RAISE HELL: The Life And Times of Molly Ivins tells the story of media firebrand Molly Ivins. Often compared to Mark Twain, Ivins was six feet of Texas trouble who, despite her Houston pedigree, took on Good Old Boy corruption wherever she found it. Best-selling author, Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist, popular TV pundit, Molly had a nation of “fans” and “frenemies.” She courageously spoke truth to power and it cost her more than once. But Molly always served up her quality reportage with a heaping dollop of humor. The gal was funny! Her razor-sharp wit left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving ink in her columns. At the height of her popularity 400 newspapers carried her column. She railed against “Big Bidness” in government, and often said, “Texas is the national laboratory for bad gub’ment.” Molly’s words have proved prescient. She knew the Bill of Rights was in peril and said “Polarizing people is a good way to win an election and a good way to wreck a country.”
Molly spoke from the heart. She was not a cynic. She gave voice to people who didn’t have one. She called her constituents her “beloveds” and she never stopped raisin’ hell. When she died of breast cancer in 2007, the nation lost a true champion and a woman who seemed to be afraid of nothing. America is in crisis. Who today can fill Molly Ivins’ size-12 shoes? Why all of us, of course! It’s time to RAISE HELL. Molly Ivins certainly would.
Cast: Molly Ivins Directed by: Janice Engel
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
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.