Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation

Made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation

WHERE: EUROPEAN FILM MARKET / BERLINALE 2017 BERLIN, GERMANY

WHEN: February 8 - 15, 2017

WHO: RON MANN - ron@sphinxproductions.com - 416-876-6042 (President)
WHO: MICHAEL BOYUK - mike@filmswelike.com - 647-404-6653 (Head of Distribution)
WHO: LINDSAY JENSEN - lindsay@filmswelike.com - 647-225-2400 (Manager of Acquisitions)

 

SPHINX PRODUCTIONS represents the following slate of projects at the 2017 European Film Market at the Berlinale:

 

THE RICK KELLY PROJECT

A documentary hybrid to be written and directed by Ron Mann (Altman, Grass, Comic Book Confidential).
Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

The Rick Kelly Project presents a stylized and impressionistic portrait of a day in the life of master luthier Rick Kelly and his shop, Carmine Street Guitars. As Rick finishes work on a special custom project for a famous client, he is visited by a series of musician raconteurs who come in to shoot the breeze, philosophize and swap great guitar stories. Working out of his West Village shop since 1990, Rick builds beautifully handcrafted guitars out of reclaimed wood from old hotels, bars, churches and other buildings in New York City. The wood – white pine harvested in the Adirondacks, barged down the Hudson and then used to frame the dwellings and businesses of 1800s New York – has been infused with well over a hundred years of history, energy and resonance (in both the literal and figurative sense). Nothing looks or sounds quite like a Rick Kelly guitar and his series made from the wood he’s salvaged from the Bowery has been especially embraced by the likes of Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Bill Frisell, Jim Jarmusch and Bob Dylan, just to name a few. Throughout the course of a single day, various musicians drop by to check in, do business, jam, hang out or just pass a little time with Rick. As they ostensibly talk guitars, they end up ruminating, meditating and bullshitting on all kinds of topics – from creativity and craftsmanship to the city’s history, from the energy of old trees to the relationship between sound and feeling. Carmine Street Guitars is a very special place. You never know who might walk in on any given day. Every guitar has a story and Rick Kelly’s shop is full of them. 

Status: Currently in pre-production + Available for International pre-sales.

 

GRASS 2

A feature length documentary to be written and directed by Ron Mann (Altman, Grass, Comic Book Confidential).
Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

Grass 2 is the sequel to Ron Mann’s award-winning and much beloved 1999 documentary Grass. Picking up where its predecessor left off, the film tells the story of the sea-change in both popular opinion and legal status that has taken place throughout America with regards to marijuana in this century. Borrowing its format from An Inconvenient Truth (but with a slightly different definition of “green” activism), Grass 2 will be based around a live lecture given from a pot-friendly celebrity (think Seth Rogen, Jack Black or Sarah Silverman). Funny, entertaining, challenging and informative, the talk will take us from the dark days of the George W. Bush administration through to today, when ballot initiatives might very well make smoking pot legal for as much as 25% of the U.S. population after this November’s election. The talk will break out into modules that utilize archival footage as well as new interviews with activists, politicians, attorneys and celebrities in order to delve into the various factors that came together and began to turn the tide in favour of marijuana legalization. The police-state/domestic spying response to September 11th, the natural shift in demographics, the rise of medicinal marijuana awareness, the acknowledgement of economic opportunity in a regulated pot industry by the mainstream press, and the work of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) will be just some of the topics that Grass 2 explores.  The story of the marijuana legalization movement is truly a fascinating one, featuring cameos from presidents and playboys, activists and attorneys, Hollywood stars and country music legends. It’s a tale that’s chock full of killer highs and bummer lows but one that seems to finally, after years of frustration, be leveling out. Using the humour, intelligence and always fresh approach that are the hallmarks of Mann’s filmmaking, Grass 2 will be a highly entertaining and enlightening follow-up to the classic original.  

Status: Currently in development + Available for International pre-sales.

 

MERMAIDS

A feature length documentary, to be written and directed by Ali Weinstein. Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

Mermaids will examine the lure of mermaids, mythic and real - giving the viewer an opportunity to talk to women who have experienced very deep connections with their inner sirens, and to begin to explore some of the questions of transformation, beauty, and escape that are inherent in the myth. Starting with the mermaids of the quirky Floridian roadside attraction, Weeki Wachee, where daily underwater shows have been performed since the 40’s (and that Elvis himself once visited), and moving slowly around the globe, the film will explore mermaid lore that remains very much alive today in the hearts of men and women of all ages and all backgrounds. Mermaids will present a lyrical and visually tantalizing exploration of the transformative, empowering, at times dangerous allure of the astonishingly universal siren.

Status: Completed + Available for International sales.

 

N. I. A.

A feature length documentary, to be written and directed by Charles Officer (Nurse.Fighter.Boy).
Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

N.I.A. tells the remarkable story of African-American activist Cheri Laverne Dalton whom we will come to know as Nehanda Isoke Abiodun. Wanted by the FBI on charges in connection with the 1981 Nanuet, N.Y Brinks armored-car holdup that left one Guard and two Police Officers dead. Cheri Dalton became a fugitive at large and was forced underground. Thirty years later, we find the aging freedom fighter in Cuba where she was granted political asylum. She now lives by the name Nehanda given to her by comrades, still coming to terms with her exile and the guilt of leaving two young children behind – and dreaming of some day returning home.

Status: Currently in production + Available for International pre-sales.

 

KENK

A half-hour, documentary-animation hybrid film, to be written and directed by Jason Gilmore.
Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

Kenk is based on the successful 2010 graphic novel “Kenk: A Graphic Portrait”, chronicling the life of Toronto’s Igor Kenk, the Slovenia-born man dubbed "the world’s most prolific bicycle thief" by The New York Times. The film aims to bring to life Kenk’s story, his flawed yet compelling personality and the remarkable, shocking revelation - unforeseen even by his most vocal detractors - that Kenk had been hoarding thousands of stolen bicycles in locations around the city. Told through a collection of present day interviews with various affected parties, interspersed with animated sequences in the original graphic novel style, that recount Igor’s personal story and the lead up to his arrest, culminating in a candid sit-down interview with Igor Kenk today.

Status: Currently in production + Available for International pre-sales.

 

THE MINIATURE EFFECT

A feature length documentary, to be written and directed by Tony Coleman (Mighty Uke).
Executive Producer: Ron Mann.

People love small stuff. Human history is recorded in miniature. The earliest-known sculpture is an egg-sized goddess, children’s first toys are dolls or scaled-down versions of adult things, and all over the planet, artists and artisans, historians and collectors are creating tiny furniture, houses, towns, and vast dioramas of past and future worlds. Think back: chances are, you had a miniature at some point in your life- a teddy bear, a little car or train, a doll or tiny house- and if you’re like most people, in your mind, that toy was as good as the real thing: you animated it; you were in it; you made it live. Maybe you even lost yourself in it. And that is the final purpose of the uniquely human need to create miniatures: the ecstasy; to be taken out of ordinary being and transported to some ideal place. Nostalgia, power, ecstasy; miniatures are evocative. Explore the worlds and minds of artists and artisans, and find out what draws them to do tiny things, in The Miniature Effect: It’s a small world after all. The Miniature Effect travels the world to meet the people whose passion it is to create small things, and brings you inside the exquisite detail of their tiny domains.

Status: Currently in development + Available for International pre-sales.

 
 

ALSO AVAILABLE: EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY RON MANN

AL PURDY WAS HERE (2015)
HADWIN’S JUDGEMENT (2015)
LUNARCY! (2012)
MIGHTY UKE (2010)
PURE PWNAGE (2010) (TV SERIES)

 

ALSO AVAILABLE: SPHINX PRODUCTIONS

THE NEW CINEMA TAPES (1983)
BRAKHAGE (1998)
EXAMINED LIFE (2009)
PILGRIMAGE (2009)