OVID’s February Lineup: James Baldwin x 2 for Black History Month + Basketball, Dance, Fashion, Music, Neoliberalism gone wrong & more!

OVID’s schedule this month (20 films total, eight exclusives) includes seven wide-ranging films in celebration of Black History Month, leading off with the documentary series on women of color rising in politics And She Could Be Next (Ava DuVernay is one of its executive producers), and later in the month two rarely seen vintage films about James Baldwin.

Two other films are about musicians; one on the iconic Jamaican producer Lee “Scratch” Perry (narrated by Benicio del Toro), and another on legendary bass virtuoso Marcus Miller.

The basketball film, Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, was executive produced by Steph Curry, and joining our extensive dance collection is La Medea by Yara Travieso – a unique theater-to-screen experience re-imagining Euripides’ violent tragedy. 

For fashion fans, OVID will stream House of Cardin, a portrait of the luxury fashion designer who, as model Jenny Shimizu and others note, was one of the first designers at the forefront of diversity when casting his models.

And our fiction feature films this month include several U.S. indies, including Stephen Gurewitz’s Marvin, Seth and Stanley which Richard Brody of The New Yorker praised as: “Extraordinarily touching and quietly hilarious.” Plus, a Swiss film about a dodgy banker getting his comeuppance.

Full details on February’s complete lineup are below!

(Image from Yara Travieso's La Medea, premiering on OVID on February 14th)
And She Could Be Next (2020)

Thursday, February 1

And She Could Be Next
Part One: Building The Movement
Directed by Grace Lee & Marjan Safina
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2020

Unfolding in two parts, And She Could Be Next follows the emerging movement of women of color transforming American politics from the ground up. The first episode goes behind-the-scenes at local rallies, war rooms, and church basements, where candidates and organizers embark on the campaign trail. As we get to know these women, we see how they do not lead single-issue lives, but are each part of a larger movement—one that is coalition-based, intergenerational, and interfaith.

“Powerful and engaging.” —The Hollywood Reporter


And She Could Be Next
Part Two: Claiming Power
Directed by Grace Lee & Marjan Safina
Utopia Films | Documentary | USA | 2020

The second episode of And She Could Be Next takes us to the weeks leading up to election day and focuses on how organizers combat voter suppression in their own communities. At the heart of the episode is a growing multi-ethnic coalition in Georgia. Through it all, these women present a collective vision of political power that is rooted in care, dignity and joy – reminding us that there is an organizer in all of us.

“A great primer in how they are making a future with better representation happen, one determined, inspired candidate at a time.” —Alliance of Women Film Journalists


Friday, February 2

For the Plasma
Directed by Bingham Bryant, Kyle Molzan
With Roman Kolinka, Aarshi Banerjee, Alex Descas  
Factory 25 | Feature | USA | 2014

In a solitary lakeside cabin in Maine surrounded by forests, two old friends work together to monitor CCTV of various isolated regions of the forest, a practice that one of them figures out how to use to predict the stock market.

“You’re unlikely to see a more peculiar debut… a liberating alternative to anything else in recent American cinema.” —IndieWire

“A delightful oddity, an indie comedy with sci-fi twists and an indecipherable plot. It’s part Jacques Rivette, part Shane Carruth, and part Wes Anderson. It might be part Tommy Wiseau too. With deadpan line readings that seem purposefully affected, it’s a film that plays with our instinct to look for meaning in imagery, and the baggage we bring to a movie. In fact, that’s what it’s about—someone trying to read images of the natural world as something greater.” —RogerEbert.com

Marvin, Seth and Stanley
Directed by Stephen Gurewitz
With Stephen Gurewitz, Alex Karpovsky, Marvin Gurewitz
Factory 25 | Feature | USA | 2012

Marvin’s estranged sons, Seth and Stanley, return home for a camping trip. As past grudges are exposed, their weekend getaway slowly unfurls.

“Alex Karpovsky gives the best performance of his career.” —Filmmaker Magazine

“Like a lost classic of 1970’s American independent cinema.” —Smells Like Screen Spirit


Tuesday, February 6

Tall as the Baobab Tree
Directed by Jeremy Teicher
With Dior Ka, Oumoul Ka, Cheikh Dia, Alpha Dia
Visit Films | Feature | Senegal | 2012

In a rural African village poised at the outer edge of the modern world, a teenage girl hatches a secret plan to rescue her 11-year-old sister from an arranged marriage.

“Based on real-life situations and more than competently thesped by the villagers of Sinthion Mbadane themselves, the film never takes sides, maintaining a remarkably sympathetic balance between the ancient survivalist traditions of the elders and the aspirations of their educated offspring.” —Variety

Togoland Projections
Directed by Jürgen Ellinghaus
Icarus Films | Feature | France, Togo, Germany | 2023

Taking us to the territory of the former German colony of Togo, we follow the expedition of Hans Schomburgk who shot documentary and adventure films there between 1913-1914. At each stage of the journey, Schomburgk’s films are shown to a contemporary Togolese public, questioning Togo’s colonial history.

“Engaging… This absorbing time-travel history lesson should have connoisseur appeal in film festival and academic circles.” —The Film Verdict


Thursday, February 8

James Baldwin: From Another Place
Directed by Sedat Paka
Cinema Conservancy | Documentary | Turkey | 1973

Strikingly shot on the streets of Istanbul, this portrait of the writer and thinker finds him discussing his work, sexuality, and complex feelings about the United States.

“Like no other existing documentary, the black-and-white film captures the profound paradox of Baldwin’s transatlantic vantage point by showing how he both belongs and remains an outsider in the teeming half-European, half-Asian Turkish metropolis.” —Magdalena J. Zaborowska, author of James Baldwin’s Turkish Decade: Erotics of Exile

Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
Directed by Terence Dixon
The Film Desk | Documentary | France, UK | 1971

Tense, combative, discursive: A meeting with James Baldwin doesn’t quite go according to plan for a group of presumptuous white filmmakers in this rarely seen, Paris-set short film. An illuminating snapshot of Baldwin’s intellectual worldview that bristles with friction and ideas.

“A stunning portrait of meta-textual tension…. filled with ingenious, subtle references to the absurd approach the white filmmakers in the room have taken in trying to bottle his perspective for mass consumption… An invaluable and pertinent insight into the man’s disarming, enrapturing worldview, and a testament to his resilience, unparalleled intellect, and unreserved pride in the face of all the world had to throw at him.” —Film Daze

Friday, February 9

Reflection: A Walk With Water
Directed by Emmett Brennan
Bullfrog Films | Documentary | USA | 2021

Reckoning with this reality on the cusp of a record-setting dry season, filmmaker Emmett Brennan embarks on a powerful journey to find stories of hope and healing. Brennan sets out to walk 200 miles next to the Los Angeles aqueduct. Along the way, he encounters cultural leaders, ecological iconoclasts, and indigenous wisdom keepers who are re-envisioning our relationship to water. The water cycle is being broken, they say, and the consequence is an increasingly erratic and uninhabitable planet.

“Startlingly provocative… Beautifully shot and lyrical… Thought-provoking.” —Portland Press Herald

“[A] divining rod for finding ways to live more consciously in a world of higher temperatures and ever-worsening drought.” —Forbes


Tuesday, February 13

Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story
Directed by Jacob Hamilton
Utopia | Documentary | USA | 2019

From Executive Producer Stephen Curry, this award-winning film celebrates the true story of Kenny Sailors, the forgotten basketball legend who introduced the jump shot, became a 2-time collegiate All-American and NBA pioneer, revolutionized the sport for women, served as a US Marine in WWII, and then quietly faded into history.

“An important basketball history lesson, shining a light on one of the game’s unsung heroes who deserves more recognition.” —Screen Rant

Wednesday, February 14

La Medea
Directed by Yara Travieso
Sentient Art Film | Documentary/Performance | USA | 2017

Bringing the magic of theater to the big screen and into homes, La Medea reimagines Euripides’ prevalent Greek myth into a Latin-disco-pop-womanist variety show. A unique theater-to-screen experience, La Medea was originally directed, performed, shot, edited, and broadcast in real time for thousands of viewers around the world. Performers and camera women played the characters, while in-studio audiences and home viewers—commenting via live chat—played the role of the “Greek Chorus.” A Creative Capital production, commissioned by Performance Space NY in partnership with BRIC Arts Media House, Dance Films Association, and AbelCine.

“A modern-day Medea is mythology’s ‘nasty woman.’” —VICE Creators Project 

“As if Terrence Malick had directed a selfie.” —Hyperallergic 

“Travieso’s La Medea could mark a new age of empowerment.” —Miami Herald


Thursday, February 15

Queen of Lapa
Directed by Theodore Collatos, Carolina Monnerat 
With Luana Muniz
Factory 25 | Documentary | USA, Brazil | 2020

Larger-than-life actress, cabaret performer, activist, and proud sex professional since the age of eleven, Luana Muniz – one of Brazil’s most famous transgender personalities – shaped a new reality in her hostel by providing a safe working environment for generations of young transgendered girls in the neighborhood of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro. Queen of Lapa explores the women’s day-to-day lives, quests for love, the Brazilian political climate, and housemate rivalries, all under matriarch Muniz’s watchful and guiding eye.

“Recalls such trailblazing docs from a half-century ago as Portrait of Jason and The Queen, in that it, too, is about larger-than-life personalities who are outliers from the societal mainstream.” —Variety

Friday, February 16

Jess + Moss
Directed by Clay Jeter
With Sarah Hagan, Austin Vickers, Haley Strode, Haley Parker
Visit Films | Feature | USA | 2011

Jess, an adolescent girl, and Moss, a younger boy, are second cousins who have spent their summers together since either of them can remember. They would languish in a rural home and the farmlands nearby, play-act scenes of domesticity, and chat about whatever comes into their heads. Through a series of memories and vignettes, the events of the last summer they shared together unfold.

“A mosaic of pieces that combine to form a quietly shattering whole.” —Indiewire

“A bracing jolt from the usual film experience.” —The Hollywood Reporter

My Name is Emily
Directed by Simon Fitzmaurice
With Evanna Lynch, George Webster, Michael Smiley
Visit Films | Feature | Ireland | 2015

Emily has been living in a foster home ever since her father was institutionalized after her mother’s death. Still, she keeps in touch with him through the birthday cards he sends her every year. As Emily starts at a new school, she catches the attention of her shy classmate Arden. When her father doesn’t send a birthday card on her 16th birthday, Emily decides to take matters into her own hands. Enlisting Arden’s help, she runs away, and the pair set out on a road trip to break her father out of the psych ward.

“Thanks to beautifully warm performances, [the film] might just charm you into submission. ” —The New York Times

“Grabs you heart and soul and drags you across the Irish countryside with its wise beyond her years heroine.” —Unseen Film

Tuesday, February 20

As If It Were Yesterday
Directed by Myriam Abramovicz & Esther Hoffenberg
Icarus Films | Documentary | Belgium | 1982

Belgium, 1940. Amidst escalating terror and raids on Jewish residents by the occupying Nazi forces, a resistance movement emerges to shelter Jewish children from deportation and extermination. Centered on a series of candid interviews with the members of the Belgian Resistance who organized the rescue of over 4,000 children, as well the children themselves—now grown, yet still marked by their experience under occupation—As if it Were Yesterday is a moving tribute to the spirit of resistance.

“If the years of the Nazis were a time when the hounds of hell had been unleashed, it was also a time that turned ordinary mortals into extraordinary heroes. This is brought out hearteningly in As If It Were Yesterday, a film about Belgians who saved Jewish children.” —The New York Times


Violette Leduc, In Pursuit of Love
Directed by Esther Hoffenberg
Icarus Films | Documentary | France | 2013

After decades of working in relative obscurity, author and memoirist Violette Leduc exploded onto the French literary scene in 1964 with the publication of her taboo-breaking memoir The Bastard. Engaging frankly with her experience as an illegitimate child, homosexuality, and abortion, Leduc challenged the prevailing censorship of mid-century France and became a controversial icon of lesbian literature. Bringing together archival footage, interviews with friends and scholars, and the author’s own writing, director Esther Hoffenberg crafts a portrait of Leduc’s literary legacy and complex internal life. A contemporary of Sartre, Cocteau and Genet, Leduc published her memoir with the encouragement and financial support of feminist pioneer Simone de Beauvoir. Violette Leduc, In Pursuit of Love explores the remarkable honesty that defined Leduc’s writing and continues to impact readers to this day.

“Such a film is empowering to this singular woman who would be a fish in water in our more tolerant era.” —Les Inrockuptibles


Wednesday, February 21

Directed by Christine Molloy & Joe Lawlor
With Annie Townsend, Sandie Malia, Dennis Jobling
Visit Films | Feature | UK, Ireland | 2008

When an 18-year-old girl named Joy goes missing, Helen is asked to “play” her in a police reconstruction that may help solve the case. When she finds out that Joy had all the things missing from her life—parents, a boyfriend, a future—Helen immerses herself in the role and her life begins to flower.

“An impressive, beautifully shot debut feature.” —Variety

“It is hard not to walk away from this film with the feeling something very special indeed has just happened.” —Sight and Sound

Thursday, February 22

Directed by Patrick Savey
With George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Miles Davis, Larry Graham
UTMW | Documentary | USA | 2015

Marcus plunges us into the world of legendary bass virtuoso Marcus Miller, following his path like the pebbles of Tom Thumb, as he meets masters of Jazz like Miles Davis and many others.

“A fantastic visual and musical journey of the history of this exceptional musician, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and producer.” —All About Jazz

Friday, February 23

House of Cardin
Directed by P. David Ebersole & Todd Hughes
Utopia | Documentary | France, USA | 2019

Italian-born and French-cultured, Cardin carved a name (and a fashion house) for himself, following notable work designing costumes for Jean Cocteau’s 1946 masterpiece Beauty and the Beast and guidance from friend Christian Dior. With interviewees as wide-ranging as Naomi Campbell, Sharon Stone, Alice Cooper, Dionne Warwick, and Jean-Paul Gaultier, this up-tempo homage celebrates Cardin’s idea of global fashion and his pioneering attempts to diversify the catwalks of Paris with women of color modeling his signature looks.

“A deliciously entertaining and perceptive take on Cardin’s life and how he shaped both the silhouette of fashion and branding in the fashion world and beyond.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Tuesday, February 27

Going Private
Directed by Stina Werenfels
With Olivia Frolich, Selma Jamal Aldin, Mikki Levy, Luca Lüdi
UTMW | Feature | Switzerland | 2006

An investment banker, HP, has seemingly ridden out the crash of the stock exchange—a facade that will soon unravel. One evening, at a barbecue event with banker friends and their wives, HP’s Danish au pair threatens to blow the whistle on a love affair with HP’s married boss. The next morning, HP has lost everything: his house, his wife, his friends, and his job—revealing how the neoliberal playbook runs amok.

Thursday, February 29

The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry
Directed by Ethan Higbee & Adam Bhala Lough
With Lee “Scratch” Perry, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Paul McCartney, The Clash, Bunny Wailer, Marcus Garvey. Narrated by Benicio Del Toro
Factory 25 | Documentary | USA | 2008

A wild, weed-fueled story of Lee “Scratch” Perry—a visionary Jamaican musician, artist and all-round madman—who burst upon the Kingston scene in the ‘50s with a brand new sound, inventing a genre of music that would come to be called Reggae. He went on to discover a young Bob Marley and gained international recognition as a solo artist and record producer, working with pioneering artists like the Heptones and the Congos. Soon he was being called upon by artists as diverse as The Clash and Paul McCartney to provide his unique sound. Narrated by Benicio Del Toro, the film captures the essence of a complex, enigmatic figure—at once mad genius and mystic.

“He’s the Salvador Dali of music. He’s a mystery. He knows how to inspire the artist’s soul. Scratch is a shaman.”  —Keith Richards

“The sounds inside Lee “Scratch” Perry’s head changed the world. Reggae and Rap wouldn’t exist without him.” —Jay Bulger, Rolling Stone

“Perry is utterly compelling, and his story is one of the most important in 20th-century music.”  —Eye For Film

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

And She Could Be Next, Grace Lee & Marjan Safina (2020)
As If It Were Yesterday, Myriam Abramovicz & Esther Hoffenberg (1982) 
For the Plasma, Bingham Bryant & Kyle Molzan (2014)
Going Private, Stina Werenfels (2006)
Helen, Christine Molly & Joe Lawlor (2008)
House of Cardin, P. David Ebersole & Todd Hughes (2019)
James Baldwin: From Another Place, Sedat Paka (1973)
Jess + Moss, Clay Jeter (2011)
Jump Shot: The Kenny Sailors Story, Jacob Hamilton (2019)
La Medea, Yara Travieso (2017)
Marcus, Patrick Savey (2015)
Marvin, Seth and Stanley, Stephen Gurewitz (2012)
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris, Terence Dixon (1971)
My Name is Emily, Simon Fitzmaurice (2015)
Queen of Lapa, Theodore Collatos & Carolina Monnerat (2020)
Reflections: A Walk on the Water, Emmett Brennan (2021)
Tall as the Baobab Tree, Jeremy Teicher (2012)
The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee Scratch Perry, Ethan Higbee & Adam Bhala Lough (2008)
Togoland Projections, Jürgen Ellinghaus (2023)
Violette Leduc, In Pursuit of Love, Esther Hoffenberg (2013)

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