The 5th annual Chattanooga Film Festival is almost here, and the festival has released the second wave of films, comprising of a generous mix of fantasy, horror, documentary and animated films.
Film highlights include Timothée Chalamet, who has had recent turns in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME and LADY BIRD, stars in HOT SUMMER NIGHTS, a charming coming of age drama set during a summer at Cape Cod. Catch this winning flick at CFF before the good folks at A24 release it later this year.
BORLEY RECTORY is an animated documentary chronicling what came to be known as “the most haunted house in England.” The legends attached to the rectory at Borley and famed paranormal investigator Harry Price’s subsequent investigations of them, caught the public’s imagination during the late 1920s, in time becoming one of the world’s most notorious ghost stories.
ERNEST AND CELESTINE charmed audiences during its 2014 screening at CFF, and festival organizers are bringing the latest family crowd pleaser from the same talented filmmaking duo to Chattanooga. Bring your kids and the young film fans in your life to THE BIG BAD FOX & OTHER TALES, because this is a comedy adventure all ages can enjoy.
Rounding out CFF’s cinematic sojourn into the dark heart of the 1980s, along with this year’s SUMMER OF ’84 and LIFE AFTER FLASH, is THE POWER OF GLOVE. This doc is an absolute hoot and tells the strange, but true tale of the rise and fall of Nintendo’s Power Glove in the 1980s.
Anchored by one of the most amazing performances you’re likely to see this year by Valeria Bertuccelli, who also co-writes and directs, THE QUEEN OF FEAR tells the story of an actress that becomes over anxious in the days leading up to the premiere of her one-woman show. Along with previously announced selection MADELINE’S MADELINE, it makes for a fascinating and entertaining double feature about obsessive actors taking their craft perhaps a bit too seriously.
Director Ryuhei Kitamura’s latest is DOWNRANGE, revolving around a group of friends who after a roadside blowout become the targets of a mysterious sniper. Throw in an appearance by longtime CFF favorite Graham Skipper, also teaching our acting class along with actor/filmmaker Matt Mercer this year, and you’ve got a lightning-paced blast of a thriller.
In the action-packed true story A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN, an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand’s most notorious prisons fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom. This movie lands like a punch in the gut and in this case, that’s a good thing.
Everyone loves a good food documentary, and RAMEN HEADS straight up classifies as food porn. Osamu Tomita, Japan’s reigning king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing every single step of his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles and his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients. Mixing in a brief rundown of ramen’s historical roots, the film gives viewers an in-depth look at the culture surrounding this unique and beguiling dish.
The National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico is the site of festivity unlike any other in the world, and has been captured in a hypnotically beautiful, charming and deeply entertaining documentary called BRIMSTONE & GLORY. In celebration of San Juan de Dios, patron saint of firework makers, conflagrant revelry engulfs the town for ten days. Artisans show off their technical virtuosity, up-and-comers create their own rowdy, lo-fi combustibles, and dozens of teams build larger-than-life papier-mâché bulls to parade into the town square, adorned with fireworks that blow up in all directions. For the people of Tultepec, this explosive celebration, is a combination of unrestrained delight and real peril.
Punk rock horror? Yes please. In Jenn Wexler’s debut THE RANGER, a group of punk rockers piss off a truly psychotic forest ranger. Coupled with a soundtrack loaded with deep punk rock cuts and some truly amazing thrills and chills, this film has put Wexler on CFF’s up and coming filmmakers list. Wexler and producer Heather Buckley will be on hand for a Q&A following the film.
Lola Kirk and Zoe Kravitz star in GEMINI, a mystery thriller by acclaimed director Aaron Katz. This is the kind of film that you go into cold, and let the film and its beguiling leads cast the same spell on you that it did on the CFF team.
Casey T. Malone has chosen CFF for the world premiere of his feature film LESSER BEASTS. This hauntingly beautiful, truly personal dazzler is a cross between Guy Maddin and Terence Malick, with a little dash of good ole David Lynchian experimentation to make the mix all the more compelling. Malone will be attending for a Q&A, along with some of the cast members.
Kane Hodder is a hero. More than just the man behind the mask for iconic film villains from FRIDAY THE 13TH’s Jason Vorhees to Adam Green’s cult classic HATCHET franchise, Hodder’s is a name that genre film fans revere. This incredible biography, TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY, traces his struggle to overcome a dehumanizing childhood and endless bullying, to his rise in becoming one of the true living legends of horror and genre cinema.
When filmmakers Mike Testin and Matt Mercer challenged themselves to make a film from conception to completion in just 31 days they created DEMENTIA PART II. Making its world premiere at CFF, there is so much to love; from insane plot to the inspiring way this film came to life.
To say the films of filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani are in a class of their own is an understatement. In LET THE CORPSES TAN they do for the Spaghetti Western what they did for Giallo thrillers with their classic AMER, making a movie as psychedelic as it is unforgettable.
I KILL GIANTS has been selected as the closing night film for this year’s festival, a crowd-pleasing powerhouse fantasy brought to life by the producers of the Harry Potter films. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, I KILL GIANTS tell the story of Barbara Thorson as she struggles through life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters.
THE SECOND WAVE OF FILMS FOR 2018 CHATTANOOGA FILM FESTIVAL
TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID | Director Issa López
A dark fairy tale about a gang of five children trying to survive the horrific violence of the cartels and the ghosts created every day by the drug war.
HOT SUMMER NIGHTS | Director Elijah Bynum
A boy comes of age during a summer he spends in Cape Cod.
BORLEY RECTORY | Director Ashley Thorpe
BORLEY RECTORY is an animated documentary chronicling what came to be known as “the most haunted house in England.” The legends attached to the rectory at Borley and famed paranormal investigator Harry Price’s subsequent investigations of them caught the public’s imagination during the late 1920s, in time becoming one of the world’s most notorious ghost stories. BORLEY RECTORY examines the legend, the controversial investigations and a ghost story that may well reveal more about what might have been missing from Borley rather than what might have been invading it.
THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES | Directors Patrick Imbert, Benjamin Renner
Whoever thinks that the countryside is calm and peaceful is mistaken. In it we find especially agitated animals, a Fox that thinks it’s a chicken, a Rabbit that acts like a stork, and a Duck who wants to replace Father Christmas. If you want to take a vacation, keep driving past this place.
THE POWER OF GLOVE | Directors Andrew Austin, Adam Ward
A documentary that chronicles the journey of the world’s most notorious video game controller: the Power Glove. For the first time, discover the history and legacy behind the glove that helped inspire a generation.
THE QUEEN OF FEAR | Directors Valeria Bertuccelli, Fabiana Tiscornia
An actress becomes over anxious in the days leading up to the premiere of her one-woman show.
BLEEDING SKULL PRESENTS NINJA ZOMBIE | Director Mark Bessenger
We already know that every sane moviegoer on earth loves occult mayhem, undead martial arts warriors and wizards with spiders tattooed on their faces. But little did we know that all of those things and more comprised a completely unseen feature-length Super-8 masterpiece from Illinois! A murdered karate expert rises from the grave to exact revenge and rescue his girlfriend from black magic maniacs. Despite its food stamp budget, Ninja Zombie is an unrelenting ruckus of supernatural threats and high-kicking vengeance.
SUPER INFRA-MAN | Director Shan Hua
In this Shaw Bros. classic, Princess Dragon Mom and her mutant army have arisen, and only Inframan can stop them!
DOWNRANGE | Director Ryûhei Kitamura
Stranded at the side of the road after a tire blowout, a group of friends become targets for an enigmatic sniper.
A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN | Director Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire
The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand’s most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.
RAMEN HEADS | Director Koki Shigeno
In ‘Ramen Heads,’ Osamu Tomita, Japan’s reigning king of ramen, takes us deep into his world, revealing every single step of his obsessive approach to creating the perfect soup and noodles, and his relentless search for the highest-quality ingredients. In addition to Tomita’s story, the film also profiles five other notable ramen shops, each with its own philosophy and flavor, which exemplify various aspects the ramen world. Mixing in a brief rundown of ramen’s historical roots, the film gives viewers an in-depth look at the culture surrounding this unique and beguiling dish. This is a documentary record of 15 months in the lives of Japan’s top ramen masters and their legions of devoted fans.
BRIMSTONE & GLORY | Director Viktor Jakovleski
Ecstatic ritual, danger and the absolute beauty of fireworks.
THE RANGER | Director Jenn Wexler
A group of punk rockers piss off a psychotic forest ranger.
Q&A following with director Jenn Wexler and producer Heather Buckley
GEMINI | Director Aaron Katz
A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant unravels the mystery, she must confront her own understanding of friendship, truth, and celebrity.
LESSER BEASTS | Director Casey T. Malone
Four stories. One mystery.
Q&A following with director Casey T. Malone and cast.
TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY | Director Derek Dennis Herbert
TO HELL AND BACK: THE KANE HODDER STORY is the harrowing story of a stuntman overcoming a dehumanizing childhood filled with torment and bullying in Sparks, Nevada. After surviving a near-death burn accident, he worked his way up through Hollywood, leading to his ultimate rise as Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13th series and making countless moviegoers forever terrified of hockey masks and summer camp. Featuring interviews with cinema legends, including Bruce Campbell (Ash vs. Evil Dead), Robert Englund (Freddy Krueger), and Cassandra Peterson (Elvira: Mistress of the Dark), To Hell and Back peels off the mask of Kane Hodder, cinema’s most prolific killer, in a gut-wrenching, but inspiring, documentary.
DEMENTIA PART II | Directors Mike Testin, Matt Mercer
Suzanne wasn’t always this confused. She wasn’t always dead either… When an ex-con takes a job as a handyman for an unstable elderly woman to avoid a parole violation, it becomes a choice he may regret. From the makers of Dementia and Contracted comes the unnecessary midnight-movie sequel you never knew you wanted… made script-to-screen in literally one month!
Q&A following with directors Mike Testin and Matt Mercer
LET THE CORPSES TAN | Director Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani
The Mediterranean summer: blue sea, blazing sun….and 250 kg of gold stolen by Rhino and his gang! They had found the perfect hideout: an abandoned and remote hamlet now taken over by a woman artist in search for inspiration. Unfortunately surprise guests and two cops compromise their plan: the heavenly place where wild happenings and orgies used to take place turns into a gruesome battlefield.
NOVEMBER | Director Rainer Sarnet
Based on Estonian novel “Rehepapp” by Andrus Kivirähk, a bestseller of the last twenty years, the film is a mixture of magic, black humor and romantic love. The story is set in a pagan Estonian village where werewolves, the plague, and spirits roam. The villagers’ main problem is how to survive the cold, dark winter. And, to that aim, nothing is taboo.
TURBO KID | Directors François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland in 1997, a comic book fan adopts the persona of his favorite hero to save his enthusiastic friend and fight a tyrannical overlord.
François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell in attendance
THE ENDLESS | Directors Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead
Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group’s beliefs may be more sane than they once thought.
Q&A with producer and cast member David Lawson
I KILL GIANTS | Director Anders Walter
Barbara Thorson struggles through life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters.