The Stony Brook Film Festival announces their 2020 festival will be offered virtually in partnership with IndieFlix Festivals; it will run from September 10th through December 15th, 2020.
This year’s Stony Brook Film Festival features 24 new and independent films available to view online. From new American Independent premieres to the best foreign films from a dozen countries, this year’s Festival schedule offers exciting and powerful films from around the world. The lineup will delight, enchant, challenge, and entertain. The Stony Brook Film Festival will take you back in time with shorts and dramatic features, make you smile with romances and comedies, and push you to the edge with dramas and documentaries that address current social issues. These thought-provoking, powerful, moving, and exciting films have been chosen exclusively for our audience and cannot be seen anywhere else. Ticketholders and pass holders will get to hear directly from filmmakers, and cast and crew throughout the Festival, and have the opportunity to rate and vote on their favorite films and help choose the winners of this year’s Festival.
The Festival will run from September 10th, 2020 through December 15th, 2020. New Films will be released weekly on Thursdays, and access to the films will be available through the following Sunday at midnight, allowing pass holders to watch and rewatch those films as much as they’d like in that 72-hour period. Single tickets grant access to the weekly short and feature film for 24 hours after the ticket code is activated.
Attendees can choose to buy a Pass or Single Tickets. The Pass is good for the entire three-month Festival and allows 72 hours every weekend to watch and rewatch the weekly lineup. The Pass also includes access to extended filmmaker interviews and a Virtual Goodie Bag, updated weekly and loaded with extras. The single-ticket option is a weekly purchase, and once the single-ticket code is activated, the viewer has 24-hours to view that week’s films.
The Festival kicks off with the American premiere of Dreamfactory, on Thursday, September 10th at 7:00 pm. Dreamfactory tells the romantic story between two movie extras, who are torn apart when East Germany closes its border and erects the Berlin Wall, an epic tale told against the backdrop of history, this film is part comedy, part musical, part romance, and a pure joy from beginning to end. Dreamfactory was recently picked up by Capelight/MPI for U.S. distribution, but you can see it first at the Stony Brook Film Festival.
Many of this year’s films revolve around the theme of having one’s life interrupted. Whether it is interrupted by war, violence, substance abuse, sexual abuse, birth, death – or even just really bad traffic – this universal experience of having to put one’s plans on hold weaves its way through our series this year. It simultaneously takes us back to a time before Covid19 while also mirroring many of the struggles many of us are currently dealing with, sometimes with tears, but often through love and humor. “
In these very uncertain and precarious times we find ourselves in, we hope the mix of these socially conscience films balanced with uplifting, often fun and joyous stories, with spectacular performances, will provide the stimulation and entertainment we are all so desperately craving.Alan Inkles, Stony Brook Film Festival Director
American features, include The Subject, a story about a documentary filmmaker (Jason Biggs) who finds himself haunted by his last film, which captured the murder of one of his subjects; Higher Love, a harrowing and unblinking documentary about lives affected by crack and heroin, shown with honesty, compassion, and hope; and the Festival closes with A Billion Dollar Power Station, an epic documentary that tells the story of how NYC’s Power Station became the most prolific recording studio in the world.
Closing Night Awards – LIVE: Tuesday, December 15th, 7:00 pm | Festival pass holders will also have the opportunity to view the Live Virtual Awards Ceremony to close the Festival on Tuesday, December 15th at 7:00 pm. Click here to purchase your pass.
Stony Brook Film Festival LineUp
Week One: September 10
Feature: Dreamfactory (Germany)
A romance between two extras sets a movie spectacle in motion against the backdrop of history. It is the summer of 1961, and Emil has just started working as an extra at DEFA Studio Babelsberg when he falls for a French dancer named Milou. Just as their relationship begins to blossom, they are torn apart when East Germany closes its border and erects the Berlin Wall. It looks like they will never be able to see each other again until Emil has a crazy idea: He’s going to produce a movie so he can bring the love of his life back to Babelsberg. An epic tale told against the backdrop of history, this film is part comedy, part musical, part romance, and a pure joy from beginning to end. | Director: Martin Schreier | Cast: Dennis Mojen, Emilia Schüle (My Brother Simple), Heiner Lauterbach (Welcome to Germany), Ken Duken (Two Lives)
Short: Extra Innings (United States)
A film John Gray A reporter interviews the manager of the Boston Red Sox in an attempt to uncover secrets from his past. | Director: John Gray
Week Two: September 17
Feature: The Subject United States)
A documentary filmmaker finds himself haunted by his last film as he is stalked by a stranger. A successful documentary filmmaker is haunted by his last film, which captured the murder of one of his subjects, an African American teenager in Harlem. Struggling with lingering feelings of guilt while trying to focus on a new project, he becomes increasingly frustrated with a stranger who is videotaping his every move. A timely film that not only explores the relationship between an artist and their subject but also the uncomfortable reality of race and class among those who seek to be aware when they are confronted with their own privilege. | Director: Lanie Zipoy | Cast: Jason Biggs (American Pie), Aunjanue Ellis (If Beale Street Could Talk), Anabelle Acosta, Carra Patterson (Straight Outta Compton), Nile Bullock, Caleb Eberhardt
Short: Corners (United States)
A film by Anthony Nicolau A woman who has recently taken in her elderly mother is challenged by their changing relationship. | Director: Anthony Nicolau
Week Three: September 24
Feature: Those Who Remained (Hungary)
Holocaust survivors experience the healing power of love amid conflict, loss, and trauma. Having survived the camps, 42-year-old Aldo lives a solitary life as a doctor in post-World War II Budapest. Meanwhile, 16-year-old Klara lives with her great-aunt, holding on to hope that her parents will return. When she meets Aldo, the two find something in each other that has long been absent. As they grow close, their father-daughter relationship is frowned upon and misunderstood. A lyrical story of the healing power of love amid conflict, loss, and trauma. | Director: Barnabás Tóth | Cast: Károly Hajduk, Abigél Szõke, Mari Nagy
Short: Sticker (Macedonia)
Unable to renew his car registration, a man falls in a bureaucratic trap that tests his fatherhood. | Producer: Georgi M. Unkovski
Week Four: October 1
Feature: Of Love and Lies (France/Belgium)
A young soccer prodigy tells a white lie to help his father get his life back on track. Théo, a soccer prodigy, wants to give some hope to his father, a lonely alcoholic, who has become disillusioned with life. Théo realizes he has a great opportunity when the English Arsenal Football Club Youth Team considers him. Shortly after his father finds a renewed sense of purpose, Théo is rejected by the team because of his short stature. Instead of disappointing his father, he chooses to tell a white lie. A gentle, humorous tale of love, lies, and soccer for the whole family. | Director: Julien Rappeneau | Cast: François Damiens, Maleaume Paquin, André Dussollier (Diplomacy), Ludivine Sagnie (Lola & Her Brothers), Laetitia Dosch
Short: Generation Lockdown (United States)
An eleven-year-old boy tries to save his friend’s life during an active shooter attack in their school. | Director: Sirad Balducci
Week Five: October 8
Feature: When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (Germany/Switzerland)
The story of a young girl’s journey as her family escapes the Nazi’s and looks for a place to call home. Anna is a nine-year-old living with her family in Berlin in 1933 when her life completely changes. To escape the Nazis, her father – a well-known Jewish journalist – quietly fled one night, and the rest of the family followed soon after. Anna has to leave everything behind, including her beloved pink rabbit, and begins a new life full of challenges as a refugee abroad. A beautiful story for the whole family, filled with suspense, drama, sadness, and hope, with a timely message about being a refugee in a foreign land. Based on the beloved, semi-autobiographical children’s book by Judith Kerr. | Director: Caroline Link | Cast: Riva Krymalowski, Marinus Hohmann, (Welcome to Germany), Carla Juri (Morris from America), Oliver Masucci, Justus von Dohnányi (Woman in Gold)
Short: Walk a Mile (New Zealand)
An old man hates the noisy family he lives next door to, until something changes his mind. | Director: Judith Cowley
Week Six: October 15
Feature: The Art of Waiting (Israel)
Can true love endure family, friendship, and infertility treatments? A couple in their thirties who dream of having a child together discover that they must undergo fertility treatments in order for them to conceive. At first, they believe this will be simple. But they begin to realize just how difficult it will be as they struggle to stay together and keep their love alive in the face of doubts, physical difficulties, and pressure from parents that don’t seem to understand their pain. A heartfelt journey filled with humor, drama, and love. | Director: Erez Tadmor | Cast: Roy Assaf (The Kind Words), Nely Tagar, Evelin Hagoel (The Women’s Balcony).
Short: Waterproof (United States)
The story of one Long Island community’s crusade to create a safe swimming environment. | Director: Ross Kauffman
Week Seven: October 22
Feature: Higher Love (United States)
How far would you go to save someone you love when they refuse to save themselves? A blue-collar worker tries to rescue his pregnant, heroin-addicted girlfriend from the notorious streets of Camden, NJ and her close-knit group of drug users. After their son is born, he forces her to choose between her life with her drug “family” and a life with him and their child. A harrowing and unblinking documentary about lives affected by crack and heroin, shown with honesty, compassion, desperation, and hope. | Director: Hasan Oswald
Short: A Simple F*cking Gesture (Canada)
Emotions escalate for a couple in traffic when a driver doesn’t give them a “thank you wave” after cutting in. | Director: Jesse Shamata
Week Eight: November 5
Feature: Long Time, No See (France)
He is arriving, she is leaving, but they have 70 minutes to re-evaluate their choices and regrets. Nine years ago, chance led Marion and Grégoire into a brief love affair. Now, chance reunites them in a train station, in-between two journeys. He is arriving, and she is preparing to leave, but they have seventy minutes to re-evaluate their choices, their regrets, and their memories. With beautiful long shots of the couple strolling the streets of Paris, touring the Jardins des Plantes, and trying to recapture a lost moment in time, this romantic and haunting film holds you in its spell. | Director: Pierre Filmon | Cast: Laëtitia Eïdo, Pierre Rochefort (Farewell, My Queen), Ronald Guttman (On the Basis of Sex, Tickling Leo).
Short: Touch (Israel)
A 17-year-old girl who spends most of her time trolling her classmates is intrigued when she gets trolled. | Director: Nir Berger
Week Nine: November 12
Feature: Submission (Portugal)
In a male-dominated society, a woman charges her well-connected husband with rape. A woman goes to the police to press charges against her husband for raping her. Shortly after, she discovers that she is pregnant from the assault, and must make a difficult decision. As her closed-session court case becomes increasingly complicated she finds herself representing all women who have faced abuse in a male-dominated society. Brilliantly written and acted, this is a subtle and sensitively thought-provoking film that stays with you for days. | Director: Leonardo António | Cast: Lolanda Laranjeiro, João Catarré, Maria João Abreu.
Short: They Won’t Last (United States)
After their friends’ perfect wedding, a woman faces an uncertain future when her hopeless boyfriend proposes. | Director: Portlynn Tagavi
Week Ten: November 19
Feature: Relativity (Germany)
A grieving woman experiences déjà vu after falling for a man she feels she already knows. Nora and Aron meet in the subway on a rainy day and quickly fall in love. Nora sees it as a coincidence, but for Aron, it must be fate. Tragedy strikes, leaving Nora devastated and numb to her feelings, but she eventually lands in Natan’s arms. Though he is a complete stranger, Nora feels like she already knows him, and her increasing sense of déjà vu makes her suspect that something more is going on. A moody and intense sci-fi thriller that keeps you guessing until the end. | Director: Mariko Minoguchi | Cast: Saskia Rosendahl, Edin Hasanovic, Julius Feldmeier.
Short: Forêt Noire (France/Canada)
A judge orders the re-enactment of a crime scene to shed light on some inconsistencies in a murder case. | Director: Jean-Marc E. Roy, Philippe David Gagné
Week Eleven: December 3
Feature: On the Quiet (Hungary)
A coming-of-age story about a teen who must decide how far he will go to discover the truth about his mentor. Dávid, an 18-year-old violinist, decides to help Nóri, a 13-year-old cellist, who is having a suspiciously close relationship with the much older conductor of their youth orchestra. To complicate things further, the conductor is both immensely popular and Dávid’s mentor, and after receiving extra attention from the conductor, Nóri, has become unpopular with the rest of the orchestra. While looking for the truth, Dávid’s life starts to spiral out of control as he faces tough decisions and the negligence of the adults around him. Told against the backdrop of the contemporary Hungarian countryside, this is a sensitively told and brilliantly acted film that resolves with painful honesty and integrity. | Director: Zoltán Nagy | Cast: Erik Major, Gábor Máté, Lulu Bognár
Short: Jane (United States)
A woman suffering from heroin addiction receives an invitation to her estranged daughter’s birthday party. | Director: Kathryn Prescott
Week Twelve: December 10
Feature: A Billion Dollar Power Station (United States)
The amazing story of how NYC’s Power Station became the most prolific studio in the world. Tony Bongiovi grew up in New Jersey, experimenting with electronic transistors and sound recording. At age 16, he called Motown and explained his theory of how they got their unique sound. The next day he was on his way to Detroit to begin his career as an Assistant Engineer. Years later Tony converted a former Con-Ed Power Station into New York City’s Power Station Recording Studios, where a generation of creativity, innovation, and genius reshaped the popular music landscape for an entire generation. This epic documentary is an ode to the musicians and engineers behind some of the most popular music ever recorded. | Director: Mark Haefeli | Cast: Tony Bongiovi, Nile Rogers, Max Weinberg, Paul Shafer, Bryan Adams, Pat Methany, Gloria Gaynor, Berry Gordy, Steven Tyler.
Short: Maradona’s Legs (Germany/Palenstine)
Two young Palestinian boys are looking for a sticker to complete their world cup album and win a free Atari. | Director: Firas Khoury