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FIRST-TIME DIRECTORS MAKE WAVES AT THE 47TH CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Chicago, IL-- Since its founding
in 1965, the Chicago International Film Festival has welcomed to Chicago the new visions
and generations of filmmakers from around the world. At this 47th
Festival, more than 45 feature directorial debuts from 29 countries will
screen, some of which will compete across categories for the Festival’s
prestigious Gold Hugo award.
All Me: The Life and Times of Winfred Rembert USA (Director: Vivian Ducat)-- If there was ever a
case for designating a person as a National Treasure, Winfred Rembert is that
person. Though he lived through segregation and the civil rights era in the deep South, Rembert
didn’t begin his life as an artist until the 1990s. Working on cured leather
canvasses that are later painted, Rembert depicts a personalized form of US history that
you can’t get in books or anywhere else for that matter. Chicago Premiere. Director Vivian Ducat is
scheduled to attend.
Welcome to Germany Germany (Director Yasemin Samdereli)-- A six-year-old in
Germany confronts and questions the nature of self-identity after learning of
his Turkish grandfather’s journey as a guest worker in the 1960s.The discussion
leads the whole family to travel to their original home in Turkey, a trip that
will prove surprising in more ways than one. This delightful comedy shows that
your identity is not determined by where you live or where your parents come
from, but rather what you feel inside. Chicago Premiere.
Amnesty Albania/Greece (Director: Bujar Alimani)-- An unemployed
mother of two with a convict for a husband and a meddlesome father-in-law,
Elsa’s life could not get any harder. When a new law coerces her into joyless
conjugal visits, she unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in Septim, whose
monthly visits to his wife coincide with Elsa’s. Their newfound joy, however,
has an expiration date. This unconventional, pathos-filled love story probes
the possibility for solace in companionship in the face of adversity and
poverty. US Premiere.
Andrew Bird: Fever Year US (Director: Xan Aranda)-- Classically trained yet utterly
unconventional, musician Andrew Bird has been defying classification for 20
albums and countless live shows. And though Fever
Year covers the culminating months of the artist’s last tour, it’s as much
about the creative process as it is about performance. The film’s sensuous
visual style is a match for the musician whose combination of voice, violin,
and whistle could charm Hades himself. Chicago Premiere. Director Xan Aranda is scheduled
(Director: Michael Roskam)-- Jacky is a cattle farmer tied into the livestock underworld that uses illegal growth hormones to
enhance their meat. Following the assassination of a local police officer
investigating this illegal trade, a series of events forces Jacky to deal with
a brutal incident from his past. What begins as a crime thriller, slowly
unravels into an intense character-driven film that holds no punches or
surprises. North American Premiere.
Mohamed Diab)--Three Egyptian women from different social backgrounds join
forces to fight against their country’s tolerance toward sexual harassment.
Nelly files the first sexual harassment lawsuit in the history of the country,
Seba, a victim of a gang rape, teaches self-defense, and Fayza takes these
self-defense lessons a step too far. An expertly crafted combination of
character study, social critique, and vigilante action, Cairo 678 is one of those rare films that
resonates with audiences of both genders and across cultural divides. Chicago Premiere.
Cinema Komunisto Serbia (Director: Mira
Turjalic)-- If the illusion of reality is the currency of cinema, then cinephile
and former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito bought and paid for his countries
thrilling and heroic (but mostly made up) history. This award-winning
documentary chronicles the 40-year history of Avala studio, built by Tito to
crank out well-made propaganda films in order to shape and control his
country’s image in a post-war world. This veritable compendium of archival
footage and clips from over 60 classic Yugoslav films includes remembrances
from Tito’s personal projectionist.
Coriolanus UK (Director: Ralph Fiennes)-- Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’
(Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General is at odds with the city of
Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother
Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of
Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs
in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him,
Coriolanus’ anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero
then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to
take his revenge on the city. Chicago Premiere.
Corpo Celeste Italy
(Director: Alice Rohrwacher)-- Mysteries of the flesh collide with questions of
the soul when Marta, her mother and younger sister move back to their native Italy. Enrolled
in catechism class, Marta finds that the lessons contradict the local priest’s
support of a morally ambiguous political candidate. Marta must come to terms
with her conflicts over the church’s religious teachings as well as the
conflicts occurring within her own changing body. Chicago Premiere.
Corrode India (Director: Karan Gour)-- Chhaya, a woman of limited
means, leads a good, decent life alongside her husband Arvind--until she becomes
obsessed with a sculpture of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. Chhaya will
stop at nothing to bring home this statue, and soon her past weaknesses and
disappointments (including a miscarriage) bubble to the surface, consuming and corroding
her soul. Corrode is the latest
example of an exciting new wave of independent Indian cinema. World Premiere. Director Karan Gour is scheduled to attend.
The Destiny of Lesser Animals Ghana/USA (Director: Deron Albright)-- Nearly a decade after
being deported, Ghanaian Police inspector Boniface Koomsin is still trying to
get back to the U.S. But when his counterfeit passport is stolen, he mounts a
false investigation into a stolen gun that takes him on a dangerous journey
through contemporary Ghana.
As the “investigation” continues, he will have to choose between dreams of
escape and the realities of life in his homeland. Chicago Premiere. Director Deron Albright is
scheduled to attend.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye has to Travel USA
(Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland)-- A true American visionary, Diana Vreeland
became the first fashion editor at Harper’s
Bazaar in 1936 and from there proceeded to invent the concept of fashion as
we now know it. A talented writer with a larger than life personality, she had
an innate ability to discover designers, photographers and new ideas, often to
the point of controversy. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s delightfully
playful tribute uses archival footage, family photos and an animated
conversation with George Plympton. Chicago Premiere. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland
is scheduled to attend.
Ending Note: Death of a Japanese Salesman Japan
(Director: Mami Sunada)-- When a recently retired Japanese businessman is
diagnosed with incurable cancer, he reacts to the news with the same pragmatic
approach that made him a successful salesman. In her directorial debut, Mami
Sunada combines non-fiction film form with the growing trend of ―end of life
among the elderly in Japan.
By channeling her thoughts and feelings through her father’s ―ending note,‖
Sunada abstracts the weight of a life and the pain of loss into a surprisingly
hopeful and life-affirming message. North
Fat, Bald, Short Man Colombia (Director: Carlos Osuna)-- With nothing going in
the looks department, notary Antonio is something of a Colombian George
Costanza: teased by his colleagues, unlucky with the ladies, and the doormat of
all who wish to tread, most notably his gambling-addicted brother. But
Antonio’s luck seems set to take a turn for the better when he gets involved
with a cultish self-help group and an equally unattractive boss takes over the
office. A distinctive animation style and an undeniably heart-warming story
make Fat, Bald, Short Man a surefire
crowd-pleaser. U.S. Premiere.
Flying Fish Sri Lanka (Director: Sanjeewa Pushpakumara)-- The devastating
consequences of civil war are set against breathtaking vistas of Sri Lanka as
three separate stories are explored: a father and daughter’s relationship is
tested after an encounter with a soldier leaves her pregnant, an impoverished
family must find a way to manage their debt to the rebels, and a young boy
discovers his widowed mother’s sexual affair. Chicago Premiere.
George The Hedgehog Poland (irectors: Wojciech Wawszczyk, Jacub
Tarkowski, Tomas Lesniak)-- This
hilariously profane animated comedy follows George, a skateboarding booze
guzzler with a libido to match, as he turns from randy rodent into spiky
statesman, by way of some pretty far out genetic manipulation techniques. Both
a bold piece of satire and a refreshing break from the animated norm, the film
brims with as much irreverent energy as its prickled protagonist. Chicago Premiere. Director Jacub Tarkowski is
scheduled to attend.
(Director: Braden King)-- Cartography and passion come together in the first
American film made in Armenia.
Will, a satellite mapping engineer hired to map Armenia, arrives solo but soon
meets Gadarine, a photographer and Armenian expatriate returning home for the
first time. An unlikely pair, the two are inexplicably connected from their
first encounter and together explore new terrain both literally and
figuratively. With a striking visual design, this international road-movie
romance premiered at this year’s Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals. Chicago Premiere. Director Braden King is scheduled
The Holding UK
(Director: Susan Jacobson)-- After Cassie murders her abusive husband, a
manipulative neighbor tries to run her off her land. Help seems to come in the
form of gruff Scotsman Aden, but Cassie soon regrets letting Aden into her life when his true nature
begins to manifest itself. Stylish direction and taut performances keep
adrenaline running high in this accomplished, atmospheric gothic thriller. U.S. Premiere.
(Director: Kaat Beels)-- What is happiness? How do we grasp it? Six characters
fumble desperately as their lives intersect over the course of one day and
night in Brussels’
luxurious Hotel Swooni. A couple must face the truth about their marriage,
while a mother and daughter seek to repair their fractured relationship and a
young African boy urgently searches for his missing father. Emotions run high
in this surprising kaleidoscope of hopes and doubts, passion and betrayal, at
the hotel in which no one checks out quite the same as they checked in. U.S. Premiere. Director Kaat Beels is scheduled to attend.
Kinyarwanda USA (Director: Alrick Brown)-- A young Tutsi girl and Hutu
boy fall in love, an army captain tries to stay true to her mission while
keeping her humanity intact, and a priest grapples with his faith amidst
unspeakable betrayals and horrors. This gorgeously shot first feature magnifies
the individual lives of those who suffered and endured in this compelling, wholly
original take on the Rwandan Massacre of 1994. Chicago Premiere.
Raeven: Beyond the Image The Netherlands
(Director: Lisa Boerstra)-- Lisbeth and Angelique Raeven are twin sisters who
comprise the somewhat notorious video and performance duo L.A. Raeven. Their
complex and strained relationship unfolds in front of Lisa Boerstra’s intimate
camera while they work and live through the creation of two new performance
pieces. Inter-cutting scenes from earlier work and home videos from their
childhood, viewers are privy to the daily routines and conversations at the
home and studio they share. North
American Premiere. Lisa Boerstra is
scheduled to attend.
Land of Oblivion
(Director: Michale Boganim)-- To the citizens of Prypiat, April 26, 1986 began just
like any other day. Anya (Olga Kurylenko, Quantum
of Solace) and Piotr celebrate their marriage while young Valery spends
time with his physicist father, oblivious to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that is
irrevocably changing their lives. What follows is a lyrical, pathos-filled
portrait of the next ten years of those powerless to separate themselves from
the town and its defining tragedy. U.S. Premiere.
Léa France (Director: Bruno Rolland)-- Léa, a young student from
Le Havre, dreams of attending the prestigious Paris Institute of Political
Sciences and being fully independent. The sole caretaker of her resentful,
Alzheimers-suffering grandmother, Léa becomes a stripper in order to pay for
her university studies and her grandmother’s nursing home. When things start to
spiral out of control Lea discovers that easy answers can come at a hefty
price. North American Premiere. Director
Bruno Rolland is scheduled to attend.
Leave it on The Floor USA (Director: Sheldon Larry)-- Sheldon Larry's
delightfully energetic, bold and rather cheeky musical about the glamorous
world of voguing follows the journey of one young gay African American as he
finds his place in the world. After being thrown out of the house by his
homophobic mother, Brad stumbles into L.A.'s
competitive underground drag ball scene where he discovers a brave new world of
friendship, love, and acceptance. Featuring original songs by Beyoncé’s
creative director Kim Burse and dynamic choreography by Frank Gatson, Jr. Chicago Premiere.
A Little Closer USA (Director: Matt
Petock)-- This lyrical portrait of life in small town Virginia finds a single
mother struggling to keep it together, working as a housekeeper and looking for
love. Meanwhile, her two adolescent sons explore their own sexuality in the
sweltering, stagnant days of summer. This debut family drama presents an
intimate study of the emotional landscape of rural America. North American Premiere.
Love Always, Carolyn Sweden
(Directors: Malin Korkeasalo and Maria Ramström)-- Muse, mother, wife, and
lover, Carolyn Cassady was the great woman behind two of the Beat Generations
greatest men: Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac. As the model for Kerouac’s Dean
Moriarty in On The Road, Neal was a
living legend who often left Carolyn and the kids behind for grand adventures
in the beatnik universe. This endearing portrait from first-time directors
Maria Ramström and Malin Korkeasalo celebrates the wit, beauty, grace, and
normalcy of an overlooked figure from one of American literature’s most popular
Machete Language Mexico
(Director: Kyzza Terrazas)-- It’s one thing to talk, or even sing, about
revolution. It’s another to take one up. Raised in middle class families, Ray
and Ramona are not blind to the corruption and injustice that engulf the less
fortunate in their country. Ramona finds an outlet in her music, but Ray
struggles to find a cause--until he settles on a course of action that might
prove to be downright revolutionary … and lethal.
Shot hand-held, Machete possesses a
nervous, unsettling energy that perfectly mirrors its characters own
near-frenzied search for purpose. North American Premiere. Director Kyzza
Terrazas is scheduled to attend.
Man Without a Cell Phone Israel/Palestine (Director: Sameh Zoabi)-- A young Arab
Israeli finds his political voice in this genial comedy about Israel-Palestine
tensions. Jawat loves to endlessly call girls on his cell phone, even though
his heart belongs to another. His father Saleh is causing a ruckus over a newly
constructed cell phone tower near his olive grove, going so far as to attempt
its destruction. When Jawat’s calls to the West Bank
draw the attention of Israeli authorities, the young slacker finally takes a
Martha Marcy May Marlene USA
(Director: Sean Durkin)-- Elizabeth Olsen stars as Martha, a young woman
rapidly unraveling amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing
from a cult and its charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Seeking help from her
estranged older sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy),
Martha is unable and unwilling to reveal the truth about her disappearance.
When her memories trigger a chilling paranoia that her former cult could still
be pursuing her, the line between Martha's reality and delusion begins to blur.
Mausam (Seasons Of Love) India (Director: Pankaj Kapur)-- Renowned Indian actor
Pankaj Kapoor makes his directorial debut with this Bollywood-style love story
between Kashmiri refugee Aayat and Punjabi Air Force officer Harry. Spanning a
full decade and two continents, we follow
their relationship through four distinct seasons, each representing a different
stage in their lives. A passionate and
sweeping romantic epic full of exuberant musical numbers, Mausam brings to life an unforgettable journey of sacrifice,
separation, and love. US Premiere
Michael Belgium (Director: Markus Schleinzer)-- While troubling to
use subtle and pedophilia in the same sentence, there’s no better way to
describe this matter-of-fact story of a man who keeps a young boy locked in his
basement. The horrors of unseen sexual abuse merge with the banal cues of
modern domestic life as this understated film carefully plots its twists and
turns. The film forgoes explicit visuals in exchange for an ending that you
won’t forget. Chicago
The Mole Poland (Director:
Rafael Lewandowski)-- Pawel
and his father Zygmunt make a living importing second hand clothing from France
to Poland. When Zygmunt is suddenly and publicly accused of being a past Communist
informant, he flees the country leaving the stubbornly apolitical Pawel to pick
up the pieces and face the pervading legacy of Poland’s troubled past. With strong
performances and sympathetic characters, The
Mole candidly explores how the weight of history affects a son’s love for
his family and his motherland. U.S. Premiere. Director Rafael Lewandowski is scheduled to attend.
My Week with Marilyn UK (Director: Simon
Curtis)-- In the early summer of 1956, 23 year-old Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne)
worked as a lowly assistant on the set of The
Prince and the Showgirl. The film famously united Sir Laurence Olivier
(Kenneth Branagh) and Marilyn Monroe
who was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller
(Dougray Scott). When Miller leaves England, the coast is clear for
Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life. Chicago Premiere. Director Simon Curtis is
scheduled to attend.
Natural Selection USA
(Director: Robbie Pickering)-- Linda’s devoutly religious husband Abe hasn’t
slept with her since he found out she was barren. That was 20 years ago. But
when Abe suffers a stroke she finds out that his sexual needs were being taken
care of at the local sperm bank, and the discovery of a mullet-headed ex-con
son named Raymond is the result. Linda goes to Florida to meet Raymond and the pair embark
on a journey of self-discovery in this offbeat, darkly funny road movie that
was a big winner at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Chicago Premiere.
On the Bridge France/USA (Director:
Olivier Morel)-- PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, can be a whole new
kind of war for our young men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The opposite of
fighting alongside your brothers and sisters in arms, this battle is often
fought alone, against demons the soldier hides from others. The power of the
documentary form is strongly felt as On
the Bridge not only gives voice to the personal trauma our warriors endure,
but also as a means to help them honor their service and move forward as
Premiere. Director Olivier Morel is
scheduled to attend.
(Director: Prashant Bhargava)-- Can you ever really go home again? In
Chicago-born Prashant Bhargava’s visually stunning feature debut, a successful Delhi businessman returns to his familial home, urban-bred
daughter in tow, for a surprise visit during India’s largest kite festival. The
excitement of their homecoming soon fades as long-held resentments and distrust
(Director: Aharon Keshales)-- Take the classic horror movie formula - hot girls
lost in the woods, marauding homicidal maniacs, and gallons of blood and gore.
Add some dark humor, sharp, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists and voilá,
you get Rabies, Israel’s
critically acclaimed first foray into the slasher genre. Sophisticated enough
to appeal to a broad audience but with sufficient splatter to satisfy the
hardcore genre fan, Rabies is an
exhilarating and highly enjoyable viewing experience. Chicago Premiere.
(Director: Sabine Bernardi)-- Lukas, a female-to-male transgendered youth
undergoing hormone replacement therapy, travels to Cologne for his compulsory civil service.
There he meets the attractive Fabio, who embodies all Lukas wants to be after
his surgery is completed. But can he open up to Fabio? And what will happen to
their relationship if he does? The charisma, sensitivity, and chemistry between
the leads makes this unique love story a treasure to watch. Chicago Premiere.
Sadermania: From Fanship to
Friendship USA (Director:
Adam Gacka)-- Calling all Hulkamaniacs! When you’re done training, taking your
vitamins, and saying your prayers, then you can meet the purest fan of all,
Chris Sader, in a story that goes from childhood obsession to an unexpected and
touching friendship. In this inspirational tale, Chris and Hulk Hogan relate
how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss
that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely bond that develops
between them. World Premiere. Director
Adam Gacka is scheduled to attend.
Salaam Dunk USA/Iraq (Director: David Fine)-- When violent images of Iraq
are all the Western world is accustomed to, it’s easy to forget that life
continues in the war-torn nation. At the American
University of Iraq-Sulaimani,
life does just that, as is extraordinarily personified by the university’s
women’s basketball team. In a sports movie for the ages, Salaam Dunk follows the team’s season, chronicling their triumphs
and tragedies both on and off the court. North
American Premiere. Director David
Fine is scheduled to attend.
Sleeping Beauty Australia
(Director: Julia Leigh)-- Forget everything you thought you knew about Sleeping Beauty. In Julia Leigh’s unsettling
take on the classic tale, the beauty is Lucy (Emily Browning), a young woman
who begins working at a niche job in the sex industry in order to pay for her
education. Drugged and placed in a “sleeping beauty chamber”, Lucy becomes the
plaything of paying customers, where almost anything is permissible. With so
much beyond her control, will Lucy ever wake up to the world around her? Chicago Premiere.
The Slut Israel (Director: Hagar
Ben Asher)-- Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival,
Hagar Ben Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a
beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite.
While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the
village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life.
That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town. U.S. Premiere. Director Hagar Ben Asher is scheduled to attend.
Snowtown Australia (Director: Justin Kurzel)-- Based on true events,
this skillfully crafted psychological thriller centers on 16-year-old
Jamie, who lives in a squalid, crime-ridden slum on the outskirts of Adelaide.
When John Bunting, a charismatic older man, enters his life, he offers
friendship and escape from his deadbeat existence. But as Bunting’s behavior
becomes increasingly sinister, Jamie finds himself caught up in horrors he
could never have imagined as he realizes his new father figure is actually a
cold-blooded serial killer. Chicago Premiere.
Southwest Brazil (Director: Eduardo Nunes)-- In a small fishing
village in Brazil,
Clarice experiences her entire life, beginning at birth, in the space of a day.
The villagers remain oblivious to Clarice’s unique situation, living life just
like us, one day at a time. In an attempt to understand her reality, Clarice
tries to change her destiny as well as the destiny of those around her in this
haunting and thought-provoking film. North
The Student Argentina
(Director: Santiago Mitre)-- Roque goes from young Lothario to activist and
general rabble-rouser in this cleverly plotted parable revealing the underbelly
of Argentinean politics. Set at the University
of Buenos Aires, the
heady mix of sex, intellectualism and shady ploys that would make Richard Nixon
smile, soon become all too real and Roque finds that he’s in way over his head.
With nuanced performances and dynamic pacing, Santiago Mitre’s debut feature
has earned comparisons to Truffaut, Godard and Alexander Payne. Chicago Premiere.
Take Me Home USA
(Director: Sam Jaeger)-- Thom (Sam Jaeger)
just can’t win. After losing a job offer and getting evicted, he decides to
buckle up as an illegal New York City
cab driver. When he picks up Claire (Amber Jaeger), they embark on a trip
neither one anticipated. This comedy finds solace in the back seat of a cab,
the landscape of the USA,
and even in a complete stranger. Director Sam Jaeger’s (from NBC’S Parenthood) Take Me Home, shows how a little cross-country drive can often lead
you to take a different exit.
Top Floor, Left Wing France
(Director: Angelo Cianci)-- It was supposed to be just a routine day in the
field for respected bailiff Francois Echeverria.
But when he arrives at an apartment in the Parisian projects to collect unpaid
rent, he is unexpectedly taken hostage by an edgy teenage son and his reluctant
Algerian father. Word of terrorist activity spreads quickly, and with
trigger-happy cops waiting outside and the media closing in, they have to
decide what to do about their hostage, five kilos of cocaine, and closely
guarded secrets in this smart, politically minded comedy. US Premiere.
Turn Me On, Dammit! Norway
(Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen)-- Fifteen-year-old Alma feels trapped in her small Norwegian
town. To curb her restlessness and active imagination and to satiate her sexual
regularly calls a phone sex hotline. After an awkward sexual encounter with a
crush turns her into a social pariah, Alma
decides to run away to Oslo.
Funny, quirky and endearing, Turn Me On,
Dammit! charmingly captures the ups and downs of teenage sexuality. Chicago Premiere.
(Director: Paddy Considine)-- Actor/Director Paddy Considine (In America) delivers a gritty tale of
self-destruction and redemption in his feature-length directorial debut.
Expanded from his award-winning short film, Dog
Altogether, Tyrannosaur follows
the unlikely friendship between rage-filled Joseph (Peter Mullan) and Christian
Goodwill store worker, Hannah (Olivia Colman). Mullan’s electrifying
performance finds a perfect counterpoint in Colman’s measured portrayal. Chicago Premiere.
Iceland/Denmark (Director: Rúnar Rúnarsson)-- An unconventional
coming-of-age tale wrapped in a tender love story, this debut feature presents
a portrait of compassionate devotion and an unflinching look at aging. When
Hannes retires at age 67, it seems that life--well, meaningful life--has come to
an end. Estranged from family and friends, Hannes' most intimate relationship
is with his boat, until a series of drastic events causes him to take stock of
his life. U.S. Premiere.
Ways of the Sea Philippines
(Director: Sheron R. Dayoc)-- Solidarity, hope, and fear beget friendship in
this tale of a perilous journey across the South China Sea.
A motley group of individuals--from children hoping to be reunited with absent
mothers and would-be prostitutes to human traffickers preying on the locals’
desperation--cross paths while waiting to be smuggled by boat, destination Malaysia. The
possibilities for a bright future seem increasingly distant as they near the
shore in this slow-burning, suspense-filled verité drama. Chicago Premiere.
Wetlands Canada (Director: Guy
Édoin)-- Saddled with a guilt no teenager should have to bear, 17-year-old
brooding Simon feels starkly out of place on his parents’ struggling dairy
farm. Life on the farm is demanding, but no matter how hard Simon tries, he
cannot live up to his father’s expectations.
Resentments simmer, so when a tragic accident hits close to home, the question
of blame haunts the family and possibilities for forgiveness seem ever remote
in this captivating family drama. U.S. Premiere. Director Guy Édoin is scheduled to attend.
The Whisperer in Darkness USA
(Director: Sean Branney)-- Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft, The Whisperer in Darkness is an eerily
deft recreation of classic 1930’s studio horror fare. Professor Albert Wilmart,
a smug skeptic, is forced to question his views by a series of increasingly
bizarre encounters with the supernatural. Genuinely terrifying and highly
entertaining, Whisperer is a fitting
homage for Lovecraft aficionados and, for newcomers, a perfect introduction to
one of the great horror masterminds of the 20th century. Chicago Premiere. Director
Sean Branney is scheduled to attend.
Wild Bill UK (Dir. Dexter
Fletcher)-- Not everyone is pleased when wild Bill Hayward rolls into town
after serving eight years in jail on drug charges. His two sons, Dean and
Jimmy, have been living alone ever since their mother abandoned them, and his
old cohorts want Bill back in the-- saddle again. Bill and his sons begin to
bond, but trouble strikes when Jimmy gets mixed up with his father’s old crew,
causing Bill to realize that the town ain’t big enough for the both of them in
this contemporary Western influenced gangster vehicle set in London’s
East End. North
American Premiere. Director Dexter
Fletcher is scheduled to attend.