A Summer Blockbuster in Independent Film: “Skin Deep: Formulating a Legacy” Is A Serious Piece Of 2021 Summertime Fun!

By Vernon Nickerson In the new film, “Skin Deep: Formulating a Legacy”, we are reminded that while “Jersey Shore” was becoming a cultural phenomenon, an actual phenomenally talented entrepreneur and cosmetic chemistry genius was working against relentless odds and a jaw-dropping series of unfortunate events. Thanks to the star and Executive Producer Vince Spinnato, a…

Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grants 18 Projects

Stories from BIPOC and Women Directors Are Focus of Unrestricted Support The Sundance Institute announced the latest cohort of Sundance Institute Documentary Fund Grantees. A total of $590,000 in unrestricted grant support has been provided to 18 projects in various stages including five in development, eight in production, and five in post-production. Grants are made…

AXS FILM FUND LAUNCHES WITH A COMMITMENT TO ENSURING CREATORS OF COLOR WITH DISABILITIES HAVE THEIR VOICES HEARD

Grants of up to $10,000 Per Project Starting in 2021 AXS Film Fund was founded to support documentary filmmakers and non-fiction new media creators of color with disabilities. AXS Film Fund seeks to bring visibility to this underrepresented community of creators by intervening and providing opportunities that they may not otherwise have with mainstream funding…

“SOFTIE”: For God, for Kenya, and for Family- Boniface Mwangi’s story aims for NO ONE Left Behind

By Vernon Nickerson From writer/director Sam Soko comes a powerful documentary of an underdog/longshot Kenyan political candidate that is anything but soft. The hero of “Softie”, photojournalist-cum-candidate for prime minister Boniface Mwangi may be soft-spoken, but his actions are bold, loud, and in-your-face. In a nation-state that has known continuous internal conflict since the fifth…

2021 Slamdance Film Festival Review Of “Bleeding Audio”: It Is The Holy Grail Of Alternative Punk Band biography…And So Much More!

By Vernon Nickerson Chelsea Christer’s reality drama-documentary “Bleeding Audio” will be a hot ticket for fans of fan favorite punk rockers “The Matches” as soon as tickets are available. If, like most feature length films in the COVID era, it is streamed, that platform had best be prepared to be shredded. Officially, “Bleeding Audio” is…

“Through The Night” Film Review

By Liisa Cohen “Through The Night”, directed and produced by Loira Limal, captured my heart and attention. Whoa! What is Love? This heart warming and deeply moving film captures the life and soul of an exceptional woman. “Through The Night” is an intimate cinema verité portrait of three working mothers whose lives all intersect at…

“Softie” Film Review

By Liisa Cohen “Softie”, a film by Sam Soko is a perfectly paced, gut wrenching account of Boniface Mwangi as we follow this photojournalist turned political activist turned MP candidate on his personal journey. Boniface “Softie” Mwangi has long fought injustices in his country as a political activist. Now he’s taking the next step by…

AVA DuVERNAY JOINS AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF OSCAR CONTENDER ‘A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION’ NEW SHORT DOCUMENTARY FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES OP-DOCS, CO-DIRECTORS BEN PROUDFOOT, KRIS BOWERS

NEW VIDEO RELEASED OF DuVERNAY & BOWERS IN-CONVERSATION FILM TO HAVE FESTIVAL DEBUT AT SUNDANCE 2021 TOMORROWFULL FILM NOW STREAMING ON NYTIMES.COM The new short subject documentary A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION tells the story of virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers as he tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim…

“NASRIN” Movie Review

By Liisa Cohen The opening frames had my heart pounding, the ending frames had me in tears. NASRIN is a deeply moving, heart breaking and all too real story of Nasrin Sotoudeh, an attorney, human rights activist and political prisoner in Iran. With the back drop of modern day Iran, director/ writer/producer Jeff Kaufman and…

MR SOUL! So Before It’s Time

By Liisa Cohen Completely captivating, “MR SOUL!” is not just a documentary about Ellis B. Haizlip and his 1968-1973 Public Television show “Mr. SOUL!”. “Mr. SOUL!” is a deeply moving, beautifully edited, must see, absorbed and cherished film about a television show that started a movement reflecting the SOUL of all black people and the…

JFI Co-Presents WORLD PREMIERE HERB ALPERT IS…

The Virtual Theatrical Edition features additional materials including a Q&A with filmmaker John Scheinfeld and subject Herb Alpert moderated by Grammy Museum Artistic Director, Scott Goldman! Virtual Theatrical Edition Available On Demand Starting Thursday 10/1  For Tckets Orde here  The October 1st event will be followed with a live Q&A with ALPERT and the film’s…

A Year In The Life Of Jack And Yaya

By Joanna Panayi Jack & Yaya captures a year in the life of childhood best friends who grew up defying gender norms to transitioning in their twenties. Jack and Yaya grew up together as next-door neighbors in a rural area, supporting each other when they realized they were both transgender. This film highlights their friendship through…

Sundance Institute Announces 2020 Creative Producing Labs Fellows

 Sundance Institute has announced Fellows and Advisors for the five-day 2020 Creative Producing Labs, redesigned digitally to take place for the first time ever on Sundance Co//ab. The Labs begin July 27, and is a flagship convening for the Institute’s Creative Producing Program, which champions and develops current and rising generations of independent producers across…

Pot Luck film A Fresh, Versatile Perspective On The Cannabis Industry

By Joanna Panayi From Emmy-nominated and award-winning filmmaker Jane Wells, Pot Luck, is a 3 Generations production narrated by Robin Quivers. This documentary takes us on an enlightening adventure across the Colorado state, exploring the normality of the legalization of cannabis. Pot luck is an insightful analysis of the legalization of cannabis’s direct, cultural, and…

Sundance Institute Selects 2020 Native Filmmakers Lab Fellows

  Five Indigenous filmmakers have been chosen to participate in the 2020 Sundance Institute Native Filmmakers Lab, reimagined and expressed digitally this year on Sundance Co//ab. The Lab is at the core of the Institute’s commitment to supporting Indigenous storytellers since its founding. At the Native Filmmakers Lab (June 29–July 10), Fellows will workshop scripts…