The 38th Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County, California, will include Cannes picks and local works in its 2015 lineup.
Among the Cannes alum to screen at MVFF 2015 (October 8-18) are Todd Haynes’ ’50s lesbian romance “Carol,” Deniz Gamze Erguven’s Turkish festival favorite “Mustang” and Nanni Moretti’s meta-biopic “My Mother.”
The documentary section looks particularly strong as well, with Robin Hauser Reynolds exploring women in the computer-science industry in “Code: Debugging the Gender Gap” and Marlene “Mo” Morris” chronicling an African-American artist while grieving the death of her nephew, Eric Garner, in “A New Color: The Very Public Art of Edythe Boone.”
Here are the female-centric and women-directed works among MVFF’s early-confirmed films, descriptions courtesy of the festival:
Early confirmed films from the Cannes Film Festival at MVFF38 include:
Award-winning Italian Director Nanni Moretti’s MY MOTHER (Mia Madre), a semi-autobiographical family drama starring Moretti’s frequent muse Margherita Buy as a film director beset by personal trials, most notably her mother’s failing health and a lead actor (John Turturro) who can’t act or remember his lines. MY MOTHER teases with perception as the narrative moves between memory, dream, movie, and life.
Five beautiful sisters chafe under social and cultural strictures in the beautifully directed debut MUSTANG from Deniz Gamze Erguven. In a Turkish village situated along the Black Sea, Lale and her older siblings celebrate school’s end by frolicking in the sea with some male classmates. At home, their grandmother and uncle find nothing playful in this harmless activity and set about finding eligible bachelors to marry them. Though MUSTANG’s focus is delicate and intimate, its themes and ramifications are nothing short of revolutionary.
Todd Haynes’ (Poison, Safe, Velvet Goldmine, Far From Heaven) British-American romantic drama CAROL stars Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara (tied for Best Actress at Cannes) and Kyle Chandler. This captivating, sensuous and richly observed film tells the story of a young shopgirl in the early 1950’s who falls for an older, married woman.
Mika Kaurismaki’s THE GIRL KING paints a portrait of the brilliant, extravagant Kristina of Sweden, queen from age six, who fights the conservative forces that are against her ideas to modernize Sweden and who have no tolerance for her awakening sexuality.
Early confirmed San Francisco Bay Area Documentaries for MVFF38 include:
In her compelling and timely documentary, Robin Hauser Reynolds examines the history and current state of the technology and computer science industry in CODE: DEBUGGING THE GENDER GAP (California Premiere). Reynolds points her camera at the women and people of color within the industry (many local to the Bay Area) who are working to motivate diverse populations to understand what tech jobs have to offer them creatively as well as financially, while actively unpacking the cultural stereotypes, educational obstacles and rampant sexism which prevent so many young women and minorities from entering the computer science workforce.
For students, parents, educators, and anyone who cares about the future of the American education system, BEYOND MEASURE (World Premiere) is a call to action that demonstrates how innovation can break the stifling status quo. Bay Area director-producer Vicki Abeles has crafted a smart companion piece to her award-winning Race to Nowhere(MVFF 2009) that challenges the current education model of cookie-cutter teaching methods and narrow, test-driven culture that leave little room for creativity.
In 1994, Edythe Boone was one of the seven women artists commissioned to cover San Francisco’s historic Women’s Building with a massive, iconic mural entitled MaestraPeace. Now in her 70s, the African-American artist supervises a restoration of the mural to its original brilliant colors and teaches public art to everyone from West Oakland middle schoolers to Richmond seniors. Marlene “Mo” Morris follows the veteran muralist whose art can be found all over the Bay Area commemorating the great events of her time. Those events keep coming, as we see when the death of Edy’s nephew, Eric Garner, becomes a national symbol for racist policing in A NEW COLOR: THE VERY PUBLIC ART OF EDYTHE BOONE (World Premiere).
Early confirmed San Francisco Bay Area Narrative Features for MVFF38 include:
YOSEMITE (California Premiere), based on short stories by James Franco, is the feature directorial debut from Gabrielle Demeestere. Set in suburban Palo Alto and featuring a rising cast of Bay Area locals and shot in and around the Bay Area, this nostalgic ode to boyhood weaves together the intertwined tales of three fifth-graders precariously navigating the shifting emotional grounds of their young lives in the fall of 1985.
Early confirmed San Francisco Bay Area Short Docs & Narratives for MVFF38 include:
Meet PENNY Cooper (Bay Area Premiere) – “Champion of the marginalized”: celebrated criminal trial attorney, lesbian and staunch supporter of the arts. Shot in the Bay Area by local filmmaker Elizabeth Sher.
In BOXEADORA by Meg Smaker, one woman defies Castro’s ban on female boxing to follow her dream of Olympic glory and become Cuba’s first female boxer.
An internationally renowned artist, IRINA ROZO (World Premiere) is a full time sculptor and painter that lives in Napa Valley, CA. Filmmaker Ashley James documents her work and career.
In MARATHON by Theo Rigby and Kate McLean, Ecuadorean Julio Saucé trains for and competes in the New York City marathon.
FATHER’S DAY (World Premiere) by Emily Towers, is a dramedy about trying to patch foxholes with band-aids.
In NIETA (Granddaughter) (Bay Area Premiere) by Nicolás Villareal, an incoming storm helps transform a young girl’s perspective of the world
Clara Aranovich’s PRIMROSE (Bay Area Premiere) is an unlikely love story between two creatures; one of which may or may not be human.