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Documentary Films

2021 Naples International Film Festival


NIFF 11 Year Anniversary

 
 
A Fire Within

Documentary
A Fire Within

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 85 minutes
  East Coast Premiere
  Filmmakers in Attendance
  Juried Film

Director: Christopher Chambers
Producers: Liya Kebede, Christopher Chambers, Jeff Hoffman, Sherman Tate, Russell Gray
Writer: Christopher Chambers
Cast: Edgegayehu “Edge” Taye, Hirut Abebe-Jiri, Elizabeth Demissie

This is the incredible true story of three Ethiopian women who flee to the U.S. after surviving torture in their home country, only to discover that the man responsible for their torture now lives in America... and works at the same Atlanta hotel as one of them. A Fire Within is an inspiring, timely story about three resilient survivors taking a stand to make their voices heard and courageously attempting to bring their torturer to justice — right here in America.

Friday, October 22, 8pm
Saturday, October 23, 12:45pm

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Bernstein's Wall

Documentary
Bernstein's Wall

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 100 minutes
  Florida Premiere
  Filmmakers in Attendance

Director: Douglas Tirola
Producer: Susan Bedusa
Writer: Written by Douglas Tirola from the words of Leonard Bernstein
Cast: Leonard Bernstein

Douglas Tirola’s thrilling documentary portrait of famed composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein uses the maestro’s own voice with an incredible visual language that has the rhythms of a symphony to create an intimate, complicated, heartbreaking and passionate life story that ultimately inspires us to make a change in our society today.

Friday, October 22, 3pm
Saturday, October 23, 12:30pm

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Blues on Beale

Documentary
Blues on Beale

2020, G, US, Documentary, 80 minutes
  World Premiere
  Filmmakers in Attendance

Director: Larry Lancit
Producers: Cecily Truett, Lynne Brenner Ganek, Jeff Ganek, Steve Zink, Aaron Ganek
Writer: Cecily Lancit
Cast: Bobby Rush, Shemekia Copeland, Janiva Magness, Shakira S'Aida, Castro Coleman, Bruce Iglauer

Experience six days of rocking, crowd-pumping blues competition — packed with passion, blues music and suspense. Discover the people who keep the blues alive on the famed Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee, and the powerful international impact of America’s musical gift to the world.

Friday, October 22, 12:45pm
Sunday, October 24, 12pm

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Holy Frit

Documentary
Holy Frit

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 120 minutes
  Filmmakers in Attendance
  Juried Film

Director: Justin Monroe
Producers: Justin Monroe, Chris Saito, Kasey Monroe
Writers: Justin Monroe, Ryan Fritzsche
Cast: Tim Carey, Narcissus Quagliata, David Judson, Adam Hamilton

In this three-year race against time, talented yet unknown L.A. artist Tim Carey bluffs his way into winning the commission to create the largest stained-glass window of its kind. The problem is: He doesn’t know how to make it. After a desperate search, he finds someone who might have the answer: a famous glass maestro by the name of Narcissus Quagliata.

Friday, October 22, 7:30pm  •  Artis—Naples
Saturday, October 23, 3:45pm  •  Silverspot Cinema

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In Balanchine's Classroom

Documentary
In Balanchine's Classroom

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 88 minutes
  Filmmakers in Attendance

Director: Connie Hochman
Producer: Connie Hochman
Writer: Connie Hochman
Cast: Jacques D’Amboise, Merrill Ashley, Gloria Govrin, Suki Schorer, Edward Villella, Heather Watts

In Balanchine’s Classroom transports audiences back to the glory years of George Balanchine’s New York City Ballet through the remembrances of his former dancers and their quest to fulfill the vision of a genius. Opening the door to his studio with never-before-seen archival footage of Balanchine at work and interviews with the dancers who carry on his legacy today, this is Balanchine as viewers have never seen him.

Friday, October 22, 1:15pm
Sunday, October 24, 11:30am

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Me to Play

Documentary
Me to Play

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 72 minutes
  Filmmakers in Attendance

Director: Jim Bernfield
Producer: Jim Bernfield
Writer: Jim Bernfield
Cast: Dan Moran, John Cristopher Jones, Joe Grifasi, Ruth Kreshka, Mary Beth Coudal

Two actors suffering from debilitating, incurable Parkinson’s disease undertake an act of bravery as their swansong to their decades-long careers — putting up an off-Broadway production of Samuel Beckett’s comic yet difficult masterpiece Endgame, which Beckett wrote after his own mother passed away from effects brought on by Parkinson’s. Endgame makes the case that there is nothing funnier than unhappiness. Me to Play proves it.

Saturday, October 23, 5:15pm
Sunday, October 24, 2:15pm

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Savvy

Documentary
$avvy

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 79 minutes
  East Coast Premiere
  Filmmakers in Attendance

Director: Robin Hauser
Producers: Robin Hauser, Tierney Henderson
Writers: Robin Hauser, Tierney Henderson, Jessica Floum
Cast: Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Sallie Krawcheck, Farnoosh Torabi, Haley Sacks, Tonya Rapley, Chanel Reynolds, Rachel Robasciotti, Yanely Espinal, Bradley Klontz, Caitlin Boston

$avvy investigates the historical, cultural and societal norms around women and money. With incisive humor and captivating honesty, $avvy questions why women often take a backseat to managing their money — and reveals why it is increasingly critical for women to take the reins of their financial futures.

Saturday, October 23, 11am
Sunday, October 24, 1:45pm

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Set!

Documentary
Set!

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 105 minutes
  Florida Premiere

Director and Producer: Scott Gawlik

Table setting: For most of us, it’s a chore. But for some, it’s a sport. Once a year, a group of highly competitive table setters vie for the Best of Show ribbon at the Orange County Fair competition, often referred to as “The Olympics of table setting.”

Friday, October 22, 5:30pm
Saturday, October 23, 7:15pm

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The Conductor

Documentary
The Conductor

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 90 minutes
  Filmmakers in Attendance
  Juried Film

Director: Bernadette Wegenstein
Producer: Annette Porter
Cast: Marin Alsop, Kristin Jurkscheit, Alexandra Arrieche, Jonathan Rush, Curtis Bannister, Tim Smith, Michael Cooper

The Conductor takes audiences into the heart of classical music and into the soul of one of its top artists, internationally renowned conductor Marin Alsop, giving viewers backstage passes to the artistry and energy that rewards her audiences and inspires her students. With unprecedented access, the director and film crew accompany Alsop to concerts around the world, from São Paulo, Lucerne and Baltimore to her opening concert in Vienna.

Friday, October 22, 5:45pm
Saturday, October 23, 3:15pm

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Try Harder!

Documentary
Try Harder!

2021, NR, US, Documentary, 85 minutes

Director: Debbie Lum
Producers: Nico Opper, Lou Nakasako, Debbie Lum

San Francisco’s Lowell High, one of the best public schools in the country, draws high achievers — nearly 70% of whom are Asian Americans — from across the city into a fiercely competitive universe. The camera follows seniors through the hallways and into classrooms as the pressure intensifies to impress admissions officers at elite universities with their report cards, test scores and overall awesomeness. The students proudly own their identity as nerds and tell their stories with candor and humor despite the stress. Will they achieve their dreams? And what happens if they fail?

Friday, October 22, 10:45am
Sunday, October 24, 4:30pm

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