Posts Tagged 'Turner Ross'

MFF Unveils Next 10 Titles of 2015 Lineup!

Maryland Film Festival continues to unveil the lineup for its 17th annual festival today, which will take place May 6-10, 2015 in downtown Baltimore and include approximately 50 feature films and 12 short-film programs from around the world.

Today’s announcement includes the area premieres of 10 more highly anticipated narrative, documentary, and international features, including Charles Poekel’s rich and emotionally resonant character study Christmas, AgainTodd Rohal’s outrageous and explosive psychotronic comedy Uncle Kent 2; and fascinating new documentary work from Bobcat Goldthwait, Amy Berg, and Alex Winter. These new titles join 10 features revealed last week, including the world premiere of Stephen Cone’s vibrant coming-of-age drama Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party, bringing the total of MFF 2015 titles announced so far to twenty.

Lineup announcements will continue next week. Today’s titles announced for MFF 2015 are:

AMINA_PROFILE_Sophie-DeraspeTHE AMINA PROFILE (Sophie Deraspe) Two women, Sandra in Montreal and Amina in Syria, meet online, and begin a flirtatious relationship that quickly turns serious. When Amina begins to blog as “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” she garners international attention as an outspoken representative of a marginalized community. Then Sandra hears that Amina has been kidnapped—and, in this fascinating documentary fueled by mystery, politics, and sexuality, she must examine how much about Amina she truly knows.

BEATS_OF_THE_ANTONOV_Hajooj-KukaBEATS OF THE ANTONOV (Hajooj Kuka) War reporter and documentary filmmaker Hajooj Kuka takes viewers into the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions of South Sudan, where we meet displaced South Sudanese who live under the constant threat of bombardment from the Sudanese military via Antonov cargo planes. But defying familiar victim narratives, Kuka’s camera finds resilient people that summon strength and positivity from music, laughter, and a determination to maintain their culture against any odds.

CALL_ME_LUCKY_Bobcat-GoldthwaiteCALL ME LUCKY (Bobcat Goldthwait) Since the 1980s, Barry Crimmins has established himself as a comedian’s comedian, armed with a rapid-fire technique and a scathing political perspective aimed at shocking American audiences out of their complacency—even as he never quite gets the respect he deserves. Peers like Margaret Cho and Marc Maron join documentarian Bobcat Goldthwait in paying tribute to Crimmins’ many contributions to the comedy community and political activism over the decades.

CHRISTMAS_AGAIN_Charles-PoekelCHRISTMAS, AGAIN (Charles Poekel) Noel (Kentucker Audley) sells Christmas trees off a lot in New York, living a quiet and solitary life in the camper that anchors the site. As Christmas nears, a mysterious woman lands in Noel’s life, and tries to find a way into the closed-off, emotionally blocked world he’s constructed. Beautiful Super 16mm cinematography and unforgettable performances from Audley and Hannah Gross yield a moving character study of quiet, gentle humanism.

DEEP-WEB_Alex-WinterDEEP WEB (Alex Winter) With Downloaded (MFF 2013), Alex Winter established himself as an expert at illuminating complex issues at the intersection of the internet and legality—and giving audiences intimate access to the personalities at the center of his story. Deep Web excitingly confirms that status, turning its lens on the online black market Silk Road, and digging deep into the still-unfolding story of Ross Ulbricht, the man accused of being the site’s creator and moderator, “Dread Pirate Roberts.”

GOD_BLESS_THE_CHILD_Machoian_Ojeda-BeckGOD BLESS THE CHILD (Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck) Four brothers spend a day on their own in Davis, California, with their thirteen year-old sister forced to look after them as best she can in the absence of their troubled and unreliable mother. This visually stunning experimental drama, which premiered at SXSW, turns an unflinching eye on the behavior of children in the absence of adults, with results at turns hilarious, awkward, poignant, and unnerving.

PROPHETS_PREY_Amy-BergPROPHET’S PREY (Amy Berg) The director of Deliver Us From Evil and West of Memphis takes us deep into another explosive story, that of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Exploring allegations of sexual abuse, family expulsions, forced marriages, and other horrors, this Sundance-premiered documentary paints an unforgettable portrait of conformity, fear, and oppression.

TWO_SHOTS_FIRED_Martin-RejtmanTWO SHOTS FIRED (Martin Rejtman) Veteran Argentine filmmaker Martin Rejtman brings his unique deadpan sensibility to the story of a sixteen-year-old who finds a gun in his house. He shoots himself out of boredom—but, after a near-miss with death, finds that the major change in his life is an annoying whistle in his chest, sabotaging the music he makes with an amateur recorder quartet.  A disloyal dog, a strange vacation, and a bizarre cast of characters add up to a quietly anarchic comedy that channels Aki Kaurismäki and Roy Andersson’s A Swedish Love Story as it refuses to play by conventional narrative rules.

UNCLE_KENT_2_Todd-RohalUNCLE KENT 2 (Todd Rohal) Kent Osborne, the mild-mannered animator whose mundane daily routines and love life fueled Joe Swanberg’s Uncle Kent, is desperate to make a sequel—an idea that excites precisely no one else. But when Swanberg gives Osborne his blessing to take the idea elsewhere, things takes a decidedly warped turn, as MFF favorite Todd Rohal takes over at the helm, steering the film deep into the realm of psychotronic dark comedy.

WESTERN_Bill_Turner-RossWESTERN (Bill and Turner Ross) In the neighboring towns of Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico, a rugged cattleman and a populist mayor navigate changing times as the specters of cartel violence and xenophobia threaten harmonious cultural and economic exchanges between the U.S. and Mexico.  Marked by muggy days and thunderous nights, this evocative and immersive documentary from the directors of 45365 and Tchoupitoulas delivers a thrilling mix of fascinating characters, riveting narrative, and extraordinary sensory detail.

Several MFF Alums Featured in Sundance 2015 Lineup!

sundance-618x400Sundance Film Festival has recently announced its 2015 lineup and we’ve spotted several MFF alums who will be presenting films in the competition.  Sundance takes place January 22-February 1, 2015 in Park City, Utah. MFF Director Jed Dietz will be in attendance once again this year; stay tuned for updates from him on the MFF blog! In the meantime, here is a list so far of MFF alums presenting films at Sundance (film descriptions taken from the Sundance website):

In the U.S. Dramatic Competition:

Marielle Heller, one of the recipients of our 2012 Maryland Filmmakers Fellowship, will present THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Marielle Heller) – Minnie Goetze is a 15-year-old aspiring comic-book artist, coming of age in the haze of the 1970s in San Francisco. Insatiably curious about the world around her, Minnie is a pretty typical teenage girl. Oh, except that she’s sleeping with her mother’s boyfriend. Cast: Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgård, Christopher Meloni, Kristen Wiig.
Andrew Bujalski, who directed MFF 2013’s COMPUTER CHESS, will present RESULTS / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) – Two mismatched personal trainers’ lives are upended by the actions of a new, wealthy client. Cast: Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Michael Hall, Brooklyn Decker.

Long time MFF alum Kris Swanberg will present her new film UNEXPECTED / U.S.A. (Director: Kris Swanberg, Screenwriters: Kris Swanberg, Megan Mercier) – When Samantha Abbott begins her final semester teaching science at a Chicago high school, she faces some unexpected news: she’s pregnant. Soon after, Samantha learns that one of her favorite students, Jasmine, has landed in a similar situation. Unexpected follows the two women as they embark on an unlikely friendship. Cast: Cobie Smulders, Anders Holm, Gail Bean, Elizabeth McGovern.

Craig Zobel, who directed MFF 2012’s COMPLIANCE, will present Z FOR ZACHARIAH / U.S.A. (Director: Craig Zobel, Screenwriter: Nissar Modi) – In a post-apocalyptic world, a young woman who believes she is the last human on Earth meets a dying scientist searching for survivors. Their relationship becomes tenuous when another survivor appears. As the two men compete for the woman’s affection, their primal urges begin to reveal their true nature. Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Chris Pine.

In the U.S. Documentary Competition:

Bobcat Goldthwait, who directed MFF 2013’s WILLOW CREEK, MFF 2011’s GOD BLESS AMERICA and MFF 2007’s John Waters pick SLEEPING DOGS LIE, will present his documentary debut CALL ME LUCKY / U.S.A. (Director: Bobcat Goldthwait) – Barry Crimmins was a volatile but brilliant bar comic who became an honored peace activist and influential political satirist. Famous comedians and others build a picture of a man who underwent an incredible transformation.

Daniel Junge, who co-directed MFF 2014’s FIGHT CHURCH, will be presenting his film BEING EVEL / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Junge) – A candid portrait of American icon Robert “Evel” Knievel and his legacy.

E. Chai Vasarhelyi, who directed MFF 2009’s YOUSSOU NDOUR: I BRING WHAT I LOVE will be presenting MERU / U.S.A. (Directors: Jimmy Chin, E. Chai Vasarhelyi) – Three elite mountain climbers sacrifice everything but their friendship as they attempt the never-before-completed Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru, the most coveted first ascent in the dangerous game of Himalayan big wall climbing.

The Ross brothers (Bill Ross and Turner Ross), who directed MFF 2012’s TCHOUPITOULAS, will present WESTERN / U.S.A., Mexico (Directors: Bill Ross, Turner Ross) – For generations, all that distinguished Eagle Pass, Texas, from Piedras Negras, Mexico, was the Rio Grande. But when darkness descends upon these harmonious border towns, a cowboy and lawman face a new reality that threatens their way of life.

In the NEXT <=> Lineup:

Diego Ongaro, whose short BOB AND THE TREES screened within MFF 2012, will be presenting his feature BOB AND THE TREES / U.S.A., France (Director: Diego Ongaro) – Bob, a 50-year-old logger in rural Massachusetts with a soft spot for golf and gangsta rap, is struggling to make ends meet in a changed economy. When his beloved cow is wounded and a job goes awry, Bob begins to heed the instincts of his ever-darkening self. Cast: Bob Tarasuk, Matt Gallagher, Polly MacIntyre, Winthrop Barrett, Nathaniel Gregory.

Charles Poekel, who was a producer on MFF 2011’s FAKE IT SO REAL, and Hannah Gross and Kentucker Audley, who are alums for multiple prior MFF films, are part of
CHRISTMAS, AGAIN / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Charles Poekel) – A heartbroken Christmas tree salesman returns to New York, hoping to put the past year behind him. He spends the season living in a trailer and working the night shift, until a mysterious woman and some colorful customers rescue him from self-destruction. Cast: Kentucker Audley, Hannah Gross, Jason Shelton, Oona Roche.

Rick Alverson, who directed MFF 2012’s THE COMEDY, will present ENTERTAINMENT / U.S.A. (Director: Rick Alverson, Screenwriters: Rick Alverson, Gregg Turkington, Tim Heidecker) – En route to meeting with his estranged daughter, in an attempt to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave Desert. Cast: Gregg Turkington, John C. Reilly, Tye Sheridan, Michael Cera, Amy Seimetz, Lotte Verbeek.

Click here for the complete list of released titles for Sundance 2015!