The Mammoth Lakes Film Festival, a new festival starting this year in the Mammoth Lakes region of California, has announced its first lineup of screenings, premieres and events. Alex Gibney’s “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” has been announced as the inaugural opening night film.
There will be 16 films in the Narrative and Documentary competitions, as well as special events including an industry panel on women in filmmaking with producer Allison Amon and actress Kristanna Loken.
Festival founder Shira Dubrovner said, “Like Sundance and Telluride, our goal is to be a world-class destination film festival known for showcasing the best of cinema and providing audiences with an unparalleled opportunity to experience cinema amidst the inspiring natural beauty of Mammoth Lakes.”
The current film slate is listed below. All synopses courtesy of the Mammoth Lakes Film Festival.
Opening Night Film
“Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” (USA) – Director: Alex Gibney
Narrative Features Program
“Asco” (Brazil) – Director: Ale Paschoalini
Utilizing limited dialogue and unique camera work, this accessible film explores themes of love and revenge in a fantastical and surreal manner. Arty, it has an intense, surreal and comic emotional thrust that engages the viewer as together we experience the poisonous destruction of a broken heart.
“Birds of Neptune” (USA) – Director: Steven Richter
A sexy drama around two vulnerable sisters, living in their deceased parents’ home in Portland (shot on location). A smooth-talking young man begins an affair with one of the sisters, only to then move in on the other sister. A teenage neighbor feels he has to step in to protect the two beautiful sisters from the interloper and themselves.
“Diamond Tongues” (Canada) – Director: Brian Robertson, Pavan Moondi
Edith Welland is an actress. Things haven’t been going very well. When her ex-boyfriend becomes an actor on a whim and almost immediately books a leading role, Edith decides if she’s going to get ahead, she’ll need to get ruthless.
“Fantasticherie di un Passeggiatore Solitario” (“Reveries of a Solitary Stroller”) (Italy) – Director: Paolo Gaudio
A combination live-action and animation tale of a 20ish pair of friends, who discover a mysterious manuscript in a library. Together the couple head out on a fantastical and magical adventure to discover its origin, and find they are more than friends in the process. The amazing visuals, in the vein of Terry Gilliam, dazzle the eye.
“Female Pervert” (USA) – Director: Jiyoung Lee
In this quirky, slightly perverted tragi-comic tale, one attractive young woman’s perverse sexual fantasies interfere with her ability to have a real relationship. (Mature)
“The Incredible Adventure of Jojo (and his annoying sister Avila)” (USA) – Director: Brian Schmidt
When young Jojo is thrown into the woods and forced save his little sister, he also learns to get along with her in this adventure tale filled with ravenous wolves, raging rivers, and a crafty old hobo. It’s about life and love being a grand adventure, and how you can squeeze one more person into it, even if it’s your annoying little baby sister.
“Proud Citizen” (USA) – Director: Thomas Southerland
After winning second place in a play writing contest, a Bulgarian woman travels to small town Kentucky for the premiere of her play. Expecting southern hospitality, she instead finds an America full of dichotomy in this funny, heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking meditation on the comfort (and discomfort) of strangers. (B/W)
“They Look Like People” (USA) – Director: Perry Blackshear
Suspecting that those around him are actually malevolent shape-shifters, a troubled young man questions whether to protect his only friend from an impending war, or from himself.
Documentary Features Program
“20 Years of Madness” (USA) – Director: Jeremy Royce
When the eccentric cast of a mid-90s Public Access show in Detroit reunite after 20 years to make a new episode, they are forced to take a hard look at their lives and reconcile their teenage dreams with the realities of adulthood.
“Autism in Love” (USA) – Director: Matt Fuller
The story of four adults with autism spectrum disorders as they search for and manage love and relationships. Their stories, heartbreaking and brave, take audiences on a journey that urges them to question and reevaluate their own ideals of what it means to love and be loved.
“Cartel Land” (USA) – Director: Matthew Heineman
With unprecedented access, this riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. “Cartel Land” is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil.
“The Chinese Mayor” (China) – Director: Hao Zhou
Granted remarkable access to the daily business of a high-ranking mainland Chinese official, Hao Zhou’s “The Chinese Mayor” offers a fascinating verite portrait of the collision between progress, politics, corruption and citizens’ rights in a rapidly changing People’s Republic. This is the China that the authorities there don’t want you to see.
“The Cult of J. T. Leroy” (USA) – Director: Marjorie Sturm
JT’s life and death sprang open a Pandora’s box of powerful questions about literature and culture, identity and celebrity, and the reality of the society we live in. A teen prostitute, addicted to heroin and infected with HIV, J.T. was encouraged by a therapist to write his life story–a bizarre tale that perplexes to this day.
“Omo Child: The River and the Bush” (USA) – Director: John Rowe
For generations people in the Omo Valley (southwest Ethiopia) believed some children are cursed and that these ‘mingi’ children must be killed. Lale Labuko, a young educated man decided one day he would stop this horrific practice. This beautiful film shot over a five year period follows Lale’s journey to change an ancient practice.
“Dying to Know” (USA) – Director: Gay Dillingham
This intimate portrait celebrates two complex, controversial characters that shaped a generation. Two 1960’s Harvard psychology professors began probing the edges of consciousness through experiments with psychedelics-Timothy Leary, the LSD guru and Richard Alpert. The film invites us into the future and the biggest mystery of all: death.
MLFF runs from May 27-31. Ticket sales and additional festival information can be found at: www.MammothLakesFilmFestival.com