October 26, 2016
Directed by Marjoleine Boonstra
52 min | 2016 | Netherlands | Not Rated
Presented in English and Dutch with English subtitles.
Painter Mark Rothko is best known for imposing canvasses that eschew representation in favor of pure color and texture—using them to express fundamental human emotions.
In The Silence of Mark Rothko, visit Rothko’s studio at 22 Bowery in New York, and go to Florence’s Museo di San Marco, where the monastic work of Renaissance painter Fra Angelico deeply influenced Rothko’s mission to create environments and not just paintings. In The Hague, filmmaker Marjoleine Boonstra introduces us to curator Franz Kaiser of the Gemeentemuseum, as his team installs the works for the first major Rothko exhibit to be held in Holland in 40 years.
The film includes thoughtful, engaging commentary from experts including Rothko’s biographer, Annie Cohen-Solal, and conservator Carol Mancusi-Ungaro (who speculates on whether splotches of paint on the studio floor may have been Rothko’s). Fittingly though, for a film about a painter whose greatest works evoke both silence and emotion, The Silence of Mark Rothko lingers on paintings and locations—using architectural shots, interiors and streetscapes, to link Rothko’s paintings to the world he inhabited.
Featuring works from his early mythological period, his classic color field paintings, his later Black on Grey pieces, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, the film is a unique artistic biography that provides a heightened level of intimacy and familiarity with its subject’s work through carefully chosen visuals and interviews.
Interspersed throughout are readings from the painter’s writings by his son, Christopher—passages that illuminate and bring immediacy to Rothko’s work and philosophy.
– Description courtesy Icarus Films.
Official Selection: 2015 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
November 1, 2016
Directed by Nicole Lucas Haimes
83 min | 2016 | USA | Not Rated
In a high stakes world where a single broken feather can mean a shattered dream, Chicken People follows the trials and tribulations of those who breed exotic birds in the world of competitive poultry. In the tradition of Spellbound comes a feature documentary about three remarkably rich and diverse personalities who come together to compete in their shared passion to raise the perfect chicken. The film will follow the struggles and triumphs of these characters, along with a wide array of competitors-both human and chicken-from the Ohio National Poultry Show, considered the Westminster of Chickens, to the Dixie Classic in Tennessee.
Official Selection: 2016 SXSW Film Festival, 2016 AFI Docs, 2016 Seattle International Film Festival
November 5, 2016
Directed by Ted Sieger, Michael Ekbladh, and Matthias Bruhn
70 min | 2016 | Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland | Not Rated
Presented in English
Recommended for ages 4+
Principal Cast: Tom Eastwood, Stefan Fredrich, and Denise Gorzelanny
Molly Monster is the deeply-loved only-monster of Popo and Etna Monster. She spends her days in familiar surroundings playing with her best friend Edison, a clockwork toy with a life of his own. But when mama gives birth to an egg (which papa must hatch) Molly sets out on a journey to find her new place in the family. The journey takes her far away from home and over the Wild Hills to Egg Island, where she is reunited with her mama and her papa, and her new mini-monster sibling.
Official Selection: 2016 Tumbleweeds Film Festival
November 9, 2016
Directed by Roger Ross Williams
91 min | 2016 | USA | PG
*Pre-film award presentation with director Roger Ross Williams. Post-film Q&A with Roger Ross Williams moderated by RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio. Unfortunately Ron Suskind, who was previously set to attend, will not be able to.
ABOUT THE FILM
From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, Life, Animated is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence.
The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires. Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and The Lion King, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.
Life, Animated evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality. Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks.
Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.
Winner: U.S. Documentary Directing Award–2016 Sundance Film Festival, Audience Award–2016 Full Frame Film Festival, Audience Award–2016 San Francisco International Film Festival
2016 PEEK AWARD GUESTS
Roger Ross Williams
Director of Music by Prudence (2010 Academy Award), God Loves Uganda, Blackface, and 2016 Peek Award recipient.
Emmy and Academy Award winning writer/producer best known for his original story and screenplay for the 1988 Best Picture, Rain Man.
PEEK AWARD HISTORY
“Photo courtesy of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. Copyright Richard Green Photography 2006.”
Previous award recipients include:
2011, Dr. Temple Grandin, Temple Grandin
2012, Carrie Fisher
2013, Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine, Sam Berns, Life According to Sam
2014, Jason DaSilva, When I Walk
2016, Matt Fuller and Carolina Groppa, Autism in Love
Award provided by
The 2016 Peek Award is presented as part of our Through the Lens year-round film series, in partnership with
November 15, 2016
Directed by John Gussman and Jessica Plumb
69 min | 2014 | USA | Not Rated
*Post-film Q&A with director Jessica Plumb
Return of the River offers a story of hope and possibility amid grim environmental news. It is a film for our time: an invitation to consider crazy ideas that could transform the world for the better. It features an unlikely success story for environmental and cultural restoration.
Fundamentally, the Elwha River in Washington State is a story about people and the land they inhabit. The film captures the tenacity of individuals who would not give up on a river, mirroring the tenacity of salmon headed upstream to spawn. It is a narrative with global ramifications, exploring the complex relationship between communities and the environment that sustains them.
The camera soars over mountain headwaters, dives into schools of salmon, and captures turbines grinding to a halt; as the largest dam removal project in history begins. The film features people and perspectives on all sides of the Elwha debate, reflecting the many voices of the Elwha valley.
Winner: Grand Jury Prize–2014 Social Justice Film Festival, Audience Award–2014 Port Townsend Film Festival
Presented in partnership with Salt Lake County Watershed as part of the 10th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium
November 16, 2016
Directed by Marcie Begleiter
108 min | 2016 | USA/Germany | Not Rated
Eva Hesse (1936-1970) is one of America’s foremost post-war artists. Her pioneering sculptures, using latex, fiberglass, and plastics, helped establish the post-minimalist movement. Dying of a brain tumor at age 34, she had a mere decade-long career that, despite its brevity, is dense with complex, intriguing works that defy easy categorization. Eva Hesse, the first feature-length appreciation of her life and work, makes superb use of the artist’s voluminous journals, her correspondence with close friend and mentor Sol LeWitt, and contemporary as well as archival interviews with fellow artists (among them, Richard Serra, Robert Mangold, Dan Graham) who recall her passionate, ambitious, tenacious personality. Art critic Arthur Danto has written that her work is “full of life, of eros, even of comedy… Each piece vibrates with originality and mischief.” The documentary captures these qualities, but also the psychic struggles of an artist who, in the downtown New York art scene of the 1960s, was one of the few women to make work that was taken seriously in a field dominated by male pop artists and minimalists.
−Karen Cooper, Film Forum
Official Selection: 2016 Dok.Fest Munich, 2016 Docaviv
November 17, 2016
Directed by Eric Juhola
82 min | 2015 | USA | Not Rated
Growing Up Coy is a feature-length documentary that centers around a young Colorado family who engages in a highly publicized legal battle and landmark civil rights case, as they fight for their 6-year-old transgender daughter Coy Mathis’s right to use the girls’ bathroom at her elementary school. The Mathis family’s landmark case in 2013, was the first in the United States to decide in favor of a transgender youth using the bathroom facility that corresponds with their gender identity. The film asks a universal question that any parent could face: “How far would you go to fight for your child’s equal rights?”
Official Selection: 2016 Frameline 40 – San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival; 2016 Human Rights Watch Film Festival
“…could not be timelier” — New York Times
“A sympathetic, of-the-moment doc…” — The Hollywood Reporter
“…urgent viewing” — The Guardian
“…provocative, enlightening” — OUT
November 22, 2016
Directed by Rudi Rosenberg
80 min | 2015 | France | Not Rated
Presented in French with English subtitles.
Principal cast: Rephael Ghrenassia, Joshua Raccah, Géraldine Martineau, Guillaume Claude Roussel, Johanna Lindstedt, Max Boublil, and Eythan Chiche
In this delectable and vivacious debut feature, shy 14-year-old Benoît (Réphaël Ghrenassia) moves to Paris and a new school, where he’s rejected by his cooler classmates and reluctantly sidelined into a precarious friendship with the “freaks and geeks.” The New Kid is a rare case among coming-of-age movies: a portrait of allegiances made and broken among middle-schoolers that calls special attention to the uglier, less picturesque aspects of passing through puberty. The movie’s rhythm never stalls and its tone stays charmingly light partly thanks to its wonderful cast—a skilled and magnetic group of first-time young actors.
Winner: Best New Directors–2015 San Sebastián International Film Festival, Audience Award–2015 Zagreb Film Festival
“In the same vein as La famille Bélier”– Variety
“Funny and sincere, this film will be a huge hit with both adults and teenagers. It deserves to be!“– Telemara
November 29, 2016
Directed by Magali Pettier
90 min | 2014 | UK | Not Rated
Set in the North Pennines, UK, Addicted to Sheep is an intimate portrait of a year in the life of tenant hill farmers Tom and Kay Hutchinson as they try to breed the perfect sheep. Director Magali Pettier, herself a farmer’s daughter, captures the sights and sounds of this beautiful upland landscape through the seasons as well as a way of life often difficult to witness up close. Through the sun, rain, sleet, and snow we watch the Hutchinson’s toil away against the stark stunning landscapes of North East England and witness the hard work it takes just to survive. Their three young children are growing up close to the land, attending the local primary school entirely comprised of farmers’ children, all thoroughly immersed in their remote rural world. For instance, a pupil complains about the price of diesel, and another explains that because of living remotely she can ‘scream like a maniac’. While the odds often seem stacked against them, the film conveys the importance of a balanced family life and the good humor that binds this tight knit community together. Addicted to Sheep is an entertaining and subtle reminder of how important farming is to the economy and the social fabric of our communities. Following your passion does have its rewards, although not always financial. Beautifully observed, this heartwarming film provides an insight into the past, present and future of a way of life far removed from the high-tech hustle and bustle of modern life. It allows us all to experience life on a hill farm without having to get dirty!
Official Selection: 2015 Sheffield Doc/Fest
“Pitched somewhere between Nicolas Philibert’s Être et Avoir and Michelangelo Frammartino’s Le Quattro Volte, this insightful account of a year in the life of a family of
north Pennines tenant farmers proved a deserved hit at the 2015 Sheffield Doc/Fest. Told with affection but without sentimentality (life and death are unflinchingly intertwined), Magali Pettier’s debut feature gets under the skin of its subjects and the tough lives they lead.” — Mark Kermode, Observer ★★★★
“This intimate, but unflinching account of the travails of a North Pennine farming family captures the beauty of the changing seasons, while deftly conveying the graft involved in rearing sheep and cattle and the grimier realities of the rural economy.” — David Parkinson, EMPIRE ★★★★