by Adam Schartoff
November 13th, 2013

A jam-packed episode of Filmwax Radio begins with a phone call with Maxim Pozdorovkin (Ep 125). Maxim is half the filmmaking team (along with Mike Lerner) of the documentary Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer which follows the members of the Russian feminist punk rock protest group from the title. One of those members, 24-year old Nadia Tolokonnikova, has been imprisoned for her past acts of protest. Nadia has not been heard from since she was recently moved from the penal colony where she had been to a new one. There’s has been some conjecture that she has been moved to a Siberian Gulag though that has not been confirmed. Maxim candidly discusses his thoughts in our brief phone brief conversation.

Medora is a documentary which follows a high school basketball team in the titular rural Indiana town. The larger story is what is happening to small town America. As cities get larger and our sprawl continues to spread, small towns are getting squeezed out resulting in disappearing jobs and diminishing hope. Filmmakers Davy Rothbart & Andrew Cohn –who some years ago ‘founded’ the magazine Found– have made this stirring love letter of a documentary to the citizens of Medora, IN.  The documentary is currently in theaters and is undergoing a bunch of various channels of distribution in the coming months. I strongly recommend you check out Davy and Andrew’s film.

After that is a chat with documentary AJ Schnack whose new film, Caucus, is currently in theaters. The film follows the 2012 republican candidates as they caucus in Iowa; extremely entertaining stuff. AJ is also one of the co-chairs along with filmmaker Esther Robinson (Ep 120), of the Cinema Eye Honors.  Having just announced some of its nominees for its 7th year, the Cinema Eyes will present in January 2014. AJ may also be present for the DOC NYC screenings of another new documentary he co-directed called We Always Lie To Strangers. His co-director on that film, David Wilson (Ep 123) is expected to definitely appear. I’ll be moderating the first of the 2 screenings on Saturday, November 16th, 4:30 at the IFC Center. The other screening takes place at 10:45 AM on Monday, November 18th at the IFC Center.

Lastly, a visit from co-directors/co-producers Jamila Wignot and Sierra Pettengill with their new documentary, Town Hall. Theirs is a vérité look into the lives of two Tea Party members. You may be surprised at your own reaction to these people. Town Hall will have its New York premiere this next week at DOC NYC. The first screening is on Sunday, November 17th, 7:15PM at the IFC Center (SOLD OUT). The 2nd one will take place 5:00PM on Wednesday, November 20th also at the IFC Center. Both Sierra and Jamilla will be present at both screenings, as well as possible guest appearances.

Filmwax Radio is presented by Rooftop Films and AT&T.


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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.


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