HE NAMED ME MALALA is a portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old (she turned 18 this past July) was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund. Documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim shows us how Malala, her father Zia and her family are committed to fighting for education for all girls worldwide. The film gives us a glimpse into this extraordinary young girl’s life – from her close relationship with her father who inspired her love for education, to her impassioned speeches at the UN, to her everyday life with her parents and brothers.
“A gripping story, eloquently told. Director Davis Guggenheim does some of his most heartfelt work.” – Hollywood Reporter
Directors Rita Coburn-Whack and Bob Hercules will be featured in a post-screening discussion.
Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” icon Maya Angelou gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet, and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film celebrates Dr. Maya Angelou by weaving her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural speech for President Bill Clinton, we are given special access to interviews with Dr. Angelou, whose indelible charm and quick wit make it easy to love her. The film also features a remarkable series of interviews with friends and family including President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Alfre Woodard, Cicely Tyson, Quincy Jones, Secretary Hillary Clinton, John Singleton and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson.
“What [the directors] do so well is capture Angelou’s power and elegance. The film paints a portrait of a life lived to the full and dedicated to being true to oneself.” – The Guardian
Former NSA intelligence official and film subject Bill Binney will be featured in a post-screening discussion.
A codebreaker genius, a revolutionary surveillance program, and corruption across the board of NSA. Against this backdrop unfolds the feature documentary A Good American. The film tells the story of Bill Binney, his program ThinThread, and how this perfect alternative to mass surveillance got ditched by NSA for money – three weeks prior to 9/11.
“A Good American proves a detailed and trenchant depiction of a passage of U.S. history Americans should be intimately aware of. Sadly, at this point in time, scarce few of them are.” – Medium
New York magazine’s October 2005 issue sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about his sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries around the world. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was dreamed up by 40-year-old San Francisco punk rocker and phone sex operator, Laura Albert. Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert—like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids—breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but for Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.
“As the indie-film director Jeff Feuerzeig discovered, the Leroy affair was much more than we know – a strange, existential and ultimately thrilling story of a woman donning identities with a degree of spy-novel ambition (and, sometimes, Mel Brooks absurdity). – LA Times