Sun Dec 16 – WEED THE PEOPLE – 1 hr 37 min – Not Rated. Cannabis has been off-limits to doctors and researchers in the US for the past 80 years, but recently scientists have discovered its anti-cancer properties. Armed with only these laboratory studies, desperate parents obtain cannabis oil from underground sources to save their children from childhood cancers. "Weed the People" is a hopeful film that follows these families through uncharted waters as they take their children's survival into their own hands. Some of their miraculous outcomes beget the unsettling question at the heart of the film: If weed is truly saving lives, why doesn't the government want people to access it?
Sun Dec 23 – THE 20TH ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS – 1 hr 38 min - The ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS presents 15 thought-provoking, poignant, and very funny animated shorts from around the world. Animation is such a flexible and open-ended medium that it lends itself to exploring the innumerable aspects of what it means to be human. This year’s program really illuminates human strengths and foibles, and the bonds that unite us across cultures and generations. The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows not only has something for everyone, but is also a remarkable and insightful microcosm of our world.
Sun Dec 30 – ALL ABOUT NINA – 1 hr 37 min – R. Just as Nina Geld's (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) brilliant stand-up comedy routine kicks her career into high gear, her romantic life gets complicated, forcing her to reckon with what it means to be creative, authentic, and a woman in today's culture. Critics Consensus: Led by an outstanding central performance from Mary Elizabeth Winstead and brilliantly held together by writer-director Eva Vives, All About Nina is a delightfully raw dramedy. “Both bleakly humorous and laugh out loud funny, the brilliant ‘All About Nina’ is a powerful film about the importance of women’s voices, and the change that can come from telling your story.” –Katie Walsh, L.A. Times.
Sun Jan 6 – MARIA BY CALLAS – 1 hr 35 min – PG. Tom Volf's MARIA BY CALLAS is the first film to tell the life story of the legendary Greek/American opera singer completely in her own words. Told through performances, TV interviews, home movies, family photographs, private letters and unpublished memoirs-nearly all of which have never been shown to the public-the film reveals the essence of an extraordinary woman who rose from humble beginnings to become a glamorous international superstar and one of the greatest artists of all time. Assembling the material for the film took director Volf four years of painstaking research. “Highest Rating! ‘Maria by Callas’ finds lots of footage that most of us have never seen, and it’s all fascinating.” –Mick LaSalle, S.F. Chronicle.
Sun Jan 13 – BECOMING ASTRID – 2 hr 3 min. Alba August stars as teenaged Astrid Lindren, who later went on to write the Pippi Longstocking series. Eager to break free from the confines of her conservative upbringing, she accepts an internship at a local newspaper where she attracts the attention of its married editor, Blomberg (Henrik Rafaelsen). After Astrid becomes pregnant, she goes to Copenhagen to secretly give birth to a son, Lasse, whom she reluctantly leaves in the care of a foster mother, Marie (Trine Dyrholm). When Marie falls ill, Astrid uses her imagination and flair for storytelling to reconnect with her son. In spite of her struggles, Astrid emerges with a newfound courage that will later form the foundation of a vast and beloved body of work. “’Becoming Astrid’ looks sure to become a hot seller and makes one eager for more episodes from Lindgren's astonishingly unconventional life.” –Alissa Simon, Variety.