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Slamdance 2010

At one time, 16 years ago, the festival season began in New York with the Independent Feature Film Market and three hopefuls, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn and Dan Mirvish, who had befriended each other, decided to get their films seen there, But they flopped at getting in. So they sent their films to the United States Film Festival -- unofficially called “Sundance" at the time. Their films flopped there too so in January 1995, they set up shop in a spare room at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

After a day of being cramped, they moved to Park City 32 miles away, flipped Sundance the bird, made their own festival called Slamdance. The rest is history.

Slamdance has since gone on to become a major festival in its own right (though Robert Redford once called it parasitical). Ensconced in the Treasure Mountain Inn (255 Main Street) since 1998, it’s an entirely different experience than its bigger analog. in some ways it's better, and in others, it's not.

The festival is primarily confined to the first floor, where two large meeting rooms are converted into makeshift theaters. The hallways are always packed with people waiting on line for the next screening. It’s a great way to meet people.

Around the corner from the main venue is the game room; Slamdance has been championing the art and science of videogames since the turn of the current century. And at least since last time I was there, they didn’t charge to play them.

There’s one official party, at the Star Bar (268 Main St.) about a 30 feet from the hotel on the first night. They have free beer, which is always nice, but it’s crowded, which is what Slamdance is all about -- the lack of personal space.

Once the party is over and done with, there’s the movies. ah, the movies!

Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity, which made over 100 million bucks, premiered here, as did Seth Gordon’s King of Kong, one of the great documentaries of all time. Lots of major movie stars have shown up to promote their films, and some of the best films to come out of here have gone nowhere such as Michael Davis’ Eight Days A Week and Lance Mungia’s Six String Samurai. (But both are worth sticking on your Netflix queue).

Going to Slamdance is well worth taking time off from the big show. This year, award-winning director Steven Soderbergh will premiere his latest documentary, And Everything Is Going Fine, at the fest.

So what is there to see here? Well, besides the Soderbergh film, America’s undead humor magazine, the National Lampoon, is sponsoring a screening of their latest film Snatched, which may or may not suck (NatLamp’s films haven’t been good since the magazine was real) and 16 other features.

What little buzz has been generated so far has been mostly for Candyman (directed by Costa Botes) -- a look at the rise and fall of David Klein, inventor of Jelly Bellies; General Orders No. 9 (Robert Persons) An experimental doc that contemplates loss and change in the American South; and William Burroughs: A Man Within (Yony Leyser) A portrait of the Beat author and American icon.

And on the horror front. for some reason, programmers are into Cthulhu as well -- The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu (Henry Saine) is like the third film in the genre to be produced in the last 10 years.

Then there's Yellow Brick Road (Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton) a horror film set in the wilderness and finally, Gerard Johnson's UK horror-drama Tony, which is playing out of competition.

 The full list of features in Competition:

Cummings Farm
directed by Andrew Drazek
Cast: Laura Silverman

World Premiere

This is a disturbing comedy about an orgy at a lakeside strawberry farm. Three couples at the end their twenties give group sex a go, naively hoping it will grant them enlightenment.

directed by Amber Benson & Adam Busch

Cast - Angela Bettis, Jonathan M. Woodward 

World Premiere

When Brian walks in on his best friend’s closet time, he discovers a universal threat to his life, job and the Earth itself!

The Four-Faced Liar
directed by Jacob Chase
Cast - Emily Peck, Marja-Lewis Ryan, Todd Kubrak  

World Premiere

When small town couple, Molly and Greg, meets best friends Trip and Bridget, unexpected sparks fly. As friendship slides into passion, Molly must choose between a guy she took for granted, and the girl she can't resist.

The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu
directed by Henry Saine

Cast - Devin McGinn

World Premiere

Jeff is an ordinary guy that is stuck at a dead end job with a boring life, but when a strange old man gives him an Ancient relic and tells him that he is the last bloodline of H.P. Lovecraft. He and his friend Charlie embark on an adventure to protect the relic piece from falling into the hands of the Starspawn and his minions that wish to reunite the relic and release Cthulhu back into the world.

One Hundred Mornings

directed by Conor Horgan

Cast - Ciaran McMenamin, Alex Reid, Rory Keenan 

US Premiere

Set in a world upended by a complete breakdown of society, two couples hide out in a lakeside cabin hoping to survive the crisis.


directed by Todd Berger

Cast - Sherilyn Fenn, Suzanne May, Blaise Miller 

In this dark comedy, when a serial killer starts picking off beautiful young hipsters on the east side of Los Angeles, a group of crime scene videographers hatch a plan to catch him.

Snow and Ashes

directed by Charles Olivier-Michaud  

Cast - Rhys Coiro, Lina Roessler, Frederic Gilles
World Premiere

A War Correspondent covers an armed conflict in Eastern Europe. When he wakes from a coma, Blaise discovers that his collaborator is missing and sets out to recapture the events that led to his friend’s disappearance.

directed by Jeff Phillips
Cast - Lily Holleman, Gayla Goehl, Carole Anne Johnson

World Premier
High school girls and their parents collide over the use of a popular social networking site when the identity and motives of an on-line boy come into question.

The Wild Hunt
directed by Alexandre Franchi

Cast: Kaniehtiio Horn, Mark Anthony Krupa, Ricky Mabe
World Premiere
A medieval re-enactment game turns into a Shakespearean tragedy when a non-player crashes the event to win back his girlfriend.

directed by Andy Mitton & Jesse Holland

Cast: Cassidy Freeman, Lee Wilkof, Anessa Ramsey 

World Premiere
An expedition looks for answers to something horrible in the forest, but the forest finds something horrible in them.

Documentary Competition (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted):

American Jihadist 

directed by Mark Claywell. 

US Premiere 

What makes a man willing to kill and die for his religion?

Biker Fox
directed by Jeremy Lamberton  

World Premiere 

By taking the road less traveled, Biker Fox leads you to another dimension by "cogitating positive vibes to the cortex of your cerebellum" in this part documentary, part self-help testimonial.


directed by Costa Botes
World Premiere

Candyman is the story of the rise and fall of David Klein, the man who invented Jelly Belly jelly beans. With Weired Al Yankovich

General Orders No. 9
directed by Robert Persons  

Take one last trip down the rabbit hole before it gets paved over. A history of the State of Georgia or Anywhere. Deer trail becomes Indian trail becomes county road becomes...

Mamachas Del Ring

directed by Betty M. Park

US Premiere

Bolivian women wrestlers throw down in the ring in this documentary about what it really means to fight like a girl. Carmen Rosa the Champion is their passionate leader, and is faced with a brutal decision when she is forced to choose between her love of sport and love of her family.

Mind of a Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story

directed by Adam Barker
Narrated by Lemmy

The birth of freestyle motocross became the demise of the sport's most infamous legend.

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae

directed by Stascha Bader
With Rita Marley

US Premiere
The singers and musicians of Jamaica’s Golden Age of music, who made the rocksteady sound, come together after 40 years to record an album of their greatest hits, to perform together again at a reunion concert in Kingston, and to tell their story.

William Burroughs: A Man Within

directed by Yony Leyser
With David Cronenberg, Gus Van Sant, Peter Weller, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson
World Premiere

Leyser paints a tender portrait of the Beat author and American icon, whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned vibrant countercultural movements and reconfigured 20th century culture.

With Soderbergh premiering his latest documentary here, those friends who met all those years ago at the IFFM  finally have the perfect revenge.

Winterize at X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival

Each winter, the world’s top action sports filmmakers, iconic athletes and enthusiasts come together in Utah to celebrate action sports culture at the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival.  This year’s event runs January 21-26, 2010 with screenings at the Off Broadway Theater (272 South Main Street) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“It truly is the best of action sports. Nowhere else will you find all of the top athletes and filmmakers under one roof,” says surfing legend Laird Hamilton, a long-time X-Dance supporter. With roots in the action sports world as well as the mainstream entertainment industry, no event on earth harnesses the creative energy of adrenaline culture like the X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival.

Launched in 2001 with the support of major sponsors, X-Dance has grown to become the premier action sports film festival in the world. The mission of X-Dance is to nurture the growth of action sports filmmaking and to honor achievement on both sides of the camera.  X-Dance will always recognize innovative work that pushes the limits of style and narrative.

X-Dance celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2010, and according to festival director Brian Wimmer, “It’s going to be an incredible year.  We are extremely proud to present Warren Miller, ‘The Godfather’ of action sports films with the Lifetime Achievement Award and are thrilled that he is getting involved with the festival.  In addition, there will be special screenings, X-Dance Institute forums and many off-the-chart parties to mark our 10th anniversary.”

X-Dance is held during the Sundance Film Festival to provide the filmmakers a chance to immerse themselves in Sundance and its activities.

The six-day festival includes:

Screenings open to the Public of top action sports films from industry stalwarts like Matchstick, Red Bull, Burton, Teton Gravity Research, Standard Films, Alliance Wakeboards, Poor Boyz, Radical Films, VAS, Transworld, and Woodshed Films, as well as noteworthy work by emerging talent and world premieres.

Contact, starring local skier Blake Nyman, opens the festival of local films and world premieres. Local filmmakers Stan Evans and Jeremy Miller present the female snowboarding film Stance, the Official Selection of X-Dance. Local author and director Bill Kerig stars in The Edge of Never. Jordan Romero, age 14, who intends to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest, will screen his short. Shaun White will be on site for the special screening and Institute fundraiser for his film Project X.  Also showing is The Last Paradise from New Zealand, directed by Eric Pollard.

Q&As are held with filmmakers and featured athletes after each screening.

The panels and seminars deal with real issues facing the Action Sports filmmaker, including emerging Internet demands in regard to content providing, music licensing, digital and hard copy distribution, and legal issues that arise. The top people in the industry from each category will raise the level of awareness and help the fimlmakers.

A controversial debate over the future of distribution and copyright will be hosted by Bit Torrent.

The X-Dance Institute also presents a Cinematography Workshop sponsored by GoPro Cameras with Academy-nominated cinematographer Don Burgess (Forrest Gump, Spiderman) and Chris Woods, director of over 400 national commercials.

Finally, Miller will address filmmakers in a public forum.

The X-Dance Awards Ceremony and Closing Party will be hosted by Olympic snowboard commentator and Fuel TV’s Daily Habit producer/host Pat Parnell.  The “Godfather” of Action Sports Filmmaking, Warren Miller, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Industry stars and celebrities join bands and DJs to celebrate the best in action sports filmmaking, while VJ, Brien Rullman transforms Club Elevate into a mesmerizing, wall-to-wall montage of action sports imagery.

For more information, visit:

X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival
January 21-26, 2010

Off Broadway Theater
272 South Main St.
Salt Lake City, Utah

The 19th Annual New York Jewish Film Festival

Presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Jewish Museum, the 19th annual New York Jewish Film Festival will take place at The Film Society’s Walter Reade Theater, The Jewish Museum, and The JCC in Manhattan from January, 13-28, 2010. The festival includes 32 features and shorts from 13 countries — 28 screening in their U.S. or New York premieres — and offers a diverse global perspective on the Jewish experience. Several filmmakers and special guests will join in onstage discussions following the screenings.

The festival opens on Wednesday, January 13, with the U. S. premiere of Saviors in the Night, Ludi Boeken’s World War II drama -- based on the memoir of Marga Spiegel -- portraying courageous German farmers in Westphalia risking their lives to hide a Jewish family.

It joins the Closing Night film, Within the Whirlwind — a New York premiere recounting the life of Jewish poet Evgenia Ginzburg, who survived a 10-year sentence in a Siberian gulag through the kindness of her fellow inmates and the power of poetry. Based on Ginzburg’s memoirs, this epic from Oscar-winner Marleen Gorris (Antonia’s Line) features Emily Watson (Breaking the Waves) and Ulrich Tukur (The Lives of Others).

Festival documentary screenings include the U.S. premiere of Einsatzgruppen: The Death Brigades, Michaël Prazan’s meticulous examination of the Einsatzgruppen, mobile commandos who carried out the murder of 1.5 million victims in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union; and the New York premiere of Hannah Rothschild’s The Jazz Baroness, delving into the life of Baroness Pannonica “Nica” Rothschild de Konigswarter, a close friend and muse of Thelonious Monk. The film includes interviews with Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins and Clint Eastwood, and the voice of Helen Mirren as Nica.

For the first time, the festival includes a claymation film, Mary and Max, from Academy Award-winning director Adam Elliot.  The film, featuring the voices of Eric Bana, Toni Colette, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Barry “Dame Edna” Humphries, depicts the pen-pal relationship between Mary Dinkle, a chubby lonely eight-year-old in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia and Max Horovitz, a 44-year-old severely obese Jewish New Yorker with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Four dramas receiving their New York premieres focus on various facets of life in Israel.

There's Ajami, co-directed by Palestinian Scandar Copti and Israeli Yaron Shani, a visceral crime drama with a strong ensemble cast. Set in a multi-ethnic neighborhood, the stories of a Bedouin clan, a Palestinian teenager, a Jewish detective, and an affluent Palestinian and his Jewish girlfriend intersect and create the dramatic collision of different worlds. Ajami won five Ophirs (Israeli Oscars), including Best Picture, and is Israel's submission to the 2010 Academy Awards.

In Haim Tabakman’s Eyes Wide Open, an ultra-Orthodox butcher and dedicated family man in Jerusalem finds himself increasingly attracted to his handsome apprentice, Ezri.  This sensitive feature debut explores the devastating consequences of forbidden passion, including its effects on a tight-knit community.

In Alain Tasma’s Ultimatum, a multinational thriller set during the 1990/91 Persian Gulf War, a young couple in Jerusalem battle with each other while Iraq threatens Israel with chemical warfare.  The film stars French heartthrob Gaspard Ulliel and the beautiful Jasmine Trinca.

Matti Harari and Arik Lubetzky’s Valentina’s Mother portrays the friendship between a Holocaust survivor and her young Polish housekeeper. Speaking and singing in Polish, the two enjoy each other’s companionship until Paula’s repressed memories of the Holocaust start to emerge.

Three dramas exploring Jewish life before World War II also receive their New York premieres.

Marek Najbrt’s Protector, set in Nazi-occupied Prague, is a stylish drama focusing on the marriage of radio journalist Emil and his Jewish wife, a famous film star. Emil becomes an official mouthpiece of the Reich in order to offer a measure of protection to Hana, even as their relationship slowly frays.

Based on actual events, Kaspar Heidelbach’s Berlin ’36 tells a dramatic story of friendship during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Gretel Bergmann, invited to join the German Olympic team as its token Jew, befriends the unknown Marie Ketteler, not knowing that Ketteler is a man passing as a woman added to the team in an effort to spoil Gretel’s victory.

Other dramas in the festival include Radu Gabrea’s Gruber’s Journey, about an Italian journalist and diplomat navigating the outrageous bureaucracy of Nazi-occupied Romania in a desperate search for a Jewish doctor named Josef Gruber; and Happy End, receiving its U.S. premiere, the final chapter of Frans Weisz’s trilogy about a much-haunted Jewish Dutch family gathering in anticipation of the passing of their patriarch.

Restored prints of two archival films will receive their New York premieres. Adapted from Arnold Zweig’s 1947 novel, Falk Harnack’s The Axe Of Wandsbek follows a man who accepts money from the Nazis to serve as a public executioner and goes on to be rejected by his community.

In Henry Lynn’s 1935 Yiddish classic, Bar Mitzvah, a mother miraculously survives a shipwreck and shocks the family by appearing at her son’s bar mitzvah, discovering that her husband has remarried a scheming gold-digger.  Starring legendary actor Boris Thomashefsky in his only film performance, this melodrama features songs, vaudeville jokes and fancy dancing.

Two riveting documentaries from Israel receive their New York premieres. Ron Ofer and Yohai Hakak’s riveting Gevald! juxtaposes the lives of two of Israel’s prominent ultra-Orthodox leaders, anti-Zionist radical activist Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim and the late Avraham Ravitz, a former soldier and longtime Knesset member who worked within the system to advance his constituency’s religious agenda. Nurit Kedar’s Chronicle of a Kidnap follows activist Karnit Goldwasser, who stepped into the media spotlight on behalf of her husband Ehud (Udi), a soldier abducted in 2006 by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Nine additional documentaries are being screened:

  • Bob Richman’s Ahead of Time considers the career of journalist and photographer Ruth Gruber.
  • Susan Cohn Rockefeller’s Making the Crooked Straight follows the work of Dr. Rick Hodes, a Long Island-born Orthodox Jew who has dedicated his life to helping heal the sick and poor of Ethiopia.
  • Lukás Pribyl’s Forgotten Transports: To Poland, receiving its New York premiere, delves into the lives of Czech Jews deported by the Nazis to camps and ghettos in Eastern Poland’s Lublin region during the Holocaust.
  • In Human Failure, receiving its U.S. premiere, Michael Verhoeven (director of Oscar-nominated feature The Nasty Girl) reveals the expropriation and sale of Jewish assets that benefited innumerable citizens of the Third Reich.
  • Stephen Z. Friedman and Antony Benjamin’s Leap Of Faith, receiving its New York premiere, depicts four families experiencing the difficulties of abandoning their traditions and embracing Judaism.
  • Jean Bodon’s Leon Blum: For All Mankind, receiving its U.S. premiere, tells the story of a prominent French leader, a Jew who at different times was prime minister of France and prisoner in the Buchenwald concentration camp.
  • Raphaël Nadjari’s A History of Israeli Cinema explores the evolution of Israel’s cinema and its parallels with the country’s history, weaving together clips and interviews with directors, scholars and critics.
  • Llewellyn Smith’s Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness explores the career of Melville J. Herskovits, the first anthropologist to trace Black cultural roots directly to Africa, instilling pride in many African Americans even as he undercut the scholarship of African American social scientists, dismissing their work as subjective and agenda-driven.
  • In Slawomir Grünberg’s The Peretzniks, receiving its U.S. premiere, alumni of the Peretz School, a Yiddish-language school in Lodz, recall their adolescence in Poland before the 1968 anti-Semitic campaign.

This year’s New York Jewish Film Festival was selected by Rachel Chanoff, Independent Curator; Andrew Ingall, Assistant Curator, The Jewish Museum; Richard Peña, Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center; and Aviva Weintraub, Associate Curator and Director of The New York Jewish Film Festival, The Jewish Museum.

The New York Jewish Film Festival is sponsored, in part, by The Martin and Doris Payson Charitable Foundation.  Generous funding was also provided by The Liman Foundation, The Jack and Pearl Resnick Foundation, Mimi and Barry Alperin, and other donors. Additional support has been provided through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the National Endowment for the Arts.  The Israel Office of Cultural Affairs in the USA and the French Embassy provided travel assistance.

The majority of The New York Jewish Film Festival’s screenings are held at The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, located at 165 West 65th St. between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway.

Two additional screenings will be held at The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave. at 92nd Street; and The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at West 76th Street.

Single screening tickets for The New York Jewish Film Festival are $11; $7 for Film Society and Jewish Museum members, students and children (6-12, accompanied by an adult); and $8 for seniors (62+).

Tickets for screenings at the Walter Reade Theater and The Jewish Museum are available at the Walter Reade Theater Box Office; at Centercharge, 212.721.6500; and online at

Tickets for the screening at The Jewish Museum are also available at that venue.

For complete festival information, visit,, or call 212.875.5601.  For tickets and information about the screening at The JCC in Manhattan, call 646.505.5708 or visit

Widely admired for its exhibitions and educational programs that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum is the preeminent United States institution exploring the intersection of 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture. The Jewish Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains an important collection of 26,000 objects—paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media.  For more information, visit

Under the leadership of Mara Manus, Executive Director, and Richard Peña, Program Director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center offers the best in international, classic and cutting-edge independent cinema. The Film Society presents two film festivals that attract global attention: the New York Film Festival, now in its 47th year, and New Directors/New Films which, since its founding in 1972, has been produced in collaboration with MoMA. The Film Society also publishes the award-winning Film Comment Magazine, and for over three decades has given an annual award – now named “The Chaplin Award” – to a major figure in world cinema.  Past recipients of this award include Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.  For more information, visit

The Film Society receives generous, year-round support from 42BELOW, GRAFF, Stella Artois, Illy Caffè, The New York State Council on the Arts, and The National Endowment for the Arts.

The New York Jewish Film Festival, Jan. 13-28 Schedule at a Glance

Screenings at the Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th Street (close to Amsterdam Avenue)
(Unless otherwise indicated)

Wednesday, Jan. 13
1:00          Saviors in the Night
3:45          Gruber’s Journey
6:15          Saviors in the Night
9:00          Gruber’s Journey

Thursday, Jan. 14
1:15          Bar Mitzvah
3:30          Gruber’s Journey
6:15          Ahead of Time with Making the Crooked Straight
9:00          Ajami

Saturday, Jan. 16
6:30          Ajami
9:15          The Jazz Baroness

Sunday, Jan. 17
1:30          The Axe of Wandsbek
4:15          The Jazz Baroness
6:30          Happy End with Point of View
9:00          Protector with With a Little Patience

Monday, Jan. 18
12:30        Leon Blum with Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness
3:30          Protector with With a Little Patience
6:15          Forgotten Transports: To Poland
8:30          The Jazz Baroness

Tuesday, Jan. 19
1:00          Happy End with Point of View
3:30          Protector with With a Little Patience
6:15          Happy End with Point of View
7:30          Eyes Wide Open with Kallah*
8:45          Leon Blum with Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness

Wednesday, Jan. 20
1:00          Forgotten Transports: To Poland
3:30          Leon Blum with Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness
6:30          Einsatzgruppen

Thursday, Jan. 21
1:00          Human Failure
3:30          Berlin ’36
6:15          Human Failure
8:45          The Peretzniks with Happy Jews

Saturday, Jan. 23
6:30          Eyes Wide Open with Kallah
9:00          Mary and Max

Sunday, Jan. 24
1:00          Bar Mitzvah
3:15          Berlin ’36
6:00          Eyes Wide Open with Kallah
8:45          Mary and Max

Monday, Jan. 25
1:00          Gevald! with Chronicle of a Kidnap
3:00          Valentina’s Mother with Pinhas**
3:30          Leap of Faith
6:15          Gevald! with Chronicle of a Kidnap
8:30          Leap of Faith

Tuesday, Jan. 26
1:30          Valentina’s Mother with Pinhas
4:00          Human Failure
6:30          A History of Israeli Cinema

Wednesday, Jan. 27
1:00          Within the Whirlwind
3:30          The Peretzniks with Happy Jews
6:15          Valentina’s Mother with Pinhas
8:45          The Peretzniks with Happy Jews

Thursday, Jan. 28
1:00          Ultimatum with Prrrride
3:45          Within the Whirlwind
6:15          Ultimatum with Prrrride
8:45          Within the Whirlwind

*At The JCC in Manhattan
334 Amsterdam Avenue at West 76th Street

Tuesday, Jan. 19
7:30          Eyes Wide Open with Kallah

**At The Jewish Museum
1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street

Monday, Jan. 25
3:00          Valentina’s Mother with Pinhas

NewFilmmakers Winter Festival 2010

NewFilmmakers starts the second annual Winter Fest and its 2010 Winter Series January 2nd - 6th, 2010 at Anthology Film Archives, 32 Second Avenue at Second Street, New York City.

NewFilmmakers gives independent filmmakers a chance to show their work directly to the public.  Each night begins with films from the NewFilmmakers Documentary Series, selections from the Short Film Program, followed by a Feature Presentation.

Documentary Films include:

Muskrat John: Urban Trapper, directed by Warner Wada, a documentary about trapping in sight of the Empire State Building.

Americanism, directed by Arin Yoon, a documentary about education in South Korea.

Pardon Us for Living but the Graveyard Is Full, directed by Geoffray Barbier  
In 1976 two teenagers, Keith Streng (1976 – present) and Jan-Marek Pakulski (1976 – 1986), formed the Fleshtones in Queens, New York. Soon they were joined by neighborhood friend, Peter Zaremba (1976 – present) on vocals. The Fleshtones debuted at a CBGB's concert on May 19, 1976. By 1978, their high-energy shows, neo-psychedelic sound gained The Fleshtones a rep as a don't-miss live band and signed to IRS records (REM, The Gogos).

NewFilmmakers Feature Presentations include:

Spy, directed by Alex Klymko
A romantic thriller. A man falls in love with a woman he is spying on and tries to save her from a fate she does not wish to flee. Stars Ben Curtis as Jonathan and Vincent Pastore as Dante.

Stand Up /Zhan Qi Lai, directed by Clara Xing
A young industrial worker becomes the inadvertent victim of a radioactive accident at his company. He undergoes seven major operations in which both legs are amputated at the hip, and his left hand is amputated at the wrist. He also loses functionality of all five fingers of his right hand. A subsequent addiction to pain-killing morphine forces him to undergo drug rehabilitation three times.

The local company Song worked for refuses to give him proper compensation for his crippling losses or to even pay for prosthetic limbs with which he might some day achieve his dream of standing up. Experiencing the lowest point of his life, he meets a beautiful, caring young school teacher, named Yang Gang. Through their growing and emotionally supportive friendship, and with very meager financial support from his impoverished parents, he resolves to bring his case for just compensation to officials at his former company's headquarters in Beijing. Song Xue-Wen plays himself in this film, which is based on the true story of his life.

Dark Room Theater, directed by Benjamin Pollack
Dark Room Theater is a double feature in the vein of The Twilight Zone, about ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary, usually supernatural, situations, using both ironic and comic twists. The show is hosted by an animated character entitled Dr. Brainly, a brain that lives in a glass beaker from an experiment gone wrong or right depending on your point of view.

8 Behind the Wheel, directed by Tracy Burroughs
Eight diverse personalities driving to unknown destinations. We are the voyeurs to their most personal thoughts. The serial killer, masseuse, pizza delivery girl, policeman, actress, middle-aged man, stoner and a pedophile. We slowly discover they are all related and that when some thoughts lead to actions bad things will happen.

In the Company of Strangers, directed by Thomas Hofbauer
Brian is arrested for assaulting a gay couple and sentenced to 600 hours at an AIDS center. Exposed to the daily existence in an AIDS hospice, Brian eventually softens and forms a friendship with James. His growth culminates in an attempt to reconcile James with his estranged son and in his own attempt at reconciliation with his father.

More information can be found at

NewFilmmakers Winter Festival 2010
January 2nd - 6th, 2010

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue at Second Street
New York City


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