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THE WATCHERS Interview w/ Ishana Night Shyamalan

“The Watchers” follows a young artist who gets stranded in an extensive, immaculate forest in western Ireland, where, after finding shelter, she becomes trapped alongside three strangers, stalked by mysterious creatures each night. I spoke with filmmaker, Ishana Night Shyamalan (daughter of horror icon, M. Night Shyamalan) about her directorial debut.

“The Watchers” opens in theaters June 7, 2024.

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Rapid Review: “Deep in the Heart” is a Beautiful Sight

Ben Master’s brilliantly captures the wildlife of Texas in the first ever nature documentary about the Lone Star State.

“Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story” is narrated by Texas native/ Academy Award winner, Matthew McConaughey. The film begins in the high plains and peaks of West Texas, flows along our many river systems, and concludes along the bay of the Gulf of Mexico. It showcases a variety of wildlife species ranging from mountain lions to the mysterious blind catfish.  Master’s vision is stunning, offering sharp and thrilling images that will consume audiences. Especially when we arrive at a heart-pounding hunt between a snake and bat.

It’s amazing we haven’t seen a doc like this about Texas before. The state has such diverse landscapes and unique creatures that deserve to be recognized. Though Masters excels at showing the beauty of our nature, his main goal is to inspire Texans to conserve what’s left of their wildlife. Encouraging water preservation and a plea to stop traps that are left in the wild to mangle animals who are unfortunate enough to get caught and left to die in the cruelest manner. That particular scene alone is enough to break your heart and seek change.

This isn’t a political documentary, it’s a humane one. “Deep in the Heart” is an immersive and breathtaking journey that powerfully portrays the importance of Texas’ conservation.

Rating: A

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EarthX Film Festival Announcement

EARTHX FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES ITS 2022 PROGRAM LINEUP FEATURING OVER 75 FILMS

— BEN MASTERS’ FILM DEEP IN THE HEART NARRATED BY AWARD WINNER MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY WORLD PREMIERING ON OPENING NIGHT AT THE FEST —

Also Screening are Festival Favorites FIRE OF LOVE, WE FEED PEOPLE, and THE TERRITORY Along with Stories Unique to Texas

Curiosity Joins Festival as Presenting Sponsor

Dallas, TX (April 8, 2022) –  EarthX Film Festival 2022 presented by Curiosity unveiled its programming lineup today with over 75 feature-length and short films screening during its four-day run May 12-15. This year’s theme, “A Celebration of the Outdoors,” continues the Film Festival’s mission to highlight films and emerging media that celebrate nature and outdoor adventure stories exploring the environment, conservation, climate change, and science while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. This year for the first time, the EarthX Film Festival will be held in the Dallas Arts District, providing easy walking for attendees to the five theater venues tapping into the vibrant downtown community and making it an exciting cultural touchstone for the city. Each night of the Film Festival will feature a musical act performing before a showcase screening.

Curiosity, a leading factual entertainment media company, has joined the festival as the Presenting Sponsor. Curiosity’s flagship streaming service, Curiosity Stream, delivers thousands of films, series, and shows on space, history, nature, tech, lifestyle and more, all on demand, available to watch on all the major streaming devices. They will also be presenting a screening of the Curiosity original film GOING CIRCULAR, exploring circularity, an innovative concept that could save our collective future on planet Earth.

“We’re thrilled to present films this year that showcase our amazing planet and the people dedicated to making a difference. It’s always been our vision to create a world-class event that celebrates the spirit of Texas and welcomes global citizens to experience the rich arts culture in Dallas,” said Michael Fletcher, CEO of EarthX. “We’re pleased to welcome Curiosity as our Presenting Sponsor. They share our vision in the power of storytelling to change the world, and we’re grateful for their continued support.”

Curiosity is thrilled to partner with EarthX to bring this incredible lineup of game-changing films to thousands of festival-goers both in person and virtually,” said Rob Burk, head of original content for Curiosity. “We know firsthand to resonate deeply with viewers, films must dive into our past and present and also explore solutions for the future, and we are proud to support the EarthX Film Festival mission to empower documentary fans to learn, enjoy, and take action.” 

For more information and tickets, go to: https://earthxfilmfestival.org/  or download the app available on iOS and Android.

OPENING SCREENING

This year’s Film Festival has something for everyone with 24 features and 54 shorts, music, art installations, panel discussions, and more. The festival’s opening night will be the world premiere of Ben Masters’ film DEEP IN THE HEART, narrated by Academy Award® Winner Matthew McConaughey. The first feature-length wildlife film ever produced about Texas, DEEP IN THE HEART, is a visually stunning celebration of what makes Texas unique — its diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.  Filmed over two years, DEEP IN THE HEART showcases Texas’ breathtaking species and wild places, the connectivity of water and wildlife, and recognizes Texas’ conservation importance on a continental scale.

“Texas has one of the most diverse wildlife and ecosystems in the country. For Texans, this is a love letter to the diverse and vibrant state that we call home,” said Ben Masters, filmmaker. “We’re all interconnected, and it’s only by conserving what we have that we can ensure our future. I’m proud to bring DEEP IN THE HEART to the EarthX Film Festival.”

FESTIVAL FAVORITES COMING TO DALLAS

The Festival has programmed several festival darlings in the lineup, including Sara Dosa’s FIRE OF LOVE, WE FEED PEOPLE, directed by Ron Howard, THE TERRITORY (Sundance Audience Award winner), Lucy Walker’s BRING YOUR OWN BRIGADE, and Rachel Lears’ TO THE END.

This year’s Festival features a wide range of filmmakers, including award winners Jeff Orlowsky (CHASING ICE), Raj Patel & Zak Piper (THE ANTS AND THE GRASSHOPPER), young superstar Lindsey Hagen (CALIFORNIA NATURAL)  and several newcomers, includingtwo, second grade brothers making their first film with their father called LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE. The films cover a variety of important topics, from the healing experience for veterans through nature (ERIC AND THE BEES, BASTARDS’ ROAD), to female big wave surfing (BIG VS SMALL), and tiger poaching (TIGRE GENTE). Also screening are popular outdoor culture films REEL ROCK: BLACK ICE, The North Face’s award-winning film LEARNING TO DROWN, SPIRIT OF THE PEAKS from REI and Protect Our Winters, and MOUNTAIN REVELATIONS from Protect Our Winters.

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT – UNIQUELY TEXAS STORIES

This year’s festival turns a spotlight on Texas with DEEP IN THE HEART that addresses Texas conservation issues, BATTLE FOR THE HEART OF TEXAS that addresses property rights in energy production, WHEN IT’S GOOD, IT’S GOOD, focusing on oil-drilling communities in West Texas, and REI’s SLIM PICKINS about diversity in outdoor culture.

SHORT FILMS

Many of the Festival’s shorts are associated with well known brands and film companies including Patagonia’s RAISED FROM THE EARTH about living off the land, and THE MONSTER IN OUR CLOSET which focuses on the plastic in our fashion. The Redford Center is presenting two short films on mass transit, COMMUNITY POWER ARIZONA: EN NUESTRXS MANOS (IN OUR HANDS) and COMMUNITY POWER NEVADA: UNIDXS EN ACCION (UNITED IN ACTION).

You can find the entire EarthX Film Festival 2022 line-up here:  

FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS

  • Bastards’ Road, Director Brian Morrison
  • Battle for the Heart of Texas, Director John Brown
  • Before They Fall, Director Cam MacArthur
  • Big vs Small, Director Minna Dufton
  • REEL ROCK: Black Ice, Director Peter Mortimer, Zachary Barr
  • Bring Your Own Brigade, Director Lucy Walker
  • Chasing Ice, Director Jeff Orlowski
  • Coextinction, Director Gloria Pancrazi, Elena Jean
  • Deep in the Heart, Director Ben Masters
  • Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Director Bill Kroyer
  • Fire of Love, Director Sara Dosa
  • Godspeed, Los Polacos!, Director Adam Nawrot
  • Going Circular, Director Ricard Dale, Nigel Walk
  • Inhabitants, Director Costas Boutsikaris, Anna Palmer
  • Learning to Drown, Director Ben Knight
  • Mountain Revelations, Director Justin Fann
  • Newtok, Director Michael Kirby, Andrew Burton
  • Spirit of the Peaks, Director Connor Ryan, Tim Kressin
  • The Ants and the Grasshopper, Director Raj Patel, Zak Piper
  • The Territory, Director Alex Pritz
  • Tigre Gente, Director Elizabeth Unger
  • To the End, Director Rachel Lears
  • We Feed People, Director Ron Howard
  • Zero Gravity, Director Thomas Verrette

SHORT FILMS

  • 80° North, Director Brandon Holmes
  • All Bodies on Bikes, Director Zeppelin Zeerip
  • American Scar, Director Daniel Lombroso
  • An Eye for Detail, Director Matthew Harmer
  • Bad Boy of Bonsai, Director Juan A. Moreno
  • Breaking Trail, Director Jesse Roesler
  • California Natural, Director Lindsey Hagen
  • Camp Yoshi, Director Faith E. Briggs
  • Chasing the Sublime, Director Amanda Bluglass
  • Community Power Arizona: En Nuestrxs Manos (In Our Hands), Director Pita Juarez
  • Community Power Nevada: Unidxs En Acción (United In Action), Director Nico Cadena
  • Eric and the Bees, Director Erin Brethauer, Tim Hussin
  • Finding Gulo, Director Colin Arisman
  • From My Window, Director Frank Pickell
  • Humanity Has Not Yet Failed, Director Norma V. Toraya, Jared P. Scott
  • I am One of the People, Director Cameron Woodle
  • If I Tell Them, Director Oliver Sutro
  • Kāhuli, Director Chris Jones
  • Life in the Slow Lane, Director Sol de Glanville, Ben de Glanville
  • Like a River, Director Jim Aikman
  • Listen to the Beat of our Images, Director Audrey Jean-Baptiste, Maxime Jean-Baptiste
  • Loon, Director Jason Whalen, Chris Zuker
  • Mission Mountain, Director Kody Kohlman, Andrew Bydlon
  • Mother of the Sea, Director Nicholas Brown
  • Mylo, Director Chris Bukard
  • No Soy Oscar, Director Jon Ayon
  • Nuisance Bear, Director Jack Weisman, Gabriela Osio Vanden
  • One Star Reviews: National Parks, Director Alex Massey
  • Patagonia Provisions: The Ocean Solution Film, Director Darcy Hennessey Turenne
  • Raised from the Earth, Director Forest Woodard
  • Rebirth of a Reef, Director Shaun Wolfe
  • Return to Earth, Director Darcy Wittenburg, Darren McCoullough, Colin Jones
  • Rockies Repeat, Director Caroline Hedin
  • Slim Pickins, Director Justin Jeffers
  • The Captain, Director Gregory Kohs
  • The Diamond, Director Caitlyn Greene
  • The Endless Wave, Director Tom Attwater
  • The Interconnectedness of all Living Things, Director Jenn den Broeder
  • The Land of Griffons, Director Riccardo Soriano
  • The Last Last Hike, Director Celene Francois
  • The Monster in Our Closet, Director Kathryn Bays, Nicole Gormley
  • The Seeds We Keep, Director Gabriel E.W. Carter
  • The Seeker, Director Lance Edmands
  • The Wilderness Within, Director Jason van Bruggen
  • They Carry Us With Them: Gabriel Frey, Director Jeremy Seifert
  • Thomas Deininger. Trash Artist., Director Gnarly Bay
  • To Live Here (sống ở đây), Director Melanie Dang Ho
  • Wastewater: The Tale of Two Cities, Director Sarah Franke
  • We Decided to Become Farmers, Director Rob Herring, Ryan Wirick
  • What Remains, Director Paavo Hanninen
  • When It Comes from the Earth, Director Katalin Egely
  • When it’s Good it’s Good, Director Alejandra Vasquez

ABOUT EARTHX FILM FESTIVAL 2022

The 2022 EarthX Film Festival is four days of film, music and interactive environmental programs and events set in the heart of Dallas Arts District, May 12-15. Our mission is to bring awareness of the environmental crisis in order to create sincere action on both an individual and communal scale; to inspire local and global change on how we as humans affect our home planet and our fellow beings. We aim to include Texas, and the Southwest, in the conversation on climate change through compassionate, positive, truthful storytelling.For more information, visit https://earthxfilmfestival.org

“Infinite Storm” Interview with Naomi Watts & Malgortzata Szumowska

“Infinite Storm” tells the powerful, true story of Pam Bales, a climber who encounters a stranded stranger during a blizzard and must get them both down a mountain before they freeze to death. I got the chance to speak with the star of the film, Naomi Watts and director Malgortzata Szumowska about the movie. They discuss why an act of kindness from strangers can have a lasting effect, the person in their life that had the biggest positive impact, and more.

“Infinite Storm” opens in theaters on March 25, 2022.

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