Witkin and Witkin

DSLs available now. DVDs shipping mid-September 2021.

A film about identical twins with distinct visions.

Witkin and Witkin explores the worlds of identical twins, Joel-Peter, a world famous photographer and Jerome, a globally renown painter and lifelong educator.

An intensely human film it addresses the personal philosophies, their practices, their art and importantly their personal relationship. Witkin and Witkin is a film about perception and growing older, as the two artists working in different media shared a childhood but whose lives took very different directions.

Filmed over 4 years, Witkin and Witkin documents the changes they’ve experienced over time and tells its own distinct and disparate narrative along the way.

Filmmaker Trisha Ziff’s “The Mexican Suitcase,” and “The Man Who Saw Too Much” won two Mexican Academy Awards, and Witkin and Witkin has played extensively on the festival circuit including appearances at:

  • PREMIERED at AFI DOCS Film Festival (2018)
  • DOKU.FEST Berlin (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Morelia International Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Tucson International Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Los Cabos International Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – San Antonio Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – DOCFEST, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Minneapolis International Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Maine International Film Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (2018)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – IDFA, Docs for Sale (2018)

Art enthusiasts will love this doc” – Now Toronto

“A profound meditation on art and an excellent dual-biopic” – Hammer to Nail

The DVD version includes both a Behind the Scenes Slideshow and special introduction by the Director.

About the twins…

Joel-Peter Witkin is an American artist whose constructed photographs depict macabre often grotesque scenes. Working in the vein of the earlier photographers Henry Peach Robinson and Oscar Gustave Rejlander, Witkin carefully builds scenes with cadavers, hermaphrodites, and dwarfs which introduce literary, religious, and art historical allusions. Born on September 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY, Witkin earned his BA at the Cooper Union School of Art and later an MFA from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 2011, a survey book was published, providing a concise insight into the working methods and ideologies of the photographer. Today, his works can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. The artist currently lives and works in Albuquerque, NM.

Jerome Witkin (born September 13, 1939) is an Americanfigurative artist whose paintings deal with political, social and cultural themes, along with serious portraiture that melds the sitter’s social position with a speaking likeness that reveals inner character. Witkin has been succinctly characterized as “a virtuoso figurative painter whose work mixes elements of the old masters, social realism and Abstract Expressionism. Recognized as a prodigious talent, at fourteen he entered The High School of Music & Art in New York, and subsequently studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Cooper Union, the Berlin Academy, and the University of Pennsylvania. A Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship enabled him to travel, study and further develop in Europe. After his return to the United States, Witkin received a Guggenheim Fellowship, began exhibiting at galleries in New York and joined the faculty of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He later taught at the Manchester College of Art in England, Moore College of Art, and in 1971 became a professor of art at Syracuse University.

Documentary / 2017 / 90 minutes / English / A film by Trisha Ziff

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Last Days

Set in modern day Nigeria and based on true events, Last Days is an excellent example of a modern Nollywood filmmaking: Original and distinctly African.

Mama Peace is a devoted single mother who struggles to make ends meet and questions her faith when faced with cancer.

A dedicated mother to her two children, Peace and Nathan, Mama Peace is a woman of faith, and beloved shop owner. When she is diagnosed with breast cancer, not long after being widowed, she struggles to make ends meet and raise the funds for cancer treatments. Anchored by a devoutness to God, she questions her Christian faith when her cancer returns and her family’s survival is threatened.

Directed by Biodun Stephen (Tiwa’s Baggage) and written by Moses Olufemi (Last Request), Last Days follows the working-class family of Mama Peace (Vivian Metchie). She’s a strong, no-nonsense person who’s struggling as a small business owner, a domestic worker, a parent of teenagers, and the wife of an alcoholic. Mama Peace starts each morning with her faith and a few resources, then she just figures it out as she goes along.

Despite the storyline, LAST DAYS is an uplifting Nollywood film that addresses class divides and disparities in modern medicine, as viewed through a trial of faith.

It’s noteworthy that Director Biodun Stephen is a successful female director in a traditionally patriarchal country and that Mama Peace has enjoyed very strong festival acceptance including the following:

  • WINNER – Best Screenplay – Motion Pictures International Film Festival
  • WINNER – Best Feature – Lake International Pan African Film Festival (Kenya)
  • WINNER – African Continental Award – Great Lakes Christian Films Festival
  • WINNER – Best Drama – Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – International Christian Film & Music Festival
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – 22nd African Film Awards (UK)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Christian Family Film Festival
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Rhode Island Black Film Festival
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – New York African Diaspora International Film Festival
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Black Star International Film Festival (Ghana)

Drama / 2019 / 146 minutes / Swahili with English subtitles / A film by Biodun Stephen

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The Holstein Dilemma

DSLs available now. DVD’s shipping mid-September 2021.

Heritage Breeds and the Need for Biodiversity…Intense genetic selection can have an unintended side effect.

“Nearly all male Holsteins alive today can be traced back to two bulls from the 1960s.” – Chad Dechow and Wansheng Liu, Pennsylvania State University, College of Agricultural Sciences.

“The Holstein Dilemma” is about far more than the state of Holsteins. It is an investigative documentary delving into agribusiness and the importance of maintaining the diverse genetic characteristics found in all heritage breed livestock and crops.

What started out as a simple question at a livestock fair inspired filmmakers Rick and Elara Bowman to search for answers across North America, from those who actually do the work and the experts that back it up with science.

Compelling data and discussions on this looming crisis reveal scientific evidence of a looming threat to food safety. The film also reveals several grassroots conservation efforts to preserve and protect genetic biodiversity and the security of our global food supply.

This film explores why diversity is important in today’s agricultural model that’s based on large volume, fast growth, and the cheapest product possible for the consumer, but little else. It explores how we can balance the need to produce food for a hungry planet vs. the need for biodiversity in our one-track production model.

That’s The Holstein Dilemma.

Among those featured in the film are:

  • Temple Grandin (Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University)
  • Cary Fowler (American agriculturalist and the former executive director of the Crop Trust)
  • Isabella Rossellini (Actress and Sundance Channel commissioned filmmaker of The Green)
  • Adam Danforth (James Beard award-winning author of two books, published by Storey Publishing, about slaughtering and butchering livestock).

As seen on Public Television and the Winner: Accolade Global Film Competition, Award of Recognition

Documentary / 2021 / 92 Minutes / English / A Film by Rick & Elara Bowman (Banjos, Bluegrass and Squirrel Barkers)

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The Holstein Dilemma Trailer from Rick Bowman on Vimeo.

The Universality of it All

DSL’s available now… DVD’s shipping mid-September 2021

We are all part of the same story…

Shot in Paris, Berlin, London, New York, USA, Sarasota, Vancouver, San Jose, and Costa Rica, “The Universality of It All” is a feature-length documentary that focuses on the topics of human migration and inequality, blurring the boundaries between film and documentary through a fresh and nuanced perspective. The film is as intimate, as it is informative as it explains the complexity of human migration by providing valuable data and information, but also by showing how it affects the reality of two friends and their day-to-day lives.

The filmmaker tells the story of his best friend Emad, a Yemeni refugee living in Vancouver, Canada, and by doing so, he ends up arriving at a profound realization about the interconnectedness of all the major events of the 21st century. The film takes the viewer on a journey around the world, analyzing various cases of migration from an economic and historical perspective, while simultaneously delving into the life, thoughts, and experiences of Emad. This back-and-forth juxtaposition between narratives is what allows the audience to see the similarities and correlations that all migrations on earth share.

Other topics addressed include climate change, colonialism, neoliberalism, globalization, identity politics, fertility rates, wealth gaps, trade wars, terrorism, and the media.

Among those interviewed are

  • Catherine De Withol (Research Director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research)
  • Radha S. Hedge (Professor in the Department of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University)
  • Ives Charbit (Professor of Demography, University Paris Descartes)
  • Carlos Sandoval (Columbia Journalism School)
  • Nicolas Boeglin (Professor of International Law at the Law Faculty, University of Costa Rica)

Worldwide critical acclaimed continues to mount through festivals including but not limited to:

  • WINNER – Spotlight Documentary Film Awards (2021)
  • WINNER – Changing Face International Film Festival (2020)
  • SPECIAL JURY MENTION, Documentary Film – Socially Relevant Film Festival (2021)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – IOM UN Migration Global Migration Film Festival (2020)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Amsterdam World International Film Festival (2020)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Independent Film Awards Bristol (2021)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Global Cinema Film Festival of Boston (2021)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Voices Rising Film Festival (2021)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Lift Off Global Network Berlin Film Festival (2021)
  • OFFICIAL SELECTION – Bushwick Film Festival (2020)

Documentary / 2020 / 90 minutes / English / A film by Andrés Bronnimann

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IDLES – Don’t Go Gentle

“Finding the right band at the right time can be life-changing, and this documentary is proof” – Rolling Stone

A poignant, moving documentary on the British powerhouse rock group IDLES

DON’T GO GENTLE is a film about finding strength in vulnerability. It journeys through the determination, friendship and adversity of IDLES’ as they fight for a place in a divided socio-political environment, unexpectedly inspiring and unifying an international community along the way.

In a time when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, where open communication and truthful reflection are more vital than ever, we journey with lead singer Joe Talbot and the band as they tear across stages, knock down stereotypes and empower fans to face down uncomfortable realities and talk about mental health.

“Don’t Go Gentle,’ the new film about IDLES, is touching proof that bands can still change your life” – NME Magazine

“Shows how a band can change lives, not only on-stage, but also off, as music brings people together and unites them in ways other things don’t.” – Getintothiss

About the band: The band consists of Welsh singer Joe Talbot (vocals) and English musicians Mark Bowen (guitar), Lee Kiernan (guitar), Adam Devonshire (bass) and Jon Beavis (drums). Their debut album, Brutalism, was released in 2017 to critical acclaim, as was their second album Joy as an Act of Resistance in 2018. Their third album, Ultra Mono, was released on 25 September 2020.

The band’s music has been associated with punk rock and related genres including post-punk, hardcore punk, and post-hardcore. Singer Joe Talbot, however, rejects the punk label. In 2017, Talbot was quoted as saying: “We’re not a post punk band. I guess we have that motorik, engine-like drive in the rhythm section that some post punk bands have but we have plenty of songs that aren’t like that at all.” At a 2018 concert in Manchester, England, he said: “For the last time, we’re not a f*cking punk band”.

2021 / 75 minutes / English / A film by Mark Archer (Tate Britain’s Great British Walks)

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REQUIEM FOR MY MOTHER

“Requiem for My Mother” is the story of film composer Stephen Edwards’ journey of the loss of his mother and main musical influence Rosalie Edwards. As she is suffering and dying from ovarian cancer, Stephen undertakes the most challenging commission of his life. He channels all of his anger, passion, sadness, loss and hope for the future into a new major choral work that results in his receiving an invitation to present it, to perform it, in Vatican City at a noted music festival there.

Joining him on his quest is Candace Wicke, a dynamic choir director who chooses singers from several states, then pushes them to do their best, in the hopes of making Stephen’s personal mission appealing to the masses. To add to Edwards’ and Wicke’s project is the fact that the 160-voice choir and 50-piece orchestra will be allowed only one practice and one performance for a one-time broadcast on live television.

Requiem for My Mother showcases the collaborative journey that brought the composition to life, and celebrates the power and passion of music to transform grief into healing and hope for the future.

As the story of Stephen’s life and upbringing unfolds, the challenge of writing and presenting the Requiem with an amateur chorus at one of the world’s most famous music festivals will inspire and entertain audiences worldwide. Will this group of singers and musicians be up the challenge?

Originally Broadcast Nationwide on PBS

Winner, Best Music Documentary, Woods Hole Film Festival

Official Selection, American Documentary Film Festival

“This film is really special. Highly Recommended” – Irv Slifkin, Film Critic

About Stephen Edwards

Michigan native and US and Italian citizen Stephen Edwards’ music education began at an early age, with training by his mother, Rosalie Edwards, followed by studies at Interlochen Music Camp and Lawrence University where he was recipient of the “Outstanding Classical Soloist” award sponsored by DownBeat magazine, and selected as a participant in the All-American College Orchestra National Talent Search sponsored by Disney. Mr. Edwards continued his studies at the Dick Grove School of Music in Los Angeles, and immediately started working as a session musician for film and TV composers like Mike Post.

2017 / 57 Minutes / Color / English / A film by Stephen Edwards and David Haugland

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American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel

At what other point in our history has the line between church and state become so tangled and polarizing?

“This documentary has the potential to move hearts and minds”– Kimber Myers, Los Angeles Times.

“Eye-opening” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times 

“…it speaks to what it means to find common ground,
to live with our differences.”-
Tyler Hammel, The Daily Progress

Every story has a birthplace, a core, a microcosm from which when expanded upon takes on a larger than life arc. In “American Heretics”, a group of deeply faithful Christians in Oklahoma are challenging firmly rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine. Labeled as “heretics” for their beliefs and seemingly defiant interpretations of the Gospels, they are open minded to the Bible as a living document and have made incredible progress.

American Heretics challenges what we think we know about the Christian heartland by offering a rare personal glimpse into the contentious and often misunderstood history of religion, race, and politics in America, all seen through the eyes of a courageous group of Oklahomans working to bridge the divide within their community.

Directed and Produced by Emmy Award-Winning Filmmakers Jeanine Isabel Butler and Catherine Lynn Butler, American Heretics touches upon major themes in America and the definition of our nation including, but not limited to:

  • Immigration
  • Gay Rights / Gay Marriage
  • Race
  • Political Activism
  • Black History
  • Gender Bias
  • Societal Oppression
  • Religious History
  • Sanctuary Cities
  • Heresy

Told with both personally emotional stories and arresting expert narration weaved throughout cinematic footage, photographs and illustrations that maintain a progressive pace, American Heretics is a politically charged tale of America that brings hotly debated subjects to the forefront of consciousness.

Consider this…

Christianity is the most adhered to religion in the United States with over 70% of polled American adults identifying themselves as Christian in 2019. With an LGBTQ theme as a core subject in American Heretics, the subject itself is a hot button throughout the Christian community. According to the most recent Pew Research Center study of acceptance rates of homosexuality in America (2020), while 70% of Catholics believe it should be accepted, only 38% of Evangelists believe so. This divided acceptance is possibly the largest subject of division within the Christian community with
gay marriage at the center of it.

Of the top 5 issues being faced in America (according to Heritage.org) , 4 are addressed head on in American Heretics:
 
Conservatism vs. Progressivism
Health Care
Immigration
Religious Freedom
Marriage √

Among those featured in American Heretics are Dr. Reverend Robin Meyers, Reverend Lori Walke, Dr. Bernard Brandon Scott, Reverend Bishop Carlton Pearson, Dr. Robert Jones, Nehemiah D. Frank, Reverend Marlin Lavanhar, Oklahoma State Representative Collin R. Walke (D-87) and more.

The DVD version includes two bonus segments:

  • Extended Panel Discussion / Q & A with Cast
  • Introduction of the film by Rev. Bishop Carlton Pearson

About the filmmakers:

JEANINE ISABEL BUTLER (Producer, Writer and Director):
Jeanine is an award-winning director, producer and writer. Specializing in documentaries and non- fiction entertainment, her work has been broadcast across multiple platforms, screened at film festivals worldwide and garnered numerous awards, including 3 National Emmy nominations for Documenting the Face of America (PBS), The Science of HIV/AIDS (The Discovery Channel), and Africa (BBC/Discovery Channel). Butler has produced, written and directed longform documentaries for Explorer, the premier documentary series for National Geographic and crafted strategic storytelling for nonprofits and international NGOs.

CATHERINE LYNN BUTLER (Producer and Co-Writer): Catherine Lynn Butler is an Emmy award-winning documentary writer/producer with global experience developing and delivering impactful long and short form documentaries for television, museums, educational nonprofits and NGOs. Emmy Award winning docs include Journey of the Universe (PBS); The Women of Tibet (PBS); and a National Emmy nomination for Documenting the Face of America (PBS). She also produced the critically acclaimed feature-length investigative documentary The Future of Food, which enjoyed widespread theatrical and digital distribution.

2019 / Documentary / 85 Minutes / Color / 16×9 / English Language / A film by Jeanine Isabel Butler and Catherine Lynn Butler.

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Public Performance and Digital Site Licenses are available through Soundview Media Partners. To inquire or to place an order, write to info@soundviewmediapartners.com or simply choose from the options below:

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Escape from Room 18

Escape from Room 18 tells one of the most unpredictable true stories of transformation in our century.

John Daly received an e-mail from someone in his long-forgotten past.

Did it mean “they found him”? Was he being set up? Or… was he being “saved”?

Daly was a high-ranking officer in one of America’s largest neo-Nazi skinhead organizations (Daytona Beach, Florida). He learned early on to turn his human emotions off and accept hatred and violence as his way of life.

They then learned he was a Jew and attempted to murder him.

A true story of redemption unlike any other, Escape from Room 18 brings the viewer on a transformative journey from within organized hate and violence to the embracing of a new life of compassion and public atonement.

After the attempted murder, John fled to Israel for safety. Years later he received an e-mail from someone from his long-forgotten past; a fellow ex-skinhead.

Apparently on a mission to change his own life and make amends for his past, he invited John to meet him in Prague to discover and see firsthand the effects of what they both had preached and practiced. Suffering from PTSD and a brain tumor, John was reluctant at first.

Was this a new, clandestine attempt on his life or was this an invitation to salvation?

In fact, Kevin’s invitation was an honest one.

Subsequently, Escape from Room 18 takes a twist that is so unpredictable, the film plays out as an unprecedented look at human transformation, redemption and salvation. It provides a glimpse into the lives of two men that serves as a profound statement for all to witness.

Featuring John Daly (as himself), Kevin Connell (as himself), Rafa Garcia (as the young John Daly), Alexander Kaminer (as Gleb Kaminer) and more, Escape from Room 18 combines both documentary and dramatic recreation in what TC JewFolk called the “Intense Reformation of a Jewish Nazi”.

An Official Selection at

  • The Moscow Jewish Film Festival
  • The Twin Cities Jewish Film Festival
  • The Odessa Jewish Film Festival
  • and The Ekaterinburg Jewish Film Festival

2017 / 60 Minutes / Color / English Language / A film by Daniel Brea

HOW TO ORDER:

Public Performance and Digital Site Licenses are available through Soundview Media Partners. To inquire or to place an order, write to info@soundviewmediapartners.com or simply choose from the options below:


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WATCH THE TRAILER