- The Hamptons International Film Festival
) is proud to announce its Southampton opener, Spotlight Films, the World Cinema Section and the films in this year's Competition. Now in its 19th year, the Festival comes to life boasting a diverse and wide-range of films, as filmmakers, talent and industry come to the Hamptons to premiere and discuss their work. The 2011 Hamptons International Film Festival runs from Thursday, October 13 through Monday, October 17 in East Hampton with additional venues in Southampton, Sag Harbor, Westhampton and Montauk. Festival headquarters are located at the beautiful c/o The Maidstone
Hotel on Main Street in East Hampton.
The HIFF continues a wide-range of programs including Films of Conflict & Resolution, "Pitch In" for Social Documentaries-in-Progress, Views from Long Island, A Conversation With, Rowdy Talks and many additional programs.
Among those expected to attend the Festival are Lauren Ambrose
, David Bailey
, Bob Balaban
, Alec Baldwin
, Ellen Barkin
, Harry Belafonte
, Joe Berlinger
, Matthew Broderick
, Emily Browning
, Carter Burwell
, Dick Cavett
, Stine Fischer Christensen
, Maria Cuomo Cole
, Jim Denevan
, Martin Donovan
, Jay Duplass
, Terry George
, Felicity Jones
, Ed Lachman
, Josh Marston
, Ezra Miller
, Penelope Ann Miller
, Matthew Modine
, David Morse
, Clifford Ross
, Susan Sarandon
, Bobby Valentine
, Rufus Wainwright
, Lucy Walker
, Wim Wenders
, Anton Yelchin
, and many more.
Breakthrough Performers are Emily Browning
("Sleeping Beauty"), Stine Fischer Christensen
("Cracks in the Shell"), Ezra Miller
("Another Happy Day," "We Need to Talk About Kevin") and Anton Yelchin
"With a strong line-up of international films from cinema masters as well as the "next generation" - the Festival offers incredible access and a tremendous opportunity to our East End audiences, allowing them to experience powerful cinema and filmmaking at its best," says HIFF Executive Director Karen Arikian
. "Our Spotlight section continues to impress this year with high profile films including Ralph Fiennes'
directorial debut "Coriolanus," Lars Von Trier's
epic "Melancholia," "The Rum Diary" starring Johnny Depp
and the chilling "We Need to Talk About Kevin" starring Tilda Swinton
, as well as one of this year's Breakthrough Performers, Ezra Miller
," says HIFF Director of Programming David Nugent
. "We are also excited to present the emerging voices of the filmmakers in our competitive sections, as well as the diverse viewpoints represented in our World Cinema sections which form the backbone to this year's line up," continues Nugent.
The heart of the Hamptons
International Film Festival has always been its Golden Starfish Award and the films in the Competitions for Best Narrative Feature (over $125,000 in goods and in-kind services), Best Documentary Feature ($3,000 in cash) and Best Short Film ($1,000 in cash). Jury participants include filmmaker Andrew Rossi
, Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum
, Melbourne Film Festival Director Michelle Carey
, Watermill Center
's Sherry Dobbin
, William Morris Endeavor's Mark Ankner
and Producer Jay Van Hoy
Additionally, HIFF will kick-off in Southampton, on Friday, October 14 with The Weinstein Company
's dark comedy "Butter" starring Jennifer Garner
, Olivia Wilde
, Ty Burrell
, Yara Shahidi
, Hugh Jackman
and Alicia Silverstone
As previously announced, the Festival's Opening Night Film on Thursday, October 13 is the Jason Segel
and Susan Sarandon
heartwarming comedy "Jeff, Who Lives at Home," Closing Night Film is the Cannes Film Festival
critics' darling "The Artist" and the Centerpiece Film is winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival "Like Crazy."
HIFF also provides a great home for the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) with many of its members attending the Festival as mentors, panelists and jurors and this year will be no exception.
"Members of the New York Film Critics Circle are always eager to swap ideas and opinions with audiences at the Hamptons International Film Festival," said this year's Circle Chairman, John Anderson
. "And where better to be than in the Hamptons in October, watching terrific films," continues Anderson.
The Festival will be presenting a number of special presentations, including its 12th year of the Films of Conflict & Resolution Program, a 7-film sidebar of films dealing with the realities of war, violence and crucial social issues around the world. The Festival will celebrate new Italian films with the sidebar Per Piacere: Italian Cinema. Additionally, the festival will present a selection of films by Long Island filmmakers in its longstanding Views From Long Island section. Details of the films in these programs follow.
The full slate for the Festival is listed below. Several additional titles will be added to the program prior to the Festival's opening and will be announced in the coming weeks.
OPENING NIGHT, CENTERPIECE AND CLOSING NIGHT FILMS
• "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," Opening Night Film, East Coast Premiere, Directors: Jay Duplass
, Mark Duplass
. Cast: Jason Segel
, Ed Helms
, Susan Sarandon
, Judy Greer
, Rae Dawn Chong. Directors Mark and Jay Duplass take on brotherly dynamics as well as fate and love in this delightfully authentic and moving comic gem. Thirty-four-year-old Jeff (Segel) spends his days steadily unlocking the profound mysteries of the universe - from the comfort of his mother's basement. A call from his exasperated mom (Sarandon) begging him to complete a simple errand shakes a begrudging Jeff off the couch. Suddenly, the universe begins to deliver important signs that could unlock his destiny. Jeff crosses paths with his disgruntled older brother (Ed Helms
), who is embroiled in a crisis of his own. A hysterical, madcap journey ensues, forcing the two very different brothers to face earth-shattering challenges side by side. The Hamptons International Film Festival is thrilled to present "Jeff, Who Live At Home," as the Opening Night Film of our 2011 Festival.
• "Like Crazy," Centerpiece Film, East Coast Premiere, Director: Drake Doremus
. Cast: Felicity Jones
, Anton Yelchin
, Jennifer Lawrence
, Charlie Bewley
, Alex Kingston
, Oliver Muirhead
. It is rare for sweet, implacable first love portrayed on screen to connect wholly with the heart. "Like Crazy" is a dazzling exception, featuring two brilliant young actors, Yelchin and Jones, with remarkable screen chemistry. A modern twist on star-crossed lovers, Jones plays Anna, an undergraduate from the UK studying abroad in Los Angeles. A crush on classmate Jacob (Yelchin, HIFF Breakthrough Performer) turns into an exceptional love affair. Rash, youthful decisions and a visa
debacle threaten to separate the two indefinitely, and they are thrust wide-eyed into a world of confounding adult decisions. A smartly wound love story with a soul, "Like Crazy" is magical, as well as sincere, in its approach to newfound love. The Hamptons International Film Festival is honored to present "Like Crazy" as our 2011 Centerpiece Film.
• "Butter," Southampton Opening Night Film, East Coast Premiere, Director: Jim Field Smith
. Cast: Jennifer Garner
, Olivia Wilde
, Ty Burrell
, Yara Shahidi
, Hugh Jackman
, Alicia Silverstone
. Art, politics, and food collide in this star-studded dark comedy. Bob Pickler (Burrell) is the undisputed king of butter carving throughout the Midwest. His artful carvings of Newt Gingrich and scenes from "Schindler's List" have earned him the title, "The Elvis of Butter." Now that he's decided to withdraw from the world of competitive butter carving, the championship title is up for grabs. His wife, Laura (Garner), will stop at nothing to keep the title in the family, but first she'll have to beat working girl Brooke (Wilde) and the young orphan Destiny (Shahidi). When Laura teams up with her former flame, sleazy car salesman Boyd Bolton (Jackman), all bets are off in this uproarious and outrageous comedy.
• "The Artist," East Hampton Closing Night Film, Director: Michel Hazanavicius
. Cast: Jean Dujardin
, Bérénice Bejo
, John Goodman
, James Cromwell
, Penelope Ann Miller
, Missi Pyle
. Travel back to a golden age of cinema in this enchanting, comedic tribute to silent films. It's 1927, and handsome, witty, and beguiling George Valentin (Dujardin) is Hollywood's biggest movie star. Unhappily married, Valentin has unwittingly stolen the heart of a nobody-turned-extra named Peppy Miller (Bejo), who dreams of becoming a great actress in her own right. When the studio converts to the "talkies," Valentin balks at the prospect: who would want to hear actors speaking? Valentin takes it upon himself to keep the silent era alive, risking his career and his fortune, and stiff competition from his former allies.
• "Another Happy Day," Director: Sam Levinson
. Cast: Ellen Barkin
, Ezra Miller
(HIFF Breakthrough Performer), Kate Bosworth
, Demi Moore
, Thomas Haden Church
, George Kennedy
, Ellen Burstyn
, Michael Nardelli
. Barkin gives a stunning lead performance as Lynn, a once-divorced, twice-married mother of four, returning home to Annapolis, Maryland for the wedding of her eldest son, Dylan. There are no shortages of demons in the closet in Lynn's immediate family, and the antics of her defiant teenage son, and impossibly toxic relationships with her mother and ex-husband, threaten to derail the weekend. Memorable performances capture the humor and hardship of family living.
• "Collaborator," East Coast Premiere, Director: Martin Donovan
. Cast: Martin Donovan
, David Morse
, Olivia Williams
, Melissa Auf der Maur
. Director and star Donovan ("Insomnia," "The Sentinel") takes on class, celebrity, and writer's block in this tightly wound psychological drama. Donovan plays Robert Longfellow, a New York-based playwright whose latest failures seem to signal the end of an otherwise successful career. After a string of soul-crushing meetings during a brief visit to his native Los Angeles, he has two strange encounters: the first with a celebrity actress and former flame; the second, his ex-con former neighbor. When an unthinkable scenario endangers his return trip to his wife and children, the tools of Longfellow's craft may surface as his rescue device.
• "Coriolanus," Director: Ralph Fiennes
. Cast: Ralph Fiennes
, Gerard Butler
, Brian Cox
, Vanessa Redgrave
, James Nesbitt
. Fiennes's directorial debut "Coriolanus" transforms one of Shakespeare
's bloodiest, most imposing tragedies into an intensely modern cinematic experience. A skilled and brutal war hero of the Roman army, Coriolanus (Fiennes), is persuaded to take political office by his mother (Redgrave) and other bureaucrats after a successful campaign against Tullus Aufidius (Butler) and the Volscian army. Soon though, political machinations and Coriolanus' own pride enrage the public. Forced into exile, Coriolanus exacts his revenge alongside the unlikeliest of allies. Anchored by searing performances, "Coriolanus" will leave you on the edge of your seat.
• "The Good Doctor," Director: Lance Daly
. Cast: Orlando Bloom
, Riley Keough
, Troy Garity
, Rob Morrow
, Taraji P. Henson
, Michael Peña
. Suspenseful medical dramas are a dime-a-dozen, but Lance Daly's "The Good Doctor" is a rare exception, an enthralling mix of psychological thriller and intense character study with a riveting (and against-type) Bloom performance at its center. Bloom stars as Dr. Martin Blake, an initially unassuming first-year medical resident. Failing to achieve approval and confidence from both his superiors and the hospital staff, Blake soon becomes close with an alluring Diane (Keough) whom he has recently cured. This intimacy transforms into something more disturbing as Blake grows more and more infatuated with his former patient.
• "Martha Marcy May Marlene," Director: Sean Durkin
. Cast: Elizabeth Olsen
, Brady Corbet
, Hugh Dancy
, John Hawkes
, Sarah Paulson
. Good luck finding another feature-length debut this year as startlingly assured as Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene." This masterfully wrought psychological drama concerns a troubled young woman who flees an upstate New York cult and seeks refuge in the quiet home of her sister and sister's husband. Durkin boldly floats between past and present, lodging viewers firmly inside Martha's troubled mind. Featuring a magnetic performance by newcomer Olsen, as well as standout supporting turns from Paulson and Hawkes, Durkin's haunting thriller is one of the finest American films of 2011.
• "Melancholia," Director: Lars von Trier
. Cast: Kirsten Dunst
, Charlotte Gainsbourg
, Kiefer Sutherland
, Charlotte Rampling
, John Hurt
, Alexander Skarsgård
, Stellan Skarsgård
. When does the end of the world become a welcome event? von Trier's magnificent apocalyptic epic explores the darkest corners of self-destruction in the face of terrifying planetary events. "Melancholia" is a twisted fairytale in two parts: the first, the story of a wedding that begins to go mysteriously awry; the second, a family struggles with the realization that life as they know it will soon come to an end. Together, these stories form a powerful, personal saga about pain, sabotage, and survival, one that will certainly be talked about for years to come. Dunst's arresting lead performance garnered her the Best Actress award at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
• "Oranges And Sunshine," U.S. Premiere, Director: Jim Loach
. Cast: Emily Watson
, Hugo Weaving
, David Wenham
, Richard Dillane
, Tara Morice
, Tammy Wakefield
. In this stirring drama based on a true story, Margaret Humphreys (Watson) is a British social worker who stumbles upon one of the largest scandals in the United Kingdom in recent memory. Humphreys uncovers the heartbreaking "home children" program, which deported 130,000 youths from the country without the knowledge or consent of their families. In the face of bureaucratic opposition, Humphreys embarks on a journey to unite these lost sons and daughters with their loved ones, often risking her own safety. "Oranges and Sunshine" is the story of a seemingly ordinary but truly courageous woman.
• "Pina In 3D," Director: Wim Wenders
. Cast: Pina Bausch
, Ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal
. In this mesmerizing 3D experience, world renowned director Wenders ("Wings of Desire") and the late iconoclastic choreographer Bausch team up to bring you one of the most extraordinary cinematic events of the year. Starring Bausch's own Tanztheater Wuppertal ensemble, this performance-driven documentary film features many of Bausch's most acclaimed pieces of modern dance performed in school gyms, industrial parks, and, in one riveting sequence, a water-logged stage. The strange-yet-powerful art of Bausch stunned audiences for over 35 years and has now found its perfect compliment in Wenders' sumptuous, lively fusion of film, movement, music, and spectacle.
• "The Rum Diary," East Coast Premiere, Director: Bruce Robinson
. Cast: Johnny Depp
, Amber Heard
, Aaron Eckhart
, Giovanni Ribisi
, Richard Jenkins
. Thirteen years after "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," Depp once again channels the gonzo exploits of Hunter S. Thompson
in "The Rum Diary," the long-awaited fourth feature from filmmaker and novelist Bruce Robinson
, best known for the cult classic "Withnail and I." Depp (a real life friend of Thompson) stars as Paul Kemp, a freelance journalist in the 1950s who travels to Puerto Rico for a story. Soon, he finds himself enmeshed in a love triangle with an American woman whose fiancé is deeply involved with illegal business practices. Fueled by lust, corruption, and rum, and set amidst stunning Caribbean landscapes, "The Rum Diary" is a wild ride that could only come from the inimitable imagination of Hunter S. Thompson.
• "Think Of Me," U.S. Premiere, Director: Bryan Wizemann
. Cast: Lauren Ambrose
, Audrey Scott
, Dylan Baker
, Penelope Ann Miller
, Adina Porter
, David Conrad
. Beyond the money, glamour and lights of Las Vegas, the city's invisible families teeter on the edge of abject poverty and its underlying dangers. "Think of Me" plunges us into this world. Ambrose (best known for her award-winning work on HBO
's "Six Fee Under") shines as Angela, a struggling single mother failing to make ends meet for her little daughter. Regular drug and alcohol use clouds her already questionable judgment. Desperate for cash, Angela plunges into short-lived moneymaking schemes. Pushing the limits of safety and sanity, Angela's best-laid plans endanger the welfare of her daughter.
• "We Need To Talk About Kevin," East Coast Premiere, Director: Lynne Ramsay
. Cast: Tilda Swinton
, John C. Reilly
, Ezra Miller
, Siobhan Fallon
. Eva (Swinton) must cope with her confusion, anger, and guilt in the wake of a horrific school massacre perpetrated by her son Kevin (Miller). Acclaimed director Ramsay ("Ratcatcher") sifts through Eva's tangled feelings about her deeply troubled son and her now estranged husband (Reilly) through a chilling reverie of scenes from Eva's life. From Kevin's birth through the long-term aftermath of the tragedy, Swinton's tremendous performance evokes Eva's conflicted state of mind with gut-wrenching precision. Powerful, gorgeous, and haunting, 'Kevin' addresses the uncomfortable subject of parental indifference, challenging audiences and their notions of parenthood.
• "The Woman In the Fifth" ("La femme du 5è"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
. Cast: Ethan Hawke
, Kristin Scott Thomas
, Joanna Kulig
, Samir Guesmi
. Hawke delivers a career-topping performance in Pawlikowski's eerily captivating new film. An American writer, Tom Ricks (Hawke, in a French and English-speaking role), moves to Paris to be closer to his young daughter, though Ricks' ex-wife forbids him to visit. Wandering about the city, he's eventually robbed and left penniless. He stumbles upon a run-down inn where the proprietor offers him a room and a shady job in an underground bunker. With its evocative lensing and elliptical rhythms, "The Woman in the Fifth" casts an unsettling spell on the viewer, suggesting a mysterious undercurrent to the film's events and foreshadowing a shocking climax.
GOLDEN STARFISH AWARD (GSA) NARRATIVE COMPETITION
• "Bullhead," ("Rundskop"), East Coast Premiere, Director: Michaël R. Roskam
. Cast: Matthias Schoenaerts
, Joroen Perceval
, Jeanne Dandoy
, Barbara Sarafian
, Sam Louwyck
. "Bullhead" plunges us into the corrupt underbelly of a mafia-run meat industry, where illegal use of growth hormones on cattle runs rampant. After a detective is murdered, Jacky (Schoenaerts) - a grotesquely muscular man supped-up on steroids - becomes suspicious of a potential partnership with a rival manufacturer. Compounding his weariness is the presence of Diederik (Perceval). Flashbacks into Jacky's childhood soon reveal the two men are linked by a physically traumatic, life-altering tragedy. At the center of this startling feature debut is Schoenaerts, whose astonishingly layered performance as, and physical transformation into, the hulking Jacky culminates into one of the most searing portraits of a scarred male psyche in modern cinema.
• "Cracks In The Shell," ("Die Unsichtbare"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Christian Schwochow
. Cast: Stine Fischer Christensen
, Ulrich Noethen
, Dagmar Manzel
, Christian Drechsler
, Ronald Zehrfeld
. The tension between actors and directors is painted in explosive dramatic detail in Schwochow's edgy, thrilling "Cracks in the Shell." Christensen stars as Fine, a struggling theater student whose lackluster stage performances result from a difficult home life. Fine is therefore shocked to receive an invitation to audition for, and to be subsequently cast in a famous director's newest production. Her new director encourages self-discovery in order to connect with her difficult role, but Fine's lack of boundaries prompts the full-scale excavation of her latent dark side. Christensen ("After the Wedding") gives a stunning performance that won her a top acting prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
• "The Fairy," ("La fée"), U.S. Premiere, Directors: Dominique Abel
, Fiona Gordon
, Bruno Romy
. Cast: Dominique Abel
, Fiona Gordon
, Philippe Martz
, Bruno Romy
, Vladimir Zorano
, Wilson Goma
. "The Fairy" is the latest irreverent gem from the team behind "L'Iceberg" and "Rumba
." A man prone to comic mishaps, Dom works the late shift at a motel in a sleepy seaside town. One night, a strange and slender "fairy" checks into the hotel and grants Dom three wishes. Caught up in her topsy-turvy world - a head-spinning series of foot chases, underwater dances, and hospital breakouts - Dom can't help but fall in love. This gloriously silly romp pays homage to film greats like Chaplin, Keaton, and Tati, and stands as one of the most delirious comedies in years.
• "The Forgiveness Of Blood," East Coast Premiere, Director: Joshua Marston. Cast: Tristan Halilaj
, Sindi Lacej
, Refet Abazi
, Ilire Vinca Celaj
. With his piercing and compassionate storytelling voice, director Marston follows his breakthrough film, "Maria Full of Grace," with this equally riveting drama, winner of the Silver Bear for Best Screenplay at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival. Set in a small, present-day Albanian town, where horse-and-cart transportation co-exists with cars and cell phones, a blood feud erupts when a father is accused of slaying a neighbor over a road dispute. The family's life is now dictated by the strictures of the Kunan, a 15th-century Balkan code of traditions, which maintains that all men in the family, old and young included, must remain under house arrest for the unforeseeable future to atone for the crime.
• "Without," New York Premiere, Director: Mark Jackson
. Cast: Joslyn Jensen
, Ron Carrier
, Darren Lenz
, Piper Weiss
, Bob Sentinella
"Without" is a daring, provocative, and uniquely sensitive look at the intersection between technology and social isolation. A young woman travels to a secluded, wooded island to be the temporary caretaker of an ailing and mute elderly man. Deprived of the Internet and phone reception, the woman makes desperate attempts to connect. Mysterious clues surface, and point to a recent tragedy that might be eroding her sanity. Actress Jensen delivers a remarkable performance that fully explores the boundaries between connectivity and isolation in a story confronting the timely issue of Internet privacy.
GSA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
• "Family Portrait In Black And White," East Coast Premiere, Director: Julia Ivanova
. A tender and tragicomic tale of unusual family dynamics, generational gaps and cultural anachronisms, "Family Portrait in Black and White" is a captivating study of modern dilemmas in the former Eastern Bloc. In Ukraine, reigning ethnic xenophobia has resulted in a number of Caucasian mothers abandoning their unwanted bi-racial children in orphanages. Mrs. Olga Nenya is a hearty, fierce foster mother who shelters 16 mostly bi-racial children in an old Soviet farmhouse with few modern conveniences, and puts all of the children to work. Already outsiders in their own country, the children struggle to adopt Mrs. Nenya's Soviet-era mentality.
• "Laura," World Premiere, Director: Fellipe Barbosa
. Imagine if "Grey Gardens'" Little Edie had actually realized her dream of moving into a studio apartment on 10th Avenue: her life might have resembled that of Laura's, a Brazilian immigrant in New York City
who lives two contradictory lives. At night she crashes the most glamorous and exclusive parties, while each day she struggles to cheat poverty and eviction. Director Barbosa follows Laura from a film premiere at MoMA to the New York subways at night, and soon becomes a character in his own film, completely enchanted with this fabulous and mysterious woman.
• "My Reincarnation," U.S. Premiere, Director: Jennifer Fox
. Two decades in the making, the story of exiled Buddhist Dzogchen master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and his Italian-born son, Yeshe, is both a riveting family drama and a chronicle of an intense spiritual journey. Yeshe, acknowledged to be the reincarnation of a great Buddhist monk, struggles to reconcile the expectations placed on him with his desire for a normal life, finally making a revelatory decision. Capturing a father-son relationship evolving before crowds of students hungry for the master's spiritual wisdom, director Fox creates a tribute to the life-altering complexity of true faith.
• "Scenes Of A Crime" New York Premiere, Directors: Blue Hadaegh
, Grover Babcock
. Winner of the Grand Jury Award at the 2011 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, "Scenes of a Crime" deftly navigates the case of Adrian Thomas, a young father in Troy, New York accused of killing his four-month-old son. Directors Babcock and Hadaegh masterfully edit 10 hours of interrogation footage into a suspenseful documentary rift with plot twists and changing conclusions. What at first seems like a film about an open-and-shut case against Thomas becomes in this riveting documentary a subtle investigation of the interrogation process itself and questions the viewers' own assumptions of guilt and innocence.
• "Vodka Factory" ("Vodkafabriken"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Jerzy Sladkowski
. Like many of the residents in the snowy Russian town of Zhigulyovsk, young single mother Valetina works full-time at the local vodka factory, mindlessly packaging bottles off a conveyor belt. But unlike her co-workers, Valentina dreams about leaving her job and moving to Moscow to pursue a career in acting. "Vodka Factory," the award-winning documentary from director Sladkowski, compassionately explores the dissatisfaction that seems a requisite for life in Zhigulyovsk. As Valentina plots her escape, her mother, friends, and coworkers wrestle with the dreary ennui built into their provincial lifestyle.
WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE
• "Boy," East Coast Premiere, Director: Taika Waititi
. Cast: James Rolleston
, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu
, Taika Waititi
, Waihoroi Shortland
. Like any 11-year-old kid in 1984, Boy's idol is Michael Jackson
. Unlike most others, he is growing up in rural New Zealand on a farm with his "gran," cousins, and brother - the latter claiming to possess special powers - in a town full of "aunties" and "uncles." When gran goes on vacation, Boy's father shows up fresh from prison. With a dose of magical realism, Boy imagines his father as a Jackson-esque hero, only to learn the man is an ex-con hunting for a long buried bag of money. "Boy" is a fresh comedy that makes light of life's darker moments.
• "The Color Of The Ocean" ("Die Farbe des Ozeans"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Maggie Peren
. Cast: Alex Gonzalez
, Sabine Timoteo
, Hubert Koundé
, Friedrich Mücke
, Nathalie Poza
German writer/director Maggie Peren
positions herself as a filmmaker to watch with this tense and powerful film about a chance encounter in the Canary Islands. José is a hardened Spanish border patrol officer. He has little compassion toward impoverished African refugees who have washed up by the boatful on the shores of the island. Nathalie, a German tourist, witnesses one such boat landing, the refugees on-board nearly dying of thirst. She involves herself in the fate of a desperate Senegalese man and his young son who are attempting to escape the detainee camp from which José has ordered their deportation.
• "Corpo Celeste," Director: Alice Rohrwacher
. Cast: Yile Vianello
, Salvatore Cantalupo
, Pasqualina Scuncia
, Anita Caprioli
. A 13-year old girl navigates the precarious crawlspace between childhood and adulthood in Rohrwacher's striking fictional debut. Marta (Vianello) has just moved from Switzerland to Calabria, Italy with her mother and older sister. Often left to her own devices and constantly berated by her bratty sister, Marta must also endure daily catechism classes in preparation for her upcoming confirmation. Rohrwacher examines Marta's crisis of faith and adolescence with her finely attuned and immersive direction, giving vivid, intimate dimensions to both Calabria's Catholic community and one girl's search for answers amid the confusion of coming of age.
• SPECIAL SCREENING: "Election" (1999), Director: Alexander Payne
. Cast: Matthew Broderick
, Reese Witherspoon
, Chris Klein
, Jessica Campbell
. Payne's "Election" is not only one of the funniest movies made about high school, but also one of the most insightful and intelligent. Broderick is at his comedic best as Jim McAllister, a devoted, well-meaning history teacher whose personal and professional life is thrown into a tailspin over a school election. Vengeful overachiever Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) desperately wants to be Student Body President, and doesn't care how many lives she ruins in order to realize her dream. As hilarious as it is tragic, "Election" is a certifiable modern-day classic. Broderick will sit down with Alec Baldwin
in A Conversation With discussion of his life and work on Saturday, October 15 at 3:15 p.m. at Guild Hall
• "The Fifth Heaven" ("Barakia Ha' Chamishi"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Dina Zvi-Riklis
. Cast: Yehezkel Lazarov
, Amit Moshkovitz
, Alena Yiv
, Guy Adler
, Aki Avni
. A sensitive coming-of-age drama, "The Fifth Heaven" begins during the last days of WWII as 13-year-old Maya is abandoned by her father at an orphanage for Jewish girls in Palestine. The orphanage is so isolated that the few British soldiers patrolling nearby and a handyman in the Jewish Resistance are the only evidence that the war is drawing to a close. But the traumas of wartime show on the faces of the malnourished girls and in the lonely routines of their adult supervisors. Director Zvi-Riklis deftly weaves together the lives of orphans and exiles into a portrait of a world on the brink of transformation.
• "Happy New Year," New York Premiere, Director: K. Lorrel Manning
. Cast: Michael Cuomo
, JD Williams
, Monique Gabriela Curnen
, Tina Sloan
, Alan Dale
. Based on his award-winning short, Manning's "Happy New Year" vividly portrays the heartbreak and the humanity in the story of a young American soldier, Sgt. Cole Lewis, admitted to the psychiatric wing of a stateside VA hospital following a botched military operation in Iraq
. As the narrative unfolds, we meet a colorful cast of personalities, all with their own horror stories of loss and of pain, who aid Sgt. Lewis on his quest to find inner peace - at any cost. "Happy New Year" is a tender, moving portrait of what it means to be willing to sacrifice one's own safety (and sanity) in pursuit of protecting the American dream.
• "Le Havre," Director: Aki Kaurismäki
. Cast: André Wilms
, Kati Outinen
, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
. Finnish auteur Kaurismaki is known for his unique cinematic style and offbeat sense of humor. "Le Havree," one of the most talked about films of this year's Cannes Film Festival, is Kaurismaki at his best, displaying an original blend of satire, sincerity, and slapstick comedy that is a recipe all his own. Marcel is an aging shoe shiner in the French port town of Le Havre. He makes an accidental discovery of a young African refugee escaped from a shipping container. Their unlikely friendship awakens new life in Marcel's otherwise idle, self-centered, and hopelessly aloof existence.
• "Hell," U.S. Premiere, Director: Tim Fehlbaum
. Cast: Hannah Herzsprung
, Stipe Erceg
, Lars Eidinger
, Lisa Vicari
, Angela Winkler
. "Hell" is a stark, post-apocalyptic thriller in the tradition of "The Road" and "No Blade of Grass," a rare horror film that relies on character and atmosphere instead of gore. Five years from now, the world as we know it ceases to exist. Water and food are scarce. The sun has turned Earth into a scorched world. Yet three people have not yet given up hope. Sisters Marie and Leonie drive their car into the mountains with Phillip in hopes of finding water. But after Leonie is kidnapped, their loyalty and faith are put to the test. Executive Produced by Roland Emmerich
("Independence Day"), "Hell" is an eco-conscious disaster movie driven by strong human emotions.
• "The Kid With A Bike" ("Le gamin au vélo"), Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne
, Luc Dardenne
. Cast: Cecile de France
, Thomas Doret
, Jeremie Renier
, Fabrizio Rongione
, Olivier Gourmet
. Celebrated master filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (Palme d'Or winners "Rosetta" and "L'enfant") deliver a staggeringly profound drama about parenting in their latest tour de force, "The Kid with a Bike." Recently abandoned at an orphanage, young Cyril embarks on a string of runaway attempts in the hopes of finding his missing father and moving back home. He meets a lovely salon owner named Samantha (France), who falls for Cyril's charms and offers to be a part-time foster parent. When Cyril's behavior begins spiraling out of control, their relationship enters confusing terrain, causing Samantha to question her motives, and abilities, as a parent.
• "My Best Enemy" ("Mein bester Feind"), North American Premiere. Director: Wolfgang Murnberger
. Cast: Moritz Bleibtreu
, Georg Friedrich
, Ursula Strauss
, Uwe Bohm
, Marthe Keller
. On the eve of WWII, the disappearance of a priceless Michelangelo drawing in Austria sets the plot of "My Best Enemy" in motion. A Jewish family of art collectors is forced to hide the drawing after their son Victor (Bleibtreu) shows it to his friend Rudi, who has secretly joined the Nazi party. When Hitler decides to use the Michelangelo to cement the Axis alliance with Italy, Victor embarks on a picaresque journey through an absurdist maze of Nazi bureaucracy, grappling with Rudi for survival during the darkest days of the Third Reich.
• "Natural Selection," New York Premiere, Director: Robbie Pickering
. Cast: Rachael Harris
, Jon Gries
, Matt O'Leary
. "Natural Selection" is a quirky comedy that follows the sexual and emotional awakening of Linda (Harris). Linda's sheltered, devoutly Christian life is shaken to the core when her husband, Abe, has a stroke at a sperm bank, where - unbeknownst to Linda - he has been a donor for over a decade. Setting out across the country, Linda finds Abe's biological son, a mullet-headed ex-con named Raymond, and together they form an unlikely relationship. With a strong performance by Harris and a pitch-perfect script, this unique film finds a way to humanize even the most unfortunate of characters.
• "OK, Enough, Goodbye" ("Tayeb, khalas, yalla"), U.S. Premiere. Directors: Rania Attieh
, Daniel Garcia
. Cast: Daniel Arzruni
, Nadime Attieh
, Walid Al-Ayoubi
, Nawal Mekdad
, Sablawork Tesfay
. "OK, Enough, Goodbye" is as much a striking portrait of Tripoli, Lebanon, as it is the offbeat story of a helpless middle-aged man who lives at home with his elderly mother. When his mother, fed up with cooking and cleaning for her grown son, leaves without notice, he seeks out the company of an unusual mix of characters: a prostitute, a six-year-old boy, and an Ethiopian maid. This astonishing feature film debut is a coming of age story of an adult on his own amidst the landscape of a multi-cultural, modern day Lebanon.
• "A Quiet Life" ("Una Vita tranquilla"), Director: Claudio Cupellini
. Cast: Toni Servillo
, Marco D'Amore
, Francesco Di Leva
, Juliane Köhler
. For the past 12 years, Rosario (Servillo, "Il Divo") has run a restaurant-hotel in a small German town where he lives unassumingly with his wife and child. But the sudden appearance of two young Italian men threatens to expose a criminal past Rosario has worked hard to leave behind. Servillo's brilliant turn explores the complexity of Rosario's relationship with one of the men - soon revealed as his estranged son. His captivating performance shows a man torn between the guilt over abandoning his eldest son and the knowledge that a close relationship with him will be the end of his quiet life.
• "Sleeping Beauty," East Coast Premiere, Director: Julia Leigh
. Cast: Emily Browning
, Rachael Blake
, Ewen Leslie
, Peter Carroll
, Chris Haywood
. Featuring a riveting performance from former child actress Browning, Australian novelist Leigh's psychosexual drama was one of the most hotly debated films at this year's Cannes Film Festival. College student Lucy's life is split between the ennui of her days and the unexplored territory of her nights in an unusual high-end brothel. Delving the murky territory between sex and death, "Sleeping Beauty" proves that the most compelling works of art are often the ones that most drastically divide audiences.
• "Small, Beautifully Moving Parts," East Coast Premiere, Directors: Annie J. Howell
, Lisa Robinson
. Cast: Anna Margaret Hollyman
, Richard Hoag
, André Holland
, Mary Beth Peil
. In this charming comedy, a pregnant "freelance technologist", Sarah Sparks, questions her readiness to become a parent. Passionate about gadgetry, technology, and mechanical problems, Sarah is at a loss when faced with questions lacking an empirical solution. As her due date draws near, Sarah traverses the Southwest visiting her zany family along the way in search of her long distant mother, who now lives off the grid in the desert. Filmed amidst the beautiful landscapes of California and Arizona, this film is a sweet and delightful tale of a technology whiz confronting motherhood. For its unique look at technology, "Small, Beautifully Moving Parts" is this year's recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Feature Film Prize.
• "Stopped On Track," ("Halt auf freier Strecke"), U.S. Premiere, Director: Andreas Dresen
. Cast: Milan Peschel
, Steffi Kuhrnert
, Bernhard Schutz
, Talisa Lilly Lemke
. What would your life look like if you realized you had only six months to live? In the Cannes award-winning film "Stopped On Track, director Dresen paints a compelling, sincere, and honest portrait of an ordinary man facing brain cancer. Frank and his wife Simone grimly bear the earth-shattering news about Frank's illness, but they are at a loss when sharing it with their young children and aging parents. As Frank's health declines, terminal illness becomes a part of everyday life for the family. The film delivers a distinctly raw depiction of human emotion in the face of devastating tragedy.
• "Sul Mare," Director: Alessandro D'Alatri
. Cast: Dario Catiglio
, Martina Codecasa
, Nunzia Schiano
, Vincenzo Merolla
, Raffaele Vassalo
. With its bittersweet treatment of young love and heartbreak, and bolstering two beautifully wrought lead performances by Catiglio and Codecasa, "Sul Mare" affirms director D'Alatri's place as one of the most beloved filmmakers in contemporary Italian cinema. Salvatore (Catiglio) works summers at home on Ventotene, taking tourists on boat tours around the sun-soaked island and flirting with pretty young women. Off-season, he works dangerous construction jobs, undocumented and paid under-the-table. Searching for stability and purpose in his life, Salvatore meets Martina (Codescasa), a charming yet distant young women vacationing on Ventotene while on leave from university.
• "Swerve," North American Premiere, Director: Craig Lahiff
. Cast: Jason Clarke
, Emma Booth
, David Lyons
, Travis McMahon
, Vince Colosimo
, Roy Billing
. Shot in the hot, rocky, Australian outback and featuring a talent-packed cast, this neo-noir thriller hits the ground running and never lets up. Colin (Lyons) is driving cross-country when he witnesses a fatal car crash and finds in its wake a distressed blonde (Booth), a dead drug trafficker, and a cash-filled suitcase. Our hero does the honorable thing, turning in the money to the local cop (Clarke), but his good deed triggers a series of fateful events, drawing him into a deadly game of survival. Writer/director Lahiff keeps the adrenaline pumping in this sexy, gripping actioner from down under.
• "Thin Ice," East Coast Premiere, Director: Jill Sprecher
. Cast: Greg Kinnear
, Alan Arkin
, Billy Crudup
, David Harbour
, Lea Thompson
, Bob Balaban