OVID NEW RELEASES: Cinema Tropical Partnership, Kihachiro Kawamoto Animation & More!

New award-winning titles from Cinema Tropical—the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S—are coming to OVID. These include AWAY FROM MEANING, STILL BURN, and TU Y YO (June 5). Cinema Tropical’s Co-Founder Carlos Gutiérrez has also hand-picked a selection of their top picks on OVID. You can watch his curatorial statement here. 

They’re also celebrating the work of master animator Kihachiro Kawamoto with today’s release of THE BOOK OF THE DEAD. It’s a tour de force adventure tale of a young noble girl in 8th-century Japan who leaves her home to follow the apparition of an executed prince in a ravishing film of beauty and mysticism.

Finally, they’re adding six new additions from their founding partner Bullfrog Films on topics ranging from cellphone addictions and digital cleanses (June 9) to an exploration of the feminist classic THELMA AND LOUISE (June 16).

Details on all the new films coming to OVID early June are below. Stay tuned for even more releases next month!

OVID, the streaming service for independent films, is available in the U.S. and Canada. New subscribers can sign-up for a free 14-day trial. After, that subscriptions are just $6.99/mo or $69.99 for an annual subscription.

The Book of the Dead
Directed by Kihachiro Kawamoto; KimStim, Animation
 As Buddhism is being introduced to Japan from China, Iratsume, a woman of noble descent becomes obsessed with this mysteriously new religion. One night in a rapturous trance, Iratsume sees a luminous vision that she believes to be the Buddha, compelling her to leave home and journey to a sacred temple. There she sees Otsu, a young Prince who was executed 50 years earlier.

While Iratsume mistakes the prince’s spirit the very incarnation of the great Buddha, the ghost mistakes Iratsume for the last woman he eyed at the moment of death. As a act of great devotion, Iratsume decides to make a giant shroud for the prince to heal his soul and the Prince begins to haunt the young woman and those around her. The pair embark on a impassioned battle of wills, one longing for the material world, the other striving for the spiritual.

Tuesday, June 2nd

An Encounter with Simone Weil
Directed by Denis Côté; KimStim, Documentary

Fascinating and beguiling, BESTIAIRE is Denis Côté’s mesmerizing meditation on the relationship between man and beast. This strikingly beautiful film about looking-starts with a group of art students attempting to sketch an animal-that blurs the line between observer and observed. There may be no traditional narrative, yet there is breathtaking dramatic tension in every exquisitely framed shot: the sight of a lion attacking the doors of its cage or the scurrying striped legs of zebras in a holding pen. Contemplative and enthralling, BESTIAIRE is cinema at its purest.

Friday, June 5th

Away from Meaning
Directed by Olivia Luengas; Cinema Tropical, Documentary

When Liliana was three years old, she suffered from viral encephalitis. As a consequence, she began to experience borderline personality disorder years later. Along with her family, she devotes herself to managing and coping with emotional instability that has led to frequent hospitalizations following various suicide attempts. Now facing the threat of another relapse without the option of hospitalization due to closures, she and her parents must face a new treatment scheme from home.

Awarded the Best Documentary Prize at the Havana Film Festival New York, this deeply personal family love story directed by Liliana’s sister, Olivia, is a poignant meditation about normality and stigma attached to mental illnesses and a portrait of Liliana’s inner world, where her emotions take form.

Still Burn
Directed by Mauricio Alfredo Ovando; Cinema Tropical, Documentary

Alfredo Ovando Candia was a military general who served as co-president of Bolivia from 1965–66 (and again from 1969–70) after overthrowing President Víctor Paz Estenssoro. His political and military service connect him to the largest massacre of workers in the country’s history, as well as the military campaign in which Che Guevara was found and killed. Incorporating archival footage from Ovando’s de facto administration, home movies, and interviews with relatives, filmmaker-grandson Mauricio Alfredo Ovando’s debut feature studies the many profiles of his grandfather to juxtapose his family’s fond memories with the harsh official history.

Winner of the Best Director and FIPRESCI awards at the 2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Still Burn is a courageous, perceptive documentary about how collective and personal memories are created from—and ultimately shape—a complicated legacy.

Tú y Yo
Directed by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada; Cinema Tropical, Narrative

The Mrs., an elderly widow, and Aridia, a young maid, live together in a house filled with orchids in the center of Santo Domingo. Aridia cleans, the Mrs. gardens, and when work is slow they share gossip. But sometimes the atmosphere gets tense: the Mrs. wakes up grumpy, she blames Aridia, and when Aridia tries to defend herself the Mrs. has to remind her “where her place is.” Then as the hours pass by a telenovela begins on TV, or something happens in the neighborhood, and the Mrs. and Aridia become close again, ending the day by sharing a few laughs.

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Cartagena Film Festival and acclaimed at Visions du Réel, the debut feature by Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada is a poignant chamber piece that delves deeply into divisions of class and race.

Tuesday, June 9th

My Country No More
Directed by Rita Baghdadi & Jeremiah Hammerling; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

Through its lyrical core, the film challenges the notion of “progress” as it questions the long term human consequences of short term approaches to land use, decisions that ultimately affect all Americans, rural and urban alike.

Celling Your Soul
Directed by Joni Siani; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

An examination of our love/hate relationships with our digital devices from the first digitally socialized generation, and what we can do about it.

Friday, June 16th

Once Was Water
Directed by Christopher Beaver; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

Las Vegas provides an example to the world of how any city can and must create its own sustainable water solutions.

Catching Sight of Thelma and Louise
Directed by Jennifer Townsend; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

Explores the same women’s and men’s reactions to the groundbreaking film, THELMA and LOUISE, 25 years ago and today.

A Silent Transformation
Directed by Simon Brothers, Luke Mistruzzi, Anton Smolski, & Mark Preston; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

The transformative power of the co-operative enterprise model, illustrated with many inspirational examples.

Keepers of the Future
Directed by Simon Brothers, Luke Mistruzzi, Anton Smolski, & Mark Preston; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

Following El Salvador’s civil war, a farmers’ cooperative puts down roots, builds resilience and provides a model of how to mitigate climate change and resist unsustainable, extractive development.

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