Ark of the Apocalypse
The Bible teaches that God washed clean the evil, corruption and violence of the Earth with a global flood, but spared the lives of Noah, his family and the animals in a great ark. In northern Kentucky lies Ark Encounter, a life-size homage to all 510 feet of Noah’s Ark. It serves as a teaching aid for the Old Testament as well as a marvel of modern workmanship. Inside the dramatic ark, even nonbelievers are tempted to see an omen in the recent natural disasters of fire and flood, which could portend a sign of a coming apocalypse.
Death and Her Compass
This allegorical, introspective look at what a death doula might do to prepare clients for the end of their lives, speaks to the unknowing that surrounds the very idea of mortality. Molly “Bones” Nelson is charmed by the natural world and its animal remnants. Her examination of found skulls and carcasses of woodland creatures is revealed to be an honoring of the past lives they represent. As she contemplates the prospect of death with her rugged and wise clients, the talk of loss is set against a harsh Maine landscape that seems to mimic the heavy questions themselves. Molly reminds us, “There is no death, just movement.”
The physical and emotional benefits of rock climbing are explored on the amazing granite surfaces of British Columbia. Harvey is a 32-year-old barber, DJ and band member, who opens up about his struggles with depression and addiction, while welcoming us on his climbing adventures. Harvey’s pre-film life is illustrated with a mix of personal photos and an animated dramatization, which are replaced by up-close and wide-angle videography of his life’s ups and downs on and off the climbing rope. His private challenges, both anguished and joyful, provide an intimate look at the human condition.
The Spiritual Exercises
Terry is an artist and professor who falls madly in love with a woman named Therese. But there’s a problem: Terry is also a Jesuit priest who’s bound by faith and celibacy to the Catholic church. Until he meets Therese, a woman who works at the Metropolitan Opera and gives him a deep sense of peace, he was never tempted to break his vows. In The Spiritual Exercises, Terry and Therese share their story, explaining what they decided to do and how it impacted their lives.
When I'm Her
Ballet is a beautiful artform — bodies in movement, finding joy in each step. But it can also be a demanding and critical world. Young ballet prodigy Michael Cusumano has the promise of a stellar career, but abandons his assumed path and transforms into his alter ego: a Russsian ballet instructor named Madame Olga. In the transformation, he embraces his creative roots and reconciles with his trauma, ensuring that he can bring the joy of the craft to others.
The city of Stephenville, Texas is better known for rebel flags and cowboys than diversity. But Jahmicah Dawes, owner of SlimPickins Outfitters, the first Black-owned outdoor gear shop in the country, is changing that. Dawes, along with his wife, Heather, and basset hound mascot, Bill Murray, is working to diversify the outdoors and infuse some chill into Stephenville. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, the shop experiences economic hardship and Dawes struggles with depression, but he still hopes one day he can pass his business and the outdoor community he has built down to his kids.
In-Person World Premiere