August – October 2014
Crossroads Film Festival – 2014, WINNER Best Feature Documentary
International Film Festival Rotterdam – 2014, Ofﬁcial Selection
“BRASSLANDS is a fascinating look at this infectious and addictive form of music, so ﬁlled with life from a country that has seen its fair share of death, sadness and war.” – IndieWIRE, Katie Walsh
“There is sure to be dancing in the aisles” – New York Times, Anne Mancuso
“As an introduction to the music, it’s fascinating…The documentary is beautifully ﬁlmed, funny and insightful” – New York Music Daily, Alan Young!
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A tiny Serbian village explodes with brass cacophony and riotous celebration as more than half a million music fans descend upon Guča, the world’s largest trumpet competition. Amidst a cast of defending Serbian champions and struggling Roma Gypsies, an unlikely brass band from New York City, Zlatne Uste, voyages to represent the United States only a decade after NATO bombs rocked Belgrade. They will be the ﬁrst Americans ever to compete at Guča. BRASSLANDS offers an intimate and sometimes unsettling portrait of how the hopes and fears of this diverse group of characters collide in their search for common ground and musical ecstasy.
& a special introduction by performance artist Jason Jenn, who will be performing an excerpt of his one man show ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE, inspired by the work of James Broughton.
A chronicle of the iconoclastic life of gay poet, filmmaker, and spiritual visionary James Broughton, one of the defining voices of the sexual revolution, whose groundbreaking artistic celebrations of sexuality and the body influenced generations of the 1960’s and 70’s to profoundly embrace life and ‘follow your own weird’.
A charismatic and visionary poet and filmmaker who emerged in the artistic renaissance of post – WWII San Francisco, James Broughton led a completely unconventional existence in his lifelong quest for creative artistry, sexual and spiritual love and an evolved state of happiness. BIG JOY is a celebratory mosaic of Broughton’s deeply intertwined creative and personal lives, vividly depicted through his involvement with a wide array of artists, activists and spiritual guides.
Directed by Eric Slade, Stephen Silha and Dawn Logsdon. USA. 2013. Digital. 82 mins.
About the filmmakers
Stephen Silha, producer and co-director, is a freelance writer, facilitator, and futurist who has made a practice of communicating about what makes communities and relationships work. He has reported for The Christian Science Monitor, the Minneapolis Star, and Yes! Magazine. He knew James Broughton, and was present at his death in 1999. Inspired by Broughton’s philosophy, life and work, he began a biography project which morphed into this film and multi-media project.
Eric Slade, co-director and producer, is an independent producer/director based in Portland, OR who has extensive experience with PBS. His independent documentary work includes Hope Along the Wind: The Story of Harry Hay (2002), The Impact of AIDS, Housing the American Dream, Safety in Numbers, Sex Life, and Acting Up for Prisoners.
Jason Jenn is an LA-based performance artist, director, designer, and event planner who was inspired by the film BIG JOY and James Broughton’s poetry to create performance events using Broughton’s poetry and films, bringing them a vibrant contemporary feel.
Be sure to catch the full performance of Jenn’s ECSTASY FOR EVERYONE the following day. The performance is a full hour of sensual delights that will leave audiences uplifted and aptly experiencing the ecstasy of James’ wondrous wit and wild whimsy. FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC! Friday, September 5, 2014 at 8pm at the SFAI Lecture Hall.
In the hyper-charged powder keg of the late 1960s, Los Angeles native and Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis was ready to light the match. Proudly black, loudly opinionated, ready to rumble and almost always high on one substance or another, Dock was considered the Muhammad Ali of the ballpark.
He made history on June 12, 1970, when he pitched a no-hitter while completely flying on LSD. Flash forward a few years, and he is broke and essentially unemployable. But Dock Ellis was a born fighter, whether battling a racist society, the baseball establishment or his own demons.
There are a lot of colorful characters in the story of this larger-than-life figure, and filmmaker Jeffrey Radice corrals colleagues, ex-wives, journalists, managers, children, gadflies and protégés to produce a balanced biography of Ellis with the generosity of spirit the man himself embraced in the last few decades of his life. No No: A Dockumentary is a lot of things: sports movie, redemption narrative and portrait of an era, but at its core it is quintessentially Dock.
Embroidering this indelible character study is a fantastic hard psychedelic funk score by Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.
Dir: Jeffrey Radice. USA. 2014. 100 mins.
Affluent and aimless, Conrad Valmont lives a life of leisure in his parent’s prestigious Manhattan Hotel. In the span of one week, he finds himself evicted, disinherited, and… in love.
Starring Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup. Directed by Peter Glanz. 2014. 86 min. Digital.
Co-presented by FACINE – Filipino Arts & Cinema International
Winner of the Audience Award @ Sundance Film Festival
Seeking a better life, Oscar Ramirez and his family decide to move from the poverty stricken rice fields of the Northern Philippine mountain ranges, and journey towards the capital mega city of Metro Manila. Upon arriving in the big city, Oscar and his family fall foul to various city inhabitants whose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Oscar manages to land a job as a driver for an armored truck company and is befriended by Ong, his senior officer. Before long, it becomes apparent that Ong, has been planning the arrival of someone just like Oscar for sometime.
Directed by Sean Ellis. 2013. Tagalog with English subtitles. 115 min.
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2014
A strange singer with “god given talent” drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows, and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. Shown in fragments, his journey drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension. Featuring an explosive performance and score from the singular recording artist-cum-wizard, Willis Earl Beal, MEMPHIS is a film steeped in folklore, music, surrealism, and the abstract search for glory.
It is legend in Memphis that a blessed and cursed singer by the name of O.V. Wright fell from grace and was buried in an unmarked grave. I learned of his myth around the same time I was brought to Peace Baptist Church, and witnessed a deep spirituality as ancient as the oak trees that dress every street in the city. A true believer in ghost stories and a scholar of African American studies, I was drawn to tell my own folk tale, and there was only one place on my mind. Our film captures the descent of a troubled singer as he drifts through an urban landscape looking to save his very soul. We surrounded ourselves with real Memphians and made a film that hopes to project a cool, beautiful world – as old as dirt and yet entirely new, and deserved of the title MEMPHIS.
Written and Directed by Tim Sutton.
Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson Music by Willis Earl Beal. Digital. USA 79 mins.
Official Site is Here.
FILMMAKER ANITA CHANG IN PERSON!
“You already know the importance of saving a language. You know the reason, but not the motivation to save it,” admits Anchi Chen, one of the collaborators for TONGUES OF HEAVEN. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, what does it mean today to speak your mother tongue?
To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? Using video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from the Austronesian language territories Taiwan and Hawai’i share their questions, desires and challenges of learning their native languages.
Dir: Anita Chang. 2013. 60 min.
Anita Chang is a Bay Area independent filmmaker, educator and writer. Her award-winning works have screened internationally and broadcast on U.S. and Taiwan public television. She has taught in community centers and film departments in San Francisco, Nepal and Taiwan’s College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University. Honors include grant awards from the Fulbright, San Francisco Arts Commission, and KQED Peter J. Owens Filmmaker programs.
Artist website: anitachangworks.com
Tongues of Heaven is a Creative Capital and National Geographic All Roads Seeds funded project.
BAY AREA DOCS is a monthly program featuring the best films made in the mecca of documentary filmmaking.