Thirty directors, producers and editors from Hawaii to New York will come to Mendocino.
Look Who’s Coming to Mendocino This Year!
This year marks the greatest number of filmmakers ever to attend the festival. Thirty directors, producers and editors from Hawaii to New York will come to Mendocino, the jewel nestled in California’s wine country, to screen and discuss their films.
Meet such filmmakers as Damani Baker, who was selected by Filmmaker Magazine as “one of the 25 new faces in independent film.” The director of the fascinating The House on Coco Road, about an Oakland teacher who moves her family to Grenada during the Reagan era, Baker will be on hand along with the film’s producer, Belvie Rooks.
Multi-hyphenate Anne Makepeace, writer/producer/director and winner of the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and a prime-time Emmy award, has made films on subjects ranging from architect I.M. Pei to Eleanor Roosevelt to Somali Bantu refugees. She will be at the festival with her riveting documentary. Tribal Justice, about Native American judges enacting major changes in their communities. One of the documentary subjects, the venerable Judge Abby Abinanti—profiled in the Los Angeles Times— will also be in attendance.
Also attending is Stefan Avalos, a former child prodigy and classical violinist who discovered his true love was making movies. He will be here with Strad Style, his riveting award-winning documentary about a reclusive Ohio man who offers to make a Stradivarius violin for a famous European musician.
We also have the filmmakers of the fascinating documentary Big Sonia, Leah Warshawski and Todd Soliday, traveling in from Seattle, as well as the subject of this fascinating film, 4’8” inch Holocaust survivor Sonia Warshawski, who is 92 years young.
Miguel Martinez will be traveling from Virginia along with Jamie Sisley to attend the festival. They are the visionary directors of the cinematically glorious, award-winning documentary Farewell Ferris Wheel. Their compelling film explores why most U.S. carnivals employ Mexican migrant workers employed under a controversial program.
Coming in from Hawaii in an effort to restore history will be Robin Lung, who in her new documentary, Finding Kukan, investigates why an Oscar-winning documentary that revealed the atrocities of World War II China mysteriously disappeared, and why the female producer went uncredited.
Marc Sondheimer, the Oscar-winning producer of this year’s best animated short, Piper, will pop over from Pixar and regale audiences about how he studied birds for three years to make the endearing 6-minute computer animated short about a baby sandpiper.
Filmmaking brothers Todd and Jedd Wider will be flying in from New York with God Knows Where I Am, their lyrical and heartfelt documentary that probes the psyche of a homeless woman and unfolds like a riveting whodunit.
Tommie Dell Smith will be at the festival to discuss The Groove is Not Trivial, her masterful documentary about Scottish fiddler, Alasdair Fraser. Prior to this film, she was associate producer for Broken Rainbow, an Oscar-winning documentary.
Producer Sean Havey will be here with the timely cinema verite documentary, The Force, which won a top award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The film chronicles two tumultuous years for the Oakland Police Department, and Havey will discuss fly-on-the wall filming techniques and thorny issues in current law enforcement.
Writer-Director Chris Brown will be on hand with his inventive hybrid of fiction and non-fiction, The Other Kids, shot on location in rural Northern California. He’ll discuss his collaboration with real teens while making this powerful film.
Director Kieran Valla returned to his Connecticut roots to shoot his gritty thriller, Delinquent, during a chilly New England winter. Soon he’ll be enjoying the Mendocino sunshine along with fellow filmmakers and special guests.
In just a few weeks we will be welcoming our wide-ranging roster of 2017 filmmakers to experience Mendocino hospitality firsthand. Be sure to get your tickets soon and come by and say hello to our filmmakers and special guests, traveling from far and wide, to share their insights, views and style with festival-goers.
The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting riveting, thought-provoking and award-winning independent and international films. The festival draws increasing numbers of filmmakers and avid attendees from around the world while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring a varied line-up of films, panels, and special events, the festival offers a unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in the intimate and strikingly beautiful setting of seaside Mendocino.
Special Narrative and Documentary Juries of film executives, journalists and filmmakers have been added this year. Winning films will be announced at a special event on Thursday night.
This marks the festival’s most international and far-reaching program to date, with 65 films from 23 countries. In addition to screenings and Q&As with filmmakers, the festival will feature several celebrity guests, special events and rousing musical evenings.
Join the conversation and stay up-to-date with the latest Festival news. Connect with us on Facebook for the latest announcements, including attending filmmakers and special guests, upcoming radio interviews, film news, and more.
Ticket sales have opened and are selling briskly. Get your tickets early, as many events sell out in advance.
Row 1 Alexis Harte, (Music, Dear Death, Pearl), Levi Smock (Producer, Delinquent), Kieran Valla, (Director, Delinquent), Keely & Pierce Brosnan (Director, Producer, Poisoning Paradise), Marc Sondheimer (Piper)
Row 2 Leah & Sonia Warshawski (Director, Subject, Big Sonia), Todd & Jedd Wider (Directors, God Knows Where I Am), Stefan Avalos (Director, Strad Style), Peter Nicks (Associate Producer, The Force), Shirley Thompson (Producer, Editor, Finding Kukan)
Row 3 Abby Abinanti (Subject, Tribal Justice), Anne Makepeace (Director, Tribal Justice), Damani Baker (Director, The House on Coco Road), Robin Lung (Director, Finding Kukan), Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez (Director, Farewell Ferris Wheel), Chris Brown (Director, The Other Kids)
Row 4 Robin Lung (Director, Finding Kukan), Tommie Dell Smith (Director, The Groove is not Trivial), Belvie Rooks (Producer, The House on Coco Road), Jamie Sisley (Director, Farewell Ferris Wheel), Todd Soliday (Director, Big Sonia)
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ABOUT THE MENDOCINO FILM FESTIVAL: The Mendocino Film Festival has established a reputation for presenting award-winning, international, and independent films. Over the years, the Mendocino Film Festival has become renowned on the festival circuit, drawing filmmakers and attendees from around the world, while maintaining its commitment to the local community. Featuring special events, filmmaker Q&As, and panels, the program offers the unique opportunity to meet filmmakers and film aficionados in an intimate setting, while enjoying the striking natural beauty of Mendocino, which has inspired generations of artists. Mendocino has been the chosen location for such seminal films as: The Uninvited (1943), East of Eden (1954), The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1965), Summer of ’42 (1970), Same Time, Next Year (1978), Cujo (1982), Pontiac Moon (1993), The Majestic (2001), and most recently, Crabs! (2015).
The 12th Annual Mendocino Film Festival takes place June 1-4, 2017. For more information, including this year’s complete program, visit www.MendocinoFilmFestival.org.