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If you’re attending any of these festivals this spring, here are some Cinereach supported films to keep an eye on.


These festivals wrapped earlier this month:

True/False Film Fest in Columbia, MO (2/27 – 3/2)

» E-Team by Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman

» The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga by Jessica Oreck – World Premiere

» Rich Hill by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo


The Great Invisible

SXSW in Austin, TX (3/7 – 3/16)

» Evolution of a Criminal by Darius Clark Monroe – World Premiere

» The Great Invisible by Margaret Brown – World Premiere, Documentary Grand Jury Award Winner

And these are happening now or coming up soon:
The Vanquishing of the
Witch Baba Yaga

New Directors New Films in New York, NY (3/19 – 3/30)

» The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga by Jessica Oreck



Cleveland International Film Festival (3/19 – 3/30)

» Before You Know It by PJ Raval 

» Bluebird by Lance Edmands

» The Kill Team by Dan Krauss

» Marmato by Mark Grieco 

» Rich Hill by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo

» War Story by Mark Jackson 

» Watchers of the Sky by Edet Belzberg

Evolution of a Criminal

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, NC (4/3 – 4/6)

» E-Team by Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman

» Evolution of a Criminal by Darius Clark Monroe

» The Great Invisible by Margaret Brown

» The Hand That Feeds by Rachel Lears & Robin Blotnick – World Premiere

» Rich Hill by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo


Tribeca Film Festival in New York, NY (4/16 – 4/27)

» Gabriel by Lou Howe – World Premiere

» Garnet’s Gold by Ed Perkins – World Premiere

» Point and Shoot by Marshall Curry – World Premiere

» Zero Motivation by Talya Lavie – World Premiere


HotDocs in Toronto, CA (4/24 – 5/4)

» Bugarach by Ventura Durall, Sergi Cameron & Salvador Sunyer

» E-Team by Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman

» The Great Invisible by Margaret Brown

» Point and Shoot by Marshall Curry

» Rich Hill by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo

» The Vanquishing of the Witch Baba Yaga by Jessica Oreck

» The Watchers of the Sky by Edet Belzberg


It Felt Like Your Cold Teenage Smiling Faces

What’s a quadruple feature audience appreciation gift-athon?

It’s when you tweet us (or post on our Facebook wall) a photo of all four ticket stubs after you see Teenage, The Cold Lands, It Felt Like Love and Hide Your Smiling Faces in theaters, and we send you personalized gifts from the filmmakers. Each gift is a one-of-a-kind surprise, and is prepared especially for you.

If you live in New York, be sure to catch these films during their opening week engagements:

March 14: TEENAGE at Landmark Sunshine and THE COLD LANDS at IFC Center*
March 21: IT FELT LIKE LOVE at IFC Center
March 28: HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES at Cinema Village

If you live elsewhere, find more screenings on each film’s web site:


Indie releases unite! These four films are teaming up to inspire you to get out to the theater and support their openings, inspired by David Lowery’s August 2013 quadruple feature giveaway.

- Photos must be submitted to Cinereach on Twitter or Facebook by April 31st, 2014.
- You must include at least two ticket stubs in your photo to enter. The more films you see, the more gifts you receive.
- The film title and date on your tickets must be visible in your photo.
- There is a limit of one photo submission per person.
- Filmmaker gifts are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis while supplies last.

Tweet any questions @cinereach.

*The Cold Lands has now left IFC, but more screenings will be posted here in the future.

March 14th is a landmark day for Cinereach. We’re launching two new films in our hometown of New York City, on the same day, within blocks of each other! Are we insane? You decide.

We hope you’ll join us for this double-feature weekend. If so, we’ll see you on our sprints between IFC Center, where Tom Gilroy’s The Cold Lands is playing, and Landmark Sunshine for Matt Wolf’s Teenage.

The Cold Lands   Teenage Poster

More on both films below.


Teenage is a mesmerizing and unconventional documentary about the birth of youth culture. The film, being released by Oscilloscope Laboratories, is a living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices lifted from early 20th Century diary entries. It depicts the struggle that erupted between adults and adolescents, between 1904 and 1945, to define the idea of youth that still pervades today.

Bradford Cox’s exhilarating soundtrack is on sale via iTunes.
Find the film here.



When his fiercely self-reliant mother dies unexpectedly, eleven year-old Atticus is wary of the authorities and flees deep into the forests of his Catskills home. His sheltered, off-the-grid childhood is over, and a new life on the move has begun. As Atticus wanders the woods in a daze, relying on whatever food and shelter he can find, the line between reality and fantasy begins to blur. When he encounters Carter, a scruffy, pot smoking drifter who lives out of his car and sells necklaces at music festivals, Atticus latches on. The two form a wary alliance, and as their dependence upon each other grows, neither is quite sure he is making the right decision.

Find the film here.

Cinereach is off to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Here are some of our thoughts as we kick off this new year of film, and the projects we’ll be in Park City to celebrate.

Change can be scary. At times, the challenge to adapt can feel insurmountable. But change isn’t a new phenomenon for independent film. The Sundance Institute was founded, over 30 years ago, during a time when technology was evolving and new models for filmmaking were emerging. For Sundance, change meant opportunity, and building a community to harness new approaches unleashed a powerful wave of independent cinema. Then as now, change did not threaten independent film. Change defined it.

We also believe in another kind of change: the power of film to transform how audiences experience the world. Whether we’re exploring Syria with a team of daring human rights abuse investigators, or hijacking an oil tanker from a small boat off the coast of Somalia, films immerse us and move us in ways we can perceive right away, and ways we may never recognize.

Every film’s journey is full of unique challenges. Adaptability, determination, creativity, and above all, collaboration, are essential.  We salute the filmmaking teams and organizations behind these films. They have joined forces to make stories that complicate, resonate, and inspire. In short: vital stories, artfully told.

Drawing inspiration from what Sundance stands for, Cinereach is striving to make opportunity from the change around us. We’re embracing new strategies, re-imagining how we support filmmakers, finding new paths to audiences, and seeking new ways to collaborate with you. We’re excited for the year ahead and the change that will drive it.


E-Team (U.S. Documentary Competition)

E-Team is driven by the high-stakes investigative work of four intrepid human rights workers, offering a rare look at their lives at home and dramatic work in the field.

Directors: Katy Chevigny & Ross Kauffman

Cinereach grantee

Screening Times



Fishing Without Nets (U.S. Dramatic Competition)

A story of pirates in Somalia told from the perspective of a struggling, young Somali fisherman.

Director: Cutter Hodierne

Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute grantee 

Screening Times


Marmato (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Colombia is the center of the new global gold rush and Marmato, a historic mining town, is the new frontier. Filmed over the course of nearly 6 years, Marmato chronicles how the townspeople confront a Canadian mining company that wants the $20 billion in gold beneath their homes.

Director: Mark Grieco

Cinereach grantee

Screening Times

Wisconsin – birthplace of the Republican Party, government unions, “cheeseheads” and Paul Ryan – becomes a test market in the campaign to buy Democracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the GOP


Rich Hill (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Look inside the homes and lives of small-town, rural America, where isolated kids confront heart-breaking choices, marginalized parents struggle to survive, and, despite it all, families cling to the promise of equal opportunity and a better life.

Directors: Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo

Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute grantee 

Screening Times

War Story (NEXT)

A war photographer returning from the conflict in Libya where she was held captive retreats to a small town in Sicily.

Director: Mark Jackson

Cinereach grantee

Screening Times



Watchers of the Sky (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Interweaving five stories of remarkable courage, Watchers of the Sky takes you on a journey from Nuremberg to Rwanda, from Darfur to Syria, and from apathy to action.

Director: Edet Belzberg

Cinereach grantee

Screening Times



Whiplash (U.S. Documentary Competition)

Under the direction of a ruthless instructor, a talented young drummer begins to pursue perfection at any cost, even his humanity. 

Director: Damien Chazelle

Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute grantee 

Screening Times




»  Join Our Team!

Cinereach is looking for qualified candidates for the following position (click the job title for the description):

Outreach Manager

Application instructions are included with the job description. Please email [email protected] with any questions rather than commenting on this post.

If you’re making the documentary festival rounds this fall, we hope you’ll catch some Cinereach supported films to take your global travels even further:


November 14 – 21 in New York, NY

Cinereach Grantees Screening:
Citizen Koch
God Loves Uganda


Pictured: God Loves Uganda


November 7 – 17 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Cinereach Grantees Screening:
Cutie and the Boxer
Inside Out
Narco Cultura
Our Nixon

Cinereach Production Screening:

Pictured: Narco Cultura

Pictured: Narco Cultura


November 20 – December 1 in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Cinereach Grantees
Cutie and the Boxer
Evolution of a Criminal (Forum)
Narco Cultura

Pictured: Powerless

Pictured: Powerless

In this guest post, Cinereach grantee Laurie Collyer puts her latest film, Sunlight Jr., into the context of her body of work, and shares how she crafts fictional stories inspired by real injustice.

Sunlight Jr. is available on iTunes and other VOD platforms now. It opens in theaters November 15th.


Sunlight in My Eyes
a guest post by Laurie Collyer


I read Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickeled and Dimed somewhere around the time Sherrybaby was in distribution. It fired me up. A journalist went “undercover” as a minimum wage worker in America and discovered first-hand that you cannot live (and can barely survive) on a minimum wage income. Her stories reminded me of Tati from my film Nuyorican Dream. She worked in a Dunkin Donuts and lived in a motel. I got it. You can work full time and still be homeless.

I learned the term “working poor” and went on to read David K. Shipler’s The Working Poor: Invisible in America, as well as Dale Maharidge’s Someplace Like America. Dale and I made friends, drank some beer, talked about saving the world, drank more beer. Writers, filmmakers, social workers, journalists, doctors, poets, lawyers – can any of us save the world? I don’t know. I just wanted to call bullshit on the injustice of working for nothing. I started writing the script in 2009 thanks to Cinereach.

My first film was the documentary Nuyorican Dream which Ernest Hardy in the LA Weekly described as “a film about the construction of identity, public and private, and about how all our source material — family, sexuality, race, class, the government’s role in our private lives — can collapse on top of us. At its core it’s about how we respond to that collapse.” I could say the same for Sunlight Jr.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to direct Naomi Watts, Matt Dillon, Norman Reedus and Tess Harper in this film. To watch talent of this caliber descend into their roles with such all encompassing, fearless dedication was humbling and profound. Naomi plays Melissa, a convenience store worker in her late 30’s who’s been around the block a couple of times. At this point in life, she’s not looking for trouble. All she wants is to be a good worker, a good girlfriend, and maybe some day she’d like to go back to school and better herself.


Matt plays Melissa’s boyfriend Richie, a paraplegic with a heart of gold and a drinking problem. He’s magnetic and smart, but prefers to avoid reality instead of commit to some kind of self-improvement plan which may or may not lead to making a decent living anyway. Their only escape is the love they make.


Melissa’s mother Kathleen is played by Tess Harper. Her backstory is that she was a teenage mom who raised her children on a welfare check. She now raises foster children for a living. And like Richie, she drinks too damn much. It seems that no matter how far Melissa tries to go in life, she keeps finding the same people with the same problems.


Norman plays Melissa’s ex. The “bad guy” who, in the end, turns out to be the only one who can help Melissa. When I first started writing the script and pitched it to one of my friends the only characters were the hard luck couple living in the motel. This particular friend grew up in Florida and said, “listen, I know this girl and there’s always an ex lurking around. You have to write the ex.” She was right!


The whole script came alive with the introduction of Norman’s character, Justin. He is sprinkled throughout the film like a wonderful spice, but his role is pivotal. He loves Melissa but when he gets angry, he can’t help but hit her. It’s his sickness and, sadly, he’s not looking for a cure.

Florida is the state where drug dealers from all over the East Coast flocked for years to buy Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin in “pain clinics” you find all over the state. A pain clinic is where you get a medical doctor to write you a prescription for hundreds of painkillers at the point of entry. You basically walk in the door, complain of an injury, fork over the cash and they write you a scrip. I’m not sure if they’ve cracked down on these places yet, but when we were shooting there, they were everywhere. I gave that detail to Norman’s character. He sells blackmarket Oxy’s. And buys cheap real estate with his profit. It’s the American Dream.

Some people have asked, “where is the hope?” But in its essence Sunlight Jr. is a love story. And there is no greater hope than love. Love can exist anywhere and under any circumstance. It can grow even when everything around us falls apart. Love is hope and love is a miracle. That is also the story I wanted to tell.

Sunlight Jr. is my third film after Nuyorican Dream (2000) and Sherrybaby (2006). I see these as a kind of trilogy exploring the American Dream and its underside, the nightmare. I grew up protesting nukes and going to Dead shows, shaving my head and camping out with anarchists outside a cruise missile base. These films come from that place. That activist place. So now I’m talking to my friend’s uncle who founded this little operation known as Greenpeace. We’ll see where that leads…

Penny Lane and Brian L Frye’s Our Nixon, a Cinereach grantee film, opens this Friday at New York’s IFC Center, at Orange County, CA’s New Port Theater, and in select Canadian cities, before adding more locations in the coming weeks

For this guest post, the filmmakers took a break from discussing the film with the public to interview each other.

Producer/Director Penny Lane and Producer Brian L. Frye, photo by Les Stone

Producer/Director Penny Lane and Producer Brian L. Frye, photo by Les Stone

Penny asked Brian:

Penny Lane: When you look way back to when Bill Brand, the film professor at Hampshire College who preserved the Nixon Staff Super 8 films for the National Archives, first told you about the collection, what made you excited about the idea of making something with them?

Brian L. Frye : I’ve always been a fan of amateur films, but their anonymity often makes it difficult to shape them into a coherent whole. The rich context surrounding the Nixon Super-8 films suggested that they would be capable of telling a story, even before I had seen them or had any idea what kind of story they would be able to tell. Of course, the story of the Nixon administration has such an archetypal dramatic arc that it wasn’t hard to imagine some of what would emerge.

PL: Have any of the ideas you had back then remained in the project, or is Our Nixon just nothing like what you imagined?

BLF: I don’t think I ever had a fully formed idea of what the final film would look like, other than that it would be all archival. And it is! Initially, I did expect Our Nixon to be more minimal, in the tradition of avant-garde cinema, like my previous films Oona’s Veil, Across the Rappahannock, or A Reasonable Man. In other words, a movie that would show at art museums or microcinemas. But as soon as we launched our first Kickstarter project, it quickly became clear that Our Nixon had the potential to reach a much larger, general audience. However, in order to do so, it was going to need more context. We were going to have to figure out how to use the home movies to illuminate the story of the Nixon administration, rather than just as curious historical artifacts. I wanted the film to be good, and the initial cuts were far too opaque to be successful. While there was a certain pleasure in the purity of just using the Super 8 films and the secret White House tapes, it was ultimately unsatisfying, because the material had the potential to provide a much richer portrait of the Nixon White House. Still, I do think that impulse to keep Our Nixon as minimal as possible helped shape the final film, because we thought very carefully about what kinds of materials to incorporate, and avoided bringing in new elements unless there was a strong narrative reason to use them. I think my idea of what the film should be evolved along with the film itself, and I’m really happy with the results.

PL: There were some times throughout this process when we got some negative feedback. Sometimes it felt like a LOT of negative feedback. I always took that way harder than you did. Why were you so able to remain confident about the movie, even when others weren’t?

BLF: I didn’t think that most of the negative feedback was substantively very interesting, so it was easy for me to ignore. As you’ve said many times, the point of a test screening is to identify problems, not learn how to fix them. When people were confused, we added context. But when they insisted we make a more conventional film, I just ignored them. And when they complained that they couldn’t identify the filmmakers’ point of view, I knew we were doing something right. There’s nothing interesting about a pro-Nixon or anti-Nixon film. We tried to capture the experience of working for Nixon, in order to help people understand Nixon’s relationship to Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Chapin. People say you can learn a lot about a person by how they talk to a waiter. Maybe you can learn something about a president by how he interacts with his staff.

PL: What is your favorite reaction to the film that you’ve seen or heard or read so far?

BLF: I was really happy when Carl Bernstein, the Washington Post reporter who broke the Watergate story with Bob Woodward, complimented the film’s ability to humanize Haldeman. We struggled to convey a sense of his personality and motivations, and I’m glad we succeeded. My favorite comment about the film came from the SXSW usher who said, “It was so much better than I thought it would be!” Really, what more can you ask for?

H.R. "Bob" Haldeman from Super 8 Film Courtesy of Dipper Films.

H.R. “Bob” Haldeman from Super 8 film courtesy of Dipper Films.

PL: What advice would you give someone who is just about to make their first feature documentary?

BLF: Be ambitious and don’t compromise. A lot of people will push you to make your movie more conventional, more familiar. But that is boring and we can do better. Challenge yourself to challenge your audience. It’s easy to make movies that people already want to see, but it’s not very interesting. Make the movies that people don’t know they want yet. And train yourself to recognize bad advice. There’s no one way to make a movie. To borrow an old saw, there are two kinds of movies: good ones and the rest. There’s no way to guarantee you’ll make a good movie, but it’s easy to guarantee you won’t. When someone says you can’t do something in a movie, it usually means you’re on the right track.

Brian asked Penny:

BLF: When I first told you about the Nixon Staff Super-8 Collection, what made you interested in collaborating on a film? Did you see a connection to your previous films?

PL: Well, at first I thought you would do something with it, and I think I encouraged you. I was drawn in by the mystery; I really couldn’t imagine what those films looked like and I just wanted to see them. I don’t remember at what point we decided to do it together. I know that I felt we were a really good team and could work well together. You and I make such different films… yours more minimal and mysterious, mine more concerned with storytelling and clarity. But this project seemed like one where we could bring our different skills and sensibilities together. I did see some connections to my previous films, in that I’ve worked with a lot of found footage, but the whole thing felt very, very new, and it felt like an adventure. I had no idea where it would go.

BLF: What was your reaction when you saw the Super-8 films for the first time?

PL: At first, every single thing about them was fascinating. I couldn’t get enough of the long shots of Nixon supporters at rallies and things like that. I just had never seen anything like it; it showed a side of America in that era that most films set in that period don’t show. Without realizing it, I think I had always thought all of America was out burning their draft cards and growing out their hair. Looking at this footage made me realize in a very visceral way that most of America at that time was what we might now call Square America. That the counterculture was the minority of people.

A Choral Group on the 1972 Campaign Trail from Super 8 Film Courtesy of Dipper Films.

A Choral Group on the 1972 Campaign Trail from Super 8 film courtesy of Dipper Films.

But on a more “what was life like working for Nixon?” level, I also loved the motorcade footage, the pomp and circumstance of head of state welcoming ceremonies, and the travelogue footage of Iran, Guam, Russia and so on. Overall, there was a sense of joyfulness, playfulness and awe that I think we both really responded to.

Then it got kind of boring and tedious, because it really is a lot of repetition: Nixon gives a speech, Nixon gets off an airplane, Nixon gets on an airplane, staff stand around while something important is happening (but we don’t know what’s happening) off-camera. So there was this fascinating balance of feeling the awe of being present at these world-changing events and also experiencing the total boredom of being at work all the time.

BLF: What was it like working with Francisco Bello to edit the film?

PL: It was amazing!!! Of course I had never worked with an editor before, and I was scared. I was scared we would choose the wrong person who wouldn’t understand our vision, and it would turn into a disaster. We had been working on the film for over a year by the time we hired Francisco, so it took a little time to achieve the total mind-meld where he just instinctively knew what I was looking for. But the primary feeling I experienced the minute he entered the process was relief. I was relieved to see the film racing forward, whereas previously it had been only inching forward. I was relieved that Francisco was fast and professional and unbelievably smart and creative, and a lot of fun to be around, too. He brought so much to the film, and truly more than anyone else allowed us to make this film, and for that I am beyond grateful.

BLF: What were the biggest technical challenges in making the film?

PL: The biggest nightmare was going through the process of replacing every frame of the film, by eye, with the new 4K scans after we got to picture lock. It was a step in the online edit which was very unique to this film. (In general, our online edit was pretty intense and time consuming, because we were working with all these different formats.) It was such a nightmare that it is truly not worth going into. All I can say is thank God for Francisco and for our able assistant editors, Kat Hunt and Alison Kobayashi. It was weeks and weeks of just mind-meltingly complex stuff. To any editors out there rolling their eyes: no, trust me; what we had to do was insane!

BLF: How did making Our Nixon affect your approach to Nuts, your new film project?

PL: Well, first of all it gave me a lot more confidence that I could trust my own vision and not need other people’s approval and blessing quite so much. I guess a little bit of success should translate into some amount of self confidence, right? But also having gone through the process of putting together a feature-length film once has helped me make better choices about story structure and also workflow. Nuts is actually a much more ambitious film than Our Nixon in terms of all the different things I’m trying to do with it, but now I feel like I know enough to pull it off. But I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

For all upcoming screenings of Our Nixon, click here.

Director / Producer Penny Lane has been making award-winning documentaries and essay films since 2002. Her films have screened at Rotterdam, AFI FEST, The Media That Matters Film Festival, Rooftop Films, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight and many other venues. She has been awarded grants from Cinereach, TFI Documentary Fund, LEF Foundation, NYSCA, Experimental Television Center, IFP and the Puffin Foundation. Our Nixon is her first feature documentary, for which she was awarded several grants and a residency at Yaddo. She is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012. Penny teaches video and media art at Colgate University. And yes, that is her real name.

Producer Brian L. Frye is a filmmaker, writer, and professor of law. His films explore relationships between history, society, and cinema through archival and amateur images. Brian’s films have been shown by The Whitney Museum, New York Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive, New York Underground Film Festival, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Warhol Museum, Media City and Images Festival. His films are in the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum. His writing on film has appeared in October, The New Republic, Film Comment and the Village Voice. A Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky, his legal scholarship concerns interactions between the law and the arts, focusing on issues relating to nonprofit organizations and intellectual property. Brian is a Creative Capital grantee and was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2012.


»  Introducing Teenage

Cinereach production Teenage had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, its international debut at HotDocs in May, and opened Moscow’s Beat Film Festival earlier this month.

Next up are AFI Silverdocs (June 19 – 23), The Melbourne International Film Festival (July 25 – August 11), and a special screening July 31 in Cleveland Ohio as part of the Bellwhether Summer Film Series.


Writer and director Matt Wolf, punk author Jon Savage, who lives in Wales and wrote the film with Wolf, and actor and musician Jason Schwartzman, an executive producer of Teenage, were reunited during Tribeca (photo below).

Writer Jon Savage, Director Matt Wolf and Executive Producer Jason Schwartzman

During the festival the BBC’s Anglophenia interviewed Jon at the Cinereach offices for this video, which also includes an early glimpse of scenes from the film:

Matt, Jon and Jason also had this conversation with Interview about their own Teenage years and the parallels to the youth depicted in the film (among many other things).

To join the Teenage team in an ongoing dialogue about youth culture in all forms, decades and locations, visit the Teenage blog. The blog has been feeding the youth culture conversation for the past two years, while the film was in production. Director Matt Wolf saw it as a contract with his audience that he would someday complete the film, and now that he has, it remains a growing hub of imagery, video, and commentary on the teenage experience.


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