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Documentary ‘City Of Ghosts’ Is A Wide-Eyed, Jaw Dropping Look At The Battle Against Isis [Sundance Review]

“City of Ghosts” is documentarian Matthew Heineman’s third film to bow at Sundance, after 2012’s health care doc “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” (co-directed with Susan Froemke), and 2015’s searing “Cartel Land,” an immersive, bone-rattling film embedded on the front lines of the drug cartel war in Mexico. This year, he brings “City of Ghosts,” to Park City, which could be described as “ ‘Cartel Land’ but with Isis,” however Heineman’s too sophisticated a filmmaker for that facile comparison.

Continue reading Documentary ‘City Of Ghosts’ Is A Wide-Eyed, Jaw Dropping Look At The Battle Against Isis [Sundance Review] at The Playlist.
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Sundance 2017 Women Directors: Meet Susan Froemke— “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”

“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”

Susan Froemke is a four-time Emmy winner and non-fiction filmmaker with over thirty films to her credit, including Academy Award-nominated HBO documentary film “Lalee’s Kin,” “Grey Gardens,” and “Wagner’s Dream,” which had a U.S. theatrical run before airing on PBS. Froemke recently co-directed “Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare.” She was formerly principal filmmaker at legendary Maysles Films more than two decades.

“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” will premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on January 20. The film is also directed by John Hoffman. Beth Aala co-directed.

W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.

Sf: This documentary tells the story of four men who become unlikely conservationists when they see the natural resources that have sustained their families for five generations become threatened and depleted.

Filmed on the majestic Rocky Mountain Front, the vast Great Plains of Kansas, and in the shining Gulf of Mexico waters, these men, who work the iconic landscapes, formed alliances with friend and foe to save their homeland. It’s a film that captures the enduring frontier spirit of America. It’s a film of hope.

W&H: What drew you to this story?

Sf: I read a draft of Miriam Horn’s book, “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” and fell in love with her characters. These families, who are descendants of homesteaders, frontiersmen, and fishermen, have fascinating stories that told a history of the United States that I found intriguing.

What I love about making documentaries is that you get invited into people’s lives that are completely different from yours and I thought that by filming these people on these extraordinary landscapes, I might be able to reconnect with some of the great American values.

I wanted to ranch, farm, and fish. I also care deeply about conserving land. These men and their colleagues show how it’s possible for humans and nature to co-exist in beneficial ways. This inspired me and I wanted to bring that inspiration to a wider audience.

W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?

Sf: I’m hoping that people will have their faith renewed in the democratic process that built this nation. To see that change is possible, but it only comes when people come together and work for change.

The film shows men with true grit who found consensus within their communities to affect change but it took time — 30 years in some cases — and not giving up is the key.

W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?

Sf: Documentary filming on the Gulf of Mexico and on the Rocky Mountain Front was a challenge. These are unforgiving locations. In the Gulf, I shot with Thorsten Thielow who convinced me to let him bring the Movi, which would keep the water’s horizon level so the footage would be smooth and beautiful.

We filmed in a rough sea on a fishing trip — luckily no one got seasick — but it was hard to even keep standing at times. Despite this challenge, the footage looked terrific.

Beth Aala, our co-director, shot with Thielow with the Movi for the packing trip in Montana. They could only bring a very limited amount of gear on mules, as there were no vehicles allowed. It’s the very reason why that area is so stunning — time really stood still on those trails, looking exactly the same for generations.

It was a little bit of choreography to maneuver between the animals on a very narrow trail, alongside those steep canyons. Thielow had to ride backwards on horseback part of the way to get some of the shots you see in the film, which gave the Crary family a big laugh.

W&H: How did you get your film funded? Share some insights into how you got the film made.

Sf: This is a film that we were developing together at The Public Good Projects, a non-profit focused on using media to enlighten audiences about some of our nation’s most complex problems, which John Hoffman was running before he came to Discovery.

We had commenced shooting in all three locations and had put together a sizzle reel. When John started speaking with Rich Ross about joining his team at Discovery, the fact that we had this film in early production was part of those conversations.

When Rich saw the sizzle, he decided that it was a perfect opportunity for Discovery to demonstrate its commitment to telling solution-oriented environmental stories.

W&H: What does it mean for you to have your film play at Sundance?

Sf: For a documentary, I think having your film premiere at Sundance changes everything in the life of the film. The important national press is in attendance, programmers for the other film festivals see it with an enthusiastic audience, and most wonderfully, many of your documentary peers get a chance to screen it and spread the good word!

There is no way to underestimate the reach Sundance provides for a film. It’s the best birth a documentary can have.

W&H: What’s the best and worst advice you’ve received?

Sf: The best advice I received when I was just starting out in film was to learn to edit first. If I could learn documentary editing, I’d also be learning how to direct because I would know what I needed to bring back into the edit room. I followed that advice and it’s been invaluable.

I feel lucky that I’ve never received any bad advice.

W&H: What advice do you have for other female directors?

Sf: First, you need total support while filming so only work with crew members that show respect and are willing to collaborate equally.

Second, follow your intuition. Never doubt it!

W&H: Name your favorite woman-directed film and why.

Sf: Some of my favorite women-directed films are

Lina Wertmüller’s “Swept Away,” Sofia Coppola’s “Lost in Translation,” and Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker,” because they are beautifully crafted works of art. But I’m going to write about “Gimme Shelter” and Charlotte Zwerin, who directed the film with David and Albert Maysles.

Zwerin’s name is almost never included when “Gimme Shelter” is written about, but she created the brilliant structure for the film and is responsible for the doc’s “film within the film” concept that’s realized by filming the Rolling Stones in the editing room long after the Altamont concert.

The Maysles Brothers always credited Zwerin as a director, but in the early 70's, it was never honored by the industry. So I want to give a shot out to one of the earliest documentary female directors and honor her work.

W&H: Have you seen opportunities for women filmmakers increase over the last year due to the increased attention paid to the issue? If someone asked you what you thought needed to be done to get women more opportunities to direct, what would be your answer?

Sf: We are fortunate in the documentary world: Women have always been at the forefront of nonfiction film making. It is a wonderful community and continues to thrive through changes in technology and societal issues.

Sundance 2017 Women Directors: Meet Susan Froemke— “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Trailer for Tense Sundance Doc 'Cartel Land,' From Exec. Producer Kathryn Bigelow

The war on drugs continues to be one of society's greatest battles, and the new documentary Cartel Land takes viewers to the frontlines of the issue. "There's an imaginary line out there between right and wrong, good and evil," says a voice of a vigilante in the trailer. "I believe what I am doing is good and what I am standing up against is evil." The trailer is as tense as can be, with the filmmakers capturing an incredible amount of real-life footage - hard to believe that this level of intensity was featured in less than three minutes of footage. Just imagine how the actual documentary will be. Cartel Land, from director Matthew Heineman (Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare, Our Time) and executive producer Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) will be in select theaters on July 3 from The Orchard. yt id="ZoSFSiLgbdI" width
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The Orchard Have Bulletproof Plan for Heineman’s “Cartel Land”

While top honors at this year’s Sundance Film Festival would go to The Wolfpack, it is Matthew Heineman’s Best Director Award and Special Jury Award for Cinematography winning docu that will likely leave the more impressionable stamp from the U.S. Documentary Comp section’s offerings. Having previously nabbed Patrick Brice’s The Overnight, Joe Swanberg’s Digging for Fire, Bryan Carberry & Clay Tweel’s Finders Keepers, Deadline reports that The Orchard have made Cartel Land their fourth (an impressive number) pick-up of the festival.

Gist: In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” shepherds a citizen uprising against the Knights Templar, the violent drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Sundance Film Review: ‘Cartel Land’

Sundance Film Review: ‘Cartel Land’
Startling access yields strong if not consistent results in “Cartel Land,” Matthew Heineman’s parallel portrait of vigilantes policing two different fronts of the drug war. Focusing on the leaders of two groups — one in charge of a citizens’ anti-cartel organization known as the Autodefensas, another the head of a self-appointed border patrol in Arizona — the pic finds most of its best moments in the action-packed scenes south of the Rio Grande. Further fest play is a given, with TV showings (courtesy of presenter A&E) and perhaps a limited theatrical release representing its most likely future. A Sundance directing prize can only help.

Like Heineman’s “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare,” “Cartel Land” goes to great lengths to appear evenhanded but also plays as more of a sampler than an in-depth analysis. Some of the most jaw-dropping footage provides the film’s bookends. The movie begins
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Sundance ’15: Psihoyos, Ross Bros., Heineman & Marc Silver Among U.S. Documentary Competition Offerings

Last year, Andrew Droz Palermo and Tracy Droz TragosRich Hill walked away with U.S. Grand Jury Prize while Jesse MossThe Overnighters was perhaps the section’s most buzzed about film. The sixteen titles offerings for 2015 include a first docu offering from Bobcat Goldthwait, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare director Matthew Heineman, the return of Oscar winning director Morgan Neville (for Twenty Feet from Stardom) with Best of Enemies and the latest from Youssou Ndour: I Bring What I Love director E. Chai Vasarhelyi. Here are the sweet sixteen:

U.S. Documentary Competition

3½ Minutes / U.S.A. (Director: Marc Silver) — On November 23, 2012, unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Russell Davis was shot at a Jacksonville gas station by Michael David Dunn. 3½ Minutes explores the aftermath of Jordan’s tragic death, the latent and often unseen effects of racism, and the contradictions of the American criminal justice system.

Being Evel / U.
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Kissaki Films’ Otto Bell to Direct Ashol-Pan Documentary ‘Eagle Huntress’

Kissaki Films’ Otto Bell to Direct Ashol-Pan Documentary ‘Eagle Huntress’
New York-based production company Kissaki Films has secured the life rights to Ashol-Pan, a young eagle huntress whose talents have recently made her an Internet sensation.

Kissaki Films founder Otto Bell will direct “Eagle Huntress,” a documentary on the 13-year-old girl inspired by the photography of Asher Svidensky, whose photo set went viral earlier this year. The film will follow her family and culture, set in the Altai Mountains of northwestern Mongolia, where the tradition of hunting with eagles is done only by males.

Bell recently traveled to Mongolia for a week to shoot test footage of Ashol-Pan and secure her rights for the film. He and his team are planning to return later this year during an annual Eagle Festival.

“I optioned Asher’s story the day I saw his photos,” said Bell in a statement. “It was clear that (Svidensky) had found a special story and I immediately
See full article at Variety - Film News »

CNN Films Picks Up 'Escape Fire' for a March Broadcast Premiere

CNN Films Picks Up 'Escape Fire' for a March Broadcast Premiere
With health care still very much a topic at the forefront of public debate, CNN Films has picked up Susan Frömke and Matthew Heineman's documentary "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare," which premiere at Sundance last year and received a theatrical release from Roadside Attractions in October. CNN will air the doc on Sunday, March 10 at 8pm and against at 11pm. The film digs into the problems with America's patchwork healthcare system, looking into why the country spends so much more money on healthcare while lagging in life expectancy behind almost every industrialized nation, and investigating how our system is economically incentivized to focus more on disease management than disease prevention. "CNN Films is very pleased to bring this documentary to television," said CNN president Jeff Zuckera. "The physical health of our nation and the cost of healthcare, impact every current fiscal challenge we face. This compelling
See full article at Indiewire »

CNN Films Acquires ‘Escape Fire’ U.S. TV Rights; Healthcare Doc To Air In March

Exclusive: CNN Films has picked up U.S. TV rights to Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare. The two-hour film will air on CNN on March 10 at 8 Pm and 11 Pm, with encore broadcasts March 16. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival alumni about the flaws, failings and patchwork nature of the nation’s healthcare system was produced and directed by Matthew Heineman and Oscar-nominee Susan Froemke. “CNN Films is very pleased to bring this documentary to television. The physical health of our nation and the cost of healthcare, impact every current fiscal challenge we face. This compelling film gives us an explanation of some of the factors that have contributed to our broken system and explains why we urgently need to fix it,” said network Worldwide president Jeff Zucker in a statement Friday. Related: Sundance: CNN Films Makes Buying Debut The cable news network plans to air a 30-minute discussion with
See full article at Deadline TV »

Escape Fire Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Escape Fire Movie Review
Title: Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare Directors: Matthew Heineman, Susan Froemke As the United States stands on the precipice of another presidential election, with one major party committed to striking down legislation that provided the most reform on the issue in many generations, health care is again in the headlines — if frequently only tangentially, as Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama tangle over claims over what the Affordable Care Act will and will not provide when it goes fully into effect. A new documentary from Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, however, rather persuasively suggests a collective societal myopia on the subject — that a more accurate diagnosis [ Read More ]

The post Escape Fire Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com.
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Review: 'Escape Fire' Paints A Portrait Of A Broken System & A Hopeful, Humanist Solution

"Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" opens with an anecdotal analogy that initially seems out of place in a documentary about health care systems. Dr. Don Berwick relates how a firefighter, while combatting an out of control forest fire, chose to set a fire around him in order to burn up the fuel and wait out the rampaging flames to escape unscathed. Quickly though, the film, directed by documentarians Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke, establishes that the forest fire our nation currently faces is our inefficient, money-gobbling health care system, and the best idea might just be to torch the whole thing to the ground. This thesis is quickly laid out with a sense of extreme urgency in a title sequence that juxtaposes talking heads, statistics, news reports and footage of patients in hospitals in order to get us all on the same page: this health care system
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Out This Week: 9 Reviews Of New Releases, From 'Butter' to 'V/H/S'

Out This Week: 9 Reviews Of New Releases, From 'Butter' to 'V/H/S'
This weekly column is intended to provide reviews of nearly every new indie release (and, in certain cases, studio films). Specific release dates and locations follow each review. Reviews This Week "Butter" "Decoding Deepak" "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" "Frankenweenie" "The House I Live In" "The Oranges" "The Paperboy" "Sister" "V/H/S" "Butter" Jennifer Garner heads an impressive cast that includes Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Hugh Jackman, Rob Corddry and Alicia Silverstone in "Butter," the Weinstein Company's Tea Party-lampooning comedy that unspooled last year in Telluride and Toronto to tepid responses. Blame that on the hype. With distribution honcho Harvey Weinstein at the helm, industry pundits figured he had an awards contender on his hands, only to be...
See full article at Indiewire »

Exclusive Clip: 'Escape Fire' Documentary Details Perverse Economic Incentives That Drive American Healthcare

Exclusive Clip: 'Escape Fire' Documentary Details Perverse Economic Incentives That Drive American Healthcare
"Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" is one of those documentaries that makes you angry, but for the same reasons that make it essential viewing for anyone living in this country. The film, directed by Susan Froemke and Matthew Heineman and nominated for the documentary Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, arrives in theaters and on VOD and iTunes October 5. Director Heineman introduces our exclusive clip below: "In America, you’re twice as likely to get your knee replaced as you are in other Western countries. You’re two or three times as likely to get a heart catheterization or have a stent put in your coronaries. We’ve set up a reimbursement system that often pushes physicians and hospitals into doing more. It doesn’t reward doctors for doing a better job. It doesn’t reward them for keeping their patients healthy. It rewards them for delivering more care.
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Escape Fire theatrical movie trailer

Watch the new theatrical trailer for Susan Frömke and Matthew Heineman's Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare documentary The film seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival, opens in theaters on October 5th via Roadside Attractions. Escape Fire tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Escape Fire theatrical movie trailer

Watch the new theatrical trailer for Susan Frömke and Matthew Heineman's Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare documentary The film seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival, opens in theaters on October 5th via Roadside Attractions. Escape Fire tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Toronto 2012: Starving Roadside Attractions Grabs Stuart Blumberg's 'Thanks for Sharing' With Lionsgate

  • Indiewire
Toronto 2012: Starving Roadside Attractions Grabs Stuart Blumberg's 'Thanks for Sharing' With Lionsgate
Howard Cohen and Eric D’Arbeloff’s Roadside Attractions is seriously hungry. In its third pick-up of the Toronto International Film Festival, the company has once again partnered with Lionsgate to acquire U.S. rights to Stuart Blumberg’s directorial debut, “Thanks for Sharing.” Sources put the deal, which has been crackling for days, at just over $2 million. Earlier in the day, the companies closed a deal to walk away with the Kristen Wiig comedy “Imogene,” and Roadside alone bought rights to Sarah Polley’s documentary “Stories We Tell.” Roadside has the Sundance 2012 films “Arbitrage” and “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” awaiting release in the coming weeks but nothing on the schedule beyond mid-fall except its Cannes 2012 pick-up "Mud," which has yet to be given a hard release date. These recent pick-ups shore up the company’s slate into 2013, though...
See full article at Indiewire »

Latest MPAA Ratings: Bulletin No: 2237

I know you can hardly contain your excitement for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, but the most interest rating for me today was the PG-rating for Sony Pictures's The Swan Princess: Christmas. I'm not sure I've ever seen a PG-rated film head in to the appeals process and I've been doing these articles for a long time. Other than that, what follows are the latest MPAA ratings from Bulletin #2237. #Holdyourbreath Rated R For strong bloody violence, sexual content, language and some drug use. Bigfoot County Rated R For pervasive language and a brief sexual assault. Down The Shore Rated R For language and some drug use. Electrick Children Rated R For language including brief sexual references. Escape Fire: The Fight To Rescue American Healthcare Rated PG-13 For some thematic material. Girls Against Boys Rated R For violence, some sexual content/nudity and language. A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

A New Crop Of Filmmakers On Madison Avenue

A New Crop Of Filmmakers On Madison Avenue
Imagine if the ad men from the "Mad Men" era were to put down their drinks and make documentaries. That probably wouldn't have happened back in the day, but one longstanding ad giant is giving it a go.

Ogilvy & Mather's entertainment divisions are creating feature-length movies that don't advertise anything. At least not in the traditional Madison Avenue sense.

Their civil rights documentary, "Booker's Place: A Mississippi Story," premiered earlier this year and continues to gain recognition. An "NBC Dateline" segment called "Finding Booker's Place" airing Sunday will revisit the project.

Ogilvy Entertainment's Aisle C Productions produced "Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare," which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be released in October by Roadside Attractions.

The expanding definition of content has moved Ogilvy and other ad houses into longer-form works that don't push product, creatives say.

"I think that there's a lot of value
See full article at Huffington Post »

Escape Fire movie clips

Clips from Escape Fire: The Fight to Save American Healthcare Rioadside Attractions sends their documentary to theaters on October 5th, after the film was first seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Directed and produced by Susan Frömke and Matthew Heineman, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Escape Fire movie clips

Clips from Escape Fire: The Fight to Save American Healthcare Rioadside Attractions sends their documentary to theaters on October 5th, after the film was first seen at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Directed and produced by Susan Frömke and Matthew Heineman, Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system? American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs – almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse.
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »
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