In late 2014, a low-res video of a person in a clown mask emerging from underneath a sleeping child's bed appears on YouTube. The description below the video claims that the clown is named "Wrinkles," that he lives in southwest Florida, and that he's been hired by the child's parents to frighten her for misbehaving. The video goes viral. Soon, more mysterious videos of Wrinkles scaring children appear online, along with a phone number to hire him for "behavioral services." Wrinkles becomes internet lore - a whole genre of YouTube videos of kids filming themselves calling him appears online, and over a million messages are left at the number. Voicemails range from disturbing to hilarious to terrifying: parents use the number to terrify their children, kids who are obsessive fans of creepy clowns reach out to make a new friend, children threaten to inflict wildly creative violence if he comes anywhere near them. But who is Wrinkles, and why is he doing this? With incredible access to the mastermind behind the mask, Wrinkles the Clown is a cryptic and playful exploration of these questions, as well as an inside look at myth-building and the unpredictable spread of imagination in the Internet age.
Directed by: Michael Beach Nichols and Christopher K. Walkers Produced by: Jennie Bedusa, Jon Lullo, Brendan Walter, Lowell Shapiro and Mike Dill
MISTER AMERICA follows Tim Heidecker's delusional attempt to enter the world of politics. After beating a murder charge for selling faulty e-cigarettes at an EDM festival, Tim seeks revenge by running an absurd campaign to unseat the San Bernardino District Attorney. Fueled by ego and ignorance, he tries to surmount a lack of experience, funds and likeability by personally connecting with unsuspecting constituents. It does not go well.
Cast: Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington Directed by: Eric Notarnicola
Sex! Gossip! Scandal! For over 60 years, the National Enquirer has pumped out salacious, shocking stories, stretching the limits of journalism and blurring the lines between truth and fiction. SCANDALOUS is the sensational true story of the most infamous tabloid in US history, a wild, probing look at how one newspaper’s prescient grasp of its’ readers darkest curiosities led it to massive profits and influence. From its coverage of Elvis’s death, to Monica Lewinsky and the O.J. Simpson murder trial, the National Enquirer rattled the foundations of American culture and politics, sometimes allegedly using payoffs and blackmail to get its scoops. With rare archival footage and revelations as wild as National Enquirer headlines themselves, SCANDALOUS examines our obsession with the rich, famous and powerful, and the tabloid that has fed those obsessions for generations of Americans.
Directed by: Mark Landsman Produced by: Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Landsman, Jennifer Ash Rudick, and Kristen Vaurio
LITTLE JOE follows Alice (Emily Beecham), a single mother and dedicated senior plant breeder at a corporation engaged in developing new species. She has engineered a special crimson flower, remarkable not only for its beauty but also for its therapeutic value: if kept at the ideal temperature, fed properly and spoken to regularly, this plant makes its owner happy. Against company policy, Alice takes one home as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it ‘Little Joe.’ But as their plant grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creation may not be as harmless as its nickname suggests.
Cast: Emily Beecham, Ben Whishaw Directed by: Jessica Hausner
CUNNINGHAM is director Alla Kovgan’s immersive documentary on Merce Cunningham, one of the world’s most influential and groundbreaking choreographers. CUNNINGHAM traces Merce’s artistic evolution over three decades of risk and discovery (1944–1972), from his early years as a struggling dancer in postwar New York to his emergence as one of the world’s most visionary choreographers. The 3D technology weaves together Merce's philosophies and stories, creating a visceral journey into his innovative work. A breathtaking explosion of dance, music, and never-before-seen archival material, CUNNINGHAM is a timely tribute to one of the world’s greatest modern dance artists.
Directed by: Alla Kovgan
In The Whistlers, not everything is as it seems for Cristi, a police inspector in Bucharest who plays both sides of the law. Embarking with the beautiful Gilda on a high-stakes heist, both will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery and deception. A trip to the Canary Islands to learn a secret whistling language might just be what they need to pull it off.
Cast: Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi, and George Pisterneanu Directed by: Corneliu Porumboiu
Produced by: Marcela Mindru Ursu, Patricia Poienaru, Sylvie Pialat, Benoît Quainon, Janine Jackowski, Jonas Dornbach, and Maren Ade
Slay the Dragon
After the 2008 election, a secretive, well-funded partisan initiative poured money into state legislative races in key swing states to gain control of their redistricting processes and used high-tech analytics to dramatically skew voting maps based on demographic data. The result is one of the greatest electoral manipulations in U.S. history, one that poses a fundamental threat to our democracy and exacerbates the already polarized atmosphere in Congress and state houses across the country.
Gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve the party in power, has been around for centuries. But in today’s hyperpartisan political environment it has been taken to unprecedented extremes, fueled by the elimination of corporate campaign contribution limits and the availability of vast amounts of personal information.
The effects of this insidious strategy have continued to bear fruit through the 2018 midterms. But voters, fed up with cynical efforts to sidestep the will of the majority, have begun fighting back. In one example, a grassroots movement led by a young woman with no political experience gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to put an anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in Michigan.
The new documentary Slay the Dragon shines a light on this timely issue, and follows a handful of citizens’ groups, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system.
Directors/Producers: Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance
Out Stealing Horses
November, 1999. Following the death of his wife, 67-year-old Trond Sander has retired from Oslo to a small village in the east of Norway. The millennium is coming to an end, and so too it would appear is Trond’s life. One winter night he suddenly recognizes an old acquaintance from his youth in his neighbor, Lars. The encounter brings back memories of 1948 when Trond spent an entire summer in a simple wooden hut by the river with his much-admired father. Long afternoons in the forest, rides on wild horses and hard work felling wood begin to blur into a series of images of carefree happiness but also fateful experiences. Filmed in the midst of a breathtaking landscape of mountains and rivers between Norway and Sweden, Hans Petter Moland unfolds a drama about love, loss and disappointment, lifelong traumas and feelings of guilt. Based on Per Petterson’s award-winning novel ‘Ut og stjæle hester’ (‘Out Stealing Horses’), the film also addresses Norway’s Nazi past. The oscillation between collaboration and resistance also had an impact on personal decisions and became an indelible part of Trond’s childhood memories.
Starring: Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg, Tobias Santelmann, Danica Curcic and Pål Sverre Hagen Directed by: Hans Petter Moland
Magnolia Pictures is the theatrical and home entertainment distribution arm of the Wagner/Cuban Companies, a vertically-integrated group of media properties co-owned by Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban.