Champion freediver Alessia Zecchini fell in love with the sport as a child growing up in Italy, astounding coaches with her raw talent and determination in pool swims and open water contests before she was even old enough to legally compete. Irish adventurer turned expert safety diver Stephen Keenan, meanwhile, was raised near the sea, but as a young man he set out on a quest to find himself, traveling across Africa before landing in Dahab, Egypt and establishing a dive school. Despite their very different paths, the two would meet at the pinnacle of the competitive freediving world, discovering a shared passion for pushing their limits and forming a powerful relationship that felt like fate.
From director Laura McGann, this thrilling documentary takes a look inside one of the most dangerous sports in the world, using everything from raw underwater dive footage to childhood home movies to chronicle Zecchini and Keenan’s lives and careers. The bond between them propels the film’s emotional journey into the stunning, silent depths of the ocean, a breathtaking place unseen by all but the fortunate few – where exhilarating accomplishments and unavoidable risks await.
Gena, a queer artist from a small town in Russia, dresses in otherworldly costumes made from junk and tape, and protests the government on the streets of Moscow. Born and raised on the harsh streets of Magadan, a frigid outpost of the Soviet gulag, Gena is only 21. She stages radical performances in public that become a new form of art and activism. By doing that, she wants to change people’s perception of beauty and queerness and bring attention to the harassment of the LGBTQ+ community. The performances—often dark, strange, evocative, and queer at their core—are a manifestation of Gena’s subconscious. But they come at a price.tt
Five women from around the world who are boldly breaking glass ceilings in the male-dominated world of orchestral conducting take center stage in Maestra, filmmaker Maggie Contreras’ directorial debut. They gathered in Paris for ‘La Maestra’, the only competition in the world for female conductors, to show the world the singular talent that unites them and which, for far too long, has been considered the pursuit of only men. Mothers, daughters, rebels, leaders – over four days, each takes to the stage to compete. Personal stories of survival, passion and perseverance are woven together with the drama and excitement of this one-of-a-kind event. The struggles and triumphs of the gifted artists in Maestra offer a microcosm for the challenges faced by women in every industry and in every walk of life today, while also providing valuable insights into how we may conduct ourselves as we create a new movement for a more equitable future.
Veteran documentarian Claire Simon observes the everyday operations of the gynecological ward in a public hospital in Paris and in the process, questions what it means to live in a woman’s body, filming the diversity, singularity, and beauty of patients in all stages of life.
Augusto and Paulina have been together and in love for 25 years. Eight years ago, their lives were forever changed by Augusto’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. As one of Chile’s most prominent cultural commentators and television presenters, Augusto is no stranger to building an archive of memory. Now he turns that work to his own life, trying to hold on to his identity with the help of his beloved Paulina, whose own pre-eminence as a famous actress and Chilean Minister of Culture predates her ceaselessly inventive manner of engaging with her husband. Day by day, the couple face this challenge head-on, relying on the tender affection and sense of humor shared between them that remains remarkably, fully intact.
Courtesy of MTV Documentary Films
Experience the beauty and complexity of everyday life in a whole new way with View Askew’s collection of thought-provoking, unexpected, and lyrical films. From overlooked moments in cinema to the hidden desires of a hotel room, pensive glances on a long ferry ride, and the secret language of vegetation, this program offers a fresh perspective on the world around us, revealing the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Out/Spoken explores the diversity, complexity, and vibrancy of queer lives and experiences. Through a dynamic range of stories, this program captures the joys, struggles, and triumphs of queer individuals and communities, highlighting their resilience, creativity, and unwavering spirit.
An AP team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol struggle to continue their work documenting atrocities of the Russian invasion. As the only international reporters who remain in the city, they capture what later become defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more. With nearly a decade of experience covering international conflicts for The Associated Press, including the Russia-Ukraine war, 20 Days in Mariupol is Mstyslav Chernov’s first feature film. The film draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country at war. It offers a vivid, harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege, as well as a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone, and the impact of such journalism around the globe.
Unbreakable Spirits showcases powerful stories of individuals who have endured – or are now enduring – the ravages of war, oppression, and other forms of global strife. Through their strength, resilience, and unwavering determination, these individuals face the unimaginable, or have triumphed over adversity, inspiring hope and resilience in themselves and those around them.