And Breathe Normally
Writer/Director: Isold Uggadottir
Cast: Kristin Haraldsdottir, Babetida Sadjo
Two women’s lives will intersect while trapped in circumstances unforeseen. Between a struggling Icelandic mother and an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau, a delicate bond will form as both strategize to get their lives back on track.
Ben is Back
Writer/Director: Peter Hedges (in attendance)
Cast: Lucas Hedges, Julia Roberts, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton
19 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family’s suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben’s mother Holly (Julia Roberts) is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother’s undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe. Ben is Back also stars Courtney B. Vance (The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Kathryn Newton (Lady Bird).
Writer/Director: Joel Edgerton
Starring: Lucas Hedges, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton
BOY ERASED tells the story of Jared (Hedges), the son of a Baptist pastor in a small American town, who is outed to his parents (Kidman and Crowe) at age 19. Jared is faced with an ultimatum: attend a conversion therapy program – or be permanently exiled and shunned by his family, friends, and faith. Boy Erased is the true story of one young man’s struggle to find himself while being forced to question every aspect of his identity.
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Writers: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
Director: Marielle Heller
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Julie Ann Emery
In CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?, Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, the best-selling celebrity biographer (and cat lover) who made her living in the 1970’s and 80’s profiling the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, Estee Lauder and journalist Dorothy Kilgallen. When Lee found herself unable to get published because she had fallen out of step with the marketplace, she turned her art form to deception, abetted by her loyal friend Jack (Richard E. Grant).
Writers: Ben Hernandez Bray, Joe Carnahan
Director: Ben Hernandez Bray
Cast: Emilio Rivera, Aimee Garcia, George Lopez, Raul Castillo
Growing up in East LA, twin brothers Diego and Pedro always knew they had each other, from goofing off on bikes to spying in on parties. As adults, Diego became a police officer looking out for the streets he used to play on while Pedro turned to a life of crime. When clues start connecting Pedro’s death to a case Diego is working on, the mysterious vigilante figure of their youth—“El Chicano”—returns, drawing Diego in deeper than he ever expected.
Writer/Director: Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Ricardo Darin
Laura, a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her two children to attend her sister’s wedding. However, the trip is upset by unexpected events that bring secrets into the open.
Writer/Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Starring: Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman
Early 18th century. England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant Abigail (Emma Stone) arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing and Abigail sees a chance at a return to her aristocratic roots. As the politics of war become quite time consuming for Sarah, Abigail steps into the breach to fill in as the Queen’s companion. Their burgeoning friendship gives her a chance to fulfill her ambitions and she will not let woman, man, politics or rabbit stand in her way
The Front Runner
Closing Night Film
Writers: Matt Bai, Jay Carson, Jason Reitman
Based on the book All the Truth is Out by Matt Bai
Director: Jason Reitman
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina
Oscar® nominee Hugh Jackman stars as the charismatic politician Gary Hart for Academy Award®-nominated director Jason Reitman in the new thrilling drama The Front Runner. The film follows the rise and fall of Senator Hart, who captured the imagination of young voters and was considered the overwhelming front runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when his campaign was sidelined by the story of an extramarital relationship with Donna Rice. As tabloid journalism and political journalism merged for the first time, Senator Hart was forced to drop out of the race – events that left a profound and lasting impact on American politics and the world stage.
Director: Todd Sansom
Nestled at the doorstep of the Arctic Circle, the country of Iceland is uniquely acquainted with the relationship between strength and survival. For hundreds of years, men and women were challenged to overcome harsh weather and endless winter nights by developing their own distinct physical and mental fortitude—passed down from the age of the Vikings, and iconically represented by the lifting of heavy stones. Produced by Rogue Fitness, Fullsterkur features some of the modern stars of Iceland strength, including Magnus Ver Magnusson, Hafthor Bjornsson, and Annie Thorisdottir. But it also sheds light on strength culture’s early roots in the region, from the traditions of the Vikings and Sagas to the lives of farmers and fishermen.
Photo Credit: Patti Perret
© 2018 UNIVERSAL STUDIOS AND STORYTELLER DISTRIBUTION CO., LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Writers: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
Director: Peter Farrelly
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini
When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger—as well as unexpected humanity and humor—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime.
Happy as Lazarro
Writer/Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Cast: Adriano Tardiolo, Sergi Lopez, Alba Rohrwacher
This is the tale of a meeting between Lazzaro, a young peasant so good that he is often mistaken for simple-minded, and Tancredi, a young nobleman cursed by his imagination. Life in their isolated pastoral village Inviolata is dominated by the terrible Marchesa Alfonsina de Luna, the queen of cigarettes. A loyal bond is sealed when Tancredi asks Lazzaro to help him orchestrate his own kidnapping. This strange and improbable alliance is a revelation for Lazzaro. A friendship so precious that it will travel in time and transport Lazzaro in search of Tancredi. It’s his first time in the big city, Lazzaro is like a fragment of the past lost in the modern world.
Writer/Director: Nia DaCosta
Starring: Tessa Thompson, Lily James, Lance Reddick
A modern Western that tells the story of two sisters, Ollie and Deb, who are driven to work outside the law to better their lives.
The Long Dumb Road
Writers: Hannah Fidell, Carson Mell
Director: Hannah Fidell
Starring: Tony Revolori, Jason Mantzoukas, Taissa Farmiga, Ron Livingston,
College-bound teenager Nat offers itinerant 30-something mechanic Richard a ride during a stop-over in small-town Texas
Writer/Director: Mike Leigha
Cast: Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Pearce Quigley
An epic portrayal of the events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre where a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester turned into one of the bloodiest and most notorious episodes in British history. The massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of over 60,000 that had gathered to demand political reform and protest against rising levels of poverty. Many protesters were killed and hundreds more injured, sparking a nationwide outcry but also further government suppression. The Peterloo Massacre was a defining moment in British democracy which also played a significant role in the founding of The Guardian newspaper.
Writer/Director: Hirokazu Koreeda
Starring: Lily Franky, Ando Sakura, Matsuoka Mayu
After one of their shoplifting sessions, Osamu and his son come across a little girl in the freezing cold. At first reluctant to shelter the girl, Osamu’s wife agrees to take care of her after learning of the hardships she faces. Although the family is poor, barely making enough money to survive through petty crime, they seem to live happily together until an unforeseen incident reveals hidden secrets, testing the bonds that unite them…
Writers: Michael Pugliese, Prem Singh
Director: Alister Grierson
Cast: Janel Parrish, Mickey Rourke, Prem Singh
Tiger is inspired by the true story of Pardeep Singh Nagra, a practicing Sikh man who was banned from the sport of boxing due to his religious beliefs. Tiger follows Pardeep’s journey as he, with the support of his coach and mentor (Mickey Rourke), does what any strong American would do – fight back! The backlash is a result of racial profiling, stereotypical threats, and the daily pressure to change, even from his loved ones who are caught in the midst of the crossfire. It is within the course of these challenges, and at his weakest moment, that he discovers love (Janel Parrish). Consequently, his legacy will be forever tied to his two biggest battles – one in the courtroom, the other in the ring.
Writers: Gillian Flynn & Steve McQueen
Director: Steve McQueen
Cast: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson
From Academy Award®-winning director Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) and co-writer and bestselling author Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) comes a blistering, modern-day thriller set against the backdrop of crime, passion, and corruption. “Widows” is the story of four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities. Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, tensions build when Veronica (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), Alice (Elizabeth Debicki) and Belle (Cynthia Erivo) take their fate into their own hands and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. “Widows” also stars Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Daniel Kaluuya, Lukas Haas and Brian Tyree Henry.
Writers: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan
Director: Paul Dano
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould, Billy Crudup
14-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.
Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin
Writer/Director: Arwen Curry
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a feature documentary that explores the remarkable life and legacy of the science fiction and fantasy writer Ursula K. Le Guin, who passed away in 2018. Produced with Le Guin’s participation over the course of a decade, the film is a journey through the writer’s inimitable career and her worlds, both real and fantastic. Le Guin exploded onto the literary scene in the late 1960s, elevating science fiction to new levels of sophistication and artistry with works such as A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness. Le Guin defiantly held her ground on the margin of American letters until the sheer excellence of her work finally forced the mainstream to embrace fantastic literature. Viewers will accompany the writer on an intimate journey of self-discovery as she comes into her own as a major feminist author, opening new doors for the imagination and inspiring generations of women and other marginalized writers along the way.
Counterpart Season 2 Episode 1 Premiere
Creator: Justin Marks
Executive Producer: Jordan Horowitz
At the Office of Interchange, those who have high enough access safeguard a crossing into a parallel dimension not unlike our own. And if their world is like ours, who are we over there? Are we better? Are we different? Season Two finds Howard and his counterpart getting to live out these questions. With the Crossing closed and each of them stranded in the other’s world, they have to adapt for survival. Howard Prime takes on his other’s life: going to his job, living in his home…with his wife. Howard Alpha is locked in a mysterious black site known as Echo, cut off from everyone he knows. As a cold war escalates between worlds and deepens a fickle divide, both men find themselves growing increasingly like the other.
Friends from College Season 2 Episode 1 Premiere
Creators: Francesca Delbanco & Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Nat Faxon, Fred Savage
Season 2 of Friends From College follows six Harvard alums in their 40s living in New York City and the complicated relationships they have with each other. It’s been a year since Ethan & Sam’s affair was exposed to the 4 other friends – including Lisa, Ethan’s wife – and the friend group is still fractured. No one has heard from Lisa, Ethan has been living a repentant year of writing a YA novel, and Sam has been trying to repair her marriage with her husband Jon. But with Max’s wedding coming up, the friends won’t be able to avoid each other much longer. Between the engagement party, bachelor party, and wedding, the six will have to overcome the destruction in their past and figure out how to function as a friend group again. Will they be able to move forward or will they regress back to their old destructive patterns once again?
The Bernie Mac Show presented by Larry Wilmore
Creator: Larry Wimore
Cast: Bernie Mac, Kellita Smith, Jeremy Suarez, Dee Dee Davis
Bernie and his wife, Wanda, reluctantly step into the role of parents when his sister drops off her three kids — naive Bryanna, nerdy Jordan and teenager Vanessa — en route to rehab. His views on child rearing are hardly politically correct, but Bernie tries his best.
Above the Clouds
Writer: Simon Lord
Director: Leon Chambers
Cast: Naomi Morris, Andrew Murton, Philip Jackson, Gordon Kennedy
On her 18th birthday, headstrong Charlie makes a startling discovery: the man married to her mother isn’t her real dad. Recruiting Oz, a homeless man whose only possession is his drivers license, she embarks on an epic road trip to track down her biological father. On the journey, Charlie and Oz both learn more than they bargained for—about themselves, each other, the importance of family, and why (sometimes) there really is no place like home.
Writers: Akash Sherman, James Ewasiuk
Director: Akash Sherman
Cast: Patrick J. Adams, Troian Bellisario, Ennis Esmer, Kristen Hager
Isaac Bruno is an astronomer consumed with searching the cosmos for evidence of life. When his obsession jeopardizes his career, he ignores a friend’s advice to get his life back on track and instead delves deeper into his research, fueled in part by a desire to escape from a tragedy in his past. After Isaac meets Clara, an artist who shares his fascination with space and has a keen eye for detecting patterns, the two begin an unlikely collaboration sifting through mounds of newly released stellar data with the hopes of making a monumental discovery.
Writer: Torben Bech
Director: Bård Røssevold
Delia & Sammy
Writer/ Director: Therese Cayaba
Cast: Rosemarie Gil, Jamie Fabregas, Nico Antonio
Faded movie star Delia and her husband Sammy have not been good people. Without children of their own, the couple relies on manipulating neighbors into doing what they want. When she finds out she’s dying, Delia must make plans for Sammy who, though once strong and sharp, is now old, frail, and suffering from diabetes, gout, and Alzheimer’s. With the unwitting help of a young, friendly security guard, Delia and Sammy hit the road one last time and force themselves into the lives of the people they’ve hurt.
Writers: Stephen Kinigopoulos, Piero Iberti, Bennett Elliott
Directors: Stephen Kinigopoulos, Alexa Kinigopoulos
Starring: Rick Kain, Belle Shickle, Emily Peachey, Caroline Coleman
In a small town filled with secrets, a struggling family prepares for the Rapture.
Writer/Director: Jon Jones
Cast: Noa Thomas, Gruffydd Weston, Rowan Jones, Christopher Benning
Four boys roam free through a neglected rural paradise in Wales during a long hot summer in the 1970s, untroubled by the adult world, until tragedy strikes. Two of the boys are orphaned when their father murders their mother and, in turn, kills himself. The boys’ lives are shattered, and their older teenage brother is incapable of caring for them. As the adult world closes in on them, the boys’ best friend, takes it upon himself to tackle the problem head-on and persuades the orphans to run away with him rather than be taken into care.
Laugh or Die
Writers: Heikki Kujanpää, Mikko Reitala
Director: Heikki Kujnapää
Cast: Martti Suosalo, Jani Volanen, Leena Pöysti, Paavo Kinnunen
In 1918 Finland after the civil war, Toivo Parikka, the famous actor of the Workers’ Theatre, is caught and sent to a prison camp where his remaining comrades languish on the verge of death. Parikka defies execution by cracking jokes in front of the squad and getting a laugh out of the guards. Seeing this, Captain Kalm, the camp commandant, gives Parikka an unexpected offer: if the actor and his fellow captives can put on an entertaining play for his German guests, they will be spared.
Love Goes Through Your Mind
Writers: Shruti Swaminathan, Ronak Shah
Director: Ronak Shah
An Indian-American family begins to implode under the pressures of a family member’s untreated mental illness.
Writer/Director: Josh Melrod
Cast: Lane Bradbury, Ujon Tokarski, Tara Summers, Lane Bradbury
Set in the backwoods of Vermont, an itinerant carpenter faces a quixotic struggle to end a legacy of alcoholism and poverty as he attempts to build a log cabin by hand. His plans are complicated when he reunites with Sierra, a woman with whom he shares a troubled past, and he is forced to reconcile his old life with his new one.
Speaking in Tongues
Writers: Nathan Deming, Lawrie Doran
Director: Nathan Deming
A lonely college student grieving the loss of his mother finds purpose at a local mega church’s summer internship evangelizing the ‘lost.’ As the summer continues, his new faith is put to the test.
Writer: Bruce McLeod
Director: Lisa Mulcahy
A young man wakes up beaten half to death in a wasteland, with no memories of what happened to him or who he is. As he investigates his own past, he discovers that he has left a trail of destruction in his wake.
Comedy Vanguard Features
Writers: Daniel Campbell, Graham Gordy
Director: Daniel Campbell
Cast: Andrew J. West, Ashley Greene, Michaela Watkins, Mary Steenburgen
After his father’s death, Walt moves to his dad’s hometown to learn more about who his father was. After accepting a job in a local antique shop, he meets Ellie, an eccentric and crude free-spirit who still manages to be irresistibly charming. Walt ends up not only finding out who his father really was, but learns more about himself than he ever thought possible.
The Dancing Dogs of Dombrova
Writer: Michael Whatling
Director: Zack Bernbaum
Cast: Katherine Fogler, Douglas Nyback, Doroftei Anis, Silva Helena Schmidt
On a cold winter night, estranged siblings Sarah and Aaron arrive in Dombrova, Poland with a singular mission: to fulfill their dying grandmother’s wish to find, dig up, and bring home the bones of her favorite childhood dog. Sarah and Aaron enlist the help of a cadre of friends including a doting innkeeper, a silent driver, and her studious young son. The siblings must face the challenges of this unfamiliar country and their own past turmoil in order to solve the mystery and give their grandmother what she most desires before it’s too late.
Writers: Ann Lupo, Esteban Pedraza, Aaron Pryka
Director: Ann Lupo
Cast: Ann Lupo, Miles G. Jackson, Kimiko Glenn, Jill Eikenberry
Ann is consumed by the fantasy of finding true love, but just when she thinks she’s found it, she is friend-zoned. The disappointment of rejection sends her into an obsessive downward spiral that tests the limits of her sanity and the strength of her closest friendship. In order to reclaim her bearing on reality, she confronts her overgrown fantasies by making a film about the experience. The result is a vulnerable, hilarious, and vibrantly stylized investigation of love.
Lost & Found
Writer/Director: Liam O Mochain
Cast: Liam O Mochain, Norma Sheahan, Lynette Callaghan, Brendan Conroy
Seven interconnecting stories are set in and around a lost & found office of an Irish train station: Daniel tries to hold onto his new job at the lost & found office; Eddie spends most days at the station begging for money; Gabriel plans to surprise his girlfriend by proposing on an airplane, but airport security has other plans; a grandmother asks her grandson to retrieve a mysterious bracelet from her childhood; Moya visits a funeral home and signs the book of condolences without realizing the consequences; cranky pub owner Paudge can’t attract the locals no matter how many grand openings he has; and Sile has set a date for her wedding despite not yet having a groom. Through each story, the characters search for something lost in their lives, but may not find what they were expecting.
Original Sin (Pecado Original)
Writers: Jean Lee, Maia Nikiphoroff
Director: Jean Lee
Cast: Maia Nikiphoroff, Cesar Di Bello, Alejandro Torres Menchaca
After moving to Spain for her husband, Eva, a Paraguayan woman of class and elegance who always behaves in an appropriate way, finds herself bored, unhappy, and sexually frustrated. After Eva compulsively buys a provocative and offensive piece of art, the painter shows up to hand-deliver his work. Their sexual tension grows until they inevitably end up intertwined. When Eva’s husband returns home early, an absurd battle of strengths and weaknesses among the three characters ensues.
Writers: Sara Zandieh, Stephanie Wu
Director: Sara Zandieh
Cast: Tara Grammy, Christopher O’Shea, Shohreh Aghdashlo, Rita Wilson, Maz
Though her Iranian parents long for their daughter to have the perfect Persian wedding, Nousha can’t seem to hold a relationship together long enough to ever see that through. That is, until she meets Alex, an eccentric bisexual artist who might just be the one. However, when Nousha’s parents find out about the blossoming relationship, she’s pressured into tying the knot before either of them are already. The thrust-upon wedding becomes a runaway train as cultures clash and families collide.
Dark Matters Features
Writers: Jules Vincent, Chuck McCue
Director: Rob Grant
Cast: Thomas Cocquerel, Angus Macfayden, Camille Stopps
A man wakes up in an abandoned sanitarium, severely injured and with no memory of his name or past. He finds a woman, also injured and also struggling to remember, and together they discover they’ve been tended to by a strange and sadistic caretaker who claims to have saved their lives but refuses to let them leave. Still weak and recovering, the two patients must reckon with their supposed savior who may hold horrific answers to their true identity.
Writer: Eileen Shields
Director: Albert Chi
Cast: Jeffrey DeMunn, Melora Walters, Christopher Denham
After suffering a debilitating stroke, wealthy industrialist Richard Kendrick and his younger wife Lily relocate to the lavish and luxurious Amaranth, where the privileged and powerful go to live out their twilight years. While a rejuvenated Richard thrives in this cult-like atmosphere, Lily becomes disturbed by the transformation she observes in her husband and in herself, prompting her to delve deeper into the dark underbelly of this beautiful Shangri La.
Beyond the Night
Writer/Director: Jason Noto
Cast: Zane Holtz, Tammy Blanchard, Azhy Robertson, Chance Kelly
Soldier Ray Marrow is suddenly called back stateside when his wife, Maisie, and their five-year-old son, Lawrence, are involved in a car accident, tragically killing Maisie. After years of serving as a soldier in Syria, Ray is now faced with burying the love of his life while also becoming a single parent. When Lawrence begins to reveal secrets about the town and its residents, Ray believes the accident triggered something in his son, giving him knowledge of things he had no way of knowing. Now, Ray is faced with a new battle, this time in his own hometown.
The Black String
Writers: Brian Hanson, Richard Handley
Director: Brian Hanson
Starring: Frankie Muniz, Cullen Douglas, Chelsea Edmundson
When a lonely convenience store clerk goes on a blind date with a mysterious woman, his world begins to unravel in horrifying fashion. Plagued by illness and nightmarish visions, the clerk desperately searches the suburbs for this mysterious woman. His friends and family believe he’s losing his mind, but he believes he’s the target of a sinister occult plot.
The Dark Red
Writers: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne
Director: Dan Bush
A young woman is committed to a psychiatric hospital and claims her newborn was stolen by a dark cult.
Writer: Mark Leidner
Director: Yedidya Gorestman
Cast: Zack Robidas, Jay Klaitz, Kathy Searle, Eric Berryman
Desperate to get back on top after being scapegoated in a multi-million dollar scandal, Silicon Valley financier Joel Eastman-Green convinces his in-laws to invest their savings in Empathy, Inc.— VR startup that allows wealthy clientele to experience poverty in the name of spiritual enlightenment. But when Joel finds out the company is secretly allowing the rich to body-swap in order to live out depraved fantasies in other people’s bodies, Joel must find a way to stop his partners before they use their technology to endanger him and his family.
Writer: John Stimpson, Geoffrey Taylor
Director: John Stimpson
Cast: Cary Elwes, Carol Kane, Roger Bart, Danielle Campbell
A troupe of actors, led by a former soap opera star looking for prestige, take over a remote and eerie countryside barn and transform it into theater to put on a live production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. But when a disgruntled and arrogant understudy tempts fate by uttering the forbidden name of the Scottish King on stage, the sorcery of the Bard’s witches overwhelms the production, leading to chaos, misfortune, and death. All’s well that ends well… but not for everyone.
The Lake Vampire
Writer/Director: Carl Zitelmann
Cast: Miguelangel Landa, Socrates Serrano, Abilio Torres, Julie Restifo
Ernesto Navarro is an ambitious writer who has yet to achieve success in his career. Desperate to find a subject for his next novel, he follows the tracks of a mysterious killer who decapitates his victims without leaving a trace. The investigation leads him to Jeremias Morales, a retired police detective who came across a similar case back in the 1970s. Morales was in charge of the strange case of Zacarias Ortega, a man obsessed with drinking blood and becoming immortal. Without realizing it, Navarro is dragged into a perverse game that began many years ago and from which Morales has never been able to escape.
A Girl Named C
Director: Emily Kassie
At first, ‘C’ could not remember—she was 11 when it happened. C was raped in her New Jersey elementary school by another 11-year-old student. After being denied justice and resolution, C is determined to share her story. The film uses C’s drawings and poetry to illustrate and animate her inner life and what it means for a child to live after trauma.
Care to Laugh
Director: Julie Getz
While most aspiring comedians build their careers on the road, Jesus Trejo must do so from home, attending open mics and auditions in the Los Angeles area while at the same time serving as his aging parents’ sole caregiver. Transforming adversity into comedy, Jesus uses his life experience as material for his routine. He continues to reach for his dream while also taking over his father’s landscaping business to keep the family afloat. When his set catches the eye of producers at The Late Late Show with James Corden, Jesus may have scored the big break he’s been banking on.
F/11 and Be There
Director: Jethro Waters
Photographer Burk Uzzle, one of America’s greatest visual poets, makes museum exhibitions with a local community, travels America’s back roads in search of hidden treasures of Americana, and uses his vast archive as a guide to confront race, inequality, and injustice through the many parallels of the 20th and 21st centuries. At the age of 80, Burk shows no signs of slowing in his fervor and adoration for the medium that has been the impetus for his entire life.
Fathers of Football
Director: Bradley Beesley
Fathers of Football follows the triumphs and struggles of life in a small Oklahoma town, where high school football is not only the brightest stage, but also the best ticket out.
For the Birds
Director: Richard Miron
In a small New York town, an unusual woman named Kathy lives with two hundred pet chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys. What starts as a story about Kathy’s battle with local animal advocacy groups slowly transforms into an intimate drama about her relationship with her husband Gary and the toll the birds have taken on their marriage and her well-being. Filmed over the course of five years, this sensitive tale of one woman’s world breaking down is ultimately one of hope about the possibility of regaining one’s life.
Director: Ben Lawrence
A 40-year-old security guard and part-time ghost hunter cannot remember his childhood and has spent two decades searching for his absent father. When his life-long search for answers converges with a police manhunt, a horrific family secret is exposed—forcing him to confront a brutal past in order to reclaim his future.
Directors: Andres Caballero, Sofian Khan
Americans would not have been able to accomplish anything in Iraq and Afghanistan without interpreters. Now many of them face danger in their countries because of their affiliation. The Interpreters follows the stories of Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who worked with US forces. One such interpreter, a chain-smoking Iraqi codenamed “Phillip Morris,” was able to make it to the US with the help of an American soldier he befriended during his deployment, but must now find a way to reunite with his family and deliver them from danger. The film also follows an Afghan called Malik, who is still working as an active interpreter at the US base in Kabul despite threats to his life, and another Afghan named Mujtaba, who resorted to flee with his family to Europe as refugees.
Long Time Coming: A 1955 Baseball Story
Writers: Jon Strong, Ted Haddock, John King, Mike Quinn Jr.
Director: Jon Strong
In 1955 when racial segregation defined the South, two groups of 12-year-old boys stepped onto a baseball field for one of the first integrated Little League games in the South. The all-Black Pensacola Jaycees and the all-White Orlando Kiwanis moved beyond fears, threats, and the unknown to break with tradition and show the world what was possible. Now, more than 60 years later, team captains Will Preyer (Pensacola) and Stewart Hall (Orlando) embark on personal journeys back to the 1955 game and find that the forgotten event can become a bridge to embracing the turbulence of today’s social landscape.
The Money Stone
Director: Stuart Harmon
Deep under the jungles of Ghana, scores of children are driven by poverty to leave school and work in dangerous pits in search of gold. Justice and Maxwell, two teens trapped in the deadly world of illegal mining who risk it all in search of a better future.
Writers: Mark Bochsler, Kevin Schjerning, Fernanda Rossi
Director: Mark Bochsler
What started as a genocide survivor’s dream to revive an ancient sport becomes an inspiring mission to heal a nation. Grandmaster Sean Kim San, one of the few remaining instructors of the ancient Cambodian martial art of Bokator, makes it his life’s work to resurrect Bokator and preserve it in the nation’s youth. Grappling with his own tragic past and resistance from the community, the grandmaster and his young students work to bring back a cultural identity to a post-war nation.
Director: James Keach
Alzheimer’s disease– it’s been called the final frontier of medicine, the real healthcare moonshot, and the holy grail of science. After decades of perseverance in the lab with no way to cure, stop, or even slow its insidious progression, researchers are on the cusp of a scientific breakthrough that could be the first steps towards making the most feared of all maladies a distant memory.
Texas Independent Features
Also Starring Austin
Writer: Mike Blizzard, Laura Colwell, Lara Morgan
Director: Mike Blizzard
From Tobe Hooper’s first film Eggshells, to classic films from Richard Linklater and Robert Rodriguez, to underground rarities and star-driven Hollywood fare, locally shot films provide a rare ongoing time capsule of one of the fastest growing cities in the US These films document not only changes in Austin’s landscape, but also its unique, enduring culture. Also Starring Austin weaves together scenes from nearly 50 years of local films with commentary from some of Austin’s well-known producers, directors, and industry leaders to examine a community’s history through the cinema lens.
The Iron Orchard
Writer: Gerry De Leon
Director: Ty Roberts
Cast: Lane Garrison, Austin Nichols, Ali Corbin, Lew Temple
Set in the oil fields of Texas, The Iron Orchard is a vibrant, brutal story of the men who labored, lusted and gambled their money in search of a prize few were lucky enough to find. Told from the inside by a man who knew the oil fields intimately, the story is an authentic account of how the roustabouts lived, loved and attempted to prosper in one of America’s most dramatic industries.
Jules of Light and Dark
Writer/Director: Daniel Laabs
Cast: Betsy Holt, Robert Longstreet, Mollie Milligan
Set against the backdrop of a vibrant Texas Rave Culture, two young lovers, Maya and Jules, are found wrecked on the side of the road after a party by a loner roughneck, Freddy. During the rehabilitation, their relationship falls apart. Maya rebounds by rethinking her life and forms an unlikely friendship with Freddy, whose past mistakes and experiences offer her insights on her next steps.
Writers: Tyler Russell, Jameel Khaja
Director: Tyler Russell
Cast: George Hardy, Lew Temple, Jason Douglas, Gene Jones
An aging policeman is convinced a mysterious stranger arrested in his small town is innocent. His investigation stirs up a hornet’s nest.
Waiting for the Miracle to Come
Writer/Director: Lian Lunson
Cast: Sophie Lowe, Willie Nelson, Charlotte Rampling
An aspiring trapeze artist discovers a cryptic letter her recently deceased father once wrote, directing her to a gold mine in a remote California desert. Upon arriving in a mysterious town, she finds herself at the gates of “The Beautiful Place,” a house occupied by retired vaudeville stars Jimmy and Dixie Riggs. As she gets to know the eccentric couple, she discovers her father’s words were directing her to a reward far more valuable than gold.
Dolores Claiborne (1995) presented by Tony Gilroy
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Director: Taylor Hackford
Cast: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judy Parfitt, Christopher Plummer
A big-city journalist discovers a terrible secret about her family’s past after her estranged mother becomes the prime suspect in the death of the elderly woman for whom she had been caring.
Hocus Pocus (1993) presented by Mick Garris
Writers: Mick Garris, Neil Cuthbert
Director: Kenny Ortega
Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy
Three 17th-century witches, hanged for their murderous crimes, are resurrected on Halloween in modern-day Salem by an unsuspecting boy, who must now figure out how to get them back in the ground.
Rock All Night (1957) presented by Roger Corman and Robert Rodriguez
Writer: Charles B. Griffith
Director: Roger Corman
Cast: Dick Miller, Russell Johnson, Abby Dalton
Cloud Nine, the local teen hangout, has been taken over by a pair of escaped killers who hold the local teens hostage. The bartender realizes it’s up to him to save the kids.
Speed (1994) presented by Graham Yost
Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Jan de Bont
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock
Los Angeles police officer Jack (Keanu Reeves) angers retired bomb squad member Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) by foiling his attempt at taking hostages. In revenge, Payne arms a bus with a bomb that will explode if it drops below 50 miles per hour. With the help of spunky passenger Annie (Sandra Bullock), Jack and his partner Harry (Jeff Daniels) try to save the people on the bus before the bomb goes off, while also trying to figure out how Payne is monitoring them.
Writers: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Director: Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz
Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to find his great-great-grandfather, a legendary singer.