Kino Lorber and Greenwich Entertainment have announced the release of Ferrante Fever (DVD: $29.95), slated for June 4. With over 10 million copies of her “Neapolitan Novels” sold in over 50 countries, Elena Ferrante is a global literary sensation. She was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and HBO recently turned the first book in the quartet, My Brilliant Friend, into a miniseries hit. The world- hopping documentary Ferrante Fever journeys between New York City’s cultural hub and Ferrante’s native Italy, exploring how an anonymous author’s visceral tales of love and friendship gained such an enthusiastic following. Featuring comments from Hillary Clinton, Roberto Saviano, Jonathan Franzen, and others, director Giacomo Durzi’s captivating peek inside the world of the renowned author includes the bonus featurette “Ferrante Fever in the Words of the Readers.”
On May 28, First Run Features will release To a More Perfect Union (DVD: $19.95), which tells a story of love, marriage, and a fight for equality. Directed by Donna Zaccaro, the film chronicles two unlikely heroes, octogenarian Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, who embark on a quest for justice. Windsor was forced to pay a huge estate tax bill upon the death of her spouse because the federal government denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Deeply offended by this lack of recognition of her 40-plus-year relationship with the love of her life, Windsor sued–sparking a pivotal case in the marriage equality movement.
Some of the biggest U.S. sports stars come under harsh scrutiny in the eye-opening and darkly funny documentary Screwball (DVD: $24.98), which will be available from Greenwich Entertainment on June 4. Recounting the high-profile doping scandal that rocked Major League Baseball, director Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys) takes viewers into the surreal Miami underworld that provided performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and other star players. Although it unfolds like a madcap Floridian crime comedy, Screwball raises serious questions about the ethics of professional sports.
On May 14, First Run Features will release Guilty Until Proven Guilty (DVD: $19.95), which explores Louisiana’s criminal justice system. Spotlighted is the story of Tim Conerly, a young African American man who was arrested in the wake of an armed robbery in New Orleans and waited 28 months for a trial for a crime he says he did not commit. After more than two years in the Orleans Parish Jail, Conerly must choose between accepting a plea bargain of seven years or risking a sentence of 49½ to 198 years if he is convicted at trial. Director Harry Moses examines the ins and outs of a choice that no human being should have to make…one that someone with more resources could almost certainly avoid.