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Q&As

  • ''HELL ON THE BORDER'' Q&A on Friday December 13th after the 7:20pm show!

    ''HELL ON THE BORDER'' Q&A on Friday December 13th after the 7:20pm show!

    Q&A with actors  Chris Mullinax,  Manu Intiraymi (Associate Producer) and Amber Sweet on Friday Dec. 13th after 7:20pm show   This epic, action-packed Western tells the incredible true story of Bass Reeves (David Gyasi), the first black U.S. marshal in the Wild West. Having escaped from slavery after the Civil War, Reeves arrives in Arkansas seeking a job with the law. To prove himself, he must hunt down a deadly outlaw (Frank Grillo) with the help of a grizzled journeyman (Ron Perlman). As he chases the criminal deeper into the Cherokee Nation, Reeves must not only dodge bullets in hopes of earing his star, but severe discrimination — and ends up cementing his place as a cowboy legend.
  • LOST HOLIDAY Q&As with the Matthew brothers (writers/directors/actors) on 12/20

    LOST HOLIDAY Q&As with the Matthew brothers (writers/directors/actors) on 12/20

    LOST HOLIDAY Q&As with the Matthew brothers (writers/directors/actors) on 12/20 after the 7:15pm & 9:15pm shows.   Home for the holidays with nothing to do, a young social worker and her high school best friend get in over their heads when they try to solve the kidnapping of a Washington D.C. socialite.
  • BROKEN DREAMS - Published By Joanna Berendt (The New York Times)

    BROKEN DREAMS - Published By Joanna Berendt (The New York Times)

    A Slain Jewish Girl’s Diary of Life Under the Soviets and the Nazis Described as a counterpart to Anne Frank’s diary, a journal written by Renia Spiegel, a Jewish girl who lived in Poland during World War II, is being published in English. PRZEMYSL, Poland — She was a Jewish teenager in a small trade city in southeastern Poland when she began writing her diary, months before the advent of World War II. By the time she was shot in the head by Nazi soldiers, she had chronicled life under two totalitarian regimes: the Soviets who advanced from the east and the Nazis who came from the west. Her journal, hidden in a safe deposit box in New York City for decades, has been described as a counterpart to Anne Frank’s diary, a valuable historical document and a poignant coming-of-age story. Now, the journal of the teenager, Renia Spiegel, all 700 perfectly preserved pages, is to be published in English for the first time. Released on Thursday, it was to arrive in bookstores in 13 countries on Sept. 24, including Britain, Germany, Russia and the United States. At a moment when basic agreement over simple truths has become a political battleground and history a weapon, the publication of the book, “Renia’s Diary,” offers a reminder of the power of bearing witness.   In the first entry, Renia made clear why she was writing: “I want someone I can talk to about my everyday worries and joys, somebody who will feel what I feel, believe what I say and never reveal my secrets.” It is Jan. 31, 1939. She does not know that in seven months, war would come to the increasingly ruined town of Przemysl, a place of noisy school grounds, intimate cafes and romantic alleys where first kisses were stolen. By July 30, 1942, less than two months after she turned 18, she would be dead. The last passage in the diary was written by the man she had loved during those terrible years, Zygmunt Schwarzer, who survived Auschwitz and was supposed to look after the diary after Renia and his parents went into hiding to avoid being deported to concentration camps. The Nazis found their hide-out, in the attic of a house in Przemysl, and dragged them into the street. After they were shot, he wrote: “Three shots! Three lives lost! Fate decided to take my dearest ones away from me. My life is over. All I can hear are shots, shots … shots.” Alexandra Garbarini, a professor and historian at Williams College in Massachusetts who specializes in Holocaust diaries, said that Renia’s story was unique because she experienced both Soviet and Nazi rule, providing rare insight into Stalin’s less-examined occupation. “This is such a complete text,” Professor Garbarini said. “It shows the life of a teenager before the war, after the war breaks, until she has to move to the ghetto and is executed. It’s absolutely remarkable.”   It is not clear what Mr. Schwarzer did with the journal before he was sent to Auschwitz, or how he retrieved it in the 1950s, when he was living in New York.   His son, Mitchell Schwarzer, said he did not remember if his father ever told him who had given him the journal. “I just remember him telling me one day: ‘Look, this is my first girl’s journal! We were incredibly close. She was my spiritual soul mate,’” he said by phone. Mr. Schwarzer said his father had become obsessed with the diary. “He made copies of it and read it for hours,” he said. “God knows what my mother made of this.” The journal is first and foremost an intimate testimony of the challenges of becoming a woman and falling in love during a time of war. Renia, in many ways, represents tens of thousands of young women who lived during that time and whose lives were cut short before they could fully embrace their youth and first loves. She was 15 and staying with her younger sister, Elizabeth, a child actress known as the “Polish Shirley Temple,” at her grandparents’ home in Przemysl when the war broke out. Renia’s love for Zygmunt, whom she calls “Zygu” and who was one year her senior, is the main topic of her journal, and her writing reveals a typical teenager with adolescent self-consciousness.   Months of painfully shy romantic advances by Zygmunt and skittish expressions of affection by Renia preceded their first kiss, after a walk on the evening of June 20, 1941: “It was dark; we couldn’t find the way. We got lost, yes, we got doubly lost, or rather — only just found ourselves. It was so sudden and unexpected and sweet and intimidating. I was at a loss for words and terribly mixed up. He said: ‘Renuska, give me a kiss,’ and before I knew it, it happened.” This was just two days before the Third Reich declared war on the Soviet Union, ending the nonaggression pact, with the Germans sweeping into eastern Poland. For Renia, when war and ordinary life intertwined, love was almost a necessity, providing desperately needed comfort. She wrote a few weeks after her first kiss: “When I walk the distant streets with Zygu (such irony of fate: we’re uncertain if we’ll live, the city’s destroyed, war, horrible uncertainty, white armbands), I’m happy, it feels good.” After Renia and Zygmunt’s parents went into hiding — they did not receive the work permit stamps they needed to avoid deportation — he took over the journal. For the next couple of days, he reported on his desperate, unsuccessful efforts to save “these three most precious human beings in my life.” He later made his way to New York, where Renia’s mother, Roza, and younger sister, Elizabeth Bellak, born as Ariana Spiegel, were also living. Mr. Schwarzer eventually passed the diary to them. Ms. Bellak, now 88, said that she stashed it for decades in a safe deposit box because she could not bear to read it. “Renia was like a mother to me when our own beloved mother was far away,” she said. “Every time I opened her diary, I started crying. It was too emotional.” Renia was an aspiring poet, and her journal features mature political manifestoes and captivating love poems for which, Ms. Bellak said, she had won numerous awards before the war. On June 7, 1942, she wrote: “Think, tomorrow we might not be A cold, steel knife Will slide between us, you see But today there is still time for life Tomorrow sun might eclipse Gun bullets might crack and rip And howl — pavements awash With blood, with dirty, stinking slag Pigwash Today you are alive There is still time to survive” It was Ms. Bellak’s daughter, Alexandra Renata Bellak, who recognized the journal’s value. In 2014, she reached out to the Polish film director Tomasz Magierski and asked him to help them find a publisher. Not only did Mr. Magierski help them do so, he also made a documentary, “Broken Dreams,” based on the journal. It opened in a Polish cinema on Sept. 18.   Marcel Tuchman, who was friends with Renia and Zygmunt in Przemysl during the war, recalled the bond the two shared. “They were just two young people who, thanks to their deep love for one another, saved themselves from the horrors of the war,” he said in an interview in 2016. Mr. Tuchman remained close to Mr. Schwarzer after they were both sent to Auschwitz, survived it and immigrated to the United States, where they became doctors. Mr. Schwarzer died in 1992, at age 69, and Mr. Tuchman in 2018, at age 97. But in 1989, during a meeting with Ms. Bellak in New York, he reunited with the diary one last time and wrote: “I get drunk on the sound of your words. They ennoble me. I feel I am rising above, because I love everything that is yours.” Ms. Bellak wrote in the afterword of the diary that Mr. Schwarzer had taught her that the “past isn’t long gone; it’s present in our hearts, our actions and the lessons we teach our children.” “Zygmunt was happily married to Gienia, another Jewish girl from Poland,” Ms. Bellak added. “But he never forgot my sister.”    
  • Put on a happy face. #JokerMovie starts Friday December 20th

    Put on a happy face. #JokerMovie starts Friday December 20th

    An original standalone origin story of the iconic villain not seen before on the big screen, it's a gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society, and a broader cautionary tale.
  • Daniel Isn't Real Q&A with star Miles Robbins on 12/6. Josh Rothkopf (Time Out) will be moderating!

    Daniel Isn't Real Q&A with star Miles Robbins on 12/6. Josh Rothkopf (Time Out) will be moderating!

    Q&A with star Miles Robbins on December 6 after the 7:00pm show Josh Rothkopf from Time Out will be moderating the Q&A for Daniel Isn’t Real on 12/6.    Troubled college freshman Luke (Robbins) suffers a violent family trauma and resurrects his childhood imaginary friend Daniel (Schwarzenegger) to help him cope. Charismatic and full of manic energy, Daniel helps Luke to achieve his dreams, before pushing him to the very edge of sanity and into a desperate struggle for control of his mind -- and his soul.
  • ''MY FRIEND THE POLISH GIRL'' Q/A on 12/1 with Directors Ewa Banaskiewicz & Mateusz Dymek!

    ''MY FRIEND THE POLISH GIRL'' Q/A on 12/1 with Directors Ewa Banaskiewicz & Mateusz Dymek!

    MY FRIEND THE POLISH GIRL Opening Weekend Q/A Directors Ewa Banaskiewicz and Mateusz Dymek will host a brief Q/A after the 11am screening of MY FRIEND THE POLISH GIRL on Sunday, December 1. The filmmaking couple have been married since 2009, after meeting at the National Film School in Poland. MY FRIEND THE POLISH GIRL is their feature length debut.
  • ''TO KID OR NOT TO KID' 'Q&As with Director/special guests at the 7:10pm & 9:10pm shows on 11/15

    ''TO KID OR NOT TO KID' 'Q&As with Director/special guests at the 7:10pm & 9:10pm shows on 11/15

    ''TO KID OR NOT TO KID' 'Q&As with Director & special guests in attendance at the 7:10pm & 9:10pm screenings on November 15.
  • Documentary Review: One woman’s AIDS activism rattles the People’s Republic in “Ximei”

    Documentary Review: One woman’s AIDS activism rattles the People’s Republic in “Ximei”

    If the Chinese government isn’t careful, the world will give Liu Ximei the Nobel Peace Prize. And if there’s one thing the Hollywood and NBA-coddling one-party dictatorship hates, it’s having another version of its greed, incompetence, repression and aggression exposed to the world. “Ximei” is about a genuine social justice warrior fighting the lonely fight on behalf of  AIDS patients in China. Liu Ximei is one of them, and the documentary “Ximei” recounts how she was infected, how society and her own family treated her and how the sunglasses-wearing thugs of the “People’s Republic” keep coming down on her for speaking out, garnering attention and demanding justice. She and millions of Chinese like her are victims of China’s “Black Blood Economy.” A peasant in a nation that rarely acknowledges it has them, she was gruesomely injured doing farm work — at age 10 — in Xinoa County, Henan Provice. But “child labor” wasn’t the worst of it. While in the hospital, she can given a transfusion of hospital-provided and sold HIV positive blood. For years, China callously and carelessly exploited peasants, getting them to sell their blood. They didn’t bother to test it until much later. They didn’t bother to keep the blood gathering and dispensing gear disinfected. AIDS exploded in Henan Province. Ximei contracted it, and in a culture built on family, she became a prime example of the shunning families did to members who contracted the disease. She shows us the hospital where she grew up, living for eight years with no family or friends, with only reluctant staff and animals that roamed the courtyard for company. In “Ximei,” we follow her as she visits other victims, old farm women, younger women like herself. “Have some pig feet soup,” they insist. She leads the film crew into the chaos of “clinic day” in town, where medicine that these patients need to survive is delivered and sold. Everybody asks her advice, even as they’re getting the same drugs she needs, even as they’re facing the same impossible bills for a deadly disease official policy and cutthroat shortcuts gave them. There’s supposed to be government reimbursement (the LEAST they could do) for this massive, shadowy government screw-up. But the bureaucracy demands that patients prove it was their fault, and bury illiterate peasants under paperwork that would qualify them. Ximei and her friends talk about this, as she visits them in their homes or in the house in town where she provides food and shelter to those coming into town for treatment. With a mop-top (possibly a wig) and pronounced limp due to her long-ago accident, Ximei is a local celebrity. “Everybody knows the AIDS girl who can’t walk properly,” she says (in Chinese, with English subtitles). And that’s the other burden she must carry. Hand-weaving plastic AIDS ribbons is one thing. Being summoned to international conferences for consultation, and followed by a film crew is an altogether different thing. We see her stroll past a Chinese-hosted health and justice event past government sanctioned posters (in English) decrying the state of women’s rights and ecological rights — in India. The cops and hired thugs who rough her up and take her phone? Just the Chinese making sure the focus is on India’s scandals, and not those of the People’s Paradise. Ximei makes a quietly compelling heroine, and the filmmakers — who can be seen questioning the men in sunglasses following her around — do her their greatest service in just letting her tell her story, just letting their camera capture the indifference, fear and fury that has been officialdom’s knee-jerk reaction to her cause. But I don’t know. She’s just one woman and it’s just one documentary, even if it a pretty good one with limited prospects for release. Ximei still looks like one of those solitary heroes who doggedly lead by example until others help her move mountains. And those others just might live in Sweden.
  • TO BE OF SERVICE Q&As with Director Josh Aronson on Friday(11/1) & Saturday(11/2) after 7:00pm show.

    TO BE OF SERVICE Q&As with Director Josh Aronson on Friday(11/1) & Saturday(11/2) after 7:00pm show.

    Josh Aronson is a director and producer, known for Sound and Fury (2000), To Be of Service (2019) and The Opposite Sex: Rene's Story (2004).   TO BE OF SERVICE is a feature-length documentary film about war veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) who are paired with a service dog to help them regain their lives. Returning home for these vets is often plagued with depression and a wrenching disconnect from the world they once inhabited. Family, old friends and jobs seem foreign, and newly returned warriors struggle to function and return to a normal civilian life. Service dogs offer a miraculous ray of hope in helping them come back to an independent, feeling life. The viewer learns it is the fragile life of young warriors, changed forever by combat that is the true cost of war.
  • Q&As with Writer/Director/Star - Mark Blane & special guests for both shows on 11/1, 11/2, 11/3

    Q&As with Writer/Director/Star - Mark Blane & special guests for both shows on 11/1, 11/2, 11/3

    CINEMA VILAGE CUBBY Q&A's   FRIDAY 11am Introduced by Mark Blane & Ben Mankoff (No Q&A)   FRIDAY 3:20pm Moderated by Mike Doyle (TV/FILM Actor and Director of SELL BY) with Guests: Director Ben Mankoff, Director/Writer/Actor Mark Blane, Actor Joseph Seuffert ("Milo"), Violet Tinnirello ("Penny") Sarah Dooley ("Muriel") and Carly Blane("The New Babysitter") Special Musical Performance by Sarah Dooley (Singer featured on the CUBBY Soundtrack)   SATURDAY 11am Conversation with Ben Mankoff, Mark Blane and Cubby Cast (TBD)   SATURDAY 3:20pm Moderated by Jesse Wakeman (Actor/Co-Writer Donald Cried) with Guests: Director Ben Mankoff, Director/Writer/Actor Mark Blane, Casting Director Henry Russell Bergstein, CSA and Actors Peter Y. Kim ("Charles") Jeanine Serralles ("Annie") and Matthew Shear ("Lars")     SUNDAY 11am Moderated by Liz Zimiles (Nitehawk Cinema Shorts Festival Programmer) with Guests: Director Ben Mankoff, Director/Writer/Actor Mark Blane   SUNDAY 3:20pm Jill Hervey (Musician "Lion Babe") In Conversation w/ Director/Writer/Actor Mark Blane
  • ''CROWN VIC'' Q&As following the 7:00pm shows on Friday 11/08 and Saturday 11/09

    ''CROWN VIC'' Q&As following the 7:00pm shows on Friday 11/08 and Saturday 11/09

    Q&As following the 7:00pm shows on Friday 11/08 and Saturday 11/09   During one night on patrol, a veteran cop (Thomas Jane) and his rookie partner (Luke Kleintank) chase down violent suspects while searching for a missing girl and hunting two cop killers on the loose in Los Angeles.
  • WCFF Series 27 - Panel discussion with Producers Andrea Walji and Vince Marucci on Thursday 10/24

    WCFF Series 27 - Panel discussion with Producers Andrea Walji and Vince Marucci on Thursday 10/24

    Series 27 | 6:00-8:00 pm Red Ape, Surviving Orangutan Friends of Split Oak Not a Pet Pangolins: Scale of the Trade *Panel discussion with Producers Andrea Waljiand Vince Marucci**Special guests from  World Animal Protection