For the first time ever, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is organizing national screenings of the entire “shortlist” in the Documentary Feature category. From the 15-film shortlist, a final five nominees will be drawn by Academy membership. We are pleased that the Smith Rafael Film Center is participating in this special program.
Additional filmmaker appearances may be confirmed.
* AMPAS & DGA members should show their membership card picture ID at the box office for free admission for themselves and a guest.
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IN PERSON: DIRECTOR MARILYN NESS & EDITOR DON BERNIER
During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, CHARM CITY delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left on the frontlines. With grit, fury, and compassion, a group of police, citizens, and government officials grapple with the consequences of violence and try to reclaim their future. Director Mariyln Ness (US 2018) 107 min.
DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana – a front line in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide – to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impact of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. Director Kimberly Reed (US 2018) 98 min.
Director Kimberly Reed’s schedule now prevents her previously announced appearance at this program.
Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, this film is constructed in a form that allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South – trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming. Director RaMell Ross (US 2018) 76 min.
Talal Derki returns to his homeland where he gains the trust of a radical Islamist family, sharing their daily life for over two years. His camera is providing an extremely rare insight into what it means to grow up in an Islamic Caliphate. Director Talal Derki (Germany, US, Syria, Lebanon, Netherlands, Qatar 2018) 99 min.
Director Talal Derki’s schedule now prevents his previously announced appearance at this program.
THE DISTANT BARKING OF DOGS is set in Eastern Ukraine on the frontline of the war. The film follows the life of 10-year-old Ukrainian boy Oleg throughout a year, witnessing the gradual erosion of his innocence beneath the pressures of war. Through Oleg’s perspective, the film examines what it means to grow up in a war zone. It portrays how a child’s universal struggle to discover what the world is about grows interlaced with all the dangers and challenges the war presents. Director Simon Lereng Wilmont (Sweden 2018) 90 min.
COMMUNION reveals the beauty of the rejected, the strength of the weak and the need for change when change seems impossible. This crash course in growing up teaches us that no failure is final. Especially when love is in question. Director Anna Zamecka (Poland 2016) 72 min.
Nadia Murad, a 23-year-old Yazidi, survived genocide and sexual slavery committed by ISIS. Repeating her story to the world, this ordinary girl finds herself thrust onto the international stage as the voice of her people. Director Alexandria Bombach (Italy 2018) 94 min.
THE SILENCE OF OTHERS reveals the epic struggle of victims of Spain’s 40-year dictatorship under General Franco, who continue to seek justice to this day. Filmed over six years, the film follows the survivors as they organize the groundbreaking ‘Argentine Lawsuit’ and fight a state-imposed amnesia of crimes against humanity, and explores a country still divided four decades into democracy. Directors Robert Bahar, Almundena Carracedo (US 2018) 96 min.
Three young men bond together to escape volatile families in their Rust-Belt hometown. As they face adult responsibilities, unexpected revelations threaten their decade-long friendship. Director Bing Liu (US 2018) 93 min.
Director Bing Liu’s schedule now prevents his previously announced appearance at this program.
Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history. Directors Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (US 2018) 100 min.
The exceptional life and career of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. Directors Julie Cohen, Betsy West (US 2018) 98 min.
Three strangers are reunited by astonishing coincidence after being born identical triplets, separated at birth, and adopted by three different families. Their jaw-dropping, feel-good story instantly becomes a global sensation complete with fame and celebrity, however, the fairy-tale reunion sets in motion a series of events that unearth an unimaginable secret with radical repercussions for us all. Director Tim Wardle (UK 2018) 96 min.
For over 30 years, Fred Rogers, an unassuming minister, puppeteer, writer and producer, used his program Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to communicate with America’s children about some of life’s weightiest issues. This charming (and disarming) documentary by Oscar-winner Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet from Stardom) reveals how the soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing TV host’s career represented a coherent view of how to speak to children about important matters and how to use television as a positive force. When it’s over, you’ll agree that there hasn’t been anyone like Mr. Rogers on television before or since. Producer/Director: Morgan Neville. (US 2018) 93 min.