Since 1999, 18 of the last 22 winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee have been Indian-American, making the incredible trend one of the longest in sports history. “Breaking the Bee” is a feature-length documentary that explores and celebrates this new dynasty while following four students, ages 7 to 14, as they vie for the title of spelling bee champion.
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The remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for the criminal impersonation of NYC subway drivers, conductors, token booth clerks, and track repairmen.
A keen observation of a sun-dappled and still-watered swamp, Uncertain contemplates a frequently overlooked and enigmatic town whose lake, and only real source of income, comes under threat from an aquatic nuisance of the botanical variety. Perhaps unsurprisingly for a site so-named, there is a lack of consensus about the Texas town’s origin: whether the result of a surveyor’s confusion when marking an early map, or steamboat captains’ belief that docking there was an unknowable, impossible task, an auspicious beginning is offered for the unsettled and yearning inhabitants.
In 2010 David Crowley, an Iraq veteran, aspiring filmmaker and charismatic up-and-coming voice in fringe politics, began production on his film Gray State. Set in a dystopian near-future where civil liberties are trampled by an unrestrained federal government, the film’s crowd funded trailer was enthusiastically received by the burgeoning online community of libertarians, Tea Party activists and members of the nascent alt-right. In January of 2015, Crowley was found dead with his family in their suburban Minnesota home. Their shocking deaths quickly become a cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists who speculate that Crowley was assassinated by a shadowy government concerned about a film and filmmaker that was getting too close to the truth about their aims.
SEDUCED AND ABANDONED combines acting legend Alec Baldwin with director James Toback as they lead us on a troublesome and often hilarious journey of raising financing for their next feature film. Moving from director to financier to star actor, the two players provide us with a unique look behind the curtain at the world’s biggest and most glamourous film festival, shining a light on the bitter-sweet relationship filmmakers have with Cannes and the film business. Featuring insights from directors Martin Scorsese, ‘Bernando Bertolucci’ and Roman Polanski; actors Ryan Gosling and Jessica Chastain and a host of film distribution luminaries.
The Advocate for Fagdom unites the puzzle pieces one by one. Testimonies are combined with rare archive images. Art galeries present movie extracts that are succeeded by images shot on location. And the other way round. Writers, film makers, art galeries owners, actors and actresses, photographers, producers, friends and loved ones all join in a game of interpretation, analysis or simple anecdotes. John Waters, Bruce Benderson, Harmony Korine, Gus Van Sant, Richard Kern, Rick Castro and others deliver their impressions, theories and confessions. Everything blends into the fascinating portrait of a singular person blessed with singular talents. A complex personality at war not with a system but all systems. The portrait of a man constantly moving between his punk attitude and extreme sensibility.
Blood Road follows the journey of ultra-endurance mountain bike athlete Rebecca Rusch and her Vietnamese riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail through the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Their goal: to reach the site where Rebecca’s father, a U.S. Air Force pilot, was shot down in Laos more than 40 years earlier.
A thrilling journey through legends, belief and folklore, this film goes behind the scenes with the British Library as they search to tell that story through objects in their collection, in an ambitious new exhibition: Harry Potter: A History Of Magic. J.K. Rowling, who is lending unseen manuscripts, drawings and drafts from her private archives (which will sit alongside treasures from the British Library, as well as original drafts and drawings from Jim Kay) talks about some of the personal items she has lent to the exhibition and gives new insight into her writing, looking at some of the objects from the exhibition that have fired her imagination.
Until the late 1970s, the Pakistani city of Lahore was world-renowned for its music. Following the Islamization of Pakistan, many artists struggled to continue their life’s work. Song of Lahore turns the spotlight on a group of stalwart musicians that kept playing and ultimately attracted listeners from around the world.
On the heels of The New York Times’ breaking news story revealing new information about President Trump’s financial history, David Barstow, Russell Buettner and Susanne Craig expose the untold story of how Donald Trump became rich.