Thursday, April 08, 2021

COMING SOON: THE MAN WHO SOLD HIS SKIN, BEAST BEAST, HOPE + more at the Gene Siskel Film Center's Film Center From Your Sofa

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April 8, 2021
The Man Who Sold His Skin; małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore; This is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection. 

Leona; Another Round; The Vasulka Effect; Un Film Dramatique/A Dramatic Film; Martha: Picture Story; A Shape of Things to Come; The Inheritance; Stray; Gipsy Queen; Wojnarowicz; The Fever; Rose Plays Julie; Born in Evin; Better Days; Shiva Baby; Oscar Nominated Shorts-Animated; Oscar Nominated Shorts-Live Action; Oscar Nominated Shorts- Doc

The Road Up; Downstream to Kinshasa; Beast Beast; Hope

Leona; The Vasulka Effect; Un Film Dramatique/A Dramatic Film; Martha: A Picture Story

Un Film Dramatique; The Inheritance 

New releases will be available beginning 12:00 p.m. CT the day the film is available, unless noted. Confirmed end dates listed when known, though subject to extension.

4/9 - 5/6
małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore 
2020, Sky Hopkina, USA, 80 mins
In English and Chinuk Wawa with subtitles
EXCLUSIVE to the Film Center!
"Nothing short of astonishing." - Vikram Murthi,

A poetic, experimental debut feature circling the origin of the death myth from the Chinookan people in the Pacific Northwest, małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore follows two people as they wander through their surrounding nature, the spirit world, and something much deeper inside. At its center are Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier, who take separate paths contemplating their afterlife, rebirth, and death. Probing questions about humanity’s place on earth and other worlds, Sky Hopkina’s film will have audiences thinking (and dreaming) about it long after. (Grasshopper Films)

Awards & Nominations
Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival; Vienna International Film Festival; Images Festival; Media City Film Festival
4/9 - 5/6
2019, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Lesotho/South Africa/Italy, 117 mins
In Sesotho with English subtitles

"Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese's mise-en-scène and camerawork are breathtaking." - Diego Semerene, Slant Magazine “

Deserving comparison with the work of Pedro Costa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Souleymane Cissé, THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT'S A RESURRECTION marks the introduction of a major filmmaker and the final powerhouse performance of a remarkable actress. The late Mary Twala Mhlongo, recognizable from Beyoncé’s blockbuster musical BLACK IS KING, gives a heartbreaking career-capping performance as Mantoa, an 80-year-old woman who has lived in a small Lesotho village for her entire life. While preparing for her own death, she receives word of an accident that has killed her only son, leaving her entirely alone, with only the respect of her community, the traditions of her ancestors, and the courage of her convictions. 

When her community must relocate to make way for a nearby dam which would flood her family’s burial ground, Mantoa draws a line in the sand and becomes an unlikely political and spiritual leader. Cryptic, impressionistic, and informed by magical realist literature, THIS IS NOT A BURIAL, IT'S A RESURRECTION contains some of the most striking visual compositions in contemporary cinema, all the more impressive considering this is the first feature-length film for both cinematographer Pierre de Villiers and production designer Leila Walter. The cumulative power of Mantoa’s sacrificial crusade, Mhlongo’s earthy performance, and Mosese’s visionary artistry announce an unmistakable landmark in African cinema. (Dekanalog)

Awards & Nominations

Special Jury Prize for Visionary Filmmaking, Sundance Film Festival
Winner - Best Actress, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Africa Movie Academy Awards
Winner - FIPRESCI Prize, Hong Kong International Film Festival

4/9 - 5/6
2020, Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia/France/Belgium/Germany/Sweden/Turkey, 104 mins
Arabic, French, Flemish and English
"A provocative contemporary take on a Faustian bargain." - Alissa Simon, Variety

In this darkly satirical commentary on artists, commerce, immigration and borders, Tunisia director Kaouther Ben Hania takes a winking aim at modern art, exploitation and the Syrian refugee crisis. Young Syrian lovers Sam and Abeer are forced apart when they both flee - him to Beirut after escaping unlawful imprisonment, and her to Brussels, in the arms of a diplomat she is pressured to marry. Desperate to acquire a coveted visa and be reunited with the love of his life, Sam accepts an outrageous offer: let the controversial, wildly successful  (and cocky) modern artist Jeffrey Godefroy tattoo Sam's back, thus making him a piece of art that can travel across any border freely. Sam quickly realizes the emotional and physiological cost of his canvas, as he is put on display in an exhibit for onlookers to gawk, and his price to be named. In equal turns tender and outrageous, Ben Hania explores how audiences consume culture, how artists appropriate crises, and how the relationship between art and audience shifts in unpredictable ways when the art can look, talk, and scream back. (Rebecca Fons)

Awards & Nominations
Nominee - Best International Feature Film, Academy Awards
Winner - Best Arab Film, El Gouna Film Festival
Winner - Best Actor, Venice Film Festival
Winner - Best Screenplay, Stockholm Film Festival
Spring (exact dates TBD)
2020, Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs, USA, 93 mins
THE ROAD UP follows four participants in Cara, a Chicago job-training program, as they struggle to find the path from rock bottom to stable employment.  Throughout, they are guided, goaded, and challenged by their impassioned mentor, Mr. Jesse, whose own complicated past compels him to help others find hope in the face of poverty, addiction, homelessness, and trauma.  Taken together, their stories create a powerful mosaic of the struggles that millions of Americans face every day in a precarious and unforgiving economy—the daunting and often interconnected challenges that prevent so many from joining the economic mainstream.  Because when everything behind you is wreckage, and everything in front is an obstacle, how do you find the road up?  (Description courtesy of Siskel/Jacobs Productions)
4/16 - 5/13
2020, Danny Madden, USA, 85 mins
EXCLUSIVE to Film Center through May 6!

"The doc-style cinematography allows the camera to act as an undercover agent, going deep into Gen Z territory." - Yolanda Machado, TheWra

BEAST BEAST, the unsettling debut feature from Danny Madden, is a bold exploration of adolescence, social media and gun culture, crammed into a tinderbox and set ablaze with a moment of tragic violence. Adapted from Madden's award-winning short film KRISTA, BEAST BEAST connects the exuberant theater kid Krista (Shirley Chen) with her sullen neighbor Adam (Will Madden), and Nito (Jose Angeles), the new kid who likes skateboarding, and who likes Krista. All three teenagers have a relationship with being watched, but not with being seen - Krista works on her craft and audition tapes, Adam awkwardly perfects videos for his "Prime Shooter" pro-gun YouTube channel, and Nito and his buddies record their hijinks for social media - all while their parents and teachers fade into the disconnected background. As Krista and Nito quickly fall for each other, Adam grows more isolated, until a petty crime explodes into an unthinkable - but all too familiar - moment of bloodshed. Madden's assured BEAST BEAST is a swirling, verite-style cinematic ride, with three authentic, grounded performances at its core, and a clanging drumbeat score that perfectly signifies the film's ever-rising temperature. (Rebecca Fons)

The Gene Siskel Film Center is proud to present films and programs that entertain, inform and challenge audiences. Based on lived experiences, the content we put on our screens may impact our individual audiences in different ways. To that end, when possible and appropriate, we include an online content consideration on film and program titles that may include potentially harmful content, depictions or themes. We encourage audiences to also inform themselves on the content of films and programs by reading synopses, watching trailers, and exploring film reviews. If you have questions, concerns or would like to provide feedback, please email Director of Programming Rebecca Fons ( Thank you for being part of our effort to make all Film Center audiences feel safe and welcome in our spaces. 

Please note that BEAST BEAST contains scenes of guns and gun violence. 

Awards and Nominations: 
Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival, Indie Grits, SXSW Film Festival 
Winner - Audience Award, Best Narrative Feature, Atlanta Film Festival
Nominee - NEXT Innovator Award, Sundance Film Festival

4/23 - 5/27
2021, Dieudo Hamadi, France/Congo/Belgium/Democratic Republic Of Congo, 89 mins
In Swahili and Lingala with English subtitles
EXCLUSIVE to Film Center!
“DOWNSTREAM TO KINSHASA offers a conveyance experience that’s as intense, urgent, and shocking as any I can recall seeing.” - Eric Hynes, Reverse Shot

In June 2000, the city of Kisangani, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was the scene of heavy weapons fighting between the armies of Uganda and Rwanda. The damage caused was immense: more than 10,000 shells exploded. Thousands of deaths, thousands of injured and material damages estimated at several hundred million dollars.

Since then, the Association of Victims of the Six-Day War has been fighting for the recognition of this bloody conflict and demanding compensation for the damage suffered. Uganda has been found guilty of war crimes by the International Court of Justice, but the amount of compensation to be paid out is still being discussed two decades after the war. Tired of the bureaucratic negotiations and unsuccessful pleas that have been drawn out for years, tired of the patent indifference of their fellow countrymen, the members of the Association have finally decided to take their fate into their own hands. After a long journey on the Congo River, they will voice their claims in Kinshasa, the capital, where the institutions are based and where most of the former leaders in this war have found refuge. (Icarus Films)

Awards and Nominations:
Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, AFI Fest, Seville Film Festival, Singapore International Film Festival, Cascade Festival of African Films, DocYard Film Series
Winner: Golden Dove and Jury Prize - DOK Leipzig Documentary Film Festival 
Winner: Best Documentary - Amiens International Film Festival 2020

4/23 - 5/27
2019, Maria Sødahl, Norway, 125 mins
Norwegian and Swedish with English subtitles
"It's not easy to make a film about a life-threatening illness that is as rich and joyous as this one can be, perfectly balanced at other times by the very real stakes." - Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Hammer to Nail

Anja lives with Tomas in a large family of biological children and stepchildren. For a number of years the two adults have grown independent of each other, with creative jobs in parallel worlds. When Anja gets a terminal cancer diagnosis, their modern life breaks down and exposes neglected love. Alone with her grief and her fears, Anja realizes that she needs Tomas’ full help and support. It’s their only chance. How else will their children find the strength once she is gone, if their parents are unable to weather the storm together? Anja and Tomas are thrown into a crash course in mutual trust, and eventually a joint struggle, to deal with this unexpected and premature death. By getting to know each other anew, they unconsciously become principal characters in a love story, finally learning to truly love each other after a long life spent together. (KimStim)

Awards & Nominations

Official Selection - Toronto International Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Brussels International Film Festival, Nordische Filmtage Lübeck
Winner - Label Europa Cinemas, Berlin Film Festival
Winner - Best Actress, Best Production Design, Amanda Awards, Norway

The following films are closing soon! Click here for a full list of streaming titles.
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Closing dates are noted when available.  Click here for a full list of streaming titles.

Leona; Another Round; Leona; The Vasulka Effect; Un Film Dramatique/A Dramatic Film; Martha: Picture Story; A Shape of Things to Come; The Inheritance; Stray; Gipsy Queen; Wojnarowicz; The Fever; Rose Plays Julie; Born in Evin; Better Days; Shiva Baby; Oscar Nominated Shorts-Animated; Oscar Nominated Shorts-Live Action; Oscar Nominated Shorts- Doc

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Nominated: Best International Feature; Best Director, Academy Awards
(Closing 5/6)

(Closing 5/6)

Join the Gene Siskel Film Center's free virtual discussion series, featuring Q&A with filmmakers and special guests. All times noted below are CT. read more
Oscar Nominated Shorts
Wednesday, March 14, 6pm CT
The Film Center presents an exclusive Facebook Live chat with select 2021 Oscar-nominated shorts filmmakers! 

Guests include: Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard (COLETTE- Doc); Doug Roland (FEELING THROUGH - Live Action), and Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers (A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION - Doc). 

Moderating the conversation will be the Film Center's own director of programming Rebecca Fons.

Register for the Q&A here.
małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore
Wednesday, April 21 at 7pm CT
The Film Center presents an exclusive Facebook Live chat for małni – towards the ocean, towards the shore with director Sky Hopinka, moderated by Ernest M. Whiteman III (Northern Arapaho), Director of First Nations Film and Video Festival Inc.
Register for the Q&A here.

To bring you the best in independent and international film, Gene Siskel Film Center curates its selection through many different distributors. Price per film may vary, but all films will be less than the price of a movie ticket. Streaming is easy, just:
1. Go To and find the movie you want to watch.

2. Click on "Stream Now" button. (You may need to set up an account on the streaming service.)

3. Pop some popcorn and enjoy your film.

Media Contact
Lori Hile |

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Gene Siskel Film Center and School of the Art Institute of Chicago logos

About the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Since 1972, the Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has presented cutting edge cinema to an annual audience of 85,000. The Film Center’s programming includes annual film festivals that celebrate diverse voices and international cultures, premieres of trailblazing work by today’s independent filmmakers, restorations and revivals of essential films from cinema history, and insightful provocative discussions with filmmakers and media artists. Altogether, the Film Center hosts over 1,500 screenings and 200 filmmaker appearances every year. The Film Center was renamed the Gene Siskel Film Center in 2000 after the late, nationally celebrated film critic, Gene Siskel. Visit to learn more and find out what’s playing today.

About the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
For more than 150 years, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) has been a leader in educating the world’s most influential artists, designers, and scholars. Located in downtown Chicago with a fine arts graduate program ranked number two by U.S. News and World Report , SAIC provides an interdisciplinary approach to art and design as well as world-class resources, including the Art Institute of Chicago museum, on-campus galleries, and state-of-the-art facilities. SAIC’s undergraduate, graduate, and post-baccalaureate students have the freedom to take risks and create the bold ideas that transform Chicago and the world—as seen through notable alumni and faculty such as Michelle Grabner, David Sedaris, Elizabeth Murray, Richard Hunt, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cynthia Rowley, Nick Cave, and LeRoy Neiman. Learn more at

The Get Growing Foundation >> News from The Get Growing Foundation


Join Instructor Kasey Bersett Eaves for Teaching Tuesday workshops in April and May!


Join each session for a unique and educational experience to help you cultivate and maintain your own green space! Next up...

  • April 13 - Seed Starting Basics
  • May 11 – Maximizing Your Kitchen Garden

Classes are one hour and will be held virtually via Zoom at 6PM CST.

The Great Grow Along is available on demand!


All 6 tracks and 40+ hours of educational seminars is available for on-demand viewing for the next 6 months!


Sign up today to start watching or if you are already registered, simply use the same link to access all of the captured contact. (On-Demand starts March 28).

Helping bring Prosser's campus garden one step closer to completion!


The Get Growing Foundation teamed up with NPL to deliver the next piece in Prosser's, a Chicago Public School on the city's nothwest side, garden/farm project. Last week, the newest addition of two shipping containers finally arrived! The students and faculty will be working together to convert them into flexible storage for the garden in the future!


Keep following for updates we we continue to support the schools efforts!


With more of us working and learning from home these days, we all know how important our internet and other utilities are. @JULIE1call reminds us not to disrupt utility service in your community—always #Call811 before you dig to get utilities marked! #DigSafeIlinois

The next step in the The Get Growing Foundation's goal to bring green to the Chicagoland area! The Get Growing Expos are coming next month!


Designed as a mobile gardening experience, the Get Growing Expos will feature themed container garden vignettes, educational presentations, hands-on workshops and more. Get ready to join us for a new interactive experience over three weekends in May and June!


Keep an eye out for details in the next two weeks!


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The Get Growing Foundation

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Chicago, IL 60654