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Introducing the New Auteurs and American Independents of AFI FEST 2015

Introducing the New Auteurs and American Independents of AFI FEST 2015

AFI FEST 2015 has added exciting New Auteurs and American Independents lineups to its 29th edition.

The New Auteurs section highlights 11 first and second-­time narrative feature film directors from around the world, whose films will be eligible for the Grand Jury Prize; jurors include The Wrap’s Inkoo Kang, The Guardian’s Nigel Smith,
and Sherry Linden of The Hollywood Reporter and the L.A. Times.

AFI FEST 2015 will also feature the world premieres of Angelina Jolie’s “By the Sea,” Peter Landesman’s “Concussion,” and Adam McKay’s “The Big Short. The festival runs Nov. 5 through Nov. 12 in Hollywood.  

New Auteurs

“Desde Allá” (dir. Lorenzo Vigas): When a middle-aged man is assaulted and robbed by a young criminal, an unlikely relationship develops in this TIFF sensation. Venezuela/Mexico. U.S. premiere. (Our review here.)

“Disorder” (dir. Alice Wincour): In this well-received Cannes entry, Matthias Schoenaerts plays an ex-solder who becomes locked in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with ski-masked home invaders at the estate of a wealthy woman (Diane Kruger). France/Belgium.

“Evolution” (dir. Lucile Hadžihalilović): On an island inhabited only by women and boys, a 10-year-old receiving strange medical treatment investigates the horrific things the women do at night. France.

“The Gulls” (“Chaiki”) (dir. Ella Manzheeva): In winter near the Caspian Sea, a fisherman’s wife becomes free of her suppressed domestic existence after a life-altering event. Russian Federation. North American premiere.

“Ixcanul” (dir. Jayro Bustamante): In this Oscar submission, young Mayan woman becomes pregnant outside of an impending arranged marriage, throwing her and her family’s future into dire uncertainty. Guatemala/France.

“Land and Shade” (“La Tierra y La Sombra”) (dir. César Augusto Acevedo): An aging farmer returns to rural Colombia, where the family and land he long ago abandoned have been devastated by industrial progress. Colombia/France/Netherlands/Chile/Brazil. U.S. premiere.

“Mediterranea” (dir. Jonas Carpignano): In this timely film, a migrant from Burkina Faso makes a perilous journey from North Africa to Europe. Italy/France/USA/Germany.

“Mountain” (dir. Yaelle Kayam): To escape her troubles at home, a young Orthodox Jewish woman falls in with a nocturnal community of prostitutes and drug dealers in the ancient cemetery atop Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives. Israel/Denmark. U.S. premiere.

“Mustang” (dir. Deniz Gamze Ergüven): Five Turkish sisters must fight back against harsh societal restrictions when a seemingly innocent act is blown out of proportion; this is France’s surprise Oscar entry. France/Germany/Turkey.

“Sworn Virgin” (“Vergine Giurata”) (dir. Laura Bispuri): A young Albanian woman bucks her destiny by appealing to an ancient regional law allowing her to live free as a man if she takes an oath of eternal virginity. Italy/Switzerland/Germany/Albania/Republic of Kosovo.

“Until I Lose My Breath” (dir. Emine Emel Balcı): A Turkish teenager dreams of leaving her abusive home and moving in with her father, a long-distance truck driver. Turkey/Germany. North American premiere.

American Independents

“Bob and the Trees” (dir. Diego Ongaro): A middle-aged logger gambles his personal and professional livelihood on harvesting an unyielding piece of land.

“Field Niggas (dir. Khalik Allah): Khalik Alla’s stylized documentary chronicles summers nights spent at the intersection of of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem.

“Funny Bunny” (dir. Alison Bagnall): A trio of people look to make meaningful connections in this sweet natured comedy.

H.” (dir. Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia): Two different Helens of Troy live parallel lives in this brilliantly unnerving apocalyptic vision.

“James White” (dir. Josh Mond): In this Sundance hit, a young New Yorker (breakout Christopher Abbott) is forced to take control of his
self-destructive lifestyle as he navigates a serious illness with his mother (Cynthia Nixon).

“Krisha” (dir. Trey Edward Shults): Estranged relative Krisha shows up to a family Thanksgiving to make amends, but as the day unfolds she can’t escape her dark past.

“Men Go to Battle” (dir. Zachary Treitz): In this indie American period piece, two farming brothers in 1861 are torn apart by the encroaching Civil War.

“Songs My Brothers Taught Me” (dir. Chloe Zhao): A brother and sister living in South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation cope with the loss of their father in very different ways.

“Stinking Heaven” (dir. Nathan Silver): When a new member arrives at a home for sober living, a self-destructive spiral begins.

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