The Sarasota Film Festival announced its full line-up, including its Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, its Sundance/Gate Foundation Shorts, its Centerpiece and Spotlight films, and its Best of the Web Program for the 2015 Festival taking place April 10th Through April 19th, 2015.
Emmy Award and two-time Golden Globe Award-Winning British-American actress Jane Seymour (LIVE AND LET DIE, “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman”) will be in attendance to showcase Evangelos Giovanis and George Giovanis’ BEREAVE, which is one this year’s Narrative Spotlight films. Academy Award-Winning actress Cloris Leachman (“Mary Tyler Moore”) will also be in attendance to fete Ryan Jaffe’s THIS IS HAPPENING.
Seymour and Leachman will both be honored at this year’s Tribute Luncheon in support of SFF Women, which will be held on Friday, April 17th at 11:00am at the Sarasota Yacht Club, along with the Through Women’s Eyes collaboration and the Side by Side Symposium. The annual Luncheon marks the festival’s initiative to create a collaborative environment for women in the entertainment industry and to honor women who have made a significant contribution to the art of film
In addition, Academy Award-Winning Actress Rachel Weisz (THE CONSTANT GARDENER) will be in attendance at the Festival to honor up-and-coming Writer/Director Tom Browne with the Emerging World Cinema Auteur Award for their collaboration on RADIATOR, which is part of the Festival’s Narrative Feature Competition.
This section will boast some of the festival’s finest domestic and international films, including DIVINE ACCESS by Steven Chester Prince, ENTERTAINMENT by Rick Alverson, OBRA by Gregorio Graziosi, PHANTOM HALO by Antonia Bogdanovich, SLOW WEST by John Maclean, WHITE GOD by Kornél Mundruczó, and YOSEMITE by Gabrielle Demeestere.
The Documentary Feature Competition will showcase ALMOST THERE by Dan Rybicky and Aaron Wickenden, BENEATH THE OLIVE TREE by Stavroula Toska, HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY by Scott Teems, THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON by Mark Craig, SELECT(ED) by Kayla McCormick, STRAY DOG by Debra Granik, TYKE ELEPHANT OUTLAW by Susan Lambert and Stefan Moore, and WALKING UNDER WATER by Eliza Kubarska.
The Independent Visions Competition will feature BACKGAMMON by Francisco Orvañanos, DEVILTOWN by Harvey Mitkas, EEL by James Kaelan, LAKE LOS ANGELES by Mike Ott, LAMB by Ross Patridge, RUNOFF by Kimberly Levin, TIRED MOONLIGHT by Britni West, and UNCERTAIN TERMS by Nathan Silver.
James Ponsoldt will attend to present the festival’s Narrative Centerpiece, his Sundance hit THE END OF THE TOUR starring Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel. Ondi Timoner will attend to present the festival’s Documentary Centerpiece, her SXSW opener Brand: A SECOND COMING, about comedian and social activist Russell Brand. Narrative Spotlight films include Evangelos and George Giovanis’ BEREAVE (Malcolm McDowell, Jane Seymour), Bill Pohlad’s LOVE AND MERCY (John Cusack, Paul Giamatti), Olivier Assayas’ CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart), and Andrew Bujalski’s RESULTS (Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders). Documentary Spotlight films include Matthew Heineman’s CARTEL LAND, Bryan Carberry and J. Clay Tweel’s FINDERS KEEPERS, Barbara Kopple’s HOT TYPE, and Albert Maysles’ IRIS.
The festival will also honor the late documentary master Albert Maysles, showing a newly restored print of his classic GREY GARDENS, and also having a special screening of his penultimate film IRIS, capping a daylong program of “The Most Fashionable Films Ever” in honor of that film’s subject. In addition, during the Closing Night Awards ceremony the festival will premiere a short documentary tribute to Maysles produced by Morgan Spurlock and Ondi Timoner and directed by the festival’s Creative Producer Michael Dunaway.
The Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge, a partnership between the Sundance Institute and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to spark conversations about solutions to global challenges, will showcase 175 Grams (India) by Bharat Mirle,Dropping In (South Africa) by Willem Van Den Heever, Isabelle’s Garden (U.S.A.) by Jeffrey Palmer, Man in the Maze(U.S.A.) by Phil Buccellato and Jesse Ash, A Will of Iron (Nigeria) by Seyi Fabunmi and Mobolaji Adeolu , Melody (Chile) by Marialy Rivas, The Visible Hand (Argentina) by Gael García Bernal, The World is as Big or as Small As You Make It (U.S.A.) by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, and Nana (Mexico) by Diego Luna. (****** Should we say “This will be the only screening of this program outside Sundance.”?)
The Festival’s Best of the Web program, which represents a diverse sampling of comedic web series that were released online this past year or are premiering at the festival before being launched online, includes Convos With My 4-Year-Old by Matthew Clarke, David Milchard, Driving Arizona by Dylan Tanous, Joe Ahern, Anthony Pucillo, Drug Deals by Mike Fitzgerald, Matt Carrier, Adam Bial, Mike Stone: Actor by Renata Green-Gaber, David Harper, My Mom On Movies by Joshua Seftel, Understudies by Daniel Shea Zimbler, Elisabeth Gray, Wiener Vs. Brain by Almog Avidan Antonir, Tom Assam-Miller, Heston Horwin, Chase Cargill and Written It Down by Matt Saraceni, Dave Zwolenski.
The Festival also announced its first year partnership with the prestigious Screenwriters Colony, founded in 2002 by John Johnson, co-founder of BuzzFeed and Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute. Its purpose is to provide an outlet for a select group of emerging screenwriters to engage with peers, and receive guidance from industry professionals. Past mentorships have included Cary Fukanaga (True Detective), Frank Pugliese (House of Cards), Henry Bean (Internal Affairs), among others. During the partnership’s inaugural year, the colony will be presenting a Television Writing Intensive Workshop at the Sarasota Film Festival to help these individuals hone their craft and create an extended curriculum for future years.
The Festival previously announced that Director Oren Moverman’s TIME OUT OF MIND, starring Richard Gere, Jena Malone, and Ben Vereen, will open its 17th annual installment, with Moverman in attendance to receive the Hearts and Minds of Independent Film Award. Director Brett Haley’s I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS, starring Blythe Danner, Martin Starr and Sam Elliott, will screen as the Closing Night film. Haley will be in attendance along with Danner, who will receive the festival’s Impact Award.
ALMOST THERE (USA)
Director: Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden
Producer: Dan Rybicky, Aaron Wickenden
From Kartemquin Films (the award-winning documentary production company and home of legendary documentarian Steve James) comes this coming-of-(old)-age story about Peter Anton, an elderly ‘outsider’ artist living in at-risk conditions whose world changes when he’s discovered by two filmmakers. Shot over eight years, the film documents Anton’s first major art exhibition and how the controversy it generates forces him to leave his childhood home. By highlighting the people in Anton’s community compelled to help this hilarious and heartbreaking character survive, the film explores the intersections of social norms, elder care, and artistic expression.
BENEATH THE OLIVE TREE (USA/GREECE)
Director: Stavroula Toska
Producer: Sophia Antonini, Stavroula Toska
Secret journals document the atrocities and the true life stories of the women caught up in Greece’s tumultuous Civil War in the mid 1940’s. But as director Stavroula Toska digs deeper into the story, she discovers a personal connection that she never could have guessed. Narrated by Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis.
HOLBROOK/TWAIN: AN AMERICAN ODYSSEY (USA)
Director: Scott Teems
Producer: Laura D. Smith
Celebrated actor Hal Holbrook has carved out a prolific career in film, television and theater, but one role, which he has played since 1954, has become indelibly associated with him: Mark Twain. For 60 years, Holbrook has been touring with his award-winning one-man show, “Mark Twain Tonight!,” in which he portrays the renowned American writer and satirist before sold-out crowds. Doling out Twain’s priceless and still relevant morsels of wit and wisdom, Holbrook has performed the show in all 50 states, internationally, on television, Broadway and behind the Iron Curtain. Filmmaker Scott Teems takes us behind the scenes with Holbrook for an intimate peek at Twain’s continuing influence on our culture and the dedicated actor who brings him to life.
THE LAST MAN ON THE MOON (USA)
Director: Mark Craig
Producers: Gareth Dodds, Patrick Mark
“When I stepped of the pod and the engine shut off,” says Eugene Cernan early in this documentary, “it was the quietest I’ve ever heard. It was like stepping into a different world.” It’s possibly the only time you’ll ever hear those words spoken in a documentary where they’re not metaphorical. Cernan, an astronaut, was literally the last man to walk on the moon. Now, as he nears the end of his life, he remembers the experience and everything that came after. You won’t soon forget his story.
Director: Kayla McCormick
Producers: Kayla McCormick, John Waller
A revealing look into the lives of students who put it all on the line to be selected, proving that a free education is never without a cost. Through unprecedented access in a Chicago public school, Selected explores the leadership, triumphs and losses in one of the most culturally and economically diverse schools in the country. SELECTED investigates the impact of being educated in a true melting pot environment and the effect it has on education, acceptance, tolerance and a worldview.
STRAY DOG (USA)
Director: Debra Granik
Producers: Anne Rosellini, Victoria Stewart
Debra Granik (Oscar-nominated director of Winter’s Bone) captures a true slice of life outside the American mainstream. Ron “Stray Dog” Hall is a biker and a Vietnam vet who operates an RV Park in Southern Missouri and annually join thousands of bikers on a cross-country ride to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. While wrestling with the legacy of the Vietnam War experience, he also witnesses the American experience through the eyes of his newly immigrated Mexican wife and her two sons. This multi-layered documentary is a powerful look at the veteran experience, a surprising love story, and a fresh exploration of survival in the American heartland. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
TYKE ELEPHANT OUTLAW (AUSTRALIA)
Directors: Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore
Producers: Susan Lambert, Stefan Moore
This is the gripping and emotionally charged story of Tyke, a circus elephant that went on a rampage in Honolulu in 1994, killed her trainer in front of thousands of spectators and died in a hail of gunfire. Her break for freedom – filmed from start to tragic end – traumatised a city and ignited a global battle over the use of animals in the entertainment industry. Looking at what made Tyke snap, the film goes back to meet the people who knew her and were affected by her death – former trainers and handlers, circus industry insiders, witnesses to her rampage, and animal rights activists for whom Tyke became a global rallying cry. Like the classic animal rebellion film King Kong, Tyke is the central protagonist in a tragic but redemptive drama that combines trauma, outrage, insight and compassion. Ultimately, this moving documentary raises fundamental questions about our deep and mysterious connection to other species.
WALKING UNDER WATER (USA)
Director: Eliza Kubarska
Producer: Monika Braid
Walking Under Water will take us under the waves to walk with the last compressor divers from the Badjao tribe in Mabul Island.
3 ½ MINUTES (USA)
Director: Marc Silver
Producers: Orlando Bagwell, Bonni Cohen, Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Khaliah Neal, Minette Nelson, Leah Natasha Thomas
This gripping documentary explores the legal aftermath of the tragic shooting of African-American teenager Jordan Davis when he was playing his “thug music” too loud at a gas station. It explores the danger and subjectivity of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws as well as the emotional experience of Jordan Davis’ parents in the courtroom. This film won a Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the Sundance Film Festival.
ART HOUSE (USA)
Director: Don Freeman
Producer: Don Freeman
Photographer Don Freeman has created a poetic and meditative journey through eleven houses that artists have built for themselves and reveals the inventiveness derived from each artist’s practice in the construction of their handmade homes. Included in this cinematic “Parade of Homes” are the hauntingly beautiful castle-like residence of tile designer Henry Chapman Mercer, the surreal desert megastructures of visionary architect Paolo Soleri, and the national historic landmark home of Hudson River School painter Frederic Church which he designed to frame views of the Catskills to echo his paintings. Freeman’s film is both a love song to artists’ most intimate creation – their own habitats — and a call to action in preserving, promoting and visiting these architectural artifacts.
AT RISK SUMMER (USA)
Director: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Producer: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo
Young adult author and filmmaker e.E. Charlton-Trujillo stashes her belongings, rents a car, and sets off on a unique book tour across the U.S., with the goal of empowering youth on the fringes of society. She holds free creative writing workshops at alternative high schools, homeless shelters and juvenile detention facilities along the way. With no professional film crew, the kids often become the camera and sound techs for the film. As someone who has “been there,” Charlton-Trujillo relates to these forgotten kids and unlocks their creative voices. These marginalized “youth on the fringe” are seen and heard, sometimes for the first time in their lives, and the transformation is magical.
BEST OF ENEMIES (USA)
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon, Morgan Neville
Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s fascinating documentary shows how the 1968 televised debates between the conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and the liberal Gore Vidal sparked off the modern era of public discourse and political pundits. Morgan Neville won the Academy Award last year for Twenty Feet From Stardom.
Director: Marieke Niestadt
Producer: Marieke Niestadt
Perhaps never before have audiences been given such an intimate look at one of the world’s top athletes preparing for her biggest challenge. Female boxer Diana Prazak trains for her upcoming match against #1 world champion Frida Wallberg. Lucia Rijker, former six times world champion, coaches Diana to prepare her physically and mentally for the toughest fight of her life and her biggest and most paralyzing fear: losing
BLOOD, SWEAT, AND BEER (USA)
Directors: Chip Hiden, Alexis Irvin
Producers: Chip Hiden, Alexis Irvin
This documentary exploring the explosive growth of the craft beer industry and the struggles of two start-up breweries. Inspired by America’s artisanal food and drink revolution, over 1,000 entrepreneurs plan to open breweries this coming year. However, many industry experts predict that a craft beer ‘bubble’ burst is imminent. Can every new brewery succeed? Or, will tight margins, a crowded marketplace, and limited shelf space force some newcomers to go belly-up? This isn’t just a movie about beer – it’s a movie about the American dream, and the entrepreneur’s journey from blueprint to brewery.
BRAND: A SECOND COMING (USA)
Director: Ondi Timoner
Producer: Ondi Timoner
Russell Brand skillfully balances philosophy, history and humour as he embarks on his first-ever world tour and meets with a wide and fascinating range of people- including Mike Tyson, Pink, 50 Cent, Noel Gallagher, to American Marines, orphans in Kenya, socialists in London and inmates on death row and empowers people to stage a non-violent revolution. Directed by Ondi Timoner, the only person to win Sundance twice (with her films Dig and We Live in Public.)
CAPTURING GRACE (USA)
Director: Dave Iverson
Producer: Dave Iverson
This moving documentary tells the unlikely story of what happens when New York’s legendary Mark Morris Dance Group joins forces with people with Parkinson’s disease to stage a unique performance. Taking a cue from professional dancers who train their minds and bodies to execute difficult movements, the Dance for PD® program develops cognitive strategies that are naturally beneficial and enjoyable for people with Parkinson’s. The program is now in more than 100 communities including Sarasota where they partner with the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s. Winner of Audience Awards at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Sedona International Film Festival, and the Starz Denver Film Festival, this film is about the transformative power of art and the enduring strength of the human spirit.
CARTEL LAND (USA)
Director: Matthew Heineman
Producers: Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin
Winning both the Cinematography award and Directing award at the Sundance Film Festival, this powerful documentary plays like a classic western set in the 21st century, pitting vigilantes on both sides of the border against the vicious Mexican drug cartels. With unprecedented access, this character-driven film provokes deep questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether it is just for citizens to take up arms to fight violence with violence.
CITY OF GOLD (USA)
Director: Laura Gabbert
Producers: Holly Becker, Laura Gabbert, Braxton Pope
In this gastronomical love letter to L.A., Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold guides us through the culinary geography of his beloved city and shows us the transformative power of food. More than just a food documentary, this is a touching portrait of a writer who followed his passion to create a unique career for himself as well as carve out a unique niche in unpretentious but poetic food writing. From Koreatown to “Tehrangelos” (Little Iran) this delightful documentary captures the essence of what makes some people fall in love with this sprawling city and reveals the magic of cultural accessibility beneath the ugly strip mall surface.
DIOR AND I (FRANCE)
Director: Frédéric Tcheng
Producer: Guillaume de Roquemaurel
Dior and I brings the viewer inside the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house with a privileged, behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Raf Simons’ first haute couture collection as its new artistic director-a true labor of love created by a dedicated group of collaborators. Melding the everyday, pressure-filled components of fashion with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, the film is also a colorful homage to the seamstresses who serve Simons’ vision.D
DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (USA/UK)
Director: Douglas Tirola
Producers: Susan Bedusa, Douglas Tirola
A look at the history of the American comedy publication and production company, National Lampoon, from its beginning in the 1970s to 2010. SFF alumni Douglas Tirola and Susan Bedosa, who were previously at Sarasota with their documentary Actress, have gained access to the company that many other documentarians have attempted but failed to gain until now. Featuring rare and never-before-seen footage, this film is a miraculous compendium of a pop culture phenomenon that was the precursor to Saturday Night Live, “Spy Magazine” and “The Onion.”
ENTER THE FAUN (USA)
Directors: Tamar Rogoff, Daisy Wright
Producers: Tamar Rogoff, Daisy Wright
The unlikely collaboration between a veteran choreographer and a young actor with cerebral palsy delivers astonishing proof that each and every body is capable of transformation. As Tamar Rogoff trains Gregg Mozgala to become a dancer, they discover that her lack of formal medical training and his fears and physical limitations are not obstacles, but the impetus for their unprecedented discoveries. The story of a joyous, obsessed journey towards opening night.
FAR FROM HOME (USA)
Director: Galen Knowles
Producer: Philip Hessler
The story of Brolin Mawejje. Ugandan immigrant, pre-med student, and Africa’s first hopeful Olympic snowboarder. This documentary follows Brolin and the unlikely community that helped him rally the support of an entire nation in his quest to make history for the African continent.
FIELD NIGGAS (USA)
Director: Khalik Allah
Producer: Khalik Allah
If you think the title is provocative, just wait until you see Khalik Allah’s stunning documentary. It’s an unflinching, tender look at the broken lives and unique worldviews of the regulars in one rough corner of Harlem. Allah makes the brilliant choice to separate the audio and video tracks, so we never actually see anyone talking, but his dreamlike camera is a voice all its own, lingering on the places and faces that create such a tragically rich tapestry of street life.
FINDERS KEEPERS (USA)
Director: Bryan Carberry, J. Clay Tweel
Producers: Bryan Carberry, Ed Cunningham, Adam Gibbs, Seth Gordon
Colorful characters and surprising plot twists abound in this stranger-than-fiction tale about a small town feud over a severed human leg. On one side of the court case is the amputee himself, John Wood, who wants his own appendage back while trying to regain a foothold on the road to recovery. On the other side is Shannon Whisnant, the local entrepreneur who found the foot in a used grill that he bought at an auction and wants to cash in on the media attention.
THE FLIGHT FANTASTIC (USA)
Director: Tom Moore
Producer: Tom Moore
Past and present adventures with one of the greatest flying families in the history of the circus, The Flying Gaonas. The documentary explores this incredibly warm and charismatic family’s history, as they moved from the trampoline to great fame as the pinnacle act of the circus – the flying trapeze.
FOR THE RECORD (USA)
Director: Marc Greenberg
Producer: Marc Greenberg
For the Record tracks several court reporters, captioners and CART providers as they strive to attain the Guinness title of World’s Fastest Court Reporter. It explores the “steno culture,” as experienced by stenographers, through such events as 9/11, the Nuremberg trials and other high-profile courtroom moments, while reviewing the history of these “keepers of the record.”
FRESH DRESSED (USA/FRANCE)
Director: Sacha Jenkins
Producer: Marcus A. Clarke
This documentary chronicles the history of Hip-Hop and Urban fashion and its rise from southern cotton plantations to the gangs of 1970s in the South Bronx, to corporate America, and everywhere in-between. Supported by rich archival materials and in depth interviews with individuals crucial to the evolution of a way of life–and the outsiders who studied and admired them–Fresh Dressed goes to the core of where style was born on the black and brown side of town.
FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (USA)
Director: Sharon Shattuck
Producer: Martha Shane
When director Sharon Shattuck’s father came out as transgender, Sharon was in the awkward throes of middle school. Her father’s transition to female was difficult for her straight-identified mother to accept, but her parents remained married. As Sharon approaches her own wedding day, she returns home to Michigan to ask her parents how their love survived against all odds.
GENEROSITY OF EYE (USA)
Director: Brad Hall
Producers: Brad Hall, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Julie Snyder
This is the very personal tale of actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus discovering how her father William’s passions for art, justice and education connect in a single act of generosity. There are more than three thousand paintings, drawings and sculptures in the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection which are being sold to create an endowment for the education of African American kids in the Harlem Children’s Zone.
GETTING THROUGH TO SYRIA: THOSE WHO DARE (UNITED KINGDOM/SYRIA)
Director: Lucy Chapman
Producer: Lucy Chapman
A doctor, a mother and a businessman in the United Kingdom make treacherous journeys into Syria to deliver aid, equipment and medical personnel under seemingly impossible circumstances. This is no large, faceless NGO, but a grass roots ‘family’ driven by a desire to do good in the face of incredible danger. GETTING THROUGH TO SYRIA follows them from London to Turkey to being smuggled across the border in to Syria, from sprawling refugee camps to primitive and targeted hospitals. These selfless individuals bring the landscape of Syria’s devastation and destruction into our consciousness in a very personal and accessible way.
A GOAT FOR A VOTE (KENYA/NETHERLANDS)
Director: Jeroen Van Velzen
Producer: Maarten van der Ven, Hasse van Nunen
In a time where nationwide elections in Kenya are held hostage by rumors of corruption and violence, three students are campaigning to become president of their local school. Winning the election not only gives them the possibility for power and respect, but guarantees them a future in Kenyan society. Magdalene, has to prove herself in a boy dominated school which has never been led by a girl. She has the impossible task of uniting all the girls in her fight for equal rights. Harry, from a poor family, hopes to win so he can take care of his family in the future. He struggles against the popular Said who is a natural born leader with a disarming smile. Move over “Tracy Flick,” this is the real high school election.
GREY GARDENS (1975) (USA)
Director: Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde, Muffie Meyer
Producer: The Maysles Brothers
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.
HOMME LESS (USA)
Director: Thomas Wirthenson
Producers: Karol Martesko-Fenster, Wolfgang Ramml
From all outside appearances, Mark seems to have the glamorous New York City life that many would envy. Handsome and always impeccably dressed, the charismatic former male model works as a fashion photographer, appears in movies and attends the best parties. When he leaves those events, however, he heads to the East Village— not to an overpriced loft, but to a hidden corner of a rooftop to sleep each night. Thomas Wirthensohn exposes the dark underbelly of the American Dream in an often-merciless city.
HOT TYPE: 150 YEARS OF THE NATION (USA)
Director: Barbara Kopple
Producers: Barbara Kopple, Suzanne Mitchell
With unfettered access and unfiltered honesty, Barbara Kopple’s latest documentary captures the day-to-day pressures and challenges of publishing a weekly magazine, as well as illuminating how the past continuously ripples through and shapes current events. It’s a vivid look at America’s oldest continuously published weekly magazine The Nation and a journey into the soul of American Journalism.
Director: Albert Maysles
Producers: Jennifer Ash Rudick, Laura Coxson, Rebekah Maysles
Legendary 87-year-old documentarian Albert Maysles is paired up with Iris Apfel, the quick-witted, flamboyantly dressed 93-year-old style maven who has had an outsized presence on the New York fashion scene for decades. More than a fashion film, this documentary is a story about a singular woman whose enthusiasm for fashion, art and people are life’s sustenance and reminds us that dressing, and indeed life, is nothing but an experiment.
LA VIOLENCIA: THE UNTOLD TRUTHS OF GUATEMALA (IRELAND/ GUATEMALA)
Directors: Til Frohlich, Pia Janning
Producers: Til Frohlich, Pia Janning
As told through the stories of activists and the Mayan women themselves LA VIOLENCIA documents the decimation of the Mayan population of Guatemala during its 36-year civil war. Over 200,000 people were murdered. Acts of torture and sexual violence were unmercifully implemented by the armed forces. Today, Guatemala remains one of the most dangerous countries for women in the world, with rape, domestic violence and femicide rife. LA VIOLENCIA takes us on an emotional journey to this visually beautiful yet tormented country, from its violent history to its current fragile state.
THE LAST GREAT CIRCUS FLYER (USA)
Director: Philip Weyland
Producer: Philip Weyland
A quadruple somersault was considered impossible until 17 year old Miguel Vazquez achieved this ‘impossible’ quadruple during a 1982 Ringling Bros. performance. Vazquez’s ‘Quad’ was a premiere attraction at Ringling Bros., and the largest circuses in Europe until in 1994, at the apex of his career, Vazquez unexpectedly quit flying. Filmed over a 6 year period, this film addresses the triumphs, dangers, fears and oftentimes tragedies of trapeze performers through interviews with great flyers of the past and performances by young flyers from Ringling Bros., Cirque du Soleil, and Circus Vargas.
LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER! (USA)
Director: Gayle Kirschenbaum
Producer: Gayle Kirschenbaum
Filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum presents a raw, fearless but bitingly funny portrait of both her childhood, fraught with shame and humiliation, and her adulthood scarred by its fallout. Woven together from decades of personal home movies, photos and videos, LOOK AT US NOW invites audiences to join her on her quest to love, understand, and forgive her aging mother before it’s too late. As these two formidable women travel down the bumpy road of discovery, their relationship changes before our eyes, and teaches a universal lesson of family dynamics, empathy and the power of forgiveness.
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED (USA)
Director: Greg Whiteley
Producers: Adam Leibowitz, Daria Lombroso, Adam Ridley, Greg Whiteley
The current educational system in the United States was developed a century ago during the rise of the industrial age and was once the envy of the world. However, the world economy has since transformed profoundly, but the US education system has not. Schools are attempting to teach and test skills, when mastered, that still leave graduates woefully unprepared for the 21st Century. This is why a school in San Diego is completely rethinking what the experience of going to school looks like.
PARADISE GARDEN (USA)
Director: Ava Leigh Stewart
Producers: Jeremy Oliver Miller, Ava Leigh Stewart
Howard Finster, the grandfather of the Southern Folk Art movement, was a pioneer that showed the world that Art can thrive outside of museums and galleries, in ordinary places and in everyday objects. He took what others might deem trash and turned it into something contemplative. He opened Paradise Garden for the world to enjoy, a true testament that Art comes to life when people are able to interact with it.
PROPHET’S PREY (USA)
Director: Amy Berg
Producers: Sam Brower, Katherine LeBlond
When Warren Jeffs rose to Prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, he took control of a religion with a history of polygamous and underage marriage. In a short time, Warren managed to expand these practices and the power of his position in unprecedented ways. He bridged the gap between sister wives and ecclesiastically rape, befuddling the moral compass of his entire congregation. The film examines Warren Jeffs’ life and shows how he became a worshipped and adored Prophet. Warren has a devout following numbering in the tens of thousands – many of whom would give their life at any moment with just one word from the Prophet. Despite a trail of abuse and ruined lives, Warren has maintained his grip on power. Directed by Oscar-nominated documentarian Amy Berg.
QUEEN MIMI (USA)
Director: Yaniv Rokah
Producer: Elliot Kotek
Forced onto the streets in her 50s, Marie found “home” at a Santa Monica Laundromat where she works and sleeps for 7-days-a-week. Taking shelter there for 20 years, Mimi’s passion for pink, and living without looking back, has taken her from homelessness to Hollywood’s red carpets.
SOMETHING BETTER TO COME (A.K.A. YULA’S DREAM) (POLAND/RUSSIA)
Director: Hanna Polak
Producer: Sigrid Dyekjær
Director Hanna Polak’s previous film was the Oscar-nominated documentary The Children of Leningradsky about street kids living around Moscow’s Leningradsky station. This time she documents homeless families living in a “Svalka,” Europe’s biggest landfill situated less than 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Moscow’s city center. The film follows 14 years in the life of Yula and her companions as they grow up and spend their days foraging for food, shelter material, and something to do while navigating the tricky rules of the “mafia-run” Svalka. It is from this place that Yula dreams of escaping and changing her life. Winning a special jury award at IDFA, this eye-opening documentary shows how beauty and humanity can arise from the most unlikely conditions.
STREIT’S: MATZO AND THE AMERICAN DREAM DOCUMENTARY (USA)
Director: Michael Levine
Producers: Michael Green, Michael Levine
On New York’s rapidly gentrifying Lower East Side sits the Streit’s Matzo factory. When its doors opened in 1925, it sat at the heart of the nation’s largest Jewish immigrant community. Today, in its fifth generation of family ownership, it remains as the last family owned matzo factory in America. Streit’s: Matzo and the American Dream tells the story of the factory, of the family, of its workers, of its place in the rich history of the Lower East Side and America. It is a story of tradition, of resilience and resistance, of the perseverance of the Jewish people, and of immigrants of all backgrounds who have found home in the Lower East Side, behind the doors of Streit’s, or in the matzo they bake.
SUNSHINE SUPERMAN (USA/NORWAY)
Director: Marah Strauch
Producers: Eric Bruggemann, Lars Løge, Marah Strauch
A heart-racing documentary portrait of Carl Boenish, the father of the BASE jumping movement, whose early passion for skydiving led him to ever more spectacular -and dangerous- feats of foot-launched human flight. BASE jumping, a designation for those with confirmed jumps from Buildings, Antenna, Spans (ie, bridges) and Earth (ie, cliffs) is depicted from its very beginnings to its status as a major sport today. Executive Produced by Oscar winner Alex Gibney.
THE SURGERY SHIP (GUINEA/AUSTRALIA)
Director: Madeleine Hetherton
Producers: Madeleine Hetherton, Rebecca Barry
A team of volunteer doctors and nurses sail to the poorest nations on earth, carrying lifesaving medical services to people with complex medical issues who would otherwise have none. But the medical challenges are only half of the story. The volunteer medical professionals confront ethical decisions as they decide who will be helped and who will not. This is a searing, complex journey for the volunteer medics, as they deal with life and death cases – and balance the fates of these patients in their hands.
TAB HUNTER CONFIDENTIAL (USA)
Director: Jeffrey Schwarz
Producers: Allan Glaser, Neil Koenigsberg, Jeffrey Schwarz
For awhile, the dazzlingly handsome Tab Hunter was the dream of every young girl in America – star of The Burning Hills opposite Natalie Wood, That Kind of Woman opposite Sophia Loren, and The Pleasure of His Company with Debbie Reynolds; singer of the #1 hit single “Young Love”; and the subject of seemingly endless fawning magazine cover articles. He was also a closeted gay man living a double life. One of his long term relationships was even with Anthony Perkins. This documentary traces the course of Hunter’s career rise and fall, and then his rebirth as an actor in the 1980s.
TOUCHDOWN ISRAEL (USA/FRANCE)
Director: Paul Hirschberger
Producers: Paul Hirschberger, Erik Greenberg Anjou
Touchdown Israel, a feature length documentary presents the broad religious and cultural diversity that is Israel, and illustrates how sports can be both metaphor and unifier for the world around it. American football has set down real roots in the holy land. The playing levels vary widely, but the cast of characters is utterly compelling, Israeli Jews, Arabs and Christians as well as Americans living in Israel, and religious settlers. Interview subjects include league sponsor and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Touchdown Israel brings light to Israels complex, multifaceted society, offering a view of the human aspect of Israeli life, including the values of teamwork, unity, sacrifice and excellence.
VINCENT VAN GOGH: A NEW WAY OF SEEING (USA)
Director: Ava Leigh Stewart
Producers: Jeremy Oliver Miller, Ava Leigh Stewart
Part of the new series Exhibition on Screen, which brings five of the world’s greatest art exhibitions to movie theaters. From Matisse in London and New York to Van Gogh in Amsterdam, this series mixes a guided art tour with expert interviews and behind the scenes exclusives, and gives audiences everywhere the opportunity to see artworks and exhibitions they would have to travel all over the globe to see in person.
WELCOME TO LEITH (USA)
Directors: Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker
Producers: Joey Carey, Jenner Furst, Michael Beach Nichols, Christopher K. Walker, Joshua Woltermann
Notorious white supremacist Craig Cobb, attempts to take over a small town in North Dakota. Filmed in the days leading up to Cobb’s arrest for terrorizing the townspeople on an armed patrol and his subsequent release from jail six months later, this haunting film is an eerie document of American DIY ideals.
Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross
Producers: Michael Gottwald, Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross
For generations, all that distinguished Eagle Pass, TX, from Piedras Negras, MX, was the Rio Grande. But when darkness descends upon these harmonious border towns, a cowboy and lawman face a new reality that threatens their way of life.
WHATEVER COMES NEXT (SWITZERLAND/USA)
Director: Hildegard Elisabeth Keller
Producer: Hildegard Elisabeth Keller
What do life and the making of a work of art have in common? WHATEVER COMES NEXT is an intimate conversation with 88-year old Viennese-born artist Annemarie Ettinger Mahler and her dog that answers this question, as her life and art unfold in front of the camera. The film features Annemarie’s real voice in interviews and her inner voice taken from her unpublished autobiography. These two strands of storytelling suggest that life is often more than the sum of its days.
THE WOLFPACK (USA)
Director: Crystal Moselle
Producers: Hunter Gray, Crystal Moselle, Alex Orlovsky, Izabella Tzenkova
Locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Angulo brothers learn about the outside world through the films that they watch. Nicknamed, ‘The Wolfpack,’ the brothers spend their childhood reenacting their favorite films using elaborate homemade props and costumes. Their world is shaken up when one of the brothers escapes and everything changes. This film won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
Director: Melissa Donovan
Producer: Melissa Donovan
Zemene is a spirited 10-year old Ethiopian girl who fights to survive her life-threatening and seemingly hopeless severe curvature of the spine. A chance encounter with an American physician takes Zemene down a new path, offering hope for her future. ZEMENE movingly depicts how individuals providing care to children in need can transform not only individual lives, but entire communities as well.
DIVINE ACCESS (USA)
Director: Steven Chester Prince
Producer: Carissa Buffel, Billy Burke, Terry G. Jones, Kevin Matusow, Steven Chester Prince
Cast: Billy Burke, Gary Cole, Patrick Warburton, Joel David Moore, Sarah Shahi, Dora Madison Burge, Adrienne Barbeau
Jack Harriman becomes a spiritual celebrity after debunking Reverend Guy Roy on a public-access TV show. While on the road speaking his brand of truth, forces natural and supernatural lead him to question whether he has a deeper calling. He thinks he’s just talking plain common sense, but everyone else seems to think he’s a prophet. It’s like The Big Lebowski meets The Life of Brian, with a Texas flavor.
Director: Rick Alverson
Producers: Rick Alverson, Brooke Bernard, Patrick Hibler, Alex Lipschultz, Ryan Lough, George Rush, Ryan Zacarias
Cast: John C. Reilly, Michael Cera, Tye Sheridan, Lotte Verbeek, Dean Stockwell, Amy Seimetz, Mariann Gavelo, Tim Heidecker, Kalia Prescott
En route to meet his estranged daughter and attempting to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave desert. This story is much stranger, much deeper, and much weirder. Much like Rick Alverson’s first film The Comedy was not really a comedy, Entertainment is not exactly entertainment…but it is something you will remember for a long time. Warning: Do not walk into this movie expecting the same ole “Comedy-Central” comic on the road stand-up routine
Director: Gregorio Graziosi
Producer: Zita Carvalhosa
In the heavily populated city of São Paulo, Brazil, a young architect discovers a clandestine cemetery while walking through the work-site of his first important project. As terrible memories float back, he must struggle with his conscience and question his own heritage. Featuring beautifully lush black and white cinematography by André S. Brandão, this film begs to be seen on the big screen. This film won Best Latin American Film and Best Cinematography at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival.
PHANTOM HALO (USA)
Director: Antonia Bogdanovich
Producers: William Blaylock, Peter Bogdanovich, Brian Espinosa, Gabriela Revilla Lugo
Cast: Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Luke Kleintank, Sebastian Roché, Rebecca Romijn, Susan Park, Tobin Bell, Luke Kleintank, Clare Grant, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Ashley Hamilton, Jeff Seymour.
Brothers Samuel and Beckett Emerson are barely scraping by. Their father, Warren, continues to gamble and drink away any money they bring home. With all the havoc that is constantly going on in their lives, the family members each find solace in his own way, through Shakespeare, comic books and impossible love affairs. Beckett seizes the opportunity to make some easy money by counterfeiting in hopes of repaying his father’s debts. When Beckett’s plan goes awry, the family must decide to change their ways or pay the ultimate price. Don’t miss the scene-stealing supporting role by Rebecca Romijn.
Director: Tom Browne
Producers: Tom Browne, Genevieve Stevens
Executive Producers: Rachel Weisz, Barbara Broccoli
Cast: Daniel Cerqueria, Richard Johnson, Gemma Jones
In a film executive produced by Oscar winning actress Rachel Weisz, debut writer/director Tom Browne begins what should be a long career with a darkly comic and intensely personal examination of family life, marriage, age and love. When Daniel goes back to help his long-suffering mother deal with his increasingly cantankerous and increasingly ill father, he gets more than he bargained for. Browne set the film in his deceased real-life parents’ home. Deeply felt, beautifully rendered.
SLOW WEST (USA)
Director: John Maclean
Producers: Iain Canning, Rachel Gardner, Conor McCaughan, Emile Sherman
Cast: Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Mendelsohn, Rory McCann, Brooke Williams, Stuart Martin, Alex Macqueen
A 16-year-old boy and his mysterious traveling companion take a journey across the American frontier in search of the woman he loves. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, this 19th century darkly humorous western is reminiscent of the Coen Brothers.
WHITE GOD (HUNGARY)
Director: Kornél Mundruczó
Producers: Eszter Gyárfás, Viktória Petrányi
Cast: Zsófia Psotta, Sándor Zsótér, Lili Horváth, Szabolcs Thuróczy, Lili Monori, Gergely Bánki, Tamás Polgár, Károly Ascher
Winner of the Un Certain Regard Award at the Cannes Film Festival as well as the Palm Dog award for the canine stars, this visually-striking film follows a mixed-breed dog named Hagen who organizes an uprising against the government that has created a “mongrel” tax.
Director: Gabrielle Demeestere
Producer: Clara Aranovich, Paul Bernon, Nicolaas Bertelsen, Shruti Ganguly, Sev Ohanian, Sam Slater
Cast: James Franco, Henry Hopper, Barry Del Sherman, Steven Wiig, George Maguire, Everett Meckler, Alec Mansky, Calum John
The intertwining tales of three 5th grade friends set in the suburban paradise of Palo Alto as the threat of a mountain lion looms over the community. Based on James Franco’s short story collection A California Childhood, this film creates a nostalgic experience of childhood, while exploring Silicon Valley at a time of technological and social change.
INDEPENDENT VISIONS COMPETITION
Director: Francisco Orvañanos
Producers: Miguel Angel Boccaloni, Chris Moore, Francisco Orvañanos
Cast: Olivia Crocicchia, Brittany Allen, Noah Silver, Christian Alexander, Alex Beh
A mansion party takes a mysterious twist after one of the guests loses all of his possessions (including his girlfriend) in a poker game. This sexy psychological thriller is based on the cult novella Bloody Baudelaire by R. B. Russell. As a first-time writer/director/producer Francisco Orvananos establishes himself as an indie auteur to keep an eye on.
Director: Harvey Mitkas
Producers: John Peacock, Michael Peacock, Garth Garber
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Alex Karpovsky, Lawrence Levine, Jennifer Prediger and Sophia Takal
Harvey Mitkas returns to the Sarasota Film Festival to bring her sophomore effort, starring Lindsay Burdge, Alex Karpovsky, Lawrence Levine, Jennifer Prediger and Sophia Takal. When a young woman’s (Takal) sister goes missing, she sets out on a quest to find her on her own, eventually enlisting the help of a questionable private investigator (Karpovsky). The result is a dreamy, surrealistic, comedic film noir that still leaves the audience guessing even after the film is over.
Director: James Kaelan
Producers: Meriam Alrashid, James Kaelan, Blessing Yen
Cast: Nathalie Biermanns, Ty Foster, Sina J. Henrie, Brennan Kelleher, Aaron Ramzi
Controversial filmmaker Haytham Bisherat (Aaron Ramzi)—obsessed with the legacy of his work—invites novelist Charles Amundsen (Ty Foster) to watch and chronicle his latest experiment. Haytham has imprisoned his cast—Sara Morin (Nathalie Biermanns), Anna Bertrand (Sina J. Henrie), and Daniel Farmer (Brennan Kelleher)—in an isolated modernist compound in the desert. As they plumb the depths of their characters’ weaknesses and neuroses, Haytham’s sadistic manipulations quickly spiral out of control, and Charles finds that in Haytham’s mind, there are no observers: only collaborators.
LAKE LOS ANGELES (USA)
Director: Mike Ott
Producers: Drea Clark, Alex Gioulakis, Atsuko Okatsuka, Trinity Shi, Frederick Thornton
Mike Ott’s quiet, contemplative portrait of Latina immigrants
Two undocumented immigrants (a middle-aged Cuban man and a ten-year-old Mexican girl) develop a bond over being away from home and their families in the hopeless back-drop of Lake Los Angeles. The ethereal, light-saturated cinematography, mystically amplified sound design, and hypnotic music capture the desolate atmosphere with a mix of magical realism and earthly reality.
After premiering at the Los Angeles Film Festival, this film went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York City.
Director: Ross Partridge
Producers: Mel Eslyn, Taylor Williams
Cast: Jess Weixler, Joel Murray, Lindsay Pulsipher, Tom Bower, Jennifer Lafleur, Ross Partridge, Oona Laurence, Ron Burkhardt
Jaded, 45-year-old Chicagoan David Lamb takes his new friend Tommie for a restorative camping trip in the woods.
Director: Kimberly Levin
Producer: Kurt Pitzer
Cast: Joanne Kelly, Neal Huff, Alex Shaffer, Tom Bower, Brad Koed, Darlene Hunt, Joseph Melendez, Rashel Bestard, Kivlighan de Montebello
Just like in the 80’s when the farm loan crisis sparked a series of films dealing with the economics of family farms (Country, The River, and Places in the Heart), three decades later, the controversies over hormones and chemicals used in farming have spawned a new family farm drama in the Monsanto era. In this drama, the protagonists are tempted to save their family farm through transporting and dumping illegal farm chemicals. Kimberly Levin’s incredibly researched and detailed drama gives a glimpse into the realities of farm life.
TIRED MOONLIGHT (USA)
Director: Britni West
Producer: Britni West
Cast: Alex Karpovsky, Paul Dickinson, Liz Randall, Beck DeRobertis, Hillary Berg, Rainleigh Vick, Charles Smith
Dawn, a middle aged woman who lives alone in a small town in Montana, spends her days working as a maid at a roadside motel and scrounging through junk she purchases at local storage auctions hoping to one day ‘hit the jackpot’ and fund her travels and her escape from the town. Her humdrum life is slowly upended as Paul, a ramblin’ man from her past, rolls like a tumbleweed through her small town.
UNCERTAIN TERMS (USA)
Director: Nathan Silver
Producers: Chloe Domont, Josh Mandel, Richard Peete
Cast: David Dahlbom, Adinah Dancyger, Casey Drogin, Hannah Gross, Tallie Medel, Caitlin Mehner, India Menuez, Gina Piersanti, Cindy Silver, Bettina Skye
Robbie flees city life and takes refuge in his aunt’s house, a makeshift home for pregnant teenagers, where he becomes the object of their competition. This is director Nathan Silver’s third feature film.
24 DAYS (24 JOURS) (FRANCE)
Director: Alexandre Arcady
Producers: Alexandre Arcady
Cast: Zabou Breitman, Pascal Elbé, Jacques Gamblin, Éric Caravaca, Sylvie Testud, Syrys Shahidi, Tony Harrisson, Alka Balbir, Pauline Cheviller, Olivier Sitruk,
Winner of the Lia Award at the Jerusalem Film Festival, this intense film tells the shocking true story of a “hate crime” in France when a young Jewish man was kidnapped and tortured by an immigrant gang. In January of 2006, 23 year old Ilan met a beautiful young woman in a Parisian cellphone shop who lured him into a trap. Based on a book co-written by Ilan’s mother, Ruth Halimi, Arcady’s cinematic adaptation offers a searing insight into his vicious ordeal, the violent world of the Gang of Barbarians, and the harrowing experience of his family waiting and hoping the Police would save their son. For 24 days the Police, insistent upon handling the case as a normal for-ransom kidnapping, fail to recognize the anti-Semitic hatred of his abductors.
3 DAYS (USA)
Director: Julian Beltran
Producers: Ryan Mozek, Amy Tekell, Leah Weinberger
Cast: Johnny Walter, LeMarc Johnson, Natalie Wilemon, Dave Pantano, Oryan Landa, Michael Hankin, Tina Rodriguez, Juston Street, Dimitrius Pulido, Craig Nigh, Al Bianchi
Jeff wakes up to the news that he has just died, but that’s just the beginning. He meets his ‘Post-Mortem Coordinator’ Homer, an ethereal being who works for the bureaucratic system for processing dead people, who informs Jeff that he now has to face judgment for the life he lived and determine whether he’ll spend eternity in Heaven or in Hell. Jeff is wiped clean of all his personal memories and sent back to the world of the living to relive the last three days of his life.
7 MINUTES (USA)
Director: Jay Martin
Producers: Jacob Aaron Estes, Jim Hart, Lorenzo P. Lampthwait, Jacob Mosler, Rick Rosenthal
Cast: Jason Ritter, Leven Rambin, Luke Mitchell, Kris Kristofferson, Kevin Gage, Joel Murray, Zane Holtz, Russell Hodgkinson, Brandon Hardesty, Dylan Arnold, Chris Soldevilla, Jessica Martin, Rich Morris, D’Angelo Midili, Mariel Neto, Rodney Sherwood
Three high school friends are forced to commit a brazen robbery which quickly goes horribly wrong. It’s like a “classic heist gone wrong movie” crossed with a Tarantino-esque, time-bending independent sensibility. Don’t miss stand-out performances by Jason Ritter, Leven Rambin, and the legendary Kris Kristofferson.
ACROSS THE SEA (TURKEY)
Director: Nisan Dag, Esra Saydam
Producers: Gerry Kim, Robert Lavenstein, Esra Saydam, Alvaro Riccardo Valente,
Cast: Damla Sönmez, Ahmet Rifat Sungar, Jacob Fishel, Sanem Öge, Hakan Karsak, Ozum Ersoy, Elif Ürse
Winner of both the Audience award and a Jury Award at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, this beautifully nuanced film rewards viewers with an emotionally intelligent story about love and loss. Full of subtext, the subtle plot follows a pregnant woman who returns to her seaside home village in Turkey with her new American husband only to encounter her childhood sweetheart. The casting is perfection and the acting carefully captures the inner turmoil of these well-developed characters. With an unhurried pace, the camerawork evokes a sense of place and point of view and the cinematography takes full advantage of the beauty of the Turkish seaside setting.
ADULT BEGINNERS (USA)
Director: Ross Katz
Producers: Paul Bernon, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Jared Goldman, Nick Kroll, Sam Slater
Cast: Nick Kroll, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, Joel McHale, Caitlin FitzGerald, Paula Garcés, Josh Charles, Jane Krakowski, Bobby Moynihan, Mike Birbiglia, Jason Mantzoukas, David Bernon
A young, narcissistic entrepreneur crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in total disarray, he leaves Manhattan to move in with his estranged pregnant sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old nephew in the suburbs – only to become their nanny. Directed by Oscar-nominated producer Ross Katz, whose previous films were In the Bedroom and Lost In Translation.
ALL YOURS (JE SUIS À TOI) (BELGIUM/CANADA)
Director: David Lambert
Producer: Jean-Yves Roubin
Cast: Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Jean-Michel Balthazar, Monia Chokri,
Argentinean actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart won the Best Actor award at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival for his role as Lucas, a rent boy who is paid to fly from Buenos Aires to Belgium and move in with Henry, a baker who gives new meaning to the word “sugar-daddy”. However, Lucas only has eyes for Audrey, the bakery sales girl in this refreshingly unpredictable romantic comedy that eschews picture-perfect stereotypes in favor of multi-dimensional realistic characters confronting their true natures behind the illusion of love.
AMERICAN GIGOLO (USA)
Director: Paul Schrader
Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer
The ups and downs in the life of a Los Angeles male escort who mostly caters to an older female clientele. Cemented Richard Gere as the top heartthrob in America. Part of our The Most Fashionable Films Ever series of classic films on Sunday, April 12.
Director: Rob Stefaniuk
Producers: Patrick Crowe, Craig Fleming, Conor Holler
Cast: Al Mukadam, Barbara Mamabolo, Chad Connell, David Reale, Kerr Hewitt, Natalie Lisinska, Jessica Huras, Craig Arnold, Pauline Wong, Amanda Joy, Saad Siddiqui
It’s like Tron in the era of “Farmville.” This vibrantly colorful yet dark comedy set in a virtual reality game where everything is for sale and nothing has value, is a surreal fantasy about the corruption of consumerism and the shifting nature of reality. Ivan, a computer programmer, creates a perfect virtual world for his comatose mother on life support, but once he runs out of grant money, he is forced to sell advertising to keep the system operational. The program begins to malfunction with Ivan and his co-workers trapped inside. Aesthetically stylized like a series of shopping catalogues and satirizing all the marketing tricks in the book, this wildly creative film is a shrewd indictment of our modern society’s fascination with simulated social networks and confidence in false advertising.
APARTMENT TROUBLES (USA)
Directors: Jennifer Prediger, Jess Wiexler
Producers: Felipe Dieppa, Kim Leadford, Daniel McCarney
Cast: Jess Weixler, Jennifer Prediger, Megan Mullally, Will Forte, Jeffrey Tambor
Two codependent roommates, on the verge of eviction, flee New York for the promise of sunshine in Los Angeles where their friendship is tested by a chance at fame, a fortune teller, and an amorous wealthy aunt. First-time writer/directors Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler (both well-established actors in the indie world) show a remarkably steady hand, as they explore a world driven by fate and whimsy. Their real-life friendship translates well onto the screen while they convincingly play the oxymoronic roles of Nicole, the confident, wealthy, yet anti-establishment performance artist and Olivia, the shy, sensitive, and reserved actress. Features a striking performance by Megan Mullally and hilarious cameos by Jeffrey Tambor and Will Forte. This film won the Indie Spirit Award at the Naples International Film Festival.
Directors: Evangelos Giovanis, George Giovanis
Producers:Evangelos Giovanis, George Giovanis
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Jane Seymour, Keith Carradine, Vinessa Shaw, Ethan Embry, Mike Starr, Mike Doyle, Christine Kelly, Rachel Eggleston.
Fatally ill, Garvey thinks he has figured out how to die alone and runs away from home on his 40th Anniversary. But when his wife Evelyn goes missing he realizes what life still has to offer as he tries to save her. Malcolm McDowell and Jane Seymour star in this character-driven romance about the love and loss of life.
BLOODSUCKING BASTARDS (USA)
Director: Brian James O’Connell
Producer: Brandon Evans, Brett Forbes, Colleen Hard, Patrick Rizzotti, Justin Ware
Cast: Fran Kranz, Pedro Pascal, Emma Fitzpatrick, Joey Kern, Joel Murray, Yvette Yates, Patricia Rae, Parvesh Cheena.
Evan is a dutiful and overworked employee stuck at a soul-killing corporation. When his office mates start going through disturbing changes, Evan must find a way to stop the evil brewing amidst the cubicles, and rescue his workplace pals before his life and career go from dead-end… to just dead. It’s Shaun of the Dead meets Office Space in this satire that uses vampires as a metaphor for how corporations can suck the life out of you. This film was a hit at the Slamdance Film Festival where it was the Opening Night film.
BOY AND THE WORLD (O MENINO E O MUNDO) (BRAZIL)
Director: Alê Abreu
Producer: Fernanda Carvalho, Tita Tessler
Winning multiple awards around the world including audience awards at the Mill Valley Film Festival and at Annecy, this beloved animation tells the story of a little boy who goes on an adventurous quest in search of his father. From his simple countryside home to the neon-infused, carnivalesque metropolis, little Cuca’s journey illustrates the conflict between the country and the city and the poor and the wealthy. Brazilian artist Alê Abreu utilizes many different animation techniques from mosaics to watercolors in this vibrant, colorful film set to samba and hip hop rhythms.
CAR DOGS (USA)
Director: Adam Collis
Producers: Adam Collis, Stefanie Epstein, Mark Edward King, Adam Robinson, F. Miguel Valenti
Malcolm is a brilliant, callous businessman who is a vicious, overbearing father. His son Mark is the sales manager at Chamberlain Auto, the dealership that promises to do “Whatever It Takes” to put you in a new car. But on a scorching hot Saturday in the middle of the Phoenix summer, Mark has a chance to get his own dealership – and out form under the thumb of his father. At turn hilarious, gripping, and moving, it’s a film with something for everyone.
CHRISTMAS, AGAIN (USA)
Director: Charles Poekel
Producer: Charles Poekel
Cast: Kentucker Audley, Hannah Gross, Jason Shelton, Craig Butta, Caitlin Mehner, Andrea Suarez Paz, Oona Roche
A heartbroken Christmas-tree salesman returns to New York City hoping to put his past behind him. Living in a trailer and working the night shift, he begins to spiral downwards until the saving of a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from self-destruction. Kentucker Audley is mesmerizing to watch as he saws off tree trunks, wraps up trees, and pops caffeine pills from the advent calendar to stay awake.SFF directing alum Charles Poekel returns to Sarasota with this visual masterpiece of a film that shows how his past experience as a cinematographer has influenced his directing style, with a seamless blend of stylish camera angles and rich color palettes that contrast the warm glow of twinkly lights and the frosty, winter weather.
CINEMA PURGATORIO (USA)
Director: Chris White
Producers: Emily Reach White, Chris White
Cast: Chris White, Traysie Amick, Alan Ray, Monica Eva Foster, Lavin Cuddihee, Reid Cox, Harriet White, Jeff Driggers, Michael Dunaway.
In a last-ditch effort to break through in the crowded and convoluted indie film world, a husband-wife producing team make a film especially designed to win a regional film festival and attract the attention of actor Bill Murray. In a meta-verite twist, the film was written-produced-directed by real-life husband and wife team Chris and Emily Reach White, and Chris White plays the lead. (Keep your eye out for a cameo by SFF Dir. of Programming, Michael Dunaway).
CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA (FRANCE/GERMANY/SWITZERLAND)
Director: Olivier Assayas
Producer: Charles Gillibert
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Johnny Flynn, Angela Winkler, Hanns Zischler
Life imitates art in this dramatic film starring Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart as rival actresses. When successful actress Maria Enders (Binoche) is asked to star in the revival of a play that made her famous, she enters into a tense rivalry with a younger actress who is given the role that Maria used to play.
Director: Amy Heckerling
Producers: Robert Lawrence, Scott Rudin
A rich high school student tries to boost a new pupil’s popularity, but reckons without affairs of the heart getting in the way. The part Alicia Silverstone was born to play. Part of our The Most Fashionable Films Ever series of classic films on Sunday, April 12.
THE CONNECTION (LA FRENCH) (FRANCE)
Director: Cédric Jimenez
Producer: Alain Goldman
Cast: Jean Dujardin, Gilles Lellouche, Céline Sallette, Mélanie Doutey, Benoît Magimel, Guillaume Gouix, Bruno Todeschini, Féodor Atkine, Moussa Maaskri
Most film buffs have seen the 1971 William Friedkin classic The French Connection, but have you ever wondered about the other side of the story? Director Cedric Jimenez gives us a peak at what was going on in France during that same time, and how those events influenced the events in Friedkin’s film. Starring Academy Award-winner Jean Dujardin gives arguably his strongest performance since his Oscar winning turn in The Artist. A French police magistrate spends years trying to take down one of the country’s most powerful drug rings.
DIGGING FOR FIRE (USA)
Director: Joe Swanberg
Producers: Jake Johnson, Joe Swanberg, Alica Van Couvering
Cast: Jane Adams, Steve Berg, Mike Birbiglia, Orlando Bloom, Tom Bower, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sam Elliott, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Judith Light, Ron Livingston, Melanie Lynskey, Chris Messina, Sam Rockwell, Timothy Simons, David Siskind, Jenny Slate
Married couple Tim (Jake Johnson) and Lee (Rosemarie Dewitt) take their young son Jude (Jude Swanberg) along on an idyllic housesitting gig in the hills. But when Tim finds an old revolver and a bone on the premises, things turn a bit darker. Marital tensions bubble up to the surface, and Lee takes Jude away, leaving Tim alone in the house. Directed by Sarasota Film Festival favorite Joe Swanberg.
DON’T WORRY BABY (USA)
Director: Julian Branciforte
Producers: Nick Shore, Thomas Kaier, Brendan McHugh, Sam Harper, Jean Raphael Ambron
Cast: John Magaro, Christopher McDonald, Dreama Walker, Tom Lipinski, Talia Balsam
In this refreshingly written and acted dark comedy, a father and son unknowingly sleep with the same woman, then four years later compete over the paternity of her child. What sounds like the plot twist in a juicy soap opera, is a topic that is explored with insightful humor and sensitivity. John Magaro (Not Fade Away) and Christopher McDonald portray the competing father and son with depth and honesty. Dreama Walker (from the TV series Don’t Trust the B —- in Apartment 23, Compliance) plays the unassuming two-timing girlfriend.
Director: John Goldschmidt
Producers: Wolfgang Esenwein, György Gattyán, John Goldschmidt, András Somkuti
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Ian Hart, Philip Davis, Pauline Collins, Malachi Kirby, Daniel Caltagirone, Andrew Ellis, Andy de la Tour
An old Jewish baker in London struggles to keep his business afloat until his young Muslim apprentice accidentally drops cannabis in the dough and sends sales sky high. BAFTA award winning director John Goldschmidt has crafted a humorous and warmhearted story about overcoming prejudice and finding redemption in unexpected places.
THE END OF THE TOUR (USA)
Director: James Ponsoldt
Producers: James Dahl, Matt DeRoss, David Kanter, Mark C. Manuel, Ted O’Neal
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Segel, Joan Cusack, Anna Chlumsky, Jesse Mamie Gummer, Ron Livingston, Mickey Sumner, Lindsey Elizabeth, Dan John Miller
Based on a true story. When Rolling Stone reporter and aspiring novelist David Kanter discovers the voice of his generation in David Foster Wallace, he convinces his editor to give him an assignment to join Wallace on the last leg of his promotional book tour. But as he spends more time with Wallace, he begins to realize that maybe he’s also looking for answers to his own questions about himself. Taking cues from Almost Famous, My Dinner with Andre, and The Assassination of Jesse James, emerging auteur James Ponsoldt shows a Richard Linklater-esque flair for capturing conversations about Love, Life, Art, and Meaning.
FELIX AND MEIRA (CANADA)
Director: Maxim Giroux
Producers: Sylvain Corbeil, Nancy Grant
Cast: Martin Dubreuil, Hadas Yaron, Luzer Twersky, Anne-Élisabeth Bossé, Benoît Girard, Melissa Weisz, Josh Doguin,
The radiant Israeli actress Hadas Yaron burst on the indie scene in 2012 with her radiant performance in Rama Burshtein’s Fill the Void. She’s equally good here in the story of an unfulfilled Orthodox woman who, in spite of herself, begins to feel stirrings for a man she meets in a coffee shop. The restraint and chastity of their courtship recalls the great In the Mood for Love, but the way the story works out is all its own.
Director: Jason Banker
Producer: Jason Banker
Cast: Amy Everson, Kentucker Audley, Ryan Creighton, Elisabeth Ferrara, Roxanne Lauren Knouse, Brendan Miller, Alanna Reynolds, Tony Ruiz, Mark Skubala, Merkley
This psychosexual revenge thriller chronicles the slow emotional and psychological breakdown of a woman dealing with trauma inflicted by the men in her life. Through her art she begins to craft a bizarre alter ego by re-appropriating the male form. Director Jason Banker utilizes a pseudo-documentary approach that mixes improvisation, re-enactments, actual art installations, and cast members who play fictionalized versions of themselves, to tell a story that blurs the lines between what is real and what is fantasy and what happens when the seemingly harmless make-believe world crosses over into reality.
FIVE STAR (USA)
Director: Keith Miller
Producers: Daryl Freimark, Keith Miller, Luisa Conlon
Cast: James “Primo” Grant, John Diaz, Jasmin Burgos, Tamara Robinson, Wanda Colon, Larry Bogad, Tony Yayo
Director Keith Miller blends fiction and reality to tell the story of Primo (played by an actual gang leader in the East New York Bloods) who trains another young man in the code of the streets. This is Miller’s triumphant return to the Sarasota Film Festival after his debut film Welcome to Pine Hill won the Special Jury Prize in the 2012 Independent Visions competition at Sarasota.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION (USA)
Director: William Friedkin
A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection. Starring Gene Hackman in perhaps his best role, this is one of those “grown up films” that critics often lament Hollywood isn’t making any more. But see also, elsewhere in this program, “The Connection,” a new French film that shows what was going on in France during the events depicted in the 1971 classic. Screening back-to-back for your comparing and contrasting enjoyment.
THE GAMES MAKER (ARGENTINA/CANADA/ITALY)
Director: Juan Pablo Buscarini
Producers: Pablo Bossi, Juan Pablo Buscarini, José Ibáñez, Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts
Cast: Joseph Fiennes, Tom Cavanagh, Megan Charpentier, Valentina Lodovini, Robert Verlaque, Alejandro Awada, Edward Asner, David Mazouz, Alan Ferraro, Raymond Edward Lee, Sean Mathieson, Juan Cruz Rolla
Young Ivan Drago’s newfound love of board games catapults him into the fantastical and competitive world of game invention, and pits him against the inventor Morodian, who has long desired to destroy the city of Zyl, founded by Ivan’s grandfather. To save his family and defeat Morodian, Ivan must come to know what it is to be a true Games Maker.
GO IN THE WILDERNESS (CANADA)
Director: Elza Kephart
Producers: Patricia Gomez, Elza Kephart
Cast: Stephanie Chapman-Baker, Kevin Jake Walker, Julie Johnson, Devin Estes
Lilith, Adam’s first mate, escapes the Garden of Eden and learns to make her way in the outside world. In her second feature film after her zombie love story Graveyard Alive, visionary filmmaker Elza Kephart continues to make wholly original and subversive representations of established genres, this time recreating the myth of an obscure Biblical character who became a symbol of the feminist movement (and the namesake for Sarah MacLachlan’s travelling women’s music festival) and turning it into a tragic love story and “coming-of-awareness” film. Shot on location in Quebec’s remote North Shore, Kephart creates a believable ancient Biblical world through natural lighting and camerawork that capture the ethereal beauty of the landscapes unencumbered by modern-day special effects.
GOD BLESS THE CHILD (USA)
Director: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Producer: Laura Heberton, Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck, Robert John Thomas
The mother of five children leaves home suddenly, a young boy plaintively calling after the speeding car. Only the daughter Harper, who is also the oldest child at 13, seems to realize that that car may never be coming back. In the course of the ensuing day, she takes care of her four little brothers as best she can. Incredibly naturalistic; feels more like an observed documentary than a scripted feature.
GOODNIGHT MOMMY (AUSTRIA)
Director: Severin Fiala, Veronika Franz
Producers: Ulrich Seidl
In the heat of the summer. A lonesome house in the countryside between woods and corn fields. Nine-year-old twin brothers are waiting for their mother. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother. It emerges an existential struggle for identity and fundamental trust.
Directors: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
Producers: Rania Attieh, Iván Eibuszyc, Shruti Ganguly, Daniel Garcia, Matthew Thurm, Pierce Varous
Cast: Robin Bartlett, Rebecca Dayan, Will Janowitz, Julian Gamble, Roger Robinson, Roseann Cane, Kristopher Kling
Two women descend into madness after an alleged meteor strike sets off a series of strange events in their town of Troy, N.Y.
HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT (USA)
Directors: Ben Safdie, Joshua Safdie
Producers: Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson
Cast: Ron Braunstein, Eleonore Hendricks, Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, Yuri Pleskun
Harley and Ilya, homeless heroin addicts on the Upper West Side of New York City, break up at the beginning of the Safdie brothers’ new drama. That breakup leads to a destructive downward spiral for Harley. Rather than attempt to provide explanations for how the characters got into their situations, the film strives to understand the situation before them. Based on a true story the filmmakers discovered while working on another film.
Director: Clay Riley Hassler
Producers: Tif Hassler
Cast: Michael McDowell, Lance Megginson, Julie Dunagan, Hosanna Gourley, Parker Townsend, J.W. Burriss, Michael Francis Paolucci, Amy Bass Mohan, Karen Wheeling Reynolds, Carole Midura, Willis B. Miller
Filmed in a real shelter with real homeless people, this slice of American neo-realism tells the story of a teenage boy lost in the bleak and hopeless routine of life in a shelter. He feels alone and anonymous in a seemingly connected world. But when his circumstances change for the better, he finds himself adapting to a new home, new friends and looking forward to a future that he hopes will last. Husband and wife filmmaking team Clay and Tif Hassler are both FSU alumni.
Director: Rebecca Johnson
Producers: Amy Gardner, Sarah Sulick
Cast: Jessica Sula, Luicen Laviscount, Ntonga Mwanza, Naomi Ryan, Danielle Vitalis, Lauren Johns, Tosin Cole, Savannah Gordon-Liburd, Modupe Adeyeye.
In Brixton, London, 15-year-old Layla gets sucked into gang activity and sets up the boy who’s in love with her to be killed. Rebecca Johnson skillfully directs this compelling film with an eye for authentic detail, characters, and settings which makes the premise all the more believable and terrifying as it illustrates how obsessive love can drive people to do unspeakably horrible things. Similar to Andrea Arnold’s early work, the film transports you as a fly-on-the-wall into its gritty, working-class, poverty-stricken, troubled-youth, atmosphere in England.
Director: Jenner Furst
Producers: Daniel Levin, Julia Willoughby Nason, John Ventimiglia
Cast: Nick Sandow, John Ventimiglia, Michael Imperioli, Steve Schirripa, Tamara Malkin-Stuart, Tom Gilroy, Wyndham Garnett, Julia Willoughby Nason, Rose Schlossberg, Sophie Ellsberg, Seamus McNally, Sasha Qvist, Sterling Sandow
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, three friends come to terms with life, art, and family using the storm as a metaphor for change and transition. The story follows the rehearsals of an Off-Broadway Play and the lives of the Director, his Muse and a washed out Actor who has just lost everything to the sea. Shot in the aftermath of the storm, this highly improvised film stars Nick Sandow from Orange Is The New Black and Michael Imperioli & John Ventimiglia from The Sopranos.
HUNGRY HEARTS (ITALY)
Director: Saverio Costanzo
Producers: Mario Gianani, Lorenzo Mieli
Cast: Adam Driver, Alba Rohrwacher, Roberta Maxwell, Al Roffe, Geisha Otero, Jason Selvig, Jake Weber, David Aaron Baker, Natalie Gold
Winning Best Actor and Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival, Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher star in this psychological drama about a couple who disagree over the health and safety of their newborn child.
I AM MICHAEL (USA)
Director: Justin Kelly
Producers: James Franco, Vince Jolivette, Michael Mendelsohn, Joel Michaely, Scott Reed, Ron Singer
Executive Producer: Gus Van Sant
Cast: James Franco, Emma Roberts, Zachary Quinto, Daryl Hannah, Avan Jogia, Leven Rambin, Lesley Ann Warren, Charlie Carver, Evie Thompson, Devon Graye, Jenna Leigh Green, Blake Lee
Fresh off of its premiere screenings at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, this provocative film makes its Florida premiere at the Sarasota Film Festival. In this film based on Benoit Denizet-Lewis‘ New York Times Magazine article “My Ex-Gay Friend,” James Franco plays Michael Glatze, a gay activist and magazine founder who renounces his homosexuality after becoming a Christian pastor.
I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS (USA)
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Director: Brett Haley
Producers: Rebecca Green, Brett Haley, Laura D. Smith
No one wants to think about losing someone they love. But what happens when you lose someone, spend years alone, and then suddenly find romantic feelings stirring again? Blythe Danner is spot-on perfect as Carol, whose life is thrown off-kilter by not one but two men, who are at least two generations apart, to boot. Martin Starr gets a chance to stretch beyond his nerdcore reputation, and plays Lloyd (Suitor #1) with a very sweet, matter-of-fact winningness. Sam Elliott as Bill, on the other hand (Suitor #2), is self-assured, charming, and just a little bit mischievous. Master character actors Rhea Perlman, June Squibb, and Mary Kay Place are a complete hoot as Carol’s bridge partners. It’s a funny, moving, big-hearted take on love in your seventies by Florida filmmaker Brett Haley, last seen in the area winning the Audience Award at the 2010 Sarasota Film Festival for his debut feature, The New Year. In addition, producer Laura Smith’s film That Evening Sun was the Audience Award winner in 2009. The Festival is proud to welcome back our award-winning alumni!
Director Brett Haley and Actor Blythe Danner plan to be in attendance.
INTERRUPTION (AFVEJ) (DENMARK)
Director: Malou Reymann
Producer: Rene Rzra
Marie is juggling a demanding job as an oncologist along with her hectic family life, seemingly in total control. When she finds out she’s pregnant with her third child, she handles it with her customary efficiency. But the reality behind the mask reveals a different story.
LA DOLCE VITA (ITALY)
Director: Federico Fellini
Producers: Giuseppe Amato, Angelo Rizzoli
A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome. It’s always an interesting debate as to which is Fellini’s masterpiece, but this film might have the strongest case of them all. Part of our The Most Fashionable Films Ever series of classic films on Sunday, April 12.
LA LUCIERNAGA (THE FIREFLY) (COLOMBIA)
Director: Ana Maria Hermida
Producer: Luisa Casas
Cast: Carolina Guerra, Olga Segura, Manuel José Chávez, Maria Helena Doering, Álvaro Rodríguez, Luis Fernando Orozco, Andrés Aranburo, Pedro Luis Falla
A man’s sudden death on his wedding day brings together an unlikely pairing between his fiancé and his estranged sister. Strangely compelled by their common bond with him, the mismatched pair spend more and more time together. Eventually the situation becomes well… complicated.
LOVE AND MERCY (USA)
Director: Bill Pohlad
Producers: Bill Pohlad, Claire Rudnick Polstein, John Wells, Brian Wilson
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti, Jake Abel, Kenny Wormald, Joanna Going, Dee Wallace, Erin Darke, Brett Davern, Jonathan Slavin, Graham Rogers, Bill Camp, Diana Maria Riva
The life of reclusive Beach Boys songwriter and musician Brian Wilson, from his successes with highly-influential orchestral pop albums to his nervous breakdown and subsequent encounter with controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. The film features brilliant cross-cutting between stirring performances by Paul Dano as the younger idealistic, bright-eyed Wilson and John Cusack as the older, wounded, world-weary, paranoid Wilson. The Beach Boys music contained an almost other-worldly amount of joy and Brian Wilson paid an almost inconceivable price for it.
THE MAKINGS OF YOU (USA)
Director: Matt Amato
Producers: Matt Amato, Sheryl Lee, Jack Richardson, Grace Zabriskie
Cast: Sheryl Lee, Grace Zabriskie, Jay R. Ferguson
In this poignant story of self-discovery, love and loss, Frank and Judy are two wounded souls who are comfortably numb to their lives. When a chance encounter brings them together, their love for each other reignites life’s sweet, unimagined possibilities. Cinematically capturing the melancholy atmosphere and decaying scenery of St. Louis in an almost “David Lynchian” fashion, this impressionistic tone poem also features the highly anticipated reunion of Twin Peaks alumni Sheryl Lee (who played “Laura Palmer”) and Grace Zabriskie (who played “Sarah Palmer”) cast in the roles of mother and daughter again.
MAN FROM RENO (USA)
Director: Dave Boyle
Producer: Ko Mori
Cast: Ayako Fujitani, Pepe Serna, Kazuki Kitamura, Yasuyo Shiba, Hiroshi Watanabe, Tetsuo Kuramochi, Yuki Matsuzaki, Shiori Ideta, Elisha Skorman, Masami Kosaka, Rome Kanda
Japanese mystery author Aki Akahori takes a trip to San Francisco in order to escape the press tour for her latest book–a potboiler in her world famous “Inspector Takabe” series. Feeling lonely and vulnerable, she begins a romantic affair with a mysterious Japanese traveler from Reno. Her new lover is charismatic and charming but abruptly disappears from the hotel, leaving behind his suitcase and a trail of questions. This film won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Director: David Gordon Green
Producers: Molly Conners, David Gordon Green, Lisa Muskat, Derrick Tseng
Cast: Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina, Harmony Korine, Natalie Wilemon
A small-town Texas locksmith (Al Pacino) tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life. Featuring strong lead performances by Al Pacino and Holly Hunter with an unforgettable supporting turn by famed indie director Harmony Korine. This film marks the return of Sarasota Film Festival alum David Gordon Green who was nominated for a Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival last summer with this film.
Director: Dominga Sotomayor Castillo
Producer: Lisandro Rodriguez
Martin goes on vacation to the beach with his girlfriend. Everything seems normal until his mother arrives and upsets the balance of his life. In an ominous and possibly portentous turn, a freak lightning strike to the beach kills multiple people. And his car disappears. What in the world is going on?
THE MIDNIGHT SWIM (USA)
Director: Sarah Adina Smith
Producers: Mary Pat Bentel, Jonako Donley
Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Jennifer Lafleur, Aleksa Palladino, Beth Grant, Ross Partridge, Michelle Hutchison, Shirley Venard, Kaya Sakrak, Ebru Caparti, Traci Dinwiddie
Spirit Lake is unusually deep. No diver has ever managed to find the bottom, though many have tried. When Dr. Amelia Brooks disappears during a deep-water dive, her three daughters travel home to settle her affairs. They find themselves unable to let go of their mother and become drawn into the mysteries of the lake. This eerie atmospheric drama won the “Breakthrough Audience Award” at AFI Fest.
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (USA)
Director: Alfred Hitchock
Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
It’s hard to think of a bigger male fashion icon than the great Cary Grant, and hard to think of a time when he was more effortlessly graceful than in Hitchcock’s 1959 classic. Add in a classic Hitchcock blonde and a plot with a thousand twists and turns, and you have one of the greatest films of all time. Part of our The Most Fashionable Films Ever series of classic films on Sunday, April 12.
OUT OF HERE (IRELAND)
Director: Donal Foreman
Producer: Emmet Fleming
Cast: Fionn Walton, Annabell Rickerby, Aoife Duffin, Daniel Bergin, Arthur Riordan, Gina Moxley, Laoise Murray, Dean Kavanagh, Kelly Byrne, Jack Dean-Shepherd
After a year traveling the world, twentysomething Ciaran reluctantly returns to his hometown of Dublin, broke and stuck living with his parents. As he struggles to reconnect with the ex-girlfriend that he left behind and the friends and social scene that have moved on without him, Ciaran leads us through an atmospheric and authentic vision of contemporary Dublin and Irish youth.
PARADISE, FL (USA)
Director: Nick Morgulis
Producers: Tony Stopperan, May Todd, Victor Young
Cast: Jon-Michael Miller, Kristopher Higgins, Heather Robb, Lauren Sweetser, Mary Mara, Brian Nemiroff, Castille Landon, Gretchen Porro
A struggling oyster fisherman helps care for his friend’s two young kids and finds himself fighting for the family he didn’t know that he needed. This beautifully filmed drama was shot on location in Sarasota with six FSU Asolo Conservatory-trained actors and a crew of 17 Ringling College students and recent graduates.
Director: Andrew Bujalski
Producers: Paul Bernon, Houston King, Sam Slater
Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Brooklyn Decker, Anthony Michael Hall.
Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders play two mismatched personal trainers whose lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client. Andrew Bujalski’s fifth feature film is an understated screwball romantic comedy.
THE ROAD WITHIN (USA)
Director: Gren Wells
Producers: Brent Emery, Bradley Gallo, Michael A. Helfant, Guy J. Louthan, Robert Stein
Cast: Robert Sheehan, Zoë Kravitz, Dev Patel, Robert Patrick, Kyra Sedgwick
Recalling John Hughes’ lighthearted yet meaningful teen comedies of the 80’s, Gren Wells’ entertaining dramedy about disorders and disorderly conduct follows a trio of teenage residents who escape their psychiatric behavioral clinic and head out on a road trip. Leading this talented acting ensemble, Robert Sheehan gives a remarkable and convincing performance capturing not only the physical tics and verbal outbursts of someone with Tourette’s Syndrome, but the emotional anguish as well. Zoë Kravitz balances a complex performance as the anorexic girl trying to maintain a tough confident exterior and Dev Patel highlights the humorous yet incredibly isolating side of OCD with impeccable comedic timing. Listed in the 2014 issue of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch, Gren Wells is off to a great start with her feature directing debut.
ROMAN HOLIDAY (USA)
Director: William Wyler
Producer: William Wyler
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome. Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn are each at the top of their game. Possibly the most romantic movie of all time, and a ton of fun as well. Part of our The Most Fashionable Films Ever series of classic films on Sunday, April 12.
THE SECOND MOTHER (USA)
Director: Anna Muylaert
Producers: Caio Gullane, Fabiano Gullane, Débora Ivanov, Gabriel Lacerda, Anna Muylaert
Cast: Regina Casé, Camila Márdila, Antonio Abujamra, Helena Albergaria, Michel Joelsas, Luis Miranda, Lourenço Mutarelli, Karine Teles, Theo Werneck
When the estranged daughter of a hard-working live-in housekeeper suddenly appears, the unspoken class barriers that exist within the home are thrown into disarray. Actresses Regina Casé and Camila Márdila won a Special Jury Prize for Acting at the Sundance Film Festival.
SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE (USA)
Director: Leslye Headland
Producers: Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, Sidney Kimmel, Adam McKay
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Natasha Lyonne, Amanda Peet, Adam Scott
Leslye Headland describes her highly anticipated followup to her smash directorial debut Bachelorette as “When Harry Met Sally for assholes.” Back in college, Jake (Jason Sudeikis) and Lainey (Alison Brie) lost their virginity to each other. In the twelve years that have followed, they haven’t been able to build any meaningful romantic relationships. They run into each other at a sex addicts twelve-step meeting, and decide to join forces to try determine exactly what’s wrong with each of them.
SONG OF MY MOTHER (TURKEY/FRANCE/GERMANY)
Director: Erol Mintaş
Producers: Mehmet Aktas, Guilaume de Seille, Asli Erdem, Erol Mitas
Cast: Feyyaz Duman, Zubeyde Ronahi, Nesrin Cavadzade
Nigar is not accustomed to living in the big city of Istanbul and longs to return to her village in Southeastern Turkey from where she was supposedly forced to leave after the incidents of ethnic clashes in 90s. Her son Ali, on the other hand, has pretty much settled in the city and works ironically as a teacher of Turkish language as a Kurd. Will Nigar be able to convince Ali to take her back to their village?
THE SURFACE (USA)
Director: Gil Cates, Jr.
Producer: Jeff Gendelman
Cast: Sean Astin, Chris Mulkey, Mimi Rogers, Rachel Renee, Jeff Gendelman
Two strangers, both at the end of their rope, suddenly meet in the middle of the unpredictable waters of Lake Michigan. Mitch (Sean Astin) is intent on suicide when he stumbles upon the debris from a crashed, small engine floatplane where the survivor, Kelly (Chris Mulkey) is struggling to stay alive. Mitch is emotionally wounded and Kelly is physically wounded, and it’s during the course of Mitch trying to save Kelly’s life, and a dying Kelly trying to save Mitch’s life, that both lives are changed.
THAT EVENING SUN (2009) (USA)
Director: Scott Teems
Producer: Terence Berry, Walton Goggins, Ray McKinnon, Laura D. Smith
Cast: Hal Holbrook, Ray McKinnon, Walton Goggins, Mia Wasikowska, Carrie Preston, Barry Corbin, Dixie Carter
An aging Tennessee farmer returns to his homestead and must confront a family betrayal, the reappearance of an old enemy, and the loss of his farm. This film won the Audience Award at the Sarasota Film Festival in 2009.
THERAPY FOR A VAMPIRE (DER VAMPIR AUF DER COUCH) (AUSTRIA)
Director: David Rühm
Producers: Christian Davi, Alexander Glehr, Christof Neracher, Franz Novotny, Thomas Thümena
Cast: Tobias Moretti, Jeanette Hain, Cornelia Ivancan, Dominic Oley, Karl Fischer, Erni Mangold, Lars Rudolph, Anatole Taubman
In this supernatural screwball comedy, a mild-mannered vampire visits the office of Sigmund Freud to complain about his eternal angst and loveless marriage to a viciously vain and bitter Countess who is frustrated at not being able to see her own reflection. Mirroring their psychological problems, are the mortal couple Viktor and Lucy who are having their own lovers’ quarrel and identity crisis. With exquisite production design, pitch-perfect acting, and bitingly sharp humor, Austrian director David Rühm has whipped up a cinematic treat for the senses with a taste of Tim Burton and the flavor of Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
THIS IS HAPPENING (USA)
Director: Ryan Jaffe
Producers: Lisa Barrett McGuire, Scott Einziger, Ryan Jaffe, Matthew Weinberg
Cast: Cloris Leachman, Judd Nelson, Rene Auberjonois, James Wolk, Mickey Sumner, Emily Tremaine
An estranged brother and sister are forced to go on the road together to track down their fugitive grandmother. What begins as a comedic tale of a broken family forced to come together under the pressures of an absentee father evolves into a journey about learning to find your family in order to find yourself.
TIME OUT OF MIND (USA)
OPENING NIGHT FILM
Director: Oren Moverman
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Richard Gere, Lawrence Inglee, Caroline Kaplan, Bill Pohlad, Edward Watson
Cast: Jena Malone, Richard Gere, Danielle Brooks, Jeremy Strong, Peter Mark Kendall, Colman Domingo
A seemingly “normal” man is homeless on the streets of New York, or, as he insists, “between living arrangements.” We simply follow him as he struggles to find stability and restore his relationship with his estranged daughter. Richard Gere gives perhaps the greatest performance of his storied career as George: haunted, haunting, proud, ashamed, unbroken, broken. But Gere is much more than just the star of the film; as a producer he shepherded the project for years to ensure it would be made, and helped convince Sarasota Alumnus Oren Moverman to direct. His instincts were well rewarded; it’s difficult to imagine another American director that would take so much time and care to put the audience in front of the character; to compel the audience to actually see the character, and even to enter into his daily existence alongside him. Ben Vereen is given his most textured role in years, and his sensitive performance reminds us why he’s a legend. And Jena Malone is excellent as well, continuing her run of powerful performances. It’s one of the best films you’ll see all year.
Director Oren Moverman and Actors Richard Gere, Ben Vereen, and Jena Malone plan to be in attendance.
TO LIFE (À la vie) (FRANCE)
Director: Jean-Jacques Zilbermann
Producers: Denis Carot, Marie Masmonteil
Cast: Julie Depardieu, Johanna ter Steege, Suzanne Clément, Hippolyte Girardot, Mathias Mlekuz, Benjamin Wangermee, Chelssy Bottier
Three female survivors of Auschwitz have a reunion 15 years later at the French beach resort town of Berck-sur-Mer. Over the next few days, Hélène, Rose, and Lili will have many firsts: their first real meal together, their first ice cream, their first swim… There will be laughter, song, arguments, love affairs, and friendship as they are determined to celebrate the rest of their lives, despite the tragedies of their past. Inspired by his mother’s true life story (which he previously covered in his documentary Irene and Her Sisters), director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann takes a more light-hearted, romanticized approach in this fictionalized version.
THE TRIBE (PLEMYA) (UKRAINE/NETHERLANDS)
Director: Miroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Producer: Miroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander Osadchiy, Alexander Dsiadevich, Yaroslav Biletskiy, Ivan Tishko, Alexander Sidelnikov, Alexander Panivan, Andriy Haddad, Tatyana Radchenko
A shy, teenage boy enters a boarding school for the deaf and in order to survive he gets involved with a Mafiosi-like group — the Tribe. His love for one of the female prostitutes unwillingly leads him to break all the unwritten rules within the Tribe’s hierarchy. Filmed completely in Russian Sign Language, this ground-breaking film does not contain any auditory language or subtitles, yet the visuals tell you everything you need to know about the story. This film won the Critics Week Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Director: Kris Swanberg
Producer: Andrea Roa
Cast: Cobie Smulders, Elizabeth McGovern, Gail Bean, Robyn Coffin, Anders Holm, Heidi Johanningmeier, Daniel Kyri, Aaron J. Nelson, Eric Sconyers, Hans Dieter Wolff
An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students, and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies. Samantha, the teacher (played by Cobie Smulders) decides to jump forward with her boyfriend to a commitment she’s not quite sure about. Jasmine, the student, doesn’t have quite as many options. Directed by Sarasota Fim Festival favorite Kris Swanberg.
Director: Maya Vitkova
Producer: Maya Vitkova
Cast: Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova, Mariana Krumova, Dimo Dimov, Georgi Spasov, Simeon Tsolov, Ivo Karamanski, Svetoslav Draganov, Anastasia Ingilizova
The last decade of Communism and the Dawn of democracy is the Bulgarian backdrop for this emotionally epic film that mixes absurdist satire and naturalistic drama with touches of magical realism. Symbolically portraying the polarizing viewpoints of this political regime are three characters in a maternal line: Dima, the grandmother who is a strict Communist party-member, Boryana, the anti-Communist mother whose escape is foiled by an unexpected pregnancy, and Viktoria, the daughter whose birth defect makes her a national celebrity and grants her family privileged status in the oppressive country. Like a visual symphony, this socio-political fantasia is told in three distinct sections or movements that have their own style, tempo, and mood, creating a unique and cathartic experience in cinematic storytelling.
WELKOME HOME (USA)
Director: Angelina Nikonova
Producer: Daniela Albin
Cast: Karren Karagulian, Olga Dykhovichnaya, Ara Woland, Edward Baker-Duly, Paulina Simkin, James Claude Bristow, Ivan Edstrom, Mona Depena, Lela Tadevosyan, Anna Pipoyan, Karin de la Penha.
Reminiscent of Woody Allen’s witty dialogue and quirky characters, this charming ensemble comedy set in New York City explores the dreams and hopes of a group of Russian and Armenian immigrants who have become hostage to their life choices.
WHEN ANIMALS DREAM (USA)
Director: Jonas Alexander Arnby
Producers: Ditte Milsted, Caroline Schlüter
Cast: Sonia Suhl, Lars Mikkelsen, Sonja Richter, Jakob Oftebro, Mads Rissom, Gustav Dyekjær Giese, Esben Dalgaard Andersen, Stig Hoffmeyer, Benjamin Boe Rasmussen, Tina Gylling Mortensen
16-year old Marie lives on a small island with her seriously ill mother and her father, who takes care of the family. But suddenly mysterious deaths happen and Marie can feel something strange happening to her body.
Director: Frank Hall Green
Producers: Julie Christeas, Frank Hall Green, Joseph Stephans, Schuyler Weiss
Executive Producer: Christine Vachon
Cast: Ella Purnell, Brian Geraghty, Bruce Greenwood, Joshua Leonard, Ann Dowd, Diane Farr, Nolan Gerard Funk
Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, is sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. When the relationship with her uncle takes a turn for the worse, Mackenzie is forced to try and find her way home, instead winding deeper into the Alaskan interior. Lost and alone, she shadows a loner backpacker, Bartlett, an unlikely father figure with scars of his own. Together, they cross the wilderness and discover sanctuary in the last frontier.
THE GAME (O JOGO) (BRAZIL)
Director: Pedro Coutinho
After an argument during a road trip to the countryside, Julia and Fred begin a sexual game with definitive consequences for their relationship and their lives.
Director: Chloe Dumont
A young guy struggles to explain what happened the night before.
THE LOYALIST (USA/SOUTH KOREA)
Director: Minji Kang
A North Korean general checks in on his daughter at a Swiss boarding school to test her loyalty to her motherland.
Director: Carmen Jiménez
After her husband dies, Nieves inherits his job as the super of an apartment complex in NYC. But the job becomes more difficult than she anticipated…
Director: Pippa Bianco
A 15-year-old girl returns to school after someone shares an explicit video of her.
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
A young man’s livelihood is put to the test when he gets stopped by the police on his way home from practice.
Director: Spencer Gillis
Three men meet in a strained chance encounter at a local recycling center.
5 WAYS 2 DIE (CYPRUS)
Director: Daina Papadaki
Makis explores different ways of death, struggling to achieve the most ideal result.
DOWN IN FLAMES: THE TRUE STORY OF TONY “VOLCANO” VALENCI (USA)
Director: William J. Stribling
In 2013, a documentary film crew followed world-famous fire-eater Tony ‘Volcano’ Valenci for 90 days on his quest to set a world record. This is his story.
GRANGE TO GARAGE (USA)
Director: William Johnston-Carter
A California farmer struggles to stay in business raising organically grown, free-range automobiles.
Directors: Jason Sondock, Josh Sondock
Melvin, the greatest milkman alive, must face his inner demons after a new customer violates everything the craft of milk delivery stands for.
Director: Shaka King
USA / 5 Min
- 1.Italian;American slang for nigger.
Derived from Italian dialect word for eggplant.
See also moolie.
*source: urban dictionary and every mob movie ever
SURE THING (USA)
Director: Deborah Reinisch
Bill takes the only available seat in a cafe-at Betty’s table. Could she be the one?
THE BRAVEST, THE BOLDEST (USA)
Director: Moon Molson
Two Army officers arrive at a Harlem projects to deliver news to a mother. But whatever it is they have to say, she ain’t trying to hear it.
Directors: Seth M. Sherwood, Sarah Baker Grillo
Rosemary and Sallie feel they are not as happy as they should be with the world around them. Disconnected and ambivalent, they are intrigued by the prospect of a new cure-all for their loneliness.
KEPLER X-47 (USA)
Director: Erin Li
A woman is forced to adjust to a new life in a human zoo exhibit on an alien planet.
MIRACLE MAKER (USA)
Director: Kate Marks
When a 12 year-old vacuum cleaner salesman’s assistant hears about a miracle maker living on the edge of the desert, he puts a plan in place to turn his luck around.
Director: Bruce Smolanoff
Mel, a young female open mic comedian who lives with her tabloid-obsessed mother in Queens, misguidedly seeks companionship with a misogynistic male comedian.
Director: Laura Mohai
A young boy attempts to comfort his grieving mother.
SOCKS AND BONDS (USA)
Director: Daniel Shea Zimbler
A middle-aged sock vendor and his long-suffering other half venture out to the Hamptons to sell the next big thing in hosiery and undergarments.
Director: Jeremy Hersh
Follows the relationship between a young aspiring actress and an off-Broadway star.
Director: Aaron Cassara
A young woman decides quits her job in order to reinvent her life, until she discovers she has MS and can’t lose her healthcare.
EL CAMINO SOLO (USA)
Director: Shawn Telford
No phone. No gas. No comprende.
HELBURGER IN PARADISE (USA)
Director: T.J. Misny
A New York City DJ stealthily returns to her suburban home town to attend her first love’s funeral and make good on a bizarre promise. All that stands in her way is an obsessively moralistic cab driver.
MAKE LIKE A DOG (USA)
Director: Marshall Allman
Elvira wants a child, while her husband, Stanley, wants a dog. Stanley comes up with a compromise, but they soon learn that it will take more than a silly compromise to resolve their issues.
Director: Sarah Salovaara
A food conscious shut-‐in has an unrelenting neighbor who needs a ride to the locksmith.
THE PARTING SHOT (USA)
Director: Anirban Roy
Two violent old men in a hellish, low-rent nursing home. Two vindictive staffers. Two hapless cops. Who wins?
THE COLUMBARIUM (USA)
Director: Tyler Trumbo
As the long-time caretaker of close to 80,000 deceased at the Neptune Society Columbarium of San Francisco, Emmitt Watson cannot help but see life in the midst of death.
FLOWER OF THE SEA (FLOR DE LA MAR) (CANADA/VENEZUELA)
Director: Jorge Thielen Armand
On a remote Venezuelan island, a community of fishermen fights to protect the ruins of the first Spanish city in South America.
HOTEL 22 (USA)
Director: Elizabeth Lo
Each night in Silicon Valley, a public bus transforms into an unofficial shelter for the homeless.
THE MURDER BALLAD OF JAMES JONES (USA)
Director: Jesse Kreitzer
In 1993, Chicago bluesman James “Tail Dragger” Jones, a protégé of Howlin’ Wolf, shot and killed fellow musician “Boston Blackie” during an on-stage performance. Twenty years later, James engraved the untold story onto a spinning acetate record.
Director: Paulina Skibińska
A creative and abstract image of an underwater search told from the point of view of the rescue team, of the diver entering the underwater all covered by ice, and of the ordinary people awaiting on the shore.
SANTA CRUZ DEL ISLOTE (COLOMBIA/USA)
Director: Luke Lorentzen
Just three acres large, Santa Cruz del Islote is one of the world’s most densely populated islands. A fisherman and ten-year-old boy live peacefully within this Colombian community, but struggle with isolation as resources become scarce.
CROOKED CANDY (USA)
Director: Andrew Rogers
Kinder Surprise eggs are enormously popular all around the world. That is, except in the United States, where they’re considered a choking hazard and are illegal.
THE HERE AFTER (USA)
Director: Lauren DiFilippo
Trying to understand her father’s obsession with death, filmmaker Lauren DeFilippo persuades him to plan and attend his own Viking funeral.
LAST REEL (USA)
Directors: Steven Bonar, Julia Reichert
Little Art Theater transitions from 35mm film to digital projection.
ONE YEAR LEASE (USA)
Director: Brian Bolster
Told almost entirely through voicemail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas and Casper as they endure a year-‐long sentence with Rita, the cat-‐loving landlady.
SHOTGUN OF FAITH (USA)
Director: Brittney Shepard
Barry Chin is an ailing cowboy pastor in Texas. As the number of literal cowboys in Texas dwindles, can he grow a church based on a way of life that hardly exists anymore?
SKATEBOARDING’S FIRST WAVE (USA)
Director: Don Burgess
A look at the early days of skateboarding culture in Southern California, and the group of kids that would shape its role in the media and in society.
SOME VACATION. (USA)
Director: Anne S. Lewis
What could possibly go wrong when Dad decides to take the family along on his business road trips– and call them vacations?
Directors: Luke Poling, Adam Roffman
Deep in the wilds of rural Alabama, a spear-hunter proclaims himself the world’s greatest and erects a museum dedicated to his own bizarre obsession.
BETWEEN TIMES (NETHERLANDS/USA)
Director: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
From the wall of a small town bakery, a cuckoo clock recounts a day where bread was sliced one second thick, lovers fell in sync and time rarely flowed at an even rate.
Director: Stanton Cameron
Caught between two worlds, a young wolf must decide whether following his own path is worth the loss of his human father’s approval.
Director: Tamara Hahn
A baby-robbing monster breaks into a house one night. Will the monster succeed, or will it fail like those before him?
LUNA AND LARS (USA)
Director: Anna Zlokovic
Two puppets come to life at night to dance together in their miniature toy theater. One night, they discover some strange new music in their record collection along with an ominous mirror.
PLASTIMIME (UNITED KINGDOM)
Director: Daniel Greaves
A man practices a dying art. Although his timing is a bit off and his skills aren’t recognized, he keeps moving forward, faithfully believing that one day he will be “seen”.
SO IT GOES (USA)
Director: Alex Pope
A short story about the beauty found within the burdens of life.
SOMEWHERE DOWN THE LINE (IRELAND)
Director: Julien Regnard
A man’s life, loves and losses are shown through the exchanges he has with the passengers in his car.
THE SUN LIKE A BIG DARK ANIMAL (USA)
Directors: Christina Felisgrau, Ronnie Rivera
When a failed update causes a computer to become sentient, it falls in love with it’s user, Allie.
Director: Nils Hedinger
A group of logs is about to freeze to death in a cold, icy desert. When they realize that the only fuel for a warming fire is their own body, things start heating up.
WORLD OF TOMORROW (USA)
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.
THE CANARY (USA)
Director: Karl Herrmann
Orville Combs relocates to California at the height of the Gold Rush a little too late. Refusing to admit defeat, he buys a condemned mine, hoping to strike it rich. But he soon discovers his dream may actually be a nightmare…one from which he may never awake.
DOLPHIN LOVER (USA)
Director: Kareem Tabsch
USA / 16 Min
The incredible true story of Malcolm Brenner and his summer long love affair with Dolly the dolphin.
Director: Leah Shore
Shot exclusively in a secret sex club in New York City, a drug-induced couple unleash upon each other an existential barrage of delusion and broken dreams.
Director: Jason Kupfer
A pair of home invaders consider their potential character choices just prior to their planned invasion.
Director: Maverick Moore
Three girls burn rubber and leave no survivors on an inexplicably wild ride.
Director: Chloe Okuno
A naive young girl becomes the target of a murderous sociopath when she attempts to reinvent herself to impress the boys in her small Texas town.
TEETH (UNITED KINGDOM/HUNGARY/USA)
Director: Daniel Gray, Tom Brown
That which is neglected, is lost.
TOTAL MOON (USA)
Director: Sophia Savage
When the Maas family siblings bring their sister home to Big Sur after a suicide attempt, they struggle to reintegrate her into their unusually intimate way of life.
CASTER’S BLOG: A GEEK LOVE STORY (USA)
Director: Austin McKinley
Caster coasts through life writing in his blog about beer, pizza, and Star Trek, until he meets Shadoe Beaupre– quite possibly the coolest, most perfect girl he can imagine.
Director: Jon Sams
A discouraged photographer has lost the attention of his only friend to a new admirer. Now he finds himself struggling to control his unraveling reality.
DREAM FIELD (USA)
Director: Peter Kosub
After a girl mysteriously appears in a lonely boy’s dream, he wakes up with her scarf. Confused, he begins a journey to return it to her.
GREETINGS FROM FLORIDA! (USA)
Director: Thomas Nudi
A retired married couple smoke and drink in each other’s company during the first hurricane of the season.
PARIS LOVE CONSPIRACY (USA/FRANCE)
Director: Vincent Dale
An American YouTuber looking to meet his internet girlfriend in Paris falls into the hands of an ancient techno cult.
Director: Julia Dunn
A girl is scared of everything she comes in contact with.
THE SUNNY SIDE (USA)
Director: Trishul Thejasvi
Little boy Dennis sat on a wall, wondering what would become of it all.
WHEN THE PARTY ENDS (USA)
Director: KT Curran
A group of GLBTQ friends explore life, love, and relationships in a world where being in love can mean risking it all.
Director: John Francis
After her final tour of duty in Afghanistan, an oysterman’s daughter returns home to rediscover her family and the coastal community she grew up in.
Director: Amber Steele
A ballet instructor loses herself in recollections of her tragic past.
MOODS OF MIAKKA (USA)
Director: Leslie Gaines
Acclaimed wildlife photographer and Sarasotan, Jeff Palmer, introduces us to the landscape he grew up in along the Myakka River.
MY GIRL ROSE (USA)
Director: Jordan Matthew Lewis
Racial tension runs high in 1960s small-town Florida, when interracial students at Lakeland High School fight for their first desegregated prom ever.
Director: Noah DeBonis
Fourteen year old Harley is trying to save her families broke down bed and breakfast in the swamp country of florida. When a gruff guest with a mysterious background arrives she wonders if her fortunes have changed.
RUDY + NEAL GO FISHING (USA)
Director: Abigail Tannebaum Sharon
An American Veteran, who suffers from PTSD, goes fishing for therapy.
Director: Faraday Okoro
A 10 year old boy battles his mother in order to wear his father’s tie to school.
HOME RANGE (USA)
Director: Natalia Kaniasty
Bobby, an emotionally withdrawn veteran, returns to his rural Pennsylvania hometown where he struggles to reconnect with his hunting buddies and former sweetheart.
LERATO (SOUTH AFRICA/USA)
Director: Thati Peele
A short-tempered lime farm labourer battles fate in order to get his rebellious daughter to a prestigious piano audition on time.
THE LIPSTICK STAIN (USA)
Director: Dagny Looper
A young girl tries to connect with her estranged father who runs the town’s local funeral home.
Director: Felipe Prado
One night in Daniel’s life that redefines who he is, his future and his moral self.
Director: Brittany “B.Monét” Fennell
A teenage girl with a troubled past uses her gift of rapping to transform herself and find healing.
Director: Erin Vassilopoulos
A stranger passing through town sparks a teenage girl’s desire to distinguish herself from her identical twin sister. As one sister struggles to break free, the other insists on preserving their distinctive bond.
THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES 1
THE EMOTIONAL DIMENSIONS OF THE JAMES RIVER (USA)
Director: Michelle Marquez
This gorgeous experimental film was musically and visually designed based on a neuroscience research project conceptualized and produced by a 15 year old “girl” scientist and artist.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT, FOOD FOR LIFE (USA)
Director: Susan Rockefeller
We want our food fast, convenient and cheap, but at what cost? FOOD FOR THOUGHT, FOOD FOR LIFE wants to start a revolution in the food system.
JUST LIKE YOU (ICELAND)
Directors: Lovisa Lara, Margret Buhl
Fourteen year old Dora’s increasing disconnection and dangerous behavior hide a family secret.
TRUE COLOURS (ISRAEL)
Director: Ayelet Albenda
In the age of the “selfie,” young Israeli girls create make-up video tutorials, providing a portrait of a generation that never stops documenting itself. Who is exploiting whom?
UNDER THE MANGO TREE (USA/UGANDA)
Director: Lauren Lindberg, Ashley Moradipour, Katie Wise
In war-ravaged northern Uganda, one bold NGO takes dramatic steps to bring together former rebel soldiers and victims of their violence.
THROUGH WOMEN’S EYES 2
CAFE AU LAIT (USA)
Director: Brandy Silva
Getting bullied is a daily ritual for Sam. But one day, grabbing a coffee creates a connection with an unexpected hero.
ELECTION NIGHT (USA)
Director: Tessa Blake
A whirlwind of wild theories & long-held secrets rattle a politician’s family at the end of a campaign for U.S. Senate.
MY KINGDOM (USA)
Director: Debra Solomon
A not-so-meditative meditation on a woman’s personal space in a crowded city.
Director: Candice Carella
Five-year-old Miko has to stay with her aging rock musician uncle, Jeff, who is still running on fumes from his glory days. How could this NOT go well?
YOUTHFEST AGES 8+
THE AMAUTALIK (CANADA)
Director: Neil Christopher
Two young friends are spending a day away from their camp. Unfortunately for them, an ancient land spirit — an amautalik — is also in the area.
DEAF NOTICE (USA)
Director: Kimmy Ellinwood
Alex, a young deaf and hard of hearing boy, navigates a world of fumbling hearing aids, miscommunication, and his greatest enemy -water.
GLITCH: ORIGINS (USA)
Director: Andrew Halley
After an inspiring science lesson, a middle school loner attempts to give himself super powers – to stand up to the bully and win the girl… but things don’t go as he planned.
GNARLY IN PINK (USA)
Directors: Kristelle Laroche, Ben Mullinkosson
In a sport where girls are traditionally underrepresented, the Pink Helmet Posse proves that despite their nail polish and pink helmets, there’s no limit to what they can do.
HELLO DEBRA (USA)
Director: Keith Silva
Teenage Debra is in for a surprise when she refuses to play with her little sister Jessica before her big date with Bobby.
MONSTER IN MY HEART (USA)
Director: Yawen Zheng
A little boy is afraid to face the monster that lives inside his heart.
THE SECRET WORLD OF FOLEY (UNITED KINGDOM)
Director: Daniel Jewel
The Secret World of Foley takes us into the little known world of Foley Artists, who bring films to life with their perfectly judged sound effects.
WHEN FISH FLY (CANADA)
Director: Lisa Rose Snow
A determined little girl goes on an unusual mission of love in order to let go and move forward after the sudden death of her mother.
WHITE OUT (USA)
Director: Cable Hardin
A lone pilot is faced with isolation on a dark and cold world.
YOUTHFEST ALL AGES
Director: Dace Riduze
In a snowy forest nearing Christmas Eve, a dwarf bakes cookies and creates a gingerbread man who comes to life—and is very curious!
EVERY STAR (USA)
Director: Yawen Zhang
A mysterious boy from nature collects stars and sends them to every city child, who is unable to see the stars trough the foggy sky.
THE LAST LEAF (CANADA)
Director: Gwyneth Christoffel
A cute little caterpillar runs into big trouble trying to get to the last delicious leaf on a tall tree.
A LIGHT SKIP INTO FLIGHT (USA)
Director: Ian Edward Weir
Take a hypnotic journey watching creatures both big and small take off into flight, filmed throughout Florida’s beautiful parks and nature reserves.
THE LITTLE BIRD AND THE SQUIRREL (SWITZERLAND)
Director: Lena von Döhren
It’s autumn. At the end of a branch hangs a red leaf. A little black bird comes along to water it, but a squirrel has a different plan for the watering can.
THE LITTLE COUSTEAU (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Director: Jakub Kouřil
An undersea adventure in a snowy city.
LITTLE FAVOUR (USA)
Director: Yawen Zheng
A little favor goes a long way.
LITTLE MATRYOSHKA (TURKEY)
Directors: Serin Inan, Tolga Yidliz
After the matryoshka family find themselves placed on a desk full of playful toys, the youngest member of the family will lead them on an adventure that will change them all.
LITTLE RUDDY (LATVIA)
Director: Dace Riduze
While attempting to catch a fly, a red pencil named Ruddy is thrown into the world of an unfinished picture book. Ruddy enjoys his new adventures, but the world seems awfully strange without the color red…
Directors: Toma Leroux, Patrick Delage
At night, a sleepy town, a deserted kitchen, a microwave turns, a bottle’s warming up, a hungry baby’s babbling. Who’s gonna feed her?
THE MITTEN (FRANCE/BELGUIM)
Directors: Clementine Robach
On a snowy day, Lily and her grandfather make a bird house to keep the birds warm. But what about the other animals?
ONCE UPON A STAR (USA)
Director: Jiexi Wang
A little astronaut arrives on an empty, desolate planet with a flower in a bottle.
Director: Yikun Wang
After a young boy’s spoon falls on the floor, he is thrown into a different world while trying to retrieve it.
SHORTS BEFORE FEATURES
BENEATH WATER (USA)
Director: Charlie Manton
On the first anniversary of a traumatic life changing event, 16 year old Daisy attempts to get through to her increasingly withdrawn mother. Is her only solace beneath water?
Director: Meg Smaker
19,000 to 1. A fighters heart in Cuba.
Director: Angel Kristi Williams
Alex, excited to have befriended the popular girl at school, will do anything to stay in her good graces. When her new friend wants to play house, Alex innocently plays along and develops feelings she doesn’t understand.
A CIVIL REMEDY (USA)
Director: Kate Nace Day
The pervading U.S. culture of exploitation and manipulation of sex trafficking victims “hidden in plain sight” in our communities demonstrates the need for fundamental changes in both our perception and for appropriate legal remedies for its victims.
FLYING LESSONS WITH MR. SMOLIN (USA)
Director: Matt Checkowski
Mr. Smolin at Hamilton High School proves that being an amazing teacher is both a rewarding and exciting job.
Director: Aly Migliori
In returning home to celebrate a Catholic feast, a young woman faces a family that now feels foreign and a culture she no longer understands.
MYTHOPOLIS (CZECH REPUBLIC)
Director: Alexandra Hetmerová
Legendary characters from the Greek mythology live their lives and solve their problems in today´s world.
THICKER THAN WATER (SOUTH KOREA)
Director: Lee Seung Yeob
Sungyong’s mom tries to get her vampire son fresh blood every day. One day, there’s no blood left at home.
SPECIAL SHORTS PROGRAMS
The Sundance Institute partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to create the “Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge” to spark conversation about solutions to global challenges like extreme hunger and poverty. Sundance asked creators to submit short films or story ideas based on this philanthropic idea. Out of 1,387 submissions from 89 different countries, Sundance selected five winning filmmakers who were awarded $10,000 and flown to Utah to see their films premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. In addition, there were four other films commissioned by Sundance and made by the Institute’s alumni. The Sarasota Film Festival is proud to present an encore presentation of these nine films.
175 GRAMS (INDIA)
Director: Bharat Mirle
Flywild is a team of enthusiasts who get together at Elliot’s Beach, Chennai, and play ultimate frisbee, a sport which is rapidly gaining popularity in India.
DROPPING IN (SOUTH AFRICA)
Director: Willem Van Den Heever
A teenage boy living on the streets gets picked up by a skate park owner who helps him escape his vices and introduces him to what skateboard culture is really about.
ISABELLE’S GARDEN (USA)
Director: Jeffrey Palmer
An uplifting story of a community coming together in reciprocity, through the hopes and dreams of a young Choctaw girl and her garden.
MAN IN THE MAZE (USA)
Director: Phil Buccellato and Jesse Ash
In this journey through the U.S. borderlands, we see how people are coming up with innovative solutions to mend our broken food system.
A WILL OF IRON (NIGERIA)
Director: Seyi Fabunmi and Mobolaji Adeolu
A true life story of a homeless blacksmith living under the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, Nigeria with his wife and baby for almost 15 years.
Director: Marialy Rivas
A beloved youth orchestra forms a family through music and gets a chance to perform at the country’s biggest theatre.
THE VISIBLE HAND (ARGENTINA)
Director: Gael García Bernal
Romina is not a professional hairdresser, but Silvina isn’t looking for the best haircut. She is rather looking for someone to talk to.
THE WORLD IS AS BIG OR AS SMALL AS YOU MAKE IT (USA)
Director: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
In North Philadelphia, local 12-15 year olds gather at a recreation center with cell phones and iPads to forge friendships with their peers across the world.
Director: Diego Luna
Mexican nannies play a unique role as one of the country’s few bridges between social classes.
BEST OF THE WEB PROGRAM
Last year when Disney acquired Maker Studios, the global leader in short-form online video and the largest content network on YouTube, the world started to take a closer look at the Web as a mainstream medium. The various webisodes in this program represent a diverse sampling of creative web series that were released on the internet this past year to popular acclaim or are premiering here at the festival for the first time before being launched online.
Followed by a panel discussion with the web series creators and Drew Walkup, VP of Programming for Maker Studios.
Convos With My 4-Year-Old – Creators: Matthew Clarke, David Milchard
Actual conversations between a father and his 4-year-old daughter, as re-enacted by him and another full-grown man.
Driving Arizona – Creators: Dylan Tanous, Joe Ahern, Anthony Pucillo
Two idiot cousins work for their uncle’s Phoenix-based airport shuttle service experience mishaps in trying to get their passengers to the airport on time.
Drug Deals – Creators: Mike Fitzgerald, Matt Carrier, Adam Bial
The harder the buy the sweeter the high. A comedy web series about the trials and tribulations of buying drugs. Each episode is a different drug, a different deal.
Mike Stone: Actor – Creators: Renata Green-Gaber, David Harper
A film noir series about an actor solving Hollywood’s mysteries one dame at a time.
My Mom On Movies – Creator: Joshua Seftel
Film director Joshua Seftel interviews his 76-year-old mother, Pat, about the latest in entertainment from her Sarasota, Florida condominium.
Understudies – Creators: Daniel Shea Zimbler, Elisabeth Gray
In this smart satire set in the NYC theater world, aspiring actress Astoria Bagg lands the role of her professional life as the female understudy in Broadway’s hotly anticipated “Twilight at Tiffany’s.”
Wiener Vs. Brain – Creators: Almog Avidan Antonir, Tom Assam-Miller, Heston Horwin, Chase Cargill
Tommy has trouble deciding whether to act with his brain or his wiener in this angel vs demon, over-the-shoulder comedy about a man’s constant struggle to decide between his two heads.
Written It Down – Creators: Matt Saraceni, Dave Zwolenski
Delivering bad news is hard to do… especially when you don’t know what it is. This improv comedy series puts two people in the ultimate uncomfortable situation with the mystery cause written on a piece of paper.