TAHOE FILM FEST
December 5-8, 2019

Opening Night Film Thursday, Dec. 5Marriage StoryMarriage Story
Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Merritt Wever

 

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All proceeds from Tahoe Film Fest benefit UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Marriage Story

Opening Night Film
2019 (USA) 136 minutes
Directed by: Noah Baumbach

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Merritt Wever, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, Ray Liotta and Julie Hagerty

Returning to the themes of one of his most acclaimed films, The Squid and the Whale, writer-director Noah Baumbach offers another alternately funny and deeply moving snapshot of a marriage in its final stages. With divorce proceedings in full swing as the film opens, New York City theatre director Charlie (Adam Driver) and LA-bound actress Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) have promised to keep their separation an amicable one, not just for each other but for their young son as well, but hurtful admissions and vicious verbal spats quickly sour those ambitions. As Driver and Johansson deliver rich, layered performances at Marriage Story’s heart, Baumbach surrounds his stars with one of the year’s strongest ensembles—as he jumps back and forth through Nicole and Charlie’s relationship to capture a kaleidoscopic, bittersweet tale of lost and found love.

The Two Popes

2019 (UK, USA, ITALY, ARGENTINA) 125 minutes

Directed by: Fernando Meirelles

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Jonathan Pryce

An intimate story of one of the most dramatic transitions of power in the last 2,000 years. Frustrated with the direction of the church, Cardinal Bergoglio (Jonathan Pryce) requests permission to retire in 2012 from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins). Instead, facing scandal and self-doubt, the introspective Pope Benedict summons his harshest critic and future successor to Rome to reveal a secret that would shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Behind Vatican walls, a struggle commences between both tradition and progress, guilt and forgiveness, as these two very different men confront their pasts in order to find common ground and forge a future for a billion followers around the world. Inspired by true events.

Midway – Special Screening

USA (2019) 138 minutes
Directed by:  Roland Emmerich

Cast:  Woody Harrelson, Aaron Eckert,  Ed Skrein, Dennis Quaid,  Mandy Moore, Luke Evans, Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, and Patrick Wilson

From the Director of INDEPENDENCE DAY – – – MIDWAY centers on the battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The film, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude, and bravery to overcome the odds.

Roland Emmerich was a guest at our 2nd Tahoe Film Fest

Sea of Shadows

2019 (USA, AUSTRIA) 104 minutes
Directed by: Richard Ladkani
Executive Producer: Leonardo DiCaprio

A looming disaster in one of the most spectacular environments on Earth sparks a rescue mission unlike any other in SEA OF SHADOWS, a riveting new documentary film with the intensity of a Hollywood thriller from National Geographic Documentary films and winner of the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. When Mexican drug cartels and Chinese traffickers join forces to poach the rare totoaba fish in the Sea of Cortez, their deadly methods threaten to destroy virtually all marine life in the region, including the most elusive and endangered whale species on Earth, the vaquita porpoise. SEA OF SHADOWS follows a team of dedicated scientists, high-tech conservationists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents as well as the Mexican Navy as they put their lives on the line to save the last remaining vaquitas and bring the vicious international crime syndicate to justice.

Eating Animals

2018 (USA) 94 minutes
Directed by: Christopher Dillon Quinn
Narrated by: Natalie Portman

Eating Animals is the feature-length documentary adaptation of Jonathan Safran Foer’s critically acclaimed book of the same name. The film reveals through intimate narratives what has happened to our country in the past 40 years as we have moved away from traditional farming communities to massive industrial farming complexes that produce a seemingly endless supply of so-called “cheap” meat, eggs, and dairy. What starts out as a simple question – where does our meat come from? – quickly takes us down the rabbit hole of today’s industrial animal agriculture and becomes an exploration of the ultimate stakes of eating animals, the destruction of farming, and the complete unwinding of the American mythos.

The Story of Plastic

USA (2019) 89 minutes
Directed by: Deia Schlosberg

The Story of Plastic is a seething expose uncovering the ugly truth behind the current global plastic pollution crisis. Striking footage shot over three continents illustrates the ongoing catastrophe: fields full of garbage, veritable mountains of trash; rivers and seas clogged with waste; and skies choked with the poisonous runoff from plastic production and recycling processes with no end in sight. Original animations, interviews with experts and activists, and never-before-filmed scenes reveal the disastrous consequences of the flood of plastic smothering ecosystems and poisoning communities around the world – and the global movement rising up in response.

The Pollinators

USA (2019) 92 minutes
Directed by: Peter Nelson

Thousands of semi-trailers crisscross the country in the dead of night delivering goods through the darkness to stores, warehouses and factories nationwide. But some of them carry an unsuspected and highly unusual cargo – honey bees. Tens of billions of them are transported back and forth from one end of the US to the other in a unique annual migration that’s indispensable to the feeding of America. One out of every three bites we eat, the growth of almost all our fruits, nuts and vegetables, would be impossible without the pollination of bees. But the bees themselves are at devastating risk from a number of environmental hazards – namely pesticides and the pernicious Varra mite that feeds on bees and their larvae. As agribusiness reduces diversity by growing monocultures, there is less forage for bees which is less healthy and also limits their ability to gather nectar and make honey. Over the past decade and a half, many of the nation’s beekeepers have lost as much as sixty percent or more of their bees.

Right To Harm

2019 (USA) 76 minutes
Directed by: Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher

Through the riveting stories of five rural communities, RIGHT TO HARM exposes the devastating public health impact factory farming has on many disadvantaged citizens throughout the US. Filmed across the country, the documentary chronicles the failures of state agencies to regulate industrial animal agriculture. Known formally as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFO’s – these facilities produce millions of gallons of untreated waste that destroys the quality of life for nearby neighbors. The filmmakers skillfully weave together five stories that span across eight states from the Southwest to the Midwest to the Eastern Shore. Farmers, mothers, scientists and politicians share intimate stories of how their lives were forever changed by factory farming. RIGHT TO HARM is an enlightening exploration that questions whether citizens are entitled to clean air and water, while examining the political issues that stand in the way of nationwide reform.

The Condor & The Eagle

2019 (USA, PERU) 90 minutes
Directed by: Clement Guerra

The film documents the stories of four well-known Native environmental spokespeople who are at the forefront of a perspective shift in the identity of their people, from forgotten voices to powerful and influential leaders. They have struggled with feelings of isolation their entire lives and are now discovering the power of their shared voices to bring change to the entire world. When revered Native elder Casey Camp-Horinek traveled to New York to lead the People’s Climate March she was met with overwhelming support from the people of her sister nations in North and South America. With the continuous expansion of pipeline projects throughout the Americas these Indigenous women and men represent the last remaining landholders who refuse to sacrifice their territories to transnational oil companies. Their unification in New York first and later in Paris are among many similar and burgeoning initiatives, mostly led by Indigenous women, that have inspired people around the world to rise for the protection of the earth and give life to the climate justice movement. Filmed in the verdant jungles of the Amazon (Ecuador and Peru), the brightly colored cultures of the Pan American First Nations communities (Vancouver, Alberta) and the United States Indian tribes (Oklahoma), viewers glimpse extraordinary beauty in the places, faces and regalia of traditional people. The Indigenous heartfelt pursuit for self-discovery, self- reclamation, and a way of life, is chronicled as they build alliances around the world with their eagle feathers in one hand and their revolution in the other, because to them a crime against Mother Earth is a crime against humanity.

The Map to Paradise

2019 (Australia) 95 minutes
Directed by: Danielle Ryan and James Sherwood

THE MAP TO PARADISE is an adventure-filled and spectacularly gorgeous tale about the birth of the global movement to protect the sea. From underwater worlds of ice to glistening coral sanctuaries, discover what it takes to build a movement and to create positive change. Filmed across six continents, the filmmakers have set out to challenge the mainstream narrative of hard-hitting environmental documentaries with a “doom and gloom” message, and replace it with one of hope and courage. Along the way, we meet a prince, a president, a pirate, and also an island chief—among others—who are all playing a role in the quest to save the planet.

Mixing colorful character-driven stories and hand-rendered animations, THE MAP TO PARADISE is a rare urgent environmental wake-up call that retains a sense of awe and wonder for the kind of beauty that is still possible.

Artifishal

2019 (USA) 75 minutes
Directed by: Josh Murphy

ARTIFISHAL is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide towards extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature. Salmon have long been an icon of wild, but in our rush to meet demand and mask the larger root environmental issues, we’ve forgotten the true value of wild.

Ultimately the film sets two ideologies at odds, those who embrace the power of nature to heal and those who believe in a world that requires continued control. Through factual and character driven vignettes, the film explores competing world views and the extraordinary amount of public money that has been spent on an industry that is killing native fish, polluting our rivers and contributing to the very problem it claims to solve. In addition, ARTIFISHAL examines the negative effects of open-water fish farms–another failed technological solution we turned to in the face of plummeting fish populations–and their devastating impacts on remaining wild salmon stocks. Wild salmon have been driven to the brink of extinction by habitat destruction, overharvesting and dams blocking access to spawning grounds. Hatcheries and fish farms originally promised an easy fix, comforting us with the promise that these keystone species could be preserved through artificial propagation. We were wrong. Mass producing domesticated fish has only hastened the demise of wild fish-and if there’s a future for these irreplaceable species and the communities that rely on them, it’s in the realization that the best hatchery is a healthy river.

The River and the Wall

2019 (USA) 97 minutes
Directed by: Ben Masters

THE RIVER AND THE WALL follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes. Conservation filmmaker Ben Masters realizes the urgency of documenting the last remaining wilderness in Texas as the threat of new border wall construction looms ahead. Masters recruits NatGeo Explorer Filipe DeAndrade, ornithologist Heather Mackey, river guide Austin Alvarado, and conservationist Jay Kleberg to join him on the two-and-a-half-month journey down 1,200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley, they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.

Out of Bounds: An Epic Mountain Journey

USA (2019) 45 minutes
Directed by: Caspar Mazzotti

Cast: Jeremy Jones, Torah Bright, Sammy Carlson, Richard Federley

Follow Australian Olympic snowboarder Torah Bright as she heads from her home in the foothills of the Australian Alps, deep into Alaska’s glaciated Chugach mountain range. Torah dedicated her life to conquering the mountain, and now she’s working with her team to understand and protect these epic ecosystems from an ever-changing world. Standing over the ledge of a 2000-foot vertical drop, we unravel the science behind the earth’s most incredible mountain environments and ride these untamed peaks. 

Jeremy Jones in attendance

Honeyland

2019 (Macedonia) 90 minutes
Directed by: Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov

In a deserted Macedonian village, Hatidze, a fifty-something woman in a bright yellow blouse and green headscarf, trudges up a hillside to check her bee colonies nestled in the rocks.

Serenading them with a secret chant, she gently maneuvers the honeycomb without netting or gloves. Back at her homestead, Hatidze tends to her handmade hives and her bedridden mother, occasionally heading to the capital to market her wares. One day, an itinerant family installs itself next door, and Hatidze’s peaceful kingdom gives way to roaring engines, seven shrieking children, and 150 cows. Yet Hatidze welcomes the camaraderie, and she holds nothing back—not her tried-and-true beekeeping advice, not her affection, not her special brandy. But soon Hussein, the itinerant family’s patriarch, makes a series of decisions that could destroy Hatidze’s way of life forever. Every frame of Honeylandpulses with the cycles of life and glows with Hatidze’s magical vitality and optimism. This visually sumptuous, vérité glimpse into a forgotten world is an ode to two endangered and priceless treasures: human decency and the delicate balance of nature.

2019 Sundance Winner Grand Jury Prize

N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear

USA (2018) 84 minutes
Directed by: Jeffrey Palmer

This riveting documentary charts the life, career and legacy of the prolific and enigmatic Navarro Scott Momaday, a revered Native American author whose work earned him a Pulitzer Prize and established him as the founding force behind the Native American art and literature renaissance. A writer of both poetry and prose, Momaday speaks to themes of heritage, ancestral remembrance, and spiritual growth. Academically, Momaday was a doctorate fellow at Stanford University, his incredible talents eventually earning him the Pulitzer in 1969, despite the various struggles he experienced as a Native artist while living in 20th and 21st century America. While his own work makes for an awe-inspiring portrait, the lasting influence Momaday has had on the industry as well as the inspiration he has lent to a new generation of Native American artists and authors is what makes Words from a Bear an unforgettable cinematic experience.

Echo in the Canyon

2018 (USA) 82 minutes
Directed by: Andrew Slater

In the summer of 1965 the most popular song in America was the debut single by The Byrds. With their mushroom haircuts, 3-part harmonies, and jangly electric 12-string sound, they were to be America’s answer to The Beatles. They weren’t. Instead, they invented folk rock and attracted a generation of recording artists to Los Angeles. Echo In The Canyon is a look back at the influence and the music of those artists (The Byrds, The Mamas & the Papas, Buffalo Springfield, The Beach Boys) from Southern California’s age of innocence (1965 – 1967); the beginnings of Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon music scene, and how the echo of these artist’s creations reverberated between each other and ultimately across to London (where it alters the course of The Beatles themselves.) The songs from that era provide an entry point as Jakob Dylan and a new generation of artists whose own body of work reflect the echoes of that pivotal time (Beck, Fiona Apple, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, Cat Power and others), interpret and perform the songs paying homage to, and in many cases in front of, its authors. Dylan journeys to those who wrote the songs and discovers why they were written and what life was like in Los Angeles’ Laurel Canyon in the years before psychedelia and the birth of the singer/songwriter era. He uncovers never before heard personal details behind the recordings and those who made them popular. Performing and or speaking are Tom Petty, Brian Wilson, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Stephen Stills, Roger McGuinn, Michelle Phillips, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, John Sebastian, and Lou Adler.

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

2019 (USA) 95 minutes
Directed by: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

In LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, Ronstadt is our guide through her early years of singing Mexican canciones with her family; her folk days with the Stone Poneys; and her reign as the “rock queen” of the ’70s and early ’80s. She was a pioneer for women in the

male-dominated music industry; an early advocate for human rights, and had a high-profile romance with California governor Jerry Brown. Ultimately, her incredible voice was lost to Parkinson’s disease, but her music and influence remain as timeless as ever. With moving performance footage and appearances by collaborators including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne, LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE celebrates an artist whose desire to share the music she loved made generations of fans fall in love with her – and the sound of her voice.

David Crosby: Remember My Name

2019 (USA) 95 minutes
Directed by: A. J. Eaton

A revealing and deeply personal documentary exploring the life and creative renaissance of music icon David Crosby. A cultural force for over fifty years, Crosby faced uncertain future after the 2015 dissolution of Crosby, Stills and Nash. Racked with health issues and personal obstacles, Crosby forged a new path at the age of 77. Seeking out younger musicians and recording a pair of critically-praised new albums, Crosby now sets out to make a mark in a world now so different from the generation he came to define in the 60’s. With unflinching honesty, self-examination, regret, fear, exuberance and an unshakable belief in family and the transformative nature of music, Crosby shares his often-challenging journey with humor and bite. You thought you knew him. Meet David Crosby now in this portrait of a man still tilting against every windmill, with everything but an easy retirement on his mind. This inspirational story, filled with music, will speak to loyal fans, and legions of new ones.

Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?

2019 (USA) 88 minutes
Directed by: Nick Mead

After Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s marathon “Rising Tour” came to an end back in 2003, saxophonist Clarence Clemons felt like he needed a break. Though the world knew him as The Big Man, The Minister of Soul, The Secretary of The Brotherhood, and a lifetime member of the E Street Band, there was also a deeply spiritual side to Clemons. So he packed up his saxophone and journeyed to China, where he could be more or less a nameless traveler in a foreign land. Following him was director, friend and photographer Nick Mead, who documented Clarence’s transcendent awakening overseas.

Once Clarence had returned to the States, Mead decided to keep the cameras rolling, which is when tragedy struck: while in Florida, Clarence suffered a stroke and passed away. With the help of producer Joe Amodei, the film then became more than just a document of Clarence’s spiritual journey – it became a biography for his life and a love letter and farewell from those that knew him best. Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, Gayle Morrison, Narada Michael Walden and former band mates, friends, and close family members, CLARENCE CLEMONS: WHO DO I THINK I AM? highlights Clarence’s life as a musician and member of the E Street band while also presenting another side of the man not many knew when he was away from bright stage lights. It’s an intimate portrait of Clarence’s quest for enlightenment and meaning in what would sadly be the final years of his life.

Chicuarotes

Mexico (2019) 95 minutes
Directed by: Gael Garcia Bernal

In this audacious crime drama from the celebrated Mexican actor turned director Gael Garcia, lifelong friends Cagalera and Moloteco turn to violence and lawlessness to buy their way out of their hard-scrabble Mexico City neighborhood. Hoping to scrape together enough cash to join a union that holds the promise of steady work, the amateur criminals graduate from petty theft to hostage taking. But their escapades land the teens in desperate circumstances, both darkly humorous and fraught with danger.  

“A film not suitable for sensitive hearts or weak stomachs; and without a doubt . . . worth seeing. – Star Telegram

Collisions

2018 (USA) 90 minutes
Directed by: Richard Levien

Cast: Jesse Garcia, Ana de la Reguera

Twelve year-old Itan’s promising life in San Francisco is turned upside down when she comes home from school one day with her younger brother to find their apartment ransacked and her mother taken away by immigration police. Suddenly, she must rely on her estranged Uncle, a big rig semi-truck driver. Itan manipulates him into taking them across the border to Mexico in his truck, trying to find her mother and stop her deportation. 

Harvest Season

USA, MEXICO (2018) 83 minutes
Directed by: Bernardo Ruiz

Filmed over the course of a single season, the inner-workings of the California wine industry and the laborers who keep it running are at the forefront of Emmy-award winning filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz’s enlightening documentary, Harvest Season. Focusing on the generations of Mexican, Latino, and migrant workers that make up the industry, the film explores the extent to which the industry depends on their efforts, even as the industry’s landscape begins to undergo worrisome changes. With their stories so often left untold, the film illustrates just how deeply intertwined the industry is with the farmers and winemakers that sustain the production of some of the world’s most popular wines. While recognition for their work is sparse, the workers persevere even as new threats put their livelihoods at risk – wildfires, changing immigration policies, labor shortages, and more.

Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage

2019 (USA) 90 minutes
Directed by: Ben DeJesus

A revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to the creative hotbed of the 1960’s New York City to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. The film traces Raul’s personal and professional journey, showcasing his groundbreaking performances and humanitarian activism. Before diversity and inclusion were part of the national conversation, Raul with his magnetic personality and undeniable talent amassed a varied body of timeless work that helped pave the way for many Latin actors today. This story is told in his own voice through archival interviews and in the words of those who knew him best.

Founding Partners

 
Crystal Bay Casino
Sierra Sun
TERC
North Lake Tahoe Visitors and Convention Bureau
Coldwell Banker
 

Signature Partners

 
Hyatt Regency
Welk Resorts
Best Western Truckee Tahoe
Cedar House Sport Hotel
Reno Tahoe
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
The Row
Mt Rose
Northstar California
 

Business Partners

 
Tahoe Daves
Raleys
Tahoe Water Association
Plumas Bank
Truckee Airport – Community Partner