45% Percent of Americans usually make New Year’s Resolutions.

Even if you don’t, you’ve had the conversations and encouraged (or rolled your eyes) at your friends who vowed to lose weight or eat healthy or stop smoking. Its a cornerstone of the New Years process to look at your life and think about the passing of time and the fulfillment of some sort of goal or dream. With our social impact films, we at Cinema Libre frequently work with filmmakers who are pursuing a goal of making the world a better place or understanding what’s wrong with it presently. It’s often inspirational to watch these documentaries and experience the journey of its subjects who want to make a difference.

May I Be Frank

Ex-addict Frank Ferrante is a 54-year-old, overweight Sicilian-American from Brooklyn with hepatitis C, some bad habits and an unquenchable appetite for women. He also wants to fall in love one more time before he dies. MAY I BE FRANK documents Frank’s transformation as he stumbles into the aptly-named vegan Café Gratitude, and, over 42 days, begins a life-changing journey during which he is coached physically, emotionally and spiritually by three twenty-something staff members on the path to enlightenment. Challenged by years of addiction, fatigue, and family dysfunction, Frank’s quest for a healthier lifestyle is both tense and touching. Through Frank’s metamorphosis, we witness the powerful effects of change upon one person’s life, and the potential we all have to find the most important love of all–love of ourselves.

Watching Frank turn his life around touches upon all of those basic resolutions that most of us have tried to make, and usually end up failing at. Frank is living proof of the power of reinvention.

The film is available on DVD from Cinema Libre Studio or streaming from Hulu.

This American Journey

As children, British actor Paul Blackthorne and Australian photographer Mister Basquali both fell in love with America. Later they each fulfilled their dream to live there, but after two wars, a near economic collapse, and uncertainty about the country’s direction, these two expats began to have doubts—was America still the great place they once dreamed of? They drive across America to find out, interviewing random people about issues that affect and confront us all. From the ghetto to the gun show, the courthouse to the cattle yard, they are touched by the wisdom and insight of the people they meet.
Road trips have been an iconic staple in American culture and nothing says new beginnings like climbing into your car and heading out a new adventure.

Greasepaint

Joey Thurmond, a former professional wrestler and rodeo cowboy, quits the police force to realize his dream of performing as a clown full time, he recruits his family and puts his life’s savings into the show.  However, pressures mount while on the road when his acrobat is threatened with deportation and the 24/7 schedule puts a strain on his relationship with his co-star and son.

Joey is a terrific example of someone who changed his life and risked everything to pursue his true calling and he brought his family along for the ride!

The film is available on DVD from Cinema Libre Studio or streaming from Hulu.

Bernadette

Bernadette Scarduzio was born with the most common inherited disease that no one has ever heard of: Charcot Marie Tooth (CMT) syndrome.  CMT is the number one hereditary neuropathy in the world, affecting 1 in 2,500 people or nearly 2.6 million worldwide.  It is a degenerative nerve and muscle disorder which leads the body to deteriorate over time. Sometimes the progression is slow. Sometimes it is rapid. In some cases, it is fatal. There is no cure. It is passed from parent to child and, too often, it is perceived as an embarrassing family secret, as it was in Bernadette’s family.

Bernadette’s indomitable spirit charges the film and demonstrates that the right attitude can overcome the most difficult obstacles.

The film is available on DVD from Cinema Libre Studio or streaming from Hulu.

We hope you enjoy these titles, and while it may seem easier said than done to reinvent yourself, but a journey starts with a single step. And to stream these titles or order the DVD, you don’t even need to get up from your computer…

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