ДАЙДЖЕСТ ФЕСТИВАЛЮ “НЕЗАЛЕЖНІСТЬ” 2011

The following films were featured at the inaugural AIFF 2011 in November, 2011:

 

Feature narrative films in 2011

 

HIGHER GROUND

USA/ 2011/ 109’00’’

Rated  R /  Restricted: under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

Director:  VERA FARMIGA

Starring: VERA FARMIGA, JOSHUA LEONARD, DAGMARA
DOMINCZYK, TAISSA FARMIGA

Producers: CLAUDE DAL FARRA, RENN HAWKEY, CARLY HUGO, MATT PARKER,  JON RUBINSTEIN

Screenplay:  CAROLYN S. BRIGGS and TIM METCALFE

Director of Photography: PAUL SCHNEE

Production Designer: MICHAEL McDONOUGH 

Music Composer: ROBERT HEIN, ALEC PURO

Produced by: BCDF Pictures, The Group Entertainment, Ruminant Films

 Official Selection: Sundance/Tribeca/Los Angeles

 Ukrainian-American Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, HIGHER GROUND, depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith.  Inspired by Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir, This Dark World (screenplay by Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe & Carolyn S. Briggs), the film tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love, and trust.  Faith, love and honesty are the cornerstones of this story of a woman who learns that no matter how many times she loses her footing, she has within herself all that's necessary to get to a higher place.

 

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

USA/ 2010/104’00’’.

Rated  R /  Restricted: under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

Director:  LISA CHOLODENKO

Starring:  ANNETTE BENING, JULIANNE MOORE, MARK RUFFALO, MIA WASIKOWSKA, JOSH HUTCHERSON

Screenplay: LISA CHOLODENKO

Executive Producer  STEVEN SAXTON

Director of Photography:  IGOR JADUE-LILLO

Editors:  JEFFREY M. WERNER,  NANCY RICHARDSON

Production: Antidote Films

Premiered at the Sundance Film Festival

Nominated for Four Academy Awards

Lesbian couple Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening) have been together for almost 20 years and have two teenage offspring named Joni and Laser, who were conceived via artificial insemination. Unbeknown to their mothers, Joni and Laser seek out their biological father, a restaurateur named Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Complications arise when the teens bond with Paul and invite him into their lives. 

 

KINYARWANDA

USA/ 2011/ 96’00’’

Not Rated

Director:  ALRICK BROWN

Starring: EDOUARD BAMPORIKI, CASSANDRA FREEMAN, CLEOPHAS KABASIITA

Scriptwriter: ALRICK BROWN

Producers:  DARREN DEAN TOMMY OLIVER ALRICK BROWN

Executive Producer: ISHMAEL NTIHABOSE

Director of Photography:  DANNY VECCHIONE

Composer: JOHN JENNINGS BOYD

Production Designer:  SIBOMANA OMAR MUKHTAR

Production: VISIGOTH PICTURES IN ASSOCIATION WITH CINEDUC RWANDA

Official Selection: Sundance 2011, World Cinema Dramatic Competition

Winner People’s Choice Award World Cinema at Sundance

During the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Mufti of Rwanda, the most respected Muslim leader in the country, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslims from participating in the killing of the Tutsi.  As the country became a slaughterhouse, mosques became places of refuge where Muslims and Christians, Hutus and Tutsis came together to protect each other.  Kinyarwanda is based on true accounts from survivors who took refuge at the Grand Mosque of Kigali and the Imams who opened their doors to give refuge to the Tutsi and to those Hutu who refused to participate in the killing.  The film follows six stories — young lovers, a child, a couple, soldiers, the Imam, and a priest — as they are swept up by the chaos of the world around them.

 

MARGIN CALL

USA/ 2011/ 105’00’’

Rated  R /  Restricted: under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

Director:  J.C. CHANDOR

Starring:  KEVIN SPACEY, JEREMY IRONS, STANLEY TUCCI, DEMI MOORE, AND PAUL BETTANY

Producers: ROBERT OGDEN BARNUM, MICHAEL BENAROYA, NEAL DODSON and others

Writer: J.C. CHANDOR

Music: NATHAN LARSON

Editor: PETE BEAUDREAU

Production: BEFORE THE DOOR PICTURES

Premiered In Competition at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Bear

Sundance Film Festival 2011

Investment-firm analyst Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto) uncovers sensitive information that could easily plunge the entire business into peril, inadvertently destroying the lives and careers of his colleagues in this tense thriller set during the onset of the 2008 financial crisis.  Over the course of the next 24 hours, Sullivan realizes that the decisions he makes will not only affect the employees of the firm, but the lives of everyday Americans from coast to coast as well. Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci, Demi Moore, and Paul Bettany co-star. 

 

BLUE VALENTINE

USA/ 2010/ 114’00’’

Rated  R /  Restricted: under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

Director: DEREK CIANFRANCE

Starring:  RYAN GOSLING, MICHELLE WILLIAMS

Scriptwriters: DEREK CIANFRANCE, JOEY CURTIS and CAMI DELAVIGNE

Producers:  JAMIE PATRICOF, LYNETTE HOWELL, ALEX ORLOVSKY

Production Designer: INBAL WEINBERG

Music by GRIZZLY BEAR

Production: THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

2010 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard , 2010 Sundance Film Festival – Dramatic Competition;  Academy Award Nomination for Best Actress

BLUE VALENTINE is the story of love found and love lost told in past and present moments in time. Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams star in this honest portrait of a relationship on the rocks. While Cindy has blossomed into a woman with opportunities and options, David is still the same person he was when they met, and is unable to accept either Cindy's growth or his lack of it. Innovatively structured, the narrative unfolds in two distinct time frames, juxtaposing scenes of first love and youthful sexuality, with those of disenchantment and discord. 

 

Feature documentary films in 2011

 

MY PERESTROIKA

USA/ 2010/ 87’0’’

Directed and filmed by: ROBIN HESSMAN                             

Producers: ROBIN HESSMAN, RACHEL WEXLER

Editors: ALLA KOVGAN, GARRET SAVAGE

Music: LEV (LJOVA) ZHURBIN

Production:  A co-production of Red Square Productions,Bungalow Town Productions and ITVS International in association with American Documentary|POV and YLE Finland.

WINNER – Filmmaker Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2010; Special Jury Award, Silverdocs Film Festival 2010; Best Documentary Film, Milwaukee Film Festival 2010 Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, New Directors/New Films, Hot Docs Toronto, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Doha Tribeca Film Festival

When the USSR broke apart in 1991, a generation of young people faced a new realm of possibilities. An intimate epic about the extraordinary lives of this last Soviet generation, Robin Hessman’s feature documentary debut tells the stories of five Moscow schoolmates who were brought up behind the Iron Curtain, witnessed the joy and confusion of glasnost, and reached adulthood right as the world changed around them. Through candid first-person testimony, revealing verité footage, and vintage home movies, Hessman, who spent many years living in Moscow, reveals a Russia rarely ever seen on film, where people are frank about their lives and forthcoming about their country. Engaging, funny, and positively inspiring, in My Perestroika politics is personal, honesty overshadows ideology, and history progresses one day, one life at a time.

 

FOLK!

USA/ 2010

Director:  ROXY TOPOROWYCH  

Producers: ERIC GOLD, CARMEN JEROME-PARKS, ROXY TOPOROWYCH

Composer: KRUNO SPISIC

Editor:  ROXY TOPOROWYCH

Produced by KinoRox Company

Folk! explores the unique underground and acrobatic world of Ukrainian Folk Dancing.  An often funny peek at what it’s like to grow up in a Ukrainian – American community, the film follows narrator/filmmaker Roxy Toporowych on her journey through the world of Ukrainian dance. Featuring the legendary ballerina and choreographer Roma Pryma Bohachevsky and the Syzokryli Dance Ensemble of New York, Folk! is relevant to anyone trying to balance ties to one’s heritage and culture

 

MAKE BELIEVE

USA/ 2010/ 88’00’’

Director: J. CLAY TWEEL

Producer:  STEVEN KLEIN

Executive Producers : ED CUNNINGHAM, SETH GORDON

Screenplay: CLEVEN S LOHAM

Composer:  LUCAS VIDAL

Editor:  J. CLAY TWEEL

Best Documentary, LA Film Festival and Austin Film Festival

A coming-of-age journey set in the quirky subculture of magic, Make Believe follows six of the world's best young magicians as they pursue the title of Teen World Champion magician and lead us on their personal journeys of transformation through stage magic. As the competition unfolds in Las Vegas, magicians from Japan and South Africa, as well as the U.S. vie for first prize. Magic is a universal form of entertainment and communication that speaks to young and old around the world. Onstage, the film’s subject are remarkably assured and dedicated. Offstage, however, these young outsiders confront the diverse obstacles of adolescence, turning Make Believe into an inspiring coming of age story. With great humor, honesty, and heart, Make Believe reveals an enduring world audiences know little about while exploring a time of life no one ever forgets.

 

LOUDER THAN A BOMB

USA/ 2010/97’00’’

Directors/Producers: Greg Jacobs, Jon Siskel

Editor: JOHN FARBROTHER

Director of Photography: STEPHAN MAZUREK

Louder Than a Bomb features four Chicago high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the world's largest youth poetry slam. By turns hopeful and heartbreaking, the film captures their tempestuous lives, exploring the ways writing shapes their world, and vice versa. Louder Than a Bomb is about language as a joyful release, irrepressibly talented teenagers obsessed with making words dance, and the communities they create along the way. While the topics they tackle are often deeply personal, what they put into their poems, and what they get out of them is universal: the defining work of finding one's voice.

 

THE LOTTERY

USA/ 2010/ 80’00’’

Director:  MADELEINE SACKLER

Producers: BLAKE ASHMAN-KIPERVASER, JAMES LAWLER, MADELEINE SACKLER

Director of Photography:  WOLFGANG HELD

The Lottery is a feature-length documentary that explores the struggles and dreams of four families from Harlem and the Bronx in the months leading up to the lottery for Harlem Success Academy, one of the most successful schools in New York. The four families cast their lots in a high-stakes draw, where only a small minority of children emerges with a chance at a better future. The vast majority of hopefuls will be turned away. Directed by Madeleine Sackler and shot by award-winning cinematographer Wolfgang Held, The Lottery delves into the ferocious debate surrounding the education reform movement. Interviews with politicians and educators explain not only the crisis in public education, but also why it is fixable. The Lottery interlaces the families’ stories with the emotional and highly politicized battle over the future of American education. A call to action to avert a catastrophe in the education of American children, The Lottery makes the case that any child can succeed.

 

THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA

USA /2009/ 94’ 00’’

Produced and Directed by: JUDITH EHRLICH AND RICK GOLDSMITH

Executive Producer: JODIE EVANS

Director of Photography : VICENTE FRANCO

Editors: MICHAEL CHANDLER, RICK GOLDSMITH, LAWRENCE LEREW

Director of Photography: DAN KRAUSS

Academy award nominee 2009 Best Documentary Feature
Special Jury Award – International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)

“Freedom of Expression Award” & One of Top Five Documentaries – National Board of Review

Official Selection – 2009 Toronto International Film Festival

Official Selection – 2009 Vancouver Film Festival

In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg, a leading Vietnam War strategist, concludes that the war is based on decades of lies.  He leaks 7,000 pages of top-secret documents to The New York Times, a daring act of conscience that leads directly to Watergate, President Nixon's resignation and the end of the Vietnam War.

 

IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT

USA/ 2011/ 84’00’’

Director/Producer: Marshall Curry
Co-Director/Producer: Sam Cullman

Sundance Film Festival — Winner, Documentary Editing Award

In December 2005, Daniel McGowan was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a group the FBI has called America's "number one domestic terrorism threat." For years, the ELF—operating in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership—had launched spectacular arson attacks against dozens of businesses they accused of destroying the environment: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge at Vail, Colorado. With the arrest of Daniel and thirteen others, the government had cracked what was probably the largest ELF cell in America and brought down the group responsible for the very first ELF arsons in this country.   If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front tells the remarkable story of the rise and fall of this ELF cell, by focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members. Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a vérité chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.

 

STREET FIGHT

USA/ 2005/ 83'00''

Directed, Produced, Photographed and Written by MARSHALL CURRY


Executive Producers: LIZ GARBUS, RORY KENNEDY
Editor: MARSHALL CURRY
Original Music:  JAMES BAXTER

Nominated for Academy Award for Best Documentary Film 2005

Audience Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival, AFI/Discovery SilverDocs Festival, and Hot Docs Festival.

Street Fight covers the turbulent campaign of Cory Booker, a 32-year old Rhodes Scholar/Yale Law graduate running for mayor of Newark, N.J. against Sharpe James, the four-term incumbent twice his age. An urban David and Goliath story, the film chronicles the young man's struggle against the city's entrenched political machine, which routinely uses strong-arm tactics to hold onto power. The battle sheds light on important questions about democracy, power, poverty and race. When the mayor accuses the Ivy League-educated challenger of not being “really black,” the campaign forces voters to examine how we define race in America

 
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