Filmmakers rely on private screening rooms to show their unfinished films to invite-only audiences. NPR's Susan Stamberg visits one screening room on Rodeo Drive, run by 97-year-old Charles Aidikoff and his grandson Josh. Four generations of Aidikoffs have worked in the projection business.
Writer-director Cutter Hodierne, whose short feature film on Somali pirates recently won a jury prize at Sundance, talks with Melissa Block about shooting his film in East Africa and telling his story from the perspective of the pirates.
In 2009, volunteer coach Bill Courtney led the struggling football team of Manassas High School in Memphis, Tenn., to the playoffs. Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin chronicle the challenges of the team — on and off the field — in the Oscar-nominated documentary Undefeated.
An absorbing new documentary by Danish director Lise Birk Pedersen charts four years in the life of Masha Drokova, who became famous as the girl who publicly kissed Vladimir Putin. Critic John Powers says it "offers a fresh glimpse into how Putin's Russia actually works."
The Help, the best-selling novel about the life of black maids in segregated Jackson, Miss., successfully transitioned into a box office smash. Viola Davis and Octavia Spenser are nominated for Oscars. Many fans are dismayed Oscar recognition goes to black women portraying domestics, a hated stereotype.
In the documentary If A Tree Falls, director Marshall Curry tells the story of the rise and fall of the Earth Liberation Front, a group that the FBI once described as America's number one domestic terrorism threat. The filmhas been nominated for an Academy Award.
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