10 Good Reasons to See ERNEST & CELESTINE at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival (and it’s FREE!)

ernest_thumb1Yes, you’ll want to see ALL the films at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival but here are 10 good reasons to see Ernest & Celestine on Saturday, March 7th, at 10:30 a.m. at the Farmington Civic Theater.

1. Delight in the unlikely pairing of a bear and a mouse and what their friendship can teach us all.

2.  See an Oscar-nominated film. Ernest & Celestine was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year at the 2014 Academy Awards.

3. Hear the legendary screen actress Lauren Bacall in her final film. Bacall lends her distinctive husky voice to the character of The Grey One.

4. Watch the film and then go read the books. The film is based on books of the same name by the Belgian author and illustrator Gabrielle Vincent.

5.  Fall in love with the U.S. version and then go watch the original. Ernest & Celestine was first released in France in 2012.

6. See an animated film that is a trailblazer. Along with its twelve other awards and eleven nominations, Ernest and Celestine became the first animated film to win the 2013 Magritte Award for Best Film.

7. Experience a film that fills you with warmth. Film critic Glenn Kenny of MSN calls Ernest and Celestine  “the coziest movie you’ll likely see all year. Every frame is suffused with a fireplace kind of warmth that, for me at least, cast an immediate spell that didn’t let up.”

8. Hear a film that is filled with an all-star cast. Along with Bacall, other talented actors and actresses to lend their voices to the U.S. version include Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Megan Mulally, Nick Offerman, William H. Macy, Paul Giamatti, and Jeffrey Wright.

9. See for yourself why Ernest & Celestine has received such wide acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes, the film review aggregator, reported that 98% of critics gave the film a “fresh” rating, and called it a film that is “[s]weet and visually charming.”

10. If you are an adult, be just as charmed by the lovely and well-crafted animations as the children in the audience.  Ernest & Celestine is brought to you by the same creators of the 2004 Oscar-nominated film The Triplets of Belleville.

Along with Ernest & Celestine, we will be presenting a selection of student films entered into the PTA Reflections program.

Check out the trailer below and join us. The film is FREE!


10 Good Reasons to See ALIVE INSIDE at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival

01_ALIVE INSIDE_Photo Courtesy of BOND360

Yes, you’ll want to see ALL the films at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival but here are 10 good reasons to see Alive Inside on Friday, March 6th, at 9:00 pm at the Farmington Civic Theater.

1. See the film that won the Audience Award for a documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

2. Learn more about Dan Cohen, the founder of the nonprofit organization Music & Memory, and the many ways he is helping individuals fight memory loss.

3. Catch the illuminating interview with the best-selling author and neurologist Oliver Sacks as he weighs in on the link between music and memory.

4. Want more Bobby McFerrin after seeing Crescendo? Mr. McFerrin proves yet again his commitment to the power of music having a positive effect on the mind. In 2009, McFerrin served as the co-host of The Music Instinct, a two-hour award-winning documentary produced by PBS and based on Daniel Levitin’s best-selling book This Is Your Brain on Music.

5. See the film that won the Best Documentary award at the 2014 Milano International Film Festival Awards.

6. See for yourself why The Hollywood Reporter called Alive Inside, “A gloriously inspirational film documenting music’s healing power in Alzheimer patients.”

7. Be amazed by the transformations that the patients featured in the film undergo, moving from silence and immobility to singing and dancing with their favorite music.

8. Enjoy the wonderful music featured in the film, from gospel to classical and rock, and reflect on what the soundtrack of your youth would be.

9. Be moved by the sense of hope the documentary inspires and by what Steve Greene of Indiewire in his review best expressed by saying that Alive Inside “provides a sense of idealism amid bleak situations.”

10. Learn how you can help fight the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s on patients and their families. The makers of Alive Inside have created The Alive Inside Outreach Campaign, which creates educational materials and short films to inspire young people to bring music to seniors. To read more about the campaign and to contribute, please see the donation page at http://www.aliveinside.us/#donate

Check out the trailer below and purchase your tickets at the Farmington Civic Theater, Costick Center, or online at the festival web site.

10 Good Reasons to See CRESCENDO! The Power of Music at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival

Crescendo: the power of musicYes, you’ll want to see ALL the films at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival but here are 10 good reasons to see Crescendo! The Power of Music, March 6th, at 7:00 pm at the Farmington Civic Theater.

1. Learn about El Sistema, Venezuela’s youth orchestra program, which has inspired training programs around the globe.

2. Meet Raven, a gifted young violinist whose spirited personality both pushes her talent forward and gets in her own way.

3. Meet Zebediah, a viola player who finds acceptance, friendship and a driving passion through the program.

4. Meet Mohammed, an exceptionally gifted trombone player who is caught between his love for playing and the pressures of his father to do better in school.

5. See the film that won the Audience Award and the award for Best Local Feature at the  Philadelphia Film Festival.

6. Be inspired by Stanford Thompson, the Founder and Artistic Director of the El Sistema-inspired program Play On, Philly!, who works tirelessly with the young musicians in his programs to stay out of trouble and to hone their musical interests.

7. See ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin lead the students in a coaching session in the Play On, Philly! program.

8. Be amazed by the students’ incredible talent in playing complicated and beautiful classical music pieces.

9. Watch the internationally acclaimed conductor Sir Simon Rattle conduct some of the featured young musicians in a performance they will never forget.

10. Get involved right here in Michigan! Learn more about the El Sistema-inspired programs Crescendo Detroit and Kalamazoo Kids in Tune.

Purchase your tickets at the Farmington Civic Theater, Costick Center, or online at the festival web site.

10 Good Reasons to See THE LONG NIGHT at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival

The Long Night flyerYes, you’ll want to see ALL the films at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival but here are 10 good reasons to see our opening film The Long Night on Thursday, March 5th, at 7:30 pm at the Smith Theatre at Oakland Community College.

1. Tim Matsui, the director of The Long Night, will join us for a Q&A after the film, followed by a discussion about human trafficking with representatives from area nonprofits, law enforcement, and government.

2. The film originated with the photojournalist work of director Matsui after he received a $25,000 grant to document domestic minor sex trafficking as the first ever Alexia Foundation Women’s Initiative Grantee.

3. You’ll empathize with Lisa’s struggle to escape a life of addiction and abuse.

4. You’ll be inspired by the efforts of Tom and Nacole to rescue their runaway daughter from the streets.

5. See the film Pictures of the Year International (POYi) has named Documentary Project of the Year.

6. You’ll have the opportunity to hear from others working in our community to end human trafficking, including the Michigan Abolitionist Project.

7. “The Long Night is an important look into the underbelly of the Northwest region’s sex trade. Anyone who cares about kids should view it.”–Seattle Times

8. You also get perspectives from the police who hear “the worst story I have ever heard” every single day on the job.

9. This is the very FIRST public screening of The Long Night in Michigan!

10. You’ll gain a better understanding of how pervasive human trafficking is, how it impacts families, and what you can do to protect others and help to end trafficking in our communities.

Check out the trailer below and purchase your tickets at the Farmington Civic Theater, Costick Center,  or online at the festival web site.

Presentation of The Long Night is made possible in part by the generous support of the Michigan Abolitionist Project and State Representative Christine Greig & Bob Greig.

10 Good Reasons To See 1,000 TIMES GOOD NIGHT at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival

A_Thousand_Times_Good_Night_posterYes, you’ll want to see ALL the films at the 2015 Greater Farmington Film Festival but here are 10 good reasons to see 1000 Times Good Night on Saturday, March 7th, at 9:00 pm at the Farmington Civic Theater.

1. Watch Juliette Binoche, the only winner of two European Film Awards for best actress, give one of the most heart-breaking and compelling performances of her career as Rebecca, a photojournalist torn between her career and her family.

2. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, it’s a chance to see the actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in a whole new way in his performance as Rebecca’s husband Marcus, struggling between his love for his wife and protecting his family.

3. See for yourself why 1,000 Times Good Night is an award-winning movie. It won the Special Grand Prix of the jury at the 2013 Montreal Film Festival.

4. Marvel at the cinematography. The breathtaking principal photography was done by John Christian Rosenlund.

5. See why The Hollywood Reporter called the film an “affecting drama made more poignant by honest-feeling autobiographical elements.”

6. Watch the movie Variety described as being imbued with “enormous emotional resonance, brilliantly grounded by [the] leading lady.”

7. See how the fictional film reflects real-life situations. The director, Erik Poppe, infuses the film with autobiographical elements. Much of the film’s premise comes from his work as a photo journalist in the 1980s, covering conflicts in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

8. Be captivated and awed by the war-zone still images. The photographs, which are an important element of the film, are provided by the photographers Marcus Bleasdale and Astrid Sehl.

9. Be enthralled by the quiet beauty of the movie’s settings. The film was mainly shot in Ireland and Morocco.

10. Reflect on the precarious role journalists face when covering important news stories around the world. As we witness more and more journalists being captured and killed in war zones and by terrorist groups, this film reminds us all of the important work that they do.

Check out the trailer below and purchase your tickets at the Farmington Civic Theater, Costick Center,  or online at the festival web site.

Presentation of 1000 Times Good Night is made possible by the generous support of David and Abigail Viane.

kickstART Your Weekend with Some Good Reads: On Aesthetics and Design, Pawlikowski on IDA, and Playgrounds of Ice

We highlight here some communitygreat articles we’ve read this week dealing with art, creative placemaking, and building great communities. You’re sure to find some inspiration to make your life and our community even better!

1. The Economic Value of a Unique PlaceWhen it comes to communities, aesthetics and design are economics, because they are critical to a unique place…. “The image of a community is fundamentally important to its economic well being … Decisions such as where to invest, where to work, where to retire, and where to vacation are all made based on what a community looks like.”

2. Long Distance Trains and Public Space: Good public spaces (busy parks, main streets, plazas) attract a diverse cross-section of a community or city and at best, can facilitate interaction across perceived differences. The train exemplifies this by providing circumstances for much more intensive interactions among strangers than usually happen in cities.

3. Ida’s Bittersweet Success: An Interview With Pawel Pawlikowski: Also, it’s a kind of love letter to Poland, although it doesn’t seem like it. A love letter to a certain point in culture, in the early 60s, a slight kind of creative arrogance, an “I don’t care what the world thinks”.

4. The Future of the LibraryWe live in an increasingly isolated culture, for individuals I mean…. I think we need physical spaces for people to come together. Along these lines, the American Public Library is one of the last non-commercial spaces that are left. If you are in a place in your life where you just need a place to hang out, you come to the library.

5. A Playground Made of Snow and IcePinPin Studio teamed up with ICEHOTEL and other local partners to create this winter wonderland featuring a maze, ice slides, seating, and a “snow lantern” that glows at night. The entire playground took less than a week to build.