The Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) announced today its Spotlight Films, World Cinema, Shorts programs, Views from Long Island, and Special Screenings, to complete the 2016 festival lineup. The 24th edition will take place October 6 to 10, Columbus Day Weekend, with 68 features and 58 shorts representing a total of 32 countries across the globe.
This year’s Spotlight Films include the U.S. Premiere of BURN YOUR MAPS and LION; East Coast Premiere of BLEED FOR THIS, CHRISTINE, LA LA LAND and UNA. The Spotlight Films will also feature JULIETA, MOONLIGHT, THE TICKET, and WAKEFIELD. Spotlight Films are presented by Fresh Direct.
This year’s World Cinema Documentary titles include the World Premiere of DAVI’S WAY, SCORE: A MUSICAL DOCUMENTARY, SUPERGIRL, and HBO Documentary Films MARATHON: THE PATRIOTS DAY BOMBING; North American Premiere of FRANCA: CHAOS AND CREATION and SANTOALLA; U.S. Premiere of BUNKER77 and SOUR GRAPES; East Coast Premiere of INTO THE INFERNO; and New York Premiere of GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM. Other films in this section include JEREMIAH TOWER: THE LAST MAGNIFICENT, LEGS: A BIG ISSUE IN A SMALL TOWN and SOUTHWEST IN SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR. World Cinema Documentary films are presented by Delta Air Lines and Altour International.
The World Cinema Narrative films include the North American Premiere of ALL THE BEAUTY and THE TEACHER; U.S. Premiere of BLUE JAY, GOLDSTONE, ORIGINAL BLISS, and THE RED TURTLE; East Coast Premiere of DON’T CALL ME SON, FRANTZ, HALAL LOVE (AND SEX), THE HANDMAIDEN, LOST IN PARIS, and THE SALESMAN; and New York Premiere of LOVESONG. Other films in this section include DONALD CRIED, I, DANIEL BLAKE, PATERSON, TONI ERDMANN, and UNDER THE SHADOW. World Cinema Narrative films are presented by Delta Air Lines and Altour International.
HIFF also announced nine programs of short films this year, including Narrative and Documentary Short Film Competitions; New York Women In Film and Television: Women Calling The Shots; Away We Go! Shorts For All Ages; Student Short Films Showcase; Get Off My Cloud; Runs In The Family; Tilt & Shift; and Shorts Before Features.
As part of the Views From Long Island section the festival will premiere the first two episodes of A&E’s brand new documentary series The Killing Season on Sunday, October 9th. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the filmmakers. The Killing Season will premiere on November 5th on A+E. Additional films in the Views From Long Island section include GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM, LEGS: A BIG ISSUE IN A SMALL TOWN, BLACK SWELL and PROPHET OF PLAS-TEEK. Views From Long Island is Supported by Suffolk County Film Commission.
HIFF will also present for the first time a sidebar “Focus on Norwegian Film,” showcasing films with a Norwegian tie. Films will include ALL THE BEAUTY, LATE SUMMER, MAGNUS and IT’S ALRIGHT. HIFF would like to thank the Norwegian Consulate General and the Norwegian Film Institute for partnering with the festival on this sidebar.
In addition, the festival will present a special screening of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, in partnership with Southampton Arts Center, on Sunday, October 9th at the Southampton Arts Center. The festival is also proud to present a special screening of Ted Braun’s BETTING ON ZERO, as the film won the 2016 SummerDocs Audience Award, sponsored by Candescent Films.
The festival previously announced that Jeff Nichols’ LOVING will open the festival, screening at Guild Hall in East Hampton on Thursday, October 6th; Katherine Dieckmann’s STRANGE WEATHER will screen as the Southampton Opening Night Film on Friday, October 7th; Ewan McGregor’s AMERICAN PASTORAL will close the festival on October 10th, screening at Guild Hall in East Hampton; Kenneth Lonergan’s MANCHESTER BY THE SEA will screen at the Saturday Centerpiece Film; and Mike Mills’ 20TH CENTURY WOMEN will screen as the Sunday Centerpiece Film. In addition, the festival will honor actor, filmmaker and activist Edward Norton with a Career Achievement Award at a dinner on Sunday, October 9th.
The festivals lineup will showcase eight World Premieres, nine North American Premieres, 20 U.S. Premieres, 20 East Coast Premieres and 23 New York Premieres.
Full information on films below:
OPENING NIGHT FILM
New York Premiere
Director: Jeff Nichols
From acclaimed writer/director Jeff Nichols, Loving celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – and their love story has become an inspiration to couples ever since.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
New York Premiere
Director: Ewan McGregor
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Philip Roth novel, AMERICAN PASTORAL follows an all American family across several decades, as their idyllic existence is shattered by social and political turmoil that will change the fabric of American culture forever. Ewan McGregor (SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, BEGINNERS) makes his directorial debut and stars as Seymour “Swede” Levov, a once legendary high school athlete who is now a successful businessman married to Dawn, a former beauty queen. But turmoil brews beneath the polished veneer of Swede’s life. When his beloved daughter, Merry, disappears after being accused of committing a violent act, Swede dedicates himself to finding her and reuniting his family. What he discovers shakes him to the core, forcing him to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the modern world around him: no American family will ever be the same. AMERICAN PASTORAL also stars Academy Award® winner Jennifer Connelly (Best Supporting Actress, A BEAUTIFUL MIND, 2001) as Dawn, Dakota Fanning (THE RUNAWAYS, The TWILIGHT Saga) as Merry, Emmy® winner Uzo Aduba (Orange Is the New Black), and Academy Award® nominee David Strathairn (Best Supporting Actor, GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, 2005; LINCOLN).
SOUTH HAMPTON OPENING NIGHT FILM
Director: Katherine Dieckmann
STRANGE WEATHER is a portrait of an unconventional woman (Holly Hunter) discovering what it takes to change your life mid-stream. A lyrical, emotionally rich drama, STRANGE WEATHER tracks a strong southern woman as she travels the deep south with her best friend (Carrie Coon), looking for answers to the unanswerable. A story about how to be fully alive in the face of tragedy, about forgiveness, grace, redemption and the power of moving on.
SATURDAY CENTERPIECE FILM
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Director/Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
In MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, the latest film from award-winning writer and director Kenneth Lonergan, the life of a solitary Boston janitor is transformed when he returns to his hometown to take care of his teenage nephew. The story of the Chandlers, a working-class family living in a Massachusetts fishing village for generations, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA is a deeply poignant unexpectedly funny exploration of the power of familial love, community, sacrifice and hope. After the death of his older brother Joe (Kyle Chandler), Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) is shocked to learn that Joe has made him sole guardian of his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). Taking leave of his job, Lee reluctantly returns to Manchester-by-the-Sea to care for Patrick, a spirited 16-year-old, and is forced to deal with a past that separated him from his wife Randi (Michelle Williams) and the community where he was born and raised. Bonded by the man who held their family together, Lee and Patrick struggle to adjust to a world without him. In his first film since 2011’s acclaimed MARGARET, Lonergan once again proves himself a powerful and visionary storyteller as he seamlessly weaves and present together, crafting a tension-filled tale that deftly eschews sentimentality in favor of penetrating emotional insight and deeply affecting human relationships.
20TH CENTURY WOMEN
Director: Mike Mills
With 20TH CENTURY WOMEN, acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills (the Academy Award®- winning BEGINNERS) brings us a richly multilayered, funny, heart-stirring celebration of the complexities of women, family, time, and the connections we search for our whole lives. Set in Santa Barbara in the pivotal summer of 1979, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor. Mills expertly recreates the warmth and passion of a great memory – but also the urgency and energy of three generations in the throes of momentous transition. Bening gives one of her very best performances as Dorothea, conveying with subtle yet tremendous emotional power both her unconditional love for her son and her increasing bewilderment about the world she is watching him enter. Gerwig, Fanning, and Billy Crudup all do outstanding work, creating complex, unique characters who each contribute in crucial ways to Jamie’s upbringing. 20th CENTURY WOMEN is a poignant love letter to the people who raise us – and the times that form us – as this makeshift family forges fragile connections that will mystify, haunt and inspire them through their lives.
BLEED FOR THIS (USA)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Ben Younger
BLEED FOR THIS is the incredible true story of one of the most inspiring and unlikely comebacks in sports history. Miles Teller (WHIPLASH) stars as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a local Providence boxer who shot to stardom after winning two world title fights. After a near-fatal car accident leaves Vinny with devastating injuries, he is told he may never walk again. Against all odds and doctor’s orders, renowned trainer Kevin Rooney (Aaron Eckhart) agrees to help Vinny return to the ring just a year after the accident, for what could be the last fight of his life.
BURN YOUR MAPS (USA)
Director: Jordan Roberts
BURN YOUR MAPS is a road trip movie for the ages, full of wonder, enlightenment, and a goat or two. After a tragedy, Connor (Marton Csokas) and Alise (Vera Farmiga) can’t seem to reconnect. As their marriage is falling apart, their 8-year-old son Wes (Jacob Tremblay, ROOM) copes with loss in his own way: he’s convinced he’s meant to be a Mongolian goat herder.
Accompanied by an immigrant Indian filmmaker, Alise and Wes bravely journey halfway around the world in search of answers. Along the way, our intrepid trio manages to find acceptance, forgiveness, and most of all, love.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Antonio Campos
On the morning of July 15, 1974, Christine Chubbuck, a rising 29-year-old television reporter in Sarasota, Florida, went to work, sat at the newscaster’s desk, and read the news. It was a broadcast like any other, until she stopped abruptly and shot herself on live television. The true and tragic story of Christine is the basis of Antonio Campos’ (MARTHA, MARCY, MAY, MARLENE) latest film, a riveting glimpse into Christine’s life and the events leading up to her tragic ending. Rebecca Hall’s performance is hypnotic, tracing her professional ambition and frustration, her unrequited love for a co-worker, and her inner torment with brilliant subtlety and sensibility for such a complex character and story.
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Celebrated filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is in pitch perfect form with his latest film, JULIETA, based on the trilogy by Canadian Nobel Prize winner Alice Munro. A chance encounter leads Julieta, played by both Emma Suarez and Arianna Ugarte, on a mysterious path of reflection and discovery in the search for her daughter. Through unexpected twists her once passionate love affair turns into a haunting family melodrama. Incorporating undeniable hints of Greek tragedy and Hitchcockian thrill, Almodóvar effortlessly weaves between the past and present, exploring familial ties, grief, memory, love, and identity.
LA LA LAND (USA)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Damien Chazelle
Written and directed by Academy Award® nominee Damien Chazelle (WHIPLASH, HIFF 2014), LA LA LAND tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern-day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. A throwback to the retro look and feel of classic Hollywood musicals, LA LA LAND is a delightful romance filled with magic and whimsy.
Director: Garth Davis
When Saroo was five years old, he was accidentally separated from his family on a train traveling thousands of miles across India. After learning to survive alone in Kolkata, he was ultimately adopted by a loving Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Now, 25 years later, armed with only a handful of memories and his unwavering determination, Saroo (Dev Patel in a career-making performance) sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. Prompted by Lucy (Rooney Mara) and with the help of revolutionary Google Earth technology, Saroo embarks on an uplifting and moving journey in Garth Davis’s phenomenal debut LION.
Presented by Delta Air Lines & Altour International
Director: Barry Jenkins
Barry Jenkins’s second feature MOONLIGHT is a beautifully nuanced coming-of-age story that will leave you breathless. When we meet young Chiron (Alex R. Hibbert) in the sunny, rough streets of Miami, he is shy, bullied, and living with his single mom, who struggles with addiction.
He is left to fend for himself in the violent neighborhood where his only father figure is the neighborhood drug dealer (Mahershala Ali). Over the course of a decade, Jenkins exquisitely reveals Chiron’s trajectory from childhood to adulthood, his struggles to define his identity and sexuality in a world defined by machismo. With all around mesmerizing performances, including Trevante Rhodes as the adult Chiron, MOONLIGHT builds into one of the most emotionally searing, startling, brilliant and intimate films in recent years.
THE TICKET (USA)
Director: Ido Fluk
After James (Dan Stevens, Downton Abbey), a blind man, suddenly regains his vision, he begins to transform his life. Driven by new desires, he develops a hunger for material things–a nicer home, a new car, a promotion–leaving little room for his family and long time loyal friend, Bob (Oliver Platt). His vision also threatens his marriage to Sam (Malin Akerman), who now pays more attention to her appearance but isn’t able to stops James’s eyes from wandering. A beautifully shot portrait, THE TICKET follows James’s journey as he gains his vision but loses sight of who he is in the process.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Benedict Andrews
Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn deliver gripping performances in UNA, the screen adaptation of David Harrower’s award-winning drama Blackbird. A decade after their relationship ended, Una tracks down her former lover Ray, who now goes by a new name in a new city. Her abrupt appearance forces him to revisit their illicit affair–a tryst that ended with him in prison and her on a path of total self-destruction. Furious that he has been allowed another chance at life while she remains continuously haunted by the past, Una turns Ray’s quiet, suburban world upside down. With confidence and grace, veteran theater director Benedict Andrews makes his film debut with this harrowing story of love and trauma.
East Coast Premiere
Director: Robin Swicord
When the pressures of modern family life becomes too much for lawyer Howard Wakefield (Bryan Cranston), he looks for an out. After being led into the garage attic by a wayward raccoon late one night, Howard decides to stay and observe his baffled and distraught loved ones from the window. Adapted from a short story by E.L. Doctorow, and featuring an astonishing performance by Bryan Cranston, WAKEFIELD is laced with despair, humor, irony and the never ending quest to figure out one’s place on earth.
AMERICAN ANARCHIST (USA)
North American Premiere
Director: Charlie Siskel
AMERICAN ANARCHIST tells the story of one of the most infamous books ever written, The Anarchist Cookbook, and the role it has played in the life of its author, William Powell, who wrote it at 19 in the midst of the countercultural upheaval of the late 1960s early ‘70s. Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Charlie Siskel (FINDING VIVIAN MAIER) tracks down Powell, now 65 and a schoolteacher, for an intimate and thought-provoking conversation as he revisits the work and the influence it continues to have. A cautionary tale of youthful rebellion and unforeseen consequences, AMERICAN ANARCHIST is a universal and all too-human story of a man at the end of his life wrestling with his past, his identity, and coming to terms with who he really is.
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (USA)
New York Premiere
Director: Otto Bell
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS follows 13-year-old Aisholpan, as she trains to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations of her Kazakh family, rising to the pinnacle of a tradition that has been handed down from father to son for centuries. With the support of her family, she trains diligently to prepare for an annual competition, the first step on her quest to gain acceptance. Executive produced by Morgan Spurlock and Daisy Ridley (who also narrates the film). THE EAGLE HUNTRESS captures Aisholpan’s breathtaking journey to break down gender barriers and achieve her dream. Set against the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, the film features some of the most awe-inspiring cinematography ever captured in a documentary.
Director: Dean Fleischer-Camp
A middle-class family goes to extremes to achieve the American Dream in this masterfully edited found footage documentary hybrid. Director Dean Fleischer-Camp discovers on YouTube over 100 hours of home footage shot by an unknown working-class man who obsessively filmed his family for more than 7 years. Birthday parties, trips to the mall, family vacations–seemingly endless footage of their mundane activities are skillfully shaped into a provocative and unexpected narrative that keeps you on the edge of your seat. At once meditative and thrilling, FRAUD is the director’s unique and layered vision of capitalism, personal identity, and biography in media.
THOSE WHO JUMP (Denmark)
New York Premiere
Directors: Estephan Wagner, Moritz Siebert, Abou Bakar Sidibé
Abou and his friends are camped out at the Morocco-Spain border, where a towering fence is all that stands between entering Europe and a better life. Away from the headlines and politics, these African migrants are ceaselessly persistent as they plan their next jump in the makeshift camp they call home. When Abou acquires a camera, he begins to document the dangerous lives of his brothers and the struggle to avoid police and stay alive. Suspenseful and moving, THOSE WHO JUMP captures the hope, despair, and joy of a group of men striving for a new home.
New York Premiere
Director: Keith Maitland
On August 1, 1966, a sniper rode the elevator to the top floor of the University of Texas Tower and opened fire, holding the campus hostage for 96 minutes. When the gunshots were finally silenced, the toll included 16 dead, three dozen wounded, and a shaken nation left trying to understand. Combining archival footage with dynamic rotoscopic images, the award-winning TOWER reveals the tense, untold stories of the witnesses, heroes, and survivors of America’s first mass school shooting, when the worst in one man brought out the best in so many others.
THE DAUGHTER (Australia)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Simon Stone
The revelatory debut feature of acclaimed Australian theater director Simon Stone is a remarkable adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play The Wild Duck. Christian (Paul Schneider) returns to his hometown after a long absence, in order to attend his father’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding to his former housekeeper, who happens to be half his age. Christian’s attempts to reconnect with his family and friends stir long-buried tensions and bring forth secrets from the past, threatening all those caught in his gravitational pull. This mesmerizing, heart-wrenching family drama is skillful and confident, heralding Stone as a director to watch.
Director: Houda Benyamina
Winner of the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, DIVINES is the outstanding debut by Houda Benyamina, the first Arab director to ever win the prize. In the outskirts of Paris, Dounia (Oulaya Amamra) dreams of money, power, and a quick escape from the ghetto surrounding her. Paired with her slightly more cautious best friend Maimouna (Déborah Lukumuena), the kinetic and often hilarious duo become embroiled in a world of crime. With superb performances, Benyamina expertly balances a buddy comedy with a high paced thriller, all the while offering a raw critique on race and religion in France.
Directors: Kristina Grozeva, Petar Valchanov
A poor railway worker’s world is turned upside down when he finds a huge pile of cash abandoned on the tracks in Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s absorbing tragicomedy GLORY. He decides to do the honorable thing and turn it over the police, but a careless government propaganda team eager to capitalize on the story sends his life spinning out of control. Set against the backdrop of contemporary Bulgarian society, where corruption and bureaucracy are givens, GLORY is a mysterious journey of one man’s race against time to expose the truth and regain his dignity.
LATE SUMMER (Norway/France)
North American Premiere
Director: Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken
In this psychological thriller, a solitary woman’s world is turned upside down when a vacationing Norwegian couple welcome themselves into her home in the French countryside, slowly invading her peace. Who are the foreigners? Why do they seem to not want to leave any time soon? With hypnotic camera movements, a seductive score, compelling characters, and a series of twists and turns, LATE SUMMER explores the lead actress’s psyche, resurfacing her sexual desires, fears, and traumas. The film evokes memory’s hallucinatory terrain and the human inability to recover from past wounds, which, despite the passage of time, refuse to heal.
THE LONG NIGHT OF FRANCISCO SANCTIS (Argentina)
Directors: Andrea Testa, Francisco Márquez
Francisco Sanctis (Diego Velázquez) is a middle-aged office worker whose mundane routine is interrupted one night when Elena (Valeria Lois), an old friend from college, informs him of an upcoming kidnapping that only he can prevent. The year is 1977 and Argentina is in the middle of a military dictatorship. Living under the threat of surveillance and paranoia, acting on this information could endanger Francisco’s comfortable life, but can he simply ignore this news?
Thrust back into the politics of his youth, Francisco is forced into a moral dilemma in this heartpounding and award-winning drama.
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY
Director: Takuji Masuda
The inspiration for the Topper Burks character in the surf classic LORDS OF DOGTOWN, Bunker Spreckels was the wildly rich heir to a sugar empire—and Clark Gable’s stepson—who secured a spot in surfing legend with his innovative board design and excessive playboy lifestyle in the ’60s and ’70s. Before his untimely death on Oahu in 1977 (at age 27), Bunker gave an in-depth, no-holds-barred interview to C.R. Stecyk, around which this uninhibited documentary is centered. A whirlwind of addiction, sex, and global jetsetting, surf champion Takuji Masuda’s BUNKER77 introduces the man Laird Hamilton calls “one of the all-time originals of all time.”
DAVI’S WAY (USA)
Director: Tom Donahue
DAVI’S WAY follows legendary character actor and singer Robert Davi known for his portrayal of the Bond villain in LICENSE TO KILL–and his quest to honor friend and hero Frank Sinatra.
To celebrate the beloved crooner’s 100th birthday, he hopes to meticulously recreate the “Main Event,” Sinatra’s historic 1974 concert at Madison Square Garden. With only a year until the anniversary, Davi and his lovable assistant frantically get to work on the preparations.
Chronicling the unpredictable and often humorous nature of planning such an event, this comedic and poignant documentary plays like a real-life mix of Curb Your Enthusiasm and THIS IS SPINAL TAP.
FRANCA: CHAOS AND CREATION (USA/Italy)
North American Premiere
Director: Francesco Carrozzini
When Franca Sozzani took over as editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia at the end of the 80s, she started a fashion revolution. Shunning the conventional magazine covers and fashion spreads of the time, she explored subjects that had previously been off-limits. By skillfully mixing fashion, high concept art, and photography, she created some of the most iconic magazine covers of the past 25 years. Through interviews with some of her closest collaborators and friends, including Karl Lagerfeld, Bruce Weber, Baz Luhrmann, Courtney Love and others, director Francesco Carrozzini delivers an intimate portrait of his mother and a candid look at one of the most influential names in fashion.
GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM (USA)
New York Premiere
Directors: Todd Wider, Jedd Wider
Following one of the coldest winters in New Hampshire’s history, the body of Linda Bishop is discovered in an abandoned farmhouse. Beside her is a journal, revealing a lovely, vibrant woman waiting to be saved. Pushing the boundaries of documentary storytelling, filmmakers Todd Wider and Jedd Wider—and narrator Lori Singer—bring her words to life as they uncover the truth about Linda in their compelling and empathetic documentary debut. An evocative story of a woman held prisoner by her own mind, GOD KNOWS WHERE I AM is a powerful indictment of our society’s failure to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
INTO THE INFERNO (UK/Australia)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s latest documentary is a spellbinding visual and sensory experience. Teaming up with volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, the pair embark on an epic journey that takes them around the world–filming volcanoes from an archipelago in the South Pacific all the way to Indonesia, Ethiopia, Iceland, and North Korea. In their globe-trotting exploration of volcanoes, both active and dormant, they discover fascinating myths and belief systems associated with these natural wonders. A visual tour de force, INTO THE INFERNO is a meditative and revelatory film unlike any other.
JEREMIAH TOWER: THE LAST MAGNIFICENT (USA)
Director: Lydia Tenaglia
Jeremiah Tower was America’s first celebrity chef, but many have never heard his name. A controversial and outrageous personality, Tower revolutionized American culinary history through his award-winning restaurants, including Chez Panisse and the era defining Stars, as well as in his cookbooks. THE LAST MAGNIFICENT, featuring interviews by Mario Batali, Martha Stewart, Ruth Reichl, and Executive Producer Anthony Bourdain, offers a never-beforeseen look at the long career of the artist and legend. A must-see for food lovers.
LEGS: A BIG ISSUE IN A SMALL TOWN (USA)
Directors: Beatrice Alda, Jennifer Brooke
LEGS: A BIG ISSUE IN A SMALL TOWN explores one town’s reactions when two homeowners install a provocative 16-foot Larry Rivers sculpture in their yard. Based and filmed in the Hamptons’ own Sag Harbor, the film is full of real-life characters, conflicts, and controversy, as townspeople struggle to define their community. Is this seemingly idyllic village the accepting, welcoming place it appears to be? As they investigate the response to the sculpture, filmmakers Beatrice Alda and Jennifer Brooke not only examine who gets to decide what art is, but also issues of race, class, sexual orientation, and discrimination, which are intricately woven into the fabric of the town.
Director: Benjamin Ree
By the young age of 13, Magnus Carlsen earned the reputation as the “Mozart of Chess,” one of the youngest grandmasters ever. By 22 he became World Champion and he is currently the highest rated chess-player in history. With a keen understanding of the mechanics of the game and an innate knack for trusting his instincts, he rivaled and beat more experienced players.
With unprecedented access to home videos and archival footage, filmmaker Benjamin Ree captures a tender and loving family dynamic that surrounds Magnus as he fights to become a chess champion. As his genius shines with his family by his side, Magnus fights to become a world champion in this endearing and ultimately intoxicating quest for self validation.
MARATHON: THE PATRIOTS DAY BOMBING (USA)
An HBO Documentary Film
Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg
Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s powerful documentary recounts the dramatic story of the 2013 terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon through the emotional experiences of individuals whose lives were forever impacted. Following events from the moment of the attack to the sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the film features surveillance footage, news clips, home movies and interviews with survivors, their families, first responders, investigators, government officials and reporters from the Boston Globe, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the bombing. Over the course of three years, the survivors face the challenges of physical and emotional recovery as they and their families strive to reclaim their lives and communities in the wake of terrorism.
North American Premiere
Directors: Andrew Becker, Daniel Mehrer
Looking to escape the stress of modern life in Holland, Martin and Margo find a simple and quiet way of life nestled in an isolated village in Northern Spain. An idyllic setting for the young couple, Santoalla is also home to the Rodriguez family, the only remaining locals in town.
Divided by cultural and ideological differences for a decade, their story comes to a boiling point when Martin mysteriously disappears. With a devastated Margo left behind, an engrossing and tense village strife turns into a thrilling search for the truth in Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer’s atmospheric debut, SANTOALLA.
SCORE: A FILM MUSICAL DOCUMENTARY (USA)
Director: Matt Schrader
Throughout history, music has always had a powerful impact on both cinema and audiences.
The first documentary of its kind, SCORE celebrates the emotional resonance of music in film by offering an inside look at the work of Hollywood’s most accomplished composers. First time director Matt Schrader goes behind the creative process of nearly two dozen musicians, including prolific artists such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman. Experimenting with new methods and technology, these musical auteurs push the boundaries of both sound and storytelling to create some of the most iconic melodies in history. A must-see for cinephiles and music aficionados alike.
SOUR GRAPES (UK/France)
Directors: Jerry Rothwell, Reuben Atlas
The young, charismatic, and enigmatic Rudy Kurniawan is considered to be the greatest wine savant of all time. His sharp palate measures the multiple layers of a wine bottle–the fruits, yeast and vinegar balance, even the year of manufacture. While enjoying a lavish lifestyle with an extravagant group of wine collectors, he makes his fortune buying cheap wine and selling it as vintage Burgundy for millions. SOUR GRAPES is the unbelievable true story of how Kurniawan, an Indonesian immigrant, committed one of the greatest wine frauds in U.S. history.
An epic quest for truth, the film showcases the vulnerable, superficial, and outright humorous narrative of what is and what isn’t.
SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR (USA)
Director: Deborah S. Esquenazi
In the midst of the Satanic ritual abuse panic of the early ’90s, four lesbian women from San Antonio Texas, are tried and convicted of sexual assault. Deborah S. Esquenazi’s documentary incorporates home footage and recent interviews with the accused, their families and experts, as it follows their fight for exoneration after spending almost a decade behind bars. SOUTHWEST OF SALEM is a gripping story that challenges the legitimacy of a legal system that allowed bias and prejudice to seep into and corrupt its procedures, amounting to what was called at the time “the modern version of the witchcraft trials”
Director: Jessie Auritt
Few would know it by looking at her, but Naomi “Supergirl” Kutin is the strongest girl in the world. The 11-year-old, 95-pound Orthodox Jewish girl from New Jersey is a competitive powerlifter who can lift three times her body weight, impressing even the largest of bodybuilders. SUPERGIRL follows Naomi’s inspiring journey as she simultaneously trains for national competitions and prepares for her bat mitzvah. In her feature debut, director Jessie Auritt beautifully captures the balancing act of being a teenage girl with religious obligation and fighting to set new records in powerlifting. With many obstacles in her way, Naomi discovers what it truly means to be strong.
WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE
ALL THE BEAUTY (Norway)
North American Premiere
Director: Aasne Vaa Greibrokk
Ten years after their breakup, Sarah agrees to visit bestselling author David at his cabin on the Norwegian coast and help with his latest opus, a raw and graphic play exploring their years as a couple. Four pairs of fantastic Scandinavian actors portray Sarah and David at various ages in this play-within-a-movie, framing a uniquely theatrical four acts. Though Sarah is now married to another man, old feelings linger and spark. Sarah and David’s is a love story for the ages—full of passion, discontent, sensual pleasure and regret. Presented with support from the Norwegian Film Institute and Norwegian Consulate.
BLUE JAY (USA)
Director: Alex Lehmann
Two former high school sweethearts unintentionally reunite in a small California town after 20 years apart in Alex Lehmann’s charming and heartfelt debut, BLUE JAY. Jim and Amanda, played by the multi-talented Mark Duplass and the superb Sarah Paulson (recently seen as Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story), spend the day together as they dig through old letters, mix tapes, and memories. With undoubtable chemistry, they reconnect as if they had never parted, but the stark reality of the present soon catches up with them. Shot in gorgeous black-and-white, BLUE JAY captures the melancholy and nostalgia of returning home and struggling to recognize who you’ve become with humor and grace.
DON’T CALL ME SON (Brazil)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Anna Muylaert
Anna Muylaert delivers a knockout coming-of-age drama about personal identity, family loyalty, and class tensions in her powerful film DON’T CALL ME SON. With wit and compassion, Muylaert effortlessly follows seventeen-year-old Pierre (Naomi Nero) as he receives the shocking news that his loving, working-class mother kidnapped him at birth. Adding to the confusion, Pierre likes to wear eyeliner and women’s clothing, and is experimenting with his sexuality. When forced to move in with his bourgeois biological parents, who surround him with a well-intentioned but stifling embrace, Pierre must navigate between figuring out who he is and where he belongs.
DONALD CRIED (USA)
Director: Kris Avedisian
A classic buddy comedy with a hilarious twist, DONALD CRIED marks the debut of a bold new voice. Peter (Jesse Wakeman), a successful Wall Street financier, returns to his childhood home after fifteen years to settle his grandmother’s affairs. In a rush to get in and out, he loses his wallet and finds himself stranded in Warwick, Rhode Island. Reluctantly, he reunites with his childhood friend Donald (Kris Avedisian), who never grew up or realized that their friendship ended. Avedisian, who also wrote, directed, and produced, is a breakout talent as the obnoxious Donald.
East Coast Premiere
Director: François Ozon
In a small German town after World War I, Anna (Paula Beer) mourns daily at the grave of her fiancé Frantz, killed in battle in France. One day, a young Frenchman, Adrien (Pierre Niney), also lays flowers at the grave. His presence so soon after the German defeat ignites passions in acclaimed filmmaker’s François Ozon’s tragic and tender romance. Elegantly lensed and acted, FRANTZ is a rich period piece filled with love and remembrance while dealing with a devastating loss in surprising ways.
Director: Ivan Sen
Australian director Ivan Sen (MYSTERY ROAD, HIFF 2012) returns with another Outback thriller about indigenous detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pedersen) and his search for a missing migrant worker. As he digs deeper into the case, Swan discovers a complex web of crime and corruption, implicating myriad characters, including the local mining company and the town’s brassy mayor, played by the Oscar®-nominated Jacki Weaver. Set in a picturesque terrain, GOLDSTONE boldly plays with Western genre tropes while addressing Aboriginal relations in this socially conscious and highly entertaining crime procedural.
HALAL LOVE (AND SEX) (Lebanon/Germany)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Assad Fouladkar
Popular Lebanese filmmaker Assad Fouladkar returns to the big screen with HALAL LOVE (AND SEX), a delightful ensemble comedy examining the often precarious line between romantic desire and religious devotion. Set in contemporary Beirut, the film follows three very different couples as they navigate the trials and tribulations of love, marriage, jealousy, and faith. With a deft hand, Fouladkar seamlessly interweaves their amusing stories, and imbues the collection with both humor and pathos. Featuring a cast of wonderfully colorful characters, HALAL LOVE (AND SEX) is an endearing satire full of heart and spirit.
THE HANDMAIDEN (South Korea)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Park Chan-wook
Inspired by Sarah Waters’ bestselling Victorian novel “Fingersmith,” celebrated filmmaker Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY, LADY VENGEANCE, STOKER) weaves an engrossing crime drama and enchanting romance with his latest masterpiece, THE HANDMAIDEN. A young Korean woman is recruited by a con man to pose as the maid of a Japanese heiress living on a secluded estate, as part of his elaborate plot to seduce and defraud her. In an intoxicating and sensual turn of events, his plans fall apart as the two women become entangled. This spellbinding film proves to be an unforgettable viewing experience.
I, DANIEL BLAKE (UK/France/Belgium)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Ken Loach
Ken Loach returns with the social-realist drama I, DANIEL BLAKE, winning the legendary filmmaker his 2nd Palme d’Or Award at the Cannes Film Festival. At 59 years old, widower Daniel Blake (Dave Johns) suffers a severe heart attack and abruptly finds himself out of work. Blake must now rely on welfare from the British state in order to get by. When his benefits are unceremoniously revoked, Blake finds himself trapped by an unsympathetic system. With a career spanning almost fifty years, Loach’s latest offering is a heartbreakingly compassionate look at the hardships facing the working class in the midst of unforgiving bureaucracy.
LOST IN PARIS (France)
East Coast Premiere
Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon
After winning the Grand Jury Award in 2011 with their hit THE FAIRY, husband and wife comedy duo Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon return to HIFF with LOST IN PARIS, a charming ode to the physical comedy of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. When Fiona leaves her tiny arctic town in Canada to visit Paris for the first time, she gets the adventure she always wanted, but under some catastrophic circumstances. Stranded and lost, she relies on the eccentric Dom to guide her through the most romantic city in the world. With storybook visuals and classic slapstick gags, Fiona’s journey is not to be missed.
New York Premiere
Director: So Yong Kim
Longtime friends Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) reunite for a spontaneous road trip in So Yong Kim’s tender and heartwarming drama, LOVESONG. Sarah, who is escaping a loveless marriage, quickly finds comfort in Mindy’s free-spirited and warm nature. After an abrupt incident sends them in separate directions, it’s only years later that they are able to finally confront their feelings. With beautifully understated performances and an evocative embrace of things left unsaid, Kim explores the intimacy at the heart of their relationship and the unique bond pulling them together. Presented in partnership with NewFest.
ORIGINAL BLISS (Germany)
Director: Sven Taddicken
In ORIGINAL BLISS, award-winning German filmmaker Sven Taddicken delivers an electrifying adaptation of A.L. Kennedy’s short story collection. Trapped in a loveless marriage with an abusive husband, the once spiritual Helene (Martina Gedeck) has lost all hope and faith in God.
Suffering from chronic insomnia and depression, she seeks guidance from famed psychologist Eduard E. Gluck (Ulrich Tukur). The charismatic, secretly flawed doctor awakens her curiosity and sexuality, and the pair embark on a dangerous romance. With thrilling performances, ORIGINAL BLISS is a powerful story of two lost souls indulging in the darkest manifestations of love and passion.
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Paterson (Adam Driver) is a poet and New Jersey bus driver living a simple life with his loving wife Laura (Golshifteh Farahani) in this absorbing new drama from acclaimed filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (STRANGER THAN PARADISE, BROKEN FLOWERS). Returning with his trademark contemplative style, the film follows Paterson over the course of a week while he quietly observes the city from the driver’s seat—capturing each detail in touching, personal poems.
With humor and nuance, Jarmusch sets his lens on the triumphs and defeats of daily life, finding beauty in the smallest details, and illuminating the inner world of an artist striving to express himself.
THE RED TURTLE (Japan/France/Belgium)
Director: Michael Dudok de Wit
From the acclaimed Studio Ghibli, perhaps one of the world’s most respected animation houses, comes THE RED TURTLE, a quiet and mesmerizing masterpiece about one man’s journey to overcome loneliness on a deserted tropical island. Stranded among turtles, crabs, and birds, the simple characters are surrounded by a rich ecosystem, where the textures and symbolism offer a deeper understanding of the milestones in the life of a human being. Academy award-winner Dudok de Wit (FATHER AND DAUGHTER) makes his feature debut with this must-see tale that is both meditative and mysterious.
THE SALESMAN (Iran/France)
East Coast Premiere
Director: Asghar Farhadi
Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi (A SEPARATION) returns with another expertly crafted and multilayered drama about Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a young married couple forced to move into a new apartment in the center of Tehran, where the previous tenant still lingers. When Rana mistakenly buzzes the door open, thinking it’s her husband coming home, she lets in a stranger. The incident threatens the marriage as tensions arise between husband and wife. Mastering suspense and naturalism, THE SALESMAN digs into the complex psychology of vengeance while continuing to explore the condition of women in Iran and the male psyche.
THE TEACHER (Slovak Republic/Czech Republic)
North American Premiere
Director: Jan Hřebejk
A witty satire set in communist Czechoslovakia, THE TEACHER explores the veiled corruption and power plays that were all too common during the Communist era. Since the arrival of the new teacher at their school, students and parents alike slowly discover that a few well-timed favors can greatly increase the students’ chances of getting a good grade. The parents are asked to sign a petition to remove the teacher from the school, but she has powerful connections within the Communist Party, and doing the right thing might prove to be more difficult than they had originally anticipated.
TONI ERDMANN (Germany)
Director: Maren Ade
Ines and her aging father Winfried don’t see each other much. On a whim, he decides to pay her a visit in Bucharest, where she is working as a corporate strategist. Worried that his daughter’s life lacks joy and humor, Winfried takes it upon himself to lighten things up, resulting in a series of hilarious pranks that only seem to push Ines further away. A father-daughter comedy unlike anything you’ve seen before, Marin Ade’s TONI ERDMANN is a beautifully observed and singular vision that firmly confirms her brilliance as a humanist storyteller. An undeniable hit at this year’s Cannes Film Festival; TONI ERDMANN is Germany’s entry and a frontrunner for Best Foreign Language film.
UNDER THE SHADOW (Iran/Jordan/Qatar/UK)
Director: Babak Anvari
Iranian newcomer Babak Anvari’s UNDER THE SHADOW is a brilliantly layered story of psychological terror and political turmoil. Set in wartorn Tehran, married couple Shideh (the scene-stealing Narges Rashidi) and Iraj (Bobby Naderi) are forced to separate when he is assigned to medical work on the front lines. In addition to taking care of their sick young daughter, Dorsa, Shideh is also nursing her own pride after being rejected from medical school as punishment for her activism. As the war escalates around them and evil spirits are unleashed, UNDER THE SHADOW tackles life under political turmoil and female oppression in this haunting and atmospheric debut.
AIR, LAND, AND SEA
BEFORE THE FLOOD (USA)
Director: Fisher Stevens
Academy Award® winner Leonardo DiCaprio’s passionate crusade to combat the increasingly harmful effects of climate change is at the heart of the thought-provoking BEFORE THE FLOOD. As a United Nations Ambassador of Peace, the celebrated actor and longtime environmental advocate teams up with Academy Award®-winning documentarian Fisher
Stevens (producer, THE COVE) to deliver a powerful call to action to prevent the demise and destruction our beautiful Earth. Together, they travel the world to raise conservation awareness and meet with scientific and political dignitaries (including Ban Ki-Moon, Barack Obama, and the Pope), all while reminding us of the fragility of our planet.
SONIC SEA (USA)
Directors: Michelle Dougherty, Daniel Hinerfeld
Whales and other marine life are surrounded by a unique and powerful sonic symphony. These underwater sounds help define their existence and guide them towards food, mates, and safety.
Narrated by Rachel McAdams, SONIC SEA dives into their fragile world and explores the tragic impact of industrial and military ocean noise. Featuring interviews from dedicated experts and activists, filmmakers Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld’s must-see documentary points to the man-made sources of oceanic noise pollution and explores ways in which we can act to protect these beloved creatures.
FILMS OF CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION
DISTURBING THE PEACE (USA)
East Coast Premiere
Directors: Stephen Apkon, Andrew Young
The stirring documentary DISTURBING THE PEACE, from award-winning director Stephen Apkon and Academy Award®-nominated director Andrew Young, follows a group of Israeli soldiers and Palestinian fighters who bravely transition from former enemies to peace activists.
Moving away from the protracted conflict that has caused nothing but disruption and tragedy in their own lives, they decide to form “Combatants for Peace,” a bi-partisan organization whose main goal is finding a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Their transformational journey is a testament to the courage necessary to challenge the status quo despite the resistance encountered along the way.
FIRE AT SEA (Italy/France)
Director: Gianfranco Rosi
Berlin Golden Bear-winning documentary FIRE AT SEA is a beautifully crafted and poignant depiction of the European migrant crisis told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old boy. The sleepy Sicilian island of Lampedusa has transformed into the primary transit point for migrants dreaming of freedom and a better life in Europe. Gianfranco Rosi masterfully shapes the story around a lively local boy, Samuele, who seemingly lives a normal life amid the chaos on the island. Rosi skillfully juxtaposes his mundane activities over the tragedies unfurling daily in the background on the island.
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (USA/France/Belgium/Switzerland)
Director: Raoul Peck
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent detailing a new book he was preparing to write, discussing the influential lives and subsequent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. Baldwin wrote only 30 pages before he died, but the unfinished material bears the collective trauma and the personal one (he was a close friend of the three). Raoul Peck’s I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO is crafted entirely around Baldwin’s manuscript. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film skillfully weaves in archival footage of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements as well as archival footage of Baldwin himself. Anchored by three towering figures of African-American history, more than 30 years after the writing of the manuscript, the racial struggle feels acutely relevant today.
Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
Sonita Alizadeh is a young Afghan refugee living in Iran and dreaming of becoming a famous rapper. Her family, on the other hand, has different plans for Sonita, who is worth $9,000 as a bride. But Sonita’s dreams are big and unyielding to the pressure surrounding her. She defies local expectations and fights back with her music by crafting powerful lyrics that condemn a society filled with violence and oppression. Together with Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami, who shifts from observer to active participant in Sonita’s life, they form a powerful coalition determined to bring joy and hope to everyone who witnesses their award-winning story.
COMPASSION, JUSTICE, & ANIMAL RIGHTS
THE IVORY GAME (Austria/USA)
New York Premiere
Directors: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
Bringing to light the dramatic and dire fate of the African elephant, THE IVORY GAME documents the efforts to stop the systematic slaughter that is driving the African elephant to extinction. Poachers sow destruction in pursuit of the “white gold” of ivory, considered by many cultures a luxury item and status symbol. For more than a year, award winning director Richard Ladkani and Academy Award®-nominated director Kief Davidson filmed in Africa and Asia with the help of conservationists, intelligence organizations, frontline rangers, and undercover activists trying to expose the institutionalized corruption that supports the illegal ivory trade.
UNLOCKING THE CAGE (USA)
Directors: Chris Hegedus, D.A. Pennebaker
In UNLOCKING THE CAGE, acclaimed filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented attempt to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans by filing the first lawsuits seeking to transform a chimpanzee
from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections. With Tommy and Kiko, former showbiz chimps now living in neglected cages, at the center of the debate, Wise makes a compelling argument that thrusts the case into the media spotlight. UNLOCKING THE CAGE is a riveting courtroom drama filled with heart and compassion in the face of overwhelming opposition.
THE ADDAMS FAMILY (USA)
Director: Barry Sonnenfeld
Featuring iconic performances from Raul Julia, Angelica Huston, Christopher Lloyd, and Christina Ricci, THE ADDAMS FAMILY is a creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky treat for all.
Drawing inspiration from the Charles Addams New Yorker cartoons and the 1960s television series, THE ADDAMS FAMILY proved to be one of the most successful film adaptations of the 1990s. In this delightfully ghoulish adventure, the eccentric lifestyle of the Addams family is threatened when some devious outsiders conspire to swindle the family fortune. Barry Sonnenfeld brings America’s favorite macabre family to the big screen with his iconic directorial debut.
BETTING ON ZERO (USA)
Director: Ted Braun
Allegations of corporate criminality and high-stakes Wall Street vendettas swirl throughout this riveting financial docu-thriller from writer-director Ted Braun. Controversial hedge fund titan Bill Ackman is on a crusade to expose global nutritional giant Herbalife as the largest pyramid scheme in history, while Herbalife execs claim Ackman is a market manipulator out to bankrupt them and make a killing off his billion-dollar short. Caught in the crossfire are middle Americans forging their financial future, working class Latinos seeking justice, and a business model affecting the lives of millions around the world. BETTING ON ZERO weaves uncertainty, deception, hubris, intrigue, and greed in a surprising, deeply emotional dive into the world of money, fraud and the American Dream.
THE KILLING SEASON
Presented by A&E
Directors: Joshua Zeman, Rachel Mills
The Killing Season is a raw and immersive documentary series following filmmakers Joshua Zeman (CROPSEY) and Rachel Mills as they investigate one of the most bizarre unsolved serial murder cases of our time—the deaths of 10 sex workers discovered on Gilgo Beach, Long Island. Working with citizen-sleuths to crowd source clues the police cannot, Zeman and Mills uncover eerie connections to other similar murders from Atlantic City to Daytona and beyond.
Delving into the darkest corners of our own backyards, The Killing Season shines a light on a world of serial murder rarely seen before, uncovering a real-life American nightmare. This eight episode series is produced for A&E Network by Jigsaw Productions. Executive producers for Jigsaw Productions are Alex Gibney, Joshua Zeman, Rachel Mills. The first two episodes will screen at HIFF, followed by an extended discussion with the artistic team. The series premieres on November 5 at 9pm on A&E.