“T-Rex” is an intimate, true coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. in 2012, women’s boxing debuted at the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold from the USA is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, just 17 years old and by far the youngest competitor. From the hard knock streets of Flint, Mich., Claressa is undefeated and utterly confident. Her fierceness extends beyond the ring as he protects her family at any cost, even when their instability and addictions threaten to derail her dream. Claressa does have one stable force in her life. Coach Jason Crutchfield has trained her since she was just a scrawny 11-year-old hanging out at his gym. Jason always wanted a champion, but never thought it’d be a girl. Her relationships with her coach and her family grow tense as she gets closer to her dream, but Claressa is determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning a gold medal could be her only chance.
How do children born into poverty find hope? This documentary follows the lives of a garbage picker, a music teacher and a group of children from Cateura, Paraguay. In this slum, they create musical instruments entirely out of garbage: first out of necessity, but the project became so much more. LANDFILL HARMONIC brings us on their journey from local village orchestra to world traveling (internet fueled) troupe whose trajectory of success is enhanced by their trash-into-music message.
Winner of the 2015 Audience Choice Award SXSW
Winner of the 2015 Audience Choice Award AFI
Do you have what it takes to be an astronaut? If not, do you have 30 million dollars? It won’t get you onto a NASA spaceship but it will buy a berth on a Russian one. In this documentary, computer game developer Richard Garriott realizes his dream to follow his astronaut dad’s path into space by purchasing a seat on a Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station. “Man on a Mission” shows like never before what it takes to prepare to go to space and how it feels once you get there … and back.
“…Man on a Mission will be an exhilarating documentary for anyone interested in space travel, and probably even for those who aren’t. Garriott’s journey is quite interesting and unique, beginning with his days as a young man when he came up with some of his first computer games, to his financial success investing in various companies, some of which are pioneering the idea of space tourism. If Garriott’s life had not been as interesting as it was, this documentary could have suffered, but what we end up with is a really well put together autobiographical snapshot of Garriott, and a captivating view of the Russian space program, from their intense training to the rituals they exact on Garriott before his liftoff into space.
This is a documentary that will ultimately appeal to a very wide audience. Man on a Mission should garner a fair amount of press in part due to the amazing footage of Earth Garriott captured while on his journey. Being a fan of space travel, I can’t recall seeing another documentary that so effectively captures the thrill of space travel. If you have children, I urge you to take them to see this little beauty, as it provides some of the most well-documented material on what astronauts go through during training and while in space, as well as the aforementioned footage. If you’re an adult, Garriott’s financial success story and taste for adventure should inspire you, and will hopefully encourage any naysayers in the United States that space travel is not a waste of tax-payer money, but a necessity that serves many purposes and can help to bolster the pride of a nation.” – as reviewed by Dirk Sonniksen
Parkour – a movement discipline based on French military obstacle-course training – might be considered controversial, but seeing it is not. Cedric Dahl’s documentary follows five American parkour practitioners who share this passion for movement. Characterized as a physical “type of freedom,” “kind of expression,” and “state of mind,” parkour has influenced the stunts in action films from Bond to Bourne. But there’s much more to it than chasing the bad guy with acrobatic moves. As one practitioner comments, “If you listen to the movement it teaches us to touch the world and interact instead of being sheltered by it.”