“Diane”

May 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

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Winner of the the Founders Award for Best U.S. Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018.

“Diane” is a woman in her 60’s/70’s, who her friends and family can count on.  She is a mother who has never stopped caring, and truly values those close to her.  She can be found holding the hand of her dying cousin at her hospital bedside, at the dinner table gossiping with her relatives over a home cooked meal, at a soup kitchen dishing out meals to the homeless with her best friend, or making frequent visits to her drug-addicted son’s apartment to try to get him help.  As she begins to lose her loved ones, she reflects back on her life, and her one sin that her family has held over her head for her entire life.

 

 

 

 

“Notes from Dunblane”

May 8, 2018 § Leave a comment

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Winner of the Best Documentary Short at The Tribeca Film Festival 2018.

“Notes from Dunblane, Lessons from a School Shooting”

On Wednesday, March 13, 1996 at 9:35 am, Thomas Hamilton (43 years old), entered the games hall at Dunblane Primary School in Dunblane, Scotland, shooting 16 children (aged 6-7 years old), and one teacher dead, before turning the gun on himself.  It remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history.  Following this school massacre, the United Kingdom had passed some of the toughest gun reform legislation in the world.   The Cullen Reports (the result of the inquiry into the massacre), and the “Snowdrop” campaign, lead to tighter laws on gun ownership, changes in school security, and vetting of people who work with children under age 18.

On December 14, 2012 at 9:35am, Adam Lanza (20 years old),  entered the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, and shot 20 children (aged 6-7 years old), six adult staff members, and his mother, before turning the gun on himself.  While some states, including Connecticut, have passed tougher gun laws, little has been done in the United States.

Monsignor Basil O’Sullivan, a priest from Dunblane reached out to Monsignor Bob Weiss of Newtown, and offered support.  He visited Newtown on the one year anniversary after the tragedy and offered solace to the community.

There have been over 1600 mass shootings since that time.  The US has had no federal reform to date.

 

“Smuggling Hendrix”

May 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

 

 

 

Winner of the Best International Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018!

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the northern part of the island in response to a military coup that was backed by the Athens government. The Greek South is inhabited by Greek Cypriots, while the Turkish North is inhabited by Turkish Cypriots.  Nicosia or Lefkosa, is the capital, and the seat of the Cyprus government.

Before they broke up, former musician, Yiannis, bought his ex-girlfriend a dog which they named, Hendrix.  Yiannis is caring for Hendrix when he breaks loose and runs across the Buffer Zone, or the border from Cyprus’ Greek side to the occupied Turkish side.  When Yiannis finally finds the dog, he nonchalantly attempts to walk him across the border back to the Greek side. They are stopped by the guards, and informed that the dog may not enter as he may be carrying diseases.  Yiannis doesn’t know where to turn.  He doesn’t have a lot going for him in Cyprus, and had previously purchased an airplane ticket to move to Europe. That flight is due to depart in three days time.  He has no idea where to turn for help to try to get his dog back home before the flight, and gets creative. He and his new friend, the Turkish mob, and his ex-girlfriend work together to try to smuggle Hendrix back home.

“O.G.”

May 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

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Winner of the Best Actor in a U.S. Narrative Feature Film category at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018-Jeffrey Wright in “O.G.”

Tony, Emmy, AFI, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor, Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld,” “Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Mockingjay Part 2,” “Basquiat,” and the upcoming film, “The Goldfinch”), plays Louis, an incarcerated African American male in a maximum security prison in Indiana. Once “the mayor” of one of the prison gangs, Louis only has 40 days left to serve out of his 60 year sentence, which was reduced to 24 for good behavior.  He is nervous about transitioning to the outside world and daydreams about what life will be like, seeing the ocean, getting a job, and his family.  As you watch the film you will learn what he did wrong, his attempts to make amends, the politics and his social standing with the other inmates, and the inner workings of the prison and gangs.   When he takes a young inmate under his wing and tries to teach him how to not make the same mistakes that he did, Louis’ release date and final stretch to freedom are put to the test.

“O.G.” or “Original Gangster,” was filmed in a maximum security prison, and hired both professional actors and real prisoners.  Hours of interviews were conducted with inmates, gangs, men retired from gangs, social workers, internal affairs officers, and staff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“United Skates”

April 30, 2018 § Leave a comment

 

 

Winner of the Audience Award in the Documentary Competition at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018.  Roller rinks across America have been around for 30 to 40 years or longer, and are credited with hosting hip-hop and rap artists as a place where they could feel welcomed to perform.  Some may say that hip hop and rap were born out of the skating world.  The rinks have long been a place where those in the African American communities could go and meet up with one another, unwind, and feel free to express themselves through music, rhythm, dance, and motion, while providing a sense of culture and community.  World on Wheels, Skateland, Shake and Bake, and Rich City, are known to LA/Compton, New York/New Jersey, Baltimore, Chicago, and North Carolina, with each one having their own sense of style and musical selections. Sadly, many of the rinks have high real estate taxes, and struggle to keep up.  As rinks are forced to close across the country, the die hard skaters do what they have to do to keep their love and passion alive, and start traveling to get to the rinks that do stay open.

 

“Momentum Generation”

April 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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From the Directors of “The Two Escobars,” Michael and Jeff Zimbalist, comes a surf documentary about the 80’s/90’s pro surf posse; Kelly Slater, Rob Machado, Shane Dorian, Taylor Knox, Ross Williams, Taylor Steele, and Benji Weatherly.  When Benji’s parents split up, his mother moved to Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.  World-renowned surf competitions like Billabong Pipeline Masters, Vans Triple Crown, WSL Championships are held at the Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach, with “The Eddie” at nearby Waimea Bay.  Some of the local surfers knew each other from amateur contests, however, once Benji moved to the North Shore, his house became the place to be and hang out.  Their bonds of friendship are tested as they go through different stages of life, love, loss, and competitions.

 

 

 

 

“Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable”

April 28, 2018 § Leave a comment

 

Determination, strength, willpower, and a supportive family, makes female pro surfer, Bethany Hamilton, unstoppable.  She grew up in Kauai, Hawaii, in a family that was passionate about surfing.  She learned how to surf at a young age, was naturally good at it, and let nothing stop her from returning to the sport.  Even when a tragic event occurred as a teenager, only four weeks later, she got right back up on her board, and kept paddling out, turning the negative into a positive. She continuously follows her dreams; to surf the world’s most dangerous waves, to compete in the world’s fiercest competitions,  fall in love, and have a family.  A true inspiration to all.