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A stellar high school comedy with an A+ cast, a brilliant script loaded with witty dialogue, eye-catching cinematography, swift editing, and a danceable soundtrack.

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It’s a dancing elephant of a movie. It has a few decent moves, but you’d never call it light on its feet.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Justine Nagan Named Executive Director of AmDoc, Claudia Puig Named Festival Program Director of NVFF

Two key women in the film community are acquiring new job titles in the coming months. After serving for nearly seven years as the Executive Director at Kartemquin Films, Chicago's award-winning production collective, Justine Nagan has been named the Executive Director of American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) and Executive Producer of POV (Point of View), AmDoc's award-winning documentary series on PBS. Nagan will split her time between AmDoc / POV and Kartemquin Films before relocating to New York with her family in December.


Nagan's impressive body of work at Kartemquin includes numerous acclaimed features. As a director, Nagan made the award-winning documentary "Typeface," as well as the short "Sacred Transformations." She executive produced many great films, two of which were directed by Steve James: "The Interrupters" and "Life Itself." 

In her new position, Nagan will oversee all aspects of AmDoc | POV’s programs and operations, including production and programming, community engagement and education, POV Digital, development, business affairs, communications and overall management of the POV series. She will serve as Executive Producer of both POV and America ReFramed, a year-round showcase of independent documentaries featuring contemporary American stories that airs on the WORLD Channel.

“It’s a pivotal time for independent media and documentary in our culture,” said Nagan. “People are increasingly seeking authentic voices and quality storytelling to engage and inform them about the issues of our time. AmDoc | POV represents a trusted bridge between those hungry audiences and the stories they need. I am thrilled to be joining the great team at AmDoc | POV to help lead one of America’s premier media organizations into its next chapter. My time at Kartemquin Films has continuously fed my passion for documentary and well-prepared me for the responsibilities that lie ahead. I am sad to leave them on the eve of their 50th anniversary celebrations in 2016, but I am confident the organization is in an incredibly strong position to continue its role as a leader in documentary production.”

Former USA Today Chief Film Critic Claudia Puig will be joining the team of the Napa Valley Film Festival. This year, she will serve as a consulting programming director and industry liaison for the fifth annual festival, scheduled to kick of Wednesday, November 11th, and running through Sunday, November 15th. Puig will take on the full responsibilities of the festival's Program Director in 2016.

“After 15 years as a film critic, I became increasingly intrigued by the film festival world and what makes compelling film programming,” said Puig. “Some of the best and most original movies I’ve seen have made their debut at film festivals. Joining the Napa staff is especially exciting - only in its fifth year, the Napa Valley Film Festival is growing by leaps and bounds with its ambitious, forward-thinking and innovative programming, panels and events. The combination of film, wine and a gorgeous location made this an easy choice for my new career path, and I look forward to working with [Executive & Artistic Director] Marc [Lhormer], [Co-Founder and Co-Director] Brenda [Lhormer] and the entire NVFF team.”


The festival has also announced its Narrative and Documentary feature film line-ups for juried competition. The directors of each film selected in competition will participate in NVFF’s Artists-in-Residence Program presented in partnership with Meadowood Napa Valley. Directors will stay at the luxury resort for six nights during the festival and will take part in special events and workshops with their competition group and industry mentors. An approximate 125 films are scheduled to screen, including special presentations, sneak previews of award season contenders, narrative and documentary shorts, and short features. For more information, visit the official festival site.

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