AFF staff and programmers are picking five movies each that might be off your radar, but are worth checking out. You may not have heard of them now, but these films will blow you away.
Jesse Trussell, Film Competition Programmer
1. The Rebel– What’s the word I am looking for about this film? Oh yeah: badass. The first Vietnamese marital arts film, Charlie Nguyen’s 1920s spy film epic is beautiful shot with crazy action scenes. It’s sure to be one of the most buzzed about films of the fest.
2. Musician– The second in director Daniel Kraus’s continuing “Work” series (following 2004 AFF selection Sheriff), this verite doc examines the life of a brilliant, award winning jazz musician who still struggles to just make ends meet.
3. Standing Silent Nation– Suree Towfignia’s passionate and well observed documentary is a true David and Goliath story. When the US government forced the Lakota nation to stop farming industrial hemp, it challenged not only a crop but their chances to survive as a people on their reservation in South Dakota.
4. Year of the Fish– A rotoscoped version of Cinderella set in the underworld of Chinatown. If you’re like me, that’s all it will take to get you in the theater.
5. Mondo Capo– Made from all found footage, Austinite Calonico’s film’s hilarious editing and added text reminded me of the loose and experimental style of the French New Wave icon Chris Marker. It’s like watching an old educational film made by the most sarcastic yet intelligent kid in class.