As the U.S. Supreme Court decides in 2016 whether individual states may essentially outlaw abortion (Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt), a new documentary, Trapped, follows the struggles of the clinic workers and lawyers who are on the front lines of a battle to keep abortion safe and legal for millions of American women. The movie premieres April 25 as part of the Big Sky Film Festival in Montana.
Two acclaimed documentary film production companies are teaming up to chronicle an unlikely contender in the battle to halt climate change: soil. A co-production of The Big Picture Ranch (Fuel, The Big Fix, Pump) and Benenson Productions (Dirt! The Movie, The Hadza: Last of the First), Kiss the Ground will be produced by Josh Tickell, Rebecca Harrell Tickell and Bill Benenson. Josh and Rebecca Tickell are directing. Laurie Benenson, Anna Getty and Michelle Lerach are executive producing.
Alchemy Post Sound provided Foley services for The Bandit, director Jesse Moss’ exhilarating documentary about Burt Reynolds, the late director and stuntman Hal Needham and the making of the iconic 1977 action-comedy Smokey and the Bandit. Working under the direction of supervising sound editor/re-recording mixer Tom Paul, Foley artist Leslie Bloome and his crew recreated the sounds of brawling stuntmen, a rocket-propelled car and 100-foot body falls to accompany the film’s mind-blowing stunts and action scenes.
Final post-production for Justice for MLK: The Hunt for James Earl Ray, a two-hour documentary that premiered recently on the American Heroes Channel, was completed at Pixel Underground, a Sim Group company. The facility handled online, final color grading and deliverables. It also provided graphics services, creating the main title as well as dozens of artfully animated elements that appear throughout the show. Produced by Cream Productions in association with Absinthe Film Entertainment, Justice for MLK centers on the final days of Martin Luther King’s life and the tense, 65-day manhunt that led to the capture of his killer. Directed by Michael DeCarlo, the documentary is composed of archival footage, interviews with people familiar with King, Ray and the police investigation, and historical reenactments.
One of the few newspapers to write, direct and produce a feature-length documentary, the San Francisco Chronicle, Northern California's largest newspaper, will debut its first film, Last Men Standing, April 8 at the Castro Theatre. The documentary, which follows the lives and experiences of eight long-term AIDS survivors, is part of a larger special report featuring interactive digital and print features by Chronicle reporter Erin Allday.
Wildlife cinematographer Danny Schmidt plunged into Colombia’s remote Magdalena River Valley earlier this year to document the plight of the critically endangered brown spider monkey in a project for National Geographic. Schmidt and camera operator Federico Pardo had just eight days to locate the rare albino spider monkeys (their albinism is a genetic abnormality cause by habitat degradation), record their story and capture the fragile environment in which they live.
Technicolor PostWorks New York continues its long-standing association with DOC NYC as a Signature Sponsor of the documentary film festival happening this month in New York. Ben Murray, the facility’s vice president/creative services, and Joe Beirne, its chief technology officer, will co-host a panel aimed at first-time filmmakers entitled Post-Production Secrets. Additionally, Technicolor PostWorks provided post-production services for five films screening at the festival.
Lion Ark, the documentary about the rescue of 25 lions from circuses in Bolivia and their journey to freedom, has been voted the Audience Award out of all features at Yes Film Festival in Columbus, Indiana. The Yes Film Festival Audience Award comes with a $500 prize, which has immediately been donated towards helping 33 lions rescued from circuses in Peru and Colombia reach a new life in South Africa before Christmas.
Fandor will release more than thirty films made and distributed by legendary Chicago documentary production studio Kartemquin Films. The move underscores Fandor and Kartemquin’s commitment to providing extraordinary cinema to an ever-growing audience of film enthusiasts.
The Hadza: Last of The First chronicles the lives of the Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania, possibly the last true hunter-gatherer group on the planet. The film, to be released digitally by Journeyman Pictures starting today, is directed and produced by Bill Benenson. The Hadza: Last of the First was shown at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and is produced in association with The Nature Conservancy, one of the most highly regarded non-profits in the world.