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Portraits

Hélène and her son Aurélien produce wine on an idyllic French vineyard that’s been in their family for centuries. Kevin and his son Cona, hailing from a family of outlaws, are now legal purveyors of sun-grown cannabis in…

In Newark, NJ, a mortician takes two troubled teenage boys under his tutelage. Teacher and students alike learn the meaning of tradition, hard work, and forgiveness through instruction in the ways of traditional Muslim burial. Shot in stark black and…

An intimate, inspiring, and timely portrait of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a true pioneer of American civil rights who was the lone voice in opposition to the authorization of military force after the September 11th attacks. A unique selection of…

WORLD PREMIERE |   What do humans need to be happy, healthy, and sane? A crew of six non-astronauts from all over the world, chosen for their ability to survive isolation, embark on a one-year mission in the Mars simulation station in Hawai’i in…

For decades, the life of American jazz musician Billy Tipton was framed as the sensationalistic story of an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career. Now that history gets re-interrogated by trans artists as they try to reimagine…

A whirlwind of a life takes Stan Brock to the Amazonian ranches of South America and around the world as a nature-television presenter. An incident at his hacienda in Guyana spurs the Englishman to pursue his true life’s work: providing healthcare to…

US PREMIERE | After 45 years together, 69-year-old Jola finally is able to separate from her abusive, alcoholic husband. Leaving him behind in Italy, she returns to her native Poland, reunites with old friends, and begins to live life for…

WORLD PREMIERE | Director Noah Hutton embarks on a 10-year project following a visionary neuroscientist’s quest to build a computer simulation of a brain. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of a multimillion-dollar scientific…

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Evgeny Afineevsky ( Winter on Fire , DOC NYC 2015) looks at the pressing challenges of the 21st century through the eyes of Pope Francis. Born in Argentina, Francis is the first leader of the Catholic Church to come from the…

WORLD PREMIERE |   After stints as a contributor to CNN and MTV, Sian-Pierre Regis makes his directing debut with this poignant story about his immigrant mother, Rebecca Danigelis. At the age of 75, she’s fired from her lifelong job as…

In the midst of the most devastating attack in American history on US soil, President George W. Bush finds himself in a South Florida classroom with a group of elementary school children. Nearly 20 years later, filmmaker Elizabeth St. Phillip follows…

Sonic Cinema

US PREMIERE   | For a brief but wondrous time in the late 1960s, Tiny Tim was, improbably, a household name. Generating attention for his distinctive falsetto vocal stylings and unusual appearance, the performer began appearing on various…

Brothers and gifted musicians, pianist Aldo and violinist Ilmar were separated during childhood after Ilmar left their native Cuba to study abroad, beginning a lifetime of being physically apart, yet alway connected by music. Brief windows of open…

WORLD PREMIERE | Blues and folk singer Karen Dalton was a prominent figure in 1960s New York. Idolized by Bob Dylan and Nick Cave, Karen discarded the traditional trappings of success and led an unconventional life until her early death. Since…

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE |  As the lead singer and songwriter of The Pogues, Shane MacGowan fused punk rock with Irish folk music to create timeless songs such as “Streams of Whiskey” and “Fairytale of New York,”…

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE | Anointed as Miles Davis’ protegé by the legend himself, Wallace Roney slipped into relative obscurity shortly after his mentor’s death. A recently rediscovered orchestral jazz suite written by Wayne Shorter for Davis but…

Through his pioneering band, Mothers of Invention, as well as his solo work, Frank Zappa embraced a variety of genres, from rock and jazz to experimental and classical music, ultimately producing more than 60 albums in a career spanning four decades. An…

INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE | A chronicle of the life of saxophonist Ronnie Scott, from poor, Jewish kid growing up in 1940s East End, London to the owner of the legendary night club, Ronnie’s. Glorious clips from performances by jazz greats spanning…

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE |  When a young London-born Nigerian music fan makes the shocking discovery that many Nigerian musical icons don’t possess copies of their own recordings, he returns to Lagos to re-record them. This film chronicles the…

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE | Filmmaker Justin Staple offers an eye-opening exploration of the SoundCloud rap phenomenon, a scene of troubled, young, lo-fi rappers that has emerged within the last few years. Exploiting the possibilities of social…

Investigations

Journalism’s role of exposing corruption has rarely been as dramatically portrayed as in Collective . Filmmaker Alexander Nanau follows a team of Romanian reporters in real time as they doggedly uncover a deadly scandal that reaches the highest levels…

Oscar-winning filmmaker Bryan Fogel ( Icarus, DOC NYC 2017) investigates the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The film breaks new ground with access to key sources including Khashoggi’s…

In 1971, on Thanksgiving Day, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked a commercial flight, holding passengers ransom for $200K. After his demands were met, he freed the hostages, forced the plane back in the air, and escaped mid-flight via parachute…

In this provocative look at strange political bedfellows, Israeli filmmaker Maya Zinshtein ( Forever Pure , DOC NYC 2016) investigates the political alliance between American evangelicals and Israel’s right wing, and their influence on the Trump…

NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE |   In 1970, off the coast of Cape Cod, Lithuanian sailor Simas Kudirka jumped from his Soviet ship onto a US Coast Guard vessel seeking asylum. Denied refuge by the American crew, Simas was sentenced to a Soviet labor…

WORLD PREMIERE | At the height of the Cold War, the CIA is tasked with an audacious covert mission: recovering a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine from the bottom of the ocean. The mission hangs in the balance as the agency and its activities are caught…

Just 70 miles north of the Mexican-US border is a land haunted by ghosts. Brooks County, Texas is a barren landscape designed as a deterrent to illegal crossings, but people continue to attempt to cross, and many die trying. The municipality lacks the…

On September 23, 1994, a group of Colombian separatist guerillas went “miracle fishing,” abducting American journalist Tom Hargrove to hold for ransom. Finding no support from either the US government or the local corrupt authorities, Hargrove’s…

INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE |  Filmmaker Mor Loushy ( Censored Voices ) examines the powerful pro-Israeli lobby AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee), known for bipartisan loyalty in Washington, DC. Throughout its 60-year history, AIPAC has…

In June 2017, Chinese student Yingying Zhang’s dream of earning her PhD in America morphed into a nightmare when she disappeared from her college campus, sparking a desperate search for her whereabouts. Characteristically cautious, Yingying would not…

For decades, Las Vegas fertility specialist Dr. Quincy Fortier was celebrated for helping thousands of couples have babies. His secret? Impregnating women with his own sperm, unbeknownst to them. Using a consumer DNA test, a woman discovers that Dr….

In February 2017, Kim Jong-nam, the eldest son of the late North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il, and half-brother to the current Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, died after being exposed to a lethal nerve agent in a Malaysian airport. His assassins were caught on…

WORLD PREMIERE | Filmmaker Nancy Buirski ( The Loving Story ) tells the story of a lasting bond formed between an unjustly arrested Black man, Gary Duncan, and Richard Sobol, his young Jewish attorney. In 1966, 19-year-old Duncan faces the white…

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American Perspectives

WORLD PREMIERE |  Iconoclastic historian Andrew Bacevich delivers an anti-colonial critique of US foreign policy in the Middle East, informed by his long career in the Army. While other historians analyze changing presidential administrations…

Each year, hundreds of thousands of children’s letters to Santa arrive at post offices around the country. The USPS attempts to make their Christmas wishes come true through a massive community organizing project known as Operation Santa. Through this…

WORLD PREMIERE | Like many businesses, the restaurant industry has been hard hit by COVID-19. This timely film, executive produced by Guy Fieri, intimately chronicles the impact of the pandemic on the restaurants of four chefs familiar to viewers of…

After the Minneapolis Police department appoints its first female chief, four female officers, each from different walks of life, must cope with the interdepartmental politics of this landmark change. When Chief Janee Harteau is forced to step down…

Youngstown, Ohio, once a booming steel and mining town, is now the epitome of post-industrial decline. Plunging population, derelict housing, and crime plague the city, but a new crop of industrious entrepreneurs and community activists refuse to accept…

In this timely and radical film about female desire, gender politics, and sexuality, director Maria Finitzo invites us to share intimate conversations with women on a mission to reverse a patriarchal legacy that excludes female empowerment through…

Formerly a solid Polish Catholic town, Hamtramck, MI is America’s first majority Muslim city. During one election cycle, popular incumbent Karen Majewski faces Muslim challenger Mohammed Hassan for mayor, and the typically harmonious, culturally…

Rutland, Vermont, once a prosperous American town, is now ravaged by drugs, poverty, and a diminishing population. When the mayor attempts to welcome 100 Syrian refugees, communal discord erupts over resources and civic priorities. In all the noise, one…

WORLD PREMIERE | Overprotected and overdirected, American children are wilting under the weight of well-meaning parents. In the pursuit of keeping them safe and creating an impressive resumé of extracurricular activities to wow admissions boards…

International Perspectives

WORLD PREMIERE | When COVID-19 broke out in Wuhan, China, the city went on a lockdown, making it difficult to get a clear sense of what was happening. Award-winning filmmaker Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze) teams with a group of intrepid videographers to…

In an increasingly common scheme to steal their land, land-owning Kenyan elders are being accused of witchcraft by younger family members and sent away. Responding to a bizarre Facebook message that his beloved grandmother is killing children, Karisa…

US PREMIERE  | Ukraine has been at war with Russia since 2014. In response, its ultranationalists have organized paramilitary summer camps to prepare children to one day take up arms to defend their homeland. This film follows two campers…

US PREMIERE |   Just outside of Beijing, the city of Langfang is on the front lines of China’s fight against air pollution. The local environmental protection bureau and its intrepid deputy chief—affectionately called “Uncle Smog…

At the edge of Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo is the small floating village of Congo Mirador. Now sinking into sediment, this once-prosperous fishing community is unraveling after years of criminal pollution and government neglect. Focusing on two fierce…

Filmed in Wuhan, China by an independent crew, 76 Days covers the length of the city’s lockdown for COVID-19. The film’s suspenseful pacing and otherworldly imagery make it feel like a science-fiction thriller. The heroes are the front-line…

Fight the Power

WORLD PREMIERE |  How can we bring accountability over the climate crisis? This inspiring story of youth activism documents 21 activists from across the nation as they file a groundbreaking lawsuit against the United States. The case reveals…

Fed up with misdeeds committed by Chicago law enforcement and a political system unwilling to hold anyone accountable, two millennial Black women take action. Spoken-word artist Bella and PhD candidate Janaé work tirelessly rallying the community and…

With debates on income inequality and healthcare becoming increasingly prevalent, and figures like Senator Bernie Sanders rising to prominence, socialism has found a new relevance. As Americans confront 21st century issues, the allure of the economic…

Kimonti Carter is serving life without parole in a Washington state prison based on a harsh 1990s three-strikes law, but rather than accept this condemnation, he has worked to transform inmates’ lives through education. His experience brilliantly…

US PREMIERE  | Indian singer Sona Mohapatra uses her powerful voice not only to entertain, but to speak out against Indian music industry practices that refuse to give female performers a fair shake. Director Deepti Gupta follows the…

Nasrin Sotoudeh never stood down from a tough battle as a human rights attorney in Iran. Fans of filmmaker Jafar Panahi will remember her appearance in his subversive film  Taxi . Now she’s serving a prison sentence of 38 years for representing…

In 2014, Peter Liang, a Chinese-American police officer, shot and killed an innocent, unarmed black man named Akai Gurley in the dark stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project. In the midst of high racial tension surrounding police conduct, Liang becomes…