The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SFiFF) revealed the first 10 titles that will be featured on the 2019 lineup. Films announced include I Was At Home, But… directed by Angela Schanelec – winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival; It Must Be Heaven directed by Elia Suleiman – Palestine’s submission to the 2019 Academy Awards, and The Whistlers directed by Corneliu Porumboiu – Romanian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards.
The eleventh annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival will take place October 16 to 20, 2019 in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The Traitor (Il Traditore)
Directed by Marco Bellocchio
In the early 1980s, an all-out war rages between Sicilian mafia bosses over the heroin trade. Tommaso Buscetta, a made man, flees to hide out in Brazil. Back home, scores are being settled and Buscetta watches from afar as his sons and brother are killed in Palermo, knowing he may be next. Arrested and extradited to Italy by the Brazilian police, Buscetta makes a decision that will change everything for the Mafia: He decides to meet with Judge Giovanni Falcone and betray the eternal vow he made to the Cosa Nostra. Italian language/English subtitles
It Must Be Heaven
Directed by Elia Suleiman
After escaping Palestine, star and director Elia Suleiman searches for a home to start anew, only to find that Palestine follows him. The promise of a new life turns into a comedy of errors: however far he sojourns, from Paris to New York, something always reminds him of home. It Must Be Heaven was nominated for the Palme d’Or at 2019 Festival de Cannes and was Palestine’s submission to the 2019 Academy Awards. French language/English subtitles
Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu
In the crime-thriller, The Whistlers, not everything is as it seems for Cristi (Vlad Ivanov), a police inspector in Bucharest who plays both sides of the law. Embarking on a high-stakes heist with the beautiful Gilda, the pair will have to navigate the twists and turns of corruption, treachery and deception, and a trip to the Canary Islands to learn a secret whistling language might be just what they need to make it happen. The Whistlers was selected as the Romanian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards and nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Festival de Cannes. Romanian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy AwardsEnglish, Spanish, Romanian/English subtitles
Directed by Bertrand Bonello
Zombi Child, pays homage to the origin of the “zombi” myth in Haiti, and debuted at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. Set alternately in Haiti in 1962 and in Paris 55 years later, Bertrand Bonello’s unconventional horror feature is ripe with voodoo and colonial tensions. Haitian refugee, Mélissa (Wislanda Louimat), goes through the motions of making friends with her peers at an all girls school, before her friend Fanny (Louise Labeque), obsessively stricken with heartbreak, considers taking voodoo into her own hands. French, Haitian Creole/English subtitles
I Was At Home, But…
Directed by Angela Schanelec
The winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, I Was at Home, But… tells the story of Astrid (Maren Eggert), a forty-something mother of two, struggling to regain her balance in the wake of her husband’s death. Astrid’s adolescent son Phillip (Jakob Lassalle) disappeared for a week, and now that he has returned, the family’s precarious circumstances, particularly Astrid’s grief, reveal themselves in unexpected situations. As new questions confront Astrid from every angle, even simple activities are fraught with unexpected challenges. German language/English subtitles
The Short History of the Long Road
Directed by Ani Simon-Kennedy
Teenage Nola (Sabrina Carpenter) grew up living out of a van with her beloved father Clint, two nomads against the world. When Clint suddenly passes away and her van breaks down unexpectedly, Nola is confronted by the reality that life as an outsider may not be her only choice. She makes her way to Albuquerque, New Mexico in search of a mother she never knew, only for her motorhome to break down unexpectedly. But after forging a bond with an auto body shop owner (Danny Trejo), Nola senses the possibility of mooring her ship in this storm.
Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You
Directed by Harrod Blank and Sjoerd Djik
When Harrod Blank’s camera-covered van breaks down near Albuquerque, the only mechanic capable of fixing it is local drag racer, and machining savant, Russell “Rusty” Tidenberg. As she works, Rusty reveals the consequences of her recent transition (getting breasts); Rusty’s boss (father) cut her pay, former biker friends rejected her, and she can’t get dates with women. Struck by her tribulations, Harrod follows Rusty for eight years on this difficult journey of embracing and exhibiting both genders, while still hoping for acceptance and love.
Ghost Town Anthology
Directed by Denis Côté
Nominated for the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, Ghost Town Anthology takes place in a small and isolated town after Simon Dubé dies in a car accident. The stunned townspeople are reluctant to discuss the circumstances of the tragedy, and from that point, time seems to lose all meaning, and the days stretch on without end. French language/English subtitles
WE UP: Indigenous Hip-Hop of the Circumpolar North
Directed by Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley and David Holthouse
Forty years after hip-hop was born in the South Bronx, it’s being re-imagined in fresh ways by young Indigenous artists of the North— from Athabascan villages in Alaska, to the capital city of Greenland, to reindeer-herding towns of northern Finland. WE UP profiles the rising stars of Circumpolar Indigenous hip-hop, exploring shared themes in their work, like decolonization, language revitalization, community, and spiritual connections to homeland.
Top End Wedding
Directed by Wayne Blair
Lauren and Ned, a young couple in love, return to Lauren’s hometown in Australia’s Indigenous Territory to find her mother missing, just ten days before they’re supposed to get married. This rom-com takes the newly engaged couple through wild Northern Australian landscapes in a quest to reunite Lauren’s parents in time to pull off their dream wedding.