The full program line-up for the 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival (June 16-26) has been announced!
Rodrigo Garcia’s Nine Lives will screen as the Centerpiece Premiere on Tuesday, June 21 at 7:00 pm at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. By depicting nine different characters at emotional crossroads, “Nine Lives” examines how women so often find themselves captives of relationships, both past and present. The film stars Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Elpidia Carrillo, Glenn Close, Stephen Dillane, Dakota Fanning, William Fichtner, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Holly Hunter, Jason Isaacs, Ian McShane, Joe Montegna, Molly Parker, Mary Kay Place, Sydney Tamiia Poitier, Aidan Quinn, Miguel Sandoval, Amanda Seyfried, Sissy Spacek, and Robin Wright Penn. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is the executive producer, and Julie Lynn is the producer.
Don Roos’s (“The Opposite of Sex,” “Bounce”) Happy Endings will screen as the Closing Night Gala on Sunday, June 26 at 7:00 pm at Mann’s National Theatre in Westwood. Featuring a talented ensemble cast that includes Tom Arnold, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Sarah Clarke, Steve Coogan, Laura Dern, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Ritter, David Sutcliffe, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lions Gate Films’ “Happy Endings” deftly weaves together multiple stories to create a sharp, witty look at love, family, and the sheer unpredictability of life.
Down in the Valley – North American Premiere ^ USA. 125 min. ^ DIRECTOR David Jacobson WRITER David Jacobson PRODUCERS Holly Wiersma, Adam Rosenfelt, Edward Norton CAST Edward Norton, Evan Rachel Wood, David Morse, Rory Culkin, Bruce Dern ^ A mysterious horseman rolls into a suburban enclave at the edge of the creeping sprawl of the San Fernando Valley and forever changes the lives of two young siblings in this classic yet wholly original parable of hope and disappointed dreams.
Nine Lives ^ USA. 114 min. ^ DIRECTOR Rodrigo Garcia WRITER Rodrigo Garcia PRODUCER Julie Lynn CAST Kathy Baker, Amy Brenneman, Elpidia Carrillo, Glenn Close, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Holly Hunter, Amanda Seyfried, Sissy Spacek, Robin Wright Penn ^ Nine sometimes overlapping stories, each captured in a single take, depict critical moments in the emotional lives of nine women.
Happy Endings ^ USA. 130 min. ^ DIRECTOR Don Roos WRITER Don Roos PRODUCERS Holly Wiersma, Michael Paseornek CAST Maggie Gyllenhaal, Laura Dern, Tom Arnold, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Ritter, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Sarah Clarke, Steve Coogan, David Sutcliffe ^ One of the foremost chroniclers of the foibles and mores of modern life, writer/director Don Roos has fashioned a wickedly funny and unexpectedly touching look at families coming together and being torn apart.
2046 ^ China. In Cantonese, Japanese, and Mandarin with English subtitles. 129 min. ^ DIRECTOR Wong Kar Wai WRITER Wong Kar Wai PRODUCER Wong Kar Wai CAST Tony Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li, Faye Wong, Maggie Cheung, Chang Chen ^ Tony Leung reprises his role from In the Mood for Love as a man who becomes involved with a series of women, played by Asia’s biggest female stars, as he struggles to write a futuristic novel based on his own memories.
Be Here To Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt ^ USA. 99 min. ^ DIRECTOR Margaret Brown PRODUCERS Sam Brumbaugh, Margaret Brown FEATURING Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Steve Shelley, Willie Nelson ^ An affectionate and unblinking look at the troubled life of Townes Van Zandt, Be Here To Love Me captures the wounded essence of the man and his music.
The Beat That My Heart Skipped ^ France. In French with English subtitles. 107 min. ^ DIRECTOR Jacques Audiard WRITERS Jacques Audiard, Tonino Benacquista CAST Romain Duris, Niels Arestrup, Aure Atika ^ In this ingenious French re-make of James Tobak’s Fingers, a shady real-estate investor is torn between his semi-criminal world and a second chance at respectability as a concert pianist.
The Beautiful Country ^ Norway/USA. In English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Vietnamese with English subtitles. 125 min. ^ DIRECTOR Hans Petter Moland WRITER Sabina Murray PRODUCERS Edward R. Pressman, Terrence Malick, Petter J. Borgli, Tomas Backström CAST Damien Nguyen, Nick Nolte, Tim Roth, Bai Ling, Temuera Morrison ^ Touched with an epic sensibility, The Beautiful Country is a tender, straightforward tale of a young man’s journey to find the parents he’s never known, a Vietnamese mother and an American G.I. father.
Junebug ^ USA. 102 min. ^ DIRECTOR Phil Morrison WRITER Angus MacLachlan PRODUCERS Mindy Goldberg, Mike S. Ryan CAST Amy Adams, Embeth Davidtz, Ben McKenzie, Alessandro Nivola, Frank Hoyt Taylor, Celia Weston, Scott Wilson ^ While on a business trip to North Carolina, a midwestern art dealer gets to know her new in-laws in this portrait of life and family in the modern South.
Keane ^ USA. 100 min. ^ DIRECTOR Lodge H. Kerrigan WRITER Lodge H. Kerrigan PRODUCER Steven Soderbergh CAST Damian Lewis, Amy Ryan, Tina Holmes, Abigail Breslin ^ In a mesmerizing performance, Damian Lewis plays William Keane, a man struggling to cope with the abduction of his daughter, in the latest from director Lodge Kerrigan.
Last Days ^ USA. 97 min. ^ DIRECTOR Gus Van Sant WRITER Gus Van Sant PRODUCER Dany Wolf CAST Michael Pitt, Lukas Haas, Asia Argento, Scott Green ^ A meditation on isolation inspired by the final days in the life of Kurt Cobain, Gus Van Sant’s latest exploration of American tragedy and elliptical storytelling follows rock-star Blake as he spends his last hours rambling through his crumbling estate.
Me and You and Everyone We Know ^ USA. 93 min. ^ DIRECTOR Miranda July WRITER Miranda July PRODUCER Gina Kwon CAST Miranda July, John Hawkes, Miles Thompson, Brandon Ratcliff, Carlie Westerman, Natasha Slayton, Najarra Townsend, Hector Elias, Tracy Wright ^ Acclaimed video and performance artist Miranda July makes her feature debut with the gently moving Me and You and Everyone We Know, an invigorating hybrid of humor and melancholy.
New York Doll ^ USA. 77 min. ^ DIRECTOR Greg Whiteley PRODUCERS Ed Cunningham, Seth Lewis Gordon FEATURING Arthur “Killer” Kane, David Johansen, Barbara Kane, Morrissey, Sylvain Sylvain, Iggy Pop ^ New York Dolls rock star Arthur “Killer” Kane, who transformed from suicidal alcoholic into born-again Mormon, is given the chance to reunite with his infamous punk band after 30 years.
November ^ USA. 78 min. ^ DIRECTOR Greg Harrison WRITER Benjamin Brand PRODUCERS Danielle Renfrew, Gary Winick, Jake Abraham CAST Courteney Cox, James LeGros, Michael Ealy, Nora Dunn, Nick Offerman, Anne Archer ^ Courteney Cox stars as a photographer trying to cope with her boyfriend’s murder while her grasp on what actually transpired begins to disintegrate.
Yes ^ England. 95 min. ^ DIRECTOR Sally Potter WRITER Sally Potter PRODUCERS Christopher Sheppard, Andrew Fierberg CAST Joan Allen, Simon Abkarian, Sam Neill, Shirley Henderson ^ A successful molecular scientist in a loveless marriage begins an affair with a middle-eastern man. Though the two have much in common, their affair soon begins to strain under the pressures of their cultural and political differences.
OUTDOOR PROGRAMS AT THE FORD AMPHITHEATRE
The Last Laugh (1924) ^ Germany. Silent with English intertitles. 75 min. ^ With live musical score by J.Rocc ^ DIRECTOR F.W. Murnau WRITER Carl Mayer PRODUCER Erich Pommer CAST Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller ^ Turntablist extraordinaire J.Rocc of the Beat Junkies performs a new score to F.W. Murnau’s masterful tale of a proud, brass-buttoned doorman demoted to lavatory attendant in this special combination of silent film and live music.
March of the Penguins ^ France. 80 min. ^ DIRECTOR Luc Jacquet WRITERS Luc Jacquet, Michel Fessler PRODUCERS Yves Darondeau, Christophe Lioud, Emmanuel Priou ^ Every year thousands of penguins trek across Antarctica, guided by instinct and the promise of true love. Featuring breathtaking cinematography, this portrait of these brave birds will delight children and amaze their parents.
Night Watch ^ Russia. In Russian with English subtitles. 116 min. ^ DIRECTOR Timur Bekmambetov WRITERS Sergei Lukyanenko, Timur Bekmambetov PRODUCERS Anatoly Maximov, Konstantin Ernst CAST Konstantin Khabensky, Vladimir Mensho, Valery Zolotukhin, Maria Poroshina, Galina Tunina, Victor Verzhbitsky, Dima Martynov ^ Timur Bekmambetov’s huge Russian hit is an incredible melding of horror, fantasy, and action, bringing blood-suckers, changelings, and urban heroes together in the ultimate battle between good and evil.
Rize ^ USA. 84 min. ^ DIRECTOR David LaChapelle PRODUCERS David LaChapelle, Marc Hawker, Ellen Jacobson-Clarke, Richmond Talauega, Tone Talauega ^ An energetic chronicle of the South Central-born dance style known as “krumping,” Rize uses stunning photography to convey the vitality of the form as well as its positive use as a means of self-expression for the youth of the neighborhood.
ToonTime with THE RZA ^ 70 min. ^ While some of the strangest, coolest cartoons you’ve ever seen screen behind him, THE RZA of the Wu-Tang Clan will lay down tracks in his indomitable style. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime performance when the animated and the Wu collide.
The Ape – World Premiere ^ USA. 91 min. ^ DIRECTOR James Franco WRITERS James Franco, Merriwether Williams PRODUCERS Vince Jolivette, David Klein CAST James Franco, Brian Lally, Stacey Miller, Allison Bibicoff, Vince Jolivette ^ In this dark comedy, put-upon family man Harry abandons his family to become the next Dostoyevsky, but finds himself sharing an apartment with a foul-mouthed, Hawaiian shirt-wearing gorilla.
Promedio Rojo ^ Chile/Spain. In Spanish with English subtitles. 104 min. ^ DIRECTOR Nicolás López WRITER Nicolás López PRODUCER Miguel Asensio CAST Ariel Levy, Xenia Tostado, Benjamin Vicuña ^ First-time Chilean filmmaker Nicolás López throws his obsession with comic books, Kevin Smith, bodily fluid jokes, and John Hughes movies into a blender, serving up an outrageous teen angst comedy with surprising skill.
R-Point ^ South Korea. In Korean with English subtitles. 106 min. ^ DIRECTOR Kong Su-chang WRITER Kong Su-chang PRODUCER Choi Kang-hyeok CAST Kam Woo-seong, Son Byung-ho, Oh Tae-kyung, Park Won-sang ^ War is hell, and no place is that truer than R-Point, where the ground is soaked in blood and the dead refuse to stay down.
The Roost ^ USA. 80 min. ^ DIRECTOR Ti West WRITER Ti West PRODUCERS Larry Fessenden, Susan Leber CAST Tom Noonan, Wil Horneff, Karl Jacob, Vanessa Horneff, Sean Reid, John Speredakos, Larry Fessenden ^ Four friends run into car trouble in the middle of nowhere and wind up battling bloodthirsty bats and the always hungry undead in Ti West’s B- movie blast.
Beauty Remains – North American Premiere ^ USA/China. In Mandarin with English subtitles. 89 min. ^ DIRECTOR Ann Hu WRITERS Beth Schacter, Michael Eldridge, Wang Bin PRODUCERS Ira Deutchman, Ann Hu CAST Lisa Lu, Zhiwen Wang, Vivian Wu, Xun Zhou ^ Ann Hu’s gorgeous, moody period melodrama delights as Fei, an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy businessman, attempts to reclaim her rightful share of spoiled, seductive, and wholly legitimate half-sister Lady Ying’s glamour and romance.
Cavite ^ USA. In English and Tagalog with English subtitles. 80 min. ^ DIRECTORS Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon WRITERS Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon PRODUCERS Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon, Quynn Ton CAST Ian Gamazon, Dominique Gonzalez ^ A young man arrives in the Philippines and, to save his kidnapped family, becomes a pawn in activities beyond his control in this tightly wound thriller that seamlessly combines the personal and political.
Jellysmoke – World Premiere ^ USA. 90 min. ^ DIRECTOR Mark Banning WRITER Mark Banning PRODUCERS Mark Banning, Cliff Charles, Mad Matthewz CAST Michael Ealy, Andre Royo, Opal Aladdin, Angela Nirvana ^ In his feature debut, Mark Banning beautifully paints the portrait of a young African American man searching for love and a way to maintain his sanity.
Nearing Grace – World Premiere ^ USA. 100 min. ^ DIRECTOR Rick Rosenthal WRITER Jacob Aaron Estes PRODUCERS Rick Rosenthal, Susan Johnson, Tracy Underwood CAST Gregory Smith, Jordana Brewster, Ashley Johnson, David Morse ^ Starring Gregory Smith, Jordana Brewster, and David Morse, Nearing Grace probes the libido and heart of a teenage boy with wit, intelligence, and a bit of poetry.
Our Very Own – World Premiere ^ USA. 105 min. ^ DIRECTOR Cameron Watson WRITER Cameron Watson PRODUCERS Steve Cubine, Shannon McMahon Lichte, Maggie Biggar, Robert W. McLean CAST Allison Janney, Keith Carradine, Cheryl Hines, Jason Ritter, Autumn Reeser, Hilarie Burton, Derek Carter, Michael McKee ^ It’s the summer of 1978, and very little is happening in Shelbyville, Tennessee. When the rumor spreads that hometown-girl-made-good Sondra Locke may be coming home for a visit, five teens decide that she holds the key to their escape from small town life.
Road – World Premiere ^ USA. 95 min. ^ DIRECTOR Leslie McCleave WRITER Leslie McCleave PRODUCERS Zachary Mortensen, Leslie McCleave CAST Catherine Kellner, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, James Urbaniak ^ A variation on the sturdy lovers-take-a-drive tale, Road follows a man and a woman as they go on an increasingly surreal journey on the backroads running between old relationships, toxic waste sites, and the middle of nowhere.
Southbounders – World Premiere ^ USA. 84 min. ^ DIRECTOR Ben Wagner WRITER Ben Wagner PRODUCERS Ben Wagner, Charlotte Pai CAST Amy Peterson, Scott Speiser, Christopher McCutchen ^ A pre-med student drops out of college to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia in this loving tribute to the crossroads of youth.
Trona ^ USA. 63 min. ^ DIRECTOR David Fenster WRITER David Fenster PRODUCER David Fenster CAST David Nordstrom, Lee Lynch, Libby Hux ^ A disillusioned businessman unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of the desert and seizes the opportunity to reinvent himself.
The Century Plaza – World Premiere ^ USA. 79 min. ^ DIRECTOR Eric Lahey PRODUCER Joey Brenner ^ First-time feature filmmaker Eric Lahey’s stirring portrait of life inside a Portland single room occupancy hotel is as visually mesmerizing as it is emotionally riveting.
Ears, Open. Eyeballs, Click. ^ USA. 115 min. ^ DIRECTOR Canaan Brumley WRITER Canaan Brumley PRODUCER Canaan Brumley FEATURING Michael Nichols, Marcos Martinez, Jalen Maranan, Alex Liebfried, Adam Sandercock ^ An insider’s portrait of Marine recruits enduring six weeks of boot camp, this verité documentary is so real it becomes surreal.
Everyone Their Grain of Sand – US Premiere ^ Mexico/USA. In Spanish with English subtitles. 87 min. ^ DIRECTOR Beth Bird PRODUCER Beth Bird ^ This intimate and heartbreaking film chronicles Mexican community Maclovio Rojas’s 18-year-long battle with their government to obtain education, electricity, and water, while town leaders fight to be freed from unjust imprisonment.
The Grace Lee Project ^ USA. 68 min. ^ DIRECTOR Grace Lee WRITERS Grace Lee, Amy Ferraris PRODUCER Grace Lee, Amy Ferraris FEATURING Grace Lee, Grace Lee, Grace Lee ^ Do you know a Grace Lee? Director Grace Lee’s The Grace Lee Project is a wry and moving examination of the many faces of Asian femininity connected by one ultra-popular name.
How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (and Enjoy It) ^ USA. In English and French with English subtitles. 85 min. ^ DIRECTOR Joe Angio WRITER Joe Angio PRODUCER Michael Solomon FEATURING Melvin Van Peebles, Spike Lee, Gordon Parks, St. Clair Bourne, Emanuel Azenberg, Gebé, Georges Wolinski ^ Joe Angio’s revealing documentary about maverick director Melvin Van Peebles features rare archival footage and interviews with friends and family, including Spike Lee, Elvis Mitchell, and the man himself, unabashed and unapologetic.
In a Nutshell: A Portrait of Elizabeth Tashjian ^ USA. 80 min. ^ DIRECTOR Don Bernier ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Tina Erickson FEATURING Elizabeth Tashjian, Christopher Steiner, Christine Woodside ^ In the hamlet of Old Lyme, Connecticut, self-proclaimed “nut culturist” Elizabeth Tashjian walks the fine line between eccentric artist and unstable incompetent.
Romántico ^ USA. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 80 min. ^ DIRECTOR Mark Becker PRODUCER Mark Becker FEATURING Carmelo Muñiz Sánchez, Arturo Arias García ^ Carmelo peddles ballads for Mission District drinkers in this engrossing documentary, which binds audiences to a culture of Mexican men whose struggle for respect leaves them scapegoated, exploited, or ignored.
La Sierra ^ Colombia/USA. In Spanish with English subtitles. 84 min. ^ DIRECTORS Scott Dalton, Margarita Martinez PRODUCERS Scott Dalton, Margarita Martinez ^ Courageous and visceral, La Sierra covers a year in the life of a Medellín, Colombia barrio, where gun-toting youths fight territorial wars in a desperate struggle for survival.
Sir! No Sir! – World Premiere ^ USA. 90 min. ^ DIRECTOR David Zeiger WRITER David Zeiger PRODUCERS David Zeiger, Evangeline Griego, Aaron Zarrow ^ This smartly-crafted, provoking documentary about the Vietnam era anti-war movement within the military introduces men and women who sought justice but found themselves judged guilty of treason.
Stolen ^ USA. 85 min. ^ DIRECTOR Rebecca Dreyfus PRODUCER Susannah Ludwig FEATURING Blythe Danner, Campbell Scott, Harold J. Smith ^ Sporting a bizarre cast of characters, Stolen explores the conspiracies and rumors surrounding the unsolved mystery of what is considered to be the greatest art heist in modern times.
To the Other Side ^ Mexico/USA. In Spanish with English subtitles. 66 min. ^ DIRECTOR Natalia Almada PRODUCERS Kent Rogowski, Tommaso Fiacchino ^ The tradition of corridos—ballads sung to commemorate people, places, and events—in Mexico melds with the truth of today’s economy through songs about drug trafficking and illegal border crossing.
4 ^ Russia. In Russian with English subtitles. 126 min. ^ DIRECTOR Ilya Khrzhanovsky WRITERS Vladimir Sorokin, Ilya Khrzhanovsky PRODUCER Yelena Yatsura CAST Marina Vovchenko, Sergei Shnurov, Yuri Laguta, Irina Vovchenko, Svetlana Vovchenko, Konstantin Murzenko, Alexey Khvostenko ^ From its startling opening scene to its assured conclusion, Ilya Khrzhanovsky’s debut feature, filled with unforgettable images and deadpan, rueful humor, confounds expectations.
Avanim ^ France/Israel. In Hebrew with English subtitles. 106 min. ^ DIRECTOR Raphael Nadjari WRITER Raphael Nadjari PRODUCERS Geoffroy Grison, Marek Rozenbaum, Itai Tamir CAST Asi Levi, Uri Gabriel, Florence Bloch, Shaul Mizrahi, Danny Steg, Gabi Amrani-Gur, Eli Eltonyo ^ A sudden tragedy forces a Sephardic woman to confront her suffocating existence as a dutiful Tel Aviv wife, mother, and daughter in Raphael Nadjari’s powerful and intimate Avanim.
Before the Flood – North American Premiere ^ China. In Chinese with English subtitles. 147 min. ^ DIRECTORS Li Yifan, Yan Yu ^ This intimate documentary captures the plight of a two-thousand-year-old Chinese village that only has a few years to relocate to higher ground when a dam project threatens to submerge its residents’ homes—and heritages—under water.
Bitter Dream ^ Iran. In Persian with English subtitles. 87 min. ^ DIRECTOR Mohsen Amiryoussefi WRITER Mohsen Amiryoussefi PRODUCER Mohsen Amiryoussefi CAST Abbas Esfandiari, Delbar Ghasri, Safar Ali Safari, Yadollah Anvari ^ A deadpan Iranian comedy about life and death, Bitter Dream follows the trials and tribulations of a surly corpse washer who has to mend his ways if he wants a proper burial.
Fatima, the Algerian Woman of Dakar– US Premiere ^ Mauritania/France/Tunisia/Senegal. In Wolof, Arabic, and French with English subtitles. 89 min. ^ DIRECTOR Med Hondo WRITER Med Hondo PRODUCER Med Hondo CAST Amel Djemel, Aboubacar Sadikh Ba, Larbi Zekal, Abdoul Almamy, Cheikh Wane, Thierno N’Dyaye Doss, Mame Ndoumbé, Mostefa Stiti ^ When a young Senegalese soldier proposes to marry the Algerian girl he raped and impregnated during her country’s struggle for independence, her reluctant acceptance of his offer leads her to an unexpected liberation.
The Forest for the Trees ^ Germany. In German with English subtitles. 81 min. ^ DIRECTOR Maren Ade WRITER Maren Ade PRODUCER Janine Jackowski CAST Eva Löbau, Daniela Holtz ^ A small town teacher with dreams of a stylish life in a new city encounters a soul-shattering reality in newcomer Maren Ade’s harrowing gem The Forest for the Trees.
Le Grand Voyage ^ France/Morocco. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. 108 min. ^ DIRECTOR Ismaël Ferroukhi WRITER Ismaël Ferroukhi PRODUCER Humbert Balsan CAST Nicolas Cazalé, Mohamed Majd ^ The old and new worlds come to terms with each other as Mustapha, a Moroccan immigrant living in France who wants to make a last pilgrimage to Mecca, enlists his reluctant, thoroughly westernized son as his driver.
Kamikaze Girls – US Premiere ^ Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. 102 min. ^ DIRECTOR Tetsuya Nakashima WRITER Tetsuya Nakashima PRODUCERS Yuji Ishida, Tekashi Hiraro, Yokichi Osata, Konikatsu Kondo, Masayuki Miyashito, Kazuya Hamana CAST Kyoko Fukada, Anna Tsuchiya ^ Teenaged Japanese subcultures clash when a befrocked and bonneted “Lolita” girl unites with a tough-as-nails biker chick in a quest for a legendary embroiderer in this delirious, popsicle-bright adaptation of a bestselling cult novel.
One Out of Two ^ Argentina. In Spanish with English subtitles. 88 min. ^ DIRECTOR Alejo Taube WRITER Alejo Taube PRODUCER Alejo Taube CAST Jorge Sesán, Jimena Anganuzzi ^ In this tense, meticulously-observed drama, set at the height of Argentina’s 2001 economic crisis, the cocky, two-bit thug Martin tempts fate by playing Robin Hood to the impoverished residents of his rural hometown.
Pilgrimage ^ Iran. In Farsi with English subtitles. 52 min. ^ DIRECTOR Bahman Kiarostami PRODUCERS Marjaneh Moghimi, Bahman Kiarostami ^ Bahman Kiarostami reveals the surreal, at times humorous, and utterly chaotic nature of Iran today in his documentary focussing on the town of Mehran, a jumping off point for pilgrimages to the Iraqi city of Karbala.
Sentenced to Marriage – US Premiere ^ Israel. In Hebrew with English subtitles. 65 min. ^ DIRECTOR Anat Zuria WRITER Anat Zuria PRODUCER Amit Breuer ^ This shocking documentary exposes the plight of women seeking divorce in Israeli society, where the rabbinical courts invariably rule in the man’s favor.
Spying Cam – US Premiere ^ South Korea. In Korean with English subtitles. 100 min. ^ DIRECTOR Whang Cheol Mean WRITER Whang Cheol Mean PRODUCER Kim Hyun Kyong CAST Chu Hun Yup, Yang Young-Jo ^ Two men are locked in a cheap hotel room with just a video camera to pass the time. Who they are and why they’re there is the enigma that slowly reveals itself in this intensely engaging film of power, politics, and intertwining identities.
Swenkas ^ Denmark/South Africa. In Zulu with English subtitles. 72 min. ^ DIRECTOR Jeppe Rønde PRODUCERS Rasmus Thorsen, Anne Dîemer ^ A lyrical tale of fathers, sons, and how to wear the right suit, Jeppe Rønde’s Swenkas explores a Zulu male subculture that uses high fashion as the ultimate means of self-expression.
The Syrian Bride ^ France/Germany/Israel. In French, Arabic, and Hebrew with English subtitles. 92 min. ^ DIRECTOR Eran Riklis WRITERS Suha Arraf, Eran Riklis PRODUCERS Bettina Brokemper, Antoine de Clermont-Tonnen, Eran Riklis, Michael Eckelt CAST Hiam Abbass, Makram J. Khoury, Clara Khoury, Ashraf Barhoum, Eyad Sheety, Derar Sliman ^ This wide-ranging story of a young Druze Arab woman who must cross the Israeli-Syrian border in order to marry creates a vivid tapestry of the passions and conflicts of the region.
Tony Takitani ^ Japan. In Japanese with English subtitles. 75 min. ^ DIRECTOR Jun Ichikawa WRITER Jun Ichikawa PRODUCER Ishida Motoki CAST Issey Ogata, Miyazawa Rie, Shinohara Takahumi, Nishijima Hidetoshi ^ Based on a short story by Haruki Murakami, this story of one man’s solitude and appreciation for high fashion explores the undeniable allure of a perfect Size 7.
Unknown White Male ^ England. 100 min. ^ DIRECTOR Rupert Murray PRODUCERS Beadie Finzi, Jess Search ^ A man loses his memory—his name, family, friends, and identity gone—and in detailing how and why this happened to his friend, Rupert Murray has created a provocative examination of how we define ourselves.
Vento di Terra ^ Italy. In Italian with English subtitles. 90 min. ^ DIRECTOR Vincenzo Marra WRITER Vincenzo Marra PRODUCERS Tilde Corsi, Gianni Romdi CAST Vincenzo Pacilli, Edoardo Melone, Francesco Giuffrida, Giovanna Ribera ^ In an understated drama that quietly reveals both the promise and harshness of contemporary Naples, an impoverished young man learns what it means to survive when he has to join the military after his father dies.
Waiting for the Clouds ^ France/Germany/Greece/Turkey. In Greek and Turkish with English subtitles. 87 min. ^ DIRECTOR Yesim Ustaoglu WRITERS Yesim Ustaoglu, Petros Markaris PRODUCERS Setareh Farsi, Behrooz Hashemian CAST Rüchan Caliskur, Suna Selen, Dimitris Kaberidis, Jannis Georgiadis, Ridvan Yagci, Ismaïl Baysan ^ Turkish director Yesim Ustaoglu’s latest film delicately explores a controversial episode in her country’s history—the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Greeks—through the story of an elderly woman living in the highlands of Northern Turkey.
SHORT FILMS IN COMPETITION
Aerosol by Miguel Angel Rolland
Afternoon by Kim Spurlock
Are You the Favorite Person of Anybody? by Miguel Arteta
The Big Empty by J. Lisa Chang, Newton Thomas Sigel
Blake’s Junction 7 by Ben Gregor
The Blind Spot by Álex Montoya, Raúl Navarro
Bullets in the Hood: A Bed-Stuy Story by Terrence Fisher, Daniel Howard
Cheeks by Tal Sharon, Daniel Barcelowsky
City Paradise by Gaëlle Denis
Dimmer by Talmage Cooley
Dog Years by Sam Hearn, Richard Penfold
Drive Me Crazy by Kim Wyns
Everything In This Country Must by Gary McKendry
Frog by Christopher Conforti
Frozen River by Courtney Hunt
Goodnight Bill by John Mitchell, Jeremy Kipp Walker
Goodnight Irene by Sterlin Harjo
The Ground Truth by Patricia Foulkrod
Harmony by Jim Trainor
Journey to Mars by Juan Pablo Zaramella
Lawn by Monteith McCollum
Letters from Iran by Nezam Manouchehri
The Little Things by Reina Webster
Maestro by Géza M. Tóth
Missing by Kit Hui
The Pumpkin of Nyefar by Tod Polson, Mark Oftedal
The Raftman’s Razor by Keith Bearden
Ryan by Chris Landreth
Shock and Awe by Chase Palmer
Something Other Than Other by Jerry A. Henry, Andrea J. Chia
Tama Tü by Taika Waititi
Top Of The Circle by Shaz Bennett
The Tree Officer by Neil Jack
Undressing My Mother by Ken Wardrop
Useless Dog by Ken Wardrop
La Vie d’un Chien by John Harden
Whan by Jaehyung Ju, Seungmin Song
Wrigley by Oliver Refson
Find more info at the Los Angeles Film Festival website.