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More Sundance 2016 Diaspora Highlights: ‘The Fits,’ ‘Sleight,’ ‘The Land,’ ‘Kiki,’ More

More Sundance 2016 Diaspora Highlights: 'The Fits,' 'Sleight,' 'The Land,' 'Kiki,' More

Here are the films that I didn’t identify (because I wasn’t already familiar with them unlike the others) in my Sundance Film Festival announcement post yesterday, that you should also be aware of, given this blog’s specific interests.

In addition to Nate Parker’s Nat Turner film, “The Birth of a Nation”; the young Barack Obama/Michelle Obama love story, “Southside With You”; the documentary “Life, Animated” from Roger Ross Williams; another documentary in “Trapped” from Dawn Porter; and “How to Tell You’re a Douchebag” from Tahir Jetter (formerly titled “Occasionally Dating Black Women”)… here are the rest, each with accompanying official stills:

– “The Fits” from director Anna Rose Holmer, based on a script she co-wrote with Saela Davis and Lisa Kjerulff: In this psychological portrait, Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy, is assimilating into a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, and her desire for acceptance is twisted. The film stars Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam, and Inayah Rodgers. Its Sundance screening will be the film’s North American Premiere.

– “Sleight” from director JD Dillard, based on a script co-written with Alex Theurer: After a young street musician is left to care for his little sister following their mother’s passing, he turns to dealing drugs, but quickly runs into trouble with his supplier. When his sister gets kidnapped, he must rely on his smarts and sleight of hand to save her. The cast includes Jacob Latimore, Dulé Hill, Seychelle Gabriel, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Cameron Esposito. This will be the film’s World Premiere.

– “Morris from America” from director and screenwriter Chad Hartigan: Thirteen-year-old Morris, a hip-hop loving American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father. In this completely foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl, befriends his German tutor-turned-confidant, and attempts to navigate the unique trials and tribulations of adolescence. The film stars Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał, Levin Henning. This will be its World Premiere.

– “The Land” from director and screenwriter Steven Caple Jr: Four teenage boys devote their summer to escaping the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by pursuing a dream life of professional skateboarding. But when they get caught in the web of the local queenpin, their motley brotherhood is tested, threatening to make this summer their last. Cast includes Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Erykah Badu, and Michael K. Williams. This will be the film’s World Premiere.

– “Jacqueline (Argentine)” from director and screenwriter Bernardo Britto: A young French woman hires a man to document her self-imposed political asylum in Argentina after supposedly leaking highly confidential government secrets. Cast includes Camille Rutherford, Wyatt Cenac, James Benson, Martin Anderson, Sarah Willis, Enrique Dura. This will be the film’s World Premiere.

– “Kiki” a documentary from director Sara Jordenö: Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring lens, “Kiki” offers a riveting, complex insight into a safe space created and governed by LGBTQ youths of color, who are demanding happiness and political power. The film is an exciting coming-of-age story about agency, resilience, and the transformative art form of voguing. This will be its World Premiere.

– And finally, “As You Are” from director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, based on a script he co-wrote with Madison Harrison: “As You Are” is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. The film stars Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, and Amandla Stenberg. This will be its World Premiere.

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