After a special US premiere screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, The Revolutionary Optimists begins its nationwide theatrical run on March 29th in New York and April 19th in Santa Monica, followed by 58 ITVS Community Cinema screenings around the country throughout May. Following the theatrical run, the film will premiere on television June 17th on PBS’s Independent Lens.
Lawyer turned social advocate Amlan Ganguly doesn’t rescue children; he empowers them through education and activism to battle poverty and transform their lives and communities. The Revolutionary Optimists follows Amlan and the children he works with—Shika, Salim, Kajal and Priyanka—as they staunchly fight against the forces that oppress them. Utilizing theater and dance, and supported by Amlan’s own considerable charm and skills of persuasion, these young activists are campaigning for clean water and improved sanitary conditions in their communities and struggling to ensure that children laboring in the brick fields on the outskirts of Calcutta are receiving an education.
Shot over the course of three and a half years, Maren Grainger-Monsen and Nicole Newnham’s film vividly captures the vibrancy of India while taking us on an intimate journey with these children, during which we witness not only the changes they are able to make in their neighborhood, but also the changes within each of them.
Produced and Directed by Nicole Newnham & Maren Grainger-Monsen. Read more at the official website and in The Hollywood Reporter.
SPARK: A Burning Man Story will have its world premiere at the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival in Austin, TX. For this year’s festival, 109 films were selected from a record-breaking 2,096 submissions.
Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams.
SPARK takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world,” we wonder which dreams can survive.
Produced and Directed by Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter. Official Website
What would you do if your child were diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder? RARE, a feature film four years in the making, is premiering nationwide on public television stations. Check your local listings and read more about the film HERE.
In the Bay Area, RARE premieres on KQED 9 on Sunday, October 7th at 6:00pm. Check additional broadcast times HERE.
RARE will be screening at the Roxie Theater on November 1st as part of the Bay Area Science Festival. More information HERE.
Read more in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Andrew Gersh is an invited panelist at the San Francisco Documentary Summit, to be held July 28-29 at San Francisco State University.
Join fellow documentary filmmakers for a two-day event held at San Francisco State University’s Coppola Theater. Each day details cutting edge and contemporary documentary filmmaking techniques, strategies and success stories, from conception through to completion. The program features panels on storytelling from the point of view of commissioning editors, producers, and directors, cinematography, editing, grants, crowd funding, social media, distribution, and rights issues, with an emphasis on emerging trends in the industry.
Sundance Institute today announced the selection of 18 Documentary Film Fellows representing nine film projects to participate in the eighth Documentary Edit and Story Lab (June 24 – July 2) and ninth Composers + Documentary Lab (July 6-12) at Sundance Resort in Sundance, Utah. The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) provides a global resource for contemporary independent documentary film, including the Sundance Documentary Fund, Labs/Workshops and other support opportunities. The DFP advances innovative nonfiction storytelling about a broad range of contemporary social issues, and promotes the exhibition of documentary films to audiences.
Lab Fellows are invited from a pool of 40-60 active DFP-supported projects. Built upon the Sundance Institute Lab model launched in 1981 by Robert Redford, Fellows participate in an intensive, residential retreat focused on creative support around issues of story and structure. Renowned film professionals join with Institute staff as Creative Advisors to the Fellows and their projects.
Andrew Gersh is a 2011 Documentary Film Fellow as editor on the film The Revolutionary Optimists.