EarthxFilm and EarthXR Reimagine The 2020 EarthxFilm Festival

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Juried Awards to be Announced April 22 to Mark the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Dallas, TX (March 20, 2020) – EarthxFilm announced today that the fourth EarthxFilm festival will be reimagined to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day online with a selection from its 2020 Film, EarthXR and EDU lineups. EarthxFilm will join EarthX’s 50th Earth Day Celebration with conferences and speakers, which will be live-streamed April 22-25. Plans are in process for extended year-round programming, including a larger film festival in the fall, the EarthxGlobal Gala and the world premiere of The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth, directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford.

robert redford
Robert Redford is slated for a special spoken word narration at the EarthxGlobal Gala and the world premiere of The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth, directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford. (Photo by Larry Gleeson)


The decision was shared in light of the rapidly developing news of COVID-19 and the desire to put public safety first. EarthxFilm Co-Founder and President Michael Cain said, “This decision came after careful consideration and consultation with our team, partners, and city officials. We look forward to offering the audiences of Dallas another wonderful EarthxFilm slate of movies, XR experiences, educational opportunities and panels both online in April and in-person throughout the year in Dallas, and across the country and with international partners.”

On April 22, the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, EarthxFilm will also announce the films and filmmakers selected by this year’s juries who will receive $20,000 in prize money. EarthxFilm Artistic Director David Holbrooke added, “We are immensely proud of the outstanding programming we assembled for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. We think it’s important to recognize the incredible work these filmmakers have achieved and will move ahead with our juried prizes to award the cash winnings that help make a difference for the filmmakers, many of whom are still telling their stories at this challenging time.”

Paul Levatino
Paul Levatino

EarthxFilm Executive Producer, Paul Levatino says, “We are thrilled that the Good Pitch Local Texas, co-produced with Doc Society, will be rescheduled to coincide with our Fall Festival. The EarthxGlobalGala, which honors environmental heroes with the EarthxGlobal Impact Awards and features entertainers Skip Martin of Kool & The Gang, Bastards Of Soul and Compton Kidz Club, will also be rescheduled for fall.”

“Leading to our fall festival, EarthXR will continue our commitment to year-round programming through international partnerships, including a green series with Guanajuato International Film Festival, Overview Collective + Garage Stories’ series, and curation for the April online ARTS x SDGSs Festival, which brings together UN and non-profit leaders,” says Tiffany Kieran, Director of XR Programming and Partnerships.

“We are also excited about our year-round immersive experiential location, opening in Dallas, Texas in 2020. It will feature the US debut of Wild Immersion endorsed by Jane Goodall – the first virtual wildlife reserve in the US to connect, educate, and protect our environment,” said Kieran.

EarthxFilm Education is extending the #Planet911challenge youth film competition in collaboration with CreativeVisions and Instagram. The new deadline is April 8, and winning films will be screened online April 22 and in a theatre at one of the EarthX Half-Earth Day Events in October. Melanie Yonks, Director of Education and Outreach says, “We are working in collaboration with Planet911, Rock Your World, teachers and youth organizations to let them know about our online K-12 STEAM curriculum and to develop additional virtual and interactive opportunities for youth while they are in quarantine.”

Michael Cain
Michael Cain

“Trammell Crow and I started this film festival because we saw how the world was being challenged environmentally. That hasn’t changed and we remain committed as ever to this cause,” concluded Cain. “We support the storytellers who have the power to change the world”.

ABOUT EarthxFilm
EarthxFilm, co-founded by Trammell S. Crow and Michael Cain was launched in 2017 at the annual EarthX event to showcase the films and emerging media that explore environmental science, conservation, and climate change. In its mission to turn awareness into action through art and interactive media, the nonprofit partners and develops experiences with top environmental, film, and entertainment organizations across the globe. EarthxFilm presents year-round programs culminating in a 10-day festival yearly.

EarthXR, a subdivision of EarthxFilm, is dedicated to immersive and interactive storytelling designed to engage and inspire environmental awareness and action through emerging technology. At the EarthX events, it has hosted the world’s largest lineup of eco-interactive programming, presenting scores of virtual, augmented and mixed reality experiences.

EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration, and community-driven sustainable solutions. In 2019, the event drew over 177,000 attendees, 2,000 environmental business leaders, 700 exhibitors, 450 speakers, 63 films and 49 Eco-virtual reality experiences. Visit

(Source: Press release from Wildworks PR, John Wildman)




Posted by Larry Gleeson

Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.

Opioid Drama, Originally Slated to Open in More Than Two Dozen Cities and at Three Festivals, Goes Day-And Date

Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020–Los Angeles, CA, March 20, 2020—SHOOTING HEROIN, one of the first narrative feature films on the current opioid epidemic in America, will debut on all VOD, SVOD and EST platforms on Friday, April 3. The film was originally set for an initial limited national release in two dozen cities and about 100 screens on Friday, April 3rd but quickly made the move to video-on-demand and pay-per-view platforms following the shutdown of almost all movie theatres nationally during the COVID-19 crisis. The film had also been set to premiere at three film festivals in Northern New Jersey, Dallas, and Los Angeles, all of which were canceled.

EST platforms and services will go live on April 3, including, on cable: InDemand and MSOs; Vubiquity; Verizon Fios; ATT U-Verse; DirecTV; Dish Network-IPVOD/EST; and Sling, and on transactional digital including iTunes; Amazon; GooglePlay; Microsoft X-Box; Vimeo; Sony PSN; Fandango; and Vudu.


Director and producer Spencer Folmar, himself a small theatre chain operator and distributor through his company Veritas Films, says, “Like every other filmmaker, we’ve hit a wall with theatrical distribution in these turbulent times, which puts our little indie film on the same footing as Disney as we work to find our audience. And of course that audience is the home viewing audience, hundreds of millions of people who are searching for education and issues-oriented entertainment. We consider ourselves lucky to have VOD distribution of SHOOTING HEROIN in place to offer the public, and hope the media pivots along with us to let the public know we’re out there.” Folmar hopes for theatrical exhibition of the film in the future, and in the meantime is looking at booking the film at some of America’s several hundred drive-in theatres still operating.

Shooting Heroin

SHOOTING HEROIN tells the story of a small-town community that comes together to fight back against the spread of drugs “by any means necessary”—a story of a group of vigilante townsfolk who take justice into their own hands to fight for the heart of America, and save the next generation from overdosing and dying.

The film features Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Alan Powell (Quantico), Garry Pastore (HBO’s The Deuce), Nicholas Turturro (SVU), Cathy Moriarty (RAGING BULL), and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs (Cooley High), among others. Before being programmed in three March film festivals in California, Texas and New Jersey, the film most recently claimed the Best Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor (Pastore) prizes at the Hell’s Kitchen Film Festival in New York City last October. SHOOTING HEROIN is being distributed digitally on VOD/SVOD by Stone Cutter Media.


The film is written and directed by Spencer T. Folmar (GENERATIONAL SINS). Since Folmar’s last film premiered nationally, he has pursued new ventures in distributing independent films, including WARNING SHOT, starring David Spade, Bruce Dern, and James Earl Jones, and creating a partnership with his own Veritas Theatres chain in major cities. Folmar is undeterred by the current crisis, which he views as temporary, and is confident Americans will return to movie theatres when it has passed. His first movie theatre was in the Pittsburgh, PA region called the Guthrie Theatre (a 600 seat, the single-screen historic theatre now featuring live entertainment, community theatre and a steakhouse in connection with the screening venue). He had also acquired two theatres in the Dallas region and still hopes to purchase and build theatres in Orlando, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles later in 2020 into 2021. Folmar is building his own theatre chain to give transparency and integrity for indie filmmakers to enjoy their films on the big screen across the country—when it’s safe to do so. All of his theatres are currently shuttered.

Folmar concludes, “Even though it’s being eclipsed by the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid abuse remains a national public health crisis and claims over 100 American lives per day. With a strong cast and a compelling story ripped from daily headlines, we hope SHOOTING HEROIN will shed light on and give hope to those millions affected by it.”


SHOOTING HEROIN (Drama): Release Date: Thursday, April 3, 2020
Starring: Sherilyn Fenn; Alan Powell; Garry Pastore; Nicholas Turturro; Cathy Moriarty; and Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs
Producers: Spencer T. Folmar, p.g.a., Mark Joseph
Director: Spencer T. Folmar
Writer: Spencer T. Folmar
Cinematographer: John Honoré
Composer: Mike Newport
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: R

*Note: We present this piece of film and entertainment news with deep respect to the media and individual concerns surrounding the country’s COVID-19 Crisis. We have heard media tell us they want to hear how filmmakers are coping with film releases during this time. We hope it is not perceived as impertinent or inappropriate. Thank you.

(Source: Press release presented by Henry Eshelman and Media Platform Group)


BLOODSHOT with Vin Diesel opens Thursday

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Based on the bestselling comic book, Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) is an elite soldier recently killed in action, brought back to life as the superhero Bloodshot by the RST corporation. With an army of nanotechnology in his veins he’s an unstoppable force – the strongest warrior the corporation has ever created – and able to heal instantly. But in upgrading his body, the company is also manipulating his mind and memories. As he begins to remember his past life, Ray isn’t sure what’s real and what’s not – but he’s determined to take back control.


Directed By:
David S.F. Wilson
Story by:
Jeff Wadlow
Screenplay by:
Jeff Wadlow and Eric Heisserer
Based on:
The Valiant Comic Book
Produced by:
Neal H. Moritz
Toby Jaffe
Dinesh Shamdasani
Vin Diesel
Executive Producers:
Dan Mintz
Louis G. Friedman
Yu Dong
Jeffrey Chan
Rita LeBlanc
Buddy Patrick
Matthew Vaughn
Vin Diesel
Eiza Gonzalez
Sam Heughan
Toby Kebbell
and Guy Pearce
Columbia Pictures’ BLOODSHOT photo call, Los Angeles, USA - 06 March 2020
LOS ANGELES – March 6, 2020: Eiza González, Vin Diesel, Lamorne Morris and Sam Heughan at the Junket Photo Call for Columbia Pictures’ BLOODSHOT at The London West Hollywood. (Photo credit: Eric Charbonneau)

Bloodshot has been rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for intense sequences of violence, some suggestive material, and language. The film will be released in theaters nationwide on March 13, 2020.

Orion Pictures BAD TRIP In Theaters Everywhere on April 17, 2020

Posted by Larry Gleeson

From a producer of JACKASS and BAD GRANDPA, this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem.

Bad Trip stars Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish and Michaela Conlin. The film is directed by Kitao Sakurai from the minds of Dan Curry, Kitao Sakurai, and André – and produced by André, Jeff Tremaine, David Bernad, and Ruben Fleischer.

Bad Trip


Release: April 17, 2020

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Eric André, Lil Rel Howery, Tiffany Haddish, Michaela Conlin

Directed by: Kitao Sakurai

Produced by: Eric André, Jeff Tremaine, David Bernad, Ruben Fleischer

47th Telluride Film Festival 2020 Box Office Opens

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Each Labor Day weekend, the tiny mountain village of Telluride, Colorado triples in size. Swells of passionate film enthusiasts flood the town for four days of total cinematic immersion, embarking on a viewing odyssey, blissfully spending entire days in flickering dark rooms. With only an appreciation of celluloid to guide them, these devotees flock to the show, year after year. Why? Blind faith. Telluride doesn’t reveal the program until everyone lands in town. Yet the Telluride family trusts that a unique experience will unfold. (

Telluride Film Festival


The Telluride Box Office for Cinephile, Acme and Festival level passes is open NOW.  Please note that Patron Passes are sold out.

Please visit the Telluride Film Festival website to order your pass online.

Telluride Passes

If you have any questions on the best way to order your pass, or other general inquiries regarding the Festival, call 510.665.9494 or email at You’ll be glad you did!

Larry Gleeson dons a Telluride Film Festival Vespucci Dogs ’19 hat in the town of Telluride, Colo., for the 46th Telluride Film Festival, held August 3oth through September 2nd, 2019.

Until next time. I’ll see you at the movies!


*Featured photo courtesy of Telluride Film Festival



5th Annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival Returns to The New Vic Theatre with Oscar Nominees, Comedies, Dramas, and More

Posted by Larry Gleeson

The 5th annual Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival, organized by the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara, will be held Wednesday, March 11 through Sunday, March 15 at The New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria Street, Santa Barbara.

SBJFF co-chair Dr. Mashey Bernstein recently announced a wide selection of movies from Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Israel, and the United States, including world and West Coast premieres, three international Oscar submissions, and four films that feature women who reveal bravery and strength under dire circumstances. While most of the fare is uplifting and light, the festival does not avoid the controversial and thought-provoking. Special guests are also on the menu.

Hitler Pink RabbitThe festival opens on Wednesday, March 11 at 7:00 pm with the West Coast premiere of When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, Oscar winner Caroline Link’s adaption of Judith Kerr’s semi-autographical bestseller of the same title—a story about parting, family cohesion, and optimism. Other films that feature the indomitable power of women are An Irrepressible Woman (Friday 13, 12:45 pm) inspired by Janot Reichenbach (played by acclaimed French actress, Elsa Zylberstein), and her love for French socialist politician and three-time Prime Minister, Léon Blum (Hippolyte Girardot) who followed him, at great personal risk, to the Nazi prison where he was held. Those Who Remained, Hungary’s submission for the Oscars is a lyrical story of the healing power of love in the midst of national conflict, loss, and trauma, revealing the healing process of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of a young girl in post-World War II Hungary.

Not all is sad as several comedies fill out the festival. Saturday, March 14 at 8:00 pm Tel Aviv on Firefeatures Tel Aviv on Fire which finds comedy in dire situations. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict forces an unlikely union between an Israeli border guard with a yearn for Hummus and an inept Palestinian screenwriter. Two familiar faces will be the actors from the hit comedy Maktubb (SBJFF 2018) who are back this year with Forgiveness, Israel’s most popular movie in 2019. During the holy days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur two hapless criminals try to set their lives aright but keep stumbling into one crisis after another. In a slightly different vein is The Rabbi from Hezbolah (Friday, March 13, 10:00 am). A farmer from Lebanon ends up helping the Israeli army in a biography with more twists and turns than a Matthew Bourne mystery. Also inspiring is Aulcie, about the rise and fall and rise of one of Israel’s greatest athletes and basketball players (Thursday, March 12, 10:00 am.)

Two special movies are the documentary Carl Laemmle (Friday, March 13, 3:00 pm) and Golda’s Balcony, the Film, (Sunday 15 at 12:45). Carl Laemmle follows the life of the founder of Universal Studios, but more importantly, a man who rescued over 300 members of his family from Nazi Germany. Golda’s Balcony, the Film features Tovah Feldshuh’s stunning Broadway performance as Golda Meir—and nearly a hundred other characters from Henry Kissinger to Ben Gurion.

A featured shorts program will run 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 15, including shorts from the US, with a world premiere among the selections, and a profile of a young ultra-orthodox Jew with a real flair for comedy. Producers, directors and family members are invited guests.

The free community program will be on Sunday, March 15 at 10:00 am and features two very entertaining comics exploring the food delights of Montreal in Chewdaism. Guaranteed to have you craving a good corned beef on rye!

Other highlights of the Festival in a more serious vein are Incitement in which acclaimed writer-director Yaron Zilberman chronicles the disturbing descent of a promising law student Yigal Amir (award-winning actor Yehuda Nahari Halevi) who was influenced by a particular interpretation of Rabbinic teaching, political points of view and maternal love and transformed into an intransigent ultranationalist obsessed with murdering Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Incitement is a story told with heart-searching honesty and was as Israel’s 2020 Oscar submission and winner of 9 Ophir Awards including Best Picture.

The festival concludes on Sunday, March 15 at 6:30 pm with the Ha’Seret Ha’Mitztayen (Excellence in Film) Awards to best short, documentary, and feature film, followed by Crescendo, a fictional film loosely based on the real-life West-Eastern Divan Orchestra—which is scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara just before the Festival—started by conductor Daniel Barenboim and the late Palestinian scholar Edward Said. Crescendo’s story offers a tempered hope for the future.

For a full list of films go to All-Access Passes, which cover all thirteen programs plus opening night reception and early entrance to the films, is $118. Individual tickets ($12) will be available in advance beginning March 11 and at the door.

About the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival

The Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara produces the Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival specifically to celebrate the diversity of Jewish history, culture, and identity while hoping that the films and their stories will resonate beyond these settings and speak to universal experiences and issues that confront our common humanity. For more information, visit

SB Jewish Federation

(Source: Santa Barbara Jewish Film Festival Press Office)