2017 – Special Screening

2017 Tahoe Film Fest: Special Screening

Monkey Business

Special Screening

Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators – USA (2017)

Directed by:  Ema Ryan Yamazaki

Narrated by:  Sam Waterston 

Curious George is the most popular monkey in the world. Since his introduction in the first publication in 1941, the beloved series has sold over 75 million books in more than 25 languages. Monkey Business explores the lesser-known tale of George’s creators, Hans and Margret Rey. After their four-week honeymoon to Paris turned into a four-year residency, their life in Paris abruptly came to an end in June of 1940 when they were forced to escape from the Nazis riding makeshift bicycles – a manuscript of the first Curious George book was one of the few possessions they could smuggle out with them. Arriving in New York as refugees, they started their life anew and over the next three decades they created a classic that continues to touch the hearts and minds of children around the world.

Monkey Business premiered on June 17. 2017 at the Los Angeles Film Fest

Josephine's Dreams

Special Screening

Josephine’s Demon – USA (2017)

Directed by:  Stephen Bohnet

Summer has just begun, and a group of kids who call themselves the Puggles are free to roam all day long. While out on adventure, they try to avoid the Hammerheads, an older group of kids that love nothing more than to pick on and bully the Puggles. A new neighbor, Joey, has just moved to town. He fits right in with the Puggles, and starts venturing out with them. While fleeing on his bike from the Hammerheads, Joey finds a strange stone. Little does he know that it holds the spirit of Josephine, a young healer from generations ago, that once scorned by society, turned dark and evil. The oblivious Puggles face a collision course with Josephine’s dangerous spirit, while navigating through confrontation after confrontation with the Hammerheads. They must discover Josephine, and set Joey free.

Josephine’s Demon is a low budget film shot with local children and filmed on location and around Truckee, California

Hell on Earth

Special Screening

Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS – USA (2017)

Directed by:  Sebastian Junger and Nick Quested

Chronicling Syria’s descent into unbridled chaos and the rise of ISIS, this gripping and insightful work captures the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most importantly, its human toll. Academy Award nominated filmmaker and best-selling author Sebastian Junger and Emmy Award winning producer, Nick Quested, untangle these complex issues to create an informative and compelling documentary, edited from almost 1,000 hours of footage. Personal stories of survival and tragedy follow an extended family in their desperate attempts to flee Syria. The filmmakers take the viewer inside the aggression with gripping footage of Kurdish fighters in Sinjar, Shia militias in Iraq and even al-Qaeda-affiliated fighters in and around Aleppo and Ragga. Junger and Quested cover the ISIS catastrophe from multiple angles and feature interviews with top experts from around the world as the story continues to unfold day to day.  The film premiered at Tribeca Film Festival on April 26. 2017.

Print courtesy of National Geographic Films 

LA 92

Special Screening

LA 92 – USA (2017)

Directed by:  Daniel Lindsay and T. J. Martin

Few images are seared into the American consciousness like the beating of Rodney King at the hands of four white Los Angeles police officers and the riots after the officers’ acquittal in the spring of 1992. The unrest, sparked by a verdict many viewed as yet another example of judicial indifference to law enforcement’s harassment of Los Angeles’s African American population, lasted for six days. The widespread looting, arson, and assaults were all captured by TV news and broadcast to a shocked nation. By the time the violence was quelled, more than fifty people had lost their lives and over $1 billion dollars in damage had been done to South Central Los Angeles and surrounding areas. LA 92 premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 21, 2107.    

Primetime Emmy Award – Winner – Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking

Print courtesy of National Geographic Society

Listen To Me Marlon

Special Screening

Listen to Me Marlon – United Kingdom – USA (2016)

Directed by:  Stevan Riley

Unbeknownst to the public, Marlon Brando – a great star who remained deliberately mysterious to the press and the world at large for his entire personal life – created a vast archive of personal audio and visual materials over the course of his lifetime, often deeply confessional and completely without vanity or evasion. For the first time ever those recordings come to life in director Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, which combines the recordings with vintage clips, photos, and home movies from Brando’s archive to create a fascinating self-portrait of a man with insecurities, alliances, sexual magnetism, and creative genius to burn.

“The greatest, most searching documentary of an actor ever put on film.” – David Edelstein, New York magazine

Winner – Peabody Award – Documentary and Education
Winner – San Francisco Film Critics Circle – Best Documentary
Winner – National Board of Review USA – NBR Award
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Awards – Outstanding Documentary

  • Listen to Me Marlon will be introduced by Marlon Brando’s son, Miko Brando




Special Screening

Sieranevada – Romania (2016)

Directed by:  Chris Puiu

A film about big themes takes place primarily in a three-bedroom apartment where various and numerous relations wait for the local priest to deliver last rites to the family patriarch. As the film begins, a married couple in a car argue about what kind of dress their daughter needs for a play she’s in. Near the end of the film, this same husband and wife will again have a heated conversation in the same car, but the stakes will be much higher. Romanian film director Chris Puiu builds tension through an accretion of detail that seem minor at first, but gain in importance and resonance as the drama proceeds. As family members amble in and out of the apartment, conversations and arguments about politics, 9/11 conspiracy theories, adultery, and the proper respect to be paid to the dead man ensue. Puiu uses these discussions to explore, among other matters, the psychic cost when people know they’re being lied to but pretend otherwise. Lest this seem overly dark or dire, the film is leavened with the director’s trademark black humor from the cheery pop songs that play in the background to the household’s predicament of not being able to eat until the endlessly delayed arrival of the man of God. Death may wait for no man, but in Sieranevada everyone must wait to dine.

Cannes Film Festival – Nominated – Palme d’Or

National Society of Film Critics – Winner – Special Citation

Chicago International Film Festival – Winner – Best Film

The Ballad of Lefty Brown

Special Screening

The Ballad of Lefty Brown (USA) 2017

Directed by:  Jared Moshe

Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) spent his life riding Montana’s scenic ranges, in the company of men who would become dime-novel heroes. His own legend burns not so bright. People wonder how the likes of new US Senator Edward Johnson (Peter Fonda), Governor Jimmy Bierce (Jim Caviezel), and lawman Tom Harrah (Tommy Flanagan), could put up with the garrulous, incompetent old coot. But this apparent fool courageously risks his own life to seek justice for a fallen friend, never wavering in his determination even as deadly forces array themselves against him. Pullman, the sophisticated star of Independence Day and Lost Highway, gets in touch with his inner-Walter Brennan to deliver a masterful performance of a man whose hayseed persona masks his true nature. But while this absorbing Western offers a finely-etched character portrait of an underrated cowpoke, it also delivers thrilling, action-packed drama. A superb gallery of supporting characters includes gorgeous Montana wilderness in this exquisitely lensed film.

The Gold Rush

Special Screening

The Gold Rush – USA (1925)

Directed by:  Charlie Chaplin

In this classic silent comedy, the Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin) heads north to join the Klondike gold rush. Trapped in a small cabin by a blizzard, the Tramp is forced to share close quarters with a successful prospector (Mack Swain) and a fugitive (Tom Murray). Eventually able to leave the cabin, he falls for a lovely barmaid (Georgia Hale), trying valiantly to win her affections. When the prospector needs help locating his claim, if appears the Tramp’s fortunes may change.

Charlie Chaplin shot several scenes on location near Truckee, California in early 1924 after reading about the Donner Party and seeing images of the terrain. Chaplin wove starvation, cannibalism in one famous scene from the film where Chaplin and his co-star attempt to eat a boot for dinner.

The Gold Rush was one of the highest grossing silent films in cinema history and Chaplin proclaimed at the time of its release that this was the film for which he wanted to be remembered.