Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tati Documentary to have U.S. Premiere at Yerba Buena Center

ZAP recently posted the new documentary by Michael House "The Magnificent Tati."

The film will be screened during a film series at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in late January. The documentary will be shown on Sunday, January 24 at 2pm, and the director Michael House will answer questions immediately afterwards.


Is there anything new to be said about the French comic performer and filmmaker Jacques Tati and his eccentric alter ego Monsieur Hulot? Recognized internationally as one of the most innovative and creative filmmakers of his time, much of Tati’s work is about the humor of humanity attempting to exist in an increasingly mechanical society. He broke apart and then reinvented slapstick comedy. His films are just as relevant as ever, if not more so, in this new dehumanized digital age. For those who are new to his work, you will discover one of the masters of modern cinema. And for those who already know him, this is a rare chance for re-discovery of films which easily stand up to, and benefit from, repeated viewings.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Race to Nowhere on track at ZAP

ZAP is helping Bay Area first-time filmmaker Vicki Abeles get her documentary feature "Race to Nowhere" finalized for HD screenings and for DVD release.

Race To Nowhere is a groundbreaking documentary film that examines education, childhood and the unintended consequences of the achievement-obsessed way of life that permeates American education and culture. Unrelenting pressure, whether from well-intentioned parents, teachers, national leaders or from children themselves, is creating a generation suffering from unprecedented levels of stress, depression and burnout.

Vicki Abeles, a mother of three and former corporate attorney, found herself questioning the changes she saw in her children as they navigated days filled with school, homework, tutoring and extracurricular activities. After a series of wake-up calls in her family and community, including the suicide of a young girl, Vicki set out to discover why children’s lives more closely resemble high-powered CEOs' than the relaxed, carefree lives of children from the past.

The filmmakers take viewers to schools across the country, featuring the stories of students who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren’t learning anything substantive and college professors and business leaders concerned that incoming young people lack the skills needed to succeed in our complex times.

Race To Nowhere is a call to families, educators, experts and policy makers to examine current assumptions on how to prepare our national youth to become the healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens of the next century.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

ZAP Posts Justine Shapiro's New Iran Documentary

Berkeley native Justine Shapiro who co-produced the landmark 2002 film "Promises" has locked her edit on her new film "My Summer in Tehran." ZAP is conforming, color grading and designing titles and will online the film shortly.

About The Film:

A personal, poetic and provocative documentary film, My Summer in Tehran takes American filmmaker Justine Shapiro and her six-year old son into the lives of three Iranian families: a religious, conservative family with ties to the government; a modern, secular family; and a single mom who is also an actress. This remarkable journey introduces American audiences to the fascinating, and yet strikingly familiar home of our enemy," where we discover that everyday life is never separate from ever-watchful eye of the government.

With stunning cinematography, editing by renowned Iranian editor Mostafa Kherghehpoush, and featuring original music by French-Iranian composer Christophe Rezai, the film reveals a city and a culture where modernity and tradition sit side by side. 85 minutes, in English, Farsi, and French with English subtitles.

The documentary is in the final stages of post-production. It will be released in early 2010.