Gravitas Ventures Feature Documentary “Stronger For Life” On All VOD/Digital Platforms; Blu-Ray and DVD July 20, 2021

What does an internationally renowned fitness expert and entrepreneur do when faced with a diagnosis of breast cancer?

When internationally acclaimed fitness expert Ilaria Montagnani received her initial diagnosis of breast cancer in the summer of 2016, she decided to film footage documenting this emotionally and physically challenging journey. Her whole life, she has been driven to acquire strength and knowledge to help herself and others –and this terrifying cancer diagnosis was no exception to her life’s mission.

Ilaria’s main belief that hard work teaches you to never give up - was truly put to the test and she wanted to honestly show how this disease would affect her physically and emotionally.

For anyone, a diagnosis of cancer is a frightening and life-changing experience but for a professional athlete and international fitness instructor, it is a challenge of unprecedented impact. Ilaria sought out a woman who took her workouts, Noriko Sugiura, a Japanese filmmaker friend to help guide her in the process.

More than a 100-hours of footage in on a hand-held camera, Ilaria next sought out a team of editors and cinematographers – Corey Florin (“Dream Factories,” “High Expectations”), Stephanie Gaweda (“Summer Moon,” “Mates”), and Federico Rosenzvit (“Years of Living Dangerously,” “Laredo, Texas,” and “City of Joel”), to guide and shape the documentary chronicling her journey. This is the filmmaking team that eventually shot and edited the movie that became “Stronger For Life.” “Stronger For Life,” is a cinematic sibling to inspirating and relatable documentaries “Dancer,” and “Any One Of Us,” which have chronicled the physical and mental struggles of athletes where life has thrown them unseen medical curveballs and a chance to make it through to the other side of illness.

Multiple media outlets from around the world have covered Ilaria fitness journey in her more than 20 years in the fitness world, including: The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart Show, The Dr. Oz Show, The Tyra Show, and CBS and ABC Evening News, among many others. The Wall Street Journal called her a “leading force” in the fitness world and New York magazine labeled her one of the city’s top fitness gurus. In 2017, Ilaria received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Equinox Fitness for top group fitness instructor in the country.

Where to follow the film and its journey:
Website:  www.strongerforlife.film
Instagram: @strongerforlife.film

“Stronger For Life”
Ilaria Montagnani arrived in the United States from Florence, Italy at nineteen. She loves New York City and its potential to be anything you want to be if you work hard and have vision. During the next 20 years, Ilaria overcomes many obstacles as a pioneering woman entrepreneur developing weight-training and fitness workouts based on martial arts.

She is one of the first women to bring strength training and martial arts to gyms in the U.S.In 2016, Ilaria, then an internationally recognized fitness expert at the peak of her career, was diagnosed with breast cancer. For an athlete of her magnitude, it was devastating.

Shortly after her struggle, Ilaria learns of her father’s diagnosis of terminal cancer. Stronger for Life documents Ilaria’s fight against cancer and how she embodied her own philosophy: Exercise makes you stronger for life, to overcome the heartache and challenges she encounters.

‘The Dark Hobby’: Review

Year of Film: 2021
Director: Paula Fouce
Writers: Paula Fouce, William Haugse
Name of leads: Cast: Kimokeo Kapahulehua, Robert Wintner, Willy Kaupiko, Kaimi Kaupiko, Gail Grabowsky, Ben Williamson, Jessica Wooley, Jonathan Balcombe, Teresa Telecky, Kealoha Pisciotta, Keith Christie, Taylor Nicole Dean, Paul Cox
Stars 4/5
Language: English

The Beautiful Hawaiian Ocean Reefs' and Its Tragic Degradation and Destruction

A powerful and compelling story of the colorful, vibrant variety of species that call the Hawaiian ocean's reefs home,
in director Paula Fouce's film 'The Dark Hobby' about the lucrative and destructive practice of catering to the aquariam hobbiest also known as pet fish owners.

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Told through the eyes of Kimokeo Kapahulehua, the founder of the Kimokeo Foundation, who is dedicated to preserving and perpetuating the Hawai'ian culture;

Robert Wintner is the owner of Snorkel Bob, the largest reef outfit in Hawaii;

Willy Kaupiko is the Mayor of Milolilii, and hard to believe, it is the last fishing village on the Big Islands;

Gail Grabowsky, Ph.D. and an Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies program at Chaminade University;

Ben Williamson is PETA’s senior international media director;

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Jessica Wooley is a former member of the House of Representatives and Deputy Attorney General, representing the Clean Water, Drinking Water,
and Wastewater Branches for the Department of Health;

Jonathan Balcombe is an ethologist and author of the New York Times best-selling book 'What a Fish Knows';

Teresa Telecky, Ph.D. is the Vice President of the Wildlife Department for Humane Society International and is an expert on the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of
Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and she specializes in the international wildlife trade;

Kealoha Pisciotta founded the marine protection group Kai Palaoa and is currently is the President of Mauna Kea Anaina Hou;

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Keith Christie filmed the beautiful and often heartbreaking shots, for The Dark Hobby, of ocean life and its reefs in Hawaii and as he traveled the world going to the Cuban coast, the Gulf of Ana Maria, St. Croix, Batu Balong, Indonesia, The Blue Corner, Palau, Dumaguete, the Philippines, the Somo Somo Straits of Taveuni, Fiji.

YouTube star and influencer, Taylor Nicole Dean, makes an appearance and is considered the Queen of the “PetTube genre;

Photography Paul Cox is committed to the world's oceans, with his primary focus on the South Kona Coast.

The use of dynamite and cyanide to takes the various species of fish and coral,  not only endangers the animals and reefs but the people as well and causes damage to the fishermen that use these harmful practices.

The damage done by the direct action, of over fishing for aquarium use, also brings into focus the effects of client change, pollution, land development, and more on life under the ocean.

The willingness of elected officials to look the other way while the destruction takes place, shows the power of the lobby industry and the hard work that must continue to make lasting change around the world's ocean reefs.

As you look at the beautiful Hawaiian Islands and stop to think about what is happening below the ocean's surface, you realize catering to a specific industry, that supplies these endangered fish to be kept in aquariums needs to end.

Editors, William Haugse, Tim Kettle scenes flow beautifully as they help  tell director Paula Fouce's story of The Dark Hobby.

A good and well-made film that educates the movie viewer of the true dangers posed by the worldwide pet fish industry.

Production Co: Paradise Filmworks International
Run time: 1 hour 13 minutes
Cast: Kimokeo Kapahulehua, Robert Wintner, Willy Kaupiko, Kaimi Kaupiko, Gail Grabowsky, Ben Williamson, Jessica Wooley,
Jonathan Balcombe, Teresa Telecky, Kealoha Pisciotta, Keith Christie, Taylor Nicole Dean a YouTube star and influencer,, Paul Cox: Underwater photographer
Director: Paula Fouce
Writers: Paula Fouce, William Haugse
Cinematographer: Keith Christie
Editors: William Haugse, Tim Kettle
Composer: Luciano Storti
Producers: Paula Fouce
Co-Producers: William Haugse, Tim Kettle, Benjamin Zuckerman, Michael X. Flores, George R. Pierce
Executive Producers: Stephen Nemeth, Maria Florio

 

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Hollywood’s First Major Premiere ‘Cruella’

Disney's live-action film, 'Cruella’, starring Emma Stone, opens in theaters and on Disney Plus Premier Memorial Day weekend.

Photo: Yevette Renee
Photo: Yevette Renee

The long awaited Hollywood red carpet premieres have officially returned on Wednesday night, when Disney's new film screened at their El Capitan theater.

The film stars Emma Stone as the young Cruella de Vil, the villain from Disney's iconic 101 Dalmatians.

On the red carpet where the film's star, Emma Stone and Kirby Howell-Baptiste, and the man with the vision, director Craig Gillespie.

Because of the safety protocols in place, including social distancing, it was a smaller crowd. And a true indication of the changes caused by
COVID 19, the media was not invited to the screening.

Photo: Yevette Renee
Photo: Yevette Renee

‘THE DARK HOBBY’ Available On Demand and Digital Platforms Today, May 21

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Featuring: Kimokeo Kapalehuahua,Kupuna and Robert Wintner, reef activist, AKA Snorkel Bob

The Dark Hobby debuts today, May 21 on the following platforms:

iTunes, AppleTV, YouTube, GooglePlay, Vudu and Vimeo

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ABOUT

Like The Cove and Blackfish, The Dark Hobby follows conservationists and scientists who will stop at nothing to protect what's underwater.

The Dark Hobby tracks the turbulent crusade to save the reef life at stake in an age old struggle that pits conservation against commerce. Aquarium trade extraction, an industry worth billions, has devastated reef species and habitat globally. Aloha from Hawaii continues the fight.

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Willy Kaupiko is Mayor of Millolii, Hawaii’s last working fishing village. Kaimi Kaupiko is a teacher and Hawaiian practitioner. Gail Grabowsky is Director of Environmental Studies at Chaminade University. A Martinez hosts Take Two on KPCC radio, LA. Jonathan Balcombe is author of What a Fish Knows. Ben Williamson, formerly of PETA, is now with World Animal Protection. Teresa Telecky, Vice President at Humane Society International, and Jessica Wooley was instrumental in passing Senate Bill 1240, halting Hawaii’s aquarium trade.

View Trailer Below!

‘KNOTS : A Forced Marriage Story’ Movie Review

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Director and Writer: Kate Ryan Brewer
Starring: Nina Van Harn, Sara Tasneem, and Fraidy Reiss
  Language: English
Runtime: 1 hour 16 minutes

When Dreams of Marriage Becomes a Nightmare

Most girls in America grow-up dreaming of their wedding  to their Prince Charming and and for some, it turns into a nightmare with they are forced into marriages.

Director and writer Kate Ryan Brewer's heartbreaking feature film directorial debut '‌KNOTS: A Forced Marriage Story' gives voice to three women who live in America, Nina Van Harn, raised in a community cut-off from society,  Sara Tasneem, forced into a religious marriage as a teenager and Fraidy Reiss, who was raised in Ultra-Orthodox Jewish faith in Brooklyn, NY, who share their story of enduring forced marriages and the pain and trauma they experienced.

When one thinks of child and forced marriages, it is ususally of countries far away. Not something that would happen in the United States, yet Nina, Sara, and Fraidy shatters that notion and brings attention to this horrible practice here on the soil of the United States.

Fraidy Reiss went on to found Unchained At Last, an organization for women in forced marriages. Reiss, like Nina and Sara, have become fierce advocates and leading voices to end the practice here in the U.S. of the human rights abuse of child and forced marriages.

This film brings to mind a time when having a child without being married brought shame on a woman and family.

Many girls and young ladies were forced to marry the father of their unborn child. Even though society views have changed about unwed mothers, I can know just imagine the number of families who have not changed with the times and would still force their daughter to get married.

A difficult subject, given center stage in KNOTS : A Forced Marriage Story. A subject matter worthy of serious discussions and remedies to end the practice.

Run time: 1 hour 16 minutes
Starring: Nina Van Harn, Sara Tasneem, and Fraidy Reiss
Director and Writer: Kate Brewer
Producers: Kate Ryan Brewer, Paige Livingston
Executive Producer: Tim Ryan
Cinematography: Jasmine Lord
Editor: Darmyn Calderon
Composer: Miriam Mayer

UNDERGODS: Movie Review

When a bedtime story is.... more than a bedtime story

Director and Writer: Chino Moya
Starring: Johann Myers, Géza Röhrig, Michael Gould
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Language: English

Madrid-born Chino Moya's feature film debut 'UNDERDOGS' full of nightmarious tales told by K (Johann Myers) and Z (Géza Röhrig),
two body collectors, who drive around the city picking up bodies, dead or alive.

Moya tells the story of K and Z's dreams as three different stories that start with Ruth (Hayley Carmichael) and Ron (Michael
Gould), who welcome a complete stranger, Harry (Ned Dennehy), into their home.

Next, is the story of a father Octavius (Khalid Abdalla) and his daughter Horatia (Maddison Whelan), who bond over the bedtime story about Hans (Eric Gordon), a business man who steals from the man called "Foreigner" (Jan Bivjoet). Hans' daughter, Maria (Tanya Reynolds) is the one person in the world he loves more than money and with that comes her boyfriend, Johann (Tadhg Murphy), an uninvited visitor.

The last of Moya's tale is about a married couple, Rachel (Kate Dickie) and Dom (Adrian Rawlins) and their teenage son
(Jonathan Case), who allows Sam (Sam Louwyck), someone Rachel knew, into their home.

UNDERGODS showcases Moya talent for storytelling and and having Ridley Scott on board as Executive Producer also shows the  additional talents that will serve him well in the filmmaking.

Production Co: Homeless Bob Production, Media Plus, RSA Films, Velvet Films, Black Dog Films, Scott Free Productions,
Sharp House, Film i Vast, Filmgate Films, Z56film, BFI Film Fund
Run time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Starring: Johann Myers, Géza Röhrig, Michael Gould, Hayley Carmichael, Michael Gould, Ned Dennehy, Khalid Abdalla, Maddison Whelan,  Eric Gordon,  Jan Bivjoet,  Tanya Reynolds, Tadhg Murphy, Kate Dickie, Adrian Rawlins, Jonathan Case, Sam Louwyck
Director and Writer: Chino Moya
Cinematography: David Raedeker
Editor: Walter Fasano, Tommaso Gallone, Maya Maffioli
Music: Wojciech Golczewski

ENFANT TERRIBLE, The Life of Filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Review

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enfant terrible

Noun: a person whose unconventional or controversial behavior or ideas shock, embarrass, or annoy others.

Director:Oskar Roehler
Writers: Klaus Richter, Oskar Roehler
Starring Oliver Masucci, Hary Prinz, Katja Riemann, and Felix Hellmann
Runtime: 2 hours 14 minutes
Genre: Documentary Feature
Country: Germany
Language: German

When a Man's Creative Genius and Demons Collide

Director Oskar Roehler's gripping film ENFANT TERRIBLE tells the story of a truly talented and gifted filmmaker,
Rainer Werner Fassbinder, played by Oliver Masucci.

A prolific writer, as shown by Fassbinder's 33 screen plays under his belt, having written 14 plays and made 44 films, all
before the age of forty-years. He also starred in many of his own film.

For all of his artistic gifts, he had just as many mean and sadistic ways, which where all on display in his screen plays and
his preferred form of acting. His insistance on the actors to not just act as in pain but to actually experience the pain of the characters.

He appears to have a constant need or uncontrollable urge to demean people, to make them feel small and meaningless in his personal and professional life, which becomes blurred as he comingles his personal and professional relationships and his friends and family becomes actors and actors becoming family.

Cinematographer, Carl-Friedrich Koschnick captures the nitty gritty world that Fassbinder that lives in with all of the darkness and shadows of the scenes.

 

helping tell Fassbinder's story are Hary Prinz as Kurt Raab, Katja Riemann as Gudrun Jochen Schropp as Armin Meier, Erdal Yıldız as El Hedi ben Salem, Markus Hering as Peer Raben Frida-Lovisa Hamann as Martha, André Hennicke as Volker Spengler, Christian Berkel as Interviewer
Eva Mattes as Brigitte Mira, Alexander Scheer as Andy Warhol, Désirée Nick as Barbara Valentin
Götz Otto as Jack Palance, Detlef Bothe as Wally Brockmeyer, Sunnyi Melles as Rosel Zech
Michael Klammer as Günther Kaufmann, Anton Rattinger as Britta, Lucas Gregorowicz as Ulli Lommel
Felix Hellmann as Harry Baer, Simon Böer as Michael Ballhaus

ENFANT TERRIBLE, a filmmmaker who's two worlds are in constant conflict, which has you on edge waiting for the crash. Provides a look into the life
of a deeply damaged man.

 DARK STAR PICTURES

Is a new-age North American distribution company, focused on bringing unique and targeted content to audiences across the country. We are committed to releasing auteur-driven, original cinema in the theatrical, digital and home video space. Our goal is to create original marketing campaigns directly catered to audiences who will embrace our brand of thought-provoking cinema. Dark Star also services distribution companies and producers in the theatrical, digital, and festival space.

Distributor: Dark Star Pictures
Production Co: ARTE, Bavaria Filmproduktion, Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR), Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR)
Run time: 2 hours 14 minutes
Starring: Oliver Masucci, Hary Prinz, Katja Riemann, Jochen Schropp, Erdal Yıldız, Markus Hering, Frida-Lovisa Hamann,
André Hennicke, Christian Berkel, Eva Mattes, Alexander Scheer,
Director:Oskar Roehler
Writers: Klaus Richter, Oskar Roehler
Producer: Markus Zimmer
Cinematography: Carl-Friedrich Koschnick
Editor: Hansjörg Weißbrich
Music: Martin Todsharow

BREWMANCE on Amazon Prime Video Today, June 1, in U.S. and UK

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BREWMANCE

Director & Producer: Christo Brock (Touch The Wall)
Runtime: 1 hour 42 minutes
Genre: Feature Documentary
Country: USA

BREWMANCE now available on VOD on all major platforms in US, Canada, UK and more.

On the following VOD platforms :

U.S.:
Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV (iTunes), FandangoNow , Google Play, Vudu, Microsoft Store. Google Play, Altavod, Vimeo On Demand and InDemand on Comcast, Spectrum, Cox and major cable providers.

Canada:
Apple TV (iTunes), Google Play , Microsoft Store, Vimeo On Demand

UK:
Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV (iTunes), Google Play, Microsoft Store, Vimeo On Demand

The American Craft Beer movement began with a group of restless homebrewers searching for something genuine and flavorful. Today it’s evolved into a redefinition of beer and an international cultural phenomenon. That uniquely American spirit of rebellion and innovation survives in two groups of homebrewers from Long Beach, California who are looking to open their own breweries and bring their beers to the world. These include a Christian father-son team who grew close over making beer and a retired rock star looking for the “quiet" existence of a brewery owner.

With the insight and commentary of legendary brewers Ken Grossman (Sierra Nevada), Fritz Maytag (Anchor Brewing), Charlie Papazian, Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River), Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Jim Koch (Boston Brewing) and others, BREWMANCE reveals the soul of craft beer in the heart of America.

Christo Brock is an American Producer, Director, and Editor best known for the iconic swim documentary Touch the Wall, the sports films Spirit of the Marathon and Hood to Coast, and the craft beer documentary BREWMANCE.

For more information on the project: www.brewmancemovie.com

Follow on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter @brewmancemovie

View trailer below!

KNOTS : A FORCED MARRIAGE STORY In Theaters and Virtual May 7

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Director and Writer: Kate Ryan Brewer
Starring: Fraidy Reiss, Sara Tasneem, Nina Van Harn

Coming to VOD in June

KNOTS is a powerful documentary that explores forced and child marriages, which are occurring legally across the United States every day and covered by all the major news outlets

KNOTS is screening at the following locations:

May 7 - Laemmle Virtual/All Cities (including L.A, NYC)
May 7 - Laemmle L.A Physical

Director Kate Brewer reveals the disturbing truth about this problem in modern America through the complicated experience of three forced marriage survivors. Nina Van Harn, Sara Tasneem, and Fraidy Reiss share intimate details of their personal journeys of surviving, escaping and ultimately becoming powerful voices in the historic fight to end the human rights abuse of forced marriage.

View trailer below!

Ridley Scott’s Sci-Fi Epic UNDERGODS On Demand Friday, May 7

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Director and Writer: Chino Moya
Starring: Johann Myers, Géza Röhrig, Michael Gould

From May 7, Undergods will be released day-and-date; in select cinemas nationwide and On-Demand simultaneously.
A limited-edition Blu-ray and vinyl soundtrack are also planned for later in the year.

UNDERGODS is set in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic world, were K and Z roam the streets on the lookout for corpses and something even more valuable - fresh meat.

Following its world premiere at Fantasia last year, the film went on to celebrate its UK premiere at Glasgow Film Festival in February.
Since then, Undergods has gone on to receive two British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nominations.

View trailer below!