Mind Reels 2017

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StephenOlssonHeadShot_200px_optAward-winning documentary director and producer Stephen Olsson  returns as our host. Stephen Olsson has produced and directed documentary films and television series throughout the world for US and European broadcasters, including BBC, PBS (Frontline, POV, Nova), CNN, National Geographic Television working with diverse personalities like the Dalai Lama, Walter Cronkite, Noam Chomsky, Sean Penn, Ben Kingsley, Willie Nelson, Harry Belafonte, Carlos Santana and others. His films have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca, The Lincoln Center, Mill Valley and dozens of film festivals worldwide. His work has won critical acclaim and numerous awards, including the National Emmy Award for Outstanding Director, the Du-Pont Columbia Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. Stephen is president of the Sausalito-based non-profit media group Cultural & Educational Media CEMproductions.org and is currently producing two documentary television series: Global Spirit, the first internal travel series, (GlobalSpirit.tv) and Bridge to Iran.

Note: Reduced rate series tickets are only available via the order form.

Lunch by Farm House Local.  Sponsor: Acacia Foundation. 

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Presenting Princess Shaw

Samantha Montgomery placed her dreams on YouTube. Then they became a reality. Presenting Princess Shaw is the extraordinary story of an aspiring musician, down on her luck, who inspired internationally famous musician, composer and video artist Ophir "Kutiman" Kutiel to create a magical collaboration that would introduce her talent to a whole new audience. Nominated, 2017 Critics' Choice Award for Best Music Documentary. A co-presentation with the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC).

Guest Speakers:

Samantha Montgomery (Princess Shaw)  — via Skype

princess_shaw_88px_optBorn in Chicago in 1976, Princess Shaw is the stage name for Samantha Montgomery. Samantha moved to New Orleans in 2008, working as a caregiver for the elderly and struggling to make ends meet, when she began fearlessly posting videos online after work and attending open mic nights at local venues. Despite her immense talent as a singer and songwriter, Princess Shaw hadn’t been able to grow her career beyond a handful of YouTube followers until the time her stream of acappela YouTuber performances and compelling video confessions were discovered thousands of miles away by musician Kutiman. Thus began the amazing story depicted in Presenting Princess Shaw, taking her on a journey around the world and transforming her into a modern day YouTube sensation.

 

Matt Jaffe, Musician

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Matt Jaffe is a rock and roll singer/songwriter from San Francisco. Cutting his teeth on countless open mics around the Bay Area, Matt started taking music more seriously when Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads offered to produce his first record. Since then, Matt has continued to churn out more songs than he can remember the words to, oversaturate the market with gigs (opening for the likes of Mavis Staples, Jackie Greene and Blues Traveler), and collaborate with the likes of Chuck Prophet and Tom Higgenson of the Plain White T's. With his band, Matt has played stages across the country, including The Fillmore and The Troubadour. Fresh off the release of his first LP, Matt is street-teaming with the best of them to bring rock and roll back to the masses. In addition to writing, recording, and performing, Matt is familiar with social media as a double-edged sword for aspiring artists. Having released a whole mess of media online (including several quasi-viral YouTube videos), Matt is a veteran of the alternately exhilarating and harrowing world of digital promotion.

Show Times
Tue, Nov 28 12:00pm     Buy Tickets
Tickets
Film and Lunch $29
Member Film and Lunch $27
Film/No Lunch $22
Member Film/No Lunch $20

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Serenade for Haiti

Filmed over a seven-year period in Haiti, this documentary feature film captures a rare look at a country scored with poverty and a history of political violence and finds a story of transcendence and great humanity as the children and faculty of the Sainte Trinité Music School turn to music to unlock the power of their own lives.

When a catastrophic earthquake completely destroys the school in 2010, a stunned and devastated faculty and student body must pick up the pieces and find a way to adapt.  Devotion to each other and to the possibilities that the future still holds for them are expressed in the footage of children rehearsing in the rubble and in the rich musical heritage they have inherited.

Journeying into Haiti’s beautiful and diverse rural regions and venturing deep into the streets of Port-au-Prince before and after the 2010 earthquake, Serenade for Haiti brings to the screen an unforgettable and vivid tableau of this widely misunderstood country.  The soundtrack features the stunning music of Haiti's great composers who until this time have been largely unknown to international audiences.

Guest Speakers:

Owsley Brown III, Director, 'Serenade for Haiti'

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Owsley Brown III is a documentary filmmaker whose directorial debut, Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles, about the American writer and composer, Paul Bowles, won the Independent Spirit Award in 2000, the Hamptons International Film Festival 1999 Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature Film, and selection by the Berlin International Film Festival in 2000. His critically acclaimed second film, Music Makes A City, chronicled the commissioning project of the Louisville Orchestra in the 1950’s. Music Makes A City was awarded Britain’s Gramophone Award for Best DVD Documentary in 2012, and had its U.S. television broadcast premiere in January, 2014, on PBS stations nationwide. Owsley also co-produced the landmark documentary feature Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present, (Directed by Jeff Dupre and Matthew Akers) which won the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, a Grand Jury Prize nomination at the Sundance Film Festival, and a Peabody Award in 2012.

Christy McGill, Producer, 'Serenade for Haiti'

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A screenwriter, film producer and story editor, Christy McGill has also served as a creative director for a variety of private companies and charitable organizations. Her work has included adaptation projects for narrative feature films, original television pilots, video shorts and the occasional magazine article. Serenade for Haiti (Serenad pou Ayiti) is the second feature documentary Christy has co-produced, following the award-winning eco-doc, Ghost Bird (directed by Scott Crocker), which took a multi-layered look at the possible sighting of an extinct species in a depressed region of rural America. Ghost Bird won critical acclaim from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and New York Magazine as well as winning the Southern Soul of Independent Film Award, and Golden Eagle Award from Cine 2010, and official selection by HotDocs, San Francisco Film Society, Mill Valley Film Festival, Hot Springs and Fiestival Internazionale del Film de Roma. 

Jane Kramer, Ph.D.,  Executive Director, Enriching Lives Through Music

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Jane plays oboe and English horn, studied with Bill Bennett and Jonathan Fischer, played principal oboe with the American Philharmonic/Sonoma, and has been a soloist with the Mill Valley Philharmonic and College of Marin Orchestra. With a Ph.D. in urban policy and planning from the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Kramer has worked as a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and as a consultant for public sector and non-profit organizations with a focus on vulnerable adolescents. After being awarded a grant to pursue a passion from an anonymous donor at Vassar College, Jane returned to her musical roots to fulfill a dream of replicating the vision of the Fine Arts Music Conservatory of Miami, which she attended as a child. She is the recipient of the 2016 Marin County Humanitarian Award, recognition of the social justice mission of ELM.

Show Times
Tue, Dec 5 12:00pm     Buy Tickets
Tickets
Film and Lunch $29
Member Film and Lunch $27
Film/No Lunch $22
Member Film/No Lunch $20

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Big Sonia

In the last store in a defunct shopping mall, 91-year-old Sonia Warshawski – great-grandmother, businesswoman, and Holocaust survivor – runs the tailor shop she’s owned for more than 30 years. But when she’s served an eviction notice, the specter of retirement prompts Sonia to resist her harrowing past as a refugee and witness to genocide. A poignant story of generational trauma and healing, BIG SONIA also offers a laugh-out-loud-funny portrait of the power of love to triumph over bigotry, and the power of truth-telling to heal us all.

Guest Speakers:

Leah Warshawski, Producter / Director, 'Big Sonia'

leah_88px_optLeah Warshawski is a producer/director specializing in documentary storytelling around the globe for commercials, branded entertainment, reality shows, narrative features, and documentaries. She has worked for major television networks on shows including “Lost” and “Hawaii”, and has filmed in more than 30 countries. Her award-winning first feature film, “Finding Hillywood,” screened at more than 65 festivals around the world. Leah is also the co-founder of rwandafilm.org, an outreach and job site created in 2012 in partnership with Bpeace (Business Council for Peace) and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

 

Herb Heller, Holocaust Survivor and Lecturer

Heller_88px_opt Herb Heller was born in Czechoslovakia in 1929. As a teenager he was deported to Terezin Concentration Camp. In 1944, he along with his whole family was deported to Auschwitz where he appeared before Dr. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi ‘Angel of Death’. After 8 months all the inmates in the camp were forcefully marched through the snow away from Russian and American armies. Three days into the forced march, Heller found a backpack in the ice with civilian clothing in it. He put on the clothes, escaped the march and eventually made his way back to Prague. In November 1946, Herb and his mother arrived in San Francisco. Herb joined the Army Reserves, became a US Citizen in 1952 and ran Heller’s Baby News in San Rafael for over 50 years. Herb lectures in Marin schools about his experience of the Holocaust.

Show Times
Tue, Dec 12 12:00pm     Buy Tickets
Tickets
Film and Lunch $29
Member Film and Lunch $27
Film/No Lunch $22
Member Film/No Lunch $20

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