Filmmaker Jafar Panahi and actress Behnaz Jafari travel to the rural northwest of Iran after receiving a plea for help from a girl whose family has forbid her from studying acting in Tehran. Amusing encounters abound, but they soon discover that the local hospitality is rivaled by the desire to protect age-old traditions.
In the quest to meet an ever-higher standard of physical beauty, many women choose breast implants without knowing the potential health risks. Absolutely Safe chronicles four women's stories and the need for informed consent.Learn more
In Afghanistan you risk your life to sing. After thirty years of war and five devastating years of Taliban rule, pop culture is beginning to return to the country. Since 2005, millions have been tuning in to Tolo TV's wildly popular American Idol-style series Afghan Star. Like its Western predecessors, people compete for a cash prize and record deal. More surprisingly, the contest is open to everyone across the country despite gender, ethnicity or age. Two thousand people audition, including three extremely brave women. And when viewers vote for their favorites via cell phone, it is, for many, their first encounter with the democratic process.
Winner of the Directing and Audience Awards in Sundance's 2009 World Documentary competition, Havana Marking's timely and moving film follows the dramatic stories of four young finalists-two men and two women-as they hazard everything to become the nation's favorite performer. By observing the Afghani people's relationship to its pop culture, Afghan Star is the perfect window into a country's tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity. What Americans consider frivolous entertainment is downright revolutionary—and more human— in this troubled part of the world.
AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE explores the history of exploitation films. From the early “Nudie Cuties” to the Blaxploitation boom in the 70s,AMERICAN GRINDHOUSE boasts interviews with film critics Herschell Gordon Lewis, Joe Dante, Larry Cohen, John Landis, Fred Williamson, Kim Morgan and many more, and features over 200 clips.Learn more
Unearthing a treasure trove of archival footage, filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine have fashioned a dazzlingly entrancing ode to the revolutionary twentieth-century dance troupe known as the Ballets Russes. What began as a group of Russian refugees who never danced in Russia became not one but two rival dance troupes who fought the infamous “ballet battles” that consumed London society before World War II.Learn more
Jennifer Venditti's award-winning documentary is a provocative coming-of-age story—an odyssey into the soul of an American teenager. Following fifteen-year-old Billy as he bicycles through the quiet streets of small town Maine, we watch him traverse the frustrating gap between imagination and reality, grappling with isolation and first-time young love. By turns exhilarating and disturbing, we see the world from the intimate view of an expressive and seemingly fearless outsider.Jennifer Venditti's award-winning documentary is a provocative coming-of-age story—an odyssey into the soul of an American teenager. Following fifteen-year-old Billy as he bicycles through the quiet streets of small town Maine, we watch him traverse the frustrating gap between imagination and reality, grappling with isolation and first-time young love. By turns exhilarating and disturbing, we see the world from the intimate view of an expressive and seemingly fearless outsider.Learn more
Weaving interviews and clips with never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy Lamarr speaking on the record about her incredible life—from her beginnings as an Austrian Jewish emigre to her scandalous nude scene in the 1933 film Ecstasy to her glittering Hollywood life to her ground-breaking, but completely uncredited inventions to her latter years when she became a recluse, impoverished and almost forgotten—BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY brings to light the story of an unusual and accomplished woman, spurned as too beautiful to be smart, but a role model to this day.Learn more
Elizabeth Streb and the STREB Extreme Action Company form a motley troupe of flyers and crashers. Propelled by Streb's edict that anything too safe is not action, these daredevils challenge the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility.Learn more
This deeply personal portrait of acclaimed New York–based artist Ida Applebroog was shot with mischievous reverence by her filmmaker daughter, Beth B (Exposed). Born in the Bronx to Orthodox Jewish émigrés from Poland, Applebroog, now in her 80s, looks back at how she expressed herself through decades of drawings and paintings, as well as her private journals.Learn more