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Wednesday – Oct 17, 2012

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1:00pm – Shameless

Shameless

In an incendiary story of love, desire, and betrayal between siblings, the rebellious young Tadek returns to sister Anka’s home in search of solace and affection. Bound together by a painful shared family history, brother and sister must find a way to break free in order to survive. This formidable debut fearlessly yet tenderly explores one of society’s last taboos.

Polish with subtitles 80 min

3:00pm – Industry Panel: Fundraising Forums

Industry Panel: Fundraising Forums

A panel of filmmakers who have funded their projects in
a range of creative ways share their knowledge and experience. A must for anyone interested in using web-based funding platforms, the discussion will cover all types of innovative film financing.

Panelists include:
Travis Fine, Director, Any Day Now
Adam Leon, Director, Gimme The Loot
Amy Ellison, Development, The Believers
John Maloof, Filmmaker and Curator, Finding Vivian Maier
John Klein, Freelance Cinematographer and Producer
Julie Keck, Independent Filmmaker & Social Media Strategist

60 min

3:00pm – War Witch

War Witch

A remarkable, inspiring story of human resilience, War Witch tells the story of Komona, a 14-year-old girl whose life took a drastic, tragic turn when armed rebels stormed her village. Forced to join the rebel army and endure brutal training, Komona learns to survive, and even falls in love. Although she wishes to forget, the now-pregnant Komona realizes she must reconcile herself with her painful past.

French and Lingala with subtitles 90 min

3:15pm – The Drudgery Train

The Drudgery Train

In this offbeat coming-of-age tale, a charming, rebellious high school dropout named Kanta befriends the kind, provincial Shoji. The two bring out the best in each other, each gaining confidence from their friendship - especially regarding pursuit of the opposite sex. The working class Kanta becomes a sort of unruly anti-hero, maintaining his pride, defiance, and self-assurance even as his prospects seem increasingly grim.

Japanese with subtitles 113 min

3:30pm – La Playa DC

La Playa DC

Tomás, an Afro-Colombian teenager driven from his home by war, settles with his brothers in the section of Bogota known (ironically) as “La Playa.” Working as a barber’s apprentice, Tomás is just beginning to find a place for himself when his younger brother Jairo disappears. Tomás must make a risk-filled journey in search of Jairo, a rite of passage that forces him to find, and earn, his own identity in this impressive, wonderfully energetic debut film.

Spanish with subtitles 90 min

3:30pm – Rhino Season

Rhino Season

Based on a true story, Rhino Season follows Sahel, a poet who was unjustly incarcerated during Iran’s Islamic Revolution (and a friend of director Ghobadi). After being released into a world that is, three decades later, greatly changed, Sahel searches for the wife and children he left behind. Rhino Season is, at base, a tragic romance, strikingly told with an impressionistic, dreamlike blending of past and present.

Farsi 103 min

4:00pm – Alaskaland

Alaskaland

alaskaLand tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the larger world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.

English 75 min

5:45pm – The Scapegoat

The Scapegoat

Set in 1952 as England prepares for a coronation, The Scapegoat tells the story of two very different men with the exact same face. Almost identical replicas of each other, they meet by chance in a station bar. Each is at a crossroads in his life: one setting out on a walking tour after losing his job as a teacher; the other avoiding home after a disastrous business venture.

English 108 min

5:45pm – Xingu

Xingu

This sweeping epic chronicles an important, still-relevant struggle in Brazilian history. Seeking adventure, the Villa Boas brothers set off from modern civilization into the jungles of Brazil, where they befriend an isolated Xingu village. Working with the Xingu, they help modernize the village. However, progress brings its own set of devastating problems and the brothers begin a decades-long fight to help the Xingu people. Stylish, energetic, and inspiring, Xingu vividly brings their struggle to life.

Portuguese with subtitles 103 min

6:00pm – Benji

Benji

In 1984, all eyes were on Ben Wilson, a high school senior on the verge of leading Chicago’s Simeon High to its second straight state basketball championship and seemingly destined for NBA greatness. But Benji’s story was cut tragically short when he was shot and killed in broad daylight on his way to school. Interviews with family and friends give fresh insight into Benji’s life and untimely end, illuminating one of sport’s most tragic “what if”s.

English 79 min

6:00pm – Modest Reception

Modest Reception

Tasked with giving away huge sums of money by whatever means possible, Kaveh and Layla drive through the remote, war-torn mountains of Iran with a trunkful of cash. What begins as a seemingly harmless game soon reveals itself to be a twisted bout of charity as the power, humiliation, and shame inherent in their act plays out between the privileged couple and the impoverished villagers.

Modest Reception is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit www.globalfilm.org.

Farsi with subtitles 100 min

6:15pm – Boys Are Us

Boys Are Us

A playfully inventive jigsaw puzzle of a movie, Boys Are Us follows heartbroken teenager Mia, whose older sister Laura persuades her to take revenge on the male sex. Their plan involves Mia seducing a boy and making him fall in love with her before cruelly discarding him, although the predatory Laura can’t help but complicate matters by toying with the boys herself. Can Mia follow through on their plan? Does she want to?

Swiss-German with subtitles 73 min

6:15pm – Hometown Boy

Hometown Boy

Produced by Hou Hsiao-Hsien and bearing a touch of the master’s ability to craft moments of quiet, contemplative beauty and revelation, Hometown Boy follows artist Liu Xiao-Dong on his first significant visit back to his hometown of Jincheng in decades. The film captures Liu as he works on a project to re-paint friends who had posed for him more than 30 years earlier, creating a compelling portrait of a major artist at work, and of Jincheng.

Mandarin with subtitles 72 min

6:45pm – The Repentant

The Repentant

Repentant terrorist Rashid uses the declaration of national amnesty as an opportunity to reform and re-enter productive civilian life. Settling back into his hometown, however, proves dangerous as he is menaced by angry neighbors whose families have been torn apart by terrorist attacks. Rashid must navigate these treacherous waters while trying to start a new life in this thriller that confronts the moral and practical complications of reconciliation.

Arabic with subtitles 87 min

7:00pm – Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

From acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer and Andy Wachowski, the powerful and inspiring epic Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, present and future. Drama, mystery, action and enduring love thread through a story that unfolds in multiple lifetimes as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. Cloud Atlas stars Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Jim Broadbent, among others.

English 164 min

8:10pm – Gimme the Loot

Gimme the Loot

Malcolm and Sofia, two determined teens from the Bronx, are skilled and ambitious graffiti-writers. When a rival gang destroys their latest masterpiece, the pair hatches a plan to get revenge by tagging an iconic NYC landmark. Their spectacular scheme, however, comes with a $500 price tag. The capers - heists, petty thefts, swindles - they devise to raise money bring more setbacks than they do dollars, but their enthusiasm and energy never wane in this prize-winning debut from director Adam Leon.

English 81 min

8:15pm – Sharqiya

Sharqiya

Kamel, a shy, good-natured security guard, is torn between two worlds: the Israeli society that treats him and his fellow Bedouins with suspicion and his own family, who are struggling to maintain their ever-threatened way of life. When the shacks where he and his family live on their ancestral lands are threatened with demolition, Kamel goes to extreme lengths to save his family home, in this starkly beautiful portrait of life on the margins.

Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles 82 min

8:20pm – Something in the Air

Something in the Air

The latest film from celebrated French master Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Demonlover), Something in the Air is a sweeping, evocative coming-of-age story that beautifully captures the passionate political and social climate of Paris in the 1970s. Young Gilles is swept up in the era’s political fever, but he dreams of painting and making films, much to the dismay of his uncomprehending friends - activists and aspiring revolutionaries - and even his girlfriend.

French with subtitles 122 min

8:30pm – Meeting Leila

Meeting Leila

Featuring a brilliant performance from A Separation star Leila Hatami, Meeting Leila follows a young woman who demands that her chain-smoking fiancé quits smoking before their marriage. This poses a problem for this advertising agency idea man for whom smoking is an integral part of his creative process in this gently comic, insightful look at the compromises and negotiations required in any relationship.

Farsi with subtitles 88 min

8:30pm – Rat Fever

Rat Fever

Zizo, a true rebel, is content to spend his days spewing subversive poetry to an audience consisting mostly of his fellow outsider friends. That is, until the arrival of the beautiful Eneida injects a love story into this carefree romp through the stoned and casually promiscuous world of Brazilian bohemian life. Gorgeous black and white cinematography and a dryly comedic, stylized tone perfectly convey the idealism of the youthful characters.

Portuguese with subtitles 110 min

8:45pm – The Weekend

The Weekend

Based on a novel by Bernard Schlink (The Reader), The Weekend follows Jens as he leaves prison 18 years after being arrested as an RAF terrorist in Germany. Back with his family, friends, and ex-comrades, including his former lover Inga, Jens’ unexpected arrival disrupts their lives, forcing them to re-examine the violent idealism of their youth, especially as he insists on learning who had betrayed him to the police years before in this intense, gripping drama.

German with subtitles 97 min

9:15pm – Any Day Now

Any Day Now

In the late 1970s, when a mentally handicapped teenager is abandoned, a gay couple - a drag performer (Alan Cumming) and a closeted attorney (Garret Dillahunt) - takes him in and becomes the family he’s never had. But, once the unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men must fight a biased legal system to adopt the child they have come to care for as their own in this gripping testament to love and family.

English 97 min

10:30pm – In Their Skin

In Their Skin

A relaxing trip to the country for a family of stylish urbanites takes a dark and disturbing turn when they are visited by their seemingly harmless neighbors. As their unsophisticated guests’ behavior becomes increasingly strange and menacing, the family realizes that they are trapped in a terrifying and potentially deadly situation. Skillfully building the claustrophobic atmosphere with masterful control over mood and pacing, In Their Skin is a chilling, sophisticated slice of terror.

English 96 min

11:00pm – John Dies at the End

John Dies at the End

After being introduced to a paranormal street drug known as “soy sauce,” underachieving slackers John and David decide that an otherworldly invasion is about to hit, and only they can save the human race. Meanwhile, an enigmatic journalist (Paul Giamatti) is investigating the drug, which has bizarre, dehumanizing effects on some users. This mind-bending blend of sci-fi and deadpan stoner humor is destined to become a late night cult classic.

English 100 min