The 2017 Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) will open on Friday, June 2nd at returning BFF venue, the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, with the east coast premiere of award-winning director Jason James’ comedy-drama-romance “Entanglement,” starring Jess Weixler (“Teeth”) and Thomas Middleditch (“Silicon Valley”).
This year’s festival lineup is comprised of 122 features and shorts from 32 countries spread over six continents. The lineup includes 24 world premieres, 19 USA bows, 33 east coast debuts and 41 first-time screenings in New York.
In addition to the feature narratives and documentary films highlighted in this release, the festival will present 37 short narrative films, 17 short documentary films, 26 animated films and 20 experimental films.
Director Marco Ursino said about the 2017 festival: “The 20th anniversary is for us a spectacular opportunity to celebrate our experience and make plans for the future. In the past 20 years, we have been able to shape a platform here in Brooklyn that fuels every year a new generation of talented filmmakers. Something to be very proud to be part of.”
BFF has also lined up several special events during the festival. They include: the 13th annual KidsFilmFest on Saturday, June 3rd at the Made in NY Media Center by IFP; and the June 11th Awards Ceremony followed by the closing night party at Windmill Studios NYC.
Main BFF venues are the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg and Windmill Studios NYC in Greenpoint. Satellite locations include Syndicated in Bushwick, Made in New York Media Center by IFP in Dumbo, UnionDocs also in Williamsburg; and Kickstarter also in Greenpoint.
“Entanglement” – EAST COAST PREMIERE
Dir: Jason James, Canada, 85 min, 2016, Narrative Feature
While searching for the meaning of his existence, Ben Layten (Thomas Middleditch) discovers that he very nearly, almost had an adopted sister – and, with the help of his neighbor, Tabby Song (Diana Bang), Ben sets out to find this not-quite sibling in an effort to find out if his life could have been different. When he finally tracks down his would-be sister and discovers the mysterious, Hanna Weathers (Jess Weixler), Ben stumbles upon a very different relationship than he’d been hoping for.
“Kate Can’t Swim” – EAST COAST PREMIERE
Dir: Josh Helman & Evan Jonigkeit, United States, 90 min, 2016, Narrative Feature When her best friend returns from Paris with a new lover, Kate’s life is thrown off track. Encountering new personalities, old promises and sexual fluidity, Kate must decide to stay on her current path or burn it down to forge a new one. Zosia Mamet of the HBO series “Girls” served as one of the film’s producers.
“El Revenge” – U.S. PREMIERE
Dir: Fernando Fraiha, Brazil, 90 min, 2016, Narrative Feature
Caco plans on surprising his girlfriend with a marriage proposal, but instead catches her in the act of cheating on him – worst of all with an Argentinean. Vadão, Caco’s best friend, drags him on a revenge trip from Brazil to Argentina. While Vadão is in high adventure mode, Caco is focused on getting his ex-girlfriend back. But not everything goes as they expect.
“Shut Up Anthony” – EAST COAST PREMIERE
Dir: Kyle Eaton, United States, 92 min, 2017, Narrative Feature
Anthony talks too much. A neurotic creative grinding out a living at a Portland ad firm, he loses his girlfriend, job and dignity over the course of a few days. With nothing else to do, Anthony flees to his family’s timeshare where he encounters Tim, an estranged family friend who is also an alcoholic theology professor. The two are forced to share the space as they clash over relationships, religion, vodka and coaster etiquette.
“The Sounding” – EAST COAST PREMIERE
Dir: Catherine Eaton, United States, 93 min, 2017, Narrative Feature
An outlier rebels against a world reluctant to embrace her voice. On a remote island off the coast of Maine, Liv, after years of silence, begins to weave a language out of Shakespeare’s words. A driven neurologist, brought to the island to protect her, commits her to a psychiatric hospital. She becomes a full-blow rebel in the hospital; her increasing violence threatens to keep her locked up for life as she fights for her voice and her freedom. At a tipping point for otherness in our current climate, “The Sounding” champions it.
“Sweet Parents” – WORLD PREMIERE
Dir: David Bly, Canada, 108 min, 2017, Narrative Feature
Follows the pursuit for success, and subsequent struggle, in the New York culinary and art worlds. Gabby (a sculptor) and Will (a chef) start side relationships with a successful older man and woman in the hopes that they may gain better opportunities in their careers, but unfortunately, at the peril of ruining their own relationship.
“A Cambodian Spring” – U.S. PREMIERE
Dir: Chris Kelly, England, 121 min, 2016, Documentary Feature
How much would you sacrifice to fight for what you believe in? “Cambodian Spring” is a intimate and unique portrait of three people caught up in the chaotic and often violent development that is shaping modern-day Cambodia. Shot over 6 years, the film charts the growing wave of land-rights protests that led to the ‘Cambodian spring’ and the tragic events that followed. This film is about the complexities – both political and personal, of fighting for what you believe in. WINNER, Hot Docs 2017 Special Jury Prize – International Feature Documentary
“Disco’d” – WORLD PREMIERE
Dir: Matthew Siretta, United States, 84 min, 2016, Documentary Feature
Set on the streets of Los Angeles at night, “Disco’d” explores the lives of the homeless as they struggle with displacement. A couple in a homeless encampment prepares to move for city sanitation. An elderly homeless woman is frustrated with obtaining housing assistance. A recycler contemplates his existence. A man who has been awake for days falls victim to thievery. An ailing senior describes a life of heroin addiction as he tries to maintain civility. When morning comes, the homeless encampment must move for city sanitation, and the elderly woman faces the realities of homeless housing assistance.
“Goodbye Darling, I’m Off to Fight” – NEW YORK PREMIERE
Dir: Simone Manetti, Italy, 73 min, 2016, Documentary Feature
After a painful breaking up with her boyfriend, actress Chantal Ughi found that Thai Boxe fighting was a way to get out her anger, and to fight ghosts from her childhood. She moves to Thailand for five years and becomes the world champion.
“Holy (un) Holy River” – NEW YORK PREMIERE
Dir: Jake Norton & Pete McBride, United States, 59 min, 2016, Documentary Feature Follows the world’s most revered and reviled rivers, the great Ganges River of India. The film’s directors, Jake Norton and Pete McBride, followed the river source-to-sea in 2013, documenting its intense beauty and struggles. The film tells the story of the River and all its dichotomies and complexities; a river that is revered by a billion people, depended upon by 500 million, and is at once a source of life and inspiration as well as death, pollution and tragedy.
“Tribal Justice” – NEW YORK PREMIERE
Dir: Anne Makepeace, United States, 87 min, 2017, Documentary Feature
Two strong Native American women, both chief judges in their tribe’s courts, strive to reduce incarceration rates and heal their people by restoring rather than punishing offenders, modeling restorative justice in action. “Tribal Justice” is a feature documentary about a little known, underreported but effective criminal justice reform movement in America today: the efforts of tribal courts to create alternative justice systems based on their traditions.