TEASER: J.J. Abrams and Stephen King's "Castle Rock"

Check out the first teaser for the new season of Hulu Original Castle Rock. Season two stars Lizzy Caplan, Tim Robbins, Paul Sparks, Yusra Warsama, Barkhad Abdi, Elsie Fisher and Matthew Alan. Castle Rock premieres Wednesday, Oct. 23, only on Hulu.

Synopsis: A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. The fictional Maine town of Castle Rock has figured prominently in King’s literary career: Cujo, The Dark Half, IT and Needful Things, as well as novella The Body and numerous short stories (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption) are set in there. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a first-of-its-kind reimagining that unites King's themes and worlds, and brings together the author's most iconic and beloved characters. In season two, a feud between warring clans comes to a boil when budding psychopath Annie Wilkes (Lizzy Caplan), Stephen King's nurse from hell, gets waylaid in Castle Rock.

LIKE A BOSS OPENS IN THEATRES JANUARY 10, 2020 #LikeABoss

SYNOPSIS:

Best friends Mia and Mel (Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne) are living their best lives running their own cosmetics company they’ve built from the ground up. Unfortunately, they’re in over their heads financially, and the prospect of a big buyout offer from a notorious titan of the cosmetics industry Claire Luna (Salma Hayek) proves too tempting to pass up, putting Mel and Mia’s lifelong friendship in jeopardy. The beauty business is about to get ugly. LIKE A BOSS also stars Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Ari Graynor, Natasha Rothwell, Jessica St. Clair, and Karan Soni.

PARAMOUNT PICTURES Presents

An ARTISTS FIRST Production  A MIGUEL ARTETA Film

Directed by Miguel Arteta

Screenplay by Sam Pitman & Adam Cole-Kelly    

Story by Sam Pitman & Adam Cole-Kelly and Danielle Sanchez-Witzel

Produced by Marc Evans, p.g.a. Peter Principato, p.g.a.  Joel Zadak  Itay Reiss

Executive Producers  Tiffany Haddish  Nicolas Stern

Starring Tiffany Haddish, Rose Byrne and Salma Hayek. LIKE A BOSS also stars Billy Porter, Jennifer Coolidge, Ari Graynor, Natasha Rothwell, Jessica St. Clair, and Karan Soni.

Follow LIKE A BOSS on social media for more updates! #LikeABoss

Wu-Tang: An American Saga Official Trailer

WU-TANG: AN AMERICAN SAGA , 10-Episode Series on HULU

Premiere Date: September 4th, 2019

Cast: Shameik Moore (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Get Down), Ashton Sanders (Moonlight), Erika Alexander (Get Out, Black Lightning, Insecure), Julian Elijah Martinez (Elementary), Siddiq Sanderson (Messiah), Marcus Callender (Power), Zolee Griggs (Ballers), Vinnie Pastore (The Sopranos), Dave East (Beats), Joey Bada$$

Created and Written by: The RZA, Alex Tse (Superfly)

Executive Producers: The RZA, Method Man

Consulting Producers: Ghostface Killa, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, GZA and the Estate of Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Follow on Social: @WuTangOnHulu (FB/TW/IG)

Official Hashtag: #WuTangOnHulu

#DISNEYXESSENCE ESSENCE Festival Welcomes Stars from “The Lion King”

JD McCrary (voice of Young Simba), Shahadi Wright Joseph (voice of Young Nala) from Disney’s “The Lion King” were on hand at ESSENCE Festival 2019 this weekend at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. They celebrated the movie’s upcoming opening by singing “Can’t Wait to be King” on the ESSENCE Centerstage. Additionally, the Great Street Stephen Full Gospel Choir under the leadership of Pastor Debra Morton and GRAMMY®-nominated, Stellar Award-winning gospel legend Bishop Paul S. Morton performed “The Circle of Life” with Tshidi Manye (Rafiki in Broadway’s “The Lion King”). Tamron Hall helped facilitate the festivities.

ABOUT The ESSENCE Festival®

The ESSENCE Festival® presented by Coca-Cola, the world’s largest cultural, entertainment and empowerment experience, marked its 25th anniversary July 4-7, 2019, in New Orleans, La. The Festival, the only experience of its kind, is also the largest celebration of global Black culture and continues to reach new heights with a focus on economic inclusion, cultural ownership and community development. Now attracting more than 500,000 attendees each weekend, the ESSENCE Festival surpasses every national music, entertainment, and cultural festival based on average daily attendance and is planning its most extensive programming to date.

ABOUT “THE LION KING”

Disney’s “The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau, journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.

She's Gotta Have It Premiere in New York

ABOUT SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT

A seriously sexy comedy and rousing celebration of female empowerment, She’s Gotta Have It Season 2 offers a timely and topical portrait of rising talents, with free-spirited artist Nola Darling (DeWanda Wise) at the center. Struggling with newfound success this season, against a backdrop of black art and culture, Nola must decide if she will remain true to her creative ideals or give in to the corporate world.  Her journey of self-discovery helps transform the lives of those around her, including friend and sometimes lover Mars Blackmon (Anthony Ramos), who sets out to pursue his true passion of music as well as her inner circle of Opal (Ilfenesh Hadera), Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony), Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), Clorinda Bradford (Margot Bingham), and Shemekka Epps (Chyna Layne). Their journey expands to new destinations this season beyond their home base of Fort Greene, the vibrant Brooklyn enclave, that continues to evolve and change as gentrification remakes the neighborhood.

Created by Spike Lee who also executive produces the series alongside Tonya Lewis Lee, all nine episodes of Season 2 will be released on Netflix on May 24, 2019.

Check Out “TOY STORY 4” Final Trailer & New Images!!

Check out the final trailer for Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” as well as two new images from the trailer featuring Woody, Bo Peep and Bonnie’s new friend Forky. Please share with your readers. “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

ABOUT “TOY STORY 4”:

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”) and Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”), Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarToyStory/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/toystory

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ToyStory/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyPixar

U.S. Release Date:  June 21, 2019

Voice Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Madeleine McGraw, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, June Squibb, Carl Weathers, Lila Sage, Don Rickles, Jeff Garlin, Maliah Bargas-Good, Jack McGraw, Juliana Hansen, Estelle Harris

Director:  Josh Cooley

Producers:  Mark Nielsen, Jonas Rivera

NOTES:

·       “Toy Story,” originally released on Nov. 22, 1995, was the first fully computer animated feature film and the highest grossing movie of the year. It was nominated for three Oscars® and two Golden Globes®.  

·       “Toy Story 2” is the first film ever to be entirely created, mastered and exhibited digitally. It was also the first animated sequel to gross more than its original, breaking opening weekend box office records in the U.S., UK and Japan, becoming the highest grossing animated release of 1999. It won the Golden Globe for best motion picture – comedy or musical. It won a Grammy® for best song written for a motion picture, television or other visual media (Randy Newman, “When She Loved Me”).

·       Released in 2010, “Toy Story 3” won Oscars® for best animated feature film and best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song (Randy Newman/“We Belong Together”). The film also won a Golden Globe® and BAFTA for best animated film. It was the second Pixar film to be nominated for the best picture Oscar. It’s also Pixar’s second highest-grossing film of all time behind “Incredibles 2.” 

·       The 2015 short “Riley’s First Date?” was helmed by director Josh Cooley and produced by Mark Nielsen.           

IMAGE CAPTIONS:

CLOSE QUARTERS – In Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” Bo Peep takes Woody to a secret hangout within the antique store—the inside of a vintage pinball machine—where a lot of toys go to socialize. Featuring Annie Potts and Tom Hanks as the voices of Bo and Woody, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

NEW FRIEND! – In Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” Bonnie makes a new friend in kindergarten orientation—literally. When Forky—Bonnie’s craft-project-turned-toy—declares himself trash and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. Featuring the voices of Tony Hale and Tom Hanks as Forky and Woody, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

MICHAEL CAINE SET TO STAR IN LINA ROESSLER’S “BEST SELLERS”

Foresight Unlimited to Handle Foreign Sales and Introduce to Buyers in Cannes

Academy Award®-winning actor Michael Caine (The Dark Knight, The Quiet American) will star in Best Sellerswhich will mark Lina Roessler’s (Little Whispers: The Vow, Mustard Seed) directorial debut.  Based on Anthony Grieco’s original screenplay which won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting award, Best Sellers will be an official Canada-UK co-production, produced by Arielle Elwes (Braid), Cassian Elwes (Mudbound, The Butler), Petr Jákl (xXx, Ghoul, Medieval) and Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Foreigner, Wind River) on the UK side and Jonathan Vanger (Wishing Tree Productions: Miss Sloane) and Pierre Even (Item 7: War Witch, The Hummingbird Project) on the Canadian side.  Executive producers include Martin Barab, Jere Hausfater, and Mark Damon. Foresight Unlimited will handle International Sales beginning at Cannes, while Cassian Elwes will handle the domestic sale. Filming is set to commence on mid-July, 2019 in Canada.

In a last-ditch effort to save a boutique publishing house, Best Sellers follows an ambitious young editor who goes on a wild book tour with a miserable, sharp-witted, has-been author (Caine) who just wants to live out his days in peace with a bottle of scotch, a cigar, and his orange Tabby cat. 

Best Sellers may become one of Michael Caine’s greatest and funniest triumphs. With ‘BULLSHITE’ as his rallying cry, Caine weaves a character that is hilarious in its rage, yet so touching in its vulnerability.  Best Sellers is just a wonderful script,” said Foresight’s Mark Damon.

Caine is a multi-award-winning actor, having starred in a multitude of feature films and television projects. He is best-known for The Dark Knight, The Quiet American, The Prestige, The Cider House Rules, Now You See Me and most recently Going in Style. Caine is currently in post-production on Medieval (directed by Petr Jákl and produced by Jákl and Elwes) and Come Away starring Angelina Jolie.

Roessler is a Canadian actor, writer and director. Her previous short films Little Whispers: The Vow and Winter have won several awards and screened at prestigious festivals around the globe. Her feature script, The Rescuer, recently placed in top selections across a number of Canadian competitions and is one of ten scripts selected to partake in the 2019 TIFF Writers’ Studio. 

Caine is represented by Toni Howard at ICM, Barry Tyerman at Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer, and Kate Buckley at 42.

ABOUT FORESIGHT UNLIMITED

Foresight Unlimited is one of the industry’s leading independent film production, sales, and distribution companies.  With a pioneering entertainment career spanning over 50 years, CEO, Mark Damon is considered to be one of the leading authorities on international film financing, distribution and marketing strategies as well as being a successful independent producer. The company’s management group is helmed by President Tamara Birkemoe who oversees all aspects of the company’s slate.

THE 2019 HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL announces line-up for 14th edition highlighted by double features on Opening and Closing Nights (May 16-19)

  • Shaan Couture’s NEW YORK SCHERZO and the NYC Premiere of Paul Starkman’s WHEELS share Opening Night 

  • Al Cohen’s WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING and the World Premiere of Festival alumnus Robert Rippberger’s STRIVE screen back-to-back as the Closing Night selections

  • James Wvinner’s THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA, Chris Brandt’s THE ILLUMINATION OF JIM WOODRING, Mike Majoros & Bestor Cram’s THE LAST AMERICAN COLONY and Gabor Gasztonyi’s NO WAY OUT also set to make World Premieres

The 2019 Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) has announced official selections for its 14th edition taking place May 16-19Shaan Couture’s NEW YORK SCHERZO and Paul Starkman’s WHEELS will combine for an Opening Night double feature on Thursday, May 16, with Harlem filmmaker Al Cohen’s WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING and the world premiere of Robert Rippberger’s STRIVE going back-to-back for a Closing Night double feature on Sunday, May 19.  The AMC Magic Johnson Theatre Harlem 9 (2309 Frederick Douglass Boulevard) will host both events comprised of films in or about Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the Bronx (HUB).
The international four-day film festival will showcase 124 films (24 features, 88 shorts), webisodes, music videos, experimental films and six VR/360 projects representing over 30 countries. James Wvinner’s THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA, Chris Brandt’s THE ILLUMINATION OF JIM WOODRING, Mike Majoro & Bestor Cram’s THE LAST AMERICAN COLONY and Gabor Gasztonyi’s NO WAY OUT, as well as 9 short films will also make their world premieres at the Festival.
“Each year, we are overwhelmed by the sheer number of films dealing with pressing issues from an unseen angle as well as those that are pushing boundaries culturally and socially. This year is no exception and our choices were from numerous films worthy of gala status,” said the Festival’s Program Director, Nasri Zacharia. “In 2019 we maintain the fresh assortment of world cinema that we have become known to showcase over the years, but this edition signals an important moment in the cinema of Harlem, Upper Manhattan and the Bronx, which we call “the HUB”.  The sheer volume and quality of work being produced by local talent is at an all time high since we started the festival a decade and a half ago. The opportunity of Opening and Closing with two double features thrilled us, because we are filmmakers first and film lovers foremost, so being capable of having all four Opening Night slots taken by local cinema is a milestone we only dreamt of reaching. The goal of immersing New York City, especially Upper Manhattan, with vibrant local and international cinema is why we have been putting on this film festival for 14 years now…we have made it our mission to assist, encourage and support the local artist and the development and distribution of their work.”
Zacharia also emphasized the festival’s pride in consistently having a powerful contingent of undeniable female writers, directors and producers – more than forty films are directed by women this year, including some returning alums of the festival. “Art doesn’t come easily. Like anything else, it takes fortitude, blood, sweat and tears and then as much support as humanly possible in order for it to flourish and thrive.  At this time in our world we need much, much more of it, not less.”
Opening Night will feature Couture’s NEW YORK SCHERZO and Starkman’s WHEELS. Couture’s NEW YORK SCHERZO focuses on 3 classically-trained musicians struggling to make it in New York City, while living and studying in an ever-changing Harlem. Having come there from Seoul, Pars, and Nashville, the trio faces the crossroads artists often do – can they sustain themselves and make a living while they try to make their art. The film will be preceded by the world premiere screening of Alexander Frasse’s music video, ICE MOON, featuring the band, The Next Great American Novelist.
Starkman’s WHEELS is a coming of age story about a 19-year-old from Brooklyn who wants to be a well known DJ, while maintaining the role of sole provider for his sick grandmother. However, his already tenuous situation becomes more complicated with the push and pull of his brother’s return from prison and the encouragement of a manager at a dance studio who pushes him to strive for more in his life. The film will be preceded by a special demonstration by the artist credited with introducing the scratch technique, Theodore Livingston aka Grand Wizzard Theodore, and followed by the world premiere screening of Cortez McKay’s ITCHING FOR A SCRATCH, which recreates Livingston’s discovery and his development of the elements of this revolutionary technique.   

WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING, STRIVE

Closing Night offers a brand new version of Al Cohen’s WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING and the world premiere of Festival alum Robert Rippberger’s STRIVE. WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING takes a look at the 1958 stabbing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by a mentally ill woman, early in the Civil Rights leader’s career. King Jr. received life-saving treatment at the Harlem Hospital, and the Civil Rights Movement, was saved as well.
Written by Harlem native Sha-Risse R. Smith, Rippberger’s STRIVE is about a teenage girl from the projects who works and struggles to get a college education, and achieve a better life despite the number of obstacles facing her and her family. The film will be preceded by Lynn Dow’s STILL HARLEM, which looks at Harlem’s gentrification through the relationship between a Columbia University student and the man who rents her a room.
THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA, NO WAY OUT, THE ILLUMINATION OF JIM WOODRING

Among the other films making their world premieres include festival alum Jim Wvinner’s THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA, which originally premiered at Hi as a short film several years ago and now returns as a full length version. A street smart gangster and an outlaw biker from an Indian reservation completely turn their lives around. Experts explore how yoga is being effectively used to fight the problem of over-incarceration in the merciless for-profit prison system.  
Chris Brandt’s THE ILLUMINATION OF JIM WOODRING, profiles the famed cartoonist known for creating beautiful, nightmarish wonderlands based on his haunting childhood hallucinations. Woodring’s artwork and stories breach the veil of mundane perception, and reveal deeper dimensions beyond, as Woodring discusses his career and process while revealing a wealth of artwork, some of which has remained private to this day.
Mike Majoro & Bestor Cram’s THE LAST AMERICAN COLONY brings to life the unbelievable true story of Juan Segarra, a Harvard student who abandons his career to set off on a treacherous path to fight for Puerto Rico's independence—a struggle that he rightly assumes will lead to either jail or death.
Gabor Gasztonyi’s NO WAY OUT traces the lives of two middle-aged couples, who have been long term users of heroin and cocaine. They began using the substances in their youth and their miraculous longevity is a shocking testament to the power of the human body and mind. Interspersed with Gasztonyi’s B & W images of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, each person in the film tells their unique story of survival in an environment of physical and psychological adversity.
The Harlem International Film Festival will once again feature webisodes and VR projects as part of the film festival, with highlights including the North American premiere of Ace Kim’s webisode series Facility 003, which will screen the first episode in the series where four characters share their last moments before the self-destruction of Facility 003. Outside of the Facility, the rain and red atmosphere transform those who choose to step out into blanks. Kathy Smith’s VR project Slippages/Grace will also have its North American premiere. Set against the austere landscape of the Australian bushland, overlapping images of ever increasing clarity inform a woman’s consciousness as she moves toward the end of her life. Proof of her existence through the many experiences take on a personal symbology, including kittens, stolen houses, car rides, cockatoos and horses.
Film festival passes and tickets are on sale. For more information on the Harlem International Film Festival go to http://harlemfilmfestival.org

2019 Harlem International Film Festival official selections
OPENING NIGHT 
NEW YORK SCHERZO
Director: Shaan Couture
Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min
NEW YORK SCHERZO is a feature documentary that follows the lives of three diverse classically trained musicians as they try to make it in New York City. Originally from Seoul, Paris and Nashville they are passionate about their art but struggle to make a living, and face a crossroads where they must decide if they can sustain a career doing what they love.
Preceded by
ICE MOON                                                                               World Premiere
Director: Alexander Frasse
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
WHEELS                                                                                  New York City Premiere
Director: Paul Starkman
Country: USA, Running Time: 80 min
WHEELS is a coming of age story about Max, a 19-year-old from Brooklyn who wants to be a well known DJ. He has been the sole provider for his sick grandmother, DJing parties for Oscar, a neighborhood shark. Things shift when Max's brother Terry returns home after three years in prison, forcing Max to reconcile their relationship. Max gets close to Liza, the manager of a dance studio who inspires him with her work ethic and determination. Max finds himself at a crossroads between family obligation, the streets, and pursuing his dream.
Preceded by
ITCHING FOR A SCRATCH                                                      World Premiere
Director: Cortez McKay
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min
An eleven-year-old Djay prodigy from The Bronx accidentally scratches a vinyl record. Theodore Livingston aka Grand Wizard Theodore went on to change the face of music forever and to influence countless artists the world over in the process.
 
CLOSING NIGHT
WHEN HARLEM SAVED A KING                                              
Director: Al Cohen
Country: USA, Running Time: 90 min
Unraveling the 1958 stabbing of late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by a mentally ill woman named Izola Ware Curry with a letter opener. After being rushed to Harlem Hospital, had Dr. King nearly sneezed before they were able to remove the dagger from his aorta, he would have died and the Civil Rights movement as we know it today would have never happened.
Preceded by
THE POWER OF WRITING                                                       World Premiere
Director: Nancy Donnelly
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
When an innocent man is thrown in prison for a murder he didn't commit, he finds an escape in writing. Criminal justice reform advocate Derrick Hamilton shows us how he used the power of words to write his way to freedom.
Preceded by
THAT MAGIC
Director: Maori Karmael Holmes – Hi Alum
Country: USA, Running Time:
A girl. A boy. A camera. Official music video for India.Arie's single "That Magic" exploring a new love that was nearly missed.
 
STRIVE                                                                                    World Premiere
Director: Robert Rippberger (Harlem International Alum)
Country: USA, Running Time: 82 min
Written by Harlem native Sha-Risse R. Smith, this is a story about a teenage girl from the projects who pursues her dream of a great education, and a better life despite the odds.
Kalani (Joi Campbell), is a teenager living in Harlem with her older brother Jacob, and her younger sister, Bebe, while her mother struggles to make ends meet. Her college counselor Mr. Rose (Danny Glover) sees great promise in her educational future. As Kalani's siblings get caught in a myriad of hardships, Kalani teeters on the brink of ruin as she struggles to keep both her family and her dream intact.
Preceded by
STILL HARLEM
Director: Lynn Dow
Country: USA, Running Time: 18 min
Following the incoming wave of gentrification, Becky moves to New York City to attend Columbia University and ends up renting a room from a man who yearns for Harlem’s past.

Additional Feature Films
THE CRIP WHO LOVES YOGA                                                            World Premiere
Director: James Wvinner
Country: New Zealand, Running Time: 73 min
An urban Crip gangster and an outlaw biker from an Indian reservation turn their lives around with yoga. Experts explore how yoga is being used to fight the problem of over-incarceration in the merciless for-profit prison system.
 
DECADE OF FIRE                                                                                
Directors: Gretchen Hildebran, Vivian Vazquez
Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min
In the 1970s, the Bronx was on fire. Abandoned by city government, nearly a half-million people were displaced as their close-knit, multi-ethnic neighborhood burned, reducing the community to rubble. While insidious government policies caused the devastation, Black and Puerto Rican residents bore the blame. In this story of hope and resistance, Bronx-born Vivian Vazquez exposes the truth about the borough’s untold history and reveals how her embattled and maligned community chose to resist, remain and rebuild.
 
THE DECAYING (NABUBULOK)
Director: Sonny Calvento
Country: Philippines, Running Time: 93 min
At a time when newly-elected president Rodrigo Duterte threatens to sever ties with the United States of America, an American expat in the town of Masapang is accused of killing his Filipina wife.
 
DOING MONEY
Director: Lynsey Miller
Countries: UK, Running Time: 87 min
A young Romanian woman is snatched from a London street in broad daylight, trafficked to Ireland and used as a sex slave in a series of pop-up brothels. Her shocking true story offers a tense and thought-provoking thriller exposing how, in modern Britain, slavery can hide in plain sight.
 
ELIADES OCHOA FROM CUBA TO THE WORLD
Directors: Cynthia Biestek, Ruben Gomez
Countries: Cuba/Mexico/France/USA, Running Time: 100 min
The film is a portrait of a poor country musician playing on the streets of Eastern Cuba and striving to meet the challenge of spreading his beloved traditional music around the world, who eventually finds success as an original member of the world-famous Buena Vista Social Club.
 
EMMETT                                                                                  New York Premiere
Director: Bridget Stokes
Country: USA, Running Time: 94 min
Emmett is a 12-year-old prodigy and junior at Heart High. After his older brother is accused of the thefts happening at school, Emmett must do everything he can to prove him innocent. He enlists the help of local crime novelist, Mary, to find the real culprit.
 
GET LITE
Director: Lance Steagall
Countries: UK/France, Running Time: 63 min
Litefeet legends Larry Smoove, Kidd Patt, and Jayy Black try to make a legitimate career of their dance ambitions. By day, they play a cat-and-mouse game with the police, piecing together a living dancing on the subway. By night, they live the plight of inner-city youth, with poverty, violence, and drugs on all sides.
 
GOLIATH
Director: Dominik Locher
Country: Germany, Running Time: 86 min
When Jessy tells David she’s pregnant, he panics. A few days later, the two are assaulted in the city train, and when David realizes he is unable to protect his girlfriend, his fears of inadequacy as a man take hold. Frantic, he resorts to steroids and begins with excessive strength training. Initially, the muscles give him self-confidence, but at what price?
 
HAWAII
Director: Jesus del Cerro
Country: Germany, Running Time: 116 min
Andrei and his father Vasile live in communist Romania. Unexpectedly, they receive news from Petrus, Vasile ́s brother who was assumed dead after his escape attempt years before. Petrus was living in Hawaii the whole time and on his death has left Andrei and Vasile a large legacy. They cannot inherit it, however, as the concept of private property does not exist in the eyes of the law. The alternative is to claim their inheritance in another country – easier said than done.
 
INDUS BLUES
Director: Jawad Sharif
Country: Pakistan, Running Time: 76 min
Pakistani folk artists talk about their struggle to keep a fading art form alive and remind the world what they are about to lose.


THE ILLUMINATION OF JIM WOODRING                                World Premiere
Director: Chris Brandt
Country: USA, Running Time: 97 min
Drawing from haunting childhood visions, cartoonist Jim Woodring reveals a beautiful, nightmarish wonderland.  His artwork and stories breach the veil of mundane perception, and reveal deeper dimensions beyond, as Woodring discusses his career and process while revealing a wealth of artwork, some of which has remained private to this day.
 
KATRINA’S DREAM
Directors: Mirko Bischofberger, Dario Bischofberger
Countries: Italy/Switzerland, Running Time: 84 min
Katrina wishes to have children, but her boyfriend Louis doesn’t. She falls in love with his best friend Ron, who becomes the man of her life. One night, returning drunk together from a birthday party, the two friends are involved in a car accident in which Ron loses his head and Louis his body. Thanks to a head transplant the two men survive, merged into one person. Katrina must now deal with the body and mind of two men to fulfill her dream.
 
THE LAST AMERICAN COLONY                                              World Premiere
Director: Mike Majoro & Bestor Cram
Countries: Puerto Rico/USA, Running Time: 90 min
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria pummeled the island of Puerto Rico, but it isn't the forces of nature that have done the most damage to the 3.5 million American citizens who live here.  A history of economic exploitation, forced dependency, and systemic racism coming from the US government have all wreaked havoc on an island that many see as the last colony in the western hemisphere. The film traces the life of Juan Segarra, who graduates from Harvard and sets off on a treacherous path to fight for Puerto Rico's independence—a struggle that he rightly assumes will lead to either jail or death.
 
MADAGASIKARA                                                         
Director: Cam Cowan
Country: Madagascar, Running Time: 84 min
Three resilient women fight for better futures for their children in one of the most misunderstood countries in the world - Madagascar - a beautiful African island nation crippled by decades of political instability and crushed by international sanctions imposed in 2009.
 
MINOR INJUSTICE
Director: Jonathan Seaborn, Emily de Santos
Country: USA, Running Time: 69 min
Texas is now one of only 4 states that charges 17 year olds as adults. Current Texas sentencing laws ignore recent scientific evidence on adolescent development and neuroscience, and the state’s current parole system provides no viable mechanism for reviewing a case after a young person has grown up and matured. Can we morally keep sending our youth to adult prisons?
 
NO WAY OUT                                                                          World Premiere
Director: Gabor Gasztonyi
Country: Canada, Running Time: 85 min
This film traces the lives of two middle-aged couples over five years. They began using injection drugs such as heroin and cocaine since childhood their survival is a testament to the power of the human body and spirit. Interspersed with Gasztonyi’s black and white images of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside each person in the film tells their unique story of survival in an environment of physical and psychological adversity.
 
SEAMAN AND 207
Director: Sophia Tewa
Country: USA, Running Time: 78 min
Yacahudah Harrison and his wife Danetia Harrison have chosen to abandon their lives as working people with steady jobs to live on a street corner in upper Manhattan. As gentrification brings an invasion of new faces, the duo are sent on a journey of discovery, living and loving out of their van on Seaman Avenue and 207th Street.
 
WE ARE THANKFUL    (SIYABONGA)                                     New York Premiere
Director: Joshua Magor
Country: South Africa, Running Time: 94 min
WE ARE THANKFUL, named after main character Siyabonga Majola, is a South African docu-fiction film. Siyabonga, a young man from the township of Mphopomeni, one day hears that a movie will be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film. A film based on real events, re-enacted by those who lived through them, we follow this extraordinary man as he does all he can to take control of his fortune.
 
WHERE THEO LIVES
Director: Dariun Robinson
Country: USA, Running Time: 77min
Sisters Elliott and Kara return to their hometown to arrange the burial of their abusive Uncle. Unfortunately, some memories don’t die easily.
 
 

Webisodes
 

DOWNBEAT
Director: Michael Schaubach
Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min
Each episode of this mockumentary series captures a slice of life for a different well-intentioned, yet often misguided, individual (or group) hoping to find success and respect in the music business. From a 35-year-old cruise ship diva who hoped for something more, to a tech whiz who's created a truly awful personalized music app, Downbeat reveals the heartbreaking and hilarious truths these characters refuse to recognize.
 
FACILITY 003                                                                          North American Premiere
Director: Ace Kim
Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min
Roseanne, Daniel, Christopher and Elizabeth share their last moments before the self destruction of Facility 003. Outside of the Facility, the rain and red atmosphere transform those who choose to step out into blanks. This episode is the beginning of a series, which starts off at the climactic ending.
 
GRAY GROUND
Director: Jess Dunn
Country: USA, Running Time: 47 min
Bobby Braxton deeply connects with Valerie Derly, a mesmerizing woman who is arrested on their second date. In Episode 5, Bobby pairs with Valerie’s disgruntled feminist roommate, Lana, to determine the validity of Valerie’s murder charges. Their efforts are stalked by Valerie’s suspect lawyer, Justin. In tracing her footsteps, Bobby begins to feel the trauma of Valerie’s past.
 
ON
Director: Jamie Effros
Country: USA, Running Time: 18 min
In the near future, a weekly meeting of Device Addicts Anonymous (DAA) is the refuge for six strangers consumed by their virtual worlds. But when a new member joins the group, bringing with him something beyond addiction, they all begin to realize that their connection to the virtual and to each other may be far more than coincidence.
 
PALOMINO & SWISSY
Director: Julien Lasseur
Country: USA, Running Time: 7 min
A wild child, Swissy, returns to a desert town to steal a rabbit foot briefcase from her former captors. Quickly using up her connections she turns to a motorcycle riding mercenary, Palomino, with a complicated past. She’ll have to trust him with her life and hide her dark past - especially the “Lucy” necklace she’s hiding - the only thing in the world she won’t let go of.
 
 

Virtual Reality (VR)

 
CONSCIOUS EXISTENCE/A JOURNEY WITHIN                      North American Premiere
Director: Marc Zimmerman
Country: Germany, Running Time: 13 min
We are gifted every moment with life’s most precious achievement: A conscious mind, enabling us to sense and hold within, the universe's boundless beauty - a source of infinite inspiration that fuels our inner space. Being aware of and grateful for the invaluable fortune of a conscious existence is vital for a life in harmony and enables us to use our precious gift within to sense that beauty in every little thing.
 
EARTH BEAT BLUES
Director: Justiniano Mickael
Country: France, Running Time: 3 min
It's the end of the world, as we know it. But in this post apocalyptic town, there's a strange party going on... and on... and on...
 
THE NEGRO BUILDING VR EXPERIENCE
Director: Chuck Cummings
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
A VR exploration of the 1895 Atlanta Cotton States and International Exhibition.
 
OVERLOOKED
Director: Carlos Oceguera
Country: Canada, Running Time: 9 min
Five vignettes where death and horror lurk around every bend. Each a tale of tragedy in downtown Vancouver, recounted by a narrator that believes them to be connected by their dereliction. At its core, the piece asks you to take a moment to stop and acknowledge just a few of the lives of more than 2000 people living without homes in Vancouver, people you may not notice in your daily commute. Will you notice when there’s a killer about?
 
WALK IN MY SHOES
Director: Tyler Huyser
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min
WALK IN MY SHOES is a package of virtual reality experiences that enables diversity training programs to humanize the experience of prejudice. By allowing individuals to walk in the shoes of minorities and experience racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism firsthand, we aim to build trust between team members and boost productivity in diverse environments, specifically workplaces, universities, and police departments.
 
WOMBSONG
Director: Hanna Vastinsalo
Country: Finland, Running Time: 6 min
WOMBSONG is a virtual dance experience in which a pregnant dancer leads the audience to an imaginary world inside the womb.
 

Short Films

 
3AM ON FRENCHMEN             
Director; Zachary Bako
Country: USA, Running Time 47 min
A rising New Orleans street performer explores the heart of his musical practice among his city's nightlife and its bohemian community of local musicians.
 
83 DAYS                                                          
Director: Andrew Paul Howell
Country: USA, Running Time: 29 min
83 Days is the story of the youngest person in US history to be put to death by electric chair. In 1944, in the segregated southern town of Acolu, SC, a 14 year old black boy George Stinney Jr. fights for his life after being wrongly accused of the murder of 2 young white girls.

120 YEARS                                                                             New York Premiere
Directors: Lukas Cox, Matt Nadell
Country: USA, Running Time: 37 min
120 Years tells the story of Scott Lewis, a citizen of New Haven, Connecticut who was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he never committed. Over the course of two decades, Lewis built his case from behind bars, poring over legal texts, writing to attorneys, and holding out hope that one day he might walk free. This story traces the ramifications of his wrongful conviction on a family that lost 20 precious years together, on a community shaken by corruption, and on an exonerated man desperately making up for lost time. Through the lens of Scott Lewis' story, 120 Years offers a glimpse into the lives of the individuals our criminal justice system leaves behind—and the extraordinary fight it takes to reverse their fates.

140 CHARACTERS
Director: Dean Winkler
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
What happened to the future we were promised? We got Twitter instead of intelligent media that enhances society. Enabled by our 'smart phones' we are trapped like the prisoners in Plato's cave - detached from reality and unaware.  This theme is illustrated by abstract imagery, referencing everything from Aboriginal art to 1940s/1950s television to EDM/Rave culture.

A CIVIL WAR: FOR THE SOUL OF BLACK AMERICA
Director: Khinmay Lwin van der Mee
Country: USA, Running Time: 23 min
Respectability politics invades the African American community. A civil divide underlies those who believe respectable "social values" are more defining of social ills than systemic racism. In solidarity with the marginalized, USC Law Professor Jody David Armour grew a large afro to illustrate a point against the politics of respectability. His social achievements did not deter LAPD from handcuffing and holding him at gunpoint in front of his home, nor did it prevent him from being targeted as homeless and almost ejected from the JW Marriot Hotel lobby in downtown Los Angeles. His 1997 book, “Negrophobia & Reasonable Racism: The Hidden Costs of Being Black in America”, details the “Black Tax” all African Americans must pay. Over twenty years later, that tax still plagues Black America.
 
A STEP WITHOUT FEET                                                                      
Directors: Jeremy Glaholt, Lydia Schamscula
Country: USA, Running Time: 45min
Within the backdrop of Berlin’s beautiful, winter landscape, the documentary captures the daily lives of seven extraordinary Syrians exiled from their home country.

AN ACT OF TERROR                                                               Harlem Premiere
Director: Ashley Paige Brim
Country: USA, Running Time: 16 min
The true story of Virginia Christian, a 16-year-old African American girl accused of murder in the Jim Crow South.


THE ART OF THE MIX TAPE
Director: Kendra Brown
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
An in-depth, behind the scenes look at the impact of the mixtape on Hip-Hop and pop culture.
 
BEAUCOEUR                                                                          World Premiere
Director: Mozell Miley-Bailey
Country: France Running Time: 20 min
Two young women in Paris – a French/Fiipina fashion model and a Filipina mother who works as a maid to support her children back home – are thrust together unexpectedly by a storm that comes from far away.
 
BEWILDERED                                                              
Director: Gregor Wilson
Country: USA, Running Time: 30 min
A famous jazz vocalist falls victim to dementia. Isolated from his wife and musical partner by the condition, he is thrown into a state of depression and anxiety, until a young musician reveals to him the power of music to recall emotion and restore dignity. Starring Keith David (PLATOON, THE THING) and Maria Howell (THE COLOR PURPLE, HIDDEN FIGURES).
 
CARRO                                                                                    New York Premiere
Director: Gustavo Rosa
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
An undocumented Brazilian immigrant living in the Boston area decides to buy a car in an effort to better his life before returning home.
 
CHEVERE CON SALSA                                                           World Premiere
Director: Gio' Crisafulli
Country: USA, Running Time: 30 min
On the hottest day of summer, Yesenia, a disgruntled Washington Heights native, struggles to keep herself cool as she navigates the sexual politics of her home, the city streets, and her dating life. After having her morning thrown into a frenzy by her mother’s nagging, she escapes the confines of her oppressive home to the more carefree demeanor of her best friend Carlos. Together, they venture down St. Nicholas in search of Dominican shaved ice to cool off, only to find themselves in a heated debate about the toxic masculinity in their culture, the gentrification of their hood, and Yesenia’s dating habits.
 
COLLEGE BOUND
Director: Blair Getz Mezibov
Country: USA, Running Time: 16 min
Now the largest and highest-performing public charter school network in New York City, Success Academy was founded twelve years ago by a woman determined to close the educational gaps in the American public education system. The film follows four members of Success Academy’s first college-bound class, highlighting the aspirations, sacrifices, and achievements of exceptional students.
 
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP                                                     New York Premiere
Director: Adrian Liang
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min
In 1984, a man shoots four black teenagers on a New York City subway train.
 
DEAR POPE FRANCIS 
Director: Gauri Adelkar
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
When her best friend is taken away during an immigration raid on the day of the Pope's visit to their city, Adriana decides to take matters into her own hands.
 
DO WE BELONG?                                                                   Harlem Premiere                                
Director: Sofian Khan
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
An Indian immigrant in Kansas is shot and killed in a senseless hate crime, leaving his wife to grapple with the question of whether America is truly her home.
 
DOMINGUEZ VS. DOMINGUEZ                                                            
Director: Tracey Anarella
Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min
Michael Dominguez is a 61 year-old former championship boxer. The film explores why and how Michael, a former championship boxer went through his entire life as a boxer and later in life not ever learning how to read or write. Dominguez is a 61-year old boxer who won the 1981 Golden Glove 132-lb Open Championship and was also a member of the USA boxing team with Gold medalist Mark Breland. Two opponents that Dominguez was never able to beat are achieving literacy and himself. The film feature, Gold medalist, Mark Breland, his sister, singer/songwriter Brenda K Starr and Golden Glove Trainer, Willie Dunne.
 
EDGE OF DAYBREAK                                                             New York Premiere
Director: Alix Lambert
Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min
The re-release of an acclaimed soul album made in prison in 1979 and the men who made it – one of whom ended up buying the record store that used to send music to him in jail.
 
EVERYTHING’S FINE: A PANIC ATTACK IN D MAJOR           Harlem Premiere 
Director: Zack Morrison
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
A musical comedy about a recent graduate at the onset of her quarter-life crisis and her existential journey through the various stages of anxiety in song and dance.

THE FATHER’S LOVE BEGOTTEN                                          North American Premiere
Director: Ian Thomas Ash
Country: Japan, Running Time: 17 min
A young man speaks of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his priest and its lasting effects.
 
THE FISHERWOMAN
Director: Lorena Duran
Country: Dominican Republic, USA Running Time: 11 min
Celida, the leader of a group of fisherwoman, tries to seek the help of local fishermen after her fish farm gets poisoned by a male competitor.
 
FOR THE WOMAN ON THE FLOOR                                         Harlem Premiere
Director: Livia Ihinosen Ohihoin
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min
After a traumatizing assault on her body, a woman hides within a quiet world of clean sheets. Ms. Yarn must reveal the pain she has buried deep within.
 
FRAMES
Director: Frank Donnangelo
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
Max, an amateur photographer, overcomes having her heart broken by her girlfriend, Jess, with competing thoughts of cherishing the love she had.
 
FROM HAARLEM TO HARLEM                                                 East Coast Premiere
Directors: Barbarella Fokos, David Fokos
Country: USA, Running Time: 19min
Fatigued by incessant news of unarmed black people being shot and killed by cops, and with the last election as the final straw, artist Alanna Airitam decided to create a body of work to portray her people as she knows them to be, which is far from the media's persistently negative narrative.
 
GENTRIFICATION EXPRESS
Director: Samantha Farinella
Country: USA, Running Time: 18 min
In early 2016, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his plan for the Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), a streetcar that would run a 16-mile waterfront route from Astoria, Queens to Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The announcement arrived with a publicity campaign that claims the BQX would be a transit option that will, amongst other things, serve the low-income communities along the corridor. A closer look at the forces pushing the plan, and how it will be funded, reveals the displacement of the very communities they are currently trying to sell it to.

THE GLOW OF THE DRAGON
Director: Julio Yurnet
Country: USA, Running Time: 18 min
The descendants of Leroy Green and his archenemy Sho'nuff are the new heirs to The Glow, a level of mastery shared only by the great Bruce Lee. Destiny will bring these forces to battle once again.
 
HER ROOM BY THE KITCHEN
Director: Romina Romero-Hermoso
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
Rous is a determined 25-year-old woman from Mexico who signed up with a U.S. placement agency to work as an au pair for a year. Attracted by the agency’s focus on “cultural exchange,” she imagined growing her English skills, making American friends, and getting to share her culture with her host family. As she lives and works for a family of five in Seattle, however, her hopes and dreams are put to the test.

THE HIGH BRIDGE                                                                  New York Premiere
Director: Benedict Campbell
Country: USA, Running Time: 9 min
A Bronx teenager reluctantly confronts fatherhood when his young daughter visits her doctor.
 
HOMBRE
Director: Juan Pablo Aries Munoz
Country: Chile, Running Time: 21 min
A father takes his young son on a hunting trip with the intention of teaching him how to be a 'real man.' After hearing something other than prey lurking in the forest, the boy must put his identity into play if he wants to live up to his father's boorish demands.

HOW DO YOU RAISE A BLACK CHILD
Director: Seyi Peter-Thomas
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
A visual poem that depicts the the dramatic highs and lows of one boy’s childhood, exploring the precarious balancing act that parents of black children must practice in today’s uneasy social and political climate.  Based on the poem by Cortney Lamar Charleston, the film juxtaposes moments from the life of a boy named Malik and his mother.
 
HOW FAR
Director: Alexis Ostrander
Country: USA, Running Time: 11 min
An intense psychological thriller about bystander effect, gender inequality, and rape in America after a bus ride home for the holidays goes terribly wrong.
 
I COULD TELL YOU ‘BOUT MY LIFE
Director: Michael Martin
Country: USA, Running Time: 27 min
Mike Martin, age 19, faced challenges growing up. At 17, he tagged along with friends who committed a felony. Unable to post bail, he was sent to Rikers Island, one of the country’s most violent prisons. Mentored by filmmakers Chiemi Karasawa and Hollis Meminger, Mike shines a light on the juvenile justice system, while providing a message of hope and encouragement to others.


IAGO                                                                                       New York Premiere
Director: Amit Bhalia
Country: USA, Running Time: 21 min
Los Angeles, 1969. Authorities have laid siege upon the Black Panther Party and killed General Othello’s most trusted lieutenant. The painful loss pushes the valiant leader to broker a truce with the police and direct his troops to serve their community. In aid of this peace, Othello appoints Cassio his new second-in-command, passing over Iago, and leaving himself vulnerable to a secret campaign to reignite the violence. Boiling with jealousy and power-hungry narcissism, Iago sets in motion a devilish plan to undo Othello, Cassio and Othello’s secret wife, Desdemona.

IL SIGNOR JACKSON
Director: Anton Evangelista
Country: USA, Running Time: 40 min
The unique American story of Edward Jackson, from his youth in a predominantly Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx of the 1950's, to becoming an educator in the NY City Public School System and prominent cultural figure of Italian biculturalism and bilingualism.
 
JAZZ IN WAKANDA                                                                 World Premiere
Director: Djaka Souare
Country: USA, Running Time: 10 min
Julie, a French & African immigrant, and her daughter Jazz, are on their way to see the Greek tragedy "Antigone." As they stop by to get a milkshake, the cashier points out Julie's slight accent. The comment not only causes discomfort to both mother and daughter, but triggers a much deeper conversation around Jazz's recent awakening to the pervasive legacy of slavery.
 
KENNY
Director: Lukas Korver
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
Kenny was one of the first NFL players to begin kneeling in protest of racism, inequality, and social injustice back in September 2016. He continues that protest today.  This film explores the “why” behind his actions, his league-leading commitment to bettering the world around us through activism, and the extensive work he does in communities in need all around the country.
 
KOKA, THE BUTCHER                                                             New York Premiere
Director: Bence Máté
Countries: Egypt/Germany, Running Time: 38 min
A respected figure in Cairo’s pigeon fighting world is leading his area into a decisive battle. Under immense pressure from his conservative community to quit his passion and marry, he is faced with the possibility that the upcoming race will be his last one.
 
LADY HUNTERS
Director: Angela Atwood
Country: USA, Running Time: 16 min
Three best friends, on a weekend retreat to the Adirondacks, learn a heinous gang rapist has been released from prison nearby. Dangerously curious, with their hearts set on retribution, the women accidentally kill the criminal, only to learn his cronies are still on the loose. Incensed by the atrocious nature of the crime against a teenage girl, and incarceration of only one of the perpetrators, the three suburban moms find themselves novice killers and self-appointed arbiters of justice.

LIFE!
Director: Ramesh Jai
Country: Ghana, Running Time: 4 min
Once the only hope of his loved ones back in the village in Accra, Ghana, Kweku struggles to make ends meet in the city and loses the faith of his family.

LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT                                                   New York Premiere
Director: Jhett Tolentino
Country: Japan, Philippines, Singapore, USA, Running Time: 39 min
The 3-time Tony Award® and Grammy Award® winning broadway producer details his inspiring rise from an impoverished childhood in the Philippines to a successful New York musical theater producer.

LIFELINE
Director: L. Marcus Williams
Country: USA, Running Time: 17 min
She is a woman in despair who calls a suicide hotline — not for help, but to say goodbye. He is the operator who takes her call, who must do everything he can to keep her on the line.

THE LITTLE FISH AND THE CROCODILE
Director: Stefanie Plattner
Country: The Republic of Congo, Running Time: 16 min
This fable from the rainforest in the Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo is creatively retold by the children of the Sanza Mobimba Kindergarten using props made from the natural environment.

LOST IN LAUNDRY                                                                  World Premiere
Director: Jeffrey Lewis
Country: USA, Running Time: 4 min
A young Harlem man enters an alternate universe on what he thought was going to be an ordinary day at the cleaners.

LUCKY DAY                                                                             Upper Manhattan Premiere
Director: Hyo Jin An
Countries: South Korea/USA, Running Time: 17 min
Ali, an immigrant New York City cab driver, strives to reach the American dream for his wife and son. To get there, Ali has to deal with a shady taxi dispatcher, two crooked cops, and a businessman who gets into his cab with a 9mm pistol, a briefcase full of stolen money, and a gunshot wound.

THE MAN OF THE TREES
Director: Andrea Trivero
Country: Italy, Burkina Faso  Running Time: 19 min
Daniel Balima is a senior horticulturist from Tenkodogo, a small Sub-Saharan African town in Burkina Faso.  As a child he fell ill with polio and, although growing without the use of his legs, he was able to follow his father in the family nursery, by walking on his hands. In over fifty years of working like this, he has planted more than a million trees. Because of the drought, his country needs much more so he does not stop, and dreams of giving life to another million.

MARIA’S SILENCE
Director: Cesare Bedogne
Countries: Italy/Greece, Running Time: 38 min
This experimental film is based on documentary material but is not, strictly speaking, a documentary film. Nor is it a work of fiction. It appeared like a dream, not a nocturnal dream, but one which unfolded day by day while shooting. The film is also a meditation on the elements, Water and Fire, Wind, Earth and Skin.

MIXTAPE (REWIND)                                                                 World Premiere
Director: John Hulme
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
The filmmaker was substitute teaching at a high school in New Jersey and overseeing the student radio station when a group of young rappers asked if they could record in the studio. Inspired by their creative hunger, he agreed to let them sneak in after school, in return for helping him create a gift for an old friend of his - Grammy nominated country artist Tift Merritt.
 
MOON RABBIT                                                                        East Coast Premiere
Director: Kae Ho
Countries: Japan/UK, Running Time: 14 min
Seven-year-old Rio visits her grandparents in Japan for the first time. She observes the beauty and unfamiliarity of the household, but senses a distance between her American family and her Japanese relatives. When her mother, Seiko, reveals an open secret, the children are excused from the room and something happens behind closed doors.
 
MORSE                                                                                    New York Premiere
Director: Tom Bessoir
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
A brief animated history of Morse code from the first message transmitted in 1844 by Samuel Morse himself, to the last official use of International Morse Code by the French Navy in 1997.
 
MUSHROOM PARK
Director: Timothy Rauch
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
Two friends locked in a love-hate relationship bury a dead frog as rain begins to fall. They make a fateful decision to wait out the storm under a tree, but wake up in a world quite unlike the one they left behind.
 
MUTE                                                                                       North American Premiere
Director: Jamie Rafn
Country: UK, Running Time: 15 min
Daniel is a teenage student whose selective mutism has been brought on by the many challenges he faces in his home life for one, Daniel struggles with the knowledge that his stepfather is abusing his sister. Tormented, Daniel’s only answer is silence until he discovers his new friendship with JJ isn't what it seems.
 
MY ISLAND (MI ISLA)                                                              World Premiere
Director: Hiba Dlewati
Countries: Puerto Rico/USA, Running Time: 27 min
Toa Baja, Ezequiel Ferrer’s hometown in Puerto Rico, was devastated by Hurricane Maria, and after months without electricity, clean water, school or a solution in sight, his parents send him to live in New York City with his uncle. Joining generations of Puerto Ricans in the diaspora, Ezequiel finds his place at El Maestro, a boxing gym in the South Bronx run by community leaders involved with the Puerto Rican independence movement. As Ezequiel prepares for the gym’s annual boxing match, he grapples with larger questions about his identity, his future - and that of his island.
 
NOBLE SISSLE’S SYNCOPATED RAGTIME                           East Coast Premiere
Directors: Daniel Leonard Bernardi, David De Rozas
Countries: France/USA, Running Time: 23 min
Combining unseen period footage with original scores from the era, Syncopated Ragtime tells the story of Noble Sissle’s incredible life journey encompassing the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I, Broadway Theatre, the Civil Rights movement, and decades of Black cultural production.
 
NOWHERE YET
Director: Gabriel Bagnaschi
Country: UK, Running Time: 9 min
A teenage boy living in a tough Edinburgh neighborhood has to figure out how far he’s willing to go to save his breakdancing crew when his best friend starts pushing for a street gang.
 
OUR ALBERTINA                                                                     North American Premiere
Director: Chantel Clark
Countries: South Africa/USA, Running Time: 21 min
South Africa, 1990. When the crumbling regime affords Marie Abrahams an opportunity…
 
PAGG
Director: Zachary Bako
Country: USA, Running Time: 47 min
In the aftermath of a hate crime, a Sikh American man grapples with his fears and anxieties as he attempts to celebrate the 4th of July with his wife and infant son. As tensions rise through various racially charged encounters, he makes a tragic decision that changes his identity forever.
 
PA’LANTE                                                                               HARLEM SPOTLIGHT
Director: Kristian Mercado
Countries: Puerto Rico/USA, Running Time: 9 min
Pa'lante is the story of an estranged working class family trying to reconnect in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Starring Mela Murder (The Florida Project) as Milagros and Kareem Savinon as Manuel. Nuyorican identity and Puerto Rican identity are at its core.
 
PLANKTON
Director: Gustaf Lindstrom
Country: UK, Running Time: 5 min
In Plankton we get a glimpse of the ideas and aspirations that float around at the bottom of the food chain through casual and improvisational sounding comedic dialogue.
 
THE POWER OF WRITING                                                       World Premiere
Director: Nancy Donnelly
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
When an innocent man is thrown in prison for a murder he didn't commit, he finds an escape in writing. Criminal justice reform advocate, Derrick Hamilton, shows us how he used the power of words to write his way to freedom.
 
PRISON ZOO
Director: Alix Lambert
Country: USA, Running Time: 3 min
When an innocent man is thrown in prison for a murder he didn't commit, he finds an escape in writing. Criminal justice reform advocate, Derrick Hamilton, shows us how he used the power of words to write his way to freedom.
 
PRIZEFIGHTER
Director: Lyndon J Barrios
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
An animated portrait depicting three days in the life of heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, battling his fiercest opponent – racism.
REFUGE
Director: Federico Spiazzi
Countries: Greece/Italy, Running Time: 10 min
Life goes slowly by through the windows of a small Greek bakery. Refugees wait in line, tourists wander and locals browse shop windows. When a storm strikes, everybody rushes to the bakery for refuge.
 
SALT WATER
Director: Abe Abraham
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
Dance-film set to the seismographic recordings of the earth's vibrations.
 
SAME SAME AND DIFFERENT
Director: Seok Wun Au Yong
Country: USA, Running Time: 26 min
A young international film student from Thailand discovers her sexuality in a 21st century U.S college.
 
THE SCORPION’S TALE
Director: Jhosimar Vasquez
Country: USA, Running Time: 22 min
A story of jealousy, greed, death and revenge. The perfect killer sits on death row awaiting his fate. But when someone from his past pays him a visit, The Scorpion realizes that when debts are owed, someone must pay.
 
SHOWTIME
Director: Shawn Antoine II
Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min
Darius and Hakeem dance on New York City trains to earn money and escape the crime-riddled streets. A woman sees Darius’ skills and offers him an opportunity to audition for a Juilliard travel dance team. Hakeem is jealous that Darius may pursue this chance and begins to sell drugs with the neighborhood goon TJ. Darius is faced with the decision to pursue this life-changing path or help keep Hakeem out of trouble.
 
SIDELOTS
Director: Atieno Nyar Kasagam
Countries: Kenya/USA, Running Time: 16 min
A love story of Black land reclamation told in ritual between Detroit, Alabama and Kenya, following one family on Detroit’s East Side as their story of urban farming unfolds into a spiritual journey of discovery, loss and re-indigenization. By digging up familial and land roots across the diaspora, the film illuminates all that is sacred in the land and encourages a radical reconsideration of how we view the earth immediately below our feet.
 
SLEEPWALK
Director: Filipe Melo
Country: Portugal, Running Time: 15 min
The film adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name, by Filipe Melo, illustrated by Juan Cava, edited in 2017 by Granta Magazine in Portugal. It's a free essay and reflection on the death penalty.
 
SNOW
Director: Kim Barr
Country: Canada, Running Time: 10 min
The young black girl is having a hard day at school. She’s not able to pronounce the days of the week in French, and her classmates are enjoying themselves at her expense. And then she sees it, falling outside the classroom window – SNOW.
 
SUBSTANCE
Director: Jamaal Bradley
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
Based on true events, Jason, the oldest of two boys loves his home, but battles between wanting to change the deteriorating community and the desire to leave it behind. Tension turns to anger as Jason and his brother John battle over the decision to embrace the drug culture while simultaneously endangering John's daughter.
 
SUI GENERIS
Director: Erin Pollock
Country: USA, Running Time: 15 min
Animated clay sculptures battle their egos and struggle to communicate. They may suffer physical and emotional imperfections but, like humans, they’re in a constant state of transformation. Destroying and rebuilding, again and again, this mud grows into ever new iterations. The process can be cruel and absurd, but empathy always creeps in to allow for tender moments of connection.
 
THAT MAGIC
Director: Maori Karmael Holmes
Country: USA, Running Time: 5 min
 
TIGHT SPOT                                                                            New York Premiere
Director: Kevin Haefelin
Countries: Switzerland/USA, Running Time: 9 min
While polishing the shoes of a walk-in customer, the shoe shiner discovers his client’s dark secret.
 
TRUE STORIES BY JOE                                                         New York Premiere
Director: Joe Zito
Country: USA, Running Time: 8 min
Joe tells funny and true stories about growing up in Italian Harlem in the 1940’s.
 
UNALIENABLE RIGHTS
Director: Froilan Cuesta
Country: USA, Running Time: 14 min
The MOVE organization led by John Africa, a philosophical, magnetic and mesmerizing man, was able to lead a community with the hopes of achieving the ultimate humanistic utopia - connecting as one with nature and ridding the land of racism and police brutality.  On May 13, 1985 the city did the unthinkable and firebombed the MOVE home in West Philadelphia destroying 60 houses and killing 11 people; including John Africa, five other adults and five children.
 
UNHARMED
Director: Tyrone L. Robinson
Country: USA, Running Time: 6 min
A young Black Man is stopped one evening by two police officers. The encounter escalates quickly and when it reaches a crisis point he receives help from an unexpected place.
 
WE THE CHILDREN                                                                 HARLEM SPOTLIGHT
Director: Jamal Joseph
Country: USA, Running Time: 22 min
Sparked by the 2016 elections results, a group of children, ages 7 to 11, at a democratic school in Harlem, New York City, voice their concern about the direction their country might take. Through an ongoing journey that involves their own civic law education, community involvement, and activism, they ultimately question the general perception of children’ s limited role in politics and open the door for further discussion.
 
WET DREAMS
Director: Richard Joseph
Country: USA, Running Time: 12 min
An inner city Brooklyn teenager juggles fear, anxiety and his friends’ bad advice before he loses his virginity.
 
WITNESS
Director: Marie Alarcon
Country: USA, Running Time: 30 min
An experimental documentary about Bartram Village and Gardens, this contemplative collage of audio interviews and slow-motion video, explores relationships between place and self, and the multifaceted narratives of home, joy, and struggle.
 
WOMAN OF LIFE                                                                     World Premiere
Director: Alif Areca Sankey
Country: UK, Running Time: 12 min
A dramatic experimental film about the struggle of a woman on her life's journey.
 
 

Video Installation

 
ASCENDING DOUBLE HELIX
Director: Vito A. Rowlands
2 min
"A man struggles with his faith and is caught between ascension and fall.”
 
CHAIRS                                                                                   North American Premiere                   
Director: Avner Pinchover
12 min
A man hurls chairs at a wall for 12 minutes in what seems to be a holy-rage attack. This expressive performance-for-camera fluctuates between satisfaction and futility while simultaneously creating compositions of destructive beauty.

HARLEM SCHOOL 1970
Director: Phil Gries
50 min
What was it like to live in Harlem, New York in 1970 and attend elementary school?
 
OPERATION JANE WALK
Directors: Leonhard Mullner, Robin Klengel
16 min
While walking through the post-apocalyptic city, issues such as architecture history, urbanism and the game developer’s interventions into the urban fabric are being discussed.
 
MACHINE LEARNING BIAS
Director: Chantal Feitosa
7 min
This film merges techniques in performance and video to examine the nuances of colonialism and racial hybridity through the retracing of one’s cultural history as a first generation Afro-Latina.
 
SLIPPAGES/GRACE                                                               North American Premiere
Director: Kathy Smith
10 min
Set against the austere landscape of the Australian bushland, overlapping images of ever increasing clarity inform Grace’s consciousness as she moves toward the end of her life.
 
 
ABOUT THE HARLEM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Celebrating the art of cinema in the home of the Harlem Renaissance, The Harlem International Film Festival (Hi) inspires and entertains by honoring dynamic films by anyone about anything under the sun. Conceived from the belief that we all have unique experiences and perspectives to share, the Festival actively seeks and exhibits fresh work. Hi is committed to exemplifying the eminence that Harlem represents and is dedicated to bringing attention to the finest filmmakers from Harlem and across the globe.

MARVEL STUDIOS’ “AVENGERS: ENDGAME” STARS PLACE HANDPRINTS IN CEMENT AT TCL CHINESE THEATRE

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME opens in U.S. theaters this Friday, April 26. AVENGERS: ENDGAME

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, James Gunn and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

MARVEL STUDIOS

Website and Mobile site: http://marvel.com/avengers

Like us on Facebook: Facebook.com/MarvelStudios

Follow us on Twitter:  Twitter.com/MarvelStudios

Instagram: @MarvelStudios 

TRAILER: Hulu's Catch-22

Hulu has released the official trailer of the anticipated limited series Catch-22.  All 6 episodes of Catch-22 premiere on Friday, May 17, only on Hulu.

About Catch-22:
Based on Joseph Heller’s seminal novel of the same name, Catch-22 is the story of the incomparable, artful dodger, Yossarian (Christopher Abbott), a US Air Force bombardier in World War II who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy, but rather his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to avoid his military assignments, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule which specifies that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers which are real and immediate is the process of a rational mind; a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but a request to be removed from duty is evidence of sanity and therefore makes him ineligible to be relieved from duty. 
The cast includes Christopher Abbott (Yossarian), Kyle Chandler (Colonel Cathcart), George Clooney (Scheisskopf), Hugh Laurie (Major de Coverley), Giancarlo Giannini (Marcello), Daniel David Stewart (Milo), Rafi Gavron (Aarfy), Austin Stowell (Nately), Graham Patrick Martin (Orr), Gerran Howell (Kid Sampson), Jon Rudnitsky (McWatt), Kevin J. O'Connor (Korn), Pico Alexander (Clevinger), Tessa Ferrer (Nurse Duckett), Lewis Pullman (Major Major), Josh Bolt (Dunbar), Jay Paulson (Chaplain),  Julie Ann Emery (Marion) and Grant Heslov (Doc Daneeka). 
Catch-22 is executive produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov on behalf of Smokehouse Pictures, along with Richard Brown and Steve Golin on behalf of Anonymous Content. Luke Davies and David Michôd are co-writers and executive producers for the series. 
The six-part limited series from Paramount Television and Anonymous Content is directed by Clooney, Heslov and Ellen Kuras, who also serves as producer. Each directed two episodes.

MARVEL STUDIOS’ “AVENGERS: ENDGAME” WORLD PREMIERE

Yesterday in Los Angeles, stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Brie Larson, Paul Rudd, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Brolin and Benedict Wong were joined by directors Anthony and Joe Russo and producer Kevin Feige for a walk down the red carpet where they greeted enthusiastic fans at the world premiere of Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME opens in U.S. theaters this Friday, April 26. lStudios

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, James Gunn and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME -MARVEL STUDIOS

Renegade Dreamers, a new feature documentary by Karen Kramer release at Cinema Village on May 31

Matt Pless, a young folk singer at a peace rally in lower Manhattan. Photo credit: Karen Kramer

  • Renegade Dreamers, a timely new documentary by Karen Kramer, chronicles the artists of today carrying on the tradition of the Beat poets and radical folk singers of New York City’s legendary Greenwich Village who challenged the status quo.

  • Week-long theatrical release starts May 31 at Cinema Village

Renegade Dreamers, a new feature documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Karen Kramer (The Jolo Serpent Handlers, The Ballad of Greenwich Village), is a window into the New York spoken word poets and folk singers of today who use their art for social change, interwoven with the Beat poets and radical protest singers of the legendary Greenwich Village coffee house scene of the ‘60s that started it all. This timely film will enjoy a week-long theatrical release starting May 31 at Cinema Village, in the heart of the Village’s vibrant creative community.

Throughout New York City the air is filled with the sounds of subversive poetry, radical songwriting and calls for social change. From poetry slams and open mics to subway platforms, basements, cafes, street demonstrations and political rallies, young poets and protest singers are fighting to combat police brutality, corporate greed, racism, conformity and other issues of their times.

Where folk singer Woody Guthrie once sang out for union organizing, contemporary songwriter Gio Andollo from Washington Heights takes his mandolin to shopping centers where he confronts consumers with songs against clothing made in sweatshops. Where poet Allen Ginsberg once wrote poems that cried out for free speech, Bronx-born spoken word artist Saroya Marsh uses her words to fight for Black Lives Matter and social justice.

With appearances by Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, Wavy Gravy, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Maria Muldaur, Tom Paxton, the Weavers—and some of the best young artists you haven’t yet heard of—the film, both entertaining and informative, is loaded with protest, history and music. It couldn’t come at a more timely moment as the people are letting their voices be heard once again, emphasizing what it means to be a renegade and dreamer in America today.

“I’ve always been interested in those who step off the path prescribed for them, those who question authority and challenge the status quo,” said Karen Kramer, director of Renegade Dreamers. “I wanted to make a film that would honor the Beat generation of the past who started it all, as well as provide a window into the artists of today who are carrying on that tradition. They made me realize that in light of what’s going on in the country today—if not the world—it’s more important than ever to question authority.”

About Director Karen Kramer:

Karen Kramer has been a documentary filmmaker since 1978 when her groundbreaking film The Jolo Serpent Handlers, about a small snake handling church in Appalachia, was released to widespread acclaim. Since then she has independently produced a dozen other documentaries about rituals traditions, human rights and communities. These include award-winning films such as To Serve The Gods, Legacy of the Spirits, Haitian Song, Celebration, The Last of the New York Cigar Rollers, Days of Awe, Children of Shadows, The Ballad of Greenwich Village and several others.

Kramer's films have received wide distribution both domestically and internationally. They have been televised on NBC, Fox 5, WNET, The Oprah Show, CNN, WLIW and dozens of venues overseas. In addition to winning awards at festivals worldwide, they have been screened at such prestigious showcases as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the Field Museum and hundreds of others. More than 150 universities show her films on a continual basis. She has lectured and toured extensively with her work—from Europe to Africa to South America—and has appeared on dozens of radio programs.

The filmmaker has four times received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as awards from the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Council for the Humanities, the George Soros Foundation, UNICEF and many others. She lives in Greenwich Village, New York City.

Credits

  • Directed and Produced by Karen Kramer

  • Cinematography by Dan Drasin, Stephen Gladstone

  • Edited by David Petersen

  • Second Editors: Denise Dragiewicz, Kala Mandrake

  • Principal Archivist: Alexandra Singer

  • USA - 2019 - 71 mins - Color - DCP

'STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER' DEBUTS NEW TRAILER AT STAR WARS CELEBRATION!

Today, Director/Writer J.J. Abrams and Producer Kathleen Kennedy were joined by stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Kelly Marie Tran, Oscar Isaac, Billy Dee Williams, Naomi Ackie, Joonas Suotamo and Anthony Daniels, and droids BB-8 and D-0, for a panel discussion at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, moderated by Stephen Colbert.

It was a day of surprises at Star Wars Celebration for the enthusiastic fans in attendance as the title of the final installment of the Skywalker saga was also revealed, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and along with the first trailer for the film a brand-new teaser poster!

Check out these new social handles, too!

Website and Mobile site: http://starwars.com

Like us on Facebook:  http://facebook.com/starwarsmovies

Follow us on Twitter:  @starwars

Follow us on Instagram: @starwarsmovies

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in U.S. theaters on December 20.

VALPARAISO PICTURES & PERMUT PRESENTATIONS ACQUIRE COVETED DAILY BEAST ARTICLE

romans

Story follows a Brinks Security Guard who Steals $1.85 million and Makes the Most Expensive Gay Porno of All-Time 

In a competitive situation, Valparaiso Pictures has acquired the rights to Ashley and April Spicer’s highly sought-after article in the Daily Beast, “‘Centurians of Rome’: How a Bank Robber Made the Most Expensive Gay Porno of All Time.” Valparaiso’s David Carrico, Adam Paulsen, and Bobby Hoppey will develop the story into a feature film and produce alongside Academy Award Nominee David Permut (Hacksaw Ridge, Face/Off) at Permut Presentations, and Adam Blum under his Free Will banner. The team is looking to set a writer and filmmaker on the project. 

The March 2019 story chronicles George Bosque, a Brink’s security guard who stole $1.85 million and disappeared into thin air. During his time on the run, he produced/financed Centurians of Rome, a classic 1981 gay pornographic film set during the Roman Empire made before being apprehended by police. A young aggressive attorney named Robert Mueller, prosecuted the case.

“Ashley and April wrote a compelling article – which carefully peels away to reveal the wildly unique character arc of George Bosque, who notoriously went from security guard, to bank robber to producer after he presented Centurians director John Christopher with a bag of cash. We knew how special this story was even before we finished reading the article,” said Valparaiso’s David Carrico.

“The complexities of George’s character set against the backdrop of the sexual freedoms of the late 1970’s before the onslaught of the AIDS epidemic creates a multi-layered tale of ambition, love, crime and despair. It’s Dog Day Afternoon meets Boogie Nights!” said David Permut. “I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with the team at Valparaiso and Adam Blum on this provocative project.”

Known by many as the PHD’s of porn, Ashley and April Spicer currently act as consultants on HBO’s “The Deuce” and are the founders of The Rialto Report, the authoritative online archive for oral history, audio recordings, and photographs documenting the Golden Age of Adult Film.

Valparaiso Pictures is quickly expanding its development and production portfolio. They are currently in pre-production on Ethan Berger’s coming-of-age thriller The Line, starring Alex Wolff, John Malkovich, Scoot McNairy, Jessica Barden, and Lewis Pullman; as well as developing the upcoming spy action comedy No Glory starring Kumail Nanjiani. The company recently premiered The Sound of Silence starring Peter Sarsgaard and Rashida Jones in competition at Sundance 2019 where it was recently acquired by IFC.

David Permut has always had a passion for true stories. Permut Presentations most recent productions include Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate) starring Andrew Garfield, and The Polka King (Netflix) starring Jack Black. The company is currently in production on a documentary that follows the creation of the famous nightclub Chippendales, which will serve as a companion piece for the feature film starring Ben Stiller and Dev Patel which is set to go into production later this year.

The Spicers’ are repped by Free Will and Murray Weiss of Catalyst Literary Management. Valparaiso Pictures is represented by Craig Emanuel of Paul Hastings.  Permut Presentations is represented by John Tishbi at Pearlman & Tishbi, LLP. Adam Blum is represented Matt Wallerstein at Hirsch, Wallerstein, Hyum, Matlof, & Fishman. 

About Valparaiso Pictures

Based in Beverly Hills, Valparaiso Pictures is a development, production and finance company for film and television, founded by David Carrico.  Whether it’s finding untold stories to bring to the screen or enabling burgeoning writers and filmmakers to take creative risks, Valparaiso creates opportunities for distinct voices in drama, comedy and genre.  The company is an incubator for edgy, eccentric and diverse content, enabling creatives to find their audience. 

ABOUT PERMUT PRESENTATIONS

Permut Presentations was founded by Emmy and Academy Award Nominated Producer, David Permut. In the last 30 years, Permut has produced more than 40 movies and documentaries, crossing genre lines while working with major studios, TV networks and independent financiers. David has premiered films at all of the major film festivals including Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Sundance, SXSW and Tribeca.

THE KING ARRIVES IN 100 DAYS - Watch the brand new trailer now!

The brand-new trailer for Disney’s “The Lion King” is available now, marking 100 days until Simba arrives in theaters on July 19.

Disney’s “The Lion King, directed by Jon Favreau (“The Jungle Book”), journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way. Featuring the voices of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and Billy Eichner as Timon, Disney’s “The Lion King” opens in U.S. theaters on July 19, 2019.


Novus Content And Gravitas Ventures Have Released The Official Trailer For D.C Young Fly's Action Comedy #digitallivesmatter

When a social media superstar loses his millions of followers to a digital hacker, hilarious antics ensue to get the followers back. How far will he have to go to prove that #digitallivesmatter

Arriving On VOD And Digital HD On Leading Digital Platforms 

And DVD/BD On March 26, 2019

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

#digitallivesmatter

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Release: March 26,2019

Directed by: Terri J. Vaughn 

Written by: Cas Sigers-Beedles

Starring: D.C. Young Fly, Emmanuel Hudson, Ernestine Johnson, B. Simone, Navv Greene, Rodney Perry 

Producers: Rikki Hughes, Cas Sigers-Beedles , Terri J. Vaughn , Laron Walker, David Banner, D.C. Young Fly, Anwar Patterson, Bobby Paterson

Distribution: Gravitas Ventures and Novus Distribution

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Synopsis:

D.C. Young Fly is on top of the world with his over 3 million followers, and his fame is growing with every one of his posts. However, when this social media influencer crosses the wrong computer geek, all hell breaks loose and D.C. wakes up to find all of his followers are gone! This catastrophe couldn’t happen on a worse day! DC has a career-changing audition, and he actually needs at least a million followers to even get in the door. DC has one day to gain his followers back, and make it to his audition. Immediately, D.C. enlists the help of his best friend Theo, the neighborhood tech genius, to help him to regain his followers. D.C. receives DMs from a mysterious Simon sending him on a variety of comical tasks, doing favors for his followers, and soon realizes that he is responsible for taking his followers. With every hilarious occurrence, DC realizes his social media influence and that those who follow him are real people. By the end of the day DC learns that Digital Lives Matter.  

For more information about #digitallivesmatter:

WEBSITE: http://digitallivesmatter.com

FACEBOOK: @digitallivesmatter

TWITTER: @@digilivesmatter

INSTAGRAM: @digitallivesmatter

OFFICIAL HASHTAG: #DigitalLivesMatter

SABAN FILMS ACQUIRES CASEY AFFLECK’S POST-APOCALYPTIC “LIGHT OF MY LIFE”

LOML - Credit Black Bear Pictures

LOML - Credit Black Bear Pictures

Survival Drama Made Its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival

Saban Films has acquired U.S. rights to Academy Award® Winner Casey Affleck’s narrative feature debut, Light of My Life.  Written, directed by and starring Affleck (Manchester by the SeaInterstellar), the dystopian survival drama also stars breakout star Anna Pniowsky (“PEN15”) and Golden Globe® Winner Elisabeth Moss (“The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mad Men”).  Light of My Life made its World Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in the Panorama section.

Light of My Life follows a father (Affleck) and child (Pniowsky) who journey through the outskirts of society a decade after a pandemic has wiped out half the world’s population. As a father struggles to protect his child at all costs, their bond, and the character of humanity, is tested.

“This has been a passion-driven project for the filmmakers, who have crafted a beautiful and sophisticated film, grounded with superb performances,” said Saban Films’ Bill Bromiley. “We couldn’t be more honored to be part of such a dedicated team. Our audiences will fall in love with the intensity and sincerity of this character-based survival drama, focusing on a strong father-daughter bond.”

The film, fully financed by Black Bear Pictures, was produced by Black Bear’s Teddy Schwarzman and Affleck on behalf of Sea Change Media. John Powers Middleton also produced.  Executive producers are Black Bear’s Michael Heimler and Ben Stillman, and Sea Change’s Whitaker Lader.

“On behalf of everyone involved in the making of Light of My Life, I’d like to thank Saban Films for their passion, commitment and support,” said Schwarzman. “Light of My Life has been a labor of love for the entire cast and crew, and we look forward to working with Saban to bring Light of My Life to audiences across America.”

Bill Bromiley and Jonathan Saba negotiated the deal for Saban Films, with Endeavor Content on behalf of the filmmakers. Sierra / Affinity is handling international rights.

Saban Films most recently announced their partnership with Kevin Smith’s highly-anticipated Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, coming on board from script stage for the sequel to the 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.  The company remains active in the acquisition and distribution space, with upcoming titles including: Richard Bates Jr.’s horror thriller Tone-Deaf, which just made its World Premiere at SXSW and stars Robert Patrick and Amanda Crew; Danny A. Abeckaser’s Mob Town starring David Arquette; The Haunting of Sharon Tate starring Hilary Duff; Derrick Borte’s American Dreamer starring Jim Gaffigan; The Professor, the Wayne Roberts-directed drama starring Johnny Depp; and Sarah Daggar-Nickson’s A Vigilante starring Olivia Wilde.

Saban Films continues to grow its presence in the industry, with successes that have run the gamut from critically acclaimed theatrical films such as The Homesman starring Hilary Swank, to one of the biggest Fathom events in 2016 with Rob Zombie’s horror thriller 31.  Recent titles include James Marsh’s King of Thieves starring Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Tom Courtenay and Michael Gambon; the anthology Berlin, I Love You with Helen Mirren, Keira Knightley and Jim Sturgess; the Gerard Butler starrer The Vanishing; Alexandre Moors’ The Yellow Birds starring Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Toni Collette, Jason Patric, Jack Huston and Jennifer Aniston; Eshom and Ian Nelms’ lauded feature Small Town Crime starring John Hawkes and Octavia Spencer; and Ivan Kavanagh’s Never Grow Old starring John Cusack and Emile Hirsch. 

About Saban Films

Saban Films, an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (“SCG”), is a film acquisition and distribution company which acquires high-quality, feature films to distribute in North America.  Focusing on commercial, talent driven films, the company looks at projects in all stages of production for release across multiple platforms, including a day and date theatrical/VOD release strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Saban Films was established by Haim Saban, SCG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and is led by Bill Bromiley who serves as President, Shanan Becker, Chief Financial Officer and Ness Saban, Vice President of Business Development.

MISSING LINK starring Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis, Zoe Saldana and More!

This April, meet Mr. Link (Galifianakis): 8 feet tall, 630 lbs, and covered in fur, but don’t let his appearance fool you… he is funny, sweet, and adorably literal, making him the world’s most lovable legend at the heart of Missing Link, the globe-trotting family adventure from LAIKA. Tired of living a solitary life in the Pacific Northwest, Mr. Link recruits fearless explorer Sir Lionel Frost (Jackman) to guide him on a journey to find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight (Saldana), our fearless trio of explorers encounter more than their fair share of peril as they travel to the far reaches of the world to help their new friend. Through it all, the three learn that sometimes you can find a family in the places you least expect.

Director: Chris Butler

Writer: Chris Butler

Producers: Travis Knight p.g.a., Arianne Sutner p.g.a.

Cast: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Timothy Olyphant, David Walliams, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Ching Valdes-Aran, Stephen Fry, Amrita Acharia

IN THEATERS APRIL 12, 2019

#MissingLink

MARVEL STUDIOS’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME releases in U.S. theaters on April 26

We’re in the endgame now. 

Watch this brand-new featurette from Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: ENDGAME releases in U.S. theaters on April 26.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

MARVEL STUDIOS

https://www.marvel.com/movies/avengers-endgame

Facebook: Facebook.com/MarvelStudios

Twitter:  Twitter.com/MarvelStudios

Instagram: @MarvelStudios

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films, “Avengers: Endgame.”

Kevin Feige produces “Avengers: Endgame,” and Anthony and Joe Russo are the directors. Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo, Trinh Tran, Jon Favreau, James Gunn and Stan Lee are the executive producers, and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely wrote the screenplay.

Meet New "TOY STORY 4" Characters

The toys hit the road in “Toy Story 4” alongside friends—new and old—foes and, of course, Forky. Filmmakers welcomed Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves and Ally Maki to the toy box today, revealing the three new characters they help bring to life.

Check out the new trailer!

Among the new faces is GABBY GABBY, an adorable, talking pull-string doll from the 1950s. But unfortunately for her, a manufacturing defect in her pull-string voice box has left her sounding anything but adorable. She has spent more than 60 years forgotten in the depths of a jam-packed antique store—her only companions are a band of voiceless ventriloquist dummies. Gabby Gabby knows someone will want her if only she can find a working voice box to repair hers.

Gabby Gabby is voiced by Christina Hendricks. “It became obvious right away that Christina was the perfect actress to play Gabby Gabby,” says director Josh Cooley. “She has the ability to sound inviting and friendly, then subtly become cold and terrifying in just a few words. It still gives me chills when I see Gabby’s introduction in the film. Also, Christina told me that she preferred playing with ventriloquist dummies over dolls as a kid. That’s when I knew it was meant to be.”

DUKE CABOOM is a 1970s toy based on Canada’s greatest stuntman. Riding his powerful Caboom stunt-cycle, Duke is always prepared to show off his stunt poses with confidence and swagger. However, Woody learns quickly that Duke has an Achilles heel: He has never been able to do the awesome stunts advertised in his own toy commercial. For years, Duke has been sitting in an antique store, constantly reliving the failures of his tragic past.

Duke Caboom is voiced by another great Canadian, Keanu Reeves. “The first time Josh [Cooley] and I talked with Keanu about the role, Keanu became Duke Caboom,” says producer Jonas Rivera. “Keanu was asking great questions that dug deep to find the soul of the character. At one point he stood up on the table in the middle of Pixar’s atrium and struck poses while proclaiming victory. It was so funny. It’s all in the movie and it’s all Keanu."

GIGGLE MCDIMPLES is a miniature plastic doll from the 1980s Giggle McDimples toy line. Giggle is Bo Peep’s best friend. Small enough to perch on Bo’s shoulder, Giggle is Bo’s confidant, supporter and advisor. “Giggle is Bo’s Jiminy Cricket—we’re able to get insight on Bo through their relationship together,” says Cooley. “Giggle is definitely the smallest toy in the Toy Story universe. She’s been stepped on, vacuumed up, and probably put up a kid’s nose in her time.”

Ally Maki voices the tiny character. “Giggle McDimples literally pops on the screen because of Ally’s personality and infectious energy,” says Cooley. “Nobody can laugh like Ally Maki."

BENSON is a classic, antique ventriloquist dummy, and Gabby Gabby’s right hand. He leads a small group of ventriloquist dummies that serve as Gabby's henchmen. With no person to give them a voice, these silent toys patrol the antique store with a looming quietness that is inherently unsettling.

“The dummies are, by far, some of the creepiest characters we’ve ever created,” says producer Mark Nielsen. “Our animators really leaned into the truth in materials for how our ventriloquist dummies move. Dummies’ bodies are soft with no structure, so our dummies’ arms just dangle and their legs bend backwards. Throw in their fixed expressions with their wide eyes and big hinged jaws and they’re nightmare material—in the best way possible.”

ABOUT “TOY STORY 4”:

LEADING THE WAY -- In Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky, declares himself trash and not a toy, so Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. Featuring Tom Hanks as the voice of Woody, and Tony Hale as the voice of Forky, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019

LEADING THE WAY -- In Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story 4,” Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky, declares himself trash and not a toy, so Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. Featuring Tom Hanks as the voice of Woody, and Tony Hale as the voice of Forky, “Toy Story 4” opens in U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019

Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. 

Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”) and Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”), Disney·Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PixarToyStory/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/toystory

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ToyStory/

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/DisneyPixar

U.S. Release Date:  June 21, 2019

Voice Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Maddie McGraw,  Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Ally Maki, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Emily Davis, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, June Squibb, Carl Weathers, Lila Sage, Don Rickles, Jeff Garlin, Maliah Bargas-Good, Jack McGraw, Juliana Hansen, Estelle Harris

Director:  Josh Cooley

Producers:  Jonas Rivera, Mark Nielsen

More information:

  • “Toy Story,” originally released on Nov. 22, 1995, was the first fully computer animated feature film and the highest grossing movie of the year. It was nominated for three Oscars® and two Golden Globes®. 

  • “Toy Story 2” is the first film ever to be entirely created, mastered and exhibited digitally. It was also the first animated sequel to gross more than its original, breaking opening weekend box office records in the U.S., UK and Japan, becoming the highest grossing animated release of 1999. It won the Golden Globe for best motion picture – comedy or musical. It won a Grammy® for best song written for a motion picture, television or other visual media (Randy Newman, “When She Loved Me”).

  • Released in 2010, “Toy Story 3” won Oscars® for best animated feature film and best achievement in music written for motion pictures, original song (Randy Newman/“We Belong Together”). The film also won a Golden Globe® and BAFTA for best animated film. It was the second Pixar film to be nominated for the best picture Oscar. It’s also Pixar’s second highest-grossing film of all time behind “Incredibles 2.” 

  • The 2015 short “Riley’s First Date?” was helmed by director Josh Cooley and produced by Mark Nielsen.