Posts Tagged 'Maria Demopoulos'

Next MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series Film: THE SOURCE FAMILY on 2/19!

The Source Family.  Photo courtesy of THE SOURCE film website.

The Source Family. Photo courtesy of THE SOURCE FAMILY film website.

Maryland Film Festival is pleased to announce the next MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series Film, THE SOURCE FAMILY, which will screen on Tuesday 2/19 at the MICA Brown Center, 7:30pm, with special guests director Jodi Wille and Source Family member Explosion the Aquarian.  THE SOURCE FAMILY, directed by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos, was an official documentary selection of the 2012 Maryland Film Festival and we are thrilled to bring it back to Baltimore for this special-event screening.

The MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series showcases the best of independent film and unites filmmakers with audiences.  Each Spotlight Series film features a conversation between WYPR 88.1FM’s Tom Hall and the filmmaker(s), followed by a Q & A with the audience .

MFF/WYPR Spotlight Series presents THE SOURCE FAMILY with special guests director Jodi Wille Source Family member Explosion the Aquarian
Tuesday, 2/19
MICA Brown Center
1301 W. Mt. Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD
$7/Free for FOFs! 

The Source restaurant on the Sunset Strip, LA.  Photo courtesy of THE SOURCE film website.

The Source restaurant on the Sunset Strip, LA. Photo courtesy of THE SOURCE FAMILY film website.

You’ve heard of the psychedelic-era spiritual family The Source, even if you don’t think you have. Their Sunset Strip restaurant was an L.A. mainstay for decades, a favorite of celebs like John and Yoko, and the setting of a crucial scene in ANNIE HALL. The family’s psych-rock band Ya Ho Wha 13 self-released dozens of LPs, now Holy Grails to record collectors and cutting-edge musicians. But these points of intersection with pop culture are just the public tip of an intensely private iceberg, finally unveiled in this brilliantly assembled documentary.

Central to their story is patriarch Father Yod, aka YaHoWha. A former marine, jujitsu expert, and stuntman born Jim Baker, by the 1950s he’d reinvented himself as a beatnik and pioneering vegetarian restaurateur. In 1969 he opened The Source restaurant, instantly a gathering place for hippies and other cultural outsiders. This community coalesced into a close-knit family that increasingly hung on Yod‘s every word, with results all at once beautiful, insular, and tragic. And for Yod, who’d already morphed from man of violence to spiritual guru, there was one major twist yet to come.

Throughout it all, members of the family rigorously documented their private and public moments alike. Maria Demopoulos and Jodi Wille have fused the cream of this rich self-documented history with ample archival context and eye-opening contemporary interviews. The result is, simply put, one of the major documentary events of the year, a riveting account of a group of people who forged their own stranger-than-fiction path.  (-2012 MFF Program Guide)

ABOUT JODI WILLE: Jodi Wille is copublisher of Dilettante Press and Process Media, the latter of which published The Source: The Untold Story of Father Yod, YaHoWha 13, and The Source Family in 2007.  She conceptualized and copublished Gary Lee Boas’ book Starstruck: Photographs from a Fan, and published Pure Country: The Leon Kagarise Archives 1961-1971 and Dear Andy Kaufman, I Hate Your Guts!, a Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Independent Book Awards. She has also worked as a television producer, photographer and music video director. She specializes in collaborating with individuals who have amassed personal archives that document American subcultures, covering subjects such as John Sinclair and MC5, Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators, Moondog, and Ya Ho Wha 13.

Official site for THE SOURCE FAMILY:

Festival Programming Highlights #3: THE SOURCE and VOLCANO

Here are another pair of programmer’s picks from MFF Director of Programming Eric Hatch.

Both titles screen Friday day (screenings to which our Friends of the Festival have FREE access!), and have second screenings later in the festival.


THE SOURCE, directed by Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos

Here’s a documentary full of humor, tragedy, and life. Our subject is The Source Family, a commune (some, being less kind, would say “cult”) that thrived during L.A.’s late ‘60s/early ‘70s hippie era. Formed around vegetarian restaurateur Father Yod, The Source Family counted major celebrities among their friends, self-released enduring psychedelic rock albums, and developed their own brand of spirituality (still practiced by some today). But along the way, they also became increasingly cut off from mainstream society in ways that had serious negative consequences. And for Father Yod, there was a major twist coming. Even knowing some of the Source Family’s story headed into the theater, I found this documentary endlessly entertaining and moving.  THE SOURCE plays Friday 5/4 at 2pm and Saturday 5/5 at 6:30pm at the Charles Theater.


VOLCANO directed by Rúnar Rúnarsson

I’ve been recommending this Icelandic drama, certainly one of my favorite foreign films in our line-up, to fans of Mike Leigh (NAKED, SECRETS & LIES, ANOTHER YEAR); as with Leigh’s work, it expertly offers one part serious drama, one part satiric character study. VOLCANO follows a recent retiree, Hannes, who begins losing the respect of his adult children when his post-employment life proves listless and unproductive—yet his domineering treatment of his doting wife continues unabated. When she takes ill, everyone’s life enters a new state of crisis. Can Hannes rise to the occasion? As a bonus, this screening will also include the Icelandic short film REVOLUTION REYKJAVIK, fresh from the renowned New Directors/New Films festival.  VOLCANO and REVOLUTION REYKJAVIK play on Friday 5/4 at 11:30am and Sunday 5/6 at 11:00am at the Charles Theater.

– Eric Hatch, Director of Programming

LUV, GAYBY, THE COMEDY, and 9 More Announced for Maryland Film Festival 2012!

Following up on last week’s first line-up announcement, the Maryland Film Festival proudly announces twelve more features for MFF 2012 (May 3-6 in downtown Baltimore).

Among these titles are LUV, the Baltimore-shot drama which premiered at Sundance 2012 and boasts an all-star cast that includes Common, Charles S. Dutton, Danny Glover, and Michael Kenneth Williams; GAYBY, fresh from its premiere at SXSW 2012, a warm-hearted comedy about two best friends, a gay man and straight woman, who decide to have a child together; and THE COMEDY, a dark and challenging mix of comedy and drama starring Tim Heidecker.

As with every year, the MFF 2012 full line-up will include 40+ new feature films and 75+ new shorts from around the world, as well as a vintage 3-D filma silent film with live music by Alloy Orchestra, and a favorite film selected by legendary filmmaker and MFF board member John Waters.

All U.S.-made feature films will be presented by their filmmakers.

Without further ado, the second batch of features announced for MFF 2012 are:

ATTENBERG (Athina Rachel Tsangari)
A young woman with a bizarre way of looking at friendship, love, and life spends long hours with her father, their small town’s chief architect now on his deathbed. DOGTOOTH fans take note: ATTENBERG is directed by that film’s associate producer, co-stars that film’s director Yorgos Lanthimos, and has an offbeat sensibility that, while all its own, can only have DOGTOOTH as its closest point of comparison.

THE COMEDY (Rick Alverson)
Tim Heidecker stars in this abrasive, challenging, and yes, hilarious film, arguably closer in tone to FROWNLAND or THE IDIOTS than it is TIM AND ERIC’S BILLION-DOLLAR MOVIE. A group of jaded, ultra-privileged Brooklynites with sharp comedic tongues and little respect for social norms seeks out confrontational situations, with sometimes shocking results.

EMPIRE BUILDER (Kris Swanberg)
A young mother (Kate Lyn Sheil, also of MFF 2012 titles SUN DON’T SHINE and THE COMEDY) seeks a rural retreat from the doldrums of married life. The second feature film from Kris Swanberg (MFF 2009’s It was great, but I was ready to come home).

In this stunningly shot drama from Brazil, a young female photographer sets out on a hike and stumbles upon a mysterious village populated entirely by elders. Her well-intentioned presence there disrupts the flow of their daily rituals, causing them to contemplate their mortality and look at life differently.

GAYBY (Jonathan Lisecki)
Warm-hearted, often explosive humor and vibrant characters drive this crossover comedy about best friends—a gay man and a straight woman—who in their 30s decide to make good on their promise they made back in college to have a child together.

KID-THING (David and Nathan Zellner)
This beautifully shot feature from the directors of GOLIATH (MFF 2008) shows us a slice of Texas populated by listless moments, odd behavior, and piles of pop-culture debris – all seen through the eyes of a mischievous 10-year-old girl who, through solitude, has developed a unique outlook on life.

LUV (Sheldon Candis)
An all-star cast that includes Common, Charles S. Dutton, Michael Kenneth Williams, Dennis Haysbert, and Danny Glover drives this Baltimore-set drama about a man who, just released from prison and trying to start a new life for himself, takes an interest in teaching his 11-year-old nephew how to be a man.

OSLO, AUGUST 31st (Joachim Trier)
From the director of the spectacular REPRISE (2006) comes this poetic and deeply moving account about a recovering addict on his first day leave from a recovery program. As he reconnects with old friends and family and fantasizes about a clean life on the outside, will he fall prey to his old demons? Reverently based on the same novel that inspired the Louis Malle classic THE FIRE WITHIN.

THE PATRON SAINTS  (Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky)
This extraordinary documentary gives us a poignant look into the daily lives of residents of a home for the aged and disabled. Incapable or unwilling to self-censor, they say whatever is on their minds, giving us unforgettable access to a phase of human life we may have never before looked at head-on.

PILGRIM SONG (Martha Stephens)
In this atmospheric, sensory-rich mix of comedy and drama, a downsized middle-school teacher in a struggling relationship sets off alone for a hike on the Sheltowee Trace Trail, meeting a cast of characters worthy of Kaurismaki or Jarmusch along the way.

THE SOURCE  (Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos)
This is the ultimate documentary about The Source Family, a spiritual group that formed in L.A. during the height of the psychedelic era. Central to their story is their Sunset Strip restaurant The Source, their albums and performances as Yahowa 13, and, above all, Father Yod, a former Marine and jujitsu expert who reinvented himself first as a vegetarian restaurateur and then as a spiritual guru.

Since medieval times, the UK town of Ashbourne has played an annual, multi-day game that divides the town into two groups, the Up’ards and Down’ards, each hellbent on carrying a beautiful handmade four-pound ball to one of two goals three miles apart. This riveting documentary captures the tradition in all its sweat and glory.

Note for press: Festival artwork and images for announced titles are available for download here: