Emilio Rivera to be honored with 2018 DOC LA Storyteller Award
— Docs with Werner Herzog, Usher, Jim Jarmusch, Lance Bass & Gus Van Sant to premiere —  

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 12) – 2018 DOC LA will open with the world premiere of “The Ravenite” with Jim Jarmusch, a documentary by  Dennis Mohr and Morgan Schmidt-Feng about mobster John Gotti’s famed club in New York. The opening night on October 18th will conclude with the LA Premiere of Steve Wystrach’s “Manry at Sea” about a happily married middle aged newspaperman Robert Manry who secretly and alone crossed the Atlantic from US to England in a tiny 13 foot boat in 1965.

“Guilty Until Proven Guilty” featuring Usher, directed by Harry Moses and scored by Grammy-winning composer Terence Blanchard, exposes Louisiana’s criminal justice system through the story of Tim Conerly, a young African-American man who was imprisoned for a crime he says he did not commit. After two years in jail, Conerly must choose between accepting a plea bargain of seven years or risking a sentence of 49  to 198 years if he is convicted at trial. The film will co-World Premiere at DOC LA  with the LA premiere of an Irina Patkanian’s animated doc “Little Fiel” about Mozambican artist who makes art of decommissioned guns donated by the public in exchange for food.

Oscar-winning screen icon Susan Sarandon and painter Tigran Tsitoghdzyan discuss how the apparently in conflict values of beauty and aging are perceived in our modern society dominated by social media, as he paints her portrait in “American Mirror” by Arthur Balder. The film will world premiere and close DOC LA with the world premiere of David Trevino’s “Soul of Lincoln Heights” about a drive-by shooting tragedy that devastated one Latino family in LA and how a 14-year-old boy brought back smiles into their lives. The doc is narrated by Emilio Rivera, who will be honored with the 2018 DOC LA Storyteller Award.

The shocking investigative documentary “The Guardians” by Billie Mintz exposes a corrupt system of the guardianship industry, focusing on the retired couple Rudy and Rennie North who were kidnapped from their home in Las Vegas and drugged by a state-appointed guardian who took control of their life savings and freedom. As an unprecedented portion of the population is about to become senior citizens, the perils of such government programs are brought into sharp focus in this unsettling cautionary tale. (LA premiere).

The Icelandic environmental doc “UseLess” by female directing duo Rakel Gardarsdottir and Augusta Olafsdottir addresses the seldom discussed impact of the fashion industry on global warming. “The world’s population currently consumes 80 billion garments of clothing every year with devastating consequences to the planet. The doc, that also covers food waste which can feed 3 billion people, will have it’s US premiere.

DOC LA will pay tribute to Werner Herzog with the LA premiere of “Ballad of a Righteous Merchant” a rare intimate glimpse at the master at work by his longtime friend Herbert Golder. Golder co wrote Herzog’s Golden Lion nominated “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done” and filmed Herzog during the making of the film which stars Willem Dafoe, Michael Shannon and Chloe Sevigny.  Unlike other documentaries, this film shows a side of Herzog known only to his friends and close collaborators, and it manages to explore some of the most abiding and deepest themes of Herzog’s films.

Children of the Snow Land” is about 3 teenagers in Nepal who were left as young kids at a boarding school and have not seen their poor parents in 12 years. Now they must climb back to the world’s highest villages where they were born and find their families. It’s a unique coming of age story set in an epic landscape that depicts the sacrifice poor villages must often make to give their children a chance a better life. Directed by Zara Balfour and Marcus Stephenson, the film will have its North American premiere on October 21.

Carolann Stoney’s and W. Alexander Jones’ “Thank you for Supporting the Arts” is about a stripper-rocker-writer named Viva Las Vegas, a daughter of a Lutheran minister, and her lifelong battle against cultural expectations. Viva celebrates the female form and commands respect for women whose careers depend on their bodies. A breast cancer diagnosis and double mastectomy do not dampen her missionary zeal and she continues to dance, scars and all, reminding that art is everywhere and everything. The film featuring Gus Van Sant will have its LA premiere with an animated doc about Frank Zappa and Gabor Csupo by Patrick Waldrop.

The incredible success story of Mississippi based Clinton high school’s journey in creating and sustaining the number one show choir in the world for the past 36 years is depicted in first time filmmaker Melissa Pace Overholt’s “Attache”The film featuring Lance Bass of NSYNC will have its West Coast Premiere on October 20th.

Other standouts include Dane Christensen’s “Faithful” about a mormon gay couple stuck between love and religion, Gustav Ahlgren’s 8mm Swedish doc about domestic abuse “Before I Jump”, experimental black and white docs “Mitzvot” by Bader AlAwadhi, “City of Dreams” by S1ree1, “Gods from Space” by Annalise Pasztor, “Pain is Mine” by Farshid Akhlaghi, “The Muay Thai Kid” by Andy Schlachtenhaufen, “The End of Weed” by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Joshua Gray, “Baby You’re Like a Drug” by Joshua Butler, starring Joshua Jackson, Meghan Flather and rock band MENEW, and the genre defying Storytella section with “Diwa” by Aina Dumlao and Bru Muller, “The Lost Footage of Leah Sullivan” by Burt Grinstead, “Ingest” by Ankur Malhotra, “Twice Upon a Time” by Vojin Vasovic and “Rockstar” by Tane McClure.

DOC LA, presented by Parajanov-Vartanov Institute, runs 18-21 October 2018 at Chaplin/Fairbanks/Pickford theaters at Raleigh Studios: 5300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Limited Free standby passes or $10 tickets are available at www.docla.org


Nic LaRue Nic LaRue is the owner of FilmSnobbery, is an advocate and passionate speaker for indie film, a film reviewer, and the host of the web broadcast series FilmSnobbery Live! Nic also offers his services as an independent film consultant whose passion is giving a voice to independent content creators.


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