OVID’s January Lineup: Edward Said (now more than ever), Rojek premiere,Filipino cinema, deepfakes, true story scandals & more!

OVID.tv kicks the New Year off with a diverse, exciting program! January will feature 22 new streaming releases, 11 of which are exclusives only available on OVID.

Exclusive documentary premieres include Rojek, a chilling encounter with members of the Islamic State. Zaynê Akyol’s award-winning film is Canada’s official entry for Best International Feature Film at the upcoming Academy Awards®.

Another exclusive doc, Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said, traces Said’s life and celebrates his legacy. Amongst those appearing in the film are Rashid Khalidi, Ilan Pappe, Daniel Barenboim, and Noam Chomsky. Other documentaries include Another Body, about the underground world of deepfake pornography and the reclaiming of agency.

OVID will also feature two films from Filipino filmmaker Adolfo Alix, Jr., Adela starring acclaimed actress Anita Linda, and Manila co-directed by Raya Martin, a nocturnal diptych fusing fantasy and realism, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival.

Expanding our collection of U.S. indie feature films, including Frances Ferguson, a “whimsical examination of a sex scandal” (Film Inquiry), which predates Todd Haynes’s May December. Also based on true events, What Doesn’t Float by Luca Balser with Pauline Chalamet, Larry Fessenden, and Keith Poulson, leading an ensemble about New Yorkers at their wit’s end.

Another highlight from the lighter side this month is the Sophie Marceau vehicle Quantum Love—think quantum physics meets extramarital affair—how French!

Full details on January’s complete lineup are below!

(Image from Roddy Bogawa's Some Divine Wind, premiering on OVID on January 17th)

Thursday, January 4

Beautiful Things
Directed by Giorgio Ferrero & Federico Biasin
With Andrea Pavoni Belli, Van Quattro, Danilo Tribunal
Under The Milky Way | Documentary | Italy | 2018

This visually and conceptually ambitious assemblage follows four men working in isolation at remote scientific and industrial sites around the world to trace the rhythms that attend to modern cycles of mass production, consumption, and destruction.

“A documentary-musical(!) of machinic assemblage and desire, a rapturous becoming-object, a euphoric celebration of accelerationism, and a vision of the role of the human in a world dominated by our technological children, who have dispensed with sentience, that cumbersome redundancy.”
Bright Wall/Dark Room

Directed by Mary Sue Connolly
Under The Milky Way | Documentary | USA | 2019

The troubling turmoil of the deadly American opioid crisis unfolds in the small town of Petersburg in rural West Virginia, the state hardest hit by this epidemic. Through interviews with former drug dealers, over-prescribing doctors, DEA agents and local community members, Mary Sue Connolly uncovers a shocking narrative of the pharmaceutical industry’s intentional plan to target opioid sales to an impoverished, under-served community and the resulting addiction, prison and overdose cycles of its citizens.

“The documentary is a tour-de-force by director Mary Sue Connolly, which looks behind the startling figures of opioid abuse in West Virginia and the root causes of the crisis.” —Patch.com

Friday, January 5

Bad Fever
Directed by Dustin Guy Defa
With Kentucker Audley, Allison Baar, Hayward Buchanan, Dustin Guy Defa
Factory 25 | Feature | USA | 2011

Dustin Guy Defa’s début feature is about an aspiring yet humorless and awkward stand-up comedian named Eddie in Salt Lake City. When Eddie gets involved with a domineering drifter who likes to videotape him undressing, he risks his already diminishing dignity.

“Defa exerts delicate control over his incendiary material and evokes emotional terrors with a sympathetic directness; his raw-toned drama is quietly hectic and brutally poignant.” —The New Yorker

“A low-budget oddity, a shambling study of pathological loneliness that begs for our sympathies with defiant reticence.” —The New York Times

Frances Ferguson
Directed by Bob Byington
With Kaley Wheless, David Krumholtz, Keith Poulson, Jennifer Prediger, Martin Starr
Narrated by Nick Offerman
Factory 25 | Feature | USA | 2019

Nick Offerman narrates this deviant comedy, based on real events, and a small town’s reaction to a scandal.

“The film asks what it’s like to be so bored with your life you’ll willingly blow the whole thing up.” —The Hollywood Reporter

“Delivers comedy, conflict, and pathos in just the right proportion.” —Cinapse

“It’s the kind of comedy that should not work, but somehow does.” —Film Threat

Wednesday, January 10

Directed by Thierry Demaizière & Alban Teurlai
Icarus Films | Documentary | France | 2023

In the heart of Paris, a prestigious high school takes a daring bet: the integration of a group of talented hip-hop dancers from working-class neighborhoods and diverse backgrounds. Rookies follows the new students over the academic year, alternating between the pressures of the classroom and the kinetic energy of the dance floor. In between, students speak frankly about the challenges they face: many come from broken families, have faced poverty, abuse, and personal loss. Through dance, they hope to break the cycle of deprivation.

“Pretty irresistible as a doc, shaking off any trappings of the form with its visual kineticism.” —Moveable Feast

“The film is visually as energizing as the art form it echoes. Upbeat and rousing… moving – and often harrowing.” —Screen Daily


Thursday, January 11

Directed by Sari Braithwaite
Icarus Films | Documentary | Australia | 2019

Featuring an acclaimed soundtrack by Munro Melano and the End, this provocative polemic challenges audiences with never-before-seen artifacts of censorship from the vaults of the Australian National Archives containing thousands of celluloid scraps: scenes that were cut by government censors from films imported into the country between the years of 1958–1971. Peppered through this collection are banned scenes from some of the most influential directors in history, including Godard, Polanski, Bergman, Varda, and Fellini.

“A welcome contribution to the fractious debate over freedom of artistic expression and freedom of expression itself… Strikes just the right balance between certainty and uncertainty, moral seriousness and ambivalence.” —Michael Smith, Ph.D., Princeton University

[CENSORED] was meant to celebrate freedom. Instead, it exposes something darker.” —The Guardian


No Data Plan
Directed by Miko Revereza
Sentient Art Film | Documentary | USA | 2019

Living in the US illegally for over 20 years, the filmmaker takes an Amtrak train from LA to NYC during a critical moment of hostility against migrants in the country he has come to know as home. Lacking the papers that would allow him to board a flight, Revereza evades Immigration Customs Enforcement by going offline but turning his camera on, with the dreams and thoughts of others flickering among his moving images.

“The very fact that the migrant is seen but not heard, that the artist effaces theirself, is perhaps also a tribute to Revereza’s eleven million undocumented co-patriots who do not have the platform to pen an autobiography.” —Mubi Notebook


Friday, January 12

Another Body
Directed by Sophie Compton & Reuben Hamlyn
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2023

After discovering deepfake pornography of herself circulating online, American college student Taylor dives headfirst into the underground world of deepfakes, uncovering a growing culture of men terrorizing women—influencers, classmates, friends. More than just a cautionary tale, Another Body transforms the deepfake technology weaponized against Taylor into a tool that allows her to tell her story and reclaim her identity.

“A groundbreaking, creepy, fascinating, and important documentary about a phenomenon that’s only going to grow in significance.” —Variety


Quantum Love
Directed by Lisa Azuelos
With Lisa Azuelos, François Cluzet, Sophie Marceau
Under The Milky Way | Feature | France | 2014

A family man’s encounter with a beautiful woman develops into a mutual fascination, where fantasy coalesces with reality. 

“Only in a French romantic comedy would bonding over mutual drug use be considered appropriate for a meet cute, even if — or perhaps especially — if both protagonists and potential lovebirds are over 40.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday, January 16

Directed by Adolfo Alix Jr.
With Anita Linda, Joem Bascon, Jason Abalos
Visit Films | Feature | Philippines | 2008

Adela, a former radio personality, celebrates her 80th birthday alone in the slums of Manila, longing for her family and the stability of years gone by. Mundane events take on heightened meaning as Adela gauges her life against those of the sea of humanity.

“A gem of contemporary neo-realism, the movie offers a ground-level view of a poor but vital community where many residents survive by scavenging bits of recyclable steel and plastic.” —The New York Times

Directed by Adolfo B. Alix Jr. & Raya Martin
With Piolo Pascual
Visit Films | Feature | Philippines | 2009

Piolo Pascual portrays two characters in this fractured tale exposing the seedy underbelly of the city that surrounds him. William, a drug addict, tries to reconnect his ties with people close to him. Slowly, as night falls, he learns that there is no one left to trust, not even himself. Philip, who works as a bodyguard for a mayor’s son, thinks his boss considers him family. After a shooting incident, he discovers his real worth to his boss. 

“Moody black-and-white realism, with a dash of genre thriller…” —ScreenDaily

Wednesday, January 17

Some Divine Wind
Directed by Roddy Bogawa
With Yuji Agematsu, Gary Boswell, Joyce Brouwers
Sentient Art Film | Feature | USA | 1992

A reference to Japanese Kamikaze pilots (on ‘God’s wind’) – is the story of an American-born young man of mixed parentage, whose father was part of a bombing mission that destroyed his Japanese mother’s village and killed her entire family during World War II. Although his father discovers this horrible coincidence when he meets his wife after the war, he keeps this realization secret until he has a breakdown.

“Bogawa’s peculiar temperament, one of the most totally Southern Californian sensibilities on film, is like a mixture of Chris Marker, Robert Towne, and James Benning.” —Image Forum


Thursday, January 18

The Big Bad Swim
Directed by Ishai Setton
With Paget Brewster, Jeff Branson, Jess Weixler, Raviv Ullman
Visit Films | Feature | USA | 2007

A group of Connecticut locals enroll in an adult-education beginner’s swim class.

“A real comic find, The Big Bad Swim manages to remain consistently funny while hitting emotional truths… Sets up expectations that are cleverly dashed at every turn.”  —Variety

“It’s rare to come across a debut feature that’s well crafted and whose cast oozes a bright future. Director Ishai Setton makes his mark at Tribeca…and we’re pulled into a delicate network of love and friendship.” —Associated Press

Friday, January 19

Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said
Directed by Sato Makoto
With Daniel Barenboim, Azmi Bishara, Noam Chomsky, Rashid Khalidi, Elias Khoury, Ilan Pappe, Dan Rabinowitz, Michel Warschawski, and others
Icarus Films | Documentary | USA | 2006

Borrowing its title from the author’s 2000 memoir, Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said traces the life and work of Edward Said (1935-2003), the Palestinian-born intellectual who wrote widely on history, literature, music, philosophy, and politics. Filmed in Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, and the U.S., this feature-length documentary traces Said’s childhood influences and celebrates his intellectual legacy, the importance of his work in literary criticism and postcolonial studies, and his role as an independent member of the Palestinian National Council.

“[A] meditation on exile, identity and the psychological scars of dispossession.” —The New York Times, Critic’s Pick!

“Makoto Sato’s exploratory film creates a profound sense of worldly displacement, true to the nomadic sensibilities of its titular subject.” —Slant Magazine

“Fascinating! Allows the audience to see the concrete realization of abstract ideas about Israeli and Palestinian identity.” —The Jewish Week


The Two Lives of Eva
Directed by Esther Hoffenberg  
Icarus Films | Documentary | France | 2006

In this emotionally moving and revelatory documentary, Esther Hoffenberg investigates the early life of her mother, Eva (née Lamprecht), interviewing her friends, relatives and acquaintances, and scrutinizing her mother’s tape-recorded reminiscences, family photos, home movies, letters and other documents, to reveal how emotional traumas rooted in Eva’s experiences during WWII eventually tragically affected not only her, but also her entire family.

“Intriguing… evocative… Beautifully documents the twists and turns of a life shaped by the upheaval of mid-twentieth-century Europe.”—Slavic Review

“Dreamlike… Compelling! A promising debut.”—The Jewish Week

“Shattering! Engrossing! A complex testament to a woman of extraordinary strength and fragility, and a life wrecked and rebuilt by the tides of history.”—The Village Voice


Tuesday, January 23

The Great Basin
Directed by Chivas DeVinck
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2018

From below the earth to the stars, The Great Basin builds a complex panorama of rural Nevada, in the Western United States, through a tapestry of characters who work, live, and play there. The Great Basin is the location of the “loneliest Road in America” and can be seen as a microcosm of the economic, social, and ecological marginalization of 21st-century rural communities.

“With a patient camera, DeVinck lets defining aspects of individuals and the collective emerge on their own as he casts an empathetic eye toward people who occupy just one of the American landscape’s many expanses.” —Spectrum Culture

Wednesday, January 24

Directed by Zaynê Akyol
Icarus Films | Documentary | Canada | 2023

A chilling encounter with members of the Islamic State, as well as their wives detained in prison camps, who share a common dream: establishing a caliphate. Filmed in Rojava, Syria, Rojek’s conversations with incarcerated members are the thread along which the documentary evolves, as it is intertwined with various sequences depicting current, post-war Syrian Kurdistan. 

Rojek premiered at DOC NYC 2023. The award-winning film is eligible for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards® and Best Documentary Feature Film. 

“A deeply unsettling exploration of morality and terror.” –The Globe and Mail

“A truly disturbing documentary…  A mindset that is difficult to comprehend.” –Awards Daily

“Absorbing and admirably even-handed. Looks the beast in the eye to weigh the context, cost, and consequences.” –POV Magazine


Thursday, January 25

NY Export: Opus Jazz
Directed by Henry Joost & Jody Lee Lipes
With Tiler Peck, Robbie Fairchild, Georgina Pazcoguin, Brittany Pollack
Factory 25 | Documentary | USA | 2010

Shot on location in New York City and featuring an ensemble cast of New York City Ballet dancers, NY Export: Opus Jazz reimagines Jerome Robbins’s 1958 original ballet for a whole new generation.

“Austere in purpose and yet lush and expansive in execution.” —Vanity Fair

“This film is just about the purest, sexiest thing going on in ballet.” —New York Magazine

“A note-perfect adaptation.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Friday, January 26

What Doesn’t Float
Directed by Luca Balser
With Mirlande Amazan, Pauline Chalamet, Larry Fessenden, Keith Poulson
Utopia Films | Feature | USA | 2023

A darkly comedic anthology comprising seven vignettes about New Yorkers at their wit’s end, some of which are based on personal experiences. 

“It’s a real feat that each character feels so multi-dimensional when we only get to meet them for a few minutes. Their situations are raw and real, if not relatable, and these brief glimpses leave you wanting to know more.” —Alliance of Women Film Journalists

“A wonderfully crafted series of stories – each finding a different meaning to its place, to its character, to its exposure of the life of this corner of the city, and what it means to be a part of it.” —Screen Anarchy


So Pretty
Back by popular demand!
Directed by Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli
With Edem Dela-Seshie, Thomas Love, Rachika Samarth, Jessica Dunn Rovinelli
Sentient Art Film | Feature | USA | 2020

Four queer and trans youths in New York City struggle to maintain a harmonious community against the outside world as their lives curiously merge with the 1980s German novel So Schön by Ronald M. Schernikau.

“Rovinelli asks what trans films usually don’t: What if what had to transition was the world? It’s a pretty image, delicately colored, of a little world as what could be… So Pretty pictures the problems of the individual and the couple, but it nests those problems, as an internal tension, within a utopian possibility.” McKenzie Wark, e-flux Journal

So Pretty reminds us that liberation is the only way to go.” Nace Zavrl


Tuesday, January 30

The Last Tourist
Directed by Tyson Sadler
Utopia Films | Documentary | Canada | 2021

Travel is at a tipping point. Tourists are unintentionally destroying the very things they have come to see. Filmed in over 16 countries and guided by the world’s leading tourism and conservation visionaries, The Last Tourist reveals the real conditions and consequences of one of the largest industries worldwide through the forgotten voices of those working in its shadow.

“This thought-provoking documentary empowers audiences with the knowledge and inspiration to make a positive impact – and to fundamentally change the way they travel.” —Forbes

In My Blood It Runs
Back by popular demand!
Directed by Maya Newell
Sentient Art Films | Documentary | Australia | 2020

Dujuan is a 10-year-old Arrernte boy from Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in Australia. Full of life and exuberance, he learns, with the support of his family, to hunt, speak two Indigenous languages, and become a healer. Within the Westernized school system, his strength and intellect goes unnoticed. At the time of filming, 100% of the youth in Alice Springs detention centers were Aboriginal. This powerful film is an emotional journey through the educational schism between traditional culture and colonial ideas to solidify a future for Indigenous youth.

“Quietly masterful portrait of growing up indigenous” —The Guardian

“Colonialism is a war that began hundreds of years ago and never ended. Its modern tactics and its weapons are noted with precision in the ferocious documentary.” —The New York Times, Critic’s Pick!


Complete list of films premiering on OVID this month (in alphabetical order):

Adela, Adolfo Alix Jr. (2008)
Another Body, Sophie Compton & Reuben Hamlyn (2023)
Bad Fever, Dustin Guy Defa (2011)
Beautiful Things, Giorgio Ferrero & Federico Biasin (2018)
[CENSORED], Sari Braithwaite (2019)
Frances Ferguson, Bob Byington (2019)
In My Blood It Runs, Maya Newell (2020)
Manila, Adolfo B. Alix Jr. & Raya L. Martin (2009)
No Data Plan, Miko Revereza (2019)
NY Export: Opus Jazz, Henry Joost & Jody Lee Lipes (2010)
Out of Place: Memories of Edward Said, Sato Makoto (2006)
Overdosed, Mary Sue Connolly (2019)
The Big Bad Swim, Ishai Setton (2007)
The Great Basin, Chivas DeVinck (2018)
The Last Tourist, Tyson Sadler (2021)
The Two Lives of Eva, Esther Hoffenberg (2006)
Quantum Love, Lisa Azuelos (2014)
Rookies, Thierry Demaizière & Alban Teurlai (2023)
Rojek, Zaynê Akyol (2023)
So Pretty, Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli (2020)
Some Divine Wind, Roddy Bogawa (1992)
What Doesn’t Float, Luca Balser (2023)

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