Anonymous Sister – Director Jamie Boyle

In this, raw, poignant, and deeply personal story, ANONYMOUS SISTER, two-time Emmy winner filmmaker Jamie Boyle turns the camera on her own family when her mother and sister become dependent on opioids. Drawing upon footage shot for over 30 years, Boyle creates a poignant and timely study of the deadliest man-made epidemic in United States history. ANONYMOUS SISTER is an eye-opening look at what it means to suffer, to survive, and to experience life in all of its pain and beauty. Featuring preeminent voices from Colorado’s state government, renowned healthcare organizations, community activist groups, and those directly affected, this film in intended to kick off a  nationwide campaign to deepen the understanding of the opioid epidemic, reduce opioid prescribing, and strip away the harmful stigma associated with substance use disorder. Director Jamie Boyle (Take a Vote, Jackson) joins us for a conversation on the enormous scope of opioid distribution, misinformation, fraud, legalized bribery, and lack of accountability regarding of Big Pharma, generally, and Purdue Pharmaceutical / Sackler family in particular bear responsibility for a scourge that has devastated millions of people’s lives and the impact addiction has had on her family.

 

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

For help with opioid addiction go to: anonymoussister.com/resources

Director’s Statement – “The camera makes you forget you’re there. It gives you both a point of connection and a point of separation.”So begins Anonymous Sister––a visual memoir that chronicles a time in my life when a handheld Super 8 camera was the only thing that stood between me and the inconceivable reality on the other side of the lens, as I watched my loved ones succumb to an unknown, unnamed epidemic. ANONYMOUS SISTER is a recounting of what the opioid crisis looked like before it was labeled as such, when it entered your home under the guise of standard healthcare, when those to whom we entrust our lives became the greatest threat to it, when there was nothing left to do but bear witness. ANONYMOUS SISTER began as a teenage girl’s scream into the wind. I was drawn to the camera at a very young age, unaware that it would become my sole weapon against a tidal wave of misinformation disseminated by some of the most powerful and corrupt forces in the world. To document the life going out of someone is an excruciating thing. To do it when it is your mother’s life, your sister’s, may seem to be a form of self-torture. It certainly walks a tenuous line between preservation and destruction. What it did was offer me a way to look at something that I couldn’t otherwise. That camera would accompany me on my darkest days and suspend time, holding them alive and breathing for one more moment.A decade after her and my mom escaped the deadly, and horrifyingly common, toll of opioid addiction, my sister announced she was pregnant. It would be her first major interaction with the medical community since getting off opioids. This time, when I looked at life through a camera, what I saw was the unspeakable ramifications of human vice and corruption, staggering numbers of sisters and mothers gone, millions of lives irreparably altered, and sky-high rates of opioid prescribing. I saw a nation haunted by the ghosts of its needlessly dead, with no way to stop the destruction in the face of a system that consistently sacrifices lives at the altar of the almighty dollar. The end result speaks to the pull of escape, of refuge, and the various places we seek it––substances, money, work, family, art. It leaves us with unanswered, uncomfortable questions about what happens when those needs inevitably collide, when human life becomes a casualty of human greed. This film is our story. It belongs to all of us. Because when all is said and done, my family’s story is unique in only one respect—we lived to tell it. 

About the filmmaker – Jamie Boyle is a two-time Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker living and working on the unceded Indigenous land of the Lenape peoples, also known as Brooklyn, NY. Her work has played at Sundance, SXSW, LA Film Fest, Full Frame, Hot Docs, True/False, DOC NYC, Human Rights Watch, and others. She was recently selected for the 2019 DOC NYC 40 Under 40 list. She was the editor, producer, and cinematographer for Jackson (SHOWTIME), winner of the 2018 News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Social Issue Documentary.  Jackson premiered at the LA Film Festival and was awarded Best Documentary at over fifteen festivals. She edited Trans in America: Texas Strong, winner of the 2019 News & Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary. She was the Associate Editor and Production Manager on E­-TEAM (Netflix), which won the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Cinematography Award and was nominated for two News and Documentary Emmys, including Best Documentary. Most recently, she directed, filmed, and edited Take A Vote, a short documentary spotlighting the fight against voter suppression. She taught at the Bronx Documentary Center and as a guest lecturer at Columbia University.

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Boiling Point – Director Philip Barantini

Director Phillip Barantini’s BOILING POINT, takes deep dive into the internal dynamics roiling thru one of the hottest restaurants in London on the busiest night of the year. A charismatic, commanding head chef Andy Jones (Stephen Graham) balances along a knife’s edge as multiple personal and professional crises threaten to destroy everything he’s worked for. A surprise visit from a health and safety inspector sets the staff on edge as the overbooked hotspot begins to fill with guests. Jones alternately berates and cajoles his diverse staff, trying his best to diffuse tensions between management and his crew, while catering to the ridiculous demands of customers. Co-written with James Cummings (A Place for Everything), Along with Stephen Graham, BOILING POINT, stars, Vinette Robinson, Alice Feetham, Hannah Walters, Malachi Kirby, Izuka Hoyle, Taz Skyler, Lauryn Ajufo, Daniel Larkai, Lourdes Faberes, Jason Flemyng, Ray Panthaki. Nominated for 11 British Independent Film Awards (BIFA), including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Breakthrough Performance. We are joined by Director Phillip Barantini to talk about his kaleidoscopic look inside the controlled chaos of a bustling restaurant as well as all of the volatile personalities he manages to blend together in this exceptionally accomplish slice of gourmet filmmaking.

 

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For news and updates go to: ascendantfilms.co.uk/films/boiling-point

11 British Independent Film Awards nominations – including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Breakthrough Performance

About the filmmaker – After 20 years of performing in front of the camera – including roles in the massively successful BAND OF BROTHERS, CHERNOBYL, NED KELLY and HUMANS, to name a few – Philip Barantini transitioned into directing in the late 2010s, marking his first short film with the award-winning SECONDS OUT, written by and starring Robbie O’Neill. Following this, Barantini helmed the BIFA nominated short film BOILING POINT, starring Stephen Graham, which was then adapted into the hotly anticipated one-shot feature of the same name in 2021; both movies were co-written with Barantini’s frequent collaborator James Cummings. “BOILING POINT” saw its international debut in competition at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and will premiere in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2021. Barantini is due to helm 21 LAPS ENTERTAINMENT’S THE LAST DROP, with Sharon Horgan attached. Barantini’s other directing credits include feature film VILLAIN starring Craig Fairbrass and his TV debut, BBC’s THE RESPONDER starring Martin Freeman, directing the last episode of the season, which is due for release early 2022. For more: threelittlebirdspictures.co.uk

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“An exhilarating workplace drama that’s like jumping into a speeding sports car, one inexorably headed for a brick wall. But what a ride it is until it makes its final curve.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

“As unlikely as it seems, a night inside an imploding restaurant creates one of the most satisfying and compelling dramas of the year.” – Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com

“Boiling Point is an exercise in filmmaking, but it’s also one that works on all fronts, something many others should take a look at to see how it’s done.” – Emilie Black, Cinema Crazed

“From the incredible acting to the expertly done cinematography to the at times astonishing set pieces, Boiling Point is the full meal.” – Daryl MacDonald, Film Inquiry

“Boiling Point expertly combines a masterful ensemble cast – especially Stephen Graham and Vinette Robinson – with an ambitious single-take presentation to wring maximum gut-wrenching suspense out of its drum-tight 92 minutes.” – Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth

Adrienne – Director Andy Ostroy

Adrienne Shelly starred in over twenty films including Hal Hartley’s indie classics The Unbelievable Truth and Trust. She also wrote and directed several shorts and feature films including the critically acclaimed Waitress. A devoted young mother, her life was right on track until her husband Andy Ostroy found her murdered. With ADRIENNE Andy set out on a very personal journey to bring her back to life for viewers, to discover the truth about his wife’s murder and offer a rare window into how a family confronts the unthinkable Adrienne celebrates  the  life and work of the late Adrienne Shelly. ADRIENNE is a personal exploration of grief. As an actor and filmmaker, Shelly strove to tell female-centric stories, including the critically acclaimed film Waitress. But Shelly would not live to see the film’s release, nor experience the smash Broadway musical based on her work. Shelley left behind a devastated husband and 2-year-old daughter. Through candid conversations with family, friends, and colleagues–including Paul Rudd, Keri Russell and Sara Bareilles–this emotional film follows Ostroy’s poignant journey to honor Adrienne Shelly’s legacy. Director Andy Ostroy joins us for a conversation on why he chose to take on this deeply personal film, and his intention to make a film that would embody the spirit of Adrienne life and art.

For screenings and updates go to: hbo.com/movies/adrienne

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Grandpa Was An Emperor – Director Constance Marks

GRANDPA WAS AN EMPEROR follows Yeshi Kassa, great-granddaughter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, as she embarks on a personal quest to discover what happened to her closest relatives during the coup of 1974. While Yeshi and her older sister were thousands of miles away in a British boardin school, her great-grandfather was deposed by a revolution, setting off a harrowing chain of events that would put her parents and siblings in grave danger.  For the very first time, the royal family examines the events that led to the collapse of a 3,000-year-old dynasty and reflects on how, against all odds, they were able to survive this turbulent time in Ethiopian history. Director Constance Marks (Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Green Chimneys) joins us for a conversation on the remarkably important role that Emperor Haile Selassie played during World War II and in the post-war period of African nation’s drive to break free of colonial control and the lasting his legacy has had on the lives of his children and grandchildren as seen through the eyes of his great-granddaughter Yeshi.

For updates go to: constancemarks.com/grandpa-was-an-emperor

Watch until 11/28 at: docnyc.net/film/grandpa-was-an-emperor

About the filmmaker – Constance Marks (Producer, Director) is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. She is the founder and president of Constance Marks Productions, Inc., a documentary production company based in New York City. Marks began her filmmaking career over 35 years ago as an assistant editor for the renowned Cinema Verite pioneers, David and Albert Maysles. Marks’ critically acclaimed films have been shown theatrically, broadcast widely, and garnered numerous awards. Her productions include: BEING ELMO: A PUPPETEER’S JOURNEY which won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and has been exhibited worldwide to critical acclaim, and GREEN CHIMNEYS — a full-length documentary feature film which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and aired on HBO. Marks has produced numerous films focusing on important social issues including homelessness, the elderly, experimental charter schools, teen pregnancy and substance abuse recovery residences. For more go to: constancemarks.com

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“An intimate look at the final days of an Ethiopian Camelot gone terribly wrong.” – Ron Wilkinson, It’s Just Movies

“Grandpa Was an Emperor is undeniably compelling as it explores a birthright backfiring.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“Grandpa Was An Emperor is a wonderful documentary…” – Grady Bolding, Cultured Vultures

Life of Crime: 1984 – 2020 – Director Jon Alpert

LIFE OF CRIME: 1984-2020, is the culmination of 36 years of work from multiple Emmy Award-winning producer/director Jon Alpert (HBO’s “Baghdad ER”). The third and final part of an epic documentary trilogy, LIFE OF CRIME: 1984-2020 tells the full story of three friends from Newark, New Jersey whose lives have been defined by and torn apart by their addictions. With unfettered access, LIFE OF CRIME: 1984-2020 bears witness to each of their journeys in and out of prison, rehab and in occasional jobs as they struggle to end the vicious cycles of drug use and to connect with the families they left behind. Authentic to true vérité filmmaking techniques, Alpert’s camera is observational, immersive, deeply intimate and unfiltered; the vast scope of the timeline allows for an extensive window into the tragic toll that addiction can take on substance abusers and their loved ones. LIFE OF CRIME: 1984-2020 is tightly focused on three individuals living in one of the roughest parts of Newark, New Jersey: Rob Steffy, a criminal surviving by shoplifting and robbery; Deliris Vasquez, one-time girlfriend of Rob’s and the mother of two children, whose heroin addiction leads to prostitution, prison, rehab and Freddie Rodriguez, whose petty crimes and drug use land him in and out of prison. Director and Producer Jon Alpert joins us for a conversation on how he found himself being pulled into the lives of three hopelessly lost souls desperately trying to find a way out.

 

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Find out more about Jon Alpert’s work at: dctvny.org

LIFE OF CRIME: 1984-2020 debuts Tuesday, November 30 (9:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). The film will debut on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.

Watch at DOCNYC until November 28

About the filmmaker – Director, producer, writer, cinematographer and editor Jon Alpert is a native of Port Chester, New York, In 1970 he graduated Colgate University, and has a black belt in karate. Alpert has traveled widely as an investigative journalist and has reported from Vietnam, Cambodia, Iran, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Cuba, China, and Afghanistan.  He has made films for NBC, PBS, and HBO. Over the course of his career, he has won 15 Emmy Awards and three DuPont-Columbia Awards. He has been nominated for a 2010 Academy Award in the category of Best Documentary, Short Subject for China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province. He was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award in the same category for Redemption. Alpert won the Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media with co-director Ellen Goosenberg Kent for their documentary War Torn: 1861-2010.  In 1972, Alpert and his wife, Keiko Tsuno, founded the Downtown Community Television Center, one of the country’s first community media centers. He has interviewed Fidel Castro several times, and was one of the few Western journalists to have conducted a videotaped interview with Saddam Hussein since the Persian Gulf War. In 1991, while employed by NBC, Alpert was the first American journalist to bring back uncensored video footage from the first Persian Gulf War. The footage, much of it focusing on civilian casualties, was cancelled three hours before it was supposed to be aired, and Alpert was simultaneously fired. Later that year, CBS Evening News Executive Producer Tom Bettag planned to air the footage but this airing was also cancelled, and Bettag fired.

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DMX: Don’t Try To Understand – Director Christopher Frierson (co-director Clark Slater)

DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND: A Year in the Life of Earl “DMX” Simmons is a no-holds-barred portrait of hip-hop’s most tortured superstar. A deeply personal exploration of Faith, Addiction, Loyalty and Family, the film chronicles a year in the life of a man with a burning desire to reconcile decisions of the past. Fresh out yet another bid in Federal prison, 2019 finds Earl “DMX” Simmons at a crossroads. With an insurmountable debt owed to the IRS, an ever-growing family to feed, and immense pressure to return to the heights of yesteryear; the stakes couldn’t be higher. DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND in cinéma vérité style and with unfettered access, the film bears witness to a man searching for reinvention and redemption, striving to stay true to himself while reestablishing his roles as a father, an artist and an icon.We follow Earl Simmons as he navigates this difficult circumstance: from re-acclimating to society in the midst of a grueling nationwide tour, to reuniting with his estranged first-born son. The film is an intimate glimpse into a man whose future and legacy, livelihood, and liberty, are all on the line. Director Christopher Frierson (The King, Denial, Dirty Pictures) joins us to talk about Earl Simmons “DMX” from the point of view of a man facing the unavoidable questions swirling around his own mortality, family, and faith in God.

 

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Watch at DOCNYC until November 28

Watch at: hbo.com/documentaries

Music Box is a collection of documentary films created by Bill Simmons exploring pivotal moments in the music world, featuring portraits of Alanis Morissette, DMX. Keeny G and Woodstock 99.

About the filmmaker – Christopher Frierson director, producer, cinematographer, is also known for his work as a producer and host for the Mass Appeal podcast and his work on numerous films between 2001 and 2020.He is most recently known for capturing and documenting the moment he is pepper sprayed by police, and going back to have a conversation with them, amidst the protests against police brutality and racism. Frierson has worked on numerous films between 2001 and 2020.He is also known for being a host on an eight episode podcast titled Freaknik: A Discourse on a Paradise Lost that discusses the Atlanta street party scene of the 80’s and 90’s, known as Freaknik Street Parties. Most recently he directed documentary film he directed, Don’t Try To Undestand: A Year in the Life of Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons currently available on HBO and HBO MAX.

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Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis – Co-directors Daniel Sivan and Mor Loushy

The eye-opening short documentary featuring illuminating animation, Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis, co-directed by Daniel Sivan and Mor Loushy (The Devil Next Door, The Oslo Diaries) and produced by Benji and Jono Bergmann (Wirecard, Mau), focuses on the story of a top secret POW camp that was classified for over five decades. In the midst of WWII, a group of young Jewish refugees are assigned to guard a top secret POW camp near Washington D.C. The Jewish soldiers soon discover that their prisoners are no other than Hitler’s top scientists – What starts out as an intelligence mission to gather information from the Nazis, soon gets a shocking twist when the Jewish soldiers are tasked with a very different mission altogether. A mission that would question their moral values – exposing a dark secret from America’s past. Co-director Daniel Sivan (Mor Loushy) joins us for a conversation on this unbelievable true story of Nazi officers and scientists a few miles the the US Capital and the wildly improbable discovery of finding the survivors who were alive to tell the tale.

 

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Watch by going to: netflix.com/Camp Confidential

About the filmmaker – Daniel Sivan is an award-winning Israeli director/producer known for his critical social-political documentaries. His works include Censored Voices (Sundance, Berlinale, BFI), Offside (Tribeca, IDFA), and The Patriot. He recently edited Death in the Terminal (executive produced by Mark Boal and Megan Ellison)—winner of an Ophir Award and a Hot Docs best mid-length documentary award.

About the filmmaker – Mor Loushy is an award-winning Israeli director. Her debut film, Israel Ltd (2009), premiered at IDFA and was broadcast worldwide. Her latest documentary, Censored Voices (2015), won an Ophir Award for best documentary. Censored Voices premiered at Sundance Film Festival and screened at BFI London and IDFA and released theatrically worldwide.

“This fascinating documentary is one of the best things available on Netflix.” – Donal Lynch, Sunday Independent

“Camp Confidential: America’s Secret Nazis thoughtfully details a piece of World War II history that deserves a big international platform like Netflix.” – John Serba, Decider

“The piece presents a nuanced picture of the emotional toll treating Germans with decency took on men who had lost families and friends to Nazi atrocities.” – Barbara Shulgasser, Common Sense Media

Keep Sweet – Director Don Argott

Don Argott’s latest documentary, KEEP SWEET explores the leakage left behind by the self-proclaimed “Prophet of the FLDS”, Warren Jeffs and how Jeffs’ demands for absolute loyalty, and the complete adherence to religion dogma, requiring strict dress codes, banishing community celebrations and casting out followers who didn’t fall in line irreparably damaged the lives of so many. His controversial reign ended with a conviction for sexual assault with underage girls, landing him in jail for life. Jeffs’ downfall sent shock waves throughout the community, with some continuing to pledge their loyalty to him, while others turned their backs on Jeff’s and the FLDS religion altogether. Ten years after his arrest, those left behind attempt to rebuild their community. KEEP SWEET is an allegory for the unsettling reality we are living through in America. Can we learn how to live with one another despite our different ideologies, or are we destined to live apart? Director Don Argott (Art of the Steal, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time) joins us for a conversation on his own perception of the FLDS people living in Colorado City, Arizona, Warren Jeffs pernicious impact on the lives of people who trusted him and lengths that people will go to for their beliefs.

 

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For news and updates go to: 914pictures.com

Keep Sweet premieres on Discovery+ channel November 24, 2021

For other resources go to: 44blue.com

About the filmmaker – Don Argott (born September 14, 1972) is an American documentary filmmaker and musician originally from Pequannock, New Jersey, and currently residing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Argott has directed the documentary films Rock School (2005), Two Days in April (2007), and The Art of the Steal (2009), Last Days Here (2011), The Atomic States of America (2012), Batman and Bill (2017), Believer (2018), Framing John DeLorean (2019), and Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time (2021), Argott has also worked as a producer and cinematographer.  He co-owns the production company 9.14 Pictures with producer Sheena M. Joyce. Argott has worked with film score in a rock band format, releasing original music under the name Pornosonic. Pornosonic’s work has been featured in numerous films, including Old School.  Argott currently plays guitar in the proto-metal band Serpent Throne along with 9.14 Pictures editor Demian Fenton. For news and updates go to: 914pictures.com or 44blue.com

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The Energy War: Filibuster, Part II – Co-director Chris Hegedus (D.A. Pennebaker & Pat Powell)

Long before documentary series were the trend, filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus created THE ENERGY WAR: FILIBUSTER a ground-breaking episodic look at Washington, D.C in 1977-78. Part Two of the series, FILIBUSTER is a real-life political drama, taking audiences behind-the-scenes during the fierce legislative battle and historic double filibuster over President Carter’s natural gas bill. Referred to as a “holy war,” the issue had evaded solutions for more than thirty years and six presidents. THE ENERGY WAR features combatants on all sides of the political aisle, from oil lobbyists to Senator Edward Kennedy to Secretary of Energy James R. Schlesinger. First aired on PBS in 1979, the series has scarcely been seen since. The documentary continues to resonate today as politicians struggle to fix our current energy crisis. Chris Hegedus, D. A. Pennebaker, and Pat Powell capture all of the drama and brinksmanship of a political era where senators did something nearly unimaginable today, they crossed party lines to negotiate an important and historically significant piece of legislation, the deregulation of the natural gas industry. Co-director Chris Hegedus joins us for a conversation on the why and how she and her collaborators were able to chronicle a ground floor, fly-on-the-wall view of political history.

 

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For news and updates go to: phfilms.com/films/the-energy-war

Watch thru 11/28 at: docnyc.net/film/the-energy-war-filibuster

About the film restoration – Pennebaker Hegedus Films and Foothill Productions have partnered to raise funds to fully restore the complete three-part, five-hour series The Energy War, part of a larger effort by The Pennebaker Hegedus Films Archive and Restoration project (PHFAR), that seeks to restore each of the more than 40 film titles in their library with the aim of housing the entire, restored collection under one roof, as an important and irreplaceable documentary film archive of our culture over the last 50 years.

About the filmmakers – D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’ documentaries are a rich trove of extraordinary films spanning a wide range of topics — from intimate views of contemporary music (Don’t Look Back, Monterey Pop, Depeche Mode 101), to revealing looks inside the machinery of politics (The Energy War, The War Room), the arts (Company, Moon Over Broadway) and popular culture (Town Bloody Hall, Delorean, Kings of Pastry, Unlocking the Cage). Pennebaker is considered a pioneer of cinema verite filmmaking. In 1960, along with colleagues Richard Leacock and Robert Drew, he developed the first fully portable 16mm synchronized camera and sound recording system which revolutionized filmmaking and helped to create the immediate style of shooting that is widely adopted by documentary filmmakers today. Pennebaker Hegedus Films is an independent documentary film production and distribution company founded by D. A. Pennebaker. Throughout their 43-year collaboration, until his death in 2019, Pennebaker and Hegedus directed numerous films, including the Oscar nominated The War Room. Additional top tier accolades include the 2002 DGA Award to Hegedus for Startup.com, the 2004 Emmy award for Elaine Stritch at Liberty, and the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Oscar awarded to D.A. Pennebaker in 2013. Frazer Pennebaker has served as producer on every project since 1982 and along with Nate Pennebaker manages Pennebaker Hegedus Films sales and distribution.

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Lady Buds – Director Chris Russo

Chris Russo’s latest documentary, LADY BUDS, follows the widely praised 2016 decision to legalize cannabis in California and six courageous women who emerge from the shadows to enter the new commercial industry. As farmers, entrepreneurs and activists, these modern-day pioneers find their initial optimism is quickly replaced with uncertainty and fear as the new legislation favors deep pocketed corporations. Those who shaped the foundations of the cannabis industry for decades soon find themselves struggling to fight for their piece of the American Dream in a market they helped create. LADY BUDS features second-generation cannabis farmer Chiah Rodriques, 72-year old African-American retired Catholic school principal turned dispensary owner Sue Taylor, Latinx queer activist Felicia Carbajal, serial entrepreneur Karyn Wagner, and Humboldt elders The Bud Sisters. Their stories speak to the many opportunities and  issues facing commercial cannabis today: the complicated dynamics of raising a family on a cannabis farm, the ongoing fight for those adversely affected by the War on Drugs, educating seniors citizens about the healing power of cannabis, and honoring the LGBTQ activists who fought for legalizing medical marijuana over 25 years ago. At every turn these trailblazers defy stereotypes, while revealing that cannabis is much more than a plant, it’s a community. In her feature debut, award-winning filmmaker Chris J. Russo joins us to all about her own insightful journey into the lives and work of the women who are the backbone of the cannabis culture in California. Their struggles and triumphs paint a picture of an industry in flux as it grapples with preserving its storied heritage while looking toward the future.

 

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

Screening at the Laemmle Glendale 11/16 & 11/27

Available on iTunes beginning 11/26

About the filmmaker – Director / Producer / Writer Chris J. Russo’s award-winning short films have screened all over the world, including the Sundance Film Festival, and have been broadcast on Showtime, PBS, IFC, LOGO and NETFLIX. She is a 2018 fellow of the Sundance Institute/Women In Film Financing Intensive with Lady Buds, and is also a fellow of Film Independent’s Director and Screenwriters Labs, with her project, Directed By Dorothy Arzner. Notable short film credits include, A Woman Reported, about the moments before a hate crime occurs; Size ‘em Up, a coming of age story; Straight Down The Aisle: Confessions of Lesbian Bridesmaids, winner of the Outfest Best Short Documentary Award for its poignant view on marriage non-equality (pre-Prop 8); and numerous music videos. After receiving two art degrees in Photography — a BFA from the University of Buffalo and MFA from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY — Russo moved to Hollywood and worked for Kodak for 15 years and as a Post Production Supervisor on over 15 feature films. Russo is an exhibited fine art photographer, with recent group shows in Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills. She has dedicated the last four years to producing and directing Lady Buds, her first feature film which had its World Premiere at Hot Docs 2021.

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“A broad and insightful overview of the subject, which is explored in considerably more depth than might have been expected from a film which is packed to the gills with high-strength weed.” – Wendy Ide, Screen International

“It’s an ultimately depressing trajectory, though the film itself remains engaging and well crafted.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“Lady Buds is the kind of film whose raison d’être isn’t immediately obvious, but whose storytelling is engaging enough that we’re ready for wherever the journey takes us.” – Inkoo Kang, Hollywood Reporter

The First Wave – Director Matthew Heineman

With exclusive access inside one of New York’s hardest hit hospital systems during the terrifying first four months of the pandemic, Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning director Matthew Heineman’s THE FIRST WAVE spotlights the everyday heroes at the epicenter of COVID-19 as they come together to fight one of the greatest threats the world has ever encountered. Leaving a devastating trail of  death and despair, this once-in-a-century pandemic changed the very fabric of our daily lives and exposed long-standing inequities in American society. Employing his signature approach of character-driven cinema vérité, Heineman embeds with a group of doctors, nurses and patients on the frontlines as they all desperately try to navigate the crisis. With each distinct storyline serving as a microcosm through which we can view the emotional and societal impacts of the pandemic, THE FIRST WAVE is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Director Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts, Tiger) joins us to talk about the harrowing situation he and his crew found as they documented the once-in-a-century panemic testing the men and women, staff and patients, and how they channeled their filmmaking instincts into telling an emotionally charged story that illuminates what is was like to be a part of THE FIRST WAVE.

 

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For news and updates go to: nationalgeographic.com/the-first-wave

For updates go to: neonrated.com/films/the-first-wave

docnyc.net/film/the-first-wave

The First Wave will screen in person on Thursday, November 18 as the festival’s closing night presentation. The film will also be available to screen online November 19-28. Thursday, November 18, 2021 7:00 PM at the Beacon Theatre

Saturday 11/20 – LA: 7:30PM @ LAEMMLE MONICA FILM CENTER: Filmmaker Matt Heineman + subjects from the film; Dr, Nathalia Dougé, Covid survivor Ahmed Ellis and his wife Alexis Ellis, and Physical Therapist Karl Arabian

Sunday 11/21- LA: @ LAEMMLE MONICA FILM CENTER: Filmmaker Matt Heineman + subjects from the film; Dr, Nathalia Dougé, Covid survivor Ahmed Ellis and his wife Alexis Ellis, and Physical Therapist Karl Arabian

About the filmmaker – Director / Producer / Writer Matthew Heineman is an Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker known for his sophisticated and immersive style. Heineman received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First Time Feature Film Director from the Directors Guild of America for his narrative debut “A Private War” — making Heineman and Martin Scorsese the only filmmakers ever nominated for both narrative and documentary DGA Awards. He previously directed the documentary “Cartel Land,” which was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Primetime Emmy Awards and a DGA Award; “City of Ghosts” for which he won a DGA Award; and the docuseries “The Trade,” which just won two Emmys and was honored by the International Documentary Association as the Best Episodic Series of 2018. Heineman most recently directed and produced HBO’s “Tiger,” a two-part documentary on the legendary Tiger Woods, and “The Boy From Medellín,” chronicling the life of global superstar J. Balvin over a pivotal week in his life. Up next, he is set to write and direct “Paradise,” a narrative adaptation of the true events of the 2018 Paradise Fire. For more go to: ourtimeprojects.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A MUST-SEE. An intimate look at the bottomless, unimaginable depths of loss as well as the indefatigable reservoir of hope that sustains humanity during its darkest moments.” – Todd Gilchrist, TheWrap

“MIRACULOUS. Breathless, soul-piercing… a courageous and astonishing cinematic time capsule.” – Tomris Laffly, Variety

“MASTERFULLY CRAFTED. A breathtaking testament to the fight to live, the calling to heal, and the power of human connection.” – Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“Harrowing … Extraordinary. Heineman is offering a public service by reminding us of the worst of days, but still offering hope of a way out — as long as we heed the warnings. The more opportunities to see it, the better.” – Deadline

“CATHARTIC, HEALING, AND EMOTIONAL. It will never be more urgent than it is right now.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Writing with Fire – Co-Directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Co-directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh award-winning documentary WRITING WITH FIRE focuses on India’s social environment built to divide based on caste and gender and a fearless group of journalists maintain India’s only women-led news outlet. Amidst rising Hindu nationalism, the Dalit women of Khabar Lahariya—all from the Dalit (“untouchables” caste)—prepare to transition the newspaper from print to digital even though many of their reporters don’t have access to electricity at home. Armed with smartphones, Chief Reporter Meera and her team of journalists confront some of India’s biggest issues—investigating cases of caste and gender violence, police corruption, environmental injustices, and more. WRITING WITH FIRE chronicles the astonishing determination of these local reporters as they empower each other and hold those responsible for injustice to account. Reaching new audiences through their growing platform, the women of Khabar Lahariya redefine what it means to be powerful. Co-directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh join us for a conversation on the daily lives of these incredibly brave women, at home and on the road as journalist, gaining access and the trust of their community and how their work has served to demonstrate the power of a free press to improve lives and support a democratic society.

 

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For news, updates and screenings go to: writingwithfire.in

Watch virtually until 11/28 at docnyc.net/film/writing-with-fire

About the filmmaker – Director / Writer / Producer Rintu Thomas is an award winning director-producer from India and co-founder of Black Ticket Films, an agency that has been recognized for its unique visual language. Rintu’s work is supported by the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, IDFA, SFF Film Fund, Doc Society, Tribeca Institute, Finnish Film Foundation and Bertha Foundation, among others. Over the last 10 years, her shorts have ranged from themes of environment and public health to women’s rights and resilience of local communities towards climate change. Her notable multiple award-winning shorts are Dilli (2010) and  Timbaktu  (2012). Rintu’s films have travelled to film festivals across the world, are being used as advocacy tools for social impact, included in the curriculum of universities and exhibited globally, including at the United Nations Climate Change Conference and The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts – becoming catalysts for new conversations. Rintu is a Sundance Skoll Stories of Change Fellow, a South Asia Fellow with the Japan Foundation and a recipient of the President’s Medal (2012), the highest recognition given to filmmakers in India. In 2017, she was chosen as an Adobe Young Lantern, an award that honors creative leaders of tomorrow who are shaping the industry with their artistic vision. Rintu lives between New Delhi and the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. She loves bookshops, dogs and seashores. Writing With Fire is her debut feature documentary.

About the filmmaker – Director / Writer / Producer / Cinematographer Sushmit Ghosh Sushmit Ghosh is a national award-winning director-cinematographer from India whose work has been supported by the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, Tribeca Institute, Doc Society, SFF Film Fund, IDFA, The Bertha Foundation, Sorfond and the Finnish Film Foundation, among others. Sushmit is also a Sundance Fellow, who enjoys producing films that have the power to create transformative social impact. In 2009, he co-founded Black Ticket Films, a production company invested in the power of non-fiction storytelling. With a strong eye on social justice stories, Black Ticket Films’ award-winning slate of films are being used as advocacy, impact and education tools by institutions across the world. Sushmit has also served on the jury of the National Awards in India and he enjoys teaching cinema as a guest faculty at various universities. Five years in the making, Sushmit’s debut feature documentary, Writing With Fire, premiered at Sundance and went on to win the Special Jury and Audience Awards. In his spare time, you’ll find him motorcycling and hiking through the Himalayas.

 
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 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The most inspiring journalism movie — maybe ever. An essential portrait of the fight for press freedom…Writing With Fire reminds us that there are always people who, despite incredible odds, will choose to do this work.” – Jason Rezaian, Washington Post

“As this engaging and hopeful documentary by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh shows, words have the power to change things when wielded carefully…‘I believe journalism is the essence of democracy,’ says Meera. Watching this will make you believe it too.” – Amber Wilkinson, Screen International

“Insightful and inspirational…the film’s sense of intimacy and immediacy makes the viewer feel like they’re on a ride-along with the journalists…the filmmakers illuminate the change that can happen when the most marginalized members of a society empower themselves…” – Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter

“Armed with eagle-eyed filmmakers and compelling subjects, the film deftly blends the (inextricably linked) personal and professional sides of the journalists’ work, offering up a wide-ranging look at a vital outlet with so many stories to tell…the result is profound” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Aulcie – Director Dani Menkin

AULCIE is the incredible story of Aulcie Perry, an African American basketball player who hailed from the violence-filled streets of the 1960s Newark, New Jersy. During the summer of 1976, Aulcie Perry was spotted by a scout for Maccabi Tel Aviv while playing at the Rucker courts in Harlem and was quickly signed to play for their fledgling team. The Israeli players immediately responded to Aulcie’s leadership and that year they had what one Sports Illustrated writer described as “the most extraordinary season in its remarkable history” and what Perry later called “the best nine months of my life.” He became an overnight sensation in Israel, beloved by the fans and by his adopted country. He converted to Judaism and became an Israeli citizen. His highly publicized relationship with Israeli supermodel Tami Ben Ami became the subject of relentless media attention, making him one of Israel’s biggest stars. But his success wasn’t enough to save him from the descent into drugs and jail time, before finally finding redemption. Director Dani Menken (On the Map, Dolphin Boy, 39 Pounds of Trouble) joins us for a conversation on the remarkable and complicated tale of a legendary athlete.

 

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For news and updates go to: heyjudeproductions.com

AULCIE will open at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on November 12 in at JCC Manhattan in New York City on November 16, and will be available virtually as of November 19th.

About the filmmaker – Currently living in Los Angeles, California, Dani Menkin is the twice Israeli-Academy-Award-Winning filmmaker of 39 POUNDS OF LOVE  and IS THAT YOU? 39 POUNDS OF LOVE was sold to HBO Documentary Films and shortlisted for the American Oscar Awards.  Menkin’s award-winning film DOLPHIN BOY (co-directed with Yonatan Nir) was sold to over 20 countries around the globe and was bought by Walt Disney Pictures for adaptation. His documentary ON THE MAP  is being distributed by Lionsgate in North America.

“The compact, cross-cultural documentary “Aulcie” is as open-hearted and quietly engaging as its title character…” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

Mayor Pete – Director Jesse Moss

The latest documentary film from director Jesse Moss, MAYOR PETE, brings viewers inside Pete Buttigieg’s campaign to be the youngest President of the United States.providing an unprecedented intimacy with the candidate, his husband Chasten, and their ambitious team. From the earliest days of the campaign, to his unlikely, triumphant victory in Iowa and beyond, this lm reveals what really goes on inside a campaign for the highest office in the land—and the myriad ways it changes the lives of those at its center. Recently appointed U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Buttigieg serves as the first openly LGBTQ Senate-confirmed Cabinet member in U.S. history. Director Jess Moss (The Overnighters, The Family, Boys State) joins us to talk about the challenges of documenting a white hot presidential campaign and the possible next leader of the free world while chronicling the relationship of the first openly gay presidential candidate and his husband.

 

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Watch now: www.amazon.com/Mayor-Pete-Buttigieg

About the filmmaker –  Director, Producer, Director of Photography Jesse Moss is an Emmy Award® and Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning director. His last lm Boys State, co-directed with Amanda McBaine, premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The lm was awarded the Grand Jury Prize and released by Apple Original Films and A24. The lm was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary and nominated for two Primetime Emmys. It won the 2021 Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Documentary. Former President Barack Obama included Boys State among his favorite movies of 2020. The lm won the Cinema Eye Audience Choice Prize and the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Political Documentary of 2020. Earlier work includes The Overnighters, awarded the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, released by Drafthouse Films and Netix, and shortlisted for the Academy Award. Other work includes the Netix series The Family, and the Payday episode of the Netix series Dirty Money. He has twice been nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. For more go to: jessemoss.com

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“Jesse Moss’s compelling portrait of Pete Buttigieg sheds new light on the rare presidential contender with the X factor.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Some of the behind-the-curtain glimpses are fascinating, from a friendly exchange with Joe Biden, his current boss, as the two run across each other on the trail to the strategizing with staff, from messaging to debate prep.” – Brian Lowry, CNN.com

“The film provides a window into what it takes to run a presidential campaign, and features fascinating intimacy with Buttigieg, his husband Chasten, and their team.” – Sarah McMullan, Stuff.co.nz

“It does have the benefit of showing a man who seems destined to remain a force in American politics, growing into the role in real time.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

Out of the Blue – Producers John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr

A kind of spiritual sequel (and cautionary counterpoint) to Hopper’s own Easy Rider, OUT OF THE BLUE chronicles the idealism of the sixties decline into the hazy nihilism of the 1980’s. Don Barnes (Dennis Hopper) is a truck driver in prison for drunkenly smashing his rig into a school bus. Linda Manz (Days of Heaven) plays Cebe, his daughter, a teen rebel obsessed with Elvis and The Sex Pistols. Her mother (Sharon Farrell) waitresses, shoots up drugs and takes refuge in the arms of other men. Cebe runs away to Vancouver’s punk scene and ends up on probation under the care of psychiatrist Raymond Burr. After Don’s release, the family struggles to re-connect before the revelation of dark secrets leads to a harrowing conclusion. The driving force behind this long overdue restoration and redemption are John Alan Simpson and Elizabeth Karr and they join us for a conversation on where OUT OF THE BLUE fits into the filmography of outlaw artist Dennis Hopper and why film lovers should be celebrating the re-release of this raw and ragged middle finger of a film from one of cinema’s great provocateurs

 

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For news and updates go to: outofthebluedennishopper.com

The New 4K restoration is being shown for the first time on the big screen theatrically at Metrograph in November, 2021 in New York.

The Backstory – Despite critical acclaim at its original Cannes premiere in 1980, OUT OF THE BLUE went unreleased because it was considered too bleak for U.S. audiences.  John Alan Simon, then a film critic/journalist, rescued the film from the shelf, secured distribution rights and took it on the road with Dennis Hopper back in 1982 to art house theaters across the U.S. including a 17-week record-breaking run at the Coolidge Corner Cinema in Boston and then NYC and Los Angeles theatrical releases.  “It’s incredibly important to us that OUT OF THE BLUE be preserved for future generations to experience its emotional impact and as the artistic achievement that helped re-establish Dennis Hopper as an important American director,” commented Elizabeth Karr on behalf of Discovery Productions. “For me, this restoration project was pay-back for all I learned from Dennis Hopper when we originally took OUT OF THE BLUE on the road in 1982 after I rescued it from the shelf.  He was an amazing artist and friend and OUT OF THE BLUE remains as unforgettable as he was and serves as an indelible tribute to the talents of Linda Manz,” John Alan Simon from Discovery Productions concluded.

Director’s statement – I was hired as an actor for ”Out of the Blue”. Two weeks in, I took over as director with full autonomy – because the 2 1⁄2 hours of film in the can was unusable. I rewrote the entire screenplay over the weekend and started shooting on Monday. In many ways, it’s maybe my best film. It’s about the society of North America; the family unit falling apart. I’m a social protest painter, I can’t help it. I don’t know much about the past, I’m not really interested in the future, or in space. I like to make things about what I see. For a person like me, it’s a miracle that I get the opportunity to direct a film. Because I don’t listen to anybody. I don’t have any collaborators except my actors. – Dennis Hopper

About Dennis Hopper:  Born in Dodge City, Kansas, May 17,1936: Actor-director Dennis Hopper’s “Out of the Blue” premiered at Cannes in 1980. His directorial debut, “Easy Rider “(1969, Cannes Award “Best First Work,” was a countercultural landmark whose success helped spark the New Hollywood era of seventies filmmaking). His follow-up “The Last Movie” (1971) won the CIDALC Critics Prize Award at the Venice Film Festival. He went on to direct “Out of the Blue,”(1980) – Official Cannes selection; “Colors,” (1988) “Backtrack,” (1990) and “The Hot Spot,” (1990). His 200+ acting roles include “Rebel Without a Cause,” “Giant,” “Mad Dog Morgan,” “Apocalypse Now,” “Blue Velvet,” and “Hoosiers” (Academy Award nomination, Best Supporting Actor). Also a renowned photographer and artist, Hopper died in Los Angeles, May 29, 2010.

Discovery Productions, Inc. (John Alan Simon and Elizabeth Karr) finished the digital restoration of OUT OF THE BLUE to premiere at the Venice Film Festival. They undertook the project to preserve Dennis Hopper’s landmark film from only two 35mm prints of the movie in existence and to make it available to new audiences.

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“Hopper, as director and uncredited writer, extends no hope whatsoever, and there’s something vital and cleansing about the movie’s thorough nihilism.” – Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com

“A haunting portrait of juvenile delinquency that ranks among the most powerful in American cinema.” – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader

“This film is an impressive demonstration of mastery of mood and tone that affects and engages the viewer at an emotional level so deep and instinctive that it seems both primal and profound”

“n the late Dennis Hopper’s mind a better film than Bertolucci’s Luna and his own Easy Rider, the actor-director’s brilliant, still shockingly subversive 1980 cherry bomb is as sad and unsettling as dysfunctional-family dramas come.” – Aaron Hillis, Village Voice

CUSP – Co-directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt

Brittney, Aaloni, and Autumn, three spirited teenage girls living in a Texas military town, meet and befriend photographers and debut filmmakers Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt in a chance encounter one evening. During a road trip across America, documenting snapshots of carefree adolescent summers, Hill and Bethencourt are inspired to film the trio, following them to bonfire parties, fast-food outings, and bedroom hangouts where discussions around agency, opportunity, sex, and consent  unfold with candor. Shot in vérité style, CUSP captures authentic moments of female friendship while examining what it means to confront the dark realities of female adolescence. Though the girls’ experiences arecompletely unique to their upbringing, CUSP is also a strikingly universal coming-of-age tale — and true-to-life, at turns funny, tragic, complicated, and stirring. Co-directors Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt join us for a conversation on the happenstance that brought them into these young women’s life, the sparse economic and educational opportunities available to Brittney, Aaloni, and Autumn, and the specter of violence that shadows too many of their relationships.

 

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

DOCNYC Festival Screenings: November 12-November 28 (Available on virtual platform) 

PARKER HILL (Director, Cinematographer, Editor) Parker Hill: Hill is a New York City–based writer-director who graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her thesis film, One Good Pitch, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Her short films Homing In and Sanderson to Brackettville have screened at BFI London Film Festival and online as a Vimeo Staff Pick, respectively. Cusp is her debut feature documentary. 

ISABEL BETHENCOURT (Director, Cinematographer) Isabel Bethencourt is a filmmaker from a beach near Los Angeles, California. Her work as a director and cinematographer has been published by the Wall Street Journal, ESPN, GQ, and Teen Vogue. Cusp is her first feature documentary. 

Director’s statement – Cusp started from a photo road trip. We were driving from Montana to Texas in an RV, and on our last night, at 2:30 in the morning, at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, we met a group of girls in a pickup truck. We were filling up our tank when a truck swerved into the station and slammed to a stop. Four teenage girls spill out of the cab, mostly barefoot, blasting music and screaming jokes at each other. They were the epitome of a wild summer night. We went over and asked to take their picture, and we immediately got along. They invited us back to their friends house to hang out, and we were thrown headfirst into their world. As they sped down a dusty back road at 70 mph, and jumped into a pitch-black river without thinking twice, we were captivated by their electric energy, the pure freedom of their adolescence in a seemingly pastoral, rural setting. We described them as the perfect combination of fearless and reckless, which both excited and terrified us. As the sun rose, we parted ways but our curiosity was sparked and we made plans to return and start filming. We were drawn back to Texas for the excitement and freedom we felt that night, and we wanted to capture their raw American teenage experience. We quickly formed a bond with the girls, and kept going back. Despite being years apart and from very different places, we became fast friends, and they were just as excited to show us what it was like to be them as we were to learn. We spent hours on bedroom floors, chatting late into the night, going to bonfire parties and 1am McDonalds runs. As we spent more time filming, we were struck by how casually and often the kids, girls and boys alike, talked about things like sexual assault and rape. They were all matter of fact about it, as if it were an inherent, unavoidable part of growing up. We noticed that the girls were continually harassed by their guy friends, and shrugged off their own experiences with assault by blaming themselves, or claiming it wasn’t a big deal. When we asked about it, we learned that almost every single girl we met has had some kind of non-consensual sexual experience, and we started noticing the ways it changed them. They taught us their methods of survival: never go to a party alone, always have a ride, never be in a room by yourself with a guy—and if you are, you have to be ready to say no. We started to understand that the fun and wild freedom of these teenage years are also laced with toxic and pervasive social norms. – Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt

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89% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Echoing Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap, Bethencourt and Hill beautifully capture the gruelling nature of adolescence, in particular the heart-wrenching experience of growing up as a woman in the United States.” – Rafaela Sales Ross, One Room With A View

“Heartbreaking and sensitive in equal measure, a film that centers people who often fade into the background of our culture.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“Cusp is a little staggering and incredibly beautiful… It’s to Cusp’s credit that there’s still a sense of magic and possibility throughout the film, as if the girls have some hope for their futures.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“A portrait of modern girlhood, this documentary ultimately becomes a bleak look at the normalization of sexual abuse among the very victimized young women.” – Beatrice Loayza, New York Times

Boycott – Director Julia Bacha

Boycotts have long been a tool used by Americans rallying for political change, from civil rights leaders to anti-apartheid activists. But in recent years, 33 U.S. states have introduced anti-boycott legislation or executive orders designed to penalize individuals and companies who choose to boycott Israel due to its human rights record. In BOYCOTT, director Julia Bacha (Budrus, Naila and the Uprising) looks at the cases of a news publisher in Arkansas, an attorney in Arizona and a speech therapist in Texas whose careers are threatened by the harsh measures of these new laws. A legal thriller with “accidental plaintiffs” at the center, the film is a bracing look at the far-reaching implications of anti-boycott legislation and an inspiring tale of everyday Americans standing up to protect our rights in an age of shifting politics and threats to freedom of speech.  Director Julia Bacha stops by to talk about the intensifying efforts in the public and private sectors from around the country to criminalize free speech and freedom of association. Bacha talks about the everyday efforts of private citizens to step up and take actions to stop a perniciously undemocratic movement from spreading.

 

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For news and ways to protect your rights go to: theboycottfilm.com

Watch Boycott virtually until 11/28 go to: docnyc.net/film/boycott

Find out more at: Boycott Divestment Sanctions

For more about the ongoing efforts, go to: justvision.org

About the filmmaker – Julia Bacha is a Peabody and Guggenheim award-winning filmmaker, media strategist, and the Creative Director at Just Vision, an organization that fills a media gap on Israel-Palestine through independent storytelling and strategic audience engagement. Julia started her filmmaking career in Cairo, where she wrote and edited Control Room (2004), for which she was nominated for the Writer‚Äôs Guild of America Award. Control Room became one of the highest grossing political documentaries of all time and introduced Americans for the first time to the inner workings of the Arab satellite channel, Al Jazeera. Subsequently, she moved to Jerusalem where she co-directed, wrote and edited Encounter Point (2006), which followed Palestinians and Israelis who risked their lives and public standing to promote an end to the occupation and the conflict. Encounter Point premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, won best documentary prize at the San Francisco Film Festival and was broadcast on Al Arabiya to millions of viewers. Julia then directed and produced the critically-acclaimed Budrus (2009), which chronicled the story of a Palestinian community organizer who united all Palestinian factions and Israelis to save his village from destruction by Israel’s separation barrier. Subsequently, Julia directed and produced My Neighbourhood (2012), which follows a Palestinian teenager struggling to reclaim his home in East Jerusalem from Israeli settlers. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, was released online by The Guardian and won the coveted Peabody Award. Most recently, Julia directed Naila and the Uprising (2017), which chronicles the remarkable journey of Naila Ayesh whose story weaves through the most vibrant, nonviolent mobilization in Palestinian history – the First Intifada. Julia received a Guggenheim Fellowship to produce the film, which had its US premiere at DOCNYC, European Premiere at IDFA and Middle East Premiere at the Dubai Film Festival. In addition to over thirty film festival awards, Julia is the recipient of the King Hussein Leadership Prize, Search for Common Ground Award, Ridenhour Film Prize, O Globo “Faz Diferen√ßa” Prize and the PUMA Creative Impact Award. She is a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations, an Advisory Board Member to the Tribeca Film Institute, and a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. Her TED talk, “Pay Attention to Nonviolence” was selected as one of the best talks of 2011 by the TED curators and has been viewed by over half a million people worldwide. For more go to: justvision.org

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Procession – Director Robert Greene

In Robert Greene’s latest searingly honest documentary, PROCESSION, six midwestern men all survivors of childhood sexual assault at the hands of Catholic priests and clergy come together to direct a drama therapy-inspired experiment designed to collectively work through their trauma. As part of a radically collaborative filmmaking process, they create fictional scenes based on memories, dreams and experiences, meant to explore the church rituals, culture and hierarchies that enabled silence around their abuse. In the face of a failed legal system, we watch these men reclaim the spaces that allowed their assault, revealing the possibility for catharsis and redemption through a new-found fraternity. As one of the men says, “SPOTLIGHT was about trying to get in from the outside. In our film, we’re trying to get out.” Director Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine, Bisbee ’17) joins us to talk about his collaboration with an extraordinary group of men, Joe Eldred, Mike Foreman, Ed Gavagan, Dan Laurine, Michael Sandridge and Tom Viviano as they begin the process of taking control of a narrative that has brought them immeasurable pain and rage, by telling their story of abuse on their own terms.

 

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Beginning on November 19: netflix.com/Procession

Opens in NY on November 12th and in LA and SF on November 19th

About the filmmaker – Robert Greene’s latest award winning film BISBEE ’17 premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. His previous film KATE PLAYS CHRISTINE won a Jury Award for Writing at Sundance 2016. Robert’s documentaries include the Gotham Awards-nominated ACTRESS, FAKE IT SO REAL and the Gotham Awards-nominated KATI WITH AN I. Robert was an inaugural Sundance Art of Nonfiction fellow in 2015 and is a three-time nominee for Best Director at the Cinema Eye Honors. The Independent named Robert one of their 10 Filmmakers to Watch in 2014 and he received the 2014 Vanguard Artist Award from the San Francisco DocFest. His first documentary, OWNING THE WEATHER, was screened at the COP15 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Robert has edited over a dozen features, including HER SMELL (2018), GOLDEN EXITS (2017), QUEEN OF EARTH (2015) and LISTEN UP PHILIP (2014) by Alex Ross Perry, Amanda Rose Wilder’s award winning APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT (2014), Charles Poekel’s Spirit Awards-nominated CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (2015) and Douglas Tirola’s HEY BARTENDER (2013). He has been a Sundance Edit Lab Advisor and was on the U.S. Documentary Jury for Sundance 2017. Robert writes for outlets such as Sight & Sound and serves as the Filmmaker-in-Chief for the Murray Center for Documentary Journalism at the University of Missouri.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“What could have been a disaster in the hands of a less sensitive film-maker ends up an extraordinary feat of care, collaboration and creativity.” – Simran Hans, Observer (UK)

“An unrelentingly gripping and often disturbing film that dares to visualize (with taste and restraint) some of the vilest behavior the species is capable of.”  Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

“unpredictable act of healing.” – Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com

“A shattering vision of male friendship and strength in the face of evil.” – Justin Chang, The Los Angeles Times

“Procession is, quite simply, one of the very best documentaries of 2021.” – Richard Propes, TheIndependentCritic.com

“The most high-stakes project of an eclectic career.” – Charles Bramesco, The Playlist

Dean Martin: King Of Cool – Director Tom Donahue

Dean Martin epitomized cool. A founding member of the Rat Pack, Dean was a multi-talented performer who was part of the number one comedy act in America, a chart-topping singer for over half a century and one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and on TV. He was the consummate charmer on stage and off. Everybody loved him. Yet for all his celebrity, fame and adoration, no one ever truly knew him. King of Cool seeks to change this. Through the use of interviews with friends, family, those who worked with him and modern actors and musicians inspired by him, as well as never before seen archival footage including from his time with Jerry Lewis, his movies and his TV Variety Show and Roasts, viewers get an intimate and personal account of his life. The film dives deep to try and understand why he was such an enigma and even searches to find Dean’s Rosebud. Featuring interviews with Alec Baldwin, RZA, Jon Hamm, George Schlatter, Norman Lear, Barbara Rush, Florence Henderson, Lainie Kazan, Deana Martin, Angie Dickinson, Tommy Tune, Peter Bogdanovich, Dick Cavett, Regis Philbin, Bob Newhart, Barry Levinson, Carol Burnett, James Woods. Director Tom Donahue joins us for a conversation about one of the most accomplished entertainers to ever grace a film set, television sound stage, recording studio or nightclub, and how he brought Dean back to life through the stories told by the family and friends who knew him best.

 

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For news and updates go to: creativechaosvmg.com/work

PREMIERING NOV 19TH ON TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES

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“Caused me to rethink my own perspective on an actor and his roles.” – Peter Martin, ScreenAnarchy

“What’s truly extraordinary about this documentary is the sheer number of people who were interviewed. Half the fun is seeing so many familiar faces…” – Raquel Stecher, Out of the Past

Jagged – Director Alison Klayman

In her enthralling new documentary film, JAGGED, Director Alison Klayman, takes viewers back to 1995, when a 21-year-old Alanis Morissette burst onto the music scene with the first single off her ground-breaking album, “Jagged Little Pill.” With a rawness and emotional honesty that resonated with millions, and despite a commercial landscape that preferred its rock stars to be male, she took radio and MTV by storm and the album went on to sell 33 million copies. Featuring an in-depth interview with Alanis, as well as never-before-seen archival material, JAGGED explores her beginings as a young Canadian pop star, the rocky path she faced navigating the male- dominated music industry, and the glass ceiling she shattered on her journey to becoming the international icon and empowered artist she is today. Director Alison Klayman joins us for a conversation on the seismic impact that “Jagged Little Pill” had on becoming an international icon, the perceptions around women in music, the music industry, radio, her early career in the “business” and her continuing determination to stay true to herself.

Watch Season One of Music Box at hbo.com/music-box

For news and updates go to: alisonklayman.com

JAGGED debuts THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max. It continues the MUSIC BOX documentary series created by Bill Simmons, which launched in July with “Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage.” The weekly series will air on subsequent Thursdays at the same time and will be available to stream on HBO Max.

About the filmmaker – Alison Klayman was the youngest director named by the New York Times chief film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis on their international list of 20 Directors to Watch. Her debut feature AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, about the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where it was awarded a US Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance. It had its international premiere at Berlinale and went on to be shortlisted for an Academy Award, nominated for two Emmys, and earn Alison a DGA Award nomination. In the THE BRINK she takes on former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, following him for over a year as he tries to promote his brand of extreme nationalism and unite the far-right anti-immigrant parties of Europe. Alison’s other films include FLOWER PUNK about the visionary Japanese botanical artist Azuma Makoto, released in 2020 by The New Yorker; the Emmy and BAFTA-nominated Netflix Original feature documentary TAKE YOUR PILLS about the role of prescription stimulants in a hyper-competitive, overly medicated America (SXSW 2018); THE 100 YEARS SHOW about 103-year-old Cuban-American painter Carmen Herrera, who worked in obscurity for decades until finally receiving recognition late in life. She has also served as an executive producer on several award-winning films, including the Oscar-shortlisted documentaries HOOLIGAN SPARROW and ON HER SHOULDERS.Alison got her start in radio journalism and has contributed radio commentaries for NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Her short form work includes directing for an episodic docuseries EP’ed by Alex Gibney for ESPN, FRONTLINE PBS and multiple installments of the New York Times’ Emmy-winning Op-Doc Video Series. Alison graduated from Brown University in 2006 with an honors B.A. in History, and speaks Mandarin Chinese and Hebrew. Her mother Anna and father Barry are very proud. She is a member of the DGA and AMPAS, and currently based in Brooklyn.

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The Art of Making It – Director Kelcey Edwards

Against the backdrop of a culture in crisis, THE ART OF MAKING IT follows a diverse cast of young artists at defining moments in their careers to explore whether the art world ecosystem meant to nurture them is actually failing them. Are we at risk of losing the creative voices of a new generation as universities, galleries, and museums are facing cataclysmic changes? Or are we on the verge of rewriting history, expanding access, and making art more accessible for all as outdated models are being rethought? Embracing the conundrum of how artists must be in the market, but not of it, THE ART OF MAKING IT is both a cautionary tale about what America stands to lose if we don’t rethink how we value artists, and a love letter to those who persevere in their artistic practice in spite of the extraordinary odds against ever achieving a sustainable career. Director Kelcey Edwards (Ghost in the Material, Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines) stops by to talk about the reasons why artists of all stripes from all corners of the world are driven to swim upstream in the most precarious and treacherous shark infest waters to bring their vision to all who are willing to engage.

 

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For news and updates go to: theartofmakingitfilm.com

Virtually screening at: docnyc.net/film/the-art-of-making-it

About the filmmaker – Kelcey Edwards – Director is an award-winning filmmaker, author and curator, Kelcey received an MFA in Documentary Film from Stanford University. As a director, her short documentaries have screened at SXSW (Letter), Silverdocs AFI/Discovery Channel Film Festival (Gentle Creatures), and True/False (Ghost in the Material). In 2012, she produced Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (SXSW premiere, Independent Lens broadcast). Kelcey’s fiction writing has appeared in storySouth and Border Crossing; her art writing has been published by Hamptons Art Hub, Portray Magazine and Salomon Contemporary, and her nonfiction has been published in New Voices from Stanford (Stanford University Press) and Persistence of Vision (Austin Film Society). Kelcey has served as a lecturer and panelist at several colleges and universities, including Pratt, Barnard, The New School and NYU Tisch. She also runs Iron Gate East, an exhibition series based in the Hamptons, inspired by her pioneering gallery, Iron Gate Studios, which she co-founded in Austin in 2003. 

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“Every creative industry should get a survey of its shortcomings as engaging and comprehensive as Kelcey Edwards’ coast-to-coast travelogue of major galleries and the fine artists who struggle to break into them.” – The Movable Feast

“The Art of Making It soars when it concentrates, as it often does, on the concepts and the process of making boundary-breaking art.” – The Independent

KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME – Director Robert Weide

2021 DOCNYC  – WORLD PREMIERE

KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME is a dazzling, worthy tribute to Kurt Vonnegut and the first of its kind on Vonnegut – is a deep, immersive dive into the author’s upbringing and his creative output. It spans his childhood in Indianapolis, his experience as a Prisoner of War in World War II, his marriage, family, and divorce, his early careers as a publicist for General Electric and a car salesman, and his long years as a struggling writer, leading to eventual superstardom in 1969 following the publication of his lightning-bolt anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME began 39 years ago when young, struggling filmmaker Robert Weide (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth) wrote a letter to his literary idol proposing a documentary on Vonnegut’s life and work. Shooting began in 1988 and the resulting film reflects the friendship and bond Weide and Vonnegut formed over the decades. KURT VONNEGUT: UNSTUCK IN TIME is first and foremost a biography of a beloved American author. But it also documents a filmmaker’s odyssey as he examines the impact of a writer’s legacy on his own life, extending far beyond the printed page. Director Robert Weide joins us for a conversation on Vonnegut’s literary legacy, his family’s fascinating history and the mutual respect and kindness of friendship.

 

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For news and updates go to: ifcfilms.com/films/kurt-vonnegut

Available through 11/19 at: docnyc.net/film/kurt-vonnegut

About the filmmaker – At the age of 22, Director, producer and writer Robert Weide produced The Marx Brothers in a Nutshell, a documentary tribute to his first love(s) which became one of the highest-rated programs in PBS history. Two years later, he produced and directed The Great Standups: Sixty Years of Laughter for HBO. In 1986 he received the national prime-time Emmy Award for W. C. Fields Straight Up, honored as the year’s Outstanding Informational Special. In 1989, Weide produced, wrote and directed Mort Sahl: The Loyal Opposition, which aired on PBS’ ”American Masters” series. From 1990-’94 he served as Vice President of Development for Rollins & Joffe Productions (producers of Woody Allen’s films) where he executive-produced Larry Gelbart’s critically acclaimed political  satire, Mastergate  for the Showtime Network and Rick Reynolds’ one-man confessional,  Only The Truth Is Funny. He has also produced the HBO specials But Seriously, Folks and The Lost Minutes of Billy Crystal. 1996 saw the release of Weide’s first feature film as writer producer,  Mother Night, based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut. The film starred Nick Nolte, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Sheryl Lee, and Kirsten Dunst. In 1998, Weide completed a twelve year labor-of-love, his acclaimed documentary Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth. His efforts were rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for Best Feature Documentary, followed in ’99 with an Emmy award for the film’s editing and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special. In 1999, HBO premiered Weide’s comedy special, Larry David: Curb Your Enthusiasm, a partly real, partly embellished ”mock-umentary” chronicling the return to stand-up by Larry David, co-creator of Seinfeld. For five seasons, Weide served as the Principal Director and Executive Producer of the series based on this special, directing more than half the episodes. The series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, premiered on HBO in the Fall of 2000 to rave reviews and has so far had nine seasons on the cable network. It’s currently enjoying syndication and DVD sales all over the world. Weide won the Emmy Award for Comedy Direction for his Curb episode ”Krazee-Eyez Killa.” The show itself and Weide’s direction would be Emmy nominated for four years running. After a two year hiatus from the series, Weide returned to direct Season Eight’s ultimate “water cooler” episode, “Palestinian Chicken” which brought him the prestigious DGA Award  (Directors Guild of America) for Comedy Direction, and another Emmy Award nomination for the same. To-date, Weide has directed 28 episodes of the series.

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“A deftly told, multi-layered documentary that uses a unique perspective to capture the magic of Kurt Vonnegut.” – Evan Dossey, Midwest Film Journal

River’s End – Director Jacob Morrison

RIVER’S END: RIVER’S END: CALIFORNIA’S LATEST WATER WAR explores the global water crisis, using California as a microcosm. It reveals how water politics that led to the draining of the Owens Valley by Los Angeles, made famous by the film CHINATOWN, continue to this day in ongoing efforts to take ever more water from Northern California’s San Francisco Bay estuary. Except this time, the water grab is at the hands of  industrial agriculture and its powerful corporate investors. RIVER’S END inspires viewers to learn where their water comes from so that we can save our rivers and the ecosystems and communities that depend upon them. Director Jacob Morrison joins us for a informative conversation on the byzantine, arcane and extremely powerful system of public and private water interests with a history of land grabs and violent intimidation.

 

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For news and updates go to: riversendfilm.com

Director’s Statement – In RIVER’S END, we pull back the curtain on California’s complex water system, where moneyed interests are gaming the system. Constant battling over a limited water supply heralds an impending crisis—not just in California, but around the world. A quarter of humanity now faces a looming water crisis. If we can understand California’s challenges, I believe we will better understand those now facing China and Tibet, India and Pakistan, Chile, South Africa, and elsewhere.  Five years ago, I found a sunken boat along Pier 42 in San Francisco. A local explained that the boat’s owner was a lifelong salmon fisherman. The decimation of the local salmon population due to water diversions had destroyed his business. Facing the loss of his livelihood and mounting debt, he became drunk and allowed himself to sink to the bottom of the Bay. Also tragic was the reason for the water diversions that destroyed his life: agriculture in the Central Valley needed more water to grow crops that are largely shipped overseas. Because of this, six fish are nearing extinction in the California Bay Delta, including species of salmon. But once I began investigating, I learned that not only is water being diverted from dwindling ecosystems for the benefit of farms, but that many of those farms are massive corporate entities looking to take even more water. A proposed multi-billion dollar tunnel system, if operated at the behest of these business interests, could forever destroy California’s native salmon and other species. And as I looked into California’s history, I found that the Golden State has yet to properly operate a large water-infrastructure project. The tunnels fit within a long history of diverting water from the natural environment, turning once lush areas to dust, while sending that water to dry lands for profit. All of this has been happening in California since before LA tapped the Owens Valley, the story that inspired the film CHINATOWN. What started with idle curiosity about a sunken boat in the Bay has led to a sprawling and hopefully nuanced tale of water wars and the environment, the culmination of countless hours of research and interviews across the state of California. I am grateful to my amazing team: producers Kurt and Sam, cinematographer Ben, composer Jonny, sound designer Jan, animator Sherif, and narrator, DeLanna. We hope that River’s End convinces you of the precarious balance of the environment at the mercy of predominantly agricultural water usage. It is only this knowledge and understanding that will allow us to change and adapt, and prevent the destruction of California’s ecosystems, as well as ecosystems throughout the world. If we can solve California’s water problems, we can solve the world’s. Learn where your water comes from—it’s a public resource and it belongs to you. – Jacob Morrison

About the filmmaker – Jacob Morrison – Writer / Director /Producer is a filmmaker releasing his feature directorial debut, River’s End. Morrison has produced series for VICELAND and Fullscreen, wrote and starred in a multi-episode explainer series for Vice, and directed a half-hour television pilot. He is a graduate of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and a native of Southern California. 

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“This complex overview may bring in a lot of new-ish factors, like climate change and species extinctions… but some things remain the same, notably corrupt relationships between California politicians and industry lobbies.” – Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

“Jacob Morrison’s documentary is his feature film debut and it is one that demonstrates his passion for the subject and thoroughness as a documentary filmmaker.” – Carey-Ann Pawsey, Orca Sound

Speer Goes to Hollywood – Director Vanessa Lapa

Albert Speer is an enigma. The highest-ranking Nazi in Nuremberg to be spared the death sentence, Speer was one of Hitler’s closest confidants and his chief architect, tasked with rebuilding Berlin as the capital of a global empire. As Reichsminister of Munitions, Speer was responsible for 12 million slave laborers. And yet, even now, he has the reputation of being “the good Nazi” – a myth he carefully constructed himself. SPEER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD meets its protagonist in 1971, while Speer was working on a screenplay for Paramount Pictures, based on his bestselling wartime memoir “Inside the Third Reich”. Based on months of audio cassettes, recorded by screenwriter Andrew Birkin, it features Speer’s callous attempt to whitewash his past in a feature film. The audio narrative is supplemented by rare archival footage, taken before and during World War II and later, during Speer’s retirement as a semi-reclusive country gentleman. Director Vanessa Lapa’s SPEER GOES TO HOLLYWOOD is a fitting follow up to her award-winning documentary on the life of the leader of the detested SS titled THE DECENT ONE (2014). Her latest film is a cautionary tale about Albert Speer’s 1971 attempt to whitewash his past with a Hollywood adaptation of his bestselling wartime memoir, “Inside the Third Reich”. Director Vanessa Lapa joins us for a conversation on the concerted attempt to rehabilitate the reputation and re-write the culpability of a trusted and faithful confidante of Adolf Hitler.

 

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

The film will open at the Film Forum in New York on October 29, and at Laemmle Royal and Laemmle Town Center in Los Angeles on November 5th. Other cities will follow.

WINNER – Best Documentary – 2021 Ophir Award (“Israeli Oscar”)

About the filmmaker – Although she was born and raised in Belgium, Vanessa Lapa has been living and working in Israel since 1995. A talented polyglot and accomplished journalist, she produced and directed over one hundred news reports and documentaries for Israeli television. She was deeply involved on the Israeli side of content and production for New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s riveting 52-minute documentary Straddling the Fence (USA, 2003), which was aired worldwide. In 2006, Vanessa founded Realworks, Ltd., an independent production house, based in Tel Aviv, which specializes in documentary film. Olmert: Concealed Documentary (Israel, 2009), one of the company’s earliest projects, was hailed as a uniquely insightful achievement in cinéma verité. The film featured behind-the-scenes revelations about the private and public life of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. At the time, Vanessa was already hard at work on The Decent One, an intimate look at SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler, the most powerful person in the Third Reich after Adolf Hitler. Having discovered that Himmler assiduously kept a diary throughout most of his life, Vanessa’s film offered an unprecedented and often surprising glimpse into the mind of this nefarious butcher. Vanessa researched, wrote, directed, and produced this remarkable document about this infamous but little-known man. Eight years in the making, The Decent One had its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 2014. It was an official selection for Panorama, which features the festival’s edgiest, most daring work. The Decent One went on to win the Best Documentary Feature award at the Jerusalem Film Festival. All in all, it was an official selection in over 100 film festivals worldwide. It had a theatrical release in 50 countries and was broadcast in 60. Vanessa followed this film with Speer Goes to Hollywood, a feature documentary about another Nazi official, Reichsminister for Armaments Albert Speer, told in his own words. The film has been officially selected for the Berlinale Special, and will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2020.

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“Speer’s spurious position no longer goes unchallenged, nor does his wartime command over 12 million slave laborers go unacknowledged, and Lapa’s documentary lays bare the falsities in his preferred narrative in a dense, sober and compelling fashion” – Sarah Ward, Screen International

“A horrifying yet bleakly fascinating picture of a man doing something that remains thoroughly relevant today: spinning fake news.” – Screen Daily

“Speer Goes to Hollywood smashes the version of reality Speer was trying to peddle to the World” – Haaretz

Love It Was Not – Director Maya Sarfaty

Love, It Was Not is a tragic love story between a prisoner and a Nazi. Beautiful and full of life, Helena Citron, is taken to Auschwitz as a young woman, and soon finds unlikely solace under the protection of Franz Wunsch, a high-ranking SS officer who falls in love with her and her magnetic singing voice. Risking execution if caught, they went on with their forbidden relationship until the war ended and the camp was liberated. Thirty years later, a letter arrives from Wunsch’s wife asking Helena to “return the favor”– testify on Wunsch’s behalf. Faced with an impossible decision, Helena must choose. Will she help the man who brutalized so many lives, but saved hers? Director Maya Sarfaty joins us for a conversation on one woman’s unbelievably conflicted dilemma happening in the most reviled place on earth during a monstrously evil war to exterminate her family and her people.

 

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For news go to: greenwichentertainment.com/film/love-it-was-not

IN THEATERS STARTING FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5
AT 
QUAD CINEMA IN NEW YORK CITY; AT LAEMMLE ROYAL (LOS ANGELES) & LAEMMLE TOWN CENTER 5 (ENCINO

SUBJECTS 

HELENA CITRON (ZIPORA TAHORI) – Helena was among the first 1000 women transported to Auschwitz. For two and a half years she had a romantic relationship with SS officer Franz Wunsch.

ROZA CITRON (SHOSHANNA ORENSTEIN)  – Helena’s older sister. She was saved by Helena’s admirer, SS officer Franz Wunsch, but both of her children were murdered.

FRANZ WUNSCH An SS officer in Auschwitz. He was known to be brutal, but towards Helena and those close to her he showed mercy. Ultimately, he saved Rosa from the gas chambers.

Director’s statement – As a child, my first theatre teacher was Helena Citron’s niece. She entrusted me with the story of the two sisters with the understanding that one day, I would become a voice and share these events. Throughout my years as an artist I have strived to tell this story. By trying to write it as prose, I was embarrassed looking down at my words, feeling they had failed to reflect those epic events as real-life experiences. Five years ago, when we first got in touch with the Nazi’s daughter, I was struck with the understanding that the exact medium for this story should be a documentary. I realized that my job was to provide a stage on which this story’s real heroes would share their memories, using their own words and describing the events that shaped their lives. The ambivalence between good and evil is what drove me at first. Franz was both a sadistic monster, and a gentleman capable of love and compassion. Helena was also not your ideal image of an innocent victim: a strong woman with unbelievable survival skills, who managed to love a cruel SS officer and even forgive him for his inconceivable actions, in light of him helping her and her sister. As I see it, appealing the dichotomous perception of good versus evil is the cornerstone for this film’s relevance to our current lives. That is what makes it an important story that had to be told. Love, It Was Not inevitably raises ethical questions concerning the protagonists of the past. It strives to avoid judgment, yet it offers a direct human take of their lives during the terrible period in the deathcamp, and the efforts they needed afterwards to come back into the living. “ – Maya Sarfaty 

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“A heartbreaking and dangerous love story during the Holocaust. A masterpiece; amazing. Absorbing and affecting.” – The Times of Israel

“A superbly documented tale about a taboo romance between a Jewish prisoner and her SS captor.” – Variety

“A major triumph.” – POV Magazine

Civil War – Director Rachel Boynton

Urgent and nuanced, Civil War (or, Who Do We Think We Are) travels across the United States, exploring how Americans tell the story of their Civil War. Filmed from the last year of Obama’s presidency through the present, it interweaves insightful scenes and touching interviews filmed North and South, painting a uniquely crafted, multi-faceted portrait of the American psyche and the deep roots of its turbulent times. With subtlety and determination, Civil War portrays a nation in denial, haunted by an embittered past and the stories it refuses to tell. Director Rachel Boynton (Our Brand is Crisis, Big Men) joins us for a conversation on the winding journey she began in the hopes of understanding the long-held and deeply rooted “stories” we tell ourselves about the war that nearly destroyed any semblance of a United States and how we might be able to break through the mythology to reach a point where a more perfect union is possible.

 

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Beginning October 24 Civil War will be streaming at Peacocktv.com

About the filmmaker – Rachel Boynton produced and directed the feature-length documentary Our Brand Is Crisis, filming for three years on two continents. Winner of the International Documentary Association’s Best Feature Documentary Award and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, it was named the #3 movie of 2006 by New York Magazine, and appeared on several other “Best of 2006” lists, including those of the New York Times and the LA Weekly. The film aired internationally on the BBC, HBO Latin America, ARTE, VPRO, and the CBC among others and was televised in the United States on The Sundance Channel. Our Brand Is Crisis also screened at multiple festivals worldwide including SXSW, the 34th New Directors/ New Film Series presented by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, where Rachel was the winner of the Charles E. Guggenheim Emerging Artist Award. Currently George Clooney’s company, Smokehouse, plans to remake Our Brand Is Crisis as a fiction feature. Rachel’s other credits include associate producer for the feature documentary Well-Founded Fear, producer/ director/ cinematographer for Pageant Perfect, and associate producer of People Like Us: Social Class in America. She has managed shoots across America, worked on films in Cuba and France, and directed casting for reality-based commercials.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The film takes familiar topics and looks at them in a whole new way. It is interesting to see how different parts of the country look at the Civil War.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

“Its thesis that the North won the Civil War and the South won the Reconstruction … will be revelatory to young students, and anyone whose past schooling glossed over or distorted the deeper meaning of those events.” – Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

“An alarming and vital stepping stone toward truth and, above all, democracy. The more we face the harsh truths about history or the present without any sugar coating, the closer we’ll be to democracy.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“Interviewing teachers, students, Confederate buffs and state politicians, Boynton delves into the abyss dividing Americans in terms of what we know about our own history and how what we know differs by region, self-selection and heritage.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

“No, there’s not a happy ending to “Civil War.” But there’s also no shortage of provocative inquiry, or empathy, or understanding.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

Finding Kendrick Johnson – Director Jason Pollock

FINDING KENDRICK JOHNSON is the feature documentary product of a 4-year undercover investigation into the facts of this case. From the creator of ‘Stranger Fruit’, this new documentary hopes to shed light on one of the most important American stories of our time. Told through the eyes of KJ’s family and close friends, On January 11th, 2013, Kendrick Johnson was found dead in his high school gymnasium rolled up in a gym mat. The state of Georgia ruled his death as an accident, having died from positional asphyxia. When the family hired their own Forensic Pathologist, not only did he find KJ’s organs missing from his body during the autopsy, he determined the cause of death to be from non-accidental blunt force trauma. To this day, no one knows where KJ’s organs have gone.. So what really happened to KJ? Narrated by Hollywood legend, Jenifer Lewis. Directed by ‘Stranger Fruit’ creator, Jason Pollock, with an amazing team of producers including Actor Hill Harper, and Space Jam 2 director Malcolm D. Lee, FINDING KENDRICK JOHNSON shares this truly historic, heartbreaking, and unbelievable story with the world for the first time.

 

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Foe news, updates and screenings go to: findingkendrickjohnson.com

To watch go to: amazon.com/Finding-Kendrick-Johnson

FINDING KENDRICK JOHNSON is now available on digital and video on demand and will be heading to theaters nationwide this October.

Director’s statement – The case of Kendrick Johnson is one the most important cases in U.S. history, KJ deserves justice, and hopefully our film will help his family get one step closer to that outcome.  Actor, activist and film narrator Jenifer Lewis said “This is the most important film I’ve ever worked on”. What this family has gone through is unspeakable but we must speak it so the public knows the truth. Jason has done a brilliant job on this vital story of injustice. – Jason Pollock

About the filmmaker – Jason Pollock is a filmmaker, writer and Founder of Boom Content. Boom Content is Pollock’s creative agency, which operates in NYC, LA, DC, and STL. Pollock has been a featured speaker at many high schools, universities, and major events including the ‘Aspen Ideas Festival’, Inc. Magazine’s ‘Inc. 500 Conference’, the ‘Life Is Beautiful Festival’, and Martha Stewart’s ‘Made In America’ event. His innovative work has been featured in the New York Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Mashable, more. Pollock was ranked in a report in the New York Times as one of the ‘top 140 most influential people on Twitter’, listed by PC Magazine as one of the ‘Top 100 People to Follow’, and listed on Levo League’s ‘100 Transforming Millenials’ of 2015. Jason has also been a featured writer and contributor to the Huffington Post since 2006. Pollock and his agency, Boom Content, has worked as producer for a number of major celebrities and brands including Ashton Kutcher, Michael Moore, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, Rock The Vote and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park. As a filmmaker, Pollock’s first feature documentary film, ‘The Youngest Candidate,’ follows four teens running for public office in America. The film was co-produced by Oscar winner Lawrence Bender and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. ‘The Youngest Candidate’ had its world premiere in 2009 at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and its national television premiere on the Documentary Channel in 2010. In 2008 and 2012, Pollock also launched multi-city speaking tours around America’s schools to get out the youth vote. Prior to making his own films, Pollock worked with director and producer to Michael Moore from 2003 – 2006.Throughout this time Pollock aided Moore with several high profile films such as: ‘Dude Where’s My Country’, ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ and ‘Slacker Uprising’. Pollock coordinated a 60 cities in 30 day tour for Moore on his Slacker Uprising Tour in 2004. In 2005 Pollock became of one of the 5 original founders of Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A hard but necessary watch for anyone who’s hoping to learn more about the United States’ history of racist violence.” – Monique Jones, Common Sense Media

“There are two fascinating stories going on. The death of Kendrick Johnson is filled with the expected twists. The documentary also looks at the country’s racial division.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

Finding Kendrick Johnson might not have the answers to his death, but it seems like the documentary has the noble intention to help the Johnson family find some measure of peace in their ongoing nightmare with the legal system.” – Carla Hay,, Culture Mix

“Documentaries serve many purposes…inform, educate, entertain…and, in the case of Finding Kendrick Johnson, tell a story that could easily disappear by apathy and force action, outrage, and support as our voice is necessary to keep justice alive.” – Alan Ng, Film Threat

Becoming Cousteau – Director Liz Garbus

Adventurer, filmmaker, inventor, author, unlikely celebrity and conservationist: For over four decades, Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his explorations under the ocean became synonymous with a love of science and the natural world. As he learned to protect the  environment, he brought the whole world with him, sounding alarms more than 50 years ago about the warming seas and our planet’s vulnerability. In BECOMING COUSTEAU, from National Geographic Documentary Films, two-time Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker LIZ GARBUS takes an inside look at Cousteau and  his life, his iconic films and inventions, and the experiences that made him the 20th century’s most unique and renowned environmental voice — and the man who inspired generations to protect the Earth. Director Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?, All In: The Fight for Democracy, The Farm: Angola, USA) joins us for a look back at one of the 20th centuries most influential and consequential figures and one of the early advocates for preserving and protecting mother ocean.

 

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For news go to: nationalgeographic.com/becoming-cousteau

In Theaters October 22, 2021

For more go to: storysyndicate.com

About the filmmaker – Liz Garbus is a two-time Academy Award® nominee (“The Farm: Angola, USA,” “What Happened, Miss Simone?”), two-time Emmy® winner (Directing, Drama Series, and Directing, Nonfiction Programming), Peabody winner (“A Dangerous Son”), GRAMMY® nominee (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”), DGA nominee (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) and BAFTA-nominated (“Reporting Trump’s First Year: The Fourth Estate”), Garbus is one of America’s most celebrated filmmakers, renowned for her documentary work and also for her breakthrough scripted debut. Her work has been featured in film festivals from Sundance to Telluride to Toronto to the New York Film festival and has appeared in theaters and across streaming platforms, as well as premium cable television. Other credits include “The Innocence Files” (Netflix, 2020), “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” (HBO, 2019), “There’s Something Wrong with Aunt Diane” (HBO, 2011), “The Farm: Angola, USA” (Academy Award nominee, 1998) and many others. Her narrative feature debut, “Lost Girls,” premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and was released on Netflix and in theaters in March 2020. Her series “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” premiered on HBO in June 2020. Garbus’ recent film “All In: The Fight for Democracy” premiered at the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, drive-in screenings, theaters and digitally on Amazon Prime Video in September 2020. For more go to storysyndicate.com

About the filmmaker – Dan Cogan is one of the most prominent non-fiction producers working today. Both an Academy Award® and Emmy Award® winner, Dan founded Story Syndicate with Liz Garbus in 2019. Previously, Dan was the founding Executive Director of Impact Partners. He has produced more than 100 films and series, including ICARUS, which won the 2018 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?, which won the 2019 Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary, THE COVE, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and THE APOLLO, which won the 2020 Emmy for Outstanding Documentary. For more go to: storysyndicate.com/team

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Absorbing, compelling and often surprising… This is a tale free of talking heads and commentators looking back at events they only half-remember and [director Liz] Garbus’ portrait is all the more effective and impactful as a result of that.” – James Croot, Stuff.co.nz

“Liz Garbus’s focused, comprehensive documentary pays tribute to Cousteau’s legacy as an explorer, inventor and filmmaker, but also charts his evolution into a passionate advocate for the environment.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

“Becoming Cousteau succeeds beautifully in its goal of reminding viewers of Jacques Cousteau’s important legacy of underwater exploration and environmental activism.” – Frank Scheck,

“Breezy, simply presented, and plenty illuminating, Becoming Cousteau shirks the typical talking heads doc format in favour of shrewdly selected archive materials accompanied by compelling voiceover testimony.” – Shaun Munro, Flickering Myth

“A film that serves both as a tribute to an icon and a powerful warning on the devastation of our planet.” – Ricardo Gallegos, But Why Tho? A Geek Community

Found – Director Amanda Lipitz

FOUND is a feature documentary that follows the story of three American teenage girls—each adopted from China—who discover they are blood-related cousins on 23andMe. Their online meeting inspires the young women to confrot the burning questions they have about their lost history. When they meet for the first time, they embark on a once in a lifetime journey to China in search of answers. Director Amanda Lipitz (Step) joins us to talk about the logistical, physical and emotional gauntlet that these young women signed up for in order to answer, or attempt to answer deeply personal questions about each of their lives as well as the support and love they show for one another.

 

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To watch go to: netflix.com/FOUND

For more go to: amandalipitzproductions.com/documentary

In addition to the October 20th launch on Netflix, the film arrives ahead of November – National Adoption Month with November 9th being National Adoption Day.

About the filmmaker – Amanda Lipitz’s second documentary, FOUND, which she directed and produced with Impact Partners and Kindred Spirit Productions, is set to be released on Netflix in October 2021. Her first feature-length documentary, STEP, premiered in competition at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking. Additionally, STEP was awarded the NAACP Image Award for Best Documentary, the African American Critics Choice Award for Best Documentary, the Lena Sharpe Award for Persistence of Vision at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the AFI Docs Festival. Amanda co-created and directed Motherhacker, a scripted podcast with Gimlet Media and Spotify starring Carrie Coon, and is currently developing a television adaptation. Known nationally for her films highlighting philanthropic organizations and their impact, Lipitz has made more than 30 shorts for organizations such as the Young Women’s Leadership Network, Citymeals on Wheels, College Bound Initiative, The Tory Burch Foundation, Barnard College, Turnaround for Children, The Gateway School and many more. Broadway producing credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Legally Blonde the Musical, The Performers, A View From the Bridge (Tony Award, Best Revival) and The Humans (Tony Award, Best Play). Off Broadway, Amanda developed and produced Brooklynite at The Vineyard Theatre. On television, Amanda served as executive producer and creator of MTV’s groundbreaking series “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.” Lipitz graduated with a BFA in theater from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Amanda lives in New York City with her husband, two daughters, and son. For more go to: amandalipitzproductions.com/documentary

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“What Ms. Lipitz does render quite believable is the level of relief, love, joy and even guilt involved in the girls’ coming to terms with their people, and themselves. And how it all might well resolve in tears.” – John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

“It’s stunning to hear that each nanny remembers the girls so clearly. Are these true memories or wishful thinking? Maybe it doesn’t matter.” – Nina Metz,

“Wonderfully emotional and would be a good companion piece with [the documentary] One Child Nation.” – Claudia Puig, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

“Its comfort with ambivalence and ambiguity proves a strength, allowing the girls and their loved ones the space to work through confusing or contradictory emotions without trying to tie them up in neat little conclusions.” – Angie Han,

“Rife with poignant moments…” – Lisa Kennedy, New York Times

FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL – Director Jamie Roberts

FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL explores the historic events of January 6, 2021, focuses on the facts of the day itself and the impact on those who were there and illuminates salient questions about the stark political divide in the United States, the culpability of those involved and the fragility of an electoral process that is fundamental to a functioning democracy. FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL meticulously details how the violence quickly escalated, leaving Capitol security forces outnumbered and overwhelmed, and highlights the high-stakes standoff between police and rioters. Tightly focused and comprehensive, the documentary features never-before-seen footage and vivid first-hand accounts from lawmakers, staffers, police officers, protesters, and rioters who stormed the Capitol building where the electoral votes were being counted. FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL unfolds with urgent precision and presents an unfiltered look at the insurrection, standing both as an intimate recollection as well as a stark reminder of the wider ramifications of the events of that unprecedented day, which ended with the deaths of five people and more than 140 police officers injured. FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL features the personal experiences of those on the ground, building out the events of the day with exclusive interviews and footage from multiple sources, including phone videos and surveillance and body camera footage. Interviewees include Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Rep. Buddy Carter and Rep. Rosa DeLauro; senators Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin; D.C. Metropolitan police officers Mike Fanone, Jimmy Albright and Daniel Hodges; Commanders Ramey Kyle and Robert Glover; and Capitol police officers Winston Pingeon, Byron Evans and Keith Robishaw; protestors/rioters including Couy Griffin, Dominic Box, Nick Alvear, Eddie Block and Bobbie Pickles; journalists / videographers and Capitol staffers. Director Jamie Roberts joins us to talk about his access to many of the key players inside and outside the maelstrom that threatened to violently thwart the transition of the legitimately elected president at the direction of the defeated president.

 

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For news and updates go to: hbo.com/four-hours-at-the-capitol

HBO’s FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL was executive produced by Dan Reed (HBO’s “Leaving Neverland”, “3 Days of Terror: the Charlie Hebdo Attacks,” “Terror At The Mall”) and directed by Jamie Roberts. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller; coordinating producer, Anna Klein. FOUR HOURS AT THE CAPITOL will debut on HBO October 20 and be available to stream on HBO Max.

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Perhaps what comes through most vividly, beyond the sheer chaos that day, is the simmering anger that many legislators and others still feel, as well as their lingering shock that such a lapse could have taken place. – Brian Lowry, CNN.com

“The filmmakers will be criticized by some for giving oxygen to such views but the film’s point is clear — the strange calm of the advocates for violence is presented alongside footage of the barbaric fighting, as a subversion of their serenity.” – John Doyle, Globe and Mail

“Four Hours At The Capitol puts us inside the twisted minds of the insurrectionists who attacked the seat of government, but at no point are viewers compelled to sympathize with them.” – Stephen Robinson, AV Club

“[a] terrifying, suspenseful account.” – FINANCIAL TIMES

“A blood-chilling view of today’s political realities and one not to be missed.” – WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Meticulous.” – THE GUARDIAN