2023 OSCAR Winners

Oscar Marquee Dolby Theater

A List of 2023 Oscar Winners


All Quiet On The Western Front

Avatar: The Way Of Water

The Banshees Of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once - Winner

The Fabelmans


Top Gun: Maverick

Triangle Of Sadness

Women Talking


Austin Butler, Elvis
Bill Nighy, Living
Brendan Fraser, The Whale: Winner
Colin Farrell, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Paul Mescal, Aftersun


Ana de Armas, Blonde
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
Cate Blanchett, TÁR
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once: Winner


Martin McDonagh, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All At Once: Winner
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, TÁR
Ruben Ostlund, Triangle Of Sadness


Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All At Once:  Winner


Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau, The Whale
Kerry Condon, The Banshees Of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once: Winner
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All At Once


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio: Winner

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On

Puss In Boots

The Sea Beast

Turning Red


All That Breathes

All The Beauty And The Bloodshed

Fire Of Love

A House Made Of Splinters

Navalny: Winner


An Irish Goodbye: Winner

Le Pupille

Night Ride

The Red Suitcase


All Quiet On The Western Front: Winner



Empire Of Light



All Quiet On The Western Front

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever


The Whale: Winner



Black Panther: Wakanda Forever: Winner


Everything Everywhere All At Once

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris


All Quiet On The Western Front: Winner

Argentina, 1985



The Quiet One


The Elephant Whisperers: Winner


How Do You Measure A Year

Stranger At The Gate


The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse: Winner

The Flying Sailor

Ice Merchants

My Year Of Dicks

An Ostrich Told Me The World Is Fake And I Think I Believe It


All Quiet On The Western Front: Winner

Avatar: The Way Of Water



The Fabelmans


All Quiet On The Western Front: Winner


The Banshees Of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans


All Quiet On The Western Front

Avatar: The Way Of Water: Winner

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Top Gun: Maverick


The Banshees Of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All At Once: Winner

The Fabelmans


Triangle Of Sadness


All Quiet On The Western Front

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery


Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking: Winner


All Quiet On The Western Front

Avatar: The Way Of Water

The Batman


Top Gun: Maverick: Winner



“Hold My Hand”

“Lift Me Up”

“Naatu Naatu”“This Is A Life”: Winner


The Banshees Of Inisherin


Everything Everywhere All At Once: Winner


Top Gun: Maverick


Cannes Award Winner ‘THE WORST ONES’ New Clip-Opens March 24th






Set in the suburbs of Boulogne-Sur-Mer in northern France, THE WORST ONES  captures a film within a film as it follows the production of a feature whose director turns to the local Cité Picasso housing project for casting. Eager to capture performances of gritty authenticity, the director selects four working class teenagers to act in the film to the surprise and consternation of the local community, who question the director’s choice of “the worst ones.” As the director and crew audition, rehearse, film, and interact with their hand-picked cast, jealousies are stoked, lines are crossed, and ethical questions arise, with thought-provoking and at times darkly funny results. Winner of the top prize in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, THE WORST ONES  announces directors Lise Akoka and Romane Gueret as exciting new voices in French cinema.

ROMANE GUERET studied cinema at the Sorbonne and then took her first steps towards directing as an assistant director, casting assistant, and cameraman.

LISE AKOKA completed a university course in Psychology and professional training in acting (Les Ateliers du Sud and the Studio-théâtre d’Asnières). She then discovered, in casting and coaching children for film, a way of bringing her two interests together.

In 2014, Romane and Lise met during casting for a feature film, for which they auditioned more than 4000 young non-professional actors for several months.In 2015, they co-directed the short film Chasse Royale, which won awards at several festivals, most notably the Illy Prize at the 2016 Cannes Directors' Fortnight.In 2017, the film was nominated for a César Award for Best Short Film. In 2018, they co-directed the documentary Allez garçon! for the Hobbies collection, which was broadcast in 2019 on Canal+. In 2020, their web series Tu préfères was  broadcast on Arte and then selected for the Sundance Film Festival. In summer of 2021, they made their first feature film, THE WORST ONES, which was shot in Boulogne-sur-Mer and won the Grand Prix at Un Certain Regard at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.


With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Milestone Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct-to-consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1300 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched pioneering "virtual cinema" releases of art house films with revenue shares that allow audiences to support almost 500 local independent theaters. Kino Lorber was honored with a Special Award from the New York Film Critics Circle for this effort. In 2021, the company launched Kino Cult, an AVOD channel specializing in new and rare, acclaimed genre films. In 2022, Kino Lorber acquired streamer MHz Choice, the leading North American destination for acclaimed international TV.

Emma Griffiths (EG PR)
E: emma@eg-pr.com

‘Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire’ Exclusive Trailer – Narrated by Acclaimed Actor David Oyelowo – Opens Theatrical April 7th

Elemental poster A

Director and Co-Writer: Trip Jennings
Genre: Documentary
Country: U.S.
Language: English

Directed by Portland filmmaker Trip Jennings (“Rewilding A Mountain,” “Postcards From Climate Change”) and produced by Ralph Bloemers (“Trout On the Wind”) the critically acclaimed documentary “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” will release in theaters nationwide beginning April 7, 2023.

Filmed in fire-impacted communities across the West and narrated by iconic, award-winning actor David Oyelowo (“Selma,” “Nightingale”), and featuring interviews with Dr. Beverly Law, Professor Emeritus, Global Change Biology, Oregon State University; Margo Robbins, Yurok, Cultural Advisor; and Dr. Jack Cohen, Research Physical Scientist, US Forest Service (Ret.), Scientific Advisor, among others, “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” takes viewers on a journey with the top experts from across the nation to better understand wildfire. The film starts with the harrowing escape from Paradise, California as the town ignited from wind-driven embers and burned within a few hours of the fire's start and then continues to recent record shattering fires. “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” includes the voices of the top forest and climate experts, Indigenous prescribed firelighters, and fire survivors, and helps reimagine our relationship with fire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter, drier future.


“California is severely affected by these fires. I did not realize how much can be done by hardening one’s home. I did not realize that embers are more dangerous than the fires,” said David Oyelowo. “It was a huge honor and a pleasure to do this documentary, it is not only informational, I think it is lifesaving. I hope it will inspire you to take some of the steps advised, and some of the steps that I am taking myself.”

In the wake of the slew of deadly fires in Oregon, California, Colorado, Washington, Montana, Arizona, and New Mexico, “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” is an important look at discovering how we can all reimagine our relationship with wildfire, and prepare to live with this powerful force. This insightful documentary is good medicine for everyone in the West and it has screened to numerous sold-out audiences at special events and been selected for over 30 film festivals and won numerous awards. The film poses the critical question of how can we coexist with extreme wildfires?

Former United States Forest Service Chief Michael Dombeck says of the documentary, "Elemental is an outstanding film that deserves the widest possible viewing. In a visually stunning manner, it distills what we’ve learned about wildland fire over the decades and provides a roadmap for badly needed changes that will benefit thousands of people, particularly in fire prone communities.”

Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” is for everyone living in the western United States who wants to better understand the challenges wildfire poses and the solutions to keep our homes and communities safe. The film challenges conventional wisdom and superficial talking points, while providing a revealing historical view of how we got to where we are today. The film takes viewers into the field with indigenous fire managers and top fire and climate scientists to explore how wildfire, healthy forests and communities can coexist.

Trip Jennings founded Balance Media and has worked with National Geographic for over a decade. His films have won dozens of awards around the world and have aired on major networks on every continent. He is the producer of the PBS Digital Series “Weathered.”  For nearly two decades, Ralph Bloemers has worked on wildfire and community safety, protected and restored burned landscapes, and assisted the scientific community with bringing their knowledge and research to the public.  “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” received support from National Geographic Society, Patagonia, Pacific Northwest Foundation, and the American Red Cross for the production and distribution of the film.

The “Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire” filmmaking team is led by Director, Co-Writer & Editor Trip Jennings (“Rewilding A Mountain,” “Pebble Redux,” “Chuitna: More than Salmon on the Line”), Executive produced by Ralph Bloemers (“Trout On the Wind,” “Decades: Born in Fire”), co-produced & edited by Sara Quinn (“The Reluctant Radical”) with animations by Aaron Keuter and Ryan Walsh, and musical score composed by Nick Jaina (“Smartass,” “Shotgun Boogie”).

The film has been accepted into festivals in USA, Canada, Europe, Australia and is being booked in theaters worldwide by Henry Lystad of Adventure Entertainment.  Thus far the filmmakers have received over 400 unique inquiries for the film.

The release is being done in collaboration with firefighting organizations, community fire wise groups, non-profits, schools, universities, businesses, including California Fire Safe CouncilWestern Fire Chiefs Association, the American Red CrossInsurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, Underwriters Laboratory, Casualty Actuarial Society, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Boise State University, University of California at Davis, University of Idaho, University of Colorado at Boulder, and many more.


‘Who Are You People’ North American Theatrical release on TVOD and Digital today February 24th  


Director and Writer: Ben Epstein
Starring: Ema Horvath,  Devon Sawa,  Yeardley Smith, Peter Parros, Siddharth Dhananjay, Reid Miller, John Ales, Alyssa Milano
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1 hour 43 minutes
Country: USA
Language: English
Year:  2023

Who Are You People

After a botched attempt to seduce her teacher, 16-year-old Alex (Horvath) runs away from boarding school to seek out the biological father (Sawa) that her mother (Milano) and presumed father (Ales) always kept hidden and learn the dark secret of her roots.

Alex on bus
Alex on bus

About the Director:
Ben Epstein is the writer/director of the feature film WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE. He served as the Creator/Showrunner/Director for two seasons of the Complex series IN THE VAULT. He is also the creator and Co-Executive Producer of the MTV dramedy HAPPYLAND, and currently serves as a Co-Executive Producer on an upcoming series for Netflix.

Ben is currently developing a TV series with Lionsgate and Temple Hill and a feature with John Wells Productions. His screenplay THE PROSPECT, which chronicles Michael Jordan’s baseball career, was featured on the Black List. Ben realized a lifelong nerd dream by writing several issues of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. His short fiction has appeared in the Rattling Wall Literary Journal.

Ben graduated from the NYU film program, where his thesis film THE REUNION won First Prize Wasserman/King Award at the NYU First Run Film Festival and numerous awards at other festivals. His feature script for WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE was also awarded the $75,000 NYU Columbus/Vague Alumni Production Grant by director Chris Columbus.

Ben is a member of the WGA and DGA. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and never tires of describing himself in the third person.

Writer & Director: Ben Epstein
Producers: Jordan Foley, Toby Louie, Ben Epstein, and Nick Smith
Executive producers: Alyssa Milano, Graham Moore, Yeardley Smith, Ben Cornwell Fred Chandler, Neely Eisenstein, AJ Gordon  Irka Zazulak, Melissa Pianko, and Rod Cooper
Co-producers: Rob Nelson, Benjy Caplan
Cinematographer: Bobby Lam
Editor: Jeff Bernier
Original Music: Aaron Zigman

Freestyle Media to Distribute Psychological Action Fantasy Thriller “Exceptional Beings” Across North American on TVOD/Digital Platform & DVD Release on January 31st, 2023

Couple poster

“Exceptional Beings” extraordinary cast fantastically embodies the Gods from a number of pantheons, and is led by Ciarra Carter (‘Ooga Booga,” “The Colony”), Dane Oliver (“The Resonator,” “Cupid’s Match”), Rachel Thundat (“9-1-1: Lone Star,” “Secrets Exposed”), Bunmi Famuyiwa (“Ida B. Wells: A Red Record,” “The Wake”), Clark Moore (“Yellowstone,” “Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story”), Chad Sano (“Grease Live!,” “My Crazy Ex”), introducing Jean CharlesSarah Bonrepaux (“Strayed,” “Mr. Know-It-All”), Victoria Antonelli (“Switched Before Birth,” “Blader”), and cinema icon Eric Roberts (“Inherent Vice,” “The Dark Knight”).

“Exceptional Beings” tracks the existential crisis of two supernatural beings, as they begin to question their Godhood, when they encounter a woman with an uncanny essence that doesn’t conform with their 4,000 years of knowledge. They journey through her existence, as it relates to their desperate need to understand answers to question, they never believed existed. The movie is a prequel to the book Godhood.

“Exceptional Beings” is the incredible creation of a vastly talented team of black filmmakers beginning with co-directors Njedeh Anthony (“Creatures of Necessity,” “Mind Crawlers”) and Christian Kazadi (“24 Hours Blind,” Blinkers”); written by  Njedeh Anthony; produced by Njedeh Anthony and Justin Morgan; executive produced by Njedeh Anthony, Justin Morgan, Christian Kazadi and Kurtis Anton (“Monstrous,” “Blood Pageant”); director of cinematography Christian Kazadi; and editor Christian Kazadi; and production designer Justin Morgan. This incredible international film team are based in Los Angeles and busily prepping their next feature films.

Principal photography began in February 2021 in Los Angeles, California, during the height of the Covid outbreak, with every precaution and safety protocol taken for the safety of the cast and crew. “Exceptional Beings” was shot in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, New York and Lagos, Nigeria.

Casper Kelly’s ADULT SWIM YULE LOG Now available on HBO Max and Digital Download)


Presented As Traditional Fireplace Video, Surreal Horror Film Makes Surprise Debut On Adult Swim



Adult Swim fans received an early holiday gift last night with the reveal of a new feature horror film from Casper Kelly, the acclaimed writer/director behind the viral Adult Swim short “Too Many Cooks. ” Fans who stay tuned for the “Adult Swim Yule Log” after last night’s Season Six finale of “Rick and Morty” witnessed a traditional holiday fireplace video transform into Adult Swim’s first-ever live-action feature. After last night’s surprise airing on Adult Swim, a must-see uncensored version of “Adult Swim Yule Log” is now available to stream on HBO Max and to purchase digitally.

“At this time of year, it’s nice to recognize the people important to you, and for us, that’s Adult Swim fans,” said Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim and Cartoon Network. “We hope they enjoyed this gift that literally no one knew they wanted.”

Described only as a “cozy crackling fire,” viewers were forewarned that the TV-MA yule log contained “violence, adult language, and brief nudity.” After beginning with festive fireplace visual and holiday music, “Adult Swim Yule Log” gives way to unfolding a pulse-pounding story set within a remote cabin in which a mysterious and deadly fireplace constantly burns. Filled with mind-bending twists and a bizarre cast of characters, “Adult Swim Yule Log” welcomes viewers into a surreal, genre-defying thriller.

Kelly explains: “Last year during the holidays I was watching a yule log video and suddenly I had an image of legs walking past the fire, just slightly out of focus, and hearing dialogue off screen. I loved the mysteriousness of that, and a story started to form. I’m so grateful to Adult Swim for taking the plunge with me, and I’m so proud to have made their first live-action film!”

Like Kelly’s massively successful short, this micro-budget horror feature was also filmed entirely in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta with local talent. Written and directed by Kelly (“Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell”), “Adult Swim Yule Log” stars Andrea Laing (“The Game”) and Justin Miles (“Half Baked 2).

The end credits song “The Fireplace” was performed by Puddles Pity Party and composed by “Too Many Cooks” scribe Shawn Coleman with lyrics by Kelly. It will be released by WaterTower Music and will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all digital streaming services beginning tomorrow.

About Adult Swim

Adult Swim  is the leader in adult animation and #1 destination for young adults for over fifteen years, offering critically acclaimed, award-winning original and acquired series such as “Rick and Morty,” “Genndy Tartakovsky’s Primal,” “The Eric Andre Show,” and “SMILING FRIENDS.”  Fan favorite anime block, Toonami, airs on Saturday nights and has expanded beyond acquisitions, producing original series including “Housing Complex C,” “Uzumaki,” and new seasons of “FLCL.” The annual Adult Swim Festival reaches a global audience, and features performances by top musicians and comedians. Adult Swim airs nightly from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. (ET/PT) on its linear channel and reaches fans via HBO Max. Connect with Adult Swim on  FacebookTwitter,  Instagram and Tik Tok. Subscribe to Adult Swim on YouTube.

About Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros. Discovery  (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film and streaming. Available in more than  220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, Warner Bros. Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV and others. For more information, please visit  www.wbd.com.

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Celebrated film and arts festival to return
to the heart of Black Los Angeles

PAFF 2023 Logo

Los Angeles, CA – The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) today announced its dates for the 31st event. The PAFF will take place during Black History Month (BHM) in Los Angeles, February 9-20, 2023. Festival organizers are excited to once again bring Black creatives, executives, and Black culture enthusiasts together in the heart of Black Los Angeles for 12 days for what is the largest BHM celebration in America. PAFF screenings will take place at the Cinemark Baldwin Hills and XD Theatre, while PAFF’s unparalleled Black fine arts festival will return to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

This year’s theme is “REimagine PAFF” and invites attendees to experience a new story of imagination.

“Ayuko Bubu, Danny Glover, and Ja’Net Dubois envisioned a global celebration to honor the genesis of imagination — the African story, then began to take steps toward making it a reality,” said Marc Brogdon, PAFF Director of Marketing.  “In 1992, The Pan African Film and Arts Festival was established to become the international beacon for the Diaspora arts community to showcase our stories and preserve the cinematic creativity of Pan African Culture. Thirty-one years have passed since that soulful spark of invention. Today, the fire of ingenuity is rekindled to serve an emerging generation.”

PAFF will again be offering a special Early Bird discount to those who purchase their 2023 PAFF film passes by January. Passes can be purchased at paff.org.

About Pan African Film and Festival 

Established in 1992 by Hollywood veterans Danny Glover (The Color Purple, Lethal Weapon), the late Ja’Net DuBois (“Good Times”), and Ayuko Babu (Executive Director), the Pan African Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has remained dedicated to the promotion of Black stories and images through the exhibition of film, visual art, and other creative expression. PAFF is one of the largest and most prestigious Black film festivals in the U.S. and attracts local, national, and international audiences. In addition, it is an Oscar-qualifying festival for animation and live-action films, and one of the largest Black History Month events in America.

About Our Sponsors and Partners

PAFF is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell through the Department of Arts and Culture, LA Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, LA Councilmember Curren Price, LA Councilmember Heather Hutt, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund with the California Community Foundation, and the LA County COVID-19 Arts Relief Fund administered by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

View New Trailer: Shinzô Katayama’s MISSING available Friday, November 18th on all major VOD platforms in the US and Canada

MISSING (Sagasu/さがす)

Directed by: Shinzô Katayama
Starring: Aoi Ito, Hiroya Shimizu, Misato Morita, Jirô Satô
Country: Japan
Language: In Japanese with English Subtitles)
Run time: 2 hours 4 minutes

MISSING will open theatrically in New York (Film Noir, Brooklyn), Los Angeles (Laemmle Glendale), Columbus (Gateway) and major cities on November 4, 2022.

A VOD/ Cable release will follow in the US and Canada on November 18, 2022:
Platforms:  iTunes/Apple, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft, YouTube, Vudu, Comcast Xfinity, Spectrum, Verizon Fios, Cox, Direct TV, Dish Network and many more.

The Blu Ray release for the film will be on December 6, 2022.

OFFICIAL SELECTION: Busan International Film Festival, Fantasia International Film Festival, Fantastic Fest and many more.

Depressed and in debt following the death of his wife, Santoshi (Jiro Sato) tells his young daughter he has found a way out. Pointing to a reward note, he vows to find the infamous serial killer “No Name” (Hiroya Shimizu) and cash in, claiming to have seen the man in the flesh a few days earlier. Kaeda (Aoi Ito) cannot take her aloof father serious. But when he goes missing without a trace, she starts to fear the worst—and must begin looking for him.

After working as an assistant director for Japanese films, including Nobuhiro Yamashita’s works, filmmaker Shinzô Katayama crossed paths with Bong Joon-Ho while shooting “TOKYO!” (2008) and served as his assistant director on “Mother” (2009). In 2019, his debut feature, “Siblings of the Cape ” was selected by numerous domestic and international film festivals. He now is one of the most promising, emerging directors in Japan, and his second feature, MISSING (“Sagasu /さがす”) will be his commercial film debut.


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.
Website: https://darkstarpics.com


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DOC NYC New York Premiere of the Illuminating Documentary “Finding Her Beat” Featuring LIVE Taiko Drumming Performance! Wednesday, November 16th, 2022

Finding Her Beat posterR15

DOC NYC New York Premiere of the Illuminating Documentary “Finding Her Beat” Featuring LIVE Taiko Drumming Performance! Wednesday, November 16th, 2022 at the IFC Center, 323 6th Avenue, New York, NY 10014

DOC NYC Film Page: https://www.docnyc.net/film/finding-her-beat/

NYC Premiere: Wed, November 16th at 7pm at the IFC Center

2nd Screening: Thursday, November 17th at 12pm at the IFC Center

**Also Part of DOC NYC Virtual Cinemas As well Through November 27th**

Filmmaking Team Onsite for the Screening and Q&A: Co-Director, Producer & Editor Dawn Mikkelson (“Risking Light,” “The Red Tail”), Co-Director, Director of Photography & Editor:  Keri Pickett (“First Daughter and the Black Snake,” “The Fabulous Ice Age”), Field Producer & Cinematographer: Caroline Stuckyand Producer & Featured Artist: Jennifer Weir (Executive Director of TAM, Artistic Director of Enso Daiko), and Featured Artist: Megan Chao-Smith , among others.

About “Finding Her Beat”
In the midst of a frozen Minnesota winter, a Japanese drum master and Korean adoptee from North Dakota join forces to assemble the world’s best Taiko drummers in a bold effort to claim a cultural spotlight that has historically been reserved only for men. Their rhythm revolution includes rock stars from the world of Taiko: Tiffany Tamaribuchi, Kaoly Asano, Chieko Kojima, Megan Chao-Smith, and Jennifer Weir. Through grueling rehearsals, Jennifer weaves together their disparate voices and styles. Vulnerability, pain, and joys are shared—and we quickly see the bonds of friendship form as these talented women navigate their way through differences in culture, age, language, and performing styles. As the clock ticks toward their first performance, it becomes clear that their story has become much larger than Taiko.

Focus of the Film: Through the perspective of the five main artists, “Finding Her Beat”  explores the individual themes of cultural and racial identity, the challenges professional marginalized gender artists face, the artist’s passion for a subculture that was designed to keep them on the outside, and the burgeoning hope that this historic event marks the beginning of a new era of taiko - for everyone. Told both verbally and nonverbally, in silence and thundering percussion, the film organically unfolds in the lived moments of these artists. By providing a character-driven format, not only is the subject matter fresh to the majority of audiences, but it creates a challenge and narrative tension for Japanese artists whose traditional culture stresses the importance of the separation between private and public lives. “Finding Her Beat”  artists opened their hearts, followed by a massive public experience - the last before COVID-19 changed the world of performing arts. This is an important story of women paving their own road by banging their own drum.

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DOC NYC World Premiere Today Nov 12th: “Lazaro and The Shark” in the International Competition section ahead of our debut screening on Saturday, November 12th at 5:15pm at the Cinépolis Chelsea in NYC

World Premiere: Saturday, November 12th at 5:15pm at the Cinépolis Chelsea

2nd Screening:  Monday, November 14th at 2:15pm at the Cinépolis Chelsea

Filmmaking Team Onsite for the Screening and Q&A: Director William Sabourin O’Reilly (“A Crooked Line,” “Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story”); Producer Bryan Bailey (“New Orleans Pie,” “A Crooked Line”), and Executive Producer Tomas Montoya Gonzalez.

Lazaro and The Shark: Cuba Under the Surface is a feature documentary that brings us to the world of Conga Competitions in the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba - one of the poorest Carnival in the world. Lázaro, the leader of the Conga de Los Hoyos, is determined to win the coveted award bestowed to the neighborhood that presents the most spectacular Conga. Like leaders of rival congas, Lazaro must join with his neighbors and scour the strictly rationed marketplace to find the necessary materials to create a show-stopping performance. Director William Sabourin O'Reilly, an Afro-Cuban native to Havana, offers a rare window into communist Cuba, a country that is often romanticized, and almost always portrayed through the eyes of an outsider.

Sabourin seamlessly weaves wrenching moments of senseless police violence with intimate scenes of distant lovers aching to reunite. As the competition approaches, we see much more than Lazaro’s desire to win a local honor. We are immersed in the essential fight of the Cuban nation: to continue to live in the legacy of a revolution that has left its people in a constant struggle of poverty, or embrace a more dangerous, vital vision of living in freedom.

Focus of the Film: A breath-taking and visceral view into director William Sabourin O’Reilly (“A Crooked Line,” “Chasing Dreams: A Leah chase Story”) native Cuba. A country and a people stuck at a crossroads, after six decades of Communist rule, Cuba is an island nation sunken into a perpetual economic downturn resulting in poverty and political crisis. Freedom and Democracy are non-existent to generations of Cubans. This reality becomes particularly heartbreaking when one bears witness to the energy, passion, and joy of the Cuban people, displayed in the annual Conga competitions.

DOC NYC page for the film and our screening schedule: https://www.docnyc.net/film/lazaro-and-the-shark-cuba-under-the-surface/

“Lazaro and The Shark”  tells a vibrant story of contemporary life in Cuba, marked by generational conflicts and the suspense of a competition. The film is a declaration of love to Cuba’s people and culture. The music and dancing featured throughout the film emphasizes the undeniable and exhilarating presence and importance of the rich Afro-Cuban legacy on the Eastern part of the island. Stripped of the exotic gaze of an outsider, the film brings the audience to life in Santiago, to fathom the real racial, cultural, and social diversity of this fascinating country. These Cuban street parades are saturated with so much drama, love, pain, powerful music and ecstatic joy, as entire communities struggle to express themselves while facing harsh police brutality and repression. “Lazaro and The Shark”  illuminates the realities of the Cuban people through a combination of drama, color, sound, and motion, recreating the magic of that colorful world. The evolution of these festivities, the Conga groups, and the competition between them is both provocative and entertaining.

About the Filmmaking Team: “Lazaro and The Shark” is directed by William Sabourin O’Reilly (“A Crooked Line,” “Chasing Dreams: A Leah Chase Story”); produced by Bryan Bailey  (“New Orleans Pie,” “A Crooked Line”), Bhagavan Ishaya & Antonia Zennaro (“Parade”); executive produced by Tomas Montoya Gonzalez; with cinematography by William Sabourin O'Reilly; edited by Halil Efrat, Daniel Diez,  & Carlos Larrondo; with original music by Alexey Marti, Jose Maria Vitier, Willy Keys & La Crema.

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