In the summer of 2015, former US Marine and world record weightlifter Matt “Kroc” Kroczaleski was publicly outed as being transgender. The reaction was universal: her sponsors abandoned her, she was disowned by her parents, banned from competing, and she changed her name to “Janae”. This film follows Janae as she attempts to find her place in society. Initially wanting to strip off the muscle and become a much smaller looking woman, she found herself unable to lose the muscle she so desperately gained. She now finds herself living one day as an alpha male and the next day as a delicate girl. Will Janae be able to handle her muscle relapses? Will her passage from being a male bring her the peace she’s looking for? Will society accept a 250lbs muscular woman? Is her path personal redemption or physical and psychological disaster?
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In the winter of 2011, after a controversial election, Vladimir Putin was reinstalled as president of Russia. In response, hundreds of thousands of citizens rose up all over the country to challenge the legitimacy of Putin’s rule. Among them were a group of young, radical-feminist punk rockers, better known as Pussy Riot. Wearing colored balaclavas, tights, and summer dresses, they entered Moscow’s most venerated cathedral and dared to sing “Mother Mary, Banish Putin!” Now they have become victims of a “show” trial.
Pauly Shore Stands Alone is a true-life road documentary. The camera follows Pauly on a snowy mid-western comedy club tour, while Pauly deals with moving his ailing mother, Mitzi Shore, out of her West Hollywood mansion of 40 years.
Skatopia is an Appalachian farm where hardcore skating, punk rock and hillbilly culture collide in one anarchistic, unique community. Mad-Max style demolition derbies and spontaneous car burning accompany all-night skate sessions. Pain is a badge of honor. Tony Hawk calls Skatopia a “rite of passage” for hardcore skaters. Skatopia’s owner, Brewce Martin, dreamed of a place where he could live and breathe skating… a place where people forget their “outside” lives by plunging into high-energy craziness.
Hidden Colors 2 is the follow up to the critically acclaimed 2011 documentary about the untold history of people of African and aboriginal descent. This installment of Hidden Colors goes into topics such as the global African presence, the science of melanin, the truth about the prison industrial complex, how thriving black economic communities were undermined in America, and the hidden truth about Native Americans.
Sundance-and-Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Judy Irving (with her first film since the widely acclaimed and loved “The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”) follows a wayward California brown pelican from her “arrest” on the Golden Gate Bridge into care at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and from there explores pelicans’ nesting grounds, Pacific coast migration, and survival challenges of these ancient birds, sometimes referred to as the flying dinosaurs. The film is about wildness, and asks the following questions: how close can we get to a wild animal without taming or harming it? Why do we need wildness in our lives, and how can we protect it? PELICAN DREAMS, stars “Gigi” (for Golden Gate) and Morro (a backyard pelican with an injured wing).
In hidden basements, bedrooms and bars across London, “Chemsex” is a documentary that exposes frankly and intimately a dark side to modern gay life. Traversing an underworld of intravenous drug use and weekend-long sex parties, “Chemsex” tells the story of several men struggling to make it out of ‘the scene’ alive – and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them. While society looks the other way, this powerful and unflinching film uncovers a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction and finding acceptance in a changing world.
Fred Rogers used puppets and play to explore complex social issues: race, disability, equality and tragedy, helping form the American concept of childhood. He spoke directly to children and they responded enthusiastically. Yet today, his impact is unclear. Have we lived up to Fred’s ideal of good neighbors?