Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Matthew Heineman
SYNOPSIS: In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Academy Award-nominee Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she’s witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her — along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) — to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin, A Private War is brought to the screen by Academy Award-nominee and critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman in his pulse-pounding narrative feature debut.
Across the Universe
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Julie Taymor, Elliot Goldenthal
SYNOPSIS: Across the Universe, from director Julie Taymor, is a revolutionary rock musical that re-imagines America in the turbulent late 1960s, a time when battle lines were being drawn at home and abroad. When young dockworker Jude (Jim Sturgess) leaves Liverpool to find his estranged father in America, he is swept up by the waves of change that are re-shaping the nation. Jude falls in love with Lucy (Evan Rachel Wood), a rich but sheltered American girl who joins the growing anti-war movement in New York's Greenwich Village. As the body count in Vietnam rises, political tensions at home spiral out of control and the star-crossed lovers find themselves in a psychedelic world gone mad. With a cameo by Bono, Across the Universe is the kind of movie you watch again, like listening to a favorite album. —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Jessica Blank, Erik Jensen
SYNOPSIS: “This is the story of the girl who saved me,” the opening line of Almost Home, is the prelude to a captivating story of homeless “gutter punk” kids living on the streets of LA. Based on the book of the same name by Jessica Blank (who also serves as director with Erik Jensen), the film follows 13-year-old Elly, who runs away from a seemingly pleasant middle class home to follow Tracy, a beguiling 18-year-old runaway she meets after being bullied at school. Thrust into the rough gutter punk subculture, the kids form an unlikely unit while trying to survive the harsh realities of living on the streets. Both jarring and endearing, the bond Elly makes with the wiser and worn Tracy challenges the definition of family and leaves us to revisit the opening line, asking who was saved and who was the savior? The film is paced by a beautiful soundtrack that moves us through this gripping story. —Gene Fischer
SYNOPSIS: What does it take to launch a movement? Just ask Jane — or rather, “the Janes,” a group of courageous young women dedicated to providing abortion services pre-Roe vs. Wade. Based on a true story and spanning the years 1969 to 1973, director Rachel Carey delivers an informative and inspiring film that is as poignant as it is powerful. Willing to risk jail and put in jeopardy their personal safety, education, futures, and perhaps even their lives, we watch as one woman recruits another, who recruits another, and so on, to form an underground network willing to defy the authorities and ultimately help more than 11,000 Chicagoans secure safe, albeit illegal abortions. Passing the baton on as one crew replaces another, Ask For Janereminds us that activism can bring about change and that sisterhood is powerful, something to hold onto at a time when Roe vs. Wade could be on the chopping block. —Barbara Pokras, ACE
Beyond the Night
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Jason Noto, Erik Weigel, Robin Garvick, Michael Goodin, Becky Newhall, Dan Sharnoff
SYNOPSIS: In a town with shocking secrets and long-standing crimes, could there be such a thing as redemption? After a tragic car accident where only his young son survives, U.S. soldier Raymond Marrow returns home to his forgotten coal-mining town. But rather than consoling, returning home becomes dangerous when Raymond’s son shows signs of having information about the local gangster’s missing daughter. The underlying problem: Raymond’s son has never before stepped foot in this town, and he’s too young to know anything about the case. How does he know? With dark, gritty cinematography, and a touch of the supernatural, Beyond the Night demonstrates the kind of bonds that form between family and what happens when people turn a blind eye towards tragedy. This family drama mixes multiple genres in an effortless way, leaving its audience with a feeling of unease, as well as reconcilable satisfaction. —Dainara Delija
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: William Fichtner, Kim Coates
SYNOPSIS: In his directorial debut, veteran actor William Fichtner brilliantly meshes past and present, as his look back in time offers guidance for the future. Cold Brook follows Ted (played by Fichtner) and Hilde (co-star Kim Coates), two charismatic — albeit somewhat immature — colleagues and pals, who find themselves in the center of an otherworldly mystery. Upon encountering a confused stranger of unknown origin, the duo vows to find out who he is and bring him back to his home. To do this, they must unlock secrets from the distant past, placing their homes and everything they take for granted at risk. Fichtner's time-bending tale affirms that everyone, regardless of origin, deserves love and peace, a unifying message delivered in an overwhelmingly entertaining package. This promising parable is a beacon of light in an increasingly dark world. It also raises an important question: How far would you go to help a stranger in need? —Max Wexler
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Saskia Diesing
SYNOPSIS: Lovely, young Coco has no idea what to do with her life. Plagued by numerous questions about her childhood, she is desperate for any kind of love. Based on the novel by one of Netherlands' finest authors, Esther Gerritsen, who collaborated with director Saskia Diesing on the script, it is clear from the start that Coco's relationship with her mother is strained, and her powerful older lover is rather dispassionate. When she learns her aloof, albeit charming mother is terminally ill, Coco decides to move in and dedicate herself to caring for her even though her mother isn't interested in having her there. The timeless question of what it means to be 'family' anchors Craving, and the three strong lead roles are perfectly cast in this very intimate, personal and lustful black comedy that runs the gamut from hilarious to, at times, outright uncomfortable. - Monique Ray
Dreams by the Sea
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Sakaris Stora
SYNOPSIS: Where do you go when everyone knows who you are and your every move is whispered around town? On the remote Faroe Islands, surrounded by the North Atlantic crashing onto the rocky shores, Ester goes about her mundane life, quietly obeying her religious parents. One day the rebellious Ragna moves to town and Ester is smitten. Through the summer, the girls roam the island together, dreaming of something different, something better. Dreams by the Sea is a visually stunning and emotionally gratifying exploration of our innate desire to stray from the ordinary and discover something new. It’s easier to follow the crowd when the unknown is literally a world away. “Use your wings,” Ragna tells Ester, a metaphor for taking life into your own hands and turning an undesirable situation around to work in your favor. Dreams by the Sea is an exciting directorial debut from one of the Faroe Islands most promising young filmmakers. —Jessica Peeters
Through the use of improvised dialogue and deadpan delivery, this rendering of female friendship and caring delivers a ‘fly on the wall’ look at the inner and outer aspects of its diverse characters' lives. Set in the modern day south, Fort Maria slowly and deliberately unspools the tale of a group of loosely connected women who all find themselves, in various ways, victims of isolation. First we meet Maria, a Bulgarian immigrant unable to leave her home after a traumatic incident. When her adopted daughter's beloved dog dies, Maria forms an unexpected relationship with her helpful neighbor. Parallel to that, Meredith, her adopted daughter, is off on a quest to discover her biological family. With elegant cinematography, this black-and-white journey immerses viewers in a world that, like the women in it, is charming, engaging and totally distinct. A true testament to the ability of movies to provide a peek into others’ lives. —Max Wexler
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: John Stimpson, Geoffrey Taylor
SYNOPSIS: Something is rotten in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts as a resentful understudy unleashes the curse of Macbeth upon his dysfunctional theatre troupe. While the actors prepare for their production of the “Scottish Play,” love triangles and intergroup rivalries abound, resulting in an opening night where nothing is as it seems. Taking inspiration from director John Stimpson’s time in Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals and co-written by veteran producer Geoffrey Taylor, the movie’s script draws from real life thespian superstitions and the genres of both comedy and horror. As tradition dictates, the titular lamp is supposed to illuminate an unoccupied stage in order to safeguard it from evil spirits. Will its inevitable snuffing doom the rag-tag Shakespeareans? Starring an ensemble cast that includes Roger Bart, Tom Riley , Shannyn Sossamon, Carol Kane, and Cary Elwes, Ghost Light is a film that’s just as likely to make you giggle as it is to make you jump out of your seat. —Avery Davenport
Here and Now
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Roman Shumunov, Vlad Dubinsky
SYNOPSIS: In Ashdod, a sea-side city in Israel, home to a large Russian speaking immigrant community, Andrey and his buddies struggle to keep their families afloat while dreaming of success as a hip-hop band. We have to move on though it's not always easy, but the most important thing is to keep the spirit and the faith, they rap in their native Russian at the edgy hip-hop clubs. But keeping the spirit gets harder and harder as Andrey's life spirals out of control and the risk of losing the home he and his young sister live in becomes imminent. As he is forced to make dangerous choices in order to save his home and family, the musicians' dream of making their voices heard at an international music festival, and rising out of their harsh reality, seems to fade. Gritty and tender, Here and Now is an authentic social drama that is as universal as it is human. —Svetlana Krotek
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Roxy Toporowych, Ben Kim
SYNOPSIS: All Julia has ever wanted was to do good. Filmed just after the 2014 revolution in war-torn Ukraine, Julia, determined and vivacious, is an excellent student, a heartfelt volunteer and a passionate activist. While waiting to be accepted to photojournalism school in Germany, she unexpectedly finds herself falling for English, a handsome and brooding soldier who’s dealing with the physical and emotional devastation of war. Will Julia’s goals and dreams be thwarted by her soldier? Can she leave just when he needs her the most? Punctuated by stirring cinematography – depicting the post-revolution country from Kyiv to a remote Capathian village — Julia Blue serves as a reminder of the hardest choices humankind deals with: living or loving? It brings heart and compassion to war, and opens our eyes to how intense and fleeting love is when people are fighting for their lives. —Dainara Delija
Keely and Du
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Laurie Colbert, Dominique Cardona, Sarah E. Johnson, David Baron
SYNOPSIS: What lengths will the pro-life movement go to realize its goals? In this adaption of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play by Jane Martin, America's ongoing debate about abortion takes the form of a pulse-pounding dramatic thriller. The film tracks the journey of Keely, a spirited young woman who awakens one day to find herself a captive of a mysterious religious duo. Going head-to-head with the stern woman guarding her, and showing herself to be a feisty foe to the man in charge, we witness the battle of wills that is familiar in communities all over this country. Will Keely free herself from her fanatic kidnappers or succumb to their dogma? Keely and Du brings one of this country's most contested issues to life in a way that grips you from start to finish. Buried within all this excitement is a deeply humanist heart that is sure to resonate with viewers of all persuasions. - Max Wexler
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Jenna Laurenzo
SYNOPSIS: Lauren, a closeted young woman, decides to bring her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving, planning to come out of the closet while her entire family is together. When her long-time straight male roommate arrives unexpectedly, it sets off a chain of comical events that thwart her efforts. Starring Academy Award-winner Cloris Leachman, Academy Award-nominated Bruce Dern, and an ensemble cast including the likes of Steve Guttenberg and Emmy Award-winner Kevin Kane, Lez Bomb is a multi-generational comedy of errors about an eccentric collection of characters with their own string of surprises. The result is a hilarious turn of events, forcing the family to come together in a ceremonious series of coincidences. In a big, crazy family there is no good time to drop the Lez Bomb. Jenna Laurenzo’s feature directorial debut, executive produced by Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something about Mary and Dumb and Dumber), is assured in its delivery and poignant and humorous in its message. —Gene Fischer
Breathtaking from start to finish, Little Woods is the compelling and compassionate story of two sisters, Ollie and Deb, driven to work outside the law to save their home and their desperate lives. However, despite the bleak premise, the film is a pleasure to watch due to the magnetic performances of the two leads, Ollie (Tessa Thompson) and Deb (Lily James), the sensitive cinematography and the beautifully scripted story. Ollie has helped the struggling residents of Little Woods, North Dakota, gain access to Canadian healthcare by smuggling in medications, sneaking people across the border for procedures -- and profiting from drug trafficking on the side. After she's caught and put on probation, she plans to go legit. But just days away from freedom, she is steps back into the underbelly of their oil boomtown. With the girls' fate in question, first-time director Nia DeCosta's socially conscious thriller is a true tour de force.
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Nicole van Kilsdonk
SYNOPSIS: It is said that true love never dies; you can put out the fire, but not the flame. In Love Revisited, Ton and Fransje, both in their sixties and long divorced, are brought back together by the sudden death of their adult son. Compelled to console one another over the tragedy they share, old feelings are rekindled and before you know it, a love affair rages between them that is as tender as it is uncomfortable. They try to keep their renewed relationship to themselves, but things get complicated once their families become more and more involved. Directed assuredly by one of Netherlands' most accomplished female directors, Love Revisited is delivered masterfully and with a lighthearted tone. —Svetlana Krotek
Only a Switch
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Michael Vincent, Nigel DeFriez, Chadd Harbold, Larry Fessenden
SYNOPSIS: Only A Switch is an experimental fantasy about two star-crossed lovers who transcend identity, gender and the physical world as we know it in order to be together. After James saves Emily's life in a random mugging on the streets of New York, the two fall deeply in love. Their devotion to each other enrages Emily's abusive father who is determined to keep them apart. The conflict escalates into a violent confrontation, which forces James to flee and seek a drastic transformation through a mystic. Will love triumph in this unlikely romance? Drawing inspiration from distinct cinematic voices such as Georges Méliès, Stan Brakhage and Jonathan Caouette, it is a kaleidoscopic visual feast achieved through inventive digital manipulation, hand-painted film and old-school optical trickery. Tenderly romantic, delightfully weird and fiercely erotic, Only A Switchis not just a film — it is an experience.
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Jeff Vespa, Sanjar Madi
SYNOPSIS: Based on a true story, Paris Song tells the story of small-town singer Amre Kashaubayev’s journey from Kazakhstan to Paris to compete in an international singing competition at the 1925 Paris Expo. Unknown to most of the world, this shy performer with a remarkable talent steals the show every time he sets foot on the stage. Amre forms a beautiful and unlikely friendship with American songwriter George Gershwin and, surprisingly, is embraced by the high-culture Paris elite, who receive him with rapturous applause. In a strong directorial debut, Jeff Vespa’s story of this Kazakhstani folk hero, played magnificently by Sanjar Madi, illuminates what it means to be an outsider and to struggle against a repressive regime, and is proof that determination and talent can overcome adversity. —James Bruckner
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Alyssa Rallo Bennett, Christopher Lloyd
SYNOPSIS: George (Christopher Lloyd, the eccentric Dr. Emmett Doc Brown in Back to the Future) is a man living with the physical pains of old age and the lingering sadness of youthful regrets. He is haunted by his inability to save Violet, a beautifully flawed love interest from nearly six decades ago. One Christmas, surrounded by his solicitous family, opportunity comes knocking via a time portal in his grandson’s closet, giving George a chance to travel back to his twenties and face the ghosts of his past in the flesh. With an older, wiser mind inside a now younger body, can he save Violet from her inevitable fate before the laws of the universe catch up to him? Can he right the wrongs he made toward the woman who was the real love of his life? Situated in a vortex of past sorrows and present joys, ReRun illustrates the faultiness of memory and how even the gravest of old mistakes aren’t as daunting in retrospect. —Avery Davenport
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Alex Moratto
SYNOPSIS: After his mother's sudden death, 15-year-old Socrates, living in the favelas of coastal São Paulo, must learn to survive on his own or be put into state care. This gritty, gripping story is told through his eyes as he struggles to carry on. Desperate to make money, Socrates searches for work and takes occasional day jobs. Disowned by his estranged, abusive father because of his sexuality, he is left to survive on his own. An unlikely relationship with a male co-worker, Maicon, gives Socrates some hope, but Maicon's homophobia gets in the way of their relationship evolving. As Socrates' life begins to unravel, we reflect upon our own struggles and how we, as humans, pull through. Produced by Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) and filmed with a micro budget of under $20,000, Socrates is the debut feature from Brazilian-American director Alex Moratto and was co-written, produced and acted by at-risk teenagers with the support of UNICEF. —Gene Fischer
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Brendan Walter, Jon Lullo
SYNOPSIS: Haunted by his fiancée’s drowning, American illustrator Benny Miller impulsively flies to Iceland without plans or preparation. Out of his OCD medication, he wanders aimlessly and discovers the Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, where he hears the saga of Loftur – an ancient magician able to raise the dead. In his vulnerable state, Benny innocently tattoos a powerful stave on his chest and, after a puzzling night of lovemaking, is introduced to Steindor, a supposed guide who leads him into the wilderness. Following a bizarre ritual, Benny is abandoned and left to follow the steps of Loftur’s spell. Compelled to complete the journey alone, Benny is unsure if he is being led by his disorder or if he's truly following a path to unlock ancient secrets. As reality falls apart, he is drawn to the dark and dangerous forces around him, leading to a final confrontation with his dead fiancée. Spell is an engrossing thriller, with just the right balance of humor and the mystical.
Swimming with Men
His job is a drag, his wife may be cheating on him, and he’s not getting any younger. Accountant Eric (Rob Brydon) is simply treading water when he discovers a newfound sense of purpose, thanks to an unexpected source: a group of similarly stuck-in-a-rut guys who have found camaraderie and self-worth through synchronized swimming. Sure, they may be a bit paunchy, but they’re determined to prove they have what it takes to be a whirling, twirling, scissor-kicking aquatic dream team. And they’ve set their sights on the ultimate prize: the world championship. Showcasing the sharp wit of The Trip series’ Rob Brydon, Swimming With Men is a bighearted, delightfully offbeat ode to answering your calling, no matter where you are in life.
Then Came You
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Peter Hutchings, Claude Dal Farra, Brian Keady
SYNOPSIS: Calvin (Asa Butterfield) is a hypochondriac who's dropped out of college and is working as an airport baggage handler with his dad (David Koechner) and brother (Tyler Hoechlin). When his doctor sends him to a cancer support group to gain some real perspective, he meets Skye (Maisie Williams), a British teenager with a terminal illness. She enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list, and in return she helps him talk to his crush, a flight attendant named Izzy (Nina Dobrev). Ken Jeong, Sonya Walger, Peyton List, and Tituss Burgess also star.
Lea, an adventurous, free spirited thirteen-year-old, lives in idyllic Upstate New York with her academic parents. Her life changes dramatically on the day the family relocates to Houston, Texas. Before their departure, in a tragic misstep, Lea is goaded into a fight with fifteen-year-old Bill. Acting out of frustration, she gets hold of the gun he has taken from his father. She accidentally fires a shot in his direction causing Bill to fall into a deep shaft. Not knowing if he survived, Lea is forced to leave.
Twelve years later ... Lea, who has repressed the memory of that fateful day, is an emotional wreck. She is prescription drug dependent and on the verge of losing her apartment and her job in New York. Not ready to confront her demons, she ignores her problems until she almost drowns and ends up in a hospital. Her memories of that fateful night slowly drift back and torment her.
Lea’s father feels guilty for having uprooted her because of his marital problems. He encourages her to revisit their old home, hoping she will reconnect to the positive memories of her childhood. He is unaware of the crime she committed thirteen years ago. With nowhere to turn, Lea decides to accompany him. When she is confronted with her childhood and the people from her past, the repressed memories come back and leave her no choice but to go back to the mine, the place where she believes she killed Bill.
Did he die?
If he survived what will he do when she finds him? Is she ready to face the consequences of her actions?
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Suzi Yoonessi, Charlene deGuzman
SYNOPSIS: Drawing on personal experience, lead Charlene deGuzman portrays a quirky and colorful young woman — who happens to be a sex and love addict. After her compulsive behavior spirals out of control, Joy commits to a 12-step program, where she finds a tough-love sponsor (Melissa Leo) and a place to live, as she struggles to get her life back on track. When Joy strikes an unlikely friendship with her musically-talented, reclusive neighbor Jim (John Hawkes), she learns there is more than one way to cope with her self-destructive tendencies. Exchanging her collection of sex toys for a pair of drumsticks, Joy and Jim embark on a musical journey that pushes them to awkwardly confront their individual quirks and excesses. Produced by the Duplass brothers and directed by Suzi Yoonessi, Unlovable, in the guise of a rom-com, uses humor — and great music — to shed light on dealing with addiction and finding companionship through shared hardship. —Avery Davenport
We Only Know So Much
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Donal Lardner Ward, Jonathan Burkhart, George Wieser, Elizabeth Crane
SYNOPSIS: Upon moving into her husband's childhood home to help take care of his elderly relatives, Jean Copeland, an emotionally withdrawn wife and mother of two, becomes embroiled in an affair with a suicidal lover. Her husband, Gordon, is oblivious, too busy worrying that he's losing his most prized possession, his mind, after a run-in with an ex-girlfriend he doesn't remember. 19-year-old, Priscilla, is a fashionista desperate to become a reality TV star, while 9-year-old crossword fanatic, Otis, has fallen in love for the very first time. With Gordon's father, Theodore, fading into dementia, and 95-year old matriarch, Vivian, desperately clinging to control of the house, the six family members, at five stages of life, distill the dreams, worries, and regrets of contemporary America.
What They Had
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Elizabeth Chomko
SYNOPSIS: First-time writer/director Elizabeth Chomko has assembled a remarkable pool of talent to present her touching story of a family in crisis in a film that moves you to tears, but not before you‘ve had some great laughs along the way. At the focal point of What They Hadare middle-aged siblings Bridget and Nicky, artfully portrayed by Hilary Swank and Michael Shannon. Bridget has returned home at her brother’s urging to deal with their ailing mother (Blythe Danner) and their stubborn father, Burt (Robert Forster). Burt is unwilling to let go of his marital life, despite his wife’s erratic and unpredictable memory, wavering without warning from loving mother to a little girl begging to go home. Added to the mix is Bridget’s acerbic daughter Emma (Taissa Farmiga), who’s been thrown out of her college dorm for drinking. The interpersonal dynamics, like any family’s, are complex and rife with moments of tension – and hilarity. The result is a film that feels both personal and universal. — Monique RayBIO:
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Paul Starkman, Arnstar, Joshua Boone, Jamin O'Brian, Neal Usatin
SYNOPSIS: 19-year-old Max longs to be a DJ. But in order to provide for his sick grandmother, he has dropped out of high school and is working at a supermarket and DJing parties for Oscar, a neighborhood thug, as he struggles to make ends meet. Monty, a popular underground DJ, sees Max's potential and pushes him to take DJing more seriously. Holding on to his dream, Max stashes away every spare cent to buy his own turntables. When his brother, Terry, shows up after a three-year prison stint for stealing cars, Max finds himself at a crossroads between trust, obligation and pursuing his dream. Shot in gorgeous black and white, with exhilarating backbeats, Wheels is a powerful ride; an earnest story with a magnetic young lead. We all have a dream until life gets in the way, but this Rocky-style underdog story shows us the importance of staying true to yourself and your art, no matter the adversity.—Evan Thomas
Wildlife, the directorial debut of Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine ), co-written along with Zoe Kazan (The Big Sick). Elegantly adapted from Richard Ford’s novel of the same name, Carey Mulligan (Mudbound, An Education) delivers one of her finest performances to date as Jeanette, a complex woman whose self-determination and self-involvement disrupts the values and expectations of a 1960s nuclear family. Fourteen-year-old Joe played by newcomer Ed Oxenbould, is the only child of Jeanette (Mulligan) and Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal)—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana. Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves. Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother's struggle as she tries to keep her head above water. With precise details and textures of its specific time and place,Wildlife commits to the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents’ marriage.
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Paula van der Oest
SYNOPSIS: From one of Netherlands’ most celebrated female directors comes the story of an eclectic group of middle-aged, former band mates who reunite at a large country house, decades after their band disbanded, to scatter the ashes of their deceased front man on the anniversary of his birthday. As old relationship are quickly revisited and relived, the gathering is interrupted by the arrival of one of the friends’ striking, young, blonde girlfriend. The sharp contrast between those in their fifties and the attending twenty-something-year-olds is palpable as conversations about midlife crisis, addiction, infidelity, and loneliness traverse the generations. Guided by a strong cast, Younger Days is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is utterly entertaining. —Svetlana Krotek