LA's big downtown fest has already announced their June festival opener as Pedro Almodovar's I'm So Excited and today brought the bulk of their lineup into the light of day. Most notable is the inclusion of Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives which heads to LA Live hot on the heels of its Cannes premiere. Some of you may remember that Refn's last Gosling starrer Drive followed a similar course.
Also on the docket is the festival closer and Sundance hit The Way, Way Back directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. That film brings the red carpet appeal of stars Steve Carrell, Toni Collette, and Sam Rockwell, along with a great performance by young Liam James. Fellow Sundance stand-out Fruitvale Station will also make its LA premiere at the fest.
Other notable films from deeper into the catalog include acclaimed Joshua Oppenheimer docu The Act of Killing, Johnnie To's Drug War, and my personal Sundance/SXSW fave, James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now. David Lowery's Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck starring oater Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Lucy Walker's touching head-injury doc The Crash Reel, and the SXSW winning Short Term 12 by Destin Daniel Cretton will also play the fest.
Like every year, LAFF will also feature a rich and diverse lineup in its documentary and dramatic competitions. Those names may look unfamiliar now, but be ready to find some becoming well known in the near future. The midnight Beyond section is also back and features Brian Netto's Delivery, the US premiere of Miike's Lessons of the Evil, and another chance to see Adam Wingard ridiculously enjoyable You're Next.
I could go on and on, (like did you see there is a community screening of Dazed and Confused?) but have a look for yourself at the full lineup below. We'll have plenty more before the fest kicks off June 13.
Iʼm So Excited! - (DIRECTOR/WRITER Pedro Almodovar PRODUCERS Agustin Almodovar, Esther Garcia CAST Antonio De La Torre, Hugo Silva, Miguel Angel Silvestre, Layla Marti, Javier Camara, Carlos Areces, Raul Arevalo, Jose Maria Yazpik, Guillermo Toledo, Jose Luis Torrijo, Lola Duenas, Cecilia Roth, Blanca Suarez) - A psychic, a hitman, a dominatrix, a crooked businessman and a soap star are among the passengers aboard a disaster-prone aircraft in Pedro Almodovarʼs bawdy, mischievous, mescaline-laced new comedy of bad manners. North American Premiere
The Way, Way Back - (DIRECTORS/WRITERS Nat Faxon, Jim Rash PRODUCERS Kevin J. Walsh, Tom Rice CAST Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet and Liam James) - The Way, Way Back is the funny and poignant coming of age story of 14-year-old Duncanʼs (Liam James) summer vacation with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette), her overbearing boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell), and his daughter, Steph (Zoe Levin). Having a rough time fitting in, the introverted Duncan finds an unexpected friend in gregarious Owen (Sam Rockwell), manager of the Water Wizz water park. Through his funny, clandestine friendship with Owen, Duncan slowly opens up to and begins to finally find his place in the world - all during a summer he will never forget.
Fruitvale Station - USA (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Ryan Coogler PRODUCERS Nina Yang Bongiovi, Forest Whitaker CAST Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray and Octavia Spencer) - First-time feature filmmaker Ryan Coogler brings cinematic grace and maturity to the tragic true story of Oscar Grant, a young African-American man, on the fateful day he was killed by Oakland's BART transit police.
Only God Forgives - France/Denmark/Thailand (DIRECTOR/WRITER Nicolas Winding Refn PRODUCER Lene Børglum CAST Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm) - Nicolas Winding Refn reunites with his Drive star Ryan Gosling for this audacious piece of cinematic bravura about an American expat in Bangkokʼs brutal underworld forced to deal with his mother's obsession for vengeance after his brother's murder. North American Premiere
GUEST DIRECTOR SELECTION:
Three Kings (1999) - (DIRECTOR/WRITER David O. Russell PRODUCERS Paul Junger Witt, Edward McDonnell, Charles Roven CAST George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze, Cliff Curtis) David O. Russell, this year's Guest Director and recipient of the Spirit of Independence Award, takes us through his dazzling career -- from Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster to The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook - in conversation with Elvis Mitchell. Followed by a screening of his astonishing war movie Three Kings.
All Together Now - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER Alexander Mirecki WRITER Ryan Kasmiskie PRODUCERS Leah Fong, Michael Younesi CAST Lou Taylor Pucci, James Duval, Stella Maeve, Nora Kirkpatrick, James Burns, Amanda Kimmel, Lindsey Garrett, Ryan Heinke, Jerry Phillips, Hannah Sullivan, Dalton O'Dell, Morgan Krantz, Monika Jolly, Luke Stratte-McClure, Azim Rizk, Hal Dion, Sam Carson, Tucker Bryan, Martin Yribarren, William Horwich, Will Watkins) - Youth, in all its messy, drunken glory, is the connective thread at an all night noise-rock concert in the woods, where a motley assortment of music lovers prove that it isn't always darkest before the dawn. World Premiere
Forev - USA (DIRECTORS/WRITERS Molly Green, James Leffler PRODUCERS Stephanie Dziczek, Meg Charlton CAST Noël Wells, Matt Mider, Amanda Bauer) - On a spur of the moment road trip, new friends Sophie and Pete hatch a misguided plan to get hitched. Refreshingly funny and intelligent, this coming-of-age romantic comedy delightfully contemplates how and with whom we fall in love. World Premiere
Forty Years From Yesterday - USA (DIRECTORS Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda- Beck WRITER Robert Machoian PRODUCERS Nick Case, Ryan Watt, Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck CAST Bruce Graham, Suzette Graham, Robert Eddington, Wyatt Eddington, Matt Valdez, Chelsea Word, Elizabeth Overton, Rebekah Mott) - Grief quietly reverberates through a family after a man discovers his wife of forty years has unexpectedly passed away. Filmmakers Rodrigo Ojeda-Beckand and Robert Machoian make their feature directorial debut with this quietly powerful examination of love and loss. World Premiere
Four Dogs - USA (DIRECTOR Joe Burke PRODUCERS Joe Burke, Oliver Cooper WRITERS Joe Burke, Oliver Cooper CAST Oliver Cooper, Dan Bakkedahl, Kathleen McNearney, ReBecca Goldstein) - His Hollywood dreams in a slump, Oliver bumbles through his days hanging with an acting school buddy and tending to his auntʼs yappy dogs in this surprising, delightful rumination on the absurd and hilarious things we go through to find ourselves. World Premiere
Goodbye World - USA (DIRECTOR Denis Henry Hennelly WRITERS Denis Henry Hennelly, Sarah Adina Smith PRODUCERS Mary Pat Bentel, Matthew Zamias, Guy Moshe, Albertino Matalon CAST Adrian Grenier, Mark Webber, Ben McKenzie, Kerry Bishe, Scott Mescudi, Gaby Hoffmann, Caroline Dhavernas) - When a mysterious cyber-attack cripples civilization, a group of old college friends and lovers retreat to a remote country cabin, where they must cope with an uncertain future while navigating the minefield of their shared past. World Premiere
The House That Jack Built - USA (DIRECTOR Henry Barrial WRITER Joseph Vasquez PRODUCERS Michael Lieber, Sam Kitt, Hitesh Patel CAST E.J. Bonilla, Melissa Fumero, Leo Minaya, Saundra Santiago, John Herrera, Flor De Liz Perez, Rosal Colon) - Complications ensue when street-smart, cash-rich Jack fulfills his fantasy of housing his extended family in a single Bronx apartment complex. E.J. Bonilla heads a dynamic Caribbean-Latino ensemble in this riveting hot house drama. World Premiere
I.D. - India (DIRECTOR/WRITER Kamal K.M PRODUCERS Resul Pookkutty, Rajeev Ravi, Madhu Neelakandan, Sunil Babu, B. Ajithkumar CAST Geetanjali Thapa, Murari Kumar,Ruksana Tabassum, Shinjini Raval, Shashi Sharma, Bachan Pachera, Alok Chaturvedi, Shashibhushan) - An ambitious young woman finds herself unexpectedly propelled on a journey that takes her from the high-rises in the heart of Mumbai to the teeming streets on the cityʼs forbidding outskirts in this taut exploration of gender, class and identity in todayʼs metropolitan India. North American Premiere
Mother, I Love You - Latvia (DIRECTOR/WRITER Janis Nords PRODUCER Alise Gelze CAST Kristofers Konovalovs, Matiss Livcans, Vita Varpina, Indra Brike, Haralds Barzdins) - With his mother always away at work, the introverted 12-year-old Raimonds gets into deeper and deeper trouble in this striking, touching coming of age drama, a Latvian grandchild of The 400 Blows. North American Premiere
My Sisterʼs Quinceañera - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER Aaron Douglas Johnston CAST Silas Garcia, Samantha Rae Garcia, Becky Garcia, Tanner McCulley, Nicole Streat, Elizabeth Agapito, Josefina Garcia) - This lovely naturalistic film focuses on a Latino family in Iowa. The teenage Silas may be the man of the house, but he wears that responsibility lightly, searching for more from his life than the small town mischief he gets into with his best friend. North American Premiere
Pollywogs - USA (DIRECTORS Karl Jacob, Todd Arthur Cottam WRITER Karl Jacob PRODUCERS Karl Jacob, Tracy Utley, Michael Prall CAST Karl Jacob, Kate Lyn Sheil, Jennifer Prediger, Larry Mitchell) - Utterly deflated after a breakup, Dylan splits the city for a well-timed family reunion. Writer/director/star Karl Jacobʼs endearing, witty tale about the search for second chances is gorgeously set against the pristine Minnesota woods of his own hometown. World Premiere
Winter in the Blood - USA (DIRECTORS Andrew Smith, Alex Smith WRITERS Andrew Smith, Alex Smith, Ken White PRODUCERS Andrew Smith, Alex Smith, Susan Kirr CAST Chaske Spencer, David Morse, Julia Jones, Gary Farmer, Dana Wheeler- Nicholson, Lily Gladstone, Casey Camp, Richard Ray Whitman, Michael Spears, David Cale) - True to the tough, lyrical spirit of James Welchʼs classic novel of Native American life, this hauntingly beautiful movie follows a young Blackfoot Indianʼs alcohol fueled search for his wife, his rifle, his identity--and salvation. World Premiere
Workers - Mexico/Germany (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER José Luis Valle CAST Jesus Padilla, Susana Salazar, Barbara Perrin Rivemar, Sergio Limon, Vera Talaia, Adolfo Madera, Giancarlo Ruiz) - A Tijuana maid who works for a rich old woman who leaves her fortune to her dog and a long suffering janitor awaiting his pension turn to crime in this stylish, mordantly funny fable of Mexicoʼs gaping class divide. US Premiere
All of Me - USA (DIRECTOR Alexandra Lescaze PRODUCERS Alexandra Lescaze, Deborah Eve Lewis) - The women of the BBW (Big Beautiful Women) Club celebrate being overweight, and the men who love them don't want them to change. But what happens when the group decides to undergo weight loss surgery? This startlingly intimate documentary raises fascinating questions about obesity, identity and sexuality. World Premiere
American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs - USA (DIRECTOR Grace Lee PRODUCERS Grace Lee, Caroline Libresco, Austin Wilkin) - Tenacious 97 year old Asian-American Grace Lee Boggs was an unlikely star of the African-American movement. She looks back on her remarkable (and ongoing) lifetime of activism, dedicated to the possibility of a more just future for us all. World Premiere
Code Black - USA (DIRECTOR Ryan McGarry PRODUCER Linda Goldstein-Knowlton FEATURING Ryan McGarry, Danny Cheng, Jamie Eng, Dave Pomerantz, Andrew Eads) - Gripping, provocative and moving, this intimate journey into the fast-paced, emotionally complex world of emergency room doctors at Los Angeles County Hospital reveals the highs and lows of saving lives in the modern world. World Premiere
The Island of Saint Matthews - USA (DIRECTOR Kevin Jerome Everson PRODUCER Madeleine Molyneaux FEATURING Raymond Griggs, Rosalee Harris, Charlie Smith, Jimmy J. Johnson, Marie Whitfield, Octavious Hinton, Landon Williams, Jawon Hopson, Colby Williams, Priscilla King) - With a filmmaking style that draws upon both documentary and experimental traditions, filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson continues his exploration of the African American experience by turning to the community of Westport, Miss., where nearly annual floods have touched everyone, including Eversonʼs own family. North American Premiere
Llyn Foulkes One Man Band - USA (DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS Tamar Halpern, Chris Quilty FEATURING Llyn Foulkes, Dennis Hopper, George Hermes, Paul Schimmel, Johnny Carson) - At 78 years of age, the brilliant, iconoclastic artist Llyn Foulkes, is still fighting the art world and his own demons as he feverishly creates-and then destroys and recreates-deep, three-dimensional paintings that mirror back his personal and artistic obsessions. World Premiere
My Stolen Revolution - Sweden (DIRECTOR/WRITER/PRODUCER Nahid Persson Sarvestani FEATURING Nahid Persson Sarvestani, Parvaneh Aref, Nazli Partovi, Monireh Baradaran, Azar Aal-Kanaan) - Thirty years after narrowly escaping Iran and impending imprisonment during The 1979 revolution, filmmaker and activist Nahid Persson Sarvestani sets out to find the friends she left behind. Through the harrowing stories of the women who were not as fortunate as she, Persson is led to her own redemption. North American Premiere
The New Black - USA (DIRECTOR Yoruba Richen PRODUCERS Yoruba Richen, Yvonne Welbon)- In this timely documentary, filmmaker Yoruba Richen questions the assumptions about homophobia in the African-American community, setting off an impassioned conversation about gay rights, family history, the role of the Church and the legacy of the civil rights movement. World Premiere
Purgatorio - Mexico/USA (DIRECTOR Rodrigo Reyes WRITER Hugo Perez PRODUCER Inti Cordera) - With striking imagery, director Rodrigo Reyes re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante's purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. US Premiere
Rain - Belgium (DIRECTORS Olivia Rochette, Gerard-Jan Claes PRODUCER Bart Van Langendonck) - A poetic portrait of the world-renowned Ballet de lʼOpéra national de Paris as they mount a new work by famed contemporary choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, this documentary fragments the creative process, from auditions to opening night, celebrating small, isolated moments easily overlooked. US Premiere
Tapia - USA (DIRECTOR Eddie Alcazar PRODUCERS Andrea Monier, Eddie Alcazar FEATURING Johnny Tapia) - Johnny Tapia was an awe-inspiring world champion boxer, but his personal demons were as destructive as his left hook. Composed of archival fight footage and candid, beautifully shot interviews, Tapiaʼs story of tragedy, grief and redemption unfurls like an epic novel. World Premiere
The Act of Killing - Denmark/Norway/UK (DIRECTORS Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn PRODUCERS Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Signe Byrge Sørensen, Joram Ten Brink, Anne Köhncke FEATURING Anwar Congo, Adi Zulkadry, Herman Koto, Jusuf Kalla) - In this acclaimed, bone-chilling documentary, former members of Indonesian paramilitary death squads--unrepentant for horrors inflicted nearly fifty years ago--revisit their past through reenactments that conflate their history of violence with the gangster and action movies they revered in their youth.
Black Out - UK (DIRECTOR Eva Weber PRODUCERS Claire Neate James, Kat Mansoor) - In Guinea, one of the worldʼs poorest countries, students of all ages must go on a nightly quest for electric lights under which to study. Documentarian Eva Weber beautifully portrays these young peopleʼs determination to find a brighter future for their country and themselves. North American Premiere
Boxing Day - UK (DIRECTOR/WRITER Bernard Rose PRODUCERS Luc Roeg, Naomi Despres CAST Danny Huston, Matthew Jacobs) - Bernard Rose's tense, unsettling update of Leo Tolstoy's Master and Man stars Danny Huston as a desperate, arrogant real estate speculator whose edgy relationship with an equally desperate chauffeur leads to a fateful encounter on the snowbanks of Colorado.
Dormant Beauty - Italy (DIRECTOR Marco Bellocchio WRITERS Marco Bellocchio, Veronica Raimo, Stefano Rulli PRODUCERS Riccardo Tozzi, Giovanni Stabilini, Marco Chimenz CAST Isabelle Huppert, Toni Servillo, Alba Rohrwacher, Michele Riondino, Maya Sansa) - Inspired by an inflammatory court case about euthanasia, maestro Marco Bellocchio has fashioned a powerful and stylish meditation on life and death, politics and love. Isabelle Huppert stars as a devout diva whose daughter lies in a coma.
Drug War - China (DIRECTOR Johnnie To WRITERS Ryker Chan, Wai Ka-Fai, Yau Nai-Hoi, Xi Yu PRODUCERS Johnnie To, Wai Ka-Fai CAST Sun Honglei, Louis Koo, Huang Yi, Gao Yungxiang, Wallace Chung, Hao Ping, Gan Tingting) - In Hong Kong action master Johnnie Toʼs latest, undercover cops and drug dealers play an exhaustive, brutal game of one-upmanship as a police inspector doggedly works his way through a Mainland drug syndicate, aided by a turncoat gangster whoʼs working all the angles.
Ernest & Celestine - France (DIRECTORS Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar, Stéphane Aubier WRITER Daniel Pennac PRODUCERS Didier Brunner,Stephan Roelants, Philippe Kauffmann, Vincent Tavier CAST Lambert Wilson, Pauline Brunner) - A bear and a mouse could never be friends, right? Thatʼs ridiculous. Itʼs impossible! Yet when lumbering, grumbling Ernest and plucky little Celestine are thrown together by accident, the two discover they have more in common than anyone ever imagined in this wondrously animated family film.
The Expedition to the End of the World - Denmark (DIRECTOR Daniel Dencik PRODUCER Michael Haslund-Christensen) - A crew of seafaring artists, scientists and philosophers sail to one of the most remote and beautiful areas in the world--the frozen fjords of northern Greenland--to ponder provocative questions about our place in the world.
The Fifth Season - Belgium/Netherlands/France (DIRECTORS/WRITERS Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth PRODUCERS Peter Brosens, Jessica Woodworth, Philippe Avril, Sébastien Delloye, Diana Elbaum, J.B. Macrander, Joop van Wijk CAST Aurelia Poirier, Django Schrevens, Sam Louwyck, Gill Vancompernolle) - When timehonored traditions fail in a remote village in the Ardennes Forest, nature falls out of order and the villagers slowly drift from reality, waiting for a spring that may never come, in this strikingly stylized, playfully surreal fable.
House with a Turret - Ukraine (DIRECTOR/WRITER Eva Neymann PRODUCER Alexander Tkachenko CAST Kobetskoy Dmitriy, Golubeva Yekaterina, Veksler Mikhail, Bibliv Vitalina, Linetskiy Vitaliy) - During a long, grey Russian winter at the end of World War Two, an orphaned 8-year-old boy undertakes a perilous train trip from Russia home to the Ukraine, his tragic journey unfolding in bold black and white images both timeless and indelible.
The Moo Man - UK (DIRECTORS/PRODUCERS Andy Heathcote, Heike Bachelier FEATURING Stephen Hook) - Stephen Hookʼs dream-girl, Ida, is an English lass with gorgeous big brown eyes. She also loves to eat grass and moo loudly--not unusual for a dairy cow. The Moo Man is an inspiring document of a dairy farmerʼs deep love for a vanishing way of life.
Nobodyʼs Daughter Haewon - Korea (DIRECTOR/WRITER Hong Sang-Soo PRODUCER Kim Kyounghee CAST Jung Eunchae, Lee Sunkyun) - An ill-advised affair between a college student and her film professor lies at the beguiling heart of acclaimed Korean auteur Hong Sang-sooʼs latest, which follows a young woman as she drifts between a series of past and possible future romantic entanglements. North American Premiere
The Patience Stone - Afghanistan/France/Germany/UK (DIRECTOR Atiq Rahimi WRITERS Atiq Rahimi, Jean-Claude Carrière PRODUCER Michael Gentile CAST Golshifteh Garahani, Hamidrez Javdan, Hassina Burgan, Massi Mrowat) - As her warrior husband lies in a coma, a beautiful Muslim woman unburdens herself of a lifetime of repressed rage and desire in this passionate, taboo-shattering provocation from Afghan novelist/filmmaker Atik Rahimi.
Wadjda - Saudi Arabia/United Arab Emirates/Germany (DIRECTOR/WRITER Haifaa Al Mansour PRODUCERS Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul CAST Reem Abdullah, Waad Mohammed, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd, Sultan Al Assaf) - In this rousing, pioneering gem-the first Saudi Arabian film ever directed by a woman-a remarkable 10-year-old girl named Wadjda challenges centuries of male tradition when she sets her sights on buying a forbidden bicycle.
When I Saw You - Palestine/Jordan/Greece/United Arab Emirates/USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER Annemarie Jacir PRODUCER Ossama Bawardi CAST Mahmoud Asfa, Ruba Blal, Saleh Bakri) - Separated by war from his father, and restlessly cooped up in a refugee camp, a young Palestinian boy secretly embarks on a journey of adventure with an unshakable resolve to be free.
The Women and the Passenger - Chile (DIRECTORS Valentina Mac-Pherson, Patricia Correa WRITERS Patricia Correa, Valentina Mac-Pherson PRODUCERS Sergio Allard, Ricardo Carrasco) - With remarkable candor and a delightful nonchalance, the maids at a Chilean sex hotel, completely unfazed by the moans and groans that echo throughout walls, share their takes on love, romance, marriage and, of course, sex. US Premiere
Ainʼt Them Bodies Saints - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER David Lowery PRODUCERS Toby Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman, Cassian Elwes CAST Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Keith Carradine, Nate Parker, Rami Malek, Kennadie Smith, Jacklynn Smith, Robert Longstreet, Charles Baker, Augustine Frizzell, Kentucker Audley, David Zellner) - This moody, meditative Texas noir tells the tale of Casey Affleckʼs Bob Guthrie, an outlaw on the run trying to reunite with his wife-the fantastic Rooney Mara-and the daughter he's never met.
Brothers Hypnotic - Netherlands/USA (DIRECTOR Reuben Atlas PRODUCERS Sam Pollard, Reuben Atlas FEATURING Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, Phil Cohran, Aquilla Sadalla, Maia) - Producing some of the most energetic, riveting and symphonic sounds in jazz today, the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is comprised of eight brothers raised on Chicagoʼs South Side and determined to succeed on their own uncompromising terms.
Casting By - USA (DIRECTOR Tom Donahue PRODUCERS Kate Lacey, Tom Donahue, Ilan Arboleda, Joanna Colbert FEATURING Clint Eastwood, Al Pacino, Jeff Bridges, Robert Redford, Woody Allen, Glenn Close, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Diane Lane, Martin Scorsese, Jon Voight, Bette Midler, John Travolta) - Little known outside the movie industry, the legendary Marion Dougherty revolutionized the role of the casting director in movies and TV. This revelatory, star-studded tribute illuminates the secrets of a little understood trade.
Concussion - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER Stacie Passon PRODUCER Rose Troche CAST Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff, Johnny Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Daniel London, Ben Shenkman, Janel Moloney) - After suffering a mild head injury, Abby starts to pull away from her wife and their sedate, suburban existence. Soon she is another woman-sensual, self-possessed, secretive. Stacy Passonʼs directorial debut, anchored by an exquisite lead performance from Robin Weigert, is by turns hilarious, erotic and tender.
The Crash Reel - USA (DIRECTOR Lucy Walker WRITERS Pedro Kos, Lucy Walker PRODUCERS Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker) - Snowboarder Kevin Pearce was on the verge of Olympic glory when a horrific crash left him with a traumatic brain injury. This intimate, moving account of his rise, fall and challenging road back examines the glory and peril of extreme sports.
Crystal Fairy - Chile (DIRECTOR/WRITER Sebastián Silva PRODUCERS Juan de Dios Larrain, Pablo Larrain CAST Michael Cera, Gabby Hoffman, Juan Andres Silva, Jose Miguel Silva, Agustin Silva) - Michael Cera plays a callow American in Chile in search of a legendary hallucinogenic cactus, but his mission takes a strange turn when Gabby Hoffmanʼs hilariously uninhibited Crystal Fairy joins the psychedelic caravan.
Europa Report - USA (DIRECTOR Sebastián Cordero WRITER Philip Gelatt PRODUCER Ben Browning CAST Daniel Wu, Sharlto Copley, Christian Camargo, Karolina Wydra, Michael Nyqvist, Anamaria Marinca, Embeth Davidtz, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Dan Fogler) - Searching for evidence of life among the stars, an international space expedition sets course for a frozen moon of Jupiter. The journey through deep space is perilous, however, and small mistakes have large consequences in this refreshingly realistic, visually inventive look at space exploration. US Premiere
First Cousin Once Removed - USA (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER Alan Berliner) - Awardwinning filmmaker Alan Berliner documents his cousin and mentor--the gifted poet, critic and translator Edwin Honig--who struggles with Alzheimerʼs in this moving and profound examination of memory and identity.
Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction - Switzerland (DIRECTOR Sophie Huber PRODUCERS Christian Davi, Christoph Neracher, Thomas Thümena FEATURING Harry Dean Stanton) - The laconic, chain-smoking Harry Dean Stanton, beloved and iconic actor of more than 200 films, reveals, often in song, glimmers of his fascinating life in this captivating, beautifully composed tribute.
In A World... - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER Lake Bell PRODUCERS Lake Bell, Mark Roberts, Jett Steiger, Eddie Vaisman STARRING Lake Bell, Fred Melamed, Demetri Martin, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman, Tig Notaro, Alexandra) - When L.A.'s reigning king of movie voice-overs dies, a not-quite-together vocal coach, played with screwball energy by writer/director Lake Bell, finds herself among the contenders for the coveted but traditionally male crown in this sharp comedy of Hollywood errors.
Our Nixon - USA (DIRECTOR Penny Lane PRODUCERS Penny Lane, Brian L. Frye) - Assembled from over 500 reels of Super 8 film shot during the Nixon White House by top aides (and Watergate participants) H.R Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and Dwight Chapin, Penny Laneʼs documentary provides a unique insiderʼs view of the most infamous presidency in American history.
Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton (This Is Stones Throw Records) - USA (DIRECTOR Jeff Broadway PRODUCERS Jeff Broadway, Sébastien Bauer FEATURING Peanut Butter Wolf, Kanye West, Madlib, Common, Questlove, Talib Kweli, Flying Lotus, Mike Diamond) - Featuring musical visionaries the likes of J Dilla, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne and Dam-Funk, this chronicle of groundbreaking Los Angeles indie label Stoneʼs Throw Records and its enigmatic founder, DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, reveals an unexpected history of tragedy and triumph. World Premiere
Short Term 12 - USA (DIRECTOR/WRITER Destin Daniel Cretton PRODUCERS Maren Olson, Asher Goldstein, Joshua Astrachan, Ron Najor CAST Brie Larson, John Gallagher Jr., Kaitlyn Dever, Keith Stanfield, Rami Malek) - At the center of this gripping drama is the tough, compassionate Grace, who supervises at-risk teens at a foster-care facility. But like her charges, she has secret wounds that threaten her own happiness.
The Spectacular Now - USA (DIRECTOR James Ponsoldt WRITERS Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber PRODUCERS Tom McNulty, Shawn Levy, Andrew Lauren CAST Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyle Chandler) - On the surface, popular Sutter Keely seems like the life of the party, and gawky Aimee Finicky a high school loser. But this coming of age drama doesnʼt traffic in surface stereotypes. Charged by the emotional honesty of stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, this one goes deep.
Venus Vs. - USA (DIRECTOR Ava DuVernay PRODUCERS Ava DuVernay, Howard Barish, Tilane Jones, Libby Geist, Deirdre Fenton, Carol Stiff FEATURING Venus Williams, Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova) - On the court, Venus Williams shines as one of the worldʼs greatest tennis players. But she is also a tireless campaigner, leading the movement for fair pay between female and male players. Trailblazing director Ava DuVernay captures the charisma and resolve of a champion. World Premiere
Brasslands - (DIRECTORS Adam Pogoff, Jay Sterrenberg, Bryan Chang PRODUCERS Adam Pogoff, Bryan Chang, Jay Arthur Sterrenberg FEATURING Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, Dejan Petrovic, Demiran Cerimovic) - Half a million people descend upon a tiny Serbian village for the 50th anniversary of the world's largest trumpet festival. Brasslands chronicles the cultural and musical collisions through the personal journeys of 3 musicians - American, Serbian, Roma - whose lives are bound to Balkan brass for very different reasons.
Dazed and Confused (1993) - (DIRECTOR/WRITER Richard Linklater PRODUCERS Sean Daniel, James Jacks, Richard Linklater CAST Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Wiley Wiggins) - Twenty years ago, Richard Linklaterʼs seminal stoner flick rolled into theatres like a badass low-rider. With a then-unknown but pitch-perfect cast, a stellar soundtrack and more memorable lines than we can shake a stick at, Dazed remains as hilarious and quotable as ever.
Hairspray (1988) - (DIRECTOR/WRITER John Waters PRODUCER Rachel Talalay CAST Ricki Lake, Divine, Jerry Stiller, Shawn Thompson, Michael St. Gerard, Leslie Ann Powers, Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Deborah Harry) - Celebrate the 25th anniversary of John Watersʼ beloved, one-of-a-kind musical with an evening of dancing and audience participation under the stars. Weʼll Twist, Bird and Bug our way into the night to Watersʼ hilarious, über-stylized romantic indie and its electrifying '60s soundtrack.
Inequality for All - (DIRECTOR Jacob Kornbluth PRODUCERS Jen Chaiken, Sebastian Dungan FEATURING Robert Reich) - The inspired teacher and economic policy expert Robert Reich illuminates the dangers that income inequality pose to our lives and to democracy itself in this lively and provocative dissection of our economic crisis. A Grand Performances presentation.
Life of a King - (DIRECTOR Jake Goldberger WRITERS Jake Goldberger, Dan Wetzel, David Scott PRODUCERS Tatiana Kelly, Jim Young CAST Cuba Gooding, Jr., Malcolm Mays, Richard T. Jones, Paula Jai Parker, Carlton Byrd With Lisa Gay Hamilton And Dennis Haysbert) - After eighteen years of incarceration, Eugene Brown established a chess club for high school students of color in Washington D.C. as part of his resolve to "always think before you move." Cuba Gooding Jr. leads a remarkable cast in this inspiring true story. World Premiere
Delivery - USA (DIRECTOR Brian Netto WRITERS Brian Netto, Adam Schindler PRODUCER Adam Schindler CAST Laurel Vail, Danny Barclay, Rob Cobuzio) - In this unnerving chiller, a young couple agrees to document their first pregnancy for a reality show, but when unexplained events start to plague the production, they suspect something might be wrong with their unborn bundle of joy. World Premiere
Lesson of the Evil - Japan (DIRECTOR/WRITER Takashi Mike PRODUCERS Koji Azuma, Toru Mori, Misako Saka CAST Hideaki Ito, Fumi Nikaido, Kento Hayashi, Shota Sometani) - Mr. Hasumi is the perfect teacher: young, intelligent, popular and cute. Heʼs also a psychopath, a fact that doesnʼt bode well for anyone who crosses him. Takashi Miike directs this violent high school thriller, and shows off a sense of humor thatʼs as black as dried blood. US Premiere
Youʼre Next - USA (DIRECTOR Adam Wingard WRITER Simon Barrett PRODUCERS Keith Calder, Jessica Wu, Simon Barrett, Kim Sherman CAST Sharni Vinson, Nicholas Tucci, Wendy Glenn, AJ Bowen, Joe Swanberg, Amy Seimetz, Ti West, Rob Moran, Barbara Crampton , L.C. Holt, Simon Barrett, Lane Hughes) - Home sweet home becomes a little less so when murderous mask-wearing maniacs invade. One of the sharpest horror movies in recent memory, Youʼre Next is as fun as it is thrilling, boasting an energy that doesnʼt flag until the final kill. RETRO/The Films That Got Away:
Amarcord (1973) - Italy (DIRECTOR Frederico Fellini WRITERS Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra PRODUCER Franco Cristaldi CAST Magali Noël, Ciccio Ingrassia, Nando Orfei, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Gianfilippo Carcano, Armando Brancia) - We celebrate the 40th anniversary of Felliniʼs beloved Amarcord, his fantastical reimagining of his childhood in a provincial seacoast town during the Fascist era, with a screening of the Oscar-winning favorite.
Between Two Worlds (2009) - Sri Lanka/France (DIRECTOR/WRITER Vimukthi Jayasundara PRODUCERS Michel Klein, Philippe Avril, Michel Reilhac, Anura Silva, Chandan Aluthge CAST Thusitha Laknath, Kaushalya Fernando, Huang Lu) - Sri Lankan director Vmukthi Jayasundara revisits the decades-long Sri Lankan civil war with his surreal, visually stunning 2009 feature. An unforgettable re-imagining of upheaval in a carnivorously fecund battle zone. A Los Angeles Film Critics Association selection.
Two Men In Manhattan (1958) - France (DIRECTOR/WRITER Jean-Pierre Melville PRODUCERS Florence Melville, Alain Térouanne CAST Pierre Grasset, Jean-Pierre Melville, Michèle Bailly, Jean Darcante, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall, Monique Hennessy, Jean Lara, Jerry Mengo) - Nighttime New York in 1958 comes to moody, jazz-soaked life in this rarely seen noir from the great Jean-Pierre Melville, who cast himself as a journalist on an ethically fraught mission to track down a missing French diplomat.
Shorts Program 1-4
Alaska Is a Drag - USA - DIRECTOR Shaz Bennett
The Apocalypse - USA - DIRECTOR Andrew Zuchero
Atlantic Avenue - France/USA - DIRECTOR Laure de Clermont
The Big House - Yemen/USA - DIRECTOR Musa Syeed
Boneshaker - USA - DIRECTOR Frances Bodomo
The Bungled Child - France - DIRECTOR Simon Filliot
Busted on Brigham Lane - USA - DIRECTOR Talibah Lateefah Newman
Can You Hear Me? - USA - DIRECTOR Isaac Ravishankara
Caterwaul - USA - DIRECTOR Ian Samuels
The Date - Finland - DIRECTOR Jenni Toivoniemi
Deja-vu - Canada - DIRECTOR Jean-Guillaume Bastien
Despair *2010 - USA - DIRECTOR Alex Prager
Drifters - USA - DIRECTOR Ethan Clarke
F to 7th - Interchangeable - USA - DIRECTOR Ingrid Jungermann
The First Hope - USA - DIRECTOR Jeremy David White
The Globe Collector - Australia - DIRECTOR Summer DeRoche
Grandpa & Me and a Helicopter to Heaven - Sweden - DIRECTORS Johan Palmgren, Åsa Blanck
I Was Born in Mexico, But... - USA - DIRECTOR Corey Ohama
Irish Folk Furniture - Ireland - DIRECTOR Tony Donoghue
The Man Beside Norma - Chile - DIRECTORS Camilla Luna, Gabriela Maturana
Marcel, King of Tervuren - USA - DIRECTOR Tom Schroeder
Men of the Earth - Australia - DIRECTOR Andrew Kavanagh
A Modern Man - South Africa - DIRECTOR Ben Rycroft
Mystery - Spain - DIRECTOR Chema García Ibarra
Nile Perch - USA/Uganda - DIRECTOR Josh Gibson
Oh Willy... - Belgium/France/Netherlands - DIRECTOR Emma De Swaef, Marc James Roels
Papel Picado - USA - DIRECTOR Javier Barboza
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family - USA/Scotland - DIRECTOR Rachel Mayeri
Recollections - Japan - DIRECTOR Nathanael Carton
Rough Grounds - Germany - DIRECTOR Youdid Kahveci
Saint John, the Longest Night - Chile - DIRECTOR Claudia Huaiquimilla
Sci-Fly - USA - DIRECTOR Joey Shanks
She Said, She Said - USA - DIRECTOR Stuart Blumberg
A Society - Sweden - DIRECTOR Jens Assur
Stone - USA - DIRECTOR Kevin Jerome Everson
The Sunshine Egg - Germany - DIRECTOR Michael Haas
Too Much Water - Uruguay - DIRECTOR Nicolás Botana, Gonzalo Torrens
Tram - France/Czech Republic - DIRECTOR Michaela Pavlátová
Until the Quiet Comes - USA - DIRECTOR Kahlil Joseph
Walker - China/Hong Kong - DIRECTOR Tsai Ming-liang
What Do We Have In Our Pockets? - Israel/USA - DIRECTOR Goran Dukic
When the Song Dies - Scotland - DIRECTOR Jamie Chambers
When We Lived In Miami - USA - DIRECTOR Amy Seimetz
You Donʼt Know Jack - USA - DIRECTOR Morgan Spurlock
FUTURE FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE:
High School Shorts 1-2
As Asian Teens, We Hold a Heritage - USA - DIRECTOR Sunny Kim
Awake - USA - DIRECTOR Quinn G. Martin
Bod Mod - USA - DIRECTORS Mimi Erlick, Madeline Hopfield
The Case of Amber Gram - USA - DIRECTORS Adam Cooper, Daniel Cooper
The Charmerʼs Snake - USA - DIRECTORS Maxwell Barnes, Harry Barnes
Defending the Race - USA - DIRECTOR Omod Williams
Diversity - USA - DIRECTOR Xiaoye Jiang
Dreamgiverʼs - USA - DIRECTOR Nicholas Johnson
Erasing the Lines - USA - DIRECTOR Alexander Powell
The Farm - USA - DIRECTOR Malone Lumarda
Finding Erica Jones - USA - DIRECTOR Natalie Markiles
Forest King - USA - DIRECTORS Nikta Mansouri, Nat Motulsky
Itʼs Not Just One - USA - DIRECTORS Michael Kellman, Sarah McAllister, Kelly Morrison, Kyra Perez, Jordan Seibel
Last Day of May - USA - DIRECTORS Caroline Cox, Nan Marsh, Rebecca Meaney
The Last Family Picture - USA - DIRECTOR Jesse Allain-Marcus
Love Earth - Taiwan - DIRECTORS Chien-chun Tseng, Yu-hsuan Tseng
Marked - USA - DIRECTOR Sam Rubin
Naruwan Taiko - USA - DIRECTOR Emily Johnson
One Mom - USA - DIRECTOR Rodrigo Reyes
The Painted Girl - USA - DIRECTOR Ben Kadie
Partner - USA - DIRECTORS James Bradford, Max Montoya
School of The Dead - England - DIRECTOR Liam Hooper
Siren - USA - DIRECTOR Charles Blecker
Teen Pregnancy - Profile of a Teen Mom in Los Angeles - USA - DIRECTORS Wendy Garcia, Amie Williams, Tobie Loomis
Teenage Time - USA - DIRECTOR Ashley Shin
Unforgettable Night - USA - DIRECTOR Clementine Mukarukundo
While Weʼre Asleep - USA - DIRECTORS Kate Nilsen, Summer Matthews, Danny Tayara, Emma Marmor
Who Do That Voodoo? - USA - DIRECTOR Gabriela Capestany
You and Me - USA - DIRECTOR Amanda Reiter
Eclectic Mix 1 & 2
Abducted: Cults - DIRECTOR David Altobelli
Amateur Rocketry: Dan Wholey - DIRECTOR Awesome and Modest
Big Bad Wolf: Duck Sauce - DIRECTOR Keith Schofield
Control: Spoek Mathambo - South Africa - DIRECTORS Pieter Hugo, Michael Cleary
Andrew in Drag: The Magnetic Fields - DIRECTOR Scott Valins
Better Man Than He: Sivu - UK - DIRECTOR Adam Powell
Blueschist: Zygadenus Elegans - DIRECTOR Adam Leroy Lawrence
Book of James: We Are Augustines - DIRECTOR Matt Amato
Brian Wilson is A.L.I.V.E.: Rich Aucoin - Canada - DIRECTOR Noah Pink
Carried Away: Passion Pit - DIRECTOR Carlos Lopez Estrada
Caution: Sigur Ros - DIRECTOR Bjorn Floki
Chum: Earl Sweatshirt - DIRECTOR Hiro Murai
Clair de Lune: Flight Facilities - DIRECTOR Dave Ma
Cry Like A Ghost: Passion Pit - DIRECTORS DANIELS
Do The Devo: Unstoppable Death Machines - DIRECTOR Nick Chatfield- Taylor
First Contact: Galactaron - China - DIRECTOR Owen Dennis
Five Seconds: Twin Shadow - DIRECTOR Keith Musil
Forgetful Assistance: The Elwins - Canada - DIRECTOR Michael Schmidt
Get Free: Majer Lazer f. Amber of the Dirty Projectors - Jamaica - DIRECTOR SoMe
Grown Up: Danny Brown - DIRECTOR Greg Brunkalla
Iʼve Seen Footage: Death Grips - DIRECTOR Death Grips
Itʼs Not Over: Panama - Germany - DIRECTORS A Nice Idea Every Day
Katachi: Shugo Tokumaru - Poland/Japan - DIRECTORS Kijek/Adamski
Labrador: Aimee Mann - DIRECTOR Tom Scharpling
Lee Van Cleef: Primus - DIRECTOR Christopher Smith
Letʼs Go: Matt & Kim - DIRECTOR Dugan OʼNeal
My Country: tUnE-yArDs - DIRECTOR Mimi Cave
New Lands: Justice - DIRECTOR Canada
New York City: Joey Ramone - DIRECTOR Greg Jardin
No Future No Past: Cloud Nothings - DIRECTOR John Ryan Manning
Oblivion: Grimes - DIRECTORS Emily Kay Bock & Claire Boucher
Parix: When Saints Go Machine - Denmark - DIRECTOR Daniel Kragh- Jacobsen
Plumage: Menomena - DIRECTOR Trevor McMahan
Sixteen Saltines: Jack White - DIRECTOR AG Rojas
Song of Los: Apparat - DIRECTOR Saman Keshavarz
Soundbwoy: Stylust Beats - Canada - DIRECTOR Aaron Mallin
Stubborn Love: The Lumineers - DIRECTOR Isaac Ravishankara
Tears: Health - DIRECTORS David Altobelli & Jeff Desom
Teenage Daughter: Dog is Dead - DIRECTOR Jordan Bahat
The House That Heaven Built: Japandroids - DIRECTOR Jim Larson
Tourniquet: Hem - DIRECTOR Jordan Bruner
What Are You Waiting For: Dikta - Iceland - DIRECTOR Helgi Johannsson
Who: David Byrne & St. Vincent - Denmark - DIRECTOR Martin de Thurah
Winter Glow: Dorit Chrysler - DIRECTOR Margarita Jimeno
You Know What I Mean: Cults - DIRECTOR Isaiah Seret