Between 2002 and 2012, as Balcony Releasing we managed the U.S. theatrical distribution of numerous acclaimed documentary films. Today, while Balcony is wholly focused on providing film buying services to theaters, if you are interested in booking any of our past releases, please click on the film's image or contact us.
Produced and Directed by ROB FRUCHTMAN and STEVEN LAWRENCE
With over 500,000 streets cats struggling to survive in NYC, and the city unwilling to address the problem, spirited volunteers like Sassee, Claire, Stu and Tara have come to their aid. Their beat is Brooklyn, where the problem has exploded. Combing the borough’s alleys, backyards and housing projects, they trap the cats, get them fixed and returned to their colonies, or adopted.
THE CAT RESCUERS shows the skill, resilience, and humor these volunteer activists display in the face of such challenging work, and how their mission to reduce animal suffering—often at great sacrifice to themselves—makes a difference for the animals and the community, while changing the rescuers’ lives. THE CAT RESCUERS had its world premiere at the 2018 Hamptons International Film Festival, winning the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award.
“Quietly captivating... a portrait of human tenderness, city planning and even government inaction all while making the viewer laugh, cry and grip their seats.” – CriterionCast
THE GREEN FOG is the latest offering from iconoclastic filmmaker Guy Maddin (The Saddest Music in the World, The Forbidden Room, My Winnipeg) and co-directors Evan Johnson and Galen Johnson (Tales From the Gimli Hospital), with an original score composed by Jacob Garchik and performed by Kronos Quartet. The film was co-commissioned by SFFILM and Stanford Live.
Maddin set himself the challenge to remake Vertigo without using footage from the Hitchcock classic, creating a “parallel-universe version,” in his words. Using Bay Area footage from a variety of sources—studio classics, ‘50s noir, experimental films, and ‘70s prime-time TV—and employing Maddin’s mastery of assemblage, the result exerts the inexorable pull of Hitchcock’s tale of erotic obsession while paying tribute to its inimitable San Francisco location.
FINDING JOE is an exploration of famed Mythologist Joseph Campbell’s studies and their continuing impact on our culture. Through interviews with visionaries from a variety of fields interwoven with enactments of classic tales by a sweet and motley group of kids, the film navigates the stages of what Campbell dubbed The Hero’s Journey: the challenges, the fears, the dragons, the battles, and the return home as a changed person. Rooted in deeply personal accounts and timeless stories, FINDING JOE shows how Campbell’s work is relevant and essential in today’s world and how it provides a narrative for how to live a fully realized life—or as Campbell would simply state, how to “follow your bliss”
Louder Than a Bomb tells the story of four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare to compete in the world’s largest youth slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures the turbulent lives of these unforgettable kids, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems—and what they get out of them—is universal: the defining work of finding one’s voice.
Ayed Morrar, an unlikely community organizer, unites Palestinians from all political factions and Israelis to save his village from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Victory seems improbable until his 15-year-old daughter, Iltezam, launches a women’s contingent that quickly moves to the front lines. Struggling side by side, father and daughter unleash an inspiring, yet little-known movement in the Occupied Palestinian Territories that is still gaining ground today. In an action-filled documentary chronicling this movement from its infancy, Budrus shines a light on people who choose nonviolence to confront a threat yet remain virtually unknown to the world.
This is the true account of one of the most surprising and remarkable love stories in the history of New York. It begins in 1993, when a young man has an unexpected encounter in Central Park. He meets a hawk. Not just any hawk, but a wild Redtail, a fierce predator that has not lived in the City for almost a hundred years. Little does he know that the journey will take him almost twenty years and lead him down many trails of life, death, birth, hope, and redemption.
March 2008. Tibet erupts as the biggest uprising since China took control in 1959 spreads across the country. The Tibetan people demonstrate to the world their unhappiness under Chinese rule and their desire for freedom. But China cracks down hard on the protests. Even as the unrest spreads in Tibet, exile Tibetans in India, frustrated by the lack of political progress, set out on a march to their homeland, convinced that this is the only action they can take to support their countrymen. This is a year of dramatic possibilities for Tibet. Can the Dalai Lama’s strategy of non-violence and compromise based on his Buddhist beliefs finally make a breakthrough?
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003. As the rebel noose tightened upon Monrovia, and peace talks faced collapse, the women of Liberia – Christian and Muslims united - formed a thin but unshakable white line between the opposing forces, and successfully demanded an end to the fighting– armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions. Winner Best Documentary Feature 2008 Tribeca Film Festival
Filmmaker Kate Churchill is determined to prove that yoga can transform anyone. Nick Rosen is skeptical but agrees to be her guinea pig. Kate immerses Nick in yoga, and follows him around the world as he examines the good, the bad and the ugly of yoga. The two encounter celebrity yogis, true believers, kooks and world-renowned gurus. Tensions run high as Nick's transformational progress lags and Kate's plan crumbles. What unfolds and what they discover is not what they expected.
From the co-creators and stars of the Peabody-winning hit KING CORN comes a timely documentary. Funny and poignant, THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE is a story of bold ideas, unlikely environmentalists, and the key to climate change. Set on the storied streets of South Boston, THE GREENING OF SOUTHIE is a feature film about Boston’s first residential green building––as seen by the men and women who set out to construct it. What happens when you have to build the city of tomorrow today?
Blessed Is the Match is the first documentary feature about Hannah Senesh, the World War II-era poet and diarist who became a paratrooper, resistance fighter and modern-day Joan of Arc. Safe in Palestine in 1944, she joined a mission to rescue Jews in her native Hungary. With unprecedented access to the Senesh family archive, this powerful story unfolds through the writings and photographs of Hannah and Catherine Senesh.
Fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, the USSR launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the earth, bringing America to its knees in awe - then fear. Initially thrilling as a marvel of science, Sputnik was soon viewed by America a weapon of mass destruction. Narrated by Liev Schreiber with expert use of archival footage, SPUTNIK MANIA explores the fast-moving series of events that brought the world's super-powers to the brink of nuclear war, and the story of two ex-generals whose private agreement prevented WW III. Written and directed by multi-award winning filmmaker David Hoffman.
East meets West in the Deep South. An overcrowded maximum-security prison at the end of the line in Alabama's correctional system is forever changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program. Behind high security towers and a double row of barbed wire and electrical fence dwells a host of convicts who will never see the light of day. But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding course of silent meditation lasting ten days. This film, with the power to dismantle stereotypes about men behind prison bars also, in the words of Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), "gives you hope for the human race."
America's fast-food empire is fueled by a secret ingredient: corn. High fructose corn syrup makes the sodas sweet, corn-fed beef makes the burgers fat, and corn oil crisps the fries. As college buddies Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis find out, their junk food generation has grown up eating so much corn that if you test their hair, it's actually made of the stuff. King Corn follows Ian and Curt to a tiny town in the middle of Iowa, where they plant and grow an acre of America's most powerful crop, and attempt to follow its fate as food. What they find is alternately hilarious and horrifying: genetically modified seeds and home- brewed corn syrup, a bumper crop of obesity and diabetes, and a government paying farmers to grow what's making us sick. You'll never enjoy a soda again.
An intimate and moving meditation on the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain, based on more than 25 hours of previously unheard audiotaped interviews conducted with Cobain by noted music journalist Michael Azerrad for his book "Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana." In the film, Kurt Cobain recounts his own life - from his childhood and adolescence to his days of musical discovery and later dealings with explosive fame - and offers piercing insights into his life, music, and times. Directed by AJ Schnack.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soapbox is an offbeat, funny, and ultimately moving documentary about a socially responsible company and the family that runs it. Dr. Emanuel Bronner was a master soapmaker, self-proclaimed rabbi, and, allegedly, Albert Einstein's nephew. In 1947, after escaping from a mental institution, he invented the formula for 'Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap,' a peppermint-infused, all-natural, multi-purpose liquid that can be found today in every American health food store. On each bottle of his soap, he printed an ever-evolving set of teachings he called 'The Moral ABC,' designed, in his words, 'TO UNITE ALL MANKIND FREE!'
From the makers of "The War Room", AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE follows the formerSaturday Night Live comedian turned best-selling author and political satirist, from his highly publicized feud with Bill O'Reilly over Franken's blockbuster "LIES AND THE LYING LIARS WHO TELL THEM" to his tireless campaign against George Bush in the 2004 election and beyond. Featuring Ann Coulter, Franni Franken, Sean Hannity, Henry Kissinger, Katherine Lanpher, Michael Moore, Bill O'Reilly and more.
WRESTLING WITH ANGELS is a feature documentary film about the Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America, Caroline or Change, Homebody/Kabul). It tells the story of a relentlessly creative spirit at work and of how Kushner, raised in the Deep South, would become an outspoken activist, a compassionate spokesperson for outsiders, and one of America's most creative playwrights. At its core the film explores the mystery of creativity, and is an inspiring tale of how a passionately committed person can make a difference for social justice. Director, writer and producer Freida Lee Mock is an Academy and Emmy Award winning-filmmaker who received the Oscar for the feature documentary Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, about the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Civil Rights Memorial. WRESTLING WITH ANGELS opens New York October 4 at The Film Forum.
When asked what he would do differently in the five years since his ALS diagnosis, Stephen Heywood replied, 'Have more sex on film.' What would you do if you were 29 and found you may only have a few years to live? SO MUCH SO FAST is about the remarkable events set in motion when Stephen Heywood discovered he had the paralyzing neural disorder ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). This film premiered in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and won the Audience Award at the Boston Independent Film Festival.
The film's makers Steven Ascher and Jeannie Jordan have been making documentary and fiction films for over 20 years. Their first collaboration, TROUBLESOME CREEK, A MIDWESTERN won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance, the Prix Italia, Peabody and IDA awards and was nominated for an Academy Award. SO MUCH SO FAST opens New York October 11 at The Village East
SIR! NO SIR! energetically reveals the untold story of the GI movement to end the war in Vietnam. This is the story of one of the most vibrant and widespread upheavals of the 1960's - one that had a profound impact on American society, yet has been virtually obliterated from the collective memory of that time. This hidden history combines fast-paced archival footage with thoughtful interviews, "perfectly timed with new doubts about the Iraq war" (Variety).
Audience Award Best Documentary--Los Angeles Film Festival
Jury Award Best Documentary--Hamptons International Film Festival
Nominated -- 2006 Indie Spirit Award for Best Documentary
TRUDELL follows the life work of Native American poet/activist John Trudell. Filmmaker Heather Rae has spent more than a decade chronicling his travels,spoken word and politics in a poetic and naturally stylized manner.
The film combines archival, concert and interview footage with abstract imagery mirroring the coyote nature of Trudell himself.
Narrated by Meryl Streep, STOLEN CHILDHOODS is a documentary feature film about the 246 million child laborers in the world today. Extraordinary footage and interviews with child slaves and kids working in poverty reveal young childhoods stolen away, and demands a call for action.
39 Pounds of Love is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of a remarkable man and a remarkable journey. Ami Ankilewitz was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement. Yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years - and counting.
In 1978, on a breath-taking trip in the Grand Canyon, filmmaker Robb Moss and a group of free-spirited friends and lovers took a month-long trip down the Colorado River. Cutting between footage of their youthful, often naked, unscheduled lives and the complex realities of their adulthood today, the film creates a compelling portrait of cultural metamorphosis.
A heartbreaking documentary that upsets your expectations of happily-ever-afters, DAUGHTER FROM DANANG is a riveting emotional drama of longing, identity, and the personal legacy of war. Through intimate and sometimes excruciating moments, DAUGHTER FROM DANANG profoundly shows how wide the chasms of cultural difference and how deep the wounds of war can run--even within one family, as an Amer-Asian woman returns to Vietnam in search of her mother.
Academy Award Nominee - Best Documentary
This documentary by Lourdes Portillo, unfolds like the unsolved mystery that it examines-the kidnapping, rape and murder of over 230 young women in Juarez, Mexico. Visually poetic, yet unflinching in its gaze, the film unravels the layers of complicity that have allowed these brutal murders to continue.
A moving portrait of a mother and daughter reunited after being torn apart for six years, LOVE AND DIANE tells the epic story of a family over three generations. The film differs from many documentaries that deal with the problems facing poor communities in that it eschews interviews with "experts" and aims instead to immerse the viewer in the experiences of a family trying to survive in the face of terrible challenges.
FLAG WARS is a stark look inside the conflicts that surface when black working-class families are faced with an influx of white gay homebuyers to their Columbus, Ohio neighborhood. Filmed over four years, FLAG WARS' "as-it-is-happening" veritÃ© style captures the raw emotions and blunt honesty of unguarded moments as tensions mount between neighbors.
This documentary by Amos Poe chronicles life on the road for outspoken musician Steve Earle during the 2002 touring cycle for his recording Jerusalem and the controversy surrounding his song "John Walker's Blues". It also includes performances of eighteen of Earle's best songs.