This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “TAPS,” available exclusively at feeln.com. For over 150 years, military funerals in the United States have historically concluded with the playing of “Taps,” a musical piece sounded at funerals and flag ceremonies, usually on bugle or trumpet. At Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, California, a lone bugler continues this tradition as he honors a departed serviceman at a Navy funeral.
This film is the directorial debut of Darshan Kembhavi, who has edited documentaries like “Vietnam: A Lifelong Journey” and “Team Long.” “When I’m editing, I have to work with the footage I’m given, and I don’t always get the footage I need,” Darshan said. “Documentary films are written in the editing room, so I filmed ‘TAPS’ in a way that gave the editor a direction to start out in. I tried to give the editor what I thought I’d want. Lots of different shots, compositions, cutaways, wide shots, and transitions so that the editor has a lot of choices. It’s always better to have too much footage than too little.”
In preparation for this film, Darshan watched short documentary portraits like “Portrait of my grandfather : 80 and still cycling” and “Lessons from a Tailor” that follow a single subject. “There are real people out there whose stories are never told,” Darshan said. “These documentaries pay tribute to them. It’s really moving. No one would know their stories if the docs had not been released.” The opening credits of the PBS documentary The Fall of Fujimori also influenced Darshan. He was particularly intrigued by the way the scene of Fujimori getting dressed in his hotel room humanized the fallen president. He filmed bugler Marv Steinman’s preparation rituals to similar effect in the opening of “TAPS.”
Marv Steinman is one of the few buglers in Southern California. He’s a retired serviceman, and two to four times a month, he volunteers to play “Taps” at the funerals of service members as a way to honor them and pay his respects. “These are the values Marv was taught in military service,” Darshan said. “He sees it as his duty. The serviceman gave his life for this country, so he feels that this is the least he can do. I’m so grateful that we have selfless people like him in the world.”
Cast and Crew
DIRECTED BY Darshan Kembhavi
PRODUCED BY Rob Fried
PRODUCED BY Iris Ichishita
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Peter King
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Iliana Guevara
LINE PRODUCER Rebecca Stone
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeff Dolen
EDITOR Dustin Elkin
ORIGINAL SCORE Fabrizio Mancinelli
PRODUCTION SOUND MIXER Justin Fox
PRODUCTION COORDINATOR & ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY Iliana Guevara
SOUND DESIGNER Brian Bibbo
APPRENTICE EDITOR Delaney Moghanian
Marv Steinman, Bugler
Sandra Baldwin White
Jeremy J. White
Donald W. White
Cynthia White Hohmann
Shannon White Scruggs
Deborah White Donchess
Samuel J. Donchess
Commander Robert Thoms, U.S. Navy
Tom Day, Bugles Across America
In my family, Thanksgiving historically involves gathering around the dinner table with family and friends, passing the turkey and stuffing, lowering our heads to say grace. This tradition is usually followed by another. After dinner, we gather on the couch with plates of pie balanced on our full tummies to watch an inspiring movie. This year, I’ve put together a list of the six best Thanksgiving movies on Feeln. Though not all of these Thanksgiving movies take place at Thanksgiving, they will inspire feelings of thankfulness & gratefulness.
Nancy Travis plays a waitress who serves a very special customer. Generosity when we have much to give is difficult, but generosity when we have little is righteous. This Feeln original short film is a Thanksgiving classic.
The winner of three Academy Awards, Life is Beautiful has earned its place among profoundly moving Holocaust films like The Pianist and Schindler’s List. Guido’s attempt to transform the terrors of the concentration camp into a game to protect his son demonstrates the endurance of the human spirit and the power of the imagination.
3. The Mighty
A mismatched pair of teenage boys discover how they can lean on each other to accomplish more than anyone thought possible. One of life’s greatest gifts is the gift of friendship.
Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Robin Williams all received Academy Awards for this heartrending drama about the challenge of forgiving yourself. Sometimes all we need is one person to believe in us.
6. Rain Man
Rainbow Brite is back and brighter than ever! That’s right, FEELN has officially rebooted the famous 80s cartoon series. The new Rainbow Brite is an action-packed, glittering, color explosion that we are certain you and your family are going to love!
Our creative and animation team has been hard at work bringing Rainbow back to life. And we’d love to give you an insider’s peek at all the magic that has taken place behind the scenes.
Meet our creative team!
Iris – Executive Producer
“This new cartoon series is focused on adventure, positivity, cooperation, and friendship”.
If you could be a character from Rainbow Brite, who would you be and why? “I’d be Rainbow Brite, of course. She’s positive, full of energy and a great leader — all characteristics I aspire to possess”.
Evan – Co-Director / Animator
Evan is excited about the re-make. He says, “[The new] Rainbow Brite stays true to the original series, but is brought to more of a contemporary place”.
The character that most intrigues Evan is Rainbow Brite. He can relate to her with her zany personality. “She’s warm hearted, always looking to have a good time, even if things seem dire. Her deep inner self-confidence is important for strong female lead to have, or any lead”.
Jaime – Co-Director / Animator
Growing up in the 80s, Jaime remembers Rainbow Brite being in coloring books, plush toys, and backpacks. He likes the idea that Rainbow Brite brings a mixture of humorous and uplifting messages to children.
Jaime would consider himself similar to Red Butler. “He is more behind-the-scenes, but he still has an impact on the team, and has a lot of friends.”
Raymond – Animator and Character Designer
Raymond mentioned that he loves working with the creative team, since it feels more like a family rather than a job. He saw a vision for Rainbow Brite and how she truly should have looked from the beginning.
If Raymond could be a character on Rainbow Brite, he would be Starlite, since he’s “very observant, always has a plan and thinks ahead”.
Nick – Animator and Motion Designer
“If Rainbow Brite’s fans watch the new version and think about bringing back 80s designs it wouldn’t work. Style in animation has changed dramatically since the 80s”.
Nick’s favorite Rainbow Brite character is Murky, since he’s funny and so irrationally angry. He gets to build crazy gadgets from his mad scientist laboratory, set up traps, and all that fun stuff that audiences think will never work.
Stanton – Animator and Motion Designer
The show has a real action element, especially to those who were custom to action movies like the Matrix, X-men- action sequence, and the Avengers.
Stanton would enjoy being Brian, since he’s a sincere human being. He could relate to him more than of the other characters. At the end of day Brian just wants to do great work and be a good friend.
Renae – Animator and Motion Designer
Renae is excited to be part of the production team. She mentions – “My focus is to bring Rainbow Brite to a higher quality level with awesome visual effects and action shots. I also like that we have the creative freedom to do it, and so far it has been a lot of fun”.
She would love to be Rainbow Brite since she has all the super powers, she can kick-butt, and her personality is awesome.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we are proud to share Academy Award-nominated director Roko Belic’s documentary Happy with you. From the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata, this documentary aims to answer the age-old question: What really makes people happy? Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, the secrets behind our most valued emotion are explored.
After watching Happy, I’ve compiled 10 recommendations for easy things you can do to make yourself feel happier.
1. Invest in yourself. Actively pursue your dreams.
2. Do what you excel at, and do it as often as you can.
3. Give. Helping others who need help benefits the giver as well as the receiver.
4. Sleep and exercise more. Sleep helps our bodies recover and makes us less sensitive to negative emotions. Exercise releases endorphins. People who exercise feel better about their bodies, even if they see no physical change.
5. Develop strong bonds with others. Make time for family and friends. Make good friends.
6. Smile! Smiling can improve our intention, help us perform better on cognitive tasks, and even alleviate pain.
7. Go outside. Spending as little as 20 minutes outside in good weather can boost positive mood, broaden thinking, and improve working memory.
8. Meditate. Meditation clears your mind and calms you down, improving focus, clarity, and attention span.
10. Express gratitude. Thinking actively about the everyday things you are grateful for increases both happiness and life satisfaction.
Each month, we release a new slate of specially curated, family-friendly movies on Feeln. Here is a preview of eight new films that will appear on the site in December 2014.
1. Fly Away Home
From the director of The Black Stallion, a father and daughter decide to lead a flock of orphaned Canada Geese south by air. Jeff Daniels and a young Anna Paquin shine in their roles as they attempt to rebuild their family by helping a family of orphaned geese.
2. It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
On Christmas Eve, an angel petitions God to send help for Kermit the Frog who has lost all hope after losing the Muppet Theatre. You can expect all the usual Muppet antics in this fun and zany Christmas extravaganza.
A farm girl nurses a wounded reindeer she believes is one of Santa’s, hoping to bring it back to health in time for Christmas. Her holiday spirit inspires those around her, something her disheartened father is having trouble understanding. Another Christmas classic, just in time for the holidays.
4. Mr Smith Goes To Washington
A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn’t back down. Frank Capra’s classic film, winner of six Oscars including Best Actor and Best Picture, is about an idealistic young politician who won’t compromise his values.
A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve. An modernization of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, this film is smartly set in Hollywood and sure to make you laugh and scream.
6. Seven Years In Tibet
Based on the true story of Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber who became friends with the Dalai Lama at the time of China’s takeover of Tibet. Brad Pitt delivers a sensitive portrayal of a lone wolf climber who teaches the Dalai Lama about the Western world while learning the customs and traditions of the East.
7. The Borrowers
A secret family of four-inch people living inside the walls of a house must save their home from an evil real estate developer. Starring John Goodman and Jim Broadbent, this film was based on a novel of the same name that was recently adapted into the animated film The Secret World of Arrietty.
From the director of The Black Stallion and Fly Away Home, an orphaned cheetah becomes the best friend and pet of a young boy living in South Africa. Like many of Carroll Ballard’s films, Duma explores the strong bonds that can form between animals and compassionate humans.
Are you and your family looking for a way to enjoy these chilly November nights? Here at Feeln, we have a whole new slate of Family Friendly Movies ready and waiting to be watched. From Apollo 13 to The Secret Garden, from Racing Stripes to Fiddler on the Roof, we have a wide selection of the Best Family Movies. All you have to bring is the blanket and popcorn.
Based on Norman Maclean’s beloved autobiography, this Academy Award-nominated film is about two brothers growing up in the wilds of Depression-era Montana. Norman is serious and studious, with aspirations of becoming a college professor. His golden-haired brother Paul is rebellious, interested in drinking, playing cards and most of all fly-fishing. Though Norman eventually attains his dreams – and marries vivacious young woman along the way – Paul is the one who attains something like grace by perfecting his skills as a fly fisherman. Contains some language and brief sexual content. This Oscar-winning drama about how what holds us together as a family is stronger than our individual differences.
Author William Forrester earned fame and a Pulitzer Prize and then retreated from the world, not writing another book. Four decades later, Jamal, a teenaged basketball ace and writing prodigy in the South Bronx, breaks into Forrester’s apartment on a dare. When he’s confronted by the bearded recluse, Jamal flees, leaving behind his backpack, filled with all of his writings. Soon the two becomes friends. Forrester helps Jamal deal with a snooty teacher at his high-end prep and Jamal helps Forrester overcome his fears and anxieties. Contains some strong language and sexual references. Sean Connery is at his best as isolated novelist who sets out to teach someone how to write but instead learns how to be part of the world.
3. Apollo 13
The Apollo 11 moon landing might have been NASA’s crowning achievement, but the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission might have been NASA’s greatest moment. Astronauts Jim Lovell, Jack Swigert and Fred Haise were en route to the moon when an on-board explosion sucks away most of the ship’s oxygen supply and electric power. The flight controllers now struggle to bring the three astronauts back home before their air supply runs out. Contains mild coarse language and intense situations. Nominated for nine Oscars including Best Picture, it’s a harrowing true-life thriller that reminds us what we are capable of when failure is not an option.
Mary Lennox is a young British girl living in colonial India. When her neglectful parents die in an earthquake, she is shipped back to her uncle’s estate in Yorkshire. As she explores the place, Mary not only discovers Colin — a bed-ridden cousin that she never knew she had — but also an abandoned secret garden. As she sets out to restore the space, she learns it has magical powers. Every child wonders what enchanting secrets are hiding in plain sight, and we all hope to find that one place where we belong.
5. Joyeux Noel
It’s Christmas Eve 1914, and the first World War rages across Europe. Allied and German troops sit huddled in winter weather separated from each other by only a couple dozen yards of bombed out moonscape. Both sides are cold, miserable and longing to be at home with their loved ones. The spirit of the holiday captivates troops on either side of the divide and soon there is an impromptu truce; German, French and British soldiers soon start bonding through celebration and song. This true story was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Contains strong violence and a brief sexual scene.This previously untold story depicts that even in the bleakest days of warfare the warmth of human kindness never goes out.
Set in the depths of the Depression, little orphan Annie is a plucky young lass with a shock of red hair and an endless supply of optimism. She lives in a group home run by the tyrannical drunk Miss Hannigan. Life seems hopeless until – Leaping Lizards! – she’s picked to live for a spell with filthy rich industrialist Oliver Warbucks. Soon Annie’s charm and moxie warms the heart imposing Warbucks who decides to help Annie find her long lost parents. But Miss Hannigan and her crooked colleagues look to claim Annie – and Warbuck’s huge reward – as their own. Bet your bottom dollar that this beloved musical will get you singing, smiling, and believing that the sun will come out tomorrow.
Sam Krichinsky immigrates to Baltimore in 1914, hoping to grasp a piece of the American dream for himself and for his family. Yet, much to his distress, his children and grandchildren begin to ignore their heritage and traditions. His son changes his surname to make it more American, and then moves out to the suburbs when his business is a success. Sam starts to question what one has to sacrifice to live in the land of opportunity. Writer/director Barry Levinson mined his own family history for this touching exploration of the sacrifices made to build a new life for one’s family.
Kentucky farmer and former racehorse trainer Nolan Walsh, along with his daughter Channing, takes in a zebra foal that was abandoned by a travelling circus. The zebra, dubbed Stripes by the girl, is soon introduced to a menagerie of wacky barnyard residents — from the snarky pony, Tucker, to a sage-like goat named Franny and the lazy bloodhound, Lightning. When Stripes sees thoroughbreds race at the Turfway Racetrack, he knows that he is destined to race with the best. Channing, Tucker, and the gang helps him along on his improbable dream. With a hilarious cast of voices and an adorable array of animal stars, this high-speed comedy shows that a zebra can, in fact, change his stripes.
9. My Dog Skip
Go back to Yazoo City, Mississippi in 1942, where young Willie Morris is having a tough time of things. He is an only child, he’s ignored at school, and his only friend, his teenaged neighbor, is about to ship out for war. In short, he’s lonely. So for his ninth birthday, his mom gives him an adorable Jack Russell terrier puppy. The dog, named Skip, of course, helps Willie overcome a pack of bullies, talk to a pretty girl, and even thwart an evil band of moonshiners. Inspired by a true story of how growing up is hard, but having a true friend can make all the difference.
Each autumn, as the weather begins to turn cold, the emperor penguins begin the long march to their ancient breeding ground. In this beautifully filmed documentary, we watch as the penguins make the harrowing journey, begin their mating rituals, pair off and handle the harsh weather of Antarctica as they hatch and train the next generation. Even in the coldest place on Earth, the warmth of family never dies out.
Based on a true story, Preston Tucker is man with some seriously big dreams. Just after the end of World War II, the silver-tongued Tucker sets out to build the “car of the future” complete with such crazy, newfangled features as seat belts and safety glass. Detroit, however, is not amused. Soon Tucker is slammed with allegations of fraud and a S.E.C. investigation. Nominated for three Academy Awards including Best Supporting Actor for Martin Landau. Contains strong language. A passion project for Hollywood legends George Lucas and Francis Ford Copolla, it’s a quintessentially America story about the power of the individual.
It’s the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. Jonah, an adorable eight year-old moppet, calls into a national radio talk show from Seattle. His one Christmas wish is that his grieving father, Sam, find a new lady in his life. Meanwhile, Anne is on the other side of the country, listening to the show on a long car ride. She’s so taken with Sam’s story that she makes the rash decision to fly to Seattle and track him down. The problem is, Anne is inconveniently engaged to a guy she’s not crazy about, and Sam hasn’t figured out that Anne is the woman of his dreams. With a clever kid plotting to play cupid, and the undeniable appeal of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, it’s a romantic comedy that can charm anyone.
As the eldest three of Tevya’s five daughters prepare to get married, he learns to accept his daughters for the people they are, and the world for what it’s becoming. Family, faith and change are at the center of this epic musical about a Jewish family in a small village in Tsarist Russia at the beginning of the 20th century.
Rocky “The Italian Stallion” Balboa is a petty street tough and small-time boxer with a spotty record. Apollo Creed is the world champion whose opponent for a title bout in Philadelphia backs out suddenly. Always the showman, Creed decides to fight a local unknown, picking Balboa’s name almost at random. With the help of his manager, Mickey, Rocky trains his heart out: sparring, jumping rope, and beating up frozen sides of beef. Creed — who usually KOs a boxer within the first three rounds — isn’t expecting much from the fight, but Rocky is determined to prove he is not just another bum. Winner of three Academy Awards including Best Picture, it’s still the gold standard for underdog sports stories.
Novice teacher Mark Thackeray is assigned to a class filled with rowdy, resentful students who are so awful and undisciplined that they made the previous teacher quit. However, as a former engineer from British Guiana, Thackeray is someone who has faced tough situations before. He soon starts to institute his own style of classroom discipline: he’s going to treat them as adults. Slowly, grudgingly, he starts to win over the class. When he lands an engineering job, Thackeray must decide if he wants to do that job or continue mentoring his pupils. Sidney Poitier brings his commanding presence to this high school drama with one of the most memorable theme songs ever.
This week, we are proud to present the world premiere of the Feeln Original “American Dream,” available exclusively at feeln.com. “American Dream” is a documentary about Lupita Portillo, a 101-year-old, Mexican-born immigrant who hopes to fulfill her lifelong goal of becoming a citizen of the United States. Lupita was born in Mexico in 1912. She developed a strong love and appreciation for the United States after immigrating here in the 1960s. She deeply wanted to become an U.S. citizen like her children and grandchildren, but government regulations made it seem unlikely that she would ever be naturalized. But with the help of her family and church, her American dream finally came true.
“We’ve wanted to film a nationalization story for a long time, but we’ve been waiting to find a truly unique and inspiring tale,” said Director Cristina Malavenda (“Charlie,” “Flight of Honor“). “Why does a person who’s over 100 want to become an American citizen? Her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are all citizens. Her family has laid its roots here, and she’s grateful for all the opportunities America has given her family.”
Lupita celebrated her 102nd birthday this October, and Cristina screened the film for her and her family. “I think it’s easy for those of us who were born in the States to take our citizenship rights for granted,” Cristina said. “But Lupita and her family worked really hard to make this happen. We were all so happy for her, that she accomplished her dream.”
Join Lupita on her journey to become a nationalized citizen in “American Dream,” free for two weeks on Feeln.
Cast and Crew
Directed by Cristina Malavenda
Producer Rob Fried
Producer Iris Ichishita
Executive Producer Peter King
Line Producer Rebecca Stone
Associate Producer Naré Mkrtchyan
Director of Photography Sean-Michael Smith
Original Score Aram Mandossian
Editor Alejandro Heiber
Editor Juan Felipe Orozco
Additional Editor Mariana Flores
Assistant Editor Dustin Elkin
Production Sound Mixer Leonardo Nasca
Production Coordinator Iliana Guevara
Camera Operator Cristina Malavenda
Camera Operator Rob Connolly
Camera Operator Adam Bricker
Camera Operator Iris Ichishita
Camera Operator Iliana Guevara
Sound Designer Brian Bibbo
Color Correction Juan Felipe Orozco
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Claire Nicholson, USCIS Public Affairs Officer
Divine Saviour Catholic Church
Father Marco Ortiz
As parents, we spend a lot of time watching shows with our kids. But just because a show is made for kids doesn’t mean that we adults can’t enjoy it, too. Here at Feeln, we have a number of quality, Family Friendly TV Shows that your kids will love and that will also make you chuckle or even teach you a thing or two! You may also remember some of these Kids TV Shows, like our reboot of the iconic 80s show Rainbow Brite, from your childhood. These characters are like old friends, and there’s nothing better than sharing them with your kids.
Rainbow Brite is back! The most colorful hero ever returns to protect Rainbowland from the forces of darkness. We’re restoring the iconic 80s animated series, and–“oh my bows!”–Rainbow Brite rides only on Feeln, starting November 6. Actress and singer-songwriter Emily Osment voices Rainbow Brite, and Molly Ringwald (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink), voices The Dark Princess, her main antagonist. Need to recharge your rainbows with a blast of cute and a sparkle of humor? Watch the all-new, limited series event on Feeln.
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids is an animated series created, produced, and hosted by Bill Cosby, who also lends his voice to a number of characters, including Fat Albert. The show has an educational emphasis and during each episode, Fat Albert and his friends deal with a social issue or problem commonly faced by older children and young adults.
Take your family on an adventure to Paris with our favorite little French red-head, Madeline, the hero from Ludwig Bemelman’s classic children’s books. She and her charming classmates will teach your little ones about friendship, manners and fun in this award-winning animated series narrated by Christopher Plummer, as their teacher, Miss Clavel, helps keep the girls safe and happy.
Join the beloved Paddington Bear on his adventures through London! Windsor Garden’s favorite son, Paddington is eager to help, gets in sticky messes, solves mysteries, and shares his unique point of view with his friends and neighbors.
In this charming and educational series, Emmy Award-winning Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and best pal of the animals, Jack Hanna takes us on adventures around the globe to meet furry, feathered and finned friends. Children of all ages get close up looks as animals prove how smart and talented they are, while Jungle Jack shows us the importance of caring for our bio-diverse planet.