LISTS OF COOL

Pop the champagne! Grab those noise makers! Get lost in a sea of balloons, confetti and kissing couples. It’s a New Year! 2016 was one heck of a ride - a true rollercoaster that threw us for loop after loop. However, you can’t deny at least one exhilarating high that the big bad ol' 2-0-1-6 presented to us: the magic of cinema. The past year can definitely brag about that one bright spot, as we’ve seen an onslaught of breathtaking shorts and features presented both online and in cinemas and festivals around the world. Before we start all over again in a fresh, new year, the Indie Street and Indie Street Film Festival staff would like to present our favorite films from ISFF 2016 and beyond! From our inaugural year favorites to other indie hits and theatrical releases, we thank you 2016 for allowing us to throw one heck of a new festival and for showcasing some beautiful, smart and thought-provoking films. Let’s hit the corner of Indie Street and Memory Lane before looking ahead to what the new year has to offer!

 

 

 

 

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Romeo is Bleeding, dir. by Jason Zeldes

Documentary Feature (ISFF 2016 Selection)

 

Short Synopsis: Donte Clark's poetic voice was honed on the violent street corners of a struggling city. Yet rather than succumb to the pressures of Richmond, CA, Clark uses his artistic perspective to help save his city from itself.

 

 

Why we love it: It’s important to remember that, throughout history, one person can ignite change. Romeo is Bleeding, which won the Jury Award for Best Documentary at ISFF 2016, is a must-see doc if you’re looking for an inspirational, beautifully shot raw human story that seems more relevant than ever.

 

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The Lobster, dir. by Yorgos Lanthimos

Narrative Feature 

 

Short Synopsis: In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

 

 

Why we love it: A kind of macabre black comedy, here unfolds a story about single loners that must find a partner before their time runs out and they are forced to be turned into an animal of their choice. This dark and twisted film is a love story unlike any we've ever seen. A Cannes Jury Prize Winner, this peculiar festival pleaser and critic favorite should peak interest in both lovers of the unusual and ones simply interested in the intricacies of human connections. 

  

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Thunder Road, dir. by Jim Cummings

Narrative Short (ISFF 2016 Selection)

 

Short Synopsis: Officer Arnaud loved his Mom.

 

 

Why we love it: The Boss should be honored...Jim Cummings gives this classic song new depths of humor and humanity. A one take film with a million dynamics, get ready for a short film that will have you go from crying tears of laughter to suddenly crying tears of sorrow. The 2016 Indie Street Film Festival Jury Prize Winner for best Narrative Short, if you’ve not seen this incredible ode to loss, what are you waiting for?!

  

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The Boatman, dir. by Zack Godshall

Documentary Short (ISFF 2016 Selection)

 

Short Synopsis: As Joseph and Selina Gonzales approach their 71st wedding anniversary, they reflect on endurance, love and fortitude after years of living outside the flood walls in Yscloskey Beach, Louisiana.

 

 

Why we love it: Sometimes all it takes is the jarring grit of reality to form a story that will linger long within both your mind and your heart. A portrait of love, perseverance and endurance throughout hardship, The Boatman is an Indie Street Film Festival short doc selection well worth your time. Have the tissues ready - this one is quite the beautifully human tearjerker.

  

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The Past Inside The Present, dir. by James Siewert

Animated Short (ISFF 2016 Selection)

 

Short Synopsis: An allegorical tale of a couple who attempt to renew their dying relationship by plugging directly into recordings of their memories.  Available for download on Bit Torrent Now.

 

 

Why we love it: No dialogue and no words to describe this genius hand-crafted animation. Showcasing the mad, twisted rotoscoped world of a couple reliving and renewing moments from their relationship, this jaw-dropping and intricately created film will have you in awe of both its depiction of our relation to time as well as its layers of art and storytelling.

  

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Moonlight, dir. by Barry Jenkins

Narrative Feature

 

Short Synopsis: A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life and comes of age in Miami during the "War on Drugs" era.

 

 

Why we love it: Well, first of all, who doesn’t love it?! Moonlight has taken the indie community and beyond by storm. A haunting portrait of African-American identity and repression, here masculinity, desire, and sexuality are all explored in a tender, emotional way. This is a film well worth the acclaim it's finding with audiences and critics alike.

 

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Sonita, dir. by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami

Documentary Feature (ISFF 2016 Special Screening)

 

Short Synopsis: A young Afghani refugee in Iran channels her frustrations and seizes her destiny through music after her family tries to sell her into a marriage.

 

 

Why we love it: Should a filmmaker get involved with their subject even if it means a new chance at life? Winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize for Best World Cinema Documentary, Sonita goes beyond the story of a young girl following her dream to be a rapper and becomes a must-see film about politics, culture and fighting against obstacles in order to find opportunity and identity outside of expectations.

  

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople, dir. by Taika Waititi

Narrative Feature

 

Short Synopsis: A boy and his “uncle” become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness.

 

 

Why we love it: A misfit adventure between an unwanted, troublemaker orphan and a misunderstood foster uncle through the wilderness of New Zealand? Count us in! The wit and acting alone within this hilarious offering from writer/director Taika Waititi should put this film on your must-see list. Add in the million other positives on display within this unique production and we think it should definitely jump to the top of your list!

 

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Whale Valley, dir. by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson

Narrative Short

 

Short Synopsis: Two brothers live in a remote fjord with their parents. We look into their world through the eyes of the younger brother and follow them on a journey that marks a turning point in both of their lives.

 

 

 

Why we love it: A haunting portrait of two brothers, their deep bond & the feeling of isolation that comes from living within an overpowering, remote landscape, we don't think there has been a more beautiful, cinematic short film released this year. This Cannes Special Mention Winner is a film that goes beyond words, best enjoyed in feeling and trust. An absolute must-see!

 

 

If you didn’t get the chance to catch “The Love Witch”, director Anna Biller’s saturated, Technicolor love letter and homage to the 1960s, around the festival circuit this year, do yourself a favor and get to one of its screenings in LA and NYC - ASAP. An over-the-top drama about a modern day witch that uses magic to get her way with men, it's both ridiculous and necessary in today’s film industry. Director Anna Biller shines with talent in many departments, creating a throwback film that comes off as something unique, insane and refreshingly new. Indiewire sat down with Biller to get her take on how to create a feminist film in an industry that may not value…well, your values. It's insightful and badass advice. From getting angry to killing your darlings, check out the full list of recommendations over on Indiewire and then watch the trailer for the must-see film below!  

Everyday, people and their ideas are shaping and changing the world we live in. But do we ever stop and recognize the spaces and places these ideas are conceived? Fastcodesign has created a list of the best in housing design and improved thinking in the creation of public spaces. From tiny houses and art centers to parks and art installations, these are projects that are also reshaping our lives. Check out the full list of the best in innovative space and places in 2016 over at Co.Design.

From September 30 through October 16th, New York City is celebrating the best in film this Fall. The New York Film Festival has kicked off its 54th year with an exciting variety of films from both festival veterans as well as new, exciting voices in the industry. From Jim Jarmusch’s “Paterson” starring Adam Driver, Almodóvar’s newest offering “Julieta” to Barry Jenkins’ talk of the town, “Moonlight” - PAPER Magazine has compiled a list of their 10 must-sees as this year’s festival. You can check out their top ten list or start making your own by perusing NYFF’s program!

From Buzzfeed to Hasbro, Fast Company has compiled a list of what they believe are the most innovative companies of 2016. Where else can you find a list that puts the likes of Black Lives Matter, Netflix, Taco Bell and Facebook together and has them go head to head?! Check out the full list (with an individual profile on each company) here.

Happy Labor Day … or what most people call the “unofficial end of Summer”! If the sun is a-shinin’ and the forecast is looking good, then let the beach, cookouts, and friends join to culminate in one epic final Monday. If the weather is forcing you indoors, well, what better way to celebrate then kickin’ back and checking out some of the best “end-of-summer” films and TV shows from the past few decades? From “Weekend at Bernie’s” to “Friday Night Lights”, The Wrap has compiled a list that will have you reminiscing and saying goodbye to another great Summer in style. Whether you’re enjoying the great outdoors or spending the final Summer holiday in front of a screen, we hope everyone has a blast! You can check out the full list here!

The world of business is getting less and less stuffy these days and more and more innovative in terms of creative thinking and "against the grain" strategies. Get inspired by checking out Fast Company's annual list of the most creative leaders in business - ones that are helping to shape the future of their industries in new and exciting ways. From content curation to fashion design, the list is extensive and well worth checking out! Head here for profiles on 100 of the most inspiring leaders in the workforce today.

As we all know, the whole world is good and well into watching and enjoying the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. Gold medals, broken legs, doping scandals and all, these Games are shaping up to be rather memorable! However, it can be a bit overwhelming watching all of the soul-crushing, dream-ending losses and a bit tiring feeling so inadequate by watching all of the world record breaking performances. Why not escape from reality and back into the film world? Bustle has a great list of 17 sports-related films to either help you get into the Olympic watching mood or give you a break from the around the clock coverage of real life, jaw-dropping athletic prowess. Check out the full list here!

One of the coolest things about the first ever Indie Street Film Festival that just went down in Red Bank, NJ last week was that, not only did it incorporate dozens of different genres and styles of filmmaking…it also brought live art into the mix! From Joe Mangrum’s colorful sand art to two-handed painter Rob Prior, art was a focal point of the inaugural year of the festival. It’s an amazing thing when art and film collide, so if that’s up your alley, be sure to check out artnet’s list of 10 art documentaries to watch this summer here. From discovering the origins of land art to learning about the life and times of Renoir, get ready to get out of the heat and cool off with some ART!

Happy 4th of July weekend! Ah, how the sun, fun and sparkle of fireworks will fill the next couple of days! Nothing like good ol' independence to ring in good times! However, if you need to beat the heat and the crowds at some point during the festivities, why not come into the air conditioning and sit back and enjoy a great patriotic film! Collider has you set with a list of the best films to watch this Independence Day! So, go jump in the water, grab a hot dog, have a grand ol' time and then come inside and relax. From "Jaws" to "Top Gun", check out the patriotic, fun filled list here!