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June 19, 2007
An interview with Vince DiPersio the director of the documentary Semper Fi: One Marine’s Journey the story of Jeff Key, a kid from Alabama, who set out for Hollywood where he found freedom, acceptance and deep friendships. At thirty-four Key decides to join the Marine Corps Reserve only to find his life again transformed in the wake of 9/11. Knowing he could get out of the service by telling his superiors who he really was, Key decided to go to war for the country he loved. Once in Iraq, Key’s heart was broken by what he saw. When he makes the decision to reveal his homosexuality, Key becomes true to himself. DiPersio is the recipient of three Academy Award nominations, three Emmys, prizes from film festivals around the world, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Journalism.


June 12, 2007
An interview with director Tony Stone whose film Severed Ways will have its world premier June 22 at Film Independent's Los Angeles Film Festival.
Shot independently at the site of actual Viking settlements in Newfoundland, Severed Ways follows Vikings, Indians and Irish monks as they collide on the shores of North America in the name of personal glory and religious dominance in the 11th century. Two stranded Vikings wade through a primeval landscape as they struggle for survival while still in the grip of their Norse ways.


June 5, 2007
An interview with director Guy Madden. Equal parts childhood reminiscence, Expressionist horror film, teen detectived serial, and Grand Guignol reverie, Brand upon the Brain! is a new cinematic spectacle. Inspired by the aesthetics and melodramatic flourishes of silent cinema, Central European literature and the desolation of his native Winnipeg, Maddin has fashioned a career like no other. A Super-8-cranking modern-day Eisenstein, filming plots that would make John Waters blush, Maddin embraces a cinema where expressionism, somnambulism and lurid sexual neuroses unite—and conquer.


May 29, 2007
An interview with Judy Irving the director / producer of the documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. and Mark Bittner, the subject of this film. In a celebration of urban wildness, Irving follows formerly homeless street musician Mark Bittner into San Francisco’s avian subculture, where a remarkable flock of wild green-and-red parrots live and work to survive. Dubbed the “Bohemian St. Francis,” Bittner falls in with the flock as he searches for his path through life, unaware that the wild parrots will do more for him than eat his sunflower seeds. Irving is a Sundance and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker whose previous credits include Dark Circle, a feature documentary about the nuclear industry, and Out of the Way Café, an hour-long drama.

An interview with co-director Ricki Stern whose documentary, The Devil Came on Horseback exposes the violence and tragedy of the genocide in Darfur as seen through the eyes of a lone American witness. Using thousands of uncompromising and exclusive photographs taken by former US Marine Captain Brian Steidle during his role as a military observer with the African Union,the film leads you through the tragic impact of an Arab government bent on destroying its black African citizens. Stern past documentaries include The Trials of Darryl Hunt, In My Corner, and Neglect Not The Children.


May 22, 2007
An interview with Socheata Poeuv the director and subject of the documentary New Year Baby. Born on the Cambodian New Year in a Thai refugee camp, Socheata never knew how she got there. After her birth, her family left the past behind and moved to Texas never speaking about their surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide. In the film, Socheata journeys to Cambodia and discovers the truth about her family. New Year baby won the highest human rights cinema award, the Amnesty International 'Movies That Matter' Award, at its premiere at the 2006 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.


May 15, 2007
An interview with Julia Loktev, writer and director of the controversial film about a female suicide bomber, Day Night Day Night. The film won the Independent Spirit "Someone to Watch" Award, the Cannes Film Festival Prix Regards Jeune and Best Feature at the Montréal Festival of New Cinema. In it, a 19-year-old prepares to become a suicide bomber in Times Square. She speaks with no accent; it’s impossible to pinpoint her ethnicity. We never learn why she made her decision; she has made it already. We don’t know whom she represents or what she believes, only that she believes it absolutely.


May 8, 2007

An interview with screenwriter Court Crandall of the film A Lobster Tale. A movie tinged with magical realism, A Lobster Tale won for its screenplay at the Austin Film Festival and was given the Sundance Channel Audience Award. Shot in Halifax, the film takes place in a small Maine fishing town, where a struggling lobster fisherman discovers a mysterious healing sea moss in one of his traps. Tension in his already fragile family erupts when the true supernatural quality of the moss is revealed and becomes sought after by everyone in town.


May 1, 2007
An interview with Sarah Polley director of Away From Her, a screenplay adaptation of celebrated author Alice Munro's short story "The Bear Came Over the Mountain." Starring Julie Christie, Away From Her explores the dilemma of a man coping with the institutionalization of his wife because of Alzheimer's disease. Polley is a director, writer and actress renowned in her native Canada for her peace and justice political activism. From child star to director, her career ranges from the TV series The Road to Avonlea to Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, from Terry Gilliiam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Isabel Coixet's The Secret Life of Words.


April 24, 2007

An interview with Paul Fox the director of Everything’s Gone Green — a film about a twentysomething uberslacker who is nonetheless willing to fall into accidental success. Green comically illustrates how hard it is to know what’s real in a world filled with fabrication and hidden agendas. In 2005 Fox’s first feature-length film, the psychological thriller The Dark Hours was released to critical acclaim and garnered numerous awards at international festivals. Everything’s Gone Green is his second feature. This film marks the first screenplay written by the acclaimed author Douglas Coupland ("Generation X").

An interview with Bruce Leddy the director of Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace winner of the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival Audience Award. A group of guys who sang together in a college a cappella group reunite 15 years later to perform at a friend's wedding and discover how their lives have progressed — and in some cases regressed — since their college heyday.


April 17, 2007

An interview with Gregg Schwenk, executive director of the Newport Beach Film Festival. In 2007, the Festival will spotlight over 350 films from around the world including features, shorts, documentaries, and animation that will compete for a series of awards including Jury Awards and Audience Awards. In addition to film screenings, the Festival will host several premiere galas, yacht parties, and question and answer sessions with filmmakers. The Festival runs from April 19th through April 29th, 2007 and is expected to attract more than 35,000 film devotees.


April 10, 2007

Filmmakers in the indie, experimental, foreign, avant-garde and documentary fields desperately need critics. Lacking money for a promotional campaign and forced to rely on word-of-mouth, these filmmakers have found no better friend over the past 40-plus years than Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times. Thomas, one of the few people in Hollywood to befriend the legendary Fritz Lang, will share his personal rememberances of the director who brought us Metropolis, M, Die Nibelungen, The Big Heat and The Blue Gardenia. Thomas's film series, American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre, continues April 18 with a twin bill — Double Indemnity and Blood Money.


April 3, 2007

An interview with co-directors and co-producers Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein of the documentary The Prisoner Or: How I Planned To Kill Tony Blair. Baghdad, September 2003: In a middle class house on a quiet street in Baghdad, a family is fast asleep. Without warning, the front door is crashed and American soldiers storm the house looking for weapons and bomb-making material. Cameraman Michael Tucker documents the event as the men in the house are cuffed and forced to kneel in the garden. Combining Tucker's embedded footage, Yunis' home movies, testimony from former guard Benjamin Thompson and original comic book art, Tucker and Epperlein trace the moving story of an ordinary man trapped in a Kafkaesque nightmare.

An interview with Micha X. Peled director of China Blue. Like no other film before, China Blue is a powerful and poignant journey into the harsh world of sweatshop workers. Shot clandestinely, this is a deep-access account of what both China and the international retailers don't want us to see: how the clothes we buy are actually made. Following a pair of denim jeans from birth to sale, China Blue links the power of the U.S. consumer market to the daily lives of a Chinese factory owner and two teenaged female factory workers. Filmed both in the factory and in the workers' faraway village, this documentary provides a rare, human glimpse at China's rapid transformation into a free market society. China Blue will air on PBS's Independent Lens Series on Tuesday, April 3 at 10:30 pm.