Since 1999, 18 of the last 22 winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee have been Indian-American, making the incredible trend one of the longest in sports history. “Breaking the Bee” is a feature-length documentary that explores and celebrates this new dynasty while following four students, ages 7 to 14, as they vie for the title of spelling bee champion.
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Jamie Roberts’ documentary filmed over the course of two years, which takes an intimate look at the people spreading extremist fundamentalism in Britain. In 2014 Roberts filmed Islamic extremist Abu Rumaysah, who is now one of the world’s most wanted men and is suspected of being the British jihadi in the latest IS execution video. This film gains extraordinary access to a new wave of extremists, including Rumaysah, who are radicalising and grooming young British Muslims, and asks whether they really have non-violent aims, as they claim, or are a genuine threat to society.
Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story chronicles the life and times of the legendary filmmaker who, through his annual ski films and national tours which began in the early 1950’s, was a driving force in the development and promotion of the ski industry in America and throughout the world. Miller, who died last year at 93, sat months before his passing for his final interview. He reminisced about living off rabbit stew and sleeping in a teardrop trailer in his endless pursuit of the perfect ski run and he explained in great detail the challenges – both personal and professional – he faced over the course of his career.
The November 13, 2015 terrorist attack in Paris claimed 130 lives around the city — 89 of them at the Eagles of Death Metal’s Bataclan Theatre concert. “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)” spotlights the American rock band as they recount their experiences before and after the tragic events. The film explores the deep bonds between band co-founders Jesse Hughes and Josh Homme (also a member of Queens of the Stone Age), as well as the intense connection the band has always had with its devoted fans, which moved them to return to Paris to perform once again in February 2016.
Portrayal of the late Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. Andrea Dunbar wrote honestly and unflinchingly about her upbringing on the notorious Buttershaw Estate in Bradford and was described as ‘a genius straight from the slums.’ When she died tragically at the age of 29 in 1990, Lorraine was just ten years old. The Arbor revisits the Buttershaw Estate where Dunbar grew up, thirty years on from her original play, telling the powerful true story of the playwright and her daughter Lorraine. Also aged 29, Lorraine had become ostracised from her mother’s family and was in prison undergoing rehab. Re-introduced to her mother’s plays and letters, the film follows Lorraine’s personal journey as she reflects on her own life and begins to understand the struggles her mother faced.
300 miles off the coast of North America, in the dark waters of the Atlantic Ocean, a group of ships have come together at the site of the Titanic. Experts from the United States, Great Britain, Canada and France have convened with one goal, to conduct the first full-scale investigation of the Titanic Disaster.
Six young black men from Akron, Ohio, enter college, determined to redefine society’s images and low expectations. Despite their confidence, the stark reality of being away from home brings a series of crises. Well trained in critical and metaphorical thinking, and unusually articulate about their inner lives, each of the protagonists guides us to his core. Since sixth grade, they have been part of an innovative mentoring program called ‘Alchemy, Inc.’ that uses mythological stories, drumming and writing. In the twice-yearly reunion workshops everyone speaks of his trials and his triumphs with authenticity, intelligence, honesty and heart. In turns quiet, thoughtful and exuberant, the six protagonists grow before our eyes, whether navigating racial provocations, or seeking support with new friends, estranged fathers and wise grandmothers.