Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival 2023 Announces Film Lineup, Honorary Chair, and Honorees

RELENTLESS RIDE

 

The critically acclaimed Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival presented by Oaklawn announced the lineup of films and honorees for its 32nd edition, taking place October 6-14. Screenings will kick off at Oaklawn’s Event Center with the previously announced Opening Night presentation of Adam Harbottle and Brian Hill’s Relentless Ride, followed by the Centerpiece Selection of Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’s The Mission (distributed by National Geographic Documentary Films) with Michèle Stephenson & Joe Brewster’s Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project screening on Closing Night. Special presentations include Justin Taylor Smith and Kaoru Ishibashi’s A Song Film by Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari, as well as Jack Lofton and Jeff Dailey’s The People v. Profits, and Li Lu’s doc series A Town Called Victoria, which will both make their world premieres at HSDFF. Following Opening Night at Oaklawn, all screenings will take place at The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa.

This year’s Honorary Chair, Mary Steenburgen, will participate in the Southern Storytellers Screening and Panel, one of a handful of special events and new initiatives featured at this year’s edition of the film festival. Sky Hopinka will receive the HSDFF Brent Renaud Career Achievement Award, and Diane Becker and Shane Boris will be the recipients of this year’s Impact Award.

Other new initiatives include the previously announced Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)-funded Filmmaker Forum, The Natural State – a new section focused on the environment, outdoor adventure, athletic achievement and the stories and people of Arkansas, a new film series added to the lineup – The Wellness Series, True Stories: A Live Storytelling Event, and a Secret Screening.

HSDFF Executive Director, Ken Jacobson, said, “In our 32nd year, we are underlining the high level of film programming that has made the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival such a beacon for the best and most innovative filmmakers working in the documentary form today. In addition, we are incorporating dynamic new programs and events to enrich the audience experience and support the documentary filmmaking community. Our goal is to embrace the rich tableau of nonfiction storytelling and forge deeper connections between filmmakers, the people and place of Hot Springs, Arkansas and the broader world. We are thrilled to be launching these efforts alongside this year’s Honorary Chair, the extraordinary and beloved Arkansan, the multi-talented Mary Steenburgen.”

THE GALAS AND SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Adam Harbottle and Brian Hill’s Relentless Ride will start this year’s edition of HSDFF on Friday, October 6 with a distinctly local flavor, with its immersive look at a diverse group of amazing riders who take on the grueling 2021 Arkansas High Country Race, known to be one of the most challenging bike races in the U.S. If that weren’t exciting enough, the following day, this year’s Arkansas High Country Race will hit the streets of Hot Springs, with more than 70 competing cyclists participating. This year’s Centerpiece selection, taking place Wednesday, October 11, is Amanda McBaine and Jesse Moss’s The Mission (distributed by National Geographic Documentary Films) which tells the tragic story of what happened when a young American missionary contacted one of the last isolated communities of Indigenous people in the world. Producer Will Cohen and film participant Dan Everett will attend and participate in a post-screening discussion moderated by Variety’s Peter Debruge.

Michèle Stephenson & Joe Brewster’s Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project will close HSDFF on Saturday, October 14. The film focuses on celebrated American poet Nikki Giovanni and the revolutionary periods in which she wrote, from the Civil Rights Movement to Black Lives Matter. Both Stephenson and Brewster will attend the screening. There will be a Special Presentation of Justin Taylor Smith and Kaoru Ishibashi’s A Song Film by Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari, which follows the musical journey of multi-talented musician Kishi Bashi as he explores the legacy of Japanese American incarceration during World War II. Kishi Bashi will be in attendance at the film festival.

WORLD PREMIERES

HSDFF world premieres include Arkansas filmmaker Jack Lofton, and Jeff Dailey’s The People v. Profits, which provides a court-side seat into the high stakes, big money consumer cases where the top, charismatic lawyers go head-to-head with the world’s biggest corporations. Li Lu’s three-part documentary series A Town Called Victoria will also make its debut at the film festival. The series looks at what led to a mosque being burned to the ground in a small Texas town and, in the aftermath, how residents rallied to support the local Muslim community but with many lingering and complicated questions remaining.

HSDFF HONORARY CHAIR AND HONOREES

This year’s Honorary Chair, Mary Steenburgen will be a key participant in the Southern Storytellers Screening and Panel, taking place on Friday, October 13. Moderator Courtney Pledger, CEO of Arkansas PBS, and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Craig Renaud will join Steenburgen for an in-depth conversation about the new three-part docuseries from PBS. Southern Storytellers traverses the American South, from the mountains of Appalachia to the Gulf of Mexico, to reveal a vivid patchwork of stories that celebrate the resilience and joy of Southern people—and the magnitude of gifts from the region’s writers.

Steenburgen is an Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actress best known for her work in notable and beloved films like Melvin and Howard, Parenthood, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Philadelphia, Stepbrothers, and Book Club and television shows Justified, Orange is the New Black, Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Last Man on Earth. Most recently, Steenburgen starred in NBC’s musical television sensation Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, and the feature film Book Club: The Next Chapter.

This year’s Brent Renaud Career Achievement Award will be received by Sky Hopinka on Monday, October 9, followed by a screening of Hopinka’s short films including his latest, Sunflower Siege Engine. In a relatively short time, Hopinka has produced a truly distinctive and remarkable body of work in the documentary field. His explorations into the relationship between people and the land, the interplay between culture and language, and his highly intuitive and inspired insights into form have made deep impressions on audiences throughout the world and helped redefine the way documentaries are perceived and received. His work has played at many festivals around the world, as well as being a part of the 2017 Whitney Biennial, the 2018 FRONT Triennial and Prospect.5 in 2021. He was a guest curator at the 2019 Whitney Biennial and participated in Cosmopolis #2 at the Centre Pompidou. He has had a solo exhibition at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, in 2020 and in 2022 at LUMA in Arles, France. He is the recipient of the Infinity Award in Art from the International Center and the Alpert Award for Film/Video and fellowships including The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Art Matters, The Guggenheim Foundation, and The Forge Project. In the fall of 2022, Hopinka received a MacArthur Fellowship for his work as a visual artist and filmmaker.

The HSDFF Impact Award will be presented to Diane Becker and Shane Boris, Academy Award winners for Navalny last year. The presentation will take place prior to a screening of their film King Coal on Tuesday, October 10. Produced with Peggy Drexler and Elaine McMillion Sheldon, who is also the film’s director. King Coal is a sensitive portrait of a community and culture defined by industry, showcasing the beauty of the coal region of Appalachia through the eyes of an inquisitive child.

Becker is an Academy Award-winning, Emmy-nominated producer and the co-founder of Fishbowl Films. Navalny won both the U.S. Documentary Audience Award and the Festival Favorite Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded a BAFTA, PGA, DuPont, and the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. Her films have screened in the most prestigious festivals across the globe, and she has worked with companies like HBO, CNN, Showtime, Netflix, and PBS. Film credits include Manhunt, The Final Year, Legion of Brothers, If I Leave Here Tomorrow, Belushi, and the Emmy-nominated Tina. Fishbowl Films won a Peabody Award in 2019 for Inventing Tomorrow (POV) and Diane and co-founder Melanie Miller were awarded the 2020 Sundance Institute/Amazon Producer’s Award for Non-Fiction for Whirlybird. Becker is a 2023 recipient of the Dear Producer Award and was a Sundance Documentary Creative Producing Fellow.

Boris is an Academy Award-winning and three-time Academy Award-nominated producer and writer working on films that push the boundaries of conventional form to tell timeless and cinematic stories. His films have premiered at festivals around the world and screened in museums like The Louvre, MoMA, and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Previous films include: the Academy Award-winning and BAFTA-winning Navalny, the Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning Fire of Love, the Emmy Award-nominated The Last Cruise, the Indie Spirit Award-nominated Stray, the Academy Award-nominated and Peabody Award-winning The Edge of Democracy, and the Sundance Award-winning All These Sleepless Nights. His latest films, King Coal, and Hollywoodgate, premiered this year at Sundance, Venice, and Telluride. Boris is also the co-founder of Joon, a multidisciplinary incubator, and has worked as a strategist for businesses and NGOs, a writing consultant for authors, and a song lyricist for musicians.

NEW INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMMING ADDITIONS

The Natural State film series, sponsored by Sigma Supply, will include a selection of features and shorts related to: the environment, outdoor adventure and athletic Achievement, with particular emphasis on topics related to the unique attributes of Arkansas and to extraordinary Arkansans. The Wellness Series Film Screenings will be highlighted by screenings of Elliot Kotek’s The Hidden Power of Purpose, sponsored by AARP, which asks the urgent question, “What does it mean to live a life driven by purpose?” via four inspiring stories with the latest scientific research which affirms that living a life of purpose and living longer are inextricably intertwined. Also featured in this new series is Jonathan Hock’s Open Heart, sponsored by CHI St. Vincent, focuses on New York Rangers’ star goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who was forced to face his own mortality when he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition.

HSDFF will also look to expand the audience’s film festival experience beyond film screenings this year by introducing a new live storytelling event called “True Stories”. A series of short, personal stories told by a diverse mix of visiting filmmakers and local storytellers, led by Kai Coggin, author and the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Hot Springs, this program (inspired by the beloved “Campfire Stories” at the True/False Film Festival) is designed to foster a vibrant exchange between local artists and residents of Hot Springs and the filmmakers who come to the festival every year.

ADDITIONAL FILM HIGHLIGHTS

Additional highlights among the impressive film lineup include Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, which was a winner of the L’Oeil D’or prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. The hybrid film weaves documentary and stylized fiction to explore the shocking story of a Tunisian matriarch whose two eldest daughters suddenly go missing. Allison Ellwood’s crowd pleaser, Let the Canary Sing focuses on the life and music the beloved and distinctive Cyndi Lauper. Alexandria Bombach’s It’s Only Life After All is a heartwarming music documentary celebrating the legacy of the Americana folk duo Indigo Girls, who have enjoyed a resurgence this year thanks to the Barbie movie.

Nick Capote’s Between Life & Death: Terri Schiavo’s Story is a piercing, thoughtful re-examination of the complex story of Terri Schiavo, whose headline-grabbing right-to-die legal saga and media circus in the early 2000s electrified the nation, forcing Americans to confront the tangled intersection of personal faith and federal policy. Stamped From the Beginning is the latest documentary from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams. The film is a thoughtful and candid examination of the origin, evolution, and continued impact of racist anti-Black narratives on American policy and culture. From documentary filmmaking legend Errol Morris comes The Pigeon Tunnel which delves into the life and career of former British spy David Cornwell — better known as John le Carré — author of such classic espionage novels as “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.

Passes and tickets are on sale now. For more information on purchasing and additional details on the Hot Springs Documentary Film festival, please visit: hsdfi.org.

The 2023 Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival official selections:

 

Opening Night

Relentless Ride

Director: Adam Harbottle, Brian Hill

Country: USA; Running Time: 97 min

In their thoroughly gripping documentary Relentless Ride, Arkansas-based filmmakers Adam Harbottle and Brian Hill follow a diverse group of determined bike racers attempting to complete the 2021 Arkansas High Country Race, one of the most challenging rides in the U.S.

 

Centerpiece

The Mission

Directors: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss

Country: USA; Running Time: 103 min

In this gripping cinematic exploration, Emmy-winning filmmakers Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine (Boys State) revisit the story of John Chau, a young American missionary who, in 2018, contacted one of the world’s most isolated Indigenous peoples with tragic consequences.

 

Closing Night

Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project

Directors: Michèle Stephenson, Joe Brewster

Country: USA; Running Time:102 min

On the cusp of her 80th birthday, celebrated American poet Nikki Giovanni reflects on her life and the social movements influencing her fifty-year career.

 

Special Presentation

A Song Film by Kishi Bashi: Omoiyari

Directors: Justin Taylor Smith, Kaoru Ishibashi

Country: Japan; Running Time: 74 min

Crossing the American landscape in search of sites of former concentration camps, multi-talented musician Kishi Bashi undertakes a musical journey to explore the legacy of Japanese American incarceration during World War II, as well as his own identity.

 

 

Additional Features

 

1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted Culture

Director: Sharon Roggio

Country: USA; Running Time: 92 min

Filmmaker Sharon “Rocky” Roggio explores the provocative thesis that when the word “homosexual” appeared in the 1946 Revised Standard Version of the Bible, it may have been a mistranslation of the original text. Winner, Audience Award, DOC NYC and Outfest LA.

 

A Disturbance in the Force

Directors: Jeremy Coon, Steve Kozak

Country: USA; Running Time: 87 min

“The Star Wars Holiday Special” is the variety show George Lucas wishes never saw the light of day. This hilarious documentary exposes the making of the infamous Wookie-filled extravaganza.

 

A Thousand Pines

Directors: Sebastian Diaz, Noam Osband

Country: USA; Running Time: 77 min

Trees are everywhere in Arkansas and so, too, are major tree planting operations. In this fascinating glimpse into a largely hidden world, we meet a group of Mexican workers, who, every year, uproot their lives to come north in the hopes of bettering their lives.

 

All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars

Director: Jennifer Rainsford

Country: Japan; Running Time: 77 min

Weaving together ruminative natural history vignettes with striking scenes of recovery, All of Our Heartbeats Are Connected Through Exploding Stars is a meditation on humanity’s connection to loss after the 2011 Japanese tsunami.

 

Art For Everybody

Director: Miranda Yousef

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Thomas Kinkade’s landscape paintings made him the biggest-selling artist of his day. His idyllic images mirrored a public persona entrenched in faith and family. Yet, after his untimely death, a vault of private paintings shatters his detailed façade, revealing a complex man battling inner demons.

 

Bad Press

Directors: Rebecca Landsberry-Baker, Joe Peeler

Country: USA; Running Time: 98 min

When reporter Angel Ellis’ tribe, the Muscogee Nation, repeals free press protection in their media, she is spurred to action to protect the tenets of journalism.

 

Between Life & Death: Terri Schiavo’s Story

Director: Nick Capote

Country: USA; Running Time: 89 min

A piercing, thoughtful re-examination of the complex story of Terri Schiavo, whose headline-grabbing right-to-die legal saga and media circus in the early 2000s electrified the nation, forcing Americans to confront the tangled intersection of personal faith and federal policy.

 

Between the Rains

Directors: Andrew H. Brown, Moses Thuranira

Country: Kenya; Running Time: 82 min

Kole is a teenage shepherd in a region of Northern Kenya plagued by years of drought. Supported by stunning landscape imagery, Between the Rains explores coming of age in the time of climate change.

 

Black Barbie: A Documentary

Director: Lagueria Davis

Country: USA; Running Time: 100 min

Released in 1980, Black Barbie was the first time a black fashion doll was given the moniker Barbie. A rousing account of the untold story of how the doll came to market and the various voices behind the project.

 

Brother Horse

Director: Marcel Barrena

Country: Spain; Running Time: 73 min

Santi Serra is a horse whisperer, training his equine friends to perform in shows worldwide.  But with the pandemic halting public performances, one rescued grey stallion proves to be an unexpected standout.

 

Confessions of a Good Samaritan

Director: Penny Lane

Country: USA; Running Time: 105 min

Acclaimed filmmaker Penny Lane (“Listening to Kenny G”, “Our Nixon”) captures her experience as an “altruistic” donor — a living person who donates a kidney to someone they don’t know — to create an intimate portrait examining our donor system and the state of altruism in American society.

 

Dusty & Stones

Director: Jesse Rudoy

Country: USA; Running Time: 83 min

Gazi “Dusty” Simelane and Linda “Stones” Msibi — cousins from the tiny African Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) — fall in love with country music, become a polished musical act, and end up making the journey all the way to Nashville and Texas to pursue their unlikely dreams.

 

Four Daughters

Director: Kaouther Ben Hania

Countries: France, Saudi Arabia, Germany; Running Time: 107 min

Winner of the L’Oeil D’or prize at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, this fascinating hybrid weaves documentary and stylized fiction to explore the shocking story of a Tunisian matriarch whose two eldest daughters suddenly go missing.

 

Going Varsity in Mariachi

Director: Alejandra Vasquez & Sam Osborn

Country: USA; Running Time: 104 min

The wonders of regional Mexican folk-music are celebrated by a team of passionate high school musicians in South Texas who rehearse year-round to battle it out in the world of competitive scholastic mariachi.

 

Hollywoodgate

Director: Ibrahim Nash’at

Country: USA; Running Time: 91 min

Filmmaker Ibrahim Nash’at is granted terrifying access to document the high-ranking Taliban inner circle as they begin to take over a former US military base in Kabul in this chilling eye-witness account.

 

Hummingbirds

Directors: Silvia Del Carmen Castaños & Estefanía “Beba” Contreras

Country: USA; Running Time: 78 min

Set in a sweltering Texan border town, two rebellious best friends, Beba and Silvia, fight passionately against the systems working to control their lives, bodies, and citizenship — all while enjoying the dog days of summer.

 

It’s Only Life After All 

Director: Alexandria Bombach

Country: USA    Running Time: 123 min

A heartwarming music doc celebrating the legacy of the Americana folk duo Indigo Girls. It’s Only Life After All intertwines forty years of home movies, interviews, and performances to craft a charming look into a group that feels more like a movement than simply a band.

 

JessZilla

Director: Emily Sheskin

Country: USA; Running Time: 90 min

Jesselyn “JessZilla” Silva, a three-time national junior boxing champion, is on the cusp of making the U.S. Olympic team. When life takes an unthinkable turn, she is forced to redefine what it means to fight.

 

King Coal

Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Country: USA; Running Time: 79 min

A sensitive portrait of a community and culture defined by industry, King Coal showcases the beauty of the coal region of Appalachia through the eyes of an inquisitive child.

 

La Lucha

Director: Violeta Ayala

Country: Bolivia; Running Time: 89 min

Traversing the Andes on foot and in wheelchairs, a group of disabled activists make their way across Bolivia, on a quest to garner support from the government in the form of a pension.

 

Let the Canary Sing

Director: Allison Ellwood

Country: USA    Running Time: 96 min

When Cyndi Lauper exploded onto the pop music scene in the 1980s, her distinctive voice and style became instantly recognizable. But there is so much more to the story. Alison Ellwood’s intimate portrait paints Lauper’s “true colors”.

 

Nathan-ism

Director: Elan Golod

Country: USA; Running Time: 79 min

For the past 70 years, artist Nathan Hilu has illustrated his experiences guarding Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg trials. Now 90, his urgency to share his story and solidify his legacy increases, but can his waning memories be trusted?

 

One With the Whale

Directors: Peter Chelkowski, Jim Wickens

Country: USA, United Kingdom, Portugal; Running Time: 83 min

In this striking coming-of-age story, Chris Apassingok is a typical American teenager, except in one way: to feed his family and Indigenous Alaskan community, he must venture into the icy Bering Sea to hunt for whales.

 

Open Heart

Director: Jonathan Hock

Country: USA; Running Time: 75 min

New York Rangers’ star goalie Henrik Lundqvist had become so popular with New Yorkers that he was known simply as King Henrik. But when the King is diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, he suddenly is forced to face his own mortality.

 

Q

Director: Jude Chehab

Country: Lebanon; Running Time: 93 min

Lebanese American filmmaker Jude Chehab’s evocative debut boldly turns her camera on her own mother — an enigmatic woman who has spent decades fervently devoted to a mysterious all-female religious order.

 

Rather

Director: Frank Marshall

Country: USA; Running Time: 95 min

The life, work and legacy of broadcast journalist and news anchor Dan Rather is chronicled in this stirring portrait charting his rise to national prominence at CBS through to his stunning public downfall and surprising come back.

 

Razing Liberty Square

Director: Katja Esson

Country: USA; Running Time: 86 min

When the effects of climate change threaten the affluent Miami Beach area, developers invest in Liberty City — a historically Black community outside the floodplains. Despite promising to bring the long-underserved community economic growth, investors’ vision of progress may result in residents’ displacement and permanently alter the city’s culture.

 

Sex with Sue

Director: Lisa Rideout

Country: Canada; Running Time: 90 min

Sex With Sue is a fitting tribute to trailblazing Canadian radio and TV personality Sue Johanson, nurse turned sex educator. Her approachable persona and comedic attitude have demystified sex for millions.

 

Silver Dollar Road

Director: Raoul Peck

Country: USA; Running Time: 100 min

In North Carolina, land developers exploit legal loopholes to claim family properties passed down for generations without a will. But when the Reels family refuses to relinquish the land, they’ve owned for over a century, it sparks a decades-long battle with a developer intent on acquiring their waterfront property. Silver Dollar Road, directed by Academy Award®-nominated director Raoul Peck (I’m Not Your Negro), is a biting exploration of a legal system turning a blind eye to predatory practices that have contributed significantly to Black Americans’ rapid land loss and the resulting economic disparity.

 

Smoke Sauna Sisterhood

Director: Anna Hints

Country: Estonia; Running Time: 89 min

An intimate glimpse into the bathing rituals of a group of women in southern Estonia. Seeking refuge in a smoke sauna, the women can share their deepest secrets while finding strength and safety in the sanctity of female companionship.

 

Songs of Earth

Director: Margreth Olin

Country: Norway; Running Time: 90 min

A film as gorgeously made as the breathtaking Norwegian landscape that it depicts, filmmaker Margreth Olin embraces the inescapable reality that the time she has left to spend with her beloved, aging parents is rapidly slipping away.

 

Stamped From the Beginning

Director: Roger Ross Williams

Country: USA; Running Time: 94 min

From Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams (“Music by Prudence, “Life Animated”), Stamped From the Beginning is a thoughtful and candid examination of the origin, evolution, and continued impact of racist anti-Black narratives on American policy and culture.

 

Story & Pictures By

Director: Joanna Rudnick

Country: USA; Running Time: 84 min

The colorful, luminous world of children’s picture books takes center stage in this richly creative look at the past, present, and future of this uniquely specific and highly essential art form.

 

Thank You Very Much

Director: Alex Braverman

Country: USA; Running Time: 99 min

Will the real Andy Kaufman please step forward? Peeling back the layers of this fascinating, brilliant, and often misunderstood comedian, filmmaker Alex Braverman shows us all over again why Andy Kaufman matters. Winner, Best Documentary, Venice International Film Festival.

 

The Disappearance of Shere Hite

Director: Nicole Newnham

Country: USA; Running Time: 116 min

Considered “a sexual revolution in 600 pages,” The Hite Report is one of the bestselling books in history. It spurred a cultural phenomenon upon release, but what became of its author, Shere Hite?

 

The Echo

Director: Tatiana Huezo

Country: Mexico, Germany; Running Time: 103 min

Tucked away in the rolling hills and pastures of Mexico, three close-knit rural farming families search for hope and contend with the land while living in an enigmatic village mysteriously named “The Echo.” Winner, Berlinale Documentary Film Award.

 

The Gullspång Miracle

Director: Maria Fredriksson

Country: Sweden, Norway, Denmark; Running Time: 109 min

Two pious sisters begin to unravel a long-held family secret when a divine sign leads them to purchase an apartment from a woman who looks identical to their deceased sister.

 

The Hidden Power of Purpose

Director: Elliot V. Kotek

Country: USA; Running Time: 72 min

It is the rare documentary that presents compelling personal stories and highly practicable information. Elliot Kotek’s inspiring film asks, “What does it mean to live a life driven by purpose?” Warning: you may leave the screening with a renewed sense of purpose yourself.

 

The People v. Profits                                                   World Premiere

Directors: Jack Lofton, Jeff Dailey

Country: USA; Running Time: 97 min

Arkansas filmmaker Jack Porter Lofton’s revelatory new documentary does something amazing: it gets you all fired up about… tort law. Go behind-the-scenes with the hotshot lawyers who are taking on some of the world’s biggest corporations and find out what’s at stake for all of us.

 

The Pigeon Tunnel

Director: Errol Morris

Country: United Kingdom; Running Time: 92 min

Academy Award® winner Errol Morris delves into the life and career of former British spy David Cornwell — better known as John le Carré — author of such classic espionage novels as “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold” and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”.

 

The Tuba Thieves

Director: Allison O’Daniel

Country: USA; Running Time: 93 min

This groundbreaking debut by d/Deaf filmmaker Alison O’Daniel follows an odd case of tubas being stolen from high schools across Southern California. O’Daniel deploys a fascinating form of captioning like you’ve never seen before, reorienting the viewer to sound in a thrilling new way.

 

Your Fat Friend

Director: Jeanie Finlay

Country: USA; Running Time: 96 min

Don’t call her big boned. Aubrey Gordon is a writer, activist, and podcast host. And she’s fat. Aubrey started the Twitter account “Your Fat Friend” to bring awareness to anti-fat biases and advocate for equity. With its authentic and often humorous tone, “Your Fat Friend” becomes a phenomenon for the ages.

 

 

Documentary Series

 

A Town Called Victoria                                                            World Premiere

Director: Li Lu

Country: USA; Running Time: 164 min

After a mosque is burned to the ground in a small Texas town, residents rally to support the local Muslim community. But is this an inspiring news story or something far more nuanced and complicated? This intricately woven, fascinating 3-part docuseries tells the full story.

 

 

Short Films

 

Baseball Behind Barbed Wire                                                  World Premiere

Director: Yuriko Gamo Romer

Country: USA; Running Time: 32min

 

Between Earth & Sky

Director: Andrew Nadkarni

Country: USA; Running Time: 25 min

 

Big Buffalo Golden Gals

Director: Misty Langdon

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Black Ag

Director: Andy Sarjahani

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

Black Girl’s Play: The Story of Hand Games

Directors: Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

Boca Chica

Directors: Ái Vuong, Samuel Díaz Fernández

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Breaking Silence

Directors: Amy Bench, Annie Silverstein

Country: USA; Running Time: 18 min

 

By Water

Director: Iyabo E. Kwayana

Country: Singapore; Running Time: 12 min

 

Camp Courage

Director: Max Lowe

Country: USA; Running Time: 31 min

 

Cash Crop

Director: Lorenzo Dickerson

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Chicken Stories

Director: Jonathan Pickett

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Echoes of the Rio

Director: Jackie Barragan

Country: USA; Running Time: 8 min

 

For The Record

Director: Heather Courtney

Country: USA; Running Time: 35 min

 

Goodbye, Morganza

Director: Devon Blackwell

Country: USA; Running Time: 16 min

 

In Exile

Director: Nathan Fitch

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Joe Barry Carroll

Director: Ethan Payne

Country: USA; Running Time: 9 min

 

Liturgy of anti-tank obstacles

Director: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk

Country: Ukraine; Running Time: 12 min

 

Love, Jamie

Director: Karla Murthy

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Merman

Director: Master Sterling

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Mothertown

Director: Anthony Sneed

Country: USA; Running Time: 11 min

 

Myth and The Art of Maintenance

Director: Ian Frank

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó (Grandma & Grandma)

Director: Sean Wang

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Nina & Irena

Director: Daniel Lombroso

Country: USA; Running Time: 22 min

 

Parker  Sharon

Directors: Liese Hohhman, Catherine Hoffman

Country: USA; Running Time: 13 min

 

Puffling

Director: Jessica Bishopp

Countries: United Kingdom, Iceland; Running Time: 20 min

 

Quilted Education

Director: Kayla Robinson

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

Really Good Friends

Director: Adam Sekuler

Country: USA; Running Time: 10 min

 

SLICE

Director: Zaire Love

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

Slower Animals

Director: John C Kelley

Country: USA; Running Time: 7 min

 

Sunflower Siege Engine

Director: Sky Hopinka

Country: USA; Running Time: 12 min

 

The Arkansas Accent Project 

Director: Ben Corbett

Country: USA; Running Time: 27 min

 

The Bear Coast

Director: Andrew Ackerman

Country: USA; Running Time: 17 min

 

The Crawfish Trap

Director: Nathan Willis

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

The Last Repair Shop

Directors: Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers

Country: USA; Running Time: 39 min

 

The Right to Joy

Directors: Jay Melena, Tim Kressin

Country: USA; Running Time: 20 min

 

Under G-D

Director: Paula Eiselt

Country: USA; Running Time: 24 min

 

Waking Up In Silence

Directors: Mila Zhluktenko, Daniel Asadi Faezi

Countries: Germany, Ukraine; Running Time: 18 min

 

Well Worn Life with Dani Reyes-Acosta

Director: Daniel Mitchell

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

 

Will You Look at Me

Director: Shuli Huang

Country: China; Running Time: 20 min

 

You Can’t Shrink Love

Director: Veena Rao

Country: USA; Running Time: 6 min

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First look of Shuja Ali’s film BAAT BANN GAYI which is set to release on OCTOBER 11
Synopsis: Baat Bann Gayi is a romantic comedy enriched with the classical plot...
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