The documentary Kufi Krew: An American Story will be released for digital purchase and on VOD July 12 from Virgil Films.
Fast friends and founders of the first Muslim fraternity in the United States struggle with forbidden love, cultural taboos and generational conflict in this story about coming of age in America. To be responsible to the community, the fraternity and their own dreams often creates unexpected pressures that challenge and continue to shape their future.
The documentary Have You Heard About Greg? will be released for digital purchase and on VOD June 21 from Virgil Films.
Have You Heard About Greg? puts a human face on the disease of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The film features experts committed to the fight against Alzheimer’s who share their experience and wisdom about how to deal with an invisible enemy that is quietly killing millions of people each year around the world and will affect millions more in years to come.
The documentary Alien Abduction: Answers will be released for VOD and digital purchase May 3, and on DVD June 21 from Virgil Films.
The documentary follows John Yost, who had a frightening experience one summer as a young child, something so awful that his parents could hardly make out his terrifying account of what happened. A series of doctor’s visits and medical examinations could not conclude exactly what had occurred, but the memories would never leave him. Yost had a Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind. Despite this, he later married, raised children and lived a happy life except for his obsessive preoccupation with home security, paralyzing fear of open skies or deep water, and his abiding sense that he was being watched.
Alien Abduction: Answers follows Yost as he discovers that there are literally hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life all over the globe who have experienced something similar. Viewers witness a dramatization of his encounter as a boy, and through a technique called Quantum Hypnotherapy, they “sit-in” while a highly skilled therapist with more than 40 years of experience guides him back to that summer evening where we finally discover what really happened, where he went, and what he learned.
The documentary Brothers in Football will be released on VOD and digital sellthrough April 19 from Virgil Films.
The film follows a team of amateur footballers who attempt to fulfill a mission never completed on the eve of the first world war. Their ensuing adventure sees them travel around the world to face the FIFA World Champions in front of millions — to honor and commemorate their forefathers who fell in record numbers on the battlefields of France.
The documentary The Choir and Conductor will be released for digital purchase and VOD April 12 from Virgil Films.
Musician Billie Eilish, who has a brief appearance in the film as an alumna of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, learned to sing starting at age 8 when she, like thousands of choristers, was electrified by its charismatic conductor Anne Tomlinson, who uses the power of choral singing to profoundly shape and impact the lives of hundreds of children. In addition to Eilish, composers such as John Williams, Gustavo Dudamel, John Mayer, Peter Sellars, and others have performed with the choir known as the LACC.
The film, which chronicles the story of the LACC, is a celebration of music and the arts. According to a report issued by Chorus America “more than 1 in 5 households have at least one singing family member, making choral singing the most popular form of participation in the performing arts for both adults and children.”
The documentary The Invisible Father will be released on VOD and for digital purchase March 8 from Virgil Films.
In the 1960s, beat poet and experimental filmmaker Piero Heliczer helped shape New American Cinema, and was enmeshed with iconic filmmaker Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground at the very start of their careers. Through interviews with family and friends, found photos, and archival footage, Piero’s daughter Thérèse explores the artistic legacy and life of a man she never knew.
The documentary 100 Years From Mississippi will be released on VOD and for digital purchase Feb. 1 from Virgil Films.
The film chronicles the experiences of Mamie Lang Kirkland, who was 7 years old when she fled Ellisville, Miss., in 1915 with her mother and siblings as her father and his friend John Hartfield escaped an approaching lynch mob. Hartfield returned to Mississippi in 1919 and was killed in one of the most horrific lynchings of the era.
Mamie’s son Tarabu had grown up hearing stories of Hartfield but didn’t know if his mother’s stories were fact or folklore until one day in 2015 when he discovered an article describing Hartfield’s murder before a crowd of 10,000 spectators.
Mamie had vowed for a century that she would never return to Mississippi. Yet with Tarabu’s remarkable find, he urged his mother to finally confront her childhood trauma by returning to Ellisville. Mamie was 107 when they began the journey to connect her story to the larger impact of America’s legacy of racial violence, which echoes today from Ferguson to New York, Atlanta to Los Angeles. Like many of the 6 million African-Americans who left the Deep South, Mamie’s story is a testament to the courage and hope of her generation. Her indomitable will and contagious joy of living come through as she tells her story 111 years later.
Street Date 11/23/21; Virgil; Documentary; Not rated.
Beautifully shot in America’s sparsely inhabited landscapes, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses chronicles the history and current state of wild horses in the United States. Executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen, the feature takes audiences to places few people have seen, where more than 80,000 mustangs live on federal land. The film, featuring music by Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris with an original song by Blanco Brown, showcases the steeds galloping free across hills, meadows and valleys in a series of glorious panoramas that complement the beauty of the animals. It explores the inspirational nature of the mustang, from its namesake automobile to its role as a companion for “The Lone Ranger.”
While tracing wild horses’ history of faithful service, the feature also covers their exploitation. Once captured for “free energy” to pull plows and trolleys, the mustang also traveled to serve the French and British during World War I. But when the horse gave way to the machine, mustangs were slaughtered for feed and dog meat until their numbers were depleted.
The documentary follows the efforts of those who worked to save and preserve the mustang, chronicling the story of Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston, who advocated for the wild horses with the help of a children’s crusade. In 1971, Nixon signed a law to protect them.
Now, under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the mustang population — with no natural predators — has grown too big for its prescribed area. The documentary looks at various programs and volunteers trying to help, following a band of women chasing the mares to distribute birth control and traveling to a sanctuary in San Luis Obispo, Calif. In one of the most affecting segments, the documentary visits “Operation Wild Horse,” which pairs veterans with mustangs as restorative therapy. The feature also follows “Mustang Makeovers,” in which trainers are given 100 days to tame a mustang for competition and sale at auction, capturing the bond each trainer has with a horse that they must ultimately give away.
Shots of the free-ranging herds are a treat for lovers of horses and the Wild West, very effectively making the case for the mustangs’ conservation (though segments about their exploitation may not be appropriate for children). Ultimately, The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses, which shines a light on a little-known issue, manages to both inspire awe as well as a call to action.
The documentary Enduring Faith: The Story of Native American Catholics will be released on VOD Dec. 7 from Virgil Films.
The film explores the legacy of faith among Native Americans. Indigenous communities throughout the continent were practicing their faith centuries before the founding of the United States. The documentary reveals how in the 16th century, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to an Indigenous elder as a mestiza woman and generated the largest conversion in world history. It chronicles the story of the first canonized Native American saint, St. Kateri Tekakwitha, and a 20th century Lakota healer, Nicholas Black Elk, whose cause for canonization is currently open in Rome.
The film also promotes a greater awareness of the wrongs inflicted upon Native Americans by the unjust policies of the British and American governments.
The documentaries The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football and The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses will be released on VOD and digital sellthrough in November by Virgil Films.
The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family & Football is due on VOD and digital sellthrough Nov. 9. It chronicles the career of college football coach Bobby Bowden, who fought against all odds to forge one of the greatest achievements in sports history: 14 consecutive top-four seasons. Legendary for his unyielding faith, Bowden inspired untold acts of grace and courage that changed the lives of those around him. Beginning with a come-from-behind victory in the 1988 Fiesta Bowl, Bowden’s Florida State Seminoles began a flirtation with perfection. In seven of those years they lost just one game. More often than not, the Seminoles’ quest for a perfect season came down to one play where mere inches or seconds determined the outcome.
Bowden passed away this past August at his Killearn Estates home surrounded by his loving family. He was 91 years old. For all the accolades bestowed upon Coach Bowden and his teams for their on-field achievements, the insider stories of the coach and his enormous impact on those around him have never been told like this. Featuring such luminaries as Bart Starr, Deion Sanders, Charlie Ward, Kenny Chesney, Burt Reynolds, Lou Holtz, Jimmy Johnson, Jim Kelly and Nick Saban, The Bowden Dynasty: A Story of Faith, Family, & Football extends beyond football, to explore universal themes of faith, stewardship, humility and redemption.
The Mustangs: America’s Wild Horses is being released on VOD and digital sellthrough Nov. 23. The feature documentary is executive produced by Robert Redford, Patti Scialfa Springsteen and Jessica Springsteen, and takes audiences on an odyssey throughout America to places few people have seen or even know about. There are more than 80,000 wild horses on federal lands and more than 50,000 in government.
“The wild horse is so ingrained in the American imagination that even those who have never seen one know what it stands for: fierce independence, unbridled freedom, the bedrock ideals of the nation,” Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Philipps said. “From car ads to high school mascots, the wild horse — popularly known as the mustang — is the enduring icon of America. But in modern times it has become entangled in controversy and bureaucracy, and now its future is in question.”
The movie makes the case for the protection of wild horses and public lands.