Film Festival Roundup: Sunscreen Unveils Main Slate, Montclair Announces Special Screenings, Dallas Names Honorees and More

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column.
Film Festival Roundup, Week of March 27
"Sámi Blood"

Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.

Lineup Announcements

– EXCLUSIVE: The 12th Annual Sunscreen Film Festival announced its official selections for the 2017 event featuring films with Alec Baldwin, Dylan McDermott, John Cleese, Daphne Zuniga and more. Opening night will feature Michael Mailer’s newest film, “Blind,” a romantic-drama, starring Alec Baldwin, Demi Moore and Dylan McDermott. Closing night will wrap up the festival with “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” a family fantasy adventure, starring John Cleese, Debra Messing, Jennifer Morrison and Stephen Dorff.

Retrospective Screenings will include Daphne Zuniga appearance at the festival honoring the 30th anniversary of “Spaceballs.” Also in this category will be “The Greatest Show on Earth,” from 1952 directed by Cecile B. DeMille, which won the Oscar for Best Pictures and Best Writing in 1953. The screening will honor the closing of the Ringling Bros. circus after 146 years.

The new programming team, led by Director of Programming Joseph Restaino and Senior Programmer Wey Lin, will present 125 films in total including 36 features and 89 shorts across all their categories. Check out the rest of the lineup below.

Social Awareness Immigration Program
“Who Is Dayani Cristal,” Documentary, Marc Silver, USA, 2013, 85m
“After Spring,” Documentary, Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez, Jordan, 2016, 101m
Social Awareness Environmental Program
“The Burden,” Documentary, Roger Sorkin, USA, 2015, 40m
“Nature’s Orchestra,” Documentary, Robert Hillman, USA, 2016, 24m
Narrative Feature Competition
“Diani & Devine Meet the Apocalypse,” Adventure, Comedy, Etta Devine & Gabriel Diani, USA, 2016, 90m
“Carter & June,” Action/Comedy, Nicholas Kalikow, USA, 2016, 87m
“Those Left Behind,” Drama, Maria Finitzo, USA, 2017, 102m
“Tracktown,” Drama, Sport, Alexi Pappas & Jeremy Teicher, USA, 2017, 88m
“I Can I Will I Did,” Drama, Nadine Truong, USA, 2017, 110m
“Residue,” Action, Horror, Thriller, Rusty Nixon, USA, 2017, 83m                                                                                                                                            
Spotlight Films
“Sugar,” TV Series, Drama, Dylan McDermott, USA, 2017, 20m
“The Hero,” Comedy, Drama, Brett Haley, USA, 2017, 93m
“All About the Money,” Action, Comedy, Blake Freeman USA, 2016, 86m
“Created Equal,” Drama, Thriller, Bill Duke, USA, 2017, 91m                                                                                                                                                   
New Visions
“Elizabeth Blue,” Drama, Vincent Sabella, USA, 2017, 95m
“Lady-Like,” Comedy, Brent Craft, USA, 2017, 82m
“Kate Can’t Swim,” Drama, Josh Helman, USA, 2017, 90m
“Good Bones,” Comedy, Tim Bohn, USA, 85m                                                                                                                                                      
“Till the Aces Come,” Drama, Adam Everett, USA, 2016, 112m                                                                                                                                      
Documentary Features
“Chicago Boys,” Carola Fuentes & Rafael Valdeavellano, Chile, 2015, 85m
“Whose Streets?,” Sabaah Folayan & Damon Davis, USA, 2017, 103m
“Davi’s Way,” Comedy, Tom Donahue, USA, 2016, 86m
“Finding Babel,” David Novack, France/Russia, 2015, 88m
“The New 8-Bit Heroes,” Joseph Granato IV, USA, 112m
“The Forbidden Shore,” Ron Chapman, Canada, Cuba, 2016, 96m

“Whose Streets?”Courtesy of Sundance

Florida Focus
“Thunder,” Drama, Rob O’Cruz, USA, 2016, 91m
“Paying Mr. McGetty,” Action, Comedy, Romance, Michael Baumgarten, USA, 2016
“Eat. Speak. St. Pete,” Documentary, David Vega, USA, 2016, 59m
“King Charles,” Action, Drama, Nicholas Naylor, USA, 2017, 90m
“Oklahoma Sun,” Andrew Andrade, USA, 2016, 34m                                                                                                         
Latin Program
“Perros,” Drama, Hector Trompetero, Colombia, 2016, 75m
“Such Is Life in the Tropics,” Thriller, Sebastian Cordero, Ecuador, 2016, 100m
“The City of the Future,” Drama, LGBT, Claudio Marquez, Brazil, 2016, 76m
“Family Life,” Comedy, Drama, Cristian Jimenez, Alicia Scherson, Chile, 2017, 80m
“My Hindu Friend,” Drama, Hector Babenco, Brazil, 2016, 124m
International Program
“Sami Blood,” Drama, Amanda Kernell, Sweden, 2016, 110m
“Last Broken Darkness,” Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Christopher-Lee dos Santos, South Africa, 2017, 118m

– Montclair Film has announced the Opening, Closing and Centerpiece screenings for the 6th annual Montclair Film Festival (MFF), taking place April 28 – May 7 in Montclair, NJ. Amanda Lipitz’s “Step” will open the festival on Friday, April 28; Stanley Nelson’s “Tell Them We Are Rising: America’s Black Colleges and Universities,” the festival’s Documentary Centerpiece, will screen on Friday, May 5; Geremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$” is set as the festival’s Fiction Centerpiece for Saturday, May 6, with Zoe Lister-Jones’ “Band Aid” set as the Closing Night film on Saturday, May 6. Each of these screenings will take place at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair.

zoe lister-jones band aid
“Band Aid”

Additionally, Montclair Film and the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) are proud to announce a partnership that helps build meaningful opportunity for African American professionals in the film and television industry, and which celebrates the work of established artists in the field. This year’s partnership includes a new program, Emerging Black Voices, which will offer opportunity to filmmakers and producers at both the MFF and ABFF, as well as multiple panel discussions, screenings, and the House Party, a celebration of African American filmmakers held each year at the MFF.

The Montclair Film Festival is also proud to present two special restorations at this year’s festival. First, George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead” will screen in a stunning new 4K restoration by the Museum of Modern Art and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation and the Celeste Bartos Preservation Fund. The screening, set for April 29 at the Wellmont Theater, will feature special guests producer Russ Streiner, who also played Johnny in the film and delivered the now-famous line “They’re coming to get you, Barbara,” actress Kyra Schon, who portrayed the 11 year-old Karen Cooper in the film and provided one of the film’s most unforgettable moments, and investor and the film’s sound recordist Gary Streiner, who oversaw the film’s restoration on behalf of Image Ten.

Next, the festival will present Mosfilm’s beautiful new 2K restoration of Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker,” screening Saturday, April 29. This restoration of “Stalker” will be the first film ever screened in Cinema505, Montclair Film’s new cinema located in their new home at the Investors Bank Film and Media Center, located at 505 Bloomfield Avenue in downtown Montclair. The full program will be announced on Monday, April 3, 2017.

– EARTHxFilm, presented by Earth Day Texas (EDTx), has announced the full slate of films, presentations, and panels for the environmentally focused film festival’s debut at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas on April 20 – 23. Jeff Orlowski’s “Chasing Coral” will be the Opening Night selection for a Gala Presentation on Thursday, April 20, complete with a Green Carpet at the Music Hall at Fair Park.

Among the 18 feature films, 33 shorts, 5 virtual reality (VR) projects, and 6 works in progress, are films exploring highly charged topics such as the state of the oceans and rivers, our food and water sources, clean energy, GMOs, sustainable farming, overwhelming plastic pollution, threats to our national security due to rising sea levels, and more. You can check out the full lineup and purchase tickets right here.

patti cakes sundance
“Patti Cake$”Sundance

– Tribeca Games and Kill Screen have partnered to launch the Tribeca Games Festival, an event that will bring together New York City’s passionate gaming community to examine where games have been and what comes next in the race to innovate in the world’s most popular medium. Sitting at the intersection of games, entertainment and culture, the festival will include behind-the-scenes looks back at some of the most fascinating games of the past year, and conversations with cultural leaders and game industry insiders, including a conversation with legendary game creator, Hideo Kojima.

The festival will kick off with the New York premiere of Telltale Games’ first-ever crowd play of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale series, Episode 1” and a concert headlined by British electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist Mura Masa. Fresh off a Coachella performance, Mura Masa will light up the Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios with the sounds of the future, bringing his Billboard-topping music to an audience of over 500.

The inaugural Tribeca Games Festival will take place April 28 – 29 during the Tribeca Film Festival at The Tribeca Festival Hub at Spring Studios. The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, runs April 19 – 30. You can find out more about the lineup and purchase tickets right here.

– The 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival will present “The Rise & Rise of Romanian Cinema,” showcasing a number of award-winning films from renowned Romanian directors for the third time in ten years.

Palme d’Or winner Cristian Mungiu returns with “Graduation,” a morality tale about a father doing the best he can for the future of his girl after she was assaulted. Mungiu won the Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for challenging the country’s social system as Romania undergoes transition from socialism to new uncertainties. Cristi Puiu will screen “Sieranevada,” a black comedy rivaling the ingenuity of his landmark film The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. The film develops a masterfully-controlled portrait of chaos in a Romanian family, whose members gather in an apartment to commemorate a deceased father. Marital tensions and sibling rivalry are revealed over a Bunueluesque dinner table. The film competed at the Cannes Film Festival.

You can check out the other films in the HKIFF selections at their official site.

– The Tribeca Film Festival, presented by AT&T, has added late additions to the Talks and Immersive programs, rounding out the 2017 slate. Paul Feig has been added to Tribeca Talks: Directors Series. Also, Tribeca Immersive’s Virtual Arcade adds “Under a Cracked Sky,” a virtual experience where viewers plunge through eight feet of ice in the Antarctic to explore what lies beneath in the clearest water on Earth. It is photographed by two research divers at McMurdo Station, one of whom has more experience under the ice than anyone else on the planet.

“Under a Cracked Sky” completes the Earth Day programming where the Festival will highlight documentaries, both traditional and immersive, that focus on critical and timely issues that have an impact on our planet, including climate change, food waste, and animal extinction. Tickets to the 16th annual Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 19 – 30, are available now.


– The 19th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival co-founded and hosted by Chaz Ebert, also known as “Ebertfest,” has announced the final slate of films in this year’s festival. The additional lineup will include screenings of “Being There” with cinematographer Caleb Deschanel attending; “De-Lovely,” with director and producer Irwin Winkler in attendance and followed by a performance of Cole Porter songs by Jimmy Demers and pianist Donnie Demers; “The Handmaiden”; “Pleasantville,” including director Gary Ross appearing; “They Call Us Monsters,” featuring special guests director Ben Lear and producer Sasha Alpert; and the short film “July and Half of August” with writer Sheila O’Malley attending.

These films will accompany previously announced “Elle,” “Hair,” “Hysteria,” “Mind/Game,” “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” “To Sleep With Anger” and “Variete.”

Also in attendance will be Ebert Fellows, a group of emerging writers, critics, filmmakers and technologists mentored through various Ebert programs at Sundance, Hawaii, Telluride, Columbia College Links, the Chicago Urban League and the University of Illinois.

Other Official Announcements

– The Brooklyn Film Festival (BFF) has closed submissions for its milestone 20th anniversary edition. BFF received a total of 2,650 films from 120 countries and will select roughly 130 film premieres to be announced in May. The films are divided in six categories: Feature Narrative, Feature Doc, Short Narrative, Short Doc, Experimental and Animation.

BFF’s selection criteria, a 20-year-old set of rules, constitutes the true festival’s trademark. Participating films cannot be older than two years. Films are selected from the submissions only. All the selected films are shown twice. All the selected films participate in the competition. And the smallest film can win the top festival award: The Grand Chameleon.

The festival will run from June 2 – 11 at two main venues: Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg and Windmill Studios NYC in Greenpoint. Additional programming will be presented on June 5 and 6 at Syndicated in Bushwick and on June 9 at UnionDocs in Williamsburg. On June 3, BFF will present its 13th annual kidsfilmfest at Made in NY Media Center by IFP in Dumbo. And on June 10, the 6th annual Exchange program will be hosted by Kickstarter in Greenpoint.

– The Venice Film Festival is getting into VR, and is now launching a brand new section dedicated to films made just for virtual reality viewing. The new section, called Venice Virtual Reality, will include no more than 18 titles. The entries will be judged by a jury composed of up to “five prominent personalities from the creative tech world” and they will award the following three prizes: Best VR film, Grand VR Jury Prize, Best VR Creativity Award.

The 74th edition of the Venice fest will run from August 31 – September 5. The news was first reported by Variety.

Submissions and Calls for Entry

The Long Beach International Film Festival (LBIFF) announced that the sixth annual event will take place August 1 – 4.  Four days of film screenings, industry celebrations and sophisticated culinary events will be held on Long Beach, New York’s pristine, popular beachfront and at local theaters. In addition, up and coming filmmakers can submit their feature-length narratives, documentaries, as well as short and animated movies through and

Festival organizers are expecting to receive over 1,000 submissions this year from filmmakers and producers across the globe. Last year, work was submitted from 26 countries including Italy, Ecuador, Belgium, United Kingdom, France, Pakistan and more. The unique, beachfront film festival will screen a diverse lineup of more than 70 films. Professional and amateur filmmakers will compete for a series of Jury, Festival Honors and Audience Awards throughout the festival.  Now in its sixth season, the festival is expected to attract more than 6,000 attendees and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in local economic activity.

“Before I Fall”

Awards and Honors

– The Dallas Film Society has announced Dallas Star Award and Shining Star honorees for the 11th edition of the Dallas International Film Festival.

The Opening Night Gala 50th anniversary screening of “Bonnie and Clyde” at the Dallas City Performance Hall (2520 Flora Street) on Thursday, April 30, will gain some added luster with the presentation of the Dallas Star Award to iconic Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway. Then, at the conclusion of DIFF, Fort Worth native and widely- admired actor and filmmaker Bill Paxton will be remembered and honored with a posthumous presentation of the Dallas Star Award, and Zoey Deutch, the talented star of the recent hit indie film, “Before I Fall,” will receive the Dallas Shining Star Award during the DFS Honors event presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation at The Highland Dallas (5300 E. Mockingbird Lane).

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