AIF Blog

2015 Film Lineup

May 29, 2015

Public tickets for films go on sale June 19.

SPOTLIGHT HEALTH LINEUP

How to Dance in Ohio

A first kiss, a first dance. These are the rites of passage of American youth that hold the promise of magic, romance and initiation into adulthood. For kids from all walks of life, these first steps toward intimacy are at once exciting and terrifying. For some teenagers and young adults on the autism spectrum, the transition can be nothing less than paralyzing. In Columbus, Ohio, a group of young people with an array of developmental challenges prepares for an iconic event — a spring formal dance. They spend 12 weeks confronting and practicing their social skills as they prepare for the big event, to be hosted at a local disco. Working with their trusted psychologist, they deconstruct fear and larger-than-life social anxiety one step at a time by picking dates, dresses, and, ultimately, a King and Queen of the Prom. Premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and recently acquired by HBO Documentary Films, How to Dance in Ohio is a story of the universal human need to grow, connect, and belong as uniquely dramatized by individuals facing the deepest struggle toward social survival. This film challenges us to question and celebrate the path to human connection and to rethink the definition of normal.

The Armor of Light

Documentary producer Abigail Disney's directorial debut follows the journey of Reverend Rob Schenck, an evangelical minister who finds the courage to preach about the toll of gun violence in America. An anti-abortion activist, Schenck questions whether being pro-gun is consistent with being pro-life, much to the discomfort of his colleagues. He eventually meets Lucy McBath, also a Christian and the mother of Jordan Davis, an unarmed teenager who was murdered in Florida and whose case has become a landmark in the fight against “Stand Your Ground” laws. Through their stories, intercut with revealing footage underlining the marriage between the religious right and the NRA, The Armor of Light asserts that even in the face of heartbreak, outrage, and political affiliations, it is possible for people to evolve their opinions, and potentially come together to find common ground. This film had its world premiere at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies,” a three-part, six-hour documentary series directed by award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman and executive produced by Ken Burns, tells the comprehensive story of cancer from its first description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming laboratories of modern research institutions. The series is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, and interweaves a sweeping historical narrative with intimate stories about contemporary patients and an investigation into the latest scientific breakthroughs that may have brought us, at long last, within sight of a cure. The film premiered on PBS stations nationwide in March 2015 and was produced by Florentine Films, Laura Zisking Pictures and WETA, Washington DC, in association with Ark Media. The Entertainment Industry Foundation/Stand Up to Cancer and thirteen other project funders expanded the reach of the film to include a national education and outreach campaign. Spotlight Health will show an 80-minute version of the original documentary.

 

ASPEN IDEAS LINEUP

Cartel Land

With unprecedented access, Cartel Land is a harrowing look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels.

In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.

Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. Cartel Land is a chilling meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.
 

The Hunting Ground

The team behind the Oscar-nominated The Invisible War presents a scorching exposé of the startling prevalence of sexual assault at bastions of higher learning and of the powerful interests that re-victimize vulnerable students while shielding perpetrators. Using vérité footage, expert insights, first-person testimonies and a bombshell interview sure to make headlines, The Hunting Ground delivers a devastating indictment of campus “rape culture.”

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering chronicle the horrors faced by assault victims after they survive what they thought was the worst ordeal of their lives. They also uncover an alarming effort on the part of universities and colleges to downplay and deny sexual assaults on their campuses to keep crime statistics low and public approval high. The filmmakers follow two courageous survivors who are striking back with an innovative legal strategy that uses Title IX legislation to make the powers that be take notice, ignite a national debate over campus assaults, and create a network of support for young women who refuse to remain silent.

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets

On Black Friday in 2012, two cars parked next to each other at a Florida gas station. A white middle-aged male and a black teenager exchanged angry words over the volume of the music in the boy’s car. A gun entered the exchange, and one of them was left dead.

Michael Dunn fired 10 bullets at a car full of unarmed teenagers and then fled. Three of those bullets hit 17-year-old Jordan Davis, who died at the scene. Arrested the next day, Dunn claimed he shot in self-defense. Thus began the long journey of unraveling the truth.

The documentary intercuts powerful exclusive footage from a riveting trial with intimate, observational scenes of Jordan’s parents, Ron and Lucy. We see firsthand how difficult it is for them to grapple with unimaginable loss while fighting for justice for their son. The film integrates police interrogation footage, prison phone recordings and interviews with the others at the scene that night. The result is a powerful story about the devastating effects of racial bias, and the search for justice within the judicial system. 

Racing Extinction

A team of artists and activists exposes the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images that will change the way we see the planet.

Two worlds drive extinction across the globe, potentially resulting in the loss of half of all species. The international wildlife trade creates bogus markets at the expense of creatures that have survived on this planet for millions of years. And the other surrounds us, hiding in plain sight — a world that the oil and gas companies don’t want the rest of us to see. Using covert tactics and state-of-the-art technology, the Racing Extinction team exposes these two worlds in an inspiring affirmation to preserve life as we know it. From the Academy Award-winning filmmakers of The Cove.

Art and Craft

Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering a wide range of painting styles and periods that includes 15th Century Icons, Picasso, and even Walt Disney. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money. Posing as a philanthropic donor, a grieving executor of a family member’s will, and most recently as a Jesuit priest, Landis has given away hundreds of works over the years to a staggering list of institutions across the United States. But after duping Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar who ultimately discovers the decades-long ruse and sets out to expose his philanthropic escapades to the art world, Landis must confront his own legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop.

Art and Craft starts out as a cat-and-mouse art caper, rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity — but what emerges is an intimate story of obsession and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose.