Ram Dass, Going Home is about the cultural figure from the 1960s and ’70s who is considered a spiritual teacher as well as an outspoken advocate for death-and-dying awareness. Since suffering a life-changing stroke 20 years ago, Ram Dass has been living at his home on Maui and deepening his spiritual practice — which is centered on love and his idea of merging with his surroundings and all living things. The short is directed by Derek Peck. Ram Dass, Going Home bows on April 6.
But first up is The Trader (Sovdagari), which Sundance announced last week would be a part of its 2018 shorts program. Winner of the Best Short Documentary Award at Hot Docs, it will launch globally on Feb. 9. The story follows Gela who sells secondhand clothes and household items from the back of his minibus while travelling the Eastern European country of Georgia in search of spuds. Money is meaningless in this market—potatoes are lucre. Young and old peer into his truck, their eyes lighting up at the sight of modern conveniences like sponges and lint brushes. It’s a riddle that pits rural value against urban valuation, dirt versus gold. The film was directed by Tamta Gabrichidze.
Also on the Netflix slate is Ladies First which tells the story of Deepika Kumari who, as a girl born on the roadside to abject poverty in rural India, went in search of food, stumbled upon archery, and within four years became the number one archer in the World. Ladies First is directed by Uraaz Bahl and is released March 8.
Also making its world premiere at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival is the previously announced End Game. Directed by Academy Award winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, End Game is an intimate vérité style documentary that follows visionary medical practitioners who are working on the cutting edge of life and death — and dedicated to changing our thinking about both. The film bows May 4.
“We are proud to showcase stories from around the globe, told by filmmakers who help us see the world from unique and important new vantage points,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentary Programming. “This impressive and diverse slate of documentary shorts illustrates how filmmakers, both acclaimed and emerging, can deftly transport us into some of the most transcendent, enriching, raw and unexpected moments in life.”