ANIMATION HOTLINE, 2012 Director: Dustin Grella | USA, 5 min.
Animation Hotline, by award-winning animator Dustin Grella, is a series of micro-animations that use crowd sourced voice-mail messages for content. (animation)
BESA: THE PROMISE Director: Rachel Goslins | USA, 86 min.
The never-before-told story of Albania - a small European country which opened its borders to shelter Jewish refugees, even as it endured a brutal Nazi occupation. It's witnessed through the prism of two men joined together in a remarkable and unexpected quest: Norman H. Gershman, a renowned Jewish-American photographer determined to record the bravery and compassion of the Albanians; and Rexhep Hoxha, a Muslim-Albanian toy shop owner who sets out to return three precious books to the last surviving member of the Jewish family his father sheltered sixty years before. When these two men meet, an extraordinary and utterly unexpected personal drama is set in motion - one that bridges generations and religions…uniting fathers and sons…Muslims and Jews. (documentary)
BLACK ROCK CREEK Director: Malone Lumarda | USA, 5 min
A young girl takes a mystical walk along beautiful Black Rock Creek. (films by young people)
CONNECTED BY COFFEE Director: Aaron Dennis | USA, 70 min.
A film about Latin American coffee farmers and how our daily brew is deeply connected to a troubled past and hopeful future. Following a 1000-mile journey from Mexico to Nicaragua, the film shows how equitable trading relationships are empowering communities and bringing social justice. (documentary)
CONNIE Director: Abbey Sacks | USA, 2 min.
An experimental film based on the Joyce Carol Oates short story, 'Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?' Joyce (films by young people)
DELIVER US Director:Laura Elisa Perez Rebullen | USA, 7 min.
Sam decides to join a movement against an oppressive government. He comes face to face with riot police guarding the buildings entrance, blocking the way to spread his message. What happens? (short fiction)
FAGBUG NATION Director: Erin Davies | USA, 88 min.
Go on the road with lesbian filmmaker Erin Davies and her rainbow-colored, once-vandalized, now famous 'Fagbug.' Davies ('Fagbug,' 2009, Netflix) is determined to get her car to all 50 states, Hawaii and Alaska being the final two. The Fagbug gets leis'd in Hawaii, drives through the midnight sun to Alaska, and serves as a catalyst for our nation on the road to gender equality. (documentary)
FAMILIES ARE FOREVER Director: Vivian Kleiman | USA, 21 min.
Tom and Wendy are devout Mormon parents, raising five children and even knocking on doors to promote support for California's Proposition 8 to prevent same-sex marriage. Then one day, Wendy read 13-year-old Jordon's diary and discovered he was gay. What happened next changed their lives forever. (short documentary)
FREAK OUT Director: Carl Javer| Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, 89 min.
The untold true story of a group of middle class kids who, in the year 1900, revolted against their culture and started an alternative community in southern Switzerland. Their community was based on veganism, feminism, pacifism and free love. And they had long hair, wore headbands, and freaked out their elders. (documentary)
HARD WAY HOME Director: Kori Feener | USA, 87 min.
One woman's journey to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail and let go of the past. (documentary)
IN THE MAGIC OF THE GREEN MOUNTAINS Director:Scott Chamberlin Hoyt | USA, 74 min.
Vermont herbalists Jeff and Melanie Carpenter sold their natural products business to start an organic medicinal herb farm, and encountered unexpected hardships. A film about love, partnership and growing our own. (documentary)
IT'S A THING Directors: Meredith Morran, Sage McCommas, Sebastian Crank | USA, 5 min.
A short film about two quirky high school students with irrational fears who find each other. (films by young people)
JIM MORRIS: LIFELONG FITNESS Director: Ryan Vance | USA, 15 min.
A short documentary film about 78-year-old African-American bodybuilder Jim Morris. Jim, who is openly gay, was a professional bodybuilder for nearly 30 years and won many major titles including Mr. America, Mr. USA, and Mr. International. In 2000, Jim became a vegan for health and ethical reasons. He continues to train regularly and works as a personal trainer in Venice, California. The film explores Jim's amazing story and his fascinating thoughts on life and personal fulfillment. (short documentary)
KING: A FILMED RECORD… MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS Directors: Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz. | USA, 3 hours, with intermission
This monumental work – screened in theaters for one night only in 1970, then virtually unseen for more than 40 years – documents Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1950’s and 1960’s struggle for civil rights against fierce southern opposition. It uses only newsreel and other primary material, unvarnished and un-retouched, covering the period from the 1955 Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott to his 1968 assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. The original newsreel segments are framed by celebrity narrators, including Harry Belafonte, Ruby Dee, James Earl Jones, Paul Newman and others. The New York Times said, “The documentary footage is stunning. Mercifully, there is no added commentary. The events are allowed to speak for themselves. The soundtrack bursts with vitality – the roar of police motorcycles, bombs, burning crosses, ambulances, nightsticks crunching into human bone, gospel, shouts, the massed crowds before the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington…” (documentary)
LED ZEPPELIN PLAYED HERE Director: Jeff Krulik | USA, 90 min.
(Part of the Jeff Krulik Retrospective, along with Heavy Metal Parking Lot and other classics.)
1969. Man lands on the moon. Half a million strong at Woodstock. Sesame Street makes its debit…and Led Zeppelin perform in the gym of the Wheaton Youth Center on Georgia Avenue in front of 50 confused teenagers. Or did they? Filmmaker Jeff Krulik offers a screening of his take on an enduring local legend. On the very night this concert was alleged to have taken place, January 20, 1969, greater Washington D.C. was ushering in the Nixon years with Richard Nixon's first inaugural.
Jeff will be at Utopia in person to discuss his films and directorial career. and screen other classics (documentary)
LITTLE GIRL WITH IRON FIST Directors: Claudio Di Mambro, Luca Mandrile, Umberto Migliaccio | Italy, 58 min.
Giovanna Marturano is 101 years old. She is an antifascist, a partisan and a feminist. Little Girl With Iron Fist (Bimba Col Pugno Chiuso) narrates Giovanna's life, beginning from her earliest memories when - as a child living in Rome - she witnessed the rise of fascism in 1922. She has lived a long and eventful life, fighting injustice and oppression because, she argues, "You only but struggle, that's a fact…" A century of Italian history narrated by a young 101 year old woman with irony and wit. (documentary)
LOVE THY NATURE Director: Sylvie Rokab | USA, 76 min.
Narrated by Liam Neeson, Love Thy Nature is a documentary film that takes viewers on an awe-inspiring cinematic journey into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. (documentary)
MILAGRO MAN Director: Kurt Jacobsen | USA, 78 min.
A film that explores the literary works and social activism of John Treadwell Nichols, renowned author of the The Milagro Beanfield War, The Magic Journey and the Nirvana Blues). Nichols was also a Hollywood screenwriter and ardent environmentalist. Offering inside-show biz glimpses of the 1960's, Milagro Man provides an intimate account of the creative literary process as exemplified in a gifted, determined, and unrepentantly radical American writer. (documentary)
MY TOXIC BACKYARD Director: Katie Damien | USA, 60 min.
What if you discovered you had cancer and your well water was contaminated? What, then, if you tried to sue the company responsible, but couldn’t? And suppose you fought to get the site cleaned up and nothing happened? And you wanted to sell your house but no one would buy it because of this contamination? This powerful documentary chronicles a community's fight for clean drinking water and to see the chemicals, still leaking into their groundwater, cleaned up. (documentary)