Just three weeks shy of opening night, AFI Fest has released the lineups for its New Auteurs, Shorts and American Independent programs. Highlights include Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s tour de force, “The Tribe,” as well as the Safdie brothers’ gritty urban drama, “Heaven Knows What.” Festival honoree Sophia Loren also stars in one of this year’s short films, which is an adaptation of the Jean Cocteau play “The Human Voice.”
READ MORE: Venice Review: Caleb Landry Jones Anchors Safdies’ Must-See Junkie Drama ‘Heaven Knows What’
The New Auteur section will be presided over by a jury comprised of veteran film journalists, including Indiewire’s own Chief Film Critic Eric Kohn and Thompson on Hollywood Editor-in-Chief Anne Thompson. Kohn and Thompson will be joined by Tim Grierson of Screen International, as well as Alonso Duralde of TheWrap and The Advocate.
This year’s Shorts jury features Matthew Takata of the Sundance Institute, filmmakers Kahlil Joseph and Mike Ott and producers Sara Murphy and Brian Udovich.
Just yesterday, the festival announced that it has added Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice” to the schedule as a Centerpiece Gala screening. J.C. Chandor’s “A Most Violent Year” and Bennett Miller’s “Foxcatcher” are slated to bookend the fest.
You can check out the complete list of films slated to screen in the New Auteurs and American Independent sections below.
NEW AUTEURS SELECTIONS
South Korea – US Premiere
D: Park Jungbum
C: Park Jungbum, Lee Seungyeon, Park Myunghoon, Shin Heatbit
A poor mountain laborer finds himself caught between harrowing dramas playing out at work and at home.
D: Eskil Vogt
C: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt
A recently blinded woman handles the loss of her sight by writing stories about the world she’s beginning to forget.
FLAPPING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (ÐAP CÁNH GIUA KHÔNG TRUNG)
Vietnam, France, Norway, Germany – US Premiere
D: Nguyen Hoang Diep
C: Nguyen Thuy Anh, Tran Bao Son, Hoang Ha, Pham Tran Thanh Duy
When Huyen dabbles in prostitution to earn money for an abortion, she meets a mysterious client who takes a tender yet obsessive interest in her pregnancy.
D: Alonso Ruizpalacios
C: Tenoch Huerta, Sebastián Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris
In this playfully energetic debut, three young pranksters embark on a road trip adventure to pay their last respects to their musical hero.
Ivory Coast, France
D: Philippe Lacôte
C: Abdoul Karim Konaté, Isaach de Bankolé, Reine Sali Coulibaly
This West African mystic fable follows a young man’s trajectory from rainmaker-in-training to fugitive political assassin.
SELF MADE (BOREG)
DIR Shira Geffen
C: Sarah Adler, Samira Saraya
When two young women – one Palestinian and one Israeli – cross paths at a border checkpoint, they experience a magical identity exchange.
THE TRIBE (PLEMYA)
D: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
C: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova
This daring film, acted entirely in sign language without the aid of subtitles or voiceover, follows a new student at a corrupt Ukrainian school for the deaf.
D: Maya Vitkova
C: Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova, Mariana Krumova, Dimo Dimov, Georgi Spasov
Young Viktoria, born without an umbilical cord, is exalted as Bulgaria’s “Child of the Future.” But when the Communist Party falls, she faces a crisis.
Netherlands, Belgium – North American Premiere.
D: Bas Devos
C: César De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer, Brent Minne
In this visually stunning debut, teen Jesse must readjust to the world and cope with grief after witnessing his friend’s murder at a local shopping mall.
THE WONDERS (LE MERAVIGLIE)
Italy, Switzerland, Germany
D: Alice Rohrwacher
C: Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Alba Rohrwacher, Sabine Timoteo, Monica Bellucci
When a television competition comes to the Italian countryside, farmer’s daughter Gelsomina sees a way to assert her independence in this mesmerizing tale.
8 BULLETS (8 BALLES)
D: Frank Ternier
A grief-stricken expat hunts the man he believes is responsible for killing his family in this mixed-media fever dream.
130919 • A PORTRAIT OF MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ
D: Matthu Placek
C: Marina Abramović
This one-take 3D film majestically documents legendary performance artist Marina Abramović in a manner befitting her art.
D: Frances Bodomo
C: Diandra Forrest, Yolonda Ross, Hoji Fortuna
Inspired by true events, It’s July 16, 1969: America is preparing to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat them to the moon.
BATH HOUSE (SIMHALL)
D: Niki Lindroth von Bahr
The mice are going after the bath house safe in this droll stop-motion puppet short.
D: Scott Cummings
There is a secret land in upstate New York, where the Juggalos roam free…
THE CHAPERONE 3D
D: Fraser Munden
C: Ralph Whims, Stefan Czernatowicz
More than 10,000 drawings intersect with a series of animation techniques to tell the true story of a lone teacher’s stand against a motorcycle gang in the 1970s.
D: David O’Reilly
Children sing a song.
THE CUT (LA COUPE)
D: Geneviève Dulude-De Celles
C: Milya Corbeil- Gauvreau, Alain Houle
A father and daughter fluctuate between proximity and detachment during the course a haircut.
D: Sol Friedman
C: John Boylan, Rowie Spodek
Sinister forces take hold in the untold sordid story of what really happened on Noah’s Ark.
D: Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
These are the grave diggers. This is their day.
THE DRAGON IS THE FRAME
D: Mary Helena Clark
This experimental detective film explores the enigma of depression and its subtle interplay between presence and absence.
EXCHANGE AND MART
D: Cara Connolly & Martin Clark. SCR Cara Connolly
C: Ewen Bremner, Grace Chilton
An unorthodox self-defense class at a remote Scottish boarding school yields unusual results.
D: Andre Hyland
Dude. Ran out of gas again?!
GARY HAS AN AIDS SCARE
D: Joe Callander
Gary might have a bit of a problem…
D: Deborah Stratman
This circular study of the Foley process portrays sound artists at work constructing complex layers of fabrication and imposition.
D: Alexis O. Korycinsk
C: Bailey Noble, Molly Quinn, David Starzyk, Walter Fauntleroy, Chad Michael Collins
In 1976, Amy defies expectations and joins the first class of female cadets accepted for military service. She’ll have to prove to all that she has what it takes.
D: Chloe Domont
C: Casey Drogin, Hannah Gross
A well-intentioned young man struggles to explain last night.
HERE I AM…THERE YOU ARE…
D: Dikla Jika Elkaslassy
C: Ohad Knoller
When a married couple’s foreplay veers into domination, reality is stronger than the imagination.
D: Martin Edralin
C: Ken Harrower, Sebastian Deery, April Lee
A fearless portrait of a disabled man in search of intimacy.
HUMAN VOICE (VOCE UMANA)
D: Edoardo Ponti
C: Sophia Loren, Virginia Da Brescia, Enrico LoVerso
Sophia Loren stars in this spirited adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s one- woman play.
D: Yassmina Karajah
C: Ahmed Muslimani, Soad Karim, Timothy J O’Leary
After suffering a devastating loss, a Lebanese man is challenged by a mother’s request.
MAN ON THE CHAIR (L’HOMME SUR SA CHAISE)
France, South Korea
D: Dahee Jeong
Does the man on the chair exist?
D: Efrén Hernández
C: Jehina Malik, Efrén Hernández
Veronica and Efren take an explosive road trip through a strange America.
MI NINA MI VIDA
D: Yan Giroux
C: Joël Henriques
The bustling crowds and noisy rides of the amusement park won’t be enough to make Jack smile today.
D: Fluorescent Hill
Observe the migration patterns of a most unusual herd.
D: David O’Reilly
Man enacts legal fantasy.
THE OBVIOUS CHILD
D: Stephen Irwin
C: Ron Masa
Somebody broke the girl’s parents. The rabbit was there when it happened. It was an awful mess.
ONE YEAR LEASE
D: Brian Bolster
C: Brian Bolster, Thomas Harrington
Brian and Thomas document one year’s worth of their communication from their landlady, who has an itchy speed-dial finger and much to say.
PERSON TO PERSON
D: Dustin Guy Defa
C: Bene Coopersmith, Deragh Campbell
A stranger passed out on his floor after last night’s party. Now she won’t leave. At least it will make a good story.
D: Joe Hsieh
C: Yu-Jane Liu, Pi-Li Yeh, Ming-Shiou Tsai
An Eastern ghost story with haunting implications.
D: Ana Nedeljkovic & Nikola Majdak Jr.
C: Masa Mileusnic
Those brainless rabbits are completely fulfilled. Why should their votes matter?
RAT PACK RAT
D: Todd Rohal
C: Steve Little, Eddie Rouse, Margie Beegle
Even Sammy Davis Jr. impersonators have it tough.
D: Peter Vack
C: Julia Garner, Jake Cannavale
The Internet can be a dangerous place for teenage girls.
D: Morgan Knibbe
A tour de force rumination on the terrible tragedy that befell a boat carrying 500 Ethiopian refugees on October 3, 2013.
D:Brandon Oldenburg & Limbert Fabian
A magical contraption brings the history of the movies to life!
D: Nick Rowland
C: Joe Cole, Elliott Tittensor, Skye Lourie, Stephen Bent
A teenage boxer comes to terms with his true self.
D: Andrew Cividino
C: Isaac Wiebe, Nick Serino, Reece Moffett, Zoey Sawdo
The chaotic nature of boys is captured in this lyrical coming-of-age journey.
D: Chloe Okuno
C: Molly McIntyre, James Gallo, Sally Kirkland, Kasia Pilewicz, Cody Beverstock
A young girl with love in her heart unwittingly attracts the attention of a murderous sociopath.
D: Kevin Jerome Everson
C: Kaulee Miller, Mark Pottinger, Terrance Martin
A few minutes spent looking for leaks in the infrastructure with the employees of the Cleveland Water Department.
D: Konstantina Kotzamani
C: Mamadu Dialo
The Washingtonia is the only palm tree whose heart is not devoured by the red beetle, because its heart is small and dry and no one likes small, dry hearts.
D: Paul Barritt
The violent little boys become violent little men.
D: David O’Reilly
Girl can’t throw up.
D: Bernardo Britto
A man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before Earth blows up.
YES WE LOVE (JA VI ELSKER)
D: Hallvar Witzø
C: Edvard Hægstad, Terje Ranes, Hanne Skille Reitan, Johan Fredrik Bergflødt-Johannessen
Four generations, each in crisis on Norwegian Independence Day.
YOUNG LIONS OF GYPSY (A CIAMBRA)
D: Jonas Carpignano
Over the course of one long night, a young Romani boy grows up.
D: Carlos Marques-Marcet.
C: Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer.
Alexandra and Sergi’s deeply passionate relationship is tested when it becomes long distance, with computer technology their only medium for communication.
D: Joel Potrykus
CAST Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus
Slacker temp-worker Marty goes into hiding following a slew of self-designed scams in this acidic dark comedy from AFI FEST alum Joel Potrykus.
D: Riley Stearns.
C: Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick, John Gries
A washed-up expert on mind control accepts an offer to kidnap a young woman from a cult in this assured indie thriller.
D: Jason Banker.
C: Amy Everson, Kentucker Audley, Roxanne Knouse, Alanna Reynolds
Amy, haunted by a recent trauma, plunges into the world of her art to create an alter ego as a coping mechanism.
D: Amir Bar-Lev
The Penn State child sex-abuse scandal, and subsequent downfall of local heroes Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky, is examined in this insightful documentary.
HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT
D: Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie
C: Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, Buddy Duress, Necro
The Safdie brothers’ third narrative feature explores the lives of three heroin junkies living on the streets of New York City.
THOU WAST MILD & LOVELY
D: Josephine Decker.
C: Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstreet, Kristin Slaysman, Geoff Marslett
In this psychosexual drama, a young farm worker’s attraction to his boss’s daughter unearths dark secrets.
THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA
USA, Ukraine, Russia, Poland
D: Jessica Oreck
This essay film finds a fertile metaphor for Eastern Europe’s changing relationship with the natural world in the Slavic folktale of witch Baba Yaga.