THE 20th ANNUAL SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES COMPLETE FILM LINEUP

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THE 20th ANNUAL SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES COMPLETE FILM LINEUP


SFF Focus Panels Include Sports in Cinema, Environment, Science, and Sustainability, Women’s Comedic Voices, Redefining Manhood, and Musings on Musicians


Centerpiece Films Include: 1985 & EIGHTH GRADE


Spotlight Films Include: HEARTS BEAT LOUD, A KIDE LIKE JAKE, THE KING, LEAN ON PETE, THE LONG DUMB ROAD, MERMAIDS, A MURDER IN MANSFIELD, ON CHESIL BEACH, THE RIDER, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY & WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR


Sarasota, FL (March 21, 2018) – The Sarasota Film Festival (SFF) today announced its full line-up, including its Centerpiece, Spotlight, Narrative Feature Competition, Independent Visions Competition, Documentary Feature Competition, Narrative, Documentary, and Short Films. The Festival also announced its five SFF Focus Panels – Sports in Cinema, Environment, Science, and Sustainability, Women’s Comedic Voices, Redefining Manhood, and Musings on Musicians.


“In honor of our 20th anniversary, we have programmed a lineup that celebrates the past, present, and future of the Sarasota Film Festival that is sure to delight our dedicated and passionate audiences,” said Mark Famiglio, Chairman and President of the Sarasota Film Festival. “The selection includes a diverse group of narratives and voices that will create engaging conversations about today’s most important topics.”


In the Festival’s Centerpiece section is 1985, about a closeted gay man, unable to come out to his friends and family during the beginning of the AIDS crisis, staring Academy Award®-nominated actress Virginia Madsen, who will be attendance at the Festival. Also a Centerpiece selection is Bo Burnham’s feature film directorial debut, EIGHTH GRADE, a portrait of young teenagers discovering their identities online and in reality. Bo will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film’s screening during the Festival.


The Spotlight section will include narrative films Brett Haley’s HEARTS BEAT LOUD, Silas Howard’s A KID LIKE JAKE, Andrew Haigh’s LEAN ON PETE, Hannah Fidell’s THE LONG DUMB ROAD, Dominic Cooke’s ON CHESIL BEACH, Chloé Zhao’s THE RIDER, and Madeline Olnek’s WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY, and documentary films Eugene Jarecki’s THE KING, Ali Weinstein’s MERMAIDS, Barbara Kopple’s A MURDER IN MANSFIELD, and Morgan Neville’s WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?


Each year the Sarasota Film Festival focuses on social issues to highlight throughout its program. The Sports in Cinema Focus returns this year, welcoming Ben and Orson Cummings and their film KILLER BEES, produced by Shaquille O’Neill. Other films in this focus include the Closing Day Film, Jason Kohn’s LOVE MEANS ZERO and Dana Adam Shapiro’s DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS.


In consideration of sustainability of communities and the planet, films in the SFF Environment, Science, and Sustainability Focus include Susan Kucera’s LIVING IN THE FUTURE’S PAST, Chad Freidrichs’ EXPERIMENTAL CITY, Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler, and Jeff Springer’s RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, and Rory Kennedy’s ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW.


In a groundbreaking year for women, the festival presents SFF Focus: Women’s Comedic Voices, a lineup featuring all female directors. Films in the category include Wendy McColm’s BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS, Bridey Elliott’s CLARA’S GHOST, Caroline Golum’s A FEAST OF MAN as well as LONG DUMB ROAD and WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY.


The films in the SFF Focus: Redefining Manhood, provide a glimpse at the questions regarding masculine identities, include Bing Liu’s MINDING THE GAP, as well as 1985, THE RIDER, and WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?


The final SFF Focus: Musings on Musicians, presents an array of films exploring the relationships between music and film. Films in the category include Laura Parnes’ TOUR WITHOUT END, T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch’s A TUBA TO CUBA, Derek Ahonen’s THE TRANSCENDENTS, Sophie Fiennes’ GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, Jake Meginsky and Neil Young’s MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS, Scott Smith’s CHASING THE BLUES, Stephen Loveridge’s MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A, as well as THE KING and HEARTS BEAT LOUD.


The Narrative Feature Competition will showcase DON’T LEAVE HOME directed by Michael Tully, I AM NOT A WITCH, directed by Rungano Nyoni, MADELINE’S MADELINE, directed by Josephine Decker, THE QUEEN OF FEAR directed by Valeria Bertuccelli and Fabiana Tiscornia, THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN directed by Kamila Andini, SUPPORT THE GIRLS directed by Andrew Bujalski as well as CLARA’S GHOST.


The Documentary Feature Competition will include GENERATION WEALTH directed by Lauren Greenfield, GENESIS 2.0 directed by Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev, HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING directed by RaMell Ross, OF FATHERS AND SONS directed by Talal Derki, THE SENTENCE directed by Rudy Valdez, as well as DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS and MINDING THE GAP.


The Independent Visions Competition will feature BLACK MOTHER directed by Khalik Allah, LIFE AND NOTHING MORE directed by Antonio Méndez Esparza, MAISON DU BONHEUR directed by Sofia Bohdanowicz, NOTES ON APPEARANCE directed by Ricky D’Ambrose, as well as BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS, A FEAST OF MAN, MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS, and TOUR WITHOUT END.


The jury for the competition films will consist of the following individuals: producer Autumn Bailey-Ford, Emmy®-nominated writer and producer Mark Bailey, documentary filmmaker Orson Cummings, New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein, Factory 25 film distributor Matt Grady, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Director – New York Programs and Membership Patrick Harrison, film professor Del Jacobs, Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Penny Lane, actress Penelope Ann Miller, The Hollywood Reporter film writer Tatiana Siegel, founder and publisher of Women and Hollywood Melissa Silverstein, and Sarasota County Circuit court judge and filmmaker Charles Williams.


Narrative films include: ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA directed by Ian Lagarde, AMERICAN ANIMALS directed by Bart Layton, AUGUST IN BERLIN directed by Becky Smith, BIKINI MOON directed by Milcho Manchevski, BLACK KITE directed by Tarique Qayumi, CAN HITLER HAPPEN HERE? directed by Saskia Rifkin, COLD SKIN directed by Xavier Gens, COME SUNDAY directed by Joshua Marston, DELENDA directed by Ralph Moffettone, DIMINUENDO directed by Adrian Stewart, EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA directed by Jim McKay, FIRST REFORMED directed by Paul Schrader, A FRENCHMAN IN FLORIDA directed by Dante Rhev, HOLIDAY directed by Isabella Eklof, LET THE SUNSHINE IN directed by Claire Denis, MAKTUB directed by Oded Raz, SANTA INOCENCIA directed by Maritxell Campos Olivé, SHELTER directed by Eran Riklis, TATTERDEMALION directed by Ramaa Mosley, TINKER directed by Sonny Mahrler, VIRGINIA, MINNESOTA directed by Daniel Stine, VIRUS TROPICAL directed by Santiago Caicedo, WE THE ANIMALS directed by Jeremiah Zagar, WHITE RABBIT directed by Daryl Wein, ZAMA directed by Lucrecia Martel, as well as CHASING THE BLUES and THE TRANSCENDENTS.


Documentary films include: 306 HOLLYWOOD directed by Elan Bogarin and Jonathan Bogarin, ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO directed by James Crump, ASK THE SEXPERT directed by Vaishali Sinha, BISBEE ’17 directed by Robert Greene, CHEF FLYNN directed by Cameron Yates, CRACKING ACES: A WOMAN’S PLACE AT THE TABLE directed by H. James Gilmore, CRIME + PUNISHMENT directed by Stephen Maing, DISTANT CONSTELLATION directed by Shevaun Mizrahi, FATHER’S KINGDOM directed by Lenny Feinberg, FREEDOM FOR THE WOLF directed by Rupert Russell, THE GREAT FLIP-OFF directed by Dafna Yachin, HALF THE PICTURE directed by Amy Adrion, LA FLOR DE LA VIDA directed by Adriana Leoff and Claudia Abend, LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE directed by Gustavo Salmerón, MAYNARD directed by Sam Pollard, OLD DOG directed by Sally Rowe, ON HER SHOULDERS directed by Alexandria Bombach, THE PAIN OF OTHERS directed by Penny Lane, RBG directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen, SISTERS directed by Justyna Tafel, THAT SUMMER directed by Göran Hugo Olsson, THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS directed by Tim Wardle as well as THE EXPERIMENTAL CITY, GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, KILLER BEES, LIVING IN THE FUTURE’S PAST, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE, and A TUBA TO CUBA.


As previously announced Golden Globe®-nominated and Independent Spirit Award®-nominated Eric Stoltz’s coming-of-age comedy CLASS RANK will be the Festival’s Opening Night film and Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy®-winning Rory Kennedy’s ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW will serve as Closing Night film. The Festival will also be honoring renowned actor Steve Guttenberg and Academy Award®-nominated actress Virginia Madsen with Career Achievement Awards during the closing weekend.


The 20th annual Sarasota Film Festival, which will take place from April 13th to April 22nd, greatly appreciates the support of its corporate sponsors, including the Amicus Foundation, The Famiglio Family, Regal Entertainment Group, and Art Ovation Hotel.


For tickets and a complete schedule, visit http://www.sarasotafilmfestival.com.


ABOUT THE SARASOTA FILM FESTIVAL

Held annually in Sarasota, FL, The Sarasota Film Festival emphasizes the best in cinema alongside exciting programs and events, with more than 200 films screened each year including features, documentaries, shorts, and kid-friendly picks. Entering our 20th year, we’re proud to bring the best new and established independent filmmakers to our Festival to complement local and kid-friendly programs that showcase our idyllic Gulf Coast community. This year the festival will take place April 13th – 22nd, 2018.

Full Information on Film Slate Below:


OPENING NIGHT FILM


CLASS RANK

(USA)

Director: Eric Stoltz

Producer: Sandy Stern

Academia, suburbia, romance, and politics face off in this wry, smart, and warm comedy directed by Eric Stoltz (Mask, Pulp Fiction, TV’s Chicago Hope and Madam Secretary). Faced with unexpected roadblocks en route to their next steps in life, two New Jersey high school outsiders, Veronica Krauss (Olivia Holt) and Bernard Flannigan (Skyler Gisondo), team up to fight the system from within – and scheme their way to their dreams. Veronica is a straight-A, Type-A personality, like her affectionate TV producer mom (Kristin Chenoweth), and is aiming to go to Yale; Bernard is running for a seat on the local board of education and fighting minor neighborhood offenses, all while caring for his young-at-heart widowed grandfather (Bruce Dern) and balancing social awkwardness with social responsibility. Together, Veronica and Bernard have the right stuf to achieve their goals. But as college, and Bernard’s grass-roots campaign, come into focus, will the kids be blinded by love and ambition?


CLOSING DAY FILM


LOVE MEANS ZERO

(USA)

Director: Jason Kohn

Producers: Amanda Branson Gill, Jason Kohn, Anne White, Jill Mazursky, David Styne

Nick Bollettieri may be the Machiavellian prince of tennis coaching, but you can’t argue with the man’s proven results. Having sculpted the techniques and launched the careers of tennis greats such as Venus and Serena Williams, Mary Pierce, Anna Kournikova, Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and André Agassi; Bollettieri has attracted equal parts fame and infamy over the last four decades of his unparalleled career. Featuring extensive primary-source footage, LOVE MEANS ZERO presents an intimate look at Bollettieri’s legacy, and fearlessly pursues the honest truth of the man behind the myth.


CLOSING NIGHT FILM


ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW

(USA)

Director: Rory Kennedy

Producers: Mark Bailey, Rory Kennedy

As NASA celebrates its 60th anniversary, Discovery shines a spotlight on the historic institution taking us to the moon, to the surface of Mars, to the outer edge of our solar system, and beyond. Directed, produced, and narrated by Academy Award®-nominated and Emmy®-winning Rory Kennedy, ABOVE AND BEYOND: NASA’S JOURNEY TO TOMORROW examines the extraordinary ways NASA has changed not only our vision of the universe but also our planet and ourselves. But more than a moving portrait of NASA’s many accomplishments in space, the film also sheds light on the agency’s lesser-known area of focus: the vital role NASA has played in measuring the health of our home planet. However far NASA may travel, its gaze has always returned to Earth—monitoring our seas and skies, our ice and sands—in an ongoing struggle to meet today’s great challenge—protecting our planet.


SENSORY FRIENDLY SCREENING


LU OVER THE WALL

(JAPAN)

Director: Masaaki Yausa

Producer: Koji Yamamoto

Kai is a young musician who moves from Tokyo to a small fishing village with his family. When his friends invite him to join their band on Merfolk Island, their music inspires Lu, a mermaid girl, to dance with them. But when an incident causes a rift between Lu and the rest of the village, what is Kai to do? LU OVER THE WALL is a visually dazzling story of how music and friendship can overcome fear and prejudice.


CENTERPIECE


1985

(USA)

Director: Yen Tan

Producers: Hutch, Ash Christian

Based on Yen Tan’s highly lauded short film by the same name, 1985 follows Adrian (played by “Gotham’s” Cory Michael Smith), a closeted gay man, as he comes home for Christmas during the early years of the AIDS crisis. While there, he has difficulty revealing a terrible truth to his friends and conservative parents (played by Emmy Award® winning actor Michael Chiklis and Academy Award® nominated actress Virginia Madsen).


EIGHTH GRADE

(USA)

Director: Bo Burnham

Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush, Lila Yacoub, Christopher Storer

Thirteen-year-old Kayla is like most adolescents: she’s confident, she’s cool, she’s selfless. Well, at least that’s how she presents herself on her YouTube channel (to an audience of zero). In reality, she is anxious, lonely, and confused. But Kayla is nonetheless determined to face her last week of middle school as confidently as she hosts her show. Comedian and YouTube sensation Bo Burnham’s extraordinary first feature, EIGHTH GRADE, is a heartwarming, awkward portrait of being a young teenager in 21st-century America.


SPOTLIGHT FILMS


HEARTS BEAT LOUD

(USA)

Director: Brett Haley

Producers: Houston King, Sam Bisbee, Sam Slater

Frank, a single dad, is a middle-aged Brooklyn hipster whose record shop is failing and whose music career never quite got off the ground. His daughter, Sam, is about to leave for college in California, and their frequent musical jam sessions are about to end. When Frank puts one of their songs online, it becomes an unexpected hit, and Frank begins to dream of a musical career together.


A KID LIKE JAKE

(USA)

Director: Silas Howard

Producers: Jim Parsons, Todd Spiewak, Eric Norsoph, Paul Bernon, Rachel Xiaowen Song

When married couple Alex (Claire Danes) and Greg’s (Jim Parsons) four-year-old son begins to stand out from the rest of his male classmates, his interest in princesses and traditionally feminine toys draws the attention of the principal who believes it may be something more than surface level. With the help of a preschool counselor (Octavia Spencer), Jake’s parents must learn to adapt in order to continue raising their son in the best way possible.


THE KING

(USA, Germany, France)

Director: Eugene Jarecki

Producers: Christopher St. John, David Kuhn, Christopher Frierson, Georgina Hill

Elvis Presley is the undisputed King of Rock ’n’ Roll, and his story is the stuff of American legend: a meteoric rise to fame, a life of excess, and an ignominious end. In a 1963 Rolls Royce originally owned by Elvis himself, THE KING takes a road tour of America visiting the cities that played major roles in Elvis’ life, and muses about the historical significance of Elvis Presley’s now archetypal story.


LEAN ON PETE

(USA)

Director: Andrew Haigh

Producer: Tristan Goligher

At 15-years-old, Charley is mostly alone in the world… Until he meets Lean On Pete, a race-horse past his prime and due to be sold off to meet a grisly end. The two come together when Charley meets Del, a horse trainer who allows the boy to help manage his horses, of which Pete is one. When Charley learns of Pete’s fate he decides it’s time for them to make a break for it—but don’t expect a Disney ending.


THE LONG DUMB ROAD

(USA)

Director: Hannah Fidell

Producers: Hannah Fidell, JJ Ingram, Jonathan Duffy, Kelly Williams

Nathan, a budding photographer played by Tony Revolori (GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL), is en route to his freshman year at art school when his car breaks down in Texas. Richard (Jason Mantzoukas), a local mechanic, offers to fix his car for a quid-pro-quo deal to jump in the passenger seat and escape his tyrannical boss. Along their journey, this odd couple tests their luck at love, attempt reconciliation with old flames, pick fights they cannot win, and navigate the murky waters of a fleeting friendship amidst a generational divide.


MERMAIDS

(Canada)

Director: Ali Weinstein

Producer: Caitlin Durlak

The allure of mermaids as a mythic creature has long been a phenomenon that excites and influences people of many cultures. The ancient myth has influenced five women in particular. MERMAIDS follows these modern sirens who steep themselves in mermaid subculture, including a few people from unlikely places like New York City, to nearby locales such as Weeki Wachee, Florida. Preceded by TOMNODDY


A MURDER IN MANSFIELD

(USA)

Director: Barbara Kopple

Producers: Barbara Kopple, David Cassidy, Ray Nowosielski

Academy Award® winner Barbara Kopple returns to the Sarasota Film Festival with a searing documentary about a domestic homicide in Mansfield, Ohio in 1989. Collier Boyle (now Collier Landry) was just 11 years old when his father, John, killed his mother, Noreen, with a blunt object. Two decades later, the now adult Collier returns to Mansfield to confront his past and his jailed father, who still claims his innocence.


ON CHESIL BEACH

(UK)

Director: Dominic Cooke

Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Woolley

Young marriage, innocence, and complicated emotions collide in this adaptation of the novel by Ian McEwan (ATONEMENT). In 1962 England, Florence (Saoirse Ronan) and Edward’s (Billy Howle) story is told in flashbacks: he’s an Oxford academic; she’s an aspiring violinist. Their families rush the couple into a union neither is ready for. On their honeymoon, they must confront old-world social mores and the burgeoning sexual revolution.


THE RIDER

(USA)

Director: Chloé Zhao

Producers: Chloé Zhao, Bert Hamelinck, Sacha Ben Harroche, Mollye Asher

A young rodeo cowboy struggles to get back in the saddle after a bone-crushing fall. The nonprofessional actors of this moody yet majestic film served as the inspiration for a script that loosely mirrors their real lives. Director Chloé Zhao’s docufiction approach to filmmaking gently explores a story that’s as much about the heavy weight of middle-American masculinity as it is about a young man’s desperate attempt to follow his dream, even if it may one day claim his life.


WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

(USA)

Director: Madeleine Olnek

Producers: Casper Andreas, Max Rifkind-Barron, Anna Margarita Albelo

With the title taken from her raciest poem, WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY sheds new light on the life of famously reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, revealing her hidden romance with her brother’s wife, and the irreverent side of Dickinson that the world at large never saw. Exploring the fierce rivalry between her brother’s wife and his mistress—who published Dickinson’s poems after her death—the film is also about the struggle to bring to life the work of one of history’s most gifted poets.


WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR

(USA)

Director: Morgan Neville

Producer: Caryn Capotosto

For nearly 33 years, Fred Rogers provided entertainment and emotional security to children all around the world. In a world filled with political division and social media alienation, Mr. Rogers still shines as an example of warmth and comfort. WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? is a sentimental tribute to a man who kept his private life close to his chest, and who influenced multiple generations of children.


NARRATIVE COMPETITION


CLARA’S GHOST

(USA)

Director: Bridey Elliott

Producers: Sarah Winshall, Rachel Nederveld

Twenty-something sisters Julie and Riley, former tween actors, return home to visit their parents, washed-up actor Ted and non-famous Clara. Spurred on by copious amounts of alcohol and drinking rituals, the family trades increasingly sharp barbs, all while Clara deals with a possible ghost that only she can see. As her efforts to communicate with the spirit intensify, so does her erratic behavior, to the point where she may become a threat to her family and herself.


DON’T LEAVE HOME

(USA, Ireland)

Director: Michael Tully

Producers: George Rush Jr, Ryan Zacarias, Walter S. Hall, Jeffrey Allard, Tristan Lynch, Aoife O’Sullivan

Sarasota Film Festival alum Michael Tully (PING PONG SUMMER, SEPTIEN) finally returns to SFF with his newest: a syncopated horror film set in Ireland. An American artist’s obsession with an urban legend leads her to an investigation of the story’s origins at the crumbling Irish estate of a reclusive painter. This film comes to the festival straight from its stint as an official selection from SXSW.


I AM NOT A WITCH

(UK, France, Zambia, Germany)

Director: Rungano Nyoni

Producers: Emily Morgan, Juliette Grandmont

Nine-year-old Shula, accused of witchcraft, is sentenced to live in a camp with other “witches.” Tethered to spindles by long white ribbons, the women are told they will be turned into goats if they cut them and attempt to flee. Shula is then paraded around nearby towns by the camp manager, expected to use her powers for his gain. Inspired by real witch camps, director Rungano Nyoni spins a surrealist tale of social critique and feminist allegory.


MADELINE’S MADELINE

(USA)

Director: Josephine Decker

Producers: Krista Parris, Elizabeth Rao

Growing up ain’t easy. In fact, it can be absurdly hard. So why not embrace the absurdity? Madeline is a go-getter and is shooting to the top of her drama class. Like most girls her age, she has her differences with her mother, but as she gets closer and closer to her drama teacher (who is about to become a mother herself) things begin to get complicated. The lines between the real and the imagined grow increasingly less defined, and the drama both onstage and off begin to meld into that kind of all-consuming absurdity that is anything but funny.


THE QUEEN OF FEAR

(Argentina, Denmark)

Directors: Valeria Bertuccelli, Fabiana Tiscornia

Producers:  Santiago Gallelli, Benjamin Domenech, Matias Roveda

Robertina is an immensely famous theatre actress, and sure, drama goes with the territory. Split between meandering artistic experiments in a seemingly never-ending stream of fruitless rehearsals, and ridiculous encounters with her melodramatic home-help staff, Robertina’s mounting anxiety is reaching a breaking point. When she learns that her best friend is dying of cancer, however, she must force herself to slow down and reconnect with the things that give her life true meaning.


THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN

(Indonesia, Netherlands, Australia, Qatar)

Director: Kamila Andini

Producers: Kamila Andini, Ifa Isfansyah, Gita Fara

THE SEEN AND THE UNSEEN is a fantastical fable that follows twin brother and sister Tantra and Tantri. The brother, Tantra, develops a brain tumor and slowly loses his senses as he begins to die. Tantri must now mourn the loss of the sibling that she was so close to all her life. At night, however, the grieving ten-year-old Tantri keeps waking up from a nightmare and seeing her brother. They begin visitations on an otherworldly plane, dancing under the moonlight and playing in symbolic language which, for Tantri, is an emotional catharsis that lends magic and hope to her unavoidable grief.


SUPPORT THE GIRLS

(USA)

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Producers: Houston King and Sam Slater

Andrew Bujalski returns to the Sarasota Film Festival straight from SXSW with his newest, SUPPORT THE GIRLS. Follow a day in the life of “breastaurant” manager Lisa (Regina Hall) as she tries to keep her professional and personal lives from being pulled apart at both ends. Though she strives to stay positive and maintain a good attitude, she knows she can’t do it alone, and finds strength and support from her female friends in a time of need.


DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION


DAUGHTERS OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS

(USA)

Director: Dana Adam Shapiro

Producers: Will Staeger, Gregory Stern, Michael Antinoro, Randy Manis, Carra Greenberg, Stacey Reiss, Dana Adam Shapiro

Director Dana Adam Shapiro (MURDERBALL) returns to Sarasota with his new film, which tells the story of Suzanne Mitchell, the matriarch of the cheerleaders, and how their sisterhood became a sensation during the forefront of the Sexual Revolution, permanently changing the way we see football and America as a whole.


GENERATION WEALTH

(USA)

Director: Lauren Greenfield

Producers: Lauren Greenfield, Frank Evers, Wallis Annenberg

Photographer/filmmaker Lauren Greenfield (QUEEN OF VERSAILLES) offers an introspective look back at her work exploring the haves and have-nots and the ever-increasing gap between. Greenfield turns the camera on herself as well as her subjects, making this a personal essay about what it is to have wealth, and why she feels compelled to explore it. Behind-the-scenes footage of some of her most famous images gives new perspective, and emotional interviews humanize her larger-than-life subjects.


GENESIS 2.0

(Switzerland)

Directors: Christian Frei, Maxim Arbugaev

Producer: Christian Frei

The Siberian republic of Yakutia is home to an unusual band of hunters: not looking for live game, but for prehistoric wooly mammoths that are now appearing as the permafrost thaws. One tusk can be sold for tens of thousands of dollars, a veritable fortune in this region, but the risks in retrieving them in this unforgiving climate can be deadly. On the other side of the world, scientists are looking to the future, to the possibilities of cloning and reviving this long-dead creature, and pondering the costs of “playing God.”


HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

(USA)

Director: RaMell Ross

Producers: RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes, Su Kim

An impressionistic portrait of the Historic South, HALE COUNTY, reflects stark reality in the visual language of a dreamscape. Focusing on intimate moments within an Alabama black community, this film is as much a meditation on race, identity, and America as it is an act of transcending the physical spaces that fill the screen. Winner of this year’s Documentary Special Jury Award for Creative Vision at Sundance.


MINDING THE GAP

(USA)

Director: Bing Liu

Producers: Diane Moy Quon, Bing Liu

First-time filmmaker Bing Liu returns home to Rockland, Illinois, in the heart of Rust Belt America, to reconnect with his friends Zack and Keire. Though they’ve been skateboarding since childhood, they’re now getting older, and new developments have arisen that will force them to confront themselves and each other. This extraordinary documentary vividly explores the trials and tribulations of youth and what it means to become an adult. Winner of the 2018 Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking.


OF FATHERS AND SONS

(Germany, Syria, Lebanon, Qatar)

Director: Talal Derki

Producers: Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme, Tobias Siebert, Hans Robert Eisenhauer

Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki returns to his homeland to study a pro-jihadist radical Islamist family, seeing how they live, work, and love over the course of two years. OF FATHERS AND SONS focuses on the father, the general of an offshoot of al-Qaeda, Abu Osama, and his sons, Osama and Ayman, as he grooms them to become jihadists. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


THE SENTENCE

(USA)

Director: Rudy Valdez

Producers: Sam Bisbee, Jackie Kelman Bisbee

Once upon a time, Cindy was in love with a man involved with drug trafficking. That chapter ended abruptly with murder. Six years later, Cindy is happily married and a proud mother of three. A knock on the door heralds a seismic shift—to prison for a minimum sentence of 15 years under the “Girlfriend Law.” The Sundance Audience Award winner, THE SENTENCE tells Cindy’s remarkable story of motherhood despite unimaginable odds, and maintaining hope at all costs.


INDEPENDENT VISIONS COMPETITION


BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS

(USA)

Director: Wendy McColm

Producers: Wendy McColm, Brian Robertson

BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS has been described as “Fellini meets Solondz meets Lynch set in the California and Nevada deserts.” We tend to agree. In BIRDS WITHOUT FEATHERS, six idiosyncratic, forlorn individuals (including a wannabe Instagram star and a Russian cowboy obsessed with Jeff Goldblum) try their best to find love for themselves to no avail. Their lives all intertwine in the hopes of connecting, but ultimately create a world of smoke and mirrors.Winner of the Slamdance Spirit Award in 2018.


BLACK MOTHER

(USA)

Director: Khalik Allah

Producers: Khalik Allah, Leah Giblin

Photographer and filmmaker Khalik Allah (FIELD NIGGAS) returns to Sarasota with another singular work of portraiture, this time capturing the spirit of his mother’s home country, Jamaica. Allah’s approach—intimate and open to the sights and sounds of street life—allows for a rich montage of the experiences of contemporary Jamaican life, creating an empathic synchronicity with a multivalent culture, attuned to the rhythms of everyone he encounters, whether they are preachers or prostitutes.


A FEAST OF MAN

(USA)

Director: Caroline Golum

Producer: John W. Yost

“My dearest friends, in order to inherit my vast fortune, you must each agree to consume my corpse. You have 48 hours to decide.” And so begins Caroline Golum’s debut feature film. Like a twisted take on BREWSTER’S MILLIONS, A FEAST OF MAN explores how far five quirky, wealthy people will go to inherit their friends’ fortune. Will they commit the ultimate taboo, or will they all be left starving?


LIFE AND NOTHING MORE

(Spain, USA)

Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza

Producer: Pedro Hernández Santos

Regina Williams is a single mother who yearns for more from her life than just being a mother. Her teenage son, Andrew, also longs for something more, but is forced to take on added responsibility at home. As Regina and Andrew both feel increasingly withdrawn, something happens that compels both of them to address the predicaments they face and voids they seek to fill. Winner of the John Cassavetes Award at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards.


MAISON DU BONHEUR

(Canada)

Director: Sofia Bohdanowicz

Producers: Sofia Bohdanowicz, Calvin Thomas

Congratulations! You have been invited to travel to Paris and stay in the historic and chic neighborhood of Montmartre in the home of a native astrologer. The only caveat is that you two have never met and you have no idea what you’re getting into. Will it be a “House of Happiness” after all?


MILFORD GRAVES FULL MANTIS

(USA)

Directors: Jake Meginsky, Neil Young

Producer: Jake Meginsky

Milford Graves is best known as an American jazz drummer who many argue is the single most influential figure in the development and continuing evolution of avant-garde music. He is credited with liberating percussion of its timekeeping role—even reconceptualizing time altogether. This 84-year-old polymath is anything but ordinary, and shows no signs of slowing down. Entering his world is akin to entering an entirely different dimension—to which this strikingly adventurous documentary by debut filmmaker Jake Meginsky grants full passage. Preceded by KCLOC.


NOTES ON AN APPEARANCE

(USA)

Director: Ricky D’Ambrose

Producer: Graham Swon

In Ricky D’Ambrose’s minimalistic debut feature, David, a young scholar in New York City,suddenly goes missing. His known whereabouts are scattered amongst auxiliary information: postcards, notes, letters, diary entries, boarding passes, etc. As his friends Todd and Madeleine search for him through these tiny windows of information, we learn more and more about the nefarious nature of his focus of study, provocative philosopher Stephen Taubes. Preceded by IN SEARCH OF INDIGO


TOUR WITHOUT END

(USA)

Director: Laura Parnes

Producer: Laura Parnes

TOUR WITHOUT END is artist Laura Parnes’ open invitation to enter the colorful and conscientious world of American independent rock musicians of the ‘90’s and early aughts who sought (and still seek) to fuse musical expression with political action, formal experimentation, and other dialectically rigorous endeavors. The result is strikingly unique -a documentary and narrative hybrid comedy that utilizes the subjects of TOUR as non-actors playing themselves in this lighthearted exploration of identity, representation, and the arts. WORLD PREMIERE featuring Kate Valk (The Wooster Group), Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance), Johanna Fateman (Le Tigre), Kathleen Hanna (Julie Ruin, Bikini Kill), among others.


NARRATIVE FILMS


ALL YOU CAN EAT BUDDHA

(CANADA, CUBA)

Director: Ian Lagarde

Producers: Gabrielle Tougas-Fréchette

Thing are all well at the Palacio resort in the Caribbean. The sun is shining, the people are happy, and the food is plentiful. That is, until Mike arrives and disrupts everything. His intense magnetism, enormous appetite, and growing reputation as a miracle-worker attracts an idiosyncratic bunch, including a salsa teacher and a talking octopus. But as rations dwindle, the weather gets worse, and a change in administration threatens the integrity of the Palacio, Mike and his cohorts will have to figure something, anything, out.


AMERICAN ANIMALS

(USA, UK)

Director: Bart Layton

Producers: Derrin Schlesinger, Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Mary Jane Skalski

This is the true story of four young Kentucky gentlemen who attempt a multimillion-dollar book heist from their college library. After successfully making away with priceless texts, the youngsters soon realize that life doesn’t always play out like the movies. The anxiety over being apprehended takes hold and builds with each passing moment, dogging each of the boys with all-consuming totality. Told in part by the actual perpetrators of the crime, AMERICAN ANIMALS is a historic thrill-ride with the stamina of a hungry lion.


AUGUST IN BERLIN

(GERMANY)

Director: Becky Smith

Producers: Olivia Charamsa

The chance meeting of a German man and a Canadian woman in a Berlin cafe unravels their carefully constructed lives. Two strangers get to know one another over a nonstop conversation all over the city. AUGUST IN BERLIN is a romance between two intellectuals, a beautiful and unique look at how we bond with a special someone.


BIKINI MOON

(USA)

Director: Milcho Manchevski

Producers: Anja Wedell, Munire Armstrong

Bikini is a fascinating specimen, especially if you’re shooting a documentary without a plan. She is so many things wrapped into one goldmine of a subject: a wise woman, a feral child, an unfettered free spirit, a war veteran, a sexually adventurous master manipulator… Bikini is the very embodiment of enigma. She presents prospects so enticing for an exploitative filmmaker that, despite the obvious risks of entering her world, she proves irresistible for all in her orbit, often with life-altering consequences.


BLACK KITE

(AFGHANISTAN, CANADA)

Director: Tarique Qayumi

Producers: Tajana Prka

Arian grew up with a passion for kites, but fate and a rapidly changing Afghanistan are continuing roadblocks to his lifelong love. As Afghanistan becomes wartorn and extremists take over, kites become illegal—and later Arian will risk everything to share his personal symbol of freedom with his daughter. An engaging story beautifully shot with historical footage and animation to round out the narrative, this film truly shows the unintended consequences Afghanistan’s race toward modernization.


CAN HITLER HAPPEN HERE?

(USA)

Director: Saskia Rifkin

Producers: Jay Cannold, Saskia Rifkin

Meet Miriam—a 74-year-old New Yorker living her life on her own terms. Miriam is an artist, an unabashed eccentric, and the last lady in New York City to keep up with the Joneses. Unfortunately for Miriam, the Joneses are keeping up on her. When their passive-aggressive snobbery goes too far, and Miriam suspects a plot to evict her from her apartment, she does not sit by idly. CAN HITLER HAPPEN HERE? is a comic and often provocative homage to the individualist spirit and indomitable powers of an active imagination.


CHASING THE BLUES

(USA)

Director: Scott Smith

Producers: JJ Ingram, Aria Razza, De Cooper

“Record collector Alan Thomas (Grant Rosenmeyer, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) is head over heels when he discovers that an ultra-rare blues record is just within his reach, in the hands of an older woman (Anna Maria Horsford, AMEN). However, he’s not the only one going after the record, and when he and his rival (Ronald Conner) are thrown in jail, they’re faced with a more fearsome adversary.

Preceded by DEATH METAL GRANDMA”


COLD SKIN

(Spain, France)

Director: Xavier Gens

Producers: Denise O’Dell, Mark Albela, Orlando Pedregosa, Denis Pedregosa

The year is 1914, and a young meteorologist named Friend has just arrived on a barren island to find the only other person in his midst is a cantankerous lighthouse keeper who reeks of madness and secrets. After an inexplicable night visitation, Friend is forced to take up with the lighthouse keeper and his strange pet, only to discover it’s high time to reconsider everything he thought he knew about nature, people, and the nature of personhood.


COME SUNDAY

(USA)

Director: Joshua Marston

Producers: Ira Glass, James D. Stern, Alissa Shipp, Julie Goldstein

Bishop Carlton Pearson used to be your everyday evangelical superstar. He had a following of millions of people who would worship with him as congregants of his Higher Dimensions Church. But after the suicide of a beloved family member, he soon comes to a realization that places him at odds with not only his church, but the people in his life that he loves the most. NOTE: Bishop Carlton Pearson in attendance.


DELENDA

(USA)

Director: Ralph Moffettone

Producer: Ralph Moffettone

New York City has just suffered another terrorist attack, and the young professionals of the outer boroughs have rallied together in solidarity—for a little while, at least. Old feuds flare up between colleagues, kindness to strangers is quickly superseded by impatience, and overarching stereotypes prevail as quickly as they were suspended. It’s a media frenzy: their insatiable hunger for fresh content and the competition to keep upping the ante help some to get rich, and others to get radicalized.


DIMINUENDO

(USA)

Director: Adrian Stewart

Producers: Sarah Goldberger, Kevin Alexander Heard, Jenifer Ellis, Jeffrey Coghlan

Haskell Edwards was once an A-list actor—rich, famous, and madly in love with the starlet of the century, Cello Shea. Nothing’s been the same since Cello’s suicide, and Haskell is struggling to hold his life together. When the opportunity arises to play a role that would relaunch his career and solidify his place in cinema history—himself in a biopic about the inimitable Cello Shea—he can’t say no. Trouble is that Cello is played by a robot—a marvel whose machine learning is so uncannily astute, it turns out that Cello may not be so inimitable after all. WORLD PREMIERE


EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA (ON THE SEVENTH DAY)

(USA)

Director: Jim McKay

Producers: Alex Bach, Lindsey Cordero, Caroline Kaplan, Jim McKay, Michael Stipe

Jim McKay’s first film in twelve years, EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA follows a Mexican immigrant in Brooklyn trying to establish himself in America. He works long hours six days a week, but on the seventh day, Sunday, he enjoys a day of rest on the soccer fields of Brooklyn. A refreshing take on the challenges and sacrifices made by recent immigrants trying to gain a foothold in America.


FIRST REFORMED

(USA)

Director: Paul Schrader

Producers: Christine Vachon, David Hinojosa, Gary Hamilton, Ying Ye, Jack Binder, Frank Murray

Director Paul Schrader (screenwriter for TAXI DRIVER and RAGING BULL, director of AMERICAN GIGOLO) brings his newest film FIRST REFORMED to Sarasota by way of the Venice Film Festival. A deeply personal film, FIRST REFORMED tells the story of an emotionally tortured pastor (Ethan Hawke) of a small church in upstate New York. Still recovering from the death of his son, he has a deeply troubling encounter with an despondent parishioner and his wife (Amanda Seyfried) that leaves him questioning his role as a man of god in a dying world.


A FRENCHMAN IN FLORIDA

(France, USA)

Director: Dante Rhev

Producer: Vincent Dale

Two young girls have disappeared, and Sarasota detectives have a hunch that the mysterious Frenchman who has locked himself in a cheap motel bathroom has something to do with it. The only problem is that he won’t say a word, let alone leave the bathroom. That is, until the detectives find a charismatic young translator who wins his trust and begins to extract his story little by little as the clock ticks away with each precious second the girls remain missing. Preceded by KATIA


HOLIDAY

(Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden)

Director: Isabella Eklof

Producer: David B. Sørensen

Beauty and violence abound in this tale of a gangster’s girlfriend and the lavish new life she finds herself in. On vacation on the Turkish Riviera, Sascha quickly learns that this glamorous existence comes at a high cost, and that her boyfriend Michael can and will do anything to get what he wants: total dominance over others. A chance meeting with a Dutch yacht owner has Sascha toying with the two men, and playing a very dangerous game.


LET THE SUNSHINE IN (UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR)

(France, Belgium)

Director: Claire Denis

Producer: Olivier Delbosc

Arguably the greatest director of her generation, French master Claire Denis makes a disarming turn with her latest film. Juliette Binoche stars as Isabelle, a middle-aged Parisian artist looking for love. Very loosely based on Roland Barthes’s A LOVER’S DISCOURSE, Denis moves elliptically with Isabelle from affair to rendezvous to flirtation, creating the rare romantic comedy that takes seriously the mysteries and frustrations of romantic love while never shying away from a well-observed joke.


MAKTUB

(Israel)

Director: Oded Raz

Producer: Roni Abramowsky

It’s GOODFELLAS meets PAY IT FORWARD in this redemptive comedy from Israel. When two mobsters, Steve and Chuma, narrowly escape a terrorist bombing, they decide to eschew their life of crime and become “guardian angels.” As the mobsters begin answering prayers that people write in notes and leave in the cracks of the Wailing Wall, they realize their unorthodox methods are turning some heads and making a few enemies along the way.


SANTA INOCENCIA

(Germany, Italy, Switzerland)

Director: Meritxell Campos Olivé

Producer: Meritxell Campos Olivé

Little young “Saint Innocence” is preserved in wax and would love a visit! Legend has it that although her body has been dead for 300 years, her sense of humor is alive and well (but a bit dry)—winking at a lucky tourist every so often. Join her in spirit for a joyful jaunt through the Italian countryside with eight jocular hosts who are all but mute, yet speak volumes. PRECEDED BY TITAN


SHELTER

(Israel)

Director: Eran Riklis

Producers: Eran Riklis, Bettina Brokemper, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre, Michael Eckelt

SHELTER is not your average spy movie. Naomi, a Mossad agent, is tasked with a new identity and heads to protect Mona, a Lebanese informant who is being hidden in Hamburg while she recovers from plastic surgery. However, things are not all that they seem when Naomi learns a dark truth about Mona. But in the time they spend together, they form an unlikely connection that may contradict their motives, their beliefs, and their mission.


TATTERDEMALION

(USA)

Director: Ramaa Mosley

Producers: Gina Resnick, Ramaa Mosley, Tim Macy, Sarah Johnson, Cameron Gray

Fern, an Army veteran, returns home to the Ozarks to find an abandoned young boy in the woods. As any compassionate person would do, she takes the boy in as her own to ensure his safety and wellbeing. Gradually, the boy’s behavior grows more and more suspect, especially in light of the local legend of the Tatterdemalion. Nonetheless, Cecil isn’t your average boy—his secrecy and instinctive knowledge seems years beyond his age, and it is beginning to drive Fern mad…


TINKER

(USA)

Director: Sonny Mahrler

Producer: Tom Bhramayana

Grady never much fancied the idea of fatherhood. He preferred to remain unentangled so he could devote his undivided attention to his unique hobby: completing the work of Nikola Tesla’s free-energy experiments. It’s a bit of a family affair after all, as his father was involved with covert government projects to unlock the power of Tesla’s confiscated designs. Such is life, however, that fate would intervene to give Grady no choice but to become the guardian of a gifted and curious six-year-old, who just can’t seem to mind his own business.


THE TRANSCENDENTS

(USA)

Director: Derek Ahonen

Producer: Melinda Prisco

Roger is in search of the ultimate indie-rock band, The Transcendents. What he finds is less than transcendent: a group of bandmates who wish to do anything but play music, a host of unpleasant memories jogged by the dysfunction of the Rock ’n’ Roll lifestyle, and more questions than answers in search of his own existential fulfillment. Set in the Wonderland of America’s underground Do-It-Yourself music scene, THE TRANSCENDENTS is a Rock ’n’ Roll fairytale that straddles the line between the absurd and the all too real. Preceded by DOWNPOUR


VIRGINIA, MINNESOTA

(USA)

Director: Daniel Stine

Producers: Mike Stine, Helen Stine, Daniel Stine

Addison and Lyle have not seen each other in ages, and maybe that was for the best considering the tumult of their past growing up together in a home for troubled girls. Nonetheless, an unexpected reunion revives a friendship that is steeped in adventure and discovery, and the two spare no time in “borrowing” a car and tearing off into the sunset towards the home they grew up in together courting unforeseen antics and epiphanies at every turn.


VIRUS TROPICAL

(Columbia)

Director: Santiago Caicedo

Producers: Carolina Barrera, Santiago Caicedo

VIRUS TROPICAL is the animated history of Paola’s coming of age, told from the moment of her conception. The story takes place in Columbia, and is steeped in Latin-American gendered experience. Paola is the youngest of three daughters to a priest and psychic, and equally divided between the worlds of moral tradition and devil-may-care whimsy. VIRUS TROPICAL is not only a universally relatable parable about self-definition, it is also a frank and sensitive exploration of sexuality in Latin American culture. Preceded by LOVE ON THE BALCONY.


WE THE ANIMALS

(USA)

Director: Jeremiah Zagar

Producers: Dan Kitrosser, Jeremiah Zagar

Manny, Joel, and Jonah are three inseparable brothers living a lower-middle-class life with their mother and father. But as they get older, their parents fight, and the boys quickly have to fend for themselves. Manny and Joel take after their father, but Jonah, the youngest, is still soft at heart and desperately want to escape the new reality he finds himself in. Based on the Justin Torres novel, WE THE ANIMALS won the Next Innovator Award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018.


WHITE RABBIT

(USA)

Director: Daryl Wein

Producers: Daryl Wein, Vivian Bang

“Sophia makes unusual performance art: smashing her face into piles of food, staging guerrilla performances in drugstores, supermarkets, and street corners while sporting a white jumpsuit and a blonde wig. She tells her mother, “It’s not art that people can buy.” She soon meets Victoria, a photographer with similar views on being “hyphen Americans” and women of color, and feelings develop that may not be reciprocated.

PRECEDED BY REAL ARTISTS”


ZAMA

(Argentina)

Director: Lucrecia Martel

Producers: Vânia Catani, Benjamín Doménech, Santiago Gallelli, Matias Roveda,

Lucrecia Martel’s newest film is a historical period piece of Kafka-esque proportions. Set in the 18th century based on the novel by Antonio di Benedetto, Spanish officer Don Diego de Zama yearns for a new position in the new world. As he awaits a transfer letter from the king, de Zama’s patience and sanity begin to quickly run out. ZAMA was the Argentine submission for Best Foreign Language Film in the 90th Academy Awards®


DOCUMENTARY FILMS


306 HOLLYWOOD

(USA, Hungary)

Directors: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín

Producers: Elan Bogarín, Jonathan Bogarín, Judit Stalter

A pair of shoes. A toothbrush. Bank statements. What do these items have in common? When you die, the things you leave behind tell a story about you. In 306 HOLLYWOOD, siblings and filmmakers Elan and Jonathan Bogarin explore their recently departed grandmother’s story as told through her belongings, correspondence, and other personal items in this unique, magical-realist documentary. Preceded by CATSKILLS


ANTONIO LOPEZ 1970: SEX FASHION & DISCO

(USA)

Director: James Crump

Producers:James Crump, Ronnie Sassoon

A time capsule of 1970s fashion, this film delves into the decade through visionary eyes of fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. A bisexual Puerto Rican raised in the Bronx, Lopez shaped the ’70s into an era of glamour and flamboyant style. Based in Paris and New York, he was known to have an outlandish and colorful social sphere, which influenced his work in a unique way and vaulted him to the forefront of his industry. PRECEDED BY WHILE I YET LIVE


ASK THE SEXPERT

(USA)

Director: Vaishali Sinha

Producers: Vaishali Sinha, Mridu Chadra

“Mahinder Watsa is a 92-year-old OBGYN with a wildly popular sex advice column in Mumbai. Watsa dispenses advice daily on matters ranging from the mundane to the risqué with a no-nonsense approach that readers find refreshing and illuminating in a country that provides little if any sexual education in schools. His conviction that talking openly about pleasure and consent is vital for achieving gender-equality in India flies in the face of his conservative detractors, who would like nothing more than for his column to disappear.

PRECEDED BY THE HEARTBREAK FACTORY”


BISBEE ‘17

(USA)

Director: Robert Greene

Producers: Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, Bennett Elliott

The old mining town of Bisbee, Arizona is haunted by the ghosts of its past, figuratively and literally. Bisbee was the site of a brutal deportation of 1,200 striking miners, most of them immigrants, who were left to die in the desert. Filmed during the centennial of this shocking but mostly forgotten event, BISBEE ’17 follows residents and descendants as they reenact the deportation. For some, the reenactment dredges up painful personal history; for others, it shifts their worldview.


CHEF FLYNN

(USA)

Director: Cameron Yates

Producer: Laura Coxson

“With a bedroom-based kitchen lab at age 10, an elaborate supper club at age 12, and stints in top New York, Los Angeles, and European restaurants before age 16, Flynn McGarry is a remarkable rising star in the culinary world. Flynn’s mother, Meg McGarry, herself an artist, thoroughly documented his childhood forays into gastronomy, and CHEF FLYNN mixes these home movies with five years’ worth of documentary footage by director Cameron Yates.

Preceded by I HEART NY”


CRACKING ACES: A WOMAN’S PLACE AT THE TABLE

(USA)

Director: H. James Gilmore

Producer: Tracy Halcomb

CRACKING ACES tells the fascinating story of the pioneering women who broke through the glass ceiling of professional poker, challenging stereotypes and battling a hostile environment where women were often abused, insulted, and sexually harassed. In the last decade, the Internet—and the anonymity that it provides—has been a factor in opening up the game of poker to more and more women.


CRIME + PUNISHMENT

(USA)

Director: Stephen Maing

Producers: Stephen Maing, Ross Tuttle, Eric Daniel Metzgar

CRIME + PUNISHMENT follows the NYPD12, a group of New York Police Department officers determined to expose the department’s illegal quotas practice, where officers are penalized if they do not reach a certain number of arrests and summonses per month. Through hidden-camera footage, firsthand accounts, and personal testimonies by the officers and the young minorities who have been overwhelmingly targeted, CRIME + PUNISHMENT is a historic document on corruption in law enforcement.


DISTANT CONSTELLATION

(USA, Turkey, Netherlands)

Director: Shevaun Mizrahi

Producers: Deniz Buga, Shelly Grizim

Shevaun Mizrahi’s newest film DISTANT CONSTELLATIONS is an elliptical look at life in a Turkish nursing home. Life there is cyclical, sometimes to the point of absurdity, but it speaks to the existential beauty of growing old through the minutiae of living, and the wisdom of experience. This film won the Special Mention—Filmmakers of the Present Award at Locarno in 2017. Preceded by ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS


EXPERIMENTAL CITY, THE

(USA)

Director: Chad Freidrichs

Producers: Chad Freidrichs, Jaime Freidrichs, Brian Woodman

Imagine if urban infrastructure was reimagined to operate like a living organism that existed on what it produced and produced everything it needed to exist. During the 1960s and ’70s the federal government funded a committee of leading inventors, scientists, architects, and futurists who devised comprehensive plans to achieve just that. If this sounds like something out of a ’60s sci-fi comic strip, that’s because the leader of the initiative, Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, was also the comic artist for The Boston Globe who popularized this Jetson-esque vision for the future.


FATHER’S KINGDOM

(USA)

Director: Lenny Feinberg

Producers: Claire Chandler, Nancy Cutler, Lenny Feinberg, Chris Foster, Kevin Koltz

Father Divine’s immeasurable impact on the Civil Rights movement is oft overlooked by historians. He preached a message of unity, tolerance, and unconditional love, and was able to provide life-giving services and supplies to underrepresented communities via his worldwide network of disciples. His legacy continues amongst a small contingency of faithful outside of Philadelphia. In fact, they still call him God, and speak to him on a daily basis, despite his being dead for half a century.


FREEDOM FOR THE WOLF

(Germany)

Director: Rupert Russell

Producers: Patrick Hamm, Camilla Hall

Democracy is in crisis. Political leaders all across the globe are abusing their powers. Economic equality is dissolving as the rich become richer, and the poor become angrier. The first film to provide a global scale to the political upheaval that the Trump election resulted in, it follows common people fighting against the system, such as subversive comedians in India, a rapper in Tunisia, and young students in Hong Kong. Preceded by FIGHT FOR THE FIRST


GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI

(UK, Ireland)

Director: Sophie Fiennes

Producer: Katie Holly, Sophie Fiennes, Beverly Jones, Shani Hinton

Director Sophie Fiennes returns to SFF with a brand new documentary on Grace Jones, the Jamaican born model, singer, and New Wave icon. But she’s much more than the Bond girl from A VIEW TO A KILL. “Bloodlight” refers to the red recording light in a recording studio. “Bami” refers to bread–thus, art and life. Shot over 10 years, GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI explores the artists life and persona onstage and off.


THE GREAT FLIP-OFF

(USA)

Director: Dafna Yachin

Producers: Dafna Yachin

Dafne Yachin’s THE GREAT FLIP-OFF follows bareback riding families in the shadow of the decline of the Circus industry. Hailing from Italy, Mexico, Hungary, France, and beyond, they’ve all all come to discuss the joys, the heartbreak, and the future of working in an industry with uncertain future after the closure of Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus after nearly 150 years. WORLD PREMIERE


HALF THE PICTURE

(USA)

Director: Amy Adrion

Producers: Amy Adrion, David Harris

HALF THE PICTURE examines the dismal number of women directors working in Hollywood, and the challenges women filmmakers face: sexual harassment, sexism, male and societal discomfort with female leadership, and the added barrier of racial discrimination. Such successful women directors as Ava DuVernay, Lena Dunham, Jill Soloway, and Rosanna Arquette talk about their career paths, struggles, inspirations, and hopes for the future.


KILLER BEES

(USA)

Directors: Ben Cummings, Orson Cummings

Producers: Ben Cummings, Orson Cummings, Larry Gagosian, Eric S. Lane, Hilary McHone, Shaquille O’Neal

KILLER BEES explores the history of a famed high school basketball team in a community that’s finding itself increasingly sidelined. Bridgehampton High may be tiny, but its championship team, preparing to defend their state title, is a symbol of hope for an African American community fighting gentrification and extreme income inequality in the midst of the Hamptons, one of the country’s wealthiest communities.


LA FLOR DE LA VIDA

(Uruguay)

Directors: Adriana Loeff, Claudia Abend

Producers: Adriana Loeff, Claudia Abend

What is love? We meet a colorful group of candid individuals and their better halves who shed some light on the matter—some reflecting fondly on a love life shaped by many passionate encounters, others tied inextricably to a life partner of many decades. And then we meet Aldo and Gabriella, who, in the twilight of their lives, have chosen to split amicably. This is a story not just about romance but also about letting go, and the love that perseveres despite irreconcilable differences.


LIVING IN THE FUTURE’S PAST

(USA)

Director: Susan Kucera

Producers: Jeff Bridges

Academy Award® winner Jeff Bridges presents this meditation on humanity’s relationship to the natural world: questioning who we are, how we think, and how it all relates to the environmental challenges we now face. Bridges, alongside prominent scientists and authors, weaves evolution, emergence, entropy, dark ecology, and what some are calling the end of nature, into a story that helps us understand our place on Earth.


LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE (MUCHOS HIJOS, UN MONO Y UN CASTILLO)

(SPAIN)

Director: Gustavo Salmerón

Producer: Gustavo Salmerón

One could say that Gustavo Salmerón’s debut film, LOTS OF KIDS, A MONKEY AND A CASTLE, is “just a home movie,” but that would be ignoring the real star of the show: his mother, Julita. This matriarch has had three dreams in life: she wants lots of kids, a monkey, and a castle. And as the living definition of “living larger than life,” it’s fitting that all of her dreams come true.


MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A.

(Sri Lanka, UK, USA)

Director: Stephen Loveridge

Producers: Lori Cheatle, Andrew Goldman, Paul Mezey

An autobiographical look at the life and career of London-born M.I.A. (Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) as told through the lens of filmmaker Stephen Loveridge. Covering her early years to her pop stardom, it’s an honest portrayal of a modern artist and what helped make her who she is today. During the course of a decade, Loveridge sorted through over 700 hours of footage, much of it taken by Arulpragasam herself, and only a longtime friend and former classmate could put together such a personal portrayal.But for how long? Preceded by THE COFFIN CLUB.


MAYNARD

(USA)

Director: Sam Pollard

Producers: Wendy Eley Jackson, Maynard Jackson III, Dolly Turner, Daphne McWilliams, Winsome Sinclair, Donald Jarmond, Autumn Bailey-Ford, Karl Carter

Called by some the Obama before Obama, Maynard Jackson Jr. achieved an unprecedented success in 1973: he became the first black mayor of the Capital of the South, Atlanta. This documentary follows Maynard’s life and challenges as he fought to make Atlanta a country leader. The father of Affirmative Action, he represented a much needed change in the political atmosphere of the South away from exclusion and bigotry, toward that of acceptance and progress.


OLD DOG

(USA)

Director: Sally Rowe

Producers: Sally Rowe, Benjamin Breen, Regina Sobel, Alan Oxman, Roland Rojas

“Paul Sorenson, a farmer in New Zealand, has spent the last several decades developing more intuitive training techniques for sheep dogs. He’s spending his last few years before retirement teaching the next generation of shepherds these methods. Reflecting on the turmoil of his early life, and the difficult choices he made in pursuit of his love for dogs, Paul opens up and reveals his secrets and wisdom about dogs and life.


ON HER SHOULDERS

(USA, GREECE, CANADA, GERMANY)

Director: Alexandria Bombach

Producers: Hayley Pappas, Brock Williams

Nadia Murad is a human-rights activist from Iraq and a Yazidi, a Kurdish religious minority, captured by ISIS in August 2014. Since escaping in 2017, Nadia has emerged as the international voice for her people. Nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, she was named the first UN Goodwill Ambassador for Human Trafficking in September 2016. ON HER SHOULDERS won the Directing Award: U.S. Documentary at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.


THE PAIN OF OTHERS

(USA)

Director: Penny Lane

Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick

According to the CDC, Morgellons disease is an “unexplained dermopathy” not caused by infection or parasites. It predominantly affects middle-aged white women who all report the same symptoms: memory loss, bizarre lapses in time, a sensation of something crawling beneath their skin, and worm-like filaments emerging from rashes or sores. The medical community dismisses Morgellons disease as a symptom of mental illness. In this found footage documentary, you’ll meet those afflicted with Morgellons, see their proof, and witness a community whose only hope for cure is sharing their stories and home-remedies online.


RBG

(USA)

Director: Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Producers: Betsy West and Julie Cohen

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has followed a life path that is fascinating and unique, leading to her becoming, at age 84, an extraordinary legal legend and a feminist “pop culture icon.” The film explores the life of “the notorious RBG” from an early age, through college and law school and meeting the love of her life, on to her family and career, culminating with her years at the Supreme Court.


RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE

(USA)

Director: Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler & Jeff Springer

Producers: Chris Metzler, Quinn Costello & Jeff Springer

Narrated by THE WIRE’S Wendell Pierce, the devastation from hurricanes and oil spills has led the population of coastal Louisiana to become very familiar with nature’s dark side. But now, there’s a new threat: a massive, invasive species of rodent with orange teeth from South America that is destroying the ecosystem—and repopulating faster than they can be killed—called the nutria. Thomas Gonzalez leads a team of bounty hunters to fight against the destructive rodents.


SISTERS

(POLAND, AFGHANISTAN)

Director: Justyna Tafel

Producer: Monika Sobańska

Three brave and inspiring sisters shine a light upon the dark and bright sides of the life of women in Afghanistan. Traditional mentality forbids them to work, study, leave the house without their husband or a relative, enjoy entertainment, or even visit a doctor. But they still have their resistance strategies and they fight for independence.


THAT SUMMER

(SWEDEN, DENMARK, UNITED STATES)

Director: Göran Hugo Olsson

Producers: Joslyn Barnes, Nejma Beard

Thought to be lost for decades, THAT SUMMER is a remarkable film project spearheaded by artist Peter Beard and his friend Lee Radziwill, about her eccentric aunt and cousin, “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” Beale, best known from GREY GARDENS, the 1975 Maysles brothers documentary that peeked inside their bohemian Hamptons estate of the same name. The film is a curated look at the creative community on 1970s Montauk, Long Island, and features appearances from the filmmakers themselves, as well as fashionable artists Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale, Edith Bouvier Beale, and Andy Warhol.


THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS

(USA)

Director: Tim Wardle

Producers: Becky Read

The wild tale of Bobby Shafran, Eddy Galland, and David Kellman—three identical triplets separated at birth and brought together by chance in their early 20s—provides definitive proof that truth can be much stranger than fiction. Director Tim Wardle proves to be a master storyteller, bringing the audience along as the story to careens from an eccentric look at the reunited triplets taking 1980s New York by storm, to an evocative portrait of family, friendship, and mental illness, to an investigation of the sinister conspiracy at the root of the triplets’ separation.


A TUBA TO CUBA

(USA, CUBA)

Director: T.G. Herrington, Danny Clinch

Producers: Nicelle Herrington, Han Soto

New Orleans’s famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band traces their musical roots from the city of jazz down to Cuba, in search of the indigenous music that gave rise to jazz. The band finds deep cultural connections in dark, shared histories of slavery as well as modern reflections of their own city in Cuba’s hardships and struggles. Encounters with iconic Cuban musicians spark spontaneous and beautiful musical interludes in living rooms and in the streets, culminating in one last raucous performance before the band returns home, inspired, to work on their new album.


SHORTS PROGRAMS

SHORTS 1: NARRATIVE COMPETITION

CHILDREN LEAVE AT DAWN

(FRANCE)

Director: Manon Coubia

An unexpected meeting with her estranged son forces Macha to confront her fears before he becomes a mountain infantryman in the French military.

COPA-LOCA

(GREECE)

Director: Christos Massalas

This is the story of Copa-Loca, an abandoned Greek summer resort. Paulina is the girl at the heart of Copa-Loca. Everyone cares for her and she cares about everyone—in every possible way.

FOR NONNA ANNA

(CANADA)

Director: Luis De Filippis

A trans girl has to care for her Italian grandmother. She assumes that her Nonna disapproves of her—but instead discovers a tender bond in their shared vulnerability.

LUNCH TIME

(IRAN)

Director: Alireza Ghasemi

A 16-year-old girl arrives at a hospital to identify the body of her mother but first must convince the staff to let her into the morgue.

OSTOJA WILL MOVE YOUR PIANO

(SERBIA)

Director: Sandra Mitrovic

Today is a day when Ostoja, a legendary piano mover from Belgrade, gets a special delivery.

THE PRESIDENT’S VISIT

(LEBANON, QUATAR, USA)

Director: Cyril Aris

When a small coastal town of fishermen learns about the President’s secret visit to its local soap shop, they embark in an everlasting struggle at cleaning up and maintaining the perfect image of their town.


SHORTS 2: DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

THE EARTH IS HUMMING

(USA, JAPAN)

Director: Garrett Bradley

Japan has been preparing for an impending magnitude 7 earthquake that is predicted to hit Tokyo within the next 30 years. The film explores Japan’s unique relationship to disaster preparation and its unique implementation in daily life.

MOTHER’S DAY

(USA)

Director: Elizabeth Lo, R.J. Lozada

An annual bus service that takes children to visit their mothers in prison explores the impact of mass incarceration on a generation of youth.

NUUCA

(USA)

Director: Michelle Latimer

An evocative meditation on Indigenous women’s integral connection to the land and the ways in which the extractive industry’s rape of the earth is directly linked to the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and girls.

SAND MEN

(UK)

Director: Tal Amiran

With their families in Romania depending on them, three men try to survive by creating sand sculptures on London’s streets.

THE TERRORIST HUNTER

(USA, CANADA)

Director: Ann Shin

Rita Katz, a controversial spy, is lauded by some for her work fighting terrorism, and criticized by others who say she creates terrorist plots where none exist. THE TERRORIST HUNTER explores how fear and terror play out in our society.

VOLTE

(POLAND)

Director: Monika Kotecka, Karolina Poryzała

Twelve-year-old Zuzia has been training to vault for two years and has an extraordinary role topping the acrobatic pyramid. During practice sessions it becomes apparent that she has lost some of her grace

SHORTS 3: ANIMATED COMPETITION

AGUA VIVA

(USA)

Director: Alexa Lim Haas

A Chinese manicurist in Miami attempts to describe feelings she doesn’t have the words for.

THE ALLIGATOR HUNTER

(USA)

Director: Kyle V James, Mallori Taylor, Michael Bourne

After losing his wife in a traumatic attack, an elderly hunter seeks revenge on the culprit: a massive albino alligator.

BARTLEBY

(USA)

Director: Laura Naylor, Kristen Kee

An unassuming Wall Street lawyer finds himself beset by a new employee, Bartleby, who refuses to work—in an ongoing act of passive refusal, he simply “prefers not to.” A quiet, dogged battle of wills ensues in this stop-motion reimagining of a Melville classic.

THE BURDEN

(SWEDEN)

Director: Niki Lindroth von Bahr

A dark musical enacted in a modern market place. The employees of the various commercial venues deal with boredom and existential anxiety by performing cheerful musical turns.

THE DRIVER IS RED

(USA)

Director: Randall Christopher

Set in 1960 Argentina, this true-crime documentary follows the story of secret agent Zvi Aharoni as he hunted down one of the highest-ranking Nazi war criminals on the run.

HEDGEHOG’S HOME

(CANADA, CROATIA)

Director: Eva Cvijanovic

In a lush and lively forest lives a hedgehog. He is respected and envied by the other animals. However, Hedgehog’s unwavering devotion to his home annoys a quartet of insatiable beasts.

IN A HEARTBEAT

(USA)

Director: Beth David, Esetban Bravo

A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.

NEGATIVE SPACE

(FRANCE)

Director: Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata

My dad taught me how to pack.

WEEKENDS

(USA)

Director: Trevor Jimenez

The story of a young boy shuffling between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Surreal, dream-like moments mix with the domestic realities of a broken family in his hand-animated film set in 1980s Toronto.


SHORTS 4: NARRATIVE 1

ARIA

(CYPRUS, FRANCE)

Director: Myrsini Aristidou

Seventeen-year-old Aria is waiting for a driving lesson with her father. However, when he finally arrives, it is not to go for a drive; instead he confides in her the care of a young Chinese immigrant who speaks neither Greek nor English.

BEAST

(UK)

Director: Leonora Lonsdale

When Alice’s mother, Grace, tells her that her father’s a “beast,” Alice begins to question who or what she really is.

LOCKDOWN

(USA)

Director: Max Sokoloff

When a high school misfit is taken hostage by a classmate with a gun, he must find common ground with the shooter in order to survive the perilous standoff.

OKSIJAN

(USA)

Director: Edward Watts

The incredible true story of a seven-year-old Afghan boy’s fight to survive as he is smuggled to the UK in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

POLA

(POLAND)

Director: Edyta Rembała

Eleven-year-old Pola will do anything to keep her mother with her family at home.

THE THINGS YOU THINK I’M THINKING

(CANADA)

Director: Sherren Lee

A black male burn-survivor and amputee goes on a date with a regularly-abled man.


SHORTS 5: NARRATIVE 2

EASY AS…

(UK)

Director: Andrea Niada

Two very English gentlemen sit in a very English living room attempting to find something that is universally easy. Flowing port wine and mounting frustration lead to a most un-English conclusion.

GLORIA TALKS FUNNY

(USA)

Director: Kendall Goldberg

When struggling voice actress Gloria discovers her agent failed to tell her that her claim-to-fame cartoon is being remade, she sets her sights on reprising her role as the famous BioBoy.

LONG TERM DELIVERY

(USA)

Director: Jake Honig

A short comedy about a secret division of the United States Postal Service.

SHERRY

(USA)

Director: Mary Gulino

Sherry is the wallflower office manager of a dance studio, who finally acts on her dream of leading a class of her own.

WELCOME HOME

(NORWAY)

Director: Armita Keyani

Set in the north of Norway, an Iranian refugee couple invites two Jehovah’s Witnesses in when they knock on their door.

MAUDE

(USA)

Director: Anna Margaret Hollyman

Teeny thought it was just another routine babysitting job—until she’s shocked to meet the client. As the day goes on, Teeny decides to become the woman she had no idea she always wanted to be… until she gets caught.

SHORTS 6: NARRATIVE 3

BIRTHRIGHT

(NORWAY)

Director: Mauritz Solberg, Daniel Schwarz

What if you had to acquire a license to become a parent?

CAROLINE

(USA)

Director: Logan George, Celine Held

When plans fall through, a six-year-old is faced with a big responsibility on a hot Texas day.

EVE

(USA)

Director: Susan Bay-Nimoy

EVE exposes a 74-year-old woman’s journey through grief, sexual passion, and renewal.

MOTHER, MOTHER

(USA)

Director: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck

A mother sneaks off in the middle of the night.

THE VIEW FROM UP HERE

(USA, FRANCE)

Director: Marco Calvani

Claire and Lila live in the same building, but they hardly know each other. Until today, when Claire decides to pay a visit to Lila, a refugee from Syria, and to ask for something that will definitely put at risk the cohabitation.


SHORTS 7: DOCUMENTARY 1

63 BOYCOTT

(USA)

Director: Gordon Quinn

’63 BOYCOTT connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations in 1963 to contemporary issues around race, education, and youth activism.

GAVIN GRIMM VS.

(USA)

Director: Nadia Hallgren

In 2016, transgender teen Gavin Grimm sued his local school board after its members refused to let him use the bathroom of his choice. He was ready to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court—and then the election happened.

MONUMENT | MONUMENTO

(USA)

Director: Laura Gabbert

At Friendship Park, a unique meeting place along the U.S.—Mexico border, family members and loved ones from both countries can see and speak to each other through a meshed fence, but they cannot touch.

SECOND ASSAULT

(USA)

Director: Amy Rosner, Jillian Corsie

In 2005, Jillian was sexually assaulted on her college campus. After reporting it, she experienced a life-altering encounter with the police. Twelve years later, she embarks on a journey to confront the system that failed her.

THE WORLD IS ROUND SO THAT NOBODY CAN HIDE IN THE CORNERS – PART 1: REFUGE

(GERMANY)

Director: Leandro Goddinho

The journey of an African gay refugee seeking asylum in Germany.

SHORTS 8: DOCUMENTARY 2

MR. CONNOLLY HAS ALS

(USA)

Director: Dan Habib

A high school principal is embraced by his community as he continues to lead the school, despite rapidly losing his ability to walk and speak due to the debilitating effects of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

MY PAINTBRUSH BITES

(USA)

Director: Joel Pincosy, Co-director Joe Egender

A man battling reclusion and a racehorse on the brink of death save each other in unexpected ways.

NELLIE BLY MAKES THE NEWS

(USA)

Director: Denny Lane

Nellie Bly was a legendary journalist who changed the game for women in reporting before women even had the right to vote.

ODE TO JOY

(USA)

Director: Michael Koshkin

The elderly residents of a Houston retirement home make the best of their remaining days by playing in a kazoo band.

A VIEW FROM THE WINDOW

(USA)

Director: Azar Kafaei, Chris Flippone

An immersive glimpse of a school day through the eyes of deaf children.


SHORTS 9: MIDNIGHT SHORTS

AFTER HER

(USA)

Director: Aly Migliori

A wayward teenage girl goes missing and her friend is haunted by her disappearance. An atmospheric sci-fi about first love.

CREEPER

(AUSTRALIA)

Director: Drew Macdonald

After a night out, a young woman is unknowingly followed into her home by her “ride-share” driver—resulting in a dangerous game of cat and mouse that explores the lengths people will go to connect in the modern world.

FATHER

(UK)

Director: Chris Keller

A young boy lives with his mother who is not terribly interested in giving him the attention he needs. There is also a father figure, but unfortunately for the boy, he is much worse.

FIX HISTORY

(USA)

Director: Mitchell Zemil

The official music video for Teach Me Equals, FIX HISTORY follows a feral woman’s discovery of a strange, mysterious energy lying in the woods. Drawn to it magnetically, her attempts to embrace this power become a struggle to not be engulfed by it.

HAIR WOLF

(USA)

Director: Mariama Diallo

At a black hair salon in gentrifying Brooklyn, the local residents fend off a strange new monster: white women intent on sucking the lifeblood from black culture.

SPIRITUS LEPUS

(SWEDEN)

Director: Kristofer Kiggs Calrsson

Hidden amongst the mythical undergrowth in a grimy operation room, six Rabbit Humanoid Surgeons haphazardly fight to save the life of a damaged soul.

MOTHER FUCKER

(USA)

Director: Nicholas Payne Santos

Charles is deeply in debt and desperate to save his kidnapped dog.

THE NIGHT I DANCE WITH DEATH

(FRANCE)

Director: Vincent Gibauld

Unable to engage at a party, Jack consumes a psychedelic drug allowing him to shed his worry and enjoy the moment. But soon Jack must confront an anxiety he just cannot escape.


SHORTS 10: NYU SHORTS

AAMIR

(UK, USA)

Director: Vika Evdokimenko

Thirteen-year-old Aamir is stranded alone in the largest unofficial refugee camp in Europe. When he is befriended by Katlyn, a thinly stretched volunteer, she becomes Aamir’s last hope for salvation.

AMENITIES

(USA)

Director: Jack Kendrick

A contractor taking measurements of a client’s house has an unusual intimate encounter.

AQUACULTURE

(USA)

Director: Artemis Shaw

The employees of a cult-like biotech startup test their product on themselves.

ARNIE JOHNSTONE & THE VULVA TREE

(USA)

Director: Jesse Swenson

A family man objects to the presence of an obscene tree in his upstanding neighborhood.

BURN BRIDGE

(UK, USA)

Director: Rhys Marc Jones

Closeted teenager Harry has fallen for Jamie, his closest friend in their homophobic friendship group. When Lucy arrives on the scene, Harry must contend for Jamie’s attention, bringing his true feelings closer to light.

HOUSEPLANTS

(USA)

Director: Prashanth Kamalakanthan

As a couple moves in together, full of hope and worry, their day is unexpectedly interrupted by the ghosts of former relationships.

LIFE AFTER

(USA)

Director: Ria Tobaccowala

While packing up her daughter’s apartment, a single mother discovers startling details about her only child, which challenge her ability to process a recent loss.


SHORTS 11: FLORIDA SHOWCASE

50 WORDS

(USA)

Director: Mark Palmer

A newly single actress desperate for ways to meet men rewrites her bio in the theater program as a personal ad and suddenly finds herself swamped with admirers.

BARELY THERE

(USA)

Director: Hannah Lee

A baby polar bear searches for his missing mother, while a force much colder than the frozen tundra searches for him.

THE DOLLMAKER

(USA)

Director: Al Lougher

A grieving mother latches on to a magical surrogate for her lost child. But small miracles come with big consequences.

EXTINGUISHED

(USA)

Director: Ashley Anderson, Jacob Mann

In a world where flames represent love, it’s easy to get your heart burned.

FULL CIRCLE

(USA)

Director: Raymond Knudsen

An accomplished NFL wide receiver looks beyond the football field in hopes to change the lives of the people from his poor hometown of Pahokee, Florida.

LADY PLUM

(USA)

Director: Grayson Gaga

Sylvia, a young mother who once showed promise as a competitive swimmer, overcomes her dark past in order to secure a future with her daughter, Plum.

SARASOTA ORCHESTRA: A WEEK IN THE LIFE

(USA)

Director: Austin McKinley

Follow the production team of the Sarasota Orchestra as they show you what it takes to wrangle a professional traveling orchestra through a week of concerts.

SHED

(USA)

Director: Andy McEntire, Matt Burch

A woman struggles to find a deeper purpose within the grind of a marriage and motherhood.


SHORTS 12: YOUTHFEST (ALL AGES)

ALLISK8R

(USA)

Director: Anna Prado

A plucky little skater gator makes an epic escape from the tyrannical dino law.

BLACK SKIMMERS OF LIDO BEACH

(USA)

Director: Darryl Saffer

Black skimmers have nested along Florida shores for centuries. The challenges they face have shown their resilience and adaptability. But now they face the ultimate test.

ELIZABETH SEES

(CANADA)

Director: Val Magarian

A blind woman with just a small dot of vision, must reconstruct the world around her, piece by piece. Before her sight is entirely gone, she must find a way to see it all.

PETS 4D!

(USA)

Director: Jon Binkowski

Rescue Animals become “Rescue Heroes”!

PLUSH ASSASSIN

(USA)

Director: Anca Mihai

In a little girl’s room, a plush fox fights against the villainous cat in order to protect all toys.

THE REFLECTION IN ME

(USA)

Director: Marc Colagiovanni

A heartwarming family film sharing themes of love, acceptance, and having a positive self-image.

STARLIGHT

(USA)

Director: Tyler Thompson

An old man who lights the stars of the sky has lost his motivation, and an unknowing little boy may be his only remaining source of light.

UNDISCOVERED

(USA)

Director: Sara Litzenberger

Sasquatch has always remained elusive in photos—but not for the reasons we think.

THE WISHING CRANES

(USA)

Director: Ellen Arnold, Kaiya Telle, Thomas Anderholm

When an orphaned paper boy fails to spend time with his light-hearted younger sister, she makes a wish by folding his papers into a thousand cranes that magically come to life and fly away.


SHORTS 13: YOUTHFEST (8+)

INTREPID

(USA)

Director: Alexa Tuttle

In an effort to make her senior trials unforgettable, a brilliant and overly ambitious witch named Hazel attempts to steal the ancient book of Merlin from her magical school’s enchanted library!

THE MOUNTAIN OF SGAANA

(CANADA)

Director: Christopher Auchter

A magical tale of a young man who is stolen away to the spirit world—and of the young woman who rescues him.

NORA

(USA)

Director: Mo Davoudian, Farzad Varahramyan

The last of a secret element was stolen from the old city. A pair of hot-shot pilots are sent to retrieve it but they are forced into becoming the unwilling heroes once the secret of the element is revealed to them.

TOM IN COUCHLAND

(USA)

Director: James Just

Tom is sucked into his couch and must battle crazy creatures in search of his remote.

TREE HOUSE TIME MACHINE

(USA)

Director: Alan Ritchson

An eager 12-year-old boy and his friends race to secretly travel back in time in the hopes of unraveling the mystery surrounding his mother’s untimely death before the rightful owner of the machine realizes it’s gone missing.

WHAT LIVES UNDER THE BED

(USA)

Director: Joey Daniel

A timid young boy goes on the adventure of a lifetime after catching the monster that lives in his closet.

SHORTS 14: THROUGH WOMENS EYES 1

TREK FOR MANDELA

(SOUTH AFRICA, USA)

Director: Cecile Raubenheimer

An inexperienced climber attempts to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for challenges young African girls face.

WE ARE DREAMERS

(USA)

Director: Mele Mason

Dreamers give voice to their hopes, dreams, and fears.

SHORTS 15: THROUGH WOMENS EYES 2

THE AFGHAN GIRL

(DENMARK, GREECE)

Director: Iben Ravn

How reality can be altered through a camera’s lens.

BUTTERCUP

(USA)

Director: Megan Brotherton

Maggie is dealing with the aftermath of her mother’s death when her old friend Janie unexpectedly swoops in to help her process her grief.

THE GREAT WALL OF VICKY LYNN

(USA)

Director: Yu Ying Chien

For Vicky Lynn, there are three rules—Rule No.1: No dance club; No.2: No dance club; Rule No.3: No dance club.

THE PHOTOGRAPH

(CANADA)

Director: Fazila Amiri

A young Afghan bride arrives in Toronto and searches for the husband she never met.

SHADOW

(CHINA)

Director: Lei Lei

An account of the injuries inflicted on a girl after she was followed and sexually harassed.

TWENTY MINUTES

(UK)

Director: Oisin Byrne

A first-person survivor account of the emotional impact of sexual assault that is based on the victim impact statement of Emily Doe in the Stanford rape case.

SHORTS 16: THROUGH WOMENS EYES 3

A DIVIDED ROAD

(USA)

Director: Débora Silva

Shortly after the 2016 election, two young women decided to provide free legal aid to people living in the country without permission.

NÍVEO

(PERÚ)

Director: Noelia Cirspin

Two adolescents share an unexpected encounter that will change the path of their sexual lives.

ONCE ALWAYS

(GERMANY)

Director: Susanne Boeing

Only when a young mother fears her child is in danger is she able to take the first step away from codependency with her own alcoholic mother.

PEARLS

(CANADA)

Director: Shelley Thompson

Dan, a transgender teen, leaves her Nova Scotia farm home for “the city,” in the face of her father’s scorn and her mother’s support.

SURVIVING INTERNATIONAL BOULEVARD

(USA)

Director: Sian Taylor Gowan

The complex reality of domestic child sex trafficking viewed through the experiences of two Oakland, California women.

SHORTS 17: THROUGH WOMENS EYES 4

12:58 PM

(USA)

Director: Kate Phelan

Mom’s locked out of the house and her child is asleep upstairs. How quickly can mom save the day?

PUSHING NIGHT AWAY

(NORWAY)

Director: Jade Hœrem Aksnes

An extended conversation about death and dying, past and future between Eddie, who plans to commit suicide, and Kate, a cancer patient who is fighting to keep herself alive.

FAMILIES TOGETHER

(USA)

Director: Karen Arango

The stories and ambitions of a range of Latin American women and families living in the Sarasota area. A 2Gen program of UnidosNow in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.


SHE

(UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)

Director: Philip Jamal Rachid

Portraits of seven women, each defining—through her experiences and accomplishments—her role in light of her own and her society’s expectations.

SUNDOGS

(USA)

Director: Elizabeth Chatelain

Two struggling transplants to North Dakota’s booming oilfields—a single mother and her four-year-old daughter—seen over the course of a cold night.

THREE AUGUST DAYS

(ESTONIA)

Director: Madli Lääne

In the midst of the political upheaval of the early 1990s, an Estonian girl and a Russian boy reach across cultural lines to unite over a shared experience.


SHORTS BEFORE FEATURES

CATSKILLS

(USA)

Director: Ben Kitnick

Now a fraction of what it once was, the Catskills was a bustling community in the 1950s. Eighty-six-year-old dancer Jackie Horner reflects on the region that has defined her life.

THE COFFIN CLUB

(NEW ZEALAND)

Director: Briar March

A group of rebellious, creative Kiwi seniors give death the finger, one crazy coffin at a time.

DEATH METAL GRANDMA

(USA)

Director: Leah Galant

Ninety-seven-year-old Holocaust survivor Igne Ginsberg makes a final attempt at being recognized as a death metal singer by auditioning for AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.

DOWNPOUR

(USA)

Director: Tony Ahedo

During a hurricane, two brothers welcome a stranger in need into their home, but the stranger may be more dangerous than the storm outside.

FIGHT FOR THE FIRST

(USA)

Director: Sharon Liese

Follow the young journalists-in-training at the world’s oldest journalism school as they fight for their constitutional right to report the truth amidst a growing distrust for the press throughout the nation.

GIVE UP THE GHOST

(USA)

Director: Marian Mathias

Floyd has worked his whole life. One day, while out on a new job, he discovers something that alters his way of thinking.

THE HEARTBREAK FACTORY

(USA)

Director: So Young Shelly Yo

Ava, a fiery worker, is determined to mend all the broken hearts of the world. If you have ever turned away a love in your life, this movie is not for you.

I AM REBECCA

(UK)

Director: Kate McCaslin, Eve Doherty

An examination of the American Dream through the life and struggles of Rebecca Mabior, a mother, a nurse, and a refugee, now living in the Midwest.

I HEART NY

(USA)

Director: Andre Andreev

A short film about Milton Glaser, the creator of the infamous I Heart NY symbol and his struggle to find love for the city in a trying time.

IN SEARCH OF INDIGO

(INDIA)

Director: Shaktiraj Singh Jadeja

Once the center of India’s culture, the natural form of the color indigo has slowly been disappearing. Tracing the life of indigo through its makers, people have begun rejuvenating its practice to discover the color in its pure form.

KATIA

(USA)

Director: Naida Joanides

Three women reveal their darkest secrets as they plot revenge against the man who harmed one of their own.


KCLOC

(USA)

Director: Ninaad Kulkarni

What does time mean to you?

LOVE ON THE BALCONY

(USA)

Director: Joshua Hyunwoo Jun, Kun Yu Ng

A crotchety old man does what he can to ruin his oppressively lovey-dovey neighbors.

REAL ARTISTS

(USA)

Director: Cameo Wood

In the near future, a young animator is offered what should be her dream job. But when she discovers the truth of the modern “creative” process, she must make a hard choice about her passion for film.

ROADSIDE ATTRACTION

(USA)

Director: Ivete Lucas, Patrick Bresnan

Palm Beach International Airport’s newest snowbird has become one of the fastest-growing roadside attractions in the United States.

SUSANNE AND THE MAN

(USA)

Director: Milena Govich

Susanne endeavors to find her own voice and rhythm when she is in a meeting with the king of mansplaining.

TITAN

(USA)

Director: Trent Gidaro

A woman in a glass house hypnotizes herself by piecing together fragments of literature. Images in her mind begin to appear.

TOMNODDY

(USA)

Director: Charles Poekel

Pioneer soap bubble entertainer Tomy Noddy has taken his act around the world for over thirty years, conjuring fleeting beauty as he tries to stay true to himself and his art.

WHILE I YET LIVE

(USA)

Director: Maris Curran

Five acclaimed African American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, talk about love, religion, and the fight for civil rights as they continue the tradition of quilting that originally brought them together.

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