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Indy Film Café

Indie Film Café

Socially-conscious documentary films.

"My Gay Christian Baby (Formerly titled Misconceptions)"

January 14, 2009 - 8:00 pm / Directed by Ron Satlof

Filmed locally in Pinellas County, "My Gay Christian Baby" is about a religiously conservative, married southern woman who receives a message from God instructing her to act as a surrogate mother and carry a child for two married gay men who live in Boston - Jewish doctor and black dance choreographer. All hell breaks loose when the black man comes to her home down south to micro-manage her pregnancy and he won't leave.   This dramatic comedy feature runs aproximately 95 minutes.

There will be a brief Q & A Session with the director following the screening of the film

About the Director

Born and raised in New York City, Ron Satlof is an Academy Award and Emmy-nominated director and producer who has worked in film and television as well as repertory theatre. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, he began his film career as a trainee assistant director.

Long active in network TV as a producer and director, Ron produced the long-running, top ten, TV series McCloud with Dennis Weaver, for which he received an Emmy nomination,  and directed episodes of such classic shows as Hawaii Five-O, Quincy and Barnaby Jones.

Ron was a contract director at Columbia Pictures Television, where among other projects, he directed a two-hour TV production of From Here to Eternity with Don Johnson and Kim Basinger, Barbara  Hershey and William Devane. Ron's picture Spiderman Strikes Back, which he produced and directed, was distributed in Europe, Asia and South America by Columbia Pictures International. He has also directed such recent TV productions as Perry Mason Returns, Diagnosis Murder, Martial Law and Silk Stalkings. TV pilots he's directed include Jake and the Fatman with William Conrad,  and Hunter, with Fred Dryer. He also directed the TV movie Original Sin with Charleton Heston and Ann Gillian.

He received an Academy Award nomination for his live action short Frog Story, which he co-produced, and directed.

 

"The Boys of Baraka"

December 10, 2008 - 8:00 pm / Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady / 84 minutesThe Boys of Baraka movie poster

When twenty “at risk” 12-year-old boys attend an experimental boarding school in Kenya, East Africa, their goals, worldviews and hopes for the future are given a new path.  When they return  to inner city Baltimore, however, they find that their past lives have not made room for their new dreams.  This compelling documentary asks the most important question of all: Will these young people be able to bring positive change to their own lives and their communities?

Film Synopsis

"The Boys of Baraka" reveals the human face of a tragic statistic — 61 percent of Baltimore's African-American boys fail to graduate from high school; 50 percent of them go on to jail. Behind those grim figures lie the grimmer realities of streets ruled by drug dealers, families fractured by addiction and prison and a public school system seemingly surrendered to chaos. As eloquently portrayed in Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's award-The Boys of Baraka Indie Film Cafewinning documentary, a generation of inner-city children faces dilemmas that would undo most adults. In this case, they are told early on that they face three stark "dress" options by their 18th birthdays — prison orange, a suit in a box, or a high school cap and gown.

The four young boys featured in "The Boys of Baraka," despite individual talents and considerable personal charms, cannot escape the common fate expressed by those dress options. But fate, as documented in this film, comes to them with a remarkable and fickle twist — an experimental boarding school in rural Kenya.

"The Boys of Baraka" won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film, as well as Best Documentary Awards at the Chicago and Newport film festivals, a special Jury Award at South by Southwest (SXSW), and Audience Awards at the Woodstock and SILVERDOCS film festivals.

Additional Short Feature

Bill CosbyFollowed by : "A CONVERSATION WITH BILL COSBY" / Directed bu Lila Place / 6 minutes

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady ask: "Do you know kids like Richard and Romesh?"

Bill Cosby's response: "I was all of those kids. That's my neighborhood in North Philadelphia in the housing project."

"This movie requires that people get up and save these children. That's the requirement. The children are telling you in this movie: 'We want to be saved.'" —Bill Cosby

 

"Trashed"

November 12, 2008 - 8:00 pm  /  Produced by Bill Kirkos

“Trashed” is a provocative investigation of one of the fastest growing industries in North America. The garbage business. trashed independant documentary film what happens to all those piles of garbageThe film examines a fundamental element of modern American culture…the disposal of what our society defines as “waste.” It is an issue influenced by every American, most of whom never consider the consequences. Nor, it seems, the implications to our biosphere. At times humorous, but deeply poignant, “Trashed” examines the American waste stream fast approaching a half billion tons annually.

What are the effects all this waste will have on already strained natural resources? Why is so much of it produced? While every American creates almost 5 pounds of it every day, who is affected most? And who wants America to make more?

The film analyzes the causes and effects of the seemingly innocuous act of “taking out the garbage” while showcasing the individuals, activists, corporate and advocacy groups working to affect change and reform the current model. “Trashed” is an informative and thought-provoking film everyone interested in the future of sustainability should see.

More Information

Additional information about this issue, including a lesson plan for teachers, is available on line at http://www.trashedmovie.com/

 

"Prayer for Peace" and "Peace One Day"

October 16, 2008 - 7:30 pm

The evening will start with a short film : "Prayer for peace" by Sandra Hay and Ethan Boehme. Through artful edits and a beautiful soundtrack, this short film documents the Prayer for peace at an Earthdance event in the United States. The prayer is highlight of hundreds of similar, synchronized gatherings around the world, creating a truly global meditation peace.

Then will come the feature film : "Peace one day" by Jeremy Gilley. Activist and filmmaker Jeremy Gilley envisioned the countless benefits that just one day of global cease fire could bring, from the possibility of dialogue to the safe delivery of humanitarian aid, and this remarkable documentary follows his passionate quest to bring that vision to life. Building on the efforts of earlier peace pioneers, and succeeding against daunting odds, Gilley boldly lobbies leaders around the globe to support a UN resolution making Peace Day a fixed annual date around which efforts for peace have continued to build.

Peaceful Discussion

The evening is also yours and we encourage informal discussion about the issues raised by the film shown. There will be food and drink to stimulate your appetite for discourse (and special "peace cookies" !). On your way to the Studio you can think of your own day of peace, how do you picture it ? What are the personal or collective action that can create peace ? All ideas are welcome and will be shared after the film in our special Indy round table "Peace today". We are looking forward to sharing with you for a peaceful Indy film evening at the Studio. Until then, try to make peace around you and share tranquility and beauty in Florida.

 

Special O' Laughics

September 10, 2008 - 7:30 pm Director's Lecture,  Film at 8:00 pm

This documentary is the official selection of the Sarasota Film Festival : "Special O' Laughics" by Ken Sons (a local film director). This documentary follows the story of ten mentally challenged adults as they follow their dream to become stand up comedians. Comedy club owner Les McCurdy creates a nurturing environment and adapts his teaching style to allow each student to reach higher than they ever expected. The film is a hilarious and touching look at McCurdy's students as they prepare for a sold-out evening of stand-up comedy. With a surprising blend of emotions and humor, these students stand in the spotlight and shine. Director : Ken Sons Produced by : Les McCurdy & Ken Sons Editor : Chris Johnson Director of photography : Ken Sons Additional photography : Jim Flynn Art director : Sheila Sons

We will have the honor to welcome Ken Sons who will talk about his project and comment on this amazing experience.   Event is going to start at 7: 30pm. Here is the link to his web site : http://www.kensonsfilms.com/ home.html

Waiting to Inhale: Marijuana, Medicine and the Law

August 27, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Jed Riffe •   74 minutes

Despite its use throughout history for recreational, spiritual WAITING TO INHALE: Marijuana, Medicine and the Lawand medical purposes, marijuana has long been criminalized by many countries. Waiting to Inhale examines the controversial use of medical marijuana in the U.S. and the fight to legalize cannabis for the treatment of chronic pain and illness. This profound film presents fascinating medical research and testimony representing both the pros and cons of medical marijuana legalization. The viewer alone must decide if marijuana is a gateway to addictive drugs, or a powerful medical treatment meant to ease suffering.

TRAILER:

http://www.waitingtoinhale.org/trail.htm

ACCOLADES & AWARDS:

Official selection: Australian International Film Festival
Winner: Worldfest Houston Gold Special Jury Award
Best Documentary Co-Winner: New Jersey International Film Festival
Golden Eagle Award: CINE
Winner: Eureka! International Film Festival

Granny D Goes to Washington

July 9, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Alidra Solday •  2007 •  27 minutes

Iron-willed and upbeat, 89 year-old Doris Haddock astonished the nation by walking across the entire continental United States to bring attention to the issue of campaign finance reform, and in her words "to defeat utterly those forces of greed and corruption that have come between us and our self-governance.” This inspiring documentary short captures the spirit and impact of this remarkable woman in telling detail as it follows her strenuous journey all the way to the Capitol in Washington D.C. With little money to spend, she made friends along the way, accepted offers of food and shelter, and captured the attention of the nation and the lawmakers in Congress. Still a tireless advocate of clean elections, Granny D truly 'walks her talk' and proves that age is no barrier to acting with courage and vision.

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore? 

July 9, 2008 - 8:00 pm  

Directed by Frank Popper.  2006  82 minutes

This documentary follows the 2004 Missouri Democratic primary to replace retiring 28-year veteran and former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt. It is told from inside the campaign of Jeff Smith, a 29-year old part-time political science instructor at Washington University.

The leading candidate is State Representative Russ Carnahan, scion of Missouri's most powerful political dynasty. As one political analyst says: "The Carnahan name is to Missouri what the Kennedy name is to Massachusetts."

Carnahan's record is thin, his public performances are weak and his campaign is uninspired. But his family's strong establishment ties provide him fundraising connections and near universal name recognition. As the early front-runner Carnahan holds a 40-point lead over Jeff who has zero name recognition.  The odds against Jeff are overwhelming. He starts with no money, no political base and no name recognition. His staff is a hodge-podge of political nobodies, mostly former students. From his humble beginnings and in the face of constant resistance from the political establishment, voters, the media and even his own family, Jeff mobilizes an army of nearly 500 volunteers, generating a youth- oriented grassroots insurgency that ultimately poses a serious challenge to Carnahan and in the process overturns the conventional wisdom that Carnahan is unbeatable.

The film questions how we elect our political leaders by showing that candidates with access to power and money have significant advantages over any contenders, regardless of their abilities. It shows what confronts fresh political faces with new ideas and passionate supporters when they go head-to-head against a political system that maintains power by manipulating a largely apathetic electorate. As a result, we tend to elect brand-name politicians despite their obvious shortcomings.

The film offers an unvarnished look at the inside of what national pundits called one of 2004's surprising campaigns. And the film asks if it is still possible in America for voters excited by a person's ideas and ability to get involved in the political process and elect a candidate who has not sold out, or bought into the existing political establishment.

 

The Future We Will Create : Inside the world of TED

June 11, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Every year, in Monterey California, an amazing gathering takes place. The legendary TED Conference (Technology, Entertainment, Design) brings together a diverse group of some of the world's most brilliant innovators and visionaries to share their ideas and their passions about creating a better world. And it's not just talk! Each year three participants are asked to make a big-picture wish, and the other attendees help make their dreams a reality. Actress and co-director Daphne Zuniga (Melrose Place, American Dream, Spaceballs) is our host for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look into this world-renowned, invitation-only event, and her unique access to all aspects of the conference reveals why WIRED magazine calls TED "arguably the hottest gathering around!" This stimulating film inspires hope that the creative and compassionate human spirit will find solutions to the daunting challenges of our times.  Daphne Zuniga and Steven Latham •  2007 •  74 minutes

Android 207

June 11, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Shot in the style of an early 50’s science lab movie, this humorous and surprisingly touching film follows the struggles of a human-like robot as he tries to negotiate a white-walled maze of corridors with terrifying dangers around every corner. Will he escape? With a hauntingly appropriate sound track and employing exceptionally smooth stop animation, this delightful short evokes sympathy for the oddly adorable android as he learns to creatively solve the many challenges of his journey. Is this an allegory of the human condition? Are we part of a larger experiment? See what you think.  Paul Whittington •  2006 •  10 minutes

The Real Dirt on Farmer John

May 14, 2008 - 8:00 pm

The Real Dirt on Farmer JohnThe Real Dirt on Farmer John (2006) is narrated and written by John Peterson, whose evolving farm-life is the subject of the film. Director Taggart Siegel made the film in a most unusual way - shooting farmer John Peterson over 25 years of their evolving friendship, and using multiple media, from 8 mm home movies to modern video - allowing him to capture his alternately humorous, heartbreaking and spirited life with raw drama and intimacy.

 

 

 

Mardi Gras: Made in China

April 9, 2008 - 8:00 pm

Mardi Gras: Made in ChinaBeads are the coin of the realm at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where thousands of the ubiquitous baubles are worn, shared and tossed to lovely breast-baring young women who collect them as trophies in a night of wild partying. But where do these trinket treasures come from? Who actually makes them? Director David Redmon follows the bead trail to the Tai Kuen factory in the Fuzhou province of China where young teenagers work long hours for low pay in prison-like compounds far from their homes. Redmon obtained remarkable footage in China before he was asked to leave by authorities, resulting in stunning contrasts between the young party-goers of Carnivale and the even younger factory workers in Tai Kuen. This sly, engrossing and thought-provoking film gives us an up-close and personal view of the realities of globalization, and the interviews with the factory owner, workers, Mardi Gras revelers and others offer a disturbing and illuminating juxtaposition of cultures and values.

 

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