Some are guilty. Some are innocent. Of the more than 7,500 people detained at Rikers Island on any given day, almost 80% have not yet been found guilty or innocent of the charges they face. All are at risk in the pervasive culture of violence that forces people to come to terms with what they must do for their own survival. RIKERS, a riveting new documentary from Bill Moyers, brings you face to face with men and women who have endured incarceration at Rikers Island. Their stories, told direct to camera, vividly describe the cruel arc of the Rikers experience—from the shock of entry, to the extortion and control exercised by other inmates, the oppressive interaction with corrections officers, the beatings and stabbings, the torture of solitary confinement and the many challenges of returning to the outside world. Rikers Island is New York City’s largest jail. It has also been ranked as one of the ten worst jails in America. So, says journalist Bill Moyers, if you want to understand the country’s incarceration crisis, start at the island jail in New York’s East River—just across the water from the main runway at LaGuardia Airport and within sight of the Empire State Building.
From Bill Moyers and Brick City TV producers Marc Levin, Mark Banjamin and Rolake Bambose, comes the first film to focus exclusively on former detainees of Rikers Island. Their searing testimonials about the deep-seated culture of systemic violence and corruption that has plagued the notorious NYC jail for decades add a powerful authentic voice to investigative journalism that has reported on violence and abuse at the jail.
OCEAN WARRIORS is a six-hour television special event following activists around the world as they fight to save our oceans.
The oceans cover over 70 % of the planet but they are in big trouble. More than three billion of the earth’s population rely on the oceans as a significant source of their food. Yet 90 percent of all large fish are gone, and ancient species such as Atlantic cod and Bluefin tuna have been decimated by industrial fishing fleets and plundered by criminal gangs. Scientists warn that without better regulation and enforcement, in another fifty years large-scale commercial fishing will be over. The future of the oceans is the crisis of our generation, and a call to global action.
OCEAN WARRIORS is produced by the Peabody award-winning Brick City TV Executive Producers Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin, with Laura Michalchyshyn and Robert Redford from Sundance Productions and Paul G. Allen from Vulcan Productions.
OCEAN WARRIORS weaves adrenaline-fueled stories of courage, conflict and change, from the Antarctic’s remote Southern Ocean, to the coral reefs of Tanzania and the vast tuna fisheries of the Western Pacific. Set sail for heart-stopping action from the front lines as a global coalition of activists, 2 campaigners, scientists and investigative journalists prepare to stare down poachers, tear up illegal fishing networks and bring the outlaws to justice.
The Babushkas Of Chernobyl
30 years after the Chernobyl disaster, some 100 women fiercely cling to their ancestral homeland inside the radioactive “Exclusion Zone.” While most of their neighbors have long since fled and their husbands have gradually died off, this stubborn sisterhood is hanging on — even, oddly, thriving — while trying to cultivate an existence on toxic earth.
Why do they insist on living on farms that the Ukrainian government and radiation scientists have deemed uninhabitable? How do they manage to get by, isolated, in an abandoned landscape guarded by soldiers, and rife with wild animals? How has the radiation affected them these past 3 decades?
At her cottage, Hanna Zavorotyna brews homemade moonshine and slices thick chunks of salo, raw pig fat - though it is strictly forbidden to eat local food. “Starvation is what scares me, not radiation,” she says. That stark choice reveals an incredible journey the women have traveled: from Stalin’s enforced famines in the 1930s, through Nazi occupation, to nuclear disaster. Like the wolves, moose, wild boar and other wildlife not seen for decades that have come back to the abandoned forests around Chernobyl, the women of the Exclusion Zone, too, have an extraordinary story of survival, and offer a dark yet strangely affirming portrait of life post-apocalypse.
Death By A Thousand Cuts
In DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS, Eligio Eloy Vargas, alias Melaneo, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park was found brutally murdered by machete. At the time, he was believed to have been on patrol investigating an illegal charcoal production site often run by Haitians coming across the border into protected Dominican forests. This murder becomes the metaphor for the larger story of increasing tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over illicit charcoal exploitation and mass deforestation.
With stunning cinematography, DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS is a feature-length documentary film that is a double murder investigation, seeking to learn about the circumstances of Melaneo’s death and the systematic eradication of the Dominican forests. The film interweaves the many sides of the story of Melaneo’s murder told through: his Haitian wife Calina, brother Chichi, local reporter Luis Medrano and a Haitian Nené working as a Dominican park ranger, all representing different perspectives on a complex socio-political issue. In parallel, the film explores the larger backdrop of the rapidly changing reality on the Dominican and Haitian border due to the illegal charcoal trafficking trade. Deforestation cuts deeply across the economic, social and security fabric of both countries and has far-reaching consequences that are largely unrecognized in either nation.
As the film digs deeper into the murder of Melaneo, environmental activist Dr. Yolanda Leon helps uncover how the lives of Dominicans and Haitians at the border are enveloped in a complex web of relationships. Industrial-scale Dominican complicity in illegal charcoal production and mass deforestation is unearthed. As in so many global struggles for natural resources, the fight for survival leads to scapegoating, xenophobia and clashes between communities marked most recently by anti-immigrant policies passed by the Dominican Republic. These clashes come to reflect the struggle for resources at a national and global scale, which when taken to extreme scenarios can lead to the persistent cycle of ethnic civil conflict and international violence.
A look at NYC’s gentrification and growing inequality in a microcosm, Class Divide explores two distinct worlds that share the same Chelsea intersection – 10th Avenue and 26th Street. On one side of the avenue, the Chelsea-Elliot Houses have provided low-income public housing to residents for decades. Their neighbor across the avenue since 2012 is Avenues: The World School, a costly private school. What happens when kids from both of these worlds attempt to cross the divide?
Amish Witches: The True Story Of Holmes County
When a reality TV crew moves into Holmes County, Ohio to document the lives of an isolated sect of Swartzentruber Amish, production is halted by the death of a Brauchau, an Amish witch. Following her unconsecrated funeral, a small group of young Amish women solicit the TV crew’s help in attempting to document the inexplicable events plaguing them. But as everyone soon discovers, the powerful malevolent force haunting them has deadly intentions. Stars Hayley Palmaer, Evangeline Young, Michelle Young, Kaylyn Scardefield, Caleb Carlson, Nicole Rodenburg.
Let’s face it. We’re all aging. With good habits, we’re likely to stay healthy and independent for a long time. But in the end, most of us will need some help. What will it look like? Who will provide it? How will it feel?
Care, funded by ITVS, The MacArthur foundation, The Ford Foundation and Chicken & Egg Pictures delves deep into the world of home elder care through the eyes of both paid caregivers and their elderly clients.
Undocumented Vilma, cares for Dee, 92, once an active businesswoman whose only family lives 3,000 miles away. Delores tends to Miss Nina, a stroke survivor with a spicy tongue. In an isolated rural area, Laurie cajoles Larry to do his exercises and have hope while he waits for a lung transplant. Larry’s wife Tiff says, “this is the hardest job in the world”.
Yet despite spending long days taking care of others, these compassionate women don’t make enough to put food on the table for their own families. Laurie can’t pay her rent. Delores winds up in a women’s shelter. And that’s only half the story. Middle class Toni and Peter are going broke paying for his 24/7 care.
Through these stories Care reveals the deep humanity and poignancy of care work, as well as the challenges and frustrations faced by elders, their families and care workers. It also reveals the beginning of a movement grappling with how we can better care for our elders, and those who care for them, as our nation ages.
Actors Of Sound: A Foley Art Documentary
From footsteps to bone cracks, Foley artists bring films to life with their imaginative sound effects, but as digital technology goes full speed ahead in 21st century moviemaking, can Hollywood’s low tech Foley artist survive in this high tech age?
In the documentary film Actors of Sound, the viewer is transported into the dark, cluttered prop rooms where Foley artists make their magic. Exciting and sometimes hilarious footage features world renowned Foley artists manipulating props to create sounds, showcasing their truly unique creative process.
Through interviews with Directors, Foley artists and Sound Supervising Editors, Actors of Sound examines every facet of this craft, illuminating the impact technology is having on Foley.
Colliding Dreams from award winning filmmakers Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky is a feature length documentary on one of today’s most explosive issues – the question of Zionism and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The film is a searching and dramatic exploration of the dream of a Jewish state and its impact on both Jews and Arabs, unfolding across the broad canvas of one hundred fifty years of history from 19th century Europe to the modern Middle East. Told through the remarkable lives and voices of Jews and Palestinians living in the Middle East today, Colliding Dreams weaves together past and present, ideas and passions, wars and peace talks, brilliant minds with the voices of ordinary citizens to develop a film portrait of sensitivity and depth like none before of the story of Zionism and its controversies. Early reviews call it “Honest, searching, affectionate, respectful, critical” and “beautifully crafted; balanced incredibly informative.”
Buried Above Ground
What would you do if the worst thing that ever happened to you felt like it kept happening? Over six years, BURIED ABOVE GROUND explores this question and the road to recovery through the eyes of three post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) survivors.
A documentary film about the 2009 Anthony Sowell murders in which 11 bodies were found decomposing in a house.
In 2009, in Cleveland, Ohio, police discovered the bodies of eleven women decomposing in and around the home of a known sex offender Anthony Sowell. The stench of death had hovered over the neighborhood for two years prior to the discovery, as the women’s bodies laid in the house and yard rotting. With unprecedented access to the surviving victims, Unseen tells a chilling story about the invisibility of women on the margins of society and raises troubling questions about why this killing spree went unnoticed for so long.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
The legendary dance company returns to PBS with four works reflecting its spectacular range, diversity and artistry, culminating in a performance of "Revelations," the dance masterpiece created by company founder Alvin Ailey.
Simple Gifts: CMS at Shaker Village
The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center takes to the road, performing in one of the country’s most beautiful historic sites: Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Kentucky. Delivering a monumental performance of Copland's "Appalachian Spring," the ensemble draws poignant connections between life on the frontier, the art of making music, and the quest for transcendence in American life.
Why Not Home?
What if the choice of where to give birth wasn’t limited by cost or insurance coverage, fear or misinformation? What would change if families had access to the care provider of their choice in the setting that best fits their unique needs and values? It’s worth at least asking, “Why not home?”
Sense The Wind
Blind sailors race across open water learning not to fear what they cannot see, on boats or on land. Life turns unpredictable as the wind when one of them gains something far more valuable than a trophy and must learn to live and to sail with a new sensibility.
The Good Mind
The Onondaga Nation in central New York State is the Central Fire of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy). This sovereign indigenous government, which follows the Great Law of Peace, inspired American democracy. The Onondagas advocate for the environment and share prophecies about climate change, while engaged in a battle with the state over ancestral lands stolen in defiance of a treaty with George Washington.
The Good Mind is the Onondaga and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Confederacy) philosophy and way of life. When the Peacemaker brought his message 1,000 years ago to the shores of sacred Onondaga Lake, he united warring peoples with a system of governance based on using the Good Mind to make decisions not only for the present, but for the next seven generations.
In 2011, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine. Documented chronicles his journey to America from the Philippines as a child; his public struggle as an immigration reform activist/provocateur; and his journey inward as he reconnects with his mother, whom he hasn't seen in 20 years. A broken immigration system leads to broken families and broken lives.
Death Row Stories
Death Row Stories explores cases that pose hard questions about the U.S. capital punishment system.
For CNN from Oscar-winning directors Alex Gibney and Robert Redford
Welcome To Leith
Leith, North Dakota is a registered ghost town of 24 people. The town has an apocalyptic beauty set against a prairie backdrop of wide-open sky and fields of wheat. In 2012, an outsider named Craig Cobb moved in and started buying up property. He accumulated twelve plots of land, some empty, some with houses in various states of disrepair. People figured he'd moved in to be close to the Bakken oil fields some 70 miles north. Turns out he was also a notorious white supremacist who was plotting a takeover of the city government. As his behavior becomes more threatening, tensions soar, and the residents desperately look for ways to expel their unwanted neighbor.
Welcome to Leith is a feature film offering a glimpse into a town struggling for sovereignty against one man's extremist vision. That it takes place in the shadow of the biggest oil boom in North Dakota's history makes the film a complex document exploring unforeseen causes and effects.
Freeway: Crack In The System
FREEWAY: CRACK IN THE SYSTEM tells the true story behind the crack scourge, featuring exclusive interviews with characters who lived it. Their stories reveal a crack in the system that implicates the centers of power in our government, their mass incarceration policies and militarization of police, the spread of gangs and guns, and the loss of entire generations to the war on drugs.
Sons of Ben
Major League Soccer debuted in 1996 and though Philadelphia is a top five market with storied sports franchises, it didn't get a team.
Ten years later it still didn't have a team, so a band of die-hard Philly soccer fans did something crazy: they formed a supporters club for a team that didn't exist. Naming their group after famous Philadelphian Benjamin Franklin, they called themselves the SONS OF BEN.
They had one goal – bring professional soccer to Philadelphia. Hoping to expand to 100 members by the end of the year, they soon had 1,500 drum-banging, song-singing followers. Together these Sons of Ben started a movement that brought into existence the Philadelphia Union, changing the Philadelphia soccer landscape forever and helping to revive a struggling community abandoned by government, business, and its neighbors.
THIS IS THE STORY OF THE SONS OF BEN.
Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement
The story of Edie and Thea is a documentary about two soulmates whose love begins with an instant magnetic attraction and lasts 42 years – and counting. But like the great love stories of literature and lore – Tristan and Isolde, Romeo and Juliet, Gertrude and Alice – Edie and Thea’s story is one of forbidden love.
Shortly after they meet in New York’s West Village in the early 1960s, they become “engaged”, though the idea of a civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples was unthinkable at the time and would not come to pass for another 4 decades.
Orphan. Entrepreneur. Recluse. Genius. Megalomaniac.
Inventor Joseph Newman is all of the above. A controversial figure in the scientific community, Newman rose to notoriety with “The Newman Device,” an electromagnetic machine that he claimed produced more energy than it took to power it. What should have been a revolutionary discovery was stopped by a lengthy and disheartening legal battle with the United States Patent Office.
In his enthralling debut, filmmaker Jon Fox deftly seeks to understand the enigmatic inventor — through intimate discussions with Newman’s colleagues and, surprisingly, with the man himself.
Over the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block has supported his career with a side business of videotaping weddings. Long curious about how their marriages have turned out, he tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples - with funny, insightful and deeply moving results.
Sundance Channel hit the streets of Newark in BRICK CITY, a powerful docu-series that premiered in September 2009. Executive Produced by Oscar-Winning Actor Forest Whitaker and acclaimed filmmakers Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin.
BRICK CITY follows Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Police Director, Garry McCarthy, and Blood gang member turned youth counselor, Jayda Ru -- along with a supporting cast of citizens on the frontlines – from Memorial Day to Election Day 2008. Their diverse stories converge in the struggle to change a city plagued with violence, poverty and corruption, into a new beacon of hope for urban America.
For the eight young men in the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, “brotherhood” is literal: they’re all sons of anti-establishment jazz legend, Phil Cohran. Cohran and their mothers raised them together on Chicago’s South Side on a strict diet of jazz, funk and Black Consciousness. Family band practice began at 6 AM.
Now grown, as they raise eight brass horns to the sky, they make music that is at once indescribably joyful, unremittingly exciting, and undeniably together. But as the brothers try to make their own way in the wide world—while playing in the streets of New York City, collaborating with Mos Def, or wowing a jazz festival—they find the values their father bred into them constantly tested. They must decide whether his principles really are their own.
The rebuilding of ground zero is one of the most architecturally, politically, and emotionally complex urban renewal projects in American history. From the beginning, the effort has been fraught with controversy, delays and politics. The struggle has encompassed eleven years, nineteen government agencies, a dozen projects and over $20 billion.
"Chicagoland" will give viewers an inside look at the city's leaders and residents as they work to improve its public education system as well as neighborhood and youth safety.
The cable news network has greenlighted Chicagoland, an unscripted series executive produced by Robert Redford and Laura Michalchyshyn of Sundance Productions and Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin of BCTV.
The eight-part series, debuting early next year, aims to "explore where politics and policy meet real people's lives -- in a city generating change and innovation in social policy, education and public safety -- to meet national and local challenges."
GOTTA DANCE the movie chronicles the debut of the New Jersey Nets' first-ever senior hip-hop dance team, 12 women and 1 man - all dance team newbies, from auditions through to center court stardom.
As smooth dance moves are perfected and performed in front of thousands, aging myths and misperceptions are pulverized.
Despite swollen ankles, exhausting rehearsals, fashion clashes and seemingly impossible dance steps, the NETSational Seniors go for it, spreading joy, inspiration and cool dance moves as they hip-hop their way into the hearts of Nets fans and beyond.
The story of legendary performer Carol Channing's life is as colorful as the lipstick on her big, bright smile. In CAROL CHANNING: LARGER THAN LIFE, director Dori Berinstein (ShowBusiness, Gotta Dance), with co-writer Adam Zucker, captures the magic and vivacity of the 90-year-old icon – both onstage and off...past and present.
The film is both an intimate love story and a rarefied journey inside Broadway's most glamorous era. It is, above all, a look at an inspiring, incomparable and always entertaining American legend.
In a shift from addressing social big-picture topics such as the Enron scandal, the fall of Eliot Spitzer and the detainment of innocent political prisoners, Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney explores the unsettling phenomena of scapegoating in sports with intimate looks at Bartman and Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner. The parallel stories are told in a suspense-filled style, made particularly chilling for Bartman. With never-before-seen footage of Game 6 from inside the stands of Wrigley Field, we see, step by step, how the Friendly Confines turned into a dark place as Cubs fans tried to hold Bartman to account for their collective nightmare.
All Of Me
The “Girls” have been friends, and fat, for years. Their bond goes deep and wide, literally and figuratively. They are smart, intuitive, complex, warm, and compelling and speak openly about their inner lives. The Girls met via the Austin chapter of the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance and partied together among Austin’s Big Beautiful Women community. Meanwhile they tried every diet and every pill. Now they’re going through the life-changing process of weight-loss surgery in an effort to lose hundreds of pounds. The experience presents a host of issues and consequences—some they knew they were in for, some they feared, and some they never could have imagined.
The Contradictions Of Fair Hope
July 1865. Over 4 million slaves have been freed. Forced to roam the antebellum countryside, many of them are ill prepared and unable to cope with the realities of their newfound freedom. This documentary examines a little known aspect of American history, when newly freed slaves throughout the South formed “benevolent societies” to respond to abject hunger, illness and the fear of a pauper’s grave.
The documentary sets the stage in rural Alabama, prior to Emancipation, and traces the development, struggles, contributions and gradual loss of tradition of one of the last remaining African American benevolent societies, known as “The Fair Hope Benevolent Society” in Uniontown, Alabama.
Through gripping human stories of some of the last surviving society members and interviews with historians and local residents, the film provides an unprecedented look at the complex and morally ambiguous world of Fair Hope juxtaposed against the worldly pleasures of what has become known as the annual “Foot Wash” celebration.
In the aftermath of a senseless hate crime, an all-American town finds itself desperately seeking answers: What really killed Marcelo Lucero?
DISRUPTION explores the work of Fundación Capital, (Winners of the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship), a group of Latin American activist-economists that is pioneering strategies for financial inclusion across the region by aligning policy, market mechanisms, and advances in technology to create programs that place women at the center of the drive for social change.
They collaborate with governments, big banks, and women marginalized by poverty in Peru, Colombia, and Brazil, to expand financial inclusion with a digital educational tools that piggyback on existing Conditional Cash Transfer to layer on ideas of asset-building, saving, and economic rights.
The women who participate in the program become empowered economic and political agents in their communities, leading the process of societal transformation from the bottom up. Fundación Capital has already reached 3 million people; if the model is taken to scale, can 20 million women upend a continent? DISRUPTION sets the stage for this potential paradigm shift.
In 2005, 20-year-old Ryan Ferguson was convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. dream/killer is the story of how his father Bill embarked on 10-year campaign to prove Ryan’s innocence. The film is chock-full of incredible characters. From the questionable District Attorney Kevin Crane, and the highly-confused witness Chuck Erickson, to the high-powered Chicago attorney Kathleen Zellner, the doc depicts both a highly flawed justice system, as well as one that can work brilliantly.
Behind bars, Ryan provides a candid and intimate look at his life, while gorgeous animation is used to recreate his 10-year ordeal. Poignant footage from the Ferguson family archive is interspersed throughout creating a highly personal and revealing film. Bill Ferguson is not only a father but a best friend to Ryan as is demonstrated by his tireless energy and relentless creativity in his fight to bring his son back home where he belongs.
Esther Broner: A Weave Of Women
In 1975 Esther Broner and Naomi Nimrod wrote the first Women's Haggadah, paving the way for modern Jewish feminism. For the next 36 years, Esther Broner led the Feminist Passover Seder in New York City, with a core group of women. This film documents the evolution of Jewish feminism through archival footage and interviews with leading Jewish feminists. At the same time it tells the story of Esther Broner, described by the New York Times as a writer who explored the double marginalization of being Jewish and female. Without her, we can assume, modern Jewish women might not have found a worthy place in the home, in society, and in Jewish tradition.
Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America
Frederick Law Olmsted was among the first to regard landscape architecture as a profession and a fine art – in fact, with Calvert Vaux he virtually created that profession. Olmsted was also, far and away, the most eminent and successful person ever to practice it in this country. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space, and created park systems in many other cities. Olmsted’s park and parkway system in Buffalo, N.Y. is the oldest integrated system in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. Olmsted’s efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. With gorgeous cinematography, creative animation, and compelling commentary, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing Americapresents the biography of a man whose parks and preservation are an essential part of American life.
Grace Paley: Collected Shorts
Grace Paley: Collected Shorts brings to life the momentous times in which this author and activist lived and worked as she reads from her short stories, poems and essays. She often referred to herself as a “combative pacifist”. This small, feisty woman spoke with the rough-around-the-edges accent of the Bronx neighborhood where she grew up.
Granito: How To Nail A Dictator
Granito: How to Nail a Dictator is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. In Granito our characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in Granito are connected by Guatemala’s past. In 1982, Guatemala was engulfed in an armed conflict during which a genocidal “scorched earth” campaign by the military killed nearly 200,000 Maya people including 45,000 disappeared. Now, as if a watchful Maya god were weaving back together threads of a story unraveled by the passage of time, forgotten by most, our characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale.
Grazers: A Cooperative Story
With interest in a farm-to-table food on the rise, a small band of upstate New York farmers sees an opportunity to hold on to their endangered farms by raising and selling grass-fed beef. Forming a cooperative, they soon discover that the marketplace surprisingly can’t support their simple ambitions. Jackson and Teale follow their efforts for two years, through near collapse to an uncertain future, exposing in microcosm the struggles of small-scale farming in our modern, industrial world. An intimate, character-driven chronicle of the group’s struggle Grazers: A Cooperative Story illuminates timely issues regarding our food system. At stake are their farms, the small communities around them, the health of the land and a way of life.
Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters
Acclaimed photographer Gregory Crewdson doesn’t just “take” his images, he creates them, through elaborate days and weeks of invention, design, and set-up. The epic production of these movie-like images is both intensely personal and highly public: they begin in Crewdson’s deepest desires and memories, but come to life on streets and soundstages in the hills towns of Western Massachusetts. In his decade-long project “Beneath the Roses” he uses light, color and character to conjure arresting images, managing a crew of 60 amidst seemingly countless logistical and creative obstacles.
Filmed over a decade, beginning in 2000, Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters provides an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of his images. It also reveals the life-story behind the work—through frank reflections on his life and career, including the formative influences of his psychologist father and his childhood fascination with the work of Diane Arbus. Childhood fears and ideals, adult anxieties and desires, the influences of pop-culture all combine to form who buy cialis we are, and for Crewdson, motivate his work.
There is no specific backstory, no before-and-after to Gregory Crewdson’s images, simply the moment that lends itself to mystery and intrigue. Hundreds of movie lights combine with the setting sun in a perfect moment of illumination.
Is tourism destroying the world–or saving it? From the Bolivian jungle to the party beaches of Thailand, and from the deserts of Timbuktu, Mali to the breathtaking beauty of Bhutan, GRINGO TRAILS shows the unanticipated impact of tourism on cultures, economies, and the environment, tracing some stories over 30 years.
Holy Land explores the issues of Israeli settlements in the West Bank: its protagonists are both Israeli settlers and the Israelis and Palestinians who oppose them. They are idealists pursuing conflicting visions of justice, heroes or villains depending on your perspective.
I Married My Family's Killer
I Married My Family's Killer is an award winning documentary featurette. It is an official selection of St. Louis International Film Festival and Tall Grass International Film Festival where it won the jury prize for Outstanding Documentary Short. It was recently awarded the prestigious Silver Chris Award for best in it's division at Columbia International Film & Video Festival. It also won an award of excellence in the International Best Shorts Competition.
Lost Child: Sayon's Journey
This film shows how one Khmer Rouge child soldier confronts his childhood experiences during Cambodia’s darkest hour, what he witnessed, and struggled with as he came of age.
Sayon Soeun was abducted at the age of six, exploited by the Khmer Rouge, his family life and education stolen. His recovery and redemption from unimaginable evil entails his transition from an orphanage in a refugee camp to adoption by a loving American family. After more than 35 years, he recently made contact with brothers and a sister he assumed were dead. The documentary follows his journey to heal himself by forgiving the family that let him slip away and forgiving himself for his complicity as a Khmer Rouge child soldier.
Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love
A composer, conductor, musical genius like no other, Marvin Hamlisch is the artist responsible for some of the most iconic music of our time. Hits like the Broadway sensation A CHORUS LINE and Oscar winning scores for THE WAY WE WERE and THE STING cemented his place in music history. At the extraordinary age of 31 he became one of two PEGOT winners ever, having won a total of 4 Grammys, 3 Oscars, an Emmy, Tony and a Pulitzer prize. Featuring new interviews with close friends including: Barbra Streisand, Woody Allen, Carly Simon, Steven Soderbergh, Quincy Jones and many more, Director Dori Berinstein's documentary is a moving, deeply personal testament to a talent broadway, cinema and music has never seen before.
In 1971, the New York Police Department is mired in corruption. When investigators try and expose it they learn Frank Serpico, their whistleblower, won't wear a wire. Their luck turns when Bill Phillips, a flamboyant corrupt detective, is caught taking bribes from an infamous madam, and agrees to go undercover among his own. Phillips becomes a prolific informant, securing the indictments of dozens of cops and shattering the Blue Wall of Silence. The script flips when Phillips is convicted of murder. Phillips claims he’s the victim of a conspiracy. But after three decades behind bars, will anyone believe him?
Mechanic To Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story
MECHANIC TO MILLIONAIRE: THE PETER COOPER STORY highlights the life of philanthropist Peter Cooper (1791-1883) through his own words, interviews with historians and recreated scenes from his lifetime. A mechanical genius, Cooper's inventions and business acumen helped the United States grow from an agrarian society to an industrial power. He created edible gelatin, constructed the first American steam locomotive and fashioned the wrought-iron I beam for multi-storied construction, which enabled cities to grow vertically. Cooper saw wealth as a public trust and wanted to give back to the working people who helped build his fortune. He envisioned free education based on merit, and not race, gender, class or religion. A pioneer in adult education, he introduced the concept of night school, founded The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in 1859 and converted a bankrupt high school into a women's college for training teachers.
Schmatta: Rags To Riches To Rags
A cautionary story of labor and greed, Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags follows the decline of the once-robust apparel manufacturing industry in the U.S., while chronicling the industry's relationship with unions and government. From the "Garmento" to the seamstress, from the designer to the marketing maven, from the small businessman to the financier, Schmatta offers a firsthand account of how the industry helped generations of Americans march out of poverty and right into the golden age of the American middle class. But while Schmatta reminds us of the early days of the garment industry and its heyday, it also probes its troubling decline, which has occurred largely within the last 30 years. In 1965, 95% of American clothing was made in the U.S.A.; by 2009, only 5% is manufactured here.
Director Marc Levin focuses his lens on Manhattan's Garment District, an eight-block area on Manhattan's West Side which gave birth to the domestic industrial labor movement, and played a key role in major American political activities. From its immigrant origins in the 19th Century, the labor movement rose quickly against deplorable sweatshop conditions. In recent years, however, the realities of automation, deregulation, globalization and outsourcing - all part of the race to the bottom line - eventually eroded the industry's unprecedented momentum.
This film tells some of the stories of the workers, labor organizers, designers, fashion execs and manufacturers who built their careers in the Fashion District, including: Joe Raico, a fabric cutter who took great pride in his workmanship, and laments that America doesn't produce anything anymore; Charles Kernaghan of the National Labor Committee, whose open letter to Kathy Lee Gifford caused a media circus in 1996; Irving Ruosso, owner of Russ Togs, one of the U.S.'s largest sportswear companies; Stan Herman, a designer who has worked in the District for five decades, and others.
The Last Reel
As cinemas across the United States transition to digital projectors, this short documentary celebrates the beauty of traditional 35-millimeter film.
The Last Truck: Closing Of A GM Plant
On Dec. 23, 2008, two days before Christmas, the General Motors assembly plant in Moraine, Ohio shut its doors. As a result, 2,500 workers and 200 management staff were left without jobs, while the closing is also sure to trigger the loss of thousands of related jobs and businesses. But the GM workers lost much more than jobs, including the pride they share in their work and the camaraderie built through the years. To the natives of Moraine and the greater Dayton area, General Motors wasn't just a car company - it was the lifeblood of the community.
The Last Truck views the final months of the plant through the workers' eyes as they reflect on their work and consider their next steps. In revealing interviews with people who considered themselves more family than co-workers, the film reveals the emotional toll of losing not just a job, but a sense of self.
The Substitute returns for Season 2 with some new twists! Class begins with 20 high school students divided into classic high school rivalries, i.e. "jocks vs cheerleaders," "athletes vs geeks," and "public school girls vs private school girls." The students compete in four rounds of challenges during each episode. In the first and second rounds, they are tested in classic trivia style. To heat things up, the winner of the first round "Things You Do Know" (pop culture trivia), wins prizes for their whole team! The second round gets a little tougher, when students are quizzed on "Things You Should Know" (academic trivia) leaving only five students to go on to the third round. Things get weird during the third round named "What the #*?!" when students head into an interactive challenge involving contraptions such as "The Ping Pong Terror Wheel," "The Ice Factory," or "The Carnival Canon." Students have to stay focused and answer as many questions as possible while being seriously distracted! In the final round of the game, "What You Think," the students must vote for one of their peers to compete as "The People's Champ" against the winner of the third round. Here they will have to guess how they think their peers answered poll questions, such as: "On average, how many texts do you send in a day?" If the People's Champ wins, the class splits $5,000; but if the third round winner does, they keep it all for themselves! The only thing better than getting an A, is getting paid to do it!
Triangle: Remembering The Fire
On March 25, 1911, a catastrophic fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. Trapped inside the upper floors of a ten-story building, 146 workers – mostly young immigrant women and teenage girls – were burned alive or forced to jump to their deaths to escape an inferno that consumed the factory in just 18 minutes. It was the worst workplace disaster in New York State until 9/11.
The tragedy changed the course of history, paving the way for government to represent working people, not just business, for the first time, and helped an emerging American middle class to live the American Dream.
The HBO documentary TRIANGLE: REMEMBERING THE FIRE tells an historic story that is still relevant today. Emmy®-winning filmmakers Marc Levin and Daphne Pinkerson (the 2009 HBO documentary “Schmatta: Rags to Riches to Rags” and 1999’s “Thug Life in D.C.”) bring the victims’ stories to life through never-before-seen photographs and heartfelt accounts by descendants of those who were there that day. While people have seen the horrendous images of burnt corpses on the street outside the building, this film gives them back their humanity.
The War Of 1812
For two and a half years, Americans fought Against the British, Canadian colonists, and native nations. In the years to come, the War of 1812 would be celebrated in some places and essentially forgotten in others. But it is a war worth remembering—a struggle that threatened the existence of Canada, then divided the United States so deeply that the nation almost broke apart. Some of its battles and heroes became legendary, yet its blunders and cowards were just as prominent. The film shows how the glories of war became enshrined in history – how failures are quickly forgotten – how inconvenient truths are ignored forever.
With stunning re-enactments, evocative animation and the incisive commentary of key experts, The War of 1812 presents the conflict that forged the destiny of a continent.
Young Lakota chronicles the life defining choices faced by three young people as they try to forge a better future for their tribe while securing their own well being.
Sunny Clifford, her twin sister, Serena, and Brandon Ferguson are neighbors in Kyle, a small town in the heart of the Pine Ridge Reservation. Their political awakening begins when Cecelia Fire Thunder, the first female President of their tribe, defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by threatening to build a women’s clinic on the sovereign territory of the reservation. In the subsequent political storm, Sunny, Serena and Brandon are faced with difficult choices.
Young Lakota is a uniquely sensitive portrait of bright young people at a galvanizing stage of their lives whose cultural pride is informed by a continually uneasy relationship with mainstream American political culture.
Prayer For A Perfect Season
Directed by Marc Levin (the 1998 Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner “Slam”), PRAYER FOR A PERFECT SEASON is a gripping account of the 2010-11 boys’ basketball season at St. Patrick High School, located in a hardscrabble neighborhood of Elizabeth, NJ. This feature-length documentary chronicles the extraordinary effort of coach Kevin Boyle and his players, whose journey ends in a winner-take-all showdown for the mythical national championship with archrival St. Anthony of Jersey City.
My Trip To Al-Qaeda
In 2006, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lawrence Wright staged "My Trip to al-Qaeda," a one-man play that explored the moral dilemmas he encountered while researching his bestselling book "The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11."
Now, Academy Award® winner Alex Gibney ("Taxi to the Dark Side") brings Wright's off-Broadway show to the screen, chronicling fundamentalist Islam's rise to power, as well as Wright's struggle to maintain objectivity as a journalist in the wake of 9/11,
John Brzenk is consumed by one question. A living legend in a sport he helped popularize, Brzenk has gone 25 years as the undefeated armwrestling world champion. At 40, he is torn as to whether he should retire while still on top or succumb to the inevitable; a loss to a new champion. Having traveled to over 120 countries over ther course of his legendary 25 year career, he has unrelentingly pursued the best competitors the world over and has beat them all.
Pulling John, a feature length verite documentary shot over four years, witnesses the mythical world of armwrestling where 2 titans battle in pursuit of a living god.
Down The Barrel
The essence of surfing is an elusive ideal. Part sport, part state-of-mind; an avenue for self-expression, a metaphor for freedom; a ritual, a competitive event, a dangerous journey, a dance. Nature supplies the power, and with the proper balance of respect and resistance, we enjoy the ride. From the North Shore of Oahu, to the end of the road in Tahiti. From Australia to California, from Florida to France, the world's greatest surfers share their insights, and show us how - and why -- it's done. Their skill, and the thrill of the experience, are captured as never before in this documentary. What is the secret to surfing's global appeal? The answer is revealed by Florida's Kelly Slater, California's Rob Machado, Hawaii's Kalani Robb and Australia's Joel Parkinson, through their own voices, in DOWN THE BARREL. The sport of Surfing is displayed for what it is. WITHOUT SCRIPT. WITHOUT ANIMATION. WITHOUT HYPE.
Herbie Hancock: Possibilities
The story of Hancock’s collaborative process with an eclectic mix of artists who include Sting, Annie Lennox, Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Christina Aguilera, John Mayer and others. Directed by Biro and Jon Fine. Produced by Alex Gibney and Biro.
In 1968, two hippies hiking near Mt. Shasta in Northern California stumbled across an unlikely property for sale: an abandoned goldmine and surrounding land, 300 acres for $22,000. Fueled by contributions from the Doors, the Monkees, Frank Zappa and others, they bought the property and named it Black Bear Ranch. It quickly became the prototypical 1960s commune, with the motto “Free Land for Free People.” Utopian communities have always been a part of the United States, but in the 60’s and 70’s their audacious goal was to reshape the world with free love and common property, creating a revolutionary movement that would spread to the rest of society. But utopia is different for each person, and these experiments often brought strife, jealousy and sometimes even endangered lives.
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the inspiring and unknown story of Martha Hill, a visionary who fought against great odds to make dance a legitimate art form in America. In a career spanning most of the 20th century, Hill became a behind the scenes leader of the field and the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division. Stylistically weaving together over 90 years of archival footage, the film is a celebration of dance and an examination of the passion required to keep it alive.
One Year Lease
Ahhh, the joy's of renting in New York City! A tiny, expensive apartment
is expected. But an eccentric landlord with an itchy speed-dial finger?
Told almost entirely through voice mail messages One Year Lease
documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure
a year-long sentence with Rita the cat-loving landlady.