Posts Tagged 'Kirby Dick'

Jed’s Sundance Updates #2!

Jed reports back from Sundance 2015 where he has been taking in films and catching up with MFF alums, filmmakers and other folks in attendance at the festival.


Pictured above, acclaimed filmmaker and MFF alum Ramin Bahrani (whose film CHOP SHOP played within MFF 2008) discusses his current film 99 HOMES, a horrifying portrayal of the retail real estate business at its most unfettered. The film stars Mike Shannon and Andrew Garfield.


Pictured above is Donald Margulies, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and adapter of David Lipsky‘s 2008 memoir Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, about the five unforgettable days the Rolling Stone editor spent with iconic writer David Foster Wallace after the publication of Infinite Jest. This photo was taken after the Q&A for THE END OF THE TOUR starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as David Lipsky.

Though CenterStage has staged some of Marguiles’ work, Jed hadn’t seen the playwright since his days as a student in a theater group Jed ran at John Dewey High School in Brooklyn.

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Above is a photo from the Q & A after the screening of THE END OF THE TOUR, where the film’s director James Ponsoldt (THE SPECTACULAR NOW) answers questions. L to R: Jesse Eisenberg, Donald Margulies, Jason Segel, James Ponsoldt.

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Pictured above is THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL writer/director Marielle Heller, winner of the 2012 Maryland Filmmaker Fellowship for her script for this film, gathering her cast for Q & A. Marielle is holding the mic and Kristen Wiig, remarkable newcomer Bel Powley (who plays Minnie in the film) and Alexander Skarsgård are to Marielle’s left.

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Pictured above, filmmakers Amy Ziering, far left, and MFF alum Kirby Dick, far right, taking questions with some of the subjects of their infuriating documentary THE HUNTING GROUND about sexual assault on college campuses and the institutional resistance to dealing with it. Three of the students who are using Title IX to change the campuses are between them. Senators Boxer and Gillibrand were in the audience for the screening and Jed reports that “the whole room was ready to engage.” Kirby Dick was the recipient of the 1998 Maryland Filmmakers Fellowship for BEYOND THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE.

Stay tuned for more updates from Sundance 2015 on the MFF blog!

Sundance Updates: Political Documentaries Include MFF Alum Kirby Dick’s THE INVISIBLE WAR and Macky Alston’s LOVE FREE OR DIE

Bishop Robinson, sitting, and Macky Alston conduct Q//A after the screening of LOVE FREE OR DIE

Sundance was an early and important venue for nonfiction filmmaking; Michael Moore didn’t come through here, but SUPERSIZE ME and MARCH OF THE PENGUINS did.

Political advocacy has been a theme this year – we saw a precursor at MFF 2011 with BETTER THIS WORLD – and two different examples are Macky Alston’s LOVE FREE OR DIE and MFF alum Kirby Dick‘s THE INVISIBLE WAR. Both describe struggles inside big organizations – the Anglican church and the US military, respectively.

Kirby’s film documents the shocking level of sexual assault in the US military and the structural indifference to it. The activism is relatively recent, led a brave group of mostly female vets, and is feeling its way through Congress and a military justice system run by commanders.

LOVE FREE OR DIE is a snapshot of the ongoing discussion within the Anglican Church, specifically its Episcopal branch in the US. At the eye of the storm is NH Bishop Eugene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the church. One of the fascinating aspects of this struggle is that there is a long established and generally respected process, and the combatants are about equally trained in theology and in many cases have often known each other for decades.

–Jed Dietz, Friday 1/27