2017 AFI Fest: Centerpiece Galas and Tribute announced

October 20, 2017

AFI Fest 2017 logo

The following is a press release from the American Film Institute:

The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced the three Centerpiece Galas and Tribute that will take place at AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi.  The Centerpiece Galas are: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME (DIR Luca Guadagnino) on Friday, November 10; THE DISASTER ARTIST (DIR James Franco) on Sunday, November 12; and HOSTILES (DIR Scott Cooper) on Tuesday, November 14. On Saturday, November 11, Academy Award®-winning documentary filmmaker Errol Morris will be honored with a Tribute following a screening of WORMWOOD.   All Gala screenings will take place at the TCL Chinese Theatre and the Errol Morris Tribute will take place at the Egyptian Theatre.

Errol Morris’ revered credits include the Oscar®-winning THE FOG OF WAR (2003), as well as GATES OF HEAVEN (1978), THE THIN BLUE LINE (1988), A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME (1991), TABLOID (2010) and THE UNKNOWN KNOWN (2013). Morris serves on the AFI DOCS Film Festival Advisory Board and, in 2013, was the AFI DOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium honoree.

To attend, guests can purchase AFI FEST Patron Packages — which include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events.

CENTERPIECE GALAS

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME — The new film from Sony Pictures Classics by Luca Guadagnino is a sensual and transcendent tale of first love, based on the acclaimed novel by André Aciman. It’s the summer of 1983 in the north of Italy, and Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a precocious 17-year-old American-Italian boy, spends his days in his family’s 17th-century villa, transcribing and playing classical music, reading and flirting with his friend Marzia (Esther Garrel). Elio enjoys a close relationship with his father (Michael Stuhlbarg), an eminent professor specializing in Greco-Roman culture, and his mother Annella (Amira Casar), a translator, who favor him with the fruits of high culture in a setting that overflows with natural delights. While Elio’s sophistication and intellectual gifts suggest he is already a fully-fledged adult, there is much that yet remains innocent and unformed about him, particularly about matters of the heart. One day, Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charming American scholar working on his doctorate, arrives as the annual summer intern tasked with helping Elio’s father. Amid the sun-drenched splendor of the setting, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

THE DISASTER ARTIST — Director James Franco reimagines the tragicomic true story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau — an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable — as a celebration of friendship, artistic expression and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero’s bestselling tell-all about the making of Wiseau’s cult-classic disaster piece THE ROOM (“The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”), THE DISASTER ARTIST is a hilarious and welcome reminder that there is more than one way to become a legend — and no limit to what you can achieve when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. Franco directs, produces and stars in the film, delivering a transformative performance as Wiseau in this A24 release.

HOSTILES — Set in 1892 at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, the buffalo gone, America’s indigenous population vanquished and the frontier rapidly disappearing into settlements and cities, two bitter adversaries of the Indian Wars are forced into a final, unexpected encounter. Cavalry Captain Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale), a former war hero turned jailer, and Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), a Northern Cheyenne war chief turned prisoner, are forced to partake in a hollow publicity stunt to bolster the personal and political fortunes of Blocker’s commanding officer. Stuck in Fort Berringer, a miserable New Mexican prison outpost, Yellow Hawk is to be released to Blocker and returned to the Cheyenne homeland in Montana. It’s a particularly cynical gambit, as Yellow Hawk is dying and upon his death, his family will be imprisoned on a reservation. A belligerent Blocker believes the Chief should die in prison and is threatened with court martial when he refuses to accompany his enemy home. The plan is set in motion and Blocker, his men, Yellow Hawk and his family become complicated traveling companions. Not long after their departure, the group happens upon Rosalee Quaid (Rosamund Pike), a traumatized survivor of a Comanche massacre, and she reluctantly joins. Blocker, Yellow Hawk and Quaid turn into the unlikely heart of HOSTILES. They are tenacious fighters who have been shaped by suffering, violence and loss. Compelled to work together to endure and survive a 1,000-mile journey of Odyssey-like proportions, they’re forced to confront their preconceived notions of one another, and realize that the worst of their differences were created by forces beyond their control. Their transformation from a place of antagonism and fear to one of compassion and tolerance is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity for change. HOSTILES features cinematography by AFI Conservatory alumnus Masanobu Takayanagi (Class of 2002).

TRIBUTE SCREENING

WORMWOOD — Directed by boundary-breaking filmmaker Errol Morris, WORMWOOD explores the limits of knowledge about the past and the lengths we’ll go in our search for the truth in a twisting, evolving story of one man’s 60-year quest to identify the circumstances of his father’s mysterious death. Combining a virtuosic performance by Peter Sarsgaard with Morris’ legendary interview style, WORMWOOD examines this case from every possible angle, bringing the viewer face to face with some of the United States’ darkest secrets. A Netflix Original Story told in six chapters.

As Previously Announced

AFI FEST takes place November 9–16, 2017, in the heart of Hollywood. Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre, Dolby Cinema at the Vine, the Mark Goodson Screening Room at the American Film Institute and The Hollywood Roosevelt. The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled on Friday, October 27. Free tickets will be available on AFI.com/AFIFEST on Wednesday, November 1.

The Opening Night Gala will be MUDBOUND (DIR Dee Rees) on Thursday, November 9.  The Closing Night Gala will be the World Premiere of ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD with a Tribute to director Ridley Scott on Thursday, November 16.

Additionally, the New Auteurs and American Independent sections have been announced and more information about these sections can be found here.

This year, AFI FEST will present a retrospective of the work of Robert Altman (1925–2006), with screenings and discussions of 12 films: M*A*S*H (1970), MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971), THE LONG GOODBYE (1973), CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974), NASHVILLE (1975), 3 WOMEN (1977), VINCENT & THEO (1990), THE PLAYER (1992), SHORT CUTS (1993), KANSAS CITY (1996), GOSFORD PARK (2001) and A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (2006).

New educational experiences taking place as part of the festival this year include an AFI FEST Storytelling Bootcamp for Los Angeles Unified School District students.

AFI FEST will once again bring the best in global cinema to Los Angeles thanks to the visionary support of Audi — now in its 14th consecutive year as presenting sponsor of the festival. An enduring champion of the motion picture arts, Audi nurtures new and established voices through its support of AFI FEST and beyond, including the Audi Fellowship for Women at the AFI Conservatory, a new full-tuition scholarship investing in the future of female directors in film and television.

Patron packages ensure reserved seats for Galas, and all proceeds benefit the educational programs of the American Film Institute. A limited number of individual tickets to Galas and other screenings are also made available at no charge thanks to the event sponsors. Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which can include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events.

As part of their membership benefits, AFI members will receive a complimentary AFI FEST Cinepass, which allows access to all regular screenings and special offers at this year’s festival. Additionally, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Express Passes. Information about AFI membership is available at AFI.com/membership.

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2017. Additional sponsors include AT&T; American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.

About the American Film Institute
Celebrating its golden milestone, the American Film Institute began its mission on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. Established by Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential mandate in the White House Rose Garden, AFI is America’s promise to educate today’s audiences and tomorrow’s artists. The Institute was anchored by a foundation of luminaries from the film community including Gregory Peck as Chair, Sidney Poitier as Vice Chair, George Stevens, Jr., as Director and CEO with board members Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and Jack Valenti.

In 1969, AFI opened the Center for Advanced Film Studies, now called the AFI Conservatory, an elite MFA program whose inaugural class included Terrence Malick, Caleb Deschanel and Paul Schrader. The program’s acclaimed film and television alumni include

Andrea Arnold, Darren Aronofsky, Julie Dash, Patty Jenkins, Janusz Kamiński, David Lynch and Robert Richardson, among others.

In addition to the AFI Conservatory, AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding movies and TV series of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute, and youtube.com/AFI.

About AFI FEST presented by Audi
A program of the American Film Institute, AFI FEST presented by Audi is a celebration of global cinema and today’s Hollywood — a showcase for the best festival films of the year and an opportunity for master filmmakers and emerging artists to come together with audiences in the movie capital of the world. Celebrating its 31st edition, AFI FEST is the only festival of its stature that is free to the public. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recognizes AFI FEST as a qualifying festival for both Short Film categories for the annual Academy Awards®. This year’s edition takes place November 9–16, 2017. Additional information about AFI FEST is available at AFI.com/AFIFEST. Connect with AFI FEST at facebook.com/AFIFEST, twitter.com/AFIFEST and youtube.com/AFI.

About Audi
Audi of America, Inc. and its U.S. dealers offer a full line of German-engineered luxury vehicles. The Audi Group is among the most successful luxury automotive brands globally. In 2016, AUDI AG delivered about 1.871 million Audi automobiles and broke all-time company sales records for the seventh straight year in the U.S. Visit www.audiusa.com or media.audiusa.com for more information regarding Audi vehicles and business topics.

2017 AFI Fest: ‘All the Money in the World’ is the closing-night film; Ridley Scott gets tribute

October 19, 2017

AFI Fest 2017 logo

The following is a press release from AFI:

The American Film Institute (AFI) announced that Academy Award®-nominated director and producer Ridley Scott will be honored by AFI FEST 2017 presented by Audi with a Tribute and World Premiere Closing Night Gala screening of TriStar Pictures’ ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD on Thursday, November 16, at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.  The Tribute will celebrate Scott’s legendary filmmaking career with a moderated discussion of his work followed by the World Premiere screening.  Directed by Scott, ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD stars Academy Award® nominees Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, and Academy Award® winner Kevin Spacey.  The Closing Night Gala will be sponsored by VIZIO.

“For five decades, Ridley Scott’s tremendous visions of cities, new worlds, histories and science have transformed and influenced not only film, but our culture,” said Jacqueline Lyanga, AFI FEST Director. “We’re honored to be celebrating the artistry of a director whose work has had an indelible influence on cinema culture, and the lexicon of visual style.”

One of our most prolific directors and producers, Ridley Scott is a four-time Academy Award® nominee, including Best Picture for THE MARTIAN (2015) and Best Director for BLACK HAWK DOWN (2001), GLADIATOR (2000) and THELMA & LOUISE (1991).  Additional films include ALIEN (1979), BLADE RUNNER (1982), LEGEND (1985), BLACK RAIN (1989), G.I. JANE (1997), MATCHSTICK MEN (2003), KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (2005), AMERICAN GANGSTER (2007), ROBIN HOOD (2010), PROMETHEUS (2012), THE COUNSELOR (2013), EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS (2014) and ALIEN: COVENANT (2017).

ABOUT THE FILM

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Kevin Spacey) to pay the ransom.  When Getty, Sr., refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal.  With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.

Directed by Ridley Scott, TriStar Pictures’ and Imperative Entertainment’s ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD is written by David Scarpa, based on the book by John Pearson. Produced by Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Quentin Curtis, Chris Clark, Ridley Scott, Mark Huffam and Kevin Walsh, the film stars Michelle Williams, Kevin Spacey, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Charlie Plummer and Timothy Hutton.

The film debuts in theaters this December.

November 8, 2017 UPDATE: The AFI Fest premiere of “All the Money in the World” has been cancelled due to the Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct scandal. Spacey has been removed from the film and has been replaced by Christopher Plummer.

AS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED

AFI FEST takes place November 9–16, 2017, in the heart of Hollywood.  Screenings, Galas and other events will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and The Hollywood Roosevelt.  The full festival lineup and schedule will be unveiled in October.

Additionally the New Auteurs and American Independent sections have been announced and more information about these sections can be found here.

The Opening Night Gala will be MUDBOUND (DIR Dee Rees) on Thursday, November 9.

This year, AFI FEST will present a retrospective of the work of Robert Altman (1925–2006), with screenings and discussions of 12 films:  M*A*S*H (1970), MCCABE & MRS. MILLER (1971), THE LONG GOODBYE (1973), CALIFORNIA SPLIT (1974), NASHVILLE (1975), 3 WOMEN (1977), VINCENT & THEO (1990), THE PLAYER (1992), SHORT CUTS (1993), KANSAS CITY (1996), GOSFORD PARK (2001) and A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION (2006).

New educational experiences taking place as part of the festival this year include an AFI FEST Storytelling Bootcamp for Los Angeles Unified School District students.

AFI FEST will once again bring the best in global cinema to Los Angeles thanks to the visionary support of Audi — now in its 14th consecutive year as presenting sponsor of the festival.  An enduring champion of the motion picture arts, Audi nurtures new and established voices through its support of AFI FEST and beyond, including the Audi Fellowship for Women at the AFI Conservatory, a new full-tuition scholarship investing in the future of female directors in film and television.

Patron packages ensure reserved seats for Closing Night, and all proceeds benefit the educational programs of the American Film Institute.  A limited number of individual tickets to Closing Night and other screenings are also made available at no charge thanks to the event sponsors.  Go to AFI.com now to purchase Patron Packages, which can include access to Galas and other high-demand films and events. Individual tickets will be available on AFI.com beginning November 1.

As part of their membership benefits, AFI members will receive a complimentary AFI FEST Cinepass, which allows access to all regular screenings and special offers at this year’s festival.  Additionally, AFI members at the Two-Star level and above receive a 10% discount on all AFI FEST Patron Packages and Express Passes.  Information about AFI membership is available at AFI.com/membership

Audi is the exclusive presenting sponsor of AFI FEST 2017.  Additional top sponsors include AT&T; American Airlines, the official airline of AFI; and VIZIO, the official home theater sponsor of AFI.

2017 Toronto Film Festival: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ wins People’s Choice Award

September 17, 2017

TIFF logo

The Toronto International Film Festival took place from September 7 to September 17, 2017. Here is  the list of this year’s TIFF award winners:

People’s Choice Awards

The Grolsch People’s Choice Award
Winner: Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
First runner-up: Craig Gillespie’s “I, Tonya”
Second runner-up: Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name”

The Grolsch People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award
Winner: Joseph Kahn’s “Bodied”
First runner-up: James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist”
Second runner-up: Craig Zahler’s “Brawl in Cell Block 99”

The Grolsch People’s Choice Documentary Award
Winner: Agnès Varda and JR’s “Faces Places”
First runner-up: Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas De Pencier’s “Long Time Running”
Second runner-up: Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!”

International Jury Awards

Toronto Platform Prize Presented by Air France
Warwick Thornton’s “Sweet Country”

The Prizes of the International Federation of Film Critics (Fipreci Prizes)
Winner – Discovery: Sadaf Foroughi’s “Ava”
Winner – Special Presentations: Manuel Martín Cuenca’s “The Motive (El Autor)”

Netpac Award
Winner: Huang Hsin-Yao’s The Great Buddha+

Short Film Jury Awards

IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Canadian Short Film
Winner: Marc-Antoine Lemire’s Pre-Drink

IWC Short Cuts Award for Best Short Film
Winner: Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s The Burden (Min Börda)

Canadian Film Jury Awards

City of Toronto Award for Best Canadian Film
Winner: Wayne Wapeemukwa’s “Luk’ Luk’l”

Canada Goose Award for Best Canadian Feature Film
Winner: Robin Aubert’s “Les Affamés”

2017 Toronto International Film Festival: Event Photos and Videos

TIFF logo

The 42nd Annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) takes place at various locations in Toronto from September 7 to September 17, 2017. Here are some photos and videos from the event:

“Suburbicon”

“mother!”

“Battle of the Sexes”

Fox Searchlight’s TIFF Party

“Mudbound”

“The Mountain Between Us”

 

Grey Goose Vodka events

2017 Fantastic Fest: Final wave of programming announced

September 5, 2017

Fantastic Fest 2017 LOGO

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***

Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***
Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

***
Alamo Drafthouse’s Fantastic Fest is proud to announce its final wave of big-screen bizarro from all corners of the cinematic world with Alexander Payne’s masterpiece-in-miniature, DOWNSIZING, bestowed the honor of closing night film. Fantastic-Fest first-timers making their way to Austin include Cory Finley and his razor sharp debut THOROUGHBRED, and fan-favorite tough guy extraordinaire Frank Grillo, who will be on hand to flex some muscle for the World Premiere of his nail-biting getaway drama, WHEELMAN.

In keeping with world premieres, Fantastic Fest is proud to announce a fistful of titles that will receive their big screen bows. Screen great Barbara Crampton will be in attendance with director Bradford Baruh for a ride in his chilling APPLECART, featuring over forty minutes of zero gravity footage; Russia’s SALYUT-7 is guaranteed to pop 3D eyes; HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE walks us through the world’s most terrifying haunted houses; and TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID delivers a contemporary fairytale from within the world of the mexican cartels.

“I’m incredibly proud of the vast array of filmmaking on display in this year’s program,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “From the most highly acclaimed studio titles to the smallest independent debuts, it’s exhilarating to embrace unique creativity from the four corners of the world. Bringing filmmakers together in a program that highlights the increasing diversity of cinema is truly an honor that we can’t wait to share with our audience.”

Female filmmakers once again deliver powerful voices with three of the most dynamic films of the festival. Angel Robinson will be in attendance to share the controversially kinky true story behind the year’s biggest superhero with PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN; Lisa Bruhlmann makes a stunning entrance with her fantastical coming-of-age debut BLUE MY MIND; and not to be outdone, first time feature-maker Coralie Fargeat turns the revenge genre upside down with her outrageous femme fatale fiesta, REVENGE.

A mainstay of Fantastic Fest has been showcasing world cinema’s finest exports and this year is no exception. Asia basks in the glory of master Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s return to the apocalyptic fold with BEFORE WE VANISH (Japan), while his countryman Sôichi Umezawa delivers the outlandish midnight spectacle of VAMPIRE CLAY (Japan). South Korea represents with the year’s toughest crime caper, THE MERCILESS, and serial killer shocker V.I.P., while NYAFF award-winner BAD GENIUS represents Thailand. And Taiwan shows school students no mercy with the hyper-violent MON MON MON MONSTERS. Not to be outdone, Europe comes out swinging with Hungarian auteur Kornél Mundruczó’s follow up to WHITE GOD, the stunning JUPITER’S MOON, French filmmakers Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani splash their hyper-stylized western LET THE CORPSES TAN across the screen and Norway’s Joachim Trier delivers one of the most quietly impressive films of the year, the assured THELMA.

The world premiere of Don Hertzfeldt’s WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE 2: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS highlights an animated sidebar that pushes the medium into brave new spaces. Rounding out the fantastical trio is the debut feature from Studio Ponoc, MARY AND THE WITCHES FLOWER, from ex Studio Ghibli key animator Hiromasa Yonebayashi, and JUNK HEAD, Takahide Hori’s claymation feature that took him over seven years to complete, entirely by himself.

American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, shares the spotlight the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema in a very special secret screening. Additional rep titles include the world premiere of the Takashi Miike-approved 4K restoration of ICHI THE KILLER, the digital remaster of the seminal Indian cult movie BAASHA, and Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE, presented by Kier-la Janisse in celebration of her new book Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin.

True to form, Fantastic Fest will be re-writing reality once more with a crowded cornucopia of events that invade all corners of the fest. Gross-out grub-gorging spectacle Puke and Explode rumbles once more, notorious VHS archival warriors Everything is Terrible return with an all-new show to both delight and horrify. Rotten Tomatoes joins the fray with Your Opinion Sucks, the ultimate live discussion about the best and worst in movies and TV shows. Comedy legend Gilbert Gottfried will be performing and screening the incredible biographical doc GILBERT, and the seminal Fantastic Debates marks its 10-year anniversary of polemic pugilism in spectacular fashion.

FINAL WAVE OF FILM LINEUP BELOW:

AGFA + SOMETHING WEIRD PRESENT: BAT PUSSY and SECRET SCREENING
American Genre Film Archive makes its triumphant return to Fantastic Fest with two movies that will rot your libido in the best way. BAT PUSSY, the world’s first X-rated parody, is what happens when an anonymous smut producer gets inspired by the 1960s BATMAN TV show but only has $5. It’s also what happens when your wildest dreams and most horrifying nightmares collide in an explosion of flaccid stupefaction. Next up, after years of detective work, AGFA presents the world premiere of a brand new 2K transfer of one of the most sought-after lost films in the history of exploitation cinema.

LOST GIRLS Book Launch: THE NUDE VAMPIRE presented by Kier-la Janisse
THE NUDE VAMPIRE
France, 1970
Repertory, 88 min
Director – Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s THE NUDE VAMPIRE (1970) follows a sinister businessman who’s keeping a young vampire girl captive and experimenting on her in the hope that he finds the key to eternal life. The film will be screened in celebration of the launch of the new book from publisher Spectacular Optical, LOST GIRLS: THE PHANTASMAGORICAL CINEMA OF JEAN ROLLIN, the first examination of Rollin’s work to be written by all women critics, scholars and film historians, and will be introduced by the book’s publisher Kier-La Janisse.

3FT BALL & SOULS
Japan, 2017
International Premiere, 93 min
Director – Yoshio Kato
Four strangers come together to commit suicide using explosives. But they discover that every time they blow up, they’re sent back to just before they killed themselves.

APPLECART
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 86 min
Director – Bradford Baruh
An idyllic weekend vacation to a secluded cabin turns deadly when the Pollack family discovers an unconscious woman whose sinister plans will pit the family members against each other.

BAASHA
India, 1995
Repertory/International Premiere, 165 min
Director – Suresh Krissna
Superstar Rajinikanth plays a rickshaw driver with a history of violence in this genre-defining musical gangster romance epic from the director of AALAVANDHAN.

BAD GENIUS
Thailand, 2017
Texas Premiere, 130 min
Director – Nattawut Poonpiriya
A quartet of high school students are better at cheating than anything you’ve ever done in your life in this epic nail-biter about the standardized tests that level the playing field for all kids, smart and dumb, rich and poor.

BEFORE WE VANISH
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 129 min
Director – Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s latest film is a sci-fi thriller about an invasion in which aliens must come to understand humanity through understanding human emotion – most importantly, our collective capacity for love.

BLUE MY MIND
Switzerland, 2017
North American Premiere, 97 min
Director – Lisa Brühlmann
BLUE MY MIND follows 15-year-old Mia (Luna Wedler) as she undergoes a life-changing transformation, one that leaves her examining her body and her very existence in a new light.

BRIMSTONE & GLORY
Mexico, USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 67 min
Director – Viktor Jakovleski
Tultepec is a small Mexican town that celebrates its love of fireworks with a yearly week-long festival. This festival is captured in a glorious documentary that is pure cinema.

THE CURED
Ireland, UK, France, 2017
US Premiere, 95 min
Director – David Freyne
A zombie virus has hit the world… but it has been cured. What’s next for the ex-zombies who have returned to normal? David Freyne’s debut feature throws lots of food for thought into the mouth of your mind.

DARKLAND
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 113 min
Director – Fenar Ahmad
An Iraqi doctor in Denmark seeks vigilante justice for his brother’s murder when the police come up short, biting off more than he can chew in a world of gangs, drugs and underground fight rings.

DOWNSIZING
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 135 min
Director – Alexander Payne
Everyman Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in Omaha and move to a new downsized community in Alexander Payne’s brilliant social satire.

FIRSTBORN
Latvia, 2017
North American Premiere, 90 min
Director – Aik Karapetian
Provocative Latvian director Aik Karapetian returns to Fantastic Fest with a new thriller that explores how far a meek architect will go to protect his dignity in the eyes of his wife in the aftermath of an attack.

FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES
South Africa, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Michael Matthews
A troubled young man returns to the town he fled as a youth and is forced to confront his past (and the town’s difficult future) in this gorgeous Sesotho language western.

GEMINI
USA, 2017
Special Screening, 93 min
Director – Aaron Katz
Our understandings of friendship, truth and celebrity are challenged when a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant (Lola Kirke) and her Hollywood starlet boss (Zoe Kravitz) in Aaron Katz’s latest.

GILBERT
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 99 min
Director – Neil Berkeley
GILBERT is the story of Gilbert Gottfried as never seen before, both a behind-the-scenes documentary and a poignant look at the life of a comedian who has more layers than most people can imagine.

GOOD MANNERS
Brazil, France, 2017
North American Premiere, 135 min
Directors – Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra
When lonely nurse Clara is hired as a nanny by wealthy Ana, she hardly expects anything like the friendship she finds with the lonely, pregnant woman. However, both women have dark secrets which will engulf all that they hold dear.

HAUNTERS: THE ART OF THE SCARE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 88 min
Director – Jon Schnitzer
Delving behind the scenes of one of America’s most beloved seasonal pastimes, HAUNTERS shows the world of the people who make the scariest houses, mazes and experiences  that range from the traditional to the controversial.

ICHI THE KILLER – 4K RESTORATION
Japan, 2001
Repertory/World Premiere of Restoration, 129 min
Director – Takashi Miike
The yakuza occupy a murky universe with more twists and turns than the Shinjuku alleys they call home. The mysterious disappearance of a Tokyo mob boss triggers a hunt to find him, dead or alive. The search leads to the city’s most depraved clubs and sex dens and eventually to Ichi, the schizophrenic hitman behind the crime. Even more shocking is the discovery that the mastermind who hired Ichi is a fellow gangster out for revenge.

JUNK HEAD
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 114 min
Director – Takahide Hori
Humanity is dying. It’s been 1200 years since our rebellious clone workforce moved underground, and the only way we can survive is by plunging into the depths to learn more about our terrifying creations.

JUPITER’S MOON
Hungary, Germany, 2017
North American Premiere, 123 min
Director – Kornél Mundruczó
The most ambitious science fiction film of the year is also perhaps the most visually stunning. Aryan is a refugee who finds himself with the power to levitate after being shot. Stern is a disgraced, corrupt doctor. The two will meet and alter the entire world.

LES AFFAMES
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 100 min
Director – Robin Aubert
In the remote Quebec countryside, things are not well. A plague has infected the land, affecting almost all the residents of a small village. The survivors have to navigate their new existence as well as deal with the infected with an appetite for flesh.

LET THE CORPSES TAN
Belgium, France, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Directors – Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani
On a beautiful corner of the Mediterranean, Rhino and his men take refuge after the robbery of 250 kilograms of gold. The plan is simple: Wait and split. But some unwanted visitors are about to turn this idyllic corner into a bloodbath.

LETTERKENNY
Canada, 2016
US Premiere, 151 min
Director – Jacob Tierney
The spiritual successors to STRANGE BREW’s Bob and Doug MacKenzie, the rural residents of the fictitious town of LETTERKENNY deliver a hysterical slice of Canadiana in the comedy phenomenon chronicling the daily problems of hicks, skids, hockey players and Christians.

THE LINE
Slovakia, Ukraine, 2017
North American Premiere, 112 min
Director – Peter Bebjak
One line is literal, the border between Slovakia and Ukraine. Criminal Adam Krajnak (Tomas Mastalir) crosses it often, smuggling product and people. The other line is metaphorical, and crossing it leads to a death spiral of violence and vengeance.

LOVE AND SAUCERS
USA/Canada, 2017
Texas Premiere, 67 min
Director – Brad Abrahams
David Huggins, a 72-year-old man who claims to have lost his virginity as a young man to an extraterrestrial being, turned to art to express his interspecies romance and lifelong relationship with the otherworldly.

MARY AND THE WITCH’S FLOWER
Japan, 2017
North American Premiere, 102 min
Director – Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Directing the first film out of Studio Ponoc, Hiromasa Yonebayashi (WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE) creates the dazzling and heartwarming story of an ordinary girl who becomes an extraordinary witch.

THE MERCILESS
South Korea, 2017
North American Premiere, 117 min
Director – Byun Sung-hyun
Cribbing liberally from the history of gangster films, Byun Sung-hyun’s hard-boiled Korean crime saga is filled with all manner of murder, deceit, double and triple crosses… and, oh yeah, slap-fighting.

MOM AND DAD
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 83 min
Director – Brian Taylor
Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage are seemingly ideal parents until an unknown force causes their town’s adults to murder their offspring.

MON MON MON MONSTERS
Taiwan, 2017
Regional Premiere, 112 min
Director – Giddens Ko
A bullied schoolboy is teamed up with his tormentors to do community social work. While on duty, they encounter a strange creature which they kidnap, and take bullying to a whole new level.

THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD
France, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 85 min
Director – Sonia Kronlund
Meet Salim Shaheen: Afghani auteur, prolific actor and one-man moviemaking industry. Along with his trusted troupe of actors, he defies all the odds in the Middle East to fulfill his dreams of making movies.

PROFESSOR MARSTON & THE WONDER WOMEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere,108 min
Director – Angela Robinson
In a superhero origin tale unlike any other, this film is the incredible true story of what inspired Harvard psychologist Dr. William Moulton Marston to create the iconic Wonder Woman character in the 1940s.

RABBIT
Australia, 2017
International Premiere, 99 min
Director – Luke Shanahan
After a full year, Maude is still stricken by visions of her sister Cleo’s kidnapping. Believing that Cleo is still alive, Maude undergoes a suspenseful journey to find her in this stunning, atmospheric feature debut from Luke Shanahan.

RADIUS
Canada, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Directors – Caroline Labrèche & Steeve Léonard
When a man wakes up from a car crash with no memory of what happened, his first instinct is to find help. However, as he gets closer to civilization and other people, an ugly truth will rear its head and affect all those who surround him.

REVENGE
France, 2017
US Premiere, 108 min
Director – Coralie Fargeat
Three rich male thrill-seekers discover that Jennifer isn’t the human sex doll that they assumed she was when they invited her on their isolated hunting getaway. Jennifer teaches them fundamental lessons about consent in a manner that they – and we – won’t soon forget.

RIFT
Iceland, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Director – Erlingur Thoroddsen
After a phone call from his ex wakes him late one night, Gunnar drives out to a secluded vacation cottage to save Einar from himself, but what awaits him there is mystery and confusion.

SALYUT-7
Russia, 2017
World Premiere, 119 min
Director – Klim Shipenko
Based on a true story, SALYUT-7 is the little-known mission to dock with an unmanned space station in order to stop it from crashing into Earth, a feat never before attempted in space history.

THELMA
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 116 min
Director – Joachim Trier
A conservative young woman attending college in Oslo begins to fall in love while discovering her burgeoning supernatural powers in a stunning new film from Norway.

THOROUGHBRED
USA, 2017
Austin Premiere, 92 min
Director – Cory Finley
Two teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. In the process, they learn that neither is what she seems to be, and that a murder might solve both of their problems.

TIGERS ARE NOT AFRAID
Mexico, 2017
World Premiere, 83 min
Director – Issa López
When her mother suddenly disappears with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events in the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Lopez.

UNDER THE TREE
Iceland, Denmark, Poland, Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 89 min
Director – Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson
On the outskirts of Reykjavik, the shadow cast by a tree triggers a feud between two neighboring families, with tragic and darkly comic consequences.

V.I.P.
South Korea, 2017
International Premiere, 128 min
Director – Hoon-jung Park
A notorious serial killer who happens to be the son of a defecting DPRK official sends South Korea’s National Intelligence, police from both states and even international brass into a mad political scramble in this thrilling neo-noir.

VAMPIRE CLAY
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 80 min
Director – Soichi Umezawa
A class of art school hopefuls is stalked by blood-thirsty, flesh-hungry clay in this bizarre practical effects-heavy horror assault from THE ABCs OF DEATH 2 segment director and longtime special makeup effects artist Umezawa.

VIDAR THE VAMPIRE
Norway, 2017
Texas Premiere, 82 min
Directors – Thomas Aske Berg & Fredrik Waldeland
Christian farmer Vidar has a boring life, living with his mom and tending sheep. When he wishes for more excitement he wakes up undead, hangs out with vampire Jesus and discovers that sometimes the party can go on too long.

WHEELMAN
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 82 min
Director – Jeremy Rush
Frank Grillo (KINGDOM; CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR) stars as the wheelman, a getaway driver thrust into a high stakes race to survive after a bank robbery goes terribly wrong. With a car full of money and his family on the line, the clock is ticking to figure out who double-crossed him and the only person he can trust… his 14-year-old daughter. All reasons to think fast and drive faster.

WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO: THE BURDEN OF OTHER PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 23 min
Director – Don Hertzfeldt
The highly anticipated follow-up to Don Hertzfeldt’s Oscar-nominated WORLD OF TOMORROW finds Emily Prime swept into the brain of an incomplete backup clone of her future self, who’s on a mission to reboot her broken mind. Continuing the tradition of the first film, WORLD OF TOMORROW EPISODE TWO was written entirely around candid audio recordings of Hertzfeldt’s five-year-old niece.

2017 Fantastic Fest: Satellite offshoots added in New York, San Francisco, Denver

September 1, 2017

Fantastic Fest 2017 LOGO

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest is proud to announce the creation of a trio of ‘satellites’ hitting three flagship Alamo Drafthouse theater locations: New York, San Francisco and Denver. Spanning the weekend of September 29 to October 1, these satellites will share a highly-curated selection of Fantastic Fest’s signature programming with audiences who crave the best in adventurous genre cinema from across the world.

“For too long Austin has had all the Fantastic fun,” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director, Evrim Ersoy. “We’ve long wanted to share these brilliant films with the widest audience possible, by opening up these three satellites it’s our first step in expanding their exposure and having them embraced by new audiences.”

This year’s slate of satellite films share the the DNA and lineage of programming that has helped Fantastic Fest become the largest genre film festival in the U.S. and be dubbed “America’s wildest film festival” by The Guardian. Highlights include S. Craig Zahler’s Venice Festival debutante BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, Takashi Miike’s deliriously violent 100th film BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, MY FRIEND DAHMER, Marc Myers’ powerful adaptation of the celebrated graphic novel and a super secret, mystery movie courtesy of American Genre FIlm Archive that has to be seen to be believed.

Tickets for these shows will go on sale Wednesday September 7th at 1pm EST. A limited number of badges for the San Francisco Fantastic Fest will go on sale today at 12pm PST.

New York Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Blade of the Immortal
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
Top Knot Detective

San Francisco Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Mission
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Hagazussa
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
The Square
Top Knot Detective

Denver Fantastic Fest – Alamo Drafthouse Denver- Sloan Lake
AGFA Presents: Mystery Movie
Blade of the Immortal
Brawl In Cell Block 99
Hagazussa
Jailbreak
My Friend Dahmer
The Square
Top Knot Detective

2017 BFI London Film Festival: programming slate announced

August 31, 2017

2017 BFI London Film Festival logo

The following is a press release from the BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express® today announces its full programme, featuring a diverse selection of 242 feature films from both established and emerging talent. This 12 day celebration of cinema illustrates the richness of international filmmaking, with films to delight and entertain audiences, and also films that probe and interrogate issues of significance.

The Festival is the UK’s leading and most prestigious film festival, representing one of the first opportunities for audiences – both the UK public and film industry professionals – to see the very best new films from across the globe, alongside an events programme with some of the world’s most inspiring creative talents. This year, the Festival will host 28 World Premieres, 9 International Premieres and 34 European Premieres and will welcome a stellar line up of cast and crew for many of the films.’

The 242 feature programmes screening at the Festival include: 46 documentaries, 6 animations, 14 archive restorations and 16 artists’ moving image features. The programme also includes 128 short films, and 67 countries are represented across short film and features.
Each evening of the Festival sees a Headline Gala presentation at Odeon Leicester Square. Films in Official Competition and Strand Galas are once again presented at the 820-seat Embankment Garden Cinema following a successful inaugural year in 2016, with audiences and filmmakers alike praising its quality of cinema experience. This temporary venue, constructed to the highest technical specifications, brings the festival to even more people and connects screenings in the West End with the BFI’s home cinema at BFI Southbank.

Alongside the Galas, Special Presentations and films in Competitions, the Festival will show a thrilling range of new cinema in sections Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Experimenta and Family – which provide pathways for audiences to navigate the programme. In 2017, the LFF presents a new strand, Create, featuring films that celebrate artistic practice in all its channels and forms the electricity of the creative process, reflecting London’s position as one of the world’s leading creative cities.

Audiences have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s creative leaders through the Festival’s acclaimed talks’ series LFF Connects, which features artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries, and Screen Talks, a series of in-depth interviews with leaders in contemporary cinema. Participants this year include Julian Rosefeldt & Cate Blanchett, David Fincher, Demis Hassabis, Nitin Sawhney, Johan Knattrup Jensen, Ian McEwan and Takashi Miike.

As one of the few film festivals in the world to be staged in a production capital, the Festival takes its place as a jewel in the crown of London’s cultural calendar, channelling the excellence of one of the world’s most vibrant cultural cities, and highlighting the enormous wealth of talent working in film today, both behind and in front of the camera. Alongside the industry programme and Awards, the Festival proudly acts as a launch
pad for new as well as established voices, and supports filmmakers throughout their career aiming to interrogate how film and filmmaking reflects – and reflects on – our society.

The BFI London Film Festival each year provides a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas, with films stimulating debate and shining a light on pressing social and political issues. This year a number of ‘talking points’ ripple through the Festival programme, including:
• LBGT – In the year of the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, the Festival presents a powerful LGBT line-up.
• Immigration and Social Division – Two of the defining themes of our times are explored by filmmakers who are committed to telling powerful and complex stories about borders – both real and psychological.
• Black Star – Following the BFI’s landmark season celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors in film, recent world events give new urgency to questions of opportunity, and basic human rights.
• Visionaries – Cinema remains one of the most exhilaratingly kinetic and visually potent storytelling forms, and many filmmakers this year impress with the singularity and power of their vision, with keen imagination and dazzling style.
• Thrill – It’s a very strong year for global thrill seekers at the Festival, with a particularly strong showing from East Asia, which comes as the BFI embarks on the UK-wide season BFI Thriller, exploring how the genre reflects societal upheavals, fears and anxieties.
• Strong Women – The Festival continues to shine a light on strong women behind and in front of the camera. At this year’s Festival, 61 women directors are represented in the feature film selection, approximately 25% of the programme.
• Deafness and disability – Both feature with marked prominence in this year’s Festival programme, though the film industry still has a long way to go in terms of representation for disabled people. The Festival’s industry programme will include a partnership event on equality of opportunity and expression for deaf and disabled people working in film & television.
The Festival takes over screens at fifteen venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Vue Leicester Square and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Empire Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – Hackney Picturehouse , Rich Mix in Shoreditch and Curzon Chelsea. Special screenings will also be held at the National Gallery and the Barbican, and several key events will also be cinecasted to cinema venues around the UK.

“It is a delight to welcome some of the most thrilling storytellers from across the world to the Festival – we love to watch and engage with the extraordinary conversations that the Festival brings to our doorstep with every edition,” comments Amanda Nevill, Chief Executive, BFI. “London has a big heart and this year we are again reminded of the generosity and freedom of this awesome capital city of ours which so readily embraces this multiplicity of cultures and new voices. This creativity is reflected across the UK and the engine that is enabling filmmaking to thrive, supported by a favourable fiscal environment, outstanding skills and talent and ever expanding infrastructure and facilities.”

“In these globally tumultuous times, filmmakers around the world have increasingly urgent stories to tell and more reasons than ever to reimagine our reality,” comments Clare Stewart, Festival Director. “This year’s BFI London Film Festival programme is rich with opportunity – to stay informed, be challenged, feel the pleasure of escape and see the world differently.”
Whether it’s short films or documentaries, live action or animation, audiences should find a film to suit their passions – and with a range of ticket options, including family ticket prices and £5 rush tickets for under-25s, the Festival will bring the vibrancy of the world’s film industry to as many people as possible, offering an unparalleled experience to see the films that everyone will be talking for months.

GALAS

OPENING & CLOSING NIGHT GALAS

As previously announced, the Festival opens with the European Premiere of BREATHE, the directorial debut of Andy Serkis, on Wednesday 4 October. Adventurous and charismatic, Robin Cavendish (Andrew Garfield) has his whole life ahead of him when he is paralysed by polio whilst in Africa and given just months to live. Against all advice, Robin’s wife Diana (Claire Foy) brings him home from hospital where her devotion and witty determination inspire him to lead along and fulfilled life. Together they refuse to be limited by expectations, dazzling others with their humour, courage and lust for life. A live cinecast brings all of the excitement from Leicester Square to simultaneous screenings taking place at cinemas across the UK.

The Festival closes with Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI on Sunday 15 October, marking McDonagh’s return to the Festival following the presentation of Seven Pyschopaths (2012). THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is a darkly comic drama, which sees Mildred Hayes (Academy Award® winner Frances McDormand) take a stand against the town’s revered chief of police, William Willoughby (Academy Award® nominee Woody Harrelson) after months have passed without a culprit in her daughter’s murder case.

HEADLINE GALAS

The American Express Gala is the rousing BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Receiving its European Premiere, Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s film dramatises the build up to the 1973 tennis match between women’s world champion Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and ex-men’s-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell). Billed ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in the wake of the sexual revolution and the rise of the women’s movement, the match became one of the most watched televised sports events of all time, reaching 90 million viewers around the world.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME features as the Mayor of London’s Gala. Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash LFF 2015) returns to the Festival with this adaptation of André Aciman’s coming-of-age novel – a sun-kissed, cinematic ode to the ecstasy and exquisite pain of first love, starring Timothée Chalamet as Elio, a musically gifted 17-year-old whose idyllic summer break takes a tumultuous turn when Oliver (Armie Hammer) arrives to stay at the family palazzo.

The BFI Patrons’ Gala, DOWNSIZING, is a wildly inventive and satirical film from Alexander Payne (Nebraska, LFF 2014) which puts climate change, mobility and immigration under the microscope. After Norwegian scientists discover a method for shrinking people to pocket-size as part of a grand design to limit humanity’s footprint, a thriving parallel ‘small’ society emerges. Ordinary, work-a-day Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) wants to scale-up his options by sizing-down, but things begin to go awry when his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) gets cold feet.

The May Fair Hotel Gala is the European Premiere of FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, in which Annette Bening and Jamie Bell vividly bring to the screen the intense romance between Academy Award®-winning star of The Big Heat and In a Lonely Place, Gloria Grahame and her much younger lover. The film is directed by Paul McGuigan and produced by Colin Vaines and Barbara Broccoli.

Director Saul Dibb brings R C Sheriff’s classic play JOURNEY’S END to the big screen with shattering potency. When C Company, led by Captain Stanhope (Sam Claflin) is about to take its posting on the front line during the First World War, with munitions and morale depleted each man’s character is laid bare. The film receives its European Premiere at the LFF.
Yorgos Lanthimos follow-ups The Lobster (LFF 2015), with Headline Gala THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER. Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman star in a deliciously twisted and slyly macabre morality tale which interlaces elements of Greek tragedy, surrealism and absurdist horror.

Richard Linklater returns to the Festival with the International Premiere of LAST FLAG FLYING, a tribute and sequel to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail. Both droll road movie and a meditation on the futility of war, the film stars Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne as an endearingly shambolic threesome of veterans reunited by one man’s tragedy.

MUDBOUND is Dees Rees’ triumphant return to the Festival after Pariah (LFF 2011). Receiving its European Premiere as the Royal Bank of Canada Gala, her majestic epic examines the histories of two families in the Deep South, charting how the unlikely friendship of two Second World War veterans ignites racial tension.

Exuberantly drawing on classic 1950s sci-fi B-movies and the on-going fascination with Area 51 conspiracy theories, the American Airlines Gala THE SHAPE OF WATER, is an old-school tale of the inexplicable and pure cinematic joy from Guillermo del Toro, featuring a wonderful central performance from Sally Hawkins.
Former Best Film and Sutherland Winner, Lynne Ramsay returns to the Festival with Headline Gala YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE, a stark inversion of the noir thriller. This devastatingly brutal portrayal of one man’s battle with repression and abuse is anchored by a rage-fuelled, Cannes-winning performance from Joaquin Phoenix.

STRAND AND FESTIVAL GALAS

The Festival Gala, in association with Time Out, features Sean Baker’s magical, magnificent and madcap follow up to Tangerine (LFF 2015), THE FLORIDA PROJECT, an instant classic about childhood innocence set against the backdrop of America’s failed economy.
More about Strand Galas can be found in each of the sections below but in 2017, they are: the Dare Gala, François Ozon’s AMANT DOUBLE; the Family Gala, Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert’s THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES; the Thrill Gala, Takashi Miike’s BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL; the Debate Gala, Samuel Maoz’s FOXTROT; the Laugh Gala in association with Empire, Noah Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED); the Love Gala, Dominic Cooke’s ON CHESIL BEACH; the Create Gala, Michel Hazanavicius’ REDOUBTABLE; the Archive Gala, SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA; the Cult Gala, Joachim Trier’s THELMA and the Journey Gala, Todd Haynes’ WONDERSTRUCK.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Eight Special Presentations shine the spotlight on new work from major directors. The European Premiere of DARK RIVER is Clio Barnard’s searing, eloquent response to Rose Tremain’s novel Trespass in which two siblings struggle to come to terms with their inheritance following the death of their father. With HAPPY END, Michael Haneke ingeniously reworks and updates the enduringly relevant themes of all his previous films in one brief, brilliant, sometimes slyly satirical gem, whilst Sally Potter’s THE PARTY brings together a brilliant ensemble cast for a supremely entertaining satire on Britain’s political elite. Lucretia Martel makes an eagerly awaited follow up to 2008’s The Headless Woman with ZAMA, presented in association with Sight & Sound, a film charting the epic decline of an 18th century colonial empire ruled over by a distant Spain.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, the BFI Flare Special Presentation returns with A FANTASTIC WOMAN, Sebastián Lelio’s brilliant and avowedly queer drama about a transwoman navigating the death of her lover. The Documentary Special Presentation is the European Premiere of THE FINAL YEAR, recounting the final, momentous year of the Obama administration with extraordinary intimacy by Greg Barker, whose Manhunt screened in the LFF 2013 Documentary Competition, whilst the Experimenta Special Presentation, LOOKING FOR OUM KULTHUM sees the return of Iranian artist Shirin Neshat with a film-within-a-film about one of the Arab world’s greatest ever female vocalists. Finally, 2017 sees the first LFF Connects Special Presentation with the European Premiere of the first two episodes of MINDHUNTER, David Fincher’s sharply scripted Zodiac-style procedural, based on the men who first coined the phrase ‘serial killer’.

Key filmmaking talent due to attend the Festival’s gala and special presentation screenings include:
Andy Serkis, Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Martin McDonagh, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton, Emma Stone, Andrea Riseborough, Elisabeth Shue, Luca Guadagnino, Timothée Chalamet, Paul McGuigan, Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Saul Dibb, Sam Claflin, Asa Butterfield, Toby Jones, Stephen Graham, Yorgos Lanthimos, Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Barry Keoghan, Richard Linklater, Bryan Cranston, Dee Rees, Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Guillermo del Toro, Lynne Ramsay, Joaquin Phoenix, François Ozon, Patrick Imbert, Takashi Miike, Sean Baker, Brooklynn Kimberly Prince, Valeria Cotto, Bria Vinaite, Samuel Maoz, Noah Baumbach, Emma Thompson, Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Michel Hazanavicius, Louis Garrel, Stacy Martin, Bérénice Bejo, Joachim Trier, Todd Haynes, Oakes Fegley, Jaden Michael, Clio Barnard, Daniela Vega, Greg Barker, Shirin Neshat, David Fincher, Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallanay, Sally Potter, Bruno Ganz, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Lucrecia Martel.

AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS

The BFI London Film Festival Awards celebrate the highest creative achievements of British and international filmmakers showcased in our Competitive sections, applauding extraordinary storytelling and inventive filmmaking across all the categories. The winners in each competition are selected by festival juries and announced at the LFF Awards, a high profile awards dinner held at Banqueting House on Saturday 14 October.

The Best Film Award is presented to the winner of the Official Competition; the Sutherland Award is presented to the winner of the First Feature Competition and the Grierson Award is presented to the winning film in the Documentary Competition. Each section is open to International and British films. The Jury for each category will be announced ahead of the opening of the Festival. Paul Greengrass will be presented with the BFI Fellowship award at this year’s Awards ceremony.

OFFICIAL COMPETITION

The Official Competition, recognising inspiring, inventive and distinctive filmmaking, includes the following shortlisted titles:
 Robin Campillo, 120 BPM (BEATS PER MINUTE)
 Vivian Qu, ANGELS WEAR WHITE
 Majid Majidi, BEYOND THE CLOUDS (World Premiere)
 Nora Twomey, THE BREADWINNER (European Premiere)
 Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, GOOD MANNERS
 Xavier Beauvois, THE GUARDIANS (European Premiere)
 Andrew Haigh, LEAN ON PETE
 Andrey Zvyagintsev, LOVELESS
 Azazel Jacobs, THE LOVERS (European Premiere)
 Warwick Thornton, SWEET COUNTRY
 Cory Finley, THOROUGHBRED (International Premiere)
 Annemarie Jacir, WAJIB
FIRST FEATURE COMPETITION
Titles in consideration for the Sutherland Award in the First Feature Competition recognising an original and imaginative directorial debut are:
 Daniel Kokotajlo, APOSTASY
 Léa Mysius, AVA
 Michael Pearce, BEAST (European Premiere)
 Ofir Raul Graizer, THE CAKEMAKER
 Gilles Coulier, CARGO
 Kogonada, COLUMBUS
 Rungano Nyoni, I AM NOT A WITCH
 Léonor Serraille, JEUNE FEMME
 Ana Asensio, MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND
 Carla Simón, SUMMER 1993
 Hlynur Pálmason, WINTER BROTHERS
 John Trengove, THE WOUND
DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
The Grierson Award in the Documentary Competition category recognises cinematic documentaries with integrity, originality, and social or cultural significance. This year the Festival is screening:
 Maryam Goormaghtigh, BEFORE SUMMER ENDS
 Elvira Lind, BOBBI JENE
 Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Behrouz Boochani, CHAUKA, PLEASE TELL US THE TIME (International Premiere)
 Radu Jude, THE DEAD NATION
 Shevaun Mizrahi, DISTANT CONSTELLATION
 Frederick Wiseman, EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
 Agnès Varda, JR, FACES PLACES
 Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, GRAY HOUSE
 Brett Morgen, JANE (European Premiere)
 Lucy Cohen, KINGDOM OF US (World Premiere)
 Emmanuel Gras, MAKALA
 Sonia Kronlund, THE PRINCE OF NOTHINGWOOD

SHORT FILM AWARD

The Short Film Award recognises short form works with a unique cinematic voice and a confident handling of chosen theme and content. This year the Festival is screening:
 Gabriel Abrantes, THE ARTIFICIAL HUMORS
 Phil Collins, DELETE BEACH
 Billie Pleffer, FYSH (International Premiere)
 Anna Cazenave Cambet, GABBER LOVER
 Karishma Dube, GODDESS
 Aegina Brahim, LAWS OF THE GAME
 Jonathan Vinel, MARTIN CRIES
 Patrick Bresnan THE RABBIT HUNT
 Moin Hussain, REAL GODS REQUIRE BLOOD
 Kibwe Tavares, ROBOT & SCARECROW
 Kazik Radwanski, SCAFFOLD
 Harry Lighton, WREN BOYS (World Premiere)
Additional filmmaking talent attending for feature films in competition include:
Robin Campillo, Vivian Qu, Majid Majidi, Nora Twomey, Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra, Xavier Beauvois, Laura Smet, Andrew Haigh, Charlie Plummer, Andrey Zvyagintsev, Azazel Jacobs, Warwick Thornton, Cory Finley, Annemarie Jacir, Daniel Kokotajlo, Michael Pearce, Ofir Raul Graizer, Gilles Coulier, Rungano Nyoni, Léonor Sérraille, Laetitia Dosch, Ana Asensio, Carla Simón, Hlynur Pálmason, John Trengove, Maryam Goormaghtigh,
Elvira Lind, Arash Kamali Sarvestani, Radu Jude, Shevaun Mizrahi, Frederick Wiseman, Austin Lynch, Matthew Booth, Brett Morgen, Emmanuel Gras, Sonia Kronlund.
The Festival will announce its complete guest line up for all sections in early October.

STRANDS

The Festival programme is organised in sections to encourage discovery and to open up the Festival to new audiences. The strands are: Love, Debate, Laugh, Dare, Thrill, Cult, Journey, Create, Family, Treasures and Experimenta.

LOVE

Sweet, passionate, tough – Love is a complex and many-splendoured thing and this selection charts the highs and lows of many kinds of love from around the globe. The Love Gala is the European Premiere of Dominic Cooke’s quietly heart-breaking film debut ON CHESIL BEACH. Saoirse Ronan and rising actor Billy Howle star as a young couple in the early 1960s struggling to physically connect on their honeymoon, impeccably adapted for the big screen by Ian McEwan from his own Man Booker-shortlisted novela.
Oher highlights in this section include: CLOSE-KNIT, Naoko Ogigami’s quietly subversive and emotionally rich portrait of a transwoman whose maternal feelings are stirred by the arrival of her boyfriend’s 11-year-old niece; THE GROWN-UPS, Maïte Alberdi’s tender and bittersweet documentary portrait of Chileans Anita and Andres, who have Down’s syndrome and are very much in love; the World Premiere of Carlos Marques-Marcet’s ANCHOR AND HOPE, a London-set story about modern love and family featuring Oona Chaplin; John Cameron Mitchell’s cosmic ride HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES, sees aliens have landed in 1970s Croydon in a funny, energetic love story starring Elle Fanning, Alex Sharp and Nicole Kidman; the World Premiere of JOURNEYMAN, features Paddy Considine following up his acclaimed debut Tyrannosaur with the story of a boxer who must rebuild his life after a near-fatal injury; GOING WEST, a World Premiere from Norwegian newcomer Henrik Martin Dahlsbakken who delivers a sweetly delicious road movie; LET THE SUNSHINE IN, Claire Denis’ darkly witty drama starring Juliette Binoche as an artist caught up in a series of unsatisfying affairs, and David Gordon Green’s rousing yet devastating true-story drama STRONGER featuring a remarkable performance by Jake Gyllenhaal as a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing.

DEBATE

Representing films that amplify, scrutinize, argue and surprise, Debate inspires riveting conversation, which is never more engaging than when the world outside the cinema is reflected back at us. This year’s Debate Gala is Samuel Maoz’s FOXTROT, a film that combines thrilling cinematography with superb performances, and highlights the absurdities of conscripted service.
Debate also includes: BIRDS ARE SINGING IN KIGALI, Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze’s hard-hitting drama about the intertwined lives of two refugee survivors reeling from the impact of the Rwandan genocide and containing powerful central performances; the World Premiere of THE CLIMB, Michael Woodward’s debut documentary that charts Greenpeace’s daring all-female team that illegally ascended The Shard in protest against petroleum giant Shell’s plans to dig for oil in the Arctic; the World Premiere of THE FORGIVEN, Roland Joffé’s political drama starring Forest Whitaker as Desmond Tutu and Eric Bana as Piet Blomfeld, asking how far we can go in forgiving past crimes; the World Premiere of ISLAND, Steven Eastwood’s haunting and deeply moving documentary combining observational footage with contemplative shots of the costal landscapes of the Isle of Wight, and set among terminally ill cancer patients, and THE VENERABLE W., Barbet Schroeder’s disturbingly illuminating portrait of Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, who was known for espousing anti-Muslim hatred.

LAUGH

From laugh-out-loud comedy, to dry and understated, Laugh celebrates humour in all its forms. This year’s Laugh Gala, in association with Empire magazine, is Noah Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND
SELECTED). A stellar cast give uniformly excellent performances, including Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Elizabeth Marvel and Emma Thompson. Through the madcap antics of a neurotic, failure-obsessed clan, Baumbach surfaces bigger questions about how to value family and the meaning of success.
Laugh also includes: the World Premiere of Adrian Shergold’s FUNNY COW, which contains a formidable performance from Maxine Peake as an aspiring stand-up comic confronting her violent husband and the sexist Northern England club circuit; INGRID GOES WEST, Matt Spicer’s jet-black stalker comedy brilliantly skewers dangerous obsession and the sham of Instagrammed perfection with wicked and fearless performances from Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza; joy and grace flow out of Dustin Guy Defa’s observational comedy drama PERSON TO PERSON, starring Michael Cera as a reporter keen on quoting (his own) heavy metal lyrics; Daan Bakker’s QUALITY TIME is perfect for lovers of experimental and irreverent cinema offering a portmanteau selection of stories of male arrested development; and Henrik Ruben Genz’s WORD OF GOD is set months after the Chernobyl disaster and provides dark and dirty humour where pretty much nothing is off limits.

DARE

In your face, up-front and arresting, films in Dare take you out of, and beyond, your comfort zone. The Dare Gala is François Ozon’s frisky new thriller, AMANT DOUBLE, a deliciously duplicitous tale of psychoanalysis and seduction that channels the spirits of Hitchcock and De Palma at their naughtiest and stars Jérémie Renier, Marine Vacth and Jacqueline Bisset.
Other highlights in the strand include: Eliza Hittman’s BEACH RATS, a gripping investigation of repressed sexual desire in a hyper-masculine environment; Jon Garaño and Aitor Arregi’s touching drama GIANT, set in 19th century Spain and based on the true story of Mikel Jokin Eleizegi, allegedly the tallest man of his time; Semih Kaplanoğlu’s spellbinding dystopian sci-fi, GRAIN in which climate change has caused the near-extinction of human life; Liu Jian’s adult animé HAVE A NICE DAY, a biting, bone-dry satire on contemporary Chinese social mores and featuring plenty of bloodthirsty Tarantino-esque genre thrills; the European Premiere of Bornila Chatterjee’s THE HUNGRY, which reworks Shakespeare’s bloody Titus Andronicus into a macabre modern tragedy set in Northern India; Barbara Albert’s resplendent drama MADEMOISELLE PARADIS, based on the true story of Maria Theresia ‘Resi’ von Paradis, a gifted blind musician and contemporary of Mozart, paraded through Vienna’s courts to perform; Jean Libon and Yves Hinant’s jaw-dropping and extraordinary documentary SO HELP ME GOD, which details the work of an unorthodox Belgian judge Anne Gruwez as she tackles gruesome crimes, domestic violence and other sordid cases; and WESTERN, director Valeska Grisebach’s contemporary western in which tensions mount between German construction workers and Bulgarian villagers in a small rural town.

THRILL

Thrill features nerve-shredders that’ll get your adrenaline pumping and will keep you on the edge of your seat. This year’s Thrill Gala is Takashi Miike’s savage and inventive action thriller, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL, based on the famous manga series by Hiroaki Samurai about a samurai cursed with immortal life and has the distinction of being Miike’s 100th feature film.
Thrill also features: the European Premiere of Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Thai teen thriller BAD GENIUS, in which young brainiac Lynn uses a very special set of skills to cheat on behalf of her classmates in the high-stakes world of entrance exams for elite international universities; the European Premiere of Anurag Kashyap’s THE BRAWLER in which a young and talented Indian boxer dreams of being champion, but is knocked sideways when he falls for the niece of the man blocking his road to success; Aaron Katz’s GEMINI in which a heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant, Jill played by Lola Kirke and her Hollywood movie star boss Heather played by Zoë Kravitz; the Safdie brothers’ latest film GOOD TIME features Robert Pattinson as a small-time New York criminal, who after a bank robbery goes seriously wrong, devises a plan to spring his injured accomplice from police custody; Jennifer Peedom’s spectacular documentary MOUNTAIN, is a mind-blowing symphony of images and sound chronicling the powerful attraction mountains hold over us; love, crime and action combine in a taut and twisty thriller-cum-romance in Michaël R. Roskam’s RACER AND THE JAILBIRD starring Adèle Exarchopoulos as Bibi, a young racing driver
and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gigi the Jailbird, a dashing playboy with, it seems, time and money to burn; Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms’ blackly comic, crime noir, SMALL TOWN CRIME (European Premiere) stars John Hawkes as alcoholic former cop Mike, channelling a drunk Columbo who embarks on his own unofficial crime investigation while Octavia Spencer plays his supportive sister Kelly who is starting to lose patience with Mike’s lying, drifting and drinking; and the International Premiere of Xin Yukun’s sophisticated arthouse thriller, WRATH OF SILENCE featuring martial arts maestro Song Yang, as a mute bruiser who returns to his home, a remote farming village, following the disappearance of his son. With tight plotting, memorable characters and an unforgettable climax, director Xin Yukun establishes himself as a new international filmmaker you need to know.

CULT

From the mind-altering and unclassifiable to fantasy, sci-fi and horror, in the Cult strand, the dark side is welcomed. The Cult Gala is Joachim Trier’s subtle shocker THELMA, a supernaturally-tinged tale of a young woman’s macabre coming of age.
Other titles in the strand include: S. Craig Zahler’s genre-bending, bone-crunching exercise in slow-burn suspense, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, starring Vince Vaughn as a former boxer-turned mechanic involved in a drug deal that goes wrong that sees him behind bars; the walking dead get a second chance at life in David Freyne’s debut THE CURED starring Ellen Page in an inventive and surprising post-zombie era drama where a cure has been found for the infected and the rehabilitated are transitioned back into society; the World Premiere of Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s GHOST STORIES in which they bring their hit London stage play to the big screen, with suitably chilling results. Nyman plays Phillip Goodman, an academic and professional sceptic out to debunk claims of the supernatural , but when he stumbles across a long lost file containing three unsolved cases of the Occult, his whole belief system – not to mention his sanity – is thrown into question; LET THE CORPSES TAN is directing duo Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s influential 1971 crime novel and the result is a sun-drenched Western-tinged, crime-caper; MY FRIEND DAHMER is director Marc Meyers’ adaptation of John Backderf’s revered graphic novel and is an unnerving portrait of one of America’s most prolific murderers, Jeffrey Dahmer; and Paco Plaza’s much-anticipated new horror film, VERONICA, inspired by an actual unsolved case in Spain and a no-holds-barred supernatural shocker.

JOURNEY

Whether it’s the journey or the destination, these films will transport you and shift your perspective. This year’s Journey Gala is Todd Haynes’ new film WONDERSTRUCK, an enthralling adaptation of Brian Selznick’s acclaimed young adult novel. Featuring Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams in supporting roles alongside a gifted young cast, Oakes Fegley and newcomer Millicent Simmonds, a deaf actress making her film debut, it is both a whimsical children’s film for adults and a refreshingly grown-up film for children.
Other Journey titles include: Arshad Khan’s ABU, a compelling documentary about a young Pakistani man’s difficulties in coping with migration and the resultant cultural change, his emerging sexuality and an increasingly orthodox father; Iraqi filmmaker Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji’s THE JOURNEY, a taut, thought-provoking thriller that tackles what might just be the final moments of a potential suicide bomber’s life; David Batty’s stylish documentary MY GENERATION, presented and narrated by Michael Caine, playfully explores the impact of Britain’s working class cultural revolution in the 1960s and features a wealth of archive footage and a spot-on soundtrack from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who, which makes for an exhilarating journey back in time; the European Premiere of Egyptian director Amr Salama’s SHEIKH JACKSON, a bittersweet and poignant tale of an Islamist preacher experiencing a crisis of faith following the death of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson; Marc J. Francis and Max Pugh’s fascinating and immersive exploration of mindfulness, WALK WITH ME, featuring narration by Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the daily rituals and routine of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and offers a rare insight into life within a monastic community; and the World Premiere of THE WHITE GIRL, where debut director Jenny Suen collaborates with legendary cinematographer Christopher Doyle on an intoxicating and textually rich film.

CREATE

The brand new Create strand channels the electricity of the act of creation, celebrating artistic expression in all its forms. The inaugural Create Gala is Michel Hazanavicius’ REDOUBTABLE, an audacious, multi-layered biopic of French cinema’s most notorious director, Jean-Luc Godard.
Also in Create: Greg Kohs’ ALPHAGO the story of how Google’s DeepMind team took on Go world champion Lee Sedol, posing questions about whether computers can think creatively and whether there is an algorithm for intuition; the World Premiere of THE BALLAD OF SHIRLEY COLLINS, Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s portrait of one of the great British folks singers who mysteriously lost her voice in 1980; G-FUNK tells the story of how three childhood friends from East Long Beach Warren G, Snoop Dogg and the late great Nate Dogg, transformed hip-hop into a global phenomenon and changed the world; the World Premiere of William Badgely’s HERE TO BE HEARD: THE STORY OF THE SLITS is a riveting film about the game-changing and largely female feminist punk band; Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman’s LOVING VINCENT is a stunning, fully painted animated feature created in the style of Van Gogh’s paintings matching extraordinary style with richly satisfying storytelling, broadcast live from the National Gallery to cinemas nationwide; and Julian Rosefeldt’s MANIFESTO starring Cate Blanchett as thirteen different characters in this energetic tribute to artistic troublemakers.

FAMILY

Showcasing films for the young, as well as the young at heart, this year’s Family section is, as always, an international affair. The Family Gala is THE BIG BAD FOX AND OTHER TALES, an outstanding, laugh-a-minute animation from Benjamin Renner and Patrick Imbert, the team behind Ernest & Celestine (LFF 2012, Family Gala) and is guaranteed to appeal to adults as much as it will to children.
Other highlights include Chang-yong Moon and Jin Jeon’s beautifully made documentary BECOMING WHO I WAS about a young monk Padma Angdu, who is said to be the latest incarnation of a religious teacher, known as a Rinpoche, and his attempts to reach the home he had in a former life; Xuan Liang and Chun Zhang’s visually breath-taking Chinese animated fantasy, BIG FISH & BEGONIA is as near to the best of Studio Ghibli as you’re likely to find anywhere; Meikeminne Clinckspoor’s family adventure CLOUDBOY is about 12-year-old Niilas who is sent away against his wishes to spend the summer with his estranged mother in Swedish Lapland, among the indigenous reindeer herding Sami people; and winner of the top prize at this year’s Annecy Animation Film Festival, Masaaki Yuasa’s anime LU OVER THE WALL brings human and merfolk together with surprising outcomes. This funky, upbeat tale is full of energy, features cute ‘merdogs’, musical mermaids and a giant humanoid shark and has a really cool soundtrack.
This section also includes a programme of animated shorts for younger audiences which bring together eclectic, exciting and colourful films from all around the globe.

TREASURES

Integrated into our strands, our Treasures selection brings recently restored cinematic classics from archives around the world to the Festival in London. The Archive Gala is the World Premiere of the BFI National Archive restoration of the silent film SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA (1928), a ravishing, romantic tale based on the story of the 17th century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, his queen and the building of the world’s most beautiful monument to love, the Taj Mahal. Directed by Franz Osten, based on a play by Niranjan Pal and starring and produced by Himansu Rai, the film was shot entirely in India and performed by an all-Indian cast. A new score commissioned by the BFI from world-renowned sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar will be performed live with an ensemble of musicians playing Indian and western instruments. The restoration and new score are part of the BFI’s contribution to the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.
Other highlights include the World Premieres of the 4K restoration by Sony Pictures Entertainment of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946); the digitally remastered experimental documentary FRANTZ FANON: BLACK SKIN WHITE MASK (1996), directed by artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien, as well as the new 4K restoration, by The BFI National Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation, of Terry Gilliam’s first feature as a solo director, JABBERWOCKY (1977). The Festival will also screen the 4K restoration of Toshio Matsumoto’s
FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (1969), a wild, kaleidoscopic vision of the underground scene in 1960s Japan and a significant influence on Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and Italian genre-master Dario Argento’s eye-popping slice of technicolour terror, SUSPIRIA (1977) with stunning 4K restoration.

EXPERIMENTA

Experimenta, in association with Lux, features films and videos by artists who transform our experience of seeing moving images. Arts Council England are also generously supporting the Experimenta programme.
Highlights include: the World Premiere of Benedict Seymour’s DEAD THE ENDS, a politically urgent retelling of Chris Marker’s La Jetée bookended by the 2011 London riots; ERASE AND FORGET, Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s film is an excavation of the influence of fiction on truth in the American imagination of warfare and gun culture; the World Premiere of LEK AND THE DOGS, Andrew Kötting’s account of the ultimate outsider uses a range of visual styles derived from avant garde and genre cinema, and Kevin Jerome Everson’s TONSLER PARK uses an unobtrusive observational style to divulge the mechanisms behind the operation of Election Day at polling stations in Charlottesville, Virginia.

SHORTS

The eclectic range of shorts this year will make audiences experience a range of emotions from euphoria to sadness as they cover all the different strands in the programme.
Like A Heartbeat Drives You Mad (LOVE Strand) brings together stories of disapproving parents, difficult love and traumatic break-ups in this selection of films from all over the world, including Daisy Jacob’s THE FULL STORY, an animation about a father’s affair, family break-up and sibling rivalry.
Distilled Identities (DEBATE Strand) explores stories that question identity and belonging, including Kazik Radwanski’s SCAFFOLD, depicting the daily interactions of two Bosnian-Canadian builders reminiscing about home as they make repairs.
There is dark, dry and witty on-screen humour in short form with Gits and Shiggles (LAUGH Strand), including Kate Herron’s SMEAR, in which the awkward reality of a first-time smear test is made funny by one woman’s crushing femininity.
My Loneliness is Killing Me (DARE Strand) presents a selection of films asking existential questions about our place in the world at a time when we are more connected than ever, including SALT & SAUCE by Alia Ghafar, a film about battered sausages and trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing with your life.
The Thrill of the Chase (THRILL Strand) provides an adrenaline shot to put us on the edge of our seats. In OKSIJAN by Edward Watts, the true story of a seven-year old Afghan boy who finds himself trapped in a refrigerated truck with 14 other refugees as they are smuggled into the UK. In 1745 by Gordon Napier, two slave sisters escape into the Scottish wilderness in the year of the Jacobite rising.
There are alternative fictions and skewed realities in Strange World (CULT Strand), including Seth Ickerman’s TURBO KILLER, a sci-fi take on The Fast and the Furious and Kitty Faingold’s BODY WORLD, in which a fully grown new born woman is birthed into a hazy summer’s garden.
Heading for that Adult Crash (JOURNEY Strand) explores the stressful journey from childhood to adulthood, including Aneil Karia’s WORK about a 17 year old dancer attempting to contain her growing contempt towards an unjust world, and Patrick Bresnan’s THE RABBIT HUNT, in which an initiation rite is performed on boys on the cusp of manhood in Pahokee, Florida.
London Calling (JOURNEY Strand) spotlights some of the capital’s most exciting upcoming filmmakers including SAMIRA’S PARTY by Bijan Sheibani, in which the bonds between 14-year old Samad and his mum are put to the test on a trip to the supermarket, and FIGHTER by Bugsy Riverbank Steel, about a boxer with Down’s syndrome who fights for his right to get in the ring in the tense minutes before a boxing match.
Hoping. Fearing. Dreaming (CREATE Strand) examines lives yet to be lived including DELETE BEACH, a collaboration between Turner Prize-nominated Phil Collins and leading animation Studio 4°C.

LFF CONNECTS & SCREEEN TALKS

The acclaimed LFF Connects series returns with a programme of agenda-setting talks from the world’s leading artists and thinkers who are working at the intersection of film and other creative industries, while the Festival’s acclaimed Screen Talks series will welcome some of the most exciting international actors and directors in contemporary cinema to discuss their body of work.

LFF CONNECTS: JULIAN ROSEFELDT & CATE BLANCHETT

Artist Julian Rosefeldt is renowned for his visually opulent and meticulously choreographed moving image artworks. Inspired equally by art, film, architecture and the history of popular culture, he creates complex multi-screen installations that carry viewers into surreal, theatrical realms. Here he is joined by BFI Fellow Cate Blanchett to discuss their collaboration on the critically acclaimed, 13-channel video installation MANIFESTO (in the Festival’s Create strand), a deconstruction of art manifestos and a call for original thought, which has been adapted and reassembled as a 90-minute feature and receives its European Film Premiere at the Festival (Fri 6th October, NFT1).

LFF CONNECTS: NITIN SAWHNEY

Nitin Sawhney is firmly established as a world-class multi-hyphenate artist – producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ. He has composed for multiple forms, from film and videogames to dance and theatre. Highly prolific, his collaborations include some of the world’s leading orchestras and songwriters, including Paul McCartney, The London Symphony Orchestra, A R Rahman, Brian Eno, Sinéad O’Connor, Anoushka Shankar, Cirque Du Soleil and Akram Khan. Having composed the score for the Festival’s Opening Night Gala film BREATHE, he is currently collaborating with that film’s director Andy Serkis on the upcoming Jungle Book. (Sat 7th October, Vue7).

LFF CONNECTS: IAN MCEWAN

One of the greatest modern British writers, Ian McEwan made a name for himself writing dark and gripping novels, often notorious for their extreme themes. His work has also explored the impact of unusual situations on ordinary people and examined how social and political issues determine personal lives. With his latest adaptation ON CHESIL BEACH as this year’s Love Gala, we’re delighted to have McEwan join us to discuss the different disciplines of writing for the page and the screen and explore why his fiction continues to have such enduring appeal for big screen storytellers (Sun 8th October, Curzon Soho).

LFF CONNECTS: JOHAN KNATTRUP JENSEN

Based in Copenhagen, the progressive production studio Makropol strives to create transforming stories with tools from the new digital age. Their credo is: art can drive innovation and innovation can be art. Makropol employ virtual- reality technology to test the boundaries of film narrative. Building on traditional visual storytelling, they introduce new opportunities for audiences to interact with plotlines and characters, and one another. Johan Knattrup Jensen graduated from the progressive alternative film school Super16 in 2012 and is considered to be among the pioneers of cinematic virtual reality. Here, he leads a masterclass on Makropol’s most significant virtual reality projects, highlighting the discoveries and detailing the challenges that have determined their approach to cinema (Tues 10th October, NFT3).

LFF CONNECTS: DAVID FINCHER

One of the most revered filmmakers of a generation, Fincher began his career making pop promos with some of the world’s most influential artists, from Madonna to Michael Jackson. He has also directed a series of iconic ad campaigns for major international brands. As a feature filmmaker he has few peers, with a back catalogue including Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. MINDHUNTER (this year’s LFF Connects Special Presentation) marks Fincher’s return to the small screen after overseeing House of Cards for Netflix. Fincher returns to the BFI London Film Festival to discuss MINDHUNTER in the context of his career and the recent boom in long-form episodic drama (Tue 10th October, NFT1).

LFF CONNECTS: DEMIS HASSABIS

Demis Hassabis, the co-founder of renowned artificial intelligence (AI) lab DeepMind, is recognised as one of the world’s smartest thinkers in his field. DeepMind is on a scientific mission to push the boundaries of AI, developing programs that can learn to solve any complex problem. Greg Kohl’s documentary AlphaGo (in the LFF Create strand), details how DeepMind’s AlphaGo algorithm beat a world champion at the notoriously difficult Chinese board game Go. Demis Hassabis will discuss his journey from junior chess champion and videogame creator to world-renowned AI pioneer. He will also talk about the Go challenge and speculate on how AI will shape the future (Wed 11th October, NFT3).

LFF SCREEN TALK: TAKASHI MIIKE

The revered Japanese director achieved global prominence with his astonishingly graphic films Audition and Ichi the Killer in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now with a hundred films under his belt, the prolific filmmaker has defied all attempts to pigeon-hole him as a niche director, being both a big-budget hit-maker and film festival darling. Best known for over-the-top violence and gore, his films cover the gamut of genres and styles including light-hearted children’s films (Zebraman and The Great Yokai War) period pieces (Sabu) subdued road movies (The Bird People in China) and farcical musical-comedy-horror films (The Happiness of the Katakuris). He joins us to talk about his life in film on the occasion of his 100th movie, which the Festival presents as this year’s Thrill Gala, the blood-drenched supernatural samurai BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL.
(Mon October 9th, Curzon Soho)

INDUSTRY & EDUCATION

The Festival offers a full benefits package for Industry delegates. This year’s industry programme, supported by the Mayor of London, via Film London, includes the LFF Connects strand which celebrates artists working at the intersection of film and other creative industries; the talent development programme NET.WORK@LFF; Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow 2017 and a host of other panels, talks and networking events.
This year’s Festival marks the second year of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award in association with the BFI. At £50,000, the Bursary is the most significant of its kind in the UK film industry, supporting exceptional new and emerging writers, directors and writer/directors resident in the UK, and premiering their first or second feature in Official Selection at the BFI London Film Festival. The full industry programme will be announced in September.
The Festival again hosts Press and Industry screenings at Picturehouse Central, the Digital Viewing Library, a host of delegate hubs, discounts at partner venues and numerous networking opportunities with delegates and filmmakers. Visit www.bfi.org.uk/lff/professional-delegates for further details.

The BFI London Film Festival Education programme is supported by funding contributors The Film Music Foundation and BFI Film Academy, and event partners Into Film, London Music Masters and no.w.here. It includes a diverse range of morning screenings of films selected from the festival programme and special events for schools, students and young people, all featuring a wide range of film industry professionals, as well as the opportunity to take part in one of our three Young Juries for students, secondary and primary schools. For students in Higher Education, the Festival also offers a Student Accreditation scheme and the Film School Programme presented in partnership with the National Film & Television School, London Film Academy, London Film School and Birkbeck College.

BFI PLAYER

The BFI London Film Festival experience can be enjoyed UK-wide on BFI Player, the BFI’s VOD service, featuring a Festival digital channel showing regular red carpet action and film maker interviews. BFI London Film Festival content will be a key attraction in the range of services on BFI Player – at player.bfi.org.uk/

BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL: AT A GLANCE

The 61st BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express®
4 – 15 October 2017
Tickets on sale:
 BFI Members: 10:00am 7 September
 Amex priority booking opens at 10.00am, 12 September
 General sale: 10:00am 14 September
For tickets, visit: www.bfi.org.uk/lff
Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
In person: BFI Southbank Office: 10:00 – 20:30
…ENDS…

THE 61st BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORS AND FUNDERS

We’re delighted that American Express® join us for their eighth year as Principal Sponsor and Preferred Payment Partner.
We welcome the Royal Bank of Canada as a Main Sponsor of the Festival for the second year and are thrilled to see the return of American Airlines as Main Sponsor and Official Airline. We’re delighted IWC Schaffhausen return as the Festival’s Official Time Partner.

We give heartfelt thanks to The May Fair Hotel, who return as the Festival’s Official Hotel and Renault, our Official Car Partner.

The BFI London Film Festival is made possible thanks to support from DCMS and The National Lottery and many other cultural institutions and organisations. We are also delighted to be supported directly by the Mayor of London through Film London as a funding contributor.
The remastering and new score of the BFI Archive Gala film, SHIRAZ, is supported using public funding by Arts Council England, alongside additional support from Matt Spick; PRS Foundation’s ‘The Open Fund’; the George Harrison family, on behalf of the Material World Foundation; and all donors to the BFI’s Film is Fragile fundraising campaign.

A huge thank you goes to the Festival’s generous in-kind Sponsors: returning photography sponsor Getty Images and cinema advertising partner Digital Cinema Media. Additionally, we would like to welcome DDA and Four Colman Getty and thank Exterion Media, Fever-Tree, Green & Black’s, Harkness Screens, The Hospital Club, The House of St Barnabas, Impact Marketing, The Library, Picture Production Company, Pink Pepper Gin, TV5 Monde and The Union for their continued support. We would also like to thank new sponsors Dalston Cola and Maltsmiths.

Cinema partners returning this year are Odeon, Vue, Curzon, Picturehouse, ICA, Empire Haymarket, Ciné Lumière, Prince Charles Cinema and Rich Mix.
We are delighted to welcome back returning Media Partners Evening Standard, Time Out, Empire, Sight & Sound, Screen International, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Little White Lies as well as valued Broadcast Partners BBC London and Magic FM for continuing to provide invaluable media support. We are also pleased to welcome VICE as a media partner this year.

The Festival would also like to give a huge thanks to returning sponsors Christie Digital, Dolby Laboratories, Inc. and Newman Displays.

Finally, the Festival would like to thank the many embassies and cultural institutes who support the Festival by helping to bring in filmmakers to present their work.

2017 Toronto International Film Festival: Masters, World Cinema, Wavelengths, and more Gala and Special Presentations announced

August 15, 2017

TIFF logo

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) runs from September 7 to September 17, 2017. Festival ticket packages can be purchased online, by phone (416.599.TIFF or 1.888.599.8433), or in person at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Here are the latest movies and programming to be announced for TIFF 2017:

Gala Presentations

55 Steps | Bille August, Germany/Belgium
World Premiere

Chappaquiddick | John Curran, USA
World Premiere

Hochelaga, Terre des âmes | François Girard, Canada
World Premiere

My Days of Mercy | Tali Shalom-Ezer, USA
World Premiere

The Leisure Seeker | Paolo Virzì, Italy
International Premiere

Three Christs | Jon Avnet, USA
World Premiere

Special Presentations

The Captain (Der Hauptmann) | Robert Schwentke, Germany/France/Poland
World Premiere

The Conformist (冰之下) | Cai Shangjun, China
North American Premiere

The Cured | David Freyne, Ireland/United Kingdom/France
World Premiere

The Escape | Dominic Savage, United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Florida Project | Sean Baker, USA
North America Premiere

Foxtrot | Samuel Maoz, Israel/Germany/France/Switzerland
Canadian Premiere

I Love You, Daddy | Louis C.K., USA
World Premiere

In the Fade (Aus dem Nichts) | Fatih Akin, Germany/France
North American Premiere

Journey’s End | Saul Dibb, United Kingdom
World Premiere

The Killing of a Sacred Deer | Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/United Kingdom
North American Premiere

Kodachrome | Mark Raso, Canada/USA
World Premiere

Lean On Pete | Andrew Haigh, USA/United Kingdom
Canadian Premiere

Loving Pablo | Fernando León de Aranoa, Spain
North American Premiere

Michael Jackson’s Thriller 3D | John Landis, USA
North American Premiere

Preceded By
Making of Michael Jackson’s Thriller | Jerry Kramer, USA
North American Premiere

Manhunt | John Woo, Hong Kong/China
North American Premiere

Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House | Peter Landesman, USA
World Premiere

Marrowbone | Sergio G. Sánchez, Spain
World Premiere

Motorrad | Vicente Amorim, Brazil
World Premiere

Molly’s Game | Aaron Sorkin, USA
World Premiere

The Motive (El Autor) | Manuel Martín Cuenca, Spain
World Premiere

Samui Song (Mai Mee Samui Samrab Ter) | Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand/Germany/Norway
North American Premiere

Number One (Numéro Une) | Tonie Marshall, France
World Premiere

On Chesil Beach | Dominic Cooke, United Kingdom
World Premiere

Outside In | Lynn Shelton, USA
World Premiere

Papillon | Michael Noer, Serbia/Montenegro/Malta
World Premiere

Racer and the Jailbird | Michaël R. Roskam, Belgium/France
North American Premiere

Radiance (Hikari) | Naomi Kawase, Japan/France
North America Premiere

Redoubtable | Michel Hazanavicius, France
North America Premiere

Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) | Jan Zabeil, Germany/Italy
North American Premiere

Unicorn Store | Brie Larson, USA
World Premiere

Who We Are Now | Matthew Newton, USA
World Premiere

You Disappear (Du Forsvinder) | Peter Schønau Fog, Denmark/Sweden
International Premiere

Youth (Fāng Huá) | Feng Xiaogang, China
World Premiere

Primetime

Dark | Germany, 2 episodes | Showrunners: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Director: Baran bo Odar
World Premiere

The Deuce | USA, 2 episodes | Showrunners: David Simon, George Pelecanos
Directors: Michelle MacLaren, Ernest Dickerson
Episode 1, Canadian Premiere
Episode 2, World Premiere

The Girlfriend Experience | Season 2, USA, 4 episodes | Showrunners and directors: Amy Seimetz, Lodge Kerrigan
World Premiere

Under Pressure | Brazil, 2 episodes | Showrunners: Andrucha Waddington, Jorge Furtado
Directors: Andrucha Waddington, Mini Kerti
International Premiere

Alias Grace | Canada/USA, 2 episodes | Showrunner: Sarah Polley
Director: Mary Harron
World Premiere
*Previously announced with the Canadian lineup

Masters

The Day After (Geu-hu) | Hong Sangsoo, South Korea
North American Premiere

Faces Places (Visages Villages) | Agnès Varda, JR, France
Canadian Premiere

First Reformed | Paul Schrader, USA
Canadian Premiere

Happy End | Michael Haneke, France/Austria/Germany
North American Premiere

The House by the Sea (La Villa) | Robert Guédiguian, France
North American Premiere

Loveless (Nelyubov) | Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia/France/Belgium/Germany
Canadian Premiere

The Other Side of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen) | Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/Germany
Canadian Premiere

Our People Will Be Healed | Alanis Obomsawin, Canada
World Premiere
*Previously announced with the Canadian feature lineup

Rainbow – A Private Affair (Una questione privata) | Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani, Italy/France
World Premiere

The Third Murder (Sandome no Satsujin) | Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan
North American Premiere

Zama | Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Brazil/Spain/France/Netherlands/Mexico/Portugal/USA
North American Premiere

Contemporary World Cinema

A Ciambra | Jonas Carpignano, Italy/France/USA/Germany
International Premiere

A Sort of Family (Una Especie de Familia) | Diego Lerman, Argentina/Brazil/France/Poland
World Premiere

Alanis | Anahí Berneri, Argentina
World Premiere

Ana, mon amour | Călin Peter Netzer, Romania/Germany/France
North American Premiere

Angels Wear White (Jia Nian Hua) | Vivian Qu, China/France
North American Premiere

April’s Daughter (Las Hijas de Abril) | Michel Franco, Mexico
North American Premiere

Arrhythmia | Boris Khlebnikov, Russia/Finland/Germany
North American Premiere

Beyond Words | Urszula Antoniak, Netherlands/Poland
World Premiere

Birds Without Names (Kanojo ga Sono Na wo Shiranai Toritachi) | Kazuya Shiraishi, Japan
World Premiere

Breath | Simon Baker, Australia
World Premiere

Dark is the Night (Madilim ang Gabi) | Adolfo Alix Jr., Philippines
World Premiere

Directions (Posoki) | Stephan Komandarev, Bulgaria/Germany/Macedonia
North American Premiere

Disappearance (Verdwijnen) | Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands/Norway
International Premiere

Euthanizer (Armomurhaaja) | Teemu Nikki, Finland
World Premiere

Félicité | Alain Gomis, France/Senegal/Belgium/Germany/Lebanon
North American Premiere

Good Favour | Rebecca Daly, Ireland/Belgium/Denmark/Netherlands
World Premiere

Hannah | Andrea Pallaoro, Italy/Belgium/France
North American Premiere

Insyriated | Philippe Van Leeuw, Belgium/France/Lebanon
Canadian Premiere

Life and nothing more | Antonio Méndez Esparza, Spain/USA
World Premiere

Longing (Gaagua) | Savi Gabizon, Israel
North American Premiere

Looking for Oum Kulthum | Shirin Neshat, Germany/Austria/Italy/Lebanon/Qatar
North American Premiere

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts (Marlina si Pembunuh dalam Empat Babak) | Mouly Surya, Indonesia/France/Malaysia/Thailand
North American Premiere

Miami | Zaida Bergroth, Finland
International Premiere

Motorrad | Vicente Amorim, Brazil
World Premiere

Nina | Juraj Lehotský, Slovakia/Czech Republic
North American Premiere

On Body and Soul | Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary
North American Premiere

Samui Song (Mai Mee Samui Samrab Ter) | Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand/Germany/Norway
North American Premiere

Sergio & Sergei (Sergio & Serguéi) | Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Spain/Cuba
World Premiere

The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales (Le Grand Méchant Renard et autres contes) | Benjamin Renner, Patrick Imbert, France
North American Premiere

The Insult (L’Insulte) | Ziad Doueiri, France/Lebanon
Canadian Premiere

The Journey (Al Rahal) | Mohamed Jabarah Al-daradji, Iraq/United Kingdom/France/Qatar/Netherlands
World Premiere

The Lodgers | Brian O’Malley, Ireland
World Premiere

The Number | Khalo Matabane, South Africa
World Premiere

The Royal Hibiscus Hotel | Ishaya Bako, Nigeria
World Premiere

The Summit (La Cordillera) | Santiago Mitre, Argentina/Spain/France
North American Premiere

Tulipani, Love, Honour and a Bicycle | Mike van Diem, Netherlands/Italy/Canada
World Premiere

Under the Tree (Undir Trénu) | Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Iceland/Denmark/Poland/Germany
International Premiere

Veronica (Verónica) | Paco Plaza, Spain
International Premiere

Wajib | Annemarie Jacir, Palestine/France/Germany/Colombia/Norway/Qatar/United Arab Emirates
North American Premiere

Western | Valeska Grisebach, Germany/Bulgaria/Austria
North American Premiere

2017 New York Film Festival: main slate announced

August 8, 2017

New York Film Festival 2017

The following is a press release from the New York Film Festival:

The 55th New York Film Festival’s Main Slate has been announced, featuring a selection of 25 films from around the globe.

NYFF Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones said, “Every year, I’m asked about the themes in our Main Slate line-up, and every year I say the same thing: we choose the best films we see, and the common themes and preoccupations arise only after the fact. As I look at this slate of beautiful work, I could just make a series of simple observations: that these films come from all over the globe; that there is a nice balance of filmmakers known and unknown to many here in New York; that the overall balance between frankness and artistry holds me in awe; that there are two gala selections with the word ‘wonder’ in their titles; and that eight of the 25 films were directed by women.”

This year’s Main Slate showcases films honored at Cannes including Ruben Östlund’s Palme d’Or–winner “The Square”; Robin Campillo’s “BPM,” awarded the Cannes Critics’ Prize; and Agnès Varda & JR’s “Faces Places,” which took home the Golden Eye. From Berlin, Aki Kaurismäki’s Silver Bear–winner “The Other Side of Hope” and Agnieszka Holland’s Alfred Bauer Prize–winner “Spoor” mark the returns of two New York Film Festival veterans, while Luca Guadagnino’s acclaimed “Call Me by Your Name” will be his NYFF debut. Also returning are Arnaud Desplechin, Noah Baumbach, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Claire Denis, Philippe Garrel, Lucrecia Martel, and Hong Sang-soo, who has two features in the lineup this year, while filmmakers new to the festival include Sean Baker, Greta Gerwig, Serge Bozon, Dee Rees, Chloé Zhao, Joachim Trier, Alain Gomis, and Valeska Grisebach.

As previously announced, the NYFF55 Opening Night is Richard Linklater’s “Last Flag Flying,” Todd Haynes’s “Wonderstruck” is Centerpiece, and Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” will close the festival.

The 55th New York Film Festival Main Slate

Opening Night
Last Flag Flying
Dir. Richard Linklater

Centerpiece
Wonderstruck
Dir. Todd Haynes

Closing Night
Wonder Wheel
Dir. Woody Allen

Before We Vanish
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa

BPM (Beats Per Minute)/120 battements par minute
Dir. Robin Campillo

Bright Sunshine In/Un beau soleil intérieur
Dir. Claire Denis

Call Me by Your Name
Dir. Luca Guadagnino

The Day After
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

Faces Places/Visages villages
Dir. Agnès Varda & JR

Félicité
Dir. Alain Gomis

The Florida Project
Dir. Sean Baker

Ismael’s Ghosts/Les fantômes d’Ismaël
Dir. Arnaud Desplechin

Lady Bird
Dir. Greta Gerwig

Lover for a Day/L’Amant d’un jour
Dir. Philippe Garrel

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
Dir. Noah Baumbach

Mrs. Hyde/Madame Hyde
Dir. Serge Bozon

Mudbound
Dir. Dee Rees

On the Beach at Night Alone
Dir. Hong Sang-soo

The Other Side of Hope/Toivon tuolla puolen
Dir. Aki Kaurismäki

The Rider
Dir. Chloé Zhao

Spoor/Pokot
Dir. Agnieszka Holland, in cooperation with Kasia Adamik

The Square
Dir. Ruben Östlund

Thelma
Dir. Joachim Trier

Western
Dir. Valeska Grisebach

Zama
Dir. Lucrecia Martel

NYFF Special Events, Spotlight on Documentary, Revivals, Convergence, and Projections sections, as well as filmmaker conversations and panels, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The 18-day New York Film Festival highlights the best in world cinema, featuring works from celebrated filmmakers as well as fresh new talent. The selection committee, chaired by Jones, also includes Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programming; Florence Almozini, FSLC Associate Director of Programming; and Amy Taubin, Contributing Editor, Film Comment and Sight & Sound.

Tickets for the 55th New York Film Festival will go on sale September 10. Become a member by August 16 to get discounts and early ticket access at NYFF. VIP passes and packages are on sale now and offer one of the earliest opportunities to purchase tickets and secure seats at some of the festival’s biggest events. Learn more here.

2017 Fantastic Fest: first wave of films announced

August 8, 2017

Fantastic Fest 2017 LOGO

The following is a press release from Fantastic Fest:

Fantastic Fest, Alamo Drafthouse’s annual descent into chaos and carnage, returns for its 13th year, screaming “Yalla!” at full throttle. Loosely translated as “Let’s go,” this year’s rally cry is informed by the Arabic theme that will permeate the festival as it once again delves deep into the corners of the world’s best cinema.
“I’m proud to say that this is truly lucky thirteen for us,” said Tim League, festival founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO. “We have another ferocious slate celebrating new and returning filmmakers from all over the world. It’s again an honor and privilege to welcome them and their brilliant, brave work.”
Kicking off proceedings with this year’s opening night film is Martin McDonagh in attendance to present the US premiere of his beautifully comic and delightfully dark tale of loss and redemption, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. S. Craig Zahler makes his triumphant return with the US premiere of 2018’s most hyper-violent slice of brute force, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. Not to be outmuscled, Zahler’s bringing backup in the form of the thunderous trifecta of Vince Vaughn, Don Johnson and Udo Kier. And Barry Keoghan marks his first Fantastic Fest, sharing Yorgos Lanthimos’ savage horror epic THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER for the first time in the US.
Embracing cinema spanning from Egypt to Lebanon to Iraq to Afghanistan, the festival turns an eye to celebrate the best of the region. Highlights include Egypt’s rarely seen Rocky Horror Picture Show adaptation ANYAB and the International Premiere of the box office smash AL ASLEYEEN (aka THE ORIGINALS) directed by Marwan Hamed. “It’s truly a joy to be able to showcase a variety of Arabic genre films never before seen in the US to shatter preconceptions.” said Fantastic Fest Creative Director Evrim Ersoy. “Cinema from this region is as exciting, inventive and as wild as anything we’ve ever seen and we’re here to prove it. It’s going to be a wild ride! Yalla, Habibi!”
Fantastic Fest’s global reach isn’t relegated exclusively to Arabic nations, as it has once again scoured the corners of the globe to bring the best cinema to Austin, TX. Sweden is well represented with Ruben Ostlund’s brilliantly sardonic THE SQUARE; Japan’s master of malevolence, Takashi Miike, hits a bloody century with his 100th feature, BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL; Scotland flies its flesh-eating flag with John McPhail’s zombie musical, ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE; and Austrian Oscar winner Stefan Ruzowitsky delivers a brutal and relentless ride with COLD HELL.
Maine’s finest son, Stephen King, is gorgeously represented with two standouts from Netflix’s burgeoning genre slate. GERALD’S GAME receives its US premiere along with the welcome return of Fantastic Fest alumni Mike Flanagan, who delivers a chilling adaptation of one of King’s most beloved bedside tales starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood. And Fantastic Fest first-timer Zak Hilditch will be in attendance to share his perfectly precise vision of King’s uber-creepy novella, 1922, for its world premiere.
Sticking with the theme of world premieres, this year’s program features a selective set of titles from first-time feature filmmakers whose wildly impressive debuts belie the depth of their filmographies. Spanish short master Yayo Herrero excels with his fantasy horror, MAUS; Bradley Buecker explores wasted youth and packs a visceral punch from the wrong side of the tracks with JUVENILE; and Lukas Feigelfeld shocks with his atmospheric exploration of a medieval hell in HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN’S CURSE.
Fantastic Fest alumni are well represented this year as DAN DREAM reunites KLOWN’s dynamic duo of Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam for an electric road trip back to the ’80s; GENERATION B sees WASTE LAND director Pieter Van Hees return with a mad comedy; and RON GOOSSENS: LOW-BUDGET STUNTMAN delivers the warm embrace of directors Steffen Haars and Flip van der Kuil, whose previous NEW KIDS features and BROs BEFORE HOs crushed at previous editions of Fantastic Fest.
For those unable to make the pilgrimage to Austin this September, there’s still reason to rejoice as we’ll be realizing a long-brewing strategy of bringing Fantastic Fest and its finely curated programming to three Alamo Drafthouse flagship theaters over the weekend of September 29th. Fans of the best in genre films in San Francisco, Brooklyn and Denver will all feature an exclusive slate of Fantastic Fest titles. Tickets and badges are scheduled to go on sale in the coming weeks. For more information go to fantasticfest.com
FIRST WAVE FILM LINEUP BELOW:
1922
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 101 mins
Director – Zak Hilditch
1922 is based on Stephen King’s 131-page story telling of a man’s confession of his wife’s murder. The tale is told from from the perspective of Wilfred James, the story’s unreliable narrator who admits to killing his wife, Arlette, in Nebraska. But after he buries her body, he finds himself terrorized by rats and, as his life begins to unravel, he becomes convinced his wife is haunting him.
78/52
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 91 min
Director – Alexandre O. Philippe
This masterful documentary focuses on a single aspect of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO to demonstrate the master’s technical ability in storytelling. With expert interviews and rollicking analysis, 78/52 sets a new bar in how to examine film overall.
ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE
Scotland, 2017
World Premiere, 107 min
Director – John McPhail
Anna’s life is dominated by the typical concerns of her youthful peers until the Christmas season in her small town brings not Santa, but an outbreak of the undead in this genre-mashing holiday horror musical. Yep. Musical.
ANYAB
Egypt, 1981
Repertory, 100 min
Director – Mohammed Shebl
ANYAB (FANGS) is an oddity worth rediscovering! An Egyptian take on THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, this eye-popping musical of madness manages to cram horror, science fiction and even social commentary together while charming with its outrageous costumes and action.
BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL
Japan, 2017
US Premiere, 141 min
Director – Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike’s 100th journey is an adaptation of the BLADE OF THE IMMORTAL manga. Manji, a samurai who cannot die, crosses paths with Rin Asano, a young girl whose parents were killed. Manji swears to help Rin Asano avenge her parents’ deaths.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 132 min
Director – S. Craig Zahler
S. Craig Zahler (BONE TOMAHAWK) returns with his sophomore feature, BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99. An exhilarating exercise in analog violence, CELL BLOCK follows the brutal exploits of a former boxer who finds himself incarcerated after a drug deal goes wrong. Trapped in a maximum security facility, he must fight to stay alive and to protect those he loves.
COLD HELL
Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 91 min
Director – Stefan Ruzowitzsky
A young Turkish woman living in Vienna feels increasingly lonely after she witnesses a murder and finds herself next on the killer’s agenda in this smart and gritty thriller from the director of ANATOMY and the Oscar-winning THE COUNTERFEITERS.
DAN DREAM
Denmark, 2017
US Premiere, 97 min
Director – Jesper Rofelt
KLOWN duo Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam reunite for a true-life tale of epic failure. Witness the non-arrival of the Danish electric car!
THE ENDLESS
USA, 2017
Texas Premiere, 111 min
Directors – Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead
When brothers Justin and Aaron return to the cult that they escaped from ten years ago, they encounter a web of secrets and mysteries that threatens to tear them apart.
GENERATION B (GENERATIE B)
Belgium, 2017
ep. 1-4 = North American Premiere; ep. 5-6 = World Premiere, 210 min
Director – Pieter Van Hees
The generation gap has never been wider than it is in Pieter Van Hees’ deliriously absurd satire, pitting old generation money against Millennial apathy – and the occasional naked anarchist – following Belgium’s economic collapse.
GERALD’S GAME
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 103 mins
Director – Mike Flanagan
Flanagan unites with master of the macabre Stephen King for his cinematic interpretation of King’s beloved GERALD’S GAME. Starring Carla Gugino and Bruce Greenwood, GERALD’S GAME delivers pitch-perfect performances in a faithful adaptation where the horrors of the mind are much worse than what’s in front of you.
HAGAZUSSA – A HEATHEN’S CURSE
Germany, 2017
World Premiere, 102 min
Director – Lukas Feigelfeld
Set in the 15th Century in the Austrian Alps, Lukas Feigelfeld’s HAGAZUSSA takes us back to a dark period in which even the remotest parts of Europe suffered from the paranoia and superstition of the time.
JAILBREAK
Cambodia, 2017
US Premiere, 92 min
Director – Jimmy Henderson
Cambodia’s traditional martial art of bokator is unleashed in all its bone crunching fury in this action-packed tale of police trapped in the midst of a raging prison riot.
JUVENILE
USA, 2017
World Premiere, 87 min
Director – Bradley Buecker
The emotionally powerful story of Billy, an angry youth who spends his evenings stealing cars with best friend Mikey while attempting to cultivate a stable relationship with his girlfriend Jules.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER
Ireland / United Kingdom, 2017
US Premiere, 120 min
Director – Yorgos Lanthimos
The life of a brilliant surgeon is thrown into disarray when his friendship with a bizarre teenager threatens the lives of his entire family. Faced with a frightening choice, the man will be forced to assess all that he’s ever done.
KING COHEN
USA, 2017
US Premiere, 104 min
Director – Steve Mitchell
Featuring interviews from some of the biggest names in genre cinema including Joe Dante, Robert Forster and Fred Williamson, this documentary tells the story of one of the best and hardest working exploitation filmmakers.
MAUS
Spain, 2017
World Premiere, 90 min
Director – Yayo Herrero
Yayo Herrero’s directorial debut is a couple’s nightmare journey into the heart of darkness. A superlative horror parable, this shocking film is an indictment of modern history, war and the difficulties of reconciliation. It is a story for our times.
MY FRIEND DAHMER
USA, 2017
Texas Premiere, 107 min
Director – Marc Meyers
This is the story of Jeffrey Dahmer, a high school loner whose life would shape up to be something far more frightening than anyone could have imagined.
THE ORIGINALS
Egypt, 2017
International Premiere, 125 mins
Director – Marwan Hamed
Samir works for a bank, provides for his ever-demanding family and dreams of being in an Egyptian talent show. When he’s unexpectedly fired, Samir finds himself recruited to be part of a secret society and finds a darker side to life in Egypt.
RON GOOSSENS: LOW-BUDGET STUNTMAN
The Netherlands, 2017
North American Premiere, 78 min
Directors – Steffen Haars & Flip van der Kuil
The latest from the comedic team behind the NEW KIDS films and BROs BEFORE HOs. Ron Goossens is totally shitfaced. Only by working as a movie stuntman and bedding the hottest actress in the Netherlands can Ron save his marriage.
THE SQUARE
Sweden, 2017
US Premiere, 150 min
Director – Ruben Östlund
An art museum director’s life becomes a comedy of errors when trying to put together his latest exhibit in FORCE MAJEURE director Ruben Ostlund’s latest, which won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes.
SUPER DARK TIMES
USA, 2017
Regional Premiere, 102 min
Director – Kevin Phillips
A split-second act of violence forever changes the lives of two ’90s kids. Now they must cope with both the fallout of that moment and the pressures of high school in this clever and bloody coming-of-age thriller.
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
USA, 2017
US PREMIERE, 110 min
Director – Martin McDonagh
A grieving mother takes drastic measures in an attempt to catch her daughter’s killer. Challenging the police to solve the case, she posts a series of billboards that threaten the fabric of rural, Missouri.
TIGER GIRL
Germany, 2017
US Premiere, 90 min
Director – Jakob Lass
Failing to crack the ranks as a would-be cop, Maggie begrudgingly settles for a security guard job until she encounters Tiger, a fierce young woman whose rebellious antics leave Maggie questioning which side of the law she truly belongs on.
TOP KNOT DETECTIVE
Australia, 2016
North American Premiere, 87 min
Directors – Aaron McCann & Dominic Pearce
Aliens! Ninjas! Robots! Enormous egos! Get ready to enter the world of TOP KNOT DETECTIVE! Possibly the greatest cult TV series you’ve never heard of, TOP KNOT DETECTIVE and its creator Takashi Tawagoto come to life in this gonzo documentary.
Attend:
2ND HALF Badges for Fantastic Fest 2017 are available for purchase here.
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