“Buzzard” (March 6)
From the creators of “Ape,” which won the Best First Feature Special Mention at Locarno in 2012 comes “Buzzard,” a film about the disillusionment of the 99 percent. Marty Jackitansky (Joshua Burge), a bored temp at a mortgage office, is out to get what he feels he deserves. He’ll swindle and scam corporations out of ten dollars just for the thrill. Soon, Marty hatches a scheme to steal petty refund checks from his mortgage company, thinking he’ll somewhat fool banks into cashing them. He reveals his plan to his work friend, Derek (Joel Potrykus), who’s seen Marty fail in the past. Marty’s growing suspicions force him to hide out in Derek’s basement for a week, terrified of the outside world.
“Faults” (March 6)
The first feature by Riley Stearns, “Faults” features Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Claire, a young woman immersed in a mysterious cult known as Faults. Desperate to get her back, her parents hire cult expert Ansel Roth (Leland Orser) to kidnap her. Stearns’ short film “The Cub,” which preceded “Faults,” revolved around the comically bizarre scenario of a straight-faced couple who send their daughter off to live with wolves, and concluded with a surprise finale. “Faults” also involves a strange relationship between a daughter and her parents with more going on than initially meets the eye, and unfolds with a similar mixture of comedy and creepiness.
“X/Y” (March 6)
In his sophomore feature, Ryan Piers Williams stars alongside America Ferrara, Melanie Diaz and Jon Paul Phillips in the character-driven drama centered around four friends living in New York and their interactions with one another as they search for a sense of balance. Mark, Jen, Sylvia and Jake are each caught in an emotionally arrested state of being and their individual attempts to escape it explores the murky web of communication and the stark detours we take to avoid confronting our own vulnerabilities. With raw energy, Williams puts a microscope on the desire we all have to connect with someone, the desperate lengths we’ll go to keep that connection, and what happens to us when that connection no longer holds meaning. Sharp and honest performances from the ensemble round out this taut relationship drama. (Tribeca)
“The Wrecking Crew” (March 13)
Taking a page out of the Academy Award-winning “20 Feet From Stardom,” “The Wrecking Crew” shines a light on a group of musicians who have never gotten their due despite their integral contributions to the music industry. The Wrecking Crew consisted of Tommy Tedesco, father of filmmaker Denny, drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Carol Kaye and saxophonist Plas Johnson, and they were the backing band for artists such as Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkle, the Beach Boys and Elvis. The documentary not only includes interviews with the members of the group, but also features testimonials from collaborators Brian Wilson, Cher, Nancy Sinatra, Dick Clark, Glen Campbell and more.
“Going Clear” (March 29)
Veteran documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney returned to Sundance this January with his latest powder keg of a documentary, “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.” Like the book on which it’s based by Lawrence Wright, it offered up shocking claims about the Church of Scientology sure to rock the public when HBO Documentary Films releases the film. The extensive and scathing exposé digs into the history of founder L. Ron Hubbard, the real reason behind the breakup of Scientology member Tom Cruise and his now ex-wife Nicole Kidman, what goes on behind the closed doors of its Los Angeles Church and much more over the course of its two-hour running time.
“The Riot Club” (March 27)
Lone Scherfig’s “The Riot Club,” which marked its world premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, is set amongst the privileged elite of Oxford University. The film follows Miles (Max Irons) and Alistair (Sam Claflin), two first year students determined to join the infamous Riot Club, where reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of a single evening. The script was adapted by playwright Laura Wade from her play “Posh.”
“Growing Up & Other Lies” (March 20)
Co-directed and co-written by Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, “Growing Up & Other Lies,” is, as its title might suggest, about the trials of a last-ditch, largely-unsuccessful attempt to grow up (after all, it’s billed as an “anti-coming-of-age comedy”). The film follows a group of friends (Adam Brody, Wyatt Cenac, Danny Jacobs and Josh Lawson) as they take an all-day walk down the entire length of Manhattan in an attempt to relive the uncomplicated ease of their early 20s, and, spoiler alert: Things don’t exactly go as planned.
“Bite Size” (March 10)
America’s battle against childhood obesity is an issue too big for many to fully comprehend. With 1 in 3 children overweight, the epidemic is sweeping our nation at an unforgiving rate. But in spite of these odds, Bite Size showcases the stories of four inspiring kids from diverse backgrounds who are fighting for their health one day at a time. Proving that it’s not just about the number on a scale, what really matters is learning what keeps you active and makes you happy.
“Kidnapping Mr. Heineken” (March 6)
In 1983, a group of childhood friends pulled off the crime of the century: kidnapping one of the richest men in the world, the heir of the Heineken beer empire (Anthony Hopkins). The shocking capture–by gunpoint in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam–resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for a kidnapped individual. It was truly the perfect crime…until they got away with it.