For this year’s festival, we have a couple of films that are coming to us from Sundance, Minding the Gap and Crime + Punishment. These films are both new and both incredible examples of human rights cinema.

Minding the Gap

Minding the Gap is director Bing Liu’s first film. The film follows a group of young skateboarders through their lives, but is about much more than just skating. A project that started as a documentation of what it’s like to be a young man in America today, Minding the Gap morphed into a film about race, class, education, family, and violence in the lives of adolescents. After shooting skate videos during his teenage years, Liu became interested in asking his film subjects about their lives, their feelings, and their families. It was there that he found a pattern of difficult home lives as well as a sense of identity and community in skating.

This film is shot in a unique way as compared to other documentaries. Instead of the camera being an anonymous view into the realities of the world, the camera serves as Liu’s eyes, as he shoots footage skating along with his friends and engaging them in conversation. This is both a story of Liu himself and a story about the lives of other young men in the skating community.

Winner of the US Documentary Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking at Sundance, Minding the Gap is one you won’t want to miss. Join us on Saturday April 7th at 8:00pm at The Lyric to see this incredible film followed by a Q&A with special guests. Get your tickets here.

Crime + Punishment

Crime + Punishment, a Stephen Maing documentary, is the revealing account of the NYPD 12, a small group of New York City African-American and Latino police officers who risk all they have to expose the years-long injustices committed by law enforcement. For years, police officers have been asked to meet arrest quotas that single out minorities. This film was years in the making, following officers, as well as a private investigator, a wrongfully imprisoned man, and others in their fight to bring these injustices into the forefront of public conversations in hopes that the wrongful arrest and summoning of minorities is brought to light and ultimately changed.

Crime + Punishment won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at Sundance and comes to us at a time when these issues are both relevant and important.

This timely story is the ultimate whistleblowing narrative about the brave officers who stood up for the injustices surrounding them. Be sure to get your tickets to the Sunday April 8th screening of the film at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre starting at 7:00pm. Be sure to stick around after the screening for a Q&A session with special guests. Get your tickets here.