JUNE 1 - 4, 2017

DOCUMENTARY FEATURES

AUGIE

Directed By: James Keach
Run Time: 84 mins
Country: USA

Augie Nieto was known as “the Steve Jobs of the fitness industry”—the founder of LifeFitness and the first person to popularize LifeCycle in gyms across the country. He lived life in the fast lane—was in impeccable shape, tough, bullheaded, and devilishly handsome. At the age of 47, Augie and his wife, Lynne, his high school sweetheart, seemed to have it all— until their lives were turned upside down when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). AUGIE is the story of a man who, when faced with tragedy, teamed with his incredible wife and family to do everything in their power to find a cure for ALS. Their bravery encourages ALS patients and their families to never give up. Their love story is, quite simply, one of the most inspiring and beautiful you’ll ever see.

Date: 6/3 | Location: Cole Auditorium | Time: 2:30PM* | BUY NOW

*Q&A with Lynne Nieto, James Keach (Director), and Andrew Niblock following the screening, moderated by Eric Carlson (Producer).

BENDING THE ARC

Sponsored by WMC Health Network
Directed By: Kief Davidson & Pedro Kos
Run Time: 102 mins
Country: USA

A powerful documentary about the extraordinary team of doctors and activists – including Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Ophelia Dahl – whose work thirty years ago to save lives in a rural Haitian village grew into a global battle in the halls of power for the right to health for all. Epic, yet intimate, the film is a compelling argument for the power of collective and personal vision and will to turn the tide of history.

Date: 6/2 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 1 | Time: 5:45PM | LEARN MORE* 

*Q&A with Ophelia Dahl, Joia Mukherjee, Cori Stern (Screenwriter, Producer) and Dr. Rifat Latifi (Westchester Medical Center) and moderated by Barbara Pierce Bush.

BIG SONIA

Directed By: Leah Warshawski & Todd Soliday
Run Time: 93 mins
Country: USA

For years, Sonia Warshawski (90) has been an inspirational public speaker at schools and prisons, where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager have inspired countless people who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop (in a dead mall), she’s confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop, or retire. For a woman who admits she stays busy “to keep the dark parts away”, facing retirement dredges up fears she’d long forgot she had, and her horrific past resurfaces. BIG SONIA explores what it means to be a survivor and how this affects families and generations. Will you let your trauma define you? Or will your past make you stronger?

Date: 6/1 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 3:00PM | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/4 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 2 | Time: 11:00AM | BUY NOW 

BOBBI JENE

Directed By: Elvira Lind
Run Time: 95 mins
Country: USA, Denmark, Sweden, Israel

American dancer Bobbi Jene Smith has spent 10 years as the star of famous Israeli dance company Batsheva. She finally makes the difficult and life-altering decision to uproot her life and career to move back to the US. Bobbi first came to Israel at a young age. She’s spent the past decade under the tutelage of renowned choreographer Ohad Naharin, who radically shaped her personal life and professional work. The life-changing decision to leave is made all the more difficult considering her budding relationship with fellow dancer, Or Schraiber. Instead of allowing it to weigh her down, Bobbi uses the long separation from her home country as strength and as inspiration, allowing her to see her surroundings through a fresh lens. Back in San Francisco, she goes out on a limb and starts work on a solo choreography, channeling her experience into her work, and premieres a groundbreaking new piece. With a fly-on-the-wall approach, director Elvira Lind makes the viewer feel a part of Bobbi’s process as she hones and perfects her movements. This footage intermingles with the intimate portrayal of Bobbi and Or’s long-distance relationship. Bobbi’s natural grace and humility infuses every scene, making the film a mesmerizing and eye-opening experience.

Date: 6/2 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 2 | Time: 3:30PM | BUY NOW 


CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY

Directed By: Phillip Baribeau
Run Time: 86 mins
Country: USA

CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY follows the life of celebrity chef, Eduardo Garcia whose body was jolted with 2400 volts of electricity in a bizarre backcountry accident in Montana. When his career as a highly respected chef and outdoorsman comes to a sudden halt as he fights for his life, he has to undergo 21 surgeries to get back on his feet. Halfway through his recovery, the doctors inform him that he is also suffering from testicular cancer and will have to undergo intensive chemotherapy. Physical survival is followed by emotional upheaval as he is forced to deal with his now changed relationships with his family and everyone else close to him. Most challenging is his relationship with his former girlfriend, whom he betrayed and whom, for reasons she does not even understand, becomes his primary caregiver. CHARGED is a survivor story about the resilience of a man, his family, and his closest, most complex friendships. Above all, it is a story about finding one’s best self in order to live a full life- one that is truly- CHARGED.

Date: 6/3 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 1 | Time: 6:30PM* | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/4 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 12:00PM** | BUY NOW 

*Q&A with Eduardo Garcia, Jennifer Jane, Philip Baribeau (Director), Dennis Aig (Producer), Teri Weinberg (Executive Producer) and Michael Strahan (Executive Producer) following the screening. Moderated by Mark Lindsay
**Q&A with Eduardo Garcia, Jennifer Jane, Philip Baribeau (Director), Dennis Aig (Producer), and Teri Weinberg (Executive Producer) following the screening.

CITY OF GHOSTS

Directed By: Matthew Heineman
Run Time: 90 mins
Country: USA

Directed, produced, and filmed by Academy Award–nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker, and Connecticut native Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, 2015 Sundance Film Festival Directing Award), CITY OF GHOSTS is a singularly powerful cinematic experience that is sure to shake audiences to their core as it elevates the canon of one of the most talented documentary filmmakers working today. Captivating in its immediacy, CITY OF GHOSTS follows the journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”— a handful of anonymous activists who banded together after their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. With astonishing, deeply personal access, this is the story of a brave group of citizen journalists as they face the realities of life undercover, on the run, and in exile, risking their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today.

Date: 6/4 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 2 | Time: 6:00PM | BUY NOW 

DINA

Directed By: Antonio Santini & Dan Sickles
Run Time: 101 mins
Country: USA

Dina is getting married in a few weeks and there is still so much to do. She has to move her boyfriend, Scott, from his parents’ house to her apartment and settle him into the second home he’s ever lived in, all while juggling his schedule as an early morning Walmart door greeter. She has to get her dress, confirm arrangements with the venue, and make peace with her family, who are remain nervous for Dina after the death of her first husband and the string of troubled relationships that followed. Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She has overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life for herself that she believes she deserves. Dina is unstoppable— a force of nature, and as the star of her own life story, she’s an unconventional movie protagonist the likes of which hasn’t been seen before in film.

Date: 6/3 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 2 | Time: 6:15PM | BUY NOW 

DOLORES

Directed By: Peter Bratt
Run Time: 95 mins
Country: USA

In the copious volumes written about Cesar Chavez and how he formed the first farm workers’ union in America, there’s little mention of Dolores Huerta, although she was his equal partner and co-founder of the union. DOLORES sheds light on this enigmatic, intensely private woman who is among the most important yet little-known activists in American history. With unprecedented access to both Dolores and her children, the film reveals the raw, personal stories behind the public figure. It portrays a woman both heroic and flawed, working tirelessly for social change even as her eleven children longed to have her at home.

Date: 6/1 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 8:00PM | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/4 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 7:30PM | BUY NOW 

GIVE ME FUTURE

Directed By: Austin Peters
Run Time: 85 mins
Country: USA, Cuba

In March 2016, following the restoration of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, electronic dance music trio Major Lazer made history, becoming one of the first major American acts to play in the communist state. Unsure how their descent on Havana would be received and hoping to reach a few tens of thousands, the epic concert unexpectedly drew in close to half a million fans. Much more than a garden variety music film, GIVE ME FUTURE begins as a behind-the-scenes look at the historic concert and evolves into a masterful exploration of Cuba’s inspirational youth movement and its ingenious DIY information culture. Capturing exhilarating performance footage and authentic stories highlighting the country’s cultural growth and desire for inclusion in the global community, director Austin Peters conjures a transcendent, rhythm-laced depiction of the powerful catalysts driving a country on the brink of change.

Date: 6/2 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 3:30PM* | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/3 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 12:45PM* | BUY NOW 

*Q&A with Producers Jack Turner and Jay Peterson following the screening.

A GRAY STATE

Directed By: Erik Nelson
Run Time: 93 mins
Country: USA

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 as well as 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. Directed by Grizzly Man producer Erik Nelson and Executive Produced by Werner Herzog, A GRAY STATE combs through Crowley’s archive of 13,000 photographs, hundreds of hours of home video, and exhaustive behind-the-scenes footage of David’s work in progress to reveal what happens when a paranoid view of the government turns inward —blurring the lines of what is real and what people want to believe.

Date: 6/1 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 1 | Time: 9:00PM | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/2 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 1 | Time: 9:00PM | BUY NOW 

HELL ON EARTH:

THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIS

Directed By: Sebastian Junger & Nick Quested
Run Time: 100 mins
Country: USA

In National Geographic Documentary Films’ HELL ON EARTH: THE FALL OF SYRIA AND THE RISE OF ISIS, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker and best-selling author Sebastian Junger and his Emmy-winning filmmaking partner, Nick Quested, chronicle Syria’s descent into the unbridled chaos that allowed the rise of the Islamic State, better known as ISIS. Pulling from nearly 1,000 hours of stunningly visceral footage — from that of a family living under ISIS control that finally fled to Turkey, to Kurdish fighters in Sinjar and Shia militias in Iraq and even to al-Qaida-affiliated fighters in and around Aleppo and Raqqa — Junger and Quested cover the ISIS catastrophe from multiple angles and feature interviews with top experts from around the world. Consequently, the filmmakers, who previously collaborated on a trio of films about war (Restrepo, The Last Patrol and Korengal), capture the Syrian war’s harrowing carnage, political and social consequences, and, most important, its human toll, while painting an alarming picture of the west’s role in the creation of ISIS.

Date: 5/31 | Location: The Avon Theatre | Time: 7:00PM* | BUY NOW 

*Q&A with Nick Quested (Director) following the screening, moderated by Marlow Stern (The Daily Beast)

IT’S NOT YET DARK

Directed By: Frankie Fenton
Run Time: 78 mins
Country: Ireland

Soon after premiering his short film The Sound of People at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, promising young Irish director Simon Fitzmaurice was tragically diagnosed with motor neurone disease (ALS). At just 34 years old, he was given four years to live, Fitzmaurice and his wife were expecting their third child, and a career in storytelling lay at his feet. Reeling from the shock, Fitzmaurice drew strength from his deepest desires—instead of being stuck in that painful moment, he realized his greatest defiance of ALS would be to direct his first feature film. Seven years later, despite total physical incapacitation, Fitzmaurice completed My Name is Emily (2015), directing it only with the use of his eyes. This emotional journey of self-realization and personal triumph over life-crushing adversity is nothing short of inspiring. All of it is captured with intimate home movies, photographs, and an affectionate voice-over by compatriot Colin Farrell, transporting us into Fitzmaurice’s creative world where every physical and psychological challenge is met with positivity and the desire to fulfill a dream.

Date: 6/3 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 10:30AM | BUY NOW 

LITTLE STONES

Sponsored by Uber
Directed By: Sophia Kruz
Run Time: 86 mins
Country: USA

LITTLE STONES weaves together the personal stories of four women artists, from across the world, who dedicate their lives to empowering women and survivors of gender-based violence to express and help eradicate the atrocities of domestic violence, human trafficking, extreme poverty, and female genital mutilation, with their unique art forms.

Date: 6/2 | Location: Cole Auditorium | Time: 3:00PM* | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/4 | Location: Cole Auditorium | Time: 11:00AM* | BUY NOW 

*Q&A with Sophia Kruz (Director) and Anna Taylor following the screening.

MIKE AND THE MAD DOG

ESPN’s 30 for 30

Directed By: Daniel H. Forer
Run Time: 50 mins
Country: USA

Mantle and Maris. Clyde and The Pearl. Manning to Burress. Messier and Leetch. Over the years, New York sports fans have witnessed many legendary combinations. But there is another tandem of talents.

Their names are Mike Francesa and Chris Russo, and their “Mike and the Mad Dog” show ruled afternoon sports talk from the studios of WFAN 660 for 19 years—not bad considering they didn’t think they’d last 19 days together. Even though they both brought Long Island accents and encyclopedic sports knowledge to the microphone, they were distinctly different personalities who often clashed on and off the air. But when all was said and done, they changed sports radio forever.

In this rollicking yet revealing 30 for 30 documentary directed by Daniel H. Forer, the story of their success is told through in-depth interviews, archival tapes and a chorus of colleagues and fans—some of them quite famous. Framed by a 2016 lovefest known as FrancesaCon, the film captures the chemistry that made “Mike and the Mad Dog” so compelling—never more so than on their final show together in 2008, when Christopher’s father, Tony, made a call to Mike.

Francesa and Russo both went on to success on their own. But for a generation of sports fans, there will never be another sports radio show as entertaining, as argument-inducing, as good as “Mike and The Mad Dog.”

Date: 6/4 | Location: Cole Auditorium | Time: 3:00PM* | BUY NOW 

*Screening will be followed a panel discussion on PRODUCING SPORTS. Learn more here.

SWIM TEAM

Directed By: Lara Stolman
Run Time: 90 mins
Country: USA

SWIM TEAM is a feature documentary chronicling the rise of a competitive swim team made up of children and teens on the autism spectrum. Based in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, the cast of SWIM TEAM is largely Latino and Asian, minorities that are underrepresented in competitive swimming and underserved in autism intervention and education. The film follows three of the team’s star athletes, boys on the cusp of adulthood as they face a future of exclusion and dependence. But everything changes when they come together as a team with parent coaches who train them with high expectations and zero pity. As the team vies for state and national Special Olympics championships, SWIM TEAM captures a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.

Date: 6/3 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 3 | Time: 4:45PM | BUY NOW 
Date: 6/4 | Location: Cole Auditorium | Time: 5:15PM | BUY NOW 

*Screening will be followed by Q&A with cast & crew. Q&A will be moderated by Izabela O’Brien (Founder, The Fearless Angel Project).

TROPHY

Sponsored by Ramblers Way
Directed By: Christina Clusiau & Shaul Schwarz
Run Time: 108 mins
Country: USA, UK, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe

TROPHY is an ambitious, multidimensional look into the controversial relationship between those that profit from the wild and those that aim to protect it. As populations decline and value rises, the dynamic between big-game hunters and committed conservationists grows more and more complicated with each advancement on either side of the argument.

In an effort to provide true insight on the animal trading industry, the documentary profiles passionate breeders, hunters and wildlife activists. The film promises to leave you questioning what is right, what is wrong and what is the solution with this firey topic.

Date: 6/4 | Location: Bow Tie – Theater 1 | Time: 4:00PM | BUY NOW 

VIP PASSES

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PARTIES

Enjoy star-studded parties during GIFF 2017, featuring a concert by Flo Rida, award presentations, cocktails, food and more!

PANELS

Reserve your tickets now for a variety of educational, engaging, and insightful panels during the 2017 Festival.

Jury

Nicholas Doob – Cinematographer

Nick Doob has been a director, cinematographer, and editor on numerous award-winning films. He shot five films which were nominated for Academy Awards, including From Mao to Mozart and Smile Pinki which won. He has received eight filmmaker grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures and the Director’s Guild. He directed Down from the Mountain with D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus and Elaine Stritch at Liberty for HBO which won an Emmy. In 2000 he won an Emmy as a producer on American High, the acclaimed verité TV series. For HBO he co-directed with Rory Kennedy A Boy’s Life, and has shot a number of Pennebaker-Hegedus films, including Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1973), The War Room (1993), and directed with Chris Hegedus, Al Franken: God Spoke. He directed Carmen & Geoffrey with his wife, Linda Atkinson, the prize-winning film about the dancers Carmen de Lavallade and Geoffrey Holder. Recently, with Shari Cookson, he has made a number of feature-length documentaries for HBO including “The Memory Loss Tapes” which won the Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Nonfiction Filmmaking.

Nina Rosenblum – Director and Producer

Academy Award-nominee Nina Rosenblum is internationally recognized as one of the most important directors of documentary and investigative cinema. Daedalus Productions, Inc., founded in 1980, focuses on issues not covered in the conventional media and produces non-fiction television for network, public and cable markets. Specializing in international co-production, Rosenblum’s credits include: PBS, HBO, Showtime/NY TimesTV, Canal +/Spain, WDR/Germany, La Sept/France, ChannelFour/UK, SBS/Australia. Daedalus Productions has won numerous awards and is a highly respected member of the world-wide non-fiction community. Nina Rosenblum is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors’ Guild of America and New York Women in Film.

Kirk Simon – Director

The Oscar and Emmy-winning Director Kirk Simon has received four Oscar nominations; including one win, eight Emmy nominations (two Prime Time wins) and the Dupont-Columbia Silver Baton. His documentaries have been broadcast on PBS, HBO, MTV and screened at festivals around the world including the New York Film Festival, Sundance, London, Doc NYC, Berlin, Doc Edge NZ and Toronto.

Simon’s recently completed feature doc THE PULITZER AT 100 (2016) include scenes with Toni Morrison, Carl Bernstein, Nick Kristof, Wynton Marsalis, Junot Diaz, Tony Kushner and readings by Martin Scorsese, Helen Mirren and Natalie Portman. The film has played in Toronto, Doc Land SF, RiverRun, Zagreb, Doc Edge New Zealand and Doc NYC. Mr. Simon is also responsible for four seasons of the series MASTERCLASS (2010-2014) on HBO and COMING OUT STORIES on MTV/Logo (2008/9).

Mr. Simon won an Oscar for the documentary STRANGERS NO MORE (2010) examining the children of immigrant workers in Tel Aviv. Previous nominations include CHIMPS: SO LIKE US (1990), filmed with Jane Goodall in Tanzania and ISAAC IN AMERICA (1988) with Isaac Bashivas Singer. He is a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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