Voodoo MacBeth – Producer Jason Phillips, Actors Inger Tudor and Jewell Wilson Bridges

Before Citizen Kane and The War of the Worlds, leading Broadway actress Rose McClendon and producer John Houseman convince a gifted but untested 20-year-old Orson Welles to direct Shakespeare’s Macbeth with an all-Black cast in Harlem. Reimagined in a Haitian setting, this revolutionary 1936 production, which came to be known as “Voodoo Macbeth,” would change the world forever, but the road to opening night proves to be a difficult one. Orson and Rose – who is to play Lady Macbeth – clash over everything from scene blocking to crew hires, while Houseman contends with a congressman hell-bent on shutting down what he deems “communist propaganda.” Welles and McClendon must overcome political pressure, personal demons, and protests to realize their groundbreaking vision. Fresh of an award-winning film festival run Voodoo MacBeth is being released for a theatrical run through Lightyear Entertainment. Co-producer Jason Phillips, lead actors Inger Tudor and Jewell Wilson Bridges join us to talk about the story behind the story making a film in which ten directors, six  producers and eight writers seamlessly collaborated, how the USC School of Cinematic Arts and USC Originals factor into the making of the film, re-discovering this little known chapter in the life of a filmmaking giant Orson Wells, and the importance of publicly support funding for the arts, including the Federal Theatre Project and its support for Harlem’s Negro Theatre Unit.

 

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For more go to: voodoomacbethfilm.com

Screenings go to: voodoomacbethfilm.com/screenings

About the filmmaker – Inger Tudor studied classical theatre at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. A graduate of Harvard, she gave up law to pursue her passion. Her favorite credits include: Theatre – Steel Magnolias (LA Theatre Works), Silent Sky (Arizona Theatre Company), The Exorcist (Geffen Playhouse), Stuff Happens (Mark Taper Forum), Bailey’s Café (HartfordStage), Antigone (A Noise Within), Going to St. Ives (Actors Co-op), Romeo and Juliet (Boston Court), The Suppliant Women, Honky, (Rogue Machine); Television – The Trial of Tim Heidecker, Goliath, Leverage, House, The Young & The Restless; Film – On Time, Elizabeth Blue, The Lost One, Stairways, The Social Network.

About the filmmaker – Jewell Wilson Bridges is a fresh face in LA pursuing television and film roles, after working as a dramatic and musical theater actor in New York. He won Best Actor in the IndieX Film Fest for his short OUTSIDE THE ANGEL CITY. Recent theater credits include: Geoffrey in LION IN WINTER (St. Louis Rep), Perchik in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Pioneer Theater), and historical figure Carlo Gesualdo in DEATH FOR FIVE VOICES (Prospect Theater Co). He is a proud Kentucky native and graduate of Baldwin Wallace University.

Jason Phillips – A triplet from San Diego, Jason holds a BFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he received the prestigious Malcolm and Berman Family Fund Scholarship. Since graduation, Jason has worked on projects for Lionsgate, Amazon, Sephora, and Disney Digital Network. His films ha e screened and won awards at numerous festivals including Cleveland International Film Festival, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Boston Wicked Queer Film Festival, SCAD Savannah Film Festival, NFFTY, and American Pavilion Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at Cannes Film Festival. website

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“A solid dramatization of the theatre scene in the 1930s. It is worth viewing for anyone interested in one of the many seeds that yielded the Civil Rights Movement in America.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

“The idea behind this film’s production is almost as daring as Orson Welles’ original 1935 “Voodoo Macbeth” adaptation!” – Diane Carson, AWFJ Women on Film

“The first-ever theatrical release from USC School of the Cinematic Arts enlists multiple directors to dramatize the ‘Citizen Kane’ director’s Shakespearean collaboration with the Negro Theatre Unit.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

“It’s attractively filmed and, mostly, solidly performed, taking some historical liberties but otherwise getting the gist of the tale out in the open for new generations to discover and appreciate” – William Bibbiani, TheWrap

“This is a wholly professional endeavor and it is engaging all the way through.” – Andy Klein, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

Descendant – Director Margaret Brown

In her latest film DESCENDANT, Award-winning documentary filmmaker Margaret Brown returns to her hometown of Mobile, Alabama to document the search for and historic discovery of the Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in the United States. DESCENDANT deftly examines more than 160 years of the complicated history, secrecy and speculation surrounding the 2019 discovery of the Clotilda and the seismic impact it has on the descendant community of Africatown. DESCENDANT presents a moving portrait of a community actively grappling with slavery’s legacy and fighting to preserve their heritage while examining what justice looks like in a country unwilling to fully acknowledge the evil and trauma wrought by the institutional bondage inflicted upon millions of human beings. Director Margaret Brown (The Order of Myths, The Great Invisible) joins us for a conversation on why she made the decision to go back to her hometown, why the story of the Clotilda still resonates with the residents of Africatown, the importance of Gudjol Lewis, the lasting impact that author Zara Neale Hurston’s  Barracoon: The Story of the Last ‘Black Cargo’ has had in dispelling the racist lies while resurrecting the truth about this incredibly resilient community.

 

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To watch go to: netflix.com/Descendant

About the filmmaker – Margaret Brown received the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2009 Spirit Awards for her second documentary feature The Order Of Myths, which was also nominated in the Best Documentary category. Brown’s first feature was the acclaimed documentary Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, which was released in the United States by Palm Pictures and received worldwide theatrical distribution in 2005. In 2014, Brown directed the feature documentary The Great Invisible which won the SXSW Grand Jury Prize for Documentary and received an Emmy  nomination for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. The Great Invisible features the BP oil spill in the Gulf in 2010 and  Deepwater Horizon oil spill aftermath. Brown’s documentary film, Descendant, explores issues of equity and justice facing descendants of the last US slave ship Clotilda, as well as the discovery of the sunken ship in 2019.  A special jury prize winner at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Descendant will be distributed in 2022 by Netflix and Higher Ground, the film production company of former president Barack Obama and Michelle Obama. Brown earned her BA from Brown University in Creative Writing and her MFA in Film from New York University

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“One of the best films of the year… Brown roves across the land, crowding her film with a wide spectrum of voices for a living oral history that reckons with the long shadow of slavery.” – Jake Coyle, Associated Press

“Descendant is worth seeing no matter who you are. For viewers like me, however, it engenders the reality that, no matter how hard anyone tries to whitewash history, our stories will forever continue to be told in full, by us and for us.” – Odie Henderson, RogerEbert.com

“We’re in for something different here, is the film’s opening gambit. It’s an unspoken promise that Descendent lives up to.” – Lauren Mechling, Guardian

“Margaret Brown’s beautiful, haunting, and ultimately inspiring documentary charts living history just outside of Mobile, Alabama.” – Esther Zuckerman, Thrillist

‘”Descendant” doesn’t provide easy answers for how individuals and governments can begin to grapple with this history, but it begins with the acknowledgment that its history will live on.”’ – Christian Gallichio, The Playlist

Brainwashed: Sex-Camera-Power – Director Nina Menkes

In this eye-opening documentary, BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER, celebrated independent filmmaker Nina Menkes explores the sexual politics of cinematic shot design. Using clips from hundreds of movies we all know and love – from METROPOLIS to VERTIGO to PHANTOM THREAD – Menkes convincingly makes the argument that shot design is gendered. BRAINWASHED: SEX-CAMERA-POWER illuminates the patriarchal narrative codes that hide within supposedly “classic” set-ups and camera  angles, and demonstrates how women are frequently displayed as objects for the use,  support, and pleasure of male subjects. Building on the essential work of Laura Mulvey and other feminist writers, Menkes shows how these not-so-subtle embedded messages affect and intersect with the twin epidemics of sexual abuse and assault, as well as employment discrimination against women, especially in the film industry. The film features interviews with an all-star cast of women and non-binary industry professionals including Julie Dash, Penelope Spheeris, Charlyne Yi, Joey Soloway, Catherine Hardwicke, Eliza Hittman, and Rosanna Arquette. Director Nina Menkes joins us for a conversation on how and why she crafted BRAINWASHED to be seen as a call-to-action that can fundamentally change the way you see, and watch, movies.

 

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For more go to: kinomarquee.com/Brainwashed

About the filmmaker – Called “Brilliant, one of the most provocative artists in film today,” by The Los Angeles Times, and a “Cinematic Sorceress” by The New York Times, Nina Menkes’ films synthesize inner dream worlds with brutal, outer realities. Her work has been shown widely in major international film festivals, including Sundance (four feature premieres), the Berlinale, Locarno, Toronto, and MOMA in NYC. BRAINWASHED is Menkes’ seventh feature film. Her previous work includes:  THE GREAT SADNESS OF ZOHARA (1983), MAGDALENA VIRAGA (1986), QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (1991), THE BLOODY CHILD (1996), PHANTOM LOVE (2007), and  DISSOLUTION (2012). Menkes also shot and co-directed the feature documentary MASSAKER (2005) which won a FIPRESCI prize at the Berlinale. She has had numerous international retrospectives and her early work has been selected for restoration by the Academy Film Archive and Scorsese’s Film Foundation. Menkes is a directing member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, a Guggenheim Fellow and on the faculty at California Institute of the Arts. For more information: www.ninamenkes.com

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“Destined to forever change how you look at films.” – Kate Erbland, Indiewire

“Menkes is a real no-bullshit breath of fresh air. With a torch. And with any luck, she’s heading your way to set fire to something, soon.” – Finn Halligan, Screen Daily

“Explosive and compelling.” – James Kleinman, The Queer Review

“The knowledge that took me years of study and practice to acquire is now available to anyone who watches BRAINWASHED.” –  Marilyn Ferdinand, Alliance of Women Film Journalists

 “[Menkes] calls for a radical reinvention of how shots and film grammar are formulated… Viewers are meant to wrestle with this film, not passively consume a simple message — and they’ll leave invigorated.” –  Violet Lucca, Bust

“Subversive!…Menkes is not afraid to take on the film canon, and the directors hailed as the gold standard.” – Ray Lobo, Film Threat

For Tomorrow – Director An Tran

An Tran’s barrier-breaking and encouraging documentary film FOR TOMORROW, leaves behind the laboratories and fluorescent lighting and takes us into the field to change the narrative around how we / the world can solve seemingly daunting problems. Using film crews from each city, FOR TOMORROW showcases individuals on 5 different continents who are responsible for innovating at the local, grassroots level, and gives the viewer a peek into each of their unique and compelling stories as they connect with others around the world to allow their ideas to have an even greater impact. The FOR TOMORROW initiative for celebrates and empowers people to share their creative sustainability solutions. It’s a place to connect with innovators, insights, resources, and inspiration to help build a better world for everyone. Director An Tran joins us to talk about the initiative’s overriding objective of finding solutions, empowering people from every strata of society and fostering a spirit of cooperation.

For more on the film and initiatives that make up fortomorrow.org

About the filmmaker – An Tran is a graduate of the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts. In 2001, she was selected by Film Independent as a Project:Involve Fellow in writing and directing. Hailing from the Midwest, Tran has produced music videos for the bands Spoon, Clearlake, and The Postal Service, along with the feature-length documentary Tran 5.  Other producing credits include the documentary Watts Up?, the short films Mad Girl’s Love Song and Elsie John, in addition to recent promos for ARRI – the world’s largest film equipment manufacturer. Things We’ve Made is a 2008 IFP Emerging Narrative Finalist and a selection of the 2010 FIND Directors Lab. It marks Tran’s first feature film narrative as producer. As a journalist, Tran has covered entertainment technology and filmmaking for the past decade. Her articles and interviews have appeared in American Cinematographer, Filmmaker, Exposure, In Camera, Videography, LAist.com, and the Los Angeles Times.

The Runner – Director Michelle Danner

In Michelle Danner’s latest film a privileged teenager Aiden Albers (Edouard Philipponnat) has one last chance to get his life back on track. His lucrative side hustle dealing drugs to his classmates and his own personal addiction has forced his distraught mother to turn him over to the police. Detective Walls (Cameron Douglas) offers to save him from prosecution if he’ll pose as a drug dealer and lure his supplier, a fellow simply referred to as Local Legend (Eric Balfour), to a party where Aiden will wear a wire. Aiden’s life has been complicated by the fact that he is tormented by guilt over his responsibility for the overdose of his girlfriend Layla (Kerri Medders). As the sting operation is set in motion, Aiden falters, threatening to jeopardize the deal with the police and his very life. Director / Producer Michelle Danner joins us for a conversation on the making of her latest film thriller The Runner, as well as her life long connection to filmmaking and acting, first through her father’s career and later as one of the most sought after acting teachers in Hollywood.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: archstoneent.com/the-runner

About the filmmaker – Director Michelle Danner has taught acting for the last 29 years and has worked with many A-List Actors privately and on set such as Henry Cavill, Gerard Butler, Abigail Breslin, Zooey Deschanel, Penelope Cruz, Andy Garcia, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Seth Macfarlane, Michelle Rodriguez,  Isla Fisher, Luke Wilson,Emily Van Camp, Donald Sutherland,  Kyle MacLachlan,  Mireille Enos, Taryn Manning, Ryan Phillippe, Chris Rock,  Enrique Murciano, Josh Bowman. Based on Michelle Danner’s last 30 years of supporting both A-List and up and coming actors to fulfill their maximum potential, film director and international acting coach Michelle Danner has distilled the best ideas and practices of the major acting  techniques; Stella Adler, The Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberg, Uta Hagen, Chekhov, & Stanislavsky so artists can draw upon them and utilize the strengths of each. Every actor is unique, so you will learn to form a toolbox of your own, your very own “Golden Box”. Through studying Michelle Danner’s acting technique you will accumulate a comprehensive set of “acting tools” you can use when approaching a role or a scene, whether it be for film, television, or theater.For more go to: michelledanner.com

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White Coat Rebels – Director Greg Barker & Producer Dr. Harriet Fraser

Director Greg Barker new documentary film, WHITE COAT REBELS, is an urgent wake-up call into the corrupting influence of Big Pharma on the medical profession and the courageous young doctors and students fighting back to improve inequities in healthcare. The film revolves around the direct actions of health professionals seeking to reform a broken health care system. Many of the film participants, including UCLA medical student Neda Ashtari,  belong to Universities Allied for Essential Medicine (UAEM). UAEM is a student-driven organization working to improve access to and affordability of life-saving medicines, especially those researched and developed at universities with public funding. Other health professionals featured include: Dr. Michael Fine, Rhode Island’s former Health Director, who organizes healthcare on behalf of marginalized communities; and Dr. Danielle Ofri of New York’s Bellevue Hospital.  Director Greg Barker (The Final Year, The Longest War, Sergio), and Producer Dr. Harriet Fraser stop by to talk about the critically important issues surrounding the industry’s profit over people ethos and the daunting challenge millions of Americans face trying to gain access to effective, affordable health care.

 

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Watch on fuse.tv/v/white-coat-rebels

For more go to: participant.com/white-coat-rebels-now 

World TV Premiere Is Latest Installment of Award-Winning FUSE DOC Franchise Premieres Tuesday, October 18 at 9:00 PM ET/PT 

About the filmmaker – A native Californian, Director, Producer and Writer Greg Barker earned a BA in economics from George Washington University and a MSC in International Relations from The London School of Economics. He lived in London for most of his adult life, and became a freelance journalist and war correspondent, working with organizations such as CNNBBC and Reuters. He turned to filmmaking in 1998, and made a string of international films for the flagship PBStelevision seriesFrontline. Barker spent seven years researching the Rwandan genocide, which resulted in the feature-length Frontline documentary Ghosts of Rwanda, which won numerous awards and established his reputation. In 1998, Barker began working closely with the feature documentary producers John Battsek  of Passion Pictures and Julie Goldman of Motto Pictures. Together they have made SergioKoran By HeartManhuntHomegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma, and The Final Year all of which Barker directed for HBO Documentary Films. He directed his first narrative feature Sergio (2020) for Netflix. It premieres at Sundance Film Festival 2020.

About the filmmaker – Producer and physician Dr. Harriet Fraser, originally from the UK and now based in Los Angeles, is a classically trained soprano equally happy on stage or in the studio. She is an excellent sight-reader. Her fine, rich soprano voice combined with her innate musicality, enables her to perform music ranging from baroque to contemporary. She is the first choice for composers and conductors who demand accurate interpretation and reliability whether of a familiar piece from the repertory or a complex modern composition.

Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM) is a non-profit organization rooted in a movement of university students. UAEM seeks to: 1) Promote access to medicines for people in developing countries by changing norms and practices around university patenting and licensing; 2) Ensure that university medical research meets the needs of the majority of the world’s population; 3) Empower students to respond to the access and innovation crises. Since its founding in 2001, UAEM has grown into an international network of students in medicine, law, public health and related fields with chapters on nearly 100 university campuses in 20 countries. Find out more @ uaem.org

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Tales from the Gimli Hospital (Redux) – Director Guy Maddin

A brand new 4K remastering of TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL, Guy Maddin’s highly acclaimed first feature first released in 1988 and now regarded as one of the true cult hits on the midnight movie circuit. While their mother is dying in the modern Gimli, Manitoba hospital, two young children are told a tale by their Icelandic grandmother about Einar the Lonely, his friend Gunnar, and the angelic Snjofridur in a Gimli of old. Set during a smallpox epidemic in the village of Gimli, Manitoba near the turn of the century, TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL REDUX is a dreamlike, elliptical film which explores the jealousy and madness instilled in  two men who share a hospital room “in a Gimli we no longer know.” Director, producer, writer and auteur extraordinaire Guy Maddin (Brand Upon the Brain, The Heart of the World, My Winnipeg) returns to the program to talk about the trials and tribulations of his debut feature film and all that went into pulling together a large cast of professional and non-professional actors, finding ingenious ways of building the sets and filming whenever and however he could.

 

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Updates and screenings go to: zeitgeistfilms.com/talesfromthegimlihospital

TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL REDUXhad its world premiere at the 2022 Toronto International Film Festival. The new 4K digital remaster was supervised by Guy Maddin using original printing elements provided by the TIFF Cinematheque Library. Zeitgeist Films is partnering with Films We Like to theatrically release the film in the US and Canada, beginning September 30th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto, October 14th at IFC Center in New York and the American Cinematheque in Los Feliz, Calif., will screen GIMLI on Oct. 16, 18 and 20 at the10:00 PM screening only.

About the filmmaker – Guy Maddin is a Canadian filmmaker with numerous shorts and 11 feature films to his credit, including the Emmy Award-winning ballet film Dracula — Pages From A Virgin’s Diary (2002). Maddin’s first film, produced through the Winnipeg Film Group, was the haunting family fable THE DEAD FATHER. This brought him the recognition he needed to embark on his second film, the cult hit, TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL. This film played for months as a midnight movie in New York City and paved the way to perhaps his most delirious and insensible picture, ARCHANGEL. Its release brought Maddin the U.S. National Society of Film Critics’ prize for Best Experimental Film of the Year.  Following this triumph was Maddin’s first work in color, a story of repression and unnatural couplings entitled CAREFUL. The film opened Perspectives Canada at the 1993 Toronto Festival of Festivals and it went on to screen at the Tokyo and New York Film Festivals.  In 1995 Maddin created a short filmic prose-poem based on the work of Belgian charcoalier ODILON REDON. In 2000, along with other notable Canadian filmmakers, Maddin was commissioned to make a six-minute “prelude” for the Toronto International Film Festival in celebration of their 25th anniversary. The resulting short film, THE HEART OF THE WORLD, was proclaimed by many festival-goers and critics to be the best film of the entire festival and became the most acclaimed film to date of Maddin’s career. In 2002 Maddin filmed the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s performance of Mark Godden’s ballet “Dracula” for Canadian TV and the resulting film, DRACULA: PAGES FROM A VIRGIN’S DIARY won an International Emmy award and was released theatrically to great acclaim. In 2003 Guy Maddin premiered the video peep-show installation COWARDS BEND THE KNEE in Toronto. COWARDS BEND THE KNEE was then released as a feature film in 2004. Also in 2004 Maddin directed THE SADDEST MUSIC IN THE WORLD, based on an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro (author of The Remains of the Day). In 2007 Maddin directed MY WINNIPEG, an experimental documentary and semi-autobiographical account of Maddin’s childhood and the history of his hometown. And at the Rotterdam Film Festival in 2009 he premiered a new short film, SEND ME TO THE ’LECTRIC CHAIR starring Isabella Rossellini, which was projected on the side of an office building. He is also a member of The Order of Canada & The Order of Manitoba.For more go to: guy-maddin.com

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“It is a strange piece of work.” – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Guy Maddin’s groundbreaking debut feature Tales from the Gimli Hospital restored in glorious 4K, .. gorgeously crisp, the sound perfection, with a long-lost scene of the 1988 cult classic about blistering lust and seething envy on Lake Winnipeg.” – Anne Brodie, What She Said

“It’s a strange tale that never seems to be anything other than enormously funny and strange.” – Dennis Schwartz, Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“[One] Maddin’s most successful experiments in untuned cinema.” – Noel Murray, AV Club

Unidentified Objects – Director Juan Felipe Zuleta

UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS shines a bright spotlight on Peter, (Matthew August Jeffers) a flamboyant, misanthropic dwarf hiding from the world in his shabby New York City apartment. But an unexpected visit from his upbeat—and possibly unhinged—neighbor Winona (Sarah Jay) forces him out of his shell and onto an impromptu road trip. Their destination? What she believes to be the site of an upcoming alien visitation in the wilderness of rural Canada. On their increasingly-surreal odyssey, Peter and Winona will encounter bickering lesbian cosplayers, shroom-addled survivalists, and even extraterrestrial highway cops. But the further they go and the more their trauma comes to light, it becomes clear that the only thing more nerve-wracking than being abducted is being alone in the universe. UNIDENTIFIED OBJECTS Director Juan Felipe Zuleta joins us to talk about his revelatory road trip story connecting two very different people with little in common, except a gnawing sense of not belonging. Funny, sad, poignant, and fatalistically cosmic, Zuleta creates the space for two superb performances from Matthew August Jeffers (New Amsterdam, Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Sarah Jay (Golden Globe nominee, Flesh & Bone) in his beguiling tale of finding one’s place in this world and beyond.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: unidentifiedobjectsfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Director Juan Felipe Zuleta is a Colombian film-maker based in New York City. Starting his career at NYU, he has directed content for brands like Comcast, Budweiser, and Major League Baseball, as well as music videos for top artists like multi-platinum star Russ. He studied at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (‘16) before becoming one of the youngest-ever in-house directors at Eva Nosidam following graduation. His creative honors include support from the Richard Vague Production Fund, a Cannes Silver Lion, and being shortlisted as a Cannes Young Director. Juan’s second feature film project was accepted into the Frontières International Co-Production Market. 

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“A quirky road trip movie notable for excellent performances from the two leads.” – Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat

“It’s that serious approach to the two characters internal struggles that helps push the narrative along, while asking us to walk in these characters shoes, and maybe believe them for what may seem like grand illusions.” – Leo Brady, AMovieGuy.com

“Anchored by lovely performances by Matthew Jeffers and Sarah Hay, the film, with its misleading title, is one that is well worth the watch.” – Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant

“Unidentified Objects captures feeling like an alien, an outsider in this world that judges based on appearance, its toll, and the beauty of self-acceptance.” – DarkSkyLady, DarkSkyLady Reviews

Deadstream – Co-Directors Vanessa Winter & Joseph Winter

DEADSTREAM follows a disgraced internet personality, Shawn Ruddy (Joesph Winter) who attempts to win back his followers by live-streaming one night alone in a haunted house. But when he accidentally pisses off a vengeful spirit, his big comeback event becomes a real-time fight for his life. With DEADSTREAM, a rare horror comedy as frightening as it is funny, the Winters have boldly announced themselves as exciting emerging talent ready to take the genre scene by storm. The work of the filmmaking duo can next be seen in a  segment from Shudder’s hotly-anticipated V/H/S/99, the latest installment in the celebrated found-footage horror series, which premieres out of TIFF’s Midnight Madness later this month. The DEADSTREAM was produced by Joseph and Vanessa Winter, alongside cinematographer Jared Cook and actress Melanie Stone, who also star in the film. Co-directors / co-producers Joseph and Vanessa Winter join us for a conversation on the story behind the making of this wildly entertaining tale laced with humor, spot on performances and genuinely scary happenings, as well as their own foray, with the help of dedicated friends, into hair-raising world of independent filmmaking

 

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 To watch Deadstream go to: shudder.com

About the filmmaker –  Vanessa and Joseph Winter are a writer/director duo best known for their critically acclaimed SXSW midnighter “Deadstream”, a horror comedy coming to Shudder in October. They also wrote and directed a segment of the highly anticipated V/H/S/99 which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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91% on RottenTomatoes

“A horror-comedy you’ll want in your Halloween rotation. – Indiewire

“A gonzo horror-comedy full of bodily fluids, gore. and ghostly creatures that would make Sam Rami proud – ★★★★” – Bloody Disgusting

“An absolute delight” – The Austin Chronicle

“Everything that a great midnight showing should be, the film is gross, funny, scary, and does not hold back anything. This is the perfect movie to see late at night with a group of friends.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

“Deadstream is outrageous, delightful and deeply satisfying, a breath of fresh air in a genre that can far too often feel old and musty.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

Gemmel & Tim – Director Michiel Thomas

GEMMEL & TIM explores the lives and untimely passings of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, two Black gay men who both died from meth overdoses at the home of West Hollywood politico Ed Buck. Their deaths at the now-infamous apartment sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community. The ensuing media circus cooked up a spicy concoction of sex, drugs, race and politics, but had no appetite for the in-depth human stories of who these individuals truly were valued. GEMMEL & TIM looks at Gemmel and Tim’s parallel walks of life through the eyes of their extended and chosen families – memories, correspondence, and things they did and didn’t share with each other. Through intimate recollections of their lost friends, each character exposes their own personal journey in dealing with grief. Powerful and galvanizing, Gemmel & Tim simultaneously investigates the crimes and offers a cautionary tale to keep these events from repeating. Director Michiel Thomas joins us for a conversation on cultural, political, and community dynamics that hamstrung the initial investigation and the relentless pursuit of justice by friends and family that eventually brought some semblance of justice for these two young men.

 

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For news and screenings go to: gemmelandtim.com

GEMMEL & TIM premieres on iTunes, Apple TV and Amazon beginning October 18, 2022 Additional platforms include Google Play and YouTube

About the filmmaker – Belgian native Director / Executive Producer / Writer / Co-Editor / Cinematographer Michiel Thomas is a Los Angeles based  documentary filmmaker. His debut Game Face was distributed by Netflix in 2016, screened at more than 50 film festivals worldwide and won 12 awards, including the Audience Award at Frameline 2015. His next feature doc That’s Wild (2020) was sold to PBS and AMC Networks, screened at 30+ film festivals and won 4 awards. 

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Moment of Contact – Director James Fox

In MOMENT OF CONTACT, director James Fox (The Phenomenon), makes his way into Brazil to investigate a sensational 1996 UFO crash. Headlines around the globe exploded with tales of strange creatures reported by military and civilians in the town of Varginha. Riveting testimony from eyewitnesses who revisit the crash site and areas in the city where reported alien survivors were captured is woven together with rare archival interviews, as well as ground-breaking new revelations from former military personnel, including one who worked with the Brazilian Secret Service to transport the alleged extraterrestrials. With the help of local researchers and captivating aerial photography, viewers travel with Fox and his team as they map out the encounters, military blockades, and track down lost witnesses of the Varginha Incident, the modern-day Roswell of Brazil. Ufologist and Filmmaker James Fox (The Phenomenon, Out of the Blue, I Know What I Saw) joins us for a  lively conversation on the many twists and turns this sprawling story has taken him and now able to share from the many people who were there in 1996 and now willing, some reluctantly, to talk about a very close encounter with extraterrestrial beings.

 

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For news and screenings go to: 1091.tv/moment-of-contact

Featuring: interviews with Nuclear Physicist / Ufologist Stanton Friedman, Brazilian Air Force Officer General Jose Carlos Pereira, Brazilian Ufologist Adamer Geveard and Former Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Intelligence Christopher Mellon and with narration by Peter Coyote (Bitter Moon, E.T.).

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Last Flight Home – Director Ondi Timoner

Behind a white picket fence, on an unremarkable suburban street, we discover 92-year-old Eli Timoner, who founded Air Florida, the fastest growing airline in the world in the 1970s. During his final days, we discover his extraordinary life filled with incredible success and devastating setbacks and, most importantly, the innate goodness that won him the enduring love and support of his family. Through stunning footage recorded by his middle child, LAST FLIGHT HOME takes audiences on an unforgettable ride through Timoner’s life, illustrating a modern-day success story built on the power of human connection. Two-time winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Documentary Grand Jury Prize (DIG!, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC), Ondi Timoner has created her most personal film yet, which intimately portrays her family’s challenging journey to find closure and invites us into a rare and honest confrontation and conversation with mortality. LAST FLIGHT HOME is not only a unique and open display of the process of death, without inhibition or sanitization, but also a humanization of the journey of a family ‘midwifing’ a patriarch through his final days. Director Ondi Timoner joins us for a conversation on her elegant verité tribute to family, how and why she decided to share the Eli Timoner’s inspiring coda with outside world.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: interloperfilms.com/lastflighthome

About the filmmaker – Ondi Timoner is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker whose work focuses on “impossible visionaries” (and LAST FLIGHT HOME is no different). She has the rare distinction of winning the U.S. Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice — for DIG! (2004), about the collision of art and commerce through the eyes of two rival rock bands, and WE LIVE IN PUBLIC (2009), about the loss of privacy online through a NY social experiment created by Internet pioneer Josh Harris over the turn of the millennium. Both films were acquired by New York’s MoMA for its permanent collection. Since then, Ondi has created award-winning films/series such as JOIN US, about mind control; COOL IT, about climate change; BRAND: A SECOND COMING, about the transformation of comedian/author/activist Russell Brand; the 10-hour series JUNGLETOWN, about an intentional community in remote Panama; COMING CLEAN, about the opioid crisis; and MAPPLETHORPE, a scripted film she also wrote and produced about Robert Mapplethorpe starring Matt Smith (she recommends the Director’s Cut on Hulu).  Ondi is an active member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, the DGA, the PGA, the WGA, the IDA, Film Independent, Women in Film, and Film Fatales.  For more: interloperfilms.com

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90% on RottenTomatoes

“Deeply personal, immensely moving…” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

“Profound in its simplicity, wrenching in its honesty, and beautiful in its humanity.” – Elizabeth Weitzman, TheWrap

“It is a tribute, a grappling with mortality, an exercise in self-surveillance, a messy home movie, a brief account of aviation history and a lesson in letting go and grief.” – Lisa Kennedy,

“It’s a moving human interest documentary, that is well-worth seeing.” – Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews

“A loving tribute and immersive documentation of these last days, from the Timoner family to yours.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

Piggy – Director Carlota Pereda

Director Carlota Pereda (Cerdita, There Will Be Monsters) debut feature film is a cinematic grenade of a tale about bulling, body shaming, sexual politics. PIGGY focuses on the life of Sara as she hides away in her parent’s butcher shop hoping to avoid the constant barrage of mockery, judgment, and abuse from the other girls in her village. A teenager whose excess weight makes her the target of incessant bullying, she flees a clique of capricious girls who torment her at the town pool, only to stumble upon them being brutally kidnapped by a stranger, who drives off with them in his van. Sara sees it all: the blood, the mud, the knife, and the van in which he has taken them. And the unknown man has seen her. A wordless pact that neither will betray. The pressure is suffocating and her guilt torments her. What if she is found out? What’s happened to the girls? What if the unknown man returns? Director / screenwriter Carlota Pereda’s searing morality tale, PIGGY, poses many knotty questions around the social scourge of bullying. And in the process offers few easy options. Anchored by a confident, uncompromising performance by Laura Galán, Piggy is a psychological horror film like few others.   

 

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For updates and screenings go to: magnetreleasing.com/piggy

About the filmmaker – Born in 1975 in Madrid, Carlota Pereda is a film and drama series director. After graduating from the ECAM (Escuela de Cinematografía y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid), she started her career as writer, director and script supervisor in TV series such as Periodistas, Acacias 38, El secreto de Puente Viejo, Lex, Los hombres de Paco, and Águila roja (Red Eagle), for which she was nominated for the Iris Award of the Television Academy. Her first short film, Las Rubias (The Blondes), has been selected in more than 140 national and international festivals and awarded in prestigious festivals. Cerdita (Piggy), her second short film as a director, has been selected for more than 300 international festivals, winning over 90 awards, including the Forqué and the Goya Awards. “There will be monsters” is her latest short film, produced by Movistar+. In the last Slamdance festival, Carlota Pereda received the AGBO fellowship, based on mentoring by the Russo brothers, writers, and directors of Avengers: Endgame. PIGGY is her first feature film. First released in Sundance 2022, the project was selected in the Focus CoPro in Cannes, winning the Pop Up Residency. It also won the Ventana Sur Award at the Ventana CineMad, ARRI Award at the European Work in Progress in Cologne, and has participated in Oltrecorto at the Torino Film Festival and the Berlinale Co-Production Market.

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92% on RottenTomatoes

“There’s nothing patronizing or moralizing about Piggy, and it’s all the better for it; simultaneously a strong character portrait and a twisted coming-of-age film, this is tough but satisfying viewing.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

“Galán is extraordinary as the traumatised girl in a performance which requires a considerable amount of courage.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“This disturbing psychological drama spirals into blood-drenched horror, its wild genre extremities never disguising the feeling that its social commentary on violence and abuse comes from a very real and personal place.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“With all the makings of a monster that occur in “Piggy,” it’s the sheer talent on display that looms largest.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“A meditation on the banality of horrible people, Piggy is an instant horror classic.” –

“Piggy smartly mashes up thriller, rural drama and comedy elements into a lovingly-crafted, potently atmospheric, and thought-provoking whole – with bucketsful of horrible blood thrown in for good measure.” – Jonathan Holland, Screen International

“A meditation on the banality of horrible people, Piggy is an instant horror classic.” – Sheri Flanders, Chicago Reader

Art & Krimes by Krimes – Director Alysa Nahmias

ART & KRIMES BY KRIMES explores the world of art and confinement and how imprisonment often work against the greater social good. The engaging documentary on an artist, Jesse Krimes, locked up for six years in federal prison. He spends a good deal of his time secretly creating a monumental works of art—including an astonishing 30-foot mural made with prison bed sheets, hair gel, and newspaper. Krimes smuggles out each panel piece-by-piece with the help of fellow artists, only seeing the mural in totality upon coming home. As Jesse’s work captures the art world’s attention, he struggles to adjust to life outside, living with the threat that any misstep will trigger a life sentence. In addition to a focus on the stunning work of Jesse Krimes, ART & KRIMES BY KRIMES also features the work of formerly incarcerated artists Russell Craig, Jared Owens and Gilberto Rivera. Director, Writer, Producer and award-winning filmmaker Alysa Nahmias joins us for a conversation on confinement, loss, creativity and how her vérité filmmaking captured the jagged life of Jesse Krimes, from broken childhood through to his triumphant gallery show.

For updates and screenings go to: krimesfilm.com

About the filmmaker – Director, Writer, Producer Alysa Nahmias is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of AJNA. She directed and produced the feature documentaries Art & Krimes by Krimes (2021) featuring artist Jesse Krimes and distributed by MTV Documentary Films, The New Bauhaus (2019) about visionary artist László Moholy-Nagy, and Unfinished Spaces (2011, co-directed with Benjamin Murray) about the Cuban National Art Schools, which won a 2012 Independent Spirit Award, was distributed by PBS and Netflix, and is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.  As a producer, her work includes the forthcoming Untitled Wildcat Documentary directed by Melissa Lesh and Trevor Frost for Amazon Studios and the Emmy-nominated and Oscar-shortlisted Unrest directed by Jennifer Brea, which won an a Special Jury Award at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and was distributed by Netflix and PBS Independent Lens. Her producing credits also include the scripted feature No Light and No Land Anywhere, directed by Amber Sealey with executive producer Miranda July (Jury Award winner, LA Film Festival 2016), and the documentaries A Decent Home, directed by Sara Terry (DOC NYC, Denver 2021); What We Left Unfinished, directed by Mariam Ghani (Berlinale, SFFILM 2019) distributed by Dekanalog and Criterion; I Didn’t See You There, directed by Reid Davenport (Sundance 2022); Weed and Wine (Hot Docs 2020), directed by Rebecca Richman Cohen; and American Masters’ Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq directed by Nancy Buirski with creative advisor Martin Scorsese (NY Film Festival, Berlinale 2013).  Alysa has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine as an independent film innovator. She is a 2020 Film Independent Fellow and a 2019 Sundance Institute Momentum Fellow. She was the co-author of a Sundance Creative Distribution Case Study on Unrest. She holds degrees from New York University and Princeton University. Alysa is a founding member of FWD-Doc as an ally who is committed to advocating for disability rights and inclusion, and she is a member of the Documentary Producers Alliance (DPA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 

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“Offers an eye-opening look at how one artist is seeking to lift the veil on a part of American society that has been made largely invisible to the public.” – Artnews
“A journey of redemption and artistic self-discovery” – Hammer to Nail
“A carceral magnum opus.” – The New York Times
“The Sistine Chapel of prison art.” – The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Jesse Krimes’s stunning panorama—a Pop-Boschian depiction of Earth, Heaven, and Hell—is a monumental collage.” – The New Yorker

I Didn’t See You There – Director Reid Davenport

Director and cinematographer Reid Davenport reaches out through the lens of his camera as a visibly disabled person, determined to make a film about how he sees the world, from either his wheelchair or his two feet, without having to be seen himself. The unexpected arrival of a circus tent outside his Oakland, California apartment in leads him to consider the complicated history and legacy of Phineas Taylor Barnum’s or P.T.  Barnum’s Freak Show and its lingering presence in his daily life in the form of gawking, lack of access, and other forms of ableism. Informed by his position in space, lower to the ground, Davenport captures indelible images, often abstracted into shapes and patterns separate from their meaning. But the circus tent looms in the background, and is reverberated by tangible on-screen interruptions, from unsolicited offers of help to careless blocking of ramps. Personal and unflinching, I Didn’t See You There forces the viewer to confront the spectacle and invisibility of disability. Director Reid Davenport joins us to offer both a perspective and stylistic approach that are rarely seen, Reid brings an urgently needed storytelling eye to filmmaking with a documentary that is powerful and emotional, thoughtful and raw, intimate and political.

 

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For updates & screenings go to: ididntseeyoutherefilm.com

I Didn’t See You There at the Laemmle Monica Film Center October 14

Directing Award U.S. Documentary – Sundance Film Festival 2022 & Grand Jury Award – Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2022

About the filmmaker – Director, Director of Photography Reid Davenport makes documentaries about disability from an overtly political perspective. Reid’s first feature film, I Didn’t See You There, will premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival. His 2016 short film, A Cerebral Game, won the Artistic Vision Award at the 2016 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival for “creating a visual landscape that is at once disorienting and nostalgic – and the result is so raw and compelling it’s impossible to turn away.” Wheelchair Diaries and RAMPED UP, are distributed by New Day Films. He is currently in production of another feature film, which is being produced by Multitude Films. Reid’s work has been supported by The Ford Foundation, Sundance Institute, Creative Capital, XTR, ITVS, NBCU, CNN and the Points North Institute, among others. In 2020, he was named to DOC NYC’s “40 Filmmakers Under 40.” In 2017, Reid was a TED fellow and gave a TED Talk about incorporating his own literal body into his filmmaking. His work has been featured by outlets like NPR, PBS, The Washington Post, MSNBC, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Davenport received a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Film & Video from Stanford University in 2016, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from The George Washington University in 2012. 

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97% on RottenTomatoes

“With his feature, Davenport stakes out his own vantage point on the world, one that leaves a viewer wishing to hear his thoughts elaborated even further.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

“An experimental movie of great beauty.” – Matt Zoller Seitz,

“A strong reminder that telling the truth about your existence is not merely a political act, but a gift (if we choose to accept it).” – Sarah Manvel, Critic’s Notebook

“[Reid Davenport] narrates the film, a sometimes funny and sometimes furious window into the casual inconveniences and less casual indignities he runs into in a world not built for him… It’s a must-see.” – Alissa Wilkinson Vox

Becoming Frederick Douglass – Co-director Nicole London and Stanley Nelson

BECOMING FREDERICK DOUGLASS is the inspiring story of how a man born into slavery became one of the most prominent statesmen and influential voices for democracy in American history. Born in 1818 on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he escaped from slavery in 1838 and went on to become the most well-known leader of the abolitionist movement. A gifted writer and powerful, charismatic orator, it is estimated that more Americans heard Douglass speak than any other 19th-century figure, Black or white. BECOMING FREDERICK DOUGLASS explores how Douglass controlled his own image and narrative, embracing photography as a tool for social justice, and the role he played in securing the right to freedom and complete equality for African Americans. Acclaimed actor Wendell Pierce is the voice of Frederick Douglass in both films. Co-director Nicole London joins us for a conversation on the heroic lives and turbulent times of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.

 

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For more go to: becomingfrederickdouglass.org

BECOMING FREDERICK DOUGLASS premieres Tuesday, October 11, 2022, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS. Both films will stream on PBS.org and the PBS Video App.  It will also be available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Director’s Statement – Given that Frederick Douglass was one of the most prolific and powerful orators of his time, we were interested in exploring how he created and controlled his image, and ultimately how he used it to shift public opinion around abolition. It was such a gift to have the inimitable Wendell Pierce provide the voice of Douglass to bring his words to life. Wendell’s dynamic performance, coupled with the many stunning photographs taken throughout Douglass’s lifetime, show how Douglass evolved to become one of the most influential and enduring social justice activists in American history. – Stanley Nelson

About the filmmaker – Nicole London is an Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated producer/director who began her career in public affairs before working as an associate producer for PBS’s To the Contrary.  She eventually focused on the long story format of documentaries as her way to impact the public conversation about Black and women’s histories. She has worked on several projects with top directors in documentary film, including American Masters’ Marvin Gaye: What’s Going OnSammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me; POV’s American Promise; and Independent Lens’ The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which was nominated for a 2016 Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking Emmy. London was also the producer for Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, for which she was nominated for a 2020 Grammy for Best Music Film and won the 2021 News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary. In 2021, she was honored as a Trailblazer at the 22nd Annual African American Women In Cinema Film Festival. She is currently working on a new American Masters documentary on Black pianist Hazel Scott (1920-1981). Earlier this year, I served as the guest editor of the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Project, which launched Feb. 1. London and I recently chatted about Tubman’s heroism and entrepreneurial spirit, and what it was like to reckon with her legacy.

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A Radical Life – Director Ricki Stern

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Ricki Stern, “A Radical Life” takes us inside the mind of Tania Joya, a former Islamic extremist once married to the highest-ranking American in ISIS. Tania was a working-class British teenager from a Bangladeshi family when her longing for purpose and belonging following the 9/11 attacks drew her to Islamic extremism. On the other side of the Atlantic, an all-American teenager from a military family named John Georgelas was also radicalizing – casting off his Greek Orthodox heritage and embracing Islamic extremism. After Tania and John met online, they quickly got married and started raising sons who they hoped would help fulfill their shared dreams of establishing an Islamic State.  But when Georgelas relocates the family to Syria at the height of civil war, Tania is forced to make an impossible choice. Set against a backdrop of an ongoing war on terror, the rise of ISIS, and the proliferation of extremism ideologies, Tania’s unique and exclusive POV takes us inside a journey fueled by blind devotion, false promises, and misguided idealism that leads to points of no return. Award-winning director, producer, writer Ricki Stern joins us for a conversation on meeting Tania Joya, deciding to making her the focus of a documentary, illuminating the larger context of jihadism and Islam and what we can learn from Joya’s story.

 

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To watch go to: discoveryplus.com/a-radical-life-us

DEBUTS OCTOBER 13, 2022 ON DISCOVERY+

For info go to: originalproductions.com/show/a-radical-life

About the filmmaker – RICKI STERN is an Emmy-nominated documentary film director, producer and writer. Films have been shown on Netflix, AMC, PBS, National Geographic, Showtime, History Channel, IFC, HBO and ESPN.  Ricki is the Executive Producer and Director of 6-part series SURVIVING DEATH (NETFLIX, 2021), Director and Executive Producer of the Emmy-nominated JOAN RIVERS A PIECE OF WORK (Sundance FF, winner).  Ricki is the Co-Director and Co-Producer of the 4-part series Lifetime SURVIVING JEFFREY EPSTEIN (2020), 5-part series AMC / Sundance’s PREPPY MURDER – DEATH IN CENTRAL PARK, MY SO-CALLED HIGH SCHOOL RANK (HBO 2022), Emmy-nominated REVERSING ROE (Telluride Int. FF, Netflix 2018), MARATHON – The Patriots Day Bombing (HBO 2016), IN MY FATHER’S (Showtime 2015), KNUCKLEBALL! (Showtime 2012), BURMA SOLDIER (HBO 2011), Emmy-nominated THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK (Sundance FF, HBO 2007), the Emmy–nominated THE TRIALS OF DARYL HUNT (Sundance FF, HBO 2006, Independent Spirit nominee), Director IN MY CORNER (PBS 1998).  Director / Producer Emmy-nominated NEGLECT NOT THE CHILDREN (PBS 1992).Recognized with A Lifetime Achievement Award from Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, the Best Female Filmmakers Award-San Diego Film Festival, The Best Female Filmmakers Award- St. Louis FF, Adrienne Shelly Excellence in Filmmaking Award and Lena Sharpe/Women in Cinema Persistence of Vision Award–Seattle International Film Festival.

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The Same Storm – Director Peter Hedges

Filmed using iPhones and laptops during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, THE SAME STORM is an intimate look into the lives of twenty-four characters as they journey through the spring and summer of 2020. With lockdowns, the Black Lives Matter movement and the looming 2020 elections as key backdrops, the film explores the necessity of human connection, family, love and the ability to find empathy during a fraught, untenable time.  Featuring an all-star cast, including Sandra Oh, Mary-Louise Parker, Elaine May, Moses Ingram, Raul Castillo, Noma Dumezweni, Sandra Oh, Mary-Louise Parker, Elaine May, Moses Ingram, Noma Dumezweni, Raúl Castillo, Rosemarie DeWitt, Ron Livingston, Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr,  Jin Ha, Judith Light, Joel de la Fuente, Raza Jaffrey, Brittany Bradford, and many more, writer/director Peter Hedges crafts a unique piece of hopeful filmmaking that demonstrates and celebrates the ability of art to connect us. Director and writer Peter Hedges joins us to talk about filming during the Covid pandemic using cell phones and laptops to capture their stories, collaborating with a superb cast, and his inspiration for this deeply humanistic, multi-layered tale.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: thesamestorm.com

Juno Films has acquired rights to the experimental drama The Same Storm, from writer-director Peter Hedges (Ben Is Back), for distribution in the U.S., Canada and the UK. The film will open October 14th at the Quad Cinema in NYC and Laemmle NoHo and Santa Monica with additional cities to follow.

About the filmmaker – Peter Hedges ​adapted his first novel ​WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE ​into the critically acclaimed film of the same name. In 2002, he received an Academy Award nomination for co-writing the adaptation of Nick Hornby’s ​ABOUT A BOY​.​ He wrote and directed ​PIECES OF APRIL  (​2003), co-wrote and directed DAN IN REAL LIFE ​(2007), co-wrote and directed ​THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN ​(2012) and most recently wrote and directed​ BEN IS B​ACK (2018). Hedges is also the author of the novels AN OCEAN IN IOWA (1998), THE HEIGHTS (​2010) and twelve plays including IMAGINING BRAD (Circle Rep), BABY ANGER (Playwrights Horizons), THE GIRL IN PINK (The Atlantic Theater Company) and GOOD AS NEW ​(MCC Theater).

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“A grab bag that mostly engages your attention and sticks in the mind as a vivid slap-dash portrait of a city and, by extension, a world under siege.” – Todd McCarthy, Deadline Hollywood Daily

“This film leaves us moved and provoked – and impressed with its technical accomplishments – even if it isn’t a perfect distillation of our ongoing national nightmare.” – Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter

“The sum of Hedges’ film is greater than any of its parts, even if its parts are not always worthy of the people who have been hired to play them.” – David Ehrlich, indieWire

Bad Axe – Director David Siev

Director and son, David Siev leaves his apartment in New York City to head back to his rural hometown of Bad Axe, Michigan. His arrival comes at a time when the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is making itself felt across much of the Mid-West. In this insightful and intimate documentary, BAD AXE, Asian-American filmmaker, David Siev, documents his family’s struggles to keep their restaurant open just as racialized fears surrounding the virus grow and deep generational scars dating back to his parent’s history in the Cambodian Killing Fields are unearth between the family’s patriarch, Chun, and his daughter, Jaclyn surface. When the BLM movement takes center stage in America, the family uses their voice to speak out in their town where Trumpism runs deep. What unfolds is a real-time portrait of 2020 through the lens of this multicultural family’s fight to keep their American dream alive in the face of a pandemic, Neo-Nazis, the trauma of having survived a genocide and generational scars from the Khmer Rouge era that ravaged Cambodia. Director and subject David Siev joins us to talk about his family’s resolve in the face of physical threats, balancing privacy with the importance of telling a story that ultimately reveals universal truths about the state of political discourse and community in a post-Trump world.

 

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

About the filmmaker – David Siev – Director /Producer/ Cinematographer – After graduating from the University of Michigan, David Siev left his small Midwest town of Bad Axe, MI for Los Angeles. He landed a home at Jeff Tremaine’s production company, Gorilla Flicks, where he spent several years finessing the art of guerrilla filmmaking. As a jack of all trades filmmaker, David holds producing, camera, and consulting credits on everything from hidden-camera blockbuster comedies like BAD TRIP (Netflix) to rock and roll biopics such as THE DIRT (Netflix). David first made waves in the Asian-American festival circuit with the debut of his award-winning short film, YEAR ZERO. The film would go on to win Best Narrative Short awards from the DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Manhattan International Film Festival, and several others. David currently lives in New York where he is now focused on writing and directing his own projects.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“While the documentary refrains from giving family members clear direction on how to mitigate their fears and anxieties, they have each other. That familial strength is what injects this poignant documentary with so much optimism.” – Andrew Stover, Film Threat

“A deeply personal film that feels essential when we tell the story of how 2020 shaped this country.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“With as much as Bad Axe presents, it’s not offering solutions, and that’s fine. It’s asking a lot for a director’s feature debut to find answers for things like PTSD, systemic racism, pandemics, and political strife.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“If you’ve made any missteps when it comes to how you changed your life… you’ll be able to see a lot of the messy artistic truth in Bad Axe — and it’s even easier to find emotional resonance in this family saga.” – Dan Fienberg Hollywood Reporter

“With as much as Bad Axe presents, it’s not offering solutions, and that’s fine. It’s asking a lot for a director’s feature debut to find answers for things like PTSD, systemic racism, pandemics, and political strife.” – Therese Lacson, Collider

To Leslie – Director Michael Morris

Leslie (Andrea Riseborough) is a West Texas single mother struggling to provide for her son (Owen Teague) when she wins the lottery and a chance at a good life. But a few short years later the money is gone and Leslie is on her own, living hard and fast at the bottom of a bottle as she runs from the world of heartbreak she left behind. With her charm running out and with nowhere to go, Leslie is forced to return home to her former friends Nancy and Dutch  (Allison Janney, Stephen Root).  Unwelcome and unwanted by those she wronged, it’s a lonely motel clerk named Sweeney (Marc Maron) who takes a chance when no one else will. With his support, Leslie comes face to face with the consequences of her actions, a life of regret, and a second chance to make a good life for her and her son. Director Michael Morris joins us for a conversation on his riveting film about a woman in free fall, love and self-loathing, working with an amazing cast, his second project with Andrea Riseborough and Owen Teague and how silence can say so much.

 

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For info and updates go to: momentumpictures.net/to-leslie

In Theaters & On Demand October 7

About the filmmaker – Michael Morris is a British director and producer. His first feature, TO LESLIE, starring Andrea Risborough, Allison Janney, Marc Maron and Owen Teague has been slated to have its world premiere at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival. His most recent series work includes directing the season finale of Extrapolations for Apple TV starring Meryl Streep, Kit Harrington, and Gemma Chan as well as serving as the Executive Producer / Director on the final season of Better Call Saul. Over the last several years he has directed and executive produced the Locke & Key pilot for Netflix, directed multiple episodes of For All Mankind for Apple, Billions and Shameless for Showtime, and Preacher for AMC. He worked exclusively at Netflix for a period directing multiple episodes on some of their most groundbreaking shows including 13 Reasons Why, House of Cards, and Bloodline. Before his work in television, Michael was the Director of The Old Vic, London’s independent not- for-profit theatre.

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97% on RottenTomatoes

“Unglamorous and unflinching, lilting from dive bars to motels across an errant desert wind. So too is Riseboroughs performance as Leslie.” – Fran HoepfnerTheWrap

“In To Leslie Riseborough presents the rough and tumble of the films eponymous character with a tender and sensitive rawness and authenticity.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, AWFJ Women on Film

“To Leslie is not the conventional addiction narrative it seems to be. Even when they tee up the expected happy ending, the film goes on for another, crucial, unpredictable beat.” – Jason Bailey, The Playlist

“Riseborough’s performance is nothing short of spectacular. She doesn’t compromise, she doesn’t hold back, but she doesn’t endow the character with any sort of fake flamboyance.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“To be sure, Leslie is her own worst enemy, but she has a disease and there’s still time, maybe just enough time, for her to find the path to recovery. We hold deep hope for that redemption.” – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Vesper – Co-directors Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper

Set after the collapse of the Earth’s ecosystem, VESPER follows the titular headstrong 13-year-old girl (Raffiella Chapman), who uses her survival skills to subsist in the remnants of a strange and dangerous world with her ailing father, Darius (Richard Brake). When Vesper finds a mysterious woman, Camellia (Rosy McEwen), alone and disoriented after an aerial crash, she agrees to help find her missing companion in exchange for safe passage to the Citadel, – the dark central hub where oligarchs live in comfort thanks to state-of-the-art biotechnology. Vesper soon discovers that her brutal neighbor, Jonas (Eddie Marsan), is searching for Camellia, who is harboring a secret that could change all of their lives forever. Forced into a dangerous adventure, Vesper must rely on her wits and bio-hacking abilities to unlock the key to an alternate future.  Co-directors Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper join us to talk about their beautifully rendered “future” world that seamlessly blends high-tech with ancient / indigenous lo-tech ingenuity, how they found perfectly cast Raffiella Chapman to play Vesper and how their work points to a radicalized vision for our collective future.

 

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For info and updates go to: vespermovie.com

Where to watch at: vespermovie.com/watch-at-home

About the filmmaker(s) – Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper started their collaboration in 2007, co-writing Kristina’s first film, the award-winning THE COLLECTRESS. The movie won Best Feature Film at the 2008 Lithuania Silver Crane Awards, Best Director at the Russian Kinoshock Festival, and the film was selected for more than 30 film festivals, including Karlovy Vary, Pusan, Valencia, Manheim, Cottbus, and Cairo, among others. After their recognition, the creators deepened their partnership and made a second successful feature film, VANISHING WAVES (2012), which won 24 prizes in different festivals, including the 2012 Méliès d’Or Award, Best European Fantastic Film, 4 prizes in Fantastic Fest (Austin USA), and a Special Mention at the 47th Karlovy Vary Film Festival, among others. VANISHING WAVES was widely distributed both in Europe and the U.S. While developing their third feature, VESPER, Kristina and Bruno co-directed and co-produced a short segment, “K is for Knell” for the American horror anthology “ABC’S OF DEATHS 2.”

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89% on RottenTomatoes

“Something wholly unique — at once modern and timeless, nostalgic for a genre only just created, already pining for images freshly cast up on screen.” – Ben Croll, TheWrap

“Many of the beats and visuals of the movie echo cinema past. But Buožytė and Samper still manage to put a very unique stamp on proceedings to create a consistently thought-provoking and immersive affair.” – Laurence Boyce, Cineuropa

“Their world-building is astounding. Through a mixture of VFX and practical effects, they have crafted a world that feels as ancient as it does futuristic.” – Marya E. Gates, The Playlist

“The world-building in this tale by Lithuanian horror/sci-fi filmmakers Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper next-level dystopian and just gorgeous to behold.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Vesper is one of best films from Fantasia 2022. An exceptional look at humanity’s survival on a dying planet where capitalism still has a firm grip. It shows greed as a prison, and we’ll all suffer from it.” – Sara Clements, Pay or Wait

“A story which is, ultimately, about learning to think differently, to change the way that we direct our attention and resources in order to open up the possibility of renewal.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Taming the Garden – Director Salomé Jashi

From the opening shot of this striking environmental tale, TAMING THE GARDEN, captures a otherworldly vibe, embodied by a tree as tall as a 15-story building floating on a barge across the vast Black Sea. Its destination lies within a garden countless miles away, privately owned by a wealthy and anonymous man whose passion resides in the removal, and subsequent replanting, of foreign trees into his own man-made Eden. With astonishing cinematic style, TAMING THE GARDEN tracks the surreal uprooting of ancient trees from their Georgian locales. With each removal, tensions flare between workers and villagers. Some see financial incentives – new roads, handsome fees – while others angrily mourn the loss of what was assumed an immovable monolith of their town’s collective history and memory. With a steady and shrewdly observant eye, Jashi documents a single man’s power over Earth’s natural gardens: how majestic living artifacts of a country’s identity can so effortlessly become uprooted by individuals with no connection to the nature they now claim as their own. Director Salomé Jashi stops by to talk about the clash of immense wealth and political power and a rural, farming community with neither. The meditative tone of TAMING THE GARDEN allows the audience to reconcile the contrasting the people’s relationship with the powerful political class that has held sway over them for centuries.

 

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For info and screenings go to: bigworldpictures.org/tamingthegarden

Big World Pictures is proud to present the US theatrical release of TAMING THE GARDEN, a film by Salomé Jashi. Winner of multiple film festival awards and a nominee for Best Documentary at the 2021 European Film Awards.TAMING THE GARDEN will screen at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on October 10 & October 11.

Director’s statement Some time ago, the entire country of Georgia witnessed a surreal scene – a large tree floating in the sea. That was when we learned that the most powerful man in the country had a new passion – to own century-old trees on his private estate. I embarked on filming this process as Georgia’s whole coastline was involved in implementing one man’s desire. I wanted to explore what was behind this mesmerizingly strange image; to tell about the ambition of a powerful man, who alters landscapes, moves trees, leaves witnesses perplexed – all for the sake of his pleasure”. – Salomé Jashi.

About the filmmaker – Director, Writer, Cinematographer, Producer Salomé Jashi [Tbilisi, 1981] is a documentary filmmaker from Georgia. She has been attracted to filming micro environments from the very beginning of her career. Her visual approach is minimalist, poetical, sensitive and rough. Salomé Jashi’s Taming the Garden [2021] premiered at Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition and Berlinale Forum and was nominated for the European Film Awards. Her previous film The Dazzling Light of Sunset [2016] was awarded the Main Prize at Visions du Réel’s Regard Neuf Competition as well as at ZagrebDox, Jihlava IDFF, FIC Valdivia and several other festivals. Her earlier work Bakhmaro [2011] was nominated for the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. All three films were produced in collaboration with Arte’s La Lucarne. Her producing work How the Room Felt [2021] premiered at IDFA’s main competition.  Salomé Jashi holds an MA in documentary filmmaking from Royal Holloway, University of London [2006] as well as an MA in journalism from Georgian Institute of Public Affairs [2003]. She was a fellow of Nipkow Scholarship in 2017 and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2020 and is a member of European Film Academy. For more go to: salomejashi.com

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“Not only because the pictures are breathtaking. A complicated argument about ecology, economy, compromise, class and mankind’s need to conquer and/or “tame” nature is presented without resorting to a polemic attack.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone Magazine

““[An] extraordinary, savagely poetic film.” – Wendy Ide, Observer

“Surreal, serene and maybe just a little bit sacred.” – Jessica Kiang, Variety 

Harriet Tubman: Visions of Freedom – Co-director Nicole London and Stanley Nelson

HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM is a rich and nuanced portrait of the woman known as a conductor of the Underground Railroad, who repeatedly risked her own life and freedom to liberate others from slavery. Born in Dorchester County, Maryland, 200 years ago — 2022 marks her bicentennial —Tubman escaped north to Philadelphia in 1849, covering more than 100 miles alone. Once there, Tubman became involved in the abolitionist movement, and through the Underground Railroad guided more than 70 enslaved people to freedom. Going beyond this well-known aspect of Tubman’s life, the doc will also recount her later exploits as a Union scout and spy during the Civil War, a leading abolitionist, and a women’s suffrage activist, as well as delving into the psychological and spiritual motivations that drove her to her extraordinary accomplishments. HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM goes beyond the legend of Tubman to explore what motivated her — including divine inspiration — to become one of the greatest freedom fighters in our nation’s history.  HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM is narrated by Emmy® award-winning actor Alfre Woodard.

 

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For more go to: harriettubmanvisionsoffreedom.org

HARRIET TUBMAN: VISIONS OF FREEDOM premieres Tuesday, October 4, 2022, 10:00-11:00 p.m. ET, (check local listings) on PBS. Both films will stream on PBS.org and the PBS Video App. It will also be available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO.

Director’s Statement – With this film, our aim was to go beyond what is covered in history books to create a real, three-dimensional portrait of who Harriet Tubman actually was. We wanted to examine what motivated her to pursue a revolutionary and often dangerous journey, particularly through her fierce religiosity and metaphysical connection to the divine. This film also has such a distinct sonic layer thanks to powerful narration by the great Alfre Woodard. – Stanley Nelson 

About the filmmaker – Nicole London is an Emmy-winning and Grammy-nominated producer/director who began her career in public affairs before working as an associate producer for PBS’s To the Contrary.  She eventually focused on the long story format of documentaries as her way to impact the public conversation about Black and women’s histories. She has worked on several projects with top directors in documentary film, including American Masters’ Marvin Gaye: What’s Going OnSammy Davis, Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me; POV’s American Promise; and Independent Lens’ The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, which was nominated for a 2016 Exceptional Merit In Documentary Filmmaking Emmy. London was also the producer for Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, for which she was nominated for a 2020 Grammy for Best Music Film and won the 2021 News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Arts and Culture Documentary. In 2021, she was honored as a Trailblazer at the 22nd Annual African American Women In Cinema Film Festival. She is currently working on a new American Masters documentary on Black pianist Hazel Scott (1920-1981). Earlier this year, I served as the guest editor of theHarriet Tubman Bicentennial Project, which launched Feb. 1. London and I recently chatted about Tubman’s heroism and entrepreneurial spirit, and what it was like to reckon with her legacy.

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Young Plato – Co-director Neasa Ni Chainian (Declan McGrath) and Subject Kevin McArevey

An inspiring documentary from the filmmakers of School Life, YOUNG PLATO charts the dream of Elvis-loving school headmaster Kevin McArevey – a maverick who is determined to change the fortunes of an inner-city community plagued by urban decay, sectarian aggression, poverty and drugs. The all-boys primary school in post-conflict Belfast, Northern Ireland, becomes a hot house for questioning violence, as the headmaster sends his young wards home each day armed with the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosophers. The boys challenge their parents and neighbors to forsake the prejudice that has kept this low-level civil war on the boil for decades. YOUNG PLATO hums with the confidence of youth, a tribute to the power of the possible. Co-director Neasa Ni Chainian (Declan McGrath) and Subject Kevin McArevey join us for a lively conversation on why Neasa focused her attention in Holy Cross, her won relationship to the “troubles” of Belfast, where did headmaster McArevey pick up his affinity for philosophy, when did he realize it has the power to elicit the most important lesson a young mind can learn – how to think!   

 

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For updates and screenings go to: youngplato.com

Young Plato will be opening at the Laemmle Monica Film Center on Friday October 7

For all screenings go to: youngplato.com/screenings

About the filmmaker – Director Neasa Ní Chianáín is one of Ireland’s most established documentary talents. Neasa trained at the National College of Art & Design in Dublin, and worked as a freelance Art Director on Irish feature film and television projects, before switching to docs in 2001. She has directed 9 single docs (4 feature length) and one TV series. The docs include ‘Frank Ned & Busy Lizzie’, which won Best Feature Doc at The Celtic Film Festival 2004, and was sold around the world, including ZDF, ARTE and YLE. ‘Fairytale of Kathmandu’ world premiered at IDFA 2007, in the Silver Wolf Competition. It was then invited to over 30 more international Festivals including Seattle (North American Premiere) and Edinburgh (UK premiere).’Fairytale’ won 3 Best Documentary / Director awards and screened on YLE andCanvas. ‘The Stranger’, funded by MEDIA, RTÉ and The Irish Film Board, had it’s world premiere at the 67th Locarno Film Festival. Her last film, ‘In Loco Parentis’ (aka ‘School Life’), has been a world-wide success, premiering in competition at both IDFA 2016 and Sundance 2017. ‘School Life’ won the Special Jury Prize in the Golden Gate Awards at the San Francisco Film Festival, and an Audience Award (Prix du Public) at visions du Reel in Nyon. Neasa was also chosen to take part in the Sydney Film Festival’s ‘Europe! Voices of Women in Film’, which selected 10 of Europe’s most promising women directors. Neasa is currently in post-production on a new feature documentary, ‘The Alexander Complex’, funded by Screen Ireland, Blue Ice and Irish Sec 481 tax credit, and has just completed production on ‘Young Plato’, a feature documentary funded by Screen Ireland, BBC, ARTE, Eurimages, Northern Ireland Screen and many other funds.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“A guardedly optimistic film showing us…the Platonic Ideal, a school with a small enough teacher-to-student ratio, with respected, committed and compensated educators…teaching children to reason, debate and think for themselves.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“The bright sparks and troubled souls of the classroom make for lively, sometimes heartrending company in a film that successfully links individual stories to a broader perspective.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

“McAverey and his staff’s love for the children comes through clearly.” – Ray Lobo, Film Threat

““Young Plato” is a fascinating, sometimes funny and often touching film. It’s easy to see why the directors were drawn to McArevey and his school.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“A very engaging film.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Anvil! The Story of Anvil – Director Sacha Gervasi

ANVIL! THE STORY Of ANVIL follows Canadian heavy-metal band Anvil as they delivered a highly influential 1982 album Metal on Metal that would inspire the likes of Anthrax and Metallica, and then dropped off the map to begin what would become decades of toiling in obscurity. Director and former Anvil roadie Sacha Gervasi follows guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner as they stumble through a harrowing European tour and reflect on failure, friendship, resilience and the will to follow even the most impossible of dreams. ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL (2009) received widespread critical and public acclaim following its release by Abramorama and features appearances by an array of heavy metal icons, including Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, Motörhead’s Lemmy, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, and Slayer’s Tom Araya. The film is tied for 6th place as one of the highest rated documentaries of all time on Rotten Tomatoes with a 98% certified fresh rating, and a 90% audience score with over 5000+ votes. It was named one of 2009’s best documentaries by the International Documentary Association, the Online Film Critics Society, and the National Society of Film Critics. It also made the year-end Top 10 lists in publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Village Voice, and many others. Director Sacha Gervasi (My Dinner with Herve, The Terminal, Hitchcock) joins us to talk about the unbelievable “making of” The Story of Anvil, as well as the remarkable journey his scrappy little film has been on for the last 13 years and all of the doors it has opened for him.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: anvilthefilm.com

For VOD go to: anvilthefilm.com/watch-at-home

Utopia and Abramorama have partnered to release the remastered documentary,  ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL alongside Portobello Electricfor a special one night engagement in 200 theaters nationally on September 27th with select extended theatrical runs through October at National Circuits including AMC and Regal Cinemas.

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98% on RottenTomatoes

“A winning and surprisingly moving documentary about — wait for it — a struggling Canadian heavy metal band that apparently influenced a generation of hard-rockers including Metallica, Anthrax and Guns N’ Roses.” – Cary Darling, Dallas Morning News

“A study in the cost of pursuing a dream that’s probably the wrong dream, Anvil! The Story of Anvil looks for the high notes but doesn’t — or can’t — shy away from the lows.” – Tom Long, Detroit News

“The most stirring release of the year thus far.” – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

“The success of Anvil! The Story of Anvil lies in its ability to make you care about an enterprise you might initially have been inclined to laugh at.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

“Sacha Gervasi’s powerhouse doc brings humor and fervent focus to Toronto musicians, supporting their families with day jobs, who won’t give up the dream.”  Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“t’s a hilarious, and unexpectedly moving, documentary about the greatest metal band you’ve probably never heard of.” – Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The Justice of Bunny King – Director Graysorn Thavat

Bunny King (Essie Davis, THE BABADOOK), a headstrong mother of two with a sketchy past, earns her keep by washing windows at traffic lights. Using her razor-sharp wit to charm money from gridlocked motorists, she saves every cent to get back the custody of her kids. After promising her daughter a birthday party, Bunny must fight the social services and break the rules to keep her word, but in doing so risks losing her children altogether. Accompanied by her niece Tonya (Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE, JO JO RABBIT), a fierce teenager running away from home, Bunny is in a race against the clock and headed towards an epic showdown with the authorities. With her first feature, director Gaysorn Thavat has made a deeply affecting film about a woman refusing to back down from a system that’s stacked against her. At each step of Bunny’s journey, the film grounds itself in her pain and passion, and thanks to Essie Davis’ fearless work, Bunny becomes an indomitable hero. A testament to resilience in the face of adversity, The Justice of Bunny King is served in exquisite fashion. Director and co-story writer Gaysorn Thavat joins us for a conversation on the many challenges of making their first feature film, despite the many years spent in the industry, and the joy of collaborating with two of the finest actors working today, Essie Davis and Thomasin McKenzie.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: filmrise.com/the-justice-of-bunny-king

About the filmmaker – Gaysorn Thavat began her film career in 1995 working in the camera department. Starting as a clapper loader she worked her way up to 1st AC before making the switch to directing with television commercials in 2004. Gaysorn directed many successful campaigns as a TVC director, but is most proud of her PSA work for The Auckland CityMission, MSD-Family Violence and the Breast Cancer research Trust. Along with commercials, Gaysorn has also directed episodic television. Recently for Warner’s–FRESH EGGS, and also Screentime/Lippy Pictures – THE GULF. In 2009 Gaysorn directed her first short film, BRAVE DONKEY, written by Gregory King. Brave Donkey was selected for numerous festivals including Melbourne, SXSW, London BFIand Locarno. Gaysorn is one of the founding members of SWAG (Screen Women’s Action Group) and is a beekeeper and keen fisherwoman when she is not making films.

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100% on RottenTomatoes

“The bleak style reflects the dire situation and bleakness of Bunny’s story. Its restraint mirrors Henderson’s writing, which manages to feel real and poignant within the swirling drama.” – Katie Walsh, TheWrap

“Davis is a force of nature, delivering authenticity flavored with spirit and spite.” – Hope Madden, MaddWolf

“The Justice of Bunny King is an angry, funny and deeply loveable film. While there are deadly serious issues at its heart, the film remains deft, warm and witty.” – Graeme Tuckett, Stuff.co.nz

“This film burrowed under my skin and went straight to my heart. Potent and heroic, Bunny opens a door into the so often little-seen lives of women and families living with trauma, desperation and powerlessness and she’s amazing.” – Kate Rodger, Newshub (NZ)

“Essie Davis brings rough-edged authenticity to a portrait of a mother in crisis.” –  Wendy Ide, Screen International

The Last Out, Co-directors Sami Khan and Michael Gassert

THE LAST OUT tells the story of three talented Cuban athletes, Happy, Carlos, and Victor, leave their families and homes behind as they set off in pursuit of the ultimate dream: a contract with Major League Baseball. Cuban ballplayers are among baseball’s brightest stars but Cuban ball-players can’t just sign out of Cuba – the US Embargo is still in place and only being strengthened under the current administration – so Cubans have to leave their homeland, often under dangerous circumstances and establish residency in a third Country like The Dominican Republic, Haiti or Costa Rica. At the rundown Estadio Antonio Escarre, they have spent the past year training long and hard, thousands of miles away from their families in Cuba. They travel to Costa Rica and train under a seedy sports agent who dangles promises while exploiting their talents. As they navigate immigration and the ulterior motives of handlers, each man finds an unexpected path forward to a better life. Set against the backdrop of the dangerous Central American migrant trail, THE LAST OUT offers a rare window into the dark side of professional sports. THE LAST OUT co-directors Sami Khan and Michael Gassert stop by to talk about their process of following the many twists and turns these young men’s lives take them on and the personal risk they and their team took in chronicling it.

 

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Sami Khan’s most recent film, the short documentary St. Louis Superman (with Smriti Mundhra), was nominated for an Academy Award® and won a Special Jury Prize at Tribeca in 2019. Michael Gassert’s documentary and archival work has been supported by IFP, the Sundance Institute, UNESCO, and the Kennedy Center.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A powerful true story of athletics and exile.” – Jordan Mintzer,Hollywood Reporter

“The incredible journey of three people pursuing a dream. They start as baseball players but end up as pawns…” – Ricardo Gallegos, La Estatuilla

“Taking audiences on an eventful journey, The Last Out is an eye-opening example of the intersection of sports, geopolitics and individual liberty.” – Shane Slater, Awards Radar

“It may be dizzying to see everything that’s thrown at Oliveros, Gonzalez and Baro, but the filmmakers catch all of it with considerable grace.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

We Are As Gods – Director David Alvarado & Jason Sussberg

WE ARE AS GODS offers a deep dive into the many sides of Stewart Brand – creator of The Whole Earth Catalog, which Steve Jobs famously called “Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google existed.” an influential member of Ken Kesey’s “The  Merry Pranksters,” and founder of the modern environmental movement. Brand’s approach to his work and life influenced  many, including Steve Jobs, who have gone on to shape our modern world. Now in his 80’s, he looks to leave a legacy for the long-term future with his efforts to resurrect ecosystems through de-extinction. The man who coined the phrase “we are as gods and might as well get good at it” is now under fire from former allies who believe he’s gone too far, but Brand won’t be easily deterred from a mission he feels is necessary to save the future of the planet. Now in his ninth decade, still committed to long term thinking, he controversially advocates for a new approach to nuclear power and the bio-reengineering of keystone extinct species. Co-directors David Alvarado  & Jason Sussberg join us to talk about their own paths into the worlds of Stewart Brand, their admiration for his uncanny ability to be at the center of cultural and technological shifts, as well as getting a glimpse into his life away from the spotlight.

 

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For updates and screenings go to: greenwichentertainment.com/we-are-as-gods

For news, updates and screenings go to: weareasgods.film

For VOD: APPLE TV AMAZON DVD

About the filmmaker – David Alvarado is an award-winning documentary filmmaker with a passion for science, philosophy, and human rights. He is the son of a Mexican immigrant and although he dropped out of high school, his pursuit of filmmaking and his love of science helped him find a passion that changed his life forever. Today, he lives in Brooklyn, NY and works tirelessly to put science back in its rightful place in society. Structure Films is a New York/ San Francisco production company David founded with Jason Sussberg. Together, they directed The Immortalists, Bill Nye: Science Guy, and We Are As Gods.

About the filmmaker – Jason Sussberg is a San Francisco-based filmmaker focusing on the art and humanity in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Past life: motion graphic designer; sports television producer with the San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors; and community college film instructor. Present life: filmmaker at Structure Films. After receiving his M.F.A. at Stanford University, he and filmmaking partner David Alvarado founded Structure Films.

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92% on RottenTomatoes

“Fascinating. A whirlwind tour through Stewart Brand’s irreverent mind.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“A celebration of the most optimistic big thinker of them all, a figure who has been at the forefront of many of the best phenomena, trends, technology and values inculcated in modern culture.”  Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Captures the fascinating, fractious complexities of what environmentalism truly means.” – Flickering Myth

“Brand emerges as one of the signature players of the technological age.” – Wired

“This is a deep dive into the history and life of a truly fascinating man.” – Rogerebert.com

The Story of Film: A New Generation, Director Mark Cousins

A decade after The Story of Film: An Odyssey, an expansive and influential inquiry into the state of moviemaking in the 20th century, filmmaker Mark Cousins returns with an epic and hopeful tale of cinematic innovation from around the globe. In The Story of Film: A New Generation, Cousins turns his sharp, meticulously honed gaze on world cinema from 2010 to 2021, using a surprising range of works—including Frozen, The Babadook, and Cemetery of Splendour—as launchpads to explore recurring themes and emerging motifs, from the evolution of film language, to technology’s role in moviemaking today, to shifting identities in 21st-century world cinema. Touching on everything from Parasite and The Farewell to Black Panther and Lover’s Rock, Cousins seeks out films, filmmakers and communities under-represented in traditional film histories, with a particular emphasis on Asian and Middle Eastern works, as well as boundary-pushing documentaries and films that see gender in new ways. And as the recent pandemic recedes, Cousins ponders what comes next in the streaming age: how have we changed as cinephiles, and how moviegoing will continue to transform in the digital century, to our collective joy and wonder.  Director Mark Cousins stops by for an optimistic conversation on the state of filmmaking in every corner of the world and how that will continue to feed our collective imagination and our eternal desire to tell our stories.

 

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For more: musicboxfilms.com/the-story-of-film-a-new-generation

THE STORY OF FILM: A NEW GENERATION opens theatrically in New York, Los Angeles and select additional cities on Friday, September 9, followed by a digital release on all major platforms on Tuesday, September 20. This compelling new documentary will arrive on DVD on Tuesday, October 18. Music Box Films also announces plans to release a new Blu-ray box set, THE COMPLETE STORY OF FILM, including both THE STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY and A NEW GENERATION, available in time for holiday gift giving.

About the filmmaker: Mark Cousins is a filmmaker, critic and programmer. He programmed the Edinburgh Film Festival (1996-97), hosted BBC2’s Moviedrome (1997-2000) and Scene by Scene (1999-2000), and is the author of The Story of Film and (with Kevin Macdonald) Imagining Reality: the Faber Book of Documentary.  His movies include I Am Belfast, The First Movie, The Eyes of Orson Wells, The Story of Film: An Odyssey, Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema,  and A Story of Children and Film. His latest film is The Story of Film: A New Generation, released by Music Box Films. He is the co-founder (with Tilda Swinton) of the 8½ Foundation.

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92% on RottenTomatoes

“Cousins’ observations are, by their very nature, particular and personal – but that is part of the joy of this sort of essay film.” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

“A New Generation offers no earthshattering conclusions. There is no pretense of covering everything, just a chance to swim in Cousins erudite passion for film and answer his call to keep the faith.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

“This is an unashamed celebration of cinema as an art-form: Cousins is an aesthete.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“Another engaging documentary [from Mark Cousins], a journey around the cinematic world over 160 minutes that’s clever and informative” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“Cinema is a conversation and often an argument, and Mark Cousins is a hell of a fun guy to have an argument with.” – Steve Pond, TheWrap

Railway Children – Director Morgan Matthews

Inspired by one of the most beloved British family films of all time, RAILWAY CHILDREN is an enchanting, moving, and heart-warming adventure for a new generation. 1944 – As life in Britain’s cities becomes increasingly perilous, three evacuee children – Lily (Beau Gadsdon), Pattie (Eden Hamilton) and Ted (Zac Cudby) Watts – are sent by their mother from Salford to the Yorkshire village of Oakworth.  There to meet them on the train station platform are Bobbie Waterbury (Jenny Agutter, reprising her iconic role in the original film), her daughter, Annie (Sheridan Smith), and grandson Thomas (Austin Haynes), and with their help the evacuees are soon settling into their new life in the countryside. When the children discover injured American soldier Abe (KJ Aikens), hiding out in the railyard at Oakworth Station, they are thrust into a dangerous quest to assist their new friend who, like them, is a long way from home. Director Morgan Matthews (A Brilliant Young Mind) is our guest for a conversation on the  motivation and goals that he had in mind for an updated version a classic film, working with a raw and talented young cast that includes Beau Gadson and KJ Aikens as well as established veterans actors like Jenny Agutter, Sheridan Smith, John Bradley  and Tom Courtenay.

 

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To watch go to: bluefoxentertainment.com/railway-children

About the filmmaker – BAFTA winning director Morgan Matthews has been making documentary films for over ten years, establishing a distinctive style. His films include the Bafta, RTS and Grierson nominated Taxidermy: Stuff the World, and Beautiful Young Minds, which was nominated for a Bafta, RTS, Prix Europa and Grierson award. Morgan founded Minnow Films in 2006 and went on to make The Fallen, a three-hour film for BBC2, remembering every British serviceman and woman who died whilst serving in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. It was named the best documentary of 2008 at the RTS awards, and won two Baftas including Best Factual Director. His narrative films include A Brilliant Young Mind (2014) and his most recent film is an updated version of a British family film classic Railway Children (2022). 

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“A perfectly fun family adventure…” – Cris Kennedy, The Canberra Times (Australia)

“With its light touch on serious issues, it reminds one of an extended episode of Agutter’s more recent regular employment — TV’s Call the Midwife.” – James Croot, Stuff.co.nz

“1970’s aching potency isn’t repeated. But this thoughtful sequel should inspire fond new cinema going memories this summer.” – Nick Hasted, The Arts Desk

“This is a heartwarming homegrown movie which proves that you do not need flashy special effects for escapism.” – Grant Rollings, The Sun (UK)

“Whether viewers will still hold “The Railway Children Return” close to their hearts in 50 years’ time remains to be seen, but no one’s childhood is getting ruined here, either on screen or off.” – Guy Lodge, Variety