Sundance Announces 2016 Competition Lineups, Including Some Potential Future LGBT Classics

Sundance Announces 2016 Competition Lineups, Including Some Potential Future LGBT Classics
Sundance Announces 2016 Competition Lineups, Including Some Potential Future LGBT Classics

What do “The Times of Harvey Milk,” “Longtime
Companion,” “Poison,” “The Living End,” “Swoon,” “Paris is Burning,” “Go
Fish,” “High Art,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” “The Kids Are All
Right,” “Pariah,” “How To Survive a Plague,”
“Keep The Lights On,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “Nasty Baby,” “Tangerine” and “Grandma” have in common? They are all fantastic LGBT films, for one. But they also all premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, which just announced its 2016 competition and NEXT lineups.

For the 2016 Festival, 120 feature-length films were selected,
representing 37 countries and 48 first-time filmmakers. We have the list below, including quite a few LGBT offerings (not to mention the feature film debut of the up-and-coming gay icon that is Nick Jonas).

There’s “Spa Night,” about a young Korean-American man works to
reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his
burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at
Korean spas in Los Angeles.

There’s “The Intervention,” openly gay actress Clea DuVall’s directorial debut — which features a reunion of her “But I’m a Cheerleader” co-stars (and two of our favorites) Natasha Lyonne and Melanie Lynskey.

There’s “Kiki,” a doc that offers “a riveting, complex insight into a safe space created and governed by
LGBTQ youths of color, who are demanding happiness and political power.”

There’s “Uncle Howard,” which finds recalls the life of “Burroughs: The Movie” director Howard Brookner through the eyes of his nephew, who sets out to discover Howard’s never-before-seen films
to create a cinematic elegy about his childhood idol.

Check out the list below. More Sundance announcements will be made in the coming days…

Presenting the world premieres of 16 narrative feature films, the
Dramatic Competition offers Festivalgoers a first look at groundbreaking
new voices in American independent film.

As You Are / U.S.A. (Director: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Screenwriters: Miles Joris-Peyrafitte, Madison Harrison) — As You Are
is the telling and retelling of a relationship between three teenagers
as it traces the course of their friendship through a construction of
disparate memories prompted by a police investigation. Cast: Owen Campbell, Charlie Heaton, Amandla Stenberg, John Scurti, Scott Cohen, Mary Stuart Masterson. World Premiere

The Birth of a Nation / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Nate Parker) — Set against the antebellum
South, this story follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher
whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner, accepts an offer to use
Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. After witnessing countless
atrocities against fellow slaves, Nat devises a plan to lead his people
to freedom. Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley, Gabrielle Union, Mark Boone Jr. World Premiere

Christine / U.S.A. (Director: Antonio
Campos, Screenwriter: Craig Shilowich) — In 1974, a female TV news
reporter aims for high standards in life and love in Sarasota, Florida.
Missing her mark is not an option. This story is based on true events. Cast: Rebecca Hall, Michael C. Hall, Maria Dizzia, Tracy Letts, J. Smith-Cameron. World Premiere

Equity / U.S.A. (Director: Meera Menon,
Screenwriter: Amy Fox) — A female investment banker, fighting to get a
promotion at her competitive Wall Street firm, leads a controversial
tech IPO in the post-financial-crisis world, where regulations are tight
but pressure to bring in big money remains high. Cast: Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas, Alysia Reiner. World Premiere

The Free World / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Jason Lew) — Following his release from a brutal stretch
in prison for crimes he didn’t commit, Mo is struggling to adapt to life
on the outside. When his world collides with Doris, a mysterious woman
with a violent past, he decides to risk his newfound freedom to keep her
in his life. Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Elisabeth Moss, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Waleed Zuaiter. World Premiere

Goat / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Neel,
Screenwriters: David Gordon Green, Andrew Neel, Michael Roberts) —
Reeling from a terrifying assault, a 19-year-old boy pledges his
brother’s fraternity in an attempt to prove his manhood. What happens
there, in the name of “brotherhood,” tests both the boys and their
relationship in brutal ways. Cast: Nick Jonas, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Gardner, Danny Flaherty, Austin Lyon. World Premiere

The Intervention / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Clea DuVall) — A weekend getaway for four couples takes a
sharp turn when one of the couples discovers the entire trip was
orchestrated to host an intervention on their marriage. Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Alia Shawkat, Clea DuVall, Natasha Lyonne, Ben Schwartz. World Premiere

Joshy / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Jeff Baena) — Josh treats what would have been his
bachelor party as an opportunity to reconnect with his friends. Cast: Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally, Alex Ross Perry, Nick Kroll, Brett Gelman, Jenny Slate. World Premiere

Lovesong / U.S.A. (Director: So Yong
Kim, Screenwriters: So Yong Kim, Bradley Rust Gray) — Neglected by her
husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter
and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two
friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later,
Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before
Mindy’s wedding. Cast: Jena Malone, Riley Keough, Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Ryan Eggold, Rosanna Arquette. World Premiere

Morris from America / U.S.A., Germany
(Director and screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) — Thirteen-year-old Morris, a
hip-hop loving American, moves to Heidelberg, Germany, with his father.
In this completely foreign land, he falls in love with a local girl,
befriends his German tutor-turned-confidant, and attempts to navigate
the unique trials and tribulations of adolescence. Cast: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson, Carla Juri, Lina Keller, Jakub Gierszał, Levin Henning. World Premiere

Other People
/ U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Chris Kelly) — A struggling comedy
writer, fresh from breaking up with his boyfriend, moves to Sacramento
to help his sick mother. Living with his conservative father and younger
sisters, David feels like a stranger in his childhood home. As his
mother worsens, he tries to convince everyone (including himself) he’s
“doing okay.” Cast: Jesse Plemons, Molly Shannon, Bradley Whitford, Maude Apatow, Zach Woods, June Squibb. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM

Southside With You / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Richard Tanne) — Southside With You
is a chronicle of the summer afternoon in 1989 when the future
president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed his
future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side. Cast: Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway. World Premiere

Spa Night / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Andrew Ahn) — A young Korean-American man works to
reconcile his obligations to his struggling immigrant family with his
burgeoning sexual desires in the underground world of gay hookups at
Korean spas in Los Angeles. Cast: Joe Seo, Haerry Kim, Youn Ho Cho, Tae Song, Ho Young Chung, Linda Han. World Premiere

Swiss Army Man / U.S.A. (Directors and
screenwriters: Daniel Scheinert, Daniel Kwan) — Hank, a hopeless man
stranded in the wild, discovers a mysterious dead body. Together the two
embark on an epic journey to get home. As Hank realizes the body is the
key to his survival, this once-suicidal man is forced to convince a
dead body that life is worth living. Cast: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. World Premiere

Tallulah / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Sian Heder) — A rootless young woman takes a toddler from a
wealthy, negligent mother and passes the baby off as her own in an
effort to protect her. This decision connects and transforms the lives
of three very different women. Cast: Ellen Page, Allison Janney, Tammy Blanchard, Evan Jonigkeit, Uzo Aduba. World Premiere

White Girl / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Elizabeth Wood) — Summer, New York City: A college student
goes to extremes to get her drug dealer boyfriend out of jail. Cast: Morgan Saylor, Brian ‘Sene’ Marc, Justin Bartha, Chris Noth, India Menuez, Adrian Martinez. World Premiere

Sixteen world-premiere American documentaries that illuminate the ideas, people, and events that shape the present day.

Audrie & Daisy / U.S.A. (Directors:
Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk) — After two high school girls in different
towns are sexually assaulted by boys they consider friends, online
bullying leads each girl to attempt suicide. Tragically, one dies.
Assault in the social media age is explored from the perspectives of the
girls and boys involved, as well as their torn-apart communities. World Premiere

Author: The JT LeRoy Story / U.S.A.
(Director: Jeff Feuerzeig) — As the definitive look inside the
mysterious case of 16-year-old literary sensation JT LeRoy—a creature so
perfect for his time that if he didn’t exist, someone would have had to
invent him—this is the strangest story about story ever told. World Premiere

The Bad Kids / U.S.A. (Directors: Keith
Fulton, Lou Pepe) — At a remote Mojave Desert high school,
extraordinary educators believe that empathy and life skills, more than
academics, give at-risk students command of their own futures. This
coming-of-age story watches education combat the crippling effects of
poverty in the lives of these so-called “bad kids.” World Premiere

Gleason / U.S.A. (Director: Clay Tweel)
— At the age of 34, Steve Gleason, former NFL defensive back and New
Orleans hero, was diagnosed with ALS. Doctors gave him two to five years
to live. So that is what Steve chose to do: Live—both for his wife and
newborn son and to help others with this disease. World Premiere

Holy Hell / U.S.A. (Director:
undisclosed) — Just out of college, a young filmmaker joins a loving,
secretive, and spiritual community led by a charismatic teacher in 1980s
West Hollywood. Twenty years later, the group is shockingly torn apart.
Told through two decades of the filmmaker’s archival materials, this is
their story. World Premiere

How to Let Go of the World (and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change)
/ U.S.A. (Director: Josh Fox) — Do we have a chance to stop the most
destructive consequences of climate change, or is it too late? Academy
Award-nominated director Josh Fox (Gasland) travels to 12
countries on six continents to explore what we have to let go of—and all
of the things that climate can’t change. World Premiere

Jim / U.S.A. (Director: Brian Oakes) —
The public execution of American conflict journalist James Foley
captured the world’s attention, but he was more than just a man in an
orange jumpsuit. Seen through the lens of his close childhood friend, Jim moves from adrenaline-fueled front lines and devastated neighborhoods of Syria into the hands of ISIS. World Premiere

Kate Plays Christine / U.S.A.
(Director: Robert Greene) — This psychological thriller follows actor
Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the role of Christine Chubbuck, a
Florida television host who committed suicide on air in 1974.
Christine’s tragic death was the inspiration for Network, and the mysteries surrounding her final act haunt Kate and the production. World Premiere

Kiki / U.S.A., Sweden (Director: Sara Jordenö) — Through a strikingly intimate and visually daring lens, Kiki offers
a riveting, complex insight into a safe space created and governed by
LGBTQ youths of color, who are demanding happiness and political power.
The film is an exciting coming-of-age story about agency, resilience,
and the transformative art form of voguing. World Premiere

Life, Animated / U.S.A. (Director:
Roger Ross Williams) — Owen Suskind, an autistic boy who could not speak
for years, slowly emerged from his isolation by immersing himself in
Disney animated movies. Using these films as a roadmap, he reconnects
with his loving family and the wider world in this emotional
coming-of-age story. World Premiere

Newtown / U.S.A. (Director: Kim A.
Snyder) — After joining the ranks of a growing club no one wants to
belong to, the people of Newtown, Connecticut, weave an intimate story
of resilience. This film traces the aftermath of the worst mass shooting
of schoolchildren in American history as the traumatized community
finds a new sense of purpose. World Premiere

NUTS! / U.S.A. (Director: Penny Lane) —
The mostly true story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley, an eccentric genius
who built an empire with his goat-testicle impotence cure and a
million-watt radio station. Animated reenactments, interviews, archival
footage, and one seriously unreliable narrator trace his rise from
poverty to celebrity and influence in 1920s America. World Premiere

Suited / U.S.A. (Director: Jason
Benjamin) — Bindle & Keep, a Brooklyn tailoring company, makes
custom suits for a growing legion of gender-nonconforming clients. World Premiere

Trapped / U.S.A. (Director:
Dawn Porter) — American abortion clinics are in a fight for survival.
Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws are increasingly
being passed by states that maintain they ensure women’s safety and
health, but as clinics continue to shut their doors, opponents believe
the real purpose of these laws is to outlaw abortion. World Premiere

Uncle Howard / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Aaron Brookner)Howard Brookner’s first film, Burroughs: The Movie,
captured the cultural revolution of downtown New York City in the early
’80s. Twenty-five years after his promising career was cut short by
AIDS, his nephew sets out to discover Howard’s never-before-seen films
to create a cinematic elegy about his childhood idol. World Premiere

Weiner / U.S.A. (Directors: Josh
Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg) — With unrestricted access to Anthony
Weiner’s New York City mayoral campaign, this film reveals the human
story behind the scenes of a high-profile political scandal as it
unfolds, and offers an unfiltered look at how much today’s politics is
driven by an appetite for spectacle. World Premiere

Twelve films from emerging filmmaking talents around the world offer fresh perspectives and inventive styles.

/ Belgium, France, Netherlands (Director: Felix van Groeningen,
Screenwriters: Felix van Groeningen, Arne Sierens) — In the midst of
Belgium’s nightlife scene, two brothers start a bar and get swept up in
its success. Cast: Stef Aerts, Tom Vermeir, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Hélène De Vos. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM

Between Sea and Land / Colombia
(Directors: Manolo Cruz, Carlos del Castillo, Screenwriter: Manolo Cruz)
— Alberto, who suffers from an illness that binds him into a body that
doesn’t obey him, lives with his loving mom, who dedicates her life to
him. His sickness impedes him from achieving his greatest dream of
knowing the sea, despite one being located just across the street. Cast: Manolo Cruz, Vicky Hernandéz, Viviana Serna, Jorge Cao, Mile Vergara, Javier Sáenz. World Premiere

Brahman Naman / United Kingdom, India
(Director: Q, Screenwriter: S. Ramachandran) — When Bangalore
University’s misfit quiz team manages to get into the national
championships, they make an alcohol-fueled, cross-country journey to the
competition, determined to defeat their arch-rivals from Calcutta while
all desperately trying to lose their virginity. Cast: Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania, Chaitanya Varad, Vaiswath Shankar, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, Sid Mallya. World Premiere

A Good Wife / Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia
(Director: Mirjana Karanovic, Screenwriters: Mirjana Karanovic, Stevan
Filipovic, Darko Lungulov) — When 50-year-old Milena finds out about the
terrible past of her seemingly ideal husband, while simultaneously
learning of her own cancer diagnosis, she begins an awakening from the
suburban paradise she has been living in. Cast: Mirjana Karanovic, Boris Isakovic, Jasna Djuricic, Bojan Navojec, Hristina Popovic, Ksenija Marinkovic. World Premiere

Halal Love (and Sex) / Lebanon,
Germany, United Arab Emirates (Director and screenwriter: Assad
Fouladkar) — Four tragic yet comic interconnected stories come together
in this film, which follows devout Muslim men and women as they try to
manage their love lives and desires without breaking any of their
religion’s rules. Cast: Darine Hamze, Rodrigue Sleiman, Zeinab Khadra, Hussein Mokadem, Mirna Moukarzel, Ali Sammoury. International Premiere

The Lure / Poland (Director: Agnieszka
Smoczynska, Screenwriter: Robert Bolesto) — Two mermaid sisters, who end
up performing at a nightclub, face cruel and bloody choices when one of
them falls in love with a beautiful young man. Cast: Marta Mazurek,
Michalina Olszanska, Jakub Gierszal, Kinga Preis, Andrzej Konopka,
Zygmunt Malanowicz. International Premiere

Male Joy, Female Love / China (Director and screenwriter: Yao Huang) — Portrays an unlimited cycle of love stories. Cast: Nan Yu, Daizhen Ying, Xiaodong Guo, Yi Sun. World Premiere

Mammal / Ireland, Luxembourg,
Netherlands (Director: Rebecca Daly, Screenwriters: Rebecca Daly, Glenn
Montgomery) — After Margaret, a divorcée living in Dublin, loses her
teenage son, she develops an unorthodox relationship with Joe, a
homeless youth. Their tentative trust is threatened by his involvement
with a violent gang and the escalation of her ex-husband’s grieving
rage. Cast: Rachel Griffiths, Barry Keoghan, Michael McElhatton. World Premiere

Mi Amiga del Parque / Argentina,
Uruguay (Director: Ana Katz, Screenwriters: Ana Katz, Inés Bortagaray) —
Running away from a bar without paying the bill is just the first
adventure for Liz (mother to newborn Nicanor) and Rosa (supposed mother
to newborn Clarisa). This budding friendship between nursing mothers
starts with the promise of liberation but soon ends up being a dangerous
business. Cast: Julieta Zylberberg, Ana Katz, Maricel Álvarez, Mirella Pascual, Malena Figó, Daniel Hendler. International Premiere

Much Ado About Nothing / Chile
(Director: Alejandro Fernández, Screenwriters: Alejandro Fernández,
Jerónimo Rodríguez) — An upper-class kid gets in trouble with the one
percent. Cast: Agustín Silva, Alejandro Goic, Luis Gnecco, Paulina García, Daniel Alcaino, Augusto Schuster. World Premiere

Sand Storm / Israel (Director and
screenwriter: Elite Zexer) — When their entire lives are shattered, two
Bedouin women struggle to change the unchangeable rules, each in her own
individual way. Cast: Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal-Asfour, Hitham Omari, Khadija Alakel, Jalal Masrwa. World Premiere

Wild / Germany (Director and
screenwriter: Nicolette Krebitz) — An anarchist young woman breaks the
tacit contract with civilization and fearlessly decides on a life
without hypocrisy or an obligatory safety net. Cast: Lilith Stangenberg, Georg Friedrich. World Premiere

Twelve documentaries by some of the most courageous and extraordinary international filmmakers working today.
Eleven documentaries are listed below, and a twelfth will be announced in the weeks ahead.

All These Sleepless Nights / Poland
(Director: Michal Marczak) — What does it mean to be truly awake in a
world that seems satisfied to be asleep? Kris and Michal push their
experiences of life and love to a breaking point as they restlessly roam
the streets of Warsaw in search for answers. World Premiere

A Flag Without a Country / Iraq
(Director: Bahman Ghobadi) — This documentary follows the very separate
paths of singer Helly Luv and pilot Nariman Anwar from Kurdistan, both
in pursuit of progress, freedom, and solidarity. Both individuals are a
source of strength to their society, which perpetually deals with the
harsh conditions of life, war, and ISIS attacks. North American Premiere

Hooligan Sparrow / China, U.S.A.
(Director: Nanfu Wang) — Traversing southern China, a group of activists
led by Ye Haiyan, a.k.a. Hooligan Sparrow, protest a scandalous
incident in which a school principal and a government official allegedly
raped six students. Sparrow becomes an enemy of the state, but
detentions, interrogations and evictions can’t stop her protest from
going viral. World Premiere

The Land of the Enlightened / Belgium
(Director: Pieter-Jan De Pue) — A group of Kuchi children in Afghanistan
dig out old Soviet mines and sell the explosives to child workers in a
lapis lazuli mine. When not dreaming of an Afghanistan after the
American withdrawal, Gholam Nasir and his gang control the mountains
where caravans are smuggling the blue gemstones. World Premiere

The Lovers and the Despot / United
Kingdom (Directors: Robert Cannan, Ross Adam) — Following the collapse
of their glamorous romance, a celebrity director and his actress ex-wife
are kidnapped by movie-obsessed dictator Kim Jong-il. Forced to make
films in extraordinary circumstances, they get a second chance at
love—but only one chance at escape. World Premiere

Plaza de la Soledad / Mexico (Director:
Maya Goded) — For over 20 years, photographer Maya Goded has intimately
documented the lives of a close community of prostitutes in Mexico
City. With dignity and humor, these women now strive for a better life —
and the possibility of true love. World Premiere

The Settlers / France, Canada, Israel,
Germany (Director: Shimon Dotan) — The first film of its kind to offer a
comprehensive view of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, The Settlers
is a historical overview, geopolitical study, and intimate look at the
people at the core of the most daunting challenge facing Israel and the
international community today. World Premiere

Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang
/ U.S.A. (Director: Kevin Macdonald) — Having reached the pinnacle of
the global art world with his signature explosion events and gunpowder
drawings, world-famous Chinese contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang is
still seeking more. We trace his rise from childhood in Mao’s China and
his journey to attempt to realize his lifelong obsession, Sky Ladder. World Premiere. DAY ONE FILM

Sonita / Germany, Iran, Switzerland
(Director: Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami) — If 18-year-old Sonita had a say,
Michael Jackson and Rihanna would be her parents and she’d be a rapper
who tells the story of Afghan women and their fate as child brides. She
finds out that her family plans to sell her to an unknown husband for
$9,000. North American Premiere

We Are X / United Kingdom, U.S.A.,
Japan (Director: Stephen Kijak) — As glam rock’s most flamboyant
survivors, X Japan ignited a musical revolution in Japan during the late
’80s with their melodic metal. Twenty years after their tragic
dissolution, X Japan’s leader, Yoshiki, battles with physical and
spiritual demons alongside prejudices of the West to bring their music
to the world. World Premiere

When Two Worlds Collide / Peru
(Directors: Heidi Brandenburg, Mathew Orzel) — An indigenous leader
resists the environmental ruin of Amazonian lands by big business. As he
is forced into exile and faces 20 years in prison, his quest reveals
conflicting visions that shape the fate of the Amazon and the climate
future of our world. World Premiere

Pure, bold works distinguished by an innovative, forward-thinking
approach to storytelling populate this program. Digital technology
paired with unfettered creativity promises that the films in this
section will shape a “greater” next wave in American cinema. Presented
by Adobe.

THE 4TH / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Andre Hyland) — It’s the Fourth of July in Los Angeles,
and Jamie, a broke illustrator who is behind on his rent, tries to throw
a cookout while his overbearing roommate is out of town, but everything
seems to go wrong. Cast: Andre Hyland, Johnny Pemberton, Eliza Coupe, Yasmine Kittles, Anna Lee Lawson, Paul Erling Oyen. World Premiere

Dark Night / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A suburban landscape plays witness to the
inevitable, unfolding events that culminate in a Cineplex massacre. Over
the course of one day, from sunrise to midnight, six strangers—the
shooter among them—share in this new American nightmare. Cast: Robert Jumper, Anna Rose, Rosie Rodriguez, Karina Macias, Aaron Purvis, Eddie Cacciola. World Premiere

The Eyes of My Mother / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Nicolas Pesce) — A young, lonely woman is
consumed by her deepest and darkest desires after tragedy strikes her
quiet country life. Cast: Kika Magalhães, Will Brill, Paul Nazak, Flora Diaz, Clara Wong, Diana Agostini. World Premiere

First Girl I Loved / U.S.A. (Director
and screenwriter: Kerem Sanga) — Seventeen-year-old Anne just fell in
love with Sasha, the most popular girl at her L.A. public high school.
But when Anne tells her best friend, Clifton—who has always harbored a
secret crush on her—he does his best to get in the way. Cast: Dylan Gelula, Brianna Hildebrand, Mateo Arias, Jennifer Prediger, Tim Heidecker, Pamela Adlon. World Premiere

The Fits / U.S.A., Italy (Director:
Anna Rose Holmer, Screenwriters: Anna Rose Holmer, Saela Davis, Lisa
Kjerulff) — In this psychological portrait, Toni, an 11-year-old tomboy,
is assimilating into a tight-knit dance team in Cincinnati’s West End
when a mysterious outbreak of fainting spells plagues the team, and her
desire for acceptance is twisted. Cast: Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da’Sean Minor, Lauren Gibson, Makyla Burnam, Inayah Rodgers. North American Premiere

How To Tell You’re A Douchebag / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Tahir Jetter) — This romantic comedy follows a misogynist who falls in love. Cast: Charles Brice, DeWanda Wise, William Jackson Harper, Alexander Mulzac, Jenna Williams, Tonye Patano. World Premiere

Jacqueline (Argentine) / U.S.A.
(Director and screenwriter: Bernardo Britto) — A young French woman
hires a man to document her self-imposed political asylum in Argentina
after supposedly leaking highly confidential government secrets. Cast: Camille Rutherford, Wyatt Cenac, James Benson, Martin Anderson, Sarah Willis, Enrique Dura. World Premiere

The Land / U.S.A. (Director and
screenwriter: Steven Caple Jr.) — Four teenage boys devote their summer
to escaping the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, by pursuing a dream life of
professional skateboarding. But when they get caught in the web of the
local queenpin, their motley brotherhood is tested, threatening to make
this summer their last. Cast: Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Moises Arias, Rafi Gavron, Ezri Walker, Erykah Badu, Michael K. Williams. World Premiere

Operation Avalanche / U.S.A., Canada
(Director: Matt Johnson, Screenwriters: Matt Johnson, Josh Boles) — In
1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a
documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest
conspiracies in American history. Cast: Matt Johnson, Owen Williams, Josh Boles, Ray James. World Premiere

Sleight / U.S.A. (Director: JD Dillard,
Screenwriters: JD Dillard, Alex Theurer) — After a young street
magician is left to care for his little sister following their mother’s
passing, he turns to dealing drugs, but quickly runs into trouble with
his supplier. When his sister gets kidnapped, he must rely on his smarts
and sleight of hand to save her. Cast: Jacob Latimore, Dulé Hill, Seychelle Gabriel, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Cameron Esposito. World Premiere

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