Columbus Documentary Week returns December 6-12. Documentaries continue to be an important medium for facilitating awareness and conversation on a variety of social, economic, and political challenges. Gateway Film Center is pleased to have the opportunity to present some of this year's most compelling and cutting-edge documentary films.
20 FEET FROM STARDOM
12/8 at 4PM, 12/11 at 8PM
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.
THE ACT OF KILLING: Special Return Engagement 12/8 at 8PM
A documentary that challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers.
12/6 at 6PM, 12/9 at 9PM, 12/10 at 5PM
Filmmakers Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson follow their son and his best friend through the U.S. educational system. Though both boys start out at the prestigious Dalton School, circumstances later force one into a public high school.
BEST KEPT SECRET
12/7 at 3PM, 12/10 at 12PM
In partnership with Helping Hands Center for Special Needs. The mission of Helping Hands Center for Special Needs is to meet the educational and therapeutic needs of children with autism and other disabilities.
A New Jersey schoolteacher named Janet Mino works tirelessly to ensure that her students with special needs reach their maximum potential.
BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL
12/5 at 9PM, 12/6 at 8PM, 12/8 and 12/11 at 3PM
The pinup model and cult icon recounts how her free expression overcame government witch-hunts to help launch America's sexual revolution.
12/7 and 12/9 at 8PM
Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, and the pressures brought on by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.
12/8 at 1PM and 12/10 at 7 PM
Rocky went to India as a disillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, he decided to stay and devote his life to them. This unmistakable power of love is celebrated in this story of one man’s decision to move to India and restart his life among the dispossessed.
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
12/5 at 8PM, 12/9 at 12PM, 12/10 at 1PM, and 12/11 at 6PM
Once a rising star in the '70's New York art scene, 80-year-old "boxing" painter Ushio Shinohara is prepping for his latest show, hoping to reinvigorate his career. His wife, Noriko, seeks her own recognition through her "Cutie" illustrations, which depict their chaotic 40-year marriage. CUTIE AND THE BOXER captures two lives united by art-making for a touching meditation on the themes of love and sacrifice.
DESIGN IS ONE
12/6 at 7PM, 12/9 at 12PM, and 12/11 at 7PM
Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world's most influential designers whose work covers such a broad spectrum that one could say the they are known by everybody. From graphics to interiors to products and corporate identities, the film brings us into the work and everyday moments of the Vignellis' world.
DREW: THE MAN BEHIND THE POSTER
12/5 at 10PM, 12/7 at 1PM, and 12/11 at 4PM
The film highlights the career of poster artist Drew Struzan, whose works include the INDIANA JONES, BACK TO THE FUTURE and STAR WARS movie posters. The film spans Drew's early career in commercial and album cover art through his retirement as one of the most recognizable movie poster artists of all time.
FIRE IN THE BLOOD
12/6 at 3PM, 12/9 at 2PM and 7PM, and 12/11 at 1PM
WINNER Washington DC Filmfest
OFFICIAL SELECTION Sundance Film Festival
Several people fight back against pharmaceutical companies that block access to low-cost AIDS drugs after 1996.
FOLLOWING THE NINTH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BEETHOVEN'S FINAL SYMPHONY
12/6 at 1PM, 12/7 at 6PM, and 12/10 at 4PM
Filmed on 5 continents and in 12 countries, 'FOLLOWING THE NINTH' is the story of four people whose lives have been transformed by Beethoven's message in his Ninth Symphony: "Alle Menschen werden Bruder" (All Men Will Be Brothers).
GOD LOVES UGANDA
12/5 at 7PM, 12/8 at 2PM, 12/9 at 9PM, 12/10 at 3PM, and 12/12 at 3PM
GOD LOVES UGANDA explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry. The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.
INEQUALITY FOR ALL
12/6 at 9PM, 12/8 at 6PM, 12/9 at 3PM, and 12/11 at 5PM
In his Wealth and Poverty class at U.C.- Berkeley, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich discusses the grave economic and social consequences that may result if the gulf between rich and poor continues to widen.
12/6 at 4PM, 12/7 at 5PM, and 12/12 at 1PM
INFORMANT is a fascinating portrait of Brandon Darby, a radical left-wing activist turned FBI informant. The film meticulously constructs a picture of his life – before and after the many death threats he has received - through interviews and tense reenactments starring Darby himself.
12/8 at 7PM, 12/9 at 4PM, and 12/11 at 9PM
OFFICIAL SELECTION Tribeca Film Festival
Josh and Ben Safdie direct this documentary about Lenny Cooke, a basketball prodigy who went undrafted when he decided to go pro, beginning a series of seasons playing with various foreign basketball clubs and traveling professional teams. The filmmakers show how this probable superstar ended up barely a footnote in the history of the game.
12/7 at 2PM and 12/10 at 8PM
OFFICIAL SELECTION Toronto Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION Chicago International Film Festival
LEVIATHAN is a thrilling, immersive documentary that takes you deep inside the dangerous world of commercial fishing. Set aboard a hulking fishing vessel as it navigates the treacherous waves off the New England coast, the film captures the harsh, unforgiving world of the fishermen in starkly haunting, yet beautiful detail.
12/6 at 12PM, 12/8 at 11AM, 12/9 at 6PM, and 12/11 at 2PM
This enchanting documentary follows several campers with aspirations to become professional magicians as they unite in this house of hocus-pocus. The kids who are drawn to magic tend to be shy and unathletic, and working hard at their craft helps them to escape the pressures of growing up. Bewitching graphics and astonishing sleight of hand make for a spellbinding film.
MEN AT LUNCH
12/7 at 12PM, 12/8 at 10PM, and 12/12 at 12PM
WINNER Special Jury Prize Irish Film and Television Awards
OFFICIAL SELECTION Toronto Film Festival.
MEN AT LUNCH explores the story of one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century: Lunch atop a Skyscraper. Charles C. Ebbets took the photo on September 29, 1932 from the 69th floor of the RCA building during its last few months of construction. Despite being published in the New York Herald Tribune a few days later, the photo spent the better part of the past century misattributed. Not until 2003 did an investigation uncover Ebbets as the photographer behind the image.
MORE THAN HONEY
12/6 at 2PM, 12/7 at 9PM, 12/9 at 1PM, and 12/12 at 2PM
WINNER - Best Documentary - German Film Awards
WINNER - Best Documentary - Austrian Film Awards
Fifty years ago, Albert Einstein had already insisted on the symbiotic relationship binding bees to mankind: “If bees were to disappear from the globe,” he predicted, “mankind would only have four years left to live.” MORE THAN HONEY looks into the fascinating world of bees, showing the relationship between mankind and honeybees, about nature and about our future.
Don't miss a mead tasting with Brothers Drake Meadery on Saturday, December 7 at 8PM before the 9PM screening of MORE THAN HONEY. Admission to the tasting is free with ticket purchase to MORE THAN HONEY.
POMPEII FROM THE BRITISH MUSEUM
12/7 at 4PM, 12/9 at 5PM, and 12/11 at 12PM
The film focuses on the homes and lives of the inhabitants of the thriving industrial hub of Pompeii and the small seaside town of Herculaneum nearly 2,000 years ago when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD. Introduced by British Museum Director Neil MacGregor, this fascinating show will take viewers around the exhibition with insights from renowned experts who will bring these extraordinary objects to life.
THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE
12/6 at 5PM, 12/10 at 6PM, and 12/12 at 4PM
WINNER - Audience Award - 2013 Hot Docs Canada
Award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall’s (WATER ON THE TABLE) take on the existence of animals in modern society examines how they are used by the food, entertainment and fashion industries.
12/5 at 11PM, 12/7 at 10PM, and 12/10 at 2PM
WINNER - Best Documentary - United Film Festival New York
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Slamdance Film Festival
OFFICIAL SELECTION - True/False Film Festival
Welcome to the Jejune Institute, a mind-bending San Francisco phenomenon where 10,000 people became "inducted" without ever quite realizing what they'd signed up for. Fusing elements of counter-culture, new religious movements and street art, THE INSTITUTE invites viewers down the rabbit hole into a secret underground world teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.
THE PRIME MINISTERS: THE PIONEERS
12/7 at 7PM and 12/8 at 5PM
Based on the best- selling book by Ambassador Yehuda Avner, THE PRIME MINISTERS: THE PIONEERS takes the audience inside the offices of Israel’s Prime Ministers through the eyes of an insider, Yehuda Avner, who served as a chief aide, English language note-taker and speechwriter to Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Yitzhak Rabin, Menachem Begin, and Shimon Peres.
THE PUNK SINGER 12/6 at 7:30PM and 12/9 at 5:30PM
Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the voice of the riot grrrl movement. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.
THE ROLLING STONES: SWEET SUMMER SUN 12/6 at 10PM and 12/10 at 9PM
Captured live in the summer of 2013, the Rolling Stones historic return to Hyde Park was the event of the summer. Over 100,000 fans packed into the park for two spectacular outdoor concerts to watch Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood do what they do best. This stunning concert film is the perfect way to celebrate the return of The Rolling Stones: live on stage in their hometown.
DEAR MR. WATTERSON 12/7 at 11AM and 12/11 at 5:30PM
Calvin & Hobbes dominated the Sunday comics in thousands of newspapers for over 10 years, having a profound effect on millions of readers across the globe. When the strip’s creator, Bill Watterson, retired the strip on New Year’s Eve in 1995, devoted readers everywhere felt the void left by the departure of Calvin, Hobbes, and Watterson’s other cast of characters, and many fans would never find a satisfactory replacement.
It has now been more than a decade since the end of the Calvin & Hobbes era. Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile during this time, living a very private life outside of Cleveland, Ohio. Despite his quiet lifestyle, Mr. Watterson is remembered and appreciated daily by fans who still enjoy his amazing collection of work.
Mr. Watterson has inspired and influenced millions of people through Calvin & Hobbes. Newspaper readership and book sales can be tracked and recorded, but the human impact he has had and the value of his art are perhaps impossible to measure.
This film is not a quest to find Bill Watterson, or to invade his privacy. It is an exploration to discover why his 'simple' comic strip made such an impact on so many readers in the 80s and 90s, and why it still means so much to us today.