The American Film Institute has announced the films that will be featured in the New Auteurs and American Independent programs during AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi. The New Auteurs section includes 11 first and second-time features that will be eligible for the Grand Jury Prize, and the program includes seven features directed by women this year. The American Independents lineup includes nine of the strongest indie projects of the year.
As previously announced, AFI FEST 2015 will open with the world premiere of Angelina Jolie’s third directorial effort, “By the Sea.” The Will Smith awards vehicle “Concussion” and the Adam McKay ensemble drama “The Big Short” will be the festival’s Centerpiece Gala and Closing Night Gala, respectively.
“The women and men from around the world in the New Auteurs competition hold great promise for an acclaimed career,” said Lane Kneedler, Director of Programming of AFI FEST, in a statement. “Watching past winners flourish since their time at AFI FEST has made running this competitive section over the last several years an incredibly rewarding experience. We are excited to see what this year’s emerging filmmakers will do next.”
Below are the titles playing in the New Auteurs and American Independents sections. Synopses provided by AFI FEST 2015 presented by Audi.
Matthias Schoenaerts plays an ex-soldier who becomes locked in a deadly game of cat-and- mouse with ski-masked home invaders at a wealthy estate.
On an island inhabited only by women and boys, a 10-year-old receiving strange medical treatment investigates the horrific things the women do at night.
In winter near the Caspian Sea, a fisherman’s wife becomes free of her suppressed domestic existence after a life-altering event.
A young Mayan woman becomes pregnant outside of an impending arranged marriage, throwing her and her family’s future into dire uncertainty.
In this timely film, a migrant from Burkina Faso makes a perilous journey from North Africa to Europe.
To escape her troubles at home, a young Orthodox Jewish woman falls in with a nocturnal community of prostitutes and drug dealers in the ancient cemetery atop Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.
Five Turkish sisters must fight back against harsh societal restrictions when a seemingly innocent act is blown out of proportion.
A young Albanian woman bucks her destiny by appealing to an ancient regional law allowing her to live free as a man if she takes an oath of eternal virginity.
A Turkish teenager dreams of leaving her abusive home and moving in with her father, a long-distance truck driver.
A middle-aged logger gambles his personal and professional livelihood on harvesting an unyielding piece of land.
Khalik Allah’s stylized documentary chronicles summer nights spent at the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem.
A trio of people look to make meaningful connections in this sweet natured comedy.
Two different Helens of Troy live parallel lives in this brilliantly unnerving apocalyptic vision.
A young New Yorker is forced to take control of his self-destructive lifestyle as he navigates his mother’s fight with a serious illness.
Estranged relative Krisha shows up to a family Thanksgiving to make amends, but as the day unfolds she can’t escape her dark past.
In this indie American period piece, two farming brothers in 1861 are torn apart by the encroaching Civil War.
A brother and sister living on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation cope with the loss of their father in very different ways.
When a new member arrives at a home for sober living, a self-destructive spiral begins.
The 29th edition of AFI FEST will take place in Hollywood, California from November 5-12.