Film Forum

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When our latest volunteer in the spotlight, Suzanne Watkins, isn’t making popcorn for Filmworks, she teaches art and design.
By Megan Ginise 2.3.2016

January 2016 volunteer in the spotlight: Suzanne Watkins

Suzanne still doesn’t know what she wants to do when she grows up. She has learned to appreciate film for its ability to educate, evoke, and move. She lived briefly in Fresno in the 1970s before moving to Hawaii, but now she’s back, planting a new garden and learning to bloom again here in Fresno…

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Short films such as the Oscar-winning “Paperman” show Disney Animation Studios as a leader in making emotion-filled shorts. Via Walt Disney.
By Olga Verkhotina 1.26.2016

Disney shorts share complexity and realism

The simple world of a short film can be dense with symbols and overwhelming emotions. Quickly digging deep into a story, it seems, wouldn’t leave enough room to capture life’s complexity on screen. Yet the world of Disney animated short films manages to do just that. The characters of the recent Walt Disney Animation Studios Short…

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When he’s not watching movies, writing, or volunteering for Filmworks, you can find Satch Gonzales working the chair massage table at Whole Foods in Fig Garden Village.
By Jefferson Beavers 1.13.2016

December 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Satch Gonzales

Occupation: For the past five years, Satch has worked as a self-employed certified massage therapist. A big part of his business is doing chair massage at Whole Foods in Fig Garden Village. He can do specialized massage for relaxation, deep tissue, and sports injuries, among other modalities. One of his specialties is lymphatic drainage, which…

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Songs My Brother Taught Me
By Fae Giffen 1.4.2016

Independent Spirit Award Nominees: Directors to Watch

This Friday, January 8, Filmworks is pleased to present “James White”. An intimate and honest character study of modern family and morals, “James White” has emerged as one of the best reviewed independent films of 2015.  Among its many accomplishments is a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for director Josh…

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“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” from director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon. (Credit: Fox Searchlight)
By Jefferson Beavers 12.29.2015

Filmworks board picks favorite films of 2015

JEFFERSON BEAVERS “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” — I caught a few smartly done films in the “teen dramatic comedy” category this past year — most notably “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and “Dope.” But this sophomore feature from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was the best of them. It innovatively merged an outcast buddy…

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Our November volunteer in the spotlight is Filmworks advisory board member Sasha Khokha, pictured here with husband Karl Kaku and a pair of fake Oscars. Sasha recently won a real-life Emmy Award for her reporting work for KQED.
By Jefferson Beavers 12.26.2015

November 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Sasha Khokha

Occupation: Sasha writes about the Central Valley as a journalist for The California Report, a statewide public radio program produced by KQED Public Radio. KQED is the NPR station for the Bay Area, and The California Report is their flagship program that airs on more than 30 public radio stations all over the state, including…

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Actors Christopher Abbott and Cynthia Nixon star in the family drama “James White,” the directorial debut feature from filmmaker Josh Mond, pictured right. (Via Chicago International Film Festival)
By Jefferson Beavers 12.20.2015

Cutting Room Floor, January 2016

Our new “Cutting Room Floor” series introduces you to current independent movie releases we have considered for our monthly film series. Titles may be available now in theaters or streaming on demand, or soon from Netflix and other services.   OUR SELECTION FOR JAN. 8: “James White” Official website Distributor: The Film Arcade Winner of…

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James White
By Yvette Mancilla 12.15.2015

Breakout Films Birth Future Filmmaker Stars

The perceptive independent drama “James White,” the January 8 selection for Filmworks at the historic Tower Theatre, has been a festival breakthrough for both its lead actor Christopher Abbott and writer-director Josh Mond. Critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times calls the movie an “abrasive portrait of contemporary New York as a place of…

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By Fae Giffen 12.7.2015

Grand adventures: stories that make heroes.

The best adventure stories start with the most ordinary of days and the most ordinary of people. A completely mundane, run-of-the-mill day being hit head-on by the most extraordinary of circumstances, is a universal trope to start a hero’s journey. These stories are especially poignant when they involve those first steps toward independent thought and morality…

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Our October 2015 volunteer in the spotlight and fall marketing intern Yvette Mancilla enjoys contributing to our social media campaigns, and she aspires to work in filmmaking and media production.
By Jefferson Beavers 11.26.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Yvette Mancilla

October 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Yvette Mancilla Occupation: Yvette currently works as the copy editor at The Collegian, the student-run newspaper at Fresno State. “I edit all the stories that come in,” she says. “Except for sports, which I don’t have much experience in.” She has worked at the paper for more than two…

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First-time actor Bedouin youth Jacir Eid plays the title character Theeb in director Naji Abu Nowar's ambitious coming-of-age tale. Via Film Movement.
By Yvette Mancilla 11.17.2015

An Unforgiving Desert Transforms These 4 Adventure Films

While dense, urban places like New York and Los Angeles have appeared staples in numerous films, an unforgiving desert has also been seen as the central setting in movies since they were first produced. The natural landscape of a desert can become a haunting presence that can shape a character’s emotional and physical journeys. The…

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"The Cut" is the third feature by Turkish German director Fatih Akin to play at Fresno Filmworks. Via The Berlinale.
By Yvette Mancilla 11.8.2015

Fatih Akin Shares His Take on Love, Death and the Devil

Award-winning director Fatih Akin’s Armenian historical epic “The Cut” is another exceptional, well-crafted film to add to his already successful career. Over the past 10 years, the Turkish German filmmaker has worked on his trilogy focusing on Love, Death and the Devil. This trilogy finds its conclusion with “The Cut,” which is slated for a…

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Ukrainian artist Fedor Alexandrovich investigates the Russian government’s possible role in the Chernobyl disaster in the Sundance favorite "The Russian Woodpecker," debut feature from director Chad Gracia. Via Film Buff.
By Yvette Mancilla 10.25.2015

3 thriller docs show truth can be stranger than fiction

Sometimes, real-life events that play out amidst a backdrop of political turmoil can lead to some riveting and even absurd moments. They can also make for great cinema that leaves audiences scratching their heads, exclaiming: “Did that really happen in real life?” Recent filmmakers who are willing and able to capture a slice of these…

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Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.