member updates

Jennifer Townsend's documentary, Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise will have World Premiere at CATE, Cinema at the Edge Film Festival, Santa Monica, April 30, 2017. Thelma & Louise are at the Edge Again! Jennifer Townsend's feature documentary illuminates the classic journey of its namesake through film clips and intimate stories by film-goers who experienced Thelma & Louise in 1991, who share responses, connecting past to present, posing the question: "Has anything changed?" Preview audiences praise the film's authenticity, power, and ability to capture the Zeitgeist of our era. See the trailer, backstory, stories, and blog.Catching Sight of Thelma and Louisescreens 12:00 noon, Sunday, April 30th. Order tickets here

Leah Warshawski screens Big Sonia again in Seattle to fiull house after its premiere at SIFF 2016. Have you seen Big Sonia at a film festival recently? Leah and Todd ask you to rate the film to help them find distribution. 10 stars is the best. #AllRightsAvailable #BigImpact #Winning #LittleByLittle #KeepCalm #FUNdraising #InTheatersThisFall

Leah Warshawski set out to tell the story of her grandmother, Sonia Warshawski, who is now 91 and one of the Kansas City area's last Holocaust survivors. Leah and her hisband Todd Solliday did tell Sonia's story, through a documentary film titled "BIG SONIA." which tells a broader story of how Sonia's trauma affected her family. "Her trauma has affected everyone in the family in different ways, and everyone deals with it in different ways," Leah said, Intergenerational trauma is one of the film's universal themes that people relate to most." National treasure, Holocaust survivor, Diva - Sonia Warshawski, has just been served an eviction notice for her popular tailor shop in suburban Kansas City. A wounded healer, Sonia's trauma surfaces as she struggles with the concept of retirement.

Leah Warshawski tells this story of her grandmother with her husband Todd Solliday. For years, Sonia Warshawski has been an inspirational public speaker at schools, churches, and prisons where her stories of surviving the Holocaust as a teenager inspire countless students, prisoners, and ex-cons who once felt their own traumas would leave them broken forever. But when Sonia is served an eviction notice for her iconic tailor shop, which has thrived in the bottom of a now-abandoned mall for 35 years, she is confronted with an agonizing decision: either open up a new shop at age 90, or retire. For a woman who admits she stays busy to keep the dark parts away, facing retirement dredges up fears she'd long forgot she had, and her traumatic personal past resurfaces. Following Sonia as she continues on the motivational speaker circuit as she navigates her own struggle, BIG SONIA explores what it means to be a survivor. Will your trauma define you, or will your past make you stronger? Big Sonia just screened agin in trthe Seattle area; future screenings including May 14 at Miami Holocost teacher Institute found here

UPDATE: SJ Chiro’s feature directorial debut Lane 1974 met with lovely Variety reviews while premiering at SXSW. Plot: A teenager has to grow up fast to save her family from its self-centered single mother in SJ Chiro's atmospheric '70s drama. Read the review here » It's 1974. 13-year-old Lane lives on a beautiful Northern California commune, wild and free, until her mother, a rebel and iconoclast, alienates their small group from the security and safety of the community land. They begin moving from one unlikely situation to another, leaving normal life far behind. Scrounging for food and hitchhiking, while her mother cadges cash and begs favors, Lane and her siblings rely on one another in an increasingly desolate and isolated emotional landscape. After a series of dangerous events, Lane must decide how to survive. SJ Chiro is executive producer and wrote the screenplay. See all credits here: www.imdb.com/title/tt4135326/?ref_=nm_knf_i1

Lacey Leavitt, Mischa Jakupcak, Mel Eslyn produced the SXSW Grand Jury Prize documentary short Little Potato by directors Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller. Little Potato is an autobiographical doc about Seattle Capitol Hill artist Wes Hurley that tells the story of Little Potato's journey growing up gay in the Soviet Union before and after the fall of Communism, his mother's struggles to create a better life for them both, and their eventual escape to America via her becoming a mail-order bride.

Screenwriter: Wes Hurley
Cinematographer: Nathan M. Miller
Editor: Parsnip Millhouse
Production Designer: Christopher Balder
Sound Designer: Kristen Quebe
Music: Robyn Miller
Principal Cast: Wes Hurley, Elena Bridges, Benjamin Jakupcak, Matthew Cotner, Darlene Sellers
Additional Credits: Sound Mixer: Tara Neuman, PA: Keisuke Kobayashi, Gaffer: Mike Astle, Stills Photographer: Bronwen Houck, Wardrobe Designer: Harmony Arnold
www.indiewire.com/2017/03/little-potato-documentary-short-1201792987/
plus an exclusive clip.

SJ Chiro's directorial debut feature Lane 1974 will premiere at SXSW. Her film is a coming of age story, an adaptation of Clane Hayward's memoir The Hypocrisy of Disco, the story of a mother and daughter (Katherine Moennig and Sophia Mitri Schloss) who leave their Northern California commune and find themselves involved in American countercultural life. Jennessa West produced and Mel Eslyn is Executive Producer. www.thestranger.com/slog/ and www.imdb.com/title/tt4135326/

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