This Week in Cinemas: Coded Bias debuts on Netflix.

This Week in Cinemas April 11, 2021. Indie films “Brewmance” and “We Broke Up” set to premiere.

“Coded Bias” filmmaker Shalini Kantayya dives into the social justice challenges facial recognition software.

The number of U.S. residents fully vaccinated continues to increase. At the same time, cinemas are opening with a steady increase to 50% audience capacity. Look to Warner Bros. monster smash “Godzilla vs. Kong,” earning $13.4 million in its second weekend for proof that many movie fans are anxious to return to movie theaters. For movie fans waiting on vaccine shots, the digital platforms we’ve been watching throughout the pandemic continue to offer great movie choices. 

What I’m Watching: “Coded Bias”

“Coded Bias” filmmaker Shalini Kantayya dives into the social justice challenges surrounding AI and facial recognition technology with her compelling tech documentary. I’ve been thinking about “Coded Bias” since watching its premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. It helps that Kantayya has a powerful interview subject explaining algorithmic bias clearly and concisely. MIT Researcher Joy Buolamwini uncovers facial recognition technology using facial examples that lead to a “coded gaze” based on gender and racial discrimination. Buolamwini provides the soul at the core of “Coded Bias.” Kantayya and Buolamwini also bring a hopeful vision to the movie inspire us to advocate for future tech that delivers equality.

“Coded Bias” is available on Netflix.

Brewmance debuts April 13, 2021, in TVOD.

Director/co-writer Christo Brock (“Touch the Wall”) follows the hops-fueled journeys of Long Beach, California beer aficionados from home brewing hobbyists to craft brewery owners in his documentary “Brewmance.” Craft brew veterans, including Sam Calagione of Dogfish and Jim Koch of Boston Beer Company, Samual Adams producers, bring inspiration and love for brewing history to the movie. You’ll want a full growler on hand before starting “Brewmance.”

“Brewmance” debuts April 13 on various TVOD platforms.

We Broke Up debuts April 23, 2021, in select cinemas and TVOD.

Aya Cash and William Jackson Harper headline the indie romantic comedy “We Broke Up.” After a swift breakup, longtime couple Lori (Cash) and Doug (Harper) pretend they’re still together at a family wedding. Jeff Rosenberg (“Veep”) directs from a script he co-wrote with Laura Jacqmin.

“We Broke Up” debuts April 23 in select cinemas and various PVOD platforms.

Sci-fi thriller Synchronic debuts April 16, 2021, on Netflix.

Co-directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (“The Endless”) deliver a sci-fi thriller about two New Orleans paramedics (Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan) tracing a series of strange deaths to a designer drug with mind-altering effects. Can’t get enough Anthony Mackie in Disney’s “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier?” You’ll want to check out “Synchronic.”

 “Synchronic” debuts April 16 on Netflix.

ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York runs through May 5, 2021

ReelAbilities Film Festival celebrates stories of people with disabilities through movies. The New York edition of the long-running festival returns April 29 at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan Virtual Cinema. 

Go to ReelAbilities.org for information on the upcoming ReelAbilities Film Festival.

Behind the Screens: Chloe Zhao wins Top DGA Prize for Nomadland

Congrats to “Nomadland” director Chloe Zhao for winning the top DGA prize. Zhao is only the second female director to win the top DGA prize following Kathryn Bigelow for 2008’s “The Hurt Locker.”

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