Film Selections 2019

OFFICIAL SELECTIONS for website 2019 Burnt red Laurel.jpg

Please check back for screening dates, times, venues - schedule coming soon!

(*) Retro screenings part of special guest program/appearance

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Olympic Dreams

Director: Jeremy Teicher

Country: South Korea / USA

Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Language: English

Olympic Dreams

Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

The 2018 Winter Olympic Games is the backdrop for a love story between an anxious cross-country skier and an outgoing volunteer dentist. In the charming romantic comedy Olympic Dreams, director Jeremy Teicher sets the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the backdrop for a love story between Penelope, an anxious cross-country skier (newcomer Alexi Pappas), and Ezra, an outgoing volunteer dentist (Nick Kroll). Shot guerilla-style with a one-person crew (Teicher in his third feature), the pic is visually exciting and has a palpably organic quality that translates well to the screen. It is also the first scripted film approved by the Olympic Committee to shoot during an Olympics.

As far as the idea of city as character goes, this movie knows its locale is inseparable from the journey of the characters and the audience’s visual experience. We get to marvel at the grandeur and exclusivity of the Olympic stadium and the snow-capped outdoor competition venues, but we also get to experience the more mundane aspects: the massage chairs where athletes decompress in the game room, the dormitory parties, the dining hall where lifelong connections are forged between strangers. (Excerpt from The Hollywood Review, Beandrea July)

“Jeremy Teicher’s offbeat charmer is an artful mix of documentary-style realism and wistful romanticism.”

Variety, Joe Leydon

Video - Olympic Dreams

American Dharma

Director: Errol Morris

Country: USA, United Kingdom

Run Time: 1 hour 38 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Former White House Chief Strategist, CEO of the 2016 Trump campaign and executive chairman of the far-right news site Breitbart News, Steve Bannon sits down with filmmaker Errol Morris for an extensive interview. Through his role as advisor to Donald Trump, many describe Bannon as “the architect of Trumpism.” Morris takes a number of Bannon’s favorite films (including Henry King’s Twelve O'Clock High, John Ford’s The Searchers and Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight) as a means of delving into Bannon’s world view and feelings about Trump. We hear how Bannon developed from the “hardcore Democratic family” in which he was born to become a leading figure of the alt-right, and we learn about the ideas that formed him and his role in Trump’s election.

Morris is critical, but avoids direct attacks in his interview, and the result is openness on Bannon’s part: this is Bannon according to Bannon. Gradually Bannon’s influential ideology unfolds—one that terrifies Morris: “I’m scared of you guys, I really am.” Morris has described American Dharma as a “horror film,” with a fascinating villain in the leading role, too dangerous to ignore.

“The camera stays on Bannon, and what we see is a man who reveals himself even as he thinks he's gaining the upper hand.” Sam Adams, SLATE

Chicago International Film Festival 2018

Gold HugoBest Documentary - Errol Morris

Indiewire Critics' Poll 2018

ICP Award, Best Undistributed Film - Fourth Place



Director: Morgan Le Faucheur

Country: France, USA, Indonesia

Run Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

Language: English, French


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

BORN IN THE MOUNTAINS, RAISED BY THE WAVES - Growing up riding both waves and powder, Mathieu Crepel has become one of the few athletes to excel in two disciplines that have a lot in common but are still so different. Retired from the contest circuit but still restless for adventure, the former Olympic contender decided to face one of the biggest challenges of his life: Surfing the notorious wave of Jaws, Hawaii. Filmed over a period of two years, “Shaka” tells the story of a personal journey and deep connection to nature. Embodying the pursuit of the mountain and the wave that Quiksilver stands for in an unprecedented way, it is all about exploring, getting out of your comfort zone and having some great fun along the way.

Showcasing breathtaking visions of mountains and waves, “Shaka” follows the multiple-times snowboarding World Champion on his quest to surf some of the world’s most challenging breaks. Filmed at iconic locations in Hawaii, Italy, Oregon, Indonesia, and around Mathieu’s home in the Southwest of France, “Shaka” introduces you to diverse legends in the surf and snowboarding world such as Koa & Eddie Rothman, Guillaume Nery, Kepa Acero, Gerry Lopez, Victor Daviet and Nathan Fletcher.

“I want to share, to learn from my experience and to enrich those of other people. Surfing and snowboarding are vital for me, they allow me to be close to nature, and have taught me about how fragile it is. This is what motivates me to go on an adventure, far from my comfort zone, and to continuously challenge myself.” *Mathieu Crepel


Bombardier Blood

Director: Patrick James Lynch

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Colorado-based Mountaineer Chris Bombardier has never let hemophilia stop him from climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains. In 2017, Chris partnered with hemophiliac filmmaker Patrick James Lynch and his award-winning production team at Believe Limited to film his journey through Nepal to summit the world’s tallest peak, Mount Everest.

In his home state of Colorado, filming captured Chris's training, interviews with Chris, his wife and family, and his hemophilia clinicians. In Nepal, production followed Chris to meetings with Nepalese hemophilia advocates and clinicians as well as to the homes of patients and families affected by the disease, where Chris heard the emotional stories of pain, suffering, and loss related to hemophilia. Production remained with Chris during his two months on Everest, capturing both the physical, psychological, and emotional struggle of acclimating to the mountain and preparing for the greatest challenge of his life, all with the eyes of the global hemophilia community watching.

Leveraging powerful archival footage, the film also chronicles Chris's incredible six-year journey of climbing the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each continent, during which he receives his "wake-up call" about hemophilia in developing countries and begins his activist mission.

In Nepal, as in nearly all developing nations, there is no routine access to healthcare and lifesaving medicine for people suffering from hemophilia. Bombardier Blood is an inspiring and heart-warming adventure film that cinematically highlights both what is and is not possible when living with this rare disease, depending on a patient's access to medicine and care.

“Hemophilia looks dramatically different around the world. People with the same condition I have aren’t making it past 10 years old,” says Bombardier. “I wanted to share my mission with our global community, but I also wanted the climbs to benefit those who are most in need.”


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Director: Mark Landsman

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 36 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Sex! Gossip! Scandal! For over 60 years, the National Enquirer has pumped out salacious, shocking stories, stretching the limits of journalism and blurring the lines between truth and fiction. SCANDALOUS is the sensational true story of the most infamous tabloid in US history, a wild, probing look at how one newspaper’s prescient grasp of its’ readers darkest curiosities led it to massive profits and influence. From its coverage of Elvis’s death, to Monica Lewinsky and the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the National Enquirer rattled the foundations of American culture and politics, sometimes allegedly using payoffs and blackmail to get its scoops. With rare archival footage and revelations as wild as National Enquirer headlines themselves, SCANDALOUS examines our obsession with the rich, famous and powerful, and the tabloid that has fed those obsessions for generations of Americans.

“SCANDALOUS is a blast,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “Mark Landsman has crafted a hugely entertaining origin story that turns the lens on one of America’s most infamous publications.”

The Radicals

Directors: Tamo Campos, Brian Hockenstein

Country: Canada

Run Time: 58 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

The Radicals (2018, Canada, 55 min.) follows a group of snowboarders and surfers who drift from their respective sports into the world of activism. Together they journey across the West Coast of British Colombia, weaving a story of learning, inspiration and resistance. From the Tahltan fight for the Iskut Headwaters, BC Hydro's corruption in Xwísten, art as resilience on Haida Gwaii, to a coastal uprising against fish farms, each community teaches the athletes to understand what it means to be a true radical.

"The Radicals takes its audience beyond the slopes and beaches and challenges outdoor sports enthusiasts to reflect on their relationship to the land" - CBC NEWS


Ice Palace, A Love Letter

Director: Mark C. Burns

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Language: English

WORLD PREMIER, Lake Placid Film Festival 2019



Screening date, time, venue (TBA)


Every year, high in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, a small band of locals and a crew of prison inmates struggle against impossible weather conditions to build the historic Winter Carnival Ice Palace.  

Part Mardi Gras, part Rio Carnival, and part Twin Peaks, the centerpiece of the 10 day Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is the Ice Palace.  Shot during the rollercoaster winter of 2016 --  ICE PALACE, A LOVE LETTER takes you inside the planning and execution of the historic Ice Palace as Mother Nature throws the builders some wicked curves. 

A heaping serving of Americana!


Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project

Director: Matt Wolf

Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

Country: USA

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

For over 30 years, Marion Stokes obsessively and privately recorded American television news twenty-four hours a day.  A civil rights-era radical who became fabulously wealthy and reclusive later in life, her obsession started with the Iranian Hostage Crisis in 1979—at the dawn of the twenty-four hour news cycle. It ended on December 14, 2012 as the Sandy Hook massacre played on television while Marion passed away. In between, Marion filled 70,000 VHS tapes, capturing revolutions, wars, triumphs, catastrophes, bloopers, talk shows and commercials that show us how television shaped the world of today and in the process tell us who we were.

A mystery in the form of a time capsule, Recorder delves into the strange life of a woman for whom home taping was a form of activism to protect the truth (the public didn’t know it, but the networks had been disposing their archives for decades into the trashcan of history) and though her visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart, her extraordinary legacy is priceless.

Read "The Remarkable Story of a Woman Who Preserved Over 30 Years of TV History."

“Intriguing from first minute to last... Relating this stranger-than-fiction tale with the narrative twists and turns of a well-paced thriller, Recorder will make news junkies feel a lot better about themselves.” - Hollywood Reporter, Frank Scheck


Guest Artist

Director: Timothy Busfield

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 14 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

When old friend and fellow Emmy award-winning actor Timothy Busfield (Thirty Something, Field of Dreams) and his wife, actress Melissa Gilbert (Little House on the Prairie), came calling with a scaled-down model to produce in the trio's home state of Michigan, the proposal was too alluring to pass up.

With Grand River Productions, their debut film, Guest Artist, made its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 9. Adapted from a 2006 play Daniels wrote and staged at a small-town Michigan playhouse he founded in 1991, Guest Artist mines the actor's rich association with the theater to exalt the medium's artistic purity, while sharply lamenting its economic atrophy.

The film's main character, a used-up Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright named Joseph Harris (played by Daniels), though impassioned on the subject, is resigned to the state of the modern American theater; thereby giving himself license to self-destruct and seemingly abandon his craft.

Faithfully shot in the style of a play, and featuring players from Daniels' Chelsea, Michigan-based Purple Rose Theater Company, Guest Artist is a unique, format-bending feature that dramatizes "an incident" from the author's own past involving a legendary, since departed, playwright.

(Excerpt from FORBES - Russ Espinoza)

“Timothy Busfield's adaptation of Daniels' stage play benefits from the two leads, and will particularly appeal to theater lovers.”

—San Jose Mercury News, Randy Myers

Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, US 2019

Best Actor - Jeff Daniels
Best Director - Timothy Busfield
Overall Winner

New York City Independent Film Festival 2019

Best Actor - Jeff Daniels
Best Director - Best Director, Timothy Busfield & Grand River Productions

Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival 2019

Best Actor, Jeff Daniels
Grand River Productions (production company)
Best Independent Film

IndieFEST Film Awards 2019

Award Of Excellence - Feature Film

Sacramento International Film Festival 2019

Festival Prize - Outstanding Feature Film

SENE Film, Music and Art Festival 2019

Winner: Film Jury Award - Best Feature Film

Best Actor Feature Film, Jeff Daniels

Best Screenplay

Accolade Competition 2019

Best of Show - Feature Film

Beloit International Film Festival 2019

Winner - Best Feature Film

Dumbo Film Festival 2019

Winner - Best Documentary Feature


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The Bikes of Wrath

Director: Cameron Ford & Charlie Turnbull

Country: Australia

Run Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Five Australians attempt to cycle 2600kms from Oklahoma to California in honour of the westward migration undertaken by 'The Grapes of Wrath's' Joad family.

Through chance encounters with everyday Americans, the cyclists expand on the novel’s core themes of migration, inequality and the perceived land of opportunity. The group explores whether America has progressed since the book was written, discussing the wealth gap, immigration and the American Dream.

The fascinating people they meet along the way reveal the enduring strength of human spirit despite the inequality and disenfranchisement which runs as deep today, as it did in Steinbeck’s seminal novel.

The Bikes of Wrath is a unique, funny and insightful documentary series filled with adventure, literature, music, and human connection.

“There’s no denying the boys have an amazing adventure, and they paint a portrait of middle Americans just getting on with life, living outside the system, and living on the fringes.”

Film Blerg - Kendal Coombs


Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace

Director: April Wright

Country: USA / Australia

Run Time: 1 hour 24 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

The evolution of the movie business over the past century, from penny arcades and nickelodeons, to the grand movie palaces built by the studios, and what happened over the years as they were challenged by television, decaying downtowns, multiplexes and cell-phone cinema.

Director April Wright’s first documentary, Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie, was featured on NPR, BBC World News, USA Today, and many more. It was a major success for a theatrically released documentary, and currently ranks as #110 of top movies about the world of motion pictures.

Wright’s highly anticipated second feature-length documentary, Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the Movie Palace, details the evolution of the American movie experience throughout its hundred-plus-year history. The film features interviews with eleven prominent names in the film industry, like film critic and historian Leonard Maltin, and New York abandoned theatres photographer Matt Lambros.

(Excerpts: IMDb & Event Spotlight)

“Going Attractions is sure to be a hit.”

ShowClix - Lindsay Biondy


Voice of America: Lowell Thomas and the Rise of Broadcast News

Director: Richard Moulton

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

AFTER THE SCREENING, Kathleen Carroll (lpff) will LEAD A q&a With the film’s director, Richard Moulton.

Although you may not know his name — if you watch, listen to, or download the news these days, you are benefiting from the pioneering work of Lowell Thomas.

As host of the first national Radio Newscast carried on both NBC and CBS, as well as the Fox Movietone newsreels shown in every movie theater, Thomas invented what we now call traditional journalism and dominated American journalism in the 1930s and 1940s as no one else has before or since.

Lowell Thomas was also famous as an adventurer and world Traveler. It was Thomas who discovered T.E. Lawrence in Arabia during WWI and crafted the legend of “Lawrence of Arabia” into a multi-media stage production that Thomas showed around the world. In the late 1940s, Thomas led a mule caravan into forbidden Tibet just before the Chinese invaded. Despite breaking his leg in eight places, he returned with the story and film, shot by his son, of the young Dalai Lama, who was just 14 years old at the time. The production team was able to re-trace a number of Thomas’ epic adventures, filming in the U.S., England, Alaska, and India, including his 1949 overland expedition across Tibet to Lhasa.

With narration by NPR’s Robert Siegel, “Voice of America: Lowell Thomas and the Rise of Broadcast News” features interviews with Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Bob Edwards, David Folkenflik and His Holiness the Dalai Lama, as well as key historians and biographers. At a time when mainstream journalists are being branded as ‘enemies of the people’ and ‘fake news’ — “Voice of America” reminds us that a free press and factual reporting are vital to democracy and a cornerstone of a civil society.

(Synopsis provided by Rick Moulton)


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City of Joel

Director: Jesse Sweet

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

"City of Joel" is a documentary - with unprecedented access - to a 1.1 square mile shtetl in the suburbs that is home to 22,000 members of one of the most insular and orthodox Hasidic sects. We follow the battles they are waging to survive. Just 50 miles north of New York City, the Satmar sect has built Kiryas Joel as a religious haven where they can be fruitful, multiply and follow the 613 rules of the Talmud. But with some of the highest rates of marriage, birth and religious observance in the country, they have been almost too successful. Developers have come up with a plan to double the size of the village to keep up with this growth, but their neighbors fight back because they believe it will harm the environment and tilt the balance of political power. Kiryas Joel - which means City of Joel - is named for former Joel Teitelbaum, one of the few Rebbes - or religious leaders - to survive the Holocaust. By the 1970s, he worried that his followers were losing their way. So Teitelbaum created an isolated village where every aspect of life revolved around Jewish law. Our film explores how this ultra-orthodox faith has become both a source of strength and tension in Kiryas Joel. In the tradition of rigorous observational documentaries, we present the people on all sides of a conflict - from religious zealots to dissidents, from rabbis to people who doubt their own faith as they struggle to find their own place in the City of Joel.

Hamptons International Film Festival 2018

Golden Starfish Award - Documentary Feature
Jesse Sweet

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019

John Schlesinger Award - Jesse Sweet


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Ms. Purple

Director: Justin Chon

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

From award-winning filmmaker Justin Chon (GOOK, 2017), MS. PURPLE is a poignant drama about Asian American sister and brother, Kasie (Tiffany Chu) and Carey (Teddy Lee), who were raised and are now seemingly stuck in Koreatown, Los Angeles. Abandoned by their mother and brought up by their father, the siblings continue to struggle with deep emotional wounds from the difficulty of the parental dynamic. Now, with their father on his death bed, the estranged Carey comes home to help Kasie care for him. As they reunite over their dying father, Kasie and Carey confront their shared past, attempting to mend their relationship.

“Ms. Purple is lived-in drama, expanding off familiar beats with fresh POVs, an authentic setting, and a DIY style that never feels cheap. This second time around, it’s more proof that Justin Chon is an exciting new voice working in indie filmmaking.”

Sundance - Dan Mecca

Dallas International Film Festival 2019

Grand Jury Prize - Narrative Feature Competition
Justin Chon

Sundance Film Festival 2019

Grand Jury Prize - Dramatic
Justin Chon (director)


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Paradise Hills

Director: Alice Waddington

Country: Spain

Run Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

On an isolated island, Uma (Emma Roberts) wakes up to find herself at Paradise Hills, a facility where high-class families send their daughters to become perfect versions of themselves. The facility is run by the mysterious Duchess (Milla Jovovich) where calibrated treatments including etiquette classes, vocal lessons, beauty treatments, gymnastics and restricted diets, revolve all physical and emotional shortcomings within two months. The outspoken Uma finds solace and friendship in other Paradise Hills residents — Chloe (Danielle McDonald), Yu (Awkwafina) and Mexican popstar Amarna (Eiza Gonzalez). Uma soon realizes that lurking behind all this beauty is a sinister secret. It’s a race against the clock as Uma and her friends try to escape Paradise Hills before it consumes them all.

“If you’ve been feeling like you’ve been slowly drowning in a sea of mediocre blockbusters, take solace in the fact that you can soon burst back above the surface and gulp down a breath of fresh air in the form of a new indie called Paradise Hills, a visually stunning fairy tale which marks the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Alice Waddington. But beyond the film’s satisfying thematic explorations and the memorable performances, this thing is a visual stunner that’s unlike anything else that’s been in theaters this year.” - Ben Pearson

Sundance Film Festival 2019

NEXT Innovator Award, Alice Waddington

Fantasia Film Festival 2019

Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival 2019

Official Fantàstic Competition, Best Feature Length Film
Alice Waddington (director)
Nostromo Pictures (production company)

The Overlook Film Festival 2019

Jury Award Best Feature Film
Alice Waddington (director)
Nostromo Pictures (production company)


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One Man Dies a Million Times

Director: Jessica Oreck

Country: USA / St. Petersburg, Russia

Run Time: 1 hour 32 minutes

Language: Russian


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Alyssa and Maksim both work at the Institute of Plant Genetic Resources in the center of the city. The Institute houses the world's first seed bank - a repository of irreplaceable seeds from around the globe - a priceless trove of living genetic diversity, which holds the potential to transform modern agriculture.

The two young botanists fall in love as the world wages war around them. The enemy surrounds the city, cutting them off from the rest of Russia, from electricity, from warmth and from food. A record-breaking, desperate winter sets in and the city slowly, painfully, begins to starve to death. Savagery transplants civility. The city begins to eat itself from the inside out.

Maksim and Alyssa defend the seed bank and its priceless collection of edible specimens - the future of their nation's food supply - from the starving masses of the city, the enemy, hoards of rats, and each other. Part documentary, part legend, One Man Dies a Million Times is the true story of the seed bank and the botanists who worked there throughout the Siege of Leningrad (1941 – 1944).

Though the characters portrayed in this film actually lived, and the events they experienced actually happened, this is not a reenactment. The narrative has been transplanted from 1940’s Leningrad to modern day. Excised from the bounds of documentary, drama and the otherworldly sense of history, this story is both familiar and relevant. Alyssa and Maksim’s courage and conviction underscores the importance of the seed bank that, miraculously, is still in existence.

The N. I. Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources still stands in the middle of what is now called St. Petersburg. As we face declining food security, climate change, monocultures, factory farming, seed patenting, and disappearing ecosystems, this collection is especially critical in today’s world. Despite great strides in advancement, biotechnology cannot invent nor can it replace the genetic diversity that these scientists protected with their lives.

The immense collection at the Vavilov Institute remains one of the world’s most precious treasures.

(Synopsis: Myriapod Productions)

“As you unpeel the layers of this particular cinematic onion you realize that it is about other important and universal issues like love, war, growth, decay, hunger of all types, and finally, the big question of what it actually means to be human.”

ORCA Sound - Cary Ann Pawsey

American Film Festival 

US in Progress Award - Jessica Oreck (director/producer)

Ashland Independent Film Festival 2019

Gerald Hirschfeld A.S.C. Cinematography Award - Narrative Feature
Sean Price Williams
Special Mention - Excellence in Narrative Feature Production, Jessica Oreck
Lighthouse International Film Festival 2019

Jury Award - Best Narrative Feature, Jessica Oreck

Sarasota Film Festival 2019

Independent Visions Award - Best Cinematography
Sean Price Williams
Independent Visions Award - Best Film
Jessica Oreck

SXSW Film Festival 2019

SXSW Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award - Jessica Oreck


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By the Grace of God

Director: François Ozon

Country: France

Run Time: 2 hours 17 minutes

Language: French


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Francois Ozon's gripping drama follows three men who band together to dismantle the code of silence that continues to protect a priest who abused them decades ago. Based on events from the 2019 conviction of Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon for concealing the conduct of Father Bernard Preynat, BY THE GRACE OF GOD compassionately illustrates the varying effects of trauma on survivors and their families in this urgent portrait of resistance, the power of mobilization, and the mysteries of faith.

“Both a portrait-based and investigative film, By the Grace of God is a methodical and sensitive human-based exploration of the burden of internalized sufferings and the complex need to express them. It’s also a reflection on the more or less embarrassing strategies employed by an institution in an attempt to silence the misdemeanors of its black sheep against a backdrop of faith (approached objectively from several angles). By the Grace of God is quiet clearly a major opus.”

CINEUROPA, Fabien Lemercier

Berlin International Film Festival 2019

Silver Berlin Bear - Grand Jury Prize

François Ozon, Nominee

Golden Berlin BearBest Film
François Ozon

Las Palmas Film Festival 2019

Best Actor - Swann Arlaud
Denis Ménochet
Melvil Poupaud


Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes

Director: Sophie Huber

Country: Switzerland

Run Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

One of the most important record labels in the history of jazz and, by extension, that of American music - Blue Note Records has been home to groundbreaking artists. Founded in New York in 1939 by German Jewish refugees Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff, the history of Blue Note Records goes beyond the landmark recordings, encompassing the pursuit of musical freedom, the conflict between art and commerce and the idea of music as a transformative and revolutionary force. Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with jazz icons Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and today's groundbreaking Blue Note musicians, BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop.

“This tidy, thoughtful film gets at jazz’s joy and pain.”

The New York Times - Glenn Kenny


Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival 2018

Audience Award IDFA Audience Award
IDFA Audience Award, Sophie Huber (director)

Cork International Film Festival 

Audience Award Best Documentary
Doclisboa International Film Festival 2018

Audience Award Documentary Feature, Sophie Huber (director)

FOCAL International Awards 2019

FOCAL Award Best Use of Footage in a Music Production

Hamburg Film Festival 2018

Sichtwechsel Film Award, Sophie Huber

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2019

John Schlesinger Award, Sophie Huber

Pan African Film Festival 2019

Programmers Award Documentary -Sophie Huber (director)

Richmond International Film Festival 2019

Jury Award 2019 Tribute Award - Outstanding Achievement in Film
Sophie Huber (director) -Outstanding Achievement in Film

Sheffield International Documentary Festival 2018

Audience Award Best Documentary

SWR Doku Festival 2019

Music Film Award, Sophie Huber
Music Film Award 2019 German Documentary Film Award - Music, Sophie Huber (director)

Tribeca Film Festival 2018

Audience Award Documentary


Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man

Director: Lily Zepeda

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 27 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Jack Sim is a lot. A Singaporean business exec who followed his dream of doing good and founded the World Toilet Organization to fight for improved sanitation conditions, he’s all about raising awareness with energy, gimmicks and crass and cartoonish humour. But turning intention and symbolic initiatives into concrete action is another thing, thanks in part to his lack of filter.

Part social-issue doc, part bio, Mr. Toilet is full of candid interviews with Sim’s wife, children and colleagues who offer pointed insights into a subject who proudly shows his emotions. Zepeda uses familiar doc techniques – including cutesy animation that offsets the graphic shit imagery – to set up the issue, but the film really gets interesting in the latter half when Sim’s tactics run up against cultural sensitivities in rural India. You get a strong sense he might not be running the show if he wasn’t the one with the money, a reality he seems increasingly less oblivious to.

When the doc plumbs that tension, Mr. Toilet shines.

(Review from HOT DOCS - Kevin Ritchie)

“An intelligently crafted and balanced documentary that effectively captures her subject's rambunctious personality, the sanitary issues he wants to bring to a wider audience, and even some light criticism.”

THE GATE - Andrew Parker

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2019

Docs for Schools Award Lily Zepeda, Tchavdar Georgiev, Eugene Efuni


In Safe Hands

Director: Jeanne Herry

Country: France

Run Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Language: French with English Subtitles


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Jeanne Herry crafts a story stemming from a delicate two-and-a-half-month state of limbo for a newborn child, Théo, who becomes a ward of the state after his mother gives him up for adoption at birth. In Safe Hands choreographs parallel strands of action: the search for potential parents undertaken by the social workers managing Théo’s case (Sandrine Kiberlain and Clotilde Mollet), the care and vigilance required for Théo’s foster father (Gilles Lellouche) to properly nurture him in the interim, and the nine-year journey of adoption applications and fractured marriage embarked upon by a possible mother (Élodie Bouchez). Within this institutional balancing act, Herry’s characters swing between intense determination, uncertainty, and, ultimately, joy: all par for the course while seeking the proper equilibrium for a person’s life to begin. Nominated for seven César Awards including Best Film, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay.

(Excerpt from “Film at Lincoln Center”, Élodie Bouchez)

“Jeanne Herry directs an excellent and very emotional choral film about the process surrounding anonymous births and adoption.”

CINEUROPE - Fabien Lemercier

Awards & Nominations

Lumiere Awards, France 2019

Lumiere Award Best Actress (Meilleure actrice), Élodie Bouchez

Club Média Ciné 2019

Grand Prix (Laurier du Cinéma) Best French Film (Meilleur Film Français)

César Awards, France 2019

CésarBest Film (Meilleur film)


Vision Portraits

Director: Rodney Evans

Country: USA / Germany / Canada

Run Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

Filmmaker Rodney Evans contemplates what loss of eyesight means for his life and work and finds kinship with three other visually impaired artists.

A blind filmmaker may seem like a contradiction in terms, but for Rodney Evans, losing all of his peripheral vision and most of his night vision hasn’t stopped him from writing and directing. In his latest, Evans explores what it means to be a working visual artist who is also visually impaired due to a rare genetic disorder. A deeply personal essay that documents Evans’ journey from sightedness to near blindness, the film is also infused with documentary profiles of three other visually impaired artists, photographer John Dugdale, dancer Kayla Hamilton and writer Ryan Knighton.

“Vision Portraits consistently fascinates the mind and activates the senses; it's never dull. The final frame fades not to black — as blindness is often mistakenly associated with darkness — but instead to white. We are left with a sense of lightness, possibility and, yes, vision.”

The Hollywood Reporter - Beandrea July

Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival 2019

Frameline Completion Fund, Rodney Evans
Jury Prize Outstanding Documentary
Best Documentary, Rodney Evans

L.A. Outfest 2019

Special Programming Committee Award Outstanding Artistic Achievement, Rodney Evans

SXSW Film Festival 2019

SXSW Grand Jury Award Documentary Feature, Rodney Evans


Mickey and the Bear

Director: Annabelle Attanasio

Country: USA

Run Time: 1 hour 28 minutes

Language: English


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

The push-pull between co-dependence and youthful yearning fuels a drama about a high schooler and her opioid-addicted father. Two of the finest films of 2018, Leave No Trace and Lean on Pete, captured the resilience and grace of teens being raised by troubled dads and awakening to their own sense of purpose. With its indelible portrait of the double-edged sword of filial love, Annabelle Attanasio’s first feature joins those movies' ranks. Her intimate Montana-set drama, rich with lived-in detail, revolves around a tough and tender father-daughter relationship, an emotional prison that's also a lifeline, compellingly rendered in the superb performances of Camila Morrone and James Badge Dale.

(Synopsis: Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter)

“Attanasio has made a sharp, affecting film that's brimming with darkness and hope, every instant of it vividly alive.”

—Sheri Linden

International Film Festival of Boston

Winner - Grand Jury Prize, 2019

Jeruselum Film Festival

Nominee - FIPRESCI Prize, 2019

Montclair Film Festival

Winner - Audible Storyteller Award, 2019
Winner - Future/Now, 2019

Nantucket Film Festival

Winner - Adrienne Shelley Excellence in Filmmaking Award, 2019

Seattle International Film Festival

Nominee - New American Cinema Competition, 2019

SXSW Film Festival

Nominee - SXSW Grand Jury Award, 2019


Director: Milko Lazarov
Country: Bulgaria
Run time: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
Language: Yakut with English subtitles


Screening date, time, venue (TBA)

In a yurt on the snow-covered fields of the North, Nanook and Sedna live following the traditions of their ancestors. Alone in the wilderness, they look like the last people on Earth.

Nanook and Sedna's traditional way of life starts changing – slowly, but inevitably. Hunting becomes more and more difficult, the animals around them die from inexplicable causes, and the ice has been melting earlier every year.

Chena, who visits them regularly, is their only connection to the outside world – and to their daughter Ága, who left the icy tundra long ago due to a family feud.

When Sedna's health deteriorates, Nanook decides to fulfil her wish. He embarks on a long journey in order to find Ága.

(Synopsis: IMDb)

“A winning combination of the cozily intimate and the sublimely epic.”

- The Hollywood Reporter


Audience Award Winner 2019



Director: Michael Herbig

Country: Germany

Run Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Language: German with English subtitles



 Balloon is a German thriller that deals with the crossing of the inner German border of the families Strelzyk and Wetzel from the GDR to West Germany with a homemade hot-air balloon.

In the summer of 1979, in Thüringen, in East Germany, two families put together a crazy plan. They are desperate to leave the DDR for the 'West' and plan to flee in a homemade hot air balloon. After sewing and tinkering for weeks, the amateurs make their first attempt. Meters from the West German border, their balloon suffers from the rain and crash lands. Luckily, they manage to avoid being caught by the police. However, the wreckage from their escape attempt is found and that triggers a desperate manhunt. The tension rises as the families determine to try again, and a race against time ensues. On the one hand, the authorities, desperate to track down the traitors, become aware that a second attempt is being planned. On the other, the would-be escapees, conscious of the search drawing ever nearer, need to build a more robust, weatherproof balloon - and avoid leaving too many clues.

(Synopsis: IMDb)

“The fact that Balloon was chosen as the film to open the 2019 German Film Festival in Australia is significant." - Editor, Global Media Post

German Film Awards 2019

Film Award in Gold / Best Sound
Best Film Score

Washington DC Filmfest 2019

Audience Award - Best Feature Film



Stalag Luft III - One Man’s Story

Director: Louise Woehrle

Country: United States & France

Run Time: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Language: English



Director & Producer Louise Woehrle (and niece of Charles Woehrle) will be our Special Guest during the screening, and joining us for a panel discussion afterwards.

Told by WWII U.S. Eighth Air Force Bombardier Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of 10,000 prisoners in Stalag Luft III, depicted in the iconic film ‘The Great Escape.’ At age 93, this remarkable man and gifted storyteller take us from Pine City, Minnesota to war-torn Europe as he relives his experiences with vivid detail that include, his B-17 getting shot down, capture by the Nazis, and surviving two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship as a prisoner of war. A saga filled with grit and grace, Charles Woehrle of the 'The Mighty Eighth' is one of the countless heroes from the Greatest Generation who has much to teach us about war and about life.

(Synopsis: Whirlygig Productions)

“I would bill Stalag Luft III - One Man’s Story this way — a love letter from a niece who wants future generations to know how much we owe the Greatest Generation.”

— Tom Brokaw, Broadcaster, Author of The Greatest Generation


The Great Escape

Director: John Sturges

Country: United States

Run Time: 2 Hours 52 Minutes

Language: English



It seemed fitting that we screen the 1963 classic film, The Great Escape, based on the story of Lt. Charles Woehrle and other prisoners in Stalag Luft III.

Based on a true story, a group of allied escape artist-type prisoners-of-war are all put in an "escape proof" camp. Their leader decides to try to take out several hundred all at once. The first half of the movie is played for comedy, as the prisoners mostly outwit their jailers to dig the escape tunnel. The second half is high adventure as they use planes, trains, and boats to get out of occupied Europe.

(Synopsis: IMDb)

“With accurate casting, a swift screenplay, and authentic German settings, Producer-Director John Sturges has created classic cinema of action. There is no sermonizing, no soul probing, no sex. The Great Escape is simply great escapism.” - TIME Magazine


Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein

Director: Charles Barton

Country: United States

Run Time: 1 hour 23 minutes

Language: English



Chris Costello, daughter of Lou Costello will be our Special Guest during the screening. She will join us for a conversation with Chris afterwards, moderated by Tom Meyers, Executive Director Ft. Lee Film Commission & Barrymore Film Center.

Program Underwriters: Ft. Lee Film Commission & Barrymore Film Center

The world of freight handlers Wilbur Grey and Chick Young is turned upside down when the remains of Frankenstein's monster and Dracula arrive from Europe to be used in a house of horrors. Dracula awakens and escapes with the weakened monster, who he plans to re-energize with a new brain. Larry Talbot (the Wolfman) arrives from London in an attempt to thwart Dracula. Dracula's reluctant aide is the beautiful Dr. Sandra Mornay. Her reluctance is dispatched by Dracula's bite. Dracula and Sandra abduct Wilbur for his brain and recharge the monster in preparation for the operation. Chick and Talbot attempt to find and free Wilbur, but when the full moon rises all hell breaks loose with the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein all running rampant.

(Synopsis: IMDb)

“A masterpiece filled with raucous laughs, great spooks, and a wicked final scene.”

— Felix Vasquez, Jr., Cinema Crazed


Local hero movie poster with peter riegert 2.jpg


Director: Bill Forsyth

Country: United Kingdom

Run Time: 1 hour 51 minutes

Language: English



Peter Riegert will be our Special Guest during the screening and join us for a discussion afterwards, moderated by Nelson E. Page, Chairman of the Adirondack Film Society (Lake Placid Film Festival), Chairman of the Ft. Lee Film Commission & President of the Barrymore Film Center.

Bill Forsyth’s whimsical tale of sweet-natured corporate rapacity features standout performances by Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert. Lancaster plays Texas billionaire Felix Happer, who would rather gaze at the stars than worry about his multi-national oil company.

Happer dispatches Mac MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) and Danny Oldsen (Peter Capaldi) to the small Scottish fishing village of Ferness to negotiate buying the entire town so Happer can drill for oil in the North Sea.

Much to Mac's surprise, the entire town is happy to sell itself for big money, and the local innkeeper, Gordon Urquhart (Denis Lawson) -- who is also the town's accountant and mayor -- works with Mac on the negotiations.

But a wrinkle appears in the deal when Ben Knox (Fulton Mackay), an old man who lives in a shack on the beach which has been owned by his family for centuries, refuses to sell. His reasons? Who'd look after the beach then? It would go to pieces in a short manner of time.

The deal stalls so seriously that Happer travels to Ferness to oversee negotiations as Mac and Danny are seduced by the charm of the Scottish town.

(Synopsis: Showtime)

"…Local Hero" never drags: Nothing is more absorbing than human personalities, developed with love and humor.”

— Rogert Ebert

BAFTA Awards 1984

BAFTA Film Award - Best Direction
Bill Forsyth
BAFTA Film AwardBest Cinematography
Chris Menges
Best Film
David Puttnam
Best Supporting Actor
Burt Lancaster

National Board of Review, USA 1983

NBR Award - Top Ten Films

National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA 1984

NSFC Award - Best Screenplay
Bill Forsyth

New York Film Critics Circle Awards 1983

NYFCC Award - Best Screenplay
Bill Forsyth


Lake Placid Film Festival 2019 film Programming by Dylan Skolnick