Alex Liu’s comedic sex education documentary Arrives on TVOD June 7 On all major streaming and cable platforms in the U.S. and Canada
A FILM THAT TALKS ABOUT SEX IN A WAY YOU LIKELY
HAVEN’T SEEN AND WITH PEOPLE YOU WOULDN’T EXPECT
To right the wrongs of his all-American sex education, 36-year-old health reporter Alex Liu goes on a quest to uncover naked truths and hard facts—no matter how awkward it gets. From neuroscience labs to church pews, A Sexplanation features provocative conversations with psychologists, sex researchers, a Jesuit priest, and several generations of Alex’s own family. With humor and grit, Alex takes audiences on a playful, heartfelt journey from a shame-filled past to a happier, healthier, sexier future.
Not your typical queer, Asian American, comedic sex education documentary about the universal search for love, connection, and family acceptance. A SEXPLANATION is an award-winning film that has been screened at 32 film festivals on four continents, eight countries, and 18 states. Festival awards include Audience Award, Feature Documentary (Cinequest, Inside Out LGBTQ, Asian American International, ReelQ, Paris International), Jury Award, Feature Documentary (DC Asian Pacific, Honolulu Rainbow), Jury Award, Best First Time Film (Tallgrass), and Audience Award, Feature Film (Phoenix).
Directed by Liu, A Sexplanation is written by Leonardo Neri and Alex Liu, produced by Steven Flynn, and edited by Brian Emerick and Alex Liu. Brian Emerick serves as Cinematographer.
Who Are The Marcuses? is a soon-to-be-released documentary feature about a mysterious couple whose more than half a billion-dollar gift to Ben Gurion University of the Negev ignites a re-imagining of conflict resolution in the Middle East and peace through the Earth’s most precious resource: water.
Currently, the film has an eye on festival play starting in late summer through the fall of 2022.
The Panorama Audience Awards Go to Baqyt (Happiness) and Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, Deutschmarks and Death)
The audience has voted: The 24th Panorama Audience Award for the best feature film goes to Baqyt (Happiness) by Askar Uzabayev. Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, Deutschmarks and Death) by Cem Kaya wins in the category Panorama Dokumente. The prizes are awarded by the Berlinale section Panorama together with radioeins and rbb television (Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg).
In the film Baqyt, the main character wears orange for her job as an influencer and a broad smile. The “Happiness” brand is her doctrine, but her home is a dark place where brute force has ruled for years. This film shows us what it costs to escape the trap of misogyny.
Cem Kaya’s dense documentary essay Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, Deutschmarks and Death) celebrates 60 years of Turkish music in Germany. An alternative post-war history that is at the same time a musical Who’s Who – from Yüksel Özkasap to Derdiyoklar and Muhabbet.
The award-winning feature film will be shown on Sunday, February 20, at 6 pm, the winner of the Panorama Dokumente at 9 pm. Both screenings will take place at Zoo Palast 1.
The Panorama Audience Award has been bestowed since 1999. As of 2011, both the best feature film and the best documentary have been honoured. During the Berlinale, all cinema-goers are invited to rate the films in the Panorama section on a voting card. In total around 8,000 votes were cast and evaluated.
This year, Panorama presented a total of 29 feature films from 33 production countries, ten of them were in Panorama Dokumente.
Panorama Audience Award Winner – Feature Film 2022:
by Askar Uzabayev
2nd Place Panorama Audience Award Winner – Feature Film 2022:
Ukraine / Turkey
by Maryna Er Gorbach
3rd Place Panorama Audience Award Winner – Feature Film 2022:
Brazil / France
by Flávia Neves
Panorama Audience Award Winner –Panorama Dokumente 2022:
Aşk, Mark ve Ölüm (Love, Deutschmarks and Death)
by Cem Kaya
2nd Place Panorama Audience Award Winner – Panorama Dokumente 2022:
Nel mio nome (Into My Name)
by Nicolò Bassetti
3rd Place Panorama Audience Award Winner Panorama Dokumente 2022:
Another full day at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival with second screenings of Cooper Raif’s Cha Cha Real Smooth, a far-reaching, exquisitely cinematic effort, and Descendant, a documentary from Margaret Brown delving into the Clotilda, a renegade slave ship from 1859 that ensnared 150 Africans and brought them up into the Mobile River then was burned to hide the illegal run. Efforts were made to keep any and all references to the voyage hidden. The descendants from the Clotilda settled into an area known as Africatown and managed to keep their story alive primarily via the oral tradition.
Brown also reveals the enduring power imbalance that persists between the descendants of Timothy Meaher, the man who chartered the illegal expedition, and the descendants of those who were enslaved aboard it.
Cha Cha Real Smooth, like its central character, Andrew, portrayed by Raif, struggles to find its footing. Nevertheless, it is a sweetly sentimental story with a strong production design with a bountiful color pallette. Raif writes, directs, and stars with significant support from seasoned pros Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann, and Brad Garrett. Raif is a remarkable talent comparable to the young Canadian filmmaker extraordinaire, Xavier Dolan. Of note, this is Dakota Johnson’s third film of the year (Lost Daughter premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival) and her second Sundance film, following the highly compelling and well-executed story, Am I OK? from Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allyne. Stay tuned for more on Am I OK?
Another day, another batch of Sundance 2022 films! The film festival is set to run January 20th throught January 30th, 2022. Check out 42West Sundance 2022 Slate with riveting and informative documentaries from Rory Kennedy (DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING), Eva Longoria Bastion (LA GUERRA CIVIL chronicling the epic boxing matches between Oscar De la Hoya and Julio César Chávez), Tia Lessin, and Emma Pildes (THE JANES, a revelatory period piece on finding a safe alternative to a life-threatening pregnancy). And, there’s the riveting Maika Monroe-led Watcher from Chloe Okuno! See below for more.
42West Sundance 2022 Slate
Premieres — Acquisition
A film by Phyllis Nagy
Starring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, Wunmi Mosaku, Cory Michael Smith, Grace Edwards
Set in Chicago, 1968. As a city and the nation are poised on the brink of violent political upheaval, suburban housewife Joy leads an ordinary life with her husband and daughter. When Joy’s pregnancy leads to a life-threatening condition, she must navigate a medical establishment unwilling to help. Her journey to find a solution to an impossible situation leads her to the “Janes,” a clandestine organization of women who provide Joy with a safer alternative — and in the process, change her life.
DOWNFALL: THE CASE AGAINST BOEING
Premieres — Netflix
A film by Rory Kennedy
Many of us take for granted that commercial air travel is safe. In 2018, with some 10,000 aircraft in service in more than 150 countries, industry leader Boeing had built its reputation on a dogged commitment to safety. But after 346 passengers are killed when two Boeing 737 MAX jets crash less than five months apart, dedicated journalists, surviving family members, and the United States Congress fight to reveal a culture of concealment and deceit within the venerated company.
Acclaimed director Rory Kennedy returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this comprehensive investigation into the crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Families of the victims relate the human cost of these tragedies, while aviation experts and former Boeing employees reveal what went wrong at the company, offering damning evidence of lies, negligence, and cover-up. DOWNFALL: The Case Against Boeing serves as a searing indictment of a once-principled company corrupted by the influence of Wall Street to prioritize profits above all else.
Rory’s films are all well-researched, informative and can pack a punch – expect nothing less with DOWNFALL.
Premieres — Acquisition
A film by Julian Higgins
Starring Thandiwe Newton, Jeremy Bobb, Joris Jarsky, Jefferson White, Kai Lennox, Tanaya Beatty
When a grieving college professor confronts two hunters she catches trespassing on her property, she’s drawn into an escalating battle of wills with catastrophic consequences.
US Documentary Competition — HBO
A film by Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes
In the spring of 1972, police raided an apartment on the South Side of Chicago. Seven women were arrested and charged. The accused were part of a clandestine network. Using code names, blindfolds, and safe houses to protect their identities and their work, they built an underground service for women seeking safe, affordable, illegal abortions. They called themselves Jane. Facing off against the mafia, the church, and the state, the Janes exhibited unparalleled bravery and compassion for those most in need.
Co-directors and Sundance Film Festival alumni Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes unearth this incredibly timely story to demonstrate how the fight for safe and legal abortions was and continues to be, an uncertain and perilous undertaking. Electrifying archival footage of Chicago in the late ’60s and early ’70s, coupled with affectingly honest interviews with the Janes themselves, brings to life the city and its spirit of revolution in that historic moment.
LA GUERRA CIVIL
Premieres — DAZN
A film by Eva Langoria Bastón
This feature-length documentary follows the epic rivalry between iconic boxers Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez in the 1990s sparked a cultural divide between Mexican nationals and Mexican-Americans. A chronicle of a battle that was more than a boxing rivalry, and examining a fascinating slice of the Latino experience in the process. La Guerra Civil is a DAZN Originals production, directed by Actress, Producer, Director & Activist, Eva Longoria Bastón and produced by her Emmy-nominated UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.
MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM
Midnight — Acquisition
A film by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace
An immersive journey through the New York music scene of the early 2000s. Set against the backdrop of 9/11, the film tells the story of how a new generation kickstarted a musical rebirth for New York City that reverberated around the world. Inspired by the book by Lizzy Goodman.
U.S. Dramatic Competition — Acquisition
A film by Chloe Okuno
Starring Maika Monroe, Karl Glusman, Burn Gorman, Ciubuciu Bogdan Alexandru
A young woman moves into a new apartment with her fiancé and is tormented by the feeling that she is being stalked by an unseen watcher in an adjacent building.
Season Three Premiere Event Screening + Panel
Daveed Diggs, Rowan Blanchard, Lena Hall, Iddo Goldberg, Alison Wright, Mickey Sumner, Katie McGuinness, Chelsea Harris, Mike O’Malley, Annalise Basso, Steven Ogg, Sheila Vand, Roberto Urbina, Christoph Schrewe (subject to change pending availability)
Friday, January 21st at 5:00-6:30PM
ABOUT SNOWPIERCER SEASON THREE: At the end of “Snowpiercer” season two, Layton (Daveed Diggs) and Ruth (Alison Wright), who were banished to Big Alice’s compost car, plotted to take back Snowpiercer. With the help of Javier (Roberto Urbina) and Alexandra (Rowan Blanchard), Layton and Ruth made it back to Snowpiercer and rallied with their supporters. Josie (Katie McGuiness) destroyed the Aquarium car, separating Snowpiercer’s head from the remaining 1,023 cars. Season three picks up with Layton (Diggs) and his inner circle commanding a small 10 car “pirate train” in search of Melanie (Jennifer Connelly) and a possible warm location to restart civilization; while back on Snowpiercer, Mr. Wilford (Sean Bean) is consolidating power, awaiting Layton’s return.
The beauty of Sundance is the films. And, the 2022 festival is showcasing extraordinary World Cinema Documentary and NEXT films currently up for acquisition.
Stay tuned for more on these informative gems from the Sundance Film Festival, scheduled for January 20th to the 30th, 2022, in Park City, Utah!
ALL THAT BREATHES, Dir. Shaunak Sen (World Cinema Doc Competition) – Against the darkening backdrop of Delhi’s apocalyptic air and escalating violence, two brothers devote their lives to protect one casualty of the turbulent times: the bird known as the Black Kite. (Acquisition title. Sales: Submarine)
THE MISSION, Dir. Tania Anderson (World Cinema Doc Competition) – A revelation of the inner lives of young LDS missionaries as they leave their homes for the first time and travel to the other side of the world in an attempt to convert some of Europe’s most non-religious, private and skeptical people, the Finns, to their faith. (Acquisition title. Sales: Autlook) NOTHING COMPARES, Dir. Kathryn Ferguson (World Cinema Doc Competition) – The story of Sinéad O’Connor’s phenomenal rise to worldwide fame and her exile from the pop mainstream. Focusing on Sinéad’s prophetic words and deeds from 1987-1992, the film reflects on the legacy of this fearless trailblazer through a contemporary feminist lens. (Acquisition title. Sales: Submarine)
RIOTSVILLE, USA, Dir. Sierra Pettengill (NEXT) – Welcome to Riotsville, a fictional town built by the U.S. military. Using footage shot by the media and government, the film explores the militarization of the police and the reaction of a nation to the uprisings of the late ’60s, creating a counter-narrative to a critical moment in American history. (Acquisition title. Sales: Cinetic)
SIRENS, Dir. Rita Baghdadi (World Cinema Doc Competition) – On the outskirts of Beirut, Lilas and Shery, co-founders and guitarists of the Middle East’s first all-female metal band, wrestle with friendship, sexuality and destruction in their pursuit of becoming thrash metal rock stars. (Acquisition title. Sales: CAA)
TANTURA, Dir. Alon Schwarz (World Cinema Doc Competition – Day One Film) – In 1948, the State of Israel was established and war broke out. Hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed with their inhabitants killed or exiled. The film focuses on one village: Tantura, bringing to light Israel’s founding myth and its society’s inability to come to terms with its dark past. (Acquisition title. Sales: UTA)
Kicking off the 2022 Sundance Film Festival at 4 pm on Thursday, January 20th, award-winning documentarian Sam Green returns to Sundance with a groundbreaking and immersive documentary, 32 SOUNDS, a film about the powerful effects of sound and how it affects our conscious and unconscious lives. 32 SOUNDS will feature original compositions of live music and narration by JD Samson that will be performed live.
32 SOUNDS is designed to be experienced with personal headphones for a truly unique binaural audio experience. A high-quality headset is strongly recommended for online audiences. Wireless headphones will be provided at performances held in the Egyptian Theatre.
32 SOUNDS will be a special hybrid digital/in-person presentation and will take place simultaneously at the Egyptian Theatre and in The Spaceship’s Cinema House.
Filmmaker Margaret Brown returns to Sundance with the World Premiere of her U.S. Documentary Competition film DESCENDANT, a deeply moving look at the descendants of the survivors of the Clotilda, the last ship carrying enslaved Africans to the United States 40 years after African slave trading became a capital offense.
Brown’s DESCENDANT explores and reveals the enduring power imbalance that persists between the descendants of Timothy Meaher, the man who chartered the illegal expedition, and the descendants of those who were enslaved aboard it. The Meaher family owns much of the heavily industrialized area that surrounds Africatown. Elevated cases of cancer and illness are prevalent there, but the Africatown community persists. Residents celebrate their heritage and take command of their legacy by bringing their history to the surface
In addition, Bianca Stinger’s cinematic meditation on memory and loss, THREE MINUTES – A LENGTHENING, will screen at Sundance in the Spotlight section after debuting to critical acclaim at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival and Telluride Film Festival.
In 2009, Glenn Kurtz discovered a crumbling 16mm color home movie in his parents’ closet — amateur footage his grandfather David shot in 1938 on a vacation to Europe. In addition to familiar tourist attractions, the film included three minutes of what would turn out to be the only known footage of the predominantly Jewish town of Nasielsk, Poland — David Kurtz’s birthplace — one year before the Nazi occupation would destroy the community, leaving fewer than 100 survivors of the Holocaust.
Stigter traces the story of those three minutes and the discoveries they prompted, conducting a filmic excavation seeking to expand time, postponing the inevitable fate of the people caught on celluloid. Examining each frame for clues, playing and replaying the haunting footage, performing active discovery on every detail, THREE MINUTES – A LENGTHENING bears witness to history to demonstrate the power of cinema to reclaim the past for the present.
All good things must come to end – but not before one last day of amazing films! Tickets to today’s in-person and virtual screenings still available. VIEW SCHEDULE & BUY TICKETS
The ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage show yet…all in the glamorous entertainment capital of the world, Redshore City. There’s just one hitch: they first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star – played by global music icon Bono – to join them. Screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS
Following the screening, join us for an in-depth conversation with director Clint Bentley, Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker and more moderated by Variety’s Clayton Davis. Screening today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS
This whip-smart feature debut from Araceli Lemos is a potent and visceral tale of race, class and tradition filtered through body and social horror. Screening today at 7:30 p.m.BUY TICKETS
After escaping a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution in China, the film’s nameless hero has one goal – to watch a newsreel screening in which his daughter was briefly captured on film. On this journey, he meets a young orphan who has her own schemes for a newsreel, as well as a small village’s much-loved film projectionist named Mr. Movie. Screening in person today at 5:00 p.m.BUY TICKETS
Winner of the Best Documentary Award at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s hypnotic feature directorial debut examines rediscovered, once lost film reels and a diary written by a student (“L”) to her absent lover at the Film & Television Institute of India. Screening in person today at 3:30 p.m.BUY TICKETSVIEW MORE FILMS
Whether you enjoy this year’s AFI FEST films in the theater or at home, make sure you vote after the screenings for the Audience Award!
It’s a great day at the AFI FEST 2021 in Hollywood, California!
Through November 14th, AFI FEST 2021 is offering the best in global cinema. Tickets are available for select screenings.
Here are a few recommendations for today.
Powerful, provocative and deeply moving: Bernstein’s Wall tells the life story of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story). Utilizing Bernstein’s own words, harvested from his many recorded appearances on the radio, television and in-person interviews, offering a strikingly intimate perspective, Bernstein’s Wall sceens today at 3:15 P.M. today with a runtime of 106 minutes. A music-lover’s dream come true!
BUY TICKETSUNCLENCHING THE FISTS (RAZZHIMAYA KULAKI) a World Cinema entry is also the Russia Official International Feature Film Oscar Submission. Recipient of the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival, Russian newcomer Kira Kovalenko delivers a raw, visceral experience, and the film is filled with harshly beautiful performances and is uniquely told from a woman’s perspective. Highly recommended!
BUY TICKETS Director/Filmmaker provocateur Sean Baker (Tangerine,Florida Project) is back with another raw, slice of life feature, Red Rocket. The narrative follows Mikey Saber (Simon Rex) as he tries to put his life back together in oil refinery hometown of Texas City after spending 20 years of his life working in the porn industry. Plenty of action and a little frontal nudity as Baker once again proves he is a storyteller to be reckoned with.
“My favorite film at the Telluride Film Festival.” – Sam Stromberg
BUY TICKETSAli & Ava. Ali and Ava each live lonely lives in North Britain. Ali, a British Pakistani, is a former DJ turned compassionate landlord who meets Ava, an Irish-born schoolteacher and single mother of five, while picking up one of his tenant’s children from school. Despite their differences, sparks start to fly. As Ali and Ava’s relationship grows deeper, the shadows of their emotional turmoil and society’s expectations of them build as well. Can they find a way to keep their love alive?
BUY TICKETSHuda’s Salon centers on the complex friction in the West Bank between the Palestinian resistance and the Israeli occupation. Reem, mother of a newborn baby and wife to a distrusting husband, gets her hair cut at Huda’s Salon one fateful day. There, Huda blackmails Reem into betraying their Palestinian community by providing intel to the Israeli Secret Service. The very next day Huda is found out by the resistance and Reem’s blackmail photo is discovered.
“Huda’s Salon reveals with disturbing candor the plight of Palestinian women striving to survive while being trapped on all sides.” –Julia Kipnis
Last night, the AFI FEST audience at the TCL Chinese Theatre was treated to the World Premiere of tick, tick…BOOM! Check out the exclusive photos from the red carpet, featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andrew Garfield, Vanessa Hudgens, Judith Light, Robin de Jesus, Joshua Henry, Alexandra Shipp and more.