ArcLight Cinemas has announced the launch of the Arclight DocFest Spring Series, a new documentary screening series debuting on May 13, 2014, at ArcLight Hollywood.
Four films will be screening in the inaugural season, which takes place at ArcLight Hollywood on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 p.m. from May 13 through June 3. A Q&A with the filmmaker will follow each of the films as well as an open reception in the upper bar of ArcLight Hollywood.
“ArcLight Cinemas is about the celebration of film and we are delighted to be able to bring such exceptional documentaries to a city that has long been the epicenter for incredible storytelling,” said Gretchen McCourt, executive vice president, cinema programming. “We have always been a home for cinephiles and we couldn’t be more pleased to introduce the work of such a talented group of documentary filmmakers to our audiences.”
Los Angeles documentary filmmaker Marjan Safinia curated the festival program. “I’m a self-diagnosed documentary junkie. Everything I do is driven by my passion for documentaries. There are so many great films made each year, and not all of them have a chance to play here in the heart of Hollywood. So it’s a particular thrill to partner with ArcLight Cinemas for this series. It’s a dream venue for bringing together festival favorite films, their filmmakers and appreciative audiences who love don’t always get a chance to see them here in LA. I hope the series grows to become a regular meeting space for documentary lovers and documentary filmmakers to connect with each other around inspiring and thought-provoking films.”
About the films in the series:
“112 Weddings”, by award-winning director Doug Block (an HBO Documentary Film) will kick off the series on May 13. The film looks at one of the most common yet mysterious of all human experiences–marriage. Over the past two decades, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker has supported his career with a side business videotaping weddings. Long curious about how those marriages turned out, Block tracks down and interviews some of the more memorable of his 112 wedding couples, with funny, insightful and deeply moving results. This is the Los Angeles premiere of the film.
“SlingShot”, by director Paul Lazarus, will screen on May 20. With unparalleled access to a quirky and very private modern American hero, “SlingShot” takes us into the world of Segway inventor Dean Kamen. Kamen holds over 440 patents, primarily for devices designed to improve people’s lives. But for the last 15 years, his focus has been on bringing clean water to the world through his remarkable invention the SlingShot. Since 50% of human illness is caused by water-borne pathogens, Kamen stands liked David, armed with his SlingShot, against the Goliath of this problem. The film is an inspiring portrait of an American legend who commutes to work in a helicopter he flies, lives in a house with secret passageways and might just have enough passion, will and innovative thinking to create a solution for a problem that affects billions. This is the Los Angeles premiere of the film.
“The Internet’s Own Boy, The Story of Aaron Swartz” by director Brian Knappenberger (Filmbuff/Participant Media) will screen on May 27th. The film tells the story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26.  This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to civil liberties. The film premiered at Sundance 2014 and this is the Los Angeles premiere of the film.
“Rich Hill”, by directors Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo (“The Orchard)” closes out the season on June 3. Rich Hill, Missouri (population 1,393) could be any of the countless small towns that blanket America’s heartland, but to teenagers Andrew, Harley and Appachey, it’s home. As they ride their skateboards, go to football practice, and arm wrestle their fathers, they are like millions of other boys coming of age the world over. But faced with unfortunate circumstances—an imprisoned mother, isolation, instability, and parental unemployment—adolescence can be a day-to-day struggle just to survive. Spending a year with these boys and their families, the homegrown Missouri filmmakers craft a tale that is cinematically rich and exquisitely intimate and moving. The film puts a memorable human face on rural poverty and the challenges, hopes and dreams of rural America’s youth. Rich Hill won the Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. This is the Los Angeles premiere of the film.
For more information and to purchase tickets for the ArcLight DocFest Spring Series, please visit


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Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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