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
While the New York Film Festival is still going strong in the Big Apple, another stellar film festival is happening outside of the hustle and bustle of the city, offering a screening platform just as powerful as NYFF to other under the radar industry heavy hitters and smaller, up-and-coming indie films. Indiewire is calling the Hamptons International Film Festival, now celebrating its 25th year, the Oscar Season's secret weapon and we can't agree more. Learn more about Indiewire's breakdown of the value of this amazing festival here, and if you are lucky enough to find yourself in the Hamptons over the weekend, check out the festival's full program, which kicked off this week!
One of New York's biggest film festivals officially kicked off this week, and with it has come a plethora of new films and retrospectives to look forward to! Enough to fulfill any film lover's appetite....x100! If you haven't already given the full schedule and program a gander, what are you waiting for you?! Start grabbing tickets while they're still available! In the meantime, check out Indiewire's discussion on the exact value that New York Film Festival offers the film world: "There’s something there for everybody, and everyone is coming together in the same place to experience a festival of their own. That’s the New York way."
As the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, considered one of the biggest festivals of the Fall season, wraps up this weekend, Indiewire reflects on the filmic winners and losers of the past week and a half. From glowing Oscar contenders to searing disappointments, check out highlights from another stellar year at TIFF!
Hard to believe 2017 is flying by as quickly as it is! As the summer months wane and the cooler months start creeping in, a new festival season is upon us! Toronto International Film Festival is chock full of amazing, insanely anticipated films and we are loving the press and reviews that have been coming in. Check out Filmmaker Magazine's top 25 films to look forward to at this year's TIFF! Another fun fact: Filmmaker Magazine is celebrating their 25th Anniversary this month as well!
The past week was a whirlwind of creative energy, community-boosting moments, innovative films and overall, a seriously cool culmination of indie spirit in Red Bank, NJ at the second annual Indie Street Film Festival! It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone! And after an inspiring 5 days, the team behind Indie Street Film Festival was beyond honored to announce this year's award winners! "Like Me", directed by Robert Mockler, was named the best narrative feature and "Unrest", directed by Jennifer Brea, took the top prize for best documentary feature as we concluded five days of film screenings plus a wide array of special events and entertainment in Red Bank, New Jersey. Short film winners included Best Narrative Short – "Hold On", directed by Christine Turner and Best Documentary Short – "Little Potato", directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller. Best Animation Film was awarded to "Pussy", directed by Renata Gasiorowski. The jury, including noted film critics, producers and filmmakers Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed), Dominic Davis (Rooftop Films), Heidi Reinberg (Producer), Leah Sapin (Human Rights Watch), Meredith Alloway (Writer), William Cusick (Filmmaker/Programmer), James Belfer (CEO, Cartuna), James Siewert (Award-Winning Director/Animator) and Ben Wiessner (Producer, Ornana Films), also presented Special Jury Awards for Best Editing to "Fish Story", directed by Charlie Lyne and Best Comedic Vision to "Business", directed by Kati Skelton. Red Bank artist and resident Gerda Liebmann earned an Audience Choice award for Best New Jersey Film for her first documentary, "You will be Persecuted". Audience Favorites included Best Narrative Short – "Resolutions", directed by Tamara Fisch and Best Narrative Feature – "Life Hack", directed by Sloan Copeland. Among the many discussions presented, notable panels included Adaptation, which included festival Advisory Board Member and noted Actor/Producer Arian Moayed (Rock the Kasbah) and Oscar-winner Mara Kassin, and Meet the Programmers, featuring Larisa Apan (Hamptons Film Festival) and Opal Hope Bennett (Nantucket Film Festival, Doc NYC). A community mural project at Kitch Organic, an appearance by special surprise guest Actor Amir Arison (The Blacklist), a community barbecue, provided by JBJ Soul Kitchen following the screening of "Barbecue", a documentary directed by Matthew Salleh, and the world premiere of "Brothers", the latest work from New Jersey filmmaker Jack Ballo, about two brothers who lived off the grid for four years in the woods of Sayreville, NJ filmed using only the camera in Ballo’s iPhone, were also festival highlights. “The films we’ve shared made us laugh, cry and hungry,” noted Jim Scavone, Executive Director of Red Bank RiverCenter, and the festival’s Managing Director. The films were screened and the special events held at multiple theatrical venues in Red Bank, including the historic Count Basie Theatre, the Two River Theater, Bow Tie Cinema and Red Bank Middle School. Winners from each feature film category will enjoy a shared 1-week theatrical release in NYC. At the awards presentation, Indie Street Film Festival’s Artistic Director Jay Webb confirmed the event would return to Red Bank in 2018 and planned a long-term commitment and partnership with sponsors and the local arts and business communities. Webb also posed a rhetorical question, asking attendees why support for independent artists and filmmakers was important. "In a world of digital content overload that demands more curation and leaves us less physically connected, gathering people in the community around film screenings and the arts is something our whole team believes is of critical importance,” Webb concluded. “Audiences in a theater or at a live art event in the presence of the creators will feel the shared emotional vibrations of the exhibition and truly become a part of the story. Offering locals, especially young people, these types of shared creative experiences can help them learn to accept human differences and not be afraid of them.” For more information about the screening of films from the festival, or how to connect with Indie Street Film Festival organizers, artists and filmmakers, visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org or follow us on social media!
Oh man! We're less than 2 weeks out from the second annual Indie Street Film Festival! What could be more exciting?! We know: more killer indie news surrounding the fest! ISFF has just announced their special screening slate for this year and if you're an indie film lover, dance enthusiast, or just a Michael Caine fan, you're gonna love this pretty sweet lineup. The New Jersey premiere of the 2017 Slamdance fav "Dave Made a Maze", a breakout film directed by artist/writer Bill Watterson, will open the 2nd Annual Indie Street Film Festival on Wednesday, July 26. Valérie Müller and Angelin Preljocaj’s "Polina", featuring Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche will be the closing film on Sunday, July 30. The NY/NJ premiere of "Coup D’Etat", directed by Lisa Addario/Joe Syracuse and starring Academy Award and Golden Globe Award-winner Michael Caine and Katie Holmes, and "Person to Person", written and directed by Dustin Guy Defa and starring Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson and Philip Baker Hall, will also screen at the fest set for July 26th through the 30th in Red Bank, NJ. “From a live art performance by local artist Ronnie Jackson, who carves New Jersey landscapes and scenes into surfboards, a cookout after the screening of the documentary Barbecue with local sponsors, to a Liquid Lights creative workshop, we know festival attendees will enjoy what ISFF brings to the community,” noted ISFF artistic director Jay Webb. “What sets this festival apart from other film events is the integration and cooperation of Red Bank’s venues, restaurants and bars, retail shops and the local arts community which all gel to make the ideal atmosphere to celebrate the creativity of independent filmmakers.” "Dave Made a Maze", featuring Nick Thune as Dave and Meera Rohit Kumbhani as his girlfriend, Annie, is the story of an underachieving artist who builds a fort in his living room only to wind up trapped by fantastical pitfalls, booby traps and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur. In "Polina", a promising classical ballet dancer about to join the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet discovers contemporary dance, a revelation that throws everything into question on a profound level. "Coup D’Etat" is the story of a sixteen-year-old American girl who develops a pen pal relationship with Anton Vincent (Michael Caine), an island nation dictator, who unexpectedly seeks refuge in her suburban garage when he is deposed by his own people. "Person to Person" follows a variety of New York characters as they navigate personal relationships and unexpected problems over the course of one day.The festival will present more than 60 independently produced narrative, documentary and animated films, panel discussions, Q&A’s with filmmakers, live art, an interactive community mural project, a community cookout, and both live and DJ music performances. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets/passes, please visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org!
What a time to be alive if you’re a film lover! This year has seen a wave of innovative new works hitting the screens of festivals around the globe…and New Jersey's own Red Bank better get ready because it’s that time of the year again - their time to cinematically SHINE! The 2nd annual Indie Street Film Festival line-up has JUST BEEN ANNOUNCED and it features some of the best of the best in indie cinema from around the world. The Indie Street Film Festival will return to Red Bank from July 26th through the 30th featuring more than 60 independently produced narrative, documentary and animated films, panel discussions, Q&A’s with filmmakers, live art, an interactive community mural project, a community cookout, and both live and DJ music performances. Two sets of “Jersey Shorts” showcasing the work of local filmmakers and New Jersey locations and subjects will also be featured. Narrative feature films in competition include: The Ring Thing, directed by William Sullivan (Provincetown Film Festival) Like Me, directed by Robert Mockler (SXSW) Beat Beat Heart, directed by Luise Brinkmann (Slam Dance, Filmfest Munich 2016) Life Hack, directed by Sloan Copeland (Brooklyn Film Fest, SoHo Int. Film Fest) Documentary feature films in competition include: Barbecue, directed by Matthew Salleh (SXSW) Hotel Coolgardie, directed by Pete Gleeson (Slamdance, Hot Docs) Olancho, directed by Ted Griswold and Chris Valdes (Brooklyn Film Fest) Unrest, directed by Jennifer Brea (SXSW, Hot Docs, Sundance Special Jury Award) The winning films will be selected by a jury consisting of noted film critics, producers and filmmakers. Industry experts including Aaron Hillis (Indiegogo), Alison Willmore (Buzzfeed), Dominic Davis (Rooftop Films), Heidi Reinberg (Producer) and Leah Sapin (Human Rights Watch) will join others in awarding the winning feature films with the prize of a 1 week theatrical screening in New York City and optional online distribution through Indie Street Media. Jury awards and audience awards will be announced at a live ceremony on the evening of Sunday, July 30th. Highlights include the NJ premiere of Unrest, an eye-opening documentary shot and directed by Jennifer Brea, as she tackles the very personal subject of chronic fatigue syndrome. Life Hack, featuring Sean Kleier (Odd Mom Out) and Devin Ratray (Nebraska, Blue Ruin), is an incredibly relevant comedic cautionary tale about our digital privacy or complete lack thereof. New Jersey talent will of course be showcased, including the world premiere of Brothers, the latest work from Jack Ballo, who directed the critically acclaimed 2016 documentary Destiny’s Bridge, about the plight of a homeless community living off-the-grid in the woods of Lakewood, New Jersey, and Pasquale’s Magic Veal, a dark comedy featuring Vincent Pastore, who played “Big Pussy” in The Sopranos. Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones, Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and Adam Long (Happy Valley), star in The Knackerman, a narrative short funded by Creative England and the BFI Network. In Cul-De-Sac, from the team behind the Academy Award-winning short Curfew, a married couple's bubble of suburban normality is punctured when they find a surprise inside their toddler's teddy bear. Cop Dog, the sixth animated film in Bill Plympton's Oscar-nominated Guard Dog series, finds its plucky dog-hero with a new occupation: patrolling our airports sniffing for illegal drugs. Several other shorts will make their NJ premiere, including films written by screenwriters for NBC's THIS IS US and SYFY's CHANNEL ZERO, as well as performances from actors such as Jimmie JJ Jeter (Hamilton) and Chris Carfizzi (Showtime's Billions). Indie Street Film Festival Artistic Director/President of Indie Street, Jay Webb, noted that in addition to the incredibly diverse films from around the world that will be screened and discussed, this year’s schedule includes events linked to films showcased in the festival as well as New Jersey themes. “From a live art performance by local artist Ronnie Jackson, who carves New Jersey landscapes and scenes into surfboards, a cookout after the screening of the documentary Barbecue with local sponsors, to a Liquid Lights creative workshop, we know festival attendees will enjoy what ISFF brings to the community,” Webb added. “What sets this festival apart from other film events is the integration and cooperation of Red Bank’s venues, restaurants and bars, retail shops and the local arts community which all gel to make the ideal atmosphere to celebrate the creativity of independent filmmakers.” ISFF is more geared toward cooperation than competition, so all feature films accepted into the festival are awarded the opportunity to join Indie Street as a partner filmmaker and be promoted through its VOD platform. Winners from each feature film category will enjoy a shared 1 week theatrical release in NYC. Films and events will be held at multiple theatrical venues in Red Bank, including the historic Count Basie Theatre, the Two River Theater, Bow Tie Cinema and Red Bank Middle School. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, please visit www.indiestreetfilmfestival.org. 5 day Passes are available for films only (Film Buff Pass for $99) or for all films and parties (All-access Pass for $169) and can be purchased by visiting the festival website. All-access passes are also on sale now that include entry to all festival events, open bar at nightly parties brought to you by sponsors Flying Fish Brewery and Prairie Vodka, as well as discounts at local businesses. Single event tickets will be available soon. Keep up with breaking news on social media: facebook.com/IndieStreetFilmFestival · twitter: @IndieStFilmFest · Instagram @IndieStFilmFestFor more information on the Indie Street Film Festival or to learn how you can help out, contact email@example.com or head to indiestreetfilmfestival.org to check out THE STELLAR FULL LINEUP!! Be sure to check out highlights from last year’s successful inaugural year:
BAMcinématek's 9th annual BAMcinemaFest, a showcase of some of the best in American independent cinema, kicked off into high gear last week and continues strong through 6/25! With still a full solid 6 days of amazing indie film left to feast upon, it’s not too late to catch some of the best of the fest! Check out Filmmaker Magazine’s Scott Macaulay and Vadim Rizov’s top 11 picks playing at the 2017 BAMCinemafest! From two Michael Almereyda offerings to MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND, the Narrative Grand Jury Prize winner at this year’s SXSW, there’s pretty much something for all film lovers to...well...love!
For over a decade now, film as a physical medium has been heralded as dead. Done. Kaput. But if the lineup at this year's Cannes Film Festival proves anything different, it just goes to show that film is here to stay. Call the analog medium a zombie or ghost or superhero or even a freak of nature. The industry is seeing a resurgence of projects shot on film and we are totally loving it! To show just how integral and important shooting on film is, Kodak released the list of 15 films playing at this year’s Cannes Film Festival that were shot on their stock. From “The Beguiled” to “Wonderstruck”, these films are also some of the most highly anticipated of the entire festival. Check out the full list via Indiewire and if you wanna know more about the making of some of Cannes’ top films, head here to get the lowdown on cameras used during production!
Man oh man, how the months have flown by! It’s finally that day again - the final submissions deadline for the 2017 Indie Street Film Festival! Hundreds of film have been submitted - short, long, funny, sad, weird, honest, raw and everything indie-tween (see what we did there?)! If you’ve got a film, we want to see it! But act fast - you’ve only got a few hours left to be guaranteed those filmic darlings of yours will be considered! So, what are we looking for? Everything! Our goal is simply to program the very best films we can find. Remember: diversity is important as well as good storytelling. We are giving special consideration to New Jersey Filmmakers as we will have a special side-bar for Jersey films, too. We are also specifically looking for films that do the most with smaller budgets and are innovative either visually, conceptually or in their storytelling. Fit the bill? You can submit via Withoutabox and FilmFreeway NOW! For more information on the Indie Street Film Festival, head to our website or check out our recap video showcasing highlights from last year’s insanely successful fest!