ALL 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
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16 Bars

We celebrate DocLands' Closing Night with the world premiere of Sam Bathrick's transformative film 16 Bars. Todd “Speech” Thomas of activist hip-hop group Arrested Development instigates a unique rehabilitation program in Richmond, Virginia, to help prisoners write and record their own songs. Bathrick focuses on four inmates who battle cycles of incarceration and addiction. Truly gifted, the men make brilliant music that brings their stories to life and reaches out to us like prayer. “It’s a big deal to have their words come out from behind walls,” says Speech. “If that’s not freedom, I don’t know what is.” The U.S. boasts the highest incarceration rates in the world, and the film humanizes some of the complex issues surrounding America’s broken criminal justice system. Earning their trust, and aided by loving camerawork and superbly produced recording sessions, the director deftly captures the men’s deepest hopes and fears. Suspense builds as each man works toward freedom in th
Sat, May 5 6:30 PM
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Albatross

Filmed over eight years, acclaimed photographic artist Chris Jordan’s first documentary unfolds on Midway, a remote North Pacific atoll. This is the world’s largest albatross colony, where over 1.5 million of the legendary birds dwell amidst the eerie remnants of a WWII military base. From our first glimpse of a wobbly, slightly clownish-looking bird preparing to fly, an unlikely love affair develops. Erotic mating dances, extraordinary hatching/feeding scenes, and birds in flight are all set to a gorgeous score. These isolated birds do not fear humans, nor the camera’s unprecedented gaze. Looking deeply into our souls, an unforgettable and intimate connection transpires. Yet, as the parents scoop up food for their chicks from flying forays thousands of miles out at sea, we learn of a hidden danger, “one surreal consequence of our collective choice” as described by Jordan. “I didn’t know I could care about an albatross,” he confesses. Nor did we. IN PERSON: Director Chris Jordan, Prod
Sat, May 5 6:15 PM
Sun, May 6 7:30 PM
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Anote’s Ark

OPENING NIGHT FILM + PARTY CFI launches the 2018 edition of DocLands with Montreal-based photographer/ethnologist Matthieu Rytz’s exquisitely shot feature, a real-time climate change story. Most often a hard-to-grasp scientific abstraction that seems little evident in day-to-day life, climate change could hardly be more heartbreakingly immediate for the residents of Kiribati, a nation in the central Pacific Ocean. The engaging residents in Rytz’s film guide us through their predicament: Kiribati’s 33 atolls sprawl over an expanse as wide as the U.S., yet barely rise above sea level—and that level is rising. As global warming generated by industrialized countries swallows Kiribati whole, this small, isolated culture is being destroyed. Lovely and mournful, Anote’s Ark chronicles the peculiarities of a population whose all-too-imminent future will be strictly as refugees, their homeland only accessible to divers. Will the Herculean efforts of former President Anote Tong stop this
Thu, May 3 7:00 PM
Fri, May 4 1:00 PM
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Ask The Sexpert

How did sex get to be a taboo subject in the land of the Kama Sutra? That mystery won’t be solved here, but more intimate questions do get answered by Mumbai’s resident sexpert, Dr. Mahinder Watsa. Whether approached through his popular newspaper column or at his doorstep, the 91-year-old former gynecologist and sex educator offers nonjudgmental advice to India’s sexually forlorn. Watsa separates science from superstition, patiently hearing out the (often hilariously) misinformed before delivering the relief-inducing prognosis: “it’s normal.” Yet the idea of openly discussing sexual pleasure stirs up the social conservatives, and the doctor gets sued regularly by the likes of Dr. Pratihba Naitthani who admits, “I’m not interested in people’s sexual health.” That mostly heterosexual men do the asking is another indicator of how much more work Watsa has to do, but if a placid demeanor and quick wit are indicators of longevity, he’s got time. Preceded by SWAN US 2017, 3 min, Direc
Sat, May 5 8:30 PM
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Becoming Who I Was

Padma Angdu is a rosy-cheeked young Rinpoche, or reincarnation of a spiritual master. Assigned to the care of a local lama, Urgyan Rickzen, in the remote, mountainous Ladakh region of southern India, Padma’s destiny is to reunite with his monastic order in Tibet. The film depicts their relationship over eight years with incredible intimacy. When they finally embark on the arduous journey to Tibet, obstacles emerge: China’s anti-Tibetan politics, lack of money, and difficult terrain. Nevertheless, through the years, the filmmakers capture wonderfully joyful activities, perfectly fitting boyhood in any walk of life. The film moves from the deeply personal to the universal, with breathtaking drone shots of the two trekking on snowy mountain peaks, accompanied by heart-stirring music. The filmmakers beautifully navigate the relationship between guardian and spiritual master, father and son. What emerges—in the most artful way—is an epic story about love, sacrifice, and profound attachment.
Fri, May 4 4:45 PM
Sat, May 5 3:45 PM
Sun, May 6 12:15 PM
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DocLands Honors: Louie Psihoyos/The Game Changers

The DocLands Honors Award is presented to a filmmaker in recognition of exceptional storytelling within the documentary genre, an artist whose films resonate universally, emphasizing our common humanity—no matter the subject. The inaugural DocLands Honors Award is presented to director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove, Racing Extinction, The Game Changers) for his dogged determination and tenacity in exposing wrongs and expanding awareness. We also show our appreciation for his astounding efforts in outreach, bringing to a worldwide audience some of our most pressing environmental and social issues. Louie Psihoyos, executive director of the Oceanic Preservation Society (PS), is recognized as one of the top photographers in the world. An ardent dive photographer, he feels compelled to expose the decline of our planet’s crucial resource, the oceans. Psihoyos’ first documentary film, The Cove, won the Academy Award<®> for Best Documentary Featu
Fri, May 4 6:30 PM
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DocPitch

DocPitch is designed to connect filmmakers and their ideas to funders, distributors, organizations, philanthropists, fellow filmmakers—and future audiences. Up to five film projects currently in development have been pre-selected to present their pitches. The audience will get to vote for their favorite, which will receive a $10,000 cash award.
Sat, May 5 11:00 AM
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DocTalk

The story-enhancing power of music and score is palpable in the films that stick with us. But how do you achieve this sought-after influence and emotion? How and when do you choose a composer? Do you need to have a vision before you collaborate? Is it imperative to develop a second layer of narrative composed of notes that mimics your story arc? Join us for coffee and conversation with visiting and local filmmakers as they share their individual strategies for hitting all the right notes to boost the power of their films.
Sun, May 6 12:30 PM
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Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity and Stereotypes / Mr. Fish: Cartooning From The Deep End

From comic strips to cosplay, Harleen Singh’s film finds encouraging signs of progressive change in forums once solely devoted to juvenile entertainment—and to a middle-class WASP perspective. Her primary subjects are three distinctive artist personalities. Keith Knight has used newspaper strip “The K Chronicles” and other ongoing outlets to sharply yet humorously critique racial issues, not least police violence against African Americans. In response to heightened hostility towards minorities after 9/11, Vishavjit Singh began creating editorial cartoons—then extended his ideas to wearing a Captain America costume in public, the “altered” image invariably stirring discussion thanks to his Sikh beard and turban. Eileen Kaur Alden is a confessed lifelong nerd girl whose combined feminist beliefs and love of superhero-style adventure led her to co-create the comic book series “SuperSikh.” The boundaries of representation are changing—even in the “funny papers,” even amongst spandex-wearin
Sat, May 5 12:30 PM
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DugOut

The vibrant green Ecuadorian Amazon, bursting with life, is the star of this eco-adventure. With generous help of a local Huaorani family, two young British men set out to make a traditional dugout canoe and row it down a river. It’s an arduous journey, but this duo is all charm as they encounter the taste of howler monkey, overcome G.I. woes, and evade unfriendly darts. Jay, the Huaorani master carpenter, not only does the lion’s share of the carving work but generously guides the young men through the forest, introducing them to the delicacies of the forest: delicious insects, fermentable fruits, useful plant poisons. But where peaceful collaboration is the mode at Huaorani base camp, a series of challenges faces them on the river. The mystery lies in just how and in what shape these two—propelled by unflagging optimism in extremely unfamiliar territory—will arrive at journey’s end. | US PREMIERE 2018 Sheffield Adventure Film Festival—Best Artistic Film Preceded by PERSON OF THE FO
Sun, May 6 1:45 PM
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Finding Hygge

Stressed out? Try a little Danish hygge. What is it? How can you find it? Do you need it? And how on earth do you pronounce it? These are some of the questions raised in this delightful, heartwarming film. Ranked second in the 2017 World Happiness Report, Denmark seems to have some secret sauce when it comes to overall cheerfulness, but hygge is not just a trendy word for cozy furnishings and friendly gatherings. The filmmakers, inspired by differences between American and Danish lifestyles, crave to discover more. Amidst beautifully shot natural landscapes and immaculate surroundings, a wide range of Danes share their very personal views about the meaning of hygge The cast of wonderfully sane characters are funny, surprising and often deeply philosophical. Can hygge give frazzled Americans a shot of oxygen? The uplifting moral of the story is that hygge may just be in us all. Copenhagen Film Festival 2018—Best Documentary Feature IN PERSON:
Fri, May 4 7:00 PM
Sat, May 5 3:30 PM
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The Guardians

Every year majestic Monarch butterflies make their way on a 3,000-mile journey from Canada to their winter home in the ancient forests of Michoacán, Mexico, and it is here that the struggling community of Donaciano Ojeda strives to preserve the delicate balance between humans and nature. Once dependent on logging, they now face the difficult task of building a sustainable future in their ancestral lands that are now part of the protected Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve. As one villager observes, “If the forest disappears, mankind will follow.” Along the way, we get rare access to the sometimes divisive community meetings, follow the volunteer armed patrol that guards against the threat of illegal logging, and meet members of the community—who have begun a successful reforesting program. In this visually stunning and thought-provoking film, we are given the rare opportunity to gain a new perspective on the environmental challenges that face us all. | CALIFORNIA PREMIERE IN PERSON:
Fri, May 4 7:00 PM
Sat, May 5 3:30 PM
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Have You Heard from Johannesburg: Oliver Tambo

Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning Berkeley filmmaker Connie Field’s original Have You Heard from Johannesburg was a true documentary epic—a definitive, seven-part cinematic history of the efforts both local and international to end Apartheid rule in South Africa. But even its eight-and-a-half-hour sprawl couldn’t fully limn every key player in such a complex story. Nearly a decade after that huge project’s completion, Field has created an additional panel to honor the 100th birthday of a particularly towering yet still little-known figure: Oliver Tambo. While Nelson Mandela remained the face of this particular revolution as he languished in prison 27 years, his childhood friend and African National Congress co-founder largely ran ANC’s ground operations. This stirring portrait captures all the complexities of a remarkable life. Tambor was a deeply religious man orchestrating a secular movement, a pacifist commanding its army. It’s a dramatic saga you’ll be amazed you’d heard so little abou
Sun, May 6 7:15 PM
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Into Twin Galaxies - A Greenland Epic

Prepare to be awed and humbled as you watch pro kayakers Erik Boomer and Ben Stookesberry embark on a 1,000-kilometer “most epic expedition ever” with polar expert Sarah McNair Landry. Their objective is running an unknown river canyon, only known from satellite photos, to the Arctic Ocean. But before then, they’ll have a wee “ice cap challenge” that requires hauling kayaks, 45 days of food and additional equipment from Greenland’s east coast to its west—sometimes on foot, sometimes kite-skiing. En route, they witness some drastic evidence of climate change in the area’s hottest summer ever, though it's worth noting that in this particular location that means you might still freeze to death. Other thrills include precarious travel in ice tunnels beneath collapsible snow bridges, not to mention a few off-the-chart kayaking runs over frigid waterfalls. It’s a grueling journey of crazy risks and phenomenal beauties that’s captured to stunning effect by director Jochen Schmoll. | CALIFORNI
Fri, May 4 9:15 PM
Sat, May 5 1:15 PM
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The King

Handwringing over the outcome of the 2016 presidential election should only be done director Eugene Jarecki’s way, on an extended road trip in the back of Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls-Royce, accompanied by a revolving cast of perspicacious celebrities, pithy pundits, and toe-tappable musicians. From a sharecropper shack in Mississippi to Sun Studios in Memphis, and, finally, west to the film studios of California and the casino stages of Vegas, Jarecki's captivating documentary traces Elvis’s rise and fall while outlining the deep fallacies in the story America tells about its greatness. Clear-eyed about Elvis’s unpaid debt to black culture, The King also displays empathy for the man in the grip of a bullying con artist who regarded him as merely a cash cow. If his rags-to-riches narrative is the ultimate expression of the American Dream, Jarecki seems to say, then we as a people should have rethought our mythology a long time ago. INVITED: Director Eugene Jarecki
Fri, May 4 9:15 PM
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McQueen

Fashion icon Alexander McQueen, known as “Lee” to his family and close friends, was brought up in London’s East End by a taxi driver and a teacher. This superb film traces his meteoric rise to stardom from his first forays into tailoring to worldwide fame as a fashion icon. With a reputation for controversy and shock tactics, McQueen’s runway shows earned him the nickname “the hooligan of English fashion,” and yet, what unfolds through this film’s exceptional editing, music score, and structure is the story a troubled genius. Through touching interviews with McQueen, his family and friends, and dazzling footage of fashion show extravaganzas that left people angry, disturbed, and amazed, the documentary expertly weaves the tale of a complex and tortured man. Described as raucous, funny, driven, and “bolshie,” McQueen created a universe of designs that reflected not only the beauty he saw in the world, but his own dark side. Sponsored by Carolinei Crawford Labe
Sat, May 5 1:00 PM
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Metamorphosis

What is our capacity for change? It's a prescient question given a whole new spin in Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper’s striking film. The answers revealed by great thinkers, artists, scientists, and children here are eye opening. You will be pulled in by the mesmerizing and strangely compelling visual beauty of the effects of climate change as well as a bewitching, portentous mechanical sound and music mix that evoke Earth’s final breaths. Does the change we’re facing offer us an opportunity for transformation? This film gives us a chance to discover—and accept—the wonder of impermanence. IN PERSON: Directors Nova Ami, Velcrow Ripper (See also Metamorphosis Journey workshop.) Sponsored by Jim Boyce Trust & Kris Otis
Sat, May 5 8:30 PM
Sun, May 6 6:45 PM
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Metamorphosis Journey Workshop

This experiential workshop led by award-winning filmmakers and certified coaches Nova Ami and Velcrow Ripper, with structure inspired by their feature documentary Metamorphosis, explores transformation in the face of planetary emergency. The participants move through the stages of Chrysalis, Crisis, Catharsis, Symbiosis, and Metamorphosis, personalizing this arc and applying it to their own lives. Short films are integrated throughout the workshop.
Fri, May 4 3:00 PM
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