By Erin Whitney | Indiewire May 8, 2013 at 11:53AM
BAMcinématek has announced the full lineup for the 2013 BAMcinemaFest, which will feature 22 New York premieres and one world premiere. David Lowery's acclaimed Sundance drama "Ain't Them Bodies Saints" will kick off the festival and Destin Cretton's SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner "Short Term 12" will close it. The fifth annual festival, which is sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, runs from June 19 - June 28.
BAMcinemaFest will also feature two spotlight screenings at the new Steinberg Screen at the BAM Harvey Theater, of Sebastian Silva's comedy "Crystal Fairy" starring Michael Cera and James Ponsoldt's coming-of-age drama "The Spectacular Now." The festival will also welcome back veteran filmmakers including Andrew Bujalski ("Beeswax") with new film "Computer Chess," and Matthew Porterfield ("Putty Hill") with "I Used to Be Darker."
Florence Almozini BAMcinématek program director commented, "We’re thrilled that BAMcinemaFest has remained a hometown festival, with nearly half of our main slate by Brooklyn filmmakers, from Dosunmu to Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman ("Remote Area Medical"), Lana Wilson and Martha Shane ("After Tiller"), Shaka King ("Newlyweeds"), Eliza Hittman ("It Felt Like Love"), Zach Clark ("White Reindeer"), Nick Bentgen and Lisa Kjerulff ("Northern Light"), and more.”
Festival sponsor Paula Keve, Head of Communications for Dow Jones, which publishes The Wall Street Journal said, "The festival serves a critical purpose in surfacing and showcasing the work of independent artists, and the Journal is delighted to be part of such an important cause.”
Special events and shorts will be announced shortly.
Check out the complete lineup below.
OPENING NIGHT: "Ain’t Them Bodies Saints" (David Lowery) NY Premiere Narrative
An IFC Films release. Opens August 16.
CLOSING NIGHT: "Short Term 12" (Destin Cretton) NY Premiere Narrative
A Cinedigm release.
"After Tiller" (Martha Shane & Lana Wilson) NY Premiere Documentary
Forty years after Roe v. Wade, abortion remains a divisive and incendiary national debate. In the
aftermath of Dr. George Tiller’s assassination in 2009, only four physicians in the US continue to
perform third trimester abortions, each plagued by constant death threats, protests, and legal battles—
all for their steadfast commitment to women’s rights. Filmmaking duo Shane and Wilson bring us this
intimate portrait of the intrepid practitioners as they grapple with the ethics that permeate their personal and professional lives. Winner of the Documentary Jury Prize at Sarasota Film Festival. An
Oscilloscope Laboratories release.
"C.O.G." (Kyle Patrick Alvarez) NY Premiere Narrative
Adapted from a chapter in David Sedaris’ superb story collection Naked (the first film version of Sedaris’ work), C.O.G. stars musical theater and TV star Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening and Glee) as David, a recent Yale grad who gets his hands dirty at an Oregon apple orchard in a vainglorious search for Thoreau-esque self-discovery. When his best friend and would-be fellow apple picker bails on him, he seeks companionship from a series of mentors (each scarier than the last) who provide harsh lessons on faith, friendship, love, and identity. Charming and witty as the young hero, Groff is the perfect mouthpiece for Sedaris’ indelible voice, and writer-director Alvarez imbues the story with heartbreak and a surprising degree of darkness. A Screen Media release. Opens this September.
"The Cold Lands" (Tom Gilroy) NY Premiere Narrative
Eleven-year-old Atticus (Silas Yelich, winner of the Special Jury Prize for Promising Actor at the
Nashville Film Festival) and his mother Nicole (Lili Taylor) live a modest life off the grid in the woods of upstate New York. When Nicole dies suddenly after refusing to seek treatment for an illness, Atticus is left to fend for himself, and his uncertain future takes a turn when he develops a fast-growing friendship with a weed-smoking necklace salesman. With gorgeous visuals and surprising touches of fantasy, Gilroy captures the dangers and freedoms of living on the margins of American society.
"Computer Chess" (Andrew Bujalski) NY Premiere Narrative
Bujalski, the director of Funny Ha Ha and Beeswax (BAMcinemaFest 2009), is back with a true
original—a lo-fi surrealist comedy about an imaginary 1980 chess conference where large, and
sometimes hilariously defective, chess-playing computers and their nerdy programmers are pitted
against a crusty grandmaster (Boston film critic Gerald Peary) to determine whether man or machine
rules supreme. With humor so bone dry that one might mistake his film for a documentary, Bujalski
employs a bleary-eyed black-and-white aesthetic by shooting with a vintage Portapak U-Matic video
camera, which achieves a retro hyperrealism that mixes beautifully with the film’s shades of deadpan
surrealism. A Kino Lorber release. Opens July 17 at Film Forum.
"Continental" (Malcolm Ingram) NY Premiere Documentary
The Continental, a gay bath house, opened deep in the basement of New York’s majestic Ansonia
Hotel in 1968, advertising the gleaming emporium as akin to “the glory of ancient Rome.” With a host of amenities including a sauna and swimming pool, a cabaret nightclub, the first light-up dance floor à la Saturday Night Fever, an “orgy room,” and K-Y jelly in the vending machines, it was a notorious beacon of hedonism, but it also proved integral to the gay liberation movement of the pre-AIDS era. Hosting a bevy of now-legendary performers such as Cab Calloway, Gladys Knight, the Pointer Sisters, Patti Labelle, and most famously, Bette Midler (aka Bathhouse Betty), with Barry Manilow on the keys, the Continental shuttered after just seven years. Ingram tells the club’s colorful story in this extraordinary documentary.
"The Crash Reel" (Lucy Walker) NY Premiere Documentary
Once a fearless master of gravity-defying leaps and mid-air flips, champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce
suffered massive head trauma after an accident in 2009—a brush with death that brought his Olympics- bound career to a sudden halt. Oscar-nominated documentarian Lucy Walker brings together a wealth of vérité footage, juxtaposing years of astonishing airborne feats with an unflinching look at Pearce’s long and agonizing rehabilitation. The result is an unforgettable testament to the passion of a phenomenal athlete and the tireless support of the family and friends who guide him through his recovery. An HBO Documentary Films release. Debuts on HBO on Monday, July 15.
"Crystal Fairy" (Sebastián Silva) NY Premiere Narrative *Spotlight screening at the BAM Harvey Theater
One of the openers of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Sebastián Silva’s (winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance for The Maid) latest is a bizarre, mescaline-driven road trip through Chile. In a frequently hysterical, often cringe-inducing performance, Michael Cera is Jamie, a boorish American ex- pat who, when he’s not inviting transvestite hookers back to his friend’s apartment, is chiefly interested in drug tourism. He and three Chilean brothers plan to set off in search of the prized San Pedro cactus and its promise of beachy hallucinations, but in the previous night’s drunken stupor Jamie invites a free- spirited fellow American (Gaby Hoffman in a naked performance, literally), whose devil-may-care worldview gives them more of an adventure than any of them had bargained for. An IFC Films release. Opens July 12.
The lineup is continued on page 2...