Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz, 2019, USA

When a young man with Down syndrome runs away from an institutional care facility, he encounters a small time crook and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. Described as a modern Mark Twain story, this unlikely buddy film has captured the hearts of critics and moviegoers alike with its irreverent tone, independent style, and charismatic performances from leads Shia Labeouf and newcomer Zack Gottsagen. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the SXSW Film Festival. 93 minutes.

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February 5: JOKER

Todd Phillips, 2019, USA

Arthur Fleck, an aspiring stand-up comic, struggles to find his way in the increasingly fractured and isolated metropolis of Gotham City. Taking inspiration from Taxi Driver and King of Comedy, director Todd Philips transforms Joker’s origin story into a visual treatise on the fragility of society and the mentally ill. Nominated for 11 Oscars this year including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Joaquin Phoenix. 122 minutes.

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Luca Guadagnino, 2017, Italy/France 

Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old Italian-American, spends his days playing classical music, swimming, and reading in his family’s summer villa until his father invites a doctoral student (Armie Hammer) to take up residence with them and his world begins to change. Beautifully shot with star-making, nuanced performances, Call Me By Your Name is a sumptuous and melancholic tale of first love. Nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor for Chalamet, and Best Screenplay (which James Ivory won). 130 minutes.

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Sydney Pollack, 1969, USA 

This dark and fascinating comedy-drama, based on real Depression-era events, vividly recreates the hardships endured by contestants hoping to win a $1500 cash prize in a 1200-hour dance marathon. Functioning both as a historical document as well as an existential allegory, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? is still a resonant testament to the desperation of the downtrodden in America. The film earned 9 Academy Award nominations, including one for director Sydney Pollack and one for Jane Fonda in the leading role.

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Julie Dash, 1991, USA

Julie Dash offers a lyrical, mesmerizing, and dreamlike account of African migration into the Americas at the dawn of the 20th century. Exploring the intersection of old Yoruba traditions with the values of the new world, this multi-generational tale set in the Sea Islands of Georgia, examines themes of transition, food, and culture within the Gullah community. Recented restored for its 25th anniversary, Arthur Jafa’s gorgeous imagery (for which he won the cinematography prize at Sundance) has never looked better. 112 minutes.

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Michael D. Olmos, 2019, USA

An immigrant’s son takes an epic journey from Mexico to New York City to search for his father who disappeared at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Anchored by impressive performances from Ryan Guzman and Edward James Olmos, the film sensitively explores the plight of undocumented workers seeking opportunity in America. Writer/producer Robert Mailer Anderson & composer David Russo will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the screening. 107 minutes.

March 11:  THE LETTER

William Wyler, 1940, USA

When Leslie Crosby (Bette Davis) is accused of killing a well regarded member of the community on a British rubber plantation in Malaya, island politics are thrown into disarray. Based on a story by W. Somerset Maugham and expertly directed by William Wyler, the film portends the rise of film noir as well as the deadly femme fatale. Nominated for 7 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for Davis. 95 minutes.

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Hans Pool, 2018, Netherlands

Chronicling the revolutionary rise of citizen journalism, the film profiles Bellingcat, a network of highly skilled online researchers engaging in the practice of open source investigations. Speaking truth to power, the film demonstrates how cutting edge digital techniques and crowdsourcing have challenged world governments and major media institutions in their reporting of the truth. Best Documentary Winner at the 2019 International Emmy Awards. Bellingcat journalist Robert Evans will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the screening. Evans is a conflict journalist and podcast host who has worked in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine. He covers the far-right and online radicalization for Bellingcat88 minutes.

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April 1:  I, TONYA - Cancelled

Craig Gillespie, 2017, USA

Director Craig Gillespie takes a darkly comedic approach as he tackles one of the most notorious and sensational scandals in sports history: Tonya Harding’s ill-conceived and poorly executed attack on fellow Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan. Told through multiple perspectives over a span of twenty years and an expertly constructed soundtrack, I, Tonya offers humor, insight, and a great deal of empathy toward a redneck sports hero that everyone loves to hate. Nominated for 3 Oscars, including Best Actress for Margot Robbie and Best Supporting Actress for Allison Janney (who won as Harding’s mother). 119 minutes.

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April 8: BUOYANCY - Cancelled

Rodd Rathjen, 2019, Australia/Cambodia 

When Chakra, an innocent Cambodian boy seeking a better life, is captured and sold into slavery aboard a Thai fishing trawler, he must dig deep in order to survive and pursue the future of his dreams. A harrowing and powerful edge-of-your-seat adventure tale that exposes the horrors of human trafficking in the developing world. Winner of the Panorama prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and Australia’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Writer/director Rodd Rathjen will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the screening. 93 minutes.

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April 15: I AM NOT A WITCH - Cancelled

Rungano Nyoni, 2017, UK/Zambia

When 8-year-old Shula is accused of being a witch after a banal accident occurs in her village, she is put on trial and ordered to serve the Zambian government. Combining magical realism with political satire, filmmaker Rungano Nyoni offers an absurd and spellbinding allegory of a young girl’s struggle to find her own way. A favorite at the Cannes Film Festival, the film won the British Academy Award for Best Debut Film. 90 minutes.

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April 22: DARK WATERS - Cancelled

Todd Haynes, 2019, USA

Inspired by a shocking true story, a tenacious attorney (Mark Ruffalo) uncovers a dark secret that connects a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the world’s largest corporations. Director Todd Haynes skillfully infuses cinematic convention into a David and Goliath story of corporate greed and government corruption. Presented as part of a special program honoring the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 126 minutes.

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Join us for an evening honoring the incredible work of Academy Award winner and visual effects artist Phil Tippett. Responsible for unforgettable creatures from Jabba the Hut to the giant insects from Starship Troopers, Tippett has been at the forefront of the visual effects industry for more than 40 years. Featuring clips from the original Star Wars trilogy, Robocop, Jurassic Park, Starship Troopers, and Tippett’s Mad God short film series, we’ll engage with this legendary designer about his commercial projects and personal passions. Onstage interview begins at 6pm.

May 6: MONOS - Cancelled

Alejandro Landes, 2019, Colombia

A survivalist saga set in the remote mountains of Latin America, the film tracks a group of young rebel soldiers keeping watch over an American hostage. Gorgeous and haunting in design, the film transcends into a surreal allegory exploring Colombia’s warfare plagued history where child soldiers barely understand what they’re fighting for. Winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. 102 minutes.

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May 13: DAZED AND CONFUSED - Cancelled

Richard Linklater, 1993, USA

Set in the bicentennial year of 1976, director Richard Linklater (Boyhood) examines the hopes, dreams, and all-night parties of a sprawling group of Texas high schoolers on the last day of the academic year. With style, humor, and a rock solid soundtrack, the film launched the careers of Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Jason London, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Rory Cochrane, and a number of other indie icons. 103 minutes.

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