OPENING NIGHT SCREENING
Thursday, October 6, 7:00 p.m.
THE IVORY GAME
DIRS Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani. DC Premiere. 116 MIN. 2016
With over 150,000 elephants killed in the past five years for their tusks, THE IVORY GAME documents the urgent plight of the African elephant as it falls victim to a vast underground trade, where a single kilogram of ivory can sell for $3,000. With astonishing footage and a globe-spanning investigation, the film follows the work of wildlife activists, investigators and a Chinese journalist who risk their own lives to take down poachers in Africa and black marketeers in Asia, in a daring effort to save the last remaining elephants. Along the way, the young journalist reexamines the time-honored role of the investigative reporter as uninvolved observer of wrongdoing.
Friday, October 7, 3:30 p.m
A LEAK IN PARADISE
DIR David LeLoup.DC Premiere. 76 MIN. 2016
A Leak in Paradise follows Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer, a former senior banking executive who first leaked highly secretive banking data to WikiLeaks. Elmer faced criminal prosecution at home and became a social outcast, but his disclosures unleashed a torrent of investigative reporting on the vast sums hidden away in secret bank accounts and tax havens across the globe. They also prompted demands from Washington for greater transparency at Swiss banks.
Friday, October 7, 6:00 p.m.
ALL GOVERNMENTS LIE: TRUTH, DECEPTION, AND THE SPIRIT OF I.F. STONE
Dir. Fred Peabody. DC Premiere. 91 MIN. 2016
I.F. Stone was a legend in investigative reporting. Operating from the assumption that “all governments lie,” Stone combed through the government’s own records to expose falsehoods surrounding some of the biggest stories of his generation from the 1950s through the 1970s. This film follows adversarial journalists who operate in Stone’s spirit–Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, and Matt Taibbi–and whose critical, investigative reporting provides alternatives to mainstream news outlets.
Friday, October 7, 8:30 p.m.
BETTING ON ZERO
DIR Ted Braun. DC Premiere. 96 MIN. 2016
Can Wall Street be used as a force for morality? Ted Braun’s (DARFUR NOW) riveting financial docu-thriller BETTING ON ZERO follows a to-the-death battle driven by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who is on a crusade to bring down Herbalife, the nutritional supplement company whose business model, he asserts, is an illegal pyramid scheme. While Ackman accuses the company of targeting working class Latino communities with a “business opportunity” that is nothing more than a sham, Herbalife execs in turn accuse Ackman of attempting to bankrupt them solely in order to make a killing off his billion dollar short position against the company.
Saturday, October 8, 12 p.m.
FIRE AT SEA (FUOCOAMMARE)
DIR Gianfranco Rosi. DC Premiere. 108 MIN. 2016
The sleepy Italian island of Lampedusa, some 70 miles from Tunisia, has become a most unexpected travel destination: it is the first stop for hundreds of thousands of refugees streaming into Europe to escape conflict, poverty and persecution throughout Africa and the Middle East. FIRE AT SEA, which won the Berlin Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Bear Award, offers a startlingly poignant glimpse into the small island’s culture as its people encounter waves of desperate newcomers packed into rickety fishing boats, many of whom die before reaching Lampedusa’s coast. As the residents of Lampedusa attempt to go about the quotidian aspects of their day, one of the world’s most tragic crises is literally washing up on their shores.
Saturday, October 8, 3 p.m.
DIRS Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas. DC Premiere. 86 MIN. 2016
Rudy Kurniawan, an affable 20-something of unknown provenance, burst on the world of fine wine in a big way, turning up at auctions and bidding high on rare burgundies. Casual, friendly and irreverent, he was rumored to be from a wealthy family, and praised for his authoritative palate. He was also an outrageous fraud, mixing California reds with off-year vintages in his LA kitchen, to lucrative effect. SOUR GRAPES introduces audiences to a cast of characters who indulge themselves with $20,000 bottles of wine and a whole lot of hype, as filmmakers Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas unravel the mystery of the man who befriended, and promptly swindled, wine collectors out of tens of millions of dollars.
Saturday, October 8, 5:30 p.m.
DIR Kristi Jacobson. 82 MIN. 2016
Though it is considered a form of torture in much of the world, the use of solitary confinement to punish and control prison inmates has grown exponentially in the United States, with an estimated 100,000 people held in isolation in prisons across the country. Inmates are relegated to cramped cells for months and years at a time, typically following administrative decisions by prison officials that are never reviewed by courts or subject to outside oversight in any way. Filmmaker Kristi Jacobson spent a year delving into the lives of guards and inmates at Red Onion State Prison in southern Virginia, one of more than 40 so-called “supermax” prisons built to hold prisoners in solitary confinement indefinitely, to produce a revelatory film about an unforgiving world hidden from public view.
CLOSING NIGHT SCREENING
Saturday, October 8 at 8:00 p.m.
ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL
DIR Steve James. DC Premiere. 90 MIN. 2016
With unprecedented access and intimate detail, ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL tells the saga of the Chinese immigrant Sung family, owners of Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown, New York. Accused of mortgage fraud by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Abacus becomes the only U.S. bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
Opening Night Gala
September 30, 2015, 6:00 pm
A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase after September 21.
Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Brian d’Arcy James and Stanley Tucci, SPOTLIGHT tells the riveting true story of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe investigation that would rock the city and cause a crisis in one of the world’s oldest and most trusted institutions. When the newspaper’s tenacious “Spotlight” team of reporters delve into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston’s religious, legal, and government establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world. Directed by Academy Award-nominee Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT is a tense investigative thriller, tracing the steps to one of the biggest crime stories in modern times. The post-screening program features the original Spotlight team and the director, Tom McCarthy.
THE TRUE COST (Dir. Andrew Morgan, USA, 92 min.) – Special Youth Screening
October 1, 2015 | 11:00 am
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing?
Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
CARTEL LAND (Dir. Matthew Heineman, USA/Mexico, 100 min.)
October 1, 2015 | 6:00 pm
With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND is a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.
Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. From executive producer Kathryn Bigelow (THE HURT LOCKER, ZERO DARK THIRTY), CARTEL LAND is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil. At the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Heineman received both the Directing Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography in the U.S. Documentary competition.
DEEP WEB (Dir. Alex Winter, USA, 86 min.)
October 1, 2015 | 8:45 pm
DEEP WEB gives the inside story of one of the the most important and riveting digital crime sagas of the century — the arrest of Ross William Ulbricht, the convicted 30-year-old entrepreneur accused to be ‘Dread Pirate Roberts,’ creator and operator of online black market Silk Road. The film explores how the brightest minds and thought leaders behind the Deep Web are now caught in the crosshairs of the battle for control of a future inextricably linked to technology, with our digital rights hanging in the balance.
In addition to being the only film with exclusive access to the Ulbricht family, Deep Web features the core architects of the Deep Web; anarchistic cryptographers who developed the Deep Web’s tools for the military in the early 1990s; the dissident journalists and whistleblowers who immediately sought refuge in this seemingly secure environment; and the figures behind the rise of Silk Road, which combined the security of the Deep Web with the anonymity of cryptocurrency.
THE STORM MAKERS (Dir. Guillaume Suon, Cambodia, 66 min.)
October 2, 2015 | 3:30 pm
Aya was a slave. At the age of 16, the young Cambodian peasant was sold to work as a maid in Malaysia, where she was exploited and beaten during two years without receiving any salary. Now that she has returned to her village just as poor as when she left, what is left of her humanity?
The Storm Makers traces modern-day slavery in Cambodia, by uncovering the fate of this young woman and following, in parallel, the daily lives of two human traffickers, a local recruiter and the head of a trafficking network. Cambodians call them « Mey Kechol »: the storm makers.
From the impoverished remote villages to the bustling urban centre of Phnom Penh, the film reveals a unique perspective on the exploitation of Cambodia’s rural population and questions what is the price of a life in a country experiencing uninhibited economic development.
DRONE (Dir. Tonje Hessen Schei, Norway, 80 min.)
October 2, 2015 | 6:00 pm
Inside the secret CIA drone war. Intimate stories from the war on terror. People living under drones in Pakistan and drone pilots struggling with killing through joysticks in the US.
The film covers diverse and integral ground from the recruitment of young pilots at gaming conventions and the re-definition of “going to war”, to the moral stance of engineers behind the technology, the world leaders giving the secret “green light” to engage in the biggest targeted killing program in history, and the people willing to stand up against the violations of civil liberties and fight for transparency, accountability and justice.
This is just the beginning. In the midst of fast advancement of technology and lagging international legislation the film shows how drones change wars and possibly our future.
(T)ERROR (Dir. Lyric Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, USA, 93 min.)
October 2, 2015 | 8:30 pm
Saeed “Shariff” Torres, a counterterrorism informant for more than two decades, takes on what he swears is his last job for the FBI and invites filmmakers to follow his covert efforts to befriend a suspected jihadist – without informing his superiors. As surprising revelations emerge, not only about Torres’ past, but also about the increasingly murky ethical grounds of his present mission, (T)ERROR explores just how far we are going to prevent terror and exactly what liberties we are sacrificing to get there.
1971 (Dir. Johanna Hamilton, USA, 80 min.)
October 2, 2015 | 9:30 am
On March 8, 1971 eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, a town just outside Philadelphia, took hundreds of secret files, and shared them with the public. In doing so, they uncovered the FBI’s vast and illegal regime of spying and intimidation of Americans exercising their First Amendment rights.