The holidays area time of family togetherness, and this December, SnagFilms, the award-winning social video-viewing platform and 2014 Webby® nominee, premieres four acclaimed films you’ll want to curl up and watch with loved ones. All of the films follow different, but no less powerful, journeys about love for family, personal growth and freedom and are premiering for the very first time at no cost, on SnagFilms.com, and all supported devices, including their award-winning, multi-platform app.
PREMIERE DATE: DECEMBER 1
On a dusty soccer pitch in Malindi, Kenya young Kalu is an aggressive striker of the ‘Malindi Sharks’ who dreams of playing professional soccer. He’s a selfish player and a clear stand out on his team and knows he’s destined for glory. Then one day his life dramatically changes. Kalu gets an offer to play soccer on a second tier team in South Africa on the same day his father is killed in an accident and he unknowingly is exposed to the HIV virus. He makes the decision to go play soccer and send part of his salary back to home to his mother and sister. Kalu moves from rural Kenya to urban Johannesburg to discover he’s no longer a local hero. He even meets resistance from his own team. Spikiri, the Black Star’s captain and starting striker, stakes out his turf and greets Kalu with aggression. All the while, inside Kalu’s body a battle for his T-Cells rages as the HIV virus spreads.
These battles on and off the field are the backdrop for a remarkable journey that unfolds the mysteries and reveals the facts of the HIV virus within Kalu. Together, we race past skin, bone, and muscle to reveal the high stakes game going on inside his body. We see the HIV virus’ relentless attack of the body, previously normal T-Cells transfigured, and how the body tries to fight back. Kalu struggles and triumphs as a soccer player and in his relationships, and as he confronts the challenges of HIV, and ultimately realizes that knowledge is power.
PREMIERE DATE: DECEMBER 8
Based on a true story, BLACK TULIP is a frightening and inspiring film about the immeasurable value of freedom and the tenacity of culture and tradition, where there is always a price. This film, Afghanistan’s official entry for the 2011 Academy Awards and shot entirely on location in the country, tells the story of the Mansouri family. After the Taliban is routed from Afghanistan in early 2001, the family seizes the new window of freedom by opening a restaurant called “The Poet’s Corner,” where artists and poets are welcome to express themselves on a small stage. This newfound hope proves to be fleeting as lingering factions of the Taliban threaten to silence them. Conceding to the Taliban’s demands goes wholly against their beliefs and for what they’ve fought for. And having come a long way from refuge and expatriation overseas, giving up now is not an option for this Afghan family.
PREMIERE DATE: DECEMBER 15
Filmmaker and journalist Gotham Chopra embarks on a yearlong road trip with his father Deepak Chopra in an attempt to resolve the spiritual icon he is to the world vs. the real man known to his family. From devoted disciples that range from Lady Gaga to lost souls searching for themselves in the red rock deserts of Sedona, Gotham begins to paint a raw portrait of his dad that only a son can. The film travels across the planet chronicling colorful Deepak activities, from a traditional monk ordainment in Thailand to a literal decoding of ancient family registers in rural India. On the homefront, Gotham also takes a closer look at the expansive spiritual empire his father has built over his 25 year career that initially was conceived out of Deepak’s own deep personal and spiritual dissatisfaction, and a decidedly non-spiritual (and boozy) origin.
Ultimately what emerges is a picture of a Deepak that while reminiscent of other popularized Indian gurus, is more dad than demigod. Full of flaws, foils, intelligence, and irreverence, the decoded Deepak uncovered by his son’s honest scrutiny of him is a symbol of a world searching for answers in the most unlikely places and a deeper plunge into the meaning of identity itself.
PREMIERE DATE: DECEMBER 29
The brainchild of the Dave Matthews Band’s violinist Boyd Tinsley, FACES IN THE MIRROR is a lushly photographed, experimental musical drama following Ben Fischer (Ryan Orr), a young man returning home to bury his estranged father-a workaholic who neglected his son most of his life. On the day of the funeral, Ben embarks on a dreamlike odyssey through his past and present, where he’s led to fantastical places with a bevy of mystifying figures — a comforting young woman, a concerned old friend, and a wise street prophet-who all seem to be guiding him somewhere. Woven into this tapestry are memories of his parents and his childhood caretaker, Roberta (played by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, who also wrote and performs the spoken-word piece “Interior Landscapes” throughout the film). Desperately searching for a way to be free of his pain and guilt, Ben journeys through all of the ineffable spaces between confusion, anger, acceptance and forgiveness. In addition to conceiving and producing the expansive musical score for FACES IN THE MIRROR, Tinsley also co-wrote, co-produced, co-edited and co-stars in the film.
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