Friday, March 1 - Sunday, March 3, 2019
Friday, March 1, 2019
You Are Here: A Come From Away Story
Canada, Feature Documentary, 2018, 84 min This story touched the world and celebrates the best that we can be. We need it, especially right now. —Tom Brokaw
This lovely feature documentary shows the big heart of the little town of Gander, Newfoundland, when 38 airliners carrying 7,000 passengers were forced to land at their airport after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Although the Ganderites struggled with the dozens of new languages, they were ingenious in solving the huge logistical problems, like turning the hockey rink into a giant refrigerator. Among other things, the film pulls back the emotional layers surrounding the five days that the community housed, fed and took care of the dislocated passengers (or the “come-from-aways” in Newfoundland parlance). This beautiful, feel-good film ends appropriately with the opening of the hit Broadway musical “Come from Away.”
Directed by Moze Mossanen
Opening Night Party 5:00-7:00 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2019
THE WIEGHT OF WATER
USA, 79 min., Feature Documentary
By BIFF Award-Winner Michael Brown
(Farther Than the Eye Can See, High Ground).
Starring Erik Weihenmayer
Making your first solo-kayak run of the Grand Canyon is daunting, particularly if you are totally blind. Erik Weihenmayer has
ONE LAST DEAL
Finland, Feature Film, 2018, 95 min
Elderly Finnish art dealer Olavi still dreams of “one last deal” that will make his retirement comfortable. His dream appears to be answered at an auction preview where he spots an unattributed painting that could be worth a fortune. Olavi is a wily businessman, but his lifelong obsession with art has long ago alienated his family. Then, out of the blue, his grown daughter reappears, along with his moody teenage grandson Otto, an art student who needs an internship. Together, Olavi, with his vast contacts in the art world, and Otto, with his prodigious tech skills, become a dynamic art-detective duo. Subtitled.
Directed by Klaus Härö
BE NATURAL: THE UNTOLD STORY OF ALICE GUY-BLACHE
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 81 min
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 103 min
Paris-born Alice Guy-Blaché was the world’s first female film director. Before she pioneered the narrative film in 1894, movies were documentaries. She introduced dancing girls and romantic comedies. She wrote or produced more than 1,000 films, including some 150 with synchronized sound. She founded one of the first film studios in the US, but her success and accomplishments have been shockingly neglected for more than a century. Even worse, film historians have misattributed many of her greatest films to men. Pamela B. Green’s energetic film is a thrilling detective story, tracing how this brilliant founding artist was nearly erased from history and beginning Guy-Blaché’s reclamation. Subtitled.
Directed by Pamela B. Green
SKID ROW MARATHON
USA, Feature Documentary, 2017, 85
Judge Craig Mitchell is the definition of inspirational. By day he presides over a criminal court for Los Angeles County but, by early morning, he trades his judicial garb for tennis shoes and running shorts as he jogs the darkened streets of LA among the people who call Skid Row home. He starts a running club comprised of homeless addicts, a recovering single mom and a paroled murderer who consider themselves among those least likely to succeed. As they train together to run in international marathons, they learn to dream big.
Directed by Gabriele Hayes, Mark Hayes
Sunday, March 3, 2019
UK/USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 93 min
“…the biggest kick is giggling at the key players startlingly accurate predictions of the kind of world were now living in.” —Village Voice
Everything that touches our daily lives, like social media, e-commerce and even emojis, had its original vision at General Magic, the most spectacularly successful business failure in history. In 1994, the company invented and produced the world’s first smart phone, which worked fine. But there was little demand, mainly because this was before the Internet, 3G and Google: the world wasn’t ready to hold the world in its hands. General Magic failed big and messy, but its brilliant young engineers fanned out and literally changed the world—they invented the iPad, the iPhone and the Android. And the company, remarkably, caught its rocketing rise and dismal fall all on video. This film is a tale of how great vision and epic failure can change the world.
Directed by Sarah Kerruish, Matt Maude
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 96 min
The rollicking, foot-stomping heart of competitive bluegrass is the Old Fiddler’s Convention run by the Moose Lodge in Galax, VA. Sister filmmakers Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic, returning to their Appalachian roots, were given permission to film the festival for the first time in its 80-year history because Lodge members remember the sisters’ grandpa. From multi-generations jamming in the parking lots, to the ultra-competitive instrumental contests, we are eye witnesses to the folk roots of some of the greatest and most authentic bluegrass in America. And when the top 10 finalists are announced in the ultra-competitive guitar competition, we’re in for an exciting and unexpected musical climax. Fiddlin’ is a joyous celebration of Americana.
Directed by Julie Simone
RETURN TO MOUNT KENNEDY
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 80 min
In 1965, Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest, invited Senator Robert Kennedy to the highly publicized first ascent of a remote mountain in the Yukon named after the late president, JFK. Jim and RFK became great friends, and Jim gave the eulogy at Bobby Kennedy’s funeral. Fifty years later, the sons of the original climbing team—Bob Whittaker, the former hard-partying road manager of Mud Honey and R.E.M, and Chris Kennedy, son of Bobby, embark on an expedition to climb the mountain for the 50th anniversary of the famous original climb, though admittedly, they are not in great shape. Featuring interviews with, and wild instrumentals by, Eddie Vedder, and never-before-seen footage of Robert Kennedy, this climbing film really rocks.
Directed by Eric Becker
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
USA, Feature Documentary, 2018, 91 min
“A comfortable level of disharmony is the best you can hope for in this life.” —farming guru Alan York in the Hollywood Reporter
When young urban foodie couple John and Mollie Chester get booted from their tiny LA apartment because of their barking dog, they leap into buying a run-down 200-acre-farm an hour north of the city. But the farm’s soil is so depleted and drought-ridden that it will not even grow weeds, and John and Mollie know nothing about farming. So, they consult a Zen-farming expert named Alan York, who suggested a fantasy-utopian farm, one involving 70 different species of 10,000 fruit trees and 200 different crops, all laid out in Van Gogh whorls, with free-ranging animals like ducks, chickens and pigs to fertilize the soil. When the farm’s ecosystem finally begins to reawaken, so does the Chester’s hope. But as their plan to create perfect harmony takes a series of wild turns, they realize that to survive they will have to reach a far greater understanding of the wisdom of nature, and of life itself.
Directed by John Chester