont-Columbia University Awards, and have received 10 Academy Award nominationsIndependent Lens won the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017 International Documentary Association (IDA) Award for Best Continuing Series.

 

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

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

 

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

 

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Daughter (Dcera), Director Daria Kashcheeva

In a hospital room, the Daughter recalls a childhood moment when as a little girl she tried to share her experience with an injured bird with her Father. A moment of misunderstanding and a lost embrace has stretched into many years all the way to this hospital room, until the moment when a window pane breaks under the impact of a little bird.

Director’s Biography:  studies animated film at FaMU in Prague. her student films featured at many international festivals. Daria’s original to accept won the Nespresso talents 2017 film competition in Cannes. in DAUGHTER, her Bachelor’s puppet animation, Daria experiments with camera motion and explores the topic of father-daughter relationships.

 

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Awards:

Winner – Rome Independent Film Festival 2019 – Winner Student Academy Awards 2019
The 46th Student Academy Award – Gold Medal in International Animation film category
Annecy International Animated Film Festival (France) 2019 Cristal for the Best Student Film – Young Jury Award for the best Student film

Melbourne International Film Festival (Australia) 2019 – City Post Award for Best Animation Short Film
Fantoche International Animation Film Festival (Switzerland) 2019 – Best film of Fantoche
World Festival of Animated Film Varna (Bulgaria) 2019 – Best student film
Tirana International Film Festival (Albania) 2019 – Best Student film
Sweaty Eyeballs Animation Festival (USA) 2019 – Best Student Animation Award
Balkanima (Serbia) 2019 – Best Student film
Taichun International Animation Festival TIAF (Taiwan) 2019 – Grand Prix for the best Student Film
Animafilm (Azerbaijan) 2019 – Best Short Animated Film
Whistler Film Festival (USA) 2019 International – ShortWork Award and many more…

Kitbull, Director Rosana Sullivan and Producer Kathryn Hendrickson

KITBULL,’ directed by Rosana Sullivan and produced by Kathryn Hendrickson, reveals an unlikely connection that sparks between two creatures: a fiercely independent stray kitten and a pit bull. together, they experience friendship for the first time.

Director’s Biography: Rosana Sullivan joined pixar animation Studios in April 2011. She worked as a story artist on THE GOOD DINOSAUR, and the academy award®-winning feature film COCO. Sullivan also directed the SparkShorts film KITBULL that debuted in February 2019. As a story artist, Sullivan provides visual storytelling to a project’s script pages, utilizing compositional staging, environment, and character blocking. Each story board aims to maximize drama and entertainment, while making the story point clear as possible. Story artists have to draw characters acting, camera moves, and very limited effects animation to sell an idea or emotion.prior to Pixar, Sullivan attended the University of San Francisco before earning an internship with Pixar University. She later attended Academy of Art University, and worked for Kabam gaming studio in San Francisco. Born in Charleston, SC, Sullivan grew up in Texas and San Francisco.

 

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Awards:

Humanitas Award (Nominee)

Sister, Director Siqi Song

A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?

Directors Statement – The genesis of SISTER came from a question I get asked a lot throughout my childhood: What is it like to grow up with a sibling? As a “Little Sister” myself, I was born as the second child in my family at the height of China’s One Child Policy. At that time, it’s really hard to have a second child in one family. Luckily, my parents put in a lot of effort to keep me and raise me. Otherwise, I would not have existed and lived a life. Although many other “Second Child” in my generation never had a chance to get born. Therefore most of my friends don’t have siblings. Growing up with my brother has been a privilege and a bittersweet experience for me. Throughout my childhood, the question that had been asked a lot by friends is that, what is it like to grow up with a sibling? So, I have been telling stories about me and my brother since I was a kid. And I have heard stories of my friends and cousins could not have little sisters and brothers because of the one-child policy. The narrator of this film, for example, told me that he lost a younger sister when he was four years old. He always imagines how his life would be if his sister was ever born. So, I want to make a film to tell my friends what it is like to grow up with a sibling. More importantly, I also want to tell the stories of my friends, who would’ve had a different life if their siblings were born. This film is dedicated to this group memory. – Siqi Song

Director’s Biography – Siqi Song is a Chinese writer, director and animator, currently based in Los Angeles. Her animated films have been recognized internationally by Sundance, SXSW, BAFTA, and ASIFA-Hollywood. Siqi is an alumnus of California Institute of the Arts and China Central Academy of Fine Arts. She is named a Film Independent Directing Fellow in 2018 and BAFTA Los Angeles Newcomer in 2019. 

 

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For news and updates go to: songsiqi.com/sister

Trailer for Sister: vimeo.com/260285746

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AWARDS

Best Animated Short – 92nd Academy Award – Shortlist

Jury Award for Best Animation – Aspen Shortsfest, USA (Academy Award®-qualifying)

Light in Motion Award for Best Animation – Foyle Film Festival, Ireland (Academy Award®-qualifying)

Jury Award for Animated Short – Austin Film Festival, USA (Academy Award®-qualifying)

Best Short Animation – Hollyshorts Film Festival, USA (Academy Award®-qualifying)

Best in Show – SPARK Animation, Canada (Academy Award®-qualifying)

Jury’s Choice Award – The 7th China Independent Animation Film Forum, China

Jury Prize for Graduation Film – 20th Bucheon International Animation Film Festival, Korea

Jury Award for Narrative Short – Austin Asian American Film Festival, USA

Audience Award for Narrative Short – Austin Asian American Film Festival, USA

Audience Award – MONSTRA | Lisbon Animated Film Festival, Portugal

46th Annie Award – Nominated for Best Student Film

 

Hair Love, Co-directors, Matthew A. Cherry, Everette Downing Jr. and Bruce W. Smith

Tender and empowering, HAIR LOVE is an ode to loving your natural hair – and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere. It’s when it’s up to Daddy to give his daughter an extra-special hair style in this story of self-confidence and the love between fathers and daughters. Zuri knows her hair is beautiful, but it has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Mum always does Zuri’s hair just the way she likes it – so when Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he’ll do anything to make her – and her hair – happy.

 

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For news and updates go to: sonypicturesanimation Hair_Love

Directors Biographies:

MATTHEW A. CHERRY – in 2007, after retiring from the NFL, Matthew a. cherry moved to los angeles, and switched gears to begin work as a production assistant. after working on over forty commercials, he developed his skills as a director, transitioning from music videos to his first feature film (2012’s THE LAST FALL). in 2017, he launched a kickstarter campaign for an animated short about a black father’s struggle to learn how to style his young daughter’s hair. it became the most highly-funded short film campaign in the platform’s history, and was later released in theaters nationwide. Matthew was an executive at Jordan peele’s production company Monkeypaw productions, he served as an Executive producer on the Spike lee film BLACKKKLANSMAN, and has most recently directed on the aBc hit show BLACK•ISH.

EVERETT DOWNING JR. – is an animator, story artist and director living in the greater los angeles area. Everett began his career as a story artist at Big idea productions before making his break into feature film, animating at Blue Sky Studios on the original ICE AGE. he worked as an animator and story artist on 3 more features there (including ROBOTS, ICE AGE 2 and EPIC) before taking a position as an animator at pixar animation Studios. after animating on several award-winning feature films (every feature from RATATOUILLE to MONSTER’S UNIVERSITY), he transitioned back into story where he boarded on THE TOY STORY THAT TIME FORGOT and CARS 3. currently he’s working at Netflix animation where he just finished storyboarding on Jorge Gutierrez’s animated mini-series, MAYA AND THE THREE.

BRUCE W. SMITH – is a feature film director, animator and television producer. he is best known as the creator and executive producer of the Disney channel hit show THE PROUD FAMILY and for supervising the animation of the evil villain Dr. Facilier in the Walt Disney animated film THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG. Smith studied animation at California institute of the arts and later joined the Walt Disney Studios as an animator on WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. Smith went on to direct the paramount pictures film BEBE’S KIDS and co-directed on the Warner Bros. live action/animated movie SPACE JAM before returning to Disney to supervise animation on TARZAN and THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE. Smith’s knack for unique character design led him into the visual development of other projects at the studio such as WRECK-IT RALPH and FROZEN. Smith is currently signed to an overall deal at Disney television animation.

Awards:

92nd Oscars – 2020 Nominated Best Animated Short Film

Black Reel Award Nomination – Outstanding Short Film

Festivals/Screenings:

American Black Film Festival
LightBox Animation Expo
Ottawa International Animation Festival Spark Animation Festival
Animation is Film Festival
Infinity Festival
Black Filmmaker Foundation Summit World Animation and VFX Summit
CTN Animation eXpo

Memorable, Director Bruno Collet

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

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

Awards:

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

Festivals/Screenings:

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

Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) Director Carole Dysinger

In Afghanistan, many young girls are not able to participate in sports. cultural and religious norms, along with other factors such as safety concerns and years of warfare,have resulted in limited athletic and recreational opportunities for women and girls, especially those who come from impoverished neighborhoods. But there is a new generation of afghan girls who believe they can do anything. LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL) tells the story of young afghan girls learning to read, write – and skateboard – in Kabul.

Director’s Biography: Carol Dysinger is a filmmaker, writer, artist, and educator, whose contemporary work offers a counter-narrative to traditional stories of conflict. She is in the midst of a trilogy on Afghanistan and America post 9/11. Alternating between fiction and documentary storytelling practices throughout her career, she had made a lifelong inquiry into the mechanics of story and the role storytelling plays in what we come to believe is true. She began in the theatre as an actor, moved into editing music videos for the clash in New York, and has won many awards for her short narrative work. She then moved on to write screenplays for 20th Century Fox, Disney, and HBO independent and has edited feature-length narrative and documentary films. in 2005, she traveled solo to Afghanistan with camera in hand to make her feature directorial debut, camp Victory, Afghanistan, which screened at MOMA, SXSW, human Rights Watch and at the Hague. ONE BULLET AFGHANISTAN is the second in the trilogy about the human impact of international conflict post 9/11 currently being completed in Denmark. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018, a new work in multimedia installation, which draws from decades of memoirs and family history, footage shot over 15 years in Afghanistan, and brings it together to take down the veil between human experience, story, and history.

 

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Awards:

Nominee – Best British Short Film – BAFTA Awards 2020
Winner – Best Short – IDA Documentary Awards 2019
Best Documentary Short – Tribeca Film Festival 2019
Youth Vision Award – United Nations Association Film Festival 2019

Best Documentary Short – Flyway Film Festival 2019

Audience Choice Award For Best Documentary Short – Santa Fe Independent Film Festival 2019

Festivals/Screenings:

DOC NYC Shorts Shortlist
SFFILM Doc Stories
AFI Meet The Press Film Festival
Traverse City Film Festival
Mill Valley Film Festival
Film Independent The New Wave Screening Series Scad Savannah Film Festival
Social Justice Film Festival
Original Thinkers Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
United Nations Assocation Film Festival Washington West Film Festival
Hamptons Doc Fest
Nevada City Film Festival
Paris Surf & Skateboard Festival
Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
Louisville’s International Festival Of Film
Flyway Film Festival

St. Louis Superman, Director Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

Bruce Franks Jr. is a 34-year-old battle rapper, Ferguson activist and state representative from St. Louis, Missouri. Known as Superman to his constituents, he is a political figure the likes of which you’ve never seen – full of contradictions and deep insights, who has overcome unspeakable loss to become one of the most exciting and unapologetic young leaders in the country. This short verité documentary follows Bruce at a critical juncture in his life, when he is forced to deal with the mental trauma he’s been carrying for the nearly 30 years since his 9-year-old brother was shot and killed in front of him, in order to find peace and truly fulfill his destiny as a leader for his community.  Co- director Smriti Mundhra  (Sami Khan) join us to talk about how a dynamic and charismatic man from a traumatized community took tragedy and turned into action.

About the filmmakers: Smriti Mundhras A SUITABLE GIRL  premiered at Tribeca in 2017 and won the Albert Maysles Award for Best New Documentary Director. KHOYASami Khan’s feature debut, was selected for the Tribeca Film Institute’s Tribeca All Access® fellowship.

 

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Social Media:
twitter.com/smritimundhra
facebook.com/smriti.mundhra
facebook.com/SamiKhan
twitter.com/samikhanfilm

 

Awards Shortlists:

Cinema Eye Honors – Short Listed – Best Short

DOC NYC – Best Shorts Short List

WINNER AUDIENCE AWARD – BEST SHORT DOC  – 2019 HOT DOCS FILM FESTIVAL – 2019 AFI DOCS FILM FESTIVAL – 2019 TRAVERSE CITY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – SPECIAL JURY AWARD  – 2019 TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – BEST SHORT DOC  – 2019 BIG SKY DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL

WINNER – BEST DOCUMENTARY – HEARTLAND FILM’S 2019 INDYSHORTS FILM FESTIVAL

“Thank you Mr. Mundhra. The film is powerful and simple.” – Lapacazo Sandoval, Los Angeles Sentinel

Life Overtakes Me, Co-directors John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson

LIFE OVERTAKES ME tells the story of traumatized children of the refugee diaspora who are in such profound despair that they withdraw into a coma-like state. in Sweden, over 400 refugee children have been afflicted with this life-threatening psychosomatic illness, and the film will accompany two of them and their families on their frightening odyssey through Resignation Syndrome.

Directors Biographies: Producers/Directors John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson make documentary essays. their films have addressed such disparate subjects as tourism in Paris, the Vietnam War, and homelessness, and have screened at festivals worldwide, from Sundance and San Francisco to Leipzig, Sao Paulo, and Seoul, and have appeared on PBS and at museums including NY MOMA. their recent film Tokyo Waka premiered theatrically at Film Forum in New York. their work has been supported by artist fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Cité Internationale Des Arts in Paris, the Victoria College of Art in Melbourne, the Japan-U.S. Friendship commission, and the California Arts Council. Samuelson taught in the Documentary Film and Video M.F.A. program at Stanford University for thirty years, serving as program Director for ten years. She was nominated for an academy award for Arthur and Lillie and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Haptas is a freelance documentary editor.

 

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Awards: Full Frame Audience Award – Short

Festivals/Screenings: Sundance Film Festival, Full Frame Film Festival

In the Absence, Director Yi Sueng-Jun and Producer Gary Byung-Seok Kam

When the passenger ferry MV Sewol sank off the coast of South korea in 2014, over three hundred people lost their lives, most of them schoolchildren. Years later, the victims’ families and survivors are still demanding justice from the national authorities.

Director’s Biography: Yi Seung-Jun’s work focuses on the life of unseen minorities, which has informed his signature style of filmmaking. he has directed several feature-length documentary films. CHILDREN OF GOD (2008) follows a group of siblings who eke out an existence on the sacred Bagmati River in Nepal. the feature made its rounds on the international film festival circuit, including hot Docs Festival and Jeonju Film Festival, where it won the NETPAC award. Yi received a Sundance institute grant and served as director, director of photography, and editor on his subsequent documentary, the critically lauded PLANET OF SNAIL (2011), which follows Young-chan, who has been deaf and blind since childhood, as he gently moves through life with his partner Soon-ho. PLANET OF SNAIL was a darling of the festival circuit, either receiving nominations or winning awards at Tribeca Film Festival, Amsterdam international Documentary Film Festival (Best Feature-length Documentary in 2011), Dubai international Film Festival, Silverdocs and Documenta Madrid, and others. his next film, WIND ON THE MOON (2014), which he wrote, directed, edited and served as director of photography, recounts the journey of a mother and her daughter, who was born deaf and blind, as they navigate the world. he received grants from the Sundance institute, Tribeca institute and Korean Film council to make the film. his feature documentary film, CROSSING BEYOND was the international Olympic committee’s official film of the Pyeongchang Winter Games and travelled to the Busan international Film Festival, Tokyo international Film Festival, Black Nights Film Festival (Tallinn), and more. Most recently, Yi directed SHADOW FLOWERS (2019), which premiered at international Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

 

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Awards:

Nominee – 2020 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject
Nominee – 2019 International Documentary Association Awards, Best Short Nominee – 2019 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Best Short Documentary Winner – 2018 DOC NYC, Short Jury Award
Winner – 2019 AFI DOCS, Grand Jury Prize for Short Film
Winner – 2019 World Press Photo Digital Storytelling Contest, Long Form – 1st Prize Winner – 2019 Indy Shorts, Documentary Audience Choice Award

Festivals/Screenings:

DOC NYC 2018 – World Premiere
International Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) 2018 – International Premiere AFI DOCS 2019
Indy Shorts 2019
Meet The Press Film Festival with AFI 2019
Pittsburgh Shorts 2019

Walk Run Cha Cha, Director Laura Nix

WALK RUN CHA-CHA has been nominated for Documentary Short Subject at the 92nd Academy Awards®. Directed by Laura Nix, the film follows Paul and Millie Cao, who lost their youth to the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Forty years later, they have become successful professionals in Southern California-and are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor. WALK RUN CHA CHA is now streaming on New York Times Op-Docs.

About the Filmmaker: Director Laura Nix Laura Nix is an award-winning fiction and nonfiction filmmaker based in Los Angeles. WALK RUN CHA-CHA is adapted from a feature-length documentary in progress. It was produced by Concordia Studio for The New York Times Op-Docs and premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. Laura’s work also includes  other work includes her feature documentary INVENTING TOMORROW, about teenagers from around the globe tackling environmental issues through science,  THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, a comedy about activism and climate change, the documentary THE LIGHT IN HER EYES, about a Syrian Qur’an school for women and she was a writer on the Emmy-nominated documentary CALIFORNIA STATE OF MIND: THE LEGACY OF PAT BROWN. In 2001, Nix co-founded the production company Automat Pictures, where she produced and/or directed over 100 presentations, including the feature documentary WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT: THE STORY OF HEDWIG, which played in over a dozen film festivals in the U.S. and worldwide. Previously she was a member of Oscar-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s production company Telling Pictures, where she was Associate Producer on THE CELLULOID CLOSET.

 

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For news and updates go to: feltfilms.com

Walk Run Cha Cha is now available at nytimes.com/Op-Docs

 

*** 2020 Oscar nomination for Best Documentary (Short) *** 

 

Official Selection – Tribeca Film Festival 2019

Winner – Grand Jury Trống Đồng Award for Best Short – Viet Film Fest 2019

Official Selection – SFFILM Doc Stories 2019

 

Social Media

twitter.com/feltfilms

https://twitter.com/WalkRunChaCha

@feltfilms

 

“Laura Nix’s WALK RUN CHA-CHA is a moving, poignant portrait of two aging refugees who have endured a great deal, and who now face one of life’s biggest challenges: figuring out how to stay in love. Through them, Nix also evokes the textures, tastes, and sounds of Vietnamese refugee life, and mixes them in with everything that is good about the United States. Ultimately, WALK RUN CHA-CHA is an optimistic film about both love and hope—the hope that our country will continue to believe in welcoming strangers from other lands, who in the end are not that strange at all.” – Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer

 

A Sister, Director Delphine Girard

A night. A car.  Alie is in trouble. To get by she must make the most important call of her life. An emergency services dispatcher must tap into all her professional skills when she receives a call from a woman in a desperate situation.

About the filmmaker: Born in the heart of the French-Canadian winter, Delphine Girard moved to Belgium a few years later. after starting her studies as an actress, she transferred to the directing department at the iNSaS in Brussels. her graduation film, MONSTRE, won several awards in Belgium and around the world. after leaving the school, she worked on several films as an assistant director, children’s coach or casting director (“Our children” by Joachim Lafosse, “Mothers’ instinct” by Olivier Masset-Depasse) while writing and directing the short film CAVERNE, adapted from a short story by the American author holly Goddard Jones. A SISTER is her second short film. She is currently working on her first feature and a fiction series.

 

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For news and updates go to: A Sister/delphine-girard

Awards:

Jury Prize – Saguenay IFF (Canada)
Grand Prize Rhode Island IFF (USA)
Best International Short Film Sulmona IFF (Italy)
Grand Prize Jury SPASM Festival (Canada)
Best Short Film, Public Prize, Be tv Prize, University of Namur Prize – Namur Film Festival (Belgium) Public Prize & Special mention by press – BSFF (Belgium)

Brotherhood, Director Meryam Joobeur

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

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

 

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

Awards:

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