AFI Fest 2014 has announced three key lineups: New Auteurs, American Independents and Shorts. The programs feature a rich selection of films fresh off festival acclaim (such as “Heaven Knows What” and “The Tribe”) along with numerous US and world premieres.
The New Auteurs and Shorts programs will be juried by film journalists Alonso Duralde (The Wrap and The Advocate), Tim Grierson (Screen International), Eric Kohn (IndieWire) and our own Anne Thompson (Thompson on Hollywood). The Shorts jury also features Kahlil Joseph (filmmaker), Sara Murphy (producer), Mike Ott (filmmaker), Matthew Takata (Sundance Institute) and Brian Udovich (producer). Films in these sections will vie for Grand Jury awards.
The 28th annual AFI Fest runs November 6-13 in Hollywood. As previously announced, opening night film “A Most Violent Year,” centerpiece gala “Inherent Vice,” “The Gambler” and closing selection “Foxcatcher” will also play the festival.
ALIVE (SANDA) – A poor mountain laborer finds himself caught between harrowing dramas playing out at work and at home. DIR Park Jungbum. SCR Park Jungbum. CAST Park Jungbum, Lee Seungyeon, Park Myunghoon, Shin Heatbit. South Korea. US Premiere
BLIND – A recently blinded woman handles the loss of her sight by writing stories about the world she’s beginning to forget. DIR Eskil Vogt. SCR Eskil Vogt. CAST Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt. Norway, Netherlands.
FLAPPING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE (ÐAP CÁNH GIUA KHÔNG TRUNG) – When Huyen dabbles in prostitution to earn money for an abortion, she meets a mysterious client who takes a tender yet obsessive interest in her pregnancy. DIR Nguyen Hoang Diep. SCR Nguyen Hoang Diep. CAST Nguyen Thuy Anh, Tran Bao Son, Hoang Ha, Pham Tran Thanh Duy. Vietnam, France, Norway, Germany. US Premiere.
GÜEROS – In this playfully energetic debut, three young pranksters embark on a road trip adventure to pay their last respects to their musical hero. DIR Alonso Ruizpalacios. SCR Alonso Ruizpalacios & Gibrán Portela. CAST Tenoch Huerta, Sebastián Aguirre, Ilse Salas, Leonardo Ortizgris. Mexico.
RUN – This West African mystic fable follows a young man’s trajectory from rainmaker-in-training to fugitive political assassin. DIR Philippe Lacôte. SCR Philippe Lacôte. CAST Abdoul Karim Konaté, Isaach de Bankolé, Reine Sali Coulibaly. Ivory Coast, France.
SELF MADE (BOREG) – When two young women – one Palestinian and one Israeli – cross paths at a border checkpoint, they experience a magical identity exchange. DIR Shira Geffen. SCR Shira Geffen. CAST Sarah Adler, Samira Saraya. Israel.
THE TRIBE (PLEMYA) – This daring film, acted entirely in sign language without the aid of subtitles or voiceover, follows a new student at a corrupt Ukrainian school for the deaf. DIR/SCR Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. CAST Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova. Ukraine.
VIKTORIA – Young Viktoria, born without an umbilical cord, is exalted as Bulgaria’s “Child of the Future.” But when the Communist Party falls, she faces a crisis. DIR Maya Vitkova. SCR Maya Vitkova. CAST Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova, Mariana Krumova, Dimo Dimov, Georgi Spasov. Bulgaria.
VIOLET – In this visually stunning debut, teen Jesse must readjust to the world and cope with grief after witnessing his friend’s murder at a local shopping mall. DIR Bas Devos. SCR Bas Devos. CAST César De Sutter, Raf Walschaerts, Mira Helmer, Brent Minne. Netherlands, Belgium. North American Premiere.
THE WONDERS (LE MERAVIGLIE) – When a television competition comes to the Italian countryside, farmer’s daughter Gelsomina sees a way to assert her independence in this mesmerizing tale. DIR Alice Rohrwacher. SCR Alice Rohrwacher. CAST Alexandra Lungu, Sam Louwyck, Alba Rohrwacher, Sabine Timoteo, Monica Bellucci. Italy, Switzerland, Germany.
10,000 KM – Alexandra and Sergi’s deeply passionate relationship is tested when it becomes long distance, with computer technology their only medium for communication. DIR Carlos Marques-Marcet. SCR Clara Roquet & Carlos Marques-Marcet. CAST Natalia Tena, David Verdaguer. Spain, USA.
BUZZARD – Slacker temp-worker Marty goes into hiding following a slew of self-designed scams in this acidic dark comedy from AFI FEST alum Joel Potrykus. DIR Joel Potrykus. SCR Joel Potrykus. CAST Joshua Burge, Joel Potrykus. USA.
FAULTS – A washed-up expert on mind control accepts an offer to kidnap a young woman from a cult in this assured indie thriller. DIR Riley Stearns. SCR Riley Stearns. CAST Leland Orser, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Beth Grant, Chris Ellis, Lance Reddick, John Gries. USA.
FELT – Amy, haunted by a recent trauma, plunges into the world of her art to create an alter ego as a coping mechanism. DIR Jason Banker. SCR Jason Banker & Amy Everson. CAST Amy Everson, Kentucker Audley, Roxanne Knouse, Alanna Reynolds. USA.
HAPPY VALLEY – The Penn State child sex-abuse scandal, and subsequent downfall of local heroes Joe Paterno and Jerry Sandusky, is examined in this insightful documentary. DIR Amir Bar-Lev. USA.
HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT – The Safdie brothers’ third narrative feature explores the lives of three heroin junkies living on the streets of New York City. DIR Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie. SCR Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie. CAST Arielle Holmes, Caleb Landry Jones, Buddy Duress, Necro. USA.
THOU WAST MILD & LOVELY – In this psychosexual drama, a young farm worker’s attraction to his boss’s daughter unearths dark secrets. DIR Josephine Decker. SCR Josephine Decker & David Barker. CAST Joe Swanberg, Sophie Traub, Robert Longstreet, Kristin Slaysman, Geoff Marslett. USA.
THE VANQUISHING OF THE WITCH BABA YAGA – This essay film finds a fertile metaphor for Eastern Europe’s changing relationship with the natural world in the Slavic folktale of witch Baba Yaga. DIR Jessica Oreck. SCR Jessica Oreck. USA, Ukraine, Russia, Poland.
Shorts program after the jump.
AFI FEST SHORTS SELECTIONS
130919 • A PORTRAIT OF MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ – This one-take 3D film majestically documents legendary performance artist Marina Abramović in a manner befitting her art. DIR Matthu Placek. SCR Matthu Placek. CAST Marina Abramović. USA.
AFRONAUTS – Inspired by true events, It’s July 16, 1969: America is preparing to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat them to the moon. DIR Frances Bodomo. SCR Frances Bodomo. CAST Diandra Forrest, Yolonda Ross, Hoji Fortuna. USA.
unusual results. DIR Cara Connolly & Martin Clark. SCR Cara Connolly. CAST Ewen Bremner, Grace
Chilton. United Kingdom.
FUNNEL – Dude. Ran out of gas again?! DIR Andre Hyland. SCR Andre Hyland. CAST Andre Hyland.
HACKED CIRCUIT – This circular study of the Foley process portrays sound artists at work constructing complex layers of fabrication and imposition. DIR Deborah Stratman. USA.
THE HAIRCUT – In 1976, Amy defies expectations and joins the first class of female cadets accepted for
military service. She’ll have to prove to all that she has what it takes. DIR Alexis O. Korycinski. SCR Julia
Cox. CAST Bailey Noble, Molly Quinn, David Starzyk, Walter Fauntleroy, Chad Michael Collins. USA.
HAZE – A well-intentioned young man struggles to explain last night. DIR Chloe Domont. SCR Chloe
Domont. CAST Casey Drogin, Hannah Gross. USA.
HERE I AM…THERE YOU ARE… – When a married couple’s foreplay veers into domination, reality is stronger
than the imagination. DIR Dikla Jika Elkaslassy. SCR Dikla Jika Elkaslassy. CAST Ohad Knoller. Israel.
Edralin. CAST Ken Harrower, Sebastian Deery, April Lee. Canada.
HUMAN VOICE (VOCE UMANA) – Sophia Loren stars in this spirited adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s one-
woman play. DIR Edoardo Ponti. SCR Erri De Luca & Edoardo Ponti. CAST Sophia Loren, Virginia Da
Brescia, Enrico LoVerso. Italy.
LIGHT – After suffering a devastating loss, a Lebanese man is challenged by a mother’s request. DIR
Yassmina Karajah. SCR Yassmina Karajah. CAST Ahmed Muslimani, Soad Karim, Timothy J O’Leary.
MAN ON THE CHAIR (L’HOMME SUR SA CHAISE) – Does the man on the chair exist? DIR Dahee Jeong.
SCR Dahee Jeong. France, South Korea.
MASTER MUSCLES – Veronica and Efren take an explosive road trip through a strange America. DIR Efrén
Hernández. SCR Efrén Hernández. CAST Jehina Malik, Efrén Hernández. USA.
MI NINA MI VIDA – The bustling crowds and noisy rides of the amusement park won’t be enough to make
Jack smile today. DIR Yan Giroux. SCR Yan Giroux. CAST Joël Henriques. Canada.
MIGRATION – Observe the migration patterns of a most unusual herd. DIR Fluorescent Hill. SCR Mark
NDA – Man enacts legal fantasy. DIR David O’Reilly. USA.
THE OBVIOUS CHILD – Somebody broke the girl’s parents. The rabbit was there when it happened. It was an awful mess. DIR Stephen Irwin. SCR Stephen Irwin. CAST Ron Masa. United Kingdom.
ONE YEAR LEASE – Brian and Thomas document one year’s worth of their communication from their
landlady, who has an itchy speed-dial finger and much to say. DIR Brian Bolster. CAST Brian Bolster,
Thomas Harrington. USA.
PERSON TO PERSON – A stranger passed out on his floor after last night’s party. Now she won’t leave. At
least it will make a good story. DIR Dustin Guy Defa. SCR Dustin Guy Defa. CAST Bene Coopersmith,
Deragh Campbell. USA.
THE PRESENT – An Eastern ghost story with haunting implications. DIR Joe Hsieh. SCR Joe Hsieh & Ching-
Chwang Ho. CAST Yu-Jane Liu, Pi-Li Yeh, Ming-Shiou Tsai. Taiwan.
RABBITLAND – Those brainless rabbits are completely fulfilled. Why should their votes matter? DIR Ana
Nedeljkovic & Nikola Majdak Jr. SCR Ana Nedeljkovic. CAST Masa Mileusnic. Serbia.
RAT PACK RAT – Even Sammy Davis Jr. impersonators have it tough. DIR Todd Rohal. SCR Todd Rohal.
CAST Steve Little, Eddie Rouse, Margie Beegle. USA.
SEND – The Internet can be a dangerous place for teenage girls. DIR Peter Vack. SCR Peter Vack. CAST
Julia Garner, Jake Cannavale. USA.
SHIPWRECK – A tour de force rumination on the terrible tragedy that befell a boat carrying 500 Ethiopian
refugees on October 3, 2013. DIR Morgan Knibbe. SCR Morgan Knibbe. Netherlands.
SILENT – A magical contraption brings the history of the movies to life! DIR Brandon Oldenburg & Limbert
Fabian. SCR Limbert Fabian & Brandon Oldenburg. USA.
SLAP – A teenage boxer comes to terms with his true self. DIR Nick Rowland. CAST Joe Cole, Elliott
Tittensor, Skye Lourie, Stephen Bent. United Kingdom.
Andrew Cividino. SCR Andrew Cividino. CAST Isaac Wiebe, Nick Serino, Reece Moffett, Zoey Sawdo.
SLUT – A young girl with love in her heart unwittingly attracts the attention of a murderous sociopath. DIR
Chloe Okuno. SCR Chloe Okuno. CAST Molly McIntyre, James Gallo, Sally Kirkland, Kasia Pilewicz, Cody
SOUND THAT – A few minutes spent looking for leaks in the infrastructure with the employees of the
Cleveland Water Department. DIR Kevin Jerome Everson. SCR Kevin Jerome Everson. CAST Kaulee Miller,
Mark Pottinger, Terrance Martin. USA.
WASHINGTONIA – The Washingtonia is the only palm tree whose heart is not devoured by the red beetle,
because its heart is small and dry and no one likes small, dry hearts. DIR Konstantina Kotzamani. SCR
Konstantina Kotzamani. CAST Mamadu Dialo. Greece.
WHITE MORNING – The violent little boys become violent little men. DIR Paul Barritt. SCR Paul Barritt.
WRONG NUMBER – Girl can’t throw up. DIR David O’Reilly. USA.
YES WE LOVE (JA VI ELSKER) – Four generations, each in crisis on Norwegian Independence Day. DIR
Hallvar Witzø. SCR Hallvar Witzø. CAST Edvard Hægstad, Terje Ranes, Hanne Skille Reitan, Johan Fredrik
YOUNG LIONS OF GYPSY (A CIAMBRA) – Over the course of one long night, a young Romani boy grows
up. DIR Jonas Carpignano. SCR Jonas Carpignano. Italy, France.