Much Ado About Dying – Director Simon Chambers

MUCH ADO ABOUT DYING begins when the filmmaker Simon Chambers receives a call from his elderly gay uncle, David Newlyn Gale, – “I think I may be dying!” – Simon takes it as a summons. As it turns out, eccentric Uncle  David, a retired actor living alone in a cluttered, mouse-infested London house, is being dramatic, sort of: For the next five years, Chambers both cares for and documents David, through all his performative exuberance (constantly acting out passages of King Lear) and anarchic charisma (swinging from boisterous humor to short temper), as various people (including a sexy young hustler) possibly take advantage of him. As their lives become encumbered by hospital visits, a house fire, and Britain’s inadequate eldercare system, the younger man (also single and queer) reflects with aching honesty on what may await him in the years to come, in this moving yet hilarious film. Director Simon Chambers for a conversation on the reasons he didn’t think he had a film about his uncle until he realized that he did, the push and pull that was his own life in service to David, saving him from himself and the pure joy that made being with David brought until the very end.


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Much Ado About Dying opens in NYC at Film Forum on March 15.

Winner of Best Directed Film at International Documentary Festival Amsterdam 
Winner: Best Documentary at Merlinka International Queer Film Festival (Serbia)
Winner: Audience Award for Best Film at North East International Film Festival 
Winner: Best Film at Jakarta Independent Film Festival Winner : Best Film at Milton Keynes International Film Festival


Director Simon Chambers and producer David Rane will appear in person at the Monica Film Center for select opening weekend screenings of  MUCH ADO ABOUT DYING beginning Friday, March 22. 

About the filmmaker – Director, writer, producer Simon Chambers taught disadvantaged teenagers in London for 14 years before turning his hand to films. In 2006, with his first feature ‘Every Good Marriage Begins With Tears’, he realised that he had a knack for making the kind of documentaries that people want to watch. ‘Every Good Marriage’ was shown on BBC Storyville, and on TV in around 30 countries. In 2009 he completed feature length documentary ‘Cowboys in India’ which has also won several prizes and has shown on TV In 2010 he moved to New Delhi where he taught at an Islamic university. In 2015 he moved back to London to become the carer for his uncle, David Newlyn Gale, a retired gay actor who was living in squalor and needed support. When Uncle David died in 2020 Simon decided to make a film from the footage they had shot together. 


86% on RottenTomatoes

“With Much Ado About Dying, Mr. Chambers has given us a sensitive portrait of a man playing his final part — which is, really, a little bit Lear but mostly David Gale. It’s a sui generis performance.” – Zachary Barnes, Wall Street Journal

“Joyous clarity…bittersweet empathy… in this achingly funny-sad film.” -Variety

“In its refreshingly frank look at the end of life, Much Ado About Dying becomes a thought-provoking study of what it means to live.” -Screen Daily

“The best kind of documentary. It will make you laugh and cry. It will also make you pause for thought.” -BackSeat Mafia

“One of the biggest hits emerging at IDFA…simultaneously touching, endearing and often riotously funny.” – Deadline

“Chambers’ family-filming-family masterpiece is a tender and often funny chronicle of a dying man who secretes his brilliant charisma…” -The Film Verdict

“[A] piercingly personal documentary…” – Guy Lodge, Variety

You’ll Never Find Me – Co-directors Josiah Allen & Indianna Bell

Indianna Bell and Josiah Allen’s feature film debut, YOU’LL NEVER FIND ME, drops us in the midst of a violent thunderstorm, where a soaking wet and seemingly shaken to her core, a young woman (Jordan Cowan), knocks at a stranger’s door in an RV park looking for shelter and comfort. Patrick (Brendan Rock), is a strange and lonely resident, lives in one of the mobile homes. At first glance, she finds help in the care and concern shown to her. But soon, that care transforms into curiosity and paranoia. And in this small RV, shaking from the raging rain and wind outside, paranoia spreads like wildfire. Both parties question the motives and desires of the other. As uncertainty and nervousness heat up and questions come thick and fast, things turn dangerous for the duo. Perceptions of what’s real and what’s not come into play, and all roads lead us to a deadly and bizarre showdown. Co-directors and co-writers Josiah Allen & Indianna Bell stop by to talk about their feature film debut, their choice once again cast Jordan Cowan and Brendan Rock as the leads, shooting  the entire film in very tight quarters, the amazing sound design and how much they like exploring the cinema of horror to tell this story.


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About the filmmaker – Indianna Bell is an emerging writer and director based in Adelaide, South Australia. She graduated from university with a Bachelor of Creative Arts in Screen Production in 2016 and began writing and directing short films as well as commercial work under Stakeout Films. In 2018 Indianna won the Gold Prize for comedy in the World Series of Screenwriting  for her first feature screenplay Microwave Me. In 2019 she produced and co-directed (with Josiah Allen) a Tropfest-finalist short film, Safe Space. She and Josiah were also selected to be a part of a filmmaking masterclass with Nash Edgerton and Spencer Susser at Fox Studios in Sydney as a part of the Tropfest experience. Safe Space also won ‘Best Directing’ and ‘The Young Filmmaker Award’ at the South Australian Screen Awards. Indianna wrote and co-directed a short drama film, Call Connect, which was awarded the Jury Prize for ‘Best Narrative Short’ at the 2019 Austin Film Festival. It has been selected for multiple international film festivals, including the Vancouver International Film Festival and Manchester Film Festival. In 2020, Indianna wrote and co-directed a short thriller film The Recordist. The film had its premiere at the ADLFF in October and  has since screened at the Hollyshorts FF, Manchester FF, London Short FF and Hollyshorts FF. It won the Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short at the Austin FF, which means it is now eligible to be considered for an Academy Award. It also won Best Short Film at the Byron Bay FF and took out the Gold Award for Cinematography at the Australian Cinematography Society Awards. Having worked as a disability carer for seven years, Indianna is also passionate about Autism awareness and recently combined this with her love of writing to write and publish a children’s book, ‘Quirky Quentin.’

About the filmmaker – Josiah Allen is an emerging director and editor born and raised in South Australia. In 2016 Josiah graduated with a Bachelor degree in the Creative Arts (Screen Production) and with fellow graduates Indianna Bell and John Chataway, founded the collective ‘Stakeout Films’.  One half of the directing team made up of himself and Indianna Bell, he has co-directed a variety of short films, music videos and commercials. In the last year their short film ‘Safe Space’ (written by John Chataway) was a Tropfest Finalist, and won ‘Best Directing’ and  ‘The Young Filmmaker Award’ at the  South Australian Screen Awards. As part of the Tropfest finalist experience Josiah and Indianna were flown to Fox Studios for an immersive short film course, mentored by directors Nash Edgerton and Spencer Susser. Their short film ‘Call Connect’  (written by Indianna Bell) played in more then 10 international film festivals including Vancouver International Film Festival,  Manchester Film Festival and won ‘Best Narrative Short Film’ at the Austin Film Festival.



95% on RottenTomatoes

“A terse debut that takes a burgeoning sub-genre and spins it on its head, generating a nerve-shredding atmosphere that is hard to shake.” – Kat Hughes, THN

“The engaging story and two lead performances lead to a wild ending that will shock audiences. Beautifully camerawork and great sound design add to the tension of this slow burn Australian horror.” – Nathaniel Muir, AIPT

“So much of the joy of You’ll Never Find Me comes from an overwhelming sense that you never really quite know what’s coming next.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas,

“The best slow burns lead to a violent boil and although You’ll Never Find Me didn’t set my world on fire it is a tight, dread-filled slow burn of a thriller that features two incredible performances from its leads.” – Jonathan DeHaan, Nightmare on Film Street

“‘You’ll Never Find Me’ is a claustrophobic storm story that will reward horror fans with a taste for intimate storytelling.” – Josh Korngut, Dread Central

How to Build a Truth Engine – Director Friedrich Moser

Friedrich Moser’s frightening and surprisingly hopeful documentary, HOW TO BUILD A TRUTH ENGINE, about the pervasive influence of disinformation and conspiracy theories that have reached a level unwitnessed since the turmoil of the 1930s. HOW TO BUILD A TRUTH ENGINE portrays a crack-team of investigators from the fields of technology, journalism, folklore and neuroscience who show that if you hack the information feed, you can hack somebody’s  mind. Following their personal  journeys they take us from the information battlefields into the inner workings of the human brain and show how, through us, a web of lies can change reality. Director / Producer / Screenwriter / Cinematographer Friedrich Moser joins us for a conversation on how his previous documentary, A Good American, provided him with an understanding of cyber tactics and cyber warfare will look in the not so distant future and how we can better arm ourselves against it.


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2024 SXSW screenings for How to Build a  Truth Engine

About the filmmaker – Friedrich Moser holds a university degree (MA) in History and German Studies from the University of Salzburg, Austria. From 1998-2000 he worked as a TV journalist in Bolzano/Bozen, Italy. In 2001 he founded blue+green communication. In 2008 Friedrich successfully attended the Documentary Campus, the European Masterclass in nonfiction filmmaking, and started to make documentaries for the international market. Friedrich has been writing, directing, shooting and producing documentaries since 1999, with an output of over 20 films. Friedrich’s professional career also includes lecturing on history and documentaries at the University of Vienna.



A Revolution on Canvas – Co-directors Sara Nodjoumi & Till Schauder

In this hybrid political thriller and verité portrait documentary, A REVOLUTION ON CANVAS, Sara Nodjoumi, working with co-director and husband, Till Schauder, makes her directorial debut with this personal film, diving into the mystery surrounding the disappearance of more than 100 “treasonous” paintings by her father, seminal Iranian modern artist Nickzad Nodjoumi. The film follows Sara Nodjoumi as she traces a timeline of events, discovering her father’s ongoing activism, his complicated relationship with her mother, artist Nahid Hagigat, and how the implications of his incendiary art impacted the trajectory of their family’s future together. In 1980, Nickzad Nodjoumi (more commonly known as Nicky Nodjoumi) fled Iran in the wake of the Islamic Revolution. With his life in danger due to the controversial nature of his paintings on show at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, he joined his wife, Nahid, and daughter, Sara, in New York City, restlessly living in exile and continuing to paint. 40 years later, Sara begins an investigation to track down and reclaim her father’s lost artwork from Tehran. As the investigation deepens, she unearths the emotionally charged story of her family mirrored in the political and cultural upheavals of her parents’ homeland. Having participated in the pro-democracy movement to oust the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, Nicky’s hope for a new Iran crumbled with the ascendance of an authoritarian regime. His provocative paintings, now depicting the new Islamic power brokers, were quickly seized, and rumored to be destroyed by radical Islamists or stowed away in the basement of the museum.  Co-producers and co-directors Sara Nodjoumi and Till Schauder join us for a conversation on Sara’s deeply personal inquiry into her family and the central events of her parents’ life, paying tribute to their art while unveiling the complexity and longing that comes with living in exile from one’s ancestral home.


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About the filmmaker – Sara Nodjoumi is an independent filmmaker, producer and festival programmer. Recent credits include WHEN GOD SLEEPS, which premiered at Tribeca, played over 100 festivals worldwide, aired nationally on PBS, and won numerous international awards, before being shortlisted for the 2018 Academy Award in Germany. She previously produced THE IRAN JOB, which was also shortlisted for a German Academy Award (2014), and released worldwide on Netflix. In 2020 Nodjoumi and her producing and life partner, Till Schauder, released their latest documentary REGGAE BOYZ (Audience Award, Brooklyn Film Festival) in digital theaters across America. Most recently, she was awarded the 2021 Inaugural Brown Girls Documentary Mafia Sustainable Artist Grant for UNTITLED NICKY NODJOUMI PROJECT, a personal documentary about her father – controversial Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi. The film was recently greenlit by HBO and will be her directorial debut.

About the filmmaker – Till Schauder is a Brooklyn-based writer, director, and cinematographer. His debut documentary THE IRAN JOB (2012) was released worldwide, mentioned as an Oscar contender, and shortlisted for a German Academy Award. His 2017 documentary WHEN GOD SLEEPS premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in competition, and won numerous international awards, including Most Valuable Documentary of the Year from Cinema for Peace at Berlinale, and Best Music Documentary at the Krakow Film Festival. Another 2017 release, WARRIORS OF FAITH, won him the 2017 German Television Academy Award (German Emmy) and a nomination for the Prix Europa. Schauder’s REGGAE BOYZ, winner of the Brooklyn Film Festival Audience Award, was called “one of the funniest documentaries in years” by He is currently co-directing UNTITLED NICKY NODJOUMI PROJECT for HBO, a personal doc about his father-in-law, controversial Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s not always clear why we’re jumping from one strand to the next. Yet each strand on its own is fascinating.” – Alissa Wilkinson, New York Times

“”A Revolution on Canvas” deserves immense credit. In addition to splicing together home videos and photographs, the archival footage provides insight into the contemporary dialogue.” – Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

“Deeply personal yet broadly resonant, this galvanizing documentary salutes the power of art and activism through a specific cultural lens.” – Todd Jorgenson, Cinemalogue

“The glimpses afforded of her parents’ vivid, provocative, ambiguous art are worth the price of admission alone…” – Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

“a fascinating political snapshot but even more absorbing as a look at two independent people with an insatiable creative drive.” – Valerie Kalfrin,

Breaking the News – Co-directors Heather Courtney, Princess A. Hairston and Chelsea Hernandez

BREAKING THE NEWS follows the launch of The 19th*, a news startup that seeks to change the white, male-dominated news industry, asking who’s been omitted from mainstream coverage and how to include them. As Donald Trump was getting sworn in as President and the Women’s March set an angry, outspoken tone for the country’s discourse, journalist Emily Ramshaw  decided to meet the moment by launching The 19th. Named after the Nineteenth  Amendment, The 19th became the first nonprofit, nonpartisan news agency in the United States. Its mission is to focus on the impact of national politics and policy on women. However, by the time Emily and co-founder Amanda Zamora had secured funding and officially launched The 19th’s news site, the pandemic hit — and the very fabric of society went into a tailspin. BREAKING THE NEWS immerses its audience in the lives and   steadfast pursuits of the members of The 19th — women and LGBTQ+ journalists — as they struggle to launch the agency and work to gain traction for their newsroom amidst shuttered news outlets and an upended America. With spirited storytelling, the directorial trio of Heather Courtney,  Princess A. Hairston, and Chelsea Hernandez provide an inquisitive and dynamic view into the inner workings of this news agency as its journalists disrupt entrenched biases, push for accountability and in the process captured the honest discussions at The 19th* around race and gender equity, revealing that change doesn’t come easy, and showcases how they confront these challenges both as a workplace and in their journalism.


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“Breaking the News” will premiere on INDEPENDENT LENS on Presidents Day, February 19, at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings). The film will be available to stream on the PBS App and will also be accessible via PBS’s flagship YouTube channel.

About the filmmaker – Heather Courtney is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and a Guggenheim, Sundance, and Fulbright fellow. Her film Where Soldiers Come From (POV) was funded by ITVS, and won an Emmy and an Independent Spirit Award. Other films include The Unafraid (America ReFramed), and the IDA and SXSW Award-winning Los Trabajadores (Indie Lens).

About the filmmaker – Princess A. Hairston is a director and Emmy Award-nominated editor in New York City. She has produced and directed films, and has edited several documentaries like LulaRich, Pier Kids, Fresh Dressed, Masterpiece of Love, and Capture with Mark Seliger. Her work has been recognized with nominations and awards from the Emmys and The Webbys.

About the filmmaker – Chelsea Hernandez is an Emmy Award-nominated Mexican-American filmmaker based in Texas. Named to the DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2021, Chelsea won a Silver Telly Award for Social Impact for her first feature, Building the American Dream. She is a fellow of Tribeca All Access, BAVC National Mediamakers, and Firelight Media Doc Lab.



89% on RottenTomatoes

“Breaking the News is a smart and incisive look at the origins and growing pains of The 19th* as a groundbreaking female-centric news media outlet. This documentary is honest about showing that some women have more privilege than others in battling sexism.” – Carla Hay, Culture Mix

“Good journalism just might save the world.” – Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

“Breaking the News is an immersive, crowd-pleasing, candid portrait of a start-up experiencing growing pains, roadblocks, and ultimately success in changing the paradigm and business model for news.” – John Fink, The Film Stage

“Like any article the 19th* itself would publish, the documentary comes at a chronicle of their first two years in operation from an angle you might not expect and with considerable rigor.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“…a fascinating watch. … an absorbing look at walking the talk.” – Valerie Kalfrin,

God Save Texas: The Price of Oil – Director Alex Stapleton

In GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL, Houston born and raised filmmaker Alex Stapleton turns her lens on her hometown to chronicle the impact of the Texas oil industry on Houston residents, specifically Black and disenfranchised communities, including the lives of her own family, who arrived in Texas in the 1830s as slaves and have stayed in the state for nearly 200 years. Tracing her personal story as a descendant of slave owners, Stapleton widens her focus to show how Black history is vital to the Texas oil boom, yet has largely been left out of the history books. Despite representing 13% of the U.S. population, Black and brown people only make up 6% of the oil and gas workforce, with few in leadership positions, and historically, their neighborhoods are more likely to suffer the encroachment of refineries and chemical plants. Residents of Pleasantville, a Houston housing community developed in 1948 for Black veterans and their families, and similar “fenceline” communities risk exposure to elevated levels of toxicity and pollution. Illustrating that environmental racism is a civil rights issue, and by giving voice to the very people who face the human cost of Texas’ biggest money-maker, GOD SAVE TEXAS: THE PRICE OF OIL is a call for a long overdue reckoning. Director Alex Stapleton joins us to talk about  her family’s multi-generational relationship with Texas and in the process makes it crystal clear the degree to which the spectre of slavery, the pervasive legacy of “sundowner” towns, economic deprivation and the environmental racism that continue to be a part of the lived experience for people of color in the Lone Star state.


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About the filmmaker – Alex Stapleton is an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker.  Alex’s recent film about baseball legend Reggie Jackson was released on Amazon Prime to critical acclaim including a Critics Choice nomination, and her next film God Save Texas about the energy industry’s impact on the African-American community told through the experience of her own family will be released on HBO February 2024.  In the past, she has been nominated as showrunner and executive producer for both a GLAAD and Gotham award for Pride (FX), a six-part docu-series chronicling the American LGBTQ+ Civil Rights movement dating back to the 1950’s. Other directing and producing credits include Hello Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea (Netflix), Shut Up & Dribble (Showtime), and The Playbook (Netflix). Stapleton made her directorial debut with the critically acclaimed film, Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (A&E), featuring Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, and Ron Howard, which premiered at Sundance and competed at top festivals including Cannes and the New York Film Festival. Projects to be released next year include: a limited television series for HBO that shines new light on one of one of the most prominent racial justice cases of the 1980s; a four-part series on women in hip hop; and a music meets technology docuseries for Paramount+ based on the book How Music Got Free. In 2021, Stapleton launched the company House of NonFiction as a platform to develop and produce film, television and other storytelling and experiential formats. As a proud member of the Directors Guild, she currently serves on the National Board and is also co-chair of the recently formed Documentary Committee.  For more go to:

This three-part non-sequential anthology / HBO trilogy GOD SAVE TEXAS made its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is currently screening on HBO. In this trilogy, three Texan filmmakers, Oscar nominee  Richard Linklater, Emmy® winner Alex Stapleton and Iliana Sosa visit Huntsville, Houston and El Paso respectively, using their personal relationships with these cities to paint contemporary. The series is inspired by the book “God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State” by Lawrence Wright. Executive producers include Lawrence Wright, Alex Gibney, Richard Linklater, Peter Berg, Michael Lombardo, Elizabeth Rogers, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello. For HBO: executive producers, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller; senior producer, Tina Nguyen.


100% on RottenTomatoes

“For those who watch with an open mind and in good faith, “God Save Texas” should help them understand it a little better, no matter how far they live from the border. One might even say it has the Wright stuff.” – Brian Lowry,

“A deeply personal and deeply moving social justice documentary triptych in which three filmmakers examine their Texas hometowns and, by extension, a different societal specter looming over the Lone Star State.” – Mike Scott, Times-Picayune

“The trilogy of films is essential viewing for every resident of the state …. [reflecting] many of my own contradictory feelings about the state, while also capturing something about the spirit of the people that offers a measure of hope for the future.” – Peter Martin,

“God Save Texas may only be a three-part anthology docuseries, but in those three parts, it manages to be wide-ranging, timely and vitally important.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

“Each entry points to the evolving mindsets within Texas, even as it is painted as a monolith by those outside its borders.” – Alan French, Sunshine State Cineplex

Ciné-Guerrillas: Scenes from the Labudović Reels – Director Mila Turajlić

In CINÉ-GUERRILLAS: SCENES FROM THE LABUDOVIĆ REELS director Mila Turajlić follows Labudović’s work in Algeria through intimate interviews with him and his  revolutionary contemporaries, as well as through his newsreel footage, which she matches up with excerpts from his diary. Known as the finest cameraman in Yugoslavia, he was handpicked in 1960 by Yugoslav President Josep Broz Tito to support the Algerian anti-colonial effort, in part because he saw parallels between the Algerian resistance and the Yugoslav partisans’ fight against Nazi occupiers in WWII. Labudović’s mission: to make films countering French propaganda. Labudović lived with the Algerian fighters, filming them as they traveled through the mountains, sometimes engaging in sabotage. No impartial observer, he brought along newsreel footage of the Yugoslav resistance to raise morale. And, unlike others covering the war, the Algerians trusted him totally. CINÉ-GUERRILLAS: SCENES FROM THE LABUDOVIĆ REELS is a testament to international solidarity, and to the power of images in the fight for decolonization.


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About the filmmaker – Mila Turajlic is a documentary filmmaker born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her most recent film The Other Side of Everything premiered at the Toronto IFF in 2017, and went on to win 32 awards including the prestigious IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film. It was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, and was named one of the best films of 2018 by TheNew Yorker’s Richard Brody. The film was HBO Europe’s first co-production with Serbia, and had a record-breaking theatrical release in Serbia. Mila’s debut documentary film Cinema Komunisto, premiered at IDFA and the Tribeca Film Festival, and went on to win 16 awards including the Gold Hugo at the Chicago Int’l Film Festival in 2011, and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage. Theatrically released in France, UK, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, “Cinema Komunisto” was broadcast across Europe. She is currently in post-production on the documentary diptych Scenes from the Labudović Reels: Non-Aligned and Ciné-Guerrillas. In 2018 she was commissioned by MoMA in New York to create a series of archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture. In 2020 Mila was awarded a Fellowship at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas & Imagination to pursue her long-term artistic research project Non-Aligned Newsreels, a deep-dive into the archival materials resulting from Yugoslavia’s ciné-collaborations with the decolonizing world. She is a founding member of DOKSerbia, the Association of documentary filmmakers of Serbia, and served as the first President of the Board. Mila is a member of the TED Fellows 2021 cohort.



“A documentary based on an inherently fascinating subject for those looking for something at the intersection of secret film history and Cold War artefacts.” – Filmmaker Magazine

“Prize-winning director Mila Turajlic unearths a fascinating lost chapter in Cold War history in this archive-heavy documentary.” – The Film Verdict

“This film is a tribute to a man who was directly involved with the FLN and shows a rare inside viewpoint on an historical event.” – Educational Media Reviews Online

Non-Aligned: Scenes from the Labudović Reels – Director Mila Turajlić

Filmmaker Mila Turajlić was born in Belgrade, and grew up singing patriotic songs extolling Yugoslav leader Josep Broz Tito. The images that populated her “Yugoslavia of the mind” came largely from government newsreels–and the most iconic of those were shot by Stevan Labudović. In NON-ALIGNED: SCENES FROM THE LABUDOVIĆ REELS, Turajlić delves into Labudović’s work documenting the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement, a largely Yugoslav-led bloc including many decolonizing nations that stood apart from both East and West during the Cold War. What begins as an exploration of newsreel footage of the 1961 Non-Aligned summit in Belgrade becomes a love letter to a vanished country and its hopes for the future, a history of the early days of the Non-Aligned Movement, and a document of the affinity between two filmmakers–Turajlić, in her forties, and Labudović, nearing 90. NON-ALIGNED: SCENES FROM THE LABUDOVIĆ REELS is an illuminating look back at the politically charged era of Cold War allegiance when leaders from the second and third world sought to forge an independent path not beholden to world’s “super powers”.


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About the filmmaker – Mila Turajlic is a documentary filmmaker born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Her most recent film The Other Side of Everything premiered at the Toronto IFF in 2017, and went on to win 32 awards including the prestigious IDFA Award for Best Documentary Film. It was a New York Times Critics’ Pick, and was named one of the best films of 2018 by TheNew Yorker’s Richard Brody. The film was HBO Europe’s first co-production with Serbia, and had a record-breaking theatrical release in Serbia. Mila’s debut documentary film Cinema Komunisto, premiered at IDFA and the Tribeca Film Festival, and went on to win 16 awards including the Gold Hugo at the Chicago Int’l Film Festival in 2011, and the FOCAL Award for Creative Use of Archival Footage. Theatrically released in France, UK, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, “Cinema Komunisto” was broadcast across Europe. She is currently in post-production on the documentary diptych Scenes from the Labudović Reels: Non-Aligned and Ciné-Guerrillas. In 2018 she was commissioned by MoMA in New York to create a series of archive-based video installations for their landmark exhibition on Yugoslav modernist architecture. In 2020 Mila was awarded a Fellowship at Columbia University’s Institute for Ideas & Imagination to pursue her long-term artistic research project Non-Aligned Newsreels, a deep-dive into the archival materials resulting from Yugoslavia’s ciné-collaborations with the decolonizing world. She is a founding member of DOKSerbia, the Association of documentary filmmakers of Serbia, and served as the first President of the Board. Mila is a member of the TED Fellows 2021 cohort.



“Riveting… The film moves flawlessly between archival footage and storytelling revealing a lost piece of important history. Highly Recommended.” – Educational Media Reviews Online

“Mila Turajlić builds, film after film, a remarkable work of understanding what the world was like in the second half of the 20th century.” – Slate

“These images, at the crossroads of intimate destinies and a more global history, resonate with a particularly poignant topicality.” – Les Inrockuptibles

“Masterful.” – Franc-Tireur

Unfriending – Co-directors Jason & Brett Butler

UNFRIENDING is a dark comedy of manners about a group of friends that includes Blake and his girlfriend, May. The dinner party is the cover story for a  ‘life intervention’ that focuses on the outcast of the group, Isaac, where the friend group tells him all the reasons he has become a burden to them and society in general, and that he should really just kill himself already. This off-kilter comedy is brought to life by a talented cast that includes Sean Meldrum, Simone Jetsun, Michael Pearson, Jenna Vittoria, Rachelle Lauzon, Honor Spencer, Golden Madison, and Alex Stone. After years of turning the Canadian film scene on its head with their fiercely independent, trend-bucking works, Toronto’s dynamic duo, The Butler Brothers (Jason & Brett), join us to talk what inspired this dark comedy, their first US theatrical release in Unfriending, and working together for the last 20 years writing, directing, producing and editing.


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Opening on March 8 at the  Laemmle Glendale inclluding weekend Q & A’s hosted by Canadian directing duo Jason & Brett Butler

About the filmmakers – SubProd are maverick producers and filmmaking brothers Brett and Jason Butler. Based out of Toronto, the Butler Brothers have over 20 years experience in creating and packaging projects from the ground up. Dedicated to creating bold, exciting and original content for film and television, we can assess your project strengths and weaknesses to help build your unique path to production. From producing, script consulting, story editing and pitch packaging to post production, editing, and marketing the Butler Brothers have firsthand experience in how to get your movie made. 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“Once audiences know what kind of movie they’re getting, they’ll surely be entertained. The filmmakers balance the humor and tension nicely, and the cast is superb.” – Bobby LePire, Film Threat

“Things get uncomfortable, strained, then strange and horrifying, with a very dark key theme which is teased apart and explored throughout the film. It works very well; it’s low-key, but brutal in its way nonetheless.” – Keri O’Shea, Warped Perspective

“This black comedy is a sharp satire on cancel culture and the 20something “me generation” in particular. Highly comic, highly weird and a pointed meditation on the meaning of survival amidst a digital world that is increasingly judgmental.” – Patrick McDonald,

“A disquieting, subversive story of unchecked narcissism, barbarous intimidation, cold-blooded violence, and the absolute worst friends on Earth.” – Louisa Moore, Screen Zealots

Io Capitano – Director Matteo Garrone

Director Matteo Garrone made his name with the landmark Neapolitan crime film GOMORRAH, and has since demonstrated a penchant for gothic tales tinged with dark fantasy, including TALE OF TALES, DOGMAN and PINOCCHIO. With IO CAPITANO, Italy’s official selection for the Academy Award® Best International Film category, Garrone turns his attention back to real-life subject matter, where he finds a story of bravery and heroism in the face of harrowing danger that’s equal to any classical epic or enchanting fairy tale. Musician-turned-actor Seydou Sarr gives an impressiv performance as Seydou, a Senegalese teenager who lives in an over-crowded house with his mother and younger sisters. Along with his cousin Moussa (Moustapha Fall), Seydou has been working odd jobs and saving money, preparing for a move to Italy, with dreams of pursuing a music career. Along the way, they will contend with shakedowns from corrupt border guards, mistreatment from human traffickers, a dangerous and deadly crossing of the Sahara Desert, and imprisonment, abuse and modern-day slavery in Libya. Director and co-writer Matteo Garrone stops by to talk about his “reverse shot” of the immigration experience while unfurling an epic, cinematographically magnificent odyssey from West Africa to Italy and his confidence in the two young, untested actors to embody the determination, courage, and character he needed to make this film such a resounding success.


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Italy’s Oscar® submission for Best International Feature

Opening LA Friday February 23 at: Laemmle RoyalLandmark Sunset 5Landmark Pasadena Playhouse, and AMC Burbank 16

In theatre Q+A at the following screenings:

Thursday, February 22nd
Laemmle Royal

Q+A with Director Matteo Garrone

Friday, February 23rd
Landmark Sunset 5

Q+A with Director Matteo Garrone

Saturday, February 24th
Landmark Sunset 5

Q+A with Director Matteo Garrone

About the filmmaker – Matteo Garrone (Writer, Director, Producer) was born in Rome in 1968. In 1997 he made his first feature film, Terra di mezzo, with his production company, Archimede. In 1998 his second film, Guest (Ospiti) and in 2000 Roman Summer (Estate romana). The Embalmer (L’imbalsamatore), from 2002, received the David di Donatello award for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor and the Nastro d’Argento (Silver Ribbon) for Best Editing. In 2005 he was in competition at the Berlinale with First Love (Primo Amore), and was awarded the Silver Bear for best soundtrack. In 2008, Garrone wrote and directed Gomorrah, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival; he won five European Film Awards including Best Film and Best Director, seven David di Donatello awards and 2 Nastri d’Argento prizes; Gomorrah was selected by Italy as the entry for Best International Film (then known as Best Foreign Language Film) at the Academy Awards and entered the Golden Globes as well as receiving BAFTA and César nominations. With Reality (2012) Garrone again won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, followed by three David di Donatello awards and 3 Nastri d’Argento prizes; he returned to Cannes in 2015 with Tale of Tales (Il Racconto dei Racconti), winning 7 David di Donatello and 3 Nastri d’Argento awards. In 2018 Dogman was awarded the Best Actor prize at Cannes, subsequently winning 9 David di Donatello and 8 Nastri D’Argento prizes before being selected by Italy as the entry for Best International Film (then known as Best Foreign Language Film) at the Academy Awards In 2019 he brought Pinocchio to theaters, winning 5 David di Donatello and 4 Nastri d’Argento awards as well as earning two Oscar nominations for Best Makeup and Best Costume Design. For more go to:



100% on RottenTomatoes

“A grand, honestly felt emotional sweep… Garrone’s most robust, purely satisfying filmmaking since his international breakthrough with Gomorrah 15 years ago.” – Variety

“Both epic and personal, with moments of harsh inhumanity and dreamy surrealism, the film never quite goes where you expect it to, right up to the final exhilarating moments…Sarr is amazing in a breakthrough performance of such depth and pathos…” – Frank J. Avella, Awards Daily

“The film builds on a docudrama realism while also reaching toward the mythological.” – Chris Barsanti, Slant Magazine

“Garrone’s film has a three-dimensional and devastatingly realized human soul at its core. The world could do with paying attention to Seydou’s story and the millions of other real ones like it.” – Leila Latif, indieWire

“Intensely personal, the film finds global resonance in its specific story of a 16-year-old whose innate hopefulness is beaten and battered but never extinguished over the course of an astonishing odyssey.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

“Garrone… almost never puts a foot wrong with this painstakingly composed work, an adventure peppered by moments of nauseating horror but also ravishing beauty and grace.” – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter

Stopmotion – Director Robert Morgan

Ella Blake is a stop-motion animator who is struggling to control her demons after the loss of her overbearing mother. Suddenly alone in the world, she embarks upon the creation of a macabre new puppet film, which soon becomes the battleground for her sanity. As Ella’s mind starts to fracture, the characters in her animated film take on a terrifying life of their own, and the unleashed power of her imagination threatens to destroy her. Anchored by a standout performance featuring actress Aisling Franciosi, the story takes a disturbing turn when a precocious young girl, played by  Caoilinn Springall makes a series of suggestions and soon demands on Ella to change the course of her film, leading to increasingly frightening outcomes. Attempts by her boyfriend, and friends to help, only drive her closer to the edge. STOPMOTION also features Morgan’s captivating yet frightening stop-motion animation. . Director Robert Morgan (The Vandal, To Dust) joins us to talk about his background as an artist, his love of stop motion filmmaking and horror, working with a superb cast that includes Aisling Franciosi, Stella Gonet and newcomer Caoilinn Springall, and his collaboration with co-writer Robin King. 


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About the filmmaker – Robert Morgan was born in 1974. He is a director and writer, known for ABCs of Death 2 (2014), Bobby Yeah (2011) and The Cat with Hands (2001). His feature directorial debut, STOPMOTION will be released by theatrically on February 23 through IFC Films. STOPMOTION currently rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.


92% on RottenTomatoes

“It’s chilling and tragic in equal measures.” – Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle

“Stopmotion is a surprising film using unique sights and sounds to breathe new life into a familiar, horrifying tale of a tortured artist.” – Molly HeneryThe Blogging Banshee

“At every level, Stopmotion is a formally and narratively thrilling feature debut from one of our greatest living animators. … A must watch for fans of animation … it’s also a visually striking and thought-provoking horror movie about creativity.” – Kyle Logan, ScreenAnarchy

“Aside from just being a good old fashioned horror movie, there is an intelligence and ferocity at play here that speaks to much grander things than just simple genre thrills.” – Alexandra Heller-Nicholas,

“The visuals are astounding; filled with unsettling claymation figures and darkly suspenseful atmosphere. Robert Morgan has crafted an impressive first feature that is certainly visually arresting. But the film lacks dramatic power…” – Peg Aloi, Arts Fuse

Kiss The Future – Director Nenad Cicin-Sain

An exploration of the perils of nationalism and art’s role as a weapon of resistance and activism, KISS THE FUTURE, follows an underground community that continued to work, create and live throughout the 1990s Siege of Sarajevo. Amid the breakup of Yugoslavia, the citizens of Sarajevo wake to find the city under siege and Bosnia at war. In a far-fetched scheme inspired by local resistance, an American aid worker living in Sarajevo reached out to the world’s biggest band, U2, to see if they could help raise global awareness of the devastating conflict. The band pledges to perform in the city once the conflict was over. KISS THE FUTURE follows the story of that promise, with a post-war concert that saw U2 play to over 45,000 local fans in a liberated city, a show that lives on as a joyous collective memory for the people of Sarajevo – proof that they did not just survive the blockade, but thrived in spite of it; that amid the horrors of the darkest human impulses, music and art can be acts of rebellion. Director and co-writer Nenad Cicin-Sain (The Time Being) joins us to talk about his own connection to Yugoslavia, meeting Bill Carter, the power of music, working with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck on the project and connecting with the people who survived the darkest days and now stand as an example of hope and a better way forward.


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On Wednesday, February 21st at 7pm local, select AMC Theatres across the country will host an exclusive early screening. “KISS THE FUTURE: A Dolby Special Event” will include an introduction from producers Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, plus a pre-recorded post-film discussion hosted by Matt Carey (Deadline) featuring director Nenad Cicin-Sain, Vesna Andree Zaimovic and Bill Carter – in conversation with U2’s The Edge and Adam Clayton – about their personal experiences as part of the extraordinary Sarajevan creative community whose commitment to art and life and the City of Sarajevo was, and continues to be, an inspiration to so many. Tickets to this special event, presented in Dolby Cinema, are on sale now or on the AMC Theatres mobile app.

KISS THE FUTURE, a critically acclaimed documentary, that World Premiered at Berlinale and opened The Tribeca Film Festival in 2023, directed by Nenad Cicin-Sain, produced by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Sarah Anthony, which will debut at select U.S. AMC locations beginning Friday, February 23, for a full theatrical run. The doc features Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Christiane Amanpour and Bill Clinton. Released through Fifth Season. 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“Kiss the Future is a long-overdue documentary about the power that music has during times of war, particularly in Sarajevo.” – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“”Kiss the Future” is a portrait of a city and a people who used culture to fight back; it’s also the story of a rock ‘n’ roll band exploring the limits of how its music can impact the real world.” – Steve Pond, TheWrap

“A touching reminder of music’s ability to change the world.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“A polished yet unexpectedly affecting documentary…” – Fionnuala Halligan, Screen International

“This movie is a time-capsule of Europe’s recent tragic past.” – Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

“It’s easy to question the motives of pop stars who get behind a cause, but the end-product here is a joyful night for people who’ve experienced unimaginable hardship” – Lou Thomas, NME (New Musical Express)

Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó – Director Sean Wang & Producer Sam Davis

2024 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary“Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó” is a personal love letter from first generation Taiwanese-American director Sean Wang, to his grandmothers. Sean turns a camera on his grandmas (“Nǎi Nai” and “Wài Pó”), who are inseparable best friends and roommates in their 80s and 90s. The film captures their daily lives in hilarious and unexpected ways as they dance, stretch, and fart their sorrows away—eventually giving way to a poignant meditation on lives marked by both joy and pain. Together, grandmas and grandson remind us that getting older doesn’t have to mean fading away. After making its world premiere at SXSW — taking home the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award — the film went on to make the IDA shortlist and win Grand Jury Awards at AFI Fest and SIFF 2023, along with the Audience Award at The Wrap 2023  Shortlist Film Festival and Special Jury Recognition at LAAPFF 2023. Other selections include Rooftop Films Summer Series, Palm Springs ShortsFest, CAAM Fest 2023 and Aesthetica Film Festival 2023. Director / Producer / Editor Sean Wang and Producer / Cinematographer Sam Davis (Academy Award®-winning documentary short Period. End of Sentence) join us to talk about Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó’s participation, the film’s breakthrough at SXSW and what Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó will be wearing on the Red Carpet.


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2024 Oscar® Documentary Short Nominee

About the filmmaker – Sean is an Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker from Fremont, CA, currently based in Los Angeles. He is a Google Creative Lab 5 alum, former Sundance Ignite Fellow, and 2023 Sundance Screenwriters & Directors Lab Fellow. His latest film, Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma), premiered at SXSW 2023 where it won the Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award. It was acquired by Disney+ and was nominated for  an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film. It is currently streaming on Disney+ & Hulu. His debut feature film, Dìdi (弟弟), premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. It won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award, Special Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Cast, and was acquired by Focus Features for a Summer 2024 theatrical release.

About the filmmaker – Sam Davis is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and director of photography based in LA. His photography has screened at world-class film festivals including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, and Camerimage. Sam produced and shot the Academy Award-winning short documentary Period. End of Sentence.. He is a member of IATSE Local 600.



“Nǎi Nai and Wài Pó puts a gigantic smile on your face and a boulder-sized lump in your throat.’ – Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

“A bittersweet doc showcasing the fun and silliness that can be had in older age while also acknowledging the sadness of being near death.’ – Christopher Campbell, Nonfics

Rojek – Director Zayne Akyol

Director Zayne Akyol’s even handed and insightful documentary ROJEK places the viewer face-to-face with incarcerated members of the Islamic State from all over the world, as well as their wives  detained in prison-camps, who all share a common dream: establishing a caliphate. Confronted with the fundamentalist beliefs of the jihadists, the ROJEK attempts to trace the beginning, the rise and fall of the Islamic State (ISIS) through their personal stories. These conversations are the threads along which the documentary evolves, as it is intertwined with various sequences depicting current, post-war Syrian Kurdistan. ROJEK offers an intimate gaze at an unknown reality, testifying of pivotal moments experienced by the actors of this conflict. Director Zayne Akyol yeoman’s work in ROJEK brings us into the center of a dangerous and vexing question facing much of the world right now… is the ideological warfare we have all witnessed in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries, an historic anomaly or the beginning of a terrifying threat to our collective security?


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Canada’s entry 2024 Academy Award® Best International Feature

About the filmmaker – Zaynê Akyol is a Canadian filmmaker, producer and photographer. She went to Université du Québec à Montréal, where she obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Communication, with a specialization in film. In 2016, Zaynê released her first feature documentary  Gulîstan, Land of Roses, which was selected by 80 international film festivals with 50 nominations and won 12 awards, including the prestigious Doc Alliance Award given at Locarno Film Festival. Zaynê also started producing other filmmaker’s films, two of which are expected to be released in 2021. In her free time, she is a photographer whose exhibitions have been attended worldwide. Her latest documentary, Rojek, was Canada’s submission for the 2024 Academy Award® in the Best International Feature category.



100% on RottenTomatoes

“A deeply unsettling exploration of morality and terror.” – The Globe and Mail

“Rojek is a work of poetic inquisitiveness years-in-the-making. This absorbing and admirably even-handed documentary looks the beast in the eye to weigh the context, cost, and consequences of fundamentalism.” – POV Magazine

“Offers an insight into the seemingly impenetrable, monolith group and paints the extremist faction through its affiliates, who are – unlike their general perception by media and the public – distinguishable and diverse.” – Modern Times Review

“Kurdish fundamentalist extremists and Western cultures…faint possibility of finding co-existence. normalizes torture and murder in a burning hellscape of ancient repressive laws, fascinating, ugly, raw, and real; we need to know.” – Anne Brodie, What She Said

“Here is an astringent, devastating and truly extraordinary film that is hard work to watch, but entirely worth it.” – Leslie Felperin, Guardian

“It’s a truly disturbing doc, illuminating a mindset that is difficult to comprehend but that must be understood if there is to ever be anything close to an attempt at peaceful coexistence.” – Awards Daily

“Highly recommended. This is one of DOC NYC’s most important films.” – Unseen Films

“An unexpected look at a far-reaching current political issue and a film whose subject matter and rhythm create an impressive cinematographic object.” – AV Club

Shari & Lamb Chop – Director Lisa D’Apolito

Director Lisa D’Apolita takes us back to a time before there was Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street, to the world of  Shari Lewis and her lovable cast of puppets, including Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse, and the most beloved puppet of all time, Lamb Chop. In 1960, while still in her early 20s, NBC gave Shari her first national network show, The Shari Lewis Show, replacing The Howdy Doody Show. Lewis quickly became a pioneer in television and changed the face of children’s entertainment. She created a playful, non-judgmental world for children and adults alike, inviting us not just to ‘be ourselves,’ but to be the best version of ourselves we can be. She used her puppets as  her voice – to say the things that women couldn’t say in mid-century America and to take control over her personal story. Over five decades, she was able to straddle two very different worlds as a performer, conquering both children’s and more mature entertainment; from her Saturday morning program to her late-night talk show performances and Las Vegas club act. Lewis also won dozens of awards – including 13 Emmys and a Peabody – published 60 children’s books, and finally found a way to achieve her dreams as a performer and managed to stay relevant with her age defying comeback in her 60’s, endearing her to a new generation with Lamb Chop’s Play-A-Long. Shari used her renewed popularity to reinforce her commitment to children’s education. Director Lisa D’Apolito stops to talk about why she believes that Shari Lewis remains so under appreciated, delves into the unique psychology that exists between performer and puppet, and the peculiar world of ventriloquism and magic and how Shari and Lamb Chop became one of the most unique and enduring “comedy teams” in American culture.


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About the filmmaker – Lisa D’Apolito is an Emmy nominated producer and director Lisa’s film documentary, LOVE, GILDA was selected as the opening night film of the Tribeca Film Festival, was distributed theatrically through Magnolia Pictures, had a broadcast premiere on CNN and was nominated for 2 creative Emmy’s. Lisa started as an actress in film, theater and television including a part in GOODFELLAS. She went on to producing and directing in advertising , making her way to SVP/EP of production at FCB and then starting her own production company 3 Faces Films. Lisa was named one of Variety’s 10 Documentarians to Watch in 2018 and SHOOT Magazines New Directors Showcase 2019. Lisa is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Italy.  She is in post production with PYUNERVERSE a documentary on the Cult director Albert Pyun and recently completed Shari Lewis and Lambchop film.



The Hobby – Director Morgan Jon Fox

A McDonald’s Happy Meal shortage. A security guard escort. Guns pulled in a Target parking lot. All of these are caused by a common factor: trading cards. In 2020, a new BOOM began. For the first time, large hedge funds, celebrities like Logan Paul and Steve Aoki, nostalgic millennials, entrepreneurs like Josh Luber, and billionaires scrambled to add sports, Pokémon, and other hot item cards to their collections and portfolios. Over the next two years, the hobby exploded — even causing card grading services to shut down due to overwhelming customer service. This documentary is a character-driven feel good deep dive into the high-stakes, eccentric world of card collecting, following buyers, sellers, card shop owners, graders, online streamers, auctioneers, and more, who all participate in the hobby in their own unique ways. Directed by Morgan Jon Fox, viewers are brought directly into the highs, lows, big gains, and sometimes devastating  losses of a century-old hobby that anyone can break into, and some can hit the jackpot with. The trading card industry saw a massive boom in 2020, as people began clearing out garages, storage units, closets, and more to find old trading cards – ranging from sports cards to Pokemon, to garbage-pail kids and everything in between. The hobby has now grown into a multi-million dollar industry, with its very own trading index launching to assess the value of the market. Director Morgan Jon Fox stops by to talk about the pure joy of opening a Topps pack with a Pete Rose Rookie card or finding a Pokemon Charizard Base Set, as well as the thrill of meeting people who share your passion for collectibles and memories.


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Available on TVOD beginning February 16

About the filmmaker – Named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine, Morgan Jon Fox is a Southern director/producer/1st AD from Memphis, TN, based in Chicago, IL. Known for getting strong, authentic performances, and telling gritty regional southern stories, his early micro-budget feature films Blue Citrus Hearts, and OMG/HaHaHa were film festival hits and gained international distribution. His documentary This Is What Love In Action Looks Like gained praise and national attention from CNN, Good Morning America, The New York Times and The Advocate for capturing the true story of a Memphis teen who was forced into a religious based “straight camp” intended to change his sexuality. The doc screened around the world and won the Derek Oyston CHE Film Award at the London LGBT Film Festival. His TV project, FERAL is an 8 Episode show about a close knit group of 20-something LGBT artists living in Memphis, TN. Described as “‘Weekend’ meets ‘Girls’(Huffington Post), His latest project, The One You Never Forget is a multi-award winning short film about teenagers going on their first dance. After screening at over 100 film festivals around the world, it has amassed more than 500K views on Vimeo & Youtube. Morgan has over 15 years of experience as a Producer and Assistant Director, with companies such as A24, HBO, NIKE, VICE, The Lonely Island, MTV, ESPN, FedEx, the Memphis Grizzlies, and Marquee Sports. 



Perfect Days – Director Wim Wenders & Producer Takuma Takasaki

Set in Tokyo, Director Wim Wenders PERFECT DAYS follows Hirayama (Kōji Yakusho) a toilet cleaner with a highly structured routine. Every morning, he wakes up to the sound of a street cleaner, waters his plants, buys a coffee from the vending machine outside his apartment, and gets into his truck. His workday routine, he travels around Tokyo, cleaning the city’s public toilets. He eats lunch in the same park and takes a photo of the leaves above him while eating. After working more, he goes to the bathhouse, gets dinner at the same restaurant, reads for a bit, and goes to bed. We are joined by the award winning Director and co-scriptwriter Wim Wenders (Paris Texas, Wings of Desire, Buena Vista Social Club) and Producer and co-scriptwriter Takuma Takasaki to talk working with renown actor Kōji Yakusho to create Hirayama, making Tokyo a central character in the story, the cultural importance of the “common good”, and the meaning of the word Komorebi.


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About the filmmaker – Director, Writer Wim Wenders (born 1945) came to international prominence as one of the pioneers of German Cinema during the 1970’s and is now considered one of the most important figures in contemporary film. In addition to his many prize-winning feature films, his work as a scriptwriter, director, producer, photographer and author also encompasses an abundance of innovative documentary films. His career as a filmmaker began in 1967 when Wenders enrolled at the newly founded University of Television and Film Munich (HFF Munich). Parallel to his studies, he also worked as a film critic for a number of years. Upon graduating from the academy in 1971, he founded, together with fifteen other directors and authors, the Filmverlag der Autoren, a film distribution company for German auteur films, which organized the production, rights administration and distribution of their own independent films. After “The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick” (1971), his first feature length film after his graduation film, “Summer in the City”, Wenders turned to shooting his road movie trilogy, “Alice in the Cities” (1973), “Wrong Move” (1975) and “Kings of the Road (1976), in which his protagonists try to come to terms with their rootlessness in post-war Germany. His international breakthrough came with “The American Friend” (1977), an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel. Since then, Wenders has continued to work both in Europe and the USA as well as in Latin America and Asia and has been honored with countless awards at festivals around the world, including the Golden Lion at the international Film Festival in Venice for “The State of Things” (1982); the Golden Palm at the Cannes Festival and the BAFTA Film Award for “Paris, Texas” (1984); the Director’s Prize in Cannes for “Wings of Desire” (1987); or the Silver Bear for “The Million Dollar Hotel” (2000) at the Berlin International Film Festival. His documentary films “Buena Vista Social Club” (1999), “Pina” (2011), and “The Salt of the Earth” (2014) have all been nominated for an Oscar. In 2015, Wenders received the Honorary Golden Bear for his lifetime achievement at the Berlin International Film Festival. In 2022, he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale, also known as the “Nobel Prize for the Arts”, by the Japan Arts Association. Among other honorary titles and positions, he has been a member of the Akademie der Künste and the European Film Academy in Berlin of which he was the President from 1996 to 2020. He taught as a professor at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg until 2017. Wim Wenders is a member of the order Pour le Mérite. In 2012, together with his wife Donata, Wim Wenders established the Wim Wenders Stiftung, a non-profit foundation based in his native city of Düsseldorf. The WWS is archiving, restoring and presenting the cinematic, photographic, artistic and literary work of Wim Wenders and makes it permanently accessible to a worldwide public. At the same time, the foundation supports young talents in the field of innovative storytelling, especially through the Wim Wenders Stipendium, a grant awarded together with the Filmund Medienstiftung NRW.

About the filmmaker – Producer, Writer Takuma Takasaki is one of Japan’s leading Creative Directors, and he has also been active as a novelist in recent years. He is currently the Growth Officer at Dentsu Inc. In 2002, he won international awards such as Cannes International Advertising Festival, One Show, NY ADC, and Adfest for the Advertising Council Japan commercial. In Japan, he has been named “Creator of the Year” twice. He specializes in story-based commercials as well as building large campaigns. He has created a commercial for a movie distribution service featuring Robert De Niro, and a commercial with Richard Gere have become a big success. He has also written numerous scripts for movies and TV dramas. His novel “Auto-Reverse” is currently being developed for a film adaptation. His picture book “Makuro” was published last year and won an award.


93% on RottenTomatoes

“At its best, Perfect Days shares the same haunting sense of stillness that characterized Wenders’ best work in films such as The American Friend and Wings of Desire.” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

“Perfect Days is a poem of extraordinary subtlety and beauty.” – Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

“There’s a guileless purity to the film, though, and a delicate, contemplative performance from Yakusho.” – Ed Potton, Times (UK)

“[Wenders] strolls in the park while contemplating dreams, the dignity of labor, and the fleeting joys of waking moments.” – Siddhant Adlakha, indieWire

“This is a philosophical contemplation that is very much about something – a meaning-of-life film, no less – with an introverted, immensely likeable central performance from Koji Yakusho.” – Jonathan Romney, Screen International

The Monk and the Gun – Director Pawo Choyning Dorji

In his beguiling second feature film, THE MONK AND THE GUN director, writer and producer Pawo Choyning Dorji captures the wonder and disruption as Bhutan becomes one of the world’s youngest democracies. Known throughout the world for its extraordinary beauty and its emphasis on Gross National Happiness, the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan was the last nation to connect to the internet and television. And if that weren’t enough change, the King announced shortly afterwards that he would cede his power to the people via their vote and a new form of  government: Democracy. An elderly lama (Kelsang Choejey), recognizing that extraordinary change is about to sweep through his country, is troubled by the possible outcomes. He instructs his young disciple Tashi (Tandin Wangchuk) to set forth into the kingdom and bring him two guns before the full moon to “set it right.” The young monk is perplexed by his guru’s request, and his familiarity with guns is based solely on images from the only film available on television: James Bond. His quest brings him into contact with a scheming American gun collector Ron (Harry Einhorn), leading to a most unexpected outcome. Director Pawo Choyning Dorji (Yak in the Classroom) stops by to talk about his award winning, Oscar® shortlisted latest film, his choice to mix non-professional actors with established actors, his inspiration for this gentile satire and once again showcasing his beloved country of Bhutan.


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About the filmmaker – Director & Writer Pawo Choyning Dorji started his film making career under the guidance of film Director and renowned Buddhist Lama, Khyentse Norbu. Pawo worked as Norbu’s assistant for Norbu’s films Vara: A Blessing (2013) and Hema Hema: Sing me a Song While I Wait (2016). Pawo made his directorial debut in 2019 with Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom. The film was shot in one of the remotest human settlements in the world, so remote that the production relied on solar batteries and local yak herders to be the main cast of the film. The film went on to become a festival favorite, winning numerous awards, before making history by becoming the first ever Bhutanese film to secure an Oscar nomination when it was nominated for Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards. The Monk and the Gun is Pawo’s second feature film as Writer, Director, and Producer. Pawo is the youngest recipient of the Royal Order of Bhutan, The Druk Thuksey (The Heart Son of the Thunder Dragon), an award bestowed upon him by King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck on December 17, 2022. The award recognizes individual for distinguished service to the Bhutanese nation and people. 


96% on RottenTomatoes

“An unexpectedly suspenseful shaggy dog story, as well as a pretty funny one, with subtly pointed barbs about American politics.” – Michael O’Sullivan, Washington Post

“The film pulls off something truly bold: taking what are perhaps the most emotionally and symbolically loaded items in existence and subverting their meaning completely to end on a note of peace, joy, and hope for the future.” – Ross McIndoe, Slant Magazine

“This wholly entertaining film takes perfect pot shots at the divisive nature of American politics…But Dorji is an equal opportunity satirist poking fun at the evils of western influences but also the dangers of unenlightened mob rule.” – Frank J. Avella, Awards Daily

“While the entire film is entertaining, the ending delivers the ultimate payoff that’s both gratifying and apt.” – Sarah Gopaul, Digital Journal

“A droll, shrewdly satirical fable, in which Western values crash against a seemingly intransigent (but potentially more enlightened) South Asian culture.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

Out of Darkness – Director Andrew Cumming

Andrew Cumming’s feature film debut,  OUT OF DARKNESS opens with a small boat reaches the shores of a raw and desolate landscape. A group of six have struggled across the narrow sea to find a new home. They are starving, desperate, and living 45,000 years ago. First they must find shelter, and they strike out across the tundra wastes towards the distant mountains that promise the abundant caves they need to survive. But when night falls, anticipation turns to fear and doubt as they realize they are not alone. Terrifying sounds suggest something monstrous at large in this landscape, something that could kill or steal them away. As relationships in the group fracture, the determination of one young woman reveals the terrible actions taken to survive. OUT OF DARKNESS uses a language called TOLA invented by poet, historian and multi-linguist Dr. Daniel Andersson. TOLA stands for ‘The Origin Language’ and is a mix of Arabic as well as some Basque vocabulary. Director Andrew Cumming (Payback, Cold Feet) stops by to talk about the challenges of making his debut feature film in a stark location, using dialog from a made up language, working with a talented but largely unheralded cast of actors that includes Safia Oakley-Green, Chuku Modu, Arno Lüning and Kit Young and how project has given him the confidence to trust his creative instincts.   


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About the filmmaker – ANDREW CUMMING (DIRECTOR) This year Andrew completed his debut feature film OUT OF DARKNESS with Escape Plan Productions (SAINT MAUD). The film will premiere at festivals next year and to cap an eventful 2021, he was recently selected for Screen Daily’s prestigious Stars of Tomorrow. In 2019, he directed the last two episodes of COLD FEET series 9 for ITV and BIG TALK, now streaming on Britbox, and in 2018 directed three episodes of BBC3’s acclaimed thriller CLIQUE (S2). In 2015 he directed KAI, funded by i-D and VICE, which has been viewed over one million times on social media. Andrew’s National Film & Television School graduation film RADIANCE, a supernatural thriller about a young woman with a dangerous condition, was nominated for best film at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards, while his claustrophobic psychological drama BENEATH won Best Student Film at the Courant 3D festival in France. He is represented by Sarah Williams at Independent Talent. 



91% on RottenTomatoes

“The story and characters are simple, but compelling. If this is the direction where British independent genre cinema is moving towards, we should be very satisfied and excited indeed.” – Maria Lattila, WhyNow (UK)

“It’s a film that oozes primordial atmosphere: the skies are permanently grey and brooding, and the terrain is primarily razor-sharp rocks and boulders, endless wet forests, dank caves where here be monsters. Its visual grandeur is impressive.” – Martyn Conterio, CineVue

“In his debut feature, Cumming shows a real talent for world-building and creating suspense when the danger of uncharted territory can be felt at every turn.” – Stephen Saito, Moveable Fest

“A stunning prehistoric journey into the unknown, highlighting primitive fears and a deadly struggle for survival.” – Molly Henery, The Blogging Banshee

“Gorgeous visuals, luscious soundscapes, and a courageous decision to create an entirely new language, ensure that [the film] stands proudly unique.” – Kat Hughes, THN

“What sets Cumming’s movie apart is how it shows audiences how little it takes to tell a story that holds our attention and makes us think, from the narrative tactics it uses to the old-school cinematic trickery and natural scenery that make it sing.” – Abby Olcese, The Pitch

Vishniac – Director Laura Bialis

Roman Vishniac was difficult and flamboyant, a shameless self-promoter, bender of the truth and master of reinvention. He was also one of the groundbreaking photographers of the last century – a brilliant artist whose body of work spans decades, continents, and the catastrophic fallout from two world wars. With help from his daughter Mara director Laura Bialis’ brilliant documentary VISHNIAC resets the misconceptions and perceptions of Vishniac into a wholly formed figure in the world of photography, art and science.  Though his pioneering microscopy transformed the nature of science photography, Roman Vishniac perhaps is best known now for his iconic images of Jewish life in Eastern Europe from 1935 through 1938. Few predicted that less than a decade later, these communities would be wiped out, and Vishniac’s photographs would provide the last stunning visual records of an entire world. Now for the first time, his story comes to life as a feature documentary. A retrospective and family saga, VISHNIAC is narrated by Vishniac’s daughter Mara. She grew up in his shadow and sought to break free of his grip, only to eventually come around and embrace his legacy. Director Laura Bialis joins us for a conversation on her personal journey to bring Mara Vishniac into the heart of the project, the stories behind the fateful photographs taken Eastern European Jews, Albert Einstein, and the satisfaction of spotlighting one of the more complex figures in the history of modern photography.


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About the filmmaker – Laura Bialis is an award-winning filmmaker whose projects have taken her from war-torn villages in Kosovo to concentration camps in Poland to underground shelters in Sderot, Israel, less than a mile from the Gaza Strip. Her film Rock in the Red Zone (2015) is a personal view from the ground in Sderot and an exploration of the lives of musicians creating art under rocket fire attacks. The film premiered at the Haifa International Film Festival and screened in more than 80 cities worldwide. In 2007, Bialis released Refusenik, a critically acclaimed documentary chronicling the thirty-year human rights campaign to free more than 1.5 million Soviet Jews. Bialis spent a decade immersing herself in the story of dissidents inside the Soviet Union and their activist allies in the West. She befriended leaders of the movement, including Anatoly (now Natan) Sharansky; filmed key locations including the notorious Perm 36 gulag where Sharansky was held; and conducted more than 100 interviews, with many participants telling their stories on film for the first time. The film was released in 15 cities in the US and broadcast in Israel. Bialis’ film View From the Bridge: Stories From Kosovo (2008) explored tensions among Serbs, Albanian and Roma (Gypsies) in the ethnically divided town of Mitrovica. The film premiered at the Slamdance International Film Festival and was used by the European Union and NATO in training staff working to rebuild Kosovo. Bialis received a BA in history from Stanford University and an MFA in production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. While at USC, Bialis produced and directed Daybreak Berlin, about German American artist Ilse-Margret Vogel, who was active in Berlin’s underground during World War II. Her next film, Tak For Alt, followed Holocaust survivor turned civil rights activist Judy Meisel through Lithuania as she searched for her father’s grave in an abandoned Jewish cemetery outside the town of Jasvene. The film was honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, won the Anti-Defamation League’s Dore Schary Award, was broadcast on PBS, and has been used extensively in American high schools for Holocaust education. 



100% on RottenTomatoes

“The horror is offscreen yet inescapable…” – Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

‘Vishniac’ is a perfect marriage of subject and storyteller. Thank goodness Laura Bialis was able to interview Vishniac’s daughter Mara, who passed away in 2018, and accumulate all the background materials that make this film so vividly true” – Leonard Maltin,

“Thanks to this film, books and other museum exhibits in existence, Roman Vishniac’s legacy will live on for years to come.” – Danielle Solzman, Solzy at the Movies

“Bialis reveals his and his family’s lives behind iconic photographs from her access over three years to the complete Vishniac archive of over 23,000 items. She also well illustrates times and places with other apt archival footage and visual context.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Maven’s Nest

“Bialis has done a masterful job bringing Vishniac’s magic and passions to the big screen, which was her sincerest hope.” – Jeanne Kaplan, Kaplan vs. Kaplan

TOTEM – Director Lila Avilés

In the enormously poignant follow-up to her international breakthrough, The Chambermaid, director Lila Avilés nestles in with one family over the course of a single, meaningful day. TOTEM is told largely from the perspective of 7-year-old Sol (the marvelously naturalistic Naíma Sentíes), as her mother (Montserrat Marañón) and extended relatives prepare for the birthday party of the girl’s father, Tona (Mateo Garcia). As the hours wear on, building to an event both anticipated and dreaded, the fragile bonds and unsure future of the family become ever clearer. Avilés confirms her  formidable skill at expressing the subtlest contours of her characters’ inner lives in this emotionally expansive and affecting drama. This emotionally expansive film from Lila Aviles (The Chambermaid) cements her skill at directing dynamic, ensemble performances in her stunning sophomore effort. Director, producer , writer Lila Avilés joins us to talk about casting Naíma Sentíes (Sol) and the rest of this superb troupe of performers, shooting in tight spaces, sound design, and her unbridled love for filmmaking.


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Mexico’s – Best International Feature, 2024 Academy Awards®

About the filmmaker – Lila Avilés is a Mexican independent film director, screenwriter and producer. She founded her company, Limerencia Films, in 2018. Her breakthrough debut feature film “The Chambermaid,” 2018, was selected to represent Mexico at the 2020 Oscars© and Goya Awards. The film was invited to more than sixty film festivals around the world, garnering awards and critical acclaim. Avilés has served on many festival juries, including San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain 2021), Morelia International Film Festival (Mexico 2019), FICUNAM (Mexico 2020), Lima International Film Festival (Peru 2020), Antofacine Festival (Chile 2020), Nespresso Talents 2019 (Festival Morelia 2019), Fic Monterrey 2022.


96% on RottenTomatoes

“One of the finest movies you’ll see this year.”Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Exquisite…so achingly assured is Avilés’ grasp of character and narrative, so attuned is her handheld camera to nuances of perspective, setting and atmosphere, that she pulls you into the action with a depth and force of feeling that eludes some of her more veteran peers.”Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times 

“A dazzling, vibrant child’s-eye view of jubilation and tragedy. Exuberantly lovely.”Jessica Kiang, Sight & Sound

“JOYFUL AND DEVASTATING. The dynamism of Ms. Avilés’s observational style — and the delicacy with which she threads moving drama through the quotidian — sidesteps sentimentality for something more bracing, and more true.” – Zachary Barnes, Wall Street Journal

I.S.S. – Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite

Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite brings the viewer into the lives of the scientist / astronauts orbiting the planet aboard the International Space Station. Two crews of scientists, American and Russian, conduct research towards the betterment of humanity. Tensions flare in the near future aboard the International Space Station as the astronauts receive orders from the ground that are both horrifying and unfathomable. The cold harshness of space comes into stark reality as thriller and science fiction combine to form an engrossing look at power dynamics and the places they exist regardless of Earth and space. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, working with Nick Shafir’s Blacklist script, brings together a stellar cast that includes Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, Chris Messina, Pilou Asbaek, John Gallagher Jr., Costa Ronin, and Masha Mashkova, in a high-stakes thriller set entirely in the confines of the I.S.S. as astronauts are called to duty in fateful and terrifying ways.


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About the filmmaker – Gabriela Cowperthwaite has been directing both documentaries and narrative films for over 20 years, rising to prominence with the 2013 release of Blackfish, which examined the plight of orcas and their trainers at SeaWorld. Blackfish quickly became one of the highest grossing documentaries of all time. In addition to being shortlisted for an Academy Award, Blackfish was nominated for a BAFTA, a Broadcast Critics’ Awards, an International Documentary Association Award, and won the Satellite Award for Best Feature. Most recently, Gabriela completed ISS, a space station thriller starring Academy Award winner Arianna DeBose. Her critically acclaimed film Our Friend, starring Casey Affleck, Dakota Johnson, and Jason Segel was released in 2020. Based on a true life story, Our Friend told the story of a couple struggling through a diagnosis alongside their best friend. Megan Leavey, which marked Gabriela’s narrative directorial debut in 2015 is based on the true life story of a Marine corporal (Kate Mara), whose unique bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. Gabriela’s latest documentary THE GRAB, a geo-political thriller, follows a shadowy world of powerful entities who are grabbing up the world’s food and water while we all look the other way. THE GRAB opened TIFF this year (2022) and is being hailed as the “holy sh*t documentary of the year”.


Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World, Director Julio Palacio

In the heartwarming short documentary, Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World, we are introduced to a remarkable young girl whose spirit and determination defy all expectations. Makayla, a black teenage girl, has spent her life grappling with a rare form of autism that rendered her essentially nonverbal. However, her parents (father, Grammy-award winning producer Needlz and business owner mother, Mañana), filled with unwavering belief in their daughter’s potential, embarked on a transformative journey to discover the true depth of Makayla’s inner world. Recently, through the help of Roxy Sewell, Makayla’s letterboard therapist, a groundbreaking breakthrough came into their lives in the form of letter board therapy, a method that finally provided Makayla with the means to communicate. As her voice gradually emerges, the audience is invited into a world of wonder, poetry, and brilliance that was once hidden from sight. Through the lens of the documentary, we witness Makayla’s courageous steps as she unveils her thoughts, feelings, and insights. With her newfound ability to express herself, she shines as an inspiring advocate for autism, determined to show the world the power and beauty of neurodiversity.  Makayla’s Voice: A Letter to the World is directed, written and produced by Julio Palacio, who has won several awards for his short form documentaries. The film is also produced by Sam Hanson and Sasha Levinson, editor is Jeff Jay and cinematography is by Brock Hanson.


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Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival

About the filmmaker – Julio Palacio is an award winning director passionate about crafting emotions through storytelling. He is proud of his Colombian background and brings that energy and diversity to all of his projects. He focuses on short form documentary and his work has been officially selected at festivals all over the world, such as Vail, Diversity in Cannes, Riom France, AmDocs, and the Oscar qualifying Riif; among many others. His work has also been showcased at Tribeca and Sundance. He has recently directed films for brands such as Google, 3M, Daimler Mercedes, MasterCard, Stanley Black and Decker, National Bank of Australia, and many others. His passion for filmmaking has taken him to work on projects all over the world including countries such as Australia, Germany, Italy, China, EAU, Taiwan, China, India, Colombia, Chile, Mexico, Brazil and all over the US. Julio has an eye for real authentic moments as he believes this is what makes documentaries and films special, but he is also a strong believer in the power of beautiful and cinematic visuals.



The Anne Frank Gift Shop – Director / Writer Mickey Rapkin

When a high-end design firm presents its plans to reimagine the gift shop at The Anne Frank House, the company’s overt appeals to Generation Z sparks a darkly comic debate about collective trauma, the Holocaust and tote  bags. THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP, which stars Ari Graynor and Abbott Elementary’s Chris Perfetti among other notable actors, imagines a meeting between the Anne Frank House and the New York design firm they’ve hired to help them appeal to young people. The idea for the film grew out of a disturbing  study that revealed two-thirds of young Americans couldn’t tell you how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust. Eleven percent of respondents somehow believe Jews “caused” the Holocaust. The film aims to combat that with humor, disarming young people before making its emotional appeal: We have to keep telling this story again and again and again or it will happen again. Journalist turned filmmaker Mickey Rapkin joins us to talk about the thrill of making the Oscar® shortlist for Live-Action Short (in a category with the likes of Almodovar, Wes Anderson and Alfonso Cuaron), how his a dark comedy has suddenly become very timely and striking the right balance of irreverent humor and the jarring reality of Anne Frank’s actual life story.


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About the filmmaker – A journalist and creative thinker, Mickey Rapkin, whose first book of nonfiction, PITCH PERFECT, inspired the film franchise about a cappella singing. For the last decade he has contributed compelling feature stories to award-winning magazines while writing captivating content for brands and developing projects for film and TV. He’s currently co-hosting the Forbes interview series, CEREAL ENTREPRENEUR, with Method co-founder Eric Ryan. Rapkin has a feature in development at TriStar inspired by The Chainsmokers’s global hit song PARIS, to be produced by the band’s production company Kick the Habit and Entertainment 360. He previously sold a series to Apple with John Wells and Warner Bros. based on Stephen McCauley’s novel MY EX-LIFE. His original horror feature pitch, KILLER CHOIR, sold to MRC with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects and Entertainment 360 producing. In 2023, he wrote and directed a short film called THE ANNE FRANK GIFT SHOP. Rapkin’s writing on entertainment, lifestyle and travel has appeared in GQ, the New York Times, ELLE, Town & Country, Bon Appetit, Esquire and many others.



“Featuring darkly funny and ultimately moving turns by a strong cast including Ari Graynor and Chris Perfetti and comedian Mary Beth Barone as a stone-faced Gen Z influencer, ‘The Anne Frank Gift Shop’ provides a poignant meta-commentary on our continually robust Anne Frank discourse.” – Sarah Seltzer, GQ

Lindsay Malin – Manager of Film Granting and Artist Programs for Jewish Story Partners

With support from Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg’s Righteous Persons Foundation and Maimonides Fund, the Jewish Story Partners (JSP) was launched in April 2021. The objective of the Jewish Story Partners is to stimulate and support the highest caliber independent films that expand the Jewish story. Since its inception, JSP has awarded approximately $2.5 million in grants to 85 projects. Today, JSP seeks to provide critical gap in funding for independent films telling Jewish stories, as well as the paucity of and pressing need for films that reflect the full spectrum of Jewish experiences,  cultures, and encounters. In addition to supporting projects financially, Jewish Story Partners offers a continuum of support—providing filmmakers with advisory services at pivotal points in their process. JSP, recently announced its new grantees, with $450,000 distributed among 18 documentary films. In light of the rise of antisemitism, particularly in the aftermath of October 7th, and in response to the persistence of Holocaust denial and the myriad Holocaust stories yet to be told, JSP renews our faith in film as an indispensable tool to build empathy and fight against ignorance and hate. JSP today announced two new funds: the Holocaust Film Fund and the Antisemitism and the Ecosystem of Hate Film Fund. The former provides funding for JSP documentaries about the Holocaust; the latter supports JSP documentaries directly exploring antisemitism as well as those that probe the connections between antisemitism and other group-based hate. The naming opportunity for both funds are currently open. Joining us is Lindsay Malin, the Manager of Film Granting and Artist Programs at JSP for a conversation on the recent announcement of its new grantees, the $450,000 distributed among 18 documentary films, other funding currently open for applications, as well as the past, present and future of Jewish Story Partners.


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The latest slate of JSP grants features a number of powerful documentaries from award-winning filmmakers including Anne Aghion (My Neighbor, My Killer), Dan Habib (Intelligent Lives), Mark Jonathan Harris (The Long Way Home, Into the Arms of Strangers), Rachel Leah Jones (Advocate), Jacob Kornbluth (Inequality for All, Haiku Tunnel), Marlene McCurtis (Women on Death Row), and Bernadette Wegenstein (The Conductor, The Good Breast). See below for a full list. JSP is also launching a new Education-Impact Program. In partnership with distributor Good Docs, JSP is annually underwriting 600+ free screenings of three JSP-funded documentaries at non-profits, schools, and religious institutions. The inaugural cohort of Education-Impact grants went to the support of Ondi Timoner’s Last Flight Home, Tessa Louise Salomé’s The Wild One, and Iris Zaki’s Egypt, A Love Song.

About the subject – Lindsay Malin is the Manager of Film Granting and Artist Programs at Jewish Story Partners. Before moving to Los Angeles, she served as a Program Officer at The Covenant Foundation, a New York City-based organization that supports innovation in Jewish education. Previously, she was the Manager of Membership Initiatives at the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, where she curated programs exploring Jewish culture and the history of the Holocaust. Lindsay holds a BA in Jewish Studies from American University and an MA in Holocaust Studies from Royal Holloway, University of London. It is her firm belief that exploring diverse stories through film is vital to securing a better, more empathetic future.


Four Daughters – Director Kaouther Ben Hania

One of the year’s most acclaimed releases, FOUR DAUGHTERS by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania uses an audacious formal conceit to tell the story of Olfa Hamrouni and her four daughters. Attempting to answer the question of how and why the Tunisian woman’s two eldest were radicalized, Ben Hania reveals a complex history. We watch as the family relives key events in their lives with help from professional actors standing in for the missing girls. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at the Gotham Awards, and Best Writing at the IDA Documentary Awards, FOUR DAUGHTERS is a compelling portrait of five women and a unique and ambitious work of nonfiction cinema that pushes against the conventional boundaries of the documentary form to explore the nature of memory, rebellion, and the ties that bind mothers and daughters. Director Kaouther Ben Hania (Beauty and the Dogs, The Man Who Sold His Skin) joins us for a conversation on what inspired her wildly creative and award winning  documentary on trauma, family, displacement, love and freedom. 


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About the filmmaker – Award-winning Tunisian director and Oscar nominee, Kaouther Ben Hania, refined her cinematic prowess in Tunisia and later in Paris at the renowned Femis and la Sorbonne. Her groundbreaking work has consistently been showcased on the global stage. Her poignant “Four Daughters” won l’Oeil d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2023. “The Man Who Sold His Skin” not only secured an Oscar nomination for Best International Feature but also claimed the best actor prize at the 2020 Venice Film Festival’s Horizons Section. “Beauty and the Dogs” earned the Best Sound Creation Award at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2017. Earlier successes like “Challat of Tunis” marked her debut at Cannes’ ACID section in 2014. Beyond features, her documentaries and shorts, including “Zaineb hates the Snow” and “Wooden Hand”, have won accolades and thrived in international festivals.


96% on RottenTomatoes

“A revelatory, poignant blend of drama, memory, and self-scrutiny.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Formally daring, emotionally gripping…a heartbreaker about mothers and daughters, the cruelty of repression and the slippery but revealing nature of performance.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“In telling the story of Olfa and her daughters, Ben Hania is also telling the tumultuous story of Tunisia in the wake of the Arab Spring, a promising movement that began in that country before spreading to the rest of North Africa and the Middle East.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture

“Arab voices in Western cinemas are all too rare, and “Four Daughters” is one of the best films of the year…” – G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

“An enthralling narrative about memory, motherhood and the inherited traumas of a patriarchal society.” – Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter

 “An admirable film. And through it all, Huppert still finds subtle ways to disappear into and elevate the narrative.” – Ethan Vestby, The Film Stage

Apolonia, Apolonia – Director Lea Glob

When Danish filmmaker Lea Glob first met Apolonia Sokol in 2009, she appeared to be leading a storybook life. The talented Apolonia was born in an underground theatre in Paris and grew up in an artist community — the ultimate bohemian life. In her 20s, she studied at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, one of the most prestigious art academies in Europe. Over the years, Lea kept returning to film Apolonia as the latter sought her place in the art world, grappling with the agonies and joys of womanhood, the relationships with others and her own body and creation. The result is a fascinating portrait of the young woman’s trying voyage into the art world. Apolonia is confident in her talent, but her path is not always an easy one to tread. Life is not a storybook, and Apolonia learns that women painters have to make more sacrifices and overcome greater obstacles than their male counterparts. This also applied to the friend she lived with for a long time, Oksana Shachko, one of the founders of the feminist action group Femen. Apolonia’s resilience is put to the test. As time passes and a special bond grows between Apolonia and Lea, we witness a film being born and a painter rising to fame. 13 years on, the two women continue to reflect on each other’s paths in this mesmerizing film about art, love, motherhood, sexuality, representation, and how to succeed in a world dominated by patriarchy, capitalism and war, without losing oneself.  Director Lea Glob (Olmo & the Seagull) joins us for a conversation on how and why her first meeting with Apolonia propelled them both on this complex and meaningful journey, how she navigated the line between director and subject during the 13-year long duration of the project, the impact that Oksana had on Apolonia, and where are Apolonia and Lea today.


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About the filmmaker – Lea Glob graduated as a director from The National Film School of Denmark in 2011 with the short film MEETING MY FATHER- KASPER TOPHAT about the directors’ involuntary journey into a stranger than fiction story of her own origins. Glob co-directed OLMO & THE SEAGULL with Petra Costa in 2014. It premiered at Locarno where it won the Young Jury Prize. It also won the Best Nordic Dox Award at CPH:DOX, Best Documentary at the Rio Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Cairo Film Festival, and Best Narrative at the RiverRun International film festival, among others.  In 2016 Glob co-directed the feature documentary VENUS together with Mette Carla Albrechtsen about sexuality from a female perspective, which became a moment to share thoughts on sexuality and identity, in an attempt to formulate a language and reclaim the female body. The film premiered in IDFA’s First Appearance Competition and won the audience award in IndieLisboa IIFF. All along those years Glob followed the story of Apolonia Sokol, creating a sort of double sided portrait of the artist as a young woman. APOLONIA, APOLONIA is the director’s first documentary feature as a solo-director. 

About the subject – Apolonia Sokol was born in 1988 in Paris, Apolonia Sokol is a French figurative painter of Danish and Polish descent. After graduating from the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, she moved to the United States and settled in New York where she worked in Dan Colen’s studio. She later moved to Los Angeles where she befriended other artists and painters with whom she started an ongoing conversation on figurative painting. Sokol is known for her political stance on the art of portraiture, claiming the need to use it as a tool of empowerment and deconstruction of marginalization and domination. That is why she addresses multiple issues such as feminisms, queerness, women’s representation throughout art history and body politics in general. Apolonia Sokol exhibited her work in Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris,Istanbul, Mexico City, Rome, Los Angeles and her work has been included in institutional exhibitions, such as: Tainted Love / Club Edit at the Villa Arson in 2019 (curated by Yann Chevallier), Aux sources des années 1980, at the Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix, Sables d’Olonne, in 2019 (curated by Amélie Adamo), Mademoiselle at the Crac Occitanie in 2018 (curated by Tara Londi), Tainted Love, inaugural exhibition at the Comfort Moderne in 2017 (curated by Yann Chevalier), Peindre, dit-elle at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dole in 2017 (curated by Julie Crenn). Her recent institutional exhibitions includePossessedcurated by Vincent Honoré at the MOCO Museum and Conversation Piece VII Verso Narragonia (Towards Narragonia) curated by Marcello Smarrelli at the Fondazione Memmo in Rome, Women Painting Women at The Modern, Forth Worth, Texas USA and Women in Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark. In 2020, the artist was granted the prestigious Academy of France in Rome, enabling the artist to benefit from a one year residency at the Villa Medici. 


100% on RottenTomatoes

“layered and substantial” “an impressively idiosyncratic, far-reaching work” – Variety

“an absorbingly intimate portrait of an artist” – Screen Daily

“A multi-layered, intensely personal exploration of what’s at stake in an artistic life.” – The Film Verdict

“delightful and poignant” – Volkskrant

”art and life melt together in a magnificent and hypnotizing portrait” – Politiken

“was utterly transfixed” – Lena Dunham, writer, director, actress, producer

Inshallah A Boy – Director Amjad Al Rasheed

INSHALLAH A BOY is Jordan’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards®. It begins with the sudden death of the husband of Nawal, a young Arab woman. The tragedy leaves her and her daughter without rights or property under Islamic law—and at the mercy of male relatives. Both her own brother and brother-in-law at first show sympathy. But soon it’s clear that any whiff of assertion—I paid for half this house; I will keep my job; I will raise my daughter as I see fit—is met with the forces of patriarchy. Amjad Al Rasheed’s gripping, taut debut INSHALLAH A BOY immerses us in the tangled impossibilities for a woman who simply wants to keep her home and protect her daughter, without a husband or male heir to legitimize her. Her acts of resistance (including necessary deception) enmesh multiple players in a complex web of risk and hope – reminiscent of Asghar Farhadi’s masterpiece A SEPARATION – as we root and fear for her at every turn. Director/Co-writer Amjad Al Rasheed stops by to talk about the inspiration for his multi-faceted, finding his lead actor Mouna Hawa to play Nawal and the superb supporting cast as well as the pride tken from the wide recognition the film has received from the Cannes Film Festival and other prestigious film festivals from around the world.


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INSHALLAH A BOY is the first film from Jordan ever selected for the Cannes Film Festival, where it took home two prizes. It also played at the 2023 Toronto, BFI London, and Karlovy Vary Film Festivals, among many others. It’s Jordan’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the 2024 Academy Awards®.

About the filmmaker – Director / Writer Amjad Al Rasheed, born in 1985, is a Jordanian director and writer who holds an MFA in Cinematic Arts, specializing in Directing and Editing. His debut feature film, “Inshallah a Boy,” had its world premiere at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, as part of the prestigious La Semaine de la Critique. This marked it as the first Jordanian film ever to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival. It further garnered recognition by winning the Gan Foundation Award for Distribution, and is set to be distributed worldwide in 2023/2024. Following its Cannes premiere, “Inshallah A Boy” was also featured in numerous international film festivals, including TIFF, the Busan International Film Festival, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the BFI London Film Festival, and the AFI Fest, among others. In 2016, Al Rasheed was recognized by “Screen International” as one of five “Arab Stars of Tomorrow,” shining a spotlight on talents from the region. Prior to this, Amjad was invited to participate in the Talent Campus during the 57th Berlinale, after which he directed three short films that received acclaim at multiple Arab and international film festivals.


100% on RottenTomatoes

“Terrifically tense. Exciting, galvanizing…A gripping social drama about systemic oppression…” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“The film strongly evokes a flattering comparison to Asghar Farhadi’s Iranian efforts, especially A SEPARATION and THE SALESMAN: a top-to-bottom accounting of a repressive society laden with class antagonism.” – David Katz, Cineuropa

“The acting is superb, and the pacing is remarkable. But most importantly, the look into women’s rights, morality, and normalized societal oppression speaks volumes about its country and the road to freedom.” – Abhishek Sharma, Film Threat

“A sort of soft-faced tyrany abounds – from the manipulations Rifqi uses in a bid to get Nawal to agree to everything, to the acquiescent response of her brother, who though broadly sympathetic is unwilling to fight her corner.” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

“Al Rasheed presents Nawal’s dilemma as Jobian: we’re asked to wonder if her faith will hold firm as her desperation grows. Thrills come from seeing how close she will walk to the precipice. The pleasure of watching is not in wondering if she’ll overcome, but how.” – Rory O’Connor, The Film Stage

A Storm Foretold, Roger Stone and Die – Director Christoffer Guldbrandsen

Donald Trump’s longtime adviser, Roger Stone maneuvers in and out of Danish filmmaker Christoffer Guldbrandsen’s grasp in this jaw-dropping portrait of a puppet master tangled in his own strings. A STORM FORETOLD – ROGER STONE AND DIE follows the revered right-wing powerbroker, his influential journey back to the era of President Nixon, a legacy inked onto his own back. In a film marked by unparalleled access, Christoffer Guldbrandsen captures the tumultuous final months of the Trump administration, centering on the heart of power and climaxing with the unprecedented storming of Congress. Guldbrandsen finds himself amidst the chaos as Trump supporters converge on Washington, witnessing firsthand Roger Stone’s strategic retreat from his hotel suite as the ‘Stop the Steal’ campaign spirals into a riot. A STORM FORETOLD – ROGER STONE AND DIE unfolds the narrative of a once-established political party metamorphosing into an anti-democratic movement, where impassioned rhetoric evolves into tangible violence. Director Christoffer Guldbrandsen (Stealing Africa) joins us for a conversation on that amazing level of access was able to attain, getting to know the Trump movement from the ultimate insider and how he sees the future of American politics.


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About the filmmaker – Christoffer Guldbrandsens’ work is inspired by the observational style of the direct cinema movement. He trained as a journalist in Denmark and the United Kingdom, and his work has won the Peabody Award in the US and The Danish Art Council’s Grant. Guldbrandsen penetrates closed and secretive milieus like no other, from where he draws the material for his documentary dramas. His films are characterized by an expressive realism in structure, form, and content. With understated but effective means, he lets the characters, and the dramas unfold before the audience naturally.  His breakthrough film, The Road to Europe (2003), was an observational doc- thriller about the enlargement of the European Union, that created an international stir when it revealed that Germany would never let Turkey into the EU. Russian President Vladimir Putin was also upset by the film, publicly protesting, he had been recorded during a private conversation. Guldbrandsen’s observational film about the rise and fall of the new political party New Alliance, has become a satirical landmark documentary – and an inspiration for the drama hit-series “Borgen.” A mainstay in Guldbrandsen’s films is his ability to turn complicated subject matter into cinema. He highlights the often banal, unassuming actions that reveal essential character traits and emotions of humans in high-tension situations. In a striking visual style and with a sense for sharply drawn characters, Guldbrandsen delivers dramas from the political reality among the winners and losers of power. In addition to his film work, Guldbrandsen has served as CEO for The Why Foundation, Commissioning Editor and Executive Editor for DR – The Danish Broadcasting Corporation.



100% on RottenTomatoes

“Entertaining, at times jaw-dropping, yet deeply dismaying…” – Jessica Kiang, Variety

“A riveting nonfiction film that “platforms” a controversial figure and then goes on to hang him with his own words” – Stephen Silver, The SS Ben Hecht

“Even more disturbing is how entertaining all this can be, Stone often appearing humorously genial…The film is unsettling in more ways than one.” – Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews

“Provocative, enraging, timely and illuminating.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

Man on the Run – Director Cassius Michael Kim

MAN ON THE RUN follows the enigmatic Low Taek Jho—known to most as Jho Low–a mysterious businessman and playboy. Working with former Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, Low orchestrated a scheme to exploit 1MDB, a sovereign wealth fund established in 2009 with the noble purpose of benefiting the people of Malaysia. In 2015, the intrepid journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown receives leaked financial documents, setting off a global investigation that uncovers a staggering amount of money being funneled into international bank accounts to fuel Low’s extravagant lifestyle. He now faces charges of money laundering and a slew of other offenses related to the multibillion-dollar scandal and is wanted by international authorities. Through director Cassius Michael Kim’s unprecedented access to key individuals involved on both sides of the story, and gripping first-person accounts, Man On The Run exposes a complex web of greed, corruption and betrayal that shook an entire nation’s financial stability. Currently jailed former Prime Minister Najib Razak, 1MDB whistleblower Xavier André Justo, and journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown who broke the story, are featured in the film. Kim’s meticulous investigation lays bare the extensive repercussions of one of the most colossal financial scandals in history. Jho Low is currently on the run and believed to be hiding in China. Director Cassius Michael Kim (Stockton on My Mind) stops by to talk about the remarkable access he had in the making of this scathing expose on the way dirty money warps the world and how the world’s banking system for adjudicating financial crimes is a broken fraud of an institution.


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About the filmmaker – Cassius Michael Kim is a director, producer, and writer who helped create the CNN Original Series, The Wonder List with Bill Weir. He was the senior producer on the documentary program over its first three seasons, directing and producing half of the show’s twenty documentary hours from locations as diverse as Vanuatu, Madagascar, and Egypt. Prior to joining CNN, Cassius worked at ABC News. He began his career at the independent film production company This is that. Most recently, Kim produced and filmed Stockton On My Mind, in collaboration with Marc Levin’s Blowback Productions and HBO Documentary Films, about Mayor Michael Tubbs Jr. and the city of Stockton, CA. Stockton On My Mind was an official selection at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and the 2020 AFI DOCS Festival and was nominated in the category of Outstanding Current Affairs Documentary for the 2021 News & Documentary Emmy® Awards.


90% on RottenTomatoes

“An unbelievably spectacular documentary.” – Wade Major, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

“If you don’t know anything about it, this film offers an exemplary walkthrough of the facts…” – Leslie Felperin, Guardian

“A fine documentary treatment of a wild, true-life story.” – Stephen Silver, The SS Ben Hecht

“It could almost make for a true crime miniseries because it’s so tautly constructed and informative.” – Claudia Puig, FilmWeek (KPCC – NPR Los Angeles)

“[A] deft documentary…” – Ellen E Jones, Observer (UK)