The fight for freedom of the press and against the oppressive political regime in the Philippines takes center stage in Ramona S. Diaz’s A Thousand Cuts, which opens in theaters and in virtual theaters nationwide.
As journalists around the world face threats and the term “fake news” is thrown around recklessly by world leaders, A Thousand Cuts puts Filipino journalist Maria Ressa in the spotlight. The founder of the news site Rappler and Time Magazine’s Person of The Year has been on the frontlines holding Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte accountable for his controversial and violent war on drugs in the country as well as his regime’s bolstering of misinformation. Ressa has always been in Duterte’s crosshairs and in June, she was found guilty of cyber libel by a court in the Philippines. Diaz’s docu follows Ressa’s journey and how its impact may have global consequences.
Duterte’s administration has been at odds with the media in the Philippines since he took office in 2016. In May, the government shut down ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ leading broadcast network. In addition to the volatile tension between the Duterte administration and the media, the Philippines president recently approved the Anti-Terrorism Bill which is just as controversial if not more than his war on drugs. The law uses a broad definition of terrorism, grants power to the government to authorize warrantless arrests as well as detention without charge for several weeks. Petitions have been started against it as many have said it is a law targeting dissenters of the Philippine government. The act also affects those that are non-residents suspected of terrorism and are visiting the country.
A Thousand Cuts is released at a time when there has been a reckoning for leaders who are abusing their power. During a time when the U.S. — and the world for that matter — are rising up and using their voice to speak against oppression, Diaz’s film is on-brand for 2020.
On August 9 at 11am PT/8am PT, journalist Christiane Amanpour is set to moderate a special virtual livestream Q&A with Ressa and Diaz.
The film bowed at Sundance Film Festival in January and debuted internationally at Hot Docs this summer. The film also screened as a part of AFI DOCS and Full Frame Film festivals. It will have its television broadcast premiere on Frontline (PBS) in January 2021.
Watch the trailer below.
Out Stealing Horses, Norway’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 92nd annual Academy Awards is set to make its debut this weekend.
Adapted from the award-winning bestseller by Per Pettersen, the Magnolia Pictures film is set in November 1999 and follows Trond (Stellan Skarsgård), a 67-year-old widower who lives in isolation and looks forward to ushering in the year 2000 all by himself. When he meets a Lars (Bjørn Floberg), he realizes they met when he was 15 years old. The unlikely reunion serves as a rekindling of his past.
Written and directed by Hans Petter Moland, Out Stealing Horses made its world premiere in Competition in Berlin last year and it was honored with Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for its cinematography. Watch the trailer below.
Written by Jennifer Deyell and directed by Andrea Dorfman Spinster finds comedian and actress Chelsea Peretti (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) playing Gaby who, like anyone, just wants to find love. She was recently dumped and inching towards 40 and she feels she doesn’t matter to anyone. This very well might be a familiar story for anyone at 40.
Her life isn’t exactly going great and it doesn’t help that her best friend is too preoccupied with her own life to help and her family isn’t exactly cheering her on. On top of that, she runs a catering business that a lot of her work involves weddings. As a result, she feels that she is destined to be a spinster (hence the title).
She decides to lean into the fact that she may never find love and as she makes peace with that, she meets someone who may be Mr. Right.
I Used To Go Here follows Kate Conklin (Gillian Jacobs), a writer who just released her first novel to a less-than-stellar ovation. She hopes to get a boost of confidence when her former professor and old crush (Jemaine Clement) invites her to speak at her alma mater. What is meant to be an opportunity to fuel her self esteem turns into a regression of misadventures with twentysomethings and jealousy toward her former professor’s new favorite student.
The comedy, which was written and directed by Kris Rey, was an official selection of SXSW. I Used To Go Here also stars Hannah Marks, Kate Micucci, Jorma Taccone, Josh Wiggins and Forrest Goodluck. Taccone also produces alongside Andy Samberg and Akiva Schaffer.
Based on the Nobel Prize-winning novel by J.M. Coetzee, the Ciro Guerra-directed Waiting For Barbarians starring Mark Rylance, Robert Pattinson and Johnny Depp makes its debut today.
The Samuel Goldwyn period pic follows a Magistrate (Rylance) of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire who looks forward to an easy retirement until the arrival of Colonel Joll (Depp), whose task it is to report on the activities of the “barbarians” and on the security situation on the border. Joll conducts a series of ruthless interrogations, which leads the Magistrate to question his loyalty to the empire.
STX Films will release the Marc Munden-directed The Secret Garden, an adaptation of the time-honored novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
Adapted for the screen by Jack Thorne, it’s a story that always manages to find a new audience with each generation. Set in England during a new time period in 1947, the film follows a young orphan girl who, after being sent to live with her uncle, discovers a magical garden on the grounds of his estate. The all-star cast includes Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Dixie Egerickx, David Heyman and Rosie Alison.
Greenwich Entertainment’s Creem follows the journey of the titular magazine of the ’70s when rock was going through a reinvention. The Scott Crawford-directed docu features Jeff Ament, Alice Cooper and Cameron Crowe as it paints a portrait of the mag that includes the magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit to its upward trajectory from an underground publication to publishing powerhouse to its downfall following the deaths of publisher Barry Kramer and its most famous alum Lester Bangs, a year later.
Also opening this weekend is David Ayer’s thriller The Tax Collector starring Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona, George Lopez and Shia LaBeouf. The film from RLJE Films follows two “tax collectors” for a crime lord whose old rival returns to Los Angeles turns things upside down. In Christian Sesma’s crime thriller Paydirt starring Luke Goss, Val Kilmer and Mike Hatton, we see a parolee reunite with his old gang to find a buried bag of cash stolen five years ago from a DEA bust gone bad.
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