With all of Hollywood and the independent film world buzzing about Sundance, it’s with great delight to find both Documentary Master Class Instructor Alexandra Johnes and graduate Laura Snow representing the New York Film Academy at this year’s festival!
Snow’s film, Newtown, on which she served as Associate Producer / Associate Post Producer, premiered on Sunday, January 24th. The documentary, directed by Kim A. Snyder, tackles the horrific tragedy that took place in Newtown, Connecticut. There are no words of compassion or reassurance that can bring back the 20 children and six educators who lost their lives during the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In Kim A. Snyder’s searing new film Newtown, we are given exclusive access into the homes of those who lost loved ones. They speak candidly about their grief, anger, and disbelief over what occurred and how nothing has changed in regards to our legal response to gun violence.
This past Monday, January 25th, was the premiere of Holy Hell, directed by Will Allen and produced by Alexandra Johnes. Just out of college, Allen, a young idealist filmmaker, joined a secretive spiritualist community led by a charismatic guru. With his camera in hand, he documented 20 years of living inside a cult that changed how he would see the world forever. Allen recorded everything, offering us a juicy and unparalleled look into the extreme ideals and expectations that make up this community, born out of Los Angeles, the city of cults. From total devotion turned to paranoia, the cracks began to unfold as unexpected truths were revealed about the enlightened leader they built every fiber of their lives around.
All screenings of both documentaries were sold out. Congrats to both Alexandra and Laura, and best of luck with the films!