The Heartland International Film Festival announced the official selections for its 28th edition, taking place October 10-20. Marielle Heller’s Tom Hanks’ starrer A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD was chosen as the Opening Night Gala film, and Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY will screen as the Closing Night Gala selection. Noah Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY is set to be the Centerpiece Screening, and Fernando Meirelles’ THE TWO POPES will be the Showcase Screening.
Nine films will make their world premieres, including; Julie Sokolow’s BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY; Brian Presley’s THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE; Aaron McCann and Dominic Pearce’s KOKO: A RED DOG STORY; Nate James Bakke’s MAN CAMP; Jason Mac’s THE OLD MAN AND THE POND; Chateaubriand Bezerra, Michael Basha, Sarah Gross, Reeyaz Habib, Sade Clacken Joseph, Julia Kennedy, Maria De Sanctis, Christina Jun, and Sohil Vaidya’s SAMIR; Stephen Edwards’ SYNDROME K; Ashton Gleckman’s WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW; and Skyler Lawson’s WHELM.
Among the 7 films making their U.S. premieres at the Heartland International Film Festival this year will be; Carlye Rubin and Katie Green’s 1275 DAYS; Dani Tenenbaum’s A NEW CHRISTMAS; Bill Crossland’s CATCHING UP; Vivienne Kernick and Kirsty Griffin’s HOUSE OF CHAMPIONS; Rebecca Panian’s LOVERS; Anjali Bhushan’s MY HOME INDIA; and Nora Fingscheidt’s SYSTEM CRASHER (Systemsprenger).
As it continues the robust growth the film festival has exhibited in the last couple of years, Heartland International Film Festival has nearly doubled the number of films to be screened this year in comparison to last year, showcasing more than 210 films (182 features, 28 shorts) representing 43 countries, and will hand out cash prizes totaling more than $60,000 at the conclusion of the film festival.
“We could not be more excited about what’s in store for this year’s Heartland International Film Festival and welcome filmgoers to explore our bold cinematic space,” said Craig Prater, Heartland Film President. “From award contenders, premieres, stars, and sensational events, Heartland is proud to be able to represent this important art form on such an international scale here in Indiana.”
Heller’s A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD stars Tom Hanks as the iconic and beloved Mr. Rogers in the film based on the real life meeting and subsequent friendship that developed between Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. The film is already a certified crowd pleaser following its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival and will open Heartland, screening at Newfields on Thursday, October 10.
Destin Daniel Cretton’s JUST MERCY will serve as the Closing Night Gala selection, screening at Newfields on Sunday, October 20 at Newfields. The film follows the history-making battle for justice undertaken by world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson concerning the case of a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free. Starring Academy Award® Winners Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson, in addition to Michael B. Jordan.
On Wednesday, October 16 at Newfields, Noah Baumbach’s MARRIAGE STORY has been selected as this year’s Centerpiece Screening. The film is an incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together with an incredible star-driven cast including Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta.
The following evening, Thursday, October 17 (at AMC Castleton Square 14), Fernando Meirelles’ THE TWO POPES takes this year’s Showcase screening slot. The film features two powerhouse actors, Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, as the traditionalist Pope Benedict and the reformist future Pope Francis, who face an uncomfortable task of finding common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church.
Additional special events include Pioneering Spirit: Life Achievement Award presentations to Michael Apted (prior to a screening of his film, 63 UP), and Cloris Leachman (via taped acceptance prior to a screening of her latest film, WHEN LAST WE SPOKE). Also Brendan Fraser will come to Heartland for a special film retrospective including a 20th Anniversary screening of his blockbuster hit, THE MUMMY, which will include a Q&A with Deadline Hollywood’s Chief Film Critic Pete Hammond.
This year’s Narrative Finalists, vying for Heartland’s $15,000 Grand Prize, include; Tom Quinn’s COLEWELL, featuring a startling dramatic turn by Karen Allen as a woman facing an unexpected retirement as her small town post office is slated for closure; Flavio Alves’ THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND, winner of a number of awards, including Best of Fest at the Bentonville Film Festival, the film follows the relationship between a young trans woman and her grandmother, as they struggle to build a life for themselves as undocumented immigrants in New York City; Jocelyn DeBoer, and Dawn Luebbe’s twisted comedy GREENER GRASS set in a surreal suburban neighborhood where every adult engages in more and more bizarre behavior in a competition for acceptance; Timothy Busfield’s GUEST ARTIST, which stars Jeff Daniels as a legendary but troubled playwright, who arrives at a small Michigan town at Christmastime to mount his latest play; and Bora Kim’s HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD, which focuses on a lonely 14-year-old, Eun- hee who feels a new teacher may really understand her.
The Documentary Film Finalists, also in competition for a $15,000 Grand Prize, include; Davy Rothbart’s 17 BLOCKS about a Washington, D.C. family, who began to film their daily lives in America’s most dangerous neighborhood — just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building; Jenifer McShane’s ERNIE & JOE, an intimate portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls; Waad Al-Khateab, and Edward Watts’s FOR SAMA, a video love letter from a young mother to her daughter, which tells the story of her life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo; Jacob Hamilton’s JUMP SHOT, which looks at the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball; and Irene Taylor Brodsky’s MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS, a deeply personal memoir about a deaf boy growing up, and his deaf grandfather growing old.
Additional highlights among the jam-packed schedule dotted with award-winners, hot film festival titles, and the film festival’s first stab at horror include; Ben Berman’s THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY, which begins following the final tour of a dying magician – and becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey; Chinonye Chukwu’s CLEMENCY, A Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance, which stars Alfre Woodard as a prison warden confronting the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill; Peter Strickland’s surreal and frightening haunted dress story, IN FABRIC, marks the Heartland’s first dedicated foray into programming horror and genre films; Nadav Lapid’s SYNONYMS a Golden Bear winner at the Berlin Film Festival, about a young Israeli man attempting to start fresh in Paris with the aid of his French-language dictionary; and two major buzz-worthy titles with; WAVES, Trey Edwards Shults’s follow up to KRISHA, about two young couples navigating the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love; and Bong Joon Ho’s PARASITE, about an unemployed family that takes peculiar interest in a wealthy and glamorous family for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident. The film was the winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
2019 Heartland International Film Festival Official Selections
NARRATIVE FILM FINALISTS
OPENING NIGHT SELECTION
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Directors: Marielle Heller
Based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) and journalist Tom Junod (Matthew Rhys).
CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION
Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
JUST MERCY shadows world-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson as he recounts his experiences and details the case of a condemned death row prisoner whom he fought to free. Starring Academy Award Winner Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan and Academy Award® Winner Brie Larson.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together. Starring Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, Alan Alda, and Ray Liotta.
THE TWO POPES
Director: Fernando Merielles
Behind Vatican walls, the traditionalist Pope Benedict and the reformist future Pope Francis must find common ground to forge a new path for the Catholic Church. Starring Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins.
NARRATIVE FILM FINALISTS
Director: Tom Quinn
When the Colewell post office is slated for closure, Nora Pancowski (Karen Allen) is faced with sudden retirement. As she weighs relocating, a young woman (Hannah Gross) causes Nora to reflect on her past and the choices that led her to Colewell.
THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND
Director: Flavio Alves
THE GARDEN LEFT BEHIND traces the relationship between Tina, a young trans woman, and Eliana, her grandmother, as they navigate Tina’s transition and struggle to build a life for themselves as undocumented immigrants in New York City.
Directors: Jocelyn DeBoer, Dawn Luebbe
A deliciously twisted comedy set in a demented, timeless suburbia where every adult wears braces on their straight teeth, couples coordinate meticulously pressed outfits, and coveted family members are swapped in more ways than one in this competition for acceptance.
Director: Timothy Busfield
Joseph Harris (Jeff Daniels), a legendary but troubled playwright, arrives at a small Michigan town at Christmastime to mount his latest play. Greeting the cynical New Yorker is a young aspiring writer who challenges his literary hero to be the icon he’d hoped for. Harris wants no part of Michigan, being the young man’s hero, or the theatre he’s come to work with. No sooner than he arrives, Harris makes plans to return to New York on the next train out. Desperate and scrambling to keep him in town, the young man must face his hero and explore the tangled relationship between the dreams of youth and the wisdom of age.
HOUSE OF HUMMINGBIRD
Director: Bora Kim
Country: South Korea
A lonely 14-year-old, Eun-hee moves through life like a hummingbird searching for a taste of sweetness. Deprived of attention from her family, she spends her time finding meaning in the love and friendships of her peers. When Young-ji, a new teacher, arrives, she becomes the first adult Eun-hee feels really understands her.
DOCUMENTARY FILM FINALISTS
Director: Davy Rothbart
In 1999, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his Washington, D.C. family began to film their daily lives in America’s most dangerous neighborhood — just 17 blocks behind the U.S. Capitol building. They’ve been filming ever since. Made in a unique collaboration with filmmaker and journalist Davy Rothbart, the film focuses on four generations of the Sanford Family, including Emmanuel, a promising student; his brother Smurf, a local drug dealer; his sister Denice, an aspiring cop; and his mother Cheryl, who must conquer her own demons for her family to prosper.
ERNIE & JOE
Director: Jenifer McShane
ERNIE & JOE is an intimate portrait of two Texas police officers who are helping change the way police respond to mental health calls. The film takes audiences on a personal journey, weaving together their experiences during their daily encounters with people in crisis. Guns tucked away, Ernie and Joe de-escalate confrontations, divert people to desperately needed mental health services, and save lives.
Directors: Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts
FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al- Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married, and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her.
Director: Jacob Hamilton
JUMP SHOT uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball, and how he defined the game, but why the game never defined him.
MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS
Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky
MOONLIGHT SONATA: DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS is a deeply personal memoir about a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Beethoven the year he was blindsided by deafness and wrote his iconic sonata. Their lives weave a story about what we discover when we push beyond loss.
SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS 63 UP
Director: Michael Apted
The 9th chapter in the documentary series of films that began with SEVEN UP! (1964), The film catches up with the British subjects of the films, focusing on the changes in their lives that have taken place over the past 7 years.
BY THE GRACE OF GOD
Director: by François Ozon
Three men, friends from childhood, cross paths, compare their personal experiences and question the paths they’ve taken in their lives.
Director: Chinonye Chukwu
Years of carrying out death row executions have taken a toll on prison warden Bernadine Williams. As she prepares to execute another inmate, Bernadine must confront the psychological and emotional demons her job creates, ultimately connecting her to the man she is sanctioned to kill.
Director: Ted Green
As a 10-year-old Mengele Twin, Eva Kor suffered the worst of the Holocaust. At 50, she launched the biggest manhunt in history. Now in her 80s, she urgently circles the globe to promote the controversial lesson her journey has taught: Healing through forgiveness. Narrated by Hollywood icon Ed Asner, EVA: A-7063 tells the full story of this historic figure for the first time, tracking her from Auschwitz to Israel to the United States — even into the U.S. Capitol for her jaw-dropping arrest — and ultimately to her courageous return to the Nazi death camp.
GODS AND MONSTERS (1998)
Director: Bill Condon
Once a powerful Hollywood director best known for FRANKENSTEIN and THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN, James Whale (Ian McKellen) is long since retired and in increasingly poor health. His stalwart housekeeper, Hanna (Lynn Redgrave), quietly disapproves of Whale’s faceless, nameless parade of young gay lovers, but when the director takes an interest in new gardener Clayton Boone (Brendan Fraser), a former Marine and Korean War veteran, it seems to be for something more than his usual casual conquest. This partially fictionalized account of Whale’s last days is based on Christopher Bram’s novel “Father of Frankenstein” and won an Academy Award® for Best Adapted Screenplay.
I LOST MY BODY
Director: Jérémy Clapin
A story of Naoufel, a young man who is in love with Gabrielle. In another part of town, a severed hand escapes from a dissection lab, determined to find its body again.
Director: Peter Strickland
IN FABRIC is a haunting ghost story set against the backdrop of a busy winter sales period in a department store and follows the life of a cursed dress as it passes from person to person, with devastating consequences.
MICKEY AND THE BEAR
Director: Annabelle Attanasio
Faced with the responsibility to take care of her addict, veteran father, headstrong teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat.
PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
Director: Céline Sciamma
On an isolated island in Brittany at the end of the eighteenth century, a female painter is obliged to paint a wedding portrait of a young woman.
THE QUIET AMERICAN (2002)
Director: Philip Noyce
From the classic novel by Graham Greene comes a murder mystery centered on a love triangle set against the French Indochina War in Vietnam, circa 1952. It’s the story of a veteran English journalist (Michael Caine), a young American (Brendan Fraser), and a beautiful Vietnamese woman (Thi Hai Yen Do) caught between them. This is a world where nothing is what it seems — suffused with opium, intrigue, and betrayal.
RECORDER: THE MARION STOKES PROJECTS
Director: Matt Wolf
Marion Stokes secretly recorded television 24 hours a day for 30 years from 1975 until her death in 2012. For Marion taping was a form of activism to seek the truth, and she believed that a comprehensive archive of the media would be invaluable for future generations. Her visionary and maddening project nearly tore her family apart, but now her 70,000 VHS tapes are being digitized and they’ll be searchable online.
RUNNING WITH BETO
Director: David Modigliani
A behind-the-scenes documentary following Beto O’Rourke’s breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate.
SLAY THE DRAGON
Directors: Barak Goodman, Chris Durrance
It influences elections and sways outcomes-gerrymandering has become a hot-button political topic and symbol for everything broken about the American electoral process. But there are those on the front lines fighting to change the system.
Director: Nadav Lapid
A young Israeli man absconds to Paris to flee his nationality, aided by his trusty Franco-Israeli dictionary.
THE TRAITOR (Il traditore)
Director: Marco Bellocchio
The real life of Tommaso Buscetta the so called “boss of the two worlds”, first mafia informant in Sicily 1980’s.
Director: Trey Edwards Shults
Two young couples navigate through the emotional minefield of growing up and falling in love.
AWARD SEASON SPOTLIGHT
THE AMAZING JOHNATHAN DOCUMENTARY
Director: Ben Berman
What begins as a documentary following the final tour of a dying magician – becomes an unexpected and increasingly bizarre journey as the filmmaker struggles to separate truth from illusion.
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Country: USA Film traces the history of New York City’s Apollo Theater in Harlem is given the full treatment.
Director: Todd Douglas Miller
A look at the Apollo 11 mission to land on the moon led by commander Neil Armstrong and pilots Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
ASK DR. RUTH
Director: Ryan White
Charting the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist.
Director: Feras Fayyad
The daily life of female Syrian doctors during Syrian war.
Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Country: North Macedonia
The last female bee hunter in Europe must save the bees and return the natural balance in HONEYLAND, when a family of nomadic beekeepers invade her land and threaten her livelihood. This film is an exploration of an observational Indigenous visual narrative that deeply impacts our behavior towards natural resources and the human condition.
Director: Hassan Fazili
When the Taliban puts a bounty on Afghan director Hassan Fazili’s head, he is forced to flee with his wife and two young daughters. Capturing their uncertain journey, Fazili shows firsthand the dangers facing refugees seeking asylum and the love shared between a family on the run.
MIKE WALLACE IS HERE
Director: Avi Belkin
A look at the career of 60 Minutes newsman, Mike Wallace.
SEA OF SHADOWS
Director: Richard Ladkani
The vaquita, the world’s smallest whale, is near extinction as its habitat is destroyed by Mexican cartels and Chinese mafia, who harvest the swim bladder of the totoaba fish, the “cocaine of the sea.” Environmental activists, Mexican navy and undercover investigators are fighting back against this illegal multi-million-dollar business.
TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM
Director: Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
This artful and intimate meditation on the legendary storyteller examines her life, her works and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career.
INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM OSCAR® CONTENDERS
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Country: South Korea
All unemployed, Ki-taek’s family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and glamorous Parks for their livelihood until they get entangled in an unexpected incident.
PAIN AND GLORY (Dolor y Gloria)
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
A film director reflects on the choices he’s made in life as past and present come crashing down around him.
Directors: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubo Stefanov
Country: North Macedonia
**See Award Season Spotlight
SYSTEM CRASHER (Systemsprenger)
Director: Nora Fingscheidt
**See Cultural Journey: Germany
THOSE WHO REMAINED
Director: Barnabas Toth
A lyrical story of the healing power of love in the midst of national conflict, lost and trauma, Those Who Remained reveals the healing process of Holocaust survivors through the eyes of a young girl in post-World War II Hungary.
ANNIVERSARY FILMS BACHELOR MOTHER (1939)
Director: Garson Kanin
An unemployed woman discovers an abandoned baby on the steps of an orphanage, and accepts an offer to take responsibility for the child in return for a job.
BREAKING AWAY (1979)
Director: Peter Yates
A small-town boy obsessed with the Italian cycling team vies for the affections of a college girl.
INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE (1989)
Director: Steven Spielberg
In 1938, after his father Professor Henry Jones, Sr. goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, Professor Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr. finds himself up against Adolf Hitler’s Nazis again to stop them from obtaining its powers.
MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
Director: John Schlesinger
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York City to seek personal fortune, finding a new friend in the process.
THE MUMMY (1999)
Director: Stephen Sommers
At an archaeological dig in the ancient city of Hamunaptra, an American serving in the French Foreign Legion accidentally awakens a mummy who begins to wreck havoc as he searches for the reincarnation of his long-lost love.
THE SET-UP (1949)
Director: Robert Wise
Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson’s pre-arranged dive- loss in the next match.
SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
Director: Billy Wilder
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Directors: Pete Doctor, Bob Peterson
Seventy-eight-year-old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway.
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)
Director: Victor Fleming
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.
CULTURAL JOURNEY: GERMANY 25 KM/H
Director: Markus Goller
After years of estrangement, brothers Christian and Georg finally cross paths again at their father’s funeral. Georg is extremely angry with Christian which results in a horrific fistfight at the cemetery. Finally, fueled with alcohol, and a rousing game of table tennis, they decide to fulfill a goal from childhood – a moped trip through Germany, confined to 25 km/h.
Director: Michael Bully Herbig
On a chilly night of September 1979, two families with their four children managed a spectacular escape from East Germany by sailing over a heavily fortified border in their homemade balloon, with the Stasi police right behind them.
BORN IN EVIN
Director: Mayann Zaree
Filmmaker and actress Maryam Zaree, embark on a quest to discover the circumstances that were present at her birth inside one of the most notorious political prisons in the world. She was born in Evin shortly after the Islamic Republic was established. Her parents were considered political dissidents and have refused to speak about the trauma of those days. Their silence instilled a mission, and now, 40 years later, Maryam will explore the circumstances of her birth even while the same repressive religious forces remain in power.
CLEO: IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME
Director: Erik Schmitt
Cleo is a young woman obsessed with a desire to turn back time and undo the death of her parents. She meets Paul, who has a map that might lead to the treasure she’s dreaming of – a stolen magical clock. They set off on a crazy adventure through Berlin exploring its myths, legends, and dark underground. In the end, she’s confronted by the ultimate question: should she want to turn back time at all?
HOW ABOUT ADOLF
Director: Sönke Wortmann
Award-winning director Sönke Wortmann has crafted an outstanding social satire lathered in witty dialogue and perfect timing. We’re at a family and friends dinner when Thomas, deciding to be provocative, announces that he and his pregnant girlfriend plan to name their son Adolf. The scene escalates with lingering German guilt and angst over the Nazi past. Personal secrets and truths are dragged to light, kicking and screaming. Unforgivable things are said; it’s a feast of childhood transgressions and suppressed passions. Nothing is hidden, nothing is forgotten.
Director: Marcus H. Rosenmüller
Country: Germany She finds him in a local Nazi POW camp outside Manchester at the end of WWII when hostility towards Germany is palpable. He is the famous footballer Bert Trautmann; Bert’s football skills are noted by Manchester City and they pick him up as a goalie. His signing causes outrage within the community but Margaret campaigns for him and gets support from a local Rabbi. Bert’s talent shines at the 1956 FA Cup Final when he secures victory for Manchester City by playing despite a broken neck.
THE LAST BERLINER
Director: Gregor Erler
The last un-renovated building in a trendy neighborhood is being emptied. The former tenants are moving out, but one man refuses to budge. His son tries to convince him to move into social housing but he won’t leave his beloved apartment of 40 years. The situation escalates, getting completely out of hand. When a young policeman arrives, the son is forced to finally take a stand.
SYSTEM CRASHER (Systemsprenger)
Director: Nora Fingscheidt
Benni is a nine-year-old “system crasher” with the face of an angel. She’s small but dangerous – a child who breaks every single rule and falls through the cracks of social services. All she wants is to be with her beloved mother. But mommy can’t cope. She only adds to the child’s pain, frustration, and rage. All seems lost until she meets Micha – her school escort. Can he make the difference?
LAST YEAR AT THE CROSSING
Director: Kathy Bruner
An alternative high school in small-town Indiana is the last, best chance for four struggling teens to earn a diploma. Their dedicated school administrator holds out hope that this is the year they can overcome their obstacles. A heartbreaking and hopeful portrait of teens trying to rise above their circumstances.
THE MISEDUCATION OF BINDU
Director: Prarthana Mohan
At 15, Bindu Chaudry has been thrust into public school. All she wants is to go back to homeschooling. In hopes of escaping the school bullies, Bindu tries to get her mother to sign a form to take a Spanish test, the only credits she needs to graduate high school, but her mother refuses.
THE MUSIC MAKERS OF GENNETT RECORDS
Director: Todd Gould
During the early 20th century, one tiny recording studio in Richmond, Indiana, had a big impact on the soundtrack of the Jazz Age. “The Music Makers of Gennett Records” tells the unlikely story of the Gennett Recording Studios, where many of the greatest artists in American jazz, blues, country, and gospel music first recorded.
REV. MARTIN CHANDLER: OPEN TO THE MOMENT
Directors: David Gudaitis, Larry Laswell
The story of Reverend Marvin Chandler, who first played the piano 85 years ago at the age of four in his hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, worked with migrant workers and negotiated for prisoners during the Attica riots, and ministered to communities in Rochester, New York, San Francisco, and Indianapolis.
THE REVOLUTIONIST: EUGENE V. DEB
Directors: Kim Jacobs, Kyle Travers
U.S. Country: USA
Terre Haute-born Eugene Debs was a founding member of America’s Socialist Party and a five- time candidate for president. He became a fierce advocate for worker rights and social change. His oratory tested America’s tolerance for free speech and cost Debs his freedom. But even from prison, he campaigned for the presidency.
U.S. Director: Stephen Edwards
Country: USA SYNDROME K tells the true story of three courageous Roman Catholic doctors that made up a deadly and fake disease to save Roman Jews from deportation at the hands of the Nazis.
WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW
Director: Ashton Gleckman
WE SHALL NOT DIE NOW explores the Holocaust, where between 1939 and 1945, over six million Jews and 11 million others were systematically murdered by the Nazi regime. Seventy- five years after the conclusion of the war, this film seeks to explore not only the horrific human tragedy and what we can learn from it, but the resilience of those that rebuilt their lives in spite of the unimaginable.
Director: Skyler Lawson
WHELM is a thriller set deep in the Great Depression where two estranged brothers get tangled in a rivalry between a legendary bank robber and an eccentric young criminal. Through a series of bizarre occurrences, they find they are part of a larger historic scheme. Premiere presented on 35mm Kodak Film.
ADDITIONAL NARATIVE FILMS
A NEW CHRISTMAS
Director: Dani Tenenbaum
With his life falling apart, a grieving man faces the holidays for the rst time without his beloved mother, who died unexpectedly last Christmas Eve. With the help of friends, family, and a surprising visitor along the way, he will learn the true meaning of Christmas, while trying to figure out how to put the pieces of his life back together.
Director: Willem Bosch
Country: The Netherlands
After her mother’s passing, 14-year-old Sam took up most of the household responsibilities. When she, too, ends up in the afterlife and finds out she can get a do-over, Sam gives life another try with the sole mission of saving her mother.
Director: Semi Chellas
In 1974, two very different women are thrown together on the run: a fugitive wanted for bombing a draft office, and an heiress who’s converted to her kidnappers’ radical cause.
AROUND THE SUN
Director: Oliver Krimpas
A film location scout is shown around a repossessed, crumbling French château. Over the course of the afternoon, he slowly falls for both the place and the owner’s flirtatious representative as she recounts the story of a famous book set there. But is their present day connection for real, or just a projection of the book’s 17th century characters?
Director: Bridget Stokes
Emmett (Miles Brown), a 12-year- old child prodigy, teams up with his eccentric SAT tutor (Rita Wilson) to solve a crime and keep his family from splitting up.
Director: Bill Crossland
Frank, a high school teacher with muscular dystrophy, pretends to be dating his best friend so her parents won’t find out she’s gay. But when his able-bodied childhood crush moves back to town, his desire for a real relationship is unexpectedly awakened.
EK JE CHHILO RAJA
Director: Srijit Mukherji
Country: India Mahendra
Kumar Choudhuri, the middle prince of the Bhawal (Bikrampur) Estate, was a ected by syphilis and taken to Darjeeling for treatment along with his wife, Chandrabati Devi, brother in law, Satya, and a family doctor, Ashwini. He apparently died in Darjeeling and was cremated there as well. After 12 years, an ascetic comes back to the estate where people start noticing him and a rumor spreads that he is the lost prince of Bikrampur estate.
FEAST OF THE SEVEN FISHES
Director: Robert Tinnell
It is 1983 in the Rust Belt, and the Oliverio family readies for the traditional Italian Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes. Twenty-something Tony Oliverio (Skyler Gisondo) meets Ivy Leaguer Beth (Madison Iseman) and romance blossoms. But their budding romance faces obstacles in the form of the respective exes, and his domineering great-grandmother.
Director: Alex Chu
Dede, a photojournalist and recovering addict, moves in next door to Laura, a young woman with autism. As the pair form an unlikely friendship, Dede assembles a documentary using animation and found footage to tell a story of getting sober, of family and friendship, and of love and forgiveness.
Director: Youssef Delara
The life of Michael Trainer (Matthew Modine), a cold-hearted litigator with a long career protecting corporate clients, takes a sharp turn when he is forced by the court’s judge (Louis Gossett Jr.) to represent Jamal Randolph (Shane Paul McGhie), an angry young man in prison after years of abuse in foster care. Inspired by true events.
A GIRL FROM MOGADISHU
Director: Mary McGuckian
A true story based on the United Nations testimony of Ifrah Ahmed. Fleeing war- torn Somalia in 2006, she is tracked to Ireland where as an asylum-seeking refugee, she undergoes a traumatic medical examination which reveals the extent of her mutilation as a child. Traumatized by the memory, Ahmed turns her experiences into a force for good, emerging as one of the world’s most foremost global activists against female genital mutilation.
GO BACK TO CHINA
Director: Emily Ting
Countries: USA/China/Hong Kong
When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. What begins simply as a way to regain financial support soon develops into a life- altering journey of self-discovery. Sasha not only learns the business from the ground up, but also learns to reconnect with her estranged family. GO BACK TO CHINA is a hilarious, heartfelt, and compelling portrait of what happens when today’s millennial culture clashes with the old school, hard-working values that families around the world have continued to instill and pass down.
GOOD GAME: THE BEGINNING
Director: Umut Aral
A young pro gamer from a poor family gets discovered in an underground gaming house and strives to be a national e-sports champion with an underdog team.
THE GREAT ALASKAN RACE
Director: Brian Presley
After overcoming personal tragedy, widowed father and champion musher, Leonhard ‘Sepp’ Seppala steps up in the midst of a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska to deliver the anti-toxin to the hospital. With his own child’s life on the line, Sepp battles the impossible, accompanied by his pack of sled dogs.
Directors: Julian Kim, Peter S. Lee
HAPPY CLEANERS is the story of the Choi family living and surviving in Flushing, Queens, as they navigate through their respective struggles, cultural clashes, and inner angst, all while trying to keep the family dry cleaning business afloat.
Director: Debra Eisenstadt
Cathy struggles to maintain control and significance amidst fears that her husband’s having an affair and her 13-year-old daughter is becoming estranged. She retreats to her sister’s home where she cat-sits, compulsively cleans, and spies on a neighboring family. One by one, these bizarre neighbors — mom, dad, and teenage son — lure Cathy into their lives and trigger her rebellion. When Cathy becomes the object of the teenage son’s obsession, he threatens to unravel everything, from her precarious marriage to her daughter’s innocence to her own wavering sanity.
IN A NEW YORK MINUTE
Director: Ximan Li
Film follows three strangers connected by a single pregnancy test. Amy is haunted by a past breakup that has manifested into an eating disorder. Angel is caught between a loveless marriage to an American businessman and a passionate affair with a Chinese writer. Nina moonlights as an escort in order to support herself.
Director: Amber McGinnis
Dee (Rachael Harris) is stuck in a boring job and a broken marriage in “International Falls.” Harboring a secret dream of a stand-up career, Dee meets Tim (Rob Huebel), a burned out touring comedian. As these two lost souls form an unlikely friendship, they’ll be forced to face the harsh but funny truths of their lives.
Director: Jeff Deverett
Controversy ensues when four business school students create and launch a new religion on campus.
Director: Stephanie Turner
Lisa Wade, a single mother of two biracial children, is forced to move in with her father-in-law after the death of her military husband. She takes a job as a nanny to an eight-year-old girl with spina bifida, and the two help one another overcome personal obstacles.
KOKO: A RED DOG STORY
Directors: Aaron McCann, Dominic Pearce
The true story of Koko, a dog whose strange good fortune and innate ability to connect with people allow him to navigate his local community, the world of show dog competitions and his rise to stardom and ultimate legacy of helping other dogs in shelters. From the makers of past Heartland International Film Festival Grand Prize winners RED DOG, and RED DOG: TRUE BLUE.
THE LAST COLOR
Director: Vikas Khanna
Nine-year-old flower seller and tightrope walker Choti befriends Noor, a 70-year- old widow living in a colorless life of abstinence. A story of friendship, commitments, and the victory of the human spirit unfolds at the bank of River Ganges.
LIGHT FROM LIGHT
Director: Paul Harril
Shelia, a single mom and sometime paranormal investigator, is asked to investigate a possible “haunting” at a widower’s (Jim Gaffigan) farmhouse in East Tennessee. After failing at investigating on her own, Shelia enlists Owen, her underachieving teenage son, and one of his classmates, a bright girl named Lucy. Together, Shelia, the widower, and the two teens attempt to understand the mystery.
Director: Rebecca Panian
A couple decides to end their relationship after three years due to him receiving a job offer in New York. For him, all that matters is self-improvement. She, on the other hand, needs consistency and community. They spend the last 24 hours in Berlin together to say goodbye in dignity.
Director: Sasie Sealy
Set in New York City, an ornery, chain-smoking Chinese grandma goes all in at the casino, landing herself on the wrong side of luck and in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.
Director: Nate James Bakke
It’s Man Camp weekend, the few days every year when brothers Adam, Tim, and discover their mom with some new guy she apparently plans on marrying, the trip becomes a wild test to determine his worthiness.
MARY 4 MAYOR
Directors: Corbin Bernsen, Chris Aronoff
High school senior Mary Parsons, whose estranged father is Mayor of her small town, discovers the perfect way to get back at him – run for Mayor against him! What begins as payback becomes a tale of a young woman’s novel ideas to reinvent her community and make peace with her father.
MOTHER’S LITTLE HELPERS
Director: Kestrin Pantera
When Joy Pride, a groovy ‘70s burn- out on the caboose of the flower power movement learns she has weeks to live, her estranged children come together to do right by a mother who always did them wrong.
MS WHITE LIGHT
U.S. Director: Paul Shoulberg
MS. WHITE LIGHT is the story of Lex Cordova, a young woman who counsels terminally ill clients that have trouble letting go. While proving uniquely talented in her ability to connect with the dying, Lex is at a total loss when it comes to dealing with everyone else. Armed with only the misguidance of Gary, her father and business partner; unsolicited loyalty from Nora, a former client obsessed with samurai culture; and an awkward romance with Spencer, a seductive, but morally ambiguous psychic; Lex struggles to help Valerie (Judith Light), her most challenging client yet.
NAMDEV BHAU: IN SEACH OF SILENCE
Director: Dar Gai
A 65-year-old chauffeur, who is tired of the noises in the obstreperous Mumbai City life and has completely stopped speaking, decides to leave everything in search for “Silent Valley,” which boasts of a naturally occurring phenomena having almost a zero decibel sound level. On this journey, he chances upon an exasperating 12-year-old boy, who happens to be on his own solo expedition to the mystical “Red Castle.”
THE OLD MAN AND THE POND
Director: Jason Mac
On the run and bleeding, a young man ends up at a pond house where he meets an old man (Tobin Bell) and holds him hostage in his own home. As the days pass, they learn that they might not have been looking for each other… but they may have been brought together for a reason.
Director: Jeremy Teicher
Countries: USA/South Korea
In the highly exclusive Athlete Village at the Olympic Winter Games, Penelope (Alexi Pappas), a young cross-country skier, befriends Ezra (Nick Kroll), a volunteer dentist, after a disappointing finish in her competition. Penelope and Ezra share a special but limited time together. Filmed on location in the Olympic Village at the 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics with real Olympic athletes, including Jamie Anderson and Gus Kenworthy, playing additional characters.
ONE MAN DIES A MILLION TIMES
Director: Jessica Oreck
Caught in the grip of a war-torn Russian winter, the city is starving to death. Despite their hunger, Alyssa and Maksim heroically work to preserve the treasures of the world’s most important seed bank – treasures that hold the key to the future of their country’s food supply – even though its sustenance could mean their survival.
Director: Guy Davies
Set in the rolling hills of the English countryside, PHILOPHOBIA is a picture of small town adolescence. One week of school remains for Kai, an aspiring writer, and his friends. How they choose to spend this time will cost one of them their life and leave them all changed forever.
Director: Stacey Tenenbaum
PIPE DREAMS follows five young organists as they compete in Canada’s prestigious International Organ Competition (CIOC). Who will master the “king of instruments” and come out victorious in Montreal? The film gives an inside look into the wonderful world of competitive organ playing. From the quietest tinkling of a bell to the rumble of a locomotive, this is organ playing like you have never heard it before!
POP-POP IS DEAD
Directors: Catherine Dee Holly, Fray Forde
Layla Bailey (Catherine Dee Holly) and Desi West (Fray Forde) are a millennial couple who live a nice, comfortable life in LA. When Layla’s Pop-Pop passes, the two head to Layla’s hometown of Gaffney, SC, to spend three days with her family and try to make it out alive. Funerals ain’t fun, y’all.
PRINCESS OF THE ROW
Director: Van Maximilian Carlson
The inspiring tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to live with the only family she knows: her father, a homeless mentally ill veteran who lives on the streets of LA’s Skid Row.
Director: Daniel Schechter
A comedy about a New York City professor (Justin Long) who spends a week reconnecting with his family while defending his reputation over controversial behavior at his college.
Director: Alex Thompson
At the start of the summer, Bridget has an abortion just as she lands a much- needed job in affluent Evanston, Illinois – nannying a six-year old. With no time to recover, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’ moms. As her personal relationships suffer, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
Directors: Chateaubriand Bezerra, Michael Basha, Sarah Gross, Reeyaz Habib, Sade Clacken Joseph, Julia Kennedy, Maria De Sanctis, Christina Jun, Sohil Vaidya
A young American of Middle Eastern descent is framed in the wake of the September 11 attacks and sent to Guantanamo Bay. Thirteen years later, with the help of a rogue CIA operative, he returns to Los Angeles under a false identity to exact revenge.
Director: Bassam Jarbawi
After 15 years of imprisonment, Ziad struggles to adjust to modern Palestinian life as the hero everyone hails him to be. Unable to distinguish reality from hallucination, he unravels and drives himself back to where it all began.
Director: Hilary Brougher
Lila (Talia Balsam) is an artist and teacher who has built a modest rural paradise in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her writer husband, Edgar (Scott Cohen). Soon after their teen daughters head off on summer adventures, Edgar reveals he’s started a new family with another woman, leaving Lila alone for a season of anger, revenge, and self-rediscovery.
STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN
Director: Matt Ratner
Things are not going according to plan for Scott (Ben Schwartz), a stand-up comedian begrudgingly returning to Long Island after striking out on the Los Angeles comedy scene. He’s humiliated to move back in with his family and haunted by what could have been with Becky (Eloise Mumford), the hometown girlfriend he abruptly left for the West Coast. Wracked with doubt and facing the prospect of a soul-crushing “real” job, Ben finds an unexpected connection with Marty (Billy Crystal), a local dermatologist and charming bar fly with a penchant for karaoke. Scott learns that Marty’s larger-than-life personality and alcoholism mask past disappointments of his own. As their unlikely friendship evolves, Marty and Scott find the strength to start confronting their long-simmering regrets.
THE SWEET REQUIEM
Directors: Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
When a young, exiled Tibetan woman unexpectedly sees a man from her past, long-suppressed memories of her traumatic escape across the Himalayas are reignited and she is propelled on an obsessive search for reconciliation and closure.
WHAT I FEEL FOR YOU (Lo que siento por ti)
Director: Raúl Camilo
Country: Dominican Republic
Three simultaneous stories of social inclusion: a single mother of two autistic teenagers, a married couple trying unsuccessfully to have a child, and the father of a Special Olympics athlete.
WHEN WE LAST SPOKE
Director: Joanne Hock
Set in 1966 Texas, a lovable but quirky family deals with their fair share of hard times. Two resilient little girls take us on a journey of tears and laughter as they deal with being abandoned by their mother and the untimely death of their father. It’s love, laughter, wonderful music, down-home cooking, and surprises, all with a small town charm. Starring Corbin Bernsen, Melissa Gilbert, Cloris Leachman.
WHERE WE DISAPPEAR
Director: Simon Fink
After committing a crime to protect her son, Anastasia is sentenced to 12 years in a Soviet prison camp. Her arrival upsets the balance between the inmates. In a night of backstabbing and shifting alliances, she must find a way to escape and discover the hidden truth to her survival.
ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILMS
Directors: Carlye Rubin, Katie Green
After a botched home invasion, 15-year-old Blake and his friends find themselves facing a virtual life prison sentence for Felony Murder. Branded The Elkhart 4, he is lucky to have the unwavering support of his single mother, Angie, and teenage girlfriend, Katherine. A David- and-Goliath uphill battle ensues in Elkhart, Indiana. They take on the system in hopes of a second chance.
Director: Damon Gameau
Structured as a visual letter to his four-year-old daughter, Damon Gameau blends traditional documentary footage with dramatized sequences and high- end visual effects to create a vision board for his daughter and the planet. Embarking on a journey that explores what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions that already exist for us to improve our planet.
Directors: Paul Haggis, Dan Krauss
5B is the inspirational story of everyday heroes, nurses, and caregivers who took extraordinary action to comfort, protect, and care for the patients of the first AIDS ward unit in the United States.
…AS IF THEY WERE ANGELS
Director: Terry Strauss
The little-known story of one of the worst non-combat disasters in the history of the US Navy. Two Navy ships, battered and broken on the rugged cli s of Newfoundland – 203 sailors dead, nearly as many rescued by local families, miners, and fishermen, risking their lives in the brutal winter storm to save American sailors. It’s a story of disaster and heroism, navigation errors, tenacity, gratitude, and humanity.
ALWAYS IN SEASON
Director: Jacqueline Olive
In the small town of Bladenboro, NC, 17-year-old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing set on August 29, 2014. Despite inconsistencies in the evidence, local officials quickly ruled Lennon’s death a suicide, but his mother, Claudia, believes Lennon was lynched.
Director: Mark Wilkinson
Tap dance weaves through our history from Congo Square, minstrel shows, the Jazz Age, World War II, to today. Fueled by genius and challenged by adversity, it has undergone recession and rebirth to emerge vital and relevant in the new century. “American Tap” is a sometimes joyful, sometimes excruciating, no- holds-barred journey into the origins of tap dancing through which we rediscover what it means to be an American.
Director: Josh Sabey
April 20, 1999 was a day that changed the world. Columbine High school was under attack by two of its own students: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. In the aftermath of the tragedy, a survey showed that 85% of Americans blamed the parents of the shooters for what took place. It has taken Sue Klebold, Dylan’s mother, twenty years to reconcile how the son she thought she knew, the son she loved, could willingly and knowingly be a school shooter. What happens when we stop looking at these as rare, sensational events, and understand them as a particularly gruesome appendage to a much larger and more common problem? Sue finds insight among other survivors of unthinkable tragedies.
Director: Mo Scarpelli
A young boy displaced by a massive condominium complex creates his own reality as a lion (anbessa) so he can face the forces beyond his control.
Director: Josh “Bones” Murphy
ARTIFISHAL is a film about wild rivers and wild fish that explores the high cost— ecological, financial, and cultural—of our mistaken belief that engineered solutions can make up for habitat destruction. The film traces the impact of fish hatcheries, and the extraordinary amount of public money wasted on an industry that hinders wild fish recovery, pollutes our rivers, and contributes to the problem it claims to solve. ARTIFISHAL also dives beneath the surface of the open-water fish farm controversy, as citizens work to stop the damage done to public waters and our remaining wild salmon.
Director: Catharine Axley
ATTLA tells the story of dogsled champion George Attla, from his childhood as a TB survivor in the remote Alaskan interior, through his rise as 10-time world champion and mythical state hero, and finally as a village elder resolutely training his grandnephew to race his dogs one last time.
AUTISM GOES TO COLLEGE
Director: Erik Linthorst
From inside their classrooms and dorm rooms, to their dreams, fears, failures, and successes, five students on the autism spectrum share surprising stories of college life with utterly candid insights and humor. This first-of-its- kind lm explores how it’s going at colleges as more and more students with an Autism Spectrum Diagnosis enroll.
Director: Morgan Elliott
In less than four months, 220 teenage performers will step on the world stage at the pinnacle event for marching bands. These teenage musicians are disciplined, motivated, and talented. The stakes are high. They have one chance to get it right. The countdown clock is on for the Rose Parade. There will be frustration and set-backs mixed with joy and excitement as they prep for the biggest parade in their marching career.
BAREFOOT: THE MARK BAUMER STORY
Director: Julie Sokolow
Drawn from Mark Baumer’s self-recorded footage, Julie Sokolow’s riveting documentary examines the obsessions that drove Mark to walk barefoot for over 100 days through America. A writer and environmentalist with an eccentric sense of humor, Baumer aspires to save Earth from climate change through his walk. When Baumer’s journey turns tragic the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration, family and friends are left asking questions.
BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS
Director: Inka Achté
BOYS WHO LIKE GIRLS is a coming-of-age story set in the aftermath of the infamous 2012 Delhi gang rape and the rise of the #MeToo movement. It follows teenager Ved as he takes his first wobbly steps into adulthood, under the kind guidance of Harish, a man in his 50s, who has dedicated his life to abolishing toxic masculinity.
Director: Sydney Bowie
¡BOZA!” follows the lives of three young sub-Saharan African immigrants in search of a better life in Spain. Despite each overcoming a uniquely di cult journey, these three distinct stories have one thing in common: their incredible optimism in the face of inconceivable adversity.
BREAKING THEIR SILENCE: WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINE OF THE POACHING WAR
Director: Kerry David
Countries: USA/Rwanda/Kenya/South Africa
Filmmaker Kerry David and her dedicated crew pursue a passion that takes them around the globe to meet the courageous women who are living on the frontline of this silent war, risking all to prevent Africa’s most vulnerable animals from becoming extinct.
CACHADA – THE OPPORTUNITY
Director: Marlén Viñayo
Country: El Salvador
Five Salvadoran women, street vendors, and single mothers form a theatre company and accept the challenge of putting on a play about their cruel life stories. During the rehearsal process, they’ll discover themselves as victims and victimizers in a cycle of violence that has plagued their families for generations.
CHANGING THE GAME
Director: Michael Barnett
This richly-textured documentary illuminates an issue both timely and topical, but at its core captures the warmhearted, courageous characters living within it. Three resilient transgender high school athletes across the United States fight for their sports titles and combat voices of harassment in their pursuit to compete as themselves. Caught in the center of a national debate on transgender civil rights, these athletes channel the endurance they’ve learned from their sports into their ever more public advocacy battles.
Director: Olivia Martin-McGuire
CHINA LOVE takes us on a billion-dollar ride of fantasy exploring contemporary China through the window of the pre- wedding photography industry. The film is a feature-length observational documentary which follows Chinese and Australian participants as they navigate love, weddings, and family in the lead up to the most important ritual of Chinese society – getting married.
THE CONDOR & THE EAGLE
Directors: Sophie Guerra, Clement Guerra
Four indigenous environmental leaders embark on an extraordinary trans- continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of “Climate Justice.”
THE DOG DOC
Director: Cindy Meehl
As a pioneer of integrative medicine, veterinarian Dr. Marty Goldstein has been called everything from “maverick” to “miracle-worker.” Attracting four- legged patients from around the world, Dr. Goldstein’s practice, Smith Ridge Veterinary Center, provides holistic treatment for animals after other vets have given up hope.
DON’T BE NICE
Director: Max Powers
The upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets, prepares for the national championships. As their coach pushes them past their personal boundaries to write from a painfully honest place, the poets break down, break through, and ultimately write their masterpiece.
DRIVE LIKE ANDRETTI
Director: Matthew Allen
Mario Andretti is a refugee, immigrant, race-car driver, Italian, and an American cultural icon. From Croatia where his family was expelled as political refugees following World War II to Italy, America, and back, it’s a story of resilience, perseverance, and a destiny with speed. DRIVE LIKE ANDRETTI is the first-person account, of the journey that made Andretti the most recognized name in racing.
FACING THE DRAGON
Director: Sedika Mojadidi
Filmed over four years, filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi intimately follows two extraordinary Afghan women: Nilofar, a member of parliament, and Shakila, a television journalist. As American forces and aid leave Afghanistan, the country’s fragile democracy and the recent gains for women hang in the balance, forcing Nilofar and Shakila to choose between motherhood and ambition amidst threats to their lives and families.
Director: Louie Schwartzberg
FANTASTIC FUNGI is a consciousness- shifting film that takes us on an immersive journey through time and scale, an underground network that can heal and save our planet. Through the eyes of Paul Stamets and Michael Pollan, we awaken to the beauty, intelligence, and solutions the fungi kingdom offers. Narrated by Brie Larson.
FIRE ON THE HILL
Director: Brett Fallentine
Long before it was known for its hip-hop and gang culture, South Central Los Angeles was home to one of the most recognized cowboy communities in the nation. Yet after decades of urban development and rising street gang activity, this community – which had produced world champions – shrunk to all but a one- block horse stable known as “The Hill.” When a mysterious fire destroys the Hill Stable in 2012, the future of this once thriving culture finds itself at the brink of vanishing forever. This feature documentary follows three cowboys in the wake of the fire.
Director: Phil Kibbe
In the ultra-competitive indoor sport of elite, stunningly-designed model airplanes, a wild-card newcomer threatens to knock a teammate off his world champion throne.
FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
Director: Daniel Karslake
Evangelicals are now using the U.S. Constitution to claim their “religious freedom” to discriminate against LGBTQ people. FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO examines this new reality through the lens of four families who must confront their own religious beliefs when they discover that they have an LGBTQ child.
GAY CHORUS DEEP SOUTH
Director: David Charles Rodrigues
In response to a wave of discriminatory anti-LGBTQ laws in Southern states and the divisive 2016 election, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus embarks on a tour of the American Deep South. Led by Gay Chorus Conductor Dr. Tim Seelig and joined by The Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the tour brings a message of music, love, and acceptance to communities and individuals confronting intolerance.
GOING ATTRACTIONS: THE DEFINITIVE STORY OF THE MOVIE PALACE
Director: April Wright
Documentary celebrates the splendor and grandeur of the great cinemas of the United States, built when movies were the acme of entertainment and the stories were larger than life, as were the venues designed to show them. Thousands of seats, giant screens, exotic and ornate interiors with balconies and lounges, in-house organs and orchestras, amazing marquees, and air conditioning back when houses had none. The film also tracks the eventual decline of the palaces, through today’s current preservation efforts. A tribute to America’s great art form and the great monuments created for audiences to enjoy them in.
Directors: Cynthia Wade, Sasha Friedlander
When Dian was six years old, she heard a deep rumble and turned to see a tsunami of mud barreling towards her Indonesian village. Sixty thousand people are still displaced. The majority of international scientists believe that Lapindo struck an underground mud volcano, unleashing a violent flow of hot sludge from the earth’s depths. Dian’s community fights against the corporate powers accused of one of the largest environmental disasters in recent history. The film bears witness to Dian’s transformation into a politically active teenager as she questions the role of corporate power and money in the institution of democracy itself.
HOUSE OF CHAMPIONS
Directors: Vivienne Kernick, Kirsty Griffin
Country: New Zealand
In small town New Zealand, flatmates Jono, Celeste, and Carla begin a rigorous training regime for the upcoming Special Olympics. Personal trainer Fiona has her work cut out as these three have other ideas. Will they reach the podium, or will life, love, politics, and parties get in the way?
Director: Jenny Mackenzie
HOWEVER LONG is an intimate portrait of four women living with incurable cancer and the remarkable social worker who connects them through a support group. With a tender ferocity, these women share the reality of how to live with an incurable disease. When your life is at stake, comfort comes from a unique kind of sisterhood.
I AM HUMAN
Directors: Taryn Southern, Elena Gaby
Meet Anne, Bill, and Stephen – three of the world’s “cyborgs” – on their journey to receive implantable brain computer interfaces. As scientists and entrepreneurs unlock the secrets of the human brain, questions arise. Will the same technology that heals the sick lead to super human abilities, telepathic communication, and cognitive enhancement? How will this change what it means to be human? And most importantly, are we ready?
I WANT MY MTV
Directors: Tyler Measom, Patrick Waldrop
Steeped in music, rock icons, and elusive interviews, “I Want My MTV” details the implausible genesis of MTV, the rapid rise of the brand, and the global revolution that followed. Features Sting, Billy Idol, The Eurythmics, Tegan and Sara, Pat Benatar, Jerry Cantrell, Tabitha Soren, and more.
Directors: Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera
A rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – deliberately gets detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center.
THE KIDS TABLE
Directors: Stephen Helstad, Edd Benda
Bridge was once the second-most popular pastime in America behind only baseball, and the card game now teeters on the brink of extinction. In THE KIDS TABLE, four young friends discover the highs and lows of card- play, competition, and community as they explore the vanishing world of competitive Bridge where the average age of their opponents is 73.
LATTER DAY JEW
Director: Aliza Rosen
LATTER DAY JEW follows H Alan Scott: a gay comedian who grew up Mormon, got cancer, converted to Judaism, and is now preparing to become a man and Bar- Mitzvah boy at age 34. This funny, yet poignant film is a unique story with a universal message about finding your place in the world and discovering your true identity.
LE CHOCOLATE DE
Director: Takashi Watanabe
This documentary follows the journey of world-famous Japanese chocolatier Hironobu Tsujiguchi as he searches for ingredients to create interesting and unique chocolate recipes.
Directors: Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia
“Leftover Women” is how the Chinese describe educated, cosmopolitan women who are not married and settled by the time they reach their mid- twenties. Through marriage markets, matchmakers, and government- sponsored dating events, the lm follows three hopeful singles who, under immense pressure, are determined to find love on their own terms.
LOOKING FOR LIFE (Chèche Lavi)
Director: Sam Ellison
Documentary is a lyrical portrait of two Haitian migrants, Robens and James, who find themselves stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border with no way forward and no one to depend on but each other. The quiet, unexpected tenderness of their friendship shines in the eye of an incomprehensible geopolitical storm, even as the two men drift towards drastically different futures… and a new wall rises on the horizon.
LOOPERS: THE CADDIE’S LONG WALK
Director: Jason Baffa
Centuries old and enjoyed by tens of millions of people worldwide, golf is seen by many as more than a sport. Yet what do we know about the other person on the course – the man or woman behind the player carrying the bag?
LOVE THEM FIRST: LESSONS FROM LUCY LANEY ELEMENTARY
Directors: Ben Garvin, Lindsey Seavert
Follow the determination of a charismatic North Minneapolis school principal, Mauri Melander Friestleben, as she sets out to undo history. Not only does Minnesota have the largest achievement gap between black and white children in the U.S.; Friestleben faced another seemingly impossible obstacle, with Lucy Laney at the bottom of the state’s list of underperforming schools for two decades. Under Friestleben’s leadership, standardized test scores from most black students began rising for the first time, but when the school encounters a heartbreaking setback, Friestleben is forced to confront the true measure of student success at Lucy Laney. It’s a story of inspiration, heartbreak, perseverance, and the power of love.
MY BEAUTIFUL STUTTER
Director: Ryan Gielen
After lifetimes of bullying, isolation, and failed fluency training, we witness the incredible transformation of five kids who stutter when they enter a groundbreaking program focused solely on the revolutionary idea that it’s okay to stutter.
MY HOME INDIA
Director: Anjali Bhushan
There is a lot of information about World War II in both films and history books, but little is known about what happened to the Poles who survived Soviet Siberian labor camps and found their way into India. They have different stories to tell but have one common link – Kira Banasinska. The wife of Eugene Banasinski, the first Polish Consul General of Poland in Bombay, Kira was instrumental in seeing that thousands of Poles found safe passage and home in India.
MY INDIANA MUSE
Directors: Ric Serena, Jen Serena
Artist Robert Townsend gives new life to the Americana landscape, returning the viewer to another place and time. Through an unconventional series of events, he embarks on an ambitious and emotional project that will take more than a decade to complete, with his new muse Helen.
PARADISE WITHOUT PEOPLE
Director: Francesca Trianni
Taimaa, 25, and Nour, 23, never expected to give birth and raise children far from the homes they fled in Syria. We meet the two women in a hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece, and follow them as they experience the tender joys of motherhood and the painful frustrations of seeking asylum in Europe. At times poignant, tender, and infuriating, this intimate examination of a new mother’s choices offers an unblinking look at what being an asylum-seeker is really like.
Director: Peter Nelson
Hundreds of billions of honeybees are trucked around the country to pollinate crops critical to what we eat. THE POLLINATORS tells the story of this amazing annual migration through the eyes of beekeepers, farmers, and scientists who warn that the bees and our food supply are in peril.
Director: Amanda Lukoff
Filmmaker Amanda Luko grew up advocating for her sister Gabrielle, especially whenever she heard the word “retard(ed).” With THE R-WORD, she unravels the history and lasting effects of this word through the lens of the sibling experience, captivating animation sequences, and self- advocates speaking truth-to-power – ultimately making the case for why the conversation surrounding people with intellectual and developmental disabilities needs to change.
THE REMIX: HIP HOP X FASHION
Directors: Lisa Cortés, Farah X
The story of how hip-hop changed fashion, leading to the stratospheric and global rise of street wear. It is a journey of African-American creativity, the contributions of unknown women and the limitless possibilities of a cultural movement on a global scale.
Director: Sasha Joseph Neulinger
Drawing upon an immense home video archive, Sasha Joseph Neulinger exposes the family secret which destroyed his world. The camera that followed his footsteps from the day he was born also captured the story of an unraveling childhood, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning.
RIGHT TO HARM
Directors: Matt Wechsler, Annie Speicher
An exposé on the public health impact of factory farming across the United States told through the eyes of residents in five rural communities. When pushed to their limit, these disenfranchised citizens band together to demand justice from their legislators.
Director: Elizabeth Sankey
A feature documentary that seeks to better understand the way we view love, relationships, and romance in our romantic comedies. Helped by fellow filmmakers, writers, and actors, director Elizabeth Sankey embarks on a journey of investigation and self-discovery through a genre that continues to shape our view of the world.
Director: Bill Gallagher
Guor Maker ran from capture in war- torn Sudan to eventually seek safety in the U.S. In his new life, Maker began running again, and eventually qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. RUNNER depicts Maker’s journey from refugee to world- renowned athlete, and his quest to represent South Sudan at the Olympics.
THE SIXTRIPLEEIGHT: NO MAIL, LOW MORALE
Director: James Theres
The SixTripleEight (6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion), was the only all-black female battalion sent to Europe during WWII to clear the backlog of 17 million pieces of mail in Birmingham, England and Rouen, France. They faced racism, sexism, and the Nazis, yet finished their work in six months.
STALG LUFT III – ONE MAN’S STORY
Director: Louise Woehrle
Told by WWII U.S. Eighth Air Force Bombardier Lt. Charles Woehrle, one of 10,000 prisoners in Stalag Luft III depicted in the film “The Great Escape.” At age 93, this remarkable man and gifted storyteller relives his experiences with vivid detail – being shot down, being captured by the Nazis, and surviving two long years of uncertainty and tremendous hardship. A saga filled with grit and grace, Charles Woehrle of “The Mighty Eighth” is one of the countless heroes from the Greatest Generation who has much to teach us about war and about life.
Director: Bo Landin
TOXIC PUZZLE is a medical detective story where award-winning director Bo Landin follows Dr. Paul Cox around the world in a hunt for the hidden killer – the environmental toxin produced by blue-green algae probably causing ALS and Alzheimer’s. Narrated by Harrison Ford.
WALDO ON WEED
Director: Tommy Avallone
When their son Waldo is just six months old, Brian and Danielle Dwyer notice he’s experiencing difficulties with his vision. Receiving the devastating diagnosis of eye cancer, the parents follow doctors’ orders and begin chemotherapy on their infant. But when the chemo causes Waldo to become violently ill, they begin a desperate search for alternative therapies, and what they come across is an all-natural, chemical-free option: weed. Alienating their friends, colleagues, and family — and without telling their pediatrician — Brian and Danielle make the controversial decision to treat Waldo with CBD oil.
THE WEIGHT OF WATER
Director: Michael Brown
The story of two blind adventurers, Erik Weihenmayer and Indiana native Lonnie Bedwell taking on an absurdly improbable challenge: kayaking the Grand Canyon.
Director: Rebecca Stern
Following four champion groomers and their dogs through a year in the life on the technicolor competition circuit, “Well Groomed” explores an America not often portrayed. The film follows dog groomers from their homes to large-scale dog grooming competitions where their communities meet, discuss, and compete with creativity and exuberance.
WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED
Director: Mariam Ghani
WHAT WE LEFT UNFINISHED is the mostly true story of five unfinished feature films from the Communist era in Afghanistan, and the people who went to crazy lengths to keep making films in a time when films were weapons, filmmakers became targets, and the dreams of political regimes merged with the stories told on-screen. Archival fictions, present-day recollections, and Afghanistans both imagined and real collide in a film that reminds us that nations are inventions, and films can reinvent them.
Director: Oren Rudavsky
What does it take for one person to understand the experience of another? Claudine’s mother jumped to her death in Paris as the Nazis approached. Aron’s best friend lay down next to his father on a forced march and was shot. Eazek’s mother and sister were loaded onto a train to Treblinka as he was pulled off the line and saved. These are stories told to high school students in New York – as the Survivors explain how they remain full of joy and hope. Now they are sharing their stories in a unique program led by a drama therapist.
WOMAN IN MOTION
Director: Todd Thompson
Nichelle Nichols’ (STAR TREK) daunting task to launch a national blitz for NASA, recruiting 8,000 of the nation’s best and brightest, including the trailblazing astronauts who became the first African American, Asian, and Latino men and women to fly in space.
A WOMAN’S WORK: THE NFL’S CHEERLEADER PROBLEM
Director: Yu Gu
Football and feminism collide as we follow two former NFL cheerleaders who file class-action lawsuits against their teams and the league alleging wage theft and illegal employment practices. After more than 50 years of pervasive silence, these women expose the gender inequality at the heart of America’s favorite pastime.
Directors: Joseph Litzinger, Eric Schrader
Countries: South Africa/USA
After receiving a suspicious e-mail from an African prince, a radio DJ in small- town Montana forges an international alliance that will change the lives of people continents apart.