This short documentary about a teenager from Sierra Leone who taught himself electronics and got a residence at MIT is inspiring and humbling -- what a kid!
15-Year-Old Kelvin Doe is an engineering whiz living in Sierra Leone who scours the trash bins for spare parts, which he uses to build batteries, generators and transmitters. Completely self-taught, Kelvin has created his own radio station where he broadcasts news and plays music under the moniker, DJ Focus.
Kelvin became the youngest person in history to be invited to the "Visiting Practitioner's Program" at MIT. THNKR had exclusive access to Kelvin and his life-changing journey - experiencing the US for the first time, exploring incredible opportunities, contending with homesickness, and mapping out his future.
Self-taught African Teen Wows M.I.T.
MC Frontalot sez, "From the folks who made The People Vs. George Lucas (in which I am lucky enough to be a talking head), a new documentary about zombies and their place in our culture. Simon Pegg and Alex Cox are in the teaser trailer. Looks like the filmmakers need $30,000 in the next six days if they're going to fan-fund this thing. Since tPvGL did so well, I'm guessing that more traditional avenues are open to them if this fails. But I think it's way cooler for the audience to make this thing their own."
Brought to the screen by the creators of the groundbreaking participatory doc THE PEOPLE vs. GEORGE LUCAS, and co-hosted by Geekscape’s own Jonathan London and Red Letter Media’s infamous Mr. Plinkett, DOC OF THE DEAD will delve deep into the myriad crevasses of zombie culture to deliver the first-ever in-depth look at a contemporary social pandemic of global proportions. Shot and edited in a cinematically edgy, high-octane style, DOC OF THE DEAD will host a rich and entertaining dialogue with zombie experts and celebrities, seek participation from YouTubers and indie filmmakers, and examine viral cultural trends to explore the possibility and ramifications of an actual zombie outbreak with sociologists, virologists, chemists, and members of the Zombie Research Society.
DOC OF THE DEAD
BB reader Jane Lowers sends along this beautiful BBC Radio documentary about two men in California who have been together for decades, now facing one's terminal pancreatic cancer diagnosis. "I know both of them; Eric was a columnist at a radiology magazine I used to work for," says Jane. "Their house is every inch as insane as described. But the story -- trying to decide how to deal with a diagnosis, how to use the time you have, and how it can affect relationships -- was very well-described, I thought."
Kilian Eng created this poster for an upcoming documentary about Alejandro Jodorowsky's legendary project to film Dune, "possibly the greatest Sci-Fi film that never was."
Poster for the upcoming documentary [via Super Punch]
Here's a trailer for "Line of Sight," a documentary on underground bike-messenger racing that uses helmetcams to capture some pretty insane (and often terrifying) examples of cycling skill:
Line Of Sight is a rare view into underground bicycle messenger racing which has become a global phenomenon. For over a decade Lucas Brunelle has been riding with the fastest, most skilled urban cyclists around the world while capturing all the action with his customized helmet cameras to bring you along for the ride.
This is bike riding like you've never seen before, in gripping first-person perspective through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.
LINE OF SIGHT - Official Trailer
Katharine sez, "Dartmouth Films are working with the Equality Trust on a documentary film of 'The Spirit Level, which aims to take the message of the book
-- that more equal societies are better for everyone -- out to a wider audience. With growing unease over the last year about tax avoidance & the social effects of inequality (and the success of movements such as Occupy and Uncut), the film hopes to put pressure on governments and political parties from all ends of the political spectrum to pursue fairer policies. The film's campaign is live for three more weeks only at Indiegogo
, and you can support the project by pre-buying the film or following the film on Twitter
Just Do It - a tale of modern-day outlaws is an exciting new documentary which takes you behind the scenes of the secret world of environmental direct action in the UK. Granted unprecedented access to film, director Emily James embedded herself inside a group of nonviolent UK activists as they shut down airports, stormed the fences of coal power stations, and super-glued themselves to bank trading floors, all despite the very real threat of arrest.
The film opened in the US just last week on Earth Day, however, in solidarity and support with May Day actions planned around the world - starting at 5:30pm EST on Monday 30th, the full film will be available to watch online for FREE for 24 hours on occupy.com, with a live Q&A with director Emily James at 7pm EST. To reserve your seat for the 5:30pm screening, simply head over to www.occupy.com/watch/ or to watch the film at any time during the 24-hour invitation, click "watch now" in the player.
You'll remember Emily and her awesome movie from such blogposts as this one.
Just do it | Occupy.com
The Weinstein Company has caved to the MPAA
and edited down the documentary Bully
in order to get a PG-13 rating. Unrated, uncut versions of the movie will still be shown in some theaters -- a concession from the MPAA. See more about the story here
, and here
. (Thanks, Xeni!
Apropos yesterday's post about 1970s science fiction convention costumes, Strephon Taylor sez, "I just saw your post on the 1970's science fiction costumes. I made a documentary on the early northern California Star Trek conventions called "Back to Space-Con", it has a ton of costume footage, I think you will dig it. We have some of the earliest full sound film on the subject. We got contacted by the producers of Trek Nation for our convention footage! "
This feature-length documentary film tells the story of the 1970's Bay Area Sci-Fi conventions called Space-Con. Told by the original organizers and fans. Includes celebrity interviews, costume contests and over 40 minutes of rare convention footage. See the Federation Trading Post in Berkeley and very first Star Trek convention in San Francisco. A real treat for any Star Trek or Star Wars fan. Film stars Bob Wilkins, John Stanley, Ernie Fosselius, and many more.
BACK TO SPACE-CON Trailer B
Bo sells a t-shirt that says "Eat More Kale" from his home in rural Vermont. Titanic chicken sandwich chain Chick-Fil-A claims that this shirt infringes on their trademark for the slogan "Eat Mor (sic) Chikin' (sic)." They've demanded that Bo shut down and turn over his website to them. Rather than capitulate, Bo is making a defiant documentary about his refusal, and he's raising funds on Kickstarter.
Of course, I might not win --- the odds are against me. All over the country 'trademark bullies,' large corporations that bully small businesses over alleged claims of trademark infringement, are legally harassing small businesses and wearing them down with repeated lawsuits and appeals. In the face of overwhelming legal bills, most small businesses just give up.
This is more than just plain wrong: it's un-American.
By helping make this documentary I want to shine a light on this issue, my battle, and other trademark bullies, too. If I win, it's a great story; if I lose, it's a sad story. Either way, Jim and I think it's a story worth telling.
It seems to me that there shouldn't be any valid trademark claim here. Leaving aside the spelling issue, the graphic presentation of "Eat More Kale" is very different from "Eat mor chikin." The phrase "Eat more," is pretty generic, and is unlikely to result in confusion. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm inclined to think that if Bo can stay in the fight long enough -- that is, if they don't outspend him into oblivion -- he stands a chance of winning.
A Defiant Dude by James Lantz and Eat More Kale guy — Kickstarter
Here's a one-hour BBC documentary on Moebius, the French comics artist whose passing we lamented this weekend. The doc, "Moebius Redux: A Life in Pictures," includes interviews with Stan Lee and Jodorowsky.
Moebius – a life in pictures
Looking for Lenny is a new documentary about Lenny Bruce and the way that free speech issues still resonate today. It's packed with comedy/spoken word legends talking about Bruce, from Robin Williams to Phyllis Diller, Mort Sahl, and Henry Rollins.
Looking for Lenny
The 1964 NYC World's Fair is legendary -- birthplace of animatronics and Belgian waffles, the zenith of exuberant goofy corporate futurism and the beloved coming-of-age for millions who entered a modern world filled with promise. Documentarians are raising funds to produce "After the Fair," a doc featuring any amount of droolworthy archival footage of the great fair.
Videophones, space satellites, computers, color television. Today, these technologies are everywhere. For millions of people though, their first experience with these innovations came in Queens, at the 1964-65 World's Fair.
The fair also marked the debut of Belgian Waffles, and for many, the first foray into different cultures and ethnic foods.
In our documentary, we will travel the country to reveal the cultural, technological, and physical relics of the fair. We will travel to over 30 locations, with dozens of interviews looking at not only what the fair meant in 1964-65, but more importantly, what it means to all of today.
Our first teaser trailer gives you a taste of the wonderful archival fair footage we've found, along with our trek across the country to visit dozens of relics (and people) from the fair so far.
After The Fair: The Legacy of the 1964-65 NY World's Fair by Ryan Ritchey — Kickstarter
The Man Who Prints Houses is a documentary about Enrico Dini, an Italian roboticist who switched tracks to design and build enormous 3D printers capable of outputting houses:
Having built his printer – the world’s largest – from scratch, there’s no shortage of work offers for this highly-skilled and imaginative engineer. Throughout the course of the film, we see Enrico embark on an array of innovative projects: constructing the tallest printed sculpture in existence, working with Foster + Partners and the European Space Agency on a programme to colonise the moon, solidifying a sand dune in the desert, and printing the closest thing to an actual house: a small Italian dwelling known as
The long-term nature of these projects and the current financial climate take their toll on Enrico and his team of workers, as contracts fail to be honoured and the infant technology stutters. Travel back to 2008 and it’s a different story, as Enrico describes how he was staring a €50m investment in the face.
Just as he’s about to sell up and move to London, the stock market crashes… he must rebuild his business all over again.
The Man Who Prints Houses
Here's a trailer for a documentary-in-progress called "Kidnapped for Christ," which tells the stories of children whose evangelical Christian parents pay military-style boarding school to render them to an offshore facility, where they are subject to inhuman treatment in the name of reforming their wicked ways, from "discipline problems" to simply being gay:
The film centers on the story of David, a straight-A student from Colorado who was sent to Escuela Caribe in May of 2006 after coming out to his parents as gay. Like many others, David was taken in the night without warning by a “transport service” and was never told where he was going or when he would be brought back home. While at Escuela Caribe, David had no way of communicating with any of his friends or family back home until the filmmakers arrived and he decided to ask them if they would smuggle out a letter that he had secretly written to his best friend. Once word got back to David’s community about what had happened to him, many people sprung to action and formed a plan to get him released. Getting David out of this school, however, turned out to be a much more difficult task than anyone had thought, and the trials they went through to get David released revealed just how far Escuela Caribe would go to prevent a student from leaving.
David was not the only student whose life was impacted by the school’s severe approach to discipline. The filmmakers followed many other students who also experienced degrading punishments and who struggled to understand what was happening to them. The film also features interviews with former students, including Julia Scheeres, whose 2005 New York Times Best Selling memoir Jesusland tells the story of the disturbing physical and physiological abuse she witnessed and suffered at Escuela Caribe during the 1980s.
The growth of the troubled teen industry, especially therapeutic boarding schools located in the United States and abroad, has given rise to many other allegations of the inhumane treatment of youth and the exploitation of families who are desperately seeking help for their teenagers. The goal of Kidnapped for Christ is to tell the stories of the students at Escuela Caribe and to give them a voice so that they may make people aware of the broader industry of schools like Escuela Caribe and the potential danger they constitute for our youth. We hope that the film will be entertaining, shocking, thought provoking and will ultimately inspire change in the way these types of schools are run and regulated.
You can help us finish the film and advocate for the rights of teenagers who are sent to boarding schools like Escuela Caribe by making a tax-deductible donation to our IndieGoGo Campaign here
Kidnapped for Christ
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)