Some stories are so incredible, so powerful that they must be committed to some form of storytelling. Pen and paper, celluloid film, still image, music, dance, paint, hell even puppetry will do. A medium to bring words to life, birth little legends, and make sure stories are spread and shared with the world. Now, imagine, you not only have an amazing story to tell, but you have a story to tell that you share intimately with your brother. A story that binds you. A story that must be heard. A story that literally gave life. This is what brothers Jared and Cameron Wohl share and it’s an inspirational gift to us all that they committed their story to film. So, what’s the story behind their documentary "65 Percent"? At age 13, the younger of the two brothers, Cameron, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease affecting his liver. Ten years later, when things took a turn for the worse, doctors declared that he would need a liver translate in order to live. Unfortunately, with the high demand for organs and a long waiting list, doctors had to pose another idea. What about a living-donor transplant? Fate would have it that his older brother, Jared, would be a match and would willingly give up over half of his own liver in order to save his brother’s life. In 2014, the transplant surgery was a success and last year, this insanely touching story of sacrifice, family, and survival was told in a documentary depicting the entire family’s journey through the process. Hence: "65 Percent". The brothers’ initiative The Wave Set is a non-profit organization that not only successfully crowdfunded to raise money for the production of "65 Perfect" but also now functions as a means to inspire second chances at life through educating and spreading awareness of the vital importance of organ donation. Their slogan, “We are Vital to Each Other”, couldn’t hold more truth to it. As humans, we need each other. We are bound by one major common thing: existence. And as a cinema lover, I’m beyond proud to see that the medium of film was chosen to visually give us that vital reminder. Getting to attend the screening of "65 Percent" during the inaugural Indie Street Film Festival last July was something truly special to witness. Both their family and the local NJ community filled the theater with such an abundance of support and it was an honor to meet the Wohl brothers and see their success in action. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the film during its festival run, well, it’s your lucky day. Today, on April 26th, their story is shared with the world for FREE on Youtube. Amazingly enough, both brothers were born on this day - THREE years apart. Another unbelievable cherry on top of a well deserved celebration of life. So, here’s to Jared and Cameron - to a wonderful year of accomplishments and to many, many more to come. Do your part, watch the film (it’s only a short 50 minutes long and remember: FREE) and then head over to The Wave Set’s official site to donate or register as a donor. Spread the word, share the love!
As a confusing, turbulent 2016 comes to an end and we face an uncertain future ahead with the approaching new year, it’s safe to say that things are changing. The world is changing. People are changing. On top of everything, film distribution is changing as well. Award-winning film “Love is All You Need?” is shaking up the self-distribution field a bit and taking heed of both political and cultural current events by doing things a little differently and donating all of their traditional film distribution profits to charities. Based on a viral short film, director and co-writer Kim Rocco Shields has created a $1 million fund for the film to be distributed to 20 nonprofits that partnered with her during the “Love is All You Need?” MovieMent tour. The film toured 20 cities in recognition of the true events depicted in the film - a film that asks us: what would happen if being straight was a sin and sexual "norms" as we know them were flipped? How do we live if we can't love? Once the film reaches 1 million views, the fund will be activated and the proceeds will be disbursed to the nonprofits. This is a timely film with quite the inspiring charitable initiative. Check out Shields' exclusive interview with PR Newswire and read more about the film over at www.loveisallyouneedthemovie.com. Make sure to watch over on iTunes to contribute to the right kind of change we all need in this country!
Last week, both Slamdance Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival announced their exciting 2017 feature film competition lineups. This week, both followed up those initial reveals by rounding out their full festival programs with the unveiling of their much anticipated short film and special screening lineups. Dozens upon dozens of both new and familiar names and their films (including Indie Street Film Festival Favorite Jim Cummings, director of this year's narrative short winner "Thunder Road") will be making their way to Park City next month. Indie Street can't wait to see the crop of talent that blossoms out of what looks like another amazing launch to the festival season and new year! Check out the full lineup of shorts for Slamdance Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival and get ready for an onslaught of new narrative, documentary, off the wall, and animated talent!
It has been a busy week in the film festival world! Just earlier this week, Slamdance Film Festival announced its 2017 Narrative and Documentary Feature Film lineup. Yesterday, film lovers everywhere finally received the news they’ve been patiently awaiting for months now as the Sundance Film Festival announced its 2017 competition and NEXT lineup. 66 films were selected for the World Competition, US Competition and NEXT programs. This year, a full slate of environmentally focused programming under Sundance’s New Climate Program was also revealed. The 2017 Sundance Film Festival will run from January 19-29 in Park City, Salt Lake City and at the Sundance Mountain Resort. Check out the full lineup below and for more info, head on over to Sundance.org. US Dramatic Competition:Band Aid / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Zoe Lister-Jones) — A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band. Cast: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Fred Armisen, Susie Essman, Hannah Simone, Ravi Patel. World PremiereBeach Rats / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) — An aimless teenager on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online. Cast: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff. World Premiere Brigsby Bear / U.S.A. (Director: Dave McCary, Screenwriters: Kevin Costello, Kyle Mooney) — Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever, and he sets out to finish the story himself. Cast: Kyle Mooney, Claire Danes, Mark Hamill, Greg Kinnear, Matt Walsh, Michaela Watkins. World PremiereBurning Sands / U.S.A. (Director: Gerard McMurray, Screenwriters: Christine Berg, Gerard McMurray) — Deep into a fraternity’s Hell Week, a favored pledge is torn between honoring a code of silence or standing up against the intensifying violence of underground hazing. Cast: Trevor Jackson, Alfre Woodard, Steve Harris, Tosin Cole, DeRon Horton, Trevante Rhodes. World PremiereCrown Heights / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Matt Ruskin) — When Colin Warner is wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend, Carl King, devotes his life to proving Colin’s innocence. Adapted from This American Life, this is the incredible true story of their harrowing quest for justice. Cast: Keith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Bill Camp, Nestor Carbonell, Amari Cheatom. World PremiereGolden Exits / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Alex Ross Perry) — The arrival of a young foreign girl disrupts the lives and emotional balances of two Brooklyn families. Cast: Emily Browning, Adam Horovitz, Mary-Louise Parker, Lily Rabe, Jason Schwartzman, Chloë Sevigny. World PremiereThe Hero / U.S.A. (Director: Brett Haley, Screenwriters: Brett Haley, Marc Basch) — Lee, a former Western film icon, is living a comfortable existence lending his golden voice to advertisements and smoking weed. After receiving a lifetime achievement award and unexpected news, Lee reexamines his past, while a chance meeting with a sardonic comic has him looking to the future. Cast: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman, Katherine Ross. World PremiereI Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Macon Blair) — When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves, alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals. Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, David Yow, Jane Levy, Devon Graye. World PremiereIngrid Goes West / U.S.A. (Director: Matt Spicer, Screenwriters: Matt Spicer, David Branson Smith) — A young woman becomes obsessed with an Instagram lifestyle blogger and moves to Los Angeles to try and befriend her in real life. Cast: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen. World PremiereLandline / U.S.A. (Director: Gillian Robespierre, Screenwriters: Elisabeth Holm, Gillian Robespierre) — Two sisters come of age in ‘90s New York when they discover their dad’s affair—and it turns out he’s not the only cheater in the family. Everyone still smokes inside, no one has a cell phone and the Jacobs finally connect through lying, cheating and hibachi. Cast: Jenny Slate, John Turturro, Edie Falco, Abby Quinn, Jay Duplass, Finn Wittrock. World PremiereNovitiate / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Maggie Betts) — In the early 1960s, during the Vatican II era, a young woman training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, sexuality and the changing church. Cast: Margaret Qualley, Melissa Leo, Julianne Nicholson, Dianna Agron, Morgan Saylor. World PremierePatti Cake$ / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Geremy Jasper) — Straight out of Jersey comes Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, an aspiring rapper fighting through a world of strip malls and strip clubs on an unlikely quest for glory. Cast: Danielle Macdonald, Bridget Everett, Siddharth Dhananjay, Mamoudou Athie, Cathy Moriarty. World Premiere Roxanne Roxanne / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michael Larnell) — The most feared battle emcee in early-’80s NYC was a fierce teenager from the Queensbridge projects with the weight of the world on her shoulders. At age 14, hustling the streets to provide for her family, Roxanne Shanté was well on her way to becoming a hip-hop legend. Cast: Chanté Adams, Mahershala Ali, Nia Long, Elvis Nolasco, Kevin Phillips, Shenell Edmonds. World PremiereTo The Bone / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marti Noxon) — In a last-ditch effort to battle her severe anorexia, 20-year-old Ellen enters a group recovery home. With the help of an unconventional doctor, Ellen and the other residents go on a sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing journey that leads to the ultimate question—is life worth living? Cast: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Carrie Preston, Lili Taylor, Alex Sharp, Liana Liberato. World PremiereWalking Out / U.S.A. (Directors and screenwriters: Alex Smith, Andrew Smith) — A father and son struggle to connect on any level until a brutal encounter with a predator in the heart of the wilderness leaves them both seriously injured. If they are to survive, the boy must carry his father to safety. Cast: Matt Bomer, Josh Wiggins, Bill Pullman, Alex Neustaedter, Lily Gladstone. World PremiereThe Yellow Birds / U.S.A. (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriter: David Lowery) — Two young men enlist in the army and are deployed to fight in the Gulf War. After an unthinkable tragedy, the surviving soldier struggles to balance his promise of silence with the truth and a mourning mother’s search for peace. Cast: Tye Sheridan, Jack Huston, Alden Ehrenreich, Jason Patric, Toni Collette, Jennifer Aniston. World Premiere US Documentary Competition:Casting JonBenet / U.S.A., Australia (Director: Kitty Green) — The unsolved death of six-year-old American beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey remains the world’s most sensational child murder case. Over 15 months, responses, reflections and performances were elicited from the Ramsey’s Colorado hometown community, creating a bold work of art from the collective memories and mythologies the crime inspired. World PremiereChasing Coral / U.S.A. (Director: Jeff Orlowski) — Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. World Premiere. NEW CLIMATECity of Ghosts / U.S.A. (Director: Matthew Heineman) — With unprecedented access, this documentary follows the extraordinary journey of “Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently”—a group of anonymous citizen journalists who banded together after their homeland was overtaken by ISIS—as they risk their lives to stand up against one of the greatest evils in the world today. World PremiereDina / U.S.A. (Directors: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini) — An eccentric suburban woman and a Walmart door- greeter navigate their evolving relationship in this unconventional love story. World PremiereDolores / U.S.A. (Director: Peter Bratt) — Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions by co-founding the country’s first farmworkers’ union. Wrestling with raising 11 children, gender bias, union defeat and victory, and nearly dying after a San Francisco Police beating, Dolores emerges with a vision that connects her newfound feminism with racial and class justice. World PremiereThe Force / U.S.A. (Director: Pete Nicks) — This cinema verité look at the long-troubled Oakland Police Department goes deep inside their struggles to confront federal demands for reform, a popular uprising following events in Ferguson and an explosive scandal. World PremiereICARUS / U.S.A. (Director: Bryan Fogel) — When Bryan Fogel sets out to uncover the truth about doping in sports, a chance meeting with a Russian scientist transforms his story from a personal experiment into a geopolitical thriller involving dirty urine, unexplained death and Olympic Gold—exposing the biggest scandal in sports history. World PremiereThe New Radical / U.S.A. (Director: Adam Bhala Lough) — Uncompromising millennial radicals from the United States and the United Kingdom attack the system through dangerous technological means, which evolves into a high-stakes game with world authorities in the midst of a dramatically changing political landscape. World PremiereNOBODY SPEAK: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press / U.S.A. (Director: Brian Knappenberger) — The trial between Hulk Hogan and Gawker Media pitted privacy rights against freedom of the press, and raised important questions about how big money can silence media. This film is an examination of the perils and duties of the free press in an age of inequality. World PremiereQuest / U.S.A. (Director: Jonathan Olshefski) — For over a decade, this portrait of a North Philadelphia family and the creative sanctuary offered by their home music studio was filmed with vérité intimacy. The family’s 10- year journey is an illumination of race and class in America, and it’s a testament to love, healing and hope. World PremiereSTEP / U.S.A. (Director: Amanda Lipitz) — The senior year of a girls’ high school step team in inner-city Baltimore is documented, as they try to become the first in their families to attend college. The girls strive to make their dancing a success against the backdrop of social unrest in their troubled city. World PremiereStrong Island / U.S.A., Denmark (Director: Yance Ford) — Examining the violent death of the filmmaker’s brother and the judicial system that allowed his killer to go free, this documentary interrogates murderous fear and racialized perception, and re-imagines the wreckage in catastrophe’s wake, challenging us to change. World PremiereTrophy / U.S.A. (Director: Shaul Schwarz, Co-Director: Christina Clusiau) — This in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels the complex consequences of treating animals as commodities. World Premiere. NEW CLIMATEUnrest / U.S.A. (Director: Jennifer Brea) — When Harvard PhD student Jennifer Brea is struck down at 28 by a fever that leaves her bedridden, doctors tell her it’s “all in her head.” Determined to live, she sets out on a virtual journey to document her story—and four other families’ stories—fighting a disease medicine forgot. World PremiereWater & Power: A California Heist / U.S.A. (Director: Marina Zenovich) — In California’s convoluted water system, notorious water barons find ways to structure a state-engineered system to their own advantage. This examination into their centers of power shows small farmers and everyday citizens facing drought and a new, debilitating groundwater crisis. World Premiere. NEW CLIMATEWhose Streets? / U.S.A. (Director: Sabaah Jordan) — A nonfiction account of the Ferguson uprising told by the people who lived it, this is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back—and sparked a global movement. World Premiere World Cinema Dramatic Competition:Axolotl Overkill / Germany (Director and screenwriter: Helene Hegemann) — Mifti, age 16, lives in Berlin with a cast of characters including her half-siblings; their rich, self-involved father; and her druggy friend Ophelia. As she mourns her recently-deceased mother, she begins to develop an obsession with Alice, an enigmatic, and much older, white-collar criminal. Cast: Jasna Fritzi Bauer, Arly Jover, Mavie Hörbiger, Laura Tonke, Hans Löw, Bernhard Schütz. World PremiereBerlin Syndrome / Australia (Director: Cate Shortland, Screenwriter: Shaun Grant) — A passionate holiday romance takes an unexpected and sinister turn when an Australian photographer wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave. Cast: Teresa Palmer, Max Riemelt. World PremiereCarpinteros (Woodpeckers) / Dominican Republic (Director and screenwriter: José María Cabral) — Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance with fellow prisoner Yanelly must develop through sign language and without the knowledge of dozens of guards. Cast: Jean Jean, Judith Rodriguez Perez, Ramón Emilio Candelario. World PremiereDon’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl! / Brazil, Netherlands, France, Paraguay (Director and screenwriter: Felipe Bragança) — In this fable about love and memories, Joca is a 13-year-old Brazilian boy in love with an indigenous Paraguayan girl. To conquer her love, he must face the violent region’s war-torn past and the secrets of his elder brother, Fernando, a motorcycle cowboy. Cast: Cauã Reymond, Eduardo Macedo, Adeli Gonzales, Zahy Guajajara, Claudia Assunção, Ney Matogrosso. World PremiereFamily Life / Chile (Directors: Alicia Scherson, Cristián Jiménez, Screenwriter: Alejandro Zambra) — While house-sitting for a distant cousin, a lonely man fabricates the existence of a vindictive ex-wife withholding his daughter, in order to gain the sympathy of the single mother he has just met. Cast: Jorge Becker, Gabriela Arancibia, Blanca Lewin, Cristián Carvajal. World PremiereFree and Easy / Hong Kong (Director: Jun Geng, Screenwriters: Jun Geng, Yuhua Feng, Bing Liu) — An extended family of widely disparate relations is snowed in when a crime occurs—with tragicomic results. Cast: Gang Xu, Zhiyong Zhang, Baohe Xue, Benshan Gu, Xun Zhang. World PremiereMy Happy Family / Georgia (Directors: Nana & Simon, Screenwriter: Nana Ekvtimishvili) — Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016: In a patriarchal society, an ordinary Georgian family lives with three generations under one roof. All are shocked when 52-year-old Manana decides to move out from her parents’ home and live alone. Without her family and her husband, a journey into the unknown begins. Cast: Ia Shugliashvili, Merab Ninidze, Berta Khapava, Tsisia Qumsishvili, Giorgi Tabidze, Dimitri Oragvelidze. World PremiereGod’s Own Country / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Francis Lee) — Springtime in Yorkshire: isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path. Cast: Josh O’Connor, Alec Secareanu, Ian Hart, Gemma Jones. World PremiereThe Nile Hilton Incident / Sweden (Director and screenwriter: Tarik Saleh) — In Cairo, weeks before the 2011 revolution, Police Detective Noredin is working in the infamous Kasr el-Nil Police Station when he is handed the case of a murdered singer. He soon realizes that the investigation concerns the power elite, close to the President’s inner circle. Cast: Fares Fares, Mari Malek, Mohamed Yousry, Yasser Ali Maher, Ahmed Selim, Hania Amar. World PremierePop Aye / Singapore, Thailand (Director and screenwriter: Kirsten Tan) — On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a journey across Thailand in search of the farm where they grew up together. Cast: Thaneth Warakulnukroh, Penpak Sirikul, Bong. World PremiereSueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language) / Mexico (Director: Ernesto Contreras, Screenwriter: Carlos Contreras) — The last two speakers of a millennia-old language haven’t spoken in 50 years, when a young linguist tries to bring them together. Yet hidden in the past, in the heart of the jungle, lies a secret concerning the fate of the Zikril language. Cast: Fernando Álvarez Rebeil, Eligio Meléndez, Manuel Poncelis, Fátima Molina, Juan Pablo de Santiago, Hoze Meléndez. World PremiereThe Wound / South Africa (Director: John Trengove, Screenwriters: John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu) — During a traditional initiation into manhood, Xolani, a lonely factory worker, reignites a secret love affair with his married best friend, Vija. When a defiant, teenage initiate from the city discovers their secret and threatens to expose them, Xolani must make a terrible decision. Cast: Nakhane Touré, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay Ncoyini. World Premiere World Cinema Documentary Competition:The Good Postman / Finland, Bulgaria (Director: Tonislav Hristov) — In a small Bulgarian village troubled by the ongoing refugee crisis, a local postman runs for mayor—and learns that even minor deeds can outweigh good intentions. North American PremiereIn Loco Parentis / Ireland, Spain (Directors: Neasa Ní Chianáin, David Rane) — John and Amanda teach Latin, English and guitar at a fantastical stately home-turned-school. Nearly 50-year careers are drawing to a close for the pair who have become legends with the mantra: “Reading! ’Rithmetic! Rock ’n’ roll!” But for pupil and teacher alike, leaving is the hardest lesson. International PremiereIt’s Not Yet Dark / Ireland (Director: Frankie Fenton) — This is the incredible story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a young filmmaker who becomes completely paralyzed from motor neurone disease but goes on to direct an award- winning feature film through the use of his eyes. International PremiereJoshua: Teenager vs. Superpower / U.S.A. (Director: Joe Piscatella) — When the Chinese Communist Party backtracks on its promise of autonomy to Hong Kong, teenager Joshua Wong decides to save his city. Rallying thousands of kids to skip school and occupy the streets, Joshua becomes an unlikely leader in Hong Kong and one of China’s most notorious dissidents. World PremiereLast Men in Aleppo / Denmark (Directors: Feras Fayyad, Steen Johannessen) — After five years of war in Syria, Aleppo’s remaining residents prepare themselves for a siege. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud, founding members of The White Helmets, have remained in the city to help their fellow citizens—and experience daily life, death, struggle and triumph in a city under fire. World PremiereMachines / India, Germany, Finland (Director: Rahul Jain) — This intimate, observant portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India, moves through the corridors and bowels of the enormously disorienting structure—taking the viewer on a journey of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship. North American Premiere. NEW CLIMATEMotherland / U.S.A., Philippines (Director: Ramona Diaz) — The planet’s busiest maternity hospital is located in one of its poorest and most populous countries: the Philippines. There, poor women face devastating consequences as their country struggles with reproductive health policy and the politics of conservative Catholic ideologies. World PremierePlastic China / China (Director: Jiu-liang Wang) — Yi-Jie, an 11-year-old girl, works alongside her parents in a recycling facility while dreaming of attending school. Kun, the facility’s ambitious foreman, dreams of a better life. Through the eyes and hands of those who handle its refuse, comes an examination of global consumption and culture. International Premiere. NEW CLIMATERUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked The World / Canada (Director: Catherine Bainbridge) — This powerful documentary about the role of Native Americans in contemporary music history—featuring some of the greatest music stars of our time—exposes a critical missing chapter, revealing how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives and, through their contributions, influenced popular culture. World PremiereTokyo Idols / United Kingdom, Canada (Director: Kyoko Miyake) — This exploration of Japan’s fascination with girl bands and their music follows an aspiring pop singer and her fans, delving into the cultural obsession with young female sexuality and the growing disconnect between men and women in hypermodern societies. World PremiereWINNIE / France (Director: Pascale Lamche) — While her husband served a life sentence, paradoxically kept safe and morally uncontaminated, Winnie Mandela rode the raw violence of apartheid, fighting on the front line and underground. This is the untold story of the mysterious forces that combined to take her down, labeling him a saint, her, a sinner. World PremiereThe Workers Cup / United Kingdom (Director: Adam Sobel) — Inside Qatar’s labor camps, African and Asian migrant workers building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup compete in a football tournament of their own. World Premiere NEXT:Columbus / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kogonada) — Casey lives with her mother in a little-known Midwestern town haunted by the promise of modernism. Jin, a visitor from the other side of the world, attends to his dying father. Burdened by the future, they find respite in one another and the architecture that surrounds them. Cast: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, Michelle Forbes. World PremiereDayveon / U.S.A. (Director: Amman Abbasi, Screenwriters: Amman Abbasi, Steven Reneau) — In the wake of his older brother’s death, 13-year-old Dayveon spends the sweltering summer days roaming his rural Arkansas town. When he falls in with a local gang, he becomes drawn to the camaraderie and violence of their world. Cast: Devin Blackmon, Kordell “KD” Johnson, Dontrell Bright, Chasity Moore, Lachion Buckingham, Marquell Manning. World PremiereDeidra & Laney Rob a Train / U.S.A. (Director: Sydney Freeland, Screenwriter: Shelby Farrell) — Two teenage sisters start robbing trains to make ends meet after their single mother’s emotional meltdown in an electronics store lands her in jail. Cast: Ashleigh Murray, Rachel Crow, Tim Blake Nelson, David Sullivan, Danielle Nicolet, Sasheer Zamata. World PremiereA Ghost Story / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Lowery) — This is the story of a ghost and the house he haunts. Cast: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, Will Oldham, Sonia Acevedo, Rob Zabrecky, Liz Franke. World PremiereGook / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Justin Chon) — Eli and Daniel, two Korean-American brothers who own a struggling women’s shoe store, have an unlikely friendship with 11-year-old Kamilla. On the first day of the 1992 L.A. riots, the trio must defend their store—and contemplate the meaning of family, their personal dreams and the future. Cast: Justin Chon, Simone Baker, David So, Curtiss Cook Jr., Sang Chon, Ben Munoz. World PremiereL.A. Times / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michelle Morgan) — In this classically styled comedy of manners set in Los Angeles, sophisticated thirtysomethings try to determine whether ideal happiness exists in coupledom or if the perfectly suited couple is actually just an urban myth. Cast: Michelle Morgan, Dree Hemingway, Jorma Taccone, Kentucker Audley, Margarita Levieva, Adam Shapiro. World PremiereLemon / U.S.A. (Director: Janicza Bravo, Screenwriters: Janicza Bravo, Brett Gelman) — A man watches his life unravel after he is left by his blind girlfriend. Cast: Brett Gelman, Judy Greer, Michael Cera, Nia Long, Shiri Appleby, Fred Melamed. World PremiereMenashe / U.S.A. (Director: Joshua Z Weinstein, Screenwriters: Joshua Z Weinstein, Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed) — Within Brooklyn’s ultra-orthodox Jewish community, a widower battles for custody of his son. A tender drama performed entirely in Yiddish, the film intimately explores the nature of faith and the price of parenthood. Cast: Menashe Lustig. World PremierePerson to Person / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Dustin Guy Defa) — A record collector hustles for a big score while his heartbroken roommate tries to erase a terrible mistake, a teenager bears witness to her best friend’s new relationship and a rookie reporter, alongside her demanding supervisor, chases the clues of a murder case involving a life-weary clock shop owner. Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, Tavi Gevinson, Philip Baker Hall, Bene Coopersmith, George Sample III. World PremiereThoroughbred / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Cory Finley) — Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be—and that a murder might solve both of their problems. Cast: Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin, Paul Sparks, Francie Swift, Kaili Vernoff. World Premiere
The Slamdance Film Festival announced their Narrative and Documentary Feature Film Competition Lineup this week and looks like the festival will continue to be a haven of up-and-coming indie film charm! With 11 Narratives Features, 8 Documentary Features and 8 directorial debuts from female filmmakers, this is the start of a program you’re not going to want to miss! Check out the full lineup below and while you’re at it you can head over to Slamdance’s site for more info and to purchase festival passes. The 2017 Slamdance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah from January 20 - 26. Stay tuned for more program announcements as they are released! Narrative Features: Aerotropolis, Taiwan Director & Screenwriter: Jheng-Neng LI Allen invested everything into a beautiful home to flip for profit only to have it languish on the market, turning his daily life into a haze of financial pressures and an erosion of reality. Beat Beat Heart, Germany Director & Screenwriter: Luise Brinkmann Daydreaming her way out of a broken heart, Kerstin’s denial as well as her days are shaken up with the arrival of her mother, dealing with her own relationship’s demise. Cortez, USA Director: Cheryl Nichols; Screenwriter(s): Arron Shiver, Cheryl Nichols Struggling musician Jesse tracks down his ex Anne in a small town in New Mexico, and is forced to face the decisions of his past as present day consequences set in. Dave Made a Maze, USA Director: Bill Watterson; Screenwriter(s): Steven Sears, Bill Watterson Dave builds a fort in his living room and ends up trapped inside by fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and creatures, leaving his girlfriend Annie to head up the eccentric rescue team to go in after him. Dim the Fluorescents, Canada Director: Daniel Warth; Screenwriter(s): Miles Barstead, Daniel Warth A struggling actress and an aspiring playwright funnel their uninhibited passion into the only paying work they can find: role-playing demonstrations for corporate seminars. The Family, China/Australia Director & Screenwriter: Shumin Liu Liu and Deng are a couple in their 70s who set off to visit their adult children in three faraway cities, in an immersive exploration of family dynamics and daily life. Kate Can’t Swim, USA Director: Josh Helman; Screenwriter(s): Jennifer Allcott, Josh Helman When Kate’s best friend Em returns from abroad with a surprising new lover, they embark on a reunion vacation with their partners, but the peaceful getaway quickly becomes emotionally complicated. Kuro, France/UK/Germany/LuxembourgDirector(s) & Screenwriter(s): Joji Koyama, Tujiko Noriko A Japanese woman living in Paris tends to her paraplegic lover, passing time by recounting a story about the time they once spent together in Japan, rich with anecdotes, myths and an unexpected dark turn. Weather House, Germany Director(s): Frauke Havemann; Co-Director: Eric Schefter; Screenwriter: Mark Johnson Set in an unspecific time of extreme climate change, an isolated group of disoriented characters develop their own strange belief systems and engage in absurd activities to process their dilemma. Wexford Plaza, Canada Director & Screenwriter: Joyce Wong Betty is a lonely strip mall security guard, and an unexpected moment with charming deadbeat Danny ends up setting off the unraveling of both their lives. Withdrawn, Canada Director: Adrian Murray; Screenwriter(s): Adrian Murray, Marcus Sullivan, Dean Tardioli Living in a basement he can’t afford, Aaron spends his days doing drum solos and talking his way out of paying for utilities, until he finds a lost credit card and devises a plan to defraud its owner. Documentary Features: Bogalusa Charm, USA Director: Stephen Richardson; Screenwriter: Jennifer Harrington Through the lens of an anachronistic charm school that has existed for almost three decades in rural Louisiana, we explore a town confronted with contemporary issues of class and race. The Children Send Their Regards, Austria Director: Patricia Josefine Marchart; Screenwriter(s): Jakob Purkarthofer, Sepp Rothwangl, Patricia Josefine Marchart Adult victims of physical abuse by clergy members in Austria revisit the sites of their childhood trauma and make public their stories to shed light into one of the greatest crimes of the post-war period. Hotel Coolgardie, Australia Director: Pete Gleeson Somewhere between Australia’s most isolated city and it's largest gold pit lies Coolgardie, where the arrival every three months of a new pair of foreign female backpackers to work the only bar in town is keenly anticipated by the town’s hot-blooded males. The Modern Jungle, Mexico/USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Charles Fairbanks, Saul Kak A story of globalization filtered through the fever dream of a Mexican shaman, this is an intimate portrait of Zoque culture, commodity fetish, and the predicament of documentary cinema. On The Sly: In Search of the Family Stone, USA Director & Screenwriter: Michael Rubenstone Director and super-fan Michael Rubenstone sets out in search of long-time reclusive funk legend, Sly Stone. Along the way, he meets with some success, but finds countless more failures in trying to capture a man who refuses to be contained. Strad Style, USA Director: Stefan Avalos A rural Ohio eccentric with an obsession for 'Stradivari' convinces a famous European concert violinist that he can make a copy of one of the most famous and valuable violins in the world. Fighting time, poverty, and most of all - himself - Danny Houck puts everything on the line for one shot at glory. Supergirl, USA Director: Jessie Auritt Naomi seems like a typical 11-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl; watching her compete to lift almost three times her bodyweight tells a different story. Who is Arthur Chu?, USA Director(s) & Screenwriter(s): Scott Drucker, Yu Gu Arthur Chu, eleven time Jeopardy! winner turned internet iconoclast, battles dark forces as a blogger and cultural pundit ultimately realizing that to create positive change in the world he must first heal his own wounds.
This week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences not only announced the top 10 live-action shorts moving forward in their voting process for the 89th Academy Awards. They also narrowed down the qualifying animated shorts to a top 10. The final nominees in both categories will be named on January 24th. Congrats to all of the filmmakers! The full list of potential animated nominees: Blind Vaysha, dir by. Theodore Usher Borrowed Time, dir by. Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou Lhadj Happy End, dir. by Jan Saska The Head Vanishes, dir. by Franck Dion Inner Workings, dir. by Leo Matsuda Once upon a Line, dir. by Alicia Jasina Pear Cider and Cigarettes, dir. by Robert Valley Pearl, dir. by Patrick Osborne Piper, dir. by Alan Barillaro Sous Tes Doigts (Under Your Fingers), dir. by Marie-Christine Courtès
On Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the top 10 live-action shorts moving forward in their voting process for the 89th Academy Awards. Narrowed down from the qualifying 137 films, the final nominees from this top 10 shortlist will be named on January 24th. We are beyond thrilled to see that director Marc Fouchard made the list! His short film, “The Way of Tea” screened at the 2016 Indie Street Film Festival this summer and was a true audience favorite. Congrats to Marc and all of the other filmmakers! The full list of potential nominees: “Bon Voyage,” dir. by Marc Wilkins “Ennemis Intérieurs,” dir. by Sélim Azzazi “Graffiti,” dir. by Lluis Quilez “La Femme et le TGV,” dir. by Timo von Gunten“Nocturne in Black,” dir. by Jimmy Keyrouz “The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy,” dir. by Oualid Mouaness “Silent Nights,” dir. by Aske Bang “Sing (Mindenki),” dir. by Kristof Deák “Timecode,” dir. by Juanjo Giménez “The Way of Tea (Les Frémissements du Thé),” dir. by Marc Fouchard
It’s almost Thanksgiving, and you know what that means! Food & drinks, family, food & drinks, friends, food & drinks, feeling grateful, food & drinks, Black Friday and oh…did we mention food & drinks? As you juggle stuffing your belly while dealing with family niceties, you might find yourself needing an escape from those awkward gatherings. Why not be prepared this year with a back-up plan? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with another installment of our favorite craft beer and indie film pairings. Fellow beer & film aficionado Jayme, Warehouse Supervisor at Southeastern-based distributor Advintage, has been collaborating with Indie Street for the past few months, introducing us to some of the best in craft beers and VOD films on the market. The theme this month? Coming home, in all of its familiar and awkward splendor! Film: Zach Clark's Little Sister A few months ago we watched and reviewed “Little Sister” while it was still on the festival circuit, eagerly awaiting its release so we could share it with everyone we know. Last month, this indie gem finally hit VOD, its sheer magic still coming as no surprise after a rewatch or two. We can’t recommend this quirky yet down to Earth film enough. A gothic nun tale about returning home, what more could you ask for this Thanksgiving? Colleen, played by an extremely likable Addison Timlin, is a city-based nun about to enter into official sisterhood. An ex-goth and admirer of unusual art forms, she returns to her small, rural hometown in order to reacquaint herself with a family on the brink of a breakdown. A drug dependent mother, failed actor of a father, reckless activist friend and disfigured war vet brother all combine to form a colorful, yet somehow, distinctly real and relatable ensemble. The film touches on both religious and secular undertones, as each character tries to grapple with the concept of normality. And really, what is considered normal these days? “Little Sister” has come out at an extremely relevant time as its plot is set smack dab in the middle of the 2008 Presidential Election. Watch this film, compare and contrast with today - it’s truly eye-opening. With the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays, we are sure many will be experiencing some rather awkward family conversations at the dinner table. So, ask yourself, despite everything: What is home? What is family? What is forgiveness? And what is the role of comfort and familiarity? God is understood to have created the world in six days - how many days will it take Colleen and pretty much everyone else to salvage their own worlds? With everything going on recently, we deserve this film...and hey, we deserve the perfect beer to top it all off! Beer: Service Brewing Co.’s Compass Rose IPA What sort of beer pairs well with the complicated feelings of returning home? It’s a tough call but Jayme describes his rather unusual but surprisingly relevant pick below: "Compass Rose IPA is one if my favorites as a solid, daily drinking brew. It has a nice, aromatic hop flavor that keeps you coming back. And while this may not seem like the most natural pick for this type of film, I have my reasons: this beer, for some reason, reminds me of the first time I ever had an IPA. It’s forthcoming, unexpected, and altogether different from anything else I have ever had. It made me cringe a little, but I kept coming back and that's why I think this ties well with the movie's theme of an estranged family that you can't avoid forever and that you eventually come to love. Your compass will always point you home. Even better, Service Brewing Co., out of beautiful Savannah, Georgia, is veteran owned and operated, and dedicated to service members everywhere. Taking into account the time period of the film and the situation surrounding Colleen's veteran brother, this beer and film suddenly become a relevant and perfect pairing.” Sometimes coming back home is hard, but we always have that compass (and beer!) helping us along the way. Ease the awkwardness this year by taking our word for it: this is an indie film and craft beer pairing that will have you hooked. Gobble it up, have a great Thanksgiving and we will see you next month with another beer/film pairing!
We start in familiar filmic territory: A group of old friends meet at a cabin to celebrate some special event. In this case, New Year’s Eve. On paper, each friend represents a different type of assumed stereotype: The free spirit musician. The beautiful actress. The loyal wife. The passionate husband. The career man. The rational ex-lover. Think you see where this is going? You’ll be surprised. “Auld Lang Syne” is a film that twists and turns with a refreshing outcome, making sure that this isn’t just one of your usual 'cabin in the woods' scenarios. It takes all of those familiar film quirks and makes something sassy, fresh and new. Here, the cabin horrors between friends become far more comedic and human. You are immediately drawn into this universe, the life of these characters and their arts, and until the last frame, you don’t want to walk away from the progression and regression of friendships and passions on screen. We all have friends. We all know the consequences well. “Auld Lang Syne” does not disappoint in its over-the-top yet surprisingly down to Earth take on our own realities. Led by Broadway aficionado Johanna McKeon (her directorial debut), with a story by Kimberly Dilts, the ensemble cast is placed into a sort of figurative wagon and steered in the direction of witty genius. The hopes and resolutions of a New Year devolve into hijinks and disasters between 3 couples that play out like an intricate, never ending puzzle. Secrets build on secrets until the structure grows unsteady, revealing all. Real life couple and producers/writers/actors Kimberly Dilts ("Vanessa") and J.T. Arbogast ("Steven") lead the film as party hosts with Lucy Walters ("Sadie") and Caleb Bark ("Jude") playing free-spirited lovers, and Blake DeLong ("Bryce") and Elisabeth Hower ("Jodie") playing a crumbling, high-strung couple with a bombshell of a secret that will change everything. They all fill in the ranks as hilariously nuanced characters, ready to play off each other throughout the film. Much of the ensemble knew each other going into the film, so there’s a natural bond and sense of play between the lot. By the end of the film, the revelations and disasters between "pals" will have you asking, should old acquaintance truly be forgot?! Seems the film’s title, an old Scottish tune and a traditional part of New Year's Eve traditions, is a beacon of what’s to come. Only time (and some delicious pie) will tell the future of these friends, but in the present day, let watching this film not be forgot. Made by a team of women and on a micro-budget, “Auld Lang Syne” represents everything we need in the independent film industry right now. Its creation serves its outcome well. On top of representation of the underrepresented, discovering this film is like hitting a true indie story jackpot because, well, it's everything: sad, hilarious, true, weird, ridiculous, honest and every little emotion and adjective in between. Stories on the surface and the implied ones below are amazing to witness. Like riding an emotional roller coaster, going ruthlessly up and down, it’s all a bullet shower of fun and games until you start to reflect on your own life. This isn’t just a film about friends and recollections of old times. This is a microcosm of the art world. While a bit jazzed up for entertainment purposes, it’s still very raw. Anyone struggling with work in a creative field or hopelessly trying to find their place in life as an artist will enjoy this film. So, should old acquaintance be forgot? Well, the countdown is over, so pop that champagne and watch the film to find out!
Watch "Auld Lang Syne" now on Indie Street VOD! You can also purchase the film on these additional platforms: iTunes: http://apple.co/2fkuuM7 Vimeo: http://bit.ly/Syne_Vimeo Vudu: http://bit.ly/Syne_VUDU
Now seems as good a time as ever to keep up the discussion about the role of women in film. And in an exciting crowdfunding event, film distributor Kino Lorber is hoping to contribute to that discussion by releasing their massive undertaking, “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers”, celebrating motion pictures made by female American filmmakers from 1910-1929. Marking the end of the silent era, women had already positioned themselves as invaluable commanders in the industry. Unfortunately, most of these women helmed films are not known today, existing in poor, deteriorating conditions. Kino Lorber’s already successful Kickstarter campaign will attempt to make sure that these films no longer go lost and forgotten. A five box set of restored and transferred films, from directors such as Lois Weber, Alice Guy Blaché, Ida May Park and others, will also feature 20 hours of material and interviews with film historians and archivists. Kino Lorber stated, “By showcasing the ambitious, inventive films from the golden age of women directors, we can get a sense of what was lost by the marginalization of women to ‘support roles’ within the film industry.” The campaign ends in a few hours and has already reached its goal - but you don’t want to miss out on the exciting rewards available. Donate now!
Only a few short years ago, MaryAnn Anselmo had a promising, successful career under her belt as well as still ahead of her. A headliner at a well known jazz venue in NJ, Anselmo was selling out shows and living her best life. With her loving husband, Joseph, by her side, things were grand. Days later, her son, Dustin, would die unexpectedly. A month later, after being in a major car wreck herself, she would be left with broken bones, no usage of her left vocal chord, and enough strokes that would put her in a coma. MaryAnn’s seemingly perfect life had come to a screeching halt. Determined to sing again, Joe’s support would push her to succeed at rediscovering her dream. Unfortunately, the recent devastating streak in MaryAnn’s life proved far from over, rearing its ugly head again. Only a year later, MaryAnn was diagnosed with a high-grade glioblastoma (AKA a late stage brain tumor). She was given only months to live. However, what should have been a death sentence….wasn’t. Her cancer treatment, through the use of precision medicine (therapy tailored to a patient’s genetic needs), is proving that cancer care is transforming and a death sentence doesn’t have to be the only reality. Though MaryAnn's treatments come with some severe side effects, her cancer is now gone. While it all seems like a storyline out of a fiction novel, her new autobiography "Through Fire and Rain: Surviving the Impossible with Love, Music, and Precision Medicine" is brutally real. And while that story is often painful to read, her and Joe's spirit and optimism make this narrative a thing of beauty and hope. This is a book about both loss and discovery, built on a strong foundation of unconditional love, faith, music, unwavering dedication and medicine. Suddenly, this becomes a story of survival against all odds - a story that you should absolutely get your hands on. Though a first hand account of the bitter battleground cancer creates within a person’s life, the power of MaryAnn and Joe’s perseverance and writing makes this a surprisingly upbeat moral about never giving up in life. It’s no wonder she was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in March 2015. A few years on and with her cancer under control, MaryAnn is a medical outlier and a pillar of strength for herself, her family and all that will come to read her story. 100% of the proceeds from sales of "Through Fire and Rain" go to www.TheBungalow.org. The Bungalow Foundation is a public charity that helps to fund biomedical precision medical initiatives through grants to post-doctoral and research fellows working in medical, research and academic institutions. Targeted treatments saved MaryAnn's life and now that the (hopefully) hardest part of her story wraps up, it’s only fitting the next chapter is one that will continue to help and inspire others. Read more about "Through Fire and Rain" and make sure to get your hands on a copy of the book now!