Band of Robbers

Mark Twain’s young heroes Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn spring vividly back to life, this time as modern-day grown men. When Huck is released from prison he hopes to leave his criminal past behind. But his lifelong friend and corrupt cop, Tom, has other plans, having formed the Band of Robbers, a group of misfits dedicated to locating the hidden treasure that eluded the boys in childhood. [Synopsis courtesy of LA Film Festival]

The Longest Ride

The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man as he reflects back on a lost love while he’s trapped in an automobile crash.

Whiplash

Andrew, a promising 19-year-old drummer at a cutthroat Manhattan music conservatory, has little interest in being just a musician. Haunted by his father’s failed writing career and plagued with the fear that mediocrity just might be genetic, Andrew dreams of greatness. Determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps, he practices daily until his hands literally bleed. The pressure of success ratchets into high gear when he is picked to join the school band led by the infamous Terence Fletcher, a brutally savage music instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential. Under Fletcher’s ruthless direction, Andrew begins to pursue perfection at any cost—even his humanity. [Synopsis courtesy of Director’s Fortnight]