31 December 2009

IFN Podcast #89 - Steven Sheil (Director) of Mum & Dad (UK)

Interview with Steven Sheil (Writer/Director) of Mum & Dad (UK) a feature horror film that is currently on release on  DVD (rental/purchase) and online (iTunes, Netflix) around the world.

Mum & Dad shocked audiences at the Slamdance Film Festival early this year.  Mum & Dad is great horror film that pushes the envelope on violence and I got a chance to catch up with Steven while he visited Melbourne early this year!

Mum & Dad check out the official UK website or official USA website

10 December 2009

Slamdance announces competition lineup

The 16th annual fest runs Jan. 21-28 in Park City, Utah. The event, which runs concurrently with Park City’s Sundance Film Festival, additionally will mount its first Filmmaker Summit this edition. The full competitive lineup follows. All are U.S. films unless noted otherwise.

“Cummings Farm” (Andrew Drazek) Comedy about three couples who try group sex at a lakeside strawberry farm, naively hoping it will lead to enlightenment; with Laura Silverman. (World Premiere)
“Drones” (Amber Benson & Adam Busch) A man discovers a universal threat to his life, job and the planet; Angela Bettis and Jonathan M. Woodward star. (World Premiere)
“The Four-Faced Liar” (Jacob Chase) When a small-town couple meets two best friends, unexpected sparks fly; cast includes Emily Peck, Marga Lewis Ryan and Todd Kubrack. (World Premiere)
“The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu” (Henry Saine) An ordinary guy is stuck in his boring life until a strange old man gives him an ancient relic and tells him that he’s the last bloodline of H.P. Lovecraft; with Devin McGinn and Kyle Davis. (World Premiere)
“One Hundred Mornings” (Conor Horgan) Ireland. Set in a world upended by a complete breakdown of society, two couples hide out in a lakeside cabin hoping to survive the crisis; Ciaran McMenamin, Alex Reid and Rory Keenan star.
“The Scenesters” (Todd Berger) Dark comedy featuring Sherilyn Fenn, Suzanne May and Blaise Miller about a group of crime scene videographers who hatch a plan to catch a serial killer picking off beautiful young hipsters on the east side of Los Angeles.
“Snow and Ashes” (Charles Olivier-Michaud) Canada. A war correspondent in Eastern Europe wakes from a coma to discover his collaborator missing; Rhys Coiro, Lina Roessler and Frederic Gilles star. (World Premiere)
“URFrenz” (Jeff Phillips) High school girls and their parents collide over the use of a popular social networking site when the identity and motives of an online boy come into question; featuring Lily Holleman, Gayla Goehl and CaroleAnne Johnson. (World Premiere)
“The Wild Hunt” (Alexandre Franchi) Canada. A medieval reenactment game turns into a Shakespearean tragedy when a non-player crashes the event to win back his girlfriend; cast includes Kaniehtiio Horn, Mark Anthony Krupa and Ricky Mabe.
“YellowBrickRoad” (Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton) An expedition looks for answers to something horrible in the forest, but the forest finds something horrible in them; stars Cassidy Freeman, Lee Wilkof and Anessa Ramsey. (World Premiere)

“American Jihadist” (Mark Claywell) What makes a man willing to kill and die for his religion?
“Biker Fox” (Jeremy Lamberton) A part docu, part self-help testimonial about Biker Fox, who advocates “cogitating positive vibes to the cortex of your cerebellum.” (World Premiere)
“Candyman” (Costa Botes) A look at the rise and fall of David Klein, inventor of Jelly Belly sweets. (World Premiere)
“General Orders No. 9” (Robert Persons) A history of the state of Georgia or anywhere deer trail becomes Indian trail becomes a county road that gets paved over.
“Mamachas del Ring” (Betty M. Park) Chronicle of the lives of Bolivian women wrestlers.
“Mind of a Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story” (Adam Barker) The birth of freestyle motocross became the demise of the sport’s most infamous legend, narrated by Lemmy.
“Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae” (Stascha Bader) Canada. The musicians of Jamaica’s Golden Age of music, Rocksteady, come together after 40 years to record a greatest hits album and perform a concert in Kingston.
“William Burroughs: A Man Within” (Yony Leyser) A portrait of the Beat author and American icon, with David Cronenberg, Gus Van Sant, Peter Weller, Iggy Pop and Laurie Anderson.

04 December 2009

Sundance announces 'out of competition' film programs

To showcase the diversity to contemporary independent cinema, the Sundance Film Festival Premieres section offers the latest work from American and international directors as well as world premieres of highly anticipated films. Presented by Entertainment Weekly.
Abel / Mexico, USA (Director: Diego Luna; Screenwriters: Diego Luna and Agusto Mendoza)–A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence. Cast: Jose Maria Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza. World Premiere
Cane Toads: The Conquest / USA (Director and screenwriter: Mark Lewis)–In 3D, Mark Lewis explores one of Australia's greatest environmental catastrophes as he follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. World Premiere
The Company Men / USA (Director and screenwriter: John Wells)–Three company men attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its effects on their families and their identities. Cast: Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt. World Premiere
The Extra Man / USA (Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; Screenwriters: Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames and Shari Springer Berman)–A down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan's Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. Cast: Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, Paul Dano, Kevin Kline, Alicia Goranson. World Premiere
Get Low / USA (Director: Aaron Schneider; Screenwriters: Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell)–A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who plans his own rollicking funeral party... while still alive. Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray. U.S. Premiere  SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM
Jack Goes Boating / USA (Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Screenwriter: Bob Glaudini)–A limo driver's blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tom McCarthy. World Premiere
The Killer Inside Me / USA (Director: Michael Winterbottom; Screenwriter: John Curran)–Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texan town; patient, polite and well liked, until he starts killing people. Cast: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker, Elias Koteas. World Premiere
Nowhere Boy / United Kingdom (Director: Sam Taylor Wood; Screenwriters: Julia Baird and Matt Greenhalgh)–A teenage John Lennon confronts wrenching family secrets and finds his musical voice in late 1950s Liverpool. Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey. International Premiere
Please Give / USA (Director and screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener)–In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives next door. Cast: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Sarah Steele. World Premiere
The Runaways / USA (Director and screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi)–In 1970s LA, a tough teenager named Joan Jett connects with an eccentric producer to form an all-girl band that would launch her career and make rock history. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O'Neal. World Premiere
Shock Doctrine / USA (Directors: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross)–Closely based on the book by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine exposes how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. North American Premiere
Twelve / USA (Director: Joel Schumacher; Screenwriter: Jordan Melamed)–A chronicle of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan's Upper East Side involving sex, drugs and murder. Cast:  Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent, Zoë Kravitz. World Premiere  CLOSING NIGHT FILM
Untitled Duplass Brothers Project / USA (Directors and screenwriters: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass)–A recently divorced guy meets a new lady. Then he meets her son who is, well...interesting. Cast: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei,Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener. World Premiere

NEXT (<=>)
A new section composed of eight American films selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.
Armless (Director: Habib Azar; Screenwriter: Kyle Jarrow)–In this off-kilter comedy, a woman comes to terms with her husband's strange secret. Cast: Daniel London, Janel Moloney, Keith Powell, Laurie Kennedy, Matt Walton. World Premiere
Bass Ackwards (Director and screenwriter: Linas Phillips)–After ending a disastrous affair with a married woman, a man embarks on a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus. Cast: Linas Philips, Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar. World Premiere
Bilal's Stand (Director and screenwriter: Sultan Sharrief)–Bilal, a Muslim high school senior in Detroit juggles his dysfunctional family, their taxi stand, and an ice carving contest in his secret attempt to land a college scholarship. Cast: Julian Gant. World Premiere
The Freebie (Director and screenwriter: Katie Aselton)–A young married couple decides to give each other one night with someone else. Cast: Dax Shepard, Katie Aselton. World Premiere
Homewrecker (Director: Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes; Screenwriters: Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, Sophie Goodhart)–The last romantic in New York City is an ex-con locksmith on work release. Cast: Ana Reeder, Anslem Richardson, Stephen Rannazzisi. World Premiere
New Low (Director: Adam Bowers)–A neurotic twentysomething struggles to figure out which girl he really belongs with: the best one he's ever known, or the worst. Cast: Adam Bowers, Jayme Ratzer, Toby Turner, Valerie Jones. World Premiere
One Too Many Mornings (Director: Michael Mohan; Screenwriters: Anthony Deptula, Michael Mohan, Stephen Hale)–Two damaged young men recover their high school friendship by awkwardly revealing to each other just how messed up they've become. Cast: Anthony Deptula, Stephen Hale, Tina Kapousis. World Premiere
The Taqwacores (Director: Eyad Zahra; Screenwriter: Michael Muhammad Knight)–When a Pakistani-Muslim engineering student moves into a house with punk Muslims of all stripes in Buffalo, New York, his ideologies are challenged to the core. Cast: Noureen DeWulf, Dominic Rains, Rasika Mathur, Tony Yalda, Anne Marie Leighton. World Premiere

New for 2010, the Spotlight section is a tribute to the cinema we love. Regardless of where these impressive films have played throughout the world, the Sundance Film Festival is thrilled to light a marquee for them.
Narrative films screening in the Festival's Spotlight are:
Bran Nue Dae / Australia (Director: Rachel Perkins; Screenwriters: Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, and Jimmy Chi)–In the summer of 1965, a young man is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome – fishing, hanging out with his mates and his girl. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo. U.S. Premiere
Daddy Longlegs / USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie)–A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it's like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult. Cast: Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo. North American Premiere
Enter the Void / France (Director and Screenwriter: Gaspar Noé)–A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. Cast: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn. U.S. Premiere
I Am Love (Io Sono L'amore) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Luca Guadagnino)–A tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. Cast: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher, Marisa Berenson. U.S. Premiere
Louis C.K.: Hilarious / USA (Director: Louis C.K.)–Sharp-tongued comedian Louis C.K. pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience. World Premiere
Lourdes / Austria, France, Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jessica Hausner)–A woman in a wheelchair travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner. U.S. Premiere
Mother & Child / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rodrigo García)–The lives of three women – a physical therapist, the daughter she gave up at birth three decades ago, and an African American woman seeking to adopt a child of her own – intersect in surprising ways. Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson.  U.S. Premiere

New African Cinema / A collection of short films from multiple countries

Pumzi / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Wanuri Kahiu)–A Sci-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, "The Water War." Cast: Kudzani Moswela. North American Premiere
Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun) / France, Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Dyana Gaye)–Along the journey from Dakar to Saint Louis, seven passengers of a taxi meet each other and tell their lives through songs. Cast: Umban Gomez de Kset, Bigué Ndoye, Adja Fall, Yakhoub Ba, Abdoulaye Diakhaté. U.S. Premiere
The Tunnel / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Jenna Bass)–When her father vanishes in 1980s Zimbabwe, young Elizabeth believes he has dug a tunnel to the city. Only by facing reality will she discover the truth behind his disappearance. Cast: Sibulele Mlumbi, Finch Moyo, Patricia Matongo, Anthony Watterson, Pakamisa Zwedala, Vuyisile Pandle. World Premiere

A Prophet (Un Prophète) / France (Director: Jacques Audiard; Screenwriters: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard)–An engaging examination of a seedy, gangster-driven underworld set in a French prison. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb.
Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan) / Germany, Austria, France (Directors and Screenwriters: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari)–A dissection of Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power. Cast: Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth. U.S. Premiere

Documentary films screening in the Festival's Spotlight are:
8: The Mormon Proposition / USA (Director: Reed Cowan)–An examination of the relationship between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8 denying marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples. World Premiere
Catfish / USA (Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman)–When a young New York City photographer is contacted on Facebook by an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan, he becomes deeply enmeshed in her life, even falling in love with her older sister--that is, until a crack appears in her story.  World Premiere
Climate Refugees / USA (Director: Michael Nash)–An over-consuming, crowded world, with depleting resources and a changing climate is giving birth to 25 million climate refugees resulting in a mass global migration and border conflicts. World Premiere
Countdown to Zero / USA (Director: Lucy Walker)–A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament. World Premiere
Life 2.0 / USA (Director: Jason Spingarn-Koff)–More than an examination of new technology, the film is foremost an intimate, character-based drama about people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world called Second Life. World Premiere
Teenage Paparazzo / USA (Director: Adrian Grenier)–A 13-year-old paparazzi boy snaps a photo of actor Adrian Grenier, leading Grenier to explore the effects of celebrity on culture. World Premiere
To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America / Bangladesh, USA (Director: Gayle Ferraro)–Tapping into the success of Muhammad Yunus after winning the Nobel Peace Prize (2006), Grameen America has opened in Queens, NY replicating the banking model program Yunus first started in Bangladesh. World Premiere
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks / USA (Director: Dan Klores)–Reggie Miller single-handedly crushed the hearts of Knick fans multiple times. But it was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that solidified Miller as Public Enemy #1 in New York City. World Premiere

Home to horror films and crazy comedies, Black Dynamite, The Blair Witch Project and Saw are among the films that have screened here.
7 Days / Canada (Director: Daniel Grou; Screenwriter: Patrick Senecal)–A doctor seeks revenge by kidnapping, torturing and killing the man who murdered his young daughter. Cast: Rémy Girard, Claude Legault, Fanny Mallette, Martin Dubreuil, Rose-Marie Coallier. World Premiere
Buried / Spain, USA (Director: Rodrigo Cortes; Screenwriter: Chris Sparling)–A U.S. contractor working in Iraq awakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. Cast: Ryan Reynolds. World Premiere
Frozen / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Adam Green)–Three skiers are mistakenly stranded on a chairlift, forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death. Cast: Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers. World Premiere
HIGH school / USA (Director: John Stalberg, Jr.; Screenwriters: Erik Linthorst, John Stalberg, Jr., and Stephen Susco)–A random drug test coincides with a high school valedictorian's first hit of pot. Cast: Sean Marquette, Matt Bush, Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, Andrew Wilson, Yeardley Smith, Michael Vartan, Curtis Armstrong, Erica Phillips, Adhir Kaylan. World Premiere
The Perfect Host / USA (Director: Nick Tomnay; Screenwriters: Nick Tomnay and Krishna Jones)–A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary. Cast: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy, Nathaniel Parker. World Premiere
Splice / France, Canada (Director: Vincenzo Natali; Screenwriters: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, and Doug Taylor)–Clive and Elsa are young, brilliant, and ambitious. The new animal species they engineered has made them rebel superstars of the scientific world. In secret, they introduce human DNA into the experiment. Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, David Hewlett. North American Premiere
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil / Canada (Director: Eli Craig; Screenwriters: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson)–Two West Virginian hillbillies go on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin, but their peaceful trip goes horribly awry. Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss. World Premiere
The Violent Kind / USA (Directors and screenwriters: The Butcher Brothers) A group of rowdy young bikers party it up at a secluded farmhouse when, tormented by a mysterious force, things take a turn for the worst. Cast: Taylor Cole, Christina Prousalis, Tiffany Shepis, David Fine, Joseph McKelheer. World Premiere.
This program highlights work that explores the limits of traditional aesthetics and the narrative structures of filmmaking.
All My Friends Are Funeral Singers / USA (Director and screenwriter: Tim Rutili)–A fortune teller lives and works in and old house crowded with ghosts.  When a mysterious light appears in the woods, the ghosts realize they are trapped and begin to rebel. Cast: Angela Bettis. World Premiere
Double Take / Germany, Netherlands (Director: Johan Grimonprez)– Alfred Hitchcock is unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period. As television hijacks cinema, and Khrushchev debates Nixon, sexual politics quietly take off and Hitchcock himself blackmails housewives with brands they can't refuse. Cast: Mark Perry, Ron Burrage. North American Premiere
Memories of Overdevelopment / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Miguel Coyula)–Live action mixes with animation and newsreel footage of historical events to form a collage that emulates the way personal memory works for a misanthropic Cuban intellectual. An adaptation of a novel by Cuban author Edmundo Desnoes. Cast: Ron Blair.   World Premiere
ODDSAC / USA (Director: Daniel Perez)–An earthy, psychedelic experimental narrative infused with the band, Animal Collective's aural and musical sensibilities. World Premiere
Pepperminta / Austria, Switzerland (Director: Pipilotti Rist; Screenwriters: Pipilotti Rist, Chris Niemeyer)– A magical and visually stunning contemporary fantasy about a young woman with an anarchist imagination. Together with Pepperminta's best friends, colors and strawberries, she sets out to fight for a more humane world. Cast: Ewelina Guzik North American Premiere.
Utopia in Four Movements / USA (Director: Sam Green)–In this "live documentary" Sam Green's live narration blends with Dave Cerf's soundtrack to explore the battered state of the utopian impulse at the dawn of the 21st century.  World Premiere

03 December 2009

Sundance announces the US/World Documentary & Narrative Competition

This year’s 16 films were selected from 862 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
Bhutto (Directors: Jessica Hernandez and Johnny O'Hara; Screenwriter: Johnny O'Hara)—A riveting journey through the life and work of  recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister and a polarizing figure in the Muslim world. World Premiere
CASINO JACK & The United States of Money (Director: Alex Gibney)—A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies.  World Premiere
Family Affair (Director: Chico Colvard)—An uncompromising documentary that examines resilience, survival and the capacity to accommodate a parent's past crimes in order to satisfy the longing for family. World Premiere
Freedom Riders (Director: Stanley Nelson)—The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South. World Premiere
Gas Land (Director: Josh Fox)—A cross-country odyssey uncovers toxic streams, dying livestock, flammable sinks and weakening health among rural citizens on the front lines of the natural gas drilling craze. World Premiere
I’m Pat _______ Tillman (Director: Amir Bar-Lev)—The story of professional football star and decorated U.S. soldier Pat Tillman, whose family takes on the U.S. government when their beloved son dies in a "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan in 2004. World Premiere
Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (Director: Tamra Davis)—The story of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose work defined, electrified and challenged an era, and whose untimely death at age 27 has made him a cultural icon. World Premiere
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Directors: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg)—A rare, brutally honest glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. World Premiere
Lucky (Director: Jeffrey Blitz)—The story of what happens when ordinary people hit the lottery jackpot.
World Premiere
My Perestroika (Director: Robin Hessman)—My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain.World Premiere
The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras)— Filmed in Yemen, The Oath tells the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court. World Premiere
Restrepo (Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington)—Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban. World Premiere
A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold)—A young Kenyan’s life changes dramatically when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger. Years later, he founds his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received. World Premiere
Smash His Camera (Director: Leon Gast)—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, and Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The story of notorious, reviled paparazzo Ron Galella opens a Pandora's Box of issues from right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. World Premiere
12th & Delaware (Directors: Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing)—The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming corner in America. World Premiere
Waiting for Superman (Director: Davis Guggenheim)—Waiting for Superman examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories—from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system. World Premiere
This year’s 16 films were selected from 1,058 submissions. Each film is a world premiere.
Blue Valentine (Director: Derek Cianfrance; Screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne and Joey Curtis) —Blue Valentine is the story of love lost and love found told in two parallel moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman, Faith Wladyka. World Premiere
Douchebag (Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz and Andrew Dickler) —On the verge of getting married, Sam Nussbaum insists he escort his younger brother, Tom, on a wild goose chase of a journey to find Tom's fifth grade girlfriend. Cast: Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius, Amy Ferguson, Wendi McClendon-Covey. World Premiere
The Dry Land (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Piers Williams)—A U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life and family he left in Texas. Cast: Ryan O'Nan, America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ethan Suplee, June Diane Raphael, Melissa Leo. World Premiere
happythankyoumoreplease (Director and screenwriter: Josh Radnor)—Six New Yorkers  negotiate love, friendship, and gratitude at a time when they're too old to be precocious and not ready to be adults. Cast: Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber, Michael Algieri. World Premiere

Hesher(Director: Spencer Susser; Screenwriters: Spencer Susser and David Michod; Story by Brian Charles Frank)—A mysterious, anarchical trickster descends on the lives of a family struggling to deal with a painful loss. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie, John Carroll Lynch. World Premiere
Holy Rollers (Director: Kevin Tyler Asch; Screenwriter: Antonio Macia)—A young Hasidic man, seduced by money, power and opportunity, becomes an international Ecstasy smuggler. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser, Ari Graynor, Jason Fuchs. World Premiere
Howl (Directors and screenwriters: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman)—A nonfiction drama about the young Allen Ginsberg finding his voice, the creation of his groundbreaking poem HOWL, and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. World Premiere
The Imperialists are still Alive! (Director and screenwriter: Zeina Durra)—Juggling the sudden abduction of her childhood sweetheart as well as a blooming love affair, a French Manhattanite makes her way as an artist in an indifferent, sometimes hostile world. Cast: Élodie Bouchez, José María de Tavira, Karim Saleh Karolina Muller, Marianna Kulukundis, Rita Ackerman. World Premiere
Lovers of Hate (Director and screenwriter: Bryan Poyser)—The shaky reunion of estranged brothers takes a turn for the worse when the woman they both love chooses one over the other.  Cast: Chris Doubek, Heather Kafka, Alex Karpovsky, Zach Green. World Premiere
Night Catches Us (Director and screenwriter: Tanya Hamilton)—In 1978, complex political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector, Wendell Pierce, Jamara Griffin. World Premiere
Obselidia (Director and screenwriter: Diane Bell)—A lonely librarian believes love is obsolete until a road trip to Death Valley with a beguiling cinema projectionist teaches him otherwise. Cast: Gaynor Howe, Michael Piccirilli, Frank Hoyt Taylor. World Premiere
Skateland (Director: Anthony Burns; Screenwriters: Anthony Burns, Brandon Freeman, Heath Freeman)—In the early 1980s, in small-town Texas, dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating rink manager to look at his life in a very new way. Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, A.J. Buckley, Ashley Greene, Brett Cullen, Ellen Hollman, Heath Freeman. World Premiere
Sympathy for Delicious (Director: Mark Ruffalo; Screenwriter: Christopher Thornton)—A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing. Cast: Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, John Carroll Lynch. World Premiere
3 Backyards (Director and screenwriter: Eric Mendelsohn)—A quiet suburban town becomes an intense emotional terrain for three residents over the course of one curious autumn day. Cast: Embeth Davidtz, Edie Falco, Elias Koteas, Rachel Resheff, Kathryn Erbe, Danai Gurira. World Premiere
Welcome to the Rileys (Director: Jake Scott; Screenwriter: Ken Hixon)—On a business trip to New Orleans, a damaged man seeks salvation by caring for a wayward young woman. Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo. World Premiere
Winter’s Bone (Director: Debra Granik; Screenwriters: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini)—An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan. World Premiere
This year’s 12 films were selected from 782 international documentary submissions.
A Film Unfinished / Germany, Israel (Director: Yael Hersonski)—Film reels uncovered in Nazi archives reveal the mechanisms used to stage Warsaw Ghetto life--images which have shaped our view of history. World Premiere
Enemies of the People / Cambodia, United Kingdom(Directors: Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath)—A young journalist whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge befriends the perpetrators of the Killing Fields genocide, evoking shocking revelations. U.S. Premiere
Fix ME /  France, Palestinian Territories, Switzerland(Director: Raed Andoni)—When Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni gets a headache that won't quit, he seeks out help and insight in different forms in his hometown of Ramallah. International Premiere
His & Hers / Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop)—Seventy Irish women offer moving insights into the relationships between women and men. North American Premiere
Kick in Iran / Gemany (Director: Fatima Geza Abdollahyan)—The first female professional Taekwondo fighter from Iran to qualify for the Olympic Games struggles for recognition in a society where women still play a subordinate role. World Premiere
Last Train Home / Canada (Director: Lixin Fan)—Getting a train ticket in China proves a towering ordeal as a migrant worker family embarks on a journey, along with 200 million other peasants, to reunite with their distant family. U.S. Premiere
The Red Chapel (Det Røde Kapel) / Denmark (Director: Mads Brügger)—A journalist with no scruples, a self-proclaimed spastic, and a comedian travel to North Korea under the guise of a cultural exchange visit to challenge one of the world’s most notorious regimes. U.S. Premiere
Russian Lessons / Russia, Georgia, Norway (Directors: Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov)—An investigation into Russian actions during the 2008 war in Georgia, revealing the little known story of the ethnic cleansing in the region since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. World Premiere
Secrets of the Tribe / Brazil (Director: José Padilha)—Is the academic Anthropology community capable of generating real knowledge about mankind? The scandals and the infighting regarding the representation of indigenous Indians in the Amazon Basin seems to indicate that the answer may be a resounding no. World Premiere
Sins of My Father / Argentina, Colombia (Director: Nicolas Entel)—The life and times of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar are recounted through the eyes of his son, who fled Colombia to move beyond his father's legacy. North American Premiere
Space Tourists / Switzerland (Director: Christian Frei)—A humorous and laconic view of the way billionaires depart our planet earth to travel into outer space for fun. North American Premiere
Waste Land / United Kingdom (Director: Lucy Walker)—Lives are transformed when international art star Vik Muniz collaborates with garbage pickers in the world's largest landfill in Rio de Janeiro. World Premiere
This year’s 14 films were selected from 1,022 international narrative feature submissions.
All that I Love / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch)—In 1981, during the growing Polish Solidarity movement, four small-town teenagers form a punk rock band with the hope of playing at a local festival. Cast: Mateusz KoÅ›ciukiewicz, Jakub GierszaÅ‚, Mateusz Banasiuk, Olga Frycz, Igor ObÅ‚oza. North American Premiere
Animal Kingdom Australia (Director and screenwriter: David Michôd)—After the death of his mother, a seventeen year-old boy is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him. Cast: Guy Pearce, Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Luke Ford, Jacki Weaver,  James FrechevilleWorld Premiere
Boy New Zealand (Director and screenwriter: Taika Waititi)—When his father returns home after many years away, 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination. Cast: Taika Waititi, James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone. World Premiere
Contracorriente (Undertow) / Colombia, France, Germany, Peru (Director and screenwriter: Javier Fuentes-Leon)—An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside, a married fisherman struggles to reconcile his devotion to his male lover within his town's rigid traditions. Cast: Cristian Mercado, Manolo Cardona, Tatiana Astengo. North American Premiere
Four Lions UK (Director: Chris Morris and screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain)—A comedy tour de force about a bunch of self styled British jihadis. Cast: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak. World Premiere
Grown Up Movie Star / Canada (Director and screenwriter: Adriana Maggs)—After her mother runs away, a teenage girl, determined to grow up fast, is left to care for her hopelessly rural father. Cast: Shawn Doyle, Tatiana Maslany, Jonny Harris, Mark O'Brien, Andy Jones, Julia Kennedy. U.S. Premiere
The Man Next Door (El Hombre de al Lado) / Argentina (Directors and screenwriters: Mariano Cohn and Gastón; Screenwriter: Andres Duprat)—  A small incident over two neighbors common wall sparks a conflict which affects the intimacy of the view over the chimney; the protagonist sparks a conflict and with paranoiac obsession destroys everyday life. Cast: Rafael Spregelburd, Daniel Aráoz, Eugenia Alonso, Inés Budassi, Lorenza Acuña. International Premiere
Me Too (Yo, También) Spain(Directors and screenwriters: Álvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro)—A 34-year-old college-educated man with Down syndrome and his free-spirited co-worker forge an unconventional relationship.Cast: Pablo Pineda, Lola Dueñas, Antonio Naharro, Isabel Garcia Lorca, Pedro Alvarez Ossorio. International Premiere
Nuummioq Greenland (Directors: Otto Rosing and Torben Bech; Screenwriter: Torben Bech)—A young man's journey through the exquisite natural landscape of Greenland allows him to piece together elements of his past and move on with his life. Cast: Lars Rosing, Angunnguaq Larsen, Julie Berthelsen, Morten Rose, Makka Kleist, Mariu Olsen. World Premiere
Peepli Live / India (Director and screenwriter: Anusha Rizvi)—A satirical look at the predicament of a poor farmer who creates a media frenzy when, beset with debt, he announces that he will commits suicide so his family can receive government compensation. Cast: Omkar Das, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raghubir Yadav, Shalini Vatsa, Farukh Jaffer  World Premiere
Son of Babylon / Iraq (Director: Mohamed Al Daradji; Screenwriters: Mohamed Al-Daradji, Jennifer Norridge, Mithal Ghazi) In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find their missing father/son. Cast: Yasser Talib, Shazda Hussein, Bashir Al-Majid.International Premiere
Southern District (Zona Sur) / Bolivia (Director and screenwriter: Juan Carlos Valdivia)—In La Paz, Bolivia, in a villa surrounded by beautiful gardens, an upper-class family experiences final halcyon days of luxury as social change penetrates their bubble.  Cast:  Ninón del Castillo, Pascual Loayza, Nicolás Fernández, Juan Pablo Koria, Mariana Vargas. North American Premiere
The Temptation of St. Tony / Estonia (Director and screenwriter: Veiko Õunpuu)—A mid-level manager who develops an aversion to being "good"  finds himself confronting the mysteries of middle-age and morality as he loses grasp of what was once his quiet life. Cast: Taavi Eelmaa, Rain Tolk, Tiina Tauraite, Katariina Lauk, Raivo E. Tamm. World Premiere
Vegetarian (Chaesikjueuija/ South Korea (Director and screenwriter: Lim Woo-seong)—A young housewife, finds herself having strange dreams that make her disgusted by meat, leading to trouble with her meat-loving husband and attention from her artist brother in law. Cast: CHEA Min-Seo, KIM Hyun-Sung, KIM Yeo-Jin, KIM Young-Jae. International Premiere