Brendan Mertens’ documentary exploring the many faces of Ghostbusters fandom and celebrating 30 years of one of cinema’s most iconic franchises.Featuring interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, Sigourney Weaver, and Paul Feig.
Infertility is just the beginning of a long road in the quest to have a child for the couples at the center of haveababy, Amanda Micheli’s documentary profile of patients of a Las Vegas fertility clinic. Each year, the clinic hosts a YouTube-based competition called “I Believe,” which gives one lucky couple a shot at an in vitro fertilization treatment they could not otherwise afford. Hundreds of couples apply, yet there can be only one winner. Even after the competition ends, Micheli’s sensitive lens continues to follow the ups and downs of the various competitors—depicting the enormous physical and emotional toll of this journey, and for some, the inspirational rewards on the other side.
I had actually heard of Owen’s story when it was featured on a RadioLab episode. As a Disney fan and as a former teacher working with children on the spectrum, seeing this family’s story on the big screen really touched my heart. I adored the integration of hand drawn animation in telling stories from Owen’s past. It’s an important film for so many families struggling to understand that they are not alone. I am excited for it’s release in July. – Liz
In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, a theater production comes to Newtown, Connecticut, seeking to cast local children in a rock-pop version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The project is aimed at healing the hearts and minds of a community devastated by the school shooting that occurred just over one year prior to production. From auditions and read-throughs to dress rehearsals; we witness the children find their voice, build their self-confidence, and ultimately shine on opening night. In parallel, we see a grieving family honor their daughter through the creation of a jazz album dedicated to her memory. The film culminates in a moving performance by Jimmy Greene and the pensive words of Nelba Márquez-Greene. Midsummer in Newtown is a testament to the transformative force of artistic expression to pierce through the shadow cast by trauma, and to the resilience of a community that is fighting to not be defined by tragedy.
The Grammy-nominated Jimmy Greene Quartet will perform after the premiere screening.
‘I find that the most inexplicable behavior is motivated by very relatable human impulses,’ comments Louis Theroux as he heads to Los Angeles for his feature documentary, in collaboration with director John Dower and two-time Academy Award–winning producer Simon Chinn, exploring the Church of Scientology. Following a long fascination with the religion and with much experience in dealing with eccentric, unpalatable, and unexpected human behavior, the beguilingly unassuming Theroux won’t take no for an answer when his request to enter the Church’s headquarters is turned down. Inspired by the Church’s use of filming techniques and aided by ex-members of the organization, Theroux uses actors to replay some incidents people claim they experienced as members in an attempt to better understand the way it operates. In a bizarre twist, it becomes clear that the Church is also making a film about Louis Theroux. Suffused with a good dose of humor and moments worthy of a Hollywood script, My Scientology Movie is as outlandish as it is revealing.
Brent Hodge and Morgan Spurlock (A Brony Tale, TFF 2014) spin a variation on the classic underdog story told in fun-loving and free-wheeling style. Their focus: an eclectic group of actresses, musicians, writers, comedians, and moms who compete in the Los Angeles women’s recreational basketball league. With team names guaranteed to make you smile (Shecago Bulls, Traveling Pants, Space Glam, Ba Dunka Dunks, LA Nail Clippers), this documentary shows that girls not only wanna have fun, they wanna ball too. The team that started it all is the Pistol Shrimps, whose lineup includes Aubrey Plaza (Parks & Recreation). From inspiring a podcast to creating their own merchandise, this group of exceptional women proves that organized sports can be enjoyed at any age and any skill level. Talented both on and off the court, they prove all the haters wrong as they full-court press their way to glory. Haters beware!
Meant to be a retreat for elite American athletes, Foxcatcher Farms, and all it was intended to represent, was lost in the paranoid downward spiral of its troubled benefactor John Du Pont. Heir to the Du Pont family fortune, John Du Pont funneled his considerable resources into his love of sports—wrestling in particular. Aiming to reinvigorate the US Olympic wrestling team, Du Pont created Foxcatcher, and invited gold medal champion Dave Schultz to lead the charge. What began as an idealistic sports idyll soon deteriorated into suspicion, distrust, and ultimately murder.
Through fascinating archival footage and never-before-seen home videos shot during Schultz’s time at the farm, director Jon Greenhalgh’s absorbing film unpacks the events leading up to Foxcatcher’s well-documented tragedy, exploring the complex and contradictory character of Du Pont, while serving as a poignant memoir to the legacy of Schultz as a champion wrestler, husband, and father. Team Foxcatchercharts a true American tragedy of Olympic dreams, ambition, mental illness, and murder.