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Banksy Most Wanted

From humble beginnings as a Bristol graffiti artist to perpetrator of a million dollar art stunt at Sotheby's, Banksy's meteoric rise to fame has made them a household name and their art instantly recognizable. But throughout their career, one question has dogged the celebrated provocateur: who is the person behind the name? In a day and age where anonymity seems impossible, Banksy has managed to remain a mystery. In Banksy Most Wanted, directors Aurélia Rouvier and Seamus Haley do a deep dive into the many differing theories about the artist's true identity. Could Banksy be the lead singer of Massive Attack? An unassuming former Catholic schoolboy? The creator of virtual band Gorillaz? Rouvier and Haley explore all of these possibilities through testimonials from collectors, journalists, agents, and fans. The result is an investigation not only into who Banksy is but also the deep impact their art has had on the world.
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Maxima

In the Peruvian Andes, indigenous farmer Máxima Acuño lives in harmony with nature, farming her own land and raising sheep to support her family. Surrounded by crystalline lakes and rich meadows, Máxima considers the land her “mother”—providing everything she needs. Not far from this mountain paradise lies the enormous Yanacocha gold mine, owned by the American Newmont Mining Corporation and co-funded by the World Bank. When the mine seeks to expand its operations, Maxima’s land is in their way, and the mine owners enlist the services of the Peruvian government police to intimidate and pressure her into leaving her home. To defend her family and way of life, Máxima hires a lawyer and becomes an eco-warrior, enlisting the support of the local community. Máxima even wins the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in her quest for justice in this stirring David-versus-Goliath document of environmental and human rights—which won the Audience Award at this year's Hot Docs.
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Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story

Who is Doc Severinsen? The colorfully dressed bandleader from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson? A spectacular, underrated trumpet player? A complex man who prioritizes music over all else? According to this revealing documentary, it’s all of the above. An internationally famous (and enigmatic) figure, Severinsen makes for a fascinating subject in this intimate, surprising film. Veteran television director and producer Kevin Bright (Friends) joined forces with award-winning editor Jeff Consiglio (Twinsters) to capture the 92-year-old workaholic Severinsen in his element—performing, teaching music, working out, and making the occasional protein shake. Their cameras reveal a man always in motion, forever striving to hit that impossible high note and never sitting still. Never Too Late: The Doc Severinsen Story combines interviews with Doc’s inner circle, terrific music and elated trumpet playing, and hilarious, iconic Tonight Show moments for an inspi
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Trust Me

If you’ve felt the weight of the world on your shoulders as a result of our 24-hour news cycle or felt negative thoughts invade your daily life after endlessly scrolling through social media, you’re definitely not alone. Following his 2012 documentary Happy, in which he ventured to over a dozen countries seeking out the meaning and source of happiness, Oscar®-nominated documentarian Roko Belic (Genghis Blues) takes an investigative look at the darker side of the modern human experience, exploring how we consume, process, share and internalize media messages in the digital age. Addressing a range of critical issues from confirmation bias to fake news, Trust Me examines not only the psychological effects but the emotional and social ramifications of misinformation on society, on democracy, and on our mental health—particularly for younger generations who’ve known no other reality. With testimonies from a wide range of media and psychology experts alongside everyday m
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Weed & Wine

In this beautifully crafted documentary, the lives of two intergenerational families of farmers on two separate continents are interwoven with surprising parallels. On a cen­turies-old, bio­dy­nam­ic vine­yard in the South­ern Rhône of France, Hélène Thibon and her son carry on the long-standing tradition of wine-making. All the way over in Humboldt County, California, Kevin Jodrey runs a state-legal organic cannabis farm and hopes his somewhat reluctant son will eventually take over. As the families adapt their businesses to the changing times, they face a number of similar challenges and successes. Working with the earth and the changing environment can prove to be as unpredictable as melding one’s family with business. With gorgeous cinematography and an evocative score by Max Avery Lichtenstein, Weed & Wine captures the complexity and strength of familial bonds, as these two families, separated by a vast ocean, balance tradition and innovation while preparing the businesses
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9to5: The Story of a Movement

From the filmmakers of the Oscar®-winning documentary American Factory (DocLands 2019), 9to5 is a rousing look at the historic intersection of the women’s movement and the labor movement in the 1970s, when secretaries all over the nation decided that they were done with making the boss’ coffee and ready to start a revolution. Celebrated documentarians Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar dig deep into a wealth of archival footage and bring this fascinating chapter of social justice into sharp focus, delivering an astute oral history of the movement directly from the women who created and fostered it.
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Alice Street

Bursting with a rich sense of local history and artistic expression, Alice Street is crafted with great pride for the city of Oakland by Bay Area filmmaker Spencer Wilkinson (One Voice, MVFF41), documenting a downtown mural project from start to finish as it is overtaken by the construction of new high-rise condominiums. As their identity is threatened, the locals collaborate to preserve their home. With testimony from a diverse group of artists and performers, Wilkinson passionately examines the many ways in which gentrification silences neighborhoods and breeds inequality across the system. As we hear from those who are not included in the city’s vision of development and change, Alice Street reveals Oakland as a microcosm of what is happening across the American landscape, disproportionately affecting the sustainability of communities of color. While showing the power of art to unite communities, the film makes a plea for preserving our cities and their many voi
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Babenco: Tell Me When I Die (Babenco: Alguém Tem que Ouvir o Coração e Dizer Parou)

The late Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Héctor Babenco says goodbye on his own terms—through cinema—in this meditative and often moving documentary, which won the Best Documentary on Film award at the Venice Film Festival. Directed by his wife, actress Bárbara Paz, Babenco: Tell Me When I Die chronicles Babenco’s final days as he faces cancer and reflects on movies, his childhood, and his encroaching mortality. Clips from his indelible films—including Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Ironweed—interweave with moments from his daily routine. In between medical treatments, he focuses on his latest (and last) project, an autobiographical portrait of a dying artist starring Willem Dafoe. Tell Me When I Die is both playful and melancholy, with Babenco and Paz essentially collaborating on a film that celebrates their love while also offering a glimpse into how one prepares for the end. Babenco died in 2016 at the age of 70, but this thoughtful, dreamlike re
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The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

CLOSING NIGHT: It’s all about the harmony for the British-born, Australian-raised Gibb brothers—Robin, Barry, Maurice, and later on, Andy—who came to fame as the Bee Gees. Frank Marshall’s infectiously watchable film is a trip through their life and times, through their highs and lows. With harmonies as tight as their signature pants, the Bee Gees’ star ascended in the mid '60s, only to wane in the early '70s, their tours reduced to backwater bars. But then came Saturday Night Fever, that iconic, era-defining film-and their extraordinary soundtrack. The Bee Gees were back, and doing more than just Stayin' Alive. The eventual decline of disco found the multitalented brothers turn to producing and songwriting for the likes of Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick. What emerges in Marshall’s definitive Bee Gees story are their breathtaking talents, and a reminder of their amazing songbook.
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The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (Drive-In)

CLOSING NIGHT: It’s all about the harmony for the British-born, Australian-raised Gibb brothers—Robin, Barry, Maurice, and later on, Andy—who came to fame as the Bee Gees. Frank Marshall’s infectiously watchable film is a trip through their life and times, through their highs and lows. With harmonies as tight as their signature pants, the Bee Gees’ star ascended in the mid '60s, only to wane in the early '70s, their tours reduced to backwater bars. But then came Saturday Night Fever, that iconic, era-defining film—and their extraordinary soundtrack. The Bee Gees were back, and doing more than just Stayin' Alive. The eventual decline of disco found the multitalented brothers turn to producing and songwriting for the likes of Barbra Streisand and Dionne Warwick. What emerges in Marshall’s definitive Bee Gees story are their breathtaking talents, and a reminder of their amazing songbook.
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Belly of the Beast

A woman in a California prison sends an impassioned, desperate letter to an ambitious lawyer pleading for help, setting off a shocking investigation into the Department of Corrections' dark history of forced sterilizations. Filmed over seven years, Erika Cohn's searing documentary centers on these two tenacious women: Kelli Dillon, a formerly incarcerated Black woman who finds out she was sterilized without her consent while in prison, and Cynthia Chandler, a nonprofit lawyer based in the Bay Area. Conducting surveys among the other inmates, Dillon discovers a disturbingly common occurrence and teams up with Chandler in pursuit of justice. Belly of the Beast chronicles the legal drama as Dillon and Chandler seek to hold the Department of Corrections responsible for the rampant crimes uncovered, many of which targeted women of color. Cohn's film is a deeply probing look at this seemingly impossible battle, as well as an exposé of modern-day eugenics in the United States.
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The Boys Who Said NO!

OPENING NIGHT ONLINE: During unsettling times, it helps to remember how we survived past struggles. The Boys Who Said NO! focuses on the nonviolent warriors who actively opposed the military draft during the Vietnam War and whose brave actions would eventually lead to the end of both the draft in the United States and the long-standing, devastating war. Offering a thorough and fascinating (recent) history lesson, Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Judith Ehrlich (The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, MVFF32) highlights several heroes of the anti-war movement—from iconic figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., musician Joan Baez, and famed resistance leader David Harris to ordinary youth organizing sit-ins. Alongside harrowing, breathtaking news footage of the struggles at home and overseas, the film is a captivating account of a historic turning point in America,
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Coded Bias

The Algorithmic Justice League might not get a Marvel movie anytime soon, but they are the (s)heroes our AI-driven world needs right now. Artificial Intelligence is already inextricable from our daily lives, influencing what we buy (and how much we pay), who we vote for, even whether or not we are stopped by police. After MIT Media Lab’s Joy Buolamwini revealed the racial and gender biases built into facial recognition software, she teamed up with other concerned academics to impact legislation before these algorithms do further damage. Aided by other forward thinkers that include Harvard’s Cathy O’Neil and Silkie Carlo of the UK’s Big Brother Watch, documentarian Shalini Kantayya follows Buolamwini’s quest, along the way demystifying the esoteric material with easily digestible, if chilling, real-world illustrations. Clips from familiar science-fiction movies sprinkled throughout add pop culture levity to the warning that AI’s dystopia is not some distant future to be dreaded. For
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The Falconer

Rodney Stotts started his young life running the mean streets of Washington, D.C. getting into trouble and getting shot. Today, he is building a sanctuary for predatory birds in an old dairy barn in rural Maryland. Introduced to falconry through a conservation program that worked to clean up Chesapeake Bay’s polluted estuaries in the 1990s, Stotts went all in, learning how to rescue and train these majestic birds, rescuing himself in the process. Now he uses the practice of falconry to show others a new path. Through cinema vérité style, director and cinematographer Annie Kaempfer gives Stotts the space to share his journey—at turns harrowing and uplifting—from friends who didn’t make it, to the joy that comes from forming lasting bonds with nature. What The Falconer quietly reveals is that it took much more than these birds, of course. It took family, faith, and Stotts’ own disciplined focus, sometimes a source of loneliness but no less the source of his strength.
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Los Hermanos/The Brothers

United by their passion for music, Cuban brothers Aldo and Ilmar López-Gávilan struggle to keep their familial and musical bonds alive even as geopolitical forces separate them. Sent to Russia to study as a teen, violinist Ilmar goes on to establish the Grammy®-winning classical string quartet, the Harlem Quintet, in New York City, while younger brother Aldo remains in Havana, where he develops a uniquely Cuban-infused style of piano composition. When Aldo receives permission to visit the US for the first time (thanks to the Obama-era thaw in US-Cuban relations), the brothers fulfill their lifelong dream of performing and recording together, but their triumphant reunion is shadowed by the future’s uncertainty. Culminating in a joyous and spirited July 4th performance, this exuberant and tender film is a paean to the enduring power of music, family, and home. With an original score by Aldo and Ilmar López-Gávilan,
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Playing for Keeps

Despite the often-challenging darkness of our times, from our current political moment to the stressors of career and home, Playing for Keeps looks to discover how we can cope and emerge as our brightest selves. Taking a social and scientific approach, the film holistically explores the positive role that play has in our everyday lives across all ages and demographics. With personal testimony from a diverse range of interviewees (including NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt), the film buoyantly looks at how we create community and connection as a species, and how vital it is that we prevent ourselves from being defined by our anxieties. Most importantly, it looks at how we connect with ourselves to recharge, whether by creative expression, communal engagement, or getting in touch with our surroundings. Maintaining a sense of visual joy and effervescence, Playing for Keeps inspires through its study of the value of re-centering yourself.
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Searching for Mr. Rugoff

A mercurial movie baron who became a heavily influential figure in independent cinema, Donald Rugoff came to languish in relative obscurity. In Ira Deutchman's enthralling Searching for Mr. Rugoff, the ghost of this once-legendary figure is resurrected to ensure that Rugoff and his inestimable contributions to the world of art films are not forgotten. Deutchman, himself a producer of such American independent films as Alan Rudolph’s Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and John Sayles’ Matewan, paints an evocative portrait of his once-mentor through an array of colorful interviews with family, former employees, and directors like Costa-Gavras, Lina Wertmüller, and Robert Downey, Sr. Rugoff began as an exhibitor with the theater chain Cinema 5, which grew to be a deeply innovative distribution company responsible for releasing classics from Monty Python and the Holy Grail to Andy Warhol's Trash. Rugoff's fearless championing of art films and inventive ma
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Stop Filming Us

Dutch documentarian Joris Postema sets out to show life in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s troubled northeast beyond the bleeding headlines of western news. What he ends up with is a stirring reflection on the complexities of cross-cultural representation. While training the lens on the former Belgian colony’s own image-makers—artists, photographers, and other filmmakers—Postema also flips the script to capture the frank, spontaneous exchanges among his largely local crew about what they should be shooting. Problems immediately arise with seemingly innocuous decisions like where they each should sit for a discussion and persist into bigger decisions like where to point the camera and who gets to ask the questions. The Congolese themselves are divided about the value of this, as they openly confess, but for Postema’s intended audience of do-gooder westerners, it’s a real eye-opener. As one crew member puts in the easiest terms imaginable, "the problem is not here with us but
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