Since 1999, 18 of the last 22 winners of the Scripps National Spelling Bee have been Indian-American, making the incredible trend one of the longest in sports history. “Breaking the Bee” is a feature-length documentary that explores and celebrates this new dynasty while following four students, ages 7 to 14, as they vie for the title of spelling bee champion.
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Ming of Harlem: Twenty One Storeys in the Air is an only-in-New-York account of Ming, Al, and Antoine Yates, who cohabited in a high-rise social housing apartment at Drew-Hamilton complex in Harlem for several years until 2003, when news of their dwelling caused a public outcry and collective outpouring of disbelief. On the discovery that Ming was a 500-pound pound Tiger and Al a seven-foot alligator, their story took on an astonishing dimension. The film frames Yates’s recollections with a poetic study of Ming and Al, the predators’ presence combined with a text by philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, reimagining the circumstances of the wild inside, animal names, strange territories, and human-animal relations.
Peace Officer is a documentary about the increasingly militarized state of American police as told through the story of Dub Lawrence, a former sheriff who established his rural state’s first SWAT team only to see that same unit kill his son-in-law in a controversial standoff 30 years later. Driven by an obsessed sense of mission, Dub uses his own investigation skills to uncover the truth in this and other recent officer-involved shootings in his community, while tackling larger questions about the changing face of peace officers nationwide.
The Startup Kids is a documentary about young web entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Europe. It contains interviews with founders of Vimeo, Dropbox, Soundcloud and more who talk about how they started their company and their lives as an entrepreneur. Along with that people from the tech scene speaks about the startup environment including the venture capitalist Tim Draper and MG Siegler, tech blogger at Techcrunch.
ARMADILLO is an upfront account of growing cynicism and adrenaline addiction for young soldiers at war. Mads and Daniel are on their first mission in Helmand, Afghanistan. Their platoon is stationed in Camp Armadillo, right on the Helmand frontline, fighting tough battles against the Taliban. The soldiers are there to help the Afghan people, but as fighting gets tougher and operations increasingly hairy, Mads, Daniel and their friends become cynical, widening the gap between themselves and the Afghan civilisation. Mistrust and paranoia set in causing alienation and disillusion. Armadillo is a journey into the soldier’s mind and a unique film on the mythological story of man and war, staged in its contemporary version in Afghanistan.
When Steve Jobs died the world wept. But what accounted for the grief of millions of people who didn’t know him? This evocative film navigates Jobs’ path from a small house in the suburbs, to zen temples in Japan, to the CEO’s office of the world’s richest company, exploring how Jobs’ life and work shaped our relationship with the computer. The Man in the Machine is a provocative and sometimes startling re-evaluation of the legacy of an icon.
Humpback Whales takes audiences to Alaska, Hawaii and the Kingdom of Tonga for a close-up look at how these whales communicate, sing, feed, play and take care of their young. Humpbacks were nearly driven to extinction 50 years ago, but today are making a steady recovery. Join a team of researchers as they explore what makes humpbacks the most acrobatic of all whales, why only the males sing, and why these intelligent 50-foot, 48-ton animals migrate more than 6,000 miles round-trip every year.
Legally Brown brings together for one night the funniest headline comedians who just happen to share one common threat, the color of their skin and their perspective on what that means in a post 911 world. Hosted by Tony Plana (ugly Betty) and starring, Alex Reymundo (Latin Kings of Comedy) Jerry Bednob, (Kumar go to white castle) Cristela Alonzo (Last Comic Standing runner up) Willie Barcena (Comedy Central) Omar Elba (Egyptian Born) and Border Patrol Agent Bubba Gomez (Rick Najera) poke fun at stereo types and the Arizona immigration law and prove that once and for all funny is truly funny no matter what color or religion you are.