The much-honored Spanish restaurant elBulli, which closed in 2011, was once considered the best in the world, but this intriguing foodie documentary reveals a rival - a sibling rival, that is. While elBulli's head chef Ferran Adriá was proclaimed a genius, it seems that behind the scenes simmering wasn't confined to stockpots. Over a four-year period, filmmakers Collado and Loomis follow the story of Ferran's former partner and co-chef, younger brother Albert, as he steps out of the long shadow of elBulli's legacy and stakes his own claim to fame on an ambitious string of five restaurants in Barcelona's theater district, each featuring a different wildly innovative cuisine. Mouths will water as the film details the creation of Enigma, the seriously experimental eatery that Albert hopes will seal his place in gastronomic history. In Spanish with English subtitles.
South African Director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka weaves a breathless Western-style epic from the life of legendary Apartheid outlaw John Kepe.
Juno Films has acquired the exclusive North American rights to Sew The Winter To My Skin by South African director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka (Of Good Report). The film premiered at TIFF and is South Africa’s Best Foreign Film contender. The film will open in NYC in 2019 followed by a national rollout in theaters across the US, digital, educational and home video.Based on a true story, John Kepe was an Apartheid-era folk hero who proclaimed himself the “Samson of the Boschberg.” For decades, Kepe stole livestock and other goods from white colonist farmers and shared his spoils with the impoverished Indigenous population. He inevitably became a political threat to the very fabric of the ruling colonial society. He escaped capture for 12 years before he was brought before a court and sentenced to death for a murder that he might or might not have committed. Sew the Winter to My Skin is a keenly observed epic-adventure drama that captures the horrors of South Africa’s racist colonial regime. Rejecting dialog, Jahmil X.T. Qubeka relies on an immersive score and visual cues and through his evocative formal choices, probes, as he says, "mankind’s inherent need to feed into mythologies that conveniently suit the order of the day.".
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and co-founder, and Philipp Hoffman, founder of Rushlake Media. “Jahmil X.T. Qubeka’s film weaves the best formal elements of a thriller with the universal themes of oppression, poverty and the quest for freedom and dignity,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. “This is a powerful film that audiences will remember.” Philipp Hoffman comments, “I’m very happy that Sew The Winter To My Skin found a home in North America with Juno Films and that Elizabeth and her team will pave the way to big screens across the country.” Qubeka adds that, “Elizabeth understands the power of film to bring new stories to an American audience. She will be a strong advocate for the story of John Kepe.”
Juno Films has licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to Barbara Rubin & The Exploding New York Underground. Chuck Smith’s award-winning film brings to life the influential maverick filmmaker who in the 1960s collaborated with Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan to produce an oeuvre of work that still scandalizes. Filmmaker Jonas Mekas, her close friend and collaborator, collected all of her films and letters which form the basis of the film along with his commentary. The film premiered at DOC NYC where it won the Metropolis Grand Jury Prize and will open theatrically in NYC at the IFC Center in 2019 followed by broadcast, digital and home video release, along with international broadcast sales.
Made when she was just 18 years old, Barbara Rubin’s art-porn masterpiece Christmas On Earth (1963-65) shocked NYC’s experimental film scene and inspired NYC’s thriving underground. For the next four years her filmmaking and irrepressible energy helped shatter artistic and sexist boundaries. A mythical “Zelig” of the sixties, she introduced Andy Warhol to the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan to the Kabbalah. But beyond shaping the spirit of the sixties, Barbara was seeking the deeper meaning of life. After retiring to a farm with Allen Ginsberg, she shocked everyone by converting to Hasidic Judaism, marrying and moving to France to live an anonymous life. Tragically, she died in 1980 after giving birth to her fifth child. For years, Jonas Mekas treasured all of Barbara’s letters and films and cherished her memory. Working with Mekas’ footage, the film takes us inside the world and mind of Barbara Rubin; a woman who truly believed that film could change the world.
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and co-founder, and filmmaker Chuck Smith. “Chuck’s film excavates a figure in film history who has long been overlooked. Her contributions and influence on the underground art scene of the 60s can now find its proper place alongside her contemporaries,” says Elizabeth Sheldon. Chuck Smith comments, “Elizabeth’s passion for the film and Barbara’s story helped convince me that Juno Films is the perfect home for the documentary. I look forward to working with Juno to share this incredible story with the world.”
1928 silent film features an all Indian cast with a new musical score by Anoushka Shankar
Juno Films has licensed the exclusive North American rights to the British Film Institute(BFI)’s 2K restoration of director Franz Osten’s epic black and white drama, Shiraz: A Romance of India. Based on the romance between 17th-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world’s most iconic structures: the Taj Mahal.
Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this meticulous new digital restoration by the conservation team at the BFI National Archive which features a specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-winning Anoushka Shankar. Produced by and starring Indian film legend Himansu Rai, the film is performed by an all-Indian cast, featuring Rai as humble potter Shiraz, who follows his childhood sweetheart Selima (Enakshi Rama Rau) when she’s sold by slave traders to the future emperor (Charu Roy).
The film will premiere in the US at the Metrograph Theater in January 2019 with a DVD and BluRay release to follow in May on the new Juno Selects home video label distributed in partnership with MVD. Additional home video titles to be released on the new label include Peter Sellers’ debut feature film, Pennies from Heaven and his short film, Let’s Go Crazy.
The deal was negotiated between Elizabeth Sheldon, Juno’s CEO and co-founder, and the BFI’s Violette Martin. “It is an honor to work with the BFI on the release of Shiraz: A Romance of India. It is a timeless tale of devotion that left humankind with a monument to the inspiration and power of true love, the Taj Majal,” says Sheldon, “and the new score by the Grammy-award winning Anoushka Shankar seals it as a contemporary masterpiece.”
“The restoration of SHIRAZ was the culmination of thousands of hours of painstaking conservation work by the BFI National Archive to transform this silent classic, thereby ensuring its safe preservation for future generations. The BFI therefore is very happy to see SHIRAZ in the highly skilled hands of Juno Films and Elizabeth Sheldon for its North American distribution, as well as to have the Metrograph Theater on board for the opening week in New York. We look forward to further collaborations with Juno Films around our classic film collection.” commented the BFI’s Violette Martin.
ABOUT THE BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE
The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and has grown to become the one of the largest and most important collections of film and television in the world with over 180,000 films and 750,000 television programs. For over 80 years the BFI has been an international leader in film preservation and guardian of Britain’s unparalleled film and TV heritage. The BFI is an innovator in presenting films to audiences in new and dynamic ways, from cinemas to film festivals, outdoor events to online video-on-demand. At the heart of all its activities is the BFI’s central aim to ensure that everyone in the UK has access to the widest possible range of film and their own film heritage.
That heritage includes all time great British directors Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean and Powell and Pressburger; and the rich vein of documentary filmmaking, in which Britain led the world, including the lyrical work of Humphrey Jennings. The archive also boasts a significant collection of filmmakers’ papers as well as extensive stills, posters and production and costume designs along with original scripts, press books and related ephemera.
Expert teams undertake the time-consuming and complex task of restoring films at the BFI John Paul Getty Jr Conservation Centre in Hertfordshire. The BFI’s most precious film materials are kept in optimum conditions in the world-leading Master Film Store in Warwickshire.
Further details: www.bfi.org.uk
MVD Entertainment Group is a full service music and movie distribution firm, exclusively representing thousands of audio and visual products for DVD, Blu-ray, CD, vinyl, and digital rights, worldwide.
Likarion Wainaina’s “Supa Modo,” about a mother determined to bring joy to her dying daughter’s last days, is Kenya’s submission for the foreign-language Oscar race. The film, which world premiered in the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus program last February, was selected by the Kenya Film Commission on Friday.
Produced by Tom Tykwer’s Kenyan shingle, One Fine Day Films, and Kenya’s Ginger Ink, “Supa Modo” is the uplifting tale of a terminally ill girl whose village comes together to fulfill her dreams of becoming a superhero, convincing her she has special powers and casting her as the star of her very own movie. The film, which stars veteran actors Maryanne Nungo and Nyawara Ndambia alongside newcomer Stycie Waweru, earned a Children’s Jury Special Mention in Berlin.
CIELO opens at Laemmle Ahrya this Friday with a Q&A hosted by Marja Seidel and Johanna Teske on Saturday evening. Learn more here.
On the 23rd CIELO opens at CCA in Santa Fe.
And it is held over until August 29th at Film Forum.
CONSTRUCTING ALBERT has its Chicago premier at the Gene SIskel Film Center:
"Offers a banquet of close-ups bound to make the tummy rumble." - Patrick Mullen, Point of View Magazine
"A fascinating window on the challenges of meeting often rarefied expectations within haute cuisine circles…will satisfy the appetites of both the curious and the food-focused alike." - Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
CIELO continues to receive high praise from the critics. Go see it this weekend at Film Forum if you are looking for a break from the heat and the news. You won't be disappointed!
“One of the Best Documentaries of 2018 (So Far). A cinematic rumination on the majesty of everything that surrounds us.”
– Nick Schager, Esquire
“Eye-popping. Exquisite. The images in the film are unmatched by any Hollywood blockbuster. Revealing a generosity, zeal and delight here, (the film) suggests the cosmos may not be as cold as some think.”
– Jordan Hoffman, Village Voice
“A heady brew of science and poetry. The night sky above the Atacama Desert in Chile (is) an unusually pure spot to see the heavens - a treasured site for astronomers and stargazers.”
– Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
“CIELO is the very definition of a tone poem. The true stars of the film - terrible pun intended - are McAlpine’s images of the sky. A sweepingly visual film.”
– Anna Storm, Film Journal
"McAlpine’s visuals transport the viewer to a state of reflection while reminding us of the sublime beauty of the space above." Kevin Crust, LA Times
“A rapturous act of cinematic contemplation. Should entrance all those who enter its unique atmosphere. Breathtaking time-lapse images of the sky. Vistas… (that) convey the ecstatic and daunting beauty of our universe. This majestic movie… looks up in order to look within.”
– Nick Schager, Variety
“A star-laden travel movie like no other. No planetarium could hope to replicate the awe-inspiring spectacle that is Alison McAlpine’s CIELO. The bespangled heavens above the Andes, which the director-narrator contemplates with awe worthy of a Romantic poet, is complemented in the film by the rugged hills, arid plains, lunar landscapes, and Pacific shores. Gaze at McAlpine’s film and drink in the mystery and realities of a place where, as she says, ‘the sky is more urgent than the land.’”
– Graham Fuller, The Culture Trip
“Numerous images of transcendent beauty. A visual symphony of the moon, stars, sun and clouds as they move through the wild blue yonder. Seen on a big screen, these images…have a transporting power that comes close to approximating what it must be like to actually stand in Atacama, gazing up in awe. Even the Milky Way itself rotates through the heavens with breathtaking clarity.”
– Keith Uhlich, The Hollywood Reporter
The documentary Cielo is a visual tone poem about humankind’s relationship with the night sky, a philosophical exploration of the heavens above the Andes Mountains and the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Written, directed and produced by Alison McAlpine, and shot by Benjamín Echazarreta, this contemplative and richly visualized astronomy doc combines incredible landscapes with celestial perspectives that encourage the audience to ponder its place amid the grand shrine of the cosmos.
Over the course of the movie, the filmmakers meet and spend time with professional astronomers and local residents, giving equal weight to the observations and musings of each. The masterful use of time-lapse photography, a painterly application of natural light, a deft use of in-camera “organic” effects, and an extraordinary sense of composition produce imagery that is truly mesmerizing.
The documentary received the American Cinematographer Award for Best Cinematography at the Salem Film Fest in March. Here, McAlpine discusses the making of the movie with Echazarreta, visual-effects cinematographer Mathieu Laverdière and visual-effects supervisor Philippe Toupin.
Fire and Ashes, Making the Ballet Raku will have its' NYC premier July 21st at Lincoln Film Society's Dance on Camera festival followed by a Q&A with director Shirley Sun.
Set in historic Kyoto, the fictional story of RAkU is based on a true event, the burning of a sacred temple by a deranged monk. Yuri Possokhov’s choreography for prima ballerina Yuan Yuan Tan mingles Japanese Noh theater and elements of Butoh with classical and contemporary ballet styles to create a powerful dance drama. The film begins with Russian-born Possokhov and his team making plans over vodka and borscht, then moves into an intense rehearsal process, and culminates in a breathtaking performance by Yuan Yuan and her male partners—Damian Smith and Pascal Molat—as they enact this passionate tale of love and revenge.
CONSTRUCTING ALBERT ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY OPENS IN NEW YORK CITY AT IFC CENTER ON FRIDAY, JULY 6
Albert Adrià has all the ingredients of a creative genius. Playing a key role in the creation of elBulli, the greatest restaurant in history, wasn't enough. Escaping the shadow of his famous brother Ferran, Albert is seeking his own success.
Adrià was named one of the most influencial people in the world of food by TIME Magazine.
“An audacious plan to independently establish five new restaurants in Barcelona within the space of a year…Constructing Albert represents both an insightful documentation of that process as well as a fascinating window on the challenges of meeting often rarefied expectations within haute cuisine circles; it will satisfy the appetites of both the curious and food-focused alike.”