Walker Moving Image features Women With Vision: Then and Now

From 1994-2010, the Walker Art Center presented an annual month-long screening series featuring women directors, starting with a touring program “Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC): Homegirls”, which blossomed into the Walker’s very own “Women With Vision” (WWV) festival. This March, the Walker Art Center will celebrate the legacy and influence of these groundbreaking programs that both launched and inspired so many women directors from our region.

Celebrate the legacy and influence of the Walker’s Women with Vision programs, which supported female filmmakers and sought to bring their experiences and perspectives to the forefront. Celebrated international directors screened side by side with local artists at all stages of their careers. Two past participants, Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe, guest curate and pay tribute to this era of film programming, largely helmed by Senior Curator Sheryl Mousley.

Image courtesy Walker Art Center.

My indie filmmaking career kicked off in 2002 when Sheryl Mousley selected my first indie doc Married at the Mall to screen at the Walker in the Women with Vision program. I was so honored, and I know there are so many other women in our region who came up through this program just like me. Finding those filmmakers and having a reunion as well as celebrating the up-and-coming women filmmakers of today are reasons why I wanted to guest curate this program with Kelly Nathe. We both had life-changing experiences by screening films at the Walker, and we wanted to find out what happened to the others. And with the Academy Awards leaving women off the best director list again, we thought now would be a good time to do this.” —Melody Gilbert

The four-day program includes shorts screenings, on-stage conversations, introductions of new films by emerging local directors and a celebratory reception.

Image courtesy Walker Art Center.

I have always believed that filmmaking is women’s work. When I came to the Walker in 1998, I took on the annual film program that had started in 1994 called “Women in the Director’s Chair” which had a local sidebar called “Homegirls.” I turned the program into Walker’s “Women With Vision” film festival, always keeping the local filmmakers at the center,” states Sheryl Mousley, Senior Curator, Moving Image. “After my eleven years with the festival, and only when a woman, Katherine Bigelow, in 2010 finally won the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director, did I hear the shout, “We’ve won!” While ending the series on a high note, I vowed to continue showing women filmmakers at Walker throughout all our programs. I am proud to say that 25% of the Walker Dialogues are women, and the year-round cinema program continues to give voice to local filmmakers and celebrate the legacy and influence of women in international cinema. I am proud of all the Minnesota filmmakers who have shown their films at Walker. It is a wonderful history and confirmation of home-based talent.”

My very first short film, Rock-n-Roll Girlfriend, screened in the WIDC: Homegirls program back in 1995 when I was still a student, and I can’t begin to explain how much my inclusion in the program meant to me back then. It remains a badge of honor to this day! I’ve always wondered what happened to all the women who started here. Where did they end up and how did the Walker program that focused on women directors shape their careers? Melody Gilbert and I were co-chairs of Film Fatales in Minnesota, an international organization of women and non-binary directors of feature films, and we both pondered that question and decided to go on a journey together to find these women as well as celebrate the emerging filmmakers in our region.” adds Kelly Nathe

Women with Vision: Then and Now
Guest curated by Melody Gilbert and Kelly Nathe
Thursday–Sunday, March 12–15

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Film Fatales Presents: New MN Shorts Showcase
Post-screening conversation with Film Fatales
Thursday, March 12, 7 pm
Walker Cinema, Free

Film Fatales MN. Photo courtesy Film Fatales.

Enjoy a sampling of recent works directed by MN women and selected by Film Fatales, a national organization of women and non-binary filmmakers advocating for intersectional parity in the film industry. The evening’s screening is followed by an onstage conversation led by Film Fatales about making the leap to feature filmmaking in our region.

Alison Guessou’s Happily Married After. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.
  • Film Fatales Twin Cities Reel, 10 min
  • Santuario, Christine Delp & Pilar Timpane, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • A Winter Love, Rhiana Yazzie, 4 min. (excerpt)
  • Master Servant, Julie Anne Koehnen, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • North Side Boxing Club, Carrie Bush and Amanda Becker, 3 min.
  • Peeled, Naomi Ko, 2 min.
  • Muslim Sheroes of MN: Nimo Omar, Ariel Tilson, 4 min. (excerpt)
  • The Coyote Way, Missy Whiteman, 4 min. (trailer)
  • Oh My Stars, Cynthia Uhrich, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Happily Married After, Alison Guessou, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Little Men, Ayesha Adu, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Untitled Hmong Doc, Joua Lee Grande, 3 min. (excerpt)
  • Underground, Beth Peloff, 3 min.
  • Self-Creation, Shelby Dillon, 5 min.
  • Jasmine Star, Jo Rochelle, 5 min. (excerpt)
Shelby Dillon, Self Creation, 2019. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

Total run time: approximately 60 min.

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The Mack Lecture Series Returns to the Walker Art Center this April

Mack Lecture Series
April 8–29, 7 pm$15 ($12 Walker members, students, and seniors)Walker Cinema

Hear directly from explorers of our culture and contemporary moment during the Mack Lecture Series. Throughout the month of April, artists, writers, and other great thinkers at the forefront of diverse fields share their vision on topics ranging from artificial intelligence in performance art to gender politics and gonzo journalism.

Annie Dorsen’s Hello Hi There, 2010 Photo: W. Silveri/Steirischer Herbst

Annie Dorsen and Catherine Havasi with Simon Adler
April 8, 7 pm

Simon Adler, 2018. Photo courtesy of Simon Adler.
Catherine Havasi, 2019. Photo courtesy of Catherine Havasi.
Annie Dorsen, 2019. Courtesy of John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Writer-director Annie Dorsen tries “to make perceptible how ideas change over time: where they come from, how they influence and are influenced by politics and culture, and how they take root in the body, physically and emotionally.” For this conversation, she explores the intersection of algorithms and live performance with artificial intelligence researcher and computational linguist Catherine Havasi, moderated by Simon Adler, a producer for WNYC’s Radiolab.

Annie Dorsen’s performance work Yesterday Tomorrow, takes place in the Walker’s McGuire Theater March 27–28.

JD Samson
April 15, 7 pm

JD Samson, 2019. Courtesy of the Artist

Genderqueer political activist, visual artist, and musician JD Samson is perhaps best known as leader of the band MEN and one-third of the electronic-feminist-punk band Le Tigre. As a self-defined “gender outlaw,” she will investigate the precarious masculinity of the butch/masculine-of-center body, play with traditional concepts of ownership and destruction, and break down the charged heteronormative history of queer sex dynamics.

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Smithsonian Film Festival Celebrates Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

Fifth Annual Mother Tongue Film Festival Runs Feb. 20–23

The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Initiative will host a film festival that showcases films from around the world. Centered around the United Nation’s International Mother Language Day Feb. 21, the fifth annual Mother Tongue Film Festival will offer visitors the opportunity to see 21 films featuring 28 languages from 22 regions and hear from filmmakers who explore the power of language to connect the past, present and future. The four-day festival runs Feb. 20–23.

Vai looks on at her daughter Mata, filmed in Kuki Airani, one of seven Pacific Nations featured in Vai (2019). Photo courtesy of MPI Media

Recovering Voices is an initiative of the Smithsonian founded in response to the global crisis of cultural knowledge and language loss. It works with communities and other institutions to address issues of Indigenous language and knowledge diversity and sustainability. Recovering Voices is a collaboration between staff at the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of the American Indian and the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

The Mother Tongue Film Festival provides a forum for conversations about linguistic and cultural diversity,” said Joshua Bell, curator of globalization at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and director of the Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Program. “It gives the public an opportunity to talk with directors, producers and scholars who devote their lives to documenting the human experience.”

Screenings will take place at multiple locations across the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C. A complete schedule of screenings, including times and locations, is available on the festival’s website. Doors will open approximately 30 minutes before each show. All screenings are free and open to the public, with weekend programming for families.

The festival kicks off with an opening reception Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. Festival highlights include:

  • A performance by Uptown Boyz, a local intertribal drum group, before the screening of Restless River Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the National Museum of the American Indian’s Potomac Atrium. The film is set at the end of World War II and follows a young Inuk woman as she comes to terms with motherhood after being assaulted by a soldier. It is based on Gabrielle Roy’s 1970 short novel Windflower (La Riviere Sans Repos). This film contains a scene of sexual violence that some viewers may find disturbing.
  • The world premiere of Felicia: The Life of an Octopus Fisherwoman Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. in the National Museum of Natural History’s Q?rius Theater. Felicia is one of the thousands of Malagasy fishermen and women on the Velondriake archipelago whose way of life is increasingly threatened by poverty and political marginalization. As an orphan and later as a mother, she turns to the sea as a means for sustenance, even when migration and commercial trawling threaten small-scale fishing operations. Like many other women in Madagascar, she embodies a steadfast willingness to keep moving forward in the face of major challenges.
  • The North American premiere of Ainu—Indigenous People of Japan Feb. 22 at noon in the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium. The film tells the stories of four elders from the declining Ainu population in Japan. It sheds light on their traditions, both past and present, and the efforts to keep the culture and language alive in Japan. A Q&A with the director will follow the screening.
  • Age-appropriate viewers can enjoy Québec beer courtesy of the Québec Governmental Office during a late-night screening of Blood Quantum Feb. 22 at 8 p.m. in New York University Washington, D.C.’s Abramson Family Auditorium. The dead come back to life outside the isolated Mi’gmaq reserve of Red Crow, except for its Indigenous inhabitants who are strangely immune to the zombie plague. The local tribal law enforcement officer must protect his son’s pregnant girlfriend, apocalyptic refugees and the drunken reserve riff raff from the hordes of walking corpses infesting the streets of Red Crow. This film contains strong bloody violence and may not be suitable for younger audiences.
  • A screening of One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. in Georgetown University’s ICC Auditorium. The film is set in April 1961 as the Cold War heats up in Berlin and nuclear bombers are deployed from bases in the Canadian Arctic. In Kapuivik, north of Baffin Island, Noah Piugattuk’s nomadic Inuit band live and hunt by dog team as his ancestors did. When an agent of the Canadian government arrives, what appears as a chance meeting soon opens the prospect of momentous change, revealing Inuit-settler relationships humorously and tragically lost in translation. The events playing out in this film are depicted at the same rate as the characters experienced them in real life.
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Walker Art Center Presents Native-Directed Film Series INDIgenesis: Gen 3, Guest Curated by Missy Whiteman

INDIgenesis: GEN 3, A Showcase of Indigenous Filmmakers and Storytellers, March 19–28

Presented over two weeks, the series INDIgenesis: GEN 3, guest curated by Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo Nations), opens with an evening of expanded cinema and includes several shorts programs in the Walker Cinema and Bentson Mediatheque, an afternoon of virtual reality, and a closing-night feature film.

The ongoing showcase of works by Native filmmakers and artists is rooted in Indigenous principles that consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations. GEN 3 connects perspectives and stories from the past, present, and future to convey Indigenous truths, teachings, and values.

Indigenous artists use the creative process of filmmaking for revitalization and narrative sovereignty,” says Whiteman. “Our stories tell us where we came from, re-create our truths, affirm our languages and culture, and inspire us to imagine our Indigenous future. We come from the stars. How far will we take this medium?

Throughout the program, join conversations with artists and community members centered on themes of Indigenous Futurism, revitalization, and artistic creation.

Opening Night: Remembering the Future
Expanded Cinema Screening/Performance
Thursday, March 19, 7:30 pm Free, Walker Cinema

Missy Whiteman’s The Coyote Way: Going Back Home, 2016. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

Combining film, a live score, hoop dancing, hip-hop, and spoken word, a collective of Indigenous artists led by curator Missy Whiteman creates an immersive environment that transcends time and place. Guided by ancestral knowledge systems, traditional stories, and contemporary forms of expression, the expanded cinema program features performances by DJ AO (Hopi/Mdewakatonwan Dakota), Sacramento Knoxx (Ojibwe/Chicano), Lumhe “Micco” Sampson (Mvskoke Creek/Seneca), and Michael Wilson (Ojibwe). Archival found footage and Whiteman’s sci-fi docu-narrative The Coyote Way: Going Back Home (2016), filmed in the community of Little Earth in South Minneapolis, illuminate the space.

Missy Whiteman’s The Coyote Way: Going Back Home, 2016. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

View The Coyote Way: Going Back Home trailer

Indigenous Lens: Our RealityShort films by multiple directors
Friday, March 20, 7 pm, $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors), Walker Cinema

This evening of short films showcases a collection of contemporary stories about what it means to be Indigenous today, portraying identity and adaptability in a colonialist system. The program spans a spectrum of themes, including two-spirit transgender love, coming of age, reflections on friends and fathers, “indigenizing” pop art, and creative investigations into acts of repatriation. Digital video, 85 mins

Copresented with Hud Oberly (Comanche/Osage/Caddo), Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute (in attendance).

Lore
Directed by Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation/Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians)

Images of friends and landscapes are fragmented and reassembled as a voice tells stories, composing elements of nostalgia in terms of lore. 2019, 10 min. View excerpt.

Adam Khalil, Zack Khalil, Jackson Polys, and Bailey Sweitzer’s Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition, 2019. Photo courtesy the filmmakers.

Culture Capture: Terminal Adddition
Directed by New Red Order: Adam Khalil (Ojibway), Zack Khalil (Ojibway), Jackson Polys (Tlingit), Bayley Sweitzer

The latest video by the public secret society known as the New Red Order is an incendiary indictment of the norms of European settler colonialism. Examining institutionalized racism through a mix of 3D photographic scans and vivid dramatizations, this work questions the contemporary act of disposing historical artifacts as quick fixes, proposing the political potential of adding rather than removing. 2019, 7 min. View excerpt.

Shane McSauby’s Mino Bimaadiziwin, 2017. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

Mino Bimaadiziwin
Directed by Shane McSauby (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians)

A trans Anishinaabe man meets a young Anishinaabe woman who pushes him to reconnect with their culture. 2017, 10 min. View excerpt.

The Moon and the Night
Directed by Erin Lau (Kanaka Maoli)

Erin Lau’s The Moon and the Night, 2017. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.

Set in rural Hawaii, a Native Hawaiian teenage girl must confront her father after he enters her beloved pet in a dogfight. 2018, 19 min. View excerpt.

Erin Lau’s The Moon and the Night, 2017. Photo courtesy the filmmaker.
Erin Lau. Photo courtesy the filmmaker. Photo By: Antonio Agosto

Shinaab II
Directed by Lyle Michell Corbine, Jr. (Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa Indians)

A young man seeks to honor the memory of his late father in a film that looks at Ojibwe ideas surrounding death and mourning. 2019, 6 min.

Daniel Flores’ Viva Diva, 2019. Image courtesy the artist.

Viva Diva
Directed by Daniel Flores (Yaqui)

This road trip movie follows Rozene and Diva as they make their way down to Guadalajara for their gender affirmation surgeries. 2017, 15 min. View excerpt.

Daniel Flores. Image courtesy the artist.

Dig It If You Can
Directed by Kyle Bell (Creek-Thlopthlocco Tribal Town)

An insightful portrait of the self-taught artist and designer Steven Paul Judd (Kiowa), whose satirical manipulations of pop culture for an Indigenous audience are gaining a passionate, mass following as he realizes his youthful dreams. 2016, 18 min. View excerpt.

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Walker Art Center Announces Extensive 2020–2021 Exhibition Schedule Highlights

The Walker Arts Center continues to flesh out what is considerably a very dynamic exhibition schedule for the next two years. Additions to the Walker Art Center’s 2020–2021 exhibition schedule include two new solo exhibitions by female artists, Faye Driscoll: Thank You for Coming (February 27–June 14, 2020) and Candice Lin (April 17–August 29, 2021) as well as a Walker collection show of women artists, Don’t let this be easy (July 16–March 14, 2021). For her first solo museum exhibition, Faye Driscoll incorporates a guided audio soundtrack, moving image works, and props to look back across the entirety of her trilogy of performances Thank You For ComingAttendance (2014), Play (2016), and Space (2019)—works that were presented and co-commissioned by the Walker and subsequently toured around the world over the past six years. Another newly added exhibition, Candice Lin, is the first US museum solo show by the artist, co-organized by the Walker Art Center and the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts (CCVA). Lin is creating a site-specific installation that responds to the space of the gallery at each institution, allowing the shape of the work to evolve over the course of its presentation.

The Walker-organized exhibition Don’t let this be easy highlights the diverse and experimental practices of women artists spanning some 50 years through a selection of paintings, sculptures, moving image works, artists’ books, and materials from the archives.

The initiative is presented in conjunction with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC), a nationwide effort involving more than 60 museums committed to social justice and structural change.

Other upcoming exhibitions include An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018 (February 16–September 20, 2020), a survey of six decades of Johns’ work in printmaking drawn from the Walker’s complete collection of the artists’ prints including intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, lead relief, and blind embossing; The Paradox of Stillness: Art, Object, and Performance (formerly titiled Still and Yet) (April 18–July 26, 2020), is an exhibition that rethinks the history of performance featuring artists whose works include performative elements but also embrace acts, objects, and gestures that refer more to the inert qualities of traditional painting or sculpture than to true staged action.

Additional exhibitions include Michaela Eichwald’s (June 13–November 8, 2020) first US solo museum presentation, bringing together painting, sculpture, and collage from across the past 10 years of her practice; Designs for Different Futures (September 12, 2020 – January 3, 2021)—a collaborative group show co-organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—brings together about 80 dynamic works that address the challenges and opportunities that humans may encounter in the years, decades, and centuries to come; Rayyane Tabet (December 10, 2020– April 18, 2021), a solo show by the Beirut-based multidisciplinary artist featuring a new installation for the Walker that begins with a time capsule discovered on the site of what was once an IBM manufacturing facility in Rochester, Minnesota.

OPENING EXHIBITIONS

CONTINUING EXHIBITIONS



Photo Credit: Flags I, 1973. Screenprint on paper, 27 3/8 x 35 ½ in. ed. 3/65. Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of Judy and Kenneth Dayton, 1988. © Jasper Johns/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

An Art Of Changes: Jasper Johns Prints, 1960–2018, February 16–September 20, 2020. Gallery B/Target

When Jasper Johns’s paintings of flags and targets debuted in 1958, they brought him instant acclaim and established him as a critical link between Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. In the ensuing 60 years, Johns (US, b. 1930) has continued to astonish viewers with the beauty and complexity of his paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints. Today, he is considered one of the 20th century’s greatest American artists.

Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Figure 7 from the Color Numeral Series Date: 1969 Medium: lithograph on paper Accession number: 1985.319 Credit Line: Gift of Kenneth Tyler, 1985. Repro Rights: VAGA; Art copyright Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Target Date: 1960 Medium: lithograph on paper Accession number: 1988.181 Credit Line: Gift of Judy and Kenneth Dayton, 1988. Repro Rights: VAGA; Art copyright Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

In celebration of the artist’s 90th birthday, An Art of Changes surveys six decades of Johns’s work in printmaking, highlighting his experiments with familiar, abstract, and personal imagery that play with memory and visual perception in endlessly original ways. The exhibition features some 90 works in intaglio, lithography, woodcut, linoleum cut, screenprinting, and lead relief—all drawn from the Walker’s comprehensive collection of the artist’s prints.

Target, 1974
Screenprint on paper
35 1/8 x 27 3/8 inches
Collection Walker Art Center, Gift of Judy and Kenneth Dayton, 1988
© Jasper Johns/VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Untitled Date: 2000 Medium: linocut on paper Accession number: 2001.197 Credit Line: Gift of the artist, 2001. Repro Rights: VAGA; Art copyright Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Untitled Date: 2016 Medium: Linoleum-cut on paper Accession number: 2017.6 Credit Line: Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of the artist, 2017. Photo by Gene Pittman for Walker Art Center.
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Fragment of a Letter Date: 2010 Medium: intaglio on paper Accession number: 2011.59.1-.2 Credit Line: Gift of the artist, 2011. Repro Rights: VAGA; Art copyright Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Between the Clock and the Bed Date: 1989 Medium: Lithograph on paper Accession number: 1991.155 Credit Line: Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Stacy Roback, 1991. Repro Rights: VAGA, Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo by Gene Pittman for Walker Art Center.

Organized in four thematic sections, the show follows Johns through the years as he revises and recycles key motifs over time, including the American flag, numerals, and the English alphabet, which he describes as “things the mind already knows.” Some works explore artists’ tools, materials, and techniques. Others explore signature aspects of the artist’s distinctive mark-making, including flagstones and hatch marks, while later pieces teem with autobiographical imagery. To underscore Johns’s fascination with the changes that occur when an image is reworked in another medium, the prints will be augmented by a small selection of paintings and sculptures.

Artist Jasper Johns at work in his studio
Artist: Jasper Johns Title: Savarin Date: 1977 Medium: Lithograph on paper Accession number: 1988.276 Credit Line: Collection Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Gift of Judy and Kenneth Dayton, 1988. Repro Rights: VAGA, Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

Curator: Joan Rothfuss, guest curator, Visual Arts.

  • Exhibition Tour
    Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh: October 12, 2019–January 20, 2020
    Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: February 16–September 20, 2020
    Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan: October 24, 2020–January 24, 20
    21
    Tampa Art Museum, Florida: April 28–September 6, 2021
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Nat Geo Channel Is Bringing Back the Best of Its 2019 Programming for You to Binge Over the Holidays.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Catch up on all your NGC favorites from the past year, including The Hot Zone, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Running Wild with Bear Grylls and more!

See why IndieWire named National Geographic one of the top five Best Television Platforms of 2019!

Don’t forget to plan movie night! Academy Award-winning documentary film Free Solo airs Dec. 26 at 9/8c.

Tune in for two full weeks of marathon programming beginning today.

That’s a wrap! National Geographic is saying goodbye to 2019 with some of your all-time favorite National Geographic Channel programs of the year. From the dangerously frigid Alaskan terrain to the 3,200-foot summit of El Capitan, explore breathtaking sights, heart-pounding adventure and groundbreaking science from wherever you’re spending the holidays. After a year of such amazing content, we won’t judge if you stay on the couch for the whole two weeks.

This year’s breadth of programming continued to break boundaries through thrilling exploration, risk-taking and transcendent storytelling. Highlights of the two-week blitz include the following:

  • To kick things off, Nat Geo is exploring new life and old legends with Expedition Amelia: Bob Ballard’s Search (Dec. 23 at 8 p.m.), on the search for renowned aviator Amelia Earhart’s remains, and episodes of Lost Cities with Albert Lin (Dec. 23 at 9 and 10 p.m.), as the National Geographic Explorer uncovers the greatest mysteries of ancient cities from El Dorado, to Stonehenge, to Petra!
  • You thought the cold weather was tough! Catch the animal kingdom’s most epic survival stories as Bear Grylls guides you through Hostile Planet (Dec. 24 at 11 a.m.), showcasing the world’s most extreme environments and the animals that have adapted to cruel evolutionary curveballs.
  • The year 2019 was a milestone one for the multi-Emmy-winning series Life Below Zero (Dec. 25 at 9 a.m.) as it celebrated its 100th episode. Meet some of the toughest individuals in the world as they attempt to survive in the most unforgiving and remote corners of America. After watching all day, tune in to a new special episode on Dec. 25 at 9 p.m.
  • Spend the holidays with some of Hollywood’s most beloved celebrities as they push physical and mental limitations on Running Wild with Bear Grylls (Dec. 26 at 9 a.m.). With guests including Brie Larson, Cara Delevingne, Armie Hammer, Channing Tatum, Bobby Bones and more, you won’t want to miss the chance to catch up on the boldest season yet.
  • Grab some popcorn (and your seats!) — don’t miss the Academy Award-winning documentary film Free Solo (Dec. 26 at 9 p.m.), as climber Alex Honnold sets out to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the world’s most famous rock, 3,200-foot El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, without a rope.
  • Looking for some not family-related drama? Tune in to Nat Geo’s most-watched scripted series yet, The Hot Zone (Dec. 28 at 5 p.m.). An edge-of-your-seat thriller inspired by Richard Preston’s international bestseller, The Hot Zone recounts the appearance of Ebola on U.S. soil in 1989 and the courageous heroine who put her life at risk to stop this deadly killer. These episodes will include never-before-seen enhancements with real archival footage, scientific interviews and more, diving into the true story behind this lethal outbreak.
  • Forget your classic holiday libations! Gordon Ramsay serves up a taste of adventure in Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (Dec. 29 at 9 a.m.) as he travels across the globe to learn about local flavors. His journey takes him to Peru’s Sacred Valley, Alaska’s panhandle, New Zealand’s rugged south, Morocco’s mountains, Hawaii’s Hana Coast and Laos’ Mekong River.

In addition to the marathons highlighted above, there’s even more. Don’t miss your chance to watch wildlife prosper in America’s National Parks (Dec. 24 at 5 p.m.) or explore the depths of the oceans with all kinds of sharks (When Sharks Attack beginning Dec. 30 at 9 a.m.) (yes, that rhyme was intentional). And better yet, see what’s in store for 2020 with a sneak peek of the reimagined Brain Games hosted by Keegan-Michael Key (Dec. 29 at 10 p.m.).

For more information on the two-week best of Nat Geo Channel marathon, visit www.natgeotv.com

Aubrey Plaza Returns to Host 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Film Independent announced that Aubrey Plaza will return to host the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. Nominees were announced by Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker, Deadpool 2) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll, Ad Astra, Orange Is the New Black) on November 21. Best Feature nominees include A Hidden Life, Clemency, The Farewell, Marriage Story and Uncut Gems. The show will be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards logo (Image provide by Film Independent)

Like all great independent film performances, this one deserves a sequel,” said Host Aubrey Plaza. “The people have spoken. Bow down to your host!

At a time when the world is so bitterly divided and civil discourse is almost impossible, it’s nice we can all agree that Aubrey Plaza is the greatest host in the history of hosting,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent President. “We are thrilled to have her back. Today is also the last day to join Film Independent as a Member to get access to the nominated films and vote on the winners. Only a fool would not watch the Spirit Awards on IFC on February 8, 2 PM PST / 5 PM EST.”

Aubrey is back! Last year, fear of her signature take on hosting duties kept that other awards show host-less. We are excited to see what she brings to the tent this year,” said IFC Executive Director, Blake Callaway.

Now in its 35th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

Plaza will next be seen starring in Black Bear, a suspenseful meta-drama, opposite Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon. The film, which she also produced, will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in production on Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers opposite Michael Caine which is based on an original screenplay that won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting award. Plaza’s other feature film credits include: Ingrid Goes West (which she produced and received a 2018 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature), Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours (also producer), Hal Hartley’s Ned Rifle, Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed, Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Judd Apatow’s Funny People, among others. On television, she most recently starred in Noah Hawley’s Legion on FX and is well known for her role on NBC’s Parks & Recreation.

This year marks the 35th edition of the awards show that celebrates the best of independent film. Past Spirit Awards hosts have included Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell, Patton Oswalt, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Izzard, Queen Latifah and John Waters, to name a few. The show, which will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, will be executive produced and directed by Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions for the sixth consecutive year. Shawn Davis returns as producer for his 18th year, Rick Austin returns as producer for his fifth year and Danielle Federico and Andrew Schaff also return as co-producers.

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The awards ceremony will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier.

Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

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