As most of the world moves forward toward gay equality, Russia is seemingly heading backward. Antigay sentiment and legislation are spreading rapidly throughout the country. In 2013, the Russian parliament passed a ban on so-called ‘gay propaganda’ that effectively makes nearly any public discussion of gay equality a crime. It is my hope that this documentary will educate viewers to their reality.
From acclaimed director Michael Apted (The Up Series, Masters of Sex, The World is Not Enough) comes a revealing look at the art of filmmaking and photography. A journey of glass, the documentary explores the relationship between the artisans who create camera lenses and the masters of light who use these lenses to capture their beloved art form. Bending the Light features never-before-seen footage from inside a premier Japanese lens factory, intimate interviews with lens engineers, and a peek into the world of award-winning photographers and cinematographers Stephen Goldblatt, ASC, BSC, Greg Gorman, Simon Bruty, Laura El-Tantawy, and Richard Barnes.
The journey of the thousands of people from Central America and Mexico who leave their homes and families and suffer extraordinary brutality -or loss of life itself- in search of the American Dream.
Vice is a documentary TV-series created and hosted by Shane Smith of Vice magazine. Produced by Bill Maher, it uses CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria as a consultant, and covers topics such as political assassinations, young weapons manufacturers, and child suicide bombers using an immersionist style of documentary filmmaking. It aired on HBO in April 2013. Rolling Stone wrote that the show “feels a little like your buddy from the bar just happened to be wandering through eastern Afghanistan with a camera crew.”
Parlamentet is a satirical panel gameshow on on TV4, which parodies Swedish political debate. It was first broadcast in 1999 and is currently in its 23rd series. The current presenter is Anders S. Nilsson, who has hosted the show since 2004. Current team members include Babben Larsson, Robin Paulsson, Johan Rheborg and Johan Glans. Kodjo Akolor has also been featured. The program is a Swedish version of the short-run British show If I Ruled the World, which itself was as spin-off from Have I Got News For You – both produced by Hat Trick Productions. The comedians are divided into two teams, red and blue, representing traditional political colours. At the end of the show, the audience vote for the winners based on which team was funniest.
Renowned filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow determined animal rights activist Steven Wise into the courtroom for an unprecedented battle that seeks to utilize the writ of habeas corpus to expand legal “personhood” to include certain animals. Wise’s unusual plaintiffs—chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko, once famed showbiz stars—are now living in filth, struggling to survive. Wise and his impassioned legal team take us into the field, revealing gripping evidence of such abuse and plunging us into the intricacies of their case as they probe preconceived notions of what it means to be a non-human animal.
Not since the invention of the Internet has there been such a disruptive technology as Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s early pioneers sought to blur the lines of sovereignty and the financial status quo. After years of underground development Bitcoin grabbed the attention of a curious public, and the ire of the regulators the technology had subverted. After landmark arrests of prominent cyber criminals Bitcoin faces its most severe adversary yet, the very banks it was built to destroy.
Vikram is a happy-go-lucky management student from a top Business School of India. He becomes an overnight sensation after a successful internet campaign against the radical fundamentalism of moral policing in India. This prompts his university teacher – Professor Ranjan Batki, to throw him a challenge for yet another internet campaign that would help raise money via a non-profit Pottery Club for poor people living in Maoists areas of India. Little does Vikram know that he is about to become a part of a plot that would risk his life and the nation. He gets entangled between two corrupt facets of India – Socialism and Capitalism, both of which are deeply rooted in India. It’s a story inspired from true life incidents of Underbelly India.
This feature length documentary explores the queer side of gaming culture and the game industry’s LGBTQ presence. The GaymerX convention that took place in 2013 was a huge step forward for the queer geek community being recognized on a worldwide industry scale. In the same year, more popular mainstream and indie games featured a greater amount of gay and lesbian characters than ever before, helping with visibility and acceptance. The video games universe will only continue to improve and diversify both in its community and industry if we elevate the conversation about inclusion and respecting one another – not in spite of our gay geekiness, but because of it!
A powerful documentary that sheds some light on what really happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that immediately followed.
A powerful documentary – shot from March 11th, 2011 through March 2015 – that sheds some light on what really happened at the Fukushima nuclear power plant after the 2011 earthquake and the tsunami that followed.
Fresh Dressed chronicles the history of Hip-Hop | Urban fashion and its rise from southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s in the South Bronx, to corporate America, and everywhere in-between. Supported by rich archival materials and in depth interviews with individuals crucial to the evolution of a way of life–and the outsiders who studied and admired them–Fresh Dressed goes to the core of where style was born on the black and brown side of town.
We live at a moment in time when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, now more than a century old, continues to be of overwhelming international political and societal importance. From its inception, that conflict has also, of course, had powerful and deeply troubling consequences for Israelis and Palestinians themselves. The story at its most basic level is one that involves two peoples struggling for national recognition and expression in a small but richly significant piece of land. The tragedy of this history, as both the Israeli novelist, Amos Oz, and the Palestinian scholar, Sari Nusseibeh, have each pointed out, stems from a conflict between the rights of two peoples with equal and legitimate aspirations to nationhood and self-expression in a single small territory to which they can both lay claim.
Through riveting and candid conversation, Noam Chomsky, regarded as one of the most important intellectuals alive today, provides the definitive discourse on the “Two Americas.” Filmed over the course of four years, the Chomsky interviews expose how a half-century of policies have created a state of unprecedented economic inequality: concentrating wealth in the hands of a few at the expense of everyone else. At times deeply personal, these interviews take a closer look at Chomsky’s own activism and political involvement as well as diving into his profound insight on the death of the middle class and the end of functioning democracy. Requiem For the American Dream provides a unique opportunity to introduce Chomsky to a broader audience and to widen the discussion regarding events that deeply impact all of our lives.
A documentary about the legendary series of nationally televised debates in 1968 between two great public intellectuals, the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance. Best of Enemies delves into the entangled biographies of these two great thinkers and luxuriates in the language and the theater of their debates, begging the question, ‘What has television done to the way we discuss politics in our democracy today?’
On January 1, 2014, recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado. With all eyes on ground zero of the green rush, The Denver Post became the first major media outlet to embrace it and appointed the world’s first marijuana editor. Legalization is not just an experiment for society, but a risk for the dying industry of newspapers to hedge its bets on the booming business of marijuana. Ricardo Baca sets out to report on history in the making with a team of straight-laced staff writers and fish out of water freelancers in tow for The Cannabist as it unfolds. Policy news, strain reviews, parenting advice and edible recipes are the new norm in the unprecedented world of pot journalism.
Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of Dub Lawrence, a former sheriff who established his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigation skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community, while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s social and political institutions faced massive change, including an increasingly corrupt government and crippled infrastructure. A number of the nation’s youth wound up homeless and addicted to a lethal cocktail of injected cold medicine and alcohol. In the early 2000s a pastor from Mariupol named Gennadiy Mokhnenko took up the fight against child homelessness by forcibly abducting street kids and bringing them to his Pilgrim Republic rehabilitation center—the largest organization of its kind in the former Soviet Union. Gennadiy’s ongoing efforts and unabashedly tough love approach to his city’s problems has made him a folk hero for some, and a lawless vigilante to others. Despite criticism, Gennadiy is determined to continue his work.
Body Team 12 is tasked with collecting the dead at the height of the Ebola outbreak. These body collectors have arguably the most dangerous and gruesome job in the world. Yet despite the strain they emerge as heroes while the film explores their philosophy and strength.
With the rapid emergence of digital devices, an unstoppable, invisible force is changing human lives in ways from the microscopic to the gargantuan: Big Data, a word that was barely used a few years ago but now governs the day for many of us from the moment we awaken to the extinguishing of the final late-evening light bulb. This massive gathering and analyzing of data in real time is allowing us to not only address some of humanity biggest challenges but is also helping create a new kind of planetary nervous system. Yet as Edward Snowden and the release of the Prism documents have shown, the accessibility of all these data comes at a steep price. The Human Face of Big Data captures the promise and peril of this extraordinary knowledge revolution.
In a celebration of the trans community in Puerto Rico, the fissure between internal and external is an ever-present battle. A unique exploration of self-discovery and activism, featuring a diverse collection of subjects that include LGBTQ advocates, business owners, sex workers, and a boisterous group of drag performers who call themselves The Doll House, Mala Mala portrays a fight for personal and community acceptance paved with triumphant highs and devastating lows.
Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz achieved groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing. His passion for open access ensnared him in a legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.
The Collective Evolution III is a powerful documentary that explores a revolutionary shift affecting every aspect of our planet. As the shift hits the fan, people are becoming more aware of the control structures that prevent us from experiencing our full potential. CE3 uses a different level of consciousness and scientific facts to bring clarity about the shift while dispelling myths about our true nature. It offers practical steps that we can implement right now to transition out of survival mode and into our more natural state of peace and co-operation . CE3 includes fascinating interviews with revolutionary speakers and people who are already opting out of the current socioeconomic system. The film examines hidden technologies and exciting alternatives for a bright limitless future.
Documentary filmmakers assert that Anthony Porter – a former death-row inmate who was spared the death penalty thanks to the efforts of a college journalism program – was actually guilty, and an innocent man was sent to prison.
Nicholas Vreeland walked away from a worldly life of privilege to become a Tibetan Buddhist monk. Grandson of legendary Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland, and trained by Irving Penn to become a photographer, Nicholas’ life changed drastically upon meeting a Tibetan master, one of the teachers of the Dalai Lama. Soon thereafter, he gave up his glamorous life to live in a monastery in India, where he studied Buddhism for fourteen years. In an ironic twist of fate, Nicholas went back to photography to help his fellow monks rebuild their monastery. Recently, the Dalai Lama appointed Nicholas as Abbot of the monastery, making him the first Westerner in Tibetan Buddhist history, to attain such a highly regarded position.
Five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia—many of them alone in nursing homes. A man with a simple idea discovers that songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken these fading minds. Joy and life are resuscitated, and our cultural fears over aging are confronted.
Nearly 100 years after its creation, the power of the U.S. Federal Reserve has never been greater. Markets and governments around the world hold their breath in anticipation of the Fed Chairman’s every word. Yet the average person knows very little about the most powerful – and least understood – financial institution on earth. Narrated by Liev Schreiber, Money For Nothing is the first film to take viewers inside the Fed and reveal the impact of Fed policies – past, present, and future – on our lives. Join current and former Fed officials as they debate the critics, and each other, about the decisions that helped lead the global financial system to the brink of collapse in 2008. And why we might be headed there again.
France’s Bordeaux region has long commanded respect for its coveted wine, but shifts in the global marketplace mean that a new, voracious consumer base in China is buying up this finite product. Bordeaux both struggles with and courts the spike in demand, sending prices skyrocketing. Narrated by Russell Crowe, Red Obsession is a fascinating look at our changing international economy and how an obsession in Shanghai affects the most illustrious vineyards in France.