Sun. Oct. 1 10:15 AM Food and Country
ABOUT THE FILM:America’s cheap food production comes at great costs: a steady loss of biodiversity and nutrition and impossible financial burdens for small growers and chefs. Production and distribution systems have long skewed toward agribusiness, while independent workers live dangerously close to the margins. During the Covid pandemic these inequities became even more pronounced and heartbreaking.
During the Covid lockdown, director Laura Gabbert (City of Gold, No Impact Man) investigated these challenges through veteran food writer Ruth Reichl, who talked with chefs, farmers, and ranchers via Zoom, exploring the challenges they face in both the fields and the kitchens. Reichl also shares her own history with food and collective idealism in conversation with restaurateur Alice Waters, who pioneered direct farm payments and the farm-to-table model. Food and Country gives voice to many passionate change makers whose tenacity and innovations in farming and cooking may hold the keys to restoring our broken food system and ensuring our future well-being. —Kate Sanford
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Documentary director Laura Gabbert’s critically acclaimed films tell penetrating, character-driven stories about American culture and society. Her newest project, Food and Country, premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Her previous work includes Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles (IFC/Hulu 2020); City of Gold (Sundance 2015, IFC), which was named as one of Vogue magazine’s “66 Best Documentaries of All Time;” No Impact Man (Sundance 2009, Oscilloscope); Sunset Story (Tribeca 2005, Independent Lens), and the nonfiction short Monument/Monumento (Field of Vision 2017). Gabbert executive produced the Netflix Original Disclosure, is completing a six-part series entitled The Power of Film, and is an AMPAS member.
Sun. Oct. 1 1:00 PM Parachute
ABOUT THE FILM:Anchoring this intimate story, which is both delicate and harsh, Courtney Eaton (Yellowjackets) gives a startlingly brave performance as Riley, a smart, young, beautiful woman fresh out of rehab for what she describes to a potential new boyfriend as an “eating thing…body stuff.” But while Parachute takes us, with an unflinching eye, into the freefall world of Riley’s harrowing struggles with body image, this is not an “issue” movie. It is actually a love story—or better yet, a story that explores both the need for love in one’s life and the limits of love’s ability to heal.
Directed and co-written by Brittany Snow (Pitch Perfect), who has been open about her own struggles with body image, Parachute brings a generous empathy to Riley’s journey without ever pulling its punches. What does she see when she looks in the mirror? What do any of us see? This is a terribly revealing inquiry. —Peter Wortmann
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Brittany recently completed production as the writer/director and producer for the independent film Parachute starring Courtney Eaton, Thomas Mann, Joel Mchale, Dave Bautista and Kid Cudi. Prior to that, Brittany starred in A24’s X from director Ti West, opposite Mia Goth, Kid Cudi and Jenna Ortega. Next up she will star in the Utopia original, Good Grief opposite Nick Jonas from director Robert Shwartzman. Other recent credits include the Fox series Almost Family from Annie Weisman/Jason Katims; the indie feature Hooking Up, opposite Sam Richardson, which she also produced; and the Netflix/Paul Feig-produced Someone Great opposite Gina Rodriguez for Netflix.
Sun. Oct 1st 4:00 Stockade
ABOUT THE FILM: This noir thriller links the underground trafficking of ancient artifacts with the contemporary commercial art world. Ahlam is a Lebanese immigrant artist living in New York City and in dire financial straits. Desperate to find the funds to extend her artist’s visa, she agrees to deliver a mysterious package to the Hudson Valley. Upon her arrival upstate, Ahlam encounters shady characters and quirky neighbors as she is unwittingly drawn into the world of illegal ancient artifact trafficking. Every step of the way, Stockade keeps viewers guessing, and with its naturalistic cinema verité, it makes a unique addition to the crime genre. – Eli Vannata
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Eric’s first feature, Wallabout, won awards at the 2015 Bushwick Film Festival and the 2014 Manhattan Film Festival. In 2016, Wallabout had a theatrical run in Paris where the esteemed film magazine, Positif, gave it 4 stars. Raised in Washington, D.C. and Paris by an American father and a French mother, Eric worked extensively as a first assistant director, often with French directors filming in the US. He attended the Sorbonne and the University of Pennsylvania, concentrating his studies in film and literature, then began his career in Paris as an actor and stage manager in theater and modern dance.
Sun, Oct 1st 6:45 PM No Accident
ABOUT THE FILM: In August 2017, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, viciously attacking counter-protestors. Two lawyers, convinced that the Trump DOJ would do nothing, decided to sue a group of violent rightwing protestors on behalf of the victims. The case was decided in 2021, and No Accident is the gripping five-year story of its painful course. This film intimately gives us an entry into both racist and anti-Semitic practices. It is empowering to watch a group of lawyers work for justice by fighting the good fight, particularly when the filmmaking is excellent. But what is most remarkable about this film is the access we are given to the legal process, the hearts and minds of the plaintiffs, and the cold and evil speech of the defendants. In the end, we are left with hope for what our democracy can do to counter hate. —Sabina Barach
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Kristi Jacobson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her 2016 film SOLITARY (HBO), won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary. Earlier films include American Standoff (HBO) which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, the critically acclaimed TOOTS, and A PLACE AT THE TABLE, which was nominated for Best Feature Documentary by the Producers Guild of America, and won the IDA’s Pare Lorentz Award. Most recently, Kristi directed HOMEFRONT, part of the HBO/Max and Sesame Workshop’s duPont-Columbia Award-nominated series, “Through Our Eyes”; “I Am Not Going To Change 400 Years in Four”, co-directed with Angela Tucker (ITVS/ Independent Lens).
Sun, Oct 1st, 9:30 PM The Featherweight
ABOUT THE FILM: Set in the mid-1960s, The Featherweight presents a gripping chapter in the true-life story of Italian-American boxer Willie Pep—the winningest fighter of all time—who, down and out in his mid-40s and with his personal life in shambles, decides to make a return to the ring, at which point a documentary camera crew enters his life. Painstakingly researched and constructed, the film is a visceral portrait of the discontents of twentieth-century American masculinity, fame and self-perception.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER: Robert Kolodny is a director, writer and cinematographer based in New York City. The Featherweight is his feature film directorial debut. He has shot on films by Laura Poitras, the Safdie brothers, Alex Ross Perry and Robert Greene. He was director of photography of Procession (Netflix), which earned him an Emmy nomination. He was a cinematographer on All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (Neon), which won Venice’s Golden Lion and was nominated for an Oscar. Robert is a prolific film-viewer and a lifelong student of cinema history. He is a Professor of film at The School of Visual Arts.