Cinema/Chicago’s yearly CineYouth Festival celebrates the work of students 21 years old and younger, highlighting the creativity of the next generation of filmmakers. Best of the Fest showcases the winning films from the 2011 CineYouth Festival; categories include Documentary, Drama, Comedy, and Music Video. This screening will include a Q+A with select winning CineYouth filmmakers.
*This is a free event, but audience members must get tickets. Tickets are available for free events ONLY at the Festival Box Office at AMC River East 21 (322 East Illinois Street) or the Festival office (30 East Adams Street, Suite 800).
Various languages with subtitles 95 min
Literature has the power to change the world, or so university students Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Ensslin believe. Gudrun soon discovers that words are not enough and, seduced by one of Andreas Baader’s more direct and violent approaches to change, joins forces with him as co-founder of the Red Faction Army. This stirring political drama takes audiences back to a tumultuous time in history when ideologies clashed, love was made, bombs were exploded and bullets fired.
German with subtitles 124 min
In a small Romanian town, a group of 20-something guys known as “loverboys” woo young women into loving them before selling them into prostitution. One of the men, Luca, has never had any qualms with his profession until he meets Veli, a young farm girl. As their relationship deepens, Luca begins to question the path he is making and the path he has chosen for the future.
Romanian with subtitles 94 min
The fast-paced game of the world's most popular sport is contrasted against the slow turning gears of democracy in this controversial documentary. With help from a committed South American coach and his charming wife, 18-year-old Kashmiri soccer player Basharat is good enough to go play in Brazil but can't obtain a visa due to his father's militant past. More than a coming-of-age story about a teen who dreams of living as a free citizen, it is also a coming-of-age story for democracy in India.
Urdu, Kashmiri with subtitles 83 min
The increasing popularity of Video On Demand (VOD) platforms is just the latest development to rock the ever-changing world of independent film distribution. Join a stellar line up of panelists from leading U.S. distributors to discuss current trends in distribution, how to strategize the distribution of your film, and where we can, and should, be going from here. Panelists include reps from Strand Releasing, The Weinstein Company, and more. With Brandon Peters, Strand Releasing, Tom Quinn, The Weinstein Company, Claude Nouchi, Colifilms Diffusion, and other panelists TBA.
Nearly a decade after being deported, Ghanaian Police inspector Boniface Koomsin is still trying to get back to the U.S. But when his counterfeit passport is stolen, he mounts a false investigation that takes him on a dangerous journey through contemporary Ghana. As the “investigation” continues, he will have to choose between dreams of escape and the realities of life in his homeland.
Fante, English, Twi, Pidgin, Ga with subtitles 89 min
Violeta, a dentist in Rio de Janeiro, is happily married and still engages in passionate morning lovemaking with her husband. Then he leaves on business and calls to tell her he never plans to return. Confused, she begins to wander the streets, trying to figure out what happened and why. Rio is as much a protagonist as Violeta, its energetic and melancholic landscapes a reflection of her changing moods in this ode to resilience in the face of heartbreaking loss from Gold Hugo winner Karim Aïnouz (Madame Sãta).
Portugese with subtitles 82 min
The ambiguous suicide of local beauty, weathergirl, cheese model, and Marilyn Monroe look-a-like finds an eager sleuth in David Rousseau, best-selling crime novelist. When Rousseau visits a remote Alps village for the reading of his friend’s will he unwittingly, but irresistibly, gets caught in the tangled web of murder and small town politics in this off-beat mystery.
French with subtitles 102 min
After working for two years at a failed clothing enterprise, migrant worker Cao Li returns to Shanghai to try her hand again. Reconnecting with hometown friends Guo and Jiuzi, she gets drawn into a scheme, illegally chartering a bus to take fellow Fuyang natives home for the New Year holiday. Cao Li, unsure herself of whether or not she herself will return home, has her own misgivings about their scam, in this intimate, rarely seen portrait of a migrant culture.
Mandarin with subtitles 88 min
Inspiring, heartwarming, hilarious and full of life, this portrait of the Tony® and Golden Globe® award-winning actress, singer and comedienne weaves Broadway history with an unbelievable love story to capture the unique persona behind the iconic performances in Hello Dolly and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Stay for the end credits: the film's outtakes just cannot be missed.
Turin 1899: Nietzsche witnesses a horse being whipped and subsequently retreats into madness. The Turin Horse observes the life of that fateful horse as well as its owners, a farmer and his daughter, who struggle to survive in harsh conditions. A sparse, dramatic and almost silent tale, it is a fitting finale for acclaimed director Béla Tarr, who has announced this to be his last film.
Hungarian with subtitles 146 min
In this gripping film shot semi-clandestinely, a young disbarred female lawyer with an exiled husband and an unwanted pregnancy tries to secure a visa to leave the country. Tension builds slowly and meticulously as the heroine faces off against an oppressive regime, the walls slowly closing in around her. This powerful portrait of one woman's struggle against the system in modern-day Iran won a best director award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
Farsi with subtitles 104 min
A selection of international shorts which encompass the sublime, the ridiculous, and everything in-between.
Three eager bank robbers go over the big plan before robbing a bank in the hilarious THE HEIST (UK). In OSTRICH’S FLIGHT (Brazil) a struggling businessman tries a novel money making approach. An impromptu Cyndi Lauper sing-a-long is about more than just a song in TIME AFTER TIME (USA). Rocky is a little boy with a lot of love to give in THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF ROCKY (Belgium). The turmoil at the end of a relationship is explored with sensitivity and simplicity in THE SHOWER (Chile). A surprising encounter takes place at an indoor playground in the Neil LaBute penned AFTER-SCHOOL SPECIAL (USA). Randomness, existence and the order, or disorder, of things, is explored in the beautiful hybrid animation JUST THAT SORT OF A DAY (India).
A man tries to pick up a woman at an indoor playground. The woman isn’t interested, but the reason is unclear … a slice of black humor penned by Neil LaBute and starring Wes Bentley and Sarah Paulson.
Glimpses into the lives of seemingly unconnected characters, and their doubts, quirks and misgivings. As these characters hang in a timeless space- they gaze at the universe through letters, galaxies, parapets, and fishbowls. Randomness, existence and the order, or disorder of things, is explored in this beautiful, unusual hybrid animation.
A struggling mattress salesman decides to try a novel money making approach - renting out his mattresses as beds by night when the store is closed. Naturally this opens his life to a parade of odd figures. An offbeat, charming film featuring some truly enormous fried eggs.
Portuguese, with subtitles 15 min
It seems Rocky was born on the wrong side of luck; all the people he loves die from a fatal accident. First his father, then his grandfather and on it goes - and every single time Rocky is at the center of it all. He is like a magnet for misfortune. A darkly comedic fable with an aesthetic that fans of Wes Anderson-esque quirkiness will eat right up.
Dutch, with subtitles 14 min
Three eager bank robbers go over the big plan before robbing a bank, but things are quickly complicated when they can’t even agree on their code names. The hilarious rapid-fire dialogue make The Heist a genuine delight.
A couple separates. Elisa has taken a job outside the country and Manuela, who lived with her five years, has decided not to accompany her. Unable to say goodbye, they spend the last morning together as refugees under the shower water. A sensitive, deceptively simple film that lingers long after viewing, The Shower was the winner of Best Short Film at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
Spanish, with subtitles 10 min
A Cyndi Lauper singalong becomes about much more than just the song in this wonderfully effective cinematic portrayal of “awkwardness.”
Best-selling novelist Kosaku Igami has made a career out of using his family as fodder for his novels, much to their dismay. When his mother, the spirited family matriarch, is diagnosed with dementia, Igami must come to terms with the toll his own behavior has taken on his increasingly distant family and resolve his own long-simmering resentments. Evocative of classic Ozu, this gorgeously wrought epic family portrait explores the tenderness and trappings of familial bonds.
Japanese with subtitles 119 min
In this charming youth drama shot American-indie style from China, three friends have given up on their future, spending their time partying and working odd jobs. When their apartment complex is marked for demolition, they end up renting a room from a former Peking Opera singer who is still grieving over her son’s death. Their two worlds collide at first, but the four, each broken in their own way, discover a family of sorts united by their differences.
Mandarin with subtitles 101 min
Léa, a young student from the provinces, dreams of attending the prestigious Paris Institute of Political Sciences and being fully independent. The sole caretaker of her resentful, Alzheimer’s-suffering grandmother, Léa becomes a stripper in order to afford her university studies and her grandmother’s nursing home. When things start to spiral out of control, Léa discovers that easy answers can come at a hefty price.
French with subtitles 93 min
In a secluded area of Brazil’s Mato Grosso region, an impossible land dispute rages between Indians evicted from their homeland, squatters, land-grabbers, the Landless Workers Movement, and the ranchers who own property. With no resolution in sight and violence threatening to erupt at any moment, the film looks closely at each group’s perspective, offering a meditation on the concept of private property across social and cultural boundaries.
Portugese with subtitles 72 min
A six-year-old in Germany confronts and questions the nature of self-identity after learning of his Turkish grandfather’s journey as a guest worker in the 1960s.The discussion leads the whole family to travel to their original home in Turkey, a trip that will prove surprising in more ways than one. This delightful comedy shows that your identity is not determined by where you live or where your parents come from, but rather what you feel inside.
German with subtitles 101 min
Unsettling, surprising and off-kilter encounters abound in these eight compelling and carefully crafted films.
A 17-year-old boy experiences some surprises during his first day on the job in MEATHEAD (New Zealand). A father and son share an awkward moment at a wedding in THE SHIRT (Germany). A piece of chewing gum, a dog collar, a stain on the wall in the shape of Australia, and a crooked traffic light all play a part in THE RUNAWAY (Spain). An old woman convinces herself that she will die as soon as she has sold her last minute of cell phone time in MINUTO 200 (Colombia). Perceptions of reality are explored on a one-take journey in 720 DEGREES (Bangladesh). A young girl’s sexual awakening swelters in the heat of a long summer’s day in NARKIS (Israel). Two brothers who run an unusual carwash business have some problems on their hands in KRASS (Iceland). An unseen tension lurks in a seemingly everyday situation in THE STRANGE ONES (USA).
Oli runs an unusual car wash with his brother Keli, although he seems to spend more time singing karaoke than doing work. An impatient customer shows up with a vintage car for them to service, but soon Oli has a serious problem on his hands. Idiosyncratic comedy like only the Icelandic know how.
Icelandic, with subtitles 8 min
Michael is a seventeen year-old kid who gets a job at the local meat works. The place is challenging and his fellow workers aren’t exactly welcoming of new blood. It soon becomes clear that this day isn’t going to be about just trying to fit in. His biggest concern will be getting out alive. With outstanding cinematography and sound design and filmed in a real, functional abattoir, it is no surprise that Meat Head was chosen for the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
An elderly woman who lives alone resigns herself to waiting for death, convinced that it will come knocking on her door as soon as she has sold the last minute of a cellphone airtime. A gentle, tender rendering of the twilight years.
Spanish, with subtitles 19 min
Thirteen year old Narkis is bored to death in her isolated country town. While catching sun in her backyard, she entertains herself by tormenting a helpless cat and spying on the attractive young couple next door. They have something that she wants, and she sets out on a quest to get it in this subtle tale of one girl’s sexual awakening in the sultry summer heat.
Hebrew, with subtitles 11 min
A wedding ceremony. The Men’s Room. Two men squeeze to fit into one of the small booths. Walter, 62 and Markus, 28. Between them: An Undershirt. A touching, understated look at a father/son relationship and the foibles of human nature.
German, with subtitles 6 min
A man and a boy, traveling to an unknown destination, find respite in a motel swimming pool. On the surface all seems normal, but nothing is what it seems to be. Haunting and evocative, The Strange Ones hints at a complicated, dangerous and secret world lurking beneath the surface.
A one-take journey discovers the layers of relationships and our perception of reality within two circular panoramas. This award-winning short film experiments with the strength of non-diegetic sound elements and explores the fundamentals of visual language.
Chewing gum. A dog leash. An Australia shaped stain on the wall. A bent traffic light...each of these elements has its own story, even though all of them together can create a new plot. A brilliantly inventive, daring short which completely subverts its own set-up.
Spanish, with subtitles 11 min
Fifteen-year-old Alma feels trapped in her small Norwegian town. To curb her restlessness and active imagination and to satiate her sexual appetite, Alma regularly calls a phone sex hotline. After an awkward encounter with a crush turns her into a social pariah, Alma decides to run away to Oslo. Funny, quirky and endearing, Turn Me On, Dammit! charmingly captures the ups and downs of teenage sexuality.
Norwegian with subtitles 76 min
What are the limits of loyalty, family, and justice? Driven by jealousy and power, General Tu-Angu frames an entire clan for the murder of their king and wipes out all 300 members. All but one - a baby boy and dynastic heir, secretly rescued by the family doctor. But when Tu-Angu orders the Herod-like murder of every male infant, the doctor makes an inconceivable sacrifice in Kaige Chen’s (Farewell My Concubine) breathtaking adaptation of a classical Chinese opera.
Mandarin with subtitles 132 min
The 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident is seen through the eyes of Valery, a young Communist party officer who has knowledge of the disaster yet, through a series of circumstances, is unable to flee the city. Instead of dealing with the impending doom, Valery and his girlfriend partake in frivolous activities, making you wonder, 25 years later, what would you have done in their shoes?
Russian with subtitles 99 min
Invoking the elliptical whimsy of comedic legend Jacques Tati, this playful, wordless romp sends up the French pleasure in summer holidays. Wandering in and out of a series of scenarios, each tinged with a touch of the absurd, the film follows a motley crew of vacationers enjoying a spell at the beach. The more than half dozen stories are cleverly propelled by the cast’s brilliant physical performances, witty comic-book inspired cinematography, and swift pacing.
French with subtitles 77 min
Calling all Hulkamaniacs! When you’re done training, taking your vitamins, and saying your prayers, then you can meet the purest fan of all, Chris Sader, in a story that travels from childhood obsession to an unexpected and touching friendship. In this inspirational tale, Chris and Hulk Hogan relate how they met and developed a bond through mutual struggles and personal loss that each would have faced alone if not for the unlikely friendship that develops between them.
The thin veneer of youth, money, good looks and love are shattered when David is diagnosed with HIV. With his pregnant fiancée kept in the dark, David confronts the realization that he may have infected them as well. Sessions with a therapist become a narrative device that filmmaker Stephen Lloyd Jackson uses to document David’s descent into hedonistic despair.
A true American visionary, Diana Vreeland became the first fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 and from there proceeded to invent the concept of fashion as we now know it. A talented writer with a larger-than-life personality, she had an innate ability to discover designers, photographers and new ideas often to the point of controversy. Director Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s delightfully playful tribute uses archival footage, family photos, and an animated conversation with George Plympton.
Winner of the Best Director prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival, Hagar Ben-Asher’s alternative, almost anti-cautionary tale presents Tamar, a beautiful, young single mother with a seemingly insatiable sexual appetite. While running a chicken farm with her two daughters, she finds servicing the village’s lackluster men gets her through the inconveniences of everyday life. That is until a hunky veterinarian comes to town.
Hebrew with subtitles 88 min
In just one decade, Anthony Mackie has built an impressive acting resume with standout roles in Half Nelson, The Adjustment Bureau, Notorious, and Academy Award® Best Picture winners Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. Mackie has won two Black Reel awards, a Gotham Award, and has been nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and a Screen Actor’s Guild Award. Mackie’s contributions to cinema have earned him the Festival's Artistic Achievement Award; he now joins an illustrious list of African American artists who have been honored by the Festival. Join us as we celebrate this gifted actor with film highlights from his most memorable performances, followed by a conversation about his career.Hosted by Robin Robinson (Anchor, Fox News Chicago).7:30pm TributeChase Auditorium | 10 S Dearborn St9:30pm After-partytheWit Hotel | 201 N State St
Amidst the Afro-Cuban rhythms of Havana in the 1940s, Chico and Rita fall immediately in love. But infidelity and their respective pursuit of fame both unite and pull them apart for the next six decades. Spanish filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba (La Belle Epoque, Calle 54), graphic artist Javier Mariscal, and animator Tono Errando pay tribute to the great Afro-Cuban and Be-bop musicians of the 40s and 50s in this delightfully sensuous animated film.
English, Spanish with subtitles 94 min
Cartography and passion come together in the first American film made in Armenia. Will, a satellite mapping engineer hired to map Armenia, arrives solo but soon meets Gadarine, a photographer and Armenian expatriate returning home for the first time. An unlikely pair, the two are inexplicably connected from their first encounter and together explore new terrain both literally and figuratively. With a striking visual design, this international road-movie romance premiered at this year’s Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals.
Linda's devoutly religious husband Abe hasn't slept with her since he found out she was barren. That was 20 years ago. But when Abe suffers a stroke she finds out that his sexual needs were long being taken care of at the local sperm bank. And that he has a mullet-headed ex-con son named Raymond. Linda goes to Florida to meet Raymond and the pair embark on a journey of self-discovery in this offbeat, darkly funny road movie that was a big winner at this year's SXSW Film Festival.
Classically trained yet utterly unconventional, musician Andrew Bird has been defying classification for 20 albums and countless live shows. And though Fever Year covers the culminating months of the artist’s last tour, it’s as much about the creative process as it is about performance. The film’s sensuous visual style is a match for the musician whose combination of voice, violin, and whistle could charm Hades himself.
Noir infused characters, with plenty to be paranoid about, are thrown together in a desperate situation when recent parolee Nick Burke (Mark Pellegrino) comes to the aid of Michelle (Alicia Witt), an exotic dancer living in a mysterious self-imposed exile in downstate Illinois. When they’re forced to team up and go on the lam, the two wonder whether they can even trust each other.
Based on true events, this skillfully crafted psychological thriller centers on 16-year-old Jamie, who lives in a squalid, crime-ridden slum on the outskirts of Adelaide. When John Bunting, a charismatic older man, enters his life, he offers friendship and escape from his deadbeat existence. But as Bunting’s behavior becomes increasingly sinister, Jamie finds himself caught up in horrors he could never have imagined as he realizes his new father-figure is actually a cold-blooded serial killer.
Take the classic horror movie formula - hot girls lost in the woods, marauding homicidal maniacs, and gallons of blood and gore. Add some dark humor, sharp, witty dialogue, and unexpected twists and voilá, you get Rabies, Israel’s critically acclaimed first foray into the slasher genre. Sophisticated enough to appeal to a broad audience but with sufficient splatter to satisfy the hardcore genre fan, Rabies is an exhilarating and highly enjoyable viewing experience.
Hebrew with subtitles 90 min
A young thief’s ability to control minds is frustrated when he meets one just beyond his reach in this fast paced Korean action thriller. On a routine robbery of a pawnshop, things go terribly awry and an epic cat-and-mouse game quickly ensues, taking the viewer on a super charged tour of Seoul at night.
Korean with subtitles 114 min
This hilariously profane animated comedy follows George, a skateboarding booze guzzler with a libido to match, as he turns from randy rodent into spiky statesman, by way of some pretty far out genetic manipulation techniques. Both a bold piece of satire and a refreshing break from the animated norm, the film brims with as much irreverent energy as its prickled protagonist. Mature audiences only.
Polish with subtitles 80 min
Zombies, ghosts, murderers and more go on the rampage in this miniature showcase of terror.Thirty years after a zombie epidemic the undead are used for cheap labor in the stylish THE UNLIVING (Sweden). A mysterious vagrant is hiding in an empty house in the menacing GHOST (South Korea). There's a new addition to the family in the form of a benign severed head in the darkly comedic CROPPED (Australia). A little boy and a yeti-like monster go on a disturbing adventure in DREAM OF 1ST OF APRIL 1999 (France). A gruesome scene unfolds in a peaceful home by the sea in BEATING HEARTS (USA). A young mother's mental state deteriorates rapidly in the nightmarish FOAL (Austria) and an army of mutant flies is unleashed in an orgy of bloodlust in FRIEND OF FLIES (Sweden).
A harrowing take on family ties, true love and murder. A gruesome scene unfolds at the hands of a little girl and an older man in a seemingly peaceful home by the sea. Beating Hearts reverses the typical horror structure by opening with the blood-spattered act of violence while the rest of the narrative resides in the stillness and quiet of the aftermath.
The Australian outback has been decimated by the brutal drought, destroying the livelihoods of farmers across the land. Barry and his family have been hit particularly hard, but their lives soon take a dramatic turn as they discover a mysterious object on their property. Each member of the family reacts differently to the gruesome new addition to the family which slowly stretches their relationships to breaking point. Sometimes it’s hard to keep your head … Cropped is a hilarious and disturbing black comedy.
A little boy goes for a walk in the forest with a mysterious, yeti like creature in this bizarre and highly creative animation which takes us on a dark, nightmarish journey which becomes increasingly abstract and surreal. 20’s style intertitles add to the dreamlike, nostalgic feel of this unique film.
A young pregnant woman enthusiastically hurls herself into her new family, but her husband is worried and uncertain about their marriage. The forced family structures begin to crumble away. Sensing her partner’s rejection, the woman bolts herself in her majestic estate in this gorgeous, atmospheric tale of rejection and betrayal.
German, with subtitles 16 min
For want of friends, a little boy seeks fellowship among flies. Once he has gained their confidence, he finds himself in possession of endless power. But power is not the solution to everything, and how is a child to master such responsibility? Using only three colors, black, white and red, Friend of Flies deploys a striking visual aesthetic to tell a melancholy tale about the loneliness of childhood.
A mysterious man is hiding out in an empty house. The man, who is wanted by the police, is caught up in a fantasy world brought on by extreme hunger and anxiety. However what he faces at the end is the darkest side of himself in this austere, deceptively simple short with an unnerving undercurrent of menace.
Korean, with subtitles 10 min
Thirty years after a zombie outbreak, people have started taming and using the zombies as a cheap workforce. The young couple, Katrine and Mark, struggle with the tedious everyday life of dirty zombie catching, bloody lobotomy experiments and a relationship on the verge of falling apart. Featuring truly exceptional production and complex, intriguing characters, The Unliving was the winner of the Best European Short Film award at the 2011 Berlin Film Festival.
Swedish, with subtitles 28 min
Online dating? What’s the worst that could happen? Well, apparently, you could find yourself trapped in an old house at the mercy of a pair of aging right-wing revolutionaries turned sadists with a penchant for torturing young women with decaying dynamite and buckets of nitroglycerin. Prolific low-budget horror maestro Bogliano serves up a stylish slice of extreme genre cinema, which also alludes to the troubled state of generational politics in his homeland.
Spanish with subtitles 80 min
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