The Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF) is pleased to announce the lineup of feature length and short film programming for the 41st annual celebration that will take place March 24 – April 2, 2017. In addition to the announced lineup of 163 films, the ten-day event will be highlighted with Opening and Closing Night Presentations, 40 Creative Conference events and 12 unique Special Presentations.
Of the record-breaking 6,000+ film submissions for the 2017 festival, the final selections include 47 feature length films, 116 short films and 28 creative media presentations, which consist of music videos, virtual reality and episodic pilots. The diverse slate represents 40 countries, with 53% of selected submissions directed by a female and 40% from filmmaker(s) of color.
Christopher Escobar, ATLFF Executive Director said, “Coming off a record-setting 40th Anniversary event in 2016, we are entering our fifth decade with programming that represents our long-term commitment to celebrate filmmakers and audiences of all backgrounds. We are especially proud to be a festival that highlights diverse voices, while also emphasizing the important role that our city plays in the film and television community by holding our events at places unique to Atlanta.”
In addition to the film lineup announced today, information on Opening Night, Closing Night, additional Marquee screenings and Special Presentations, which include annual fest favorites like Food on Film and SOUND + VISION, as well as the Creative Conference educational programming, is forthcoming.
The Atlanta Film Festival is the annual centerpiece of educational and enriching film programing that is provided year-round by parent organization, the Atlanta Film Society.
Passes for the festival are available for purchase now at www.AtlantaFilmFestival.com. Select individual screening ticket sales begin Saturday, March 25, 2017 and will be updated as additional events are announced.
2017 ATLANTA FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
If a selected film will be included in a specialty track or falls into a distinctive category, it is noted with brief designation following the synopsis. Films identified as New Mavericks feature a strong, female lead seen through the lens of a female filmmaker. The Pink Peach track shines a spotlight on LGBTQ narrative features, documentary features and short films. The CineMas track highlights Latin American films and filmmakers. Productions with an Atlanta and/or Georgia connection are noted as well.
Directed by Carla Forte
USA, 2016, Spanish/English, 78 minutes
Friday, March 30, 2017, 9:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Ruben, a visual artist, is tormented by his reality. He copes by retreating into his vivid imagination; creating a parallel world unlike his own. As his alternate world becomes more attractive, Ruben becomes more disconnected from the material world, societal norms, and emotional attachments. He must come to terms with reality after this disconnect and subsequent loss of ego.
#CineMás, #Competition, #PinkPeach
Born River Bye
Directed by Tim Hall
USA, 2017, English 84 minutes
Friday, March 30, 2017, 9:30 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Two childhood friends reunite in their sleepy hometown as they each face a crossroads in their lives. Scott is drifting through town (and life) after a long departure, much like a ghost to haunt his estranged family and friends. Laura, still stuck in their hometown, is living in a stagnant reality of mediocrity out of fear of following her dreams. Both feel superior to those around them, and yet experience an overwhelming unhappiness with their choices. As the days unfold, Scott and Laura begin to turn a new leaf, forgiving themselves for their past, making amends, and looking to their futures with renewed optimism.
The Boss Baby
Directed by Tom McGrath
USA, 2017, English
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 2:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.
Chee and T
Directed by Tanuj Chopra
USA, 2017, English, 80 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Two friends working as collectors for a family crime ring are assigned what proves to be their most challenging task yet—delivering the indifferent, drug-induced nephew of their boss to an event across town. As the three men cruise to their various destinations in a pale blue hot rod, they encounter more than they bargained for and find themselves caught in a web of politics, drugs, love, and their own moral values.
Directed by Assaad Yacoub
USA, 2016, English, 77 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:15 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Drag Queens encounter an outsider and must face their own baggage during a wild night at a failing drag club. The quirky group of patrons, family, friends, and lovers experience heartache, betrayal, and acceptance through a bizarre series of events. The night begins like any other and ends with celebration of both beginnings and endings as the queens and those in attendance learn to set aside their differences and embrace what unites them.
Children of the Mountain
Directed by Priscilla Anany
Ghana/USA, 2016, Ewe/Akan, 101 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 7:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Caught between love for her child and respect for her culture, a mother confronts the social stigma of special needs. When her child is born with a cleft lip, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome, Essuman’s future becomes bleak. As her community disowns her and her baby, she is faced with a decision—abandon her child or defy society. She turns to the rural mountains of Ghana as she searches for answers and salvation.
دم سرد (Cold Breath)
Directed by Abbas Raziji
Iran, 2017,Persian, 83 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 9:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Born a woman and living as a man, 30-year-old Maryam struggles in conforming to societal gender norms. She is living paycheck to paycheck when her daughter succumbs to cancer and she must find a way to pay for treatment. Trusting in love for survival, Maryam faces her greatest fears head on when her secret is revealed.
Directed by Cheryl Nichols
USA, 2016, English, 99 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 5:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
A misguided musician, Jesse, finds his way to the town of Cortez where he will face old love and new relationships. A woman from his past, Anne, will teach him a little something about what happens when a rockstar lifestyle meets responsibility and how re-creating oneself doesn’t always mean saying goodbye to adventure.
Directed by Demetri Martin
USA, 2016, English, 87 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 9:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Dean (Demetri Martin) is an illustrator whose unwillingness to deal with the recent death of his mother means escaping his hometown of New York for an interview with an ad agency in Los Angeles. His retired engineer dad Robert (Kevin Kline) takes a more regimented approach to grief, including putting the family home up for sale. Both father and son set out on their own paths to find a new normal as unexpected circumstances and potential new love interests threaten to thwart all plans.
Everything But a Man
Directed by Nnegest Likké
USA, 2016, English, 112 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
She’s sexy, smart, successful… and still single. A self-made career woman struggles to find love despite seemingly having it all.
Directed by Tamlin Hall
USA, 2017, English, 102 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 11:45 AM — Plaza Theatre, Main
No longer your average boy-next-door, Holden Layfield weaves audiences through his harrowing tale in this film set in the early 1990s. After succumbing to a secret battle with mental illness, Holden evolves from a beloved, small town Georgia football player to a lost, self-medicating prophet.
In the Radiant City
Directed by Rachel Lambert
USA, 2016, English, 95 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
After 20 years away, Andrew Yurley returns to his hometown in Kentucky to play key-witness in his brother’s resentencing. Having lived with the remorse of his statement—which put his brother away for life—Andrew must now face an angry sister, a doped-up mother, and countless degrading town folk, thanks to his niece, Beth. In the midst of dealing with lawyers and the case, Andrew must now answer the question—can what is broken ever be put back together again?
Directed by Jorge Thielen Armand
Venezuela/Italy/Canada, 2016, Spanish, 89 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 2:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Capturing the life of real people amidst the Venezuelan crisis, “La Soledad” is the story of José, a young father who discovers that the dilapidated mansion he inhabits will soon be demolished. Desperate to save his family, José begins a search for a cursed treasure that is said to be buried in the house.
The Lost City of Z
Directed by James Gray
USA, 2016, English, 140 minutes
Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller, “The Lost City of Z” tells the incredible true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment who regard indigenous populations as ‘savages,’ the determined Fawcett — supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson) — returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, culminating in his mysterious disappearance in 1925.
No Light and No Land Anywhere
Directed by Amber Sealey
USA, 2016, English, 75 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 4:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Grieving her mother’s death and her own failing marriage, Lexi boards a plane from London to Los Angeles in search of the estranged father. Based out of a seedy Hollywood motel, she follows a tenuous trail of breadcrumbs, beginning with his aging former in-laws, collecting numbers and addresses in the hopes that one will lead to her father. Along the way, she establishes other unexpected connections: her father’s ailing former second wife, her bitter half-sister Tanya and her caregiver girlfriend, and two local barflies.
Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer
Directed by Joseph Cedar
USA/Israel, 2016, English, 117 minutes
Sunday, April 2, 2017, 2:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) only wants to matter. Living a lonely life in the shadow of power and money, he uses any angle or connection to put himself in a position of significance. He is an opportunist, just not a very good one. Until he finally bets on the right horse by buying a pair of expensive shoes for Micha Eshel (Lior Ashkenazi), a lowly Israeli politician. When Micha becomes Prime Minister, Norman finds himself in the center of a geopolitical drama beyond anything he could have imagined.
San Fu Tian (Dog Days)
Directed by Jordan Schiele
China, 2016, Mandarin Chinese (Changsha dialect), 95 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Struggling to support her family as a dancer, Lulu comes home one night to an empty apartment. Desperate to find her missing husband and child, Lulu tracks down drag queen, Sunny, to aid her on her quest. After a night of high-running tensions, Sunny only agrees to help on the journey around China if Lulu promises not to turn her husband, Bailong, over to the police. Despite the agreement, Lulu decides to take matters into her own hands and some secrets come to light.
The Scent of Rain & Lightning
Directed by Blake Robbins
USA, 2017, English, 103 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
After learning her parents’ killer has been released from prison, Jody Linder must revisit old wounds, face suppressed memories, expose family secrets, and learn what happens in a life of hate.
Directed by Albert Birney & Kentucker Audley
USA, 2017, English, 80 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 8:00 PM — Dad’s Garage
It’s the story of a small town gorilla, Sylvio, who is stuck in his job at a debt collection agency. Deep down he just wants to express himself with his hand puppet, Herbert Herpels, and his experimental puppet show that highlights the quiet moments of life.
Teenage Love Bomb
Directed by Mads Erichsen
Denmark, 2016, Danish, 84 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 5:30p – Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Thomas is working his way through the seventh grade, lives in Denmark with his mom and brother, and occasionally maintains a relationship with his cop father. A unique set of skills allows him to team up with his crush, school bad-girl Vikki, and her band of misfit friends (and Vikki’s boyfriend) to blow up their teacher’s bike. All’s fair in love and war.
The 12 Lives of Sissy Carlyle
Directed by Fran Burst-Terranella
USA, 2017, English, 87 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Sissy writes in her journals about the life she wants as she finds her reality less than interesting. With the help of her brother and some newly-found friends, Sissy starts creating a life worth living.
Directed by Joyce Wong
Canada, 2017, English, 82 minutes
Friday, March 30, 2017, 7:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
The daily occurrences within Wexford Plaza uncover what it means for 20-year-old Betty to explore love whilst maintaining her job as a security guard. A cohabiter of the Wexford Plaza, Danny, weaves his way into Betty’s life, and both parties need to decide where their priorities lie and at what cost they come.
A Woman, A Part
Directed by Elisabeth Surbin
USA, 2016, English, 98 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
At the peak of her acting career, Anna decides she no longer wants to continue the profession despite facing a potential lawsuit. She impulsively flies to New York to revisit the past life she left behind. Upon reconnecting with former friends, she learns that they have used her as the inspiration for a character in a stage play.
Directed by Heidi Hartwig
USA, 2017, English, 72 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 9:45 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
When Karian plans a weekend getaway with her new best friend Cloudy, she is upset to find out that Cloudy has invited her childhood friend, Sasha, a has-been actress, to join them. Tensions escalate quickly after the girls decide to take daturas, a dangerous psychotropic drug that blurs the line between real and imaginary. When Karian makes a chilling discovery during a hike, no one believes her, leading to a final show down between her and Sasha.
Your Ride Is Here
Directed by Fraser Jones
USA, 2017, English, 58 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
An Uber veteran and a talkative rookie take on a night of driving each other mad through the streets of Nashville. Throughout the night, passengers find solace within the confines of the vehicle, and break down walls only approached in late hours amongst the comfort of strangers.
The Zookeeper’s Wife
Directed by Niki Caro
UK/USA/Czech Republic/New Zealand, 2017, English, 126 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (Jessica Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl). To fight back on their own terms, the Żabińskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.
Directed by Moein Karimoddini
Iran, 2015, Farsi, 62 minutes
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 9:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
A Turkman horse trainer, Ali, plans to spend his life-long prize winnings on his wedding. When some life events head south, Ali must take the reigns and participate in this revered Iranian sport through the northern Sahara in order to guarantee a successful marriage.
City of Joy
Directed by Madeleine Gavin
Democratic Republic of Congo, 2016, Swahili/French/English, 76 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
A tale of hope and restoration unfolds in “City of Joy,” a film that follows students at a leadership center in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the horrific abuse they have endured, this first class of women comes together as a community of leaders to positively revolutionize a place long deemed by many as hopeless.
Death by a Thousand Cuts
Directed by Juan Mejia Botero & Jake Kheel
USA/Dominican Republic, 2016, Spanish/Haitian Kreyòl, 73 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 9:30 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Showcasing the tension between Haitians and Dominicans over charcoal, “Death by a Thousand Cuts” focuses on the investigation into the death of a Dominican Park Ranger, Melaneo. Melaneo was found brutally murdered by a machete in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, after he was investigating the illegal charcoal production. The film sheds light on the deforestation in the Dominican Republic, and the relationship between the murder weapon and Dominican trees being chopped.
Dwa światy (Two Worlds)
Directed by Maciej Adamek
Poland, 2016, Polish, 51 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 12:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
As the only member of her family with the ability to hear, 12-year-old Laura guides viewers in this inspiring family portrait. The challenges she faces are surprising and unusual. As their story unfolds, the strength of their love in light of the challenges they face allows the viewers to confront a reality otherwise unknown to them.
Farewell Ferris Wheel
Directed by Jamie Sisley & Miguel “M.i.G.” Martinez
USA/Mexico, 2016, English/ Spanish, 71 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 2:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
In the United States, tens of thousands of migrant workers are displaced from their once-reliable sources of income due to adjusted labor laws and as a result of H-2B labor abuse. “Farewell Ferris Wheel” spends six years uncovering the experiences of various legal Mexican migrant workers from one small town that predominantly works with carnivals. The adjustment of these laws could mean the end of carnival festivities nation-wide, despite the 200-year history in America.
The House on Coco Road
Directed by Damani Baker
USA/Grenada, 2016, English, 79 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
“The House on Coco Road” depicts the times and trials of Fannie Haughton, an activist and teacher who moves her children from Oakland, California to participate in the Grenada Revolution, unknowingly amidst a US military invasion. Her son’s search for truth to confirm Fannie’s place in American history is this beautifully painted homage to family, nationalism, freedom, and the dream of a better world.
Directed by Maisie Crow
USA, 2016, English, 92 minutes
Friday, March 30, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Forty-five percent of all pregnancies in the USA are unplanned, and one in three women will have an abortion in her lifetime. And yet, the battle for women’s access to reproductive healthcare is far from over. Inside the last remaining abortion clinic in Mississippi, “Jackson” is an intimate, first-of-its-kind look at the issues, through the voices of women in the Deep South who stand on both sides of the debate.
La Selva Negra (The Modern Jungle)
Directed by Charles Fairbanks & Saul Kak
Mexico/USA, 2016, Spanish/Zoque, 72 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
An intimate portrait of Zoque culture is painted through the fever dream of a Mexican shaman. The film highlights their challenges in the midst of increasing globalization and fetishization of commodities, while addressing the predicament of documentary. The shaman’s financial hardship and hopes of a better future emotionally engage viewers as the film unapologetically explores its subject.
League of Exotique Dancers
Directed by Rama Rau
Canada, 2016, English, 90 minutes
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 9:30 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
With a blast of brassy jazz and a spin through the glitz of modern Las Vegas, League of Exotique Dancers sets the stage for a provocative and eye-opening â€œbackstage tourâ€ of the golden age of Burlesque through the colourful lives of unforgettable women who made it glitter.
Directed by Tadashi Nakamura
USA, 2016, English, 66 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 5:45 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
“Mele Murals” follows the stories of two renowned street artists, Estria Miyashiro (AKA Estria) and John Hina (AKA Prime), as they attempt to express their knowledge of the last 20 years in Hawaii and discover cultural identities through street art. This documentary emphasizes the artists’ desires to unite their communities and educate the public on modern mural-making and traditional Hawaiian culture.
Directed by Keith McQuirter
USA, 2016, English, 55 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 12:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Milwaukee 53206: America’s most incarcerated ZIP code. Three powerful characters relate their experiences of incarceration and how prison shaped their lives, families, and community. This film exposes the challenges a community faces when fighting to move forward despite a history of poverty, unemployment, and lack of opportunity, and how these factors sustain the crisis of mass incarceration in this region and across the nation.
Directed by Jill Campbell
USA, 2017, English, 90 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
A retired professional athlete faces unexpected challenges in his post-athletic world. As life continues, Kenny Anderson discovers basketball did not prepare him for all facets of reality. The former New York City high-school prodigy and NBA All-Star confronts loss in its many forms and subsequently finds himself lost. Facing his personal demons head-on, the charismatic Anderson must come to terms with his past in order to find a way forward.
Não Deixe a Peteca Cair (Bad’ & the Birdieman)
Directed by Lili Fialho & Katía Lund
Brazil/USA, 2016, Portuguese, 50 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 12:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Sebastião’s goal is to use badminton as a tool of escape for the kids in his community of Chacrinha, Rio de Janeiro. The kids enjoy playing the sport but lose at every competition, despite Sebastião’s vision for the kids to become champions. With love, hard work and dedication, the badminton team became qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Directed by Katy Grannan
USA, 2016, English, 98 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 2:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
The Nine is a no-man’s land where rules of polite society do not apply; a resting place for those who have relinquished the American dream. This emotional documentary unearths the stories of those living along the Nine in Modesto, an area in California’s Central Valley devastated by the Great Depression. In a city with no hope, Kiki, exploited by personal trauma, is a rare bright light whose magnetic optimism is a means of self-preservation. Her childlike enthusiasm belies the stark reality of her Darwinian existence, emphasizing the beauty of those who fall by the wayside.
Directed by Ana Tipa
Uruguay, 2016, Spanish/Portuguese, 92 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 7:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Miguel, a hard working family man, must come to terms with his double life. He frequently crosses the border of Uruguay and Brazil to ensure both of his families are taken care of. As his internal struggle thrives, he must find enough courage to tell them the truth.
Directed by Margaret Byrne
USA, 2016, English, 102 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 5:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
“Raising Bertie” follows three young African American boys over the course of six years as they grow into adulthood in Bertie County, a rural African American-led community in Eastern North Carolina. Through the intimate portrayal of these boys, this powerful vérité film offers a rare in-depth look at the issues facing America’s rural youth and the complex relationships between generational poverty, educational equity, and race. The evocative result is an experience that encourages us to recognize the value and complexity in lives all too often ignored.
Directed by Theo Anthony
USA, 2016, English, 82 minutes
Thursday, March 30, 2017, 7:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. “Rat Film” uses the rats—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them—to explore the history of Baltimore. ‘There’s never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it’s always been a people problem.’
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
Directed by Stanley Nelson
USA, 2017, English, 85 minutes
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
For over a century, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have bred numerous Black intellectuals, artists, businessmen and revolutionaries. The film captures the significance of HBCUs, which have left an everlasting impression on American culture and history.
Waiting for B.
Directed by Paulo Cesar Toledo & Abigail Spindel
Brazil, 2016, Portuguese, 72 minutes
Friday, March 30, 2017, 9:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Documented in Brazil, “Waiting for B.” exposes the journey young Beyoncé super-fans undergo in an attempt to be closer to the front of the stage. Lacking the money to buy their way to the front, they camp out in the streets for two months waiting for a chance to be closer to their idol. As their lives intertwine, commonality is found between victims of hype, a community of hope forms, and the contradictions of humility and vanity at the heart of diva worship are explored.
Directed by Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis
USA, 2017, English, 103 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, “Whose Streets?” is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance.
Woman on Fire
Directed by Julie Sokolow
USA, 2016, English, 84 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 8:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs
Truly one of New York’s bravest, Brooke Guinan breaks barriers when she becomes the city’s first and only transgender firefighter. Guinan reveals her experience of facing adversity while remaining steadfast in her goals. The documentary waxes inspirational as she reflects upon her upbringing, 9/11, and her experiences as a transgender firefighter.
SHORT FILMS BY BLOCK
AH, MY HOMETOWN
Deeply homegrown documents of Georgia.
Documentary (Local), 77 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 7:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Presented in partnership with Homespun
Digital Edition | directed by James Kicklighter, USA, 26:02
In the midst of a print revolution, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution experiments with new storytelling tools in the digital era.
Nadia | directed by Erin S Murray, USA, 3:04
A ballerina discusses her relationship with ‘perfection’ and how she finds individuality within the rigorous standards of ballet.
7 Days | directed by Rashel Stephenson, USA, 25:12
“7 Days” goes behind the scenes with three organ transplantation surgeons as they turn death into life and desperation into hope.
We the Creators: Daniel Lamb | directed by Babacar Ndiaye, USA, 6:00
“We The Creators” is a documentary series that examines the inner thoughts and processes of a select group of artists.
American Moderate | directed by Jared Callahan, USA, 16:34
A first-time voter from the South struggles to find herself, and a candidate that best represents her, in the 2016 presidential primaries.
Unexpected predicaments and the choices that follow.
Narrative, 98 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 2:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Mother | directed by Simón Mesa Soto, Colombia/Sweden, 14:00
16-year-old Andrea comes down from her poor neighborhood in the hills of Medellín to attend a downtown casting call for a porno film.
Babysitter | directed by Aurit Zamir, Israel, 26:17
One night at Eilat’s babysitting job, during which motherhood and childhood manifest themselves in confusing ways.
Retaliation | directed by Ange-Régis Hounkpatin, Benin/France, 25:39
Awa, 18-years-old, goes to class in the military high school of Natitingou. One day, she learns that her father has just been murdered. She has just joined her family in Cotonou when a popular prosecution is put together in order to avenge the memory of the deceased. Facing the helplessness of the police, Awa decides to take part in it.
Your Day | directed by Ginger Gonzaga, USA, 31:49
A young couple, Jack and Jane, spend the day at a hotel, seemingly to celebrate Jane’s birthday, until we realize their VERY different reason.
A CHAPTER IN HER LIFE
A collection of vignettes by and about women.
Narrative, 90 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 12:15 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Fract | directed by Georgina Bloomfield, New Zealand, 13:49
A teenage outcast discovers her cast is a friend magnet.
Birthday Cake | directed by Brantly Jackson Watts, USA, 17:16
A woman who fled a violent relationship must choose between love and survival on the first anniversary of leaving her abuser.
Solatium | directed by Christina Tynkevych, Ukraine/United Kingdom, 10:43
Anna, an ambulance doctor, arrives at a night call which brings back her painful past and challenges her moral compass.
One Up | directed by Eimi Imanishi, USA, 14:41
Hadley jumps into an uncomfortable sexual encounter after she’s brutally rejected by her teammate crush Christine.
How Far She Went | directed by Ugla Hauksdottir, USA/Iceland, 13:06
An unflinching look at family, personal sacrifice, and the lengths we’ll go for those we love.
Submarine | directed by Lebanon 0:20:51Mounia Akl NS Under the imminent threat of Lebanon’s garbage crisis, Hala, a wild child inside of a woman is the only one to refuse evacuation.
AN EARTHY PARADISE FOR THE EYES
Sublime imagery creates transcendent experiences.
Narrative & Documentary, 99 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:45 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Limbo | directed by Konstantina Kotzamani, France/Greece, 29:50
The leopard shall lie down with the goat. The wolves shall live with the lambs. And the young boy will lead them. 12+1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…
The Offering | directed by Billy Silva & Guille Isa, Peru, 6:42
Two musicians and a dancer make an ancient and sacred offering to the earth.
Wald der Echos (Forest of Echoes) | directed by Luz Olivares Capelle, Austria, 30:00
A teenager, Christina, loses her friends in the forest. Looking for them she finds the bodies of three drowned kids on the shore of a lagoon.
The Sleeping Saint | directed by Laura Samani, Italy, 19:40
In order to grow up, Giacomina has to learn the art of letting go.
To Be Free | directed by Adepero Oduye, USA, 12:18
In a tiny after-hours club, Nina Simone finds a way, for one moment, to be free.
Fleeting glimpses through the glass.
Documentary, 92 minutes
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 7:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
More Is More | directed by Alexis Boling, USA, 6:24
Unearthly creatures from another dimension climb out of the mind of a transformational artist and onto the streets of NYC.
Gut Hack | directed by Kate McLean & Mario Furloni, USA, 14:00
A former NASA scientist turned bio-hacker attempts an experiment that makes him confront the multitudes inside.
Powder Fresh | directed by Lyntoria Newton, USA, 7:37
“Powder Fresh” is an experimental look into the racial and gender implications of hygienic practices through targeted advertising.
The Sandman | directed by Lauren Knapp, USA, 18:56
A doctor walks the line of his own morality as he participates in executions, while personally opposing capital punishment.
Distribution | directed by Sam Ellison, Nicaragua/USA, 11:10
The pirate movie industry of Nicaragua, seen in kaleidoscopic detail.
Raised by Krump | directed by Maceo Frost, USA/Germany/Sweden, 22:00
“Raised by Krump” explores the LA-born dance movement ‘krumping,’ and the lives of some of the area’s most influential and prolific dancers.
Matthew’s Gift | directed by Jon Watts, USA, 11:54
We follow photographer Oana Hogrefe as she dedicates her one day a year taking remembrance photos of a child nearing the end of life.
IN THE REALMS OF THE UNREAL
Narrative (Sci-Fi/Horror), 97 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 2:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Waste | directed by Justine Raczkiewicz, USA, 15:50
Roger gets to know his roommate Olive over a series of meals, which become increasingly strange and push the limits of his curiousity.
The Last Journey of the Enigmatic Paul WR | directed by Romain Quirot, France, 17:07
The red moon threatens our existence on earth. Our only hope is the enigmatic Paul WR, the most talented astronaut of his generation. However, few hours before the start of the mission, Paul disappears.
Creswick | directed by Natalie Erika James, Australia, 9:30
While a young woman helps her father pack up his house, they are both increasingly aware of the presence that they always knew was there.
The Purple Plain | directed by Kim Albright, United Kingdom, 12:41
The true story of the Mercury 13, the first American women who tested for space flight.
Home Education | directed by Andrea Niada, United Kingdom, 24:50
A girl is convinced by her mother that her dead dad will be resurrected if they show how much they miss him. That is, until he begins to rot…
They Charge For the Sun | directed by Terence Nance, USA, 16:52
In a future where people live nocturnally, a young black girl unravels the lie that has kept her and her sister in the dark.
LOL (Laughing Out Loud)
Amusing moments and familiar faces.
Narrative (Comedy), 114 minutes
Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 8:00 PM — Dad’s Garage
The Accomplice | directed by Jon Hoeg & John F. Beach, USA, 7:56
Jerry arrives home to a full answering machine and realizes he might be in trouble.
Hit | directed by Katie Trew Cheline, USA, 15:51
“Hit” follows Brandon, who thinks he’s met the girl of his dreams in the mysterious Izzy… until they go on the first date of his nightmares.
Seeking: Jack Tripper | directed by Quinlan Orear, USA, 14:30
A married gay couple who try to have a threesome in an attempt to reignite the spark in their relationship.
Chicken / Egg | directed by James D’Arcy, United Kingdom, 15:00
Mark’s a good guy. Kenneth not so much. Mark’s gonna help Kenneth out. Maybe.
The Session | directed by Morgane Becceril, France/USA, 13:08
A novice dominatrix fights to free a tortured client.
Pregnant | directed by Joseph Sackett, USA, 9:30
A pregnant man communicates psychically with his unborn fetus.
Perfect Roast Potatoes | directed by Nick Frew, USA, 18:00
A bittersweet comedy about cooking and grief. Dysfunctional British siblings have an awkward Christmas with the corpse of their dead mum.
Lightningface | directed by Brian Petsos, USA, 19:57
After an inexplicable incident, Basil Stitt sequesters himself inside his apartment and begins a profound transformation.
THE NEW LOVE AND THE OLD
The malleability of modern romance.
Narrative & Documentary, 95 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 5:15 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Modern Love | directed by Francesca Mirabella, USA, 10:03
Romance in the era of Snapchat.
Victor & Isolina | directed by William D. Caballero, USA, 5:45
Victor and Isolina (now in their 80s) answer questions about their life-long, complex and arduous relationship.
Gema | directed by Kenrick Prince, USA, 13:24
When Gema gets roped into meeting her fiancé’s parents for the first time, she grapples with facing the truth he’s been keeping from them.
All Good Things | directed by Chloe Domont, USA, 26:00
In a portrait of a modern marriage, a filmmaker follows her mother’s relationship with two men, each whom satisfy her different needs.
Call Your Father | directed by Jordan Firstman, USA, 19:04
On Josh and Greg’s first date, they quickly realize that the generational divide between them is the least of their worries.
In the Hills | directed by Hamid Reza Ahmadi Rahmatabadi, United Kingdom, 21:00
In the idyllic English Cotswolds, Sharam, a young immigrant man, takes a rather radical approach towards integrating with British society.
PLANET OF THE CHILDREN
Kids shows and shorts. (Recommended ages 8+)
Animation, Narrative & Pilot, 69 minutes
Saturday, March 25, 2017, 12:15 PM — Towne Cinema
The Discovery of Dit Dodson | directed by Kelley Kali, USA, 10:35
In the Bayous of Louisiana, 14-year-old Dit discovers that she inherited magical healing powers, but they get her into a world of trouble.
Egér (Little Mouse) | directed by Ervin B. Nagy, Hungary, 7:12
1986, Budapest. The later olympic champion swimmer Krisztina Egerszegi is only 12. Her opponents are stronger and bigger.
Wishful Whiskers | directed by Pulkit Datta, USA, 9:55
Stuck in her dad’s boring lunch meeting, little Ella suddenly discovers the curious case of all the mustaches.
Nobody | directed by Elham Toroghi, Iran, 10:16
The story is about a white cat who lives in a city of black dwellers.
Rum | directed by Russell Haigh, UK, 4:26
A quarrel between two pirates gets completely out of hand.
The Wishing Jar | directed by Denver Jackson, Canada, 13:48
A girl, a flying goldfish, and a wishing star.
Frolic ‘n Mae | directed by Danny Madden, USA, 12:40
Frustrated, Mae creates Frolic, and Frolic creates mayhem.
Rendering illusions of motion and change.
Animation, 84 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 7:15 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Presented in partnership with ASIFA-South
Ceci n’est pas une animation | directed by Federico Kempke, Canada/Mexico. 5:14
A group of pretentious animators are followed through the process of creating the ‘ultimate animated film.’ But do they really have the skills to back up their claims?
Related | directed by Ida Andreasen, Denmark, 15:00
Related is a drama about love and genetics. A daughter and her father strive to learn to live with their uncontrollable tempers.
Once a Hero | directed by Xia Li, USA, 8:13
Wanting to be a superhero, a boy befriends with a girl who is bullied by all her classmates. One day, he is forced to make a choice, betray the girl or not.
Confessions of A Breastimator | directed by Jisu Kim, USA, 3:24
The story of a breast aficionado who reflects back on her life as an animator, confessing her longtime passion for cartoons and animating double Ds.
Thank You For Visiting | directed by Dinesh Ram, India, 10:54
The story of habitat loss told through the life of a bear in a regular city zoo.
The Laughing Spider | directed by Keiichi Tanaami, Japan, 7:24
A psychedelic phantasmagoria from Japan’s greatest veteran animator, based on childhood memories of air-raids.
“The Talk” True Stories About The Birds & The Bees | directed by Alain Delannoy, Canada, 8:50
There are things in life you never forget. One of them, like it or not, is ‘the talk.’
Summer’s Puke is Winter’s Delight | directed by Sawako Kabuki, Japan, 2:59
Painful events become memories over time. Still, we vomit and eat again. Life is Eco.
Fox and the Whale | directed by Robin Joseph, Canada, 12:03
The story of a curious fox who goes in search of an elusive whale. A journey of longing and discovery.
The Wrong End of the Stick | directed by Terri Matthews, United Kingdom, 9:40
Malcolm Fetcher faces an all-consuming identity crisis. His marriage disintegrates and he is forced to express a deep, hidden desire.
SEASON OF STRANGERS
Avant-garde selections that redefine form and function.
Experimental, 74 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 7:35 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Auto | directed by Conner Griffith, USA, 6:19
A choreographed dance of pedestrians and automobiles, presented on their routinized stages.
Fault Lines | directed by Mandy Bea, USA, 3:12
I only see in neon.
A Hard World for Little Things | directed by Sonja Bertucci, USA, 2:00
“A Hard World for Little Things” is a film about toys insofar as they channel the violence of the adult world into the space of childhood.
Forged From the Love of Liberty | directed by Vashti Harrison, Trinidad and Tobago/USA, 4:45
A visual poem about a family’s curse, and two superstitions surrounding it.
Clandestine | directed by Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Ireland/Estonia, 14:23
“Clandestine” Layers both space and time, superimposing imagery and creating entrancing patterns of repetition and startling interruption.
Back Track | directed by Virgil Widrich, Austria, 7:00
A 3D remix of flat feature films.
Skin in the Game | directed by Ariana Gerstein, USA, 5:02
From many pieces, marked by light, by pressure, sliced.
More Dangerous Than a Thousand Rioters | directed by Kelly Gallagher, USA, 6:19
An experimental animated documentary exploring the powerful and inspiring life of revolutionary Lucy Parsons.
Underbelly Up | directed by Josh Yates, USA, 3:57
A disembodied entity meditates on the trauma caused by a devastating flood that occurred during October, their favorite month.
Colombi | directed by Luca Ferri, Italy, 20:46
A reflection on the last century and two people’s precise unwillingness to accept the changes imposed by society.
Films (and makers) crafted in the Peach State.
Narrative (Local), 85 minutes
Monday, March 27, 2017, 9:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main
The Ebbing Tree | directed by DaManuel Richardson, USA, 12:58
A young teen gains the courage to leave his home for the mainland after a chance encounter with an old friend.
Leaving Charlie | directed by Amanda Brooke Avery & Diane Calhoun, USA, 15:38
A young, queer, stripper is forced to reevaluate her boundaries when a customer gets too close.
#Georgia, #NewMavericks, #PinkPeach
Northfield | directed by Cameron Schwartz, USA, 18:40
After kidnapping his son’s murderer, a distraught father takes up a dangerous journey and faces a harrowing dilemma.
My Indian Rhapsody | directed by Abijeet Achar, India/France/USA, 15:31
A once famous author works on a new book about a life with a brother he never knew, but is distracted by dreams of a lover he left behind.
It’s Just Skin | directed by Haley Wetherington, USA, 7:02
After a misconstrued moment between Stella and her neighbor Matt, Stella is left to contend with the blame she puts on herself.
Cul-De-Sac | directed by Damon Russell, USA, 14:30
Two parents, living in a quiet cul-de-sac, discover a wiretap hidden inside their son’s teddy bear.
STORIES WE TELL
Memoirs of uprooted lives.
Documentary, 83 minutes
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 2:45 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Notes From Buena Vista | directed by Elizabeth Lo, USA, 9:38
A working-class mobile home park in Silicon Valley faces imminent closure. Notes From Buena Vista glimpses into the lives of low-income families in one of the wealthiest places in the world.
The Move | directed by Maija Hirvonen, Finland, 18:51
“The Move” is a short documentary of a poet Mirkka Rekola who reflects on her life that is soon coming to an end.
El Hara | directed by Margaux Fitoussi & Mo Scarpelli, Tunisia/France, 16:00
“El Hara” poetically explores how the places we grow up in haunt who we become, forever.
Se Shin Sa | directed by Eunhye Hong Kim, USA, 10:52
“Se Shin Sa” is a hybrid of fiction and documentary portraying an undocumented woman living and working as a masseuse in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
Refugee | directed by Joyce Chen & Emily Moore, USA/Senegal, 27:14
“Refugee” tells the story of a West African woman who left her five children in 2003 to come to the USA and provide them with a better future.
TIES THAT BIND
Family matters of life and death.
Narrative, 103 minutes
Friday, March 31, 2017, 7:00 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Benny Got Shot | directed by Malcolm Washington, USA, 20:01
Naomi, an autopsy assistant, realizes her brother is missing the night of a police shooting and fears that his body may be in her morgue.
Let the Past Go By | directed by Maryam Naraghi, Iran, 21:00
Unlike her father, Bahar hasn’t yet overcome the tragedy of her younger brother’s death. When his killer is released from jail, she tries to make him suffer emotionally. Her endeavors result in a change in her perspective.
Death in a Day | directed by Lin Wang, USA/China, 14:05
After visiting his comatose father, a young Chinese boy must come to grips with the impending death falling upon his family.
Fox | directed by Jacqueline Lentzou, Greece, 28:02
Stephanos, a reactive teenager and the oldest of a family with no father, has a fight with his mother. Left home-alone with his siblings and sick dog, Lucy, he has no idea that this would be the last, most carefree day of his life.
Vìré | directed by Hugo Rousselin, France/Guadeloupe, 19:50
A young Guadeloupean named Isaac has troubles to mourn over the death of his brother Legba.
Invisible hands awaken the inanimate.
Puppetry, 85 minutes
Sunday, March 26, 2017, 11:30 AM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main
Ropes in Life | directed by Gerardo González, Mexico, 13:00
Caro is a thoughtful puppet who wanders through streets, meeting other puppets will make him conscious of the impositions he lives.
Loren The Robot Butler: Teach Me How To Dougie! | directed by Paul McGinnis, USA, 3:18
Decommissioned and stored in the basement, Loren the Robot Butler begrudgingly teaches the kids of the household how to dance the Dougie.
Belle and Bamber | directed by Alex Forbes, United Kingdom, 15:00
Belle and Bamber is a dark comedy about a child afraid of growing up and the dangers of psychotic imaginary friends.
Hot Air Balloon Animals | directed by Ben Johnson, Serene Bacigalupi & Jacques Duffourc, USA, 7:51
A lovable monster becomes inspired to embark on a hot air adventure filled with flying unicorns and cloud animals.
Lucky Chicken | directed by Gulliver Moore, United Kingdom, 12:15
A quirky silent romantic comedy about a butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker… and a magic chicken.
B-Bot | directed by Bryan McAdams, USA, 5:55
After the tragic loss of his best friend, a robot must find happiness in a world destroyed by a catastrophe.
Rain | directed by Matt Glass, USA, 14:27
One town, sixty years without sunlight or rain, a tyrant who controls the people and a mysterious wanderer offering a bright side to it all.
The Owl and the Lemming | directed by Roselynn Akulukjuk, Canada, 3:33
In this fable in which a young owl catches a lemming to eat, children learn the value of being humble, and why pride is to be avoided.
Gute Nacht (Good Night) | directed by Henning Backhaus, Austria, 6:37
Music clip for the first song from Franz Schubert’s song cycle “Winter Journey.”
The Pits | directed by Mike Hayhurst, USA, 3:11
In a world full of pears, what can you find to fill your pit? A story about longing, love, and finding your other half.
SHORTS SCREENING BEFORE FEATURES
Narrative & Documentary
Better Known As Peaches Christ | directed by Jeff Dragomanovich & Nate Visconti, USA, 3:40
Screens with CHERRY POP (Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:15 PM — 7 Stages Theatre, Main)
Drag icon Peaches Christ offers a rare glimpse into her transformation process, and describes the path from stifled teen to brazen cult hero.
Game | directed by Jeannie Donohoe, USA, 15:54
Screens with MR. CHIBBS (Saturday, March 25, 2017, 4:30 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main)
A new kid shows up for the varsity boys’ basketball tryouts and instantly makes an impression.
Get the Life | directed by Ozzy Villazòn, USA, 11:55
Screens with JACKSON (Friday, March 31, 2017, 7:00 PM — Plaza Theatre, Main)
A transgender teenager faces an unwanted pregnancy and risks losing everything he loves in order to live courageously.
Megan’s Shift | directed by Zeke Farrow, USA, 10:52
Screens with YOUR RIDE IS HERE (Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:45 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs)
It’s never too late to give up.
Search Party | directed by Tesia Walker, USA, 8:48
Screens with MILWAUKEE 53206 (Saturday, March 25, 2017, 12:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs)
Donna Greene is a mother living in a NYC housing project, who is throwing a party for her son, when a surprise visitor shows up her door.
Shauna is a Liar | directed by Chell Stephen, Canada/USA, 10:53
Screens with WEXFORD PLAZA (Friday, March 31, 2017, 7:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs)
An isolated perfectionist exacts ill-conceived revenge on all liars of the world via one nearby target: a classmate sharing her name.
Il Silenzio (The Silence) | directed by Ali Asgari & Farnoosh Samadi, Italy/France, 14:35
Screens with TWO WORLDS (Sunday, March 26, 2017, 12:15 PM — Plaza Theatre, Upstairs)
Fatma and her mother are Kurdish refugees in Italy. On their visit to the doctor, Fatma has to translate what the doctor tells to her mother but she keeps silent.