'The Irishman', Martin Scorsese's masterpiece with many never befores! #NYFF

There has been a lot of buzz about Scorsese’s upcoming masterpiece THE IRISHMAN, which was the opening night film at the 57th New York Film Festival. And the film is worth all the buzz and anticipation with every thing you may expect from Scorcese and along with many never befores - first time Scorcese and Al Pacino work together and some amazing de-ageing of multiple actors.

The film is produced and directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Steven Zaillian, based on the 2004 memoir I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt. The film stars Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci as Frank "The Irishman" Sheeran, Jimmy Hoffa, and Russell Bufalino, respectively, and follows Sheeran as he recounts his alleged jobs as a hitman for the Bufalino crime family. It is the ninth feature collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese and their first since 1995's Casino; the fourth film to star both De Niro and Pacino (following The Godfather Part II, Heat, and Righteous Kill); the fifth to star both De Niro and Pesci (following Raging Bull, Once Upon a Time in America, Goodfellas, and Casino); the first to star both Pacino and Pesci; and the first time Pacino has been directed by Scorsese.

Scorcese presented the film at the festival, you can check out the video below.

Here’s what’s good about the film:

  • After watching the film, you realize why Scorcese decided to go with the daunting process of de-ageing. No one else could have done what these actors have done in the film. No one!

  • An amazing perfomance by Robert De Niro. Many of his recent films haven’t been able to use his talents appropriately. This one does. There’s humor, there’s drama, there’s action and there’s pain. AN Oscar worthy performance from a great actor, which this film really benefits from .

  • Al Pacino is back! Similar to De Niro, Pacino hasn’t had much great work in recent years. This role was made for him. He brings so much charisma and power to his Hoffa. The role has everything that we love about Al Pacino, and he brings it fully.

  • Same goes for Joe Pesci. He’s menacing, he’s charming, he’s funny, he’s amazing. So good to see him back.

  • It’s a good story of a man struggling with keeping up with his family, friends, and loyalty to his work. It’s a a great character study done masterfully.

  • The visuals are just amazing. The film is visually stunning.



  • It’s long. At 3.5 hrs, it is long. It’s entertaining, but long. Only Scorcese would be allowed to do this, so there’s that.

  • The de-ageing, although valuable, is still not 100% at every place. Some scenes, specially in the beginning, do seem off-ish.

Overall, it’s a wonderful and must-watch film. It’s also worth watching in a theater, if you can. If not, then definitely watch it once it’s on Netflix on Nov 1, 2019.

Chat w/ Jennifer Sharp, director of 'Una Great Movie' | Brooklyn FilmFest

UNA GREAT MOVIE playing at Brooklyn Film Festival 2019, is a beautiful movie about a black American woman traveling to Mexico, slowly becomes a romantic comedy with an all-white cast. A quirky cerebral look into commercialism and greed, juxtaposed with a heartwarming movie that challenges stereotypes. Una Great Movie uses comedy to reflect on relevant contemporary issues. It is fun and humorous with a unique storytelling style that incorporates a professional cast mixed with local Mexican non-actors.

We talked to the director and writer of the film Jennifer Sharp. Here are the excerpts

- What made you make this film?

The initial inspiration was based on a small town in Mexico that I found in 1999 while traveling with a friend. I loved the town and the people and was inspired to make a movie there.  I wanted to share the magic of that place and how it felt as a black woman in Mexico. For the next 16 years I tried relentlessly to get the movie made, during which time the script transformed over and over again. Finally becoming what it is now, which actually mixes my true experiences in Hollywood trying to get the movie made, with the beautiful Mexican story that I had been wanting to make for years.

- What was the biggest challenges in making this film? How did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge (out of many) would be producing a movie in Mexico and having to find an entire crew in a country, where I knew absolutely nothing about the film industry. I had many situations where I had to speak fluent Spanish, and I wasn't sure if I could handle those situations. But mother is the necessity of invention for sure, and when I needed to up my Spanish speaking skills to have an hour long meeting with the mayor of the town, I just did it. The brain is pretty amazing!

- What film and filmmakers inspire you?

Charlie Kaufman is a genius and his movie Synechdoche, although it had little commercial success, I believe is the truest portrayal of life I have ever seen in a movie.

- How has been your experience at BFF?

I am super impressed with the quality of every movie I have seen so far at the Brooklyn film Festival and I'm excited to spend the week seeing more and meeting more filmmakers. The staff are welcoming and excited about the event and supportive. It's been a wonderful experience and has been a great way to kick off my festival experience. I love their commitment to the theme this year of highlighting diverse and creative films that are against the norm.

- What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about New York?

I love the energy here and the ability to get anywhere in the city without driving. I live in LA, so it hinders the lifestyle trying to avoid traffic or not driving after you go out to a party. New York is more accessible with the city at your disposal!

My least favorite thing is the amount of people and lack of nature. Yes, there are parks, but I like cities with more green spaces all around without having to go to a public park.

Chat w/ Julian Shaw, Director of 'Use Me' | Brooklyn Film Festival

Use Me had its WORLD PREMIERE Sunday, June 02 at Brooklyn Film Festival. It’s a gripping thriller film about an ambitious documentary filmmaker discovers the darkest parts of himself when he turns his camera on a beautiful woman who humiliates men for money.

We had a chat with the director and star of the film, Julian Shaw. Here are the excerpts.

- What made you make a film of such "taboo" subject?

I'm attracted to provocative subject matter, and I personally enjoy the world of BDSM, but my goal wasn't just to titillate the audience - that is only entertaining for so long. I was drawn to the extreme emotional states that are involved in fantasy roleplay, and also the potential for such extreme fantasies to go terribly wrong when brought into reality. I discovered Ceara Lynch online and became fascinated by her. I pitched a documentary to her but after meeting up in Portland and filming some documentary material with her I realised she had the capacity and x factor to be the center of a fictionalized movie. I had made two documentaries already and I was ready to take on a new challenge. She was equally game. 

- What was the biggest challenges in making this film? How did you overcome them?

I'm a New Zealand-born Australian, so one of the biggest logistical hurdles was moving across the world to Portland to make the movie! It has been the biggest adventure in my life, and I fell in love along the way - they have been the best years of my life but also the hardest. Like all filmmakers, funding is challenging. The creative side of it is one thing but even a very intimate movie can cost a million bucks. Directing myself to a performance that I found acceptable was definitely challenging and I drew on my collaborators like Portland-based co-producer AJ Gordon to be honest and make sure I was getting what I needed out of myself. You don't want to get to the edit room and hate your leading man - even if it's you! Ceara is a born performer but not a trained actor, so we also had to find our own language and shorthand which was a little different to how I directed working actors like Joe Reitman and Jazlyn Yoder.

- What did you learn/discover about this world while making this film?

That domination and submission are two sides of the same coin.

- What film and filmmakers inspire you?

Nightcrawler did a great job of exploring a seedy netherworld in a truthful way. I also like protagonists who may not be 'likeable' but are compelling. I could have made my character more likeable to be honest, but it felt blander. I really decided to embrace the ambiguity of all these characters. Looked at various films that blend fact and fiction formally - Man Bites Dog, The Girlfriend Experience. My producer Jonathon Green encouraged me to revisit the 80s Scorsese movie After Hours - a great example of the 'one way trip to hell' downward spiral narrative. My favorite filmmakers do not make films in my style - part of growing is moving past influence and finding your own voice. I feel I'm now starting to do that after making films since I was a teenager.

- How has been your experience at BFF?

Amazing vibe, hot crowds - and come on... what other city would you rather have your World Premiere?

- What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about New York?

There's always something to do. I saw Bryan Cranston in Network on Broadway last night. Seeing Colbert live on Tuesday. Walked to the Guggenheim yesterday. There is no other city on earth with such a plethora of options at your disposal. My least favorite thing is also related to my favorite thing... sometimes the relentless pace can be exhausting. I make sure to take time out to meditate and do yoga to recharge.


Use Me BBF page with trailer & tickets: https://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/film-detail?fid=2050

Use Me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usememovie/ 

Use Me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/usememovie

Use Me on Insta: https://www.instagram.com/usememovie/

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK premiered last night at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater as part of the New York Film Festival

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK premiered last night at Harlem’s historic Apollo Theater as part of the New York Film Festival


The premiere marked the first time that a film from the New York Film Festival played at the historic Harlem theater. Following a Q&A in the packed theater, the cast made their way to Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Harlem hotspot Red Rooster to celebrate. 

Attendees from the film included KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry, Diego Luna, Finn Wittrock, Ed Skrein, Aunjanue Ellis, Emily Rios, Ebony Obsidian, Dominique Thorne

Filmmakers in attendance included Writer/Director/Producer Barry Jenkins, Plan B's Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, PASTEL'S Adele Romanski and Sara Murphy, composer Nicholas Britell, cinematographer James Laxton, costume designer Caroline Eselin-Schaeffer, editors Joi McMillon and Nat Sanders

Notable guests included actor Lakeith Stanfield, actor Michael K. Williams, actress Samira Wiley, actor Josh Radnor, actress Alia Shawkat, actress Adepero Oduye, actor Marcus Scribner, actress Jasmine Cephas Jones, model TK Quann, screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, director Bo Burnham



Exclusively in NYC on November 30

Expanding on December 7



Official Site: BealeStreet.movie

Facebook: /BealeStreet

Instagram: @BealeStreet

Twitter: @BealeStreet


Academy Award-winning writer/director Barry Jenkins’ first film since the Best Picture Oscar-winning Moonlight is If Beale Street Could Talk, his adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel — the first English-language feature film based on the work of the author, to whom the movie is dedicated. 

Set in early-1970s Harlem, If Beale Street Could Talk is a timeless and moving love story of both a couple’s unbreakable bond and the African-American family’s empowering embrace, as told through the eyes of 19-year-old Tish Rivers (screen newcomer KiKi Layne). A daughter and wife-to-be, Tish vividly recalls the passion, respect and trust that have connected her and her artist fiancé Alonzo Hunt, who goes by the nickname Fonny (Stephan James). Friends since childhood, the devoted couple dream of a future together but their plans are derailed when Fonny is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

Through the unique intimacy and power of cinema, If Beale Street Could Talk honors the author’s prescient words and imagery, charting the emotional currents navigated in an unforgiving and racially biased world as the filmmaker poetically crosses time frames to show how love and humanity endure.

Director: Barry Jenkins

Writer: Barry Jenkins

Producers: Megan Ellison, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner

Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Brian Tyree Henry, Michael BeachEd Skrein, Diego Luna, Dave Franco, Pedro Pascal

12th Manhattan Film Festival premieres 'KACHREWALA: Five Cents Each', a short film about bottlepickers in NYC

The 12th Manhattan Film Festival runs from April 18-29, bringing some wonderful feature, shorts and documentaries from NYC and around the world . One of the buzzed-about short films takes a look into the subculture of New York City bottle pickers, giving a rare glimpse into what it really means to pick up discarded bottles, and cans using the money as necessary income.

"KACHREWALA: Five Cents Each", Written, starring and produced by Indian immigrant Art Shrian Tiwari, takes a moment to step back and look at a “secretive” world that's taking place in plain sight, in the city, and being able to capture and present this as his first short film actually ushered in a sweeping change in the writers/actors' life.

There is another perspective that a person gains when they are "literally" getting their hands dirty and being viewed, by so many New Yorkers' as undesirable people in the city, performing an act that many, dare I suggest, would never do out of sheer pride, opting to beg.  As one character, an older white woman in her late 70 says in the short film, "begging is a lot harder than picking bottles, I tell you that!"

To get ready for the role, and to become a part of the fabric of this subculture Tiwari, did just that. He rolled up his sleeves, and picked up discarded cans and bottles, turning them in for 5 cents each in the drop off locations around the city.  It's hard work and it's messy. A far, far cry from the job that Tiwari, performed when he arrived, from India, years ago.

For a long time, in New York, Tiwari, worked as in software engineering and program management, with extensive experience in e-commerce and financial services as well as an expertise in web and mobile domains. In those roles, he’s worked for such well-established organizations as the Weight Watchers, Scholastic, Sprint, Starwood Hotels and New York Stock Exchange.

Now in his early 30s he decided to make a change.  He left the financial security of working in the i.t. field and stepped out, in faith, to pursue his writing and acting life, full time.  This along with being a husband, and new father.

Says Tiwari “I am proud of being an immigrant in America, an Indian-American.  I grew up in a middle-class family, with a happy upbringing surrounded by family, love, and support. My father was in Air Force, with a transferable job, thus we moved a lot. That opened me up to experiencing new cultures, people and be more open-minded in general”.

Writers write about what the know, or what they live.  For this, again, Tiwari took a look inside another part of a glamours city, that most New Yorkers never glimpse, or care to know about.

The core of “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,”  is about a single day in the life of a bottle collector, and his challenges of navigating the streets of New York.  As Tiwari explained about wrestling his idea into a script, he learned quite a bit about bottle people. “We see these people around us in this great city every day. But we don't know anything about them. We just assume them to be homeless, scavengers or beggars of the sort. But in reality, they truly work hard for a meager amount of money. Of course, that little money can mean a lot, when you are in need."

The April 24th screening of the short film “Kachrewala: Five Cents Each,” will take place at Cinema Village East Theater at 5 pm. It stars Tiwari, Nitin Mandan, Ilissa Jackson, Dequan Deveraux, and Mary Lu Garmone, it was directed by Daniel Guillaro, written by Tiwari.  

You can follow the film on Facebook & Twitter at @KachrewalaFilm. To learn more and get your tickets for the screening, check out the link below.

About Manhattan Film Festival
Manhattan Film Festival was founded by independent filmmakers that learned first-hand how hard it is to find an independent film an audience. Originally launched as the start-up Independent Features, MFF evolved into a globally recognized brand. The festival is covered by local, national, and international media outlets. This includes The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Good Morning America, The New York Times, as well as international outlets such as The Sun, BBC, and The Guardian. The festival has been named both “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee” and “The Coolest Film Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker Magazine. Although we have grown into one of the largest independent film festivals on the circuit, we have stayed true to our principals. We have thrived by building our festival through the voices of filmmakers rather than corporate sponsors. That is one of the keys of our success and a main reason MFF was founded.

Thor Klein to tell tale of Stan Ulam, with "Adventures of a Mathematician"

Adventures of a Mathematician by Thor Klein is true story of Polish immigrant and mathematician Stan Ulam, who moved to the U.S. in the 1930s. Stan deals with the difficult losses of family and friends all while helping to create both the hydrogen bomb and the first computer. Thor Klein is one of the few talented filmmakers who are fortunate to be picked by TFI (Tribeca Film Institute), and being partially funded by TFI-Sloan partnership.

We had an opportunity to talk to Thor. Here are the excerpts:

How did you find out about TFI? And how has your experience been?

My producer Lena Vurma found out about the Sloan Foundation and their collaboration with Tribeca Film Institute. So she decided to apply for it. It was a perfect fit, since my research started in NYC two years ago, when I met Stan Ulam`s nephew Alex for the first time, who lives very close to Tribeca. We`re all really happy to have the full support from the Sloan Foundation and the Tribeca Film Institute. They treated us wonderfully and we immediately felt part of the family. 

What inspired you to make the film on this particular subject, and at this time?

For me, it started when I was 13 years old. Back then I read a book about the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. A place where the U.S. invited the greatest scientists in the world to to basically one thing: Think. I was very surprised that these guys were not at all how I imagined scientists to be. They were throwing parties, driving fast cars and wearing funny hats. They were very colourful characters. I was always into science and kept thinking about them over the years and when I got older I realized that while they were in Princeton, they had to deal with a lot of drama and tragedy in their lives. A lot of them lost their families in Europe. I kept reading and I realized that the world back then was pretty similar to the circumstances we`re facing today. There was the same financial crisis, huge refugee waves and rightwing forces in power. A few years ago I came accross Stan`s autobiography, Adventures of a Mathematician that had exactly the tone that I was interested in. It is a very humorous and anecdotal journey through 20th century science. It`s a life full of great friendships and fascinating encounters, but it also has this underlying drama. In its core it`s a story of immigrants. Essentially a European film that takes place in the US.

How has been the process of researching and working on this film? Any surprising information that you discovered during that process?

A lot. I followed Stan`s tracks and started in his hometown Lvov, which is today called Lviv and is located in the Ukraine. A very cosmopolitan place back then with a lot of different minorities and languages. Stan moved to Cambridge in Massachusetts, then to Los Alamos, Los Angeles and back to Santa Fe, which he loved most. I`m constantly surprised how young he and his friends were back then, while they were doing all this groundbreaking scientific work. Most of them were in their 20s and early 30s. There always was this youthcamp amtosphere among them. 

What's your message to other up & coming filmmakers and storytellers?

It depends very much from which angle you approach filmmaking. I come from writing. It usually takes a long time until something that I wrote really convinces me. But while writing I learned one essential thing. Don`t try to convince yourself that something is good, if your inner voice tells you it isn`t. And always follow your intution. That`s what Stan Ulam and his colleagues did as well and it lead them to fascinating mathematical achievements that made the digital world possible.


The best 6 short films at Tribeca Film Festival 2017

Those days are gone when short films were just a showcase for for up & coming filmmakers, or just a pitch to do something. Short films and short content has become a medium for all kind of storytellers to tell wonderful stories in narrative, animation and even docs. Film festivals happen to be one of those few venues where you get to see lot of good short films. And Tribeca Film Festival in particular does a great job of curating wonderful short films.

Here are our picks for short films from Tribeca Film Festival 2017

  • Big City - Vijay, a lonely taxi driver who recently moved to Melbourne, picks up Chris, a stray drunk who befriends him, and over the course of the night, Chris experiences some of Vijay's troubles and Vijay learns to see the city in a new light.
    Director: Jordan Bond, Lachlan Ryan
    The film tells a very simple but beautiful story, of how a random interaction between 2 people in one night, can tell tale of racism, friendship, loneliness and more. 
  • Joy Joy Nails - Sarah manages Joy Joy Nails with a cheerful iron fist – but she gets her manicured claws out when Chinese Mia, a manicurist trainee, looks to be stealing the boss's son's affections, soon discovering that under the varnish, everyone's a victim.
    Director: Joey Ally
    A nail salon, filled with immigrant workers who speak Korean & Chinese. You may think that it could be tale of racism or something. But it's just a tale of discrimination & molestation with in the community. And how a woman (or two), deals with it.
  • The Suitcase - The ordinary life of a Boston bred baggage handler is turned upside down when he steals a suitcase that contains terrorist plans. Inspired by true events on 9/11.
    Director: Abi Damaris Corbin
    Now here's film well produced and well made. Director Abi D Corbin's directorial debut tells a true untold story from the horrific day of 9/11. A thief, a culprit, a hero? She doesn't make those judgment for you, but tells you a wonderful story, beautifully told.
  • Viola Franca - It's Sicily in 1965, and Franca is forced to marry her rapist to avoid becoming a pariah in her traditionalist community, but she rebels against the established custom and sets a precedent that alters the course of Italian history, paving the way for women's rights.
    Director: Marta Savina
    The film is beautifully shot in Italy, and looks wonderful. And the painful story onto screen is told by the wonderful actors, beautifully as well. This courageous true story, does move you.
  • The World In Your WindowSqueezed into a tiny caravan, eight-year-old Jesse and his grief-stricken father are in limbo, existing more than living – until an accidental friendship with a V8-driving transsexual unlocks the means for Jesse to liberate his father and himself.
    Director: Zoe McIntosh
    A film with not much dialogue, but lot of beautiful story telling. The film speaks about family, love,  grief, friendship and also normalizes LGBT in that process. 
  • Curpigeon - A heartwarming story about the power of community support during a time of grief, this action-oriented CG-animated short film centers around a group of park pigeons and their old men pals who come together to help one of their own get through a great loss.
    Director: Dmitry Milkin
    Last, but not the least. This wonderful animated film by the very talented director Dmitry Milkin, tells a lovely story of friendship between people, and between people and animals/birds, or pigeons to be more specific. The film does make you tear up a lil towards the end, and has a strong message of love & togetherness. 


Ben Milken, director of "Lake Alice" #Sundance


Ben Milliken directs the film Lake Alice, which will premiere at Sundance in January 2017. The English-born actor starred in the independent feature film, “Newcastle,” which made its world premiere at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Ben’s other roles include “Melrose Place” (CW) and “Gigantic” (Teen Nick), “CSI- Miami” (CBS) and was the male lead in the TV movie, Deadly Sibling Rivalry (Lifetime). He also played the lead male role in Blue Crush 2 (Universal Pictures). Ben’s passion for storytelling and filmmaking led him into the role of producer as he went on to produce the single take romantic comedy Somebody Marry Me. Ben then made his directorial debut with the thriller Lake Alice in early 2015. In 2016, Ben returned to the silver screen landing a role in the feature film Emerald Run.

We had a chance to catch up with him at Sundance 2017. here are the excerpts:

  • What's your most favorite memory of Sundance? 
    The buzz of the place. there is so much excitement and anticipation that fills the air. 
  • What did you enjoy most about this project? Why should audience watch it? 
    All the actors were such a joy to work with. It felt like a collaborative journey we were all on together. 
  • What do you like about being a storyteller and artist? What's your message to other aspiring storytellers? 
    To be able to bring ideas to life, for an audience to see. I would say, don't focus on money or fame, it's always about the work. 
  • What was your experience of being behind the camera? What was most painful and most satisfying aspect? 
    It was a very rewarding experience to be able to take something from an idea to a finished product. To be able to bring a story to life visually. The most painful part of this project was the extreme cold we faced while shooting. -30 degrees.
  • What's your most favorite and least favorite thing about NYC? 
    Favorite thing - the city is alive, there is always something to do, somewhere to go, something new to see. My least favorite - winter. too cold. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda urges all Hamilton fans & everyone else, VOTE!

Alexander Hamilton was just a founding father on the $10 bill for most, until Lin-Manuel Miranda made the broadway super hit "Hamilton: An American Musical". The show has become a phenomena, making Hamilton and Lin a household name all over the country. And here comes a documentary on PBS, "Hamilton's America" by Alex Horowitz. The film debut at the 54th New York Film Festival, on Oct 1, was attended by Alex and Lin himself, with Tony award winner forHamilton musical, Renee Elise Goldberg and Ron Chernow, the author of the book on Hamilton, that inspired Lin to create the hip-hop musical.

Alex is Lin's friend since they were 19. He started video recording Lin couple years before the show, to document his journey. It starts with Lin starting to move into his new apartment, up in the heights.  He goes to Whitt house to perform his first song at the poetry slam, that went viral, And then goes through the process of him writing 2 songs in 2 yrs, to kicking it up on his directors push. The film reflects on Lin's struggles as a writer and artist to come up with his songs & story.

It shows the research Lin and the cast of the show had to go through different historic sites part ofHamilton's lie in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The film also features interviews with the team of Hamilton, Ron Chernow, Lin with The President Barrack Obama, President George W Bush, Senator ...

The screening was followed by Q&A with Alex, Lin, Renee and Ron. Lin thanked his father who is an immigrant from Puerto Rico, and shared how he's been inspiration for his characterization ofHamilton in the show. When Art Shrian asked Lin about "Immigrant's America", to reflect on what's going in the currently right now and what role we could play, his response was "VOTE". In his own words:

“There is a long tradition of using the word ‘immigrant’ as an epithet of distrust of the latest group of people who have gotten here. It is a very easy thing to do for a politician — it happens every 20 years of so, usually happens around the election cycle where you point at the people who got here most recently and say, ‘They’re the reason you don’t have a job.'

"It happened with the Irish at the turn of the 19th century, it’s happening with Mexican-Americans right now, and this is about as virulent a form of this virus as I’ve seen in my lifetime,." 

"We have to survive it. And if it bothers you, vote.”

Last, but not the least - The documentary will also feature several songs from the original broadway cast.

Hamilton's America airs Friday, Oct. 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.

Ava Duvernay's 13TH opens 54th New York Film Festival

The 54th New York Film Festival started this September 30th, with opening night film, Ava Duvernay's 13TH, (coming on Netflix Oct 7th). The screening was followed by a Q&A with Ava herself, where she shared her heartfelt feelings about this film. Checkout the video here:

It's a wonderful and moving film, sharing the dark truth of American history and present. Ava's commitment to meaningful storytelling is very apparent with this film, which comes right after her Oscar nominated film Selma. Moving from History to present, this film shows how even after abolishing slavery, America has kept slavery love in a new form via mass incarceration. The film does not try to preach a solution, but gives a realistic picture of the facts and issue facing the society and this great country. 

The all day screenings were followed by the opening night party, which was held at the legendary Tavern On The Green to honor Ava DuVernay’s explosive and eye-opening documentary the “13th” —the first ever documentary to open NYFF. The swanky venue was packed which meant that we were elbow-to-elbow with celebrities, movers-and-shakers, influencers and the best-of-the-best of new storytellers.  

On deck to celebrate:  Ava DuVernay, actress Naturi Naughton, singer/songwriter/activist Angelique Kidjo, Jelani Cobb, Dave Chappell, Cindy Holland, Uzoamaka Nwanneka "Uzo" Aduba (ONB), Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams (LIFE, ANIMATED) and Academy Award® winner (Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.,) Common who tuned up the crowd with two songs. .

Before brother Common performed we chatted about the importance of voting and truly understanding what the documentary is showcasing in the “loop hole” that is modern slavery in this country. The 13th Amendment states, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States...". The sobering truth is that 1 out of 4 people with “their hands on bars” — in the world — are located here, in the United States of America, the alleged “home of the free.”  

At the party, at every table, was a copy of The Constitution of the United States and a bookmark that sums up the intelligent documentary like this:  “From Slave to Criminal with one Amendment.  The loophole that changed history.”  Further down the details sharing that tahe documentary is available on Netflix starting October 7th and providing the twitter handle which is simply @13thfilm.

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.” The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis. A Netflix original documentary.

The NYFF runs until October 16th.

FSLC announces complete details for CONVERGENCE at NYFF53

The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the complete details for the 53rd New York Film Festival Convergence, which will take place on September 26 and 27. The highly anticipated annual program delves into the world of immersive storytelling with a mix of unique films, panels, and live interactive experiences. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date. Tickets are $15 General Public; $10 for Members & Students, and a $79 Convergence All Access Pass will also be available for purchase.

“This is our fourth year as part of the New York Film Festival and I couldn't be more excited about the lineup for 2015. There’s a lot of attention focused on virtual reality right now so we are really pleased to feature the U.S. premiere of The Dog House, a 360-degree film that’s going to start a lot of conversations. The program isn’t restricted to virtual worlds either, with several incredible live experiences like Temping, an immersive theater piece designed for one audience member at a time,” said NYFF Convergence programmer Matt Bolish. “The hope as always is to give our audience a chance to experience a wide variety of participatory storytelling projects.”

Audiences can explore a multitude of non-traditional film experiences, such as playing a selection of indie storytelling games in the GameScape arcade, assuming the role of master detective Sherlock Holmes to help to solve a string of crimes around the Lincoln Center campus in Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things, or attending a performance of filmmaker/writer/singer Cory McAbee’s Small Star Seminar, an anti-motivational event featuring optimistic songs about quitting, accepting our limitations, and the power of sitting quietly. Immersive theater piece Temping, which will be showcased only a few times, will take lucky sole audience members on a strange and comedic journey.

Complementing the experiential programs is a series of talks and panels—all free and open to the public—featuring notable storytellers of all stripes (from Lucasfilm, StoryCode, Storyline Entertainment, Pixar, NPR, and more) discussing their work and the evolving state of storytelling in the interactive age. The presentations will also include the World Premiere of the interactive presentation of The Deeper They Bury Me, which plunges audiences into the world of Herman Wallace, who was held in solitary for over 40 years at Louisiana’s notorious Angola penitentiary. 

Additional NYFF special events, documentary section, and filmmaker conversations and panels, as well as NYFF’s Projections will be announced in subsequent days and weeks. 

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Kent Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Marian Masone, FSLC Senior Programming Advisor; Gavin Smith, Editor-in-Chief, Film Comment; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound

Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival will go on sale to the General Public on Sunday, September 13, and to Film Society patrons at the end of August. Learn more about the patron program at filmlinc.org/patrons. Becoming a Film Society Member offers the exclusive member ticket discount to the New York Film Festival and Film Society programming year-round plus other great benefits. Current members at the Film Buff Level or above enjoy early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP Passes and Subscription Packages give buyers one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “ An Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. A limited number of VIP Passes and Subscription Packages are still available. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to filmlinc.org/NYFF.


Experiences and Installations


  • The (Dis)Honesty Project Presents The Truth Box

Created by Dan Ariely & Yael Melamede
Step inside and tell us the truth… about a lie. The Truth Box is a traveling story booth and part of the larger (Dis)Honesty Project, a collaboration between behavioral scientist Dan Ariely and filmmaker Yael Melamede that aims to improve our behavior and ethics. The Truth Box explores the complex impact dishonesty has on our lives, asking participants to sit inside and come clean, on camera, about a lie they have told. Excerpts of stories recorded will be shared onhttp://thedishonestyproject.com and through social media.

  • The Doghouse

Created by Johan Knattrup Jensen, Mads Damsbo & Dark Matters
Few technologies have elicited as much debate as virtual reality. How will this powerful technology change the way we make and consume films? Audiences can get a taste of a possible future with The Doghouse. A table is set for five, and on each plate rests a virtual-reality headset. Slipping them on plunges the viewer into a fully immersive experience—one of five unique points of view within the same film. Mom and Dad are meeting the older brother’s new girlfriend for the first time while the younger brother just tries to avoid an inevitable disaster. This unique 360-degree cinema experience places its audience right in the middle of a home-cooked family drama and challenges our notions of what short films are… and what they may be in the very near future. U.S. Premiere

Human beings are hardwired to tell stories. We spin tales about everything in our lives from the mundane to the extraordinary. Some of the most compelling stories being told today are coming from game designers blending sharp narrative and gameplay in new and exciting ways. This selection of gripping, engaging, and even revolutionary independent storytelling games was co-curated by the NYU Game Center and is free and open to the public. Presented with Support from the NYU Game Center.

Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things
Created by Lance Weiler & Nick Fortugno

Step into the shoes of Sherlock Holmes for this collaborative storytelling experiment in which participants attempt to solve a string of crimes unfolding throughout Lincoln Center. Do you have what it takes to become a 21st-century Sherlock Holmes? A prototype developed and run by the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab, Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Thingsis part of a massive connected crime scene taking place in over 20 countries this fall.

For more information, visit sherlockholmes.ioPresented in partnership with the Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab.

Created by Wolf 359; Directed by Michael Rau

Somewhere in a filing cabinet in Delaware or Indiana, there is a chart that breaks down how long we’re expected to live. Most of us will never see it… nor would we want to. But what if your job was to update these charts, to record the beginnings and ends of thousands of lives? What if you found the formula to predict your own lifespan? Sarah Jane Tully, a 50-year-old actuary, is taking her first vacation in years, and you’ve been hired to take her place. Temping, the strange and comic tale of an employee’s inner life written by Michael Yates Crowley, is performed for an audience of one by a Windows PC, a corporate phone, a laser printer, and the Microsoft Office Suite. Filling in at Sarah Jane’s cubicle, you’ll update client records, send e-mails, and eavesdrop on intra-office romance. Each performance is unique, depending on which tasks you accomplish and which of your co-workers you decide to trust. Congratulations, you’re the new temp! Get ready to work.

Panels and Presentations

Brand Meets Story: How Filmmakers and Brands Are Reinventing Digital Content (Panel)
Moderated by Bob Garfield

The digital-video era has opened up vast opportunities for audiences to enjoy powerful short-form content. Some brands have responded by recruiting professional filmmakers to work in the story-focused new arena of “content marketing.” Bob Garfield, Host of NPR’s “On The Media,” will moderate a discussion with Marjorie Schussel, Corporate Marketing Director for Toyota, along with Academy Award–nominated filmmakers Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and Kief Davidson (Open Heart) and Oscar winner Ross Kauffman (Born into Brothels). They will discuss the partnership and process they established to develop a form of marketing that marries the freedom of creativity with meaningful brand communication goals in order to tell “stories that matter.” Includes World Premiere screenings of three compelling new short films, and a cocktail reception to follow.

A Conversation with Diana Williams (Talk)
Featuring Diana Williams (Lucasfilm, Roller Coaster Entertainment) 

The camera opens on a field of stars before revealing a pair of spaceships locked in a deadly chase. Inside the pursued ship, a pair of iconic droids scuttle between rebel crewmen. “We’re doomed,” says C-3PO. “They’ll be no escape for the princess this time!” That exchange stuck with a young Diana Williams—what else had Princess Leia been up to?—and it set her on a course to become a storyteller in her own right. Williams has produced the acclaimed films Our Song and Another First Step; developed The Gatecrashers, a cross-platform storyworld, and Chinafornia, an animated Web series; and collaborated on motion comics for Torchwood, among others. In 2014, she joined the
Lucasfilm Story Group, the team charged with developing narrative cohesion and connectivity within the Star Warsuniverse. Williams will take the stage to discuss her career and personal evolution as a storyteller, from feature filmmaker to cross-platform storyworld builder.

The Deeper They Bury Me (Interactive Presentation)
Written and directed by Angad Singh Bhalla & Ted Biggs; Produced by Anita Lee for the National Film Board of Canada, Storyline Entertainment

An interactive encounter with one of America’s most renowned political prisoners, The Deeper They Bury Me plunges users into the universe of Black Panther activist Herman Wallace, who was held in solitary for over 40 years at Louisiana’s notorious Angola penitentiary. Within the time allotted for a prison phone call—20 precious minutes—users navigate between his tiny cell and his dream of freedom, a fantasy home he envisions through a collaborative art project with artist Jackie Sumell. Sparse, poetic animation evokes his segregated New Orleans childhood and his courageous efforts to build community within a prison system that keeps over 2.3 million citizens behind bars. Join the creators of this compelling portrait of defiance for an immersive live presentation of the interactive experience and a panel discussion featuring leading activists and thinkers. World Premiere.

Immersive Storytelling Goes Global: A Live StoryCode Dispatch (Panel)
Moderated by Mike Knowlton (Co-founder, StoryCode)

StoryCode’s growth into six continents over the past three years has been fueled by an international appetite for new storytelling methods, tools, and experiments. Though still in its infancy, this worldwide phenomenon takes on myriad forms in each region it conquers. StoryCode chapter organizers will share happenings and breakthroughs around the country and the world, and discuss where we are headed in terms of emerging genres, cross-pollination of disciplines, technology, and artistic achievement. Panelists include Kel O’Neill (StoryCode LA), Diliana Alexander (StoryCode Miami), Michael Epstein (StoryCode San Francisco), and Kelli Anderson (StoryCode Washington DC).

The Making of a Connected Crime Scene (Talk)
Presented by Lance Weiler & Nick Fortugno

Join Lance Weiler and Nick Fortugno for a special collaborative think-and-do session. Over the course of 90 minutes, attendees will see and experience the inner workings of what it takes to build a massive collaborative effort like Sherlock Holmes & the Internet of Things. The presentation will pull back the curtain on a yearlong experiment with 1,000 collaborators working in 20-plus countries. Learn methods and solutions that can help you design and build immersive, engaging storytelling projects.

Producing for Impact: Finding the Story (Panel)
Moderated by Colin Fitzpatrick (Guardian Labs, WNET, Al Jazeera America) 

As nonfiction crosses platforms, producers have more options than ever to reach, inspire, and activate audiences. The way a production is presented allows producers to realize specific audience end goals previously unobtainable without immense budgets. Tactics using comprehensive data visualization, compelling personal narratives, and sourcing from social media allow journalism and documentary producers today to appeal to emotion as well as the facts when creating issue-driven stories. Producers on this panel will discuss their own projects—from documentary film and interactive docs to social programs and digital newsrooms—and how to create meaningful and moving stories with goals beyond business as usual.Presented in partnership with The Producers Guild of America New Media Council & PGA East Documentary Committee.

Created by Danny Cannizzaro & Samantha Gorman (Performance)

Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman will perform excerpts from Pry, an app experience that fuses cinema, video game, and the novella into what the LA Weekly calls “Charlie Kaufman by way of an acid trip.” Six years ago, James, a demolition expert, returned from the Gulf War. Explore James’s mind as his vision fails and the past collides with the present. What happens to story when instead of turning a page, readers open or shut the protagonist’s eyes, pull apart his memories, or read his thoughts infinitely scrolling in every direction? For more, go to

Small Star Seminar (Performance)
Presented by Cory McAbee

For the first solo music project created by Cory McAbee (Crazy and Thief, The American Astronaut), the filmmaker/musician takes the stage as a motivational speaker who urges people to give up their goals, stop reaching for the stars, and start looking for the stars within their own minds. “Small Star Seminar” features optimistic songs about quitting, accepting one’s own limitations, and the power of sitting quietly. McAbee will address the theory of “Deep Astronomy” and answer questions from the audience. Part of a larger storytelling project, the performance will be documented for an upcoming feature film written and directed by McAbee.

The Working Screenwriter (Talk)
Presented by Mike Jones (Pixar)

Big dreams, wild risks, and seven-figure sales are all part of the typical screenwriter mythos. Yet most of these writers have had a different career, one where a few highs barely make up for the many lows. Working screenwriters must look at the long arc of a career where no models exist. How does a life in the screen trade fit into an everyday life? How do writers maintain their spark among constant rejection, wide financial fluctuations, and family stress? How does failure affect style? And how does a writer change? Mike Jones has never made seven figures. Yet for 15 years he has maintained a screenwriter’s turbulent life while writing for independent producers, major studios, and now Pixar. In this talk, Jones will outline how he built a steady career through checkered success, but became a better storyteller through failure.

For more information, visit www.filmlinc.org


Portland Film Festival announced the feature film competition programs, opening and closing screenings, music and midnight sections, tribute presentations, north-west, and special screenings for the 2015 Portland Film Festival.  The 3rd Annual festival is a week long event of 214 screenings of feature length and short films from around the world, red carpet world premieres, tributes to filmmaking legends, more than 50 hours of professional workshops, nightly after-parties and more.

The third annual Portland Film Festival will take place September 1 - 7th, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, at seven venues throughout the city, including historic area theatres and community venues.

"Portland audiences are the most enthusiastic, film-savvy crowds in the nation, and we're proud to bring them a stellar festival schedule this year.  We've created an incredibly diverse and large program of films and events that honor cinema legends, celebrate new approaches and experimentation in film, and showcase the best in contemporary cinema," said Josh Leake, Portland Film Festival Founder and Executive Director.

Portland Film Festival's weeklong extravaganza will include:

  • Lifetime achievement tributes for Academy Award-winning stop-motion pioneer Will Vinton and acclaimed creature sculptor and puppet maker Wendy Froud, who will be recognized for her work as a fabricator on Yoda for "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," and contributions to such films as "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth.
  • Zombie Day Apocalypse. A live all-day Labor Day event featuring several thousand festivalgoers as extras in a Guinness Book World Record-setting film shoot, "Zombie Day Apocalypse", to be directed by George Cameron Romero, son of legendary filmmaker George A. Romero. Event will include a night time screening of a surprise zombie film.
  • One of the largest educational platforms for a film festival anywhere. Lead by award-winning professionals in their fields, this year's festival will offer over 70 workshops, classes, panels and networking events for actors, screenwriters, and filmmakers.
  • Screenplay Competition. Four finalists from 380 submissions have been chosen to be read by actors live to an audience. One finalist will win a  production grant worth $20K.

A jury of industry professionals and acclaimed filmmakers will be presenting awards to competition films in the following categories: Jury Award for Feature Doc, Jury Award for Narrative Feature, Audience Award for Feature Doc, Audience Award for Feature Narrative, plus additional awards to be announced.


10 films to celebrate the best of independent cinema by filmmakers who push the boundaries with imagination and style. 

  • 6 Angry Women  / U.S. (Director: Sridhar Reddy, Screenwriters: Alexandra Bennett, Barbara Figgins, Katelin Healy, Danielle McConnell, Fawzia Mirza, Alison Plott, Sridhar Reddy) A young, unarmed black teenager is shot by a white neighborhood watchman, and it is up to a jury of six women to determine if the man is guilty of murder. Cast: Alexandra Bennett, Barbara Figgins, Katelin Healy, Danielle McConnell, Fawzia Mirza, Alison Plott. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Aimy in a Cage / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Hooroo Jackson) A creative teenage girl is placed into a mind-altering procedure to civilize her, while news of a virus epidemic spreads throughout the world. Cast: Crispin Glover, Allisyn Ashley Arm, Terry Moore, Paz de la Huerta, Michael William Hunter. WORLD PREMIERE
  • As Good as You / U.S. (Director: Heather de Michele, Screenwriter: Gretchen Michelfeld) A woman chases her dream to start a family by asking her late wife's brother to be her sperm donor and craziness ensues. Cast: Laura Heisler, Anna Fitzwater, Raoul Bhaneja, Annie Potts, Bryan Dechart, Peter Maloney. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Divine Access / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Steven Chester Prince) Jack Harriman becomes a spiritual celebrity after debunking an evangelical host of a local public-access TV show.  Cast: Billy Burke, Gary Cole, Patrick Warburton, Sarah Shahi, Joel David Moore, Adrienne Barbeau. NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • Drama  / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Sophie Mathisen) Life is a difficult script to learn.  Cast: Sophie Mathisen, François Vincentelli, Jonathan Burteaux, Tom Wren, Nicole da Silva. WORLD PREMIERE
  • For Love & Broken Bones / South Africa (Director: Tebogo Malope, Screenwriters: Tebogo Malope, Libby Dougherty) When a lonely and isolated debt collector falls in love with his latest assignment, he must choose to follow his heart. Cast: Mduduzi Mabaso, Lerato Mvelase, Mashala Letsoalo. WORLD PREMIERE
  • The Makings of You / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Matt Amato) Frank Wallis and Judy Meadows are comfortably numb to their lives, but when a chance encounter brings them together, their love for each other reignites life's sweet, unimagined possibilities. Cast: Jay Ferguson, Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • Odd Brodsky / U.S. (Director: Cindy Baer, Screenwriters: Cindy Baer, Matthew Irving) A quirky comedy about following your dreams. Cast: Tegan Ashton Cohan, Matthew Kevin Anderson, Scotty Dickert, Jim Hanks. NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • Oloibiri / South Africa (Director: Curtis Graham, Screenwriter: Samantha Iwowo) Based on true events, a story about the first oil well drilled in Nigeria and how the impact affects a small Nigerian Delta Village and the lives of those involved. Cast:  Diana Colmar-Espinosa, Bradley Gordon, Olu Jacobs. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • Touched with Fire  / U.S. (Director: Paul Dalio, Screenwriter: Sophie Mathisen) Two manic depressives meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition. Cast: Katie Holmes, Luke Kirby, Griffin Dunne, Bruce Altman, Christine Lahti. WEST COAST PREMIERE


10 new films from around the world that tackle real life stories with bold vision and energy

  • Audition / U.S. (Director: Matt Herron) A romance is portrayed by one hundred actors who compete for two lead roles and a chance to perform the final terrifying scene. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Business of Amateurs / U.S. (Director: Bob DeMars) An ex-athlete turned filmmaker seeks answers regarding student-athlete rights and discovers uncorrected injustices. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Congo Beat the Drum / Israel, Jamaica (Director: Ariel Tagar) A musical journey into the forgotten corners of Jamaican reggae and its past champions. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • Generation Maidan / Ukraine (Director: Andrew Tkach) A group of Ukrainian filmmakers capture history in the making. What began as a peaceful protest, turned into revolution and finally war. U.S. PREMIERE
  • I Am Thalente / South Africa, U.S. (Director: Natalie Johns) A homeless teenager from South Africa attracts international attention with his effortless style on a skateboard and is invited to travel to the US to skate with the pros.  NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • Kings of Kallstadt / Germany, U.S. (Director: Simone Wendel) A humorous documentary about German small village life and its famous American relatives: Donald Trump and Heinz Ketchup. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Lost and Found / Japan, U.S., Canada (Directors: Nicolina Lanni, John Choi) One year after Japan's largest earthquake, beachcombers along the Pacific Northwest coastline started finding Japanese items washing ashore. In turn, the unlikeliest of friendships, across two continents, were forged in the wake of this massive natural disaster. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Made in Japan / Japan, U.S. (Director: Josh Bishop) A journey through music, marriage and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • Sweet Micky for President / Haiti, U.S. / (Director: Ben Patterson) Musician Pras Michel of the group The Fugees goes up against the corrupt government of Haiti by mobilizing a presidential campaign for controversial pop star Sweet Mickey. NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • Tyke: Killer Elephant / Australia (Directors: Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore) Tyke the circus elephant breaks free in front of thousands of onlookers. Her break for freedom leaves the city in shock and sparks a global battle over the use of performing animals. WEST COAST PREMIERE


  • GRU-PDX / Brazil, U.S. (Director: Daniel Barosa) Set amidst the rich contemporary music scene of Portland, Oregon, Brazilian indie band Quarto Negro journeys to the city to record their second album. During a six month stay, they discover the highs and lows of  musical life in Portland, and that recording their new album isn't a task for the faint of heart. WORLD PREMIERE


  • Birds Of Neptune / U.S. (Director: Daniel Steven Richter, Screenwriters: Steven Richter, Flavia Rocha and Michael Lea) Two sisters live alone in their Portland childhood house trying to keep memories of a mysterious past intact. When a man enters their world and starts to pull at the fragile threads holding everything in place, they find themselves facing harsh truths about their past. Cast: Britt Harris, Molly Elizabeth Parker, Kurt Conroyd. NORTHWEST PREMIERE  


To be held on Labor Day during the festival, a special all day and night event will set a Guinness Book of World Records for 'most extras in a short film'. Director George Cameron Romero, son of iconic horror director George A. Romero (Dawn of the Dead), will direct. Award-winning makeup artists will oversee effects for an anticipated cast of thousands. Event will also include a nighttime surprise zombie film screening.


  • Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Around The World / U.S. (Director: Dana Nachman)The Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco join forces to grant a five-year-old boy's wish to become Batman for a day, drawing worldwide attention. PORTLAND PREMIERE


Special tribute events, awards, and discussions with masters of cinema, celebrating  visionary pioneers of their field. 

  • Will Vinton - The world renowned Claymation® pioneer and Academy Award winner Will Vinton will receive a lifetime achievement award for his innovative contributions to the history of animation. Event will also include a 30th anniversary screening of his legendary stop-motion classic, "The Adventures of Mark Twain," and his Academy Award Winning Short, "Closed Mondays." 
  • Wendy Froud - An American doll-artist, creature sculptor, and puppet-maker, Wendy Froud is a profound contributor to the history of pop culture and cinema.  She is best known for being a member of the fabrication team of the iconic character Yoda for the 1980 film "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" and also fabricated timeless creatures for the Jim Henson films "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth".  In appreciation of her work, LucasFilms will generously share unique behind the scenes archival images from her Star Wars work, and Wendy will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. 
  • Amy Vincent - Trailblazing cinematographer Amy Vincent created an indelible impression with her debut feature film, "Eve's Bayou", and she's been making unforgettable images ever since in a series of classic films, including "Hustle and Flow", "Black Snake Moan", and "Footloose". For its 10 year anniversary, she will screen "Hustle and Flow' and offer insight into the making of the fan favorite. 


Honoring musicians, music and culture, these documentaries celebrate a diversity of genres and influences through the power and love of music. 

  • Congo Beat the Drum / Israel, Jamaica (Director: Ariel Tagar) A musical journey into the forgotten corners of Jamaican reggae and its past champions. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • The Glamour & the Squalor / U.S. (Director: Marq Evans) The story of Marco Collins, a legendary Seattle DJ who played the music that defines the 90's grunge generation. Featuring: Carrie Brownstein, Shirley Manson, Macklemore,

Mike McCready, Ben Gibbard, Kurt Cobain. PORTLAND PREMIERE

  • Morphine: Journey of Dreams / U.S., Italy (Director: Mark Shuman) The in-depth tale of the "low-rock" nineties Boston band who blazed like a comet across the global music scene. Interviews with Henry Rollins, Joe Strummer, Dana Colley, Steve Berlin, Mark Sandman,Billy Conway. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • The Whole Gritty City / U.S. (Director: Richard Barber) An immersion into the world of three New Orleans school marching bands. WEST COAST PREMIERE


Unique one-time film events, marquee names, and highlights of the best of modern film. 

  • Bereave / U.S. (Directors: Evangelos Giovanis, George Giovanis, Screenwriter: George Giovanis) Garvey thinks he has figured out how to die alone. When his beloved wife goes missing; he must live to save her. Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Jane Seymour, Keith Carradine, Vinessa Shaw, Mike Starr, Mike Doyle. PORTLAND PREMIERE
  • The Frontier / U.S. (Director: Oren Shai, Screenwriters: Oren Shai & Webb Wilcoxen) A desperate young woman discovers a violent gang of thieves at a desert motel and hatches a plan to steal their loot. Cast: Kelly Lynch, Jim Beaver, Izabella Miko, Liam Aiken. PORTLAND PREMIERE
  • Like Me / U.S. (Director: Michael Kuell) A documentary about NYC comedian and actor Micah Sherman attempts to overcome his lack of boundaries and social anxiety to find his digital voice through social media.  Featuring: Micah Sherman, Hannibal Burress, Jim Gaffigan, Grace Helbig, Maria Bamford, Janeane Garofalo. WORLD PREMIERE
  • The Makings of You / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Matt Amato) Frank Wallis and Judy Meadows are comfortably numb to their lives, but when a chance encounter brings them together, their love for each other reignites life's sweet, unimagined possibilities. Cast: Jay Ferguson, Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • The Resurrection of Jake the Snake / U.S. (Director: Steve Yu) A documentary portrait of legendary wrestler Jake "The Snake" Roberts as he charts his personal and professional comeback while battling crippling addictions. Cast: Jake Roberts, Dallas Page, Chris Jericho, Steve Austin, Adam Copeland. NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • This is Happening / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Ryan Jaffe) Two estranged siblings. Five pounds of pot. One runaway grandmother. Cast: James Wolk, Mickey Sumner, Judd Nelson, Cloris Leachman. WEST COAST PREMIERE
  • We are Twisted F***ING SISTER / Germany, U.S. (Director: Andrew Horn) A documentary about the history of the iconic 80's metal band Twisted Sister, tracing their origins in the bar scene of early 1970s Long Island to their pre-MTV rise as a popular regional, New York-based band in the mid 1970s and early 1980s. U.S. PREMIERE
  • Yosemite / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Gabrielle Demeestere) Set in 1985, intertwining tales of three fifth grade friends unfold as the threat of a mountain lion looms over Palo Alto. Cast: James Franco, Henry Hopper, Calum John, Alec Mansky, Everett Meckler. PORTLAND PREMIERE


After dark movies full of wonderfully weird, provocative, and comedy highlights of new cinema. 

  • Dude Bro Party Massacre III / U.S. (Directors: Tomm Jacobsen, Michael Rousselet, Jon Salmon, Screenwriters: Michael Rousselet, Alec Owen, Ben Gigli, Brian Firenzi, Jon Salmon, Joey Scoma, Michael E. Peter, Mike James, Timothy Ciancio, Tomm Jacobsen) A hysterical and bloody twist on 80's slasher flicks, in which a dorky loner must infiltrate a party-centric fraternity to solve the murder of his twin brother. Cast: Alec Owen, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Patton Oswalt, Larry King, Nina Hartley, Greg Sestero. PORTLAND PREMIERE
  • Mega Summer Hit: A Slam Dunkumentary / U.S. (Director: Ryan Max O'Meila, Screenwriters: Thomas Kellogg, Kyle Newacheck, Ryan Max O'Meila)A mockumentary about a social media contest that sends its makers into the deepest corners of their minds as they struggle to finish the film. Cast: Thomas Kellogg, Kyle Newacheck, Ryan Max O'Melia, Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, Anders Holm. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Space Program / U.S. (Director: Van Neistat, Screenwriters: Van Neistat, Tom Sachs)Two female astronauts go to Mars in a handmade space program to answer humankind's ultimate question...are we alone? A provocative collaboration between acclaimed artist Tom Sachs and director Van Neistat. WEST COAST PREMIERE


Celebrating narrative and documentary films made in the Northwest area, as well as unique films made by Northwest filmmakers. 

  • The Black Sea / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Brian Padian) Five friends arrive at a beach house on the Oregon Coast for a holiday weekend, where one of them mysteriously disappears overnight. Cast: Cora Benesh, Erin McGarry, Corrina Repp. WORLD PREMIERE
  • Deep Dark / U.S. (Director, Screenwriter: Michael Medaglia) A failed sculptor, is about to end it all until he finds a strange, talking hole in the wall. Cast: Sean McGrath, Anne Sorce, Denise Poirier. US PREMIERE
  • Vintage Tomorrows / U.S. (Director: Byrd McDonald)A documentary about the Steampunk movement's explosive growth, origins, and cultural significance, which explores the fundamental question: what can we learn about tomorrow from Steampunk's playful visions of yesteryear? NORTHWEST PREMIERE
  • The 2015 PORTLAND FILM FESTIVAL is Oregon's largest film event of the year, with 80 narrative and documentary feature films and 134 short films selected out of 3500 SUBMISSIONS.
  • This week long extravaganza also includes over 75 MASTER CLASSES, TWO LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT TRIBUTES, and an unprecedented live event featuring SEVERAL THOUSAND FESTIVAL GOERS AS EXTRAS in a record-setting ZOMBIE DAY EVENT.

For Full festival line-up and info to purchase passes and tickets, go to: www.portlandfilmfestival.com 


The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the complete lineup for Projections at the 53rd New York Film Festival, taking place from Friday, October 2 through Sunday, October 4. This year’s lineup, which includes 14 programs, presents an international selection of film and video work that expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most vital and groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. 

“We think of Projections, now in its second year, as the festival’s ever-shifting zone of discovery, a survey of inventive and unconventional work that updates and challenges our idea of what constitutes experimentation in cinema,” said Dennis Lim, the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Director of Programming and one of the curators of Projections. “In the spirit of its venerable predecessor, Views from the Avant-Garde, the program remains committed to the experimental film tradition, but it has been no less important for us to bring new voices and fresh approaches into the mix. This year we have a more varied slate than ever, one that I hope audiences will find invigorating in its breadth, and for its implicit assertion that there are still myriad ways to reimagine the possibilities of cinema and its relationship to the world.“
This year, the NYFF welcomes a new collaboration with the curated video on demand service MUBI, which will be a dedicated sponsor of the Projections section. Several titles from past Projections lineups will be made available on MUBI leading up to the festival, and a selection from the 2015 lineup will be offered after premiering. Details on the films and schedule will be announced at a later date.    

Highlights in Projections this year include the U.S. Premiere of two new films from Ben Rivers (A Distant Episode, THE SKY TREMBLES AND THE EARTH IS AFRAID AND THE TWO EYES ARE NOT BROTHERS; Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s return to the festival after Leviathan with the World Premiere of Ah humanity!, co-directed with Ernst Karel; andWorld Premieres from previous Kazuko Trust Award winners Dani Leventhal (Hard as Opal, co-directed with Jared Buckhiester), Laida Lertxundi (Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live), and Michael Robinson (Mad Ladders). This year’s recipient of the Kazuko Award, which recognizes artistic excellence and innovation and is awarded to an emerging filmmaker in the Projections lineup, will be announced in early October.  

Other World Premieres of note include returning regulars to Projections (and formerly Views from the Avant-Garde): Janie Geiser (Cathode Garden), Jim Finn (Chums from Across the Void), Jodie Mack (Something Between Us), Fern Silva (Scales in the Spectrum of Space), Mike Stoltz (Half Human, Half Vapor), and Vincent Grenier (Intersection).

Directors with medium- and feature-length works in this year’s selection include Nicolas Pereda (Minotaur), whose work has shown in New Directors/New Films and Art of the Real previously; FIDMarseille award winner Riccardo Giacconi (Entangled / Entrelazado); and Isiah Medina (88:88), whose film was a selection at the recent Locarno Film Festival and will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. 

Several esteemed contemporary visual artists will also make their first appearance at the NYFF this year, including James Richards (Radio at Night), Basim Magdy (The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys), Simon Fujiwara (Hello), Michael Bell-Smith (Rabbit Season, Duck Season), Takeshi Murata (OM Rider), Jon Rafman (Erysichthon), and Cécile B. Evans (Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen).

Discovery and rediscovery will also take center stage throughout the weekend. Among the first-timers at the NYFF are Louis Henderson, who has two films in the festival, including the World Premiere of Black Code/Code Noir; and Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, with his bold riff on Roberto Bolaño, Santa Teresa & Other Stories. Projections will also showcase restorations of the late Chick Strand’s Soft Fiction and Curt McDowell’s Confessions, both on 16mm and restored by the Academy Film Archive.

Projections is curated by Dennis Lim (Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center), Aily Nash (independent curator), and Gavin Smith (Editor, Film Comment and Senior Programmer, Film Society of Lincoln Center). 

Tickets are $15 for General Public; $10 for Members & Students, and a $99 Projections All Access Pass will also be available for purchase. Visit
 filmlinc.org/NYFF for more information. Additional NYFF special events, documentary section, and filmmaker conversations and panels will be announced in subsequent days and weeks.

The 17-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring top films from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. 

Tickets for the 53rd New York Film Festival will go on sale to Film Society patrons at the end of August, ahead of the General Public. Learn more about the patron program at filmlinc.org/patrons. Becoming a Film Society Member offers the exclusive member ticket discount to the New York Film Festival and Film Society programming year-round plus other great benefits. Current members at the Film Buff Level or above enjoy early ticket access to NYFF screenings and events ahead of the general public. Learn more at filmlinc.org/membership.

For even more access, VIP Passes and Subscription Packages give buyers one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing Nights. VIP passes also provide access to many exciting events including the invitation-only Opening Night party, “ An Evening With…” Dinner, Filmmaker Brunch, and VIP Lounge. Benefits vary based on the pass or package type purchased. A limited number of VIP Passes and Subscription Packages are still available. For information about purchasing Subscription Packages and VIP Passes, go to filmlinc.org/NYFF.

Films, Descriptions & Schedule

All screenings will take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street

Program #1
Friday, October 2, 2:00pm
Friday, October 2, 9:00pm
TRT: 82m

The entanglement of the psychological and physical worlds, as reflected in architecture, domestic space, and everyday objects.

Neither God nor Santa María
Samuel M. Delgado & Helena Girón, Spain, 2015, DCP, 12m

“Since airplanes did not exist, people moved around using prayers; they went from one land to another and returned early, before dawn. In old audio recordings, the voices of pastors speak of the mythical existence of witches and their travels. In the daily life of a woman, the magic of her tales begin to materialize as night falls. Night is the time when travel is possible.”—Samuel Delgado & Helena Girón U.S. Premiere

Something Horizontal
Blake Williams, USA/Canada, 2015, HDCAM, 10m

“Three-dimensional flashes of Victorian domestic surfaces and geometric shadows transform the physical world into a somber, impressionistic abstraction, while elsewhere a specter emerging from the depths of German Expressionism reminds us that what goes up always comes down.”—Blake Williams U.S. Premiere

Analysis of Emotions and Vexations
Wojciech Bakowski, Poland, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“This movie is a representation of my spirit’s volatile state. I used animation with poetic comment to analyze my emotions and vexations. I used pencil drawings in translucent frames to show a state of lightness. On the drawings you can see the elements taken from imagination and from real external sights. I did so because our mental states are built from what we can see and what we remember or imagine in abstraction.”—Wojciech Bakowski U.S. Premiere

Scott Stark, USA, 2015, 35mm, 9m

“Discarded Christmas trees, colorfully arranged flea-market finds, a museum of animal kills, microscopic views of kitchenware, and other overlooked cultural artifacts are interwoven with flickering journeys through mysterious, shadowy realms. Traces/Legacy uses a device called a film recorder to print a series of still digital images onto 35mm film. The 35mm projector can only show a portion of the image at a time, so the viewer sees alterations between the top and bottom half of each frame. The images also overlap onto the optical sound area of the film, generating their own unique sounds.”—Scott Stark

Entangled / Entrelazado
Riccardo Giacconi, Colombia/Italy, 2014, digital projection, 37m

“In quantum physics, if two particles interact in a certain way and then become separated, regardless of how distant they are from each other they will share a state known as ‘quantum entanglement.’ That is, they will keep sharing information despite their separation. This theory used to upset Einstein. In his theory of relativity, no transmission of information could occur faster than the speed of light, therefore he couldn’t understand how the two particles could be simultaneously connected.”—Riccardo Giacconi North American Premiere

Program #2
Friday, October 2, 4:15pm
Saturday, October 3, 2:00pm
TRT: 78m

The raw and the cooked: from elemental particles and nature vs. culture to doomed transcendental urges and, out of the ashes, renewal in fresh visions of the material world.

Prima Materia
Charlotte Pryce, USA, 2015, 16mm, 3m

“Delicate threads of energy spiral and transform into mysterious microscopic cells of golden dust: these are the luminous particles of the alchemist’s dream. Prima Materia is inspired by the haunting wonderment of Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura. It is an homage to the first, tentative photographic records that revealed the extraordinary nature of phenomena lurking just beyond the edge of human vision.”—Charlotte Pryce

Vincent Grenier, USA, 2015, DCP, 7m

“On the corner of Brooktondale Rd. and Route 79 near Ithaca is an amazing planting of forget-me-nots and dandelions. An improbable dance between different layers of reality, one organic, the other mechanical, and another the numbing everyday. Timeless fragility jousts with fleeting enamels and the upstanding violence.”—Vincent Grenier World Premiere

Port Noir
Laura Kraning, USA, 2014, digital projection, 11m

“Within the machine landscape of Terminal Island, the textural strata of a 100-year-old boat shop provides a glimpse into Los Angeles Harbor’s disappearing past. Often recast as a backdrop for fictional crime dramas, the scenic details of the last boatyard evoke imaginary departures and a hidden world at sea.”—Laura Kraning

Centre of the Cyclone
Heather Trawick, USA/Canada, 2015, 16mm, 18m

“‘In the province of the mind there are no limits. However, in the province of the body there are definite limits not to be transcended’ (John C. Lilly). An invocation for the transcendence between the corporeal and metaphysical, the passage is guided by marooned sailors, a moment of celestial chance, demolition derbies, and a slipping into the ether.”—Heather Trawick World Premiere

Le Pays Dévasté / The Devastated Land
Emmanuel Lefrant, France, 2015, 35mm, 12m

"A look back to the geological age when humans were just starting to learn to control the powers of nature that had dominated them up to that point. Traces—chemical, consumption, and nuclear—of their existence will remain in the planet’s geological code for thousands or even millions of years. Making use of negative images, Le Pays Dévasté presents an ominous picture of Earth’s future."—Emmanuel Lefrant U.S. Premiere

Cathode Garden
Janie Geiser, USA, 2015, DCP, 8m

“A young woman moves between light and dark, life and death; a latter-day Persephone. The natural world responds accordingly. Neglected negatives, abandoned envelopes, botanical and anatomical illustrations, and found recordings reorder themselves, collapsing and reemerging in her liminal world.”—Janie Geiser World Premiere

Something Between Us
Jodie Mack, USA, 2015, 16mm, 10m

“A choreographed motion study for twinkling trinkets, beaming baubles, and glaring glimmers. A bow ballet ablaze (for bedazzled buoyant bijoux brought up to boil). Choreographed costume jewelry and natural wonders join forces to perform plastic pirouettes, dancing a luminous lament until the tide comes in.”—Jodie Mack World Premiere

brouillard - passage 15
Alexandre Larose, Canada, 2014, 35mm, 10m

“With this project I fabricate sequences by in-camera layering of repeated trajectories inside a path extending from my family’s home into Lac Saint-Charles. The image-capturing process produces a sedimented landscape that gradually unfolds while simultaneously disintegrating under temporal displacement. Approximately 30 long takes begin at the same frame on the film strip, all shot at a high frame rate. My walking rhythm varies for each trajectory, resulting in the space progressively expanding in depth until I reach the edge of a dock. The duration of the long take corresponds to the length of the celluloid reel, a thousand feet of 35mm film.”—Alexandre Larose

Program #3
Friday, October 2, 6:30pm
Saturday, October 3, 4:00pm
TRT: 86m

Disorienting visions, both near and far, of an apocalyptic world reveal the warped landscapes of the Anthropocene.

A Distant Episode
Ben Rivers, UK/Morocco, 2015, 16mm, 18m

“A meditation on the illusion of filmmaking, shot behind the scenes on a film being made on the otherworldly beaches of Sidi Ifni, Morocco. The film depicts strange activities, with no commentary or dialogue; it appears as a fragment of film, dug up in a distant future—a hazy, black-and-white hallucinogenic world.”—Ben Rivers U.S. Premiere

In Girum Imus Nocte
Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Italy, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“I imagine a wooden boat on fire. A fire that illuminates the night and slowly consumes and transforms the fishing boat into coal. A fire that accompanies the traveling distance of the miners and fishermen. Change of a substance from one physical state to another. An entropic event transforming matter and symbols.”—Giorgio Andreotta Calò North American Premiere

Half Human, Half Vapor
Mike Stoltz, USA, 2015, 16mm, 11m

“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture. I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy. Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.”—Mike Stoltz World Premiere

Ana Vaz, France/Portugal, 2014, 16mm/digital projection, 15m   
“Filming in Lisbon in search of the origins of our colonial history, I found copies. Brazilians, the new worlders fluent in glitz, entertain the Portuguese in awe and discomfort, colonial norms applied and reapplied. Chinese porcelain seem to signal hybrids to come: the Chinese dressed as Europeans, the Brazilian maid dressed as a 19th-century European servant. Porcelain from the 15th-century becomes reproducible ready-mades that set the tables for the new colonies—a transatlantic calling. Ouro novo reads new money. As a poem without periods, as a breath without breathing, the voyage travels eastward and westward, marking cycles of expansion in a struggle to find one’s place, one’s seat at the table.”—Ana Vaz     

Ben Russell, USA/South Africa, 2015, DCP, 7m

“Filmed in the remains of Soweto's historic Sans Souci Cinema (1948-1998), YOLO is a makeshift structuralist mash-up created in collaboration with the Eat My Dust youth collective from the Kliptown district of Soweto, South Africa. Vibrating with mic checks and sine waves, resonating with an array of pre-roll sound—this is cause and effect shattered again and again, temporarily undone. O humanity, You Only Live Once!”—Ben Russell U.S. Premiere

Ah humanity!
Ernst Karel, Verena Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Japan/France/USA, 2015, DCP, 22m

“Ah humanity! reflects on the fragility and folly of humanity in the age of the Anthropocene.  Taking the 3/11/11 disaster of Fukushima as its point of departure, it evokes an apocalyptic vision of modernity, and our predilection for historical amnesia and futuristic flights of fancy.  Shot on a telephone through a handheld telescope, at once close to and far from its subject, the audio composition combines excerpts from Japanese genbaku film soundtracks, audio recordings from scientific seismic laboratories, and location sound.”—Ernst Karel, Verena Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor World Premiere

Program #4
Saturday, October 3, 1:00pm
Saturday, October 3, 6:00pm
TRT: 74m

When the worlds of fantasy and desire collide in a dissociative dance of bodies in motion, what’s love got to do with it? 

Hard as Opal
Jared Buckhiester & Dani Leventhal, USA, 2015, digital projection, 29m

“A soldier’s trip to Syria is complicated when he accidentally impregnates a friend. Meanwhile, a horse breeder from Ohio is driven away from home by her own desire to become pregnant. In Hard as Opal the lines between truth and fiction, fact and fantasy, are reined in and treated not as fixed, divisive markers but as malleable threads of narrative potential. Buckhiester and Leventhal perform alongside other non-actors who are filmed in their own varying domestic and professional environments. The result is a rich accumulation of narratives held together by questions concerning the nature of objectification, loneliness, and dissociative fantasy.”—Brett Price World Premiere

Curt McDowell, USA, 1971, 16mm, 11 min

“How much joy and lust and friendship can be crammed into one 11-minute movie? ‘To put it into words is just not that easy to do.’ After a tearful confession, Curt casts one true love as a leading man and lets the images do most of the talking, so what you know about him is felt. The difference between a messy guy in bloom and a perfect lifeless doll. The beauty of women’s faces and men’s cocks in close-up, and dirty bare feet, stepping forward. A live-wire radio built by editing that switches from folk to blues in a heartbeat. Fanfare, a cum shot, and a burst of applause as the director walks away from the camera, into San Francisco daylight. There’s no happier ending in cinema."
—Johnny Ray Huston, from The Single and the LP

Restored print courtesy of Academy Film Archive. Confessions is the first in a large-scale project at the Academy Film Archive to restore the majority of Curt McDowell’s extant films.

Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies
Alee Peoples, USA, 2015, 16mm, 9m

“I use Super 8 and 16mm film as a vehicle for loose storytelling with history and humor. Simple props and gestures are part of a playful aesthetic. Glimpses into the culture of a place are given while playing with truth and representation. Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies is a Los Angeles street film starring empty signs, radio from passing cars, and human sign spinners, some with a pulse and some without.”—Alee Peoples

Mars Garden
Lewis Klahr, USA, 2014, DCP, 5m

“Mars Garden is episode 5 of my 12-film series Sixty Six, which on its most foundational level, splices Greek mythology with 1960s pop culture. In Mars Garden I employ a light box to excavate the chance superimpositions of the two-sided comic book page in vintage mid-1960s superhero comics.”—Lewis Klahr

The Exquisite Corpus
Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2015, 35mm, 19m

“The Exquisite Corpus is based on several different films, with reference to the surrealist ‘exquisite corpse’ technique. It combines rushes from commercials, an American erotic thriller from the 1980s, a British comedy from the 1960s, a Danish and a French porn film (both most likely from the 1970s), an Italian softcore sex movie from 1979, and a (British?) amateur “nudist film.” In addition to the found footage, many indexical signs and images are imprinted upon the film. By focusing on these erotic fragments The Exquisite Corpus brings the body of film itself to the forefront and finds its central theme.”—Peter Tscherkassky U.S. Premiere

Program #5
Saturday, October 3, 3:30pm
TRT: 64m

Soft Fiction
Chick Strand, USA, 1979, 16mm, 54m

“Chick Strand’s Soft Fiction is a personal documentary that brilliantly portrays the survival power of female sensuality. It combines the documentary approach with a sensuous lyrical expressionism. Strand focuses her camera on people talking about their own experience, capturing subtle nuances in facial expressions and gestures that are rarely seen in cinema. The film’s title works on several levels. It evokes the soft line between truth and fiction that characterizes Strand's own approach to documentary, and suggests the idea of softcore fiction, which is appropriate to the film's erotic content and style. It's rare to find an erotic film with a female perspective dominating both the narrative discourse and the visual and audio rhythms with which the film is structured. Strand continues to celebrate in her brilliant, innovative personal documentaries her theme, the reaffirmation of the tough resilience of the human spirit.”
—Marsha Kinder, Film Quarterly

Restored by the Academy Film Archive. Restoration funding provided by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and The Film Foundation.

Lost Note
Saul Levine, USA, 1969/2015, 16mm, 10m

“Scenes drawn from the home and life of Isa Milman (the woman I was then married to) and me, made together with our dog Jesse, our friends Bruce Blaney and Patti Tanaka, their children Sean and Jason, and many others. I began this as a love poem to Isa, but before I finished the film everything had changed. For many of us, 1968/69 was a period of violent transition. The film was formally challenging, editing footage with in-camera superimpositions and cutting black and white with color.”—Saul Levine

Program #6
Saturday, October 3, 5:30pm
TRT: 63m

Nicolas Pereda, Mexico/Canada, 2015, DCP, 53m

“Minotaur takes place in a home of books, of readers, of artists. It’s also a home of soft light, of eternal afternoons, of sleepiness, of dreams. The home is impermeable to the world. Mexico is on fire, but the characters of Minotaur sleep soundly.”—Nicolas Pereda U.S. Premiere

Vivir para Vivir / Live to Live
Laida Lertxundi, USA/Spain, 2015, 16mm, 10m

“The body, a space of production, creates structures for a film.”—Laida Lertxundi
World Premiere

Program #7
Saturday, October 3, 7:15pm
Sunday, October 4, 5:00pm
TRT: 69m

Modern conflicts of labor and race, traced from their complex origins to the chaotic present.

Simon Fujiwara, Germany, 2015, digital projection, 10m

“Hello explores changes in the working lives of two people: Maria, a Mexican trash picker who separates and collects recyclable materials from landfills to sell by the kilo, and Max, a German freelance computer-animation designer working for the advertising industry in Berlin. The double interview is controlled and manipulated by a computer-generated severed hand that Maria describes as an object once discovered in the trash while working in the violent northern town of Mexicali. This CGI hand was in turn produced by Max who was born with no arms and sought refuge in computer imaging as a means to operate and manipulate a digital reality.”—Simon Fujiwara U.S. Premiere

F for Fibonacci
Beatrice Gibson, UK, 2014, DCP, 16m

“F for Fibonacci takes as its departure point William Gaddis’s epic 1975 modernist novel JR. Unfolding through the modular machine aesthetics of the video game Minecraft, text-book geometries, graphic scores, images from physics experiments, and cartoon dreams blend with images from Wall Street: stock-market crashes, trading pits, algorithms, and transparent glass. As well as the writing of Gaddis, the film draws on the work of little-known British experimental educator and composer John Paynter. Gibson worked closely with 11-year-old Clay Barnard Chodzko on a number of the film’s production elements, commissioning him to design an office in Minecraft and develop an existing character of his, Mr. Money. Gibson and Chodzko’s ramblings on the subject of his protagonist lead the viewer through F for Fibonacci’shallucinatory soup.”—Beatrice Gibson

Black Code/Code Noir
Louis Henderson, France, 2015, DCP, 21m

“Black Code/Code Noir unites temporally and geographically disparate elements into a critical reflection on two recent events: the murders of Michael Brown and Kajieme Powell by police officers in the U.S. in 2014. Archaeologically, the film argues that behind this present situation is a sedimented history of slavery, preserved by the Black Code laws of the colonies in the Americas. These codes have transformed into the algorithms that configure police Big Data and the necropolitical control of African Americans today. Yet how can we read in this present? How can we unwrite the sorcery of this code as a hack? Through a historical détournement the film suggests the Haitian Revolution as the first instance of the Black Code’s hacking and as a past symbol for a future hope.”—Louis Henderson World Premiere

Lessons of War
Peggy Ahwesh, USA, 2014, digital projection, 6m

“Five little narratives—newsworthy stories from the 2014 war on Gaza—retold in order to not forget the details, to reenact the trauma and to honor the dead. The footage is lifted from a YouTube channel that renders the news in animation, fantastic and imaginative, providing several protective layers away from reality. The footage is repurposed here to critique that safe distance from the violence, foregrounding the antiseptic nature of the virtual narrative. Video courtesy of Microscope Gallery.”—Peggy Ahwesh

Scales in the Spectrum of Space
Fern Silva, USA, 2015, DCP, 7m

“Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archive and in collaboration with legendary jazz musician Phil Cohran, Scales in the Spectrum of Space explores the documented histories of urban life and architecture in Chicago. Culled from 70 hours of footage and incorporating 35 different films, Scales in the Spectrum of Space weighs in on the pulse of the Midwest metropolis.”—Fern Silva World Premiere

Many Thousands Gone
Ephraim Asili, USA/Brazil, 2015, digital projection, 9m

“Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to create an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real-time “sight reading” of the score.”
—Ephraim Asili

Program #8
Sunday, October 4, 1:00pm
TRT: 65m

Isiah Medina, Canada, 2014/15, DCP, 65m

“You cannot pay your bill. - . Your heat and lights are cut off. -. You pay. The clocks initially flash 88:88, --:--. You set the clocks. You cannot pay. -. You pay. 88:88. --:--. Repeat. 88:88, --:--. Cut. -. You stop setting your clock to the time of the world. 88:88, --:-- . Subtracted: - : you make do with suspension. 88:88, --:--, -.”—Isiah Medina U.S. Premiere

Program #9
Sunday, October 4, 3:30pm
Sunday, October 4, 7:00pm
TRT: 76m

Life in the Cloud: What are the material and emotional consequences of a digital world that has altered our bodily existence?

Radio at Night
James Richards, Germany/UK, 2015, digital projection, 8m

“Responding to Derek Jarman’s visual strategies and montage techniques, Radio at Night carves out a sensual and sonic space of representation. The video is an assemblage of distorting and looping audiovisual material, including industrial documentation, medical imaging, news broadcasts, and a specially composed soundtrack sung in C minor.”—James Richards

All That Is Solid
Louis Henderson, France/UK/Ghana, 2014, DCP, 15m

“As technological progress pushes forward, piles of obsolete computers are discarded and recycled. Sent to the coast of West Africa, these computers are thrown into wastegrounds such as Agbogbloshie in Accra, Ghana. The e-waste is recovered and burned to extract the precious metals contained within. Eventually the metals are melted and reformed into new objects to be sold—it is a strange system of recycling, a kind of reverse neocolonial mining, whereby the African is searching for mineral resources in the materials of Europe. Through showing these laborious processes, the video challenges the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology, revealing the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins.”—Louis Henderson

Mad Ladders
Michael Robinson, USA, 2015, digital projection, 9m

“A modern prophet’s visions of mythical destruction and transformation are recounted across a turbulent geometric ceremony of rising curtains, swirling setpieces, and unveiled idols from music television’s past. Together, these parallel cults of revelation unlock a pathway to the far side of the sun.”—Michael Robinson World Premiere

Jon Rafman, Canada, 2015, digital projection, 8m

“Erysichthon is the third and final film in a Dante-esque adventure across the far-flung corners of the Web. Plunging into the depths of Internet obsessions and transgressions, the videos assemble an unsettling parade of images from the mundane to the erotic to the violent, presenting the full breadth and depth of human desires as mediated by the flow of data.”—Jon Rafman World Premiere

Slow Zoom Long Pause
Sara Magenheimer, USA, 2015, digital projection, 13m

“Q: How do we know it’s real?

A: It feels real

Q: What if fake feels real?

A: Then it’s real

Q: What color is the sound of your name?

A: Peach

Q: What comes next?

A: A

Q: Can you think of a thing that itself is a symbol, too?

A: A

Q: Do you know anyone whose name is just one letter?

A: I

Q: If your first name was only one letter, which letter would it be?

A: I”
—Sara Magenheimer
World Premiere

Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen
Cécile B. Evans, UK, 2014, digital projection, 22m

“Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen is narrated by the failed CGI rendering of a recently deceased actor (PHIL). In an intensification of so-called hyperlink cinema, the lives of a group of digital agents—render ghosts, spambots, holograms—unfold across various settings, genres, and modes of representation. Multiple storylines build, converge, and collapse around overarching ideas of existence without anatomy: the ways in which we live and work within the machine. Throughout, questions are raised about what it means to be materially conscious today and the rights of the personal data we release.”
—Cécile B. Evans

Program #10
Sunday, October 4, 6:00pm
TRT: 84m

Santa Teresa & Other Stories
Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic/Mexico/USA, 2015, DCP, 65m

“This film arises from the urgent need to talk about violence from another position, conscious of the over-used statement ‘Third World society places violence at the center of its meaning.’ Accordingly, let’s forget the modes of representation that my cinema has used and consider that where an idea manages to take control and become hegemonic, an anarchic rebellion of multiple narratives, colors, and formats emerges in a drive toward permanent revolution. The Caribbean reinvented European tongues; my montage is inspired by that far-from-standard orality, mutating constantly into different modes of representation as it stalks its freedom.”—Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias U.S. Premiere

Bunte Kuh
Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour & Parastoo Anoushahpour, Canada, 2015, DCP, 6m

“Through a flood of images and impressions, a narrator attempts to recall a family holiday. Produced in Berlin and Toronto,Bunte Kuh combines a found postcard, a family photo album, and original footage to weave together the temporal realities of two separate vacations.”—Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour & Parastoo Anoushahpour

The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys
Basim Magdy, Egypt, 2014, digital projection, 13m

“Layered and manually altered 16mm footage intertwines with the soundtrack and the narrative, presented through subtitles, to tell the story of a man who moves away from the sea to escape death by water. He soon finds himself alone when his co-workers go to the beach and never return. Society becomes a stranger and his imagination becomes his only friend. He dials a random number and a romantic conversation about loneliness and the absurdity of reality ensues. His world starts acquiring meaning as he realizes part-time-singer monkeys are running the show.”—Basim Magdy World Premiere

Program #11
Sunday, October 4, 8:30pm
Sunday, October 4, 9:00pm
TRT: 98m

Ben Rivers, UK/Morocco, 2015, 35mm, 98m

A labyrinthine and epic film that moves between documentary, fantasy, and fable, shot against the staggering beauty of the Moroccan landscape, from the rugged terrain of the Atlas Mountains to the stark and surreal emptiness of the Moroccan Sahara, with its encroaching sands and abandoned film sets. Rivers’s work contains multiple narratives, the major strand being an adaptation of “A Distant Episode,” the savage short story by Paul Bowles. The film also features the enigmatic young film director Oliver Laxe, whose on-screen presence becomes interwoven with the multiple narratives that co-exist amid the various settings of Rivers’s cinematic exploration. U.S. Premiere


Program A
Friday, October 2, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 9:00pm
TRT: 38m (on loop)

Chums from Across the Void
Jim Finn, USA, 2015, DCP, 18m

“Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood; and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin—a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene. Like the Christian fundamentalist activists in the 1970s who prepared the way for the Reagan Revolution, the Inner Trotsky Child movement was a way to cope with life in the Prime Material Plane of Corporate Capitalism and to create a 21st-century revolution of the mind.”—Jim Finn World Premiere

The Two Sights
Katherin McInnis, USA, 2015, DCP, 4m

“Between 1015 and 1021 C.E., the great Muslim scientist Ibn al-Haytham (Alhacen) wrote The Book of Optics (while feigning madness and under house arrest). The Book of Optics debunks theories that the eyes emit rays, or that objects project replicas of themselves, and accurately describes the strengths and weaknesses of human vision. Translations of this work reached the West in the 13th century and influenced Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, and Descartes.The Two Sights is a false translation of this work, using images from the LIFE magazine photo archive.”—Katherin McInnis World Premiere

A Disaster Forever
Michael Gitlin, USA, 2015, digital projection, 16m

“Derived from a 25-year-old cassette tape, transcribed and reenacted on a recording stage, A Disaster Forever positions us on the unfamiliar terrain of an idiosyncratic cosmology. Turning between prismatic abstractions and hand-painted entanglements, a world-system is suspended in the play of light by a voice that floats loose in a cinema for the ear.”—Michael Gitlin World Premiere

Program B
Saturday, October 3, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 5:00pm
TRT: 34m (on loop)

Calum Michel Walter, USA, 2015, digital projection, 11m

“The observations of an object in motion: A mobile device captures the trajectories of objects liberated from and bound to earth, against a backdrop of uniquely human dissonance. Terrestrial is in part an attempt to articulate a desire to transcend bodily limits with things like mobile devices and machines etc. while acknowledging an unavoidable level of dysfunction.The film was inspired by an incident in 2014 where a Blue Line train in Chicago failed to stop at its final destination, the O’Hare airport, and eventually came to a stop halfway up the escalator at the airport’s entrance. Terrestrial reimagines this crash as an earthbound machine’s failed takeoff.”—Calum Michel Walter U.S. Premiere

Noite Sem Distância
Lois Patiño, Portugal/Spain, 2015, DCP, 23m

“An instant in the memory of landscape: the smuggling that for centuries crossed the line between Portugal and Galicia. The Gerês Mountains knows no borders, and rocks cross from one country to another with insolence. Smugglers also disobey this separation. The rocks, the river, the trees: silent witnesses that help them to hide. They just have to wait for the night to cross the distance that separates them.”—Lois Patiño North American Premiere

Program C
Sunday, October 4, 12:00-6:00pm, 9:00-11:00pm, Q&A 3:00pm
TRT: 37m (on loop)

Rabbit Season, Duck Season
Michael Bell-Smith, USA, 2014, digital projection, 5m

“In Rabbit Season, Duck Season, a scene from the 1951 Warner Bros. cartoon “Rabbit Fire” is retold as an allegory for the present day. The cartoon’s iconic encounter between the hunter, the rabbit, and the duck frames a web of tightly constructed sequences that move across various forms of video, including traditional animation, live action, and 3-D animation. A loose essay film, the video adopts a variety of tones and genres to touch upon themes of resistance, taste, the construction of meaning, and the exhaustion of choice.”—Michael Bell-Smith

All My Love All My Love
Hannah Black, UK, 2013-15, digital projection, 7m

“In a famous experiment intended to mechanize the procedures of parenting and love, baby monkeys were given ‘wire mothers.’ The experiment failed, just like real mothers sometimes fail. It continues to be cheaper for the complex procedures of care to be performed by women, often impoverished women of color. But the vanguard of tech keeps producing new technologies of love: the Gchat that fills the empty space of a solitary day, for example, or the dancing robot in the video. The ambivalent need for contact remains, as a wound or a breach, threaded through all our relations. The living mother is also a technology, i.e., a social form, and one day she too might be rendered obsolete.”—Hannah Black North American Premiere

Velvet Peel 1
Victoria Fu, 2015, USA, digital projection, 13m

“Velvet Peel 1 depicts performing bodies in cinematic space interacting with flat layers of digital effects. Featuring performers Polina Akhmetzyanova and Matilda Lidberg, their movements are based on physical enactments of touchscreen interfaces. The figures are composited in a variety of settings—scenes from previous exhibition venues and contexts where the work was installed, the artist’s studio during production, appropriated footage from the Internet, desktop screensavers, and abstracted 16mm color film. Layered together to create a “viable” or “habitable” cinematic space, the scenes are simultaneously deconstructed by making the layers of post-production visible, and the flatness of surfaces called to the fore.

OM Rider
Takeshi Murata, USA, 2014, digital projection, 12m

“In a vast desert bathed in neon hues, a misfit werewolf blasts syncopated techno rhythms into the night. Meanwhile, an old man sits at a large, round table in a void-like space, rigidly sipping coffee and rolling snake-eyed dice as the faint sound of the werewolf’s pulsating, phantasmic synth grows louder. Hopping onto his motorcycle, the werewolf tears full speed ahead over forbidding terrain while his hoary counterpart becomes increasingly anxious...”—Takeshi Murata

For more information, please visit:




The Helios Film Festival and TentSquare announced the launch of a “Female Filmmaker Challenge” as part of the film festival’s inaugural edition on October 9-11, 2015. Taking place in Cincinnati, the first year film festival celebrating independent filmmaking with an emphasis on shining a light on local film production, announced it’s first Call For Entries last month.

The "Female Filmmaker Challenge" will be open to female writers, directors, cinematographers and producers to submit a short film up to 15 minutes for a chance to win cash prizes, VIP badges to the 2015 Helios Film Festival and receive a spot on the "Women in Film" panel at the festival. The winner of the website’s contest will receive $500, 2 VIP filmmaker badges, and a spot on a “Women in Film” panel that will take place during the film festival. Choosing the winner of that contest will be actress/filmmaker Pollyanna McIntosh (LET US PREY, THE WOMAN), producer Kerry Fulton (JUSTIN AND THE KNIGHTS OF VALOR, ANA Y YO), and director/producer Sylvia Caminer (AN AFFAIR OF THE HEART, TANZANIA: A JOURNEY WITHIN). A staff-chosen winner will receive a $250 prize and a single VIP filmmaker badge.

Festival Director Lana Read said, “We could not be more excited to join forces with TentSquare to host this Female Filmmaker Challenge in our very first year. As filmmakers ourselves, Co-Director Ramsey Stoneburner and I are thrilled that the Helios Film Festival will immediately establish itself as a home for female directors and a film festival they can look to as a place dedicated to putting their work front and center.”

"Film history is rich with so many contributions made by female filmmakers," TentSquare’s Andrew van den Houten added, "and yet those creative voices are heard less often. The community is replete with talented women filmmakers and we're excited to see what they create."

The deadline for entries for the “Female Filmmaker Challenge” is August 28, 2015. The winner will be announced when the Helios Film Festival reveals the lineup of films for its first edition next month.

Application and entry details can be found at https://www.tentsquare.com/challenges/female-filmmaker-challenge-sfcs.

As previously announced, the Helios Film Festival is currently accepting entries through August 31, 2015.

The categories and submission information are on the web site at http://heliosfilmfestival.org.

Top critics Brett Ratner, Eric Kohn and Ann Hornaday at Key West Film Festival

“Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker Scholarship” Announced

The Key West Film Festival announced a new annual Critics Focus program in which the nation’s top film critics will be invited to curate spotlight selections. This year, Ann Hornaday, Chief Film Critic of The Washington Post, and Eric Kohn, Chief Film Critic of Indiewire, will attend and host audience Q&As with the talent from the films they have selected, which will be announced at a later date. Also announced today is the new annual Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker Scholarship. The festival runs in Key West, Florida from November 18 to 22.
As part of the Critics Focus program, some of the nation’s most respected film critics will be invited to curate spotlight films at the festival. Participating critics will be will be invited to return to the festival, as new critics are invited to curate films each year.  The program further marks the Key West Film Festival as a new and vital stop on the fall festival circuit, and is designed to support film criticism while giving audiences greater context and perspective around films through public conversations guided by expert voices.

Program Director Michael Tuckman states, “We want to put a spotlight on film criticism, and support it. Because of the shifting media environment, there are fewer film critics today. Critics have historically supported films and film festivals, and at Key West we want to give back by building a more dynamic relationship between our curated films and the film criticism community, creating a forum for open discussion and the exchange of ideas between real audiences and top critics.”

Ann Hornaday comments, “I’m honored to be invited to participate in the Critics Choice program at this year’s Key West Film Festival. With film criticism facing a number of challenges in a rapidly changing media landscape, it’s gratifying to join a community of film lovers who value what critics can bring to the conversation.”

Eric Kohn, who also serves on the festival’s advisory board, says, “I’m thrilled to participate in the Key West Film Festival’s Critics Choice program to help provide more context for authentic moviegoers as they are given the chance to uncover great movies in a festival environment.  Over the past two years that I’ve had the pleasure of attending the Key West Film Festival, the one thing more impressive than the luxurious weather and beach conditions is the enthusiasm of the audiences at every screening. These aren’t jaded industry insiders, but delightful, colorful personalities from all walks of life who are genuinely excited to discover new movies. It’s this type of attitude that sustains the value of critics as tastemakers today.”

Local film critic for The Key West CitizenShirrel Rhoades, will also present a film and will lead a panel discussion of the attending critics.

The Key West Film Festival’s annual Brett Ratner Florida Student Filmmaker Scholarship will begin this year, with a $5000 scholarship award given to a Florida student filmmaker chosen from six participating Florida colleges and universities. Born and raised in Miami Beach, Ratner is one of Florida’s most cherished filmmakers and will present the award to the winning student at a special ceremony at the Festival. The scholarship is designed to put a spotlight on aspiring Florida filmmakers, giving their unique local vision and heritage a national stage.

Brett Ratner states, “I'm thrilled to be coming home to where I first started making films in order to support and recognize the next generation of Florida filmmakers at this vibrant festival.”

Festival Venues include the historic San Carlos Institute, where the campaign for Cuba’s independence from colonial powers was planned in 1892.  The Key West Film Festival has equipped the San Carlos with DCP technology, and it will host gala screenings.  Other screening venues include Eaton Street Theater, the Waterfront Brewery and additional venues to be named later. Host venues for social events include the Hemingway Home and Museum, the Waldorf Astoria Casa Marina, and the Southernmost Mansion.

For full program information, a schedule of events, and travel and lodging details, please visit: kwfilmfest.com

New York Comedy Festival Announces 2015 Lineup Featuring Judd Apatow, Trevor Noah, Bill Burr and More


  • Citi Cardmember Presale Tickets Available August 11 - 16; Tickets Available at www.citiprivatepass.com
  • Tickets Available to the General Public on August 17 at www.nycomedyfestival.com

Marking its 12th year, the New York Comedy Festival (NYCF), presented in association with Comedy Central, announced its 2015 line-up today.  Expanding to six days and running from November 10 –15, the festival will feature some of comedy’s biggest stars performing in New York City’s most prestigious venues, including the Beacon Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Carnegie Hall, Carolines on Broadway, Madison Square Garden, The Theater at MSG, Town Hall and the 92nd Street Y.

Among the many highlights of this year’s festival include Judd Apatow and Friends at Carnegie Hall, Billy Crystal in conversation with David Steinberg at Town Hall, Bill Burr at Madison Square Garden, and Comedy Central’s new host of “The Daily Show” Trevor Noah at Town Hall.  This year’s returning festival veterans include Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin, Gabriel Iglesias, Norm Macdonald, Bill Maher, Kumail Nanjiani, Patton Oswalt and Sarah Silverman, as well as first-time festival performers Nathan Fielder, John Leguizamo and Iliza Shlesinger.

This year’s NYCF will feature over 200 of the country’s most recognized and emerging comedians performing more than 60 shows throughout the city.  Additional shows will be announced in the fall.

“Our aspiration for the festival has always been bringing together talent from all over the comedy spectrum, featuring comedic greats and highlighting emerging talent in the industry. This year’s line-up is no exception,” said Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “Throughout the years, the festival has become a staple in the comedy and New York City communities and we look forward to offering another week filled with big laughs.”

“Performing at Carnegie Hall is a dream come true,” said Judd Apatow. “Not for me but for some foreign twelve year old violinist. But I am sure it will be great!”

“Once again, Comedy Central and NYCF are excited to present a stellar line-up of comedic talent and shows,” said Steve Raizes, Senior Vice President, Comedy Central Consumer Products. “It’s a great opportunity for fans to experience the huge range and styles of comedy that take place in New York City.”

Over the past decade, the New York Comedy Festival has brought memorable performances to some of New York City’s most well-known venues with such talent as Aziz Ansari, Hannibal Buress, Louis C.K., Dane Cook, Whitney Cummings, Larry David, Jim Gaffigan, Ricky Gervais, Kevin Hart, Bill Maher, Joel McHale, Tracy Morgan, Tig Notaro, Patton Oswalt, Andy Samberg, and Amy Schumer, among others. The NYCF has also produced informative and entertaining panels including “Id Isn’t Always Pretty: An Evening with Broad City,” “An Evening with the Late Show with David Letterman Writers,” and “Clown Panties and Other Unpleasant Truths: An Evening With Inside Amy Schumer.”

Citi is the official card of the New York Comedy Festival.  Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets to NYCF shows through Citi’s Private Pass program. The presale will run from August 11 at 10:00 AM EDT to August 16 at 10:00 PM EDT.  For complete presale details, visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

Tickets for all shows are available to the general public starting August 17 at 10:00 AM EDT.  Tickets can be purchased through the New York Comedy Festival website: www.nycomedyfestival.com.

The 2015 NYCF is presented in association with Comedy Central. Now in its 12th year, the festival is produced by Carolines on Broadway. Sponsors of the festival include Citi, the New York Post, Time Out New York, Variety and the Village Voice.






















For more information, please visit:

Comedy Central (www.cc.com)

@TribecaFilmFest | Misery Loves Comedy (3/4) #TFF2015 #TFF

Does it? Or does it not? Well, Kevin Pollak’s documentary may not have the answer, but it does give you some insight into the comedian’s psyche. Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, and Jon Favreau are among over 60 famous funny people featured in this hilarious twist on the age-old truth: misery loves company. In-depth, candid interviews with some of the most revered comedy greats who each share their unique path and a life devoted to making strangers laugh.

With interesting anecdotes and insights from the comedy underbelly that reveal a performer’s deep desire to connect with audiences, Kevin Pollak’s MISERY LOVES COMEDY is shares with audience the art of humor that details a comedian’s rare ability to help us understand life as only they can. The comedians talk about influence in their lives of not only other comedy greats, but also their community. How they got inspired to be a comedian, how they became a comedian. And they talk about if they are actually miserable or how misery contributes in their ability to make others laugh. And the answer is… Not clear!

Well, I hope you’re not expecting an answer!!

Now Available on iTunes and On Demand.


New York, NY (IFC Center)
Friday Q&A with Kevin Pollak after the 7:45pm show, intro to the 10pm
Saturday Q&As with Kevin Pollak and Jim Norton after the 5:30pm, 7:45pm shows with intro to the 10pm

Los Angeles, CA (Sundance Sunset)
Santa Ana, CA (
South Coast Village)
San Francisco, CA (
Pittsburgh, PA (
Row House Cinema)
Houston, TX (
Sundance Cinemas)
Park City, UT (
Park City Film Series)
Seattle, WA (
Sundance Cinemas)
Madison, WI (
Sundance Cinemas)

Phoenix, AZ (FilmBar Phoenix)
Palm Springs, CA (
Camelot Theatres)
San Diego, CA (
Digital Gym Cinema)
Columbus, OH (
Gateway Film Center)

Greensboro, NC (Geeksboro Cinema)
Sedona, AZ (
Mary Fisher Theatre)

Lambertville, NJ (ACME Screening Room)

Boulder, CO (Boedecker Theatre)


Year: 2014
Length: 94 minutes
Language: English
Country: USA 


Director: Kevin Pollak
Written By: Kevin Pollak & John Vorhaus
Producers: Becky Newhall and Burton Ritchie
Cast: Tom Hanks, Jimmy Fallon, Amy Schumer, Judd Apatow, Jon Favreau, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David, Steve Coogan, Jim Gaffigan, and Whoopi Goldberg

Tribeca Film Festival New York Premiere Of Misery Loves Comedy, An American Express Card Member Only Event At The SVA Theater on April 22, 2015 in New York City.

@TribecaFilmFest | TFI Interactive & Interactive Playground #TFF2015 #TFF

TFII (Tribeca Film Institute Interactive) assembled the brightest thinkers and innovators for an all-day forum that explores storytelling in the digital age. Returning for a second year was the “Interactive Playground” which connected participants with a selection of groundbreaking projects – including That Dragon, Cancer, Confinement, and One Dark Night.

TFIi kicked off with a  keynote from artist, director, and “body architect,” Lucy McRae. Trained as a classical ballerina and architect, Lucy shared how she views the intersection of biology and technology in our physical bodies. The day closed with “Seven Digital Deadly Sins, Live” an interactive experience presented by IDFA DocLab and hosted by Ophira Eisenberg of NPR’s, Ask me Another. 

List of Interactive Playground Projects :

 Interactive Haiku - Interactive haiku is a collection of a collection of 12 very, very, short interactive explorations. To discover quickly, without rushing. Dive in, crawl, kick back and play!

 One Dark Night -This immersive journalism virtual reality piece tells the story of the day teenager Travyon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

 That Dragon, Cancer -An adventure game about hope in the face of death. A story about raising a son. A parable of grace.

 Confinement - 4 cement walls, 8 x 10 feet for 23 hours a day. That’s what 81,000 prisoners of America’s criminal justice system call home, many thousands of whom are children. Here, for three minutes, you experience a taste, firsthand.

 Priya’s Shakti - Priya, a mortal woman and rape survivor, and the Goddess Parvati fight against gender-based sexual violence in India and around the world in this layered storytelling project and augmented reality comic book.

 Sparse - Sparse is an interactive music performance—using the crowds smartphones as a collective speaker-system.  The idea is to split a musical piece into a variety of parts, and evenly distribute them across smartphones in order to create a spatial performance of the piece.

 Play Space - Play Space is both an installation and an instrument: a space that responds musically as people move within and through it.

 Slapstream - Slapstream is a Kinect-powered retro-style videogame controlled by slapping yourself in the face.

 Paperdude VR - PaperDude VR is an homage to 80's classic video game Paperboy with a full technology reboot.

Photo Credit: Tribeca Film Institute

Link To the Full Schedule of Speakers


@TribecaFilmfest | Paul Weitz brings Lily Tomlin as GRANDMA (3/4) #TFF #TFF2015

What would you call a film, if it can culminate various topics of LGBT, freedom of choice, parenting, artist past their peak, old-age, wide age gap relations, romance & love, amongst many others, and club it all into an emotional comedy? I'll call it Paul Weitz's "GRANDMA".

Yes, it's a very funny movie, sharing a day in life of grandma (Lily Tomlin), who has to spend the day trying to help her granddaughter (Julia Garner) arrange $630 for an abortion. Temporarily broke, Grandma Elle and Sage spend the day trying to get their hands on the cash as their unannounced visits to old friends and flames end up rattling skeletons and digging up secrets.

The topic does not sound funny, and it's not been treated as a joke either. But the characters and their situations bring genuine humor, uplifted by some amazing performances by the entire cast. The scenes are very tightly written, and movie has been very well edited to keep the entire drama tightly wrapped in only good 78 mins. The movie has some amazing parts and cameos by likes of Judy GreerMarcia Gay HardenSam ElliottJohn Cho, amongst many others.

If you are not into sensitive topics as suggested above or strictly pro-life, you MAY skip the film. If you are a fan of light hearted bUT heartfelt comedy, which is also socially relevant, you would like the film.

@TRIBECAFILMFEST |"#TFF SHORTS: Marco Kalantari, FROM The Shaman" #TFF #TFF2015

Title of film: The Shaman

Name: Marco Kalantari (Director, Editor, Writer & Producer)

myNewYorkeye: What do you love about being a storyteller?

Marco Kalantari: Definitely the possibility to create worlds and to inspire people with my stories. We all try to make sense of the chaos around us and find a way to understand life. That’s why we love films and stories in general. I believe that strong values of a good story always relate to universal human experiences. For me a good story isnt an escape from reality but something that inspires us on our search for reality. Our very best effort to make sense out of our existence. And this is also a strong theme of The Shaman since our protagonist is someone who lives between two worlds - our reality and the Netherworld. This brings him into a strong conflict, which again is a metaphor for our struggle as human beings.

myNewYorkeye: What does it mean, to have your film as part of this festival?

Marco Kalantari: To me it still feels like a dream to have The Shamans world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. It was our ambition from the beginning to launch the film at a major festival and bringing the film to Tribeca was our big hope as we always felt this would be the perfect platform for The Shaman. The moment I got the call from New York that we made it into the festival, my entire life turned upside down. The entire Tribeca team has been extraordinarily supportive and friendly.

myNewYorkeye: What is the central Message of your film?

Marco Kalantari: The Shaman’s strong high concept is the fact that most of our questions about the future can be found in our past. 30,000 years ago, Shamanism was the main religion on planet earth. 

And its a tale about a man who sets off to defeat his antagonist, but finds out that the true enemy is himself. I believe this applies to all of us. 

The films themes are Trust - the conflict between the Shaman and his squire; and Redemption - the sacrifices the Shaman has to make in order to overcome his enemy, and find his true self.

myNewYorkeye: What's Your Fav thing about this city? 

Marco Kalantari: The energy and the vibe. I’ve been living in several big Asian cities - Tokyo, Beijing and Shanghai. What attracts me about NY is the citys attitude. The will to stand out. My impression of New York is that its more than just a place to live and work. NY is a statement. 

myNewYorkeye: How do you re-charge your creative battery in NYC?

Marco Kalantari: I just step out on the street and open my eyes. That has a high-speed-charging effect.

myNewYorkeye: What's next for you?

Marco Kalantari: I will continue to work hard and make my next steps towards my big movie making dream. At the same time I’ll try to improve as a human being. Because only that will give me the right to tell stories in the first place.

Trailer: https://tribecafilm.com/filmguide/shaman-2015

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