Tahoe Film Fest – December 6-9, 2018

2018 Tahoe Film Fest Selections

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The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018) USA

Directed by:  Ethan and Joel Coen

Here’s something new from the Coen Brothers – an anthology of short films based on a fictional book of “western tales,” featuring Tim Blake Nelson as a murderous white-hatted singing cowboy; James Franco as a bad luck bank-robber; Liam Neeson as the impresario of a traveling medicine show with increasingly diminishing returns; Tom Waits as a die-hard gold prospector; Zoe Kazan and Bill Heck as two shy people who almost come together on the wagon trail; and Tyne Daly, Saul Rubinek, Brendan Gleeson, Chelcie Ross, and Jonjo O’Neill as a motley crew on a stagecoach to nowhere. Each story is distinct, but joined by the unifying thematic thread of mortality. As a whole movie experience, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is wildly entertaining, and, like all Coen films, endlessly surprising.

132 minutes

Venice Film Festival – Winner – Best Screenplay
Venice Film Festival – Nominated – Golden Lion

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable

Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (2018) USA

Directed by: Aaron Lieber

Born into a family of surfers in Kauai, Bethany Hamilton began surfing competitively at eight years old. In 2003, at age 13, she was out surfing when she was attacked by a 15-foot tiger shark, a run-in that cost her her left arm. But not only did she survive the attack – she was back on the competitive circuit just a year later. More than a decade later, Hamilton, now a mother, undertakes her greatest challenge: chasing a toddler – and chasing the biggest wave in her career. Filmmaker Aaron Lieber weaves intimate observational footage of Hamilton and her family, archival footage of the surfer as a young woman, and gorgeous ocean wave panoramas into a heroic tale of bravery, perseverance, athleticism, and hope. The film takes the viewer on an incredible journey as a girl becomes a woman and a fearless athlete rises to the top of her game, becoming a world champion. Hamilton’s story gives new meaning to the term “surf like a girl.”

98 minutes

Tribeca Film Festival – Film Premiere

Filmmaker present

The Biggest Little Farm (2018) USA

Directed by: John Chester

This film is a heartfelt portrait of a Los Angeles couple who flee the detritus and stress of LA for a new life managing (or attempting to manage) a farm just north of the city limits. John Chester and his food blogger wife created Apricot Lane Farms to reconnect with nature, and live an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. Filmed over the course of eight years, The Biggest Little Farm joyously recounts the struggles and successes of their inspirational endeavor with none of the sort of eco-panic one might expect. Putting his professional camera skills to good use in the service of rural California’s breathtaking natural splendor, Chester creates an autobiographical scrapbook, enlisting writer Mark Monroe (The Cove), to help shape the story. What emerges is a life-affirming tale of one family who followed who followed their hearts and turned their dreams into a flourishing, sustainable reality.

91 minutes

Telluride Film Festival – World Premiere
Toronto Film Festival – People’s Choice Award
Hamptons International Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award – Best Documentary

Border (2018) Sweden

Directed by: Ali Abbasi

Equal parts thriller, adult fairytale, romantic drama and social commentary. Border is a difficult to classify film that tells the story of a Swedish border agent who has the remarkable ability to smell human emotions. While this makes her very effective at her job, it also leads to a life of loneliness, despite having an in-name-only boyfriend. One day she stops a man who shares her strange abilities. As the two become closer, she discovers more about herself, her past and her place in the world. Based on a short story by John Ajvide Lindqvist (Let the Right One In), Border is steeped in Norse mythology, perfectly combining supernatural elements with nuanced, down-to-earth performances and social realism. The film is an intelligent and idiosyncratic mix of genres that defy easy labels and is on its way to becoming a cult classic. This adult fairytale is for mature audiences only . . . 

109 minutes

Cannes Film Festival – Winner – Un Certain Regard
Munich Film Festival – Winner – CineVision Award
Norwegian International Film Festival – Winner – Film Critics Award
Los Angeles Film Festival – Winner – World Fiction Award
Sweden’s 2019 submission to the Academy

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) USA. 50th anniversary

Directed by: George Roy Hill

In the turn of the century American west, Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh are better known as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, partners and arguably the most renowned outlaws in the area. Despite their outlaw status, they are seen as an affable duo by those that know them, even by many of their so called adversaries. Butch has compiled the Hole in the Wall Gang and is its de facto leader primarily because he was the one who brought them all together. Butch and Sundance are finding that changing circumstances are making their work more and more difficult, which leads to others within the gang questioning Butch’s leadership. Following one of the gang’s jobs holding up a train, a posse of six men on horseback are after them, not the gang as a whole, but rather Butch and Sundance. The duo have to figure who the six men are to find out their end goal. In trying to get away, they are assisted by their friend, schoolteacher Etta Place, who is officially Sundance’s girlfriend. She ended up with Sundance instead of Butch, only because the two of them saw each other first. Butch and Sundance will learn how far the posse will go to get what they were tasked to do, and in turn Butch and Sundance will also learn how far they will go to preserve their lifestyle as well as their lives.

110 minutes
Nominated for seven Academy Awards – Winner of three
A Documentary on the making of the film immediately following.

Chasing Coral (2017) USA

Directed by: Jeff Orlowski

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. In Chasing Coral, a team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why, and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. Coral reefs are the nursery for all life in the oceans, a remarkable ecosystem that sustains us. Yet with carbon emissions warming the seas, a phenomenon called “coral bleaching” – a sign of mass coral death – has been accelerating around the world, and the public has no idea of the scale or implication of the catastrophe silently raging underwater. Enter the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. With its breathtaking photography and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won’t have audiences sitting idle for long.

93 minutes

Sundance Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award – Documentary
Boulder International Film Festival – Winner – Best Feature Documentary

Earthrise (USA) 2017

Directed by: Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

A wealth of wonderful archival footage accompanies the reminiscences of all three Apollo 8 astronauts as they contemplate their groundbreaking voyage, the philosophical impact the trip had on them, and one very special iconic image.

31 minutes
Screened prior to The New Environmentalists

Everybody Knows (2018) Spain, France, Italy

Directed by: Asghar Farhadi

Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, and Ricardo Darin star in this new psychological thriller from Academy Award winning director Asghar Farhadi. Set in Spain, Laura returns to her hometown for the first time in years to attend her sister’s wedding, only to be reunited with her former lover. When her daughter goes missing, Laura faces a terrible dilemma – did she run off . . . or has she been kidnapped? The film is a gripping thriller with more than one mystery at its core, investigating not just the disappearance of the daughter but also the unspoken tensions coursing through Laura, delivering a powerful portrait of family secrets and complicated moral questions.

132 minutes

Cannes Film Festival – Nominated – Palme d’Or
Toronto Film Festival – Nominated – People’s Choice Award

Free Solo

Free Solo (2018) USA

Directed by: Jimmy Chin   Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

“If you’re pushing the edge, eventually you find the edge.”

Free climbing, the mountain climbing subculture which involves scaling sheer vertical walls without the use of ropes or harnesses, has one monolithic goal nobody has ever achieved: ascending the 3200-foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Sacramento native Alex Honnold wants to be the first, and so begins this hair-raising documentary as Alex trains methodically, analyzing every foot in a climb where death is always a fraction of an inch away. But what happens when, beset by injuries and relationship pressures, someone with such phenomenal focus starts to psych himself out? And how does a perfectionist find a semblance of normalcy in life while still in the thrall of such a dangerous obsession? Using his support system of climber friends and a touch of gallows humor, Honnold must decide if he’s up to the challenge of accomplishing an unbelievable physical feat of mind-blowing intensity. What happens next, you’ll never forget.

97 minutes

Toronto Film Festival – People’s Choice Award – Documentary

Into the Okavango

Into the Okavango (2018) USA

Directed by: Neil Gelinas   Brian Newell

Though the Earth’s truly pristine expanses disappear more and more each day, the Okavango Delta remains an Edenic oasis, with an abundance of animal species roaming its air, water, and land. But despite the spectacular sites of African elephants splashing in the river, rarely seen birds soaring above, and wildebeest migrating across its grassy expanses, the Okavango river basin – which provides water to more than one million people – is in dire threat. Enter Dr. Steve Boyes and a team of international scientists, photographers, filmmakers, and African guides, who have made it their mission to track the cause – or causes – of the threats to the Okavango Delta’s water source waters and to determine how they can protect the river basin before it gets any worse. In an epic four-month journey down the Okavango Delta’s source rivers – beginning in Angola, venturing into Namibia, and, finally, emptying into the Delta in Botswana – the team faces a series of unforeseen trials, including a terrifying run-in with a territorial hippopotamus. Director Neil Gelinas uses his extensive background working with National Geographic and filming the wild to bring the audience a breathtakingly photographed tale of passion and conservation. 

94 minutes

Tribeca Film Festival – Film Premiere
Nashville Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award

Living in the Future’s Past (USA) 2018

Directed by:  Susan Kucera

Narrated by:  Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges presents this beautifully photographed tour de force documentary of original thinking on who we are and the environmental challenges we face. Bridges, alongside prominent scientists and authors, weaves evolution, emergence, entropy, dark ecology, and what some are calling the end of nature, into a story that helps us understand our place among the species of Earth’s household. The film upends our way of thinking and provides original insights into our subconscious motivations, the unintended consequences, what to do about our fossil slaves, and how our fundamental animal nature influences our future as Humankind.

85 minutes

Amsterdam Film Festival – Winner – Best Documentary
Arizona International Film Festival – Winner – Special Jury Award
New Media Film Festival – Winner – Best Feature Documentary

McQueen

McQueen (2018) UK

Directed by: Ian Bonhote

From a modest upbringing in London, Lee Alexander McQueen quickly ascended the ranks of the international fashion world. After graduating from Central Saint Martins and establishing his eponymous label, McQueen became head designer of Givenchy at age 27 and went on to win the Fashion Awards’ (then the British Fashion Show Awards) prize for British Designer of the Year four times. His theatrical runway shows and daring designs existed on the cutting edge of ‘90s fashion, his controversial confrontational work earning him equal attention from fans and detractors alike. At the same time, he also forged a friendship with the influential stylist Isabella Blow, cultivating an intimate relationship that would last until her death in 2007. As McQueen’s star rose, so did the pressure, and its accompanying anxiety, to constantly strive for ever greater heights of genius.

Through the testimonials from his closest friends and family, featuring personal archives extending back to the earliest days of his career, as well as dynamic footage of his most boundary-pushing shows and creations, McQueen offers a vivid portrait of the tortured-but-inspired auteur’s work and persona.

111 minutes

Tribeca Film Festival – Nominated – Best Documentary

Momentum

Momentum Generation (2018) USA

Directed by: Jeff and Michael Zimbalist – Filmmakers present

In the late ‘80s, surfing was still in the early stages of its ascent to broad popularity and entrenched professionalization. On the north shore of Oahu, a ragtag group of teenage surfers congregated in a small house with easy access to the infamous surfing spot known as the Pipeline. Some, having already built careers surfing waves in Florida and California, were there to prove themselves against the best surfers in Hawaii, while others were young locals looking for a group of guys to surf with – and all sought a community of people on whom they could depend, in ways they never found in their own volatile home lives. This younger generation, living together like canned sardines, would go on to become the most influential contingent of athletes the sport has seen. They were the Momentum Generation, and they brought surfing to unprecedented heights. Through a combination of archival footage and interviews with this legendary crew, including surfers Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Kalani Robb, Taylor Steele and Pat O’Connell, the film directors Jeff and Michael Zimbalist transport audiences to the moment when this microcosm of a sport catalyzed a seismic shift – the moment when a group of guys, fueled in equal measure by camaraderie and competition, broke records, won world titles, and redefined surfing forever.

103 minutes

Los Angeles Film Awards – Winner – Best Inspirational Film
Tribeca Film Festival – 2nd Place – Best Documentary Feature

  

The New Environmentalists USA (2018)

Directed by:  John Antonelli, Tom Dusenbery and Will Parrinello

Narrated by:  Robert Redford

From Guatemala to the Congo – the new environmentalists share a common goal – safeguarding the Earth’s natural resourses from exploitation and pollution, while fighting for justice in their own communities. This film is the latest from an Emmy Award winning series which features inspiring portraits of six passionate and dedicated activists. These are true environmental heros who have placed themselves in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.

30 minutes
Two short films – Earthrise and Pollinators Under Pressure – will be screed prior to the film.

The Other Side of the Wind (USA) 2018

Directed by: Orson Welles

Has there ever been a film that die-hard film buffs have waited to see – and despaired of ever seeing – for longer than Orson Welles’ The Other Side of the Wind? It’s been 48 years since the then 55-year-old enfant terrible began shooting his self-produced portrait of an old Hollywood pro (played by none other than John Huston) confronting the New Hollywood (represented in the cast by Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Mazursky, Henry Jaglom and others) along with old cronies at his 70th birthday party. Welles didn’t live to complete it, but the happy surprise is that not only has the film been finished, but it can now be appreciated for what is is: a thematic bookend to Citizen Kane as well as the stylistic inverse of it. Sardonic, skeptical and vibrant, the film is both a bold challenge and a cinematic elixir. Cinema lovers from around the world have been waiting to see this movie for more than 40 years!

122 minutes

Venice Film Festival – Winner – Campari Passion for the Cinema Award

Pollinators

Pollinators Under Pressure (USA) 2018

Directed by: Matthew Schmid

Narrated by: Leonardo DiCaprio

A collaborative effort of educators, scientists and filmmakers to produce an educational call to action film about the plight of the pollinator and what humanity can do to protect them.

15 minutes

Pope Francis – A Man of His Word (2018) Italy, Germany

Directed by: Wim Wenders

A personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. The Pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. From his deep concern for the poor and wealth inequality, to his involvement in environmental issues such as climate change and social justice, Pope Francis engages the audience face-to-face and calls for peace. An unforgettable and completely non-denominational portrait of one of the world’s great humanitarians.

96 minutes

Cannes Film Festival – Nominated – Golden Eye
Traverse City Film Festival – Winner – Founder’s Prize

The Push

The Push (2018) USA

Owning your reality is where the journey begins

Directed by: Grant Korgan and Brian Niles.  Filmmakers present

An inspirational documentary about the power of never giving up. Grant Korgan is a world-class adventurer, nanomechanics professional, and husband. On March 5, 2010, while filming a snowmobiling segment in the Sierra Nevada backcountry, the Lake Tahoe native burst-fractured his L1 vertebrae, and suddenly added the world of spinal cord injury recovery to his list of pursuits. On January, 17, 2012, along with two seasoned explorers, Grant attempted the insurmountable, and became the first spinal cord injured athlete to literally PUSH himself – nearly 100 miles (the final degree of latitude) to the most inhospitable place on the planet – the bottom of the globe, the geographic South Pole. Grant and his guides reached their destination on the 100th anniversary of the first explorers to travel to the South Pole. Facing brutal elements, demanding topography and presumed physical limitations are just some of the challenges they faced along the journey. With this inspirational documentary, The Push team hopes to inspire people in all walks of life to achieve the seemingly unconquerable in their life, to push their own everyday limits, and to live their ultimate potential.

89 minutes

Santa Barbara International Film Festival – Winner – Best Documentary
Sonoma International Film Festival – Winner – Jury Award – Best Documentary 

Roma (2018) USA, Mexico

Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron

Alfonso Cuaron, the writer-director-cinematographer and co-editor of this marvelous autobiographical film, grew up in a Mexico City neighborhood known as Roma. In a calmly magisterial style, featuring long fluid takes and lustrous black-and-white imagery – Cuaron reimagines episodes from his childhood, but as seen from the perspective of Cleo, a diligent, loving maid. Having escaped brutal poverty in her indigenous village and moved to the city, her struggles, as shown in counterpoint with her employer’s rituals and disillusioning setbacks, reflect the social crisis that reshaped Mexican society in the early ‘70s. In addition, Cuaron gives us fascinating fragmentary glances of locations and characters that inspired his own Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men and Gravity, while with his title he also evokes Federico Fellini, who was one of the world cinema’s first true masters of autobiographical cinema.

135 minutes

Venice Film Festival – Winner – Golden Lion – Best Film

Science Fair (2018) USA

Directed by: Cristina Costantini   Darren Foster

Science Fair follows nine high school students from different parts of the world as they make their way to the International Science and Engineering Fair, which is essentially the Super Bowl of science fairs. As 1,700 of the smartest, quirkiest teens from 78 different countries face off, they each hope to win scholarships, grants, jobs, or the coveted $75,000 top prize. The stakes are incredibly high. This inspiring film follows these particular students as they prepare for the 2017 ISEF. Their projects range from researching brain function during risky behavior to arsenic detectors and a new type of airplane. While we may have preconceived notions about science geeks, this documentary shows they come from a wide variety of backgrounds and personalities (one is hilariously obsessed with trap music). After all, these incredible young geniuses could literally save the world.

90 minutes

Sundance Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award
Portland International Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award
Sun Valley Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award

The Serengeti Rules (2018) UK

Director: Nicolas Brown

Nicolas Brown’s visually rich and thought-provoking documentary profiles scientists from around the globe whose parallel experiments with different ecosystems have led them to similar, surprising conclusions about the relationships between predator and prey and, by extension, the balance of life on our planet. The conclusion these disparate thinkers and experiments reach speaks to the essential role played by so-called “keystone species” in preserving the balance of an ecosystem and protecting it from collapse. To prove its thesis, The Serengeti Rules traverses the Pacific Northwest, Peru, the Aleutian Islands, and the Serengeti, bringing to life the simple-but-groundbreaking discoveries these scientists have made throughout the last few decades. From sea otters and sea urchins to starfish and mussels to wildebeest and wild grass, the relationships between species outlined in The Serengeti Rules offer both a sobering reminder of the fragile balance of life and hopeful glimpse of a better future.

84 minutes

Tribeca Film Festival – Film Premiere

Sharkwater Extinction (2018) Canada

Directed by: Rob Stewart

Building on the research, passion, and sometimes daredevil first-person investigative work of Rob Stewart’s 2006 film Sharkwater, Sharkwater Extinction updates and expands on the fight by Stewart and others to halt the hunting of sharks, which are often killed just for their fins. Since the release of Sharkwater and the growing awareness it helped foster, shark finning has been banned in most of the world. Yet these magnificent creatures – one of the world’s oldest and most important predators – are in more danger than ever, due to a thriving pirate industry, legal loopholes, and widespread corruption. Over 100 million sharks are killed every year. The world’s shark population has decreased by 90 percent in the last 30 years. An entire species – and a cornerstone of our ecosystem – hangs in the balance.

Completed by the production team after Rob Stewart died while making the film in January of 2017, Sharkwater Extinction takes us to Costa Rica, Cape Verde, the Bahamas, Panama, and the US to explore the myriad ways sharks continue to be placed in peril. The film’s gorgeous imagery lures you in, while its nerve-wracking scenes of Stewart risking his life to expose hunters keeps you riveted. But the beauty of this film lies in Stewart’s enduring sense of wonder. He said he made these films to make people fall in love with sharks, and that he did. Stewart will be greatly missed.

88 minutes

Toronto Film Festival – Film Premiere

Stay Human (2018) USA

Directed by: Michael Franti

What does it mean to be human? What connects people around the globe? How can we celebrate the beauty of love and life in a world turned upside down? These are just a few of the questions world-renowned musician Michael Franti explores in this captivating and stirring documentary. Through his socially conscious work in Spearhead, Bay Area-based artist Franti has dedicated his life to speaking up for the underrepresented by creating positive energy during chaotic times. This striking film shines a glowing light on people around the world who embrace hope amidst overwhelming challenges. Through stories and songs, Franti captures the energy and drive of a diverse group of inspirational modern-day heroes. From an Indonesian midwife to a young couple battling the ravages of ALA, Franti uncovers the love and humanity possible in dire conditions and exposes his own struggles, creating an emotional resonance that is both moving and motivating.

94 minutes

Sedona Illuminate Film Festival  – Winner – Audience Award

The Sting (1973) USA. 45th anniversary.

Directed by: George Roy Hill

It’s September, 1936. The place: Joliet, Illinois. Luther Coleman, his apprentice Johnny Hooker, and their underlying Joe Erie’s latest swindle has netted them a nice amount of money, at least enough for an aged Luther to contemplate retiring from grifting. They are unaware however that the money belonged to ruthless racketeer Doyle Lonnegan, whose thugs kill Luther in retaliation. Before Luther’s death, he suggested to Hooker that he contact Henry Gondorff, his old friend in Chicago to learn the art of the big con. Hooker does contact Gondorff, who has retired after being burned in his last big con. Gondorff decides to come out of retirement solely to help Hooker get back at Lonnegan for Luther’s death. In pulling off the big con, Gondorff and Hooker require the assistance of a number of Gondorff’s old associates as well as a number of small time grifters. Beyond Lonnegan or anyone else finding out about the con, there are many obstacles in pulling off the sting, such as a controlling and overly cautious Lonnegan wanting to do things his own way, and a number of people chasing after Hooker, including a crooked Joliet vice cop named Snyder, Lonnegan’s lower level thugs and a hired hit man. Through the process, Hooker who sees himself as being a wheeler dealer, may come across a better deal than that provided to him by Gondorff.

129 minutes
Nominated for ten Academy Awards – Winner of seven
 A Documentary on the making of the film immediately following.

Studio 54 (2018) USA

Directed by: Matt Tyrnauer

It’s impossible to recall late – ‘70s New York without recalling Studio 54, the legendary Manhattan night spot where celebrities (think Liza, Liz, Mick, Farrah, and Andy), socialites, and the beautiful danced, and most importantly, got seen. Located in the then-seedy part of town, it was the brainchild of Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell, two Brooklyn college-buddy entrepreneurs who, over the course of 33 months, became the kings of New York – and then lost it all.

The film skillfully tells us this one-of-a-kind story using never-before-seen footage, period music, present-day commentary by Schrager, and recollections from regulars and staff. Particularly invaluable is the testimony of the all-important gatekeeper: Marc Benecke, who, under Rubell’s command, kept the crowd outside at bay and discreetly selected who would be admitted as celebrities pulled up in taxis and limousines. Director Matt Tyrnauer explores the social climate that laid the foundation for the club’s sudden rise, the issues that led to its abrupt closure, and Schrager and Rubell’s post-Studio lives. Studio 54 takes its audiences past the velvet ropes, recalling an unforgettable place where, as Schrager put it, “you go to feel good about yourself.”

98 minutes

Sundance Film Festival – Film premiere

This Changes Everything

This Changes Everything (2018) USA

Directed by: Tom Donahue

A gathering of who’s who of female actors and directors for a powerful call to action on elevating women’s roles in film and television both on and off screen. Meryl Streep, Sandra Oh, Jessica Chastain, Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon and executive producer Geena Davis are among the many powerful agents of change in the documentary.

The gender gap has become an urgent topic in recent years. But even the most jaded viewers will be taken aback by the film’s compelling evidence and anecdotes. Geena Davis (Thelma and Louise) had led groundbreaking research into Hollywood’s portrayal of women. Those damning facts become vivid through an array of iconic film clips. Even those who consider themselves informed on this topic will find fresh revelations. Fighting for change isn’t new. The film covers critical feminist filmmaker uprisings in the 1960s and ‘80s that were quelled by the status quo. Today, power dynamics are shifting as voices of dissent get louder. In the film, women testify candidly to their experiences of sexism and harassment. Hollywood has been a powerful force in shaping negative gender roles for over a century and now the industry can play a positive role in recasting those roles for a better future.

97 minutes

Toronto Film Festival – 2nd Place – People’s Choice Award

Filmmaker present

Three Identical Strangers (2018) USA

Directed by: Tim Wardle

New York, 1980: Three complete strangers – Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman – make the astounding discovery that they are identical triplets. Separated at birth, adopted, and raised by three different families, the 19-year-olds are reunited by chance. Their story sets the tabloids on fire, and the triplets suddenly become famous around the world. The brothers forge a relationship and become fast friends. They move in together in a swinging bachelor pad and open a restaurant that skyrockets to success. The toast of Manhattan, the triplets are living the high life. But their fairy-tale reunion sets off a chain of events that ultimately unearths an extraordinary sinister secret that could answer controversial questions at the heart of human behavior. Director Tim Wardle has crafted a gripping, juicy conspiracy thriller that becomes so much more complex. The film evolves from pulp nonfiction into a multi-layered deliberation on nature versus nurture and the existential dilemma of what makes us who we are.

96 minutes

Sundance Film Festival – Nominated – Grand Jury Prize – Best Documentary
Chicago Critics Film Festival – Winner – Best Documentary
Berkshire International Film Festival – Winner – Audience Award – Best Documentary

Wild Daze (USA) 2018

Directed by:  Phyllis Stuart

In her compelling documentary, Phyllis Stuart explores African wildlife on the brink as human activity takes its toll. Humans are tied to animal welfare in ways both ethical and existential. Through interviews with a wide swath of experts from Jane Goodall to trophy hunters, the film offers a multifaceted view of African ecosystems as they relate to global animal rights, human rights, and the environment. Rampant corruption that allows poaching, the ivory trade, and the illicit bushmeat market to flourish complicates animal rights activists’ fight to save species that are nearing extinction. With passion and conviction, Wild Daze invites us to take on the role of protector in response to the widespread exploitation of our environment and the animals who call it home.

102 minutes

Mill Valley Film Festival – World Premiere

Filmmaker present

22 July (2018) Norway, Iceland

Directed by: Paul Greengrass

The true story of the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack on July 22, 2011, when 77 people were killed and more than 200 injured after a far-right extremist detonated a car bomb in Oslo before carrying out a mass shooting at a leadership camp for teens. The Norwegian justice system is forced to deal with an extremist beyond anything it has ever encountered. Once arrested, the terrorist calls for “a complete ban on immigration, an end to enforced multiculturalism.” He insists his murderous rampage was rational. The terrorist asks for a lawyer and something to eat.

The film is in English, but with a cast of Norwegian actors. It gives the audience both immediacy and authenticity with a clear picture that shows a wider world how a society can respond to violent hate by reaffirming the moral principles of its foundation.

143 minutes

Venice Film Festival – Winner – SIGNIS Award
Venice Film Festival – Nominated – Golden Lion

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