(To learn more about a new release or a Rough Cuts classic, click on the film's title)
A list of recently released films that debuted at Rough Cuts as work-in-progress cuts:
Directed by Vanessa Lemaire
2016 Austin Film Festival
In Vanessa Lemaire's lyrical "An Acquired Taste," three teenagers, Alex, Ashlie, and Izzy, decide to leave their modern lives behind and embark on a journey that's foreign to their parents and most Bay Area residents—hunting for their own food.
Directed by Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush
"Independent Lens," 2015 – 2016 season
For six years, co-directors Amir Soltani and Chihiro Wimbush followed the lives of three of the homeless who redeem their recyclables at Alliance. In the process, Soltani and Wimbush's "Dogtown Redemption" unlocks a story about poverty in America that reaches beyond today's headlines, CNN debates and campaign stump speeches.
Directed by Jessie Deeter
World Premiere at 2016 Hot Docs
Through the eyes of these two extraordinary women working to shape their homeland's future, "A Revolution in Four Seasons" captures the evolution—by turns fitful and dramatic—of Tunisian democracy.
ROUGH CUTS CLASSICS
A mix of outstanding films that first screened as work-in-progress cuts at Rough Cuts:
Directed by Robert Campos and Donna LoCierco
2014 Mill Valley Film Festival
Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero's enchanting and insightful film traces the rise—and stumble—of three Bay Area comedians: Will Durst, Larry Brown and Johnny Steele.
Directed by Laura Lukitsch
Official Selection, Hot Springs International Film Festival
“Beard Club” traces beard trends as far back as Alexander the Great, while, at the same time, presenting profiles and musings of religious men, former 60s activists, world beard competitors, bearded women, and a young Arab graphic novelist
Directed by Micha Peled
Winner of the Green Justice Award at IDFA
Every 30 minutes a farmer in India kills himself in despair. In a village at the center of the suicide crisis region, a farmer and his family struggle to keep their land, and a teenage girl makes her first steps to become a journalist and tell the world about the crisis
Directed by Leah Mahan
PBS World 2014
When a cemetery in his home town is bulldozed for commercial development, prodigal son Derrick Evans returns home to help his community fight for its life. Filmed in an intimate verité style over the course of a decade, "Turkey Creek" follows Derrickʼs painful but inspiring journey as he and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and Mississippi politicians and face the extraordinary challenges of Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster.
Directed by Yoav Potash
Sundance Film Festival Official Selection, 2011
The dramatic story of Debbie Peagler, a woman imprisoned for over a quarter century due to her connection to the murder of the man who abused her. Two decades after she was first incarcerated, two rookie attorneys with no background in criminal law step forward to take her case.
Directed by Jim Granato
Golden Gate award for Bay Area Documentary Feature at the San Francisco International Film Festival
Pat Spurgeon is a professional musician whose dreams of being in a successful rock 'n' roll band have come true. But just as his band, Rogue Wave, starts to take off, his kidney starts to fail.
Directed by Christopher Rufo
PBS's Global Voices
For decades, the Uyghur and Chinese have lived in racial segregation. Inspired by the American civil rights movement, Uyghur university student Parhat Ablat leads the Xinjiang University baseball team — the only team for 1,000 miles in any direction — as they practice for their only game of the season, which happens to be against their Chinese archrivals.
Directed by Kent Kessinger
Are utopias doomed to failure? Kent Kessinger's "The Idiocratic Life" — a stylishly shot look at counter-culture today — attempts to answer this question, by capturing the faces, stories, and inner struggles of members of communes in America.
Directed by Jeremy Ambers
On March 5th, 2013, the San Francisco skyline was transformed by an unlikely sight: 25,000 LED lights that, for perhaps the first time — save the 1989 earthquake and other bridge collapses — caused people to turn their gaze away from the Bay Bridge's iconic sister. How did this happen?
Directed by Joe De Francesco
2013 Mill Valley Film Festival
10 years after a production of the play "John Brown's Body" at San Quentin, director Joe De Francesco speaks with the play's actors—all inmates at the time—and asks how their lives are different today and, to what degree, if any, the play changed life at San Quentin.
Directed by Sara MacPherson
Best Documentary Winner, Cinequest 2013
Dionicia M. lives in the stables at a California racetrack and works long hours caring for racehorses while her teenage son José Luis is turning heads as a hotshot apprentice jockey. Will they succeed or will their lack of immigration papers prevent them from achieving the stable life of their dreams?
Directed by Julie Wyman
"Independent Lens," 2011–2012 season
Since age 14, Cheryl Haworth has been America's top Olympic weightlifter, ranked well above all men and women on Team USA. But at 5' 8" inches and weighing over 300 pounds, she doesn't easily fit into standard chairs, clothing sizes or pre-conceptions.
Directed by Mina T. Son and Sara Newens
DOC NYC 2014
Ping pong is one of the most parodied and under-appreciated sports in America—and, paradoxically, one of the most popular. Absorbing and heartfelt, "Top Spin" follows three American teenagers and their grueling prize-fight-like training sessions (often six hours); their cutthroat path towards qualifying for the Olympics; and their nearly impossible goal of navigating adolescence—and its insecure, awkward moments—without taking their eyes off the ball.