This April, is adding AS GOOD AS YOU, a serious comedy—a category that seems to match what we need/can handle in this moment—about trying to grieve the right way, and maybe growing up a bit in the process (April 17).

Also coming soon: TATTOO UPRISING, a documentary featuring some of the most extraordinary people of the tattoo world including Ed Hardy, Stoney St. Clair, Cynthia Witkin, Anne de Hey! and others, as well as unforgettable appearances by filmmakers Les Blank and Werner Herzog, who allows a rare glimpse at his Ed Hardy tattoo (April 14).  

In addition, there’s CIRCUIT EARTH from Bullfrog Films, which features an appearance by Allen Ginsberg (April 22), four documentaries from the Peabody Award-Winning Kartemquin Films (April 24), and others on the philosopher Martin Heidegger, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the occult roots of Nazi ideology and many more topics this April. As for the existing collection, it now includes over 1,000 independent films from around the world. Stay tuned for even more releases later in May!

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.

Friday, April 10th

Black Sun
Directed by Rudiger Sunner; Icarus Films, Documentary

For more than sixty years, thousands of historians, political scientists, psychologists and others have attempted to explain the murderous ideology of National Socialism-in particular the theories of its founders Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Alfred Rosenberg-and their dreams of a ‘Thousand-Year Reich’ of Aryan world domination, which led to the Holocaust, war crimes and other atrocities.

BLACK SUN sheds new light on the sources of Nazi ideology by examining its occult roots in the world of myths, symbols and fantasies. It traces this development from the writings of various mystics in the early 20th century, which located the original home of the Germanic peoples in sunken continents such as ‘Thule’ and ‘Atlantis,’ and propagated the mythology of a superior Nordic race whose heroes fought the forces of moral decadence and racial impurity. 

Germans and Jews
Directed by Janina Quint and Tal Recanati; First Run Features, Documentary

Through personal stories Germans & Jews explores Germany’s transformation as a society, from silence about the Holocaust to facing it head on. Unexpectedly, a nuanced story of reconciliation emerges. What began as a private conversation between the two filmmakers and friends, Tal Recanati (Jewish) and Janina Quint (non-Jewish German), grew into a cultural exchange among many and we realize that the two people are inextricably linked through the memory of the Holocaust. Germans & Jews is at once uncomfortable and provocative, unexpected and enlightening. 

The Ister
Directed by David Barison and Daniel Ross; Icarus Films, Documentary

Takes up some of the most challenging paths in Martin Heidegger’s thought, inviting the viewer to participate in some of the most provocative questions facing Europe and the world today.

However controversial Heidegger remains, his thought remains alive in the work of some of the most remarkable thinkers and artists working today, four of whom discuss the contemporary social relevance of Heidegger, including Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, Jean-Luc Nancy, Bernard Stiegler, and filmmaker Hans-Jürgen Syberberg.

In Search of Memory
Directed by Petra Seeger; Icarus Films, Documentary

‘Memory is everything. Without it we are nothing,’ says neuroscientist Eric Kandel, winner of the Nobel Prize for his groundbreaking research on the physiology of the brain’s storage of memories. As he explains, memory is the glue that binds our mental life together and provides a sense of continuity in our lives.

IN SEARCH OF MEMORY is a compelling blend of autobiography and history that recounts the life of one of the most important neuroscientists of the 20th century and illuminates scientific developments in our understanding of the brain’s role in recording and preserving memory.

Tuesday, April 14th

Dream Deceivers
Directed by David Van Taylor; First Run Features, Documentary

Two young men shoot themselves in a churchyard. Ray Belknap dies; James Vance – severely disfigured – survives. Their parents take heavy-metal icons Judas Priest to court, claiming the band “mesmerized” their sons. The unprecedented trial is the framework for this one-of-a-kind, Emmy-nominated documentary. 

Tattoo Uprising
Directed by Alan Govenar; First Run Features, Documentary

From antiquity to the present, Tattoo Uprising reveals the artistic and historical roots of today’s tattoo explosion. This sweeping overview explores how tattoos were used in early Christian practices, how they were discovered halfway around the world during the voyages of Captain James Cook, and how they exploded in popularity in America beginning with artists like Ed Hardy.

Friday, April 17th

As Good As You
Directed by Heather de Michele; First Run Features, Narrative

Jo (Laura Heisler) is having a bad year. She has major writer’s block, a rather dire caffeine addiction and is deeply mourning the untimely death of her beautiful wife. To top it all off, her biological alarm clock is ringing off the wall. In an attempt to address the latter issue, JO asks her late-partner’s brother JAMIE (Bryan Dechart) to be her sperm donor. Craziness ensues, in the form of a visit to the fertility clinic’s psychologist (Annie Potts), and a love triangle with her two best friends (Raoul Bhaneja and Anna Fitzwater).

The New Rijksmuseum
Directed by Oeke Hoogendijk; First Run Features, Documentary

In 2003, the ambitious renovation of one of the world’s greatest museums began. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, home to glorious masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer and others, was supposed to reopen its doors in 2008 after five years of construction. But from the start the project was in trouble. The museum battled politicians, designers, curators and even the Dutch Cyclists Union as the workers struggled to complete the job. Five years later than expected, with costs exceeding half a billion dollars, the museum finally reopened.

Tuesday, April 21st

Food for Thought
Directed by Martijn Vervoort; Viewpoint Productions, Documentary Series

In the 7-part TV series FOOD FOR THOUGHT, seven young people start a dialogue with seven philosophers. As food is simply the best way to connect with one another, we cook and eat together while reflecting on crucial life questions. By bringing philosophy into the kitchen, we put theory into practice; we taste and chew on new ideas, apply different concepts, and inspire each other. Together we explore these different ways of thinking to find solutions for our most pressing issues.

Cooked: Survival by Zipcode
Directed by Judith Helfand; Kartemquin, Documentary

In her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries – Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme disparity and the politics of ‘disaster’; daring to ask: what if a zip code was just a routing number, and not a life-or-death sentence?

Wednesday, April 22nd

Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter; Icarus Films, Documentary Series

From Nikolaus Geyrhalter, the director of OUR DAILY BREAD, comes this IDFA Special Jury Award-winning documentary, an epic journey to twelve remote and rarely glimpsed locales and communities around the world.

Geyerhalter films expansive vistas of desert, snow, jungle, ice, and rainforest, travels with a scooter-riding Finnish reindeer herdsman, visits the home of a Namibian couple with relational problems, ventures out to sea with a Sardinian fisherman. In observational and striking visual portraits, impressions of modernization’s influence on traditional societies emerge.

An homage to humanity, ELSEWHERE is a nuanced portrait of life—fragile and resilient—at the start of the 21st century.

Circuit Earth
Directed by John Abrahall, Christopher Bamford, Robert Feldman, Michael Katz, Peter Krotoczynski; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

CIRCUIT EARTH was produced in honor of the first Earth Day in 1970. Shot throughout Philadelphia during Earth Week in the lead up to festival, and at the festival itself, the film features community groups, citizens, and celebrities-all reflecting on the crisis facing the planet at the end of the 60s. The structure of the film reflects the thinking of anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist and systems theorist, Gregory Bateson (An Ecology Of Mind). Amongst those appearing are Allen Ginsberg, Senator Ed Muskie, Paul Ehrlich, George Wald, the Broadway cast of HAIR, Jerry Rubin, Alan Watts, Ralph Nader, Redbone and Ed Sanders of The Fugs.

Walking on Water Wasn’t Built in a Day
Directed by John Abrahall, Christopher Bamford, Robert Feldman, Michael Katz, Peter Krotoczynski; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

In April 1970 the first Earth Day in Philadelphia was actually a week of celebrations for Mother Earth. This film was shot in and around the city, with cameo appearances and observations by the likes of Terry Southern, Jerry Rubin, mayor John Lindsay, and Wavy Gravy. But the film features Allen Ginsburg, both at the main event on Belmont Plateau and during a van ride across Pennsylvania, in which he riffs on American culture and society, at a meal at HoJo’s and reading a poem on the banks of the Susquehanna. The talk is of polarization and the battle for the soul of America. Fifty years later, the argument goes on.

Friday, April 24th

Directed by Laura Checkoway; Kartemquin, Documentary

Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their unusual and idyllic love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

On Beauty
Directed by Joanna Rudnick; Kartemquin, Documentary

On Beauty follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty.

At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick’s photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for homeschool after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Eastern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs.

The Trials of Muhammed Ali
Directed by Bill Siegel; Kartemquin, Documentary

The Trials of Muhammad Ali explores Ali’s lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Trials traces Ali’s path from poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompass issues of power, race, faith and identity that confront us all.

American Arab
Directed by Usama Alshaibi; Kartemquin, Documentary

Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland.

Tuesday, April 28th

Street Fighting Men
Directed by Andrew James; Kartemquin, Documentary
 Shot over three years in the neighborhoods of Detroit, Street Fighting Men is a story of hard work, faith and manhood in a community left to fend for itself. The film takes a deep, observational dive into the lives of three African American men: retired cop Jack Rabbit, who continues to patrol the mean streets as a citizen; Deris, who has made bad choices in the past but wants to further his education and serve as a role model for his baby daughter; and Luke, who labors mightily as he rehabs a dilapidated house while putting together a meager living.

Borrowing from the visual language and philosophy of neorealism, and featuring a beautiful score by Detroit-based musician Shigeto, Street Fighting Men is an emotionally powerful, visually compelling journey into the forgotten neighborhoods of Detroit; a place that embodies the greatest challenges we still face as a country.