Now Showing @ ALA Film Schedule


The Now Showing @ ALA Film Program features films, shorts, trailers, and documentaries from the world over from Saturday through Monday.

See the full schedule and add films to your conference calendar!

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Saturday, June 29

Youth V Gov

June 29: 8:00am-10:00am PT
Youth V Gov: Film Screening & Climate Action Discussion

YOUTH v GOV is the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, twenty-one courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.

Regarding the screening event, Lander Busse, one of the plaintiffs in Held v. the State of Montana, a related climate case to the case featured in the film Youth V Gov. Jennifer Fischer, Executive Director of Journeys in Film, whose organization created a free discussion guide and curriculum guide Youth V Gov will also be present at the screening event.

Running Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Writer & Director: Christi Cooper
Production Company: Barrelmaker Productions and Vulcan Productions
Sponsored By: Journeys in Film and Far Star Action Fund


Go LeftWater is WaterMell FellWe Are Water ProtectorsWishes

June 29: 10:30am-12:00pm PT
Weston Woods Studios

  • When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left
  • Water Is Water
  • Mel Fell
  • We Are Water Protectors
  • Wishes

When Things Aren't Going Right, Go Left

"One day for no particular reason, nothing was going right. Absolutely positively, nothing was going right. So, I decided to go left..."

Told through creative language play, and with depth and whimsy, this story reminds children of their own agency and the power they have to direct their own path. An enduring message of strength and perseverance that is both universal and personal, and one that audiences will be drawn to over and over again.

Running Time: 8 minutes, 52 seconds
Writer: Marc Colagiovanni
Directors: Peter H. Reynolds, Gary Goldberger, Peter Stidwill, Melissa R. Ellard and Paul R. Gagne
Production Company: Weston Woods Studios & Fablevision Studios

Water Is Water

This spare, poetic story follows a group of kids as they move through all the different phases of the water cycle. From rain to fog to snow to mist, talented author Miranda Paul and the always remarkable Jason Chin (Redwoods, Coral Reefs, Island, Gravity) combine to create a beautiful and informative journey in this innovative nonfiction tale that will leave you thirsty for more.

Running Time: 8 minutes, 16 seconds
Writer: Miranda Paul
Director: Tara Duffy
Production Company: Weston Woods Studios

Mel Fell

A charming and innovative tale about a plucky little bird, from the award-winning author-illustrator of Fox the Tiger.

Readers will delight to follow Mel on her journey from downward fall to triumphant flight in this tale of self-confidence and taking a leap of faith. An especially enjoyable and satisfying read-aloud!

Running Time: 7 minutes, 19 seconds
Writer: Corey R. Tabor
Director: Galen Fott
Production Company: Weston Woods Studios

We Are Water Protectors

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption―a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.

Water is the first medicine.It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

Running Time: 7 min, 34 seconds
Writer: Carole Lindstrom
Director: Galen Fott
Production Company: Weston Woods Studios


Wishes tells the powerful, honest story about one Vietnamese family's search for a new home on the other side of the world, and the long-lasting and powerful impact that makes on one of the youngest members of the family. Inspired by actual events in the author's life, this is a narrative that is both timely and timeless. Told through the eyes of a young girl, the story chronicles a family's difficult and powerful journey to pack up what they can carry and to leave their world behind, traveling to a new and unknown place in a crowded boat.

Running Time: 7 minutes, 44 seconds
Writer: Mượn Thị Văn
Director: Melissa Ellard
Production Company: Weston Woods Studios


June 29: 1:00pm-3:00pm PT
Downwind Documentary Film: The Impact on Marginalized Communities in the Wake of Oppenheimer

Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Mercury, Nevada? The latter was the site for the testing of 928 nuclear weapons on American soil from 1951 to 1992. The fallout is still lethally impacting Americans today. Martin Sheen narrates this harrowing exposé of the United States' disregard for everyone living... downwind.

In the wake of Oppenheimer, Downwind exposes the United States Government's 928 nuclear detonations from 1951-1992 at the Nevada Test Site and the ongoing impact of radioactive fallout on countless marginalized communities -- and the environment.   

Downwind features two-time Oscar-winner Michael Douglas, political satirist Lewis Black and is narrated by iconic anti-nuclear activist Martin Sheen. Bill Plympton contributed original animation.

Downwind also includes the inspirational, real stories of prominent “downwinders” who live in the path of radioactive fallout including Ian Zabarte, Principle Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation. Roughly the size of Rhode Island, the Nevada Test Site sits on Shoshone land, by treaty, yet it still remains occupied, restricted -- and operational. 

According to critic Leonard Maltin: "If you've seen Oppenheimer, I urge you to check out Downwind, a chilling look at the aftermath of events depicted in that movie, narrated by Martin Sheen. It's a compelling and sobering documentary."

Running Time: 96 minutes
Writers: Mark Shapiro and Warren Etheredge
Directors: Mark Shapiro and Douglas Brian Miller
Production Company: Backlot Docs, LLC


The Cinema Within

June 29: 3:30pm-5:00pm PT
Film Screening - The Cinema Within

Why does the uniquely cinematic language of film editing work?

In real life we don't instantly jump from one viewpoint to another. Such a bizarre disruption would be nauseatingly jarring.

And yet, film viewers effortlessly understand, and don’t even notice, most edits. This has led to the suspicion that film editing exploits the universal features of human perception – that a well-edited film is an illusion that mirrors our window upon the world.

Film editor Walter Murch, scholar David Bordwell and a handful of eminent psychologists present this compelling portrait of the profound "naturalness" of film editing.

But in the remote mountains of Turkey, a budding researcher – alongside a group of people who have never seen films – puts this deepest of cinematic ideas to the test.

Running Time: 93 minutes
Writers: Chad Freidrichs and Jaime Freidrichs
Director: Chad Freidrichs
Production Company: Unicorn Stencil Documentary Films


Sunday, June 30


June 30: 8:00am -10:00am PT
Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead

“Faulkner: The Past Is Never Dead” is the first documentary to explore the storied and complex legacy of Nobel Prize-winner William Faulkner – his life, literary masterpieces, and his role in today’s conversation on race, civil rights and community.

Narrated by and starring Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts, the documentary immerses the viewer into Faulkner’s world by weaving together Faulkner’s writing, interviews with the world’s leading Faulkner scholars, contemporary cinematography, archival photographs, animations, re-enactments filmed in Faulkner’s Rowan Oak and an original score.

Writer-Director Michael Modak-Truran highlights the evolution of Faulkner’s writing and his changing view of race through the stories he wrote and the turbulent times he leaved through.  Faulkner grapples with the issue of change.  He writes about how white southerners’ fear of Black enfranchisement and economic participation led to racist beliefs and ideology. He creates a character, Flem Snopes, who leverages that white fear to amass power.  Faulkner’s relevance is painfully obvious.

The issues of race and change that animated Faulkner’s writing were and are at the forefront of the American zeitgeist.  In our current time of reckoning on diversity and inclusion, this documentary offers an understanding of our present through Faulkner’s personal struggles and literary works.

Running Time: 93 minutes
Writer & Director: Michael Modak-Truran
Production Company: Yoknapatawpha Productions, LLC
Sponsored By: Penguin Random House


Four Daughters

June 30: 10:30 am-12:00pm PT
Four Daughters

One of the year's most acclaimed releases, this riveting documentary by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Kaouther Ben Hania (The Man Who Sold His Skin) uses an audacious formal conceit to tell the story of Olfa Hamrouni and her four daughters. Attempting to answer the question of how and why the Tunisian woman’s two eldest were radicalized, Ben Hania reveals a complex history. We watch as the family relives key events in their lives with help from professional actors standing in for the missing girls. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Cannes Film Festival, Best Documentary Feature at the Gotham Awards, and Best Writing at the IDA Documentary Awards, Four Daughters is a compelling portrait of five women and a unique and ambitious work of nonfiction cinema that pushes against the conventional boundaries of the documentary form to explore the nature of memory, rebellion, and the ties that bind mothers and daughters. Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Running Time: 107 minutes
Writer & Director: Kaouther Ben Hania
Production Company: Kino Lorber


80 Years Later

June 30: 1:00pm-1:50pm PT
80 Years Later

80 YEARS LATER (dir. Celine Parreñas Shimizu (THE CELINE ARCHIVE), prod. Dan Shimizu & J. Reid Miller) explores the racial inheritance of Japanese American family incarceration during World War II. A personal and intimate account situated in a larger historical context, 80 YEARS LATER explores how different generations confront and cope with the ongoing legacy of family imprisonment, the ambiguity of trauma and loss that are an inherent part of their family's journey – and, ultimately, how they find their way to healing.

Running Time: 50 minutes
Director: Celine Parrenas Shimizu


Behind the Rage

June 30: 2:00pm-3:10pm PT
Behind the Rage: Inside America’s Domestic Violence

In the United States, most female homicide victims are killed by their current or former partner and one in 4 women experience domestic violence or abuse. In Behind the Rage: Inside America’s Domestic Violence, Peabody, BAFTA, and Emmy award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan asks a simple question: is it possible to reduce these endemic levels of male violence? In search of an answer, she hears heartfelt testimonies from survivors and victims’ families, and gets vital insights from social workers and psychologists who work with violent men. And she speaks to those whose voices are rarely heard in conversations about domestic violence yet who may hold the key to stopping it: the perpetrators themselves.

Running Time: 70 minutes
Director: Deeyah Khan


Remembering Gene Wilder

June 30: 3:30pm-5:00pm PT
Remembering Gene Wilder

This loving tribute to Gene Wilder celebrates his life and legacy as the comic genius behind an extraordinary string of film roles, from his first collaboration with Mel Brooks in The Producers, to the enigmatic title role in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, to his inspired on-screen partnership with Richard Pryor in movies like Silver Streak. It is illustrated by a bevy of touching and hilarious clips and outtakes, never-before-seen home movies, narration from Wilder’s audiobook memoir, and interviews with a roster of brilliant friends and collaborators like Mel Brooks, Alan Alda, and Carol Kane. Remembering Gene Wilder shines a light on an essential performer, writer, director, and all-around mensch.

Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Writer: Glenn Kirschbaum
Director: Ron Frank
Production Company: Kino Lorber


Monday, July 1

Long Enough

July 1: 8:00am-9:00am PT
Loud Enough - Surviving Justice

LOUD ENOUGH - SURVIVING JUSTICE, from the Emmy Award and Peabody Award-winning producers of A WALK TO BEAUTIFUL, SEA CHANGE, and MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY (EPs) and directed by Hilary Klotz Steinman, chronicles the poignant journey of an ordinary family confronting a system biased against them, undergoing personal transformation, and embarking on a new mission as activists fighting for lasting change. Through their emotional wins and crushing defeats, this compelling story demonstrates the power of love, tenacity, and community to survive, and explores concrete ways in which the criminal justice system in America can and must change.

After surviving a life-threatening sexual assault in her hometown of Lindsborg, Kansas, college freshman Madison Smith and her parents were stunned when the local county prosecutor declined to file charges against the rapist, despite a strong case and compelling physical evidence. Traumatized by both the assault itself and her treatment by the police and prosecutor, Madison never wavered from the conviction that her attacker must be held accountable. She and her family refused to let the criminal justice system deny the facts and ignore her case, or to give up their quest for legal consequences.

Running Time: 61 minutes
Director: Hilary Klotz Steinman
Production Company: Engel Entertainment


Abortion & Women's Right 1970

July 1: 9:30am-10:00am PT
Abortion and Women's Rights 1970

One of the first films ever made about the struggle for abortion rights, this powerful archival piece documents women’s voices from a pre-Roe v. Wade era. This unique film, available for the first time digitally, tells the story of two women's illegal abortions before the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. It also speaks to the reality that 80-90% of those who died from illegal abortions were nonwhite, poor women. Women's voices from discussion groups and rallies lay out the need for safe, affordable abortions, birth control and maternity care for all women. They demand an end to forced sterilization and drug testing on Black, Brown, and poor women. They call for decent health care for all. ABORTION AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS reminds us of the conditions and demands that drove the movement for abortion rights fifty years ago. And inspires us to fight for reproductive justice today.

Running Time: 28 minutes
Directors: Catha Maslow, Jane Pincus, Mary Summers, and Karen Weinstein
Production Company: Women Make Movies


How to Come Alive

July 1: 10:30am - 12:00pm PT
How to Come Alive with Norman Mailer

HOW TO COME ALIVE with Norman Mailer explores the rollercoaster life of America’s most controversial and bestselling author of the 20th Century, Norman Mailer. Propelled by his tremendous ego and contrarian spirit, Mailer’s ceaseless visibility in the public eye lasted 6 decades, during which he had 6 tumultuous marriages, 9 beloved children, 11 bestsellers, 3 arrests, and 2 Pulitzer Prizes. Prophet, hedonist, violent criminal, literary outlaw, and social provocateur, Mailer’s ideas about love, anger, fear, and courage cut to the core of human nature, are more relevant than ever today, and point to a prescription for waking ourselves up, shaking free of society’s expectations, and coming alive as a people.

The first project with full access to Mailer’s family and their archive, the film unearths a treasure trove of intimate and never-before-seen footage, outtakes, audio recordings, and interviews from throughout his life. Mailer lays himself bare, foibles and all. As a lover, fighter, rabble-rouser, and perhaps the last true American public intellectual, he seeks most of all to become a bolder, better human being and encourages us to do the same — to think adventurously, speak fearlessly, and care less about the response... or risk a doomed future.

Running Time: 92 minutes
Writer & Director: Jeff Zimbalist
Production Company: Zeitgeist Films in association with Kino Lorber