The Method Fest, the only major film festival in the U.S. that focuses on the acting side of the independent film industry, has announced their 12th annual lineup. Actors to showcase their new films include Anthony Hopkins, Laura Linney and Charlotte Gainsbourg in James Ivory’s latest “City of Final Destination,” Carey Mulligan in Shana Feste’s “The Greatest” and Richard Dreyfuss in Daniel Adams’ “The Lightkeepers.”
A total of 30 feature films and 59 shorts will screen at the festival, which runs from March 25 to April 31 in Calabasas. Ivory’s film will open the festival, while a number of film will have their world premieres at the fest including James Mann’s “Desert Son,” Nicholas Gyenes’ “The Penitent Man,” Hilbert Hakim’s “Krews” and the Kazakhstani film “Strayed” from director Akan Satayev.
The short films to screen at the fest include a dense lineup of U.S. and international works, including Joshua Weigel’s “The Butterfly Circus,” Jen McGowan’s “Touch,” and “Some Boys Don’t Leave” from director Maggie Kiley.
“We now have become a worldwide showcase of quality independent film,” stated Don Franken, The Method Fest Executive Director in an official press release. “We also have many world premieres this year. But, even more importantly, we have films with captivating performances, and riveting stories that the audiences would really appreciate.”
Other feature films in the lineup include:
“Big Things” – U.K.
Director: Mark Davenport
Richard, bored of his mundane existence as a cycle courier, attempts to make his film ‘A Distance Too Far’ in a bid to escape to a better life. Driven by the belief that it will propel him, his friends and his girlfriend to fame and fortune, and the fear of ending up like his family, the completion of his ‘masterpiece’ becomes the sole focus of Richard’s life.
“Desert Son” – U.S.
Director: James Mann and Brandon Nicholas
Phillip is abandoned in the desert by his step father. Days later he is found unconscious by Lucy and Jack, two orphans who live in an abandoned mining town in the middle of nowhere. They bring Phillip back to health and quickly initiate him into their dangerous lifestyle.
“Do Elephants Pray?” – U.K.
Director: Paul Hills
Callum Cutter (Jonnie Hurn), fastidious 30something head of his own failing advertising company struggles to find meaning in the soulless world he is shackled as he faces the challenge of selling the unsellable product. His life needs to change and it does so in the shape of Malika (Julie Dray) a stunning free-spirited French woman unbound by the conventions or responsibilities of the world. Do Elephants Pray?” is an ethereal drama that baits the spirit and demands answers to questions that may or may not exist.
“Footprints” – U.S.
Director: Steven Peros
From award-winning writer Steven Peros, author of the play and screenplay for Lionsgate’s 2002 The Cat’s Meow (directed by Peter Bogdanovich, starring Kirsten Dunst) comes this haunting, hopeful, and unforgettable mystery – A young woman’s journey of discovery on Hollywood Boulevard in one day, from sunrise to sunset.
“Handsome Harry” – U.S.
Director: Bette Gordon
A phone call on his 52nd birthday sets an ex-Navy man on a search for absolution as he confronts a mysterious past betrayal. Stars Steve Buscemi and James Sheridan.
“Looking for Eric” – U.K.
Director: Ken Loach
The plot revolves around a football fanatic postman (Evets) whose life is descending into crisis. Looking after his granddaughter is bringing him into contact with his ex-wife, and his stepson is hoarding a gun for a local gangster. At his weakest moments, when he considers suicide, his hallucinations bring forth visits from his footballing hero, the famously philosophical Eric Cantona.
[All plot synopses provided by The Method Fest]