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SHOWING NEXT at REEL DOCS

All films will be shown in the Teatro Santa Ana, Biblioteca Pública
Relox #50A, San Miguel de Allende

FREEHELD and MONDAYS AT RACINE

 

Friday and Saturday, November 24 and 25 at 4:00pm

40 Minutes each - both films will be shown together with short break in between

Meet Filmmaker Cynthia Wade 

 

 

ABOUT THE FILMS:

 

FREEHELD

Lieutenant Laurel Hester is dying. All Laurel wants to do is leave her pension benefits to her life partner, Stacie, so Stacie can afford to keep their house. She is told no; they are not husband and wife. After spending a lifetime fighting for justice for others, Laurel launches a final battle for justice. Knuckle-biting, dramatic Freeheld chronicles a dying policewoman's bitter fight to provide for the love of her life. (39 minutes)

 

VIEW TRAILER

 

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MONDAYS AT RACINE

 

Every third Monday of the month, brassy Long Island, New York, sisters Cynthia and Rachel open up their hair salon, called Racine, and offer free beauty services for women undergoing chemotherapy. Intent on making their customers feel beautiful, the glamour duo knows that Mondays at Racine goes beyond purple painted toes or a frothy facial. The sisters are determined to give women who are losing their hair, eyebrows and eyelashes a sense of normalcy and dignity in a traumatic and uncertain time. The story of what hair means in our culture quickly unfolds into an unexpected look at womanhood, marriage and survival. (39 minutes)

 

 

VIEW TRAILER

 

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Director Cynthia Wade won an Academy Award in 2008 and was nominated for her second Academy Award in 2013.  She’s won festival awards all over the world, include two awards at Sundance, three awards at Palm Springs, and prizes in Aspen and the Hamptons film festivals, as well as film awards in Spain, Italy, Argentina and Belgium. She directs films for clients such as HBO, Cinemax, Sundance Channel, IFC Channel, and PBS. Cynthia is a MacArthur grant recipient and holds a Master’s Degree from Stanford University in Documentary Film.

 

STATES OF GRACE

 

Tuesday and Wednesday, January 16 and 17 at 4:00pm

75 minutes

Meet Filmmakers Mark Lipman and Helen S. Cohen

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

 

STATES OF GRACE

 

Winner of multiple film festival audience awards, States of Grace intimately captures the profound transformation of a revered physician and her family in the wake of a life-changing accident. For Dr. Grace Dammann, a pioneering AIDS specialist who was honored by the Dalai Lama, a routine commute across the Golden Gate Bridge turned tragic when another driver crashed head on into her car. After seven weeks in a coma and a dozen surgeries, Grace miraculously awakened with her cognitive abilities intact, though her body was left shattered. States of Grace follows her return home to the Buddhist community where she and her partner Nancy “Fu” Schroeder live with their teenage daughter Sabrina, who was born with cerebral palsy. With dry humor and brave candor, the three of them slowly recalibrate their lives together and apart. The San Francisco Chronicle calls the film “brave [and] refreshingly unsentimental” and audiences across the country have been moved by this inspiring story of perseverance and resilience. (75 minutes)

 

VIEW TRAILER

 

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Since 2004, award-winning directors/producers Mark Lipman and Helen S. Cohen have been creating documentary projects together under their Open Studio Productions banner. Lipman has worked as a documentary filmmaker for thirty years, exploring a wide range of subjects from domestic violence to human sexuality to affordable housing and community organizing. His films have been broadcast nationally on public television. Cohen brings to documentary filmmaking a long and diverse history of activism and professional work with cultural, educational and community development organizations. She is a long-standing member of New Day Films, a national cooperative of independent filmmakers who self-distribute social issue documentaries.

 

THIS AIN'T NO MOUSE MUSIC! 

The Story of Chris Strachwitz and Arhoolie Records

 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 at 4:00pm

1h 30min 

Meet Filmmaker Maureen Gosling

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

 

Roots music icon Chris Strachwitz is a detective of deep American music that’s the antithesis of the corporate “mouse music” dominating pop culture. Born a German count, Strachwitz came to the US as a teenager in 1947. There he saw a film that would change his life forever: New Orleans, starring Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. Since then, his life has been a relentless quest to track down and record the best of American roots music New Orleans jazz, down home blues, Cajun, Zydeco, and Norteño. Strachwitz is the legendary founder of Arhoolie Records, the label that brought rural American music out of the shadows and into the limelight. He also brought rural musicians to Europe, introducing wildly enthusiastic audiences to the rhythms of bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins, Zydeco king Clifton Chenier and others. In the process, he changed music in the US and the world forever. From Texas to New Orleans, Cajun country to Appalachia, join Ry Cooder, Richard Thompson, Taj Mahal, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Doucet, the Pine Leaf Boys, Flaco Jiménez and the Treme Brass Band for a delightful hipshaking romp, as Strachwitz continues his passionate quest for the musical soul of America.

 

 

TRAILER

 

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Maureen Gosling, a documentary filmmaker for forty years, produced and directed Blossoms of Fire, on the legendary Zapotecs of southern Oaxaca, Mexico, which was broadcast on HBO Latino, and five other international television channels. She was co-filmmaker/editor/and/or sound recordist with acclaimed director, Les Blank, for twenty years on twenty films, including Burden of Dreams (British Academy Award). She has constructed and shaped dozens of films for Blank and many other directors, including Luke Griswold Tergis’ Smokin’ Fish (IFP Doc Lab honoree, broadcast nationwide on PBS+), Abby Ginzberg’s Cruz Reynoso: Sowing the Seeds of Justice (Latino Public Broadcasting), and Jed Riffe’s four-part nationwide PBS series, California and the American Dream: California’s “Lost” Tribes.

 

A NEW COLOR: THE ART OF BEING EDYTHE BOONE

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 at 4:00pm

57 minutes

Meet Filmmaker Marlene “Mo” Morris

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

 

A NEW COLOR: THE ART OF BEING EDYTHE BOONE focuses on the life and work of muralist, activist and educator, Edythe (Edy) Boone, a self-taught artist from East Harlem who moved to the San Francisco Bay area in search of a safe environment for her children. Filmed over five years, Morris follows Boone, the fit septuagenarian, who became an artist/activist simply because empowering and building community is the right thing to do. Concerned about the exceedingly high number of senseless deaths of young Black men across the U.S., Boone includes these injustices as part of the narrative in her murals, which she creates with seniors and youths, alike. Black Lives Matter vigils hit close to home when her own nephew becomes a victim and his last words “I Can’t Breathe” become part of the nation’s cry for justice. Morris’ intimate portrait celebrates the ordinary life of an extraordinary individual—one who is transparent about life, love and fear in the Black community, and who inspires others to live more fully. 

 

A NEW COLOR toured film festivals around the country and was selected as the Audience Favorite Special Mention at Mill Valley Film Festival and Best Documentary Short at Chicago’s Peace on Earth Film Festival. It was also broadcast nationally on public television’s WORLD Channel as part of the award-winning documentary series AMERICA REFRAMED. 

 

VIEW TRAILER

 

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Mo Morris calls Berkeley, CA home and has been producing and editing videos for non-profit and educational organizations for over seven years on topics as wide-ranging as ecology, domestic abuse survivors, Jewish choral music, and restorative justice. She has been associate producer and editor on film projects with internationally acclaimed Bay Area filmmakers Jed Riffe, Maureen Gosling, and Abby Ginzberg. As associate producer at Berkeley’s Center for Digital Storytelling, Mo collaborated to create Silence Speaks, an anthology of short videos featuring survivors and witnesses of human rights abuses and domestic violence. With two young daughters, Mo followed her passion to study documentary filmmaking and sought out internships to gain practical experience. Years of social justice activism and professional experience as a mediator and immigration attorney enrich Mo’s approach to documentary filmmaking. A New Color is her first feature film.

 

LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!

 

Tuesday and Wednesday, February 6 and 7, 2018 at 4:00pm

1h 24min 

Meet Filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

 

Look At Us Now, Mother! documents a highly charged mother-daughter relationship’s transition from Mommie Dearest to Dear Mom, from hatred to love, with the daughter (Emmy award-winning filmmaker, Gayle Kirschenbaum) behind the camera. Comprised primarily of intimate family home movies and videos—from 8 mm film coverage of Gayle’s outwardly “Leave it to Beaver-esque” childhood in an upwardly-mobile Long Island suburb, from personal celebrations to fights, and even tragedies, leading right up to the present. With raw courage and equal parts humor and pathos, Gayle invites the audience on her quest to understand, forgive and love her aging mother before its too late. As these two formidable women travel down the bumpy road of discovery, their relationship changes before our eyes and teaches us a universal lesson: the power of forgiveness.

 

 

TRAILER

 

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Gayle Kirschenbaum is an Emmy award-winning filmmaker, television producer, and speaker. Called the “Nora Ephron of documentaries,” Gayle turns the camera on herself in her personal feature documentary, LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! The film has received rave reviews - New York Times – “heartwarming…story of acceptance and forgiveness”.  LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! is about the transformation of a highly charged mother/daughter relationship from hatred to love. This is the “larger version” of her funny award-winning film, MY NOSE, in which we follow her mother’s relentless campaign to get her to have a nose job. Gayle has turned these films’ lessons into a humorous and insightful seminar, featuring "The Seven Healing Tools" for dealing with difficult people.   Kirschenbaum created and stars in the film A DOG’S LIFE: A DOGAMENTARY, which premiered on HBO. Kirschenbaum is also creator several shows, which premiered on TLC and Discovery.

 

Gayle has been featured widely in the media including the New York Times, NBC’s Today Show, LA Times, Washington Post and Psychology Today. She founded the Writers on Hudson, is a member of Producers Guild of America, National Speakers Association, New York Women In Film & Television, Film Fatales and a judge for the Emmys.

 

ALUMBRONES

 

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13 and 14, 2018 at 4:00pm

75 minutes, Spanish with English subtitles

Meet Filmmakers Bruce Donnelly, James Kubesch and Fermin Rojas

 

 

ABOUT THE FILM:

 

"Alumbrones" (Illuminations) - Unexpected, short-lived bursts of light.

 

ALUMBRONES is a documentary feature film that looks at the work and lives of twelve contemporary Cuban artists, living in Havana today. Visiting each person in their home and studio, the film explores the varying styles and techniques used, the themes, philosophies and ideas present in their work, as well as the many obstacles and difficulties they face on a daily basis and the feelings each person has towards the place they call home. Through in-depth interviews, the film covers a diverse range of subjects and issues, from supply shortages and constant blackouts ("apagones") to family life, love, sex, and music.

 

The film premiered in Piccadilly Circus in London at the Raindance Film Festival and was selected by the United Nations, Global Peace and American Documentary Film Festivals among others, with special presentations and discussions at Stanford and Harvard Universities. Alumbrones was also recently incorporated into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) Library collection. 

 

TRAILER

 

 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS:

 

South African-born director and producer Bruce Donnelly graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Film and Media Studies.  He moved to New York City in 2006, to further his studies with a post-graduate degree in filmmaking. In 2007, he opened Lost Boy Productions, a film company based in New

York and went on to produce a number of short and feature documentaries, commercials and narrative films.

 

Producer James Kubesch’s experience in production comes from his lifelong involvement in his family’s management and development of a highly successful Broadway Musical and Literary Trust. Through its many productions and projects over the years, he has gained keen insight into production schedules. He also assists in directing assets for the J.O. and Alice F. Cole Trust, a non-profit organization benefiting the development of young musical artists. He is a graduate of Purdue University with a B.A. in aviation technology and is a licensed pilot.

 

A native Cuban who immigrated to the United States as a young child, producer Fermin Rojas is a graduate of Florida International University, with a long career in finance, theater production and music. His experience and love for all three, as well as his recent re-acquaintance with his home country, has led him to a fortuitous and exciting career in filmmaking and music recording. He is the founder of “Antinous,” Cuba’s first openly gay music group.

TRAVEL SHORTS BY BOB KRIST

 

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 20 and 21, 2018 at 4:00pm

90 minutes

Meet National Geographic photographer/filmmaker Bob Krist

 

 

ABOUT THE FILMS:

 

Join National Geographic photographer Bob Krist for a 90-minute tour of the world in a series of short, cinematic films from three continents. Krist’s award-winning films document traditional ways of life that are under threat from the pressures of contemporary society.

 

We start close to home, riding along with the cowboys and cowgirls on Guanajuato’s Cabalgata of Cristo Rey and wander further afield to witness the thousand-year tradition of “rettir” in the highlands of Iceland, the beautiful white horses of France’s Camargue, the struggle of small boat fishermen in tiny Cornish villages, and the crazy and controversial Mardi Gras practices in rural Lousiana, as well as looks at exotic Burma, and the Day of the Dead tradition in Oaxaca. 

 

TRAILER

 

ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

Bob Krist is a freelance photographer and part-time resident of San Miguel who has been shooting for National Geographic Society publications since 1980.  During that time, he has completed over 40 assignments for National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler magazines, and is now producing short travel films for NG and other clients, many of which have won the prestigious Lowell Thomas Award for Travel Broadcast, and appeared in film festivals around the world. Besides National Geographic, his other film clients include the British Museum, the Maine Maritime Museum, and several NGOs and tourism boards.   

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY and THE 100 YEARS SHOW

 

DATES FOR THESE FILMS HAVE BEEN POSTPONED!  WILL POST NEW DATES SOON.

2 hours total run time - both films will be shown together
Meet filmmaker Alison Klayman 

 

 

ABOUT THE FILMS:

 

AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY is the inside story of a dissident for the digital age who inspires global audiences and blurs the boundaries of art and politics. First-time director Alison Klayman gained unprecedented access to Ai while working as a journalist in China. Her detailed portrait provides a nuanced exploration of contemporary China and one of its most compelling public figures. (91 minutes)

 

VIEW TRAILER

 

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THE 100 YEARS SHOW profiles abstract minimalist pioneer artist Carmen Herrera as she enjoys artistic success and fame that literally took a lifetime to happen. Carmen Herrera is one of the oldest working artists today. She was a pioneering abstract painter in the '40s and '50s, but only recently found the recognition that eluded her for most of her career, as she approaches her 100th birthday.   (29 minutes)

 

VIEW TRAILER

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ABOUT THE FILMMAKER:

 

New York Times chief film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis named Alison Klayman one of their 20 Directors to Watch on a list of rising international filmmaking talents under 40. Her debut feature documentary, AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY, was shortlisted for an Academy Award, nominated for two Emmys, and earned Klayman a Director’s Guild of America nomination. It premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Prize, and was picked up by IFC Films. NEVER SORRY has now been translated into over 26 languages and released theatrically around the world. It was also one of the highest grossing films of 2012 directed by a woman. 

 

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