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5 Reasons to See “Mama Bears” at the 2022 GFFF

Mama Bears is an exploration of the journeys taken by two “mama bears”—conservative, Christian mothers whose profound love for their LGBTQ+ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community—and a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important.

Mama Bears is the story of women who have allowed nearly every aspect of their lives to be completely reshaped by love. Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.

Shot in a poetic, deeply intimate style, Mama Bears uses social media posts, home movies, photographs, interviews, and cinema verité footage to explore the complex intersections of politics, religion, faith, and true, unconditional love.

The film will screen at the 2022 Greater Farmington Film Festival on Saturday, October 8th, at 7:00pm, at the Riviera Cinema. Here are 5 good reasons to join us for the film.

  1. Director Daresha Kyi considers herself to be a “warrior of love” and “believes it is [her] responsibility to do everything within [her] power to shift the balance in our world away from death, destruction, and hatred and toward stronger, deeper love”.
  2. You’ll be inspired by the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears” —whose profound love for their LGBTQ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community.
  3. The Hollywood Reporter acknowledges that “embedded throughout this redemptive narrative are threads of a sadder, more complex one about the dangers LGBTQ children face in trying to live honestly.”
  4. According to Collider, “if you’re hankering for some hope in humanity, here it is.”
  5. You’ll recognize the power in a simple hug.

Purchase your tickets today at gffilmfest.com/films!

5 Reasons to See “Who We Are” at the 2022 GFFF

Jeffery Robinson had one of the best educations in America. He went to Marquette University and Harvard Law School and has been a trial lawyer for over 40 years – as a public defender, in private practice, at the ACLU, and now at The Who We Are Project. In 2011, Robinson began raising his then 13-year-old nephew and, as a Black man raising a Black son, struggled with what to tell his son about racism in America. How, he wondered, did we get here? And when he started looking at our Nation’s history, Robinson was shocked by what he had not known. For the past 10 years, in community centers, concert halls, houses of worship, and conference rooms across America, he has been sharing what he learned.

In Who We Are – A Chronicle of Racism in America, Robinson faces his largest audience, asking all of us to examine who we are, where we come from, and who we want to be. Anchored by Robinson’s 2018 performance at NYC’s historic Town Hall Theater, the film interweaves historical and present-day archival footage, Robinson’s personal story, and observational and interview footage capturing Robinson’s meetings with Black change-makers and eyewitnesses to history. From a hanging tree in Charleston, South Carolina, to a walking tour of the origins of slavery in colonial New York, to the site of a 1947 lynching in rural Alabama, the film brings history to life, exploring the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it.

The film will screen at the 2022 Greater Farmington Film Festival on Friday, October 7th, at 9:15pm, at the Riviera Cinema. Here are 5 good reasons to join us for the film.

  1. Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America is a documentary feature film that confronts the history of slavery, racism, and police brutality head on.
  2. You’ll be inspired by our shared responsibility to create a better country in our lifetimes.
  3. Jeffery Robinson states his “hope [is] we get to a point where the narrative in the United States about our past is one that is true, not to tear ourselves down, but to reckon with where we started and how far we need to go to get to the true promises of our country.”
  4. Co-director Emily Kunstler says the film “asks all of us to examine where we come from, who we are, and who we want to be.”
  5. Screen Daily notes that “Jeffery Robinson is precise, empathetic and informed. He is every teacher you might have ever wished for as a student.”

Purchase your tickets today at gffilmfest.com/films!

5 Reasons to See “Mission: Joy” at the 2022 GFFF

Deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny, Mission: JOY is a documentary with unprecedented access to the unlikely friendship of two international icons who transcend religion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu. In their final joint mission, these self-described mischievous brothers give a master class in how to create joy in a world that was never easy for them. They offer neuroscience-backed wisdom to help each of us live with more joy, despite circumstances.

Consisting largely of never-before-seen footage shot over 5 days at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife. With genuine affection, mutual respect and a healthy dose of teasing, these unlikely friends impart lessons gleaned from lived experience, ancient traditions, and the latest cutting-edge science regarding how to live with joy in the face of all of life’s challenges from the extraordinary to the mundane.

The film will screen at the 2022 Greater Farmington Film Festival on Friday, October 7th, at 7pm, at the Riviera Cinema. Here are 5 good reasons to join us for the film.

  1. The film was inspired by the international bestseller, The Book of JOY, co-authored by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Doug Abrams.
  2. The film is directed by Peggy Callahan and Louie Psihoyos, winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for the film The Cove.
  3. Science shows that starting with even just one ACT OF JOY will help you feel better, right now.
  4. Director Peggy Callahan told Deadline, “We’re not preaching in this film but I hope that people see through their stories that joy is an inside job and it then becomes an external job when you interact with other people.”
  5. Mission: Joy is an antidote for the times.

Purchase your tickets today at gffilmfest.com/films!

5 Reasons to See “The Art of Making It” at the 2022 GFFF

“The Art of Making It” is a film about who gets seen and who gets left behind in today’s seductive, secretive and unregulated art world. The film follows a diverse group of compelling young artists on the brink of unimaginable success or failure as they challenge systems, break barriers and risk it all with the goal of making it in an industry where all the rules are currently being rewritten.

The film will open the 2022 Greater Farmington Film Festival on Thursday, October 6th, at 7pm, at the Riviera Cinema. Here are 5 good reasons to join us for the film.

  1. Learn about the work of a diverse group of artists doing fascinating work, including Gisela McDaniel, a Detroit-based artist.
  2. Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Jerry Saltz appears in the film and calls it “one of the most majestic and unexpected films about the secret life of art.”
  3. Emmy-nominated producer Debi Wisch said in an interview, “I hope the film opens their eyes to the struggles of younger artists and the wellbeing of the maker. There’s a romantic ideal about the starving artist, but it’s not really that romantic.”
  4. The Independent noted that “The Art of Making It soars when it concentrates, as it often does, on the concepts and the process of making boundary-breaking art.”
  5. The film won the Audience Award at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.

Purchase your tickets today at gffilmfest.com/films!

Join Us for the 2022 Greater Farmington Film Festival

We’re pleased to announce the lineup for the 9th annual Greater Farmington Film Festival taking place October 6-9, 2022 at the Riviera Cinema, Farmington Community Library, and the Zekelman Holocaust Center.

This year we again present a slate of good films for a better world, films that will challenge and inspire us to be better neighbors and build a stronger community!

We’re grateful to the following sponsors for making the 2022 GFFF possible: Farmington Brewing Company, Bill Brown Ford, Thornton & Grooms, Cutters Studios, Wright Beamer, Clarus Lighting + Controls, David and Abigail Viane, Shekufa & Ardeshir Irani, and the family of Sandy and Tommye Feit, in loving memory.

Check out the lineup and purchase your tickets below (you will not receive physical tickets; your receipt is your ticket for entry).

FILMS

Thursday, October 6th

7:00 pm at the Riviera Cinema

THE ART of MAKING IT

Documentary, 94 mins

This is a film about who gets seen and who gets left behind in today’s seductive, secretive and unregulated art world. The Art of Making It follows a diverse group of compelling young artists on the brink of unimaginable success or failure as they challenge systems, break barriers and risk it all with the goal of making it in an industry where all the rules are currently being rewritten.

Winner of the Audience Award at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival

Friday, October 7th

7:00 pm at the Riviera Cinema

MISSION: JOY

FINDING HAPPINESS in TROUBLED TIMES

Documentary, 90 mins

Deeply moving and laugh-out-loud funny, Mission: JOY is a documentary with unprecedented access to the unlikely friendship of two international icons who transcend religion: His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu. In their final joint mission, these self-described mischievous brothers give a master class in how to create joy in a world that was never easy for them. They offer neuroscience-backed wisdom to help each of us live with more joy, despite circumstances.

Consisting largely of never-before-seen footage shot over 5 days at the Dalai Lama’s residence in Dharamsala, the film invites viewers to join these luminaries behind the scenes as they recount stories from their lives, each having lived through periods of incredible difficulty and strife. With genuine affection, mutual respect and a healthy dose of teasing, these unlikely friends impart lessons gleaned from lived experience, ancient traditions, and the latest cutting-edge science regarding how to live with joy in the face of all of life’s challenges from the extraordinary to the mundane.

Mission: Joy is an antidote for the times.

“When you are kind to someone else, you end up being joyful, but why? Because we realize that we are made for goodness.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“You see, usually everybody seeks happiness – joyfulness – but from outside. From money, from power, from big car, from big house. Ultimate source of happy life – even physical health – inside not outside.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama

9:15 pm at the Riviera Cinema

WHO WE ARE: A CHRONICLE of RACISM in AMERICA

Documentary, 118 mins

Jeffery Robinson had one of the best educations in America. He went to Marquette University and Harvard Law School and has been a trial lawyer for over 40 years – as a public defender, in private practice, at the ACLU, and now at The Who We Are Project. In 2011, Robinson began raising his then 13-year-old nephew and, as a Black man raising a Black son, struggled with what to tell his son about racism in America. How, he wondered, did we get here? And when he started looking at our Nation’s history, Robinson was shocked by what he had not known. For the past 10 years, in community centers, concert halls, houses of worship, and conference rooms across America, he has been sharing what he learned.

In Who We Are – A Chronicle of Racism in America, Robinson faces his largest audience, asking all of us to examine who we are, where we come from, and who we want to be. Anchored by Robinson’s 2018 performance at NYC’s historic Town Hall Theater, the film interweaves historical and present-day archival footage, Robinson’s personal story, and observational and interview footage capturing Robinson’s meetings with Black change-makers and eyewitnesses to history. From a hanging tree in Charleston, South Carolina, to a walking tour of the origins of slavery in colonial New York, to the site of a 1947 lynching in rural Alabama, the film brings history to life, exploring the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it.

“Jeffery Robinson is precise, empathetic and informed. He is every teacher you might have ever wished for as a student” – Screen Daily

Saturday, October 8th

2:00 pm at the Farmington Community Library

The Best of the 2022 New York International Children’s Film Festival

Lively collections of short animation, live action, and documentary films reflect NYICFF’s commitment to storytelling and diversity and are sure to spark meaningful conversations. This FREE screening is recommended for kids young and old!


7:00 pm at the Riviera Cinema

MAMA BEARS

Documentary, 91 mins

Mama Bears is an exploration of the journeys taken by two “mama bears”—conservative, Christian mothers whose profound love for their LGBTQ+ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community—and a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important.

Mama Bears is the story of women who have allowed nearly every aspect of their lives to be completely reshaped by love. Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist, evangelical Christians, mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe—even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart.

Shot in a poetic, deeply intimate style, Mama Bears uses social media posts, home movies, photographs, interviews, and cinema verité footage to explore the complex intersections of politics, religion, faith, and true, unconditional love.

Premiered at the 2022 SXSW Film Festival.

9:15 pm at the Riviera Cinema

FLEE

Animated Documentary, 89 mins

Flee tells the story of Amin Nawabi as he grapples with a painful secret he has kept hidden for twenty years, one that threatens to derail the life he has built for himself and his soon to be husband. Recounted mostly through animation to director Jonas Poher Rasmussen, he tells for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan.

Flee was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

“One of the most uniquely memorable animated films of the last decade”

– The Guardian

Sunday, October 9th

12:30 pm at the Zekelman Holocaust Center

CHARLOTTE

Animated Drama, 93 mins

Charlotte is an animated drama that tells the true story of Charlotte Salomon (Keira Knightley), a young German-Jewish painter who comes of age in Berlin on the eve of the Second World War. Fiercely imaginative and deeply gifted, she dreams of becoming an artist. Her first love applauds her talent, which emboldens her resolve. But the world around her is changing quickly and dangerously, limiting her options and derailing her dream.

When anti-Semitic policies inspire violent mobs, she leaves Berlin for the safety of the South of France. There she begins to paint again and finds new love. But her work is interrupted, this time by a family tragedy that reveals an even darker secret. Believing that only the extraordinary will save her, she embarks on the monumental adventure of painting her life story.

FREE VIRTUAL FILM SCREENINGS

DRIVING WHILE BLACK

RACE, SPACE, and MOBILITY in AMERICA

Documentary, 115 mins

Discover how the advent of the automobile brought new mobility and freedom for African Americans but also exposed them to discrimination and deadly violence, and how that history resonates today.

“It’s a thorough history of the effort to restrict and shame Black mobility, and it’s a must-watch.”

– IndieWire

KISS THE GROUND

Documentary, 87 mins

Narrated and featuring Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground is an inspiring and groundbreaking film that reveals the first viable solution to our climate crisis.

Kiss the Ground reveals that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Using compelling graphics and visuals, along with striking NASA and NOAA footage, the film artfully illustrates how, by drawing down atmospheric carbon, soil is the missing piece of the climate puzzle.

This movie is positioned to catalyze a movement to accomplish the impossible – to solve humanity’s greatest challenge, to balance the climate and secure our species future.

“Inspires a rare feeling of hope” – The New York Times

THE REVOLUTION GENERATION

Documentary, 78 mins

A how-to manual for saving the earth.

The number of Millennials in the United States — those born between approximately 1978 and 2000 — is near 80 million people. They’re the most diverse generation in America, with 56 percent of them registered as politically Independent … and every single one of them will be needed if the planet is to avoid climate catastrophe. In The Revolution Generation, filmmakers Josh Tickell and Rebecca Tickell (whose previous films Fuel, Pump, and Kiss the Ground have examined oil, capitalism, and a regenerative way forward for the earth) spotlight a generation that has been mischaracterized, mislabeled, and mistakenly mocked. Through interviews and highlighting a theory by authors/generational demographists Neil Howe and William Strauss that history can be viewed as a series of 80-year cycles — and within that, into four “seasons” that bring with them profound societal changes — the film shows the impact of the WWII Generation, Baby Boomers, and Gen X. But Millennials occupy a special spot: They’re creators of social tech and native digital users, are anti-corporate crusaders, are more empathetic that any previous group … and they now have to secure voting rights, equality, and the safety of the planet itself. Can they do it? A kinetic, perceptive documentary of a generation and why they are who they are, The Revolution Generation is also, as Josh Tickell says, “A how-to manual for saving the earth.”

Art in the Roots #4: Are Cartoon Tears Salty Too?

I’m a dad. Some of you local readers know my kids. They’re good kids, at heart, but let’s just say they might not always understand that Calvin and Hobbes comics aren’t “how-to” guides. They mean well, at least. You gotta give them that. 

A lot of my dad friends and I have talked about some obvious generational differences between older generations and Generation X. For many reasons both good and bad that I won’t get into, parenting expectations have changed. I’m grateful my parents were involved, but I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Gen Xer, which means “involved” parents came to our Little League games but left us alone for entire summer afternoons. Me? I’d wander off to the woods with my dog, but I grew up on a farm. You all probably wandered the suburban yards, found the kid with a pool, and the rest wrote itself. If I did that as a parent today, someone might call the authorities. Times change. 

Pixar forces me to externalize just how much I want my sons’ lives to be good, just how much I want them to experience joy and peace, all while parading before me how much life will inevitably be full of pain

Ultimately, what’s changed the most may be how aware we are as parents. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a helicopter parent, but it is pretty common for my generation to be hyper-aware parents. That’s a label that does fit me. We spend time on decisions that previous generations didn’t, or didn’t have to. My parents had one, single Little League baseball option for me, but we can choose from literally dozens of youth sports options for our kids. In basketball alone, we had to choose among five different leagues this past winter. Every parenting choice comes with a cereal aisle’s worth of options and even more research to dig through to inform that choice. So we’re already very aware of ourselves as parents. Which brings me to Pixar. 

Pixar isn’t fair. It’s devious, really. At least 90% of the time, their movies make me cry, and they set out to make the movies darned well knowing that. It’s sick stuff, man. I know, we’re supposed to be all, like, “men don’t cry,” but that’s some bull and we all know it. My problem here is the way Pixar knows we’re hyper-aware, and then they put our feelings right in front of us. They let us see ourselves through perfectly crafted narratives under a magnifying glass, exploiting the hearts on our sleeves. 

Pixar forces me to externalize just how much I want my sons’ lives to be good, just how much I want them to experience joy and peace, all while parading before me how much life will inevitably be full of pain, hardship, and—were we on the patio having a drink, I’d use a more to-the-point term, but we’re not, so—jerks. It lets us hope while also reminding us that life has no light without dark, no joy without sorrow. 

Pixar may be the best in the entire art world at making us actually reflect and confront ourselves through art. How was I supposed to watch Onward as both a dad of brothers and a brother myself without bawling? I want my boys to be accepted for who they are in this world, so how can I watch Luca without flooding the couch with tears? Even the superhero movie! I went into The Incredibles expecting a good time but was exposed to a past-his-prime dad who tries real hard but ultimately isn’t as great as he wants to be and his family loves him anyway. I’m supposed to watch that without blubbering in self-awareness? And don’t get me started on how my eight-year-old wanted to watch Finding Nemo with me on his birthday while we were quarantining together with COVID. Hoo, buddy. 

Pixar is brilliant and devious because it’s not even trying to be. In a world that seems to always have a card up its sleeve, seems to always be playing us as marks, Pixar puts our lives right in front of us. It knows we all want a life well lived and more than anything want that for our kids. But Pixar knows life is complicated. It uses art to smack some feelings out of us no matter how much we suppress them in daily life. That’s a mean trick to play on a Gen Xer, but I’m awfully happy they’re there for my kids.