When life doesn’t pan out as we hoped and believed it would, it can be disillusioning, if not devastating. It can even lead to tremendous strain among those who thought they could count on one another when it came to living up to expectations. Such exchanges can turn into seemingly irreparable estrangements filled with bitterness and no hope of reconciliation. But need that be the case?
The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival recently completed its 2021 edition in its first-ever hybrid format with theatrical and virtual screening options. This flexible approach made it possible for viewers to screen over 90% of its more than 400 feature films and shorts in the traditional manner at multiple locations or from the comfort of their own homes.
Life is full of opportunities, some great, some small. Many of us aspire to the former, but we often aren’t willing to do what it takes to reach those exalted summits. Whether that hesitancy is driven by fear, doubt, uncertainty, a lack of confidence or other considerations, we allow these self-imposed deterrents to hold us captive and stuck in place.
Reeling 39, Chicago’s International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, recently completed its 2021 edition in its first-ever hybrid format with both theatrical and virtual screening options. This flexible approach made it possible for viewers to screen a variety of films in the traditional manner or from the comfort of their own homes.
Is the life we lead the one (and only one) we’re meant to live? Or are there other possible paths that we could choose, alternatives that are different but potentially just as viable, even though not actively pursued? However, if those alternate existences do indeed exist, how would we know about them?
The Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival recently completed its 2020 edition in its first-ever all-virtual format. With the future of theatrical screenings in limbo due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this alternative approach made it possible for the Festival to go forward, and it worked remarkably well, enabling viewers to screen a variety of films while remaining safe at home. As has been the case with other such events this year, this is a viable approach well worth considering for future programs, even without the threat of a pandemic. It makes it possible to offer the Festival’s films to a wider audience and provides flexible viewing conditions, benefits not necessarily available when presented exclusively in theatrical venues. Because of this [...]
“The Cuban” (2019). Cast: Louis Gossett Jr., Ana Golja, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Lauren Holly, Giacomo Gianniotti, Shiva Negar, Jonathan Keitz, Layla Alizada, Jeffrey R. Smith, Gerry Mendicino, Emily Piggford, Kane Mahon, Tabby Johnson. Director: Sergio Navarretta. Screenplay: Alessandro Piccione. Web site. Trailer. Many of us tend to believe that we have all the time in the world, especially when we’re young. But, as we age and the days grow shorter, we quickly realize otherwise and seek to make the most of what’s left. However, if we’re unable to bring about such results for ourselves, we may not be able to achieve what we set out to do, adding to the frustration we’re already experiencing – unless, of course, we have help [...]
“Papicha” (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Lyna Khoudri, Shirine Boutella, Amira Hilda Douaouda, Yasin Houicha, Marwan Zeghbib, Zahra Doumandji, Meriem Medjkrane, Samir El Hakim, Nadia Kaci, Lina Boudraa, Khaled Benaissa, Malek Ghellamat. Director: Mounia Meddour. Screenplay: Mounia Meddour and Fadette Drouard. Web site. Trailer. Taking risks can be a scary prospect, and the bigger the risk, the greater the potential peril. However, the same is true when it comes to the prospective rewards involved. Of course, it takes considerable resolve to face such conditions, but that’s entirely possible, as showcased in the inspiring new period piece drama, “Papicha.” For those who lived through the perils of the 1990s Algerian Civil War – a time that came to be called “the [...]
“Harriet” (2019). Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar J. Dorsey, Henry Hunter Hall, Tim Guinee, Zackary Momoh, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Jennifer Nettles, Deborah Ayorinde, Michael Marunde, Rakeem Laws, Tory Kittles. Director: Kasi Lemmons. Screenplay: Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons. Story: Gregory Allen Howard. Web site. Trailer. The American dream of living a life of freedom is as old as the days of the Founding Fathers. Yet, for many years after the Revolution and the establishment of the new republic, one segment of society was always left out when it came to enjoying such self-evident blessings. The nation’s slave population languished in an unending cycle of forced servitude, unable to break [...]
“One Child Nation” (2019). Cast: Nanfu Wang, Brian Stuy, Longlan Stuy, Tunde Wang, Peng Wang, Huaru Tuan, Zhihao Wang, Shuqin Jiang, Zaodi Wang, Zhimei Wang, Jiaoming Pang. Directors: Nanfu Wang and Zhang Lynn. Web site. Trailer. It’s all too easy to become so focused on what we want that we may fail to think things through. What’s more, the ante for this can get significantly upped when we examine the ramifications for taking no action. Now imagine what can happen when such a scenario unfolds on a national scale. Under such circumstances, there may be a tendency to act rashly, something that can have dire consequences, a situation detailed in the compelling new documentary, “One Child Nation.” Chinese-born filmmaker Nanfu [...]