In 1999, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington, D.C. family began to film their daily lives in America’s most dangerous neighborhood — just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building. They’ve been filming ever since. Made in collaboration with filmmaker Davy Rothbart, the film focuses on four generations, including Emmanuel, a promising student, his brother Smurf, a local drug dealer, his sister Denice, an aspiring cop, and his mother Cheryl, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper.
Director: Davy Rothbart
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 1:30 pm Broadway Theater
Sun, Oct 13, 2019 1:30 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
A brand new condominium has shot up in the Ethiopian countryside, pushing farmers off their land for the construction, promising thousands of others a “better” way of life. Anbessa follows one boy caught between the two as he navigates modernization on his own terms in order to survive in a brave new world.
A Work in Progress: Albert Milgrom's Cinema Journey
At age 96, Al Milgrom is the world’s oldest emerging filmmaker and he’s still making a few movies. In this documentary, we follow Milgrom through his life and living legacy, from WWII, filming behind Russia’s Iron Curtain in 1959, a new movie about a polka band, to his unusual filmmaking process today.
Stories from the far reaches of the globe about identity, gender, childhood, disability and more that remind us how unique and similar we all are as humans.
My Theater, by Kazuya Ashizawa; Carlotta’s Face, by Valentin Riedl and Frédéric Schuld; Rising Puppets of the Limitless Sky, by Anıl Tokur; Parwaaz, by Rahul Mehra; Twarze Faces, by Patrycja Pawęzowska; The Good Education, by Gu Yu; Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl), by Carol Dysinger; Shoto, by emerging Kenyan filmmakers in Nairobi through Stories Found.
From small towns and Native Nations, to eccentric artists and collectors, to the fate of immigrant dairy workers much closer to home, these documentary shorts will both teach and touch you.
Analog Man, by Leslie Askew; Los Lecheros (Dairy Farmers), by Jim Cricchi; Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock, by Michele Noble; Let the Blonde Sing, by Rachel Knoll; The Wolf House, by Nick Clausen.
Building on the promise of his hallucinogenic debut Go Down Death, Brooklyn filmmaker Aaron Schimberg delivers another brilliantly oddball, acerbically funny foray into gonzo surrealism. In a deft tragicomic performance, Jess Weixler (Teeth) plays Mabel, a movie star “slumming it” in an outré art-horror film being shot in a semi-abandoned hospital.
Director: Aaron Schimberg
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 4:00 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
This documentary takes us into the lives of three high school athletes — all at different stages of their athletic seasons, personal lives, and their unique paths as transgender teens. The film centers on Mack Beggs, who made headlines last year when he became the Texas State Champion in wrestling and was heralded as a hero by some while receiving hate and threats from others.
Director: Michael Barnett
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 1:30 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
Rose, a sweet, lonely driving instructor in rural Ireland, is gifted with supernatural abilities. Rose has a love/hate relationship with her “talents." But when a washed up, one-hit-wonder rock star puts a spell on a local teenager that makes her levitate, the teen's terrified father asks Rose to help save his daughter. Rose must overcome the fear of her supernatural gift and save the girl, get the guy, and be home in time for a light snack… maybe a yogurt or something.
Frances Ferguson, the eponymous character at the center of Bob Byington’s new film, is discontent. She does a bit of “acting out” and pays the price — an arrest, a trial, incarceration. The film looks at a teacher-student sex scandal from the felon's POV. Nick Offerman narrates this deviant comedy, based on actual events.
The eccentric Captain Seafield hires a crew of specialists to help him plot revenge against the creature that killed his father. After several failed attempts, Seafield is forced to take matters into his own drunken hands. What began as a simple case of man verses beast soon turns into a rabbit hole of mysterious unknowns and Lovecraftian hijinks. Lake Michigan Monster — banned in four lakes!
Director: Ryland Brickson
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 6:30 pm Big River Theatre
Sun, Oct 13, 2019 4:00 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
Not your average late night shorts. From over-the-top comedy/horror/sci-fi to the dark side of human nature, these films will delight and disturb you.
Tea Party, by Kevin Isaacson; Black Cloud, by Flávio Andrade; 33RPM, by Paul Gall; Backlash, by Max Moore; Bitter Dread of Scary Movies, by Cory Skloff; Bedlamite, by Aidan Cheeatow; Rest Stop, by Sean Skinner.
Joshua’s life is unraveling. His girlfriend has a wandering eye, his boss makes him stay late every day, he’s caught up in a holistic health scam and his old pal Bucky just showed up with bad news. But things aren’t always as they seem.
Love Them First: Lessons from Lucy Laney Elementary
This film follows the determination of a charismatic north Minneapolis school principal, Mauri Melander Friestleben, as she sets out to undo history. Lucy Laney Elementary had been at the bottom of Minnesota's list of underperforming schools for two decades -- in the state with the largest achievement gap between black and white children in the US. Under Friestleben's leadership, standardized test scores began rising for the first time, but when the school encounters a heartbreaking setback, Friestleben is forced to confront the true measure of student success.
Faced with the responsibility to take care of her addict, veteran father, headstrong teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat. When she has the opportunity to leave for good, she must choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment.
A look at relationships in all their hopes, heartbreaks, and peculiarities.
Ways to Look at the Moon, Katherine Clark; A Swedish Classic, by Måns Berthas; Birthday Cake for Dinner, by Damon Russell; Behave, Kids, by Tripp Crosby; Lick & Sniff, by Randy Slagle; Inseparable, by Sabrina Blazquez y Gomez; Câm Lặng (The Mute), by Pham Thien An.
Who are we and how do we relate to the world? And how does the world relate to us?
Homemade, by Adam Olson; The Voicemail, by Kyle Solomon; Dynamite, by Leila Jarman; Dinosaure (Dinosaur), by Pierre Dugowson; Karma Coma, by Guillaume Courty; Who Let the Taxidermy Out?, by Laurence Unger; Tame, by Wendy Placko; Elephantbird, by Masoud Soheili.
Sun, Oct 13, 2019 11:00 am WideSpot Performing Arts
Rewind is an unflinching and moving personal narrative documentary that reconstructs the disturbing story of director Sasha Joseph Neulinger’s boyhood and bravely exposes the insidious abuse passed along through generations. The film braids a vast archive of home movies into Neulinger’s contemporary investigation to find justice through the criminal justice system and healing for himself and his family.
Through the stories of five rural communities across the country, Right to Harm exposes the devastating public health impacts of factory farming. Known formally as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), these facilities produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys the quality of life for nearby neighbors. Fed up with the lack of regulation, groups of disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice from their legislators.
What’s a celebrity deadpool? For this group of friends, it’s a chance to get together once a year and draft celebrities they think might die. But while playing the game of death, they also learn the value of life.
As a teenager, Elizabeth Sankey was obsessed with romantic comedies, which colored her view of love and relationships. She now realizes that the "romcom" genre is intrinsically conservative: the protagonists are white and heterosexual, the story is misogynistic and sentimental, the sex roles traditional. Using film clips and interviews, Sankey analyzes the genre. While she sees how unrealistic everything is, she also thoroughly enjoys romcoms. Why?
Director: Elizabeth Sankey
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 11:00 am WideSpot Performing Arts
At the start of the summer, Bridget has an abortion just as she lands a much-needed job in affluent Evanston, Illinois -- nannying a six-year old. With no time to recover, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’ moms. As her personal relationships suffer, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
Director: Alex Thompson
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 6:30 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
This documentary, in the making since 1974, features the heritage and music of the Czech people of southern Minnesota. Filmmaker Al Milgrom followed the Czech-American music of the Eddie Shimota Polka Band for more than three generations. After the post-communist 1989 Velvet Revolution, a new generation of immigrants arrived with their own folk-Slavic beat and different vibes, a far cry from Eddie’s world. The film becomes a passport for re-examining America’s historic immigrant odyssey.
It's the 1980s in Siagon. Linh Phung is the star of a traveling Cai-luong (traditional folk opera) troupe deep in debt to a local loan shark. Dung "Thunderbolt" is the enforcer come to collect. After an unlikely bond forms between the two, Linh Phung learns how a lived life is necessary for art and Dung follows art back to a life worth living.
Director: Leon Le
Sat, Oct 12, 2019 9:00 pm WideSpot Performing Arts
Short documentaries and narratives on a wide array of topics and formats that underscores how much students have to teach us.
Ivan, by Panagiotis Kountouras; Broken Pipe, by Iris Ben Moshe; Mr. Hugo, by François Le Guen; &you, by Claire Downey, Taylor Autumn Herndon, & Tessa Lawrence; Disseminare, by Jools Beardon; Overnight, by Thomas Mendolia; Tribe of Ghosts, by Almicheal Fraay; Balance, by Raymond Limantara Sutisna.
Competitive creative dog grooming is the most colorful competition in America. Follow four champion groomers and their gorgeous dogs through a year in the life of the technicolor competition circuit, playfully exploring their creative process. From South Carolina to California, New York to Arkansas, these women are revolutionizing the age-old question—what is art?