Blank City

Take a trip back to a time when New York City wasn’t all glitz and glamour as filmmaker Celine Danhier offers a look at the birth of “No Wave Cinema” and the vibrant art scene that exploded out of the East Village in the late ’70s. In the years before Ronald Reagan took office, Manhattan was in ruins. But true art has never come from comfort, and it was precisely those dire circumstances that inspired artists like Jim Jarmusch, Lizzy Borden, and Amos Poe to produce some of their best works. Taking their cues from punk rock and new wave music, these young maverick filmmakers confronted viewers with a stark reality that stood in powerful contrast to the escapist product being churned out by Hollywood. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Uncle Howard

When Howard Brookner lost his life to AIDS in 1989, the 35-year-old director had completed two feature documentaries and was in post-production on his narrative debut, Bloodhounds of Broadway. Twenty-five years later, his nephew, Aaron, sets out on a quest to find the lost negative of Burroughs: The Movie, his uncle’s critically-acclaimed portrait of legendary author William S. Burroughs. When Aaron uncovers Howard’s extensive archive in Burroughs’ bunker, it not only revives the film for a new generation, but also opens a vibrant window on New York City’s creative culture from the 1970s and ‘80s, and inspires a wide-ranging exploration of his beloved uncle’s legacy. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

Hot Sugar’s Cold World

A fly-on-the-wall look into the life of a modern-day Mozart, Nick Koenig (Hot Sugar) as he creates one-of-a-kind music made entirely out of sounds from the world around him. Nick lives every young musician’s dream, but when his internet- famous girlfriend, Rapper/Singer Kitty goes on tour and breaks up with him, he flies to Paris where he grew up, to move on with his life, while hunting for increasingly unique and exotic sounds to sample and turn into beats. Through his journey, Hot Sugar goes on some crazy adventures, meets some fascinating people and learns what it takes to survive as an artist and a musician in 2015. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW Film Festival]