Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An Undeniable Voice

The Holocaust.

So much has been said and written about this most horrific time in human history, and the words must continue until the end of time, because no matter how much is said, the enormity and utter insanity of the era cannot be adequately conveyed by words. And the evidence of Nazi atrocities must be presented, ever again, to ward off future generations from another monstrous path.

Philanthropist, activist and actress Sharon Stone operates from these substrata in An Undeniable Voice, a fine and moving short documentary. As she interviews Holocaust survivor Sam Harris, who recounts one strange, devastating story after another, she doesn't inject her own words. Instead, she listens. As photographic evidence of Harris's memories pour across the screen in overwhelming fashion, and as Harris conveys his memories with crystalline clarity, she is moved.

You will be, too, if you watch this undeniably great film.

The trailer contains upsetting images, so please follow this link to the film's website, where you can watch the preview at your own discretion: An Undeniable Voice

Friday, April 21, 2017

Generation Hope

This gorgeous short documentary celebrates and promotes Mary's Meals, a top-notch organization that feeds schoolchildren in fourteen countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Filmed in Malawi, Haiti and India, Generation Hope demonstrates the impact a charity will have when its mission is clear and passionately delivered.

The radiance of the people served by this UK-based organization is tear-inducing, and you can help because Mary's Meals offers many ways to get involved. If you want to get your feet wet first, you can also watch this film and/or join them on Facebook and Twitter

Witness something special today by watching the trailer here: Generation Hope Trailer

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


New Hope Film Festival alumnus Steve Besserman first demonstrated his eye for compelling biographies when he released Only a Number, an award-winning documentary about his Holocaust surviving parents. The film enjoyed a successful run after its screening in New Hope, including airtime on PBS Thirteen. Besserman furthers the biographical side of his filmography with Bunnie, an inspiring film about soon-to-be centenarian Bruna Bellotti, a true Jersey girl not only for her Long Beach residence but also for her pluck.

Bunnie, as we're allowed to call her, endured the Great Depression, a broken hip, the loss of her World War II veteran husband to cancer, and the many slings and arrows of a long, assiduous life to lend the world her story on the cusp of turning 100. Having performed a strip tease act for AARP and church group audiences in her nineties, Bunnie is no stranger to the spotlight. This 23-minute short documentary captures her vitality and spirit, offering a century-long perspective on girl power and the meaning of perseverance.

You can watch the trailer here: Bunnie Trailer

Monday, April 17, 2017


In this fun modern day movie musical, a boy from South Africa and a girl from Sweden separately arrive in New York City, each with their own purpose, where in just their first twelve hours, they must both navigate the strange new city and, with the help of new friends, find themselves along the way.

A New York Film Academy original movie musical, this charming and whimsical musical features Broadway's James Monroe Iglehart, as well as a catchy original music score that explores the glittery appeal of New York and the hardships of being in an unfamiliar environment, all while crafting a tale of culture, diversity, and friendship. 

You can watch the trailer here: LANDED Trailer

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Beyond the Bombs

When three cool musicians in Tehran decided to launch a metal band, they knew the authorities would have no quarrels with the venture as long as the band kept its activities in a basement. Anxious to save their electric guitars and other equipment from confiscation, the band dutifully complied with the rules of their land—for a time.

As their playing gelled and their aspirations widened to include live gigs and an album release, they decided they had only one option, and it was a challenging one for Iranians: they must go to America. They already had a contact in LA, and with little else but a burning passion for their music, they headed west through Turkey with no idea how their story would end.

Despite the ease and charm of its characters, Beyond the Bombs is a cliffhanger of a documentary. You can watch the trailer here (parental guidance suggested for smoking): Beyond the Bombs Trailer

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Beautiful Dreamer

Sci-fi films are often characterized by spectacular special effects and epic narratives, so it's interesting when a filmmaker decides to zoom in close and reveal characters on a microcosmic scale. Director David Gaddie and writer Steven Kelleher have done so with Beautiful Dreamer, a visually captivating yet character-driven story about a terminally ill mother who uses time travel to be there for her daughter throughout her daughter's life.

Although the film showcases imaginative technology, the emphasis is on how people use inventions to better their lives as opposed to celebrating the future for its own sake, a refreshing antidote to modernity's relentless push. Intimate, soft and low-key, Beautiful Dreamer offers an opportunity to reflect on your own relationships through a story that is both timeless and earth-shattering.

You can watch the trailer here: Beautiful Dreamer Trailer

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hatchet Hour

In her directorial debut, South African filmmaker Judy Naidoo combines a Machiavellian villainess with ultramodern style to deliver a thriller that is aesthetically pleasing yet chilling. The contrast between what is seen and what is felt mirrors the surfacy beauty and inner machinations of lead character Isabelle Sudlow (Erica Wessels), who uses her loyal to a fault best friend, Jade Mokhachane (Petronella Tsdhuma), in a cold-blooded plot to cover up a deadly mistake.

Sudlow, a high-flying attorney, knows how to play the game. There remains only one problem: once you have woven a crafty web of lies, how do you unstick yourself from it?

You can watch the trailer here: Hatchet Hour Trailer

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

25 Tracks

What do you get when you combine two talented songwriters, a woman whose influences include The Sound of Music and a man who warms up by riffing Black Sabbath on his guitar, and set them inside a 1957 rail car with the ambitious goal of writing, recording and releasing a new song every two weeks for a year?

25 Tracks, an uber-hip, foot-stomping documentary from the industrial west of Melbourne, Australia's music capital. Produced and directed by Fiona Cochrane, this uptempo film offers a great variety of musical flavors and heaps of insight into the songwriting process. Musicians and music fans alike will find much to admire here.

True indie musicians at heart, songwriters Cath Sheahan and Nick Larkins are unencumbered by the pressure of a record label, freeing them to follow their muses and create great music for music's sake.

And they do.

You can watch the trailer here: 25 Tracks Trailer

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Local Bucks County artist Marty Krzywonos cites a long history of performances, beginning with his 8-year-old boy recreations of West Side Story that included leaps off his parents' sofa, and this film continues in that energetic history because, as a first feature, it is a risky and bold leap. But that is about where the similarities between his early life as a producer and his current one end, because Mazurkas is a mature and serious work.

The story centers around elderly widower Sydney Flanders, who is convincingly played by auteur Krzywonos himself. A semi-retired piano teacher who gives private lessons in his own home, Flanders is a lonely man who has little to keep him going except his memories, which torment his soul, and his creative works—and the latter are amazing. Yellow Rose Mazurka, his magnum opus, is a work of ethereal, neoclassical genius, putting Krzywonos's under-appreciated talents on full display with depths of feeling and melodic complexity reminiscent of Beethoven. Watch the trailer for a sample.

The musical score of Mazurkas is astonishing, but credit is also due for the film's true to life portrayal of an aging man who lives under the weight of his sins. How can he possibly lift these burdens as his life slips and slides away? His former and beloved wife, who is now deceased, was a promising concert pianist until he sabotaged her career to serve his jealousy and male insecurity, and to add gasoline to the fire, he lives with full awareness of how far he let his own life crumble. The life of a solo performer is unique, and when placed in a committed relationship, such pyrotechnics can and do arise.

You can watch the trailer here: Mazurkas Trailer