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!

 

 

7 Min Supercut Featuring 100 of the Greatest American Films

While best film lists are always a subjective thing, there are still tried and true classics you can always count on falling somewhere within every film lover's list. Last year, BBC Culture put together a list of what they believe are the top 100 greatest American films of all time and it’s a pretty legit list of the usual suspects as well as a few surprises. Though the BBC’s list is already a year old, a 7 min supercut video has just surfaced that runs through every film by compiling them into a curated, themed A-Z list - that's 100 films profiled in only 7 minutes! It’s worth checking out if only to see the diversity of films that America has produced throughout the years. Give the video a watch and check out the full list to see how your favs stack up.

As the 2016 edition of the Cannes Film Festival nears its final days and another batch of award-winning films will soon be entering into the playing field, Telegraph UK took a look back at the past 40 years of Palme d'Or winners. From 1975's "Chronicle of the Years of Fire" to 2015's "Dheepan", the talent is certainly out of this world. We can't wait to see what 2016 has to offer! In the meantime, check out the full gallery and break down of winners here.

In the indie world, it’s not just about the films. It’s also about supporting smaller independent video games as well! What Culture recently released a list of what they believe are the top 18 best indie games of the decade…(so far)! The industry is sure to be changing over the next few years, as advancements in VR and the like start to influence gaming. In the meantime, there are a lot of awesome options available so head on over to check out their current compilation of games!

From harmless, innocent jokes to the downright ridiculous hoaxes, online pranks have grown into an artform all their own. As we venture (both online and offlline) through this magically confusing day known as April Fool's Day, we should also revisit some of the strangest pranks played by our ancestors to see how far we have come. Check out Gizmodo's list of the most horrific and cruel pranks gone bad from long, long ago. From sending live cats in a bag to near train accidents and making someone nearly go blind, it's good to see we humans haven't lost our sense of "humor" after all these years!

With SXSW just kicking off and the film world currently in the thick of festival season, it’s entirely reasonable for film lovers to want a change of visual scenery every now and then. Video production has come leaps and bounds over the past few years, bringing us ground-breaking and innovative new forms of both narrative and documentary storytelling. But how has this technology been influencing the world of more abstract video art?  Vice’s “The Creators Project” decided to look ahead at what this year in video art will hold. What trend doesn’t come as a surprise? Of course, the presence of virtual reality that's on everyone’s mind! Their article highlights their top 5 experimental video artists to be on the lookout for, including Jeremy Bailey, Jillian Mayer + Lucas Leyva, Reed + Rader, Jon Rafman, and Jacolby Satterwhite. Read more about what they’ve been working on here, and if you need a break from all the logical narratives and factual documentaries, be sure to jump in and get ready to explore the strange and immersive worlds of video art. 

The Hollywood Reporter surveyed a wide range of Hollywood entertainment professionals in order to get the findings of their latest poll. Over 1600 industry workers (from directors to producers to actors) voted on what they believe are the most memorable lines from any movie ever made. Ranked in descending order, the list is a fascinating look into what the entertainment pros, even writers themselves, think are the lines that have lasting legacies within film history! Which movies fared well? Check out the list in more detail here and see a break down of the statistics of the poll.

Over at ioncinema, Nicholas Bell has covered his top 5 most anticipated films at this year's 2016 Berlin International Film Festival. From father-son roadtrip stories to Depardieu fairy tale vehicles, the 66th edition of the festival is auteur heavy but seems to have something for everyone. Check out Bell's take on the best of what's coming to the Berlinale this year.

Horror, much like comedy, is something of a subjective genre. What scares one person might bore the next, and what disturbs someone might simply annoy others. Similarly, the very definition of a horror film isn’t always clear either. Jump scares, blood n gore, and monster effects have their place, but oftentimes the most effective horror comes from an unsettling atmosphere, personal terrors, and the possibility that it could happen to you.Narrowing down fifteen years worth of such films to just a handful of top picks isn’t easy, but Matthew Monagle and I shuffled through the hundreds of titles and settled on the fifteen we think make up the best of the best. Our picks include ghosts, creatures, zombies, vampires, killer kids, and perhaps most frightening of all, some very human monsters too.One last note, in regard to viewing the millennium as having started in 2000 or 2001, we’re deferring to the renowned educational series, Seinfeld, in which a much-respected philosopher stated: “Since there was no year zero, the millennium doesn’t begin until the year two-thousand and one.”So here are the 15 best horror films from 2001-2015.