West of Memphis

An examination of a failure of justice in Arkansas. The documentary tells the hitherto unknown story behind an extraordinary and desperate fight to bring the truth to light. Told and made by those who lived it, the filmmakers’ unprecedented access to the inner workings of the defense, allows the film to show the investigation, research and appeals process in a way that has never been seen before; revealing shocking and disturbing new information about a case that still haunts the American South.

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Since her death from a heroin overdose in 1970 at age twenty-seven, Janis Joplin has been a ubiquitous presence on posters, T-shirts, and classic-rock radio. In this documentary she reverts from an icon back into a human being. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg excavates unseen material, interviews Joplin’s confidantes and uncovers personal letters. The resulting portrait gives us fresh insight into the mighty talent behind famous versions of “Piece of My Heart,” “Cry Baby,” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” [Synopsis courtesy of TIFF]

Prophet’s Prey

When noted author Jon Krakauer stumbled upon a closed polygamous community in southern Utah in 1999, it caught him by surprise. Private investigator Sam Brower (whose 2011 book shares the film’s name) was already investigating the rogue sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS). Here the two men share their alarming allegations of sexual abuse, underage marriages and pregnancies. Collaborating with a local Texas journalist who first reported the story, they retrace their involvement that led to the capture and conviction of the group’s maniacal leader, Warren Jeffs. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]

An Open Secret

Every year, thousands of children swarm Hollywood in search of fame, but what they often find under the surface is a deep and disturbing underbelly of manipulation and abuse. An Open Secret, directed by Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (West of Memphis; Deliver Us From Evil), is a sobering look at the lives of children who were exploited and assaulted by some of Hollywood’s most powerful players. [Synopsis courtesy of DOC NYC]

Every Secret Thing

One clear summer day in a Baltimore suburb, a baby goes missing from her front porch. Two young girls serve seven years for the crime and are released into a town that hasn’t fully forgiven or forgotten. Soon, another child is missing, and two detectives are called in to investigate the mystery in a community where everyone seems to have a secret. An ensemble cast, including Elizabeth Banks, Diane Lane, Dakota Fanning, and Nate Parker, brings to life Laura Lippman’s acclaimed novel of love, loss, and murder.